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Sun, 19 Jan 2020
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New Indian citizenship law fulfills wishes of Mahatma Gandhi & other freedom fighters - PM Modi

© Money Sharma / AFP
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures beside a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi on October 2, 2019.
The new citizenship law aimed at helping religious minorities that come to India from Muslim-majority states is in line with the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi and other independence heroes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said.

"I repeat again, Citizenship Act is not to revoke anyone's citizenship, but it is to give citizenship," Modi said on Sunday at a rally at Belur Math Monastery in the state of West Bengal, bordering Bangladesh.
After independence, Mahatma Gandhi and other big leaders of that time all believed that India should give citizenship to persecuted religious minorities of Pakistan.

Comment: See also: Gandhi was a racist who forced young girls to sleep in bed with him


CNN video of US airbase ruins: 'Unimaginable damage' from Iranian attack

Arwa Damon
© CNN.com
CNN correspondent Arwa Damon on Al-Assad Air Base in Baghdad
In an exclusive report from the al-Assad airbase where the US soldiers were based in Iraq, CNN described the extent of the damage to the base as unimaginable.

The hosts exclaims incredulity that no U.S servicemen were injured. FRN previously ran video appearing to demonstrate that U.S soldiers were at the base. Iranian domestic media reported between a dozen to eighty killed and injured U.S solders.

The U.S anti-air defenses were entirely useless against the Iranian missiles. 100% of the launched missiles penetrated U.S defenses, with high accuracy.

This demonstration of force and the U.S inability to stop these next-generation Iranian missiles may serve well for western audiences, inculcated from early childhood into believing the mythology of an invincible U.S.


Mea Culpa moment on Iran's shoot down for alt-media, this author included

© Unknown
UAI-752 wreckage
This is one of those extremely rare times that I'm writing an article in the first-person in order to take responsibility for (mostly) getting my analysis about UIA-752's downing wrong, explain the flawed thought process that went into yesterday's piece on the topic, and challenge all of my Alt-Media peers -- both fellow analysts and casual commentators alike -- to also take responsibility for their words over the past few days if they too were ultimately proven wrong by the latest twist in this tragedy.

There's No Shame In Being Wrong

Let me dispel all ambiguities right off the bat -- I was wrong in comparing UIA-752 to MH-17 in yesterday's analysis, and I take full responsibility for my inaccurate portrayal of what ultimately turned out to be the tragic reality, namely that Iran just admitted that it accidentally shot down the Ukrainian passenger jet due to human error. I hold my audience in high regard and always challenge them to hold others to account whenever they're wrong about something significant, so true to my mission of restoring credibility to the Alt-Media Community, I'm explaining my flawed thought process that went into yesterday's piece on the topic.

Car Black

Tesla, the 'serial killer'

Accident involving Tesla
© EricPetersAuto
Tesla may have just killed its 14th victim; there are at least 13 confirmed kills so far - as the result of Autopilot. Excluding auto-immolation.

This qualifies Tesla for serial killerhood.

But no FBI investigation - or even a recall.

Instead, an "advisory" from the National Highway Traffic Safety (sic) Administration that drivers of Autopiloted Teslas must always "keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times" - which is right up there with Don't Squeeze the Charmin.

What is the point of Autopilot and "autonomous" - automated - cars if you have to pay any attention at all?

If, on the other hand, it is necessary for them to pay attention - which NHTSA concedes by warning of its necessity - then Autopilot is inherently dangerous precisely because it is inevitable that people won't pay attention. Do the passengers on a cruise ship go below to check whether the ship is taking on water? Are they expected to visit the bridge, to make sure the ship is headed in the right direction? That the captain isn't drunk or asleep on the sofa? The whole point of being a passenger is to not have to pay attention - whether you're a passenger on a cruise ship or a passenger in an Autopiloted/automated car.

But Tesla gets away with building cars designed to encourage drivers to become passengers; to take their hands off the wheel - and their eyes off the road - and then blames the driver when the car drives itself into something.

Or someone.


Just MSM facts please! Response to Facebook's 'media literacy' claim is just a cover for thought-police

© Communications Studies/Unknown
Facebook doubled down on its refusal to fact-check political ads or limit advertisers' voter-targeting ability, eliciting wails of anguish from politicos who talk of "media literacy" yet desperately want people's thoughts policed.

The social media behemoth has announced that it will continue to allow political ads to target users based on specific attributes ("microtargeting") and exempt these ads from fact-checking, two controversial practices that have been the subject of much pearl-clutching as the 2020 US presidential election approaches.

While Facebook had briefly thought of limiting microtargeting, it explained in a blog post on Thursday that talking with political campaigns, NGOs, and other groups that use the technique had convinced the company that it was necessary. Instead, Facebook has opted for "expanded transparency," allowing users to learn about what ads are targeting them and why. A feature allowing the user to see fewer political ads will be introduced in the summer, Facebook promised.

Critics exploded. The Federal Election Commission's Ellen Weintraub accused Facebook of "hurting democracy" and placing its profit margins above "protect[ing] the democracies that have nurtured its existence."

Comment: Facebook is a self-made gatekeeper, and as such, a useable tool. Does it truly have 'freedom of speech' as its hard red line while deciding what limits to set or who and what it chooses to micro-target? If not, mission creep will eventually and ultimately assure there will be no questions, no rebukes and no wrinkles in the fabric of control. 'Freedom' will be just another word we aren't allowed to use - and that includes Facebook.


