Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Ruling Class and an Undeclared Civil War - By Steve McCann

Over the past 73 years, devoid of any meaningful national misfortune, the American social order has undergone a major transformation.  Historically, societies tend to stratify themselves along economic or pre-ordained class lines.  The United States has long prided itself on the belief that class distinctions were no longer a part of a unique American culture.  However, the current social structure has evolved into a near impregnable three-tier categorization in which the ruling class, that sits astride the social order, has revealed, thanks to the election of Donald Trump, open and unabashed disdain for the two lower classes and the unleashing of a radicalized army of malcontents.
The citizens who provide the primary labor and resources for the economic engine of the country constitute the second tier.  The third is comprised of those who have been betrayed by a self-serving education system and are conditioned to be totally dependent upon a government dominated by the ruling class.
Unlike any other period in the nation’s history, one stratum of society, the American elites of the past half-century, by their control of education, entertainment, the media and politics, have totally dominated and overwhelmingly and negatively influenced the culture and national character.  They are chiefly responsible for what it is today. 
This American aristocracy is now entirely made up of those who have no recall or firsthand experience of the years of adversity prior to 1940.   Their entire point of reference is never-ending affluence and the pursuit of pleasure within an overall framework of world peace.  Yet this assemblage is dominated by a comparatively few committed ideologues and so-called intellectuals who are dedicated to permanently altering the economy and American culture.  Nonetheless, they have been very successful in attracting many others by appealing to their vanity and avarice.
Thus entrance into this class is not entirely a factor of birth or wealth but rather that of developing a mindset of superiority similar to the evolution of cliques within a high school setting.  This attitude is further reinforced and promoted in the incubator that is the college campus, wherein this mindset is further enhanced by the academic elites waxing eloquent about the failings of the United States and the ideal of a classless society -- led, of course, by the pre-eminent class…themselves and their their naïve recruits.
Once having left the bubble that is the university environment, the majority of these same recruits, still influenced by their university experience and desirous of maintaining a standing within the circle, look to the anointed leaders in the mainstream media, the entertainment industry and politics to set the agenda and dialog.  Further, by being an accepted member of this class it is far easier to be ushered by the gate-keepers onto the path of making a substantial living be it in government, academia, Wall Street, the media or a myriad of non-profit advocacy groups.
To achieve and retain these benefits, it becomes paramount to retain membership within the congregation and do their bidding rather than question what the pronouncements and policies of their titular leaders would do to the culture and well-being of the country at large.  Thus, while proclaiming to be independent thinkers, no faction in American society is more acquiescent to groupthink and conformity.
The reality is that the majority of those in the ruling class are mind-numbed eternal adolescents hell-bent on pushing the boundaries of ethical and moral behavior and viewing all political and policy issues as a war between their side and their mortal enemies (those who oppose the transformation of the nation into a socialist oligarchy, the concomitant erosion of liberty as well as unrestrained personal behavior).  While there are a few comparatively independent thinkers within the group that do question the over-reaching of a powerful central government, their opposition is muted and limited to a more gradualist approach as their concession to remain within the fold.
An all-powerful central government is vital to maintaining the elite’s power, income base and pre-eminent class status and must be protected at all cost.  In order to retain their supremacy, the tactics of outright lies, innuendos, and character assassinations, as well as exploitation of national tragedies to impugn their adversaries, have been utilized by the foot soldiers in the mainstream media, the political establshment and the entertainment industry. 
The eight years of the Obama administration rudely awakened a sleeping populace.  Many of whom, also benefiting from the overwhelming economic growth and absence of national adversity over the past half-century, had consciously chosen to ignore what was happening to the culture and future well-being of the country.  Thus, the election of Donald Trump was in essence the revenge of the lower classes for not only the overbearing and condescending attitude of the elites but their ongoing success in transforming American society and culture.
Faced with the exposure of their agenda and the real prospect of losing their status and influence, the disdain toward the lower classes, which had always bubbled beneath the surface, burst forth in a volcanic eruption of uncontrolled vitriol, anger and absurdity.  
The denizens of the ruling class unleashed their out of control foot soldiers on the citizenry, employing the tactics and weapons previously aimed at their political enemies.   Today vast swaths of the American populace, whether they voted for Trump or not, are indiscriminately accused of being racists, misogynists, white supremacists, ignoramuses, religious zealots, xenophobes and malcontents. 
Intimidation and threats of violence are no longer condemned so long as it is directed at those identified as a threat to the hegemony of the elites.  Various social media platforms are being hijacked and weaponized by the mindless and radicalized brain-dead army of elite wannabes, the ruling class chooses not to restrain, in order to terrorize and permanently cower those in the second tier of society -- the citizens who provide the primary labor and resources for the economic engine of the country.   
There is at present an undeclared and non-violent civil war being waged in this country.  The underlying factor of any civil war is an elite ruling class desperate to maintain power at odds with a majority of a population seeking change.   Also prevalent in most civil upheavals is the unleashing, by those determined to retain power, of the radicalized and ultimately uncontrollable dogs of war who more often than not devour their sponsors.  Both elements are currently in play.
While the ruling class publicly obsesses over Donald Trump and denigrates the vast majority of the population, they have planted the seeds, by their actions, for a takeover of the country by a radical element that will turn on them as they are presently doing within the Democratic Party.
The American people must understand that the current ruling class will not willingly exit the stage or take on their mercenary army.  Donald Trump, while perhaps accomplishing a significant degree of change, cannot induce their demise.   This threat can only be marginalized through the determined utilization of political process which will encompass a number of political cycles and the long-term willingness to not be intimidated or cowed into submission.  The future of the nation as founded is at stake. 

bionic mosquito: The Revolution Devours its Children

Like Saturn, the Revolution devours its children

-          Jacques Mallet du Pan

"Revolutions eat their children." This observation, by a journalist during the French Revolution, was only partly true. In reality, revolutions eat their parents.

-          Peter St. Onge

Both are true.  We are seeing the parents devoured, we will soon see the children devoured.  I offered a few days ago that Trump’s reelection is certain, assuming he runs again.  The left will out-looney themselves on the debate stage, and any semi-normal democrats will run screaming – voting for either Trump, a third party, or not at all.

A couple of days later, Tom Luongo offers: Democrats Begin Eating Themselves Prepping for 2020:

Ideological possession always ends in pogroms. When the leadership of the most powerful organization in the world is at stake nothing is off limits, especially for power-hungry Democrats.

This is why we’re now seeing a concerted effort to smear Bernie Sanders just after he announced his Presidential campaign for 2020. The Democrats blame him for splitting the party in 2016 which allowed Trump to win.

The response was predictable. The American left lost its collective mind in November 2016.

Your clue that things have reached that point is none other than everyone’s media darling, Marxist lunatic Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez.

Howard Schultz threatens that he will run for president in 2020; the thought is that he will run as an independent.  Democrats are worried that he will take votes from their candidate.  Trump plays this perfectly, challenging Schultz’ manhood via twitter:

Howard Schultz doesn’t have the “guts” to run for President! Watched him on @60Minutes last night and I agree with him that he is not the “smartest person.” Besides, America already has that! I only hope that Starbucks is still paying me their rent in Trump Tower!

Schultz will run; a real man cannot let such a challenge go unanswered.

Even Hillary is considering another run; the more the merrier – one big party.

"Clinton is telling people that she's not closing the doors to the idea of running in 2020," Zeleny said. "I'm told by three people that as recently as this week, she was telling people that look, given all this news from the indictments, particularly the Roger Stone indictment, she talked to several people, saying 'look, I'm not closing the doors to this.'"

Nothing more certain than a loser losing; Please!  Run, Hillary, run!

Now even Facebook, Google and Microsoft – the darlings of the left – are being devoured by none other than AOC:

Dear Mr. Nadella, Mr. Zuckerberg and Mr. Pichai,

We are writing to you today in light of the important role that your companies play as we prepare to take comprehensive action on climate change. …we were deeply disappointed to see that your companies were high-level sponsors of a conference this month in Washington D.C., known as LibertyCon, that included a session denying established science on climate change.


