Punching Counterpunch in a wet bag!
The rip roar fun of America is that every sector of the society seems infected by censorship because the people paying the bill, in a sense, are the titans of business, the CEOs, the upper echelon, who take their marching orders from billionaires who have their fingers in every cookie jar, from the Washington Post to some weekly in Phoenix; from the gazillion Starbucks, to the mom and pop that has its note entangled with JP Morgan Chase or Wells Fargo, and has to genuflect to the controllers of FIRE – finance, Insurance, real estate. Academia is colonized, since it’s copulating with the same titans of industry, the biased US government in the form of “defense” industries, and the elite’s gravy train, for instance, coming from a Phil Knight (Nike) or here, the list is big. Read below.
Imagine some lowly anthropology prof, or tenured political science professor, or college organization going up against any of these financial thugs. I list those below.
Remember, in capitalism, you can start small, even poor (most super rich have inherited the goods), but if you continue the oppressive force of vulture investing and parasitic wheeling and dealing, or if you made your billions on medical equipment or in food (like the Kroc’s of McDonald’s), paying off colleges for a slice of the tax shelter, and the huge influence you get from those greenbacks to these colleges, is part of the problem of colonizing the minds and hearts of so called liberal education!
Just typing away on this laptop, Lenovo, and sending this out via the local WAVE internet service, plugging it into OP-ED News’ submission frame puts me in collusion with the controllers, the master of the economic universe who are capitalists through and through. The owners and CEOs and the millionaires running anything I have to intersect with, hands down, are against taxing the rich (themselves), and taxing them big (let’s go with 70 or 80 percent) to redistribute wealth to pay for the externalities they have foisted on man and woman kind.
Self-censoring, check mating, and constant paranoia that the man will gut me for thinking and saying and writing these screeds, that is the way of the Capitalist world.
Now, here’s a thought experiment: can we even in our thoughts be free of the power of the controllers who organize all the services we have to utilize to survive, even our right to exist debt and felony-free, without some heavy breathing down our proverbial necks tied to the elite, the most oppressive force humanity has ever seen?
And, yes, they conspire against the majority, the worker, the down and out, the middle class, us all in the 80 percent! Conspiring means they go to the same meetings and conferences and gatherings like Davos and sit on the same boards and use the same financial institutions to accumulate more tax-dodging wealth; they use the same law firms, go to the same colleges, send their kids to the same sororities and fraternities.
The conspiracy is not coming from some wingnut late night fugue after watching Loose Change or Zeitgeist?
- Here they are, the Robber Barons of past!
- Jay Cooke
- John Jacob Astor
- Andrew Carnegie
- Charles Crocker
- James Fisk
- Daniel Drew
- JB Duke
- Henry Flagler
- John Warne Gates
- Jay Gould
- EH Harriman
- Mark Hopkins
- Andrew W. Mellon
- J.P. Morgan
- John C. Osgood
- Henry Bradley Plant
- John D. Rockefeller
- Charles M. Schwab
- Joseph Seligman
- John D. Spreckels
- Leland Stanford
- Cornelius Vanderbilt
- Charles Yerkes
These men destroyed the native cultures, destroyed our constitutional rights, destroyed ecosystems, and put their sick minds to work to foment war, foment imperial overreach and to forward their dream to keep their vast amounts of wealth unshared by anyone except their families and heirs and a few rotten philanthropies.
Now, there have been books and books written about these robber barons above, and a few million articles and plenty of documentaries and even Hollywood blockbusters produced, directed and screened. Many of the comments against these titans include commenting on their zealotry and insanity and religious fervor and megalomania, all tied to their own in-bred belief in their God-given anointed status as takers.
Then, take this thought experiment to the next level: cite the other flavor of insanity and wealth accumulation and culture killing, by parsing out what others in their own tribe have parsed out – the Jewish movers and shakers alive today holding the purse strings.
Can we not criticize the other living robber barons, for instance, who have grouped themselves in a tribe, self-anointing themselves as Israel firsters, who in many cases have dual citizenship – USA and Israel? According to many, of course not. This is the kiss of death for writers like me.
What indeed happens to some of us if we cite insightful people like Gilad Atzmon tied to hisr ex-Jew status and his own anti-fascism as it applies to his former country of birth and religion of the tribe.
By Gilad Atzmon
Baruch Spinoza left the Jews. Heinrich Heine became a Christian. A few others, such as Israel Shamir and myself, a decade ago, simply drifted away.
Recently, Israeli historian Shlomo Sand announced that he too was no longer a Jew. I read his manuscript in Hebrew with great interest but soon realized that while he indeed stopped identifying as a Jew, he still hadn’t removed himself from kosher binaries.
