World Health Organization (WHO) head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appears to be expanding the scope of his global effort from the pandemic to what he calls the “infodemic.” Tedros weighed into the conflict between musician Neil Young and podcaster Joe Rogan and streaming giant Spotify. Tedros supported Young’s demand that Rogan be censored by the company for his views on the virus and treatments. It was a particularly glaring position for Tedros after he and WHO have been repeatedly accused of supporting China in early efforts to scuttle investigations into the lab theory on the origin of this virus.
Joe Rogan — who hosts “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast — and has been criticized for questioning whether young healthy people should get the vaccine due to its low fatality rate for younger people. He was also criticized for praising ivermectin, a medicine used to kill parasites in animals and humans despite objections that it is ineffective against the virus.
As will come as no surprise to people on this blog, I have long opposed efforts to cancel Rogan or others for their dissenting views on the virus or its treatment. In the last few years, we have seen an increasing call for private censorship from Democratic politicians and liberal commentators. Faculty and editors are now actively supporting modern versions of book-burning with blacklists and bans for those with opposing political views. Columbia Journalism School Dean Steve Coll has denounced the “weaponization” of free speech, which appears to be the use of free speech by those on the right. So the dean of one of the premier journalism schools now supports censorship. Free speech advocates are facing a generational shift that is now being reflected in our law schools, where free speech principles were once a touchstone of the rule of law. As millions of students are taught that free speech is a threat and that “China is right” about censorship, these figures are shaping a new society in their own intolerant images.
As C.I. noted in the gina & krista round-robin, don't confuse 'bravery' with greed. Neil Young's long ahd a problem with various streaming services and the payment he feels he's entitled to.'
Otherwise, as Ruth noted "Neil Young's tantrum." Joni Mitchell is sticking up for him but, again, money is in play. Joni's a wonderful artist but she's also one who has always felt ripped off and she feels ripped off by streaming. She's late to the game and only recently began posting her own videos to YOUTUBE. I'm serious there. She only now has her own YOUTUBE channel. She feels she's been ripped off for three decades now and it's a stronger feeling than when she felt David Geffen was ripping her off in the 80s and 90s.
We need free speech, not tantrums.
If you don't like Joe Rogan, don't stream him. It's that simple.
It's also true that those who are being motivated by greed need to get honest about it.
Might also be good to get honest about Neil. A great songwriter. Sometimes a wonderful singer. But his politics are not signed off by me. He was a right-winger in the 80s, embracing Ronald Reagan and his policies and that included the scapegoating of gay men for AIDS. Those were reactionary and intolerent positions. Like Neil and like his music but I am not a disciple of his music
"Iraq snapshot" (THE COMMON ILLS):
The conflict that Washington is provoking with Russia over Ukraine threatens the globe with a catastrophe beyond measure. Driven by insoluble internal crisis and rapacious geopolitical ambition, US imperialism is recklessly marching to the brink of World War III.
The crisis over Ukraine has been manufactured by the United States and its NATO allies on the basis of lies. The Biden administration denounces Russia for the movement of troops within its own borders. The claim of an imminent Russian invasion of Ukraine is repeated endlessly by the White House and echoed unquestioningly by the mass media.
It is hysterical war propaganda. Russia has never threatened to invade Ukraine. Moscow has stated, however, that it cannot tolerate Ukraine becoming part of NATO.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is not a geographical alliance of “democratic” states but an imperialist cabal for war with Russia and other countries. Incorporating Ukraine would station NATO arms and forces on Russia’s immediate border and would bind the forces of US and Western European imperialism, under Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, to go to war on behalf of the far-right regime in Kiev, tied to neo-Nazis and fascists, in the event it provoked a conflict with Moscow.
US officials have revealed plans to deploy up to 50,000 troops to the borders of Russia and Ukraine. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a statement spurning Moscow’s written request for guarantees that Ukraine would not be allowed to join NATO. The Biden administration is not negotiating. They do not seek to ease tensions but to goad Putin into armed conflict so that he can be presented as the aggressor.
While US and NATO troops are being mobilized, Washington has set into motion the apparatus of economic warfare. Biden and Blinken have both threatened “severe economic sanctions” against Moscow, and Russia is preparing for Washington to cut its access to the global SWIFT financial system for US-dollar transactions, which would exclude the country from much of the world economy.
The US has invaded countries all over the world, and Putin knows what defeat at its hands would entail for him. Manuel Noriega and Slobodan Milosevic died in prison, Muammar Gaddafi was brutally murdered, and Saddam Hussein was hanged. Washington wants Putin dead.
The Biden administration has created a situation that Putin and Russia must construe as an existential threat. There is no concession that Moscow can make that will prevent the advance of NATO forces, short of complete capitulation. It faces the choice of war now or war in the near future when NATO stands on its doorstep.
The White House is recklessly marching to war, yet no one is discussing the implications. No reporter asks Biden what the worst-case scenario might be, and not one has asked if it might entail the use of nuclear arms. Washington acts as if the conflict it is pursuing will be neatly contained in the eastern regions of Ukraine, sealed off in the Donbass.
