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Mon, 13 Jul 2020
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Facebook bans accounts linked to Roger Stone, Proud Boys, Jair Bolsonaro citing 'coordinated inauthentic behavior'

2 guys with Roger Stone banner
© Reuters/Tom Brenner
Facebook has banned dozens of pages allegedly linked to ex-Trump adviser and Republican operative Roger Stone, as well as Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, in its relentless battle against political 'misinformation networks'.

The 100-account network said to be linked to Stone, a Florida resident, was discovered in the course of an investigation into the right-wing group Proud Boys, banned from Facebook years ago, the social media behemoth revealed on Wednesday in a blog post. Some 54 accounts, 54 pages, and four Instagram accounts were removed in the purge. According to Facebook, the deleted accounts were followed by upwards of 320,000 people and had spent over $308,000 on Facebook ads.

Stone, a self-styled "dirty trickster" whose history with the Republican Party goes back decades, is due to report to federal prison next week on charges of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering for which he was sentenced to three years in prison. His lawyers have petitioned to have his incarceration delayed due to the coronavirus, citing his age (67).

The former Trump advisor was barred from social media last July after federal judge Amy Berman Jackson accused him of breaching a gag order regarding his case. The accounts supposedly linked to him had posted about his website, books, and media appearances, as well as the WikiLeaks materials released in the runup to the 2016 election, Stone's trial, and a Florida land and water resources bill.

Comment: Links to a Website! Books! Media Appearances!...and a Water Resource Bill - you know, bad stuff.

Arrow Down

Ilhan Omar: US must tear down its 'whole system of oppression'; Dems have 'given up' on America

Ilhan Omar
© Getty Images via AFP/Getty Images North America/Brandon Bell
Representative Ilhan Omar, (D-MN)
Ilhan Omar has called on the US "to tear down systems of oppression." But the Minnesota Democratic representative's remarks have outraged Republicans, who say she wants to ruin the whole American system.

Oppression is seen pretty much across the board in the American system, Omar claimed in a speech in Minnesota on Tuesday.
"We are fighting to tear down systems of oppression that exist in housing, in education, in healthcare, in employment, in the air we breathe. We cannot stop at the criminal justice system. We must begin the work of dismantling the whole system of oppression wherever we find it."
Omar, a Somali-American, has frequently called for the dismantling of the Minneapolis Police Department since the death of George Floyd in the city, calling it 'rotten to the root.'


Russian health minister: Anti-vaxxers can rejoice - any future coronavirus vaccine will be voluntary

Taking temp
© Sputnik
Russia will not make immunization against Covid-19 compulsory, according to Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko. A homegrown vaccine is currently being trialled and could possibly be registered and mass-produced by September.

According to the health ministry, vaccinations in Russia can only be given with a citizen's expressed consent.
"Today, interest in the vaccine is quite high, because people have realized the full significance of vaccination. "Over this period [of Covid-19], the number of supporters of vaccination has increased."
In May, it was suggested that Russia's Code of Administrative Offenses include a fine for the refusal of compulsory vaccinations. Still in the discussion stage, the new code would allow a fine of up to 7,000 rubles ($100) for citizens refusing immunizations deemed necessary. According to Rospotrebnazdor, the country's health watchdog, the punishment would only be applied to those who perform work associated with a high risk of contracting infectious diseases.


Political stunt: AfD lawmaker wears gas mask in sarcastic salute to German anti-covid measure; parliament not amused

© Bayerischen Landtag
Stefan Loew wears gas mask to Parliament
A member of Bavaria's AfD faction tried to mock mandatory face protection rules, taking the floor with a gas mask on his face. The extravaganza saw him engaging in an uphill battle with parliament bosses.

Stefan Loew, a member of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, stole the limelight during Tuesday's session of the Bavarian state parliament. Invited to take the floor by the speaker, he turned up at the podium wearing a heavy-duty gas mask.

The stunt garnered some chuckles from the audience, but those running the meeting refused to play along.

"Mr Loew, I'm now giving you three seconds more [to take the gas mask off]," a vice-speaker is heard saying in a livestream video. The stubborn MP hits back, his voice strangled: "There is indeed a requirement to wear a mask!" The vice-speaker repeatedly demanded that Loew stop "making fun" of the session, but the AfD lawmaker kept speaking anyway - albeit quite inaudibly.

Comment: Everyone calm down and take a deep shallow breath. At least this guy may have solved the fogging glasses problem.


Former warden from Ghislaine Maxwell's NYC jail says she should be on suicide watch: It would be 'unimaginable' for her to escape justice

Ghislaine Maxwell
© Patrick McMullan via Getty Images
Ghislaine Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell should be kept on suicide watch at her federal lockup in Brooklyn because her case is too explosive to risk her killing herself behind bars, a former warden of the jail told The Post Tuesday.

Cameron Lindsay, who served as the warden at the Metropolitan Detention Center for three years, said he wouldn't risk the possibility of her suicide because it would be "unimaginable" for her to escape the justice system.

"She allegedly knows a great deal of information about a multitude of potential co-defendants in the actions against Jeffrey Epstein," Lindsay said.