“I don’t write for anti-Semites, I regard them as totally ignorant or people who suffer from an incurable disease,” (How I Ceased To Be A Jew p. 21). Lines like these, echoing as they do the language of the ADL, made me feel very uncomfortable and, when it came to the Holocaust, Sand, who is usually so astute and profound, somehow managed to lose it. The Nazis are “beasts”, and their rise to power metaphorically he described as a “beast awakening from its lair.” Despite my respect for Sand, I would expect a leading, inspirational historian and a former-Jew to have moved beyond such banal Hasbara-recycled clichés.
This week, in the Jewish progressive magazine Mondoweiss, Avigail Abarbanel, an ex-Israeli and anti- Zionist informed us that she too has now ‘left the cult,’. I agreed with most of Abarbanel’s arguments against Israel and Zionism but I was nonetheless alarmed at the intellectual dishonesty at the core of her argument.
“Rarely can people inside a cult see where they are. If they could, the cult wouldn’t be what it is,” Abarbanel points out. “They think that they are members of a special group that has a special destiny, and is always under threat.” Thus, does Abarbanel describe the Israelis, yet she fails to mention that this is also an accurate description of the Jewish left in general and the Mondoweiss/JVP cults in particular, to which she herself belongs. As we now know, just as Israel claims for itself a special place amongst the states of the world, so do the anti-Zionist Jews who, when it comes to Anti-Israeli politics, operate within Jewish, racially exclusive political cells (JVP, IJAN etc.). So, if Abarbanel thinks that Israelis are at fault for being a ‘special group’ perhaps she should inform us what is the criterion that legitimates JVP and Mondoweiss being a special group within the solidarity movement?
Abarbanel continues: “cult members are taught from birth that the world outside is dangerous, that they have to huddle together for safety.” This is indeed a good description of Israeli collective psychosis, but it is also a prefect portrayal of Mondoweiss’ operational mode and it puts Mondoweiss’ campaign against Alison Weir and Greta Berlin in perfect context. It also explains why Mondoweiss banned Jeffrey Blankfort and why the Jewish outlet changed its comment policy just to make sure that it can block any attempt to criticize the Jewish state in the light of Jewish culture and my own study of Jewish tribalism. Just like Israel, Mondoweiss is terrified of the ‘dangerous world out there’. As far as Abarbanel’s definition of cult is concerned, Mondoweiss, JVP and Israel are actually identical.
Now my opinion piece’s thesis (albeit layered under my own stream of conscience gossamer) is clunky, but goes as follows: Should a small group of elites, who call themselves part of a cult or tribe, who have trillions of wealth at hand and, worse, have militaries and nuclear power at their disposal, control supposedly independent left-wing publishers?
Ahh, here, from the Times of Israel trumpeting the power of the cult, or what they call “our tribe”:
As in previous years, Jews are disproportionately represented on the roster of the world’s wealthiest, with 10 Jews among the top 50. (The list, topped by Bill Gates, ranks from richest to slightly less rich.)
Larry Ellison, the founder of the tech giant Oracle Corporation, is the wealthiest Jew in the world and the fifth wealthiest person alive. At age 70, his net worth is $54.2 billion.
With a net worth of $35.5 billion, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is the second wealthiest Jew on the list and 14th wealthiest person overall. Mark Zuckerberg, still one of the world’s youngest billionaires at age 30, climbed five spots on the list to number 16 overall.
His net worth has grown to $33.4 billion.
Other Jews in the top 50 include casino magnate Sheldon Adelson ($31.4 billion), Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page ($29.2 and $29.7 billion), investors George Soros ($24.2 billion), Carl Icahn ($23.5 billion) and Len Blavatnik ($20.2 billion), and Dell Computer Founder Michael Dell ($19.2 billion).
There are several Jews among the newcomers on the list as well, including Russ Weiner, the founder and CEO of Rockstar energy drinks, Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Chicago Bulls and the Chicago White Sox sports franchises, and Ken Grossman, a co-founder of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. Weiner is the son of prominent conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage (born Michael Weiner).
Seth Klarman, an investor in the Times of Israel, is also on the list, with a net worth of $1.5 billion.
While men far outnumber women on the list, a few Jewish women are on it, including Shari Arison ($4.4 billion), Karen Pritzker ($4.3 billion), Lynn Schusterman ($3.7 billion) and Doris Fisher ($3.2 billion). With a net worth of $1 billion, Sheryl Sandberg, of Facebook and “Lean In” fame, just makes the cutoff for the list.
Amazing how gloating and unified in the paper’s front in the exceptionalism of these people — their people — on the list. This was for 2015, but when you go to 2018, ToI, this is what we get from the Times:
5 Jews make Forbes’ list of top 10 wealthiest Americans
Forbes published its 2018 roster of America’s wealthiest this week, and five members of the tribe made the top 10 list.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg leads the Jewish pack at number 4, with a net worth of $61 billion. He is followed by software giant Oracle’s Larry Ellison at #5 with $58.4b and Google co-founder Larry Page at #6 with $53.8b.
Fellow co-founder Sergey Brin falls a bit behind with $52.4b, leaving him at #9. Finally, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg closes out the top 10 with a respectable $51.8b.