We are more than a year away from the party nominations.  The left is going to consume itself.  It may happen much sooner than thought possible even a few short days ago.

Has Donald Trump Been Forced to Give Up? - By Thierry Meyssan

Has President Donald Trump abandoned the idea of transforming US politics? Has he bowed to the ex-ruling class of his country? Over the last two months, his administration seems to have restructured AfriCom, CentCom and SouthCom. The first military command of the Pentagon has apparently been authorised to join battle against Chinese projects on the African continent; the second has been engaged to divide the Greater Middle East between Arabs and Persians; and the third to destroy the State structures of the Caribbean Basin. These new missions are accompanied by a return of the neo-conservatives.

Since the mid-term elections on 6 November 2018, President Trump has been under extreme pressure. Federal administrations have been closed since 22 December (the shutdown), because of parliamentary opposition to a budget proposition which included the financing for a Wall at the Mexican frontier. The crisis only came to an end 35 days later, on 25 January 2019, when President Trump provisionally bowed to the demands of the Democratic Party. According to S&P Global Ratings, the shutdown will have cost more than 6 billion dollars, which is more expensive than the Wall it was supposed to economise [1].

During this period, the Trump administration multiplied signs that it was renouncing its foreign and Defense policies, and rallying with US imperialism. Taking into account the real estate promoter’s method of governing, it is quite possible that this total change of direction is only apparent, and destined to be called into question on 12 February, the date of the end of the budget agreement. In any case, for the moment, numerous elements suggest that Donald Trump may have given up making the changes he promised.
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- On 13 December 2018, at the Heritage Foundation, National Security Advisor John Bolton revealed the new US strategy for Africa [2] :
• (1) develop commerce,
• (2) fight Islamic terrorism,
• (3) verify the use of US aid.
Nothing new, then, apart from the fact that commercial objectives were exhaustively presented not as rivalry against the old colonial powers (France and the United Kingdom), but as a violent combat against China and Russia.
- On 20 December, Secretary of Defense General James Mattis addressed a public letter of resignation to President Trump [3]. Contrary to what was reported in the Press, he was in agreement with the withdrawal of troops from Syria, but was worried about the message that this might send to the Allies of the anti-Daesh Coalition, and therefore the possible end of US leadership [4]. Considering that he needed no public lessons, Trump immediately fired Mattis without allowing him the possibility of exercising his responsibilities until a replacement was found.
However, yielding to his critics, President Trump reversed his position and admitted that the withdrawal of troops would take longer than planned.
- On 3 January 2019, at the opening of the 116th session of Congress, Democrat representative Eliot Engels and Republican senator Marco Rubio tabled two propositions for a law (H.R. 31 [5] and S. 1 [6]) incorporating an almost identical passage aimed at enacting sanctions blocking the rebuilding of Syria. Thereafter, Engels (the author of the Syria Accountability Act of 2003) was elected president of the Chamber’s Foreign Affairs Committee, while James Rich was elected to the equivalent Senate Committee. Rich immediately rallied to the proposition of the law against Syria.
The two texts argue that it was the Syrian Arab Republic, and not the jihadists, who tortured the victims photographed in the « Caesar report », which would justify the blockage of the rebuilding of the country. The Senate text goes even further by supporting military aid to Israël, at the very moment when the Hebrew state admitted that it was carrying out an intense bombing campaign against Syria.
- On 10 January 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed the new strategy for the Greater Middle East during a conference at the American University in Cairo [7]. The strategy includes :
• (1) fighting Islamic terrorism,
• (2) fighting Iran and its allies,
• (3) military withdrawal from the region to the profit of an Israëlo-Arab « NATO ».
However, apart from the fact that dividing the region between Arabs and Persians is even more dangerous than the current situation, the creation of an Israëlo-Arab military alliance seems unlikely – it would have the support of governments which are already collaborating in secret, certainly, but not that of popular opinion. Simultaneously, National Security Advisor John Bolton set up a terrorist internationale against Iran, including elements of the Sunni Arabs of Daesh and Persian Shiites from the People’s Mujahedin [8].
