You are browsing the archive for 2017 December 16.

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O’Reilly Accuser: Time Bomb of Info on Sex Harasser Executives in ‘Highest Positions’ at Fox News Is Counting Down

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By David Ferguson, Raw Story

Fox News has paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements related to O’Reilly alone.


“Tick tock, tick tock,” wrote conservative commentator and Bill O’Reilly sexual harassment accuser Juliet Huddy on Saturday. “Executives who not only covered up for sexual harassers/predators (statements by 21st Century Fox co-chairman Rupert Murdoch, who said on Friday that the sexual harassment and abuse scandal at his network is merely “nonsense,” and that it’s a “political” attack on the network “because we’re conservative.”

LawAndCrime.com said that in a post that she deleted from Facebook, but then posted on Twitter, Huddy wrote, “Rupert Murdoch is not just a media mogul. He’s a perpetrator, complicit in wrecking careers of hardworking, talented people while protecting their tormentors.”

She continued, “The more we shame disgraceful executives like Murdoch, the faster we send the message that sexual harassment will not be tolerated.”

In a statement to Law and Crime, Huddy said, “It’s ironic that O’Reilly, Murdoch and others have suggested that I, along with the other accusers, are part of some left wing conspiracy. [One], I’m fiscally conservative and socially liberal so let’s just get that out of the way. [And two], based on everything I have seen and has been reported, the participants in this, The Grand Conspiracy, are the executives at Fox.”

She said that Murdoch himself is not accused of harassing women, but that he was instrumental in covering up and burying stories about O’Reilly, former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes and others.

Huddy is one of multiple women to whom Fox News has paid out tens of millions of dollars in settlements related to O’Reilly alone. A parade of other women have come forward with accusations of harassment, sexualized bullying and a “locker room” culture at the network.

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Source: ALTERNET

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NY Times Frets About Russian Propaganda, Ignores the Massive Troll Farms Run By America and Its Allies

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By Adam Johnson, FAIR

Social media manipulation is a major problem in urgent need of robust discussion


An op-ed by the president of the right-wing human rights group Freedom House, published in the New York Times Monday (12/11/17)—later boosted by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker—warned of the menace of “commentators, trolls, bots, false news sites and propaganda,” and their negative effects on democracy. Missing from its analysis was any account of how the government that funds their organization—86 percent of Freedom House’s budget comes from the US government, primarily the State Department and USAID—uses social media to stir unrest and undermine governments worldwide.

What the reader was left with was a very selective, curated impression that online social media manipulation is something done exclusively by brown and black people and those dastardly Slavs. The column condemns “surreptitious techniques pioneered in Moscow and Beijing to use the internet to drown out dissent and undermine free elections,” going on to cite online skullduggery in the Philippines, Kenya, Turkey, Mexico and Iran.

Missing from the piece by Freedom House’s Michael Abramowitz is any mention—much less discussion—of numerous reports detailing online manipulation by US and allied governments and Western PR firms.

No mention of the Defense Department’s $100 million program Operation Earnest Voice software that “creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propaganda.” No mention of the US Air Force’s 2010 solicitation of “persona management” software designed to create hundreds of sock puppets, “replete with background, history, supporting details and cyber presences that are technically, culturally and geographically consistent.” No mention of USAID (the same government agency, incidentally, that funds Freedom House) secretly creating an entire social media platform to “stir unrest” in Cuba. No mention of the US State Department’s newly-created $160 million Global Engagement Center, targeting English-language audiences with unattributed Facebookvideos combating, in part, “Russia propaganda.”

Nor was there mention of the UK’s “team of Facebook warriors,” “skilled in psychological operations and use of social media to engage in unconventional warfare in the information age.” Or reference to the half-dozen reports of Israeli troll farms promoting pro-Israel propaganda online.

Though the op-ed had a particular focus on “governing parties” using covert online tools to “inflate their popular …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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Unbelievable: Trump's 7 Banned Words

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By Harriet Sinclair, Newsweek

The forbidden words include “vulnerable,” “diversity,” and “science-based.”



Donald Trump’s administration has reportedly banned the Center for Disease Control from using seven words and phrases, including “science-based” and “transgender,” in documents it is working on for next year's budget. Read the rest of this entry →

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Watch: Former Navy Officers Tell NY Times They Had a UFO Encounter in 2004

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By Tom Boggioni, Raw Story

A video from the Department of Defense shows the encounter with the strange object.


In an interview with the New York Timestwo former US Naval pilots described an encounter with what they believed to be a UFO during an exercise in 2004 that left one pilot saying he “felt weirded out” right after.

