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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Thousands rally in Rome against arming Ukraine

Rome march
© unknown
Members of the USB trade union march in Rome, Italy • December 3, 2022
Trade unionists and leftists marched after the new government promised more arms for Kiev next year

Left-wing demonstrators took to the streets in Rome on Saturday, demanding higher wages and condemning the Italian government for renewing a decree allowing it to send weapons to Ukraine until 2024.

Organized by Italy's USB trade union and backed by a number of leftist political factions, the protest saw thousands of people assemble at the Piazza della Repubblica and march behind a banner reading "guns down, wages up."

The USB wrote prior to the protest:
"The Meloni government is dragging us further and further into a spiral of war with unpredictable outcomes Italy is evidently a belligerent and active country in the conflict, despite the fact that the great majority of the population is against the war and the consequent sharp increase in military spending."


Feds pay journalism group $5M to create software to turn people into anti-'misinformation' bots

gray guys
© Public Domain
The federal government has awarded $5 million to a group of journalists called Hacks/Hackers to develop software that will encourage regular Americans to confront their friends over "harmful" posts, and "correct misinformation" by replying with text suggested by the software.

The group is also organizing Wikipedia censors to determine who is a "credible source" on vaccines, and block anyone else from being cited on the online encyclopedia. Job ads for the project do not require that applicants have any expertise in medicine.

That list is already taking shape on Wikipedia, with liberal outlets such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, and The Atlantic all marked "reliable." Conservative sites, including The Daily Wire, Daily Mail, Epoch Times, and The Federalist, are all classified as either "unreliable" or "conspiracy."


Fake and Defective

Covid vaccine
© Unknown
The overriding phenomenon of our times is the pretence that stuff that is happening isn't happening, and that stuff that isn't happening is happening. That's another way of saying that we live in the Land of Inverted Reality surrounded by the Ocean of Lies.

A president who clearly has — let's put it politely — cognitive issues, doesn't have cognitive issues. A country that has lost more than 100,000 soldiers and has its energy system wrecked with impunity, hasn't actually lost over 100,000 soldiers and is winning the war. The country that is systematically grinding them down and launching waves of missile attacks to decapitate its energy grid, has been almost out of missiles since March and is losing the conflict. The hard biological differences between those with XY and those with XX chromosomes are not really hard biological differences at all. The massive inflation that was caused primarily by the injection of trillions of dollars into the world economy that had largely been shut down under false pretences, is not really caused by the injection of trillions of dollars into the world economy that had largely been shut down under false pretences. The virus which the UK Government admitted had an Infection Mortality Rate of 0.096%, and which was associated with an average age of death above the normal average age of death, was actually potentially deadly to everyone.

But the most astonishing of all these phenomena, however, is the continued pretense that a medical product that has killed or injured millions across the globe, hasn't killed or injured millions across the globe. It's not happening, even though it is happening. Even though the catastrophic damage they are causing is evidenced by data from all over the world, they are officially Safe and Effective, despite being obviously Fake and Defective.


The New York Attorney General wants to fine the Daily Sceptic $1,000 a day if it fails to remove 'hateful' comments

© Unknown
Another day, another free speech showdown. This time, it's in the U.S., where the noted free-speech advocate, blogger and founder of the Journal of Free Speech Law Prof. Eugene Volokh is suing New York's Attorney General Letitia James over a law intended to crack down on "hateful conduct" online. The law would make a large class of website owners responsible for handling and directly responding to claims of "hateful conduct" about material on their website (e.g. in the comments section), and require them to publish a document setting out their policy on the matter. Failure to comply would carry a penalty of $1,000 per day, per infraction. Showing the intention behind this law, the Attorney General declared in October that: "Online platforms should be held accountable for allowing hateful and dangerous content to spread on their platforms."

This law goes into effect on Saturday Dec 3rd and will affect any website that allows users to share content (a typically vague definition) and which is accessible to New Yorkers - including the Daily Sceptic. Fortunately for the U.S., they have what is the envy of all free-speech advocates around the world: the First Amendment, and the robust case law surrounding it. New York's law is blatantly unconstitutional (and also contravenes s.230 of the Communications Decency Act 1996), so it stands zero chance of surviving legal challenge.


New Arizona lawsuit alleges massive problems in Maricopa County elections

Postal worker
© Alamy
A new lawsuit has been filed in Arizona, taking aim at the obvious voting problems that took place in Maricopa County and dishing details about error-ridden voter lists. The lawsuit was filed by Josh Barnett, a former U.S. congressional candidate in Arizona.

In lawsuit documents shared by Liz Harrington, the official spokeswoman for President Donald Trump, the filing alleges an "abnormal increase of inactive voter list in run-up to the November 8 Election."


Censorship by surrogate: Why Musk's document dump could be a game changer

twitter facebook collage biden joe hunter trump
"Handled." That one word, responding to a 2020 demand to censor a list of Twitter users, speaks volumes about the thousands of documents released by Twitter's new owner, Elon Musk, on Friday night. As many of us have long suspected, there were back channels between Twitter and the Biden 2020 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to ban critics or remove negative stories. Those seeking to discuss the scandal were simply "handled," and nothing else had to be said.