The top three spots, by the way, are leaps and bounds ahead of the competition: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet lead with $160b, $97b and $88b respectively.
Now, just highlighting the robber barons of old, that’s okay, in the minds of academics, media pundits, non-profit advocacy groups, and the like. No problem there if you are a leftist, or leaning left. And many Jews and non-Jews – historians, political scientists, writers of another clan – have attacked those 24 Robber Barons listed above but not so deeply the 10 and 5 Jews listed by Times of Israel. Many books have been written about the rape and rapine and destruction by other Capitalists and despots, especially those of empires tied to Christian – Catholic – crusades with the cross, gun and germ, as Jarod Diamond points out in his book, Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies.
Yet, where are the movies and books criticizing a cult that has accumulated all that wealth and political and military power?
But note, the Israeli newspaper citing those rich bastards – I dare goyim or Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, pantheist, atheist, animist, anyone to attempt to degrade the power, the lust, the greed, the accumulation of so much wealth, the political pimping, the massive control of masses and the unbelievable influence on our futures, the 80 percent/90 percent — calls the five out of top ten thieves (billionaires) part of the tribe –
Their tribe, as in Jewish: “Forbes published its 2018 roster of America’s wealthiest this week, and five members of the tribe (Jews) made the top 10 list.”
Now, since I am not aligned to any religion, and since I believe in blinders off when criticizing or critiquing all religions, and then shedding light on the amount of hate and pathology anyone in any religion gains through power and paranoia, I can criticize the Christian Right, the Evangelicals, the Catholics, the Muslims, the Hindus . . . but, not the Jewish faith or the religious state of Israel. That is, without repercussions.
Any amount of light shed on Israel, or the project of apartheid they in that country are carrying out, or on their despicable role in the middle east, or, well, when someone like me looks at, say, the Times of Israel or any propaganda wing of a government, religion or ideology tied to Judaism and then comes out with both fists pumping shedding light on their “tribe” and “religion” hitting high on the money scale, or influence scale, well, quite simply I then am an anti-Semite.
I can’t go into this in a short Op-ed, since so much has happened in just a few months tied to loyalty oaths to Israel extracted from public servants in the USA in many states, including that psycho state Texas, and all the core values of tribalism in religion leading nuclear states and financial kingdoms. Firing a teacher for not signing loyalty pledge to Israel.
Antisemitic, man! And, for me, even citing someone like Gilad Atzmon in my articles singed me with the Scarlet A, or in the case of the controllers and the controlled opposition, “AS,” for anti-Semite.
I am talking about that bastion of “left” writing, Counterpunch, for now I am blacklisted, I think . . . . I have had a hell of a time getting things published there, and, well, the irony is that the editor, Jeffrey St. Clair, lives in Oregon City, and I have been working in the entire area known as the Portland metroplex/area. The pieces I have solicited involve ground truthing—yeah, a bit stream of consciousness, but real, about my struggle in the matrix, so to speak, and dealing with Portland politics. I come at my subjects with a bit of Studs Terkel and Gonzo mixed in, sort of, but with literary undertones. I publish regularly at Dissident Voice, and have a standing memoir-column at LA Progressive.
I have several intellectuals who read and like my stuff, and, well, here’s one that shall remain anonymous, with a followup from another source who indicates why St. Clair doesn’t answer my emails or publish my stuff. Again, when you get no answer from the editor of the rag, supposition abounds. Here’s my note to one intellectual writer, who does publish over at Counterpunch:
I do wonder, though, why Jeffrey has me blacklisted. I write about the plight of people on the streets, Americans, and in many cases, people in Portland, OR, where Jeffrey calls home (Oregon City is next to Portland). I write about my own struggle, since I am not tenured, am blacklisted from most jobs, and have no trust account or money flow from other sources.
Even environmental stuff, he flakes on. And my book review of women politicals, no go. Very much pisses me off seeing the repetition in Counterpunch railing against Trump, Democrats, Capitalism, when they need ground truthing, too.
Response from intellectual:
Yeah I have no idea but i m in touch with him of late so I may ask. You certainly are better than most of what they publish. Send to Patrice Greanville at the Greanville Post. I’m sure he’ll publish you.
And then another from someone else:
Hey I know this was only accidentally sent to me in a reply all slip up, but I can answer this question: your association with Gilad Atzmon, Israel Shamir and others of that circle and ilk. Counterpunch did a big housecleaning not long ago of all the authors they once published in this general vein and those associated with them.
And then my shot in the woods response to both the intellectuals:
Well, if this is true, then, we can continue to speak of how colonized the minds of so-called arbiters of left news and opinion are and growing everyday with more insipidity. First, my association with Gilad might be my citing him in articles. His publishing of articles on Dissident Voice isn’t enough of an association you speak of since many of the regulars at Counterpunch also are posted/published there.