RT Editor-in-Chief Simonyan: Ruptly video agency's cameraman and Al-Dijla correspondent killed in Iraq

Margaret Simonyan/Basra Iraq
© AP/Alexander Zemilanichenko RIA Novosti/Essam al-Sudani
Margaret Simonyan, head of Russian television channel RT • Iraqis protest in Basra, Iraq
On Friday, two reporters were shot dead in Basra, Iraq by unidentified armed men after filming protests in the country, according to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory.

Ruptly stringer cameraman Saaf Ghali has been killed in Iraq, according to Sputnik and RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan.

The operator was killed after filming a demonstration in Iraq related to the ongoing US-Iran tensions, Teller Report stated. Margarita Simonyan wrote on her Telegram channel:
"In Iraq, unknown armed people killed our stringer cameraman Saaf Ghali. Saaf actively filmed materials for our Ruptly video agency in the region. We will do everything to help his family."
Ghali was said to film around 30 pieces for Ruptly, a video agency that is a project of RT, while also working for a local TV station Al-Dijla.

It was earlier reported by France 24, citing a statement from the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), that Ghali was killed late on Friday in the country's southern city of Basra after filming anti-government protests. He and 37-year-old correspondent Ahmad Abdessamad, who both worked for Al-Dijla, were reportedly shot while sitting in a car near a police station in Basra when they were approached by unidentified men who opened fire on them.


Battle over the Second Amendment is unfolding across America as the sanctuary city movement grows

Person aiming gun
© Business Insider
As Virginia's new Democratic legislature promises gun control measures, the wives of National Guardsman are warning that impending gun legislation threatens to turn neighbor against neighbor.

As the 2020 Virginia legislative session began, Democratic Governor Ralph Northam and fellow Democrats continued their push for new gun control bills. In the months since a May 2019 shooting left 12 people dead and four others injured at a Virginia Beach municipal building, Democratic politicians have repeatedly expressed their desire to implement new restrictions such as universal background checks, a ban on certain weapons, and controversial red flag laws.

However, the calls for gun restrictions have not been welcomed by all Virginians. Instead, the push for more gun control has sparked a movement that has expanded across Virginia and continues to grow in other states including California, Illinois, Colorado, New Mexico, and Florida.


Why Iran Came Clean And Stopped Covering up Its Role in The UIA-752 Tragedy

Iran Flight 752 Ukrainian plane
Giving Credit Where It's Due

Iran, to its credit, quickly came clean and admitted to its culpability in accidentally shooting down UIA-752 last week after vehemently insisting for the past few days that any such claims were nothing but a "big lie...(a) psychological operation...adding insult to the injury of the bereaved families". Tehran didn't do this just because it's the right thing to do, but because it realized that its international reputation would continue to suffer if it hadn't reversed its narrative course when it did. The author explained everything that went wrong with his previous analysis on the topic in his most recent article titled "Iran's Shoot-Down Admission Is A Mea Culpa Moment For Alt-Media (Myself Included)", where it was promised that a forthcoming analysis would soon be published about the reasons behind Iran's about-face, ergo the purpose of the present piece. That aforementioned work, however, should be reviewed by the reader in order to obtain a better understanding of just how counterproductive Iran's previous stance was to its soft power.

Comment: That's the end of the matter as far as international diplomacy is concerned.

But what remains to be answered is how an air-defense system operator mistook a Boeing 737 for a cruise missile.

Unless it was fiddled with in some way, the Ukrainian Airlines jet's transponder should have told the operator of the TOR-1M system that the object he was seeing on his radar screen is a Boeing 737.

Additionally, the plane's appearance on his screen should have in no way surprised him - it was the TENTH flight out of Tehran's Khomeini Airport that night. Prior to Flight 752, the last flight movement there was the departure - from the same runway and in the same direction - of QR8408 at 05:39 local time.

Why then was the air-defense operator surprised by this flight?


Professor calls free speech 'racist'

censorship free speech students
© Rob ZS / Shutterstock
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor recently called free speech racist and said he worries that if a Democratic presidential candidate wins the 2020 election it could spark another Civil War.

Eric King Watts, an associate professor of communication studies, made the comments during his keynote speech "Tribalism, Voicelessness, and the Problem of Free Speech" that kicked off a two-day conference on free speech.

"Democracy needs free speech, but it is increasingly vulnerable to its excesses," Watts said in his speech.

"I will first set forth how freedom of speech is implicated in racism by linking its historical contingency to the production of blackened flesh," Watts said. "I will demonstrate how racism produces its uneven distribution of capacity and debility...."

The speech was audio recorded and first reported by the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, and reporter Branson Inscore recently provided audio clips of the speech to The College Fix.

Comment: See also,


'You started it, we will end it': Iranian news outlet posts mock Trump assassination video

memri trump mock assassination
© YouTube/MEMRI TV Videos
Iran's Fars News Agency (FNA) is the latest organization to publish media depicting the assassination of US President Donald Trump, warning US leaders that if Washington starts a war, Tehran will end it.

As the world awaits the next moves by Washington and Tehran's following recently-heightened tensions brought about by the assassination of commander of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qassem Soleimani, FNA, the outlet regarded by many as Iran's semi-official news agency, published a short clip on Monday showing one potential outcome of a conflict.

A gunman is shown assembling his rifle and peering at an image of Soleimani before taking aim at the US president in the video, entitled "Hey US! You started, we will end it."

"Hey US, if you begin the war, we will end the war in the name of god, the beneficent, the merciful," reads the video's caption.