Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Accountable to the Citizens (Democracy Day 2023)

If you're lucky, one day you might receive an opportunity to speak your mind to your local elected officials in city hall. I've been fortunate enough to have been asked to address our local city council on Democracy Day. 

Democracy Day is an event celebrated by several cities, and it's sponsored here in Toledo by Move to Amend and Ohio Single-Payer Action Network. This year, unfortunately, I came down with COVID at the last minute and was unable to attend in person, but my testimony was added to the record. Here's what I have to say about how corporations aren't people, people have human rights, and our government has the power to protect our health and safety from the abuses of corporations such as Norfolk Southern.

Accountable to the Citizens 

(Democracy Day 2023)

by C. A. Matthews

“Accountable to the citizens, not Wall Street.”
This is a bullet point I read on an Ohio Single-Payer Action Network (SPAN) leaflet. It begins by stating “Realizing the right to health care,” and follows with the idea that health care should be, “Universal,” and “Have high quality standards of care for all.” Health care should also be “Publicly financed” and emphasizes that it “Is not tied to employment.” All of these are excellent points to make, but the one I want to focus on today, Democracy Day 2023, is this: “Accountable to the citizens, not Wall Street.”

To put it bluntly, our health, our safety, and our lives should never be made subservient to the whims and the profits of corporations. Even simpler yet—no one should be making money off of anyone’s illness or need for medical treatment. But time and time again we read headlines such as: “Big Pharmaceutical makes billions off of new vaccine whose research was publicly funded.” We read headlines about how the US is the only so-called developed nation where families go bankrupt trying to pay for their health care—health care that is provided freely, as a public service, in most other developed countries.

“Accountable to the citizens, not Wall Street.” So, why aren’t we holding Wall Street accountable for the thousands of preventable deaths each year in the US, deaths caused by the lack of access to health care? What are we afraid of really by not holding Wall Street accountable? Not being bullied to death by billionaires?

Wall Street not only rules our access to health care, it also rules our ability to remain safe in our homes and communities. One recent example drives this point home more than ever: The toxic chemical burn instigated after the Norfolk Southern train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio. This prescribed burn of derailed tanker cars full of vinyl chloride released phosgene gas into the air and extremely poisonous dioxins into the environment.

If you’re old enough to remember the EPA Super Fund site of the village of Times Beach, Missouri, you’ll remember just how teratogenic and carcinogenic dioxins are to human life. If you’re old enough to remember learning about the First World War, you’ll recall that phosgene gas was a colorless gas that killed thousands of soldiers in the trenches.

Scarier still, this type of event probably won’t be the last time a train-full of toxic chemicals derails in the Buckeye State. That same Norfolk Southern train that derailed in East Palestine passed through Toledo earlier. What if that train had derailed in Toledo? Would we be standing here sharing our thoughts today at Democracy Day, or would we have been evacuated to a safer locale instead? Would we be discussing the rights of corporations to have the same rights as persons or the fact that we all had just been poisoned by a for-profit venture that couldn’t care less about our health and safety?

Our state attorney general has recently started a lawsuit against Norfolk Southern, to sue for damages from the derailment, but can money alone repay the harm caused to our neighbors in East Palestine? Can money alone bring the thousands of heads of livestock, fish, birds, deer, and other wildlife back from the dead? Can money alone relieve fears, rejuvenate the town’s ruined reputation, or realize a perfectly reborn environment in Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania?

Money can’t buy love, and it certainly can’t bring back the dead. Not even corporate persons with deep pockets like Norfolk Southern have that kind of godlike power. The best option in this case is to never let something like the derailment and toxin burn that happened in East Palestine ever happen again.

Money can’t buy everything. We the People shouldn’t accept it alone as redress for these incalculable losses. I think we as citizens of Toledo, subject to three days without drinkable water in 2014, can empathize with the plight of the people of East Palestine, as we also suffered—and still suffer—from corporations’ rights taking precedence over human beings’ rights when it comes to our water.

The Lake Erie Billof Rights, better known as LEBOR, is the first "Rights of Nature" law that citizens passed by a definite majority in the US. It demonstrates that concerned citizens have caught on to the specious argument that “corporations are people.” Our rights to clean water were abridged by factory farm corporations that continually dump untreated animal wastes into our drinking water supply. A factory farm, Drewes Farms, claimed in their lawsuit against LEBOR that they had the right of “free speech,” and that their “rights” would be abridged if they had to clean up their animals’ effluence before it entered into the Maumee River watershed. If I hadn’t been sitting in the courtroom that day the verdict was read, I would have never believed such a specious argument could have convinced a federal district judge, but heck—they won, didn’t they?

I suppose Norfolk Southern will argue their rights to “free speech” could be abridged, just like Drewes Farms, if they were forbidden to burn toxic chemicals from their derailed train cars in East Palestine and elsewhere. I’m not that optimistic the state of Ohio will ever see any meaningful recompense for the victims of the burn from the dream team of lawyers that Norfolk Southern is lining up even as I speak. As I sat in that courtroom as the fate of LEBOR hung in the balance, I experienced up close what corporate money and lobbying does in the state of Ohio and in this country. It doesn’t protect the right of the people, that’s for sure.

Without possessing massive amounts of money like corporations, we mere human beings are defenseless. This means that We the People must take direct action to protect ourselves from these corporate-caused harms to our health, safety and environment.

On this Democracy Day, I propose that the city of Toledo resurrect its bravery that it displayed defending LEBOR and pass resolutions to protect its citizens from potential harms caused by toxic chemicals transported through our city. Trains, trucks, barges, boats, and planes can all carry toxic substances that, if leaked into our environment, can kill, injure, and maim our people, pets, livestock and wildlife. We can’t afford to let that happen. If what happened in East Palestine happened here in Toledo, a city with at least 60 times the population, it would have made the national news in less than three days and possibly even enticed Mayor Pete or President Biden to visit us in less then a week rather than a month later (or not at all).

Toledoans must put human rights above corporate profits and institute rules, regulations and safety procedures to prevent derailments or spills of toxins into our city’s environment. To ignore this potential threat or to think that only higher levels of government can or will handle this kind of emergency is to ignore the reality of the corporate owned and operated political system Americans are currently trapped in. Our neighbors in East Palestine discovered that ordinary Americans can’t depend on the federal or the state EPA to test for toxins or even to give us the truth about our health and safety in a timely manner. We the People must fend for ourselves as a community. We can do it.

Last year, Toledo instituted a program to pay off the outstanding medical debts of its citizens. This compassionate act has been duplicated in numerous cities across the US since then. Clearly, we have the smarts and the empathy to take care of our own. Toledo doesn’t have to bow down and kiss corporations’ backsides and put up with so-called “corporate persons” polluting our water, land, and air. We can fight back, and we should fight back.

It’s time for Toledo to become known as a city where human rights reign supreme and corporate profits take a back seat to our community’s health and safety. Toledo can make a difference and should make a difference in the world—a positive, human-centric difference. Our children and grandchildren will thank us for our insight and bravery.

Related Resources:

The State of East Palestine Ohio From the Eyes of a Local https://popularresistance.org/the-state-of-east-palestine-ohio-from-the-eyes-of-a-local/

How Corporate Greed Destroyed East Palestine (Documentary film by Second Thought) https://youtu.be/TcSLlveDu6k

Rail Workers Demand Immediate Action from Lawmakers to Rein in Rail Industry https://truthout.org/articles/rail-workers-demand-immediate-action-from-lawmakers-to-rein-in-rail-industry/

Exposure to Chevron's Climate Friendly Fuel May Pose Severe Risk of Cancer https://truthout.org/articles/exposure-to-chevrons-climate-friendly-fuel-may-pose-severe-risk-of-cancer/

Poison and Private Police: Norfolk Southern Destroys East Palestine https://odysee.com/@TheGrayzone:c/poison-and-private-police-norfolk:a

The Toxic Rail Disaster in Ohio: The Homicidal Indifference of the Ruling Class Laid Bare https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/02/15/zbrv-f15.html

Biden DOJ Backing Norfolk Southern’s Bid To Block Lawsuits https://www.levernews.com/bidens-doj-backing-norfolk-southern-case-to-block-lawsuits/

Rail Company Claims East Palestine Water Is Safe After Funding Sloppy Testing https://truthout.org/articles/rail-company-claims-east-palestine-water-is-safe-after-funding-sloppy-testing

A Norfolk Southern Policy Lets Officials Order Crews To Ignore Safety Alerts https://scheerpost.com/2023/02/23/a-norfolk-southern-policy-lets-officials-order-crews-to-ignore-safety-alerts/ 

The Value American Capitalism Places on Workers’ Lives: BP fined $156,250 for the deaths of two refinery operators in Ohio explosion https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/03/24/pers-m24.html

White House to Shut Down COVID Response Task Force https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/03/24/pned-m24.html

From Move to Amend:

The Norfolk Southern Corporation train derailment and subsequent hazardous chemical release in and beyond East Palestine, Ohio are the inevitable result of multiple anti-democratic realities. 

Many are interconnected and are the same for the roughly 1000 train derailments per year.

Private ownership of railroads

Norfolk Southern Corporation’s record earnings in 2022 benefited its top managers, speculators and investors. Maximizing profits have been prioritized over necessary investments in technology upgrades and worker safety. The Railroad Workers United in response is calling for public ownership of railroads, as they once were in WWI.

Lack of worker power

Strikes are powerful tactics of workers to exert leverage against management on safety issues and fair treatment. Unions representing rail workers have been virtually unable to strike since passage of the Railway Labor Act in 1926, which gives the government, specifically the President and Congress, vast powers to force workers to accept alternative means of resolving disputes.

No community rights

Communities have little authority to control material coming into or even passing through their jurisdictions by trains or trucks if that material can be defined as “commerce,” based on the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Ohio state and E. Palestine officials weren’t even notified the Norfolk Southern train that derailed was carrying vinyl chloride, ethylhexyl acrylate and other highly toxic chemicals.

Corporate campaign contributions

The Railroad industry has poured $85 million into federal candidate campaigns, political parties and outside spending groups since 2002. Norfolk Southern’s political investments have been $17 million since 1990. At the state level, the corporation invested $98,000 into Ohio political races since 2018, with Gov. Mike DeWine (who at first didn’t call for federal assistance following the E. Palestine disaster since he didn’t see a problem) being the largest recipient. At the very least, political campaign contributions buy access to public officials; at worst, buys favors. 

Corporate lobbying

The railroad industry invested $24.6 million to employ 265 reported lobbyists to influence the federal government in 2022 – Norfolk Southern’s portion was $1.8 million.  Rail lobbyists and $6 million from the rail industry to GOP campaigns in 2017 effectively reversed requirements that rail cars carrying hazardous flammable materials have modern electronic braking systems. Lobbyists have sought for fewer workers on trains, trains to be longer and heavier, and reduced fines for penalties – as well as against installing modern electronic braking systems, paid sick leave for workers and having to define trains carrying hazardous chemicals like the Norfolk Southern that derailed in E. Palestine as “high hazard,” which would increase additional safety requirements, costs and public notification. 

Supreme Court decisions

The High Court decided that corporate entities have the constitutional right to contribute to political campaigns. This has permitted corporations like Norfolk Southern to corrupt the political process favorable to their interests, such as the previously mentioned laws and regulations profitable to railroads, Supreme Court-granted corporate Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights prevent surprise inspections of corporate property like trains meant to protect workers and communities.

Ineffective and/or captured regulatory agencies

Public safety inspections are not only limited by constitutional rights, but by regulatory agency funding. The Federal Railroad Administration, the major railroad regulatory agency, has only 400 inspectors. This has forced the FHA to increasingly allow railroad corporations to inspect their own trains, tracks and signals. The EPA recently announced that its requiring Norfolk Southern to directly test for dioxins in East Palestine. Where’s the public accountability when, in effect, an entity guilty of crime gets to be the prosecutor, judge and jury? 

Criminalization of protest 

Forty-five states have considered 265 “anti-protest” bills, 39 of which have already passed in 20 states since 2017. Penalties of felonies serve as a deterrent to individuals to attend public events and send the message that those who protest must be extremists. This mindset is reflected in the reaction by federal and Ohio “law enforcement” agencies to the recent visit of whistleblower Erin Brockovich to E. Palestine. A report by the agencies "assesses that special interest extremist groups will continue to call for changes in governmental policy, which may lead to protests in/around East Palestine and/or at the Statehouse in Columbus.”

The East Palestine tragedy is sadly just a symptom of current political realities and calls for fundamental systemic change.

Enacting the We the People Amendment, HJR48 that would abolish all corporate constitutional rights and political money defined as free speech, is urgent. But fundamental self-governance goes beyond the amendment. 

Independent people's movements led by individuals who’ve been historically treated unjustly is a prerequisite for how to get real democracy on track – for the very first time.

* * *

More on Democracy Day from Move to Amend:

Citizens Testify at Local Public Hearings in Ohio to End Corrupt Elections and Corporate Rule

Twelve public hearings are taking place in Ohio this year on the corruption resulting from the explosion of money spent in political elections and multiple harms due to increasing corporate power to influence elections and public policies.

The hearings are a result of citizen-driven ballot initiatives organized by supporters of the national Move to Amend Coalition working to pass the We the People Amendment (HJR48), introduced again this year in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D, WA).

The ballot initiatives called for municipalities to inform federal and state officials representing their municipalities that citizens support an Amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishing that a corporation is not a person and political money spent in elections is not equivalent to First Amendment-protected free speech. The ballot initiatives also mandated municipalities to send to those same representatives a summary of testimony presented at an annual or biennial municipal-sponsored “Democracy Day” public hearings. All 12 communities that organized successful ballot initiatives have hearings this year, 11 sponsored by municipalities. 

The 12 communities with public hearings from February to September are Defiance, Mentor, Chagrin Falls, Painesville, Toledo, Brecksville, South Euclid, Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights, Newburgh Heights and Kent. 

Seven hundred communities and eight states across the country have passed municipal resolutions and ballot initiatives since the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United decision calling on Congress to pass a Constitutional Amendment to abolish corporate constitutional rights and money defined as free speech. In addition to the 12 Ohio communities that organized ballot initiatives beginning in 2012, 14 Ohio localities have passed municipal resolutions. These include Athens, Oberlin, Barberton, Fremont, Lakewood, South Euclid, Dayton, Canton, Oxford, Lorain, Bedford Heights, Oakwood Village, Tallmadge, University Heights.

“People across our state and nation are increasingly aware of and working to resist the corruption of big money in politics and unaccountable power of corporations over literally every aspect of our lives,” said Greg Coleridge, Move to Amend National Co-Director and Cleveland Heights resident. “These public hearings are opportunities to not only oppose these developments, but to advocate for a fundamental solution to increase people power: enactment of the We the People Amendment that affirms the rights protected by the Constitution are rights intended only for human persons, not corporations, and that money spent in elections is not free speech and can be publicly regulated.” 

"In Ohio we are directly witnessing catastrophic malfeasance by corporate profit interests:  animal factory farm waste into lake Erie, toxic train wreck in East Palestine, massive corrupted buyout of Ohio elected officials in Energy policy with HR 6 and First Energy corrupting the Ohio House leadership. It’s time to end this with one single constitutional amendment,” stated Dennis Slotnick, coordinator of the Toledo Democracy Day hearing. "This year, presentations will include, but are not limited to: The climate crisis, healthcare as a human right, voter suppression, a clean and healthy Lake Erie, statewide energy policy, CAFOs & watershed management, jobs with Justice and labor interests as each relates to  a corporation is not a person and money is not the same as free speech."

“We urgently need the We the People amendment to take back the power and ‘rights’ our government have bestowed on corporations. Most Americans simply don't realize the power corporations now wield over our health, safety, and public welfare. Nor do we understand the severe consequences of corporations having the Constitutional rights of citizens. The We the People amendment will return Constitutional power and ‘rights’ to the American people not just to the moneyed interests,” stated South Euclid Democracy Day public hearing organizer Madelon Watts. 

