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Wed, 07 Dec 2022
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Dem Rep. Ro Khanna: Twitter's duty to protect free speech

ro khanna
Censorship of the Hunter Biden story might have helped my party, but it was bad for our democracy.

Defending free speech is easy when it's speech you agree with. Defending speech you dislike, or speech that doesn't advance your interests, is more challenging. But it is in exactly those uncomfortable situations that American democratic principles call on us to protect the free exchange of ideas and freedom of the press.

Free speech is a foundational value of our democracy. In New York Times Co. v. Sullivan (1964), which overturned a libel judgment that racist local officials had won in an Alabama court, Justice William Brennan Jr. wrote that "debate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust, and wide-open." Brennan noted that this speech "may well include vehement, caustic, and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on government and public officials." The kind of political debates once held via letters to local papers, as well as in political ads such as the one at issue in Sullivan, have moved online, often in the form of tweets. Attacks on public officials and candidates for office have continued.

Comment: Ro Khanna is obviously a rare breed: a democrat who believes in the principles of free speech and understands the complexity of the issue. Unfortunately, one can only assume his days are numbered.

See also:


More civilian deaths in latest Ukrainian shelling of Russian city - officials

Firefighters pictured inside a building in Donetsk damaged by Ukrainian shelling.
© Territorial defense HQ of the Donetsk People’s Republic / Telegram
Firefighters pictured inside a building in Donetsk damaged by Ukrainian shelling.
Kiev's troops targeted residential areas of Donetsk with NATO-caliber artillery, the territorial defense HQ has said.

Ukrainian forces subjected the Russian city of Donetsk to massive artillery shelling and rocket attacks on Monday, with at least four civilians killed and several more wounded, according to local authorities.

The attacks targeted residential areas of the city, with at least three buildings damaged, according to the Joint Center on Control and Coordination (JCCC) mission, which monitors what it alleges are Ukrainian "war crimes." The shelling primarily hit the Kiev district in the north of the city, the territorial defense headquarters of the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported.

The Ukrainian forces used Grad BM-21 multiple rocket launchers, as well as artillery pieces of Soviet 152mm and NATO 155mm calibers during the attack. Apart from four fatalities, four other civilians were injured, the territorial defense has said.

Comment: See also:

Oil Well

Rex Murphy: Alberta hasn't been 'ignored' Danielle Smith, quite the opposite

Premier Danielle Smith

Premier Danielle Smith speaks at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Nov. 18. Jim Wells/Postmedia
As I joyously recounted in my previous aria, Danielle Smith is on a wave. She is being severely disparaged and outright insulted by the highest foreheads, some of which have Alpine reach, that Toronto pundits have to offer. Which is pure jet-fuel for her cause.

And it continues. Just this past Saturday, the mighty Globe and Mail's Sanhedrin, their august editorial board, over a photograph of Premier Smith, ran the headline "Some of Canada's premiers appear to be losing their minds." "Losing their minds?" Some might call that "opinion journalism." I call it cheap slush.


Ron Paul: The 'Twitter Papers' reveal the totalitarians among us

Elon Musk
© The Sunday Times
Twitter CEO Elon Musk
I admit to being skeptical of Elon Musk as a free speech hero. He has moved from one US government-subsidized business to another on his path to becoming the world's richest person. But there is no denying that his release of the "Twitter Papers" this past weekend, which blew the lid off government manipulation of social media, has been a huge victory for those of us who value the First Amendment.

The release, in coordination with truly independent journalist Matt Taibbi, demonstrated indisputably how politicians and representatives of "official Washington" pressed the teams that were then in charge of censorship at Twitter to remove Tweets and even ban accounts that were guilty of nothing beyond posting something the power-brokers did not want the general public to read. Let's not forget that many of those demanding Twitter censorship were US government officials who had taken an oath to the US Constitution and its First Amendment.

It is important to understand that both US political parties were involved in pushing Twitter to censor information they didn't like. There is plenty of corruption to go around. However, as the Twitter Papers demonstrated, vastly more Tweets were censored at the demand of Democratic Party politicians simply because Twitter employees on the censorship team were overwhelmingly Democratic Party supporters.

Russian Flag

Macron: Russia needs security guarantees 'essential' to ending the war

Mac and Bid
© The Hill
French President Emmanuel Macron • US President Joe Biden
As we detailed earlier, a clear division is arising between Europe and the United States over Washington's more hawkish and hardline stance on resisting all negotiations with Russia, but instead which is centered on encouraging Kiev to pursuing 'victory' on the battlefield. One senior European official bluntly complained to Politico last month:
"The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons."
Underscoring that Europe is more ready to pursue avenues of negotiated settlement in Ukraine, over the weekend French President Emmanuel Macron urged for the West to take seriously Russia's security concerns regarding NATO expansion near its border. He called for greater willingness to give Moscow the "guarantees" necessary for negotiations to be successful. He called them 'essential' if the West wants to get serious about talks and peaceful settlement. He said in an interview that aired Saturday"
"We need to prepare what we are ready to do, how we protect our allies and member states, and how to give guarantees to Russia the day it returns to the negotiating table.