The United States has waged a series of wars since 1991, and each has ended in catastrophe. Millions are dead, and entire societies in the Middle East and Central Asia have been reduced to dust and rubble. They were primitively armed. Washington now has the country holding the world’s second largest store of nuclear weapons in its sights.
If the US and NATO have convinced themselves that they can level an existential threat against Russia without raising the tremendous danger of nuclear war, they are deluding themselves. How can they exclude this possibility? If they do recognize the risk, their actions are mad.
All of the war propaganda of the US and NATO depicts Putin as a deranged criminal; all of their strategy relies upon his conduct being saner than their own. There is a deeply reactionary faction within the Russian ruling elite and military circles, many of whom are imbued with all sorts of fascistic conceptions.
War has an inexorable logic of its own; it does not abide by the tidy plots drawn up on the Resolute desk of the Oval Office. The logic of the military vortex that Washington is setting into motion will drag the great powers into a global conflict.
China confronts Washington’s demand that it abandon its Zero COVID policy and allow the pandemic to kill millions of its people. The US war drive in the Asia Pacific region, almost as advanced as that confronting Russia, presents Beijing with a similar existential threat. China sees in the US deployment of troops to Taiwan a direct parallel to the developments in Ukraine.
British imperialism, donning again the pith helmet, invents its own lies in service to the war drive. Washington pressures the German bourgeoisie, with the blood of 28 million Soviet citizens on its conscience, to again set its sights eastward.
The unleashing of a war with Russia would within weeks—if not days—drag in Iran, Israel, China and Taiwan. Japan and Australia would rapidly be caught up in the ever expanding fray. Military imperatives would take over. The world would be engulfed. The loss of life that is being prepared is incalculable.
The American ruling class has shown that it is impervious to mass death. Over 900,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 in less than two years, but the Biden White House does not even speak of it. The evening news anchor discusses the daily weather and not the daily dead. There is not a shred of a conscience that will prevent Washington from starting a catastrophic global war.
If you have a voice, why are you not using it to say no more wars?
On THE CONVO COUCH (above), FIorella rightly called out what our 'indy' media is doing currently.
And it makes no sense. Being silent.
You want to wait until everything's over. An indymedia name did that, didn't she? She can't sleep now. I'm supposed to feel sorry for her because I've known her for years.
A mutual friend called and said I should reach out.
When hell freezes over.
She should feel awful. Her husband stood for what he believed in. And she did what? Undercut him on Amy Goodman's hideous show. Undercut him. DIdn't use her position to flood the market with calling out Russia-gate. Yeah, she published one guy who can't stop slobbering over her to this day. But that was it.
And now her husband's dead.
Did she think she had time to make it up to him. When she pulled the stunt on Amy Goodman's show, Elaine and I both called the husband who we'd also known for years and who we still spoke with -- while avodiing the woman. He was so hurt by what she did. Thats why Elaine went to town on the woman that night at her site.
Now her husband's dead and she's got guilt and she should.
He was being brave and speaking truth and she tried to maintain her position by undermining him. That's how he saw it -- from his mouth to my ear.
So, no, I'm not reaching out to her and if she's in pain, good. She should be. She made a calculated choice. And she gambled that she'd have time to make up for it. Sorry, he passed away, you don't have any time to make up for it.
She knew better. She's promoted herself as an expert on Russia for decades -- as laughable as her attempt to once claim -- in the WIKIPEDIA entry she had her intern write and police -- that she had won an award when she didn't win it, the magazine did.
When you lie over something that minor, you really have issues.
We all know who I'm talking about, right? The panty wetter Katy van van who kicked Elaine in the shin when she (Katty van van) was a child because Elaine noticed Katty had wet herself and asked if she needed to change? That's Katty van van.
Am I too harsh on her?
Let's see, let's check out THE NATION.
War on Russia is being pimped and where is Katty van van and THE NATION?
Worthless articles on the front page about elections and candidates that pretend to be about something.
John Nichols tries. At least? Are we supposed to be saying that?
Over 100 links to pieces of 'journalism' on the front page and only John's writing about Russia. But look at the title: "There Is No Military Solution Out of This Ukraine Crisis."
It's a crisis? Hmm. For who?
It's a matter that the people need to decide for themselves. The US government and war mongers insist its a crisis. How nice of John to use that framing?
Call Katty van-van? When hell freezes over. She's haunted? She should be. She did something she knew was wrong and she made the calculation that it was the thing to do even though it meant betraying truth, betraying poeple and betraying her husband. She hurt him very badly. So she's getting what she deserves. Actions have consequences.
I'm embarrassed for her and for what passes for her notion of social responsibility. You'd think your mother killing herself in a really dramatic manner only a few years back would have taught Ktty that life was brief. But she didn't like her mom and she didn't even know her. Which is why she never found ______.
If I was running THE NATION, it wouldn't be doing lifestyle pieces -- like Dave Zirin's latest -- how the Dem Party is antagnozing "young Jews." I guess to 'sports' writer Dave, that's the most important topic in the world today.