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Thu, 29 Oct 2020
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Philippines' President Duterte says he takes responsibility for deaths during war on drugs since government crackdown

Duterte
© Dondi Tawatao/ReutersAssociated Press
Thousands of people have been killed in the Philippines during Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against drugs.
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte has said he has no problem with being held responsible for the thousands of killings under his government's war on drugs, adding that he was ready to face charges that could land him in jail, though not charges of crimes against humanity.

The president's televised remarks on Monday night were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in mid-2016.

The killing of nearly 6,000 drug suspects have been reported by police but rights watchdogs suspect the death toll is far higher.

Comment: See also: "Shoot them dead": Duterte orders Philippines police to kill anyone 'causing problems' during quarantine


Pyramid

Three Steps to Attaining High Administrative Positions During the Pandemic

nursing home ontario huyer covid-19 lockdown
During this era of COVID-19 and the 'Great Reset,' administrative officials' clout has rapidly out-paced that of the judicial and legislative branches of government.

And yet there are just three steps to reaching the highest of these unelected and largely unaccountable positions.

I outline the steps below, focusing on one such official, Dr. Dirk Huyer, Chief Coroner for Ontario, Canada.

I've written about Huyer before, in this article and in this one.

Chief pathologists' positions are pivotal because they can either help or hinder the detection of patterns of murder, foul play or deadly malfeasance, particularly those targeting the most vulnerable such as institutionalized elderly. And as detailed in this article, Huyer appears to have done more of the latter than the former.

Then in late May he was rewarded by being appointed by Ontario's premier to head the testing for the novel coronavirus in the province. And on August 26 his was vaulted into the position of head of Ontario's COVID-19 outbreak response.

The jarring juxtaposition of Huyer's being both chief coroner and being appointed to these positions despite having neither expertise in public health nor independence from the premier or other branches of government underlines that the key to the Three Steps is aligning with the interests of the powerful rather than those of the general populace.

Laptop

People need to reclaim the internet

shadowbanning
© Instagram/Facebook/Qanon/akrales/KJN
No matter how much you dislike Trump, only a fool can fail to see the implications for public access to information of the massive suppression on the internet of the Hunter Biden leaks.

This blog has been suffering a ratcheting of social media suppression for years, which reached its apogee in my coverage of the Julian Assange trial. As I reported on 24 September:
Even my blog has never been so systematically subject to shadowbanning from Twitter and Facebook as now. Normally about 50% of my blog readers arrive from Twitter and 40% from Facebook. During the trial it has been 3% from Twitter and 9% from Facebook. That is a fall from 90% to 12%. In the February hearings Facebook and Twitter were, between them, sending me over 200,000 readers a day. Now they are between them sending me 3,000 readers a day. To be plain that is very much less than my normal daily traffic from them just in ordinary times. It is the insidious nature of this censorship that is especially sinister - people believe they have successfully shared my articles on Twitter and Facebook, while those corporations hide from them that in fact it went into nobody's timeline. My own family have not been getting their notifications of my posts on either platform.
It was not just me: everyone reporting the Assange trial on social media suffered the same effect. Wikileaks, which has 5.6 million Twitter followers, were obtaining about the same number of Twitter "impressions" of their tweets (ie number who saw them) as I was. I spoke with several of the major US independent news sites and they all reported the same. I have written before about the great danger to internet freedom from the fact that a few massively dominant social media corporations - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram - have become in effect the "gatekeepers" to internet traffic. In the Assange hearing and Hunter Biden cases we see perhaps the first overt use of that coordinated power to control public information worldwide.

Comment: See also:


Robot

Facebook and Twitter censored the Trump campaign 65 times. Biden's? ZERO

Biden
© AP/Carolyn Kaster
Biden campaign event at Riverside High School, Durham, NC.
October 18, 2020
Facebook and Twitter have censored President Trump and his campaign accounts at least 65 times in the last two years, while Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden and his camp have never been dinged, according to a report released Monday.

The conservative Media Research Center's Techwatch department found that the tech giants had a decidedly lopsided approach to the presidential candidates and their campaigns when it comes to flagging and axing their content.

The biggest discrepancy came with Twitter, which accounted for 98% of the censorship incidents against the Trump camp from May 2018 to Oct. 16, 2020. The analysis did not include ads from PACs or super PACs.
"Twitter has been far and away the biggest offender, labeling, fact-checking, and removing Trump's tweets and the tweets from his campaign accounts 64 times since the president's election. Tweets about the president's concern over mail-in voting, COVID-19, and the Black Lives Matter protests have been given 'public interest notices.'"