Bad Guys

North Carolina gov't website crashes due to influx of parents filing to homeschool

family homeschool
© Shutterstock.com
The increasing willingness of parents in North Carolina to homeschool their children has led to the online system for filing a Notice of Intent to Establish a Home School being temporarily overwhelmed. "The system is not currently available due to an overwhelming submission of Notices of Intent (NOI)," the website explained to visitors in the evening hours of July 1.

"It will be back online as soon as possible," stated the North Carolina Department of Administration, to which the Division of Non-Public Education belongs. "We apologize for any inconvenience as we work to process NOIs as quickly as possible."

Robert Bortins, CEO of Classical Conversations, an organization active within the homeschooling movement, told North State Journal, "Families are uncertain if the public schools will be able to serve their families needs for school this fall. The pandemic schooling at home gave them the opportunity to see that they could homeschool, and now they are choosing to do it intentionally."

Bizarro Earth

Texas students mandated to wear face masks at school by state agency

student schoolchildren mask
© Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
A second grade student wears a mask while reading a book during Freedom School, a six-week summer academic enrichment program for Marin County students held at Bayside Martin Luther King Jr. Academy in Marin City, Calif. Tuesday, June 23, 2020. Sausalito and Marin City schools have implemented safety measures such as temperature checks, providing masks and keeping six feet of distance in order to bring kids back for summer school programs. They hope to bring students back in the fall using these same precautions.
The Texas Education Agency released guidance that addresses what districts must do if there is a positive case among a person who is on campus.

Students over 10 years old will be required to wear face masks and parents will be able to switch their children to online learning as the year progresses, according to new guidelines released by the Texas Education Agency on Tuesday.

Many districts in North Texas have been awaiting guidance from the agency as school is set to begin in less than 40 days for thousands of students.

The state education agency says face masks will be required in school buildings, with the exceptions listed in Gov. Greg Abbott's executive order, as long as the order remains in place. Districts can also add their own face mask requirement "for adults or students for whom it is developmentally appropriate," the TEA said.

Comment: See related:


Bitter victory: Open letter against cancel culture was a ray of hope... until some signatories canceled themselves

cancel culture
© Getty Images / bunhill
Recently, dozens of scholars, authors, and others signed an open letter against cancel culture. Not even 24 hours later, some rescinded because of "other people on the list," handing 'cancel culture' a bitterly ironic victory.

On July 7, Harper's Magazine published a piece called 'A Letter on Justice and Open Debate'. It is a bold letter that calls for less censorship and more exchange of ideas, which flies in the face of modern cancel culture (which those involved in try to pretend doesn't exist). It is signed by dozens of academics, authors, and journalists who support the idea that cancel culture is the antithesis to a liberal society.

And then a bunch of them distanced themselves from it because "they didn't know THAT person had signed it."



Italian far-left anarchist terrorist arrested in France

Black Block, Antifa
Italian far-left anarchist terrorist Roberto Cropo has been arrested in the French city of Saint-Étienne. He is believed to be a member of a terrorist cell that carried out a bombing in Rome in 2017.

The arrest of the 34-year-old suspected terrorist comes as part of a larger law enforcement operation in several countries named Operation Bialystok that saw six other far-left suspected terrorists arrested in Italy and Spain.

All of those arrested are believed to be members of the Santiago Maldonado Cell of the Informal Anarchist Federation (FAI), which took responsibility for a 2017 bombing on a police barracks in Rome in December of that year, France Bleu reports.



I was born in New York, and I've never seen the city so scared and uninhabitable. I fear we're on the brink of a second civil war

The City Hall Autonomous Zone
© REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
The City Hall Autonomous Zone protest to defund the New York Police Department (NYPD) in Manhattan, New York City
Residents are fearful to go out after dark. The police are afraid to patrol, and violent crime, murder and looting are rampant, while businesses are collapsing. And war has already been declared on our values and culture.

The world is under attack from a well-organised and well-funded group of anarchists who have launched an ideological cultural revolution to further globalism. The BLM movement, the riots, looting, protests and Covid-19 are all about partisan politics and the 2020 presidential election.

Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors summarized: "We are trained Marxists. We are super-versed on, sort of, ideological theories... Our goal is to get Trump out of the White House." I believe black lives matter. But I'm not convinced that black lives are the first priority of the #BLM movement.

We need to learn lessons from our country's past without romanticising that past. Every civil society needs baselines. Those baselines have to include a colour-blind meritocracy and the rule of law applied equally to everyone. Democracy, liberty, freedom and due process have to be afforded to the entire citizenry. Equality for all is necessary! Each individual has the right to celebrate history or not, but no one can rewrite or erase history and destroy statues or cultural artefacts.

Antifa's tyrannical fascist fanatics, aka the mob, seek to erase history and historical figures just like ISIS and the Nazis. The Antifa mob is political and seems to be an extension of the Democratic Party: a Democratic militia. The Democratic Party refuses to denounce Antifa or the violence its thugs are perpetrating.

Comment: And by "legacy politicians" the author is also referring to New York's authoritarian governor Andrew Cuomo, who has also had a big hand in destroying New York City: