Common Grounds

Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!

March 21, 2024


Democracy in Free Style



The Hague, The Netherlands 22 March 2024 | If you know of any story that is decisive, tell the world. We're still searching.





The naive view from the past is that any news media company would oppose all government censorship.


Our Friday News Analysis | What the World Reads Now!

The New York Times headquarters in New York on Dec. 7, 2009. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)


By Jeffrey A. Tucker

Epoch Times
19 March 2024


We are learning so much about how the world works, aren’t we?


For example, the naive view from the past is that any news media company would oppose all government censorship. During most of my adult life, everyone knew this. There was no question that free speech and the First Amendment were core doctrines of American civic belief. This is partly because the media is the watchdog, holding the feet of the powerful to the fire of truth.


I never imagined that major organs of U.S. news production, such as The Washington Post and the New York Times (NYT), would defend press censorship.


And yet here we are. Over the weekend, the NYT ran a colossal hit piece on everyone who has doubted the Biden administration’s push to generally censor counter-regime narratives on social media and media platforms.


Delightfully, the targets refused to speak to the reporters. That left the writers to push their pro-censorship line without the victims' assistance. Their ability to scare people into defending themselves and then discover that they are later misquoted is going away. It’s a far better idea simply to ignore the calls and notes.


That’s what journalist Mike Benz did. Benz was the main target of the article. He ignored the many reporters for weeks. When the expected gibberish came out in the paper, Benz looked briefly and then forgot about it. Later that night, he remembered and then had to laugh. The NYT just did a front-page story attacking him, making no difference in his life.


Overall and remarkably, the piece frames the demand for free speech as a Trump issue that good people should oppose.


At issue here is what’s come to be known as the Censorship Industrial Complex, involving dozens of federal agencies (led by intelligence agencies), many adjacent nonprofits, university centers, plus embedded employees within major social media companies. Together, they have worked to suppress all discussion of news that could diminish the credibility of Biden's priorities.


With thousands of pages of evidence concerning this machinery, there is no longer a question that it exists. But instead of defending the right of private companies to manage their business according to their lights, the NYT has tribalized the conflict. It attributes the demand for free speech to conspiracy theorists, Trump-loyal agitators, election deniers, and misinformation spreaders generally. In other words, the NYT signals its readership that polite society is all for censorship.


In the litigation against the censorship machinery, we can note the absence of, for example, the American Civil Liberties Union or any other traditional free-speech organization. In briefs filed with court cases, we can also observe the presence of universities and most blue-state governments. Big Media is decisively on the side of restriction.


Notable, isn’t it? The NYT, which sued the government to release the Pentagon Papers, now pushes for government power to restrict speech!


Why would this be so? Why are these major venues that once bestrode the public culture as goliaths suddenly favoring controls on speech?


The answer comes down to industrial dynamics and competition. We live in exciting times when new media replace legacy media. The Epoch Times is ascending in the readership ranks. Substack is essential for being informed. Elon Musk’s X, a new iteration of Twitter, is the world's top social media and news source.


Where does that leave legacy media? You can tell by watching their internal decision-making. The NYT bought Wordle, the enormously popular puzzle application, and offers it free with registration. They use that to send marketing emails for paid subscriptions. Their content increasingly emphasizes music, recipes, and movie reviews, with pro-regime propaganda tacked on. This is their strategy.


Other legacy media outfits are doing the same.


What do big businesses finally do in industrial history when faced with threatening competition from upstarts? They turn to the government for help. They attempt to restrict and regulate the competitive landscape. They join a league with the state to bolster their industrial standing and profits.


In the case of the media, that means turning to censorship in league with the government. They are pushing this as a tactic to beat the competition. It might be their only way out of the meltdown happening across the board, especially in legacy newspapers and media.


At this point, we have vast evidence that a free market in ideas favors uncensored venues. Look at what happened to Mark Zuckerberg’s “Threads.” It was deployed as a competitor to X and released to great fanfare. It was advertised as a disinformation-free space, that is, one that is censored in cooperation with government authorities.


To bolster signups, the company Meta even pillaged its Instagram platform to get people to sign up. As a result, not only did “Threads” fail within weeks of release, but Instagram also began to lose many users! This might have been the crucial event that made these legacy venues realize that censorship was their only hope for industrial advantage.


So, in this case, censorship is not only a way for the government to curate the public mind with its cognitive priorities. It is also a means by which a market-dominated business smashes the competition by eliminating its competitive advantages. In this way, censorship can be seen as a form of regulatory capture: big media use the government to shore up its market share.


Fascinating, isn’t it? It’s certainly not something I would have expected. But that is precisely what is happening. There’s no question that the government leaned on social media companies to censor, but that’s not the entire story. There is also a willingness to be coerced if, in exchange for that, the government can crack down on the truth-telling alternative.


This is legacy versus upstarts, with legacy deploying power against the free-speech alternative. Once again, you would only know or understand this by following the money trails.


Another factor is legacy media’s long relationship with government administrative agencies as a sources of protection. They work together and are happy to cooperate in upending new media writers and institutions.


When you look at the problem this way, you can better understand the whole history of censorship. During the century or so period of religious upheaval in Britain, with the crown changing church loyalties depending on the attachments of the monarch, the power of copyright was deployed as a censorship tool. Far from fighting this, the leading publishers at the time welcomed copyright to bolster their industrial cartel and upbraid their smaller competitors trying to publish but found their work seditious.


This is the real issue behind the centuries-long struggle for free speech. It is often about big versus small, powerful versus marginal, established versus disruptive, well-connected versus independent. The old establishment is fighting against freedom, and small and independent media sources are fighting for it. The Founding Fathers gave us a First Amendment to stop these industrial struggles. It’s the only path to true peace and freedom.


Jeffrey A. Tucker is the founder and president of the Brownstone Institute and the author of thousands of articles in the scholarly and popular press and ten books in five languages, most recently “Liberty or Lockdown.” He is also the editor of The Best of Mises. He writes a daily column on economics for The Epoch Times and speaks widely on economics, technology, social philosophy, and culture.



What is the Side of the Story that is Not Yet Decisive? Edited by Abraham A. van Kempen.





Israel could choose to destroy its enemies by becoming friends or continue its policy of an eye for 2,000 eyes – meaning Israel has 20,000 more deaths to go. They must execute 50,000 Gazans. Israelis are split apart, and the world is enraged. Destroying one’s enemies by becoming friends is too Judaic, too Christian, and too Islam. Modern Israel defiles the precepts of our Abrahamic Faiths. They’re walking on the paths of their ancestors, shooting both their feet until soon there won’t be any feet left.


Call the beast by its name!


In Israel, we’re dealing with Israelism, veiled as ‘Revised Zionism (1923)’ by its founder, Zev Jabotinski.


The chief mission of Israelism 13 was to give birth to the New Jew to “glorify physical strength” and strive toward “the will to power”– the notion that, as Nietzsche put it, “life itself is essentially a process of appropriating, injuring, overpowering the alien and the weaker …”


The New Jew’s code of ethics would follow a simple formula:


               “Everything that serves the building of the Jewish state is good. Everything that damages the construction of the Jewish state is bad …”


The New Jew would wage war against socialists and communists and be “prepared to use all means to stop them, not excluding physical force.”


He proudly declares that “the democratic-liberal idea is not holy to us. If the realization of democratic thinking can lead to destroying the ideal of the Jewish state, we can also be anti-democratic.”14


               Israelism is NOT Zionism.

               Israelism is NOT Judaism.
               Nothing is more antisemitic than Israelism.


In short, Israelism is colonialism, about lebensraum: attacking, invading, expelling, and displacing the indigenous people from their lands and keeping their possessions as confiscated spoils of war. It is an either-or proposition, them or us, by force or not at all.


Treat the other as inhuman. In a few words: 1) create an exclusive community (Kampf), a state for Jews only, by 2) deploying brute force without considering the consequences of the other; by 3) unconscionably dispossessing ‘them' from the land with no hope to ever return with neither compromise, concession or conciliation; 4) them or us; 5) the end justifies the means.


This perversion and aberration, this depraved, distorted, and deviant ideology, can never have a happy ending. Ask Nazi Germany!


We Fight; Therefore, We Are …


And then there were ennobled mobsters like Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir. Years later, both became prime ministers of Israel. Menachem Begin, a disciple of Zev Jabotinsky, started as the leader of ruffians, the Irgun. Yitzhak Shamir became one of three leaders of the notorious Stern Gang.


Begin’s Irgun set Palestine on fire with their “revolt against the occupying Power,” the British. Without British benevolent declarations, fostering Jewish immigration into Arab Palestine, the Irgun revolt could have backfired. Haganah soon became the official ‘legal’ army of the coming state of Israel. Irgun was the ‘dissident’ branch of the military that generally did the dirty work for and with Haganah. Haganah sometimes screamed bloody murder, pretending moral indignation against the too-flagrant murderous deeds of Irgun.


Menachem Begin, writing in ‘The Revolt the Story of the Irgun (1951),’ states unequivocally:


               “We fight; therefore, we are.


               Out of blood, fire, tears, and ashes, a new specimen of a human being was born, a specimen entirely unknown to the world for over eighteen hundred years, the fighting Jew!


               “First and foremost, we must take the offensive.


               We attack the murderers.


               A generation shall be raised proud, generous, and strong with blood and sweat.”


Irgun came out openly in 1944, while World War II was still at its fiercest, to ‘liberate the Fatherland’ from the British-mandated ‘occupying Power.' Ironically, in 1918, when the British forces took over Palestine, 56,000 Jews, mostly Orthodox Jews, were living peacefully with their Palestinian neighbors. In 1939, when World War II broke out, there were 445,457 Jews in Palestine, principally as a result of the exodus to Palestine of German Jews. In 1946, one year after World War II ended, there were 528,702 Jews in Palestine, and in 1948 there were 660,000.


Before 1931, when German Jews began to pour into Palestine, the indigenous Palestinians could have overpowered the Jews by throwing them all out into the Mediterranean Sea. They didn’t. At the time, many Palestinians felt a kinship to their ‘cousins,’ the Jews. Besides, the British protected all parties from becoming dangerous to themselves and each other. 31


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2019 2nd Edition (Kindle Locations 2164-2194).


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2019 2nd Edition (Kindle Locations 976-1011).


van Kempen, Abraham. Christian Zionism ... Enraptured Around a Golden Calf, 2019 2nd Edition (Kindle Locations 2084-2090).


Next week, I’ll continue with, “Why is the West so Enraptured by Vladimir Zelensky?”


But now, a quick note! While America and the West have become less democratic, Russia has become more democratic than ever before. I’ll cover this touchy subject next week.


Finally, have you noticed? The West lost the war against Russia. You haven’t? It’s time to expand your horizons. Read my Editorial next week. 





A brief recap of oral arguments in the long-awaited Supreme Court case on state-sponsored censorship


“Can you help me?” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson


By Matt Taibbi
19 March 2024


Late in oral arguments yesterday during the Murthy v Missouri censorship case before the Supreme Court, newest Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson interrogated J. Benjamin Aguinaga, Solicitor General of Louisiana:


JACKSON: So my biggest concern is that your view has the First Amendment hamstringing the government in significant ways in the most critical periods…


Can you help me? Because I’m really — I’m worried about that because you’ve got the First Amendment operating in an environment of threatening circumstances from the government’s perspective, and you’re saying that the government can’t interact with the source of those problems.


“Can you help me?”


I would love to help you, Justice Jackson, to a less challenging line of work… Hamstringing the government, Good God!


That a line about “the First Amendment hamstringing the government” was uttered by one Supreme Court Justice is astonishing enough. Listening as none of the other eight pointed out that the entire purpose of the First Amendment is to “hamstring” the government from interfering in the speech was like watching someone drive a tank back and forth over Old Yeller. I needed a bite-stick by the end of the hearing.


Many of us who’ve spent the last few years working to expose the federal government’s myriad new content control bureaucracies had high hopes that this case might stop some of the bleeding on the civil liberties front. After listening to Jackson’s “Can you help me?” rant, the game seems up (at least for now) at the judicial level.


We’ve been had. I wondered last fall why the federal government didn’t just take the mild rebuke they received from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and move on. Now, I see the benefit of going to the high court. The government is on the precipice of gaining explicit permission to fully recharge its censorship machine, potentially leaving this new arm of the surveillance state more empowered than before.


Principal Deputy Solicitor General Brian Fletcher opened his presentation to the Supremes with a reasonable-sounding thesis.


“The government may not use coercive threats to suppress speech,” he said, “but it is entitled to speak for itself by informing, persuading, or criticizing private speakers.”
With occasional objections from Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas, Fletcher proceeded with what I’d characterize as less a legal argument than a public relations rewrite.


This case burned lower courts because district and appellate judges were alarmed by the sudden proliferation of high-volume, state-sponsored content-flagging programs that collectively serve as an industrial-scale content surveillance operation. From the Foreign Influence Task Force (FITF) of the FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to quasi-private content-review programs like the Election Integrity Partnership created at the behest of the Departments of Homeland Security and State, the federal government has quickly formed a vast bureaucracy for firehosing “requests” to Internet platforms. Requests amount to a forced “partnership” on moderation when coupled with regulatory threats.


This is why Appellate Judge Don Willett of the Fifth Circuit compared the flow of content demands to the fabled “offer you can’t refuse” of the mafia: “That’s a real nice social media platform you got there. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.


With the seeming cooperation of most of the Justices, Fletcher re-framed these requests as a handful of gentle recommendations, primarily made in the past, mostly in one extraordinary “public health crisis,” Covid-19.


Never mind that the theory of the case was that the plaintiffs were suppressed when they corrected government misinformation in that episode (a piece coming later today will explain) or that the evidence described interventions in a broad range of topics in no way limited to COVID-19. The colloquy re-framed the outing of extravagantly funded, ongoing content-flagging programs, designed by veterans of foreign counterterrorism operations and targeting the domestic population, as a debate about what Fletcher called “classic bully pulpit exhortations.”


I must have missed this part in civics class. Teddy Roosevelt lauded the “bully” pulpit of the presidency as a forum for doing what presidents are elected to do: use their platform to make a convincing public case to voters who hold the real power in a democracy. The Biden conception of a “bully pulpit” apparently involves leaning on media distributors in private to quiet speech. Are those two things even remotely similar?


The context of Flaherty’s “classic bully pulpit exhortations” quote was another incredible moment. He said, effectively, “There were no overt threats against the companies, except for all those times my clients did it in public, in ways conspicuous enough to generate national headlines.”


The federal government in the digital surveillance age has become so arrogant that it not only strong-arms targeted Internet companies, it does so in a way that lets the public see what they’re doing:


When the Biden administration was unhappy that companies like Facebook weren’t censoring enough — this included evidence that Facebook was failing to reply with appropriate speed with news that videos by the likes of Tucker Carlson had been given, say, a “50% demotion for seven days” — they repeatedly went public with threats.


Biden did it on the campaign trail, saying Section 230 should “immediately be revoked” because “it is propagating falsehoods.” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy compared the speech to disease, saying, “limiting the spread of health misinformation is a moral and civic imperative” and proposing “appropriate legal and regulatory measures that address health misinformation.”


Renee DiResta, Research Director of the DHS-sponsored Stanford Internet Observatory, told NPR that whether it was posts about vaccines or election fraud, “There’s hope that we can cure all of the problems of the world by amending [Section 230].”


Fletcher had to read off a list of greatest hits like these as a means of downplaying what took place:


I think both the Fifth Circuit and my friends have said that the crux of what they claim was coercion here was what happened in July of 2021 when the Surgeon General, the White House Press Secretary, and the President himself made statements criticizing the platforms’ practices on misinformation and false statements about COVID vaccines and calling on them to do better.


I think it’s troubling that the idea that those sorts of classic bully pulpit exhortations and public statements urging actors to behave in different ways might be deemed to violate the First Amendment.


The unnerving part about yesterday’s hearing was that once Justices like Jackson started in on Aguinaga, there was little pushback from other judges, not even the ones who’d previously signaled strong interest in the case. Though Alito tried to protest that the kinds of communications that flowed from the FBI and the White House to Facebook and Twitter would never happen to the Associated Press or the Wall Street Journal, he didn’t explain the distinction in stark enough terms. The other judges seemed confused on this point. Here’s a snippet from Elena Kagan:


KAGAN: Decades ago, it happened all the time… which is somebody from the White House got in touch with somebody from The Washington Post and said this would — this will just harm national security, and The Washington Post said, okay, whatever you say… was that coercion?


The situations aren’t remotely analogous. What’s happening now is a wide-scale partnership agreement between intelligence/enforcement agencies and media distributors, not media outlets. Unlike the Pentagon Papers case, the government here has gone over the heads of the press, creating an Avengers-like “Protector Initiative” in which content can be bounced or de-amplified without involving the source of the speech in the discussion.


As Glenn Greenwald noted yesterday on System Update, this returns us to the eternal paradox of security initiatives in the War on Terror age, where the very vastness of the offense against civil liberties becomes the government’s best defense against legal challenge. When individuals in the last twenty years attempted to sue the federal government for everything from illegal seizure of personal information to wrongful placement on the terror watch list to rights violations in targeting even an American citizen in a drone attack (I covered that case), the government would often reply that plaintiffs failed to show proper standing by proving the injury was caused by the secret program. Of course, they were frequently unable to obtain that proof precisely because the program was hidden.


This is how Fletcher was able to level this argument his best: “Respondents don’t have standing at all because they have not shown an imminent threat that the government will cause a platform to moderate their posts in particular.”


Even though there is evidence that the White House and the FBI sought to suppress everyone from Carlson to the maker of a meme satirizing White House vaccine messaging as being like late-night mesothelioma ads, plaintiffs like Dr. Jay Bhattacharya had a more challenging time proving beyond a doubt that their suppression was the direct result of government intervention.


The standing issue matters. There’s a reason courts aren’t permitted to simply review the legality of government actions without specific conflicts to judge. Murthy seems a case where the broad illegality is blatant — some of the agencies involved are barred by statute from meddling in domestic affairs, and the sheer scale of the surveillance operations from the FITF and DHS are appalling in themselves — but the individual cases are indeed more complicated to make. If the Court rules against the plaintiffs based on these “traceability” issues, it will be interpreted as an endorsement of these abusive programs.


Murthy already represents a major public relations victory for the Executive Branch. After roughly two years in which momentum for shutting down government censorship programs seemed to be gaining, and episodes like Bhattacharya’s punctured the myth that such bureaucracies only targeted “misinformation,” yesterday’s hearing will help restore the basic narrative that the activities revealed earlier in this suit and the Twitter Files was little more than good-faith efforts by a concerned government trying to stop “harm” in a unique historical emergency. As Brown Jackson said, “What would you have the government do?”


Yesterday felt like a gut punch, but I haven’t had a chance to hit the phones yet to confirm the suspicion. I’ll be chatting with Racket subscribers on this topic early tomorrow; I’m in transit but will send an announcement as soon as I have a time figured out. Until then, advice on coping mechanisms is welcome. Is there a yoga pose that will erase memories of that hearing audio? A kind reader wouldn't mind sharing directions to a gateway to an alternate universe. I’ll take whatever good news you’ve got at this point.





The government begged the Supreme Court to let it fight "misinformation," but the plaintiffs were citizens suppressed for exposing official error. Why state lies are the most dangerous


Anthony Fauci continually overstated the infection fatality rate of Covid-19


By Matt Taibbi
19 March 2024


CNN opened its coverage of Murthy v. Missouri, the historic censorship case argued in the Supreme Court yesterday, as follows:


CNN — For doctors like Eileen Barrett, a pending Supreme Court case challenging the government’s ability to communicate with social media companies isn’t principally a fight about the fraught politics of online speech.


Instead, they say, it’s a matter of life and death.


I have seen countless statements that are at best problematic and at worst flat-out disinformation that I’m fearful are causing harm to patients,” said Barrett…


If CNN’s line about “a matter of life or death” sounds a bit dramatic, it’s at least a perfect echo of the original defendant in the case, President Joe Biden. In July of 2021, Biden said Internet companies were “killing people” when they refused to remove content his White House deemed “problematic.” However, the White House itself contributed to enormous problems during the pandemic by wildly overestimating both the impact of the disease and the effectiveness of vaccines. Somehow, this form of “misinformation” never gets proper billing.


From a public relations perspective, the government’s performance in oral arguments in the Supreme Court yesterday has already led to massive success on this front. Instead of hearing about a broad, military-scale operation spanning multiple agencies to address social media posts about everything from Ukraine to Gaza to immigration to schools and gender issues, the public heard the case was about “the government’s ability… to combat misinformation,” and stop “posts that officials said spread falsehoods.” Instead of a case about the state attempting to enforce uniform narratives on vast ranges of subjects and being consistently wrong when doing so, the public will hear yesterday’s case was about occasional, gentle efforts to offer input about one or two emergencies.


Here’s the answer to both CNN and Biden and a snapshot of why this case went to the heart of the First Amendment:



Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University, one of the plaintiffs in Murthy, was placed on a “trends blacklist” at Twitter, but not for purveying misinformation or disinformation. He didn’t publish hate speech, issue threats, or incite. He has little interest in politics and didn’t attempt to “influence elections.” In a textbook example of why free speech is crucial to the success of democracies, Bhattacharya’s offense was conducting authentic research that corrected official misinformation.


COVID-19 antibody seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California” was published on April 17, 2020, at the beginning of the international Covid-19 panic. Bhattacharya tested blood samples from 3,300 people early in the pandemic, uncovering two crucial pieces of information. The first was that the infection mortality rate of COVID-19 was roughly 0.15%, making the disease about 22 times less deadly than the terrifying 3.4% number released by the WHO in early March 2020.


Bhattacharya, an ingratiating, forgiving personality, didn’t try to show up officialdom. “It’s still quite a lethal virus,” he told the Stanford Daily. But his study showed the disease was far less lethal than Americans were being told. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified to the House on March 11, 2020, that even if the WHO was wrong, COVID-19 was “at least ten times more lethal” than flu, adding, “I can’t give you a realistic number” on eventual fatalities “until we put into the factor of how we respond,” suggesting it could be “many, many millions” if extreme measures were not taken.


Fauci was misinforming the public, and he already had access to enough data to know he was doing it. A crucial piece of news involved the Diamond Princess cruise ship that left Yokohama, Japan, for a 14-day cruise in January 2020 and had to be kept docked in quarantine after passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong fell ill. Of more than 3,500 people on board, 712 fell sick, and of those, 11 died, an infection mortality rate of .154%, which more or less precisely predicted Bhattacharya’s results.


The WHO and American officials eventually conceded the same lower infection fatality rate. On the way, however, they took every opportunity to scare the pants off the public, with headlines like “Fauci puts it bluntly: Coronavirus deaths are undercounted,” typical especially in early months.


As Matt Orfalea showed in this furious compilation, even the 3.4% number was amplified through conventional media in early 2020, with commentators denouncing anyone who said otherwise. The misinformation was turbocharged by political anger since Donald Trump called 3.4% a “false number” and said that based on his conversations with advisors, the actual number would come in “way under 1%.” These words sent people like Brian Stelter into a frenzy. “The percentage is 3.4%,” he said, “and no hunch from the president can change that.”


Bhattacharya’s other finding was that the infection rate in his Santa Clara sample was “50-85 times higher” than official estimates. This meant the disease was so infectious that interventions in the form of lockdowns especially were unlikely to be effective. Again, data on this appeared early on. Still, the suppression of social media posts and media appearances of people like Bhattacharya and fellow plaintiffs Dr. Aaron Kheriaty and Martin Kulldorff (formerly of the University of California and Harvard, respectively) meant that even the educated set often didn’t hear about these numbers until too late.


I was among the reporters who simply didn’t see research by people like Bhattacharya to understand the issues involved, and this led to a failure on my part to understand the story on a level beyond partisan politics until I started seeing emails chains about the topic in the Twitter Files. I still see evidence of the effectiveness of this early suppression in posts by astute commentators like Freddie deBoer (“COVID Still Makes Everybody a Little Bit Crazy”), which describes the fundamental debate over Covid-19 as being between “deranged conspiracy theorists” on the right who think the vaccine is causing mass deaths and “left-leaning types” who “continue to douse their houses with anti-bacterial soap, who believe that the next big outbreak is mere days away.”


The problem with COVID-19 messaging had far less to do with the relative merits of fears about vaccines than it did with suppression of necessary research about the need to get the shot in the first place. As Bhattacharya, Kulldorff, and Kheriaty all point out, government officials like Fauci not only wildly overestimated the infection fatality rates of COVID-19 early on, but de-emphasized the enormous age-specific differences in outcomes among the infected, which were known very early in the game. For young, healthy people, the risk of death from COVID-19 was so tiny that even the slightest risk of vaccine injury made getting the shot a lousy gamble, which is why a lot of people, far from being “deranged,” have made a decision to stop getting boosted.


For older people, meanwhile, the risk of getting Covid was and is significant enough that Kulldorff in 2021 published an article suggesting older adults continue taking the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, even after an apparent “increased risk of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)” had been discovered as a side effect. Kulldorff argued the risk of side effects was lower than the risk of COVID-19 for the “older population.” Still, officials didn’t like him countering messages about the J&J “pause,” so he kicked off the CDC working group on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.


The First Amendment exists precisely to prevent the government from imposing a single narrative on public discourse, even if — especially if — it believes it’s doing it for the public’s good. The government is often wrong, sometimes accidentally, sometimes due to incompetence, and sometimes for corrupt reasons that make you want to drive a fertilizer-filled truck into something. The most infamous examples involve public cases of going to war. We’ve been lied to about what happened in the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq, and WMD, lied to about the Rambouillet Agreement before Kosovo, and even “Remember the Maine!” What was left out of the picture in the Supreme Court yesterday was any recognition of the mischief we’ll be exposed to if government agencies can block off efforts to expose such deceptions.


One of the public’s defenses against such problems is the First Amendment. If the state can not only stifle invaluable research like Bhattacharya’s at such a crucial moment but get away even years later with characterizing the suppression as an “effort to combat misinformation,” they cut the heart out of our most important constitutional protection.


Murthy v. Missouri was an opportunity to remind Americans that under our system, the citizenry, not the government, is meant to be the proper line of defense against misinformation. After yesterday, agencies like the FBI and the DHS will be re-empowered to cast things differently. We’re forgetting who we are and how and why our country was designed the way it was. It might be that we’ll just have to sink even lower before the bulk of the population sees what’s happening.





Battling the rise of the censorship-industrial complex



By Robert W Malone Md, Ms
20 March 2024

In America, six corporations control 90% of the media. In the UK, 70% of the national media market is owned by three major companies.


From Sun Tzu’s “Art of War” to the CIA’s “Mighty Wurlitzer” and “Operation Mockingbird” to today's “Censorship-Industrial Complex” (see, for example, the work product and insights of Michael Shellenberger and Mike Benz et al.), centralized media has been routinely exploited by governments to advance the propaganda objectives of the State and its military, and thereby to influence policies and politics in virtually all nation-states. In the modern West, this centralization of media by large, often transnational corporations has been further augmented by the creation of supra-corporate aggregator organizations that function as trade unions to protect the interests of these media oligopolies. Examples include Reuters, AFP, Associated Press, and the notorious “Trusted News Initiative”. In many cases, the leadership of these organizations is further integrated into other large corporatist organizations via shared board membership and shared ownership by the usual globalist/transnational financial firms such as Blackrock, State Street, Vanguard, Bank of America, etc.