- On the same day, 10 January, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a declaration against Venezuela, giving the signal to Juan Guaido to self-proclaim himself as interim President [9]. This was followed by the constitutional crisis that we see today.
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While the Western Press and the Venezuelans interpreted the conflict as questioning the Bolivarian government, we announced – a little early – the events that the Pentagon intended to apply to the Caribbean Basin, the same strategy that it applied earlier to the African Great Lakes, then to the Greater Middle East [10]. After long internal discussions, the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs adopted the same position [11]. In particular, Moscow declared : « The deliberate and clearly well-organised creation of a double power structure and an alternative centre of decisions in Venezuela opens the door to chaos and the erosion of the Venezuelan state ».
- On 22 January, the Democratic Party demanded that the Chamber of Representatives adopt a law forbidding President Trump from leaving NATO [12]. This text was co-written by Eliot Engels.
Although this law had not been discussed during the mid-term election campaign, it was considered by the Democratic Party as taking priority over its engagements on Obamacare. In July 2018, Eliot Engels had co-written, with the Secretary General of NATO, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, an op-ed piece in favour of the Alliance [13].
- On 26 January, Mike Pompeo announced that neo-conservative Elliott Abrams would be his special envoy for Venezuela. However, two years ago, Abrams had been the imperialist candidate for the post of Secretary of State. His name remains associated with the worst secret US actions in Latin America during the Cold War.
Neo-conservatism is a form of Trotskyism, and therefore ideologically part of the extreme left wing, rallied to the US state structure under the Reagan administration. Its partisans have never stopped swinging from left to right and vice-versa with every political alternation. They opposed the election of Donald Trump, but are now joining with him.
There was indeed a re-organisation of Africom, CentCom and SouthCom which authorises all three to defend not the interests of the People of the United States, but those of transnational companies and Israël. Still associated with this policy, the neo-conservatives, or at least one of the most illustrious among them, are back.
These elements tend to attest to the fact that the Republican Party and the Trump administration are radically changing their policy and returning – with the exception of the refusal to allow terrorist organisations to administer states – to the Democrat Party policies of President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton: military imperialism in the service of transnational giants.
This renunciation seems to be implemented by the main sponsors of the Republican Party. Thus, the Koch brothers have recently announced that they will not be supporting the reelection of Donald Trump [14].
[2] “Remarks by John R. Bolton on the The Trump Administration’s New Africa Strategy”, by John Bolton, Voltaire Network, 13 December 2018.
[3] “Resignation letter from James Mattis”, by James Mattis, Voltaire Network, 20 December 2018.
[4] “The United States refuse to fight for the transnational financiers”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 25 December 2018.
[5] “Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019”, Eliot Engels, US House of Representatives, January 3, 2019.
[6] “Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East Act of 2019”, Marco Rubio, US Senate, January 3, 2019.
[7] “Mike Pompeo’s Remarks at the American University in Cairo”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 10 January 2019. .
[8] “The use of terrorism according to John Bolton”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Mint Press News (USA) , Voltaire Network, 22 January 2019.
[9] “US Actions Against Venezuela’s Corrupt Regime”, by Mike Pompeo, Voltaire Network, 10 January 2019.
[10] “The United States are preparing a war between Latin-American states”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Mint Press News(USA) , Voltaire Network, 18 December 2018.
[11] “Russian Foreign Ministry statement on the developments in Venezuela”, Voltaire Network, 24 January 2019.
[12] “House aims to prevent Trump from withdrawing from NATO”, Karoun Demirjian, Washington Post, January 22, 2019.
[13] “President Trump, you need NATO more than ever”, Eliot L. Engel & Anders Fogh Rasmussen, CNN, July 10, 2018.
[14] “Koch network tells donors it plans to stay out of 2020 race, once again declining to back Trump”, Josh Dawsey and Michelle Ye Hee Lee, The Washington Post, January 24, 2019.
French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.
The articles on Voltaire Network may be freely reproduced provided the source is cited, their integrity is respected and they are not used for commercial purposes (license CC BY-NC-ND).

