Al Jazeera Film Challenges Trump’s Election Win

Unfair Game

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

The them of this documentary is that Trump used unfair tactics to win the 2016 electoral college vote, despite losing the popular vote by 3 million.

Most of the the film focuses on the California subsidiary of Cambridge Analytica, which purchased personal data from Facebook, Google, Twitter and other Internet data harvesting firms. It then used sophisticated algorithms to individually target potential Trump supporters in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

According to filmmakers, Cambridge Analytica compiled 4,000 data points regarding the personal lives of 23 million voters. They then used the data to generate paid “dark posts” on Facebook. Dark posts are the weird personal ads and messages that pop up briefly on your Facebook news feed and then disappear.

Although it was intriguing to learn how Cambridge Analytica massaged personal data to identify and influence potential Trump voters, I objected to the way the documentary blames the Trump campaign for introducing microtargeting (potential supporters) to US elections. It was actually the Obama campaign that pioneered microtargeting, which is largely credited for his ability to overcome Republican vote rigging and vote suppression efforts in 2008 and 2012.

When the Obama campaign engaged in microtargeting, they were widely hailed as ingenious public relations innovators. When the Trump campaign does it, he’s branded as a liar and a thief. While I have no love for Donald Trump, the clear bias in this film really irritates me. I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton, who inherited many of Obama’s campaign staffers, also used microtargeting in her campaign.

That being said, I found it significant that Cambridge Analytica was actually an offshoot of the British Strategic Communications Laboratory, which was widely used by NATO, NSA, the State Department and other deep state actors to influence US and global opinion and meddle in foreign elections. I was previously unaware that the California branch of Cambridge Analytica was headed by Trump’s campaign manager Steve Bannon and mainly funded by Trump’s biggest campaign donor, Robert Mercer.

The first 15 minutes of the documentary in which, “mainstream” corporate journalists decry the unregulated dissemination of “fake news” by “ultra right wing” online publications, is frankly embarrassing.It was the collective decision by so-called “mainstream” media to become a propaganda mouthpiece for the CIA, State Department and Pentagon that led Americans to look to the Internet for alternative sources of information.

Trump Instructs Top Advisors to Review Joining TPPA

Trade For People and Planet

Popular Resistance

Donald Trump has instructed United States Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, and National Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow, to review re-joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) according to declarations given by Senator Ben Sasse to reporters after leaving a meeting on trade that Trump had with lawmakers and governors from farming states just a few hours ago.

“[Trump] said that he was going to deputize, again, Larry Kudlow and Ambassador Lighthizer with reentering the TPP negotiations,” Senator Sasse said. “The president multiple times reaffirmed in general to all of us and looked right at Larry Kudlow and said, ‘Larry, go get it done.’

We must show that the people are watching their every move! Help us make the hashtag #NeverTPP viral! Click on any of the tweets below to tweet now or create your own tweet and mention us at @FlushTheTPP.

BREAKING: Trump orders review of #TPP. We never trusted @realDonaldTrump to be the end of the #TPP. We defeated the deal under Obama & will again under #Trump if need be. Say NO to reviewing joining the TPP! #NeverTPP @FlushTheTPP

BREAKING: Trump tells @USTradeRep to review joining #TPP. @realDonaldTrump forgot that this deal is POLITICALLY TOXIC. Join us in saying #NeverTPP ! @FlushTheTPP 

.@FlushTheTPP on Trump’s reconsideration of TPP: It was the people who defeated the TPP, not Trump, and we will do it again. See more at –> https://bit.ly/2qqkKFe #NeverTPP pic.twitter.com/v8KyOLEHww

BREAKING: Trump tells @larry_kudlow to review joining #TPP. This deal is the ultimate power grab and will be opposed by the people across the political spectrum. Say NO to rejoining the TPP. #NeverTPP @FlushTheTPP

BREAKING: Trump instructs top trade aides to review joining the TPP. Fair trade is the exact opposite of the TPP. We will resist! #NeverTPP @FlushTheTPP

The Trump Movement: How it All Began

Trumpland: Kill All the Normies

Fusion (2018)

Film Review

This documentary, featuring Kill All the Normies* author Angela Nagle, examines the origin of the political movement that elected an openly racist, misogynist and xenophobe to the US presidency. Nagle believes that Trump initially gathered most of his support from the “dark” sections of the Internet, namely 4Chan and a variety of its spinoff sites. 4Chan is a roughly 20-year-old site where anonymous geeks – mainly teenagers – try to outdo each other with the most repulsive and/or obscene posts they can think of.