Over millennia, with rapidly accelerating precision during the 20th and 21st centuries, the resulting “public-private” corporatist - ergo fascist- information control cooperatives have embraced scientific and medical advances in social sciences and psychology to develop a tool kit that enables amazingly effective manipulation of the very thoughts and emotions of individuals, groups, and populations targeted by this information technology. A parallel, shorthand language has been developed to describe an advanced suite of subtle large-scale brainwashing methods and technologies. These terms include “PsyWar” (psychological warfare targeting the conscious mind), cognitive warfare (which targets the subconscious), the NATO favorite “Hybrid Warfare,” and a wide range of shorthand “internet slang” for the tactical and strategic tool kits available to those seeking to control “The Great Narrative.”




In an essay titled “Power to the People: The Rise and Rise of Citizen Journalism,” by Micha Barban Dangerfield, Mr. Dangerfield provides a dissection of the history of what I posit to be the most disruptive journalism-related technology in modern history. Citizen Journalism.


The advent of the Internet, new technologies, social platforms, and grass-roots media has heralded a significant shift in collecting, disseminating, and sharing information. Citizen journalism can be considered the offspring of this evolution - an alternative form of news gathering and reporting that takes place outside traditional media structures and can involve anyone. We live in the age of image consumption and data absorption. Every day, a fresh wave of information reaches our computers and phone screens, but not only are we the recipients of this constant flow, we are now the creators. The liberalization of information allows anyone to share and spread their personal experience of an event in real-time. This new form of reporting occurs outside traditional media structures and can function as a firewall - holding media accountable for any inaccuracies or lack of news coverage.


The birth of citizen journalism is often attributed to South Korea, where the first platform for amateur-generated information, OhMyNews, was created. The principle was simple: anyone can make information - as the notion of participatory journalism (another term for citizen journalism) implies. From reader to participant, citizens have changed their status from mere recipients of information to providers. It is not necessarily something new, however. When Abraham Zapruder took his amateur film camera and decided to go and record John F. Kennedy’s rally in Dallas, he inadvertently captured images of his assassination, which could be considered a proto-form of citizen journalism - as what defines it is its inexpert nature.




The modern media landscape can be viewed from the perspective of its role in enabling the Administrative State and Globalist organizations to control minds, thoughts, beliefs, and opinions and to define the very nature of reality based on the surrealist thesis that subjective feelings and beliefs are a valid substitute for objective fact.



In practice, this has been possible because the information ecosystem is controlled by a small number of dominant, centralized portals and by exploiting (and controlling) digital and cellular communication. The information and opinions flowing through these portals pass through control chokepoints consisting of a few owners, editors, censorship boards, and related stakeholders. The consequence of this information bottleneck is that the psychosocial dynamics of groupthink can be easily manipulated by representatives of the Administrative State, Globalist organizations, and intelligence communities, including the increasingly powerful academic-industrial-governmental mercenary armies of the censorship-industrial complex to give rise to synthetic controversies and narratives which advance the financial and political interests of powerful cabals.


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Making a Difference – The Means, Methods, and Mechanism for Many to Move Mountains


Photo Credit: Abraham A. van Kempen, our home away from home on the Dead Sea


By Abraham A. van Kempen
Senior Editor
Updated 19 January 2024


Those who commit to 'healing our broken humanity' build intercultural bridges to learn to know and understand one another and others. Readers who thumb through the Building the Bridge (BTB) pages are not mindless sheep following other mindless sheep. They THINK. They want to be at the forefront of making a difference. They're in search of the bigger picture to expand their horizons. They don't need BTB or anyone else to confirm their biases.


Making a Difference – The Means, Methods, and Mechanism for Many to Move Mountains


Accurate knowledge promotes understanding, dispels prejudice, and awakens the desire to learn more. Words have an extraordinary power to bring people together, divide them, forge bonds of friendship, or provoke hostility. Modern technology offers unprecedented possibilities for good, fostering harmony and reconciliation. Yet its misuse can do untold harm, leading to misunderstanding, prejudice, and conflict.


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