Housecleaning, I know is your term, but it speaks of a nefarious ideology that is counter to everything I know about radical and revolutionary thinking and writing. Who is in the ear of Jeffrey to even Google search me? I can go on about what that might look like, but without anything from Jeffrey on why I don’t get published in his rag, anymore, I shall stay mute.
Are we — those of us who don’t fit neat little lefty definitions, who are outside the narrative frame of what a good anti-capitalist and pro-socialist and pro-overthrowing of a cancerous government and systems of oppression writer is — going to be sent to Xinjiang to be indoctrinated/reindoctrinated as true blue leftists by Counterpunch through Eric Prince’s outfit? (see below for context). It’s absurd that any of this is even part and parcel what maybe causing the blacklisting of me from CP. I might see him and the editors not digging content of one or two of my articles/pieces that might speak to defending BDS or Gilad or what have you, but blanket censorship, if that’s what’s happening, is both surprising and not. And more reason the echo chambers of the left are rife with the gentry of academia and publishing and trust babies.
I do appreciate your input, and I have no other evidence that Jeffrey at CP is disregarding my pieces for any other reason.
P.S. Funny those Chinese now adopting Prince to ethnically cleanse Muslims. Prince, the evangelical murderer, quintessential American Empire boy.
Independent of UK: A security firm co-founded by former navy Seal and US military services contractor Erik Prince has been awarded a contract by the Chinese authorities to build a “training centre” in Xinjiang, a region where Uighur Muslims have experienced a severe state crackdown.
The Hong Kong-listed Frontier Services Group (FSG), which provides security and logistics for companies in challenging environments, said it had signed a deal to run a training centre in the city of Kashgar, according to a statement posted on its Chinese website.
Here’s just a few days over at Counterpunch, some of the bread and butter of that rag:
- STEPHEN COOPER, Alabama Executions: Strictly a Christian Affair
- PATRICK COCKBURN, A Plague of Rats: How Years of Austerity Prompted Many Britons to Vote for Brexit
- VIJAY PRASHAD, The 12-Step Method of Regime Change
- RAMZY BAROUD, Gaza Rallies for Caracas: On the West’s Dangerous Game in Venezuela
- KENNETH SURIN,The Virginia Mountain Valley Pipeline Boondoggle
- DEAN BAKER, Low Unemployment: the Recipe for Higher Wages
- BINOY KAMPMARK, The Monitoring Game: China’s Artificial Intelligence Push
- JEFF MACKLER, L.A Teachers Strike: Wins, Losses and Prospects
- HOWARD LISNOFF, The Long Goodbye of Antiwar Protest
- ROBERT FISK, How the Murders of Journalists in the Middle East Are Brushed Aside
- CONN HALLINAN,
- Will Trump Really Launch a War on Iran?
- LOUISA WILLCOX, Kill That Bear: Anti-Grizzly Fever Hits Wyoming Again
- DEAN BAKER, Medicare-for-All is Not a Fantasy
- ROBERT HUNZIKER, Thwaites Glacier Startles Scientists
- GEORGE WUERTHNER, Don’t Fence Me In
- BEN DEBNEY, Is Politics Getting Worse, Or Are We Getting a Better Handle on How Bad It Has Always Been?
- MARK WEISBROT, Trump’s Illegal Regime Change Operation Will Kill More Venezuelans
- JOE CIRINCIONE, Gutting the INF: Bolton Must be Stopped
- ROBERT KOEHLER, Disarmament, Not Low-Grade Nukes
- PATRICK HILLER, Make Venezuela Great Again?
- SUSIE DAY, American Citizens are the Only Humans
- ELLIOT SPERBER
- MICHAEL HUDSON, Trump’s Brilliant Strategy to Dismember U.S. Dollar Hegemony
- PAUL STREET, The Capitalist Adults Are in the Room
- ROB URIE, Democrats Killed the Green New Deal
- GARIKAI CHENGU, Sanctions of Mass Destruction: America’s War on Venezuela
- MELVIN GOODMAN, Russia’s Proposal for North Korean Denuclearization: Will It Survive John Bolton?
- JEFFREY ST. CLAIR, How Star Wars Came to Alaska
- NICK PEMBERTON, What Bernie Sanders Could Learn From Venezuela
- PETE DOLACK, Sorting Through the Lies About Venezuela
- DAVID ROSEN, The Denier-in-Chief: Trump and the Legitimation of False Consciousness
- BEN DANGL, “The Worst Option is War”: US Intervention in Venezuela Will Only Deepen the Country’s Crisis
- BRETT WILKINS, Elliott Abrams: A Human Rights Horror Show in Three Acts
- JOHN MCMURTRY, US Enemies and the Lawless ‘Rule of Law’
- JONATHAN COOK, A Liberal Elite Still Luring Us Towards the Abyss
It’s great that this line-up delves into global politics, in the deep state and economy, looking at Venezuela and the Brexit. Great that climate change on a global level is looked at. Great. But, is there room for a local voice? For a writer like me.