Ultimately, the New York Post was suspended from Twitter for reporting on the Hunter Biden laptop scandal. Twitter even blocked users from sharing the Post's story by using a tool designed for child pornography. Even Trump White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany was suspended for linking to the scandal.

Twitter's ex-safety chief, Yoel Roth, later said the decision was a "mistake" but the story "set off every single one of my finely tuned APT28 hack and leak campaign alarm bells." The reference to the APT28 Russian disinformation operation dovetailed with false claims of former U.S. intelligence officers that the laptop was "classic disinformation."

Comment: See also:

Eye 1

Twitter is fun again! Everything in the files about how national security agencies manipulate what we get to see and hear

elon musk twitter profile
© Chris Delmas / AFP/Getty Images
An important story developed this weekend, unspooling in real time on Twitter over a Friday evening. Basically, billionaire Elon Musk gave a good friend of mine — the journalist Matt Taibbi — extensive access to Twitter's internal e-mails and communications, and told Taibbi he could start sharing.

What ensued was an epic takedown of Twitter, delivered on Twitter, in what was ultimately a 41-Tweet thread. It was parceled out as fast as Taibbi could post, side by side with readers commenting in real time — offering responses ranging from "wow!" to "this is garbage", claims that history was being made before our eyes countered by sarcastic gifs of a sesame seed bun with no hamburger inside, and quite a few variations of the line: "This is fun! Twitter is fun again!"

And it was! Twitter indeed used to be fun, with real Americans — as opposed to computer bots and paid hacks — posting real-time opinion and wit, all in a format that mandates brevity. But in recent years, most of the fun has been policed out. So it was odd to once again enjoy scrolling through a feed. One of my favorite podcasters, MIT researcher Lex Friedman (clearly one of the kinder souls on planet Earth), weighed in:

Comment: See also:

Bizarro Earth

American Airlines to shut its San Francisco crew base, cites economic factors

American Airlines
© Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
By January 31, American Airlines flight attendants based in SFO must select an airport from a list of the airline's hubs outside of California to work out of.
"Today it's with great regret that I let you know about our decision to close the SFO flight attendant base," American Airlines executive Brady Byrnes said in the September memo obtained by Insider.

In closing its San Francisco base, citing economic factors and shifting customer demand, American presented 400 flight attendants with a choice that many said felt impossible to make: leave the airline or leave the state.

The base is home to some of the carrier's most senior flight attendants, two-thirds of whom have been at the airline for 13 years or more, according to the union representing American Airlines flight attendants. By January 31, they must select an airport from a list of the airline's hubs outside of California to work out of. For those who can't or won't, the only options are to retire early (if eligible) or resign, the union told Insider.

Comment: Whilst the alleged motivations may be different, at least one of the consequences will be reduced air travel, which reflects moves over in Europe:


Mongolia protesters storm government building accusing officials of stealing coal export profits

coal mongolia
© Brücke-Osteuropa, public domain, cc.
Protesters demanded to know where profits have gone from the mining of resources such as Mongolia's giant Tavan Tolgoi coking and thermal coal deposit.
Protesters gathered at Ulaanbaatar's Government Palace on December 4 demanded the names of officials who have allegedly embezzled Mongolian state coal export profits of Mongolian tughrik (MNT) 44 trillion ($12.8bn) in the past two years. Christmas trees in Sukhbaatar Square were burnt down and protesters briefly blocked the capital's main boulevard, Peace Avenue.

The demonstration, attended by dozens, was called in response to rumours allegedly spread by the prime minister in reference to huge amounts of coal profits that have been stolen, or embezzled into private entities, rather than placed in the government fund.

Comment: TheIns.rt provides more details:
Media reports revealed the day before that the amount of coal taken out of the country was different from the amount received by China. As a result, China executed the officials involved in the theft of the raw materials, and the media reported that the PRC sent the names of local politicians involved in the theft to Mongolian Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene Luvsannamsrai.

Few official sources support the claim that those involved received the death penalty. Although China has been known to execute officials involved in serious financial crimes.

The protesters are now demanding that the government and the president name the people involved and expose the corrupt scheme. According to Baza, law enforcement suppressed the first attempt to storm the building, but protesters are continuing to try to force their way in.
Some commentators are highlighting how, whilst the grievances are legitimate, the incitement of these protests could also be partly connected with US agencies:


Air raid alert announced in several Ukrainian regions, Kiev's residents head to subway station

Kiev subway air raid
© Twitter
An air raid alert was declared on Sunday afternoon in several regions in central and eastern Ukraine, according to reports published by the official air raid alert service.

Air raid sirens are sounding in the Dnepropetrovsk, Poltava and Kharkov regions as well as in the parts of the Zaporozhye region controlled by the Kiev regime.