According to Cmdr. David Fravor and Lt. Cmdr. Jim Slaight, they were 100 miles out into the Pacific  when they were hailed by radio by an operations officer aboard the U.S.S. Princeton wanting  to know if they were carrying weapons.

The two men recall that they were told, “Well, we’ve got a real-world vector for you,” with the radio operator informing them that the Princeton had been tracking a mysterious aircraft which appeared suddenly at 80,000 feet, before plummeting towards the sea and hovering at  20,000 feet.

Asked to investigate the pilots searched for the object, finding it and describing it as “an aircraft of some kind — whitish — that was around 40 feet long and oval in shape. The craft was jumping around erratically, staying over the wave disturbance but not moving in any specific direction,” according to Fravor.

Fravor stated that, as he approached the object, “It accelerated like nothing I’ve ever seen,” adding he was “pretty weirded out.”

The two pilots had other encounter with the object before it once again pulled away.

Fravor recalled that he told another pilot about the encounter, explaining to him, “I have no idea what I saw. It had no plumes, wings or rotors and outran our F-18s,” before adding: “I want to fly one.”

You can read the whole interview here

Video below provided U.S. Department of Defense:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Will Cryptocurrencies Pass the Market Test?

December 16, 2017 in Economics

By Frank Shostak

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By: Frank Shostak

On Friday December 8, 2017, the price of bitcoin closed at $15,206– an increase of 28.3% from November. The yearly growth rate stood at 1,474%.

Many economists and financial commentators hold that in the unregulated market of the internet economy, bitcoin is likely to emerge as a new form of money that is going to bypass the central-bank supervision.

Bitcoin, the invention of a person, or group of people, using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, was launched on January 3, 2009.

The basic idea behind bitcoin is to create, by means of a mathematical algorithm, a substance that is scarce and fungible.

Nakamoto devised a software system that enables people to obtain bitcoins as a reward for solving complex mathematical puzzles. The resulting coins are then used for online trading. Nakamoto also arranged that the number of bitcoins can never exceed 21 million.

Some experts maintain that bitcoin will displace the existing fiat money and will usher in a new era of free banking, which will finally put to rest the menace of inflation.

To establish whether bitcoin is likely to become a new general medium of exchange (i.e. money), let us first see how money comes about. The distinguishing characteristic of money is that it is the general medium of exchange, evolved from the most marketable commodity. On this Mises wrote,

There would be an inevitable tendency for the less marketable of the series of goods used as media of exchange to be one by one rejected until at last only a single commodity remained, which was universally employed as a medium of exchange; in a word, money.

Money is the thing for which all other goods and services are traded. Furthermore, money must emerge as a commodity. An object cannot be used as money unless it already possesses an objective exchange value based on some other use. The object must have a pre-existing price for it to be accepted as money.

Why? Demand for a good arises from its perceived benefit. For instance people demand food because of the nourishment it offers. With regard to money, people demand it not for direct use in consumption, but in order to exchange it for other goods and services. Money is not useful in itself, but because it has an exchange value, it is exchangeable in terms of other goods and services.

The benefit money offers is its purchasing power, i.e. its price in terms of …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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Pharmaceutical Company Billionaire and Wife Found Dead in 'Suspicious' Circumstances

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By Pritha Paul, International Business Times

Bodies of Barry Sherman, the founder of Canadian firm Apotex, and his wife Honey were found in their Toronto mansion.



The founder and chairman of Apotex, Bernard Sherman, and his wife Honey were found dead inside their North York mansion, in Toronto, Canada, on Friday. The couple recently put up their home up … Read the rest of this entry →

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Ex-CIA Director Warns 'Inaccurate, Unprofessional' Fox News Against Its 'Conspiratorial Hit Job' on Robert Mueller and the FBI

December 16, 2017 in Blogs

By Noor Al-Sibai, Raw Story

The network has attempted to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller and undermine his Russia investigation.


Ambassador James Woolsey, a former CIA director under President Bill Clinton, has put Fox and their host Lou Dobbs “on notice” amid the network’s continued attempts to discredit special counsel Robert Mueller and undermine his Russia investigation.

In a statement provided to Raw Story, Woolsey’s representative Jonathan Franks said the former CIA director is “extremely disappointed” in Dobbs, Fox Business and Fox News “over this inaccurate, unprofessional [and] conspiratorial hit job.”

“We’ve placed Fox on notice,” Franks added.

He referenced a Friday night Fox News clip in which commentator Christopher Bedford, editor-in-chief of the conservative Daily Caller website, said the special counsel lacks integrity and his probe has been “hopelessly compromised.”