This is all I got on Counterpunch – Paul K. Haeder.
And what does it mean, cleaning house? Or associations with Atzmon, Israel Shamir and others of that circle and ilk?
Here, the introduction to Atzmon’s book, The Wandering Who?
Gilad: The following is Jean Bricmont’s introduction for the French edition of The Wandering Who (La Parabole d’Esther). It was published in English a few days ago by Counterpunch print edition.
The French edition is available here.
“In Defense of Gilad Atzmon” By Jean Bricmont
Pro-Palestinian friends had repeatedly warned me: Gilad Atzmon is anti-Semitic, he is bad for the Palestinian cause, he may even work for Israel. I must have a contrarian turn of mind, because that kind of talk never stopped me from regularly reading his blog (quite the opposite) with a mixture of fascination and amusement. It struck me that an Israeli Jew living in the U.K., a voluntary exile, who is accused of Antisemitism, among others by pro-Palestinian Jews and Palestinian militants, and whose conferences draw protesting demonstrations from “anti-racist” organizations, was at the very least an interesting curiosity. Moreover, having myself “escaped” from the religion in which I was forced to grow up (Catholicism), I have an instinctive sympathy for all those who break, often brutally, with the myths and constraints of their childhood. Atzmon’s themes, the politics of identity and memory, are at the very heart of our contemporary social debates. It ought to be possible to listen to a truly politically incorrect viewpoint on these issues, that of someone who defines himself as a “proud self-hating Jew.”
But coming from a non-Jew like me, isn’t there something suspect, or downright unhealthy, in such an interest? When Atzmon’s editor asked me to write the preface to the French edition of The Wandering Who?, I told myself that this would be an opportunity to answer that question and, above all, to explain why Atzmon should be heard and discussed.
It is ever so easy to “demonstrate” the alleged Antisemitism of Atzmon. Frequently, including at the very start of his book, Atzmon makes a distinction between three meanings of the word “Jewish.” It can apply to persons who adhere to the Jewish religion, with whom he has no quarrel; to people of Jewish origin, with whom he has also no problem; and, finally, to what he calls the third category, that is, those who, without being particularly religious, constantly stress their Jewish “identity” and set it before and above their simple membership in the human race. It suffices thereupon to interpret in the first sense (people of Jewish origin) the word “Jewish” when Atzmon uses it in the third sense, in a style that is often extremely polemical, to “prove” that he is anti-Semitic.
However, when a French essayist, Bernard-Henri Lévy, uses all his immense influence to push his country into a war against Libya and then declares afterward that he did so “as a Jew” and “faithful” to his name – which is not exactly a rational argument, but are wars ever waged for rational reasons? – people who are not of Jewish origin should at least be allowed to wonder about that Jewish identity in whose name they are dragged into a war which, whatever one may think about it, was clearly not a war of self-defense for France.
Is it legitimate to criticize Jews in the sense of Atzmon’s third category? To start with, it is obvious that each individual has a perfect right to “feel” a sense of belonging to a group of which he or she is proud, or which he or she thinks contributes something important to the idea the person has of himself or herself, whether Jewish, Breton, French, Catholic, Black, Muslim, etc. Since all these identities stem from the hazards of birth, such feelings of pride are irrational, but who would try to force human beings to be rational?
The problem arises when these identities acquire a privileged political status, exactly as when religions acquire such a status. When a community, grouped around its “identity,” demands certain rights – or compensations, or privileges – others who do not share that identity should be allowed to challenge the justification of those claims. Just as when a religion seeks to impose its own morality on society as a whole. Identity politics is to be found among blacks, Muslims, women, etc. One may even suggest that politics today is more and more reduced to a conflict between identities, socioeconomic questions having been relegated to the management of non-elected experts. But there is also a Jewish identity politics, whose implications go far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and which affects, among other things, freedom of expression or relations with Muslims.
That said, it is probable that genuine Antisemitism (understood as general hostility toward persons of Jewish origin) is growing, and to a disturbing extent. But that rise of Antisemitism is due primarily to the incredible arrogance of Israeli policy, to the behavior of its supporters in France, to their suicidal determination to impose on the French people both a policy that they don’t want and a de facto censorship which prevents them from protesting. The way “combating Antisemitism” is actually carried out at present – even with the best intentions in the world – only provoked by any kind of censorship and, in this case, increases Antisemitism. Really combating Antisemitism requires giving up the way the “fight against Antisemitism” is waged, through intimidation and censorship. Those who fail to understand that should reflect a bit more on the history of “real existing socialism” and of Catholicism in its heyday.
Jean Bricmont teaches physics at the University of Louvain in Belgium. This text is adapted from the preface to La parabole d’Esther (Editions Demi-Lune 2012), the French edition of Atzmon’s book, The Wandering Who? A Study of Jewish Identity Politics.
