Category: CITIZEN TOOLS

New report reveals Assange under 24/7 surveillance in Ecuadoran embassy

ERIC LONDON—The report reveals that Ecuador substantially heightened its efforts to spy on Assange, subjecting him to 24/7 surveillance “between April 2017 and the end of February 2018 in his London refuge, according to unsigned intelligence reports of the Ecuadoran government labeled ‘confidential.’” In March, Ecuador cut Assange’s access to the Internet and telephone, effectively blocking him from communicating with the outside world.

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BOOK REVIEW—American Values: Lessons I Learned from My Family by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

ED CURTIN—For whatever their reasons, for fifty plus years the Kennedy family has kept silent on these matters.  Now Senator Robert Kennedy’s namesake has picked up his father’s mantle and dared to tell truths that take courage to utter.  By excoriating the secret forces that seized power, first with the murder of his Uncle Jack when he was a child, and then his father, he has exhibited great moral courage and made great enemies who wish to ignore his words as if they were never uttered.  But they have.  They sit between the covers of this outstanding and important book, a book written with wit and eloquence, a book that should be read by any American who wants to know what has happened to their country.

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Nationalizing the Banks is a Popular Demand, So Let’s Demand It

GLEN FORD—And, in fact, hatred of the banks is damn near universal, in that it is pervasive among all groups in society, including even many upper income whites. Rightwing libertarian Republicans, who actually do have representation in Congress, hate the bankers, who occupy an especially evil place in their worldview. I don’t pretend to understand that rightwing libertarian worldview, but they are vehement in their hatred of the bankers. I suspect that anti-Semitism has something to do with it — that they think these bankers are mostly Jewish. But, for their own reasons, they hate the banks. The hatred of bankers is near-universal in the United States.

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Shangri-La Arms Race: Or Follow the Money

DAN STEINBOCK—What the Shangri-La Summit illustrated (and seeks to reverse) are the new economic and strategic realities in Asia, as reflected by vital, longstanding shifts in arms transfers in the region. While the U.S. defense system remains the most innovative in the world, U.S. global military leadership continues to erode. This is particularly clear in Asia where China increasingly accounts for investment and jobs in many economies (which tends to support regional stability), but the U.S. no longer doesn’t. Instead, and as a result, America’s role relies less on its now-waning economic dominance and increasingly on its military presence, which is legitimized on the basis of the alleged “Chinese threat” (which tends to destabilize regional stability).

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Peace is a cliché: When the West cannot control the world unopposed it means war

ANDRE VLTCHEK—he West likes to think of itself as a truly “peace-loving part of the world”. But is it? You hear it everywhere, from Europe to North America, then to Australia, and back to Europe: “Peace, peace, peace!” It has become a cliché, a catchphrase, a recipe to get funding and sympathy and support. You say peace and you really cannot go wrong. It means that you are a compassionate and reasonable human being.

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The Lebanese style of democracy of no winners or losers

GHASSAN KADI—The irony here is that even though the outcome of the “War on Syria” was reflected in the outcome of the recent 6th of May 2018 Lebanese elections, and even though the Saudi cohorts in Lebanon have lost many seats and were considered to be “losers”, Lebanese President Aoun, who is pro-Syria, has appointed current Prime Minister, pro-Saudi, Hariri to form the new government. This is democracy Lebanese style. At its best, democracy can stink, especially Western Democracy that turns the whole freedom of choice into a charade of two parties dictating who they choose as leader.

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