Dobbs then said that he finds it “stunning that [Deputy Attorney General] Rob Rosenstein doesn’t find any need for any concern whatsoever, and even as his entire department has been ripped asunder by so many conflicts of interest.”

Ambassador Woolsey resigned from Trump’s transition team on January 5, 2017 amid tensions between the two stemming from the then-president-elect’s increasingly critical rhetoric about the intelligence community. He was subsequently interviewed in late October by Mueller regarding his knowledge of Trump’s former aide Mike Flynn, who Woolsey knew through sitting on the board of the latter’s lobbying firm. A month later, Woolsey was seen dining with the president at Mar-A-Lago.

Watch the Fox News clip that the former CIA director calls a “conspiratorial hit job” on Mueller below.

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Source: ALTERNET

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Whether it's Baking or Dating, Consent Matters

December 16, 2017 in Economics

By Thomas Eckert

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By: Thomas Eckert

This week, the Supreme Court heard the first arguments regarding Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, and as you can imagine, people immediately took to social media in order to voice their opinion on the matter. And if you pay attention to pop-culture and the mainstream news, you’ll find that the majority of those opinions ultimately end up asking “Why not just bake the cake?” After all, how could you favor discrimination if you aren’t racist or prejudiced, right?

Actually, no. As you’ll see, it’s quite the opposite.

While it’s understandable for first impressions to fall prey to the idea that because it involves a gay couple against a business, the natural response should be to back the couple against injustice. This case is not about gay rights, though. Nor is it about freedom of speech or religion, despite what you may hear on the news. This case is about property rights, pure and simple.

Let’s start with the idea of self-ownership, as most people can agree on that sentiment, and it’s not a new concept. Property in the Lockean sense, where you own yourself and, therefore, that which you mix your labor with, dates back centuries. We acknowledge that as the rightful owner, you may choose what to do with your property as well.

The most obvious example is in the selection of a sex partner, romantic partner, or marriage partner. In the case of women especially, we emphasize — rightly — that consent is critical in these matters if we are to respect a person's ownership of her own body.

What one does with one's body matters outside of romantic relationships also. Consent must be required for those activities as well.

But what exactly is consent?

The answer seems obvious enough, consent involves giving permission for something. But what is often overlooked, and pertinent in this case, is the question of where consent draws its value. The answer is in the capacity to withdraw it. For example, the consent a woman gives to an intimate partner has value precisely because she could’ve said no. This distinction is highlighted in cases involving alcohol, where we often point to the fact that the woman “couldn’t consent.” Which most people wrongfully conclude to only mean she couldn’t say yes, instead of also realizing the importance her inability to say no plays as well. Likewise, the idea of labor is no …read more

Source: MISES INSTITUTE

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For History to Be Written, It Has to Be Made

December 16, 2017 in History

By Cody Keenan

A statue of a defiant girl facing the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of New York. (Credit: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In a year exhausted by one of the more frenetic news agendas in memory, an easily overlooked development has been the re-emergence of patient, persistent civic engagement and activism.

The massive marches that rang in the new year dispersed, but we didn’t go home. We packed airports to thwart a travel ban, and jammed phone lines to protect people’s health insurance. We stood up to bigots with torches, and stood up for young immigrants facing deportation to countries they don’t even know. We, the people, grabbed clipboards and started running for office in numbers never seen—not merely to resist something, but to reach for something better.

There’s a fundamentally optimistic proposition at the core of this activism. It’s the idea that while our past may be immutable and our politics unpredictable, our destiny is neither of these things. It’s the idea that the long arc of history is something we have the power to shape.

The question for 2018 and beyond is whether or not this activism will be sustained. Progress is often slow and unsatisfying, and we’re conditioned to expect our information and our gratification right away. Alerts crowd our home screens, and a storm of social media lurks just beyond—torrents of argument without mission, and finger-pointing without direction. Every setback risks disappointment, the sting of heckles from a cynical choir, and worst of all, the creeping doubt that maybe one’s efforts don’t matter, and aren’t worth it.

The trick is to think of progress—the act of bending history for the better—the same way a politician from my home state of Illinois once challenged us to think of patriotism: “not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.”

A statue of a defiant girl facing the Charging Bull sculpture in the Financial District of New York. (Credit: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

In my ten years as a speechwriter for Barack Obama, I’ve been fortunate to experience a few moments when it really did feel like the present gave way to the swirl of history. An electric evening in Grant Park when a young president-elect who looked like no other took the stage. A spontaneous assembly on Pennsylvania Avenue when word spread that the murderous boogeyman behind 9/11 was no more. A joyous June morning when the Supreme Court ruled that all marriage is equal.

They were moments when it really did feel like the present surrendered …read more

Source: HISTORY