It’s interesting, that CP would be this parochial and short-sighted. Gilad Atzmon has published at CP, from 2012 to April 2015. Here:
In any case, my association with Gilad includes some emails to him, and liberal use of some of his hilarious and insightful stuff on world politics and around the Jewish State in some of my articles; but there are many who see this cabal of thinkers in the USA, the left versus right dichotomy always harped on over at Counterpunch as the same old saw and same number of axes to grind. Now, I will say some of the writing and the authors are fabulous, and, well, unlike this writer, Steven Church, who vows to not read Counterpunch as much, I am more than willing to look at all sides of the left-left divide.
Patrick Cockburn’s recent article is one example of why I read CounterPunch less often than I used to. Or, at the least, why I have become more critical of their editorial stance. With this article, I have the impression I’m reading a Bernie Sanders speech, of being Judas-goaded into the camp of what I consider a kind of useless caviar Left. While maybe not as bad as The Guardian (I prefer OffGuardian), there are too many weasel words, phrases, and statements that reek of Establishment consensus. That if you’re going to refer to the head-chopping proxies, armed and funded by the US and its good buddies, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and other assorted vassals, as “rebels” rather than the paid lieutenants of the criminal gang in DC, London, Riyadh or Paris, you’re basically saying it’s okay to murder at arm’s length, to somehow plausibly deny any real, true, strong connection to the crime or the perpetrators. Plausible Deniability being spook-speak for basically lying, when timidly asked, about any crime they’ve just committed.
Is it so true that Robert Fisk and Patrick Cockburn have more and more difficulties getting published if they fail to toe some lines? Probably. For Counterpunch, what lines do they have to toe? Or which ones have I failed to recognize. Well, the cost of their on-line rag has gone up, and the cost of being a radical in America has gone up in price too.
Hell, just being Sy Hersh, not exactly a rad, what is that, he can’t get published? That’s not true, but he has been kettled from the big news outlets. JSTOR interview here:
Well, I mean, look, I’m exalted, you know what I mean, so I’ll get work. At The New Yorker I had a contract every year, but there was a long time when they needed me more than I needed them, so I was being paid very well by them––although insurance and all the other stuff, I took care of myself. That was the downside of not being a staff reporter.
Since then, the pay is ridiculously much less. Don’t forget, there was a period in the 70s and 80s where magazines were flourishing. I can’t tell you how many books I made more money on magazine syndication than I did on the actual book.
Like when Harpers published a 30,000 word excerpt of the My Lai story, right?
Not only that, just even books I wrote into the early ’90s, if it was an Asia thing, there was a Japanese magazine that would pay thirty or thirty-five thousand dollars to reprint. Nobody pays anything like that now. Are you kidding? Japanese magazines aren’t even in the market anymore.
I don’t know what’s going to happen to the media, but somebody told me today that even the editor of the Washington Post is worried that in six or eight or 10 years, everything will be online.
So how do I, a ground truther, struggling, today at 62 who has many many interests, who is hectored in (and out of) the jobs I have for being a “commie” and who cannot work with mainstream small or big media, or so-called alternative media, because of the prescripts the media have in place, and the actual lock-step all news sources tend to have to keep themselves hermetically sealed in their own echo chamber.
I deserve (and many many more than I) a chance at a larger audience (CP) because I am that audience, and I have paid my dues and have the wherewithal to not back down to authority. I know, I know, I deserve is a big statement, one that could easily be ridiculed as naive, or just inane. Sorry.
I say, so the fuck what?
Good luck to the people who think they are free when they have the modicum of power over schmucks like me. Is that the editorship of Counterpunch.
Finally, the list of top donors to universities in the USA I alluded to. Imagine, that youthful reporter of the college newspaper uncovering dirt or stuff on one of these and printing it in the college rag? Look at the variety of colleges, and this is just one list of dozens.