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Biogeographic ancestry, by Steve Sailer - The Unz Review

Vox Day: The science, she is about as settled as science can get. No hockey sticks, just a clear picture of what a 1 SD delta looks like. Steve Sailer has more.

From Psych:
Emil O. W. Kirkegaard,* OrcID, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Robert L. Williams, John Fuerst and Gerhard Meisenberg
They found a database of 1,369 American kids, average age 11 or 12, for which they have both genes, allowing them to look racial ancestry (horizontal axis) and scores on an IQ-like test of cognitive ability (vertical axis).
Among those who self-identified as black (blue dots) and white (red dots), there wasn’t much overlap. There’s one red dot way off in the nonwhite section and about a dozen people near 50/50 white/nonwhite. But even though the Economist says there is no doubt vast confusion over self-identification, there actually isn’t much. Two individuals are self-identified as white who are less than 50% white by genetic ancestry estimate (one substantially, one marginally). And two individuals are self-identified as black who are more than 50% white, but none more than about 5/8ths white.
In general, even among the new generation, there aren’t all that many people who are mostly white but partly black.
A couple of things to keep in mind is that these are children and the self-identification is probably done by their parents. Parents in mixed marriages are more likely, I imagine, to pick “Multi-Ethnic” for their children. In contrast, children can have strong opinions. For example, in 2010 President Barack Obama told the Census that he wasn’t white, just black.

NewsGuard: A Neoconservative Contrivance Which Promotes an Establishment View - BY PHILIP GIRALDI