Comment: In addition: Media Research Center claims to have tracked Republican/Trump posts removed or flagged since May 2018. A person has a right to hold a bias. A social network does not.

See also:


Clipboard

Observations about Bolivia's socialist blowout

candidate Luis Arce
© paginasiete.bo
Bolivian Movement for Socialism presidential candidate Luis Arce
Bolivia's Socialist Blowout

The political consequences of last year's coup against former Bolivian President Morales have been reversed following reports that his Movement for Socialism (MAS by its Spanish abbreviation) party's candidate Luis Arce trounced his opponents in the first election since that successful regime change operation. Several observations can be made about the country's socialist blowout, both in terms of why this development happened in the first place and what it means for the country's future. What follows is a list of summarized points accompanied by a concise explanation of their significance. The purpose is to better understand this democratic reversal of Bolivia's pro-US regime change in the hopes that it might inspire similar successes elsewhere across the world:

Comment: Bolivia seems to have dodged a political bullet in defiance of regime change patterns and influence, as shown in this election's process and outcome:
After midnight on Sunday, Bolivian authorities allowed the results of the exit polls to be known. The Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) presidential candidate Luis Arce obtained 52.4 percent of the votes, the Citizen Community (CC) candidate Carlos Mesa got 31.5 percent, and the "We Believe Alliance" candidate Luis Fernando Camacho reached 14.1 percent of the votes.

Bolivia's president-elect Arce thanked the people for their support and for their peaceful participation in the electoral process. "We have recovered democracy and hope. We ratify our commitment to work with social organizations. We are going to build a national unity government."

The Bolivian Socialists' message was categorical and clear: "we call on the community to avoid provocations... let's end this nightmare we have been living for a year."


A few minutes before the official information was issued, former President Evo Morales, who remains a political asylee in Argentina, recalled that millions of Bolivians cast their vote peacefully and demanded that the coup-born regime led by Jeanine Añez respect the results.

"Yesterday we denounced that the authorities suspended the presentation of the results of the exit poll companies. That was suspicious. Everything indicates that the MAS has won the elections and won a majority of seats in both chambers."
Former President Evo Morales has announced his intention to return to Bolivia:
Speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Monday, Morales said he would be glad to return to his home country.

"Sooner or later we are going to return to Bolivia, that is not in debate," Morales said, without giving any timeframe for his potential return.

"My great desire is to return to Bolivia and enter my region. It is a matter of time."



Arrow Up

China's economy plows on as world's only major growth engine

china currency
© unknown
China's recovery from the coronavirus pandemic continued in the third quarter and showed signs of broadening in September as consumer spending accelerated, keeping the economy on track to be the world's only major growth engine this year.

Gross domestic product expanded 4.9% in the third quarter from a year ago, missing economists' forecast for a 5.5% expansion. Both retail sales and industrial production gained momentum in September, reassuring markets that the recovery is on track.
Mixed bag chart
The numbers show China's early and aggressive containment of the coronavirus has set the economy up for a faster rebound than any of its peers. That's a rare positive for a world economy still clawing its way out of its worst slump since the Great Depression -- a revival further complicated by the resurgent virus in Europe and the U.S.

"It's an encouraging and hopeful message for the rest of the world," said Rob Subbaraman, global head of macro research at Nomura Holdings Inc. in Singapore. "If you successfully handle the health crisis, your economy can recover."

Arrow Down

Democrats fail to block Amy Coney Barrett's SCOTUS nomination as proposal to shut down Senate falls through

US Capitol
© Reuters/Erin Scott
US Capitol building, Washington DC, USA
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tried to adjourn the Senate until after the election, in order to stop the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the US Supreme Court - and a Covid-19 relief bill remains nowhere in sight.
Schumer's proposal failed, with the Senate voting 48 to 42 to "table" the motion - that is, not consider it any further - on Monday evening.

Comment: Without a wedge to stop this nomination, the Dems are looking for any narratives to snag this election from the Republicans. They would rather 'go big and crazy' hoping no one will notice the desperation underlying their partisan attacks.

See also:


Laptop

Hunter Biden's flipped business partner provided 26K emails

Hunter Biden
© DNC/YouTube screenshot
DNC Hunter Biden Aug. 18, 2020
The business partner of Hunter Biden who flipped on the Biden family from prison provided access to 26,000 emails, Breitbart News senior contributor Peter Schweizer said in a Saturday morning radio appearance.

Schweizer, appearing on Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, said that former Hunter Biden business partner Bevan Cooney provided 26,000 emails to him — the first of which were published late last week in a Breitbart News exclusive investigation by Schweizer and author Seamus Bruner. Cooney is currently serving a sentence in federal prison due to his conviction over financial deals he made connected to Hunter Biden and his other partner Devon Archer. Archer, who was also convicted by a jury in federal court, saw his conviction vacated by a federal judge. That conviction was later — just a couple weeks ago — reinstated by an appellate court, which overruled the lower court judge's decision to vacate it. Archer awaits sentencing.

In the meantime, however, Cooney — who is serving his sentence in federal prison — reached out to Schweizer via conservative journalist Matthew Tyrmand and provided written authorization to access his Gmail account. He provided the password and username, and written authorization to publish emails because Schweizer says he believes he was the "fall guy" for the Biden family's corruption and that he believes the public needs to know what really happened in Hunter Biden's universe.

Comment: Hunter and his various partners/relatives had a long run at scheming and scamming, advantaged by VP Biden. Both of HB's cohorts are now the recipients of jail sentences, but Hunter - their core partner and connector - is still roaming free. And, so is Joe until he outlives his usefulness.

See also:


Attention

US envoy warns 'distressingly high' level of violence in Afghanistan could derail peace process

Khalizad/bombed car
© Rafig Maqbool/AP/Twitter/fhzadran/KJN
US Envoy Zalmay Khalitzad/Suicide car bombing
U.S. envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad warned on October 18 after a car bomb killed 14 people in Ghor in central Afghanistan that continued high levels of violence in the country could threaten the peace process.

Khalilzad said in a series of tweets that violence has "stalked" Afghans for far too long and the "tragedy" in Ghor, where the car bomb was set off outside a police headquarters, is the most recent example. Khalilzad said on Twitter:
"The belief that says violence must escalate to win concessions at the negotiating table is very risky. Such an approach can undermine the peace process and repeats past miscalculations by Afghan leaders.

"We must adhere to the letter and spirit of what was negotiated and the recent understanding. They provide a path to minimizing Afghan loss of life and protecting an historic opportunity for peace which must not be missed. I urge strict adherence to all articles of the U.S.-Taliban Agreement and U.S.-Afghanistan Joint Declaration. Sides should not neglect the commitment to gradually reduce violence."
Khalilzad said violence remains "distressingly high" despite the recent reaffirmation of the need for substantial reduction.

Comment: The blame game continues without pause as accusations fly:
Taliban accuses Washington of breaching peace deal after US military conducts 'defensive' airstrikes on militants. The Pentagon, however, claimed the strikes came in response to a new Taliban offensive. Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousuf Ahmadi said in a statement:
"American forces have violated the Doha agreement in various forms by carrying out excessive airstrikes following the new developments in Helmand province. Responsibility and consequences from continuation of such actions shall fall squarely on the shoulders of the American side."
Earlier this week, the Taliban launched a major offensive against Afghan government forces in the southern province of Helmand in an apparent attempt to capture its capital. The offensive invoked a response from the US-led coalition forces who launched airstrikes against the Taliban militants in an attempt to help the country's government troops.

Despite the angry rhetoric of the Taliban, the US military did not seem to be ready to back down. Responding to the group's complaints, spokesman for the US forces Colonel Sonny Leggett claimed the airstrikes did not actually breach the Doha agreement and are "consistent" with it.

"US airstrikes in Helmand and Farah have been and continue to be solely in defense of the ANDSF as they are being attacked by the Taliban," Leggett tweeted, urging all the sides of the decades-long war to "reduce violence."



Bizarro Earth

'Just crazy': Trump compares claims Hunter Biden emails are Russian plot to Clinton's branding of Tulsi Gabbard as 'Russian asset'

Trump Gabbard
© Getty Images/Drew Angerer; REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Donald Trump has compared Rep. Adam Schiff's claim that Hunter Biden's alleged leaked emails are part of a Russian disinformation plot to Hillary Clinton calling Democrat Tulsi Gabbard a "Russian asset" similarly without evidence.

During a Tuesday Fox News interview, Trump addressed Schiff's evidence-free claim that the Hunter Biden email leaks, which detail his alleged dealings in Ukraine and China, were coming "from the Kremlin." The leaks were published by the New York Post last week.

"It's just crazy," Trump said of the theory, referring to the Democratic congressman as "Shifty Schiff" and a "sick" man, who was purposefully obfuscating the issue.