- Robert Woodruff – Emory University
- Sanford I. Weill – Cornell University
- John D. Hollingsworth, Jr. – Furman University
- Gerald and Ronnie Chan – Harvard University
- Jay H. Shidler – University of Hawaii Manoa
- Frank Batten, Sr. – University of Virginia
- Robert A. Day – Claremont McKenna College
- John P. and Tashia F. Morgridge – University of Wisconsin Madison
- Edward P. Bass – Yale University
- Sandra and Edward Meyer – Cornell University
- Charles T. Munger – University of Michigan
- Irwin Mark Jacobs and Joan Kline Jacobs – Cornell University & Technion-Israel Institute of Technology
- John W. Kluge – Columbia University
- Kenneth Langone – New York University
- Thomas Siebel – University of Illinois
- Patrick J. and Lore Harp McGovern – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Louis A. Simpson – Northwestern University & Princeton University
- Stephen M. Ross – University of Michigan Ann Arbor
- John and Marion Anderson – University of California Los Angeles
- Samuel Tak Lee – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Hansjorg Wyss – Harvard University
- George Lucas – University of Southern California
- John A. Paulson – Harvard University
- Walter H. Annenberg – University of Pennsylvania
- T. Boone Pickens – Oklahoma State University
- Michael Bloomberg – Johns Hopkins University
- Terrence M. and Kim Pegula – Pennsylvania State University
- Kenneth Griffin – Harvard University
- Peter B. Lewis – Princeton University
- Phillip H. Knight – University of Oregon & Stanford University
- Eli and Edythe L. Broad – Michigan State University
- Stephen Schwarzman – Yale University
- David Tepper – Carnegie Mellon University
- Pierre and Pam Omidyar – Tufts University
- John Arrillaga – Stanford University
- William H. Scheide – Princeton University
- Dawn M. and Jerome Greene – Columbia University
- John Jackson – University of Texas Austin
- Raymond and Ruth Perelman – University of Pennsylvania
- David and Dana Dornsife – University of Southern California
- Ira and Mary Lou Fulton – Arizona State University
- Robert E. and Dorothy King – Stanford University
- Julius Silver – New York University
- A. Alfred Taubman – University of Michigan
- John and Julie Mork – University of Southern California
- Ruth Clark and Phillip Forbes Holton – DePauw University
- William S. Dietrich, II – University of Pittsburgh
- Roberta Buffett Elliott – Northwestern University
- Peter H. and Paula Lunder – Colby College
- Ronda Stryker and William Johnston – Western Michigan University
Some of these people are household names, sort of, like Phillip Knight (#30) and Eli Broad (#31), George Lucas, T. Boone Pickens and Michael Bloomberg (#23, #25, #26 respectively) . In the end, though, do we look at how they accumulated their wealth? What deceptions, what inhumanity, what political highjinx, what desecration of human rights and environmental safety have these people and their industries and investments been involved with?
The point being, just where do we go from here, now that the Internet is bought and sold by the power elite? Where do we go with PayPal, which is forced down our collective throats? Do we boycott because PayPal billionaire founder works for Donald Trump on nefarious projects? Can I criticize Thiel for his philosophy and political thought process, or is he triple-off limits: gay, foreign born, Jewish, Trumpy?
Billionaire investor Peter Thiel is reportedly becoming a key adviser to President Donald Trump and is beginning to stock his administration with friends and former associates.
In December, the PayPal founder set up a meeting between Mr Trump and David Gelertner, a Yale University computer scientist and candidate for White House science adviser.
Four days before Mr Trump’s inauguration, Mr Gelertner met at Trump Tower with the president-elect, his chief strategist Steve Bannon, and Mr Thiel.
Towards the end of last year, Mr Thiel organised a meeting between Mr Trump and several Silicon Valley tech leaders, such as Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
German-borne, now given New Zealand citizenship, Thiel is the face of the typical billionaire, but this one is Trumpy-heavy, gay, and emblematic of how deceptive and how in league with the devil ALL rich people are! Thiel, from Germany, hard right gay, believes all media and all members of the Press should be afraid of billionaires who can launch lawsuits against them or their employers to chillingly stop any criticism of their neo-fascist kleptocractic-loving ideals. (Killed Gawker!),
Peter Thiel has made his biggest political contribution since his divisive bet on Donald Trump in 2016, investing $1 million into a conservative advocacy group that is backing key Republican candidates before November.
The donation to the Club for Growth, revealed Thursday in a new campaign finance disclosure, could be a signal that Thiel plans to reassert himself as a political donor despite some unease with Trump. Thiel has been a fairly modest giver in the grand scheme of presidential politics, but his vocal and financial support of Trump in the last cycle made him a real political player in the early days of the Trump presidency.
Thiel cut the $1 million check on Sept. 27, according to the disclosure. He has made contributions of about $350,000 to the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups and candidates earlier this election cycle.
The high-profile investor and Facebook board member has voiced some discomfort with Trump since helping elect him and speaking at the Republican National Convention.
“Obviously there are all sorts of things that are somewhat disappointing,” he said in March, “and at the same time, I don’t know how much one can expect.”
Thiel moved to Los Angeles earlier this year — a change of address that he’s attributed to a revulsion with Silicon Valley’s politics and culture.
In 2016, he gave $1.25 million to a super PAC sponsored primarily by New York hedge funder Bob Mercer — not a massive check in the world of big-money politics, but an amount that stood out in a Silicon Valley that heavily financed Hillary Clinton’s presidential run.
The Club for Growth is a hardline conservative group that has gleefully challenged even Republican incumbents it feels are too far to the left. It has focused almost exclusively on fiscal issues, which should appeal to Thiel, who has described himself in the past as libertarian.
Money money money thrown at the racist, homophobic, anti-Jew Trump. Whew, what a mad mad mad world!