"One of the essential points we must address — as President Putin has always said — is the fear that NATO comes right up to its doors, and the deployment of weapons that could threaten Russia."
That's when he underlined something which a mere months ago would elicit rage and accusations of 'pro-Kremlin' stooge among Western mainstream punditry.

Snowflake Cold

Without Russian gas imports, France prepares winter power cuts

© AP/Jean Francois Badias
Coal power plant at Saint Avold to reopen
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne distributed instructions to regional political leaders to prepare the country for regular electricity outages in coming weeks and months. This includes contingency planning for a total blackout of the French power grid.

The government's circulation of the document is a tacit admission that the energy "sobriety" campaign called for by President Emmanuel Macron on July 14 has failed, and that large parts of France face significant electricity and heating cut-offs this winter.

High energy prices in Europe are primarily a consequence of NATO's war against Russia in Ukraine. While EU governments attempt to shift the blame to Putin for Europe's energy shortage this winter, it was their own decision to cease Russian gas and oil imports in the spring, bowing to US and NATO demands.

The instructions were distributed while Macron was in the United States on a state visit. Despite complaining about the ruinous impact of the US's nationalist economic policy on French energy prices, Macron reiterated his government's continued commitment to fight NATO's war in Ukraine against Russia. This includes continuing ongoing sanctions against Russia, even if this means the French population goes cold this winter.

The energy rationing measures circulated in the French government's plan have not been known in France since the aftermath of the Second World War.

Comment: Too little, too late. Time is not on Europe's side.


Brussels bailing out Ukraine will ruin Europe for generations, Hungary's Orbán warns

© Unknown
Hungarian President Victor Orban
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán warned on Friday that European policies advocating for mass joint borrowing among EU member states to continue funding Ukraine's resistance to the Russian invasion will have devastating consequences.

The Hungarian leader told Good morning, Hungary! that EU sanctions on Russian energy are bound to fail, and that "not only our children, but also our grandchildren will suffer the consequences" of a mass borrowing scheme proposed by the EU, adding that potentially insolvent states will require support as well.

Orbán reiterated Hungary's opposition, and suggested that agreements to support Ukraine should be at the national level via bilateral agreements between individual countries, ReMix reports.
He highlighted that Ukraine has now found itself in a situation whereby it is incapable of functioning as an independent nation because of the ongoing conflict, and while it needs help from its neighbors and allies in the short-term, it is not for Brussels to speak on behalf of all member states.
What's more, Orbán believes that any further sanctions on Russian gas or nuclear energy would have "tragic consequences," and argued that Hungary should be exempt from such a decision.


Profound change has come to the Middle East: Russia has learned the lessons, but what about the US?

putin raisi erdogan russia iran turkiyeturkey
© Serfei Savostyanov, Sputnik/Kremlin Pool/AP
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pose for a photo prior to their talks at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran on July 19.
For the first time since before the colonial era, local players are making their own big decisions and the traditional powers have to adapt

While the world's attention is focused on Ukraine, the Middle East is bubbling under the surface again. No one expected processes there to freeze, but their dynamics are changing. In fact, the direction of these adjustments has been notable for quite some time and it's becoming more obvious.

The Middle East is increasingly becoming a space in which the course of events is determined by the interaction of regional players, and the role of external forces, traditionally very large, has reduced in relative terms.

Eye 2

Highlights from the FAUCI deposition transcript

fauci hearing

Dr. Anthony Fauci
Contradicts, lies, and "I don't recalls" from the nation's most malignant doctor

Today, Missouri Attoney General Eric Schmitt released the transcript of the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci. As you might recall, Fauci was deposed as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration's violations of the First Amendment in targeting and suppressing the speech of Americans who challenged the government's narrative on COVID-19.

Here is the Fauci deposition transcript.

And here are the highlights...

Comment: Kudos to Techno Fog for this eye-opening compilation of Fauci's disingenuous shuck-and-jive act.

SOTT Logo Radio

NewsReal: Twitter Files: US Spies And Dems Colluded to Interfere in 2020 US Election

twitter files musk hunter biden newsreal
© Sott.net
After wailing non-stop about Trump's alleged collusion with the Russian government 'to subvert US democracy', but never actually proving their false claim, the media is now having to eat crow as Elon Musk shares archives of Twitter company emails with Democratic Party operatives and US government agents who colluded to censor the Hunter Biden laptop story just prior to the 2020 US presidential election, thereby misinforming the electorate and potentially swaying voters to make choices they would otherwise not have.

In this NewsReal, Joe and Niall take stock of this unassailable proof that yes, collusion really took place to subvert American democracy, but no, it was not Russians behind it! This courageous move by new Twitter owner Elon Musk, coupled with other viewpoints and ideas expressed by the tech tycoon, suggest that he is heading for a major clash with the American 'deep state' - and he is already warning his Twitter followers that he is 'not feeling suicidal'...

Running Time: 01:57:57

Download: MP3 — 81 MB