There’s a new thought policeman in town. He calls himself NewsGuard and he promises to restore “Trust and Accountability” to what one reads online. His website elaborates that “NewsGuard uses journalism to fight false news, misinformation, and disinformation. Our trained analysts, who are experienced journalists, research online news brands to help readers and viewers know which ones are trying to do legitimate journalism—and which are not…Our Green-Red ratings signal if a website is trying to get it right or instead has a hidden agenda or knowingly publishes falsehoods or propaganda.”
One might well stop reading immediately after running into “our trained analysts” with all that implies, but that would deny the greater pleasure derived from considering news-sites that have “…a hidden agenda or knowingly [publish] falsehoods or propaganda.” Excuse me, but hidden agendas, lies and propaganda are what the mainstream media is all about, note particularly the recent feeding frenzy over the Covington school incident at the Lincoln Memorial. Catholic racist white boys vs. elderly Native American war hero was how the story was framed all over the mainstream media before it became clear that the entire chosen narrative was upside down. Only a couple of news outlets bothered to apologize when the truth became known.
NewsGuard claims to have a staff of 50 that evaluates 2,000 websites in something like real time. How exactly it does that is not clear, but The New York Times repeats company claims that “the sites it rates account for 96% of online news and information engagement in the U.S.” NewsGuard also told The Times that it intends to quadruple its vetting of sites and seeks to make its coverage “ubiquitous.”
Make no mistake, NewsGuard is a neoconservative contrivance which promotes an establishment view of what is true and what is false. Its co-founder Gordon Crovitz is an ex-editor of The Wall Street Journal, who has enthused over the project, saying that it is “a milestone in the fight to bring consumers the information they need to counter false information, misinformation and disinformation online.” Crovitz has also been associated with the leading neocon foundation The American Enterprise Institute while the NewsGuard advisory board includes Tom Ridge, who was head of the Department of Homeland Security under George W. Bush, and Michael Hayden, who directed both the CIA and NSA. It is as government-establishment in orientation as it is possible to be.
In a sense seeking to establish “accuracy” in news reporting is nothing new as the social media, to include Facebook and Twitter, have had that objective for some time, but NewsGuard defines itself as having as its target the screening of the entire media in a politically impartial fashion, as “an information resource.” And the real danger is that it will soon be appearing on your computer or phone whether you want it there or not. It is already installed on local library computers in Hawaii and Ohio and is working with university and even high school libraries to include its software on all public computers. Worse still, NewsGuard is in partnership with Microsoft as part of the latter’s Defending Democracy Program. Microsoft currently has NewsGuard on its Edge browser and it intends to install the tool on its Microsoft 10 operating system as a built-in feature. Microsoft 10 is the standard operating system on nearly all computers sold in the United States.
When you go to a news site NewsGuard has a little shield that pops up in the corner of your screen that will tell you whether that site is a reliable source or not. A green tag displays for approved and red for not compliant. Similarly, if you do a search the responses that come up will feature a green or red shield as part of the results. The site for NBC news shows green, approved, with the heading “this website generally maintains basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” It then uses what it calls a “nutrition label” to break down the nine specific areas that were assessed, each of which also receives and individual green check for NBC. Under “Credibility” appears “Does not repeatedly publish false content; Gathers and presents information responsibly; Regularly corrects or clarifies errors; Handles the difference between news and opinion responsibly; and Avoids deceptive headlines.” Under “Accountability” appears “Website discloses ownership and financing; Clearly labels advertising; Reveals who’s in charge including any possible conflict of interest; and The site provides names of any content creators along with either contact or biographical information.”
The first thing one might observe about the system is that it is designed to favor large, well-funded establishment news sources that are staffed to go through the motions of fact checks and corrections. All of the major news networks are approved, including Fox, MSNBC and CNN, all of which editorialize heavily, almost constantly, in their news coverage. Voice of America, which is a U.S. government propaganda instrument by design, also is approved. NewsGuard also has approved all major newspapers to include The New York Times, which frequently gets the story wrong, and The Washington Post, where news stories are nearly indistinguishable from editorials through the use of evocative headlines and slanted narrative. All the U.S. media currently leadoff, for example, with stories about Russia that include the assertion that the Kremlin interfered in the 2016 election, a claim that has yet to be confirmed through actual evidence.