The proposition is that we are all in the sights of the billionaires, millionaires and their sycophants and legal class. Imagine, any amount of criticism of Thiel puts us in the cross-hairs? From the New Republic:
The big legal fight in 2016 between Gawker and Peter Thiel (featuring Hulk Hogan!) was seemingly preordained for movie treatment. It featured an irresistible cast of characters: a vampiric Silicon Valley billionaire, an aging pro wrestler, and a group of dirtbag New York reporters. But Nobody Speak, directed by Brian Knappenberger, isn’t really about Gawker or Thiel or Hulk Hogan’s penis. It’s about inequality.
It was under Daulerio’s byline that Gawker published the Hulk Hogan sex tape that ultimately led to Hogan, a.k.a. Terry Bollea, being awarded $140 million in damages by a Florida jury. Gawker Media, founder Nick Denton, and Daulerio all ended up filing for bankruptcy. It wasn’t until after the trial ended that it was reported by Forbes that Thiel was secretly funding Bollea’s case. Thiel claims that he did so because Gawker “has been a singularly terrible bully,” most notably by outing him in a blog post in 2007. Denton, for his part, is convinced that Thiel was mad that Gawker Media, through its Valleywag blog, was a thorn in the side of Thiel and his powerful friends in Silicon Valley.
But as Nobody Speak points out, these are mere details. The story of Gawker’s murder boils down to the fact that a very, very rich man was able to destroy a publication he disliked with impunity. As Floyd Abrams, a lawyer specializing in the First Amendment, says in the documentary, what Thiel has done is to “potentially imperil entities who upset large, rich, powerful people and institutions. And it’s not limited to individuals. This can be corporations.” By opening with the comically enormous hold on Daulerio’s bank account, the film viscerally illustrates the division between billionaires like Thiel and the rest of us.
But not just Hulk Hogan and his penis or Thiel’s coming out (or forced out) as a gay. We are talking about bread and butter journalism, the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Knappenberger underscores this idea by dedicating the final third of his documentary not to Gawker, but to another media company: the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In January 2016, the paper was mysteriously bought by an anonymous entity—even Review-Journal staffers were kept in the dark. Audio shows Michael Schroeder, the man who helped facilitate the deal, being pressed by the staff to reveal the new owner, to which he fumblingly responds, “We really don’t think … they want you to focus on your job.”
The film viscerally illustrates the division between billionaires like Thiel and the rest of us.
So they did. It was Review-Journal reporters themselves who uncovered their new owner: the billionaire casino magnate and Republican heavyweight donor Sheldon Adelson. After the purchase, it was reported that Adelson barred reporters from writing stories about him and that stories about Adelson’s business deals were either killed or heavily edited.
Finally, the censorship and thuggery of Israel, both Firsters in the USA, and around the world:
The Lobby – USA, the four-part Al Jazeera documentary on how the government and intelligence agencies of Israel work with US domestic Jewish groups to spy on, smear and attack critics, that was blocked under heavy Israeli pressure, has been leaked online by the Chicago-based Electronic Intifada, the French website Orient XXI and the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar. To discuss the series, in a two-part interview, Chris Hedges is joined by Ali Abunimah, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, and author and journalist, Max Blumenthal.
Ahh, it’s a mad-mad-mad and wild world that has so many secular Jews like Finkelstein and Chomsky attacking the BDS movement, still wanting a two-state solution which has been a dead-end, literal, dead Palestinians on the road of Israel’s disproportionate response to rock throws and medics attending to the wounded! From the New Republic:
BDS advocates say that the campaign for a two-state solution has brought nothing for Palestinians but a more entrenched Israeli occupation of their lands. They chalk up Finkelstein’s old-fashioned support for a two-state solution to his age or desire for attention. “There was a time when Norman Finkelstein was one of the loudest and one of the only voices on this issue,” says Rania Khalek, an editor at The Electronic Intifada. “He’s done incredibly valuable work, but with BDS growing, other people besides him are at the center who are most important.” “There are a number of people among an older generation of activists and advocates who were not quite prepared by the younger caste who have a strong message but differences in tactics,” says Yousef Munayyer, a leading Palestinian-American activist.
He first gained attention in academic circles in 1984 for exposing the poor scholarship of From Time Immemorial, a book by journalist Joan Peters. The book claimed that Palestinians didn’t exist—that they lacked deep roots in historical Palestine but in fact were Arabs who swarmed the deserted land only once Zionists began developing it in the late nineteenth century. From Time Immemorial was a best-seller initially praised by everyone from Saul Bellow to Elie Wiesel to historian Barbara Tuchman, who called it “a historical event in itself.”
He became politically reengaged by opposing Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 1982. But wary of being duped again, he spent an entire summer in the New York Public Library combing through the population records of historical Palestine and comparing them to Peters’s book. He discovered that From Time Immemorial was, as the Israeli historian Yehoshua Porath eventually put it, “a sheer forgery.” Finkelstein published his findings, and Peters’s book is now widely considered, as David Remnick wrote in the New Yorker a few years ago, “thoroughly discredited.” Finkelstein’s reputation was made.
Here we go with more anti-BDS movement, US of Israel style, North Carolina: