Censorship is coming to the internet. First PropOrNot and the Washington Post; now Harvard Library have come out with censorship lists. Who will come out against open discussion and truth telling on the internet next? Google is going to censor it’s listings to exclude, or at least flag ‘fake news’. Chrome is going to enforce a requirement for websites to have SSL Security Certificates, which are quite expensive. What next?
Before the Obama Presidency, there were radio channels devoted to left/Democrat pundits. Ed Shultz and Tom Hartman were on the air daily. Now they are relegated to the Russian News Channel, RT.com while Rachel Maddow joined MSNBC where she currently spouts hyperbolic anti-Russian propaganda to undermine the Trump Presidency. (I don’t like Mr. Trump either, buts lets keep or reason). The radio stations that supported them are gone. You might say, “Well, the age of talk radio is ending.” No. Absolutely not! Not if you are a conservative Democrat or Republican. Not if you are a war mongering, racist or anti-racist, LGTBQ or anti LGTBQ spokesperson.
In February, President Trump gave the go-ahead to a Special Ops Mission in Yemen that was originally planned on Obama’s watch. Numerous civilians were killed including 9 children, one of whom was Anwar Awlaki’s 8 year old daughter. The event was widely, but not deeply covered in the U.S. MSM. The focus was on blaming Donald Trump. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism ran The Full Details of Botched US Raid in Yemen within a couple of days, naming the victims and providing information about them. Since then, The Intercept ran an even more personalized article with interviews of the local people. They must have someone inside Yemen. Meanwhile, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that the number of drone strikes in Yemen has exploded since President Trump came into office. Apparently the new President is also thinking of waiving a Congressional block on selling certain types of weapons to Saudis for use in Yemen. It is difficult to imagine appropriate use of any weapon against the defenseless population of Yemen, but even so, Mr. Trump has once again iced the cake of mindless international intervention and destruction.
On one of the list serves I frequent, someone asked the question, who will go to Yemen and tell us their story. I’ve actually been thinking about this. Yes. It seems crazy, but it would be something to go there and show some compassion for the people and bring back their stories. Of course, The Intercept is already doing that. But, I was mulling the difference between going to Syria to talk with people and going to Yemen.
I wish I could go to Yemen to document what it is happening there.
This week, U.S. Mainstream Media across the spectrum ran a story that Trump is going to shift more of the drone operations to CIA control. Seems like an odd choice given that he has a noticeably bad relationship with the CIA, but I guess that could mean is his decision is just a cynical manipulation. This was at one time a point of contention. Who is responsible for the drone program? Under a great deal of political/popular pressure, Obama promised to take the CIA out of the loop – basically to give the appearance of doing something. But I doubt if he could have done more then shift the balance a little. Now, perhaps Trump has done something to shift it back. But, as David Swanson pointed out, the Air Force was flying the ‘CIA’ drones and they continue to fly them now. Trump is continuing the policy that was in place before there was a public outcry that caused Obama to take a step back. But it isn’t a new idea or practice and which brutal agency controls the drones is irrelevant to the victims.
I had decided to keep a weekly journal. It seemed doable, but of course fate intervened. I lost 2 weeks attending a trial in Syracuse, NY. Well, one week attending and the next week processing. Four Hancock protesters were being tried for a civil resistance action at the Air National Guard Base 2 years ago. the Jury heard their unique arguments and acquitted them. Here’s the piece I wrote. You can find the original at ‘Hancock and Beyond‘.
Jury Acquitted Big Books Protesters!
Drawings by Dan Burgevin
A six person jury acquitted Hancock Big Books Protesters 2 years after demonstration resulted in arrests. The trial of Hancock protesters, Ed Kinane of Syracuse, James Ricks and Daniel Burns of Ithaca and Brian Hynes of Brooklyn, began on February 28th with jury selection, and ended after 11 pm on March 2nd with all defendants acquitted. They were tried before Judge David Gideon on charges of trespass and 2 counts of disorderly conduct, all violations, and on misdemeanor charges of Obstructing Governmental Administration (OGA).