According to Nagle, 4Chan and similar sites made an ideal platform for insecure white males to anonymously scapegoat specific social groups (women, Blacks, Mexicans, Muslims) that they blame for their unhappiness. These sites came to be collectively known as the “manosphere community,” a multitude of social media sites hosted by PUA (pickup artists) and other members of the InCel (Involuntarily Celibate) known for their open hatred and degradation of women. The primary themes promoted by these sites are that women aren’t to be trusted, that they must be tricked into having sex by dwelling on their insecurities and that they should only deserve enough education to have children.

Eventually this “manosphere” would “weaponize” Twitter, by using it for toxic harassment of feminists and other publicly prominent women, with insults and threats to kill and/or rape them.

Trumps’ closest political advisor Steve Bannon, who tracked all these right wing sites, assisted Trump in mainstreaming the discontent he found there. Trump’s willingness to publicly give voice to these views provided him with an immediate fan base. Trump is the ultimate troll, drawing attention to himself by insulting people and generating outrage – a trait supporters fed up with “political correctness” particularly adore about him.

For me the most interesting segment criticizes Obama for setting the stage for the Trump movement by abandoning marginalized white workers, focusing instead on identity politics (mainly gay and gender rights) to maintain his liberal credentials.

One commentator blames backlash against against the “gender fluidity” movement, an extreme manifestation of identity politics (mainly concerned with gay and transgender rights) for the rise of the Trump phenomenon. This movement also weaponizes social media to attack views they deem to be “politically incorrect.”


*A “Normie” is Alt-Right speak for “mainstream.”

The Trump Show

The Trump Show

Al Jazeera (2017)

Film Review

This feature, which traces Trump’s rise as a reality TV star, asserts that he continues to view himself as the star of a reality TV show rather than the real-life president of the most powerful country in the world.

Prior to the launch of The Apprentice in 2004, no one in the New York business community took him seriously – viewing him as an unreliable has-been blowhard with a string of bankruptcies. Mark Burnett, the show’s director coached him how to create a new fictional narrative for himself, portraying a claw back from failure to fulfill the American Dream.

Reality TV is all about emoting, dumbing everything down and continually provoking conflict and outrage. Trump proved to be a master at provoking outrage during his battles with moderators during the election debates. Thanks to viewer ratings that shot through the roof, the networks loved him.

Because TV continues to filter reality for most Americans (especially older and blue collar Americans for whom TV is their only source of news), Trump’s apparent willingness to speak his mind and challenge hypocrisy and authority continues to resonate with a significant proportion of the US public.

The Luxury of Dental Health in Third World America

Dental Health

Press TV (2017)

This documentary highlights the millions of Americans unable to access dental care owing to the prohibitive cost. With a routine dental checkups costing a week’s salary on average, healthy teeth have become an unaffordable luxury in the US.

The US is the only developed country that refuses  to provide basic health care for all its residents. Prior to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in 2010, poor Americans unable to access medical services experienced an average of 45,000 preventable deaths annually.

Total preventable deaths dropped initially (to 18,000) with the enactment of Obamacare. Since then skyrocketing premiums – coupled with Trump’s repeal of premium subsidies – have caused a rebound in the number of uninsured Americans.

California used to provide free dental services for indigent residents under the state Medicaid program. However this was discontinued in 2009. Although indigent children are still theoretically eligible to receive DentiCal services, reimbursement rates are so low only a handful of Los Angeles dentists participate in the program.

The film focuses on nongovernmental efforts to improve dental health in the Los Angeles Hispanic community. Ironically dental health deteriorates in Mexicans after they immigrate to the US – and move from rural areas to inner cities lacking access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Thus an essential component of the University of Southern California (USC) dental health outreach program involves a campaign to increase urban gardens and nutrition education in schools.

The USC Ostrow School of Dentistry also recruits volunteer dentists to run free dental clinics for children, the unemployed, the uninsured and the elderly (of all ethnicities).

In addition to to the USC program, the Los Angeles Hispanic Dental Association has established a fund to support Spanish-speaking students in pursuing dental degrees and foreign-trained Hispanic dentists in jumping the bureaucratic hurdles of obtaining a US work permit .

 

Flashback: WSJ Article that Forced Comey to Reopen Investigation into Clinton’s Emails

Andrew McCabe and the $675,000 Bribe Not to Investigate Clinton

In the following radio interview, Canadian researcher Michel Chossudovsky discusses an article he posted in Global Research on Novermber 2, 2016. In it he discusses the  $675,000 donation (ie bribe) Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe  donated to the state senate campaign of Jill McCabe, the wife of a top FBI official (Andrew McCabe). Subsequently McCable, conveniently promoted to deputy  director,  oversaw the FBI investigation into Clinton’s secret email server.

When McCabe cleared Clinton of wrongdoing, FBI Director James Comey was willing to let the decision stand until an expose in the Wall Street Journal disclosed the secret $675,000 campaign donation/bribe (which McCabe neglected to disclose on her electoral return). Eleven days prior to the 2016 election, Comey announced he was reopening the investigation.

In this Guns and Butter interview, Chossudovsky officers a fascinating analysis of what he believes is a split in the US military-intelligence complex between the neocons who support Clinton’s agenda of war against Syria, Iran and Russia and military/intelligence dissidents who are gravely concerned about Clinton’s criminal past and her potential to recklessly launch full blown nuclear war.

According to Chossudovsky, the neocons continue to rely on the traditional CIA-controlled media outlets (CNN, New York Times, Washington Post, ABC etc), while intelligence dissidents tend to speak through Rupert Murdoch’s media outlets (Wall Street Journal, Fox News, New York Post, Daily Mail) to promote a pro-Trump, anti-neocon perspective.

Chossudovsky also discusses Wikileaks’ role in this divide. At the moment, Wikileaks is mainly publishing emails and documents leaked by pro-Trump military/intelligence officials. Chossudovsky believes this represents a deliberate decision by Julian Assange.

Although this interview is over a year old, it serves to remind us that most of the current media frenzy (the Putin-bashing, Russiagate, impeachment threats) being played is actually a war between competing intelligence factions and has virtually nothing to do with the interests of ordinary Americans.

Read Chossudovsky’s full article here:

Hillary Clinton: Wall Street’s Losing Horse? Constitutional Crisis? What’s the End Game?

How Neoliberalism Gave Us Brexit and Trump

Revenge of the Rich: The Neoliberal Revolution in Britain and New Zealand

by Austin Mitchell

Canterbury University Press (2017)

Book Review

Revenge of the Rich, by British economist Austin Mitchell, describes how the neoliberal revolutions of Margaret Thatcher and New Zealand finance minister Roger Douglas virtually gutted the economies of the UK and New Zealand. The result has been years of declining or negative growth rates, virtual destruction of manufacturing, massive job loss, wage stagnation and higher deficits and overseas borrowing.*

As an article of faith, neoliberals maintain that mass layoffs of public service workers will reduce government deficits. The reality, as Mitchell ably demonstrates, is the exact opposite. When you lay off 400,000 public servants (as David Cameron did between 2010 and 2016), they quit paying taxes and increase government costs by claiming unemployment and other benefits.

Britain’s EU Membership: Setting the Stage

According to Mitchell, Britain’s decision to join the EU in 1973 set the stage for the neoliberal revolution that subsequently occurred in both countries. EU membership forced Britain to end their special trading relationship with New Zealand (an other Commonwealth countries), resulting in significant economic decline in both countries. Neoliberal trade liberalization was meant to stem these losses. Instead the loss of tariff and other import protections quickly destroyed manufacturing in both countries.

New Zealand, which was fortunate in having agricultural exports to fall back on, succeeded in developing alternative trade relationships with Australia, China and other Asian countries. Nonetheless, thanks to their 1980s neoliberal experiment, New Zealand has one of the highest levels of foreign ownership (of land, homes and companies) in the developed world. It also has the highest house prices, the second highest prison population and extremely high child poverty levels (1/3 of Kiwi children grow up in poverty). Meanwhile it’s failure to provide jobs for young adults means a sizeable proportion leave New Zealand permanently for other developed countries.

Brexit and Trump: The People Rebel

Mitchell describes the rise of left and right wing extremist groups in Europe, the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump as a direct popular reaction to the immense human misery caused by neoliberal policies. In New Zealand the 1996 citizens referendum adopting proportional representation was a direct reaction against both major parties (Labour and National) advancing neoliberal policies.

At this point, the traditionally pro-corporate International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have both come out against austerity and similar “deflationary” neoliberal policies. Instead they argue strongly for increased stimulus (public) spending to stabilize the world’s developed economies.


*Similar effects under American neoliberals Reagan, Bush Sr and Jr, Clinton and Obama inflicted similar damage on the US.

The End of Globalization

From Global to Local: The Making of Things and the End of Globalisation

by Finbarr Livesey

Profile Books Ltd (2016)

Book Review

In From Global to Local: The Making of Things and the End of Globalisation, Finbarr Livesey challenges the common neoliberal claim that globalization is the be-all and end-all of global prosperity.

Livesey’s premise, which he supports with an impressive array of data, is that globalization peaked shortly after 2008 and the world economy is in a period of deglobalization. World trade is slowly declining as a percentage of GDP, and many companies who moved factories to the third world are improving their bottom line by reshoring them to the US and Europe.

Livesey contends that, to a large extent, last year’s vote for Britain to leave the EU and for a US president who promised to withdraw from the TPP and bring back American jobs, merely reflect an economic trend that began nearly a decade ago.

The present deglobalization was triggered by the 2008 financial crash that sucked trillions of dollars out of the global economy. However, Livesey identifies a number of other factors that influence this trend – chief among them the volatility of oil prices and shipping costs (containers must be booked months in advance) and the growing cost of labor in China and neighboring countries. At the same time, technological advances, including 3D printing and “additive manufacturing,” have led to an upsurge in “on demand” industries and consumer frustration with being limited to millions of identical mass produced items.

At present many companies find it more profitable to shorten their supply chain by producing most or all component parts locally or regionally. Between 2010 and 2015, over 1300 companies brought production back to the US. Even Apple and Google have started to reshore significant manufacturing operations.

At present three-fourths of everything bought in the US is made in the US.

Originally published in Dissident Voice

If Trump Pulls Out of US Climate Agreement, US Cities Will Take Up Cause

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio

 

By Max DeHaldevang

Quartz Media

US president Donald Trump turning his back on the Paris climate agreement would send a terrible signal about the country’s commitment to staving off an environmental catastrophe—the US alone is responsible for 15% of the world’s CO2 emissions.

But there’s at least some hope: millions of Americans will stay committed to the agreement no matter what Trump does. How? Through their cities.

Eyeing Trump’s repeated threats about leaving the Paris accords, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti last November rallied 71 US mayors, whose cities are home to tens of millions of people, to sign an open letter calling on the then-president-elect to stay in the agreement. Garcetti didn’t mince his words in an interview with Quartz in January, saying: “If we were to withdraw…from the Paris accords, I’ll tell you what we’re going to do: we’re going to adopt it locally.”

New York mayor Bill de Blasio affirmed the message today, amid the most serious speculation to date that Trump will trigger an exit from the agreement.

The six largest cities in America, the mayors of which each signed Garcetti’s letter, are home to about 21 million people just by themselves. Add to that the 40 million people in the state of California—where governor Jerry Brown has promised (paywall) to “take significant action” if the US abandons the Paris agreement—and Trump’s potential action at the federal level is significantly undermined.

America’s urban areas are home to more than 80% of the country’s population. As social scientist and visionary political theorist Benjamin Barber, author of If Mayors Ruled the World, told Quartz in a Q&A last year, “About 80% of greenhouse gas emissions come from cities and cities also control about 80% of GDP. They can do a lot to combat climate change, whether or not Trump undermines the COP21 agreement.”