Russian media operating in the U.S. including RT America and Sputnik get red ratings with a warning “Proceed with caution: this website fails to basic standards of accuracy and accountability.” RT is apparently guilty of “repeatedly publishing false content,” “not gather[ing] and publish[ing] information responsibly,” “not handl[ing] the difference between news and opinion responsibly” and “not provid[ing] the names of creators.” Al-Jazeera, another news service that often criticizes the United States and its governmental policies also is rated red, suggesting that the true criterion for rejection by NewsGuard is one’s relationship to the official establishment and globalist/interventionist line being promoted by the United States.
A glaring example of NewsGuard’s political bias relates to BuzzFeed, which is an approved site. The Washington Post reported recently how a BuzzFeed story about Michael Cohen and President Trump claimed that the president had directed his lawyer to lie to Congress regarding a proposed office tower project in Moscow, which would have been both a crime and impeachable.  A day later Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office intervened and described the story as untrueThe New York Times ran the first story on page one but the retraction that followed appeared on page 11.
And it was not the first major bit of fake news for BuzzFeed. The same two journalists had previously reported that Russia had financed the 2016 election.
CNN, another NewsGuard green authority, inevitably bemoaned possible consequences arising from the Cohen-Trump story by complaining that it would be used to justify “bad stereotypes about the news media,” had its own Russiagate misstep when it falsely claimed that Donald Trump Jr had had access to WikiLeaks’ DNC emails before their 2016 publication.
The BBC, yet another reliable source approved by NewsGuard, reported back in September that the U.S. government had evidence that the Syrian “regime” was continuing to develop chemical weapons. It added an assessment from the completely befuddled U.S. envoy for Syria James Jeffrey that “President Assad had ‘no future as a ruler’ in Syria…Right now [the Syrian government] is a cadaver sitting in rubble with just half the territory of Syria under regime control on a good day."
The fact is that Jeffrey was completely wrong about developments in Syria, where the government had been extremely successful in re-asserting control over nearly all of the country, while the claims of chemical weapons use have been rebutted many times, including by actual witnesses and journalists on the ground during the alleged attack at Douma in April.
Reuters news agency, yet another NewsGuard green light, is also into the game. In November 2013 it published an article, part of a series, entitled “Khamenei controls massive financial empire based on property seizures,” which claimed that an Iranian government charitable foundation called Setad (also known as EIKO) actually exists to take control of property for the use of the government’s religious leadership.
subsequent news report that appeared in January in the alternative media revealed that the investigative journalists who wrote the story did so from Dubai, London and New York and never visited the properties they identified, in most cases completely misrepresenting what could be seen on the ground.
Robert Fontina of Counterpunch has also rejected the depiction of Setad as anything but a charitable foundation. The truth is that Setad engages in major social projects, including rural poverty alleviation, empowering women, home and school building, and provision of healthcare. Fontina observes that American sanctions against it and similar entities hit ordinary Iranians’ lives by producing food insecurity while also restricting the supplies of needed medications. Ahmad Noroozi of the Barakat Foundation claims that numerous Iranians have already been affected by U.S.-initiated sanctions directed against his country, restricting access to cancer treatments and other pharmaceuticals.
So who gets the endorsement from NewsGuard? Those who toe the line on U.S. policy and the establishment globalist/interventionist agenda. It would be interesting to know what NewsGuard’s staff of analysts is really looking for when it researches a site or media outlet. As the examples cited above demonstrate, NewsGuard has nothing to do with taking pains to report the news accurately, nor is there any evidence of real accountability. It is all about who pays the bills and who is in charge. They give the orders and one either falls in line or goes out the door. That is the reality of today’s mainstream media.

