A Footnote

Huh, would you look at that.

sorry that page doesn't exist

Our old friends from the Christendom Advocacy and Support Coalition appear to have folded up shop in favor of their reband Dinah’s Voice.  As you can see, the CASC specific twitter is gone as is apparently their website which now redirects to a subsection of the DV site.

As I noted about Dinah’s Voice originally:

It’s just exactly the same people.  Christendom is too small.  They can’t get as much attention if they only focus on that.

So the CASC is now simply the “Christendom chapter” of DV.  They have a chapter for Stubenville as well.  Undoubtedly they will continue on as before until the world ends or right wing deaths squads become reality.

For all my misgivings due to the interactions I had with Christendom alums, the community around the college proved to be made of tougher stuff.  While their tactics leave something to be desired, there was a good push back against the CASC.  Someone put this little site which has some good information even they did feel the need to insult me in the index.  (I’m kidding; that would only be an insult to a… I could say something crude but I won’t.)  I’m curious how the defamation lawsuit against Donna Provencher goes but knowing the wheels of justice, they’re probably turning very slowly.

The question then is two fold: Can Dinah’s Voice keep up enough momentum to survive and can Christendom retain the mettle it needs defend against these and other inevitable other attackers in the future?  We can hope the answer is no to one and yes to the other but only time will tell.

 

 

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A Muzzle on Civil Asset Forfeiture

The Supreme Court came out with a ruling this week which is far more important than it sounds:

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that the Constitution’s ban on excessive fines applies to state and local governments, thus limiting their ability to use fines to raise revenue.

***

“Forfeiture of the Land Rover, the court determined, would be grossly disproportionate to the gravity of Timbs’s offense,” Ginsburg wrote.

She also noted that the ban on excessive fines was added to the Bill of Rights for the purpose of protecting individual liberty. “Protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history for good reason: Such fines undermine other liberties.”

She noted that those fines could be used to retaliate against political enemies and have been used as a source of revenue.

The ruling effectively means states and local municipalities cannot use fines as a mechanism for raising revenue, something many local governments do.

Ignoring the question of whether Ginsburg really wrote that or not, this is exceedingly good news.  Media coverage couches this is terms of local governments losing a revenue stream but hopefully this is a step in the right direction for stopping them from (il)legally seizing assets from innocent people who are never charged with anything but have simply done something “suspicious” like carry too much cash or moved a little too much money around in their bank account.

Federally Funded Fake News?

There’s an interesting rumor going around  about the layoffs which are occurring in a number of media companies:

I may be wrong, but... maybe I'm not? The "Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act" included in the National Defense Authorization Act of the fiscal year 2017 that Obama signed. It expired in Dec 2018. $160 million / 2 years / 1000 journalist laid off. Comes to $80k annual salary & benefits. Coincidence?

About that “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” from ZeroHedge in 2016:

Recall that as we reported in early June, “a bill to implement the U.S.’ very own de facto Ministry of Truth had been quietly introduced in Congress. As with any legislation attempting to dodge the public spotlight the Countering Foreign Propaganda and Disinformation Act of 2016 marks a further curtailment of press freedom and another avenue to stultify avenues of accurate information. Introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Ted Lieu, H.R. 5181 seeks a “whole-government approach without the bureaucratic restrictions” to counter “foreign disinformation and manipulation,” which they believe threaten the world’s “security and stability.”

Also called the Countering Information Warfare Act of 2016 (S. 2692), when introduced in March by Sen. Rob Portman, the legislation represents a dramatic return to Cold War-era government propaganda battles. “These countries spend vast sums of money on advanced broadcast and digital media capabilities, targeted campaigns, funding of foreign political movements, and other efforts to influence key audiences and populations,” Portman explained, adding that while the U.S. spends a relatively small amount on its Voice of America, the Kremlin provides enormous funding for its news organization, RT.

“Surprisingly,” Portman continued, “there is currently no single U.S. governmental agency or department charged with the national level development, integration and synchronization of whole-of-government strategies to counter foreign propaganda and disinformation.”

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

* * *

Fast forward to December 8, when the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” passed in the Senate, quietly inserted inside the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Conference Report.

And now, following Friday’s Obama signing of the NDAA on Friday evening, the Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act is now law.

* * *

And so, with the likes of WaPo having already primed the general public to equate “Russian Propaganda” with “fake news” (despite admitting after the fact their own report was essentially “fake”), while the US media has indoctrinated the public to assume that any information which is not in compliance with the official government narrative, or dares to criticize the establishment, is also “fake news” and thus falls under the “Russian propaganda” umbrella, the scene is now set for the US government to legally crack down on every media outlet that the government deems to be “foreign propaganda.”

It’s certainly quite the coincidence if it’s true the act ran out of funding just recently.  And if that’s all it is–a coincidence–this is still something that ought to be let run out.