Barber, who died of cancer in April, days after his last book Cool Cities: Urban Sovereignty and the Fix for Global Warming was published, also argued that cities’ power extends far beyond complying with the Paris agreement.

That’s shown by a host of initiatives US mayors are taking to cut carbon emissions locally. Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed, for example, claims he can cut emissions by 25 percentage points in his city by picking off “low-hanging fruit” like retrofits on wasteful buildings and incentives to businesses to cut energy use. “To take action in the city of Atlanta, the center of the ninth-largest metro in the country…it takes my decision and eight votes from [the city] council,” he said in an interview last year. “In my opinion, that’s very efficient.”

It isn’t just altruism that compels the nation’s cities to take action. With solar panels becoming cheaper than fossil fuels in 2016, it’s making less and less economic sense to shy away from alternative energy sources. “Even if you didn’t believe in climate change, [green energy] is a pure driver of economic activity,” Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel said in December. “The city is never going back from this.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who Really Controls America?

The Hidden History of the United States

John Judge (1994)

 

What I find most remarkable about this 23 year old presentation by late assassination researcher John Judge is its amazing grasp of facts and concepts that have only become public knowledge with wide popular access to the World Wide Web and social media.

John begins his presentation with the assertion that secret assassinations and other conspiracies aren’t the handiwork of secret societies and cabals, but of America’s wealthy elite. He maintains the US elite is split into two factions that frequently go to war with each other via the intelligence agencies they control. The CIA is run by the old Eastern banking families, whereas military intelligence is run by the new money Southern rim economy, consisting mainly of oil, aerospace, munitions and real estate.*

Among other topics John covers in this marathon three hour presentation are

  • The CIA-run international drug trade, which he describes as the most profitable industry in the world.
  • UFOs, which he maintains are secret spy satellites operated by Air Force intelligence.
  • George Orwell’s book 1984, originally titled 1948 (as it describes government monitoring of civilian populations that was already occurring). His American (CIA-controlled) publisher forced him to change the title to 1984 when the book came out in the US (1949).
  • MK-Ultra and other CIA mind control operations – John begins by describes by describing his childhood (both his parents worked for the Pentagon) growing up in a CIA bedroom community in Virginia and the heavy use of lobotomy and ECT on many CIA wives, including the World War II intelligence operative who cracked the Eastwood Code (the encoded message forewarning the US government of the impending attack on Pearl Harbor. John also talks about CIA director Allen Dulles’s purchase of 150 million tabs of LSD in 1956 – a massive quantity that was clearly intended for mass consumption rather than research (see How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left).
  • The role of Richard Nixon and CD Jackson** (as naval intelligence operatives) in smuggling thousands of Nazi war criminals and scientists into the US to form the CIA and the US aerospace program”
  • Evidence (eg missing nuclear code books from all Strategic Air Command bombers) indicating that JFK’s murder was a coup authorized by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the failed assassination of Ronald Reagan in 1981 was an attempted coup.
  • Evidence linking notorious cult figures linking notorious cult figures – Charles Manson, Jim Jones (Jonestown), David Koresh (Waco) and others to US intelligence.

In Part 2, which launches automatically at the end of Part 1, John discusses his research into Jonestown, which he describes as a secret US intelligence concentration camp and slave colony, (which was 90% African American), and his work with his mentor, the late Mae Brussell (see Mae Brussell: Forgotten Superhero). Brussell, who subscribed regularly to 150 publications, had identified key figures in the shadow government and followed their movements closely. Based information she garnered, she gave Ethel Kennedy (in 1968) five days about her husband Robert’s imminent assassination and Mary Jane Kopechne’s mother (in 1969) three days warning of her daughter’s murder.


*Although he hails from New York, Donald Trump is most closely linked with “Southern rim” real estate interests, which would explain the current war the CIA and the CIA-controlled media are waging against him.

**CD Jackson was a psychological warfare specialist who played a major role in creating Radio Free America and Radio Free Europe and Operation Mockingbird (the operation enabling CIA control of America’s major publishing and media outlets). In 1960 he became publisher of Life magazine.

***Kopechne allegedly drowned while a passenger in Senator Ted Kennedy’s car, this Chappaquiddick incident purportedly used by his enemies to destroy his presidential ambitions.