The Covington Hoax and the Big Con’s Virtue-Whoring - By Jack Kerwick

The only people who can any longer deny with a straight face the reality and pervasiveness of Fake News are fake journalists and their fellow travelers in the Democratic Party.
Actually, there’s in addition a third group of people whose members will, when the opportunity to virtue-signal to leftist elites presents itself, indignantly deny that much of the contemporary world of journalism is Fake News. In fact, this group of “conservatives” will even go so far as to indulge and promote the fakery.
The recent case of the Covington Catholic school boys is illustrative in a number of ways.
As everyone now knows, over a week ago a highly edited video surfaced that was doctored in such a way as to suggest that a group of MAGA hat-wearing teenage white boys, who came to the nation’s capital for the March for Life, went out of their way to harass an elderly American Indian and Vietnam War veteran.
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The online mob formed quickly.  Its readiness to issue categorical denunciations of the teens was matched only by its readiness to call for violence, including homicidal violence, against them.
And the mob was bipartisan.
That’s correct: The usual suspects among Big Conservatism, or “the Big Con,” for short—those who spare no occasion to exhibit to the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, Washington Post, etc. their outrage over President Trump’s tweets—were sure to let the world know that their outrage over this matter was second to none.
Obviously, so-called “Never Trumpers,” the Kristols and Podhoretzes, were all too anxious to relegate themselves even further to the nether reaches of irrelevance by showcasing their moral righteousness to their allies on the left.  Yet other “conservatives,” those like Ben Shapiro and Salem Broadcasting’s Hugh Hewitt, who selectively support President Trump, depending on the day, also spared not a moment in piling upon the Covington kids.
So too did such prominent “conservative” Roman Catholic public intellectuals, such as Princeton University’s Robert P. George, pounce.
The most disgraceful, the most sickening, display of moral exhibitionism, however, came from National Review.  The latter’s deputy managing editor, Nick Frankovich, likened the American Indian activist who aspired—and failed—to antagonize the Covington boys to Christ while equating their conduct toward him with that of the Roman soldiers who executed Him.
The boys may as well have spat upon the Lord’s cross, Frankovich insisted.
You read this correctly.
My friend, the writer Christopher DeGroot, recently coined the term “moral prostitutes”while characterizing the Big Con. This is an apt description: The men and women of Big Conservatism have gone beyond virtue-signaling in the case of the Covington Catholic boys.
They engaged virtue-whoring.
The virtue-whores of the Big Con began whistling a different tune, though, not long after they turned tricks for their leftist pimps.  Had they only waited the additional so many hours before the unedited version of events was released—the version that they should’ve known would be released—they wouldn’t have had to be seen for the caricatures of themselves that they’ve become (or have always been?).
Unsurprisingly, as it turns out, the Covington Catholic students aggressed against no one. It is they who were accosted by Nathan Phillips, the left-wing Indian activist who, along with the Democrats in the media, sought to convey the false impression that he was a Vietnam War veteran.
It was the white, MAGA hat-wearing Catholic kids who traveled from Kentucky to Washington D.C. to affirm the cause of the unborn who were made to suffer verbal abuse both by Phillips’ fellow American Indians and the “Black Hebrew Israelite” men who approached them.
The unedited video of these encounters reveals to all with eyes to see that of these three groups assembled not far from the Lincoln Memorial, it was the white, pro-life, Christian, Trump-supporting adolescents who acted like the adults in the room. Conversely, the grown men of color who they were accused of having harassed were the ones who conducted themselves like teenage punks.
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This was the proverbial textbook illustration of Fake News at its absolute best (or worst).  Rich Lowry and his colleagues at National Review were subsequently quick to do an about face in deleting their condemnatory tweets and Frankovich’s article likening the Covington kids to Christ-killers.  Neither did the current custodians of Bill Buckley’s magazine waste any time in calling out “the media” for having “bought” Nathan Phillips’ dishonesty.
They were not, though, in much of a rush to acknowledge the ease with which they bought both Phillips’ lies and those of the media.
The Covington students, both those who were involved in this incident as well as their peers who didn’t attend the March for Life, have had their lives irrevocably changed. They have been on the receiving end of a relentless barrage of vitriol, including threats of murderous violence against them and their families.  Nick Sandman’s is now a national household name of notoriety, thanks to the Fake News industry.
But the virtue-whores of the Big Con contributed to the plight of these poor kids as well.
Everyone makes mistakes, of course. Yet the idea that those “conservatives” who joined the feeding frenzy made an honest mistake strains credibility to the snapping point.  Given that they are pundits who have been around, in many cases, for decades, they are either lying when they purport to have been misled by the leftist press or they are incompetent with respect to their craft.
How can anyone who is so much as remotely familiar with the standard operating procedure of the “mainstream” media ever have been even tempted to believe the Covington story, to say nothing of actually believing it?!
As soon as I heard about it (through a leftist colleague), I was convinced that it was Fake News, a media concoction that was tailor-made to advance the left’s current ideology of choice, an ideology that is anti-white, specifically anti-white male, anti-Christian, and anti-Trump.  Given the left’s perpetual quest to find the great White Oppressor, and the endless number of hoax “hate-crimes” that it has invented to that end, how can anyone, or at least any self-proclaimed conservative pundit, not be skeptical when informed that these students sought to start trouble with a bunch of black and Indian adults?  Among other tips that this was Fake News is the fact that adolescents who attend pro-life rallies tend not to go roaming the streets of the nation’s capital looking to start fights with racial minorities (or anyone).

Whether this most embarrassing of episodes of virtue-whoring will prove to be a watershed moment of sorts for the Big Con is left to be seen.  Peoples’ lives, children’s lives, have been made significantly worse in part because certain self-styled conservatives couldn’t resist their impulse to prove to the folks at CNN, MSNBC, and The New York Times that they aren’t “racists.”
Peoples’ lives, children’s lives, innocent children’s lives, are now in jeopardy because self-proclaimed conservatives wanted to showcase to the left just how good they are.
In truth, their efforts to join the vicious mob that targeted the Covington kids reveal that they aren’t very good at all.
Jack Kerwick [send him mail] received his doctoral degree in philosophy from Temple University. His area of specialization is ethics and political philosophy. He is a professor of philosophy at several colleges and universities in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Jack blogs at At the Intersection of Faith & Culture.