"Democracy Day is important as we need to call attention to the solution to the problem of powerful unaccountable for profit interests, dominating our public discourse by polluting our politics and airwaves with destructive disinformation designed to divide and confuse our citizens,” said Painesville Democracy Day co-coordinator Brad Deane. “Their power is fueled by unchecked, unlimited, and unknown donations to an increasingly disconnected political class. We will only overcome this oppressive  power by declaring corporations are not people and money is not speech. Thus, removing the shield and fuel from those who seek to unjustly dominate our democracy.”

"Brecksville voters enacted an ordinance to create a Democracy day in 2012.  The ordinance provides for public hearings for citizens to express their thoughts on the influence of money in politics," stated Brecksville Democracy Day coordinator Robert S. Belovich. "This year the City administration refused to  sponsor Democracy Day. Nevertheless  Brecksville Citizens for Transparent Politics have picked up the ball and are providing a public hearing. All are welcome."

Ohio Move to Amend State Networkhttp://www.movetoamend.org/

Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Droning On… (Or What Probably Happened Over the Black Sea)

Guest blogger Coast Watcher uses his history insights and his love of World War II era aircraft to explain the propaganda rolling in from the mainstream media outlets about the downed US drone over the Black Sea. Then he takes a look at a interesting tale spun to explain the Nord Stream pipelines bombing, and why Poland wants to take on Russia itself. It seems that "fiction" isn't always quite as convincing as the propagandists hope it will be, but it sure is strange at times!

The V1 was the "drone bomber" of its day.

Droning On… 

(Or What Probably Happened Over the Black Sea)

by Coast Watcher
Ned Price, US State Department spokesperson, piled derision on the heads of the Russian pilots responsible for bringing down the unmanned American MQ9 Reaper drone over the Black Sea recently.
“It probably was the result of profound incompetence on the part of one of these Russian pilots,”Price said.

Incompetence? I think not.

Pilots were using similar techniques to bring down pilot-less aircraft as early as the Second World War. The V1 (Vengeance Weapon) Flying Bomb was an ancestor of both the modern cruise missile and unmanned drones. Carrying 850kg of high explosives it could fly at 400 mph at a typical altitude of between 2,000 and 3,000 feet. They were launched from rails at sites across Western Europe to assault Britain and the liberated Belgian port of Antwerp. They caused thousands of casualties and great destruction.
The flying bombs had to be dealt with. Allied pilots found the most useful way was to fly close to the missile and flip it over using the high air pressure between the Allied aircraft and the V1. It brought the weapon down without risking the attacking aircraft and civilian casualties on the ground, and, if brought down on a sandy, silty area such as the Thames Estuary, creating a chance that the device could be recovered reasonably intact so it could be analyzed. 

Looking at the techniques used by the Russian pilots in this incident, it’s pretty clear they were attempting to down the drone without risk to themselves or civilians. The remains of the drone have now fallen into the hands of the Russians. Even if crucial data was wiped remotely from the machine’s computer, the Russians have competent techs of their own who can reconstruct or salvage such data. The Russians would have to have such people, because the mainstream media says so. How else would they be able to "influence the American electoral system" in 2016 as alleged in the Russiagate Hoax?’

Let’s not forget also that the MQ9 was operating close to Russia, not the United States. Leading terms used by American newscasters against the Russians such as harassing and aggressive to describe them patrolling their own airspace seem ridiculous when you realize the vehicle was far, far closer to the Russian mainland than to the United States, over 6,000 miles away. Who’s being aggressive here? Not Russia.  

And let’s return to that mention of "profound incompetence"on the part of the pilots. What do you say about the skills of an American pilot who takes two air-to-air missiles costing around half a million dollars apiece to shoot down… a weather balloon?


We Can Sell You Lies Wholesale!

Of course, it’s all of a piece with Western propaganda. We’re now told to believe that a small sailing yacht was used by "Ukrainian interests" to sabotage the Nord Stream II pipelines. This vessel of around fifty displacement tons supposedly has the capacity to mount decompression chambers, specialized diving equipment, specialized explosives, sophisticated SONAR capable of locating the pipelines and house a minimum of six deep sea diving experts capable of operating at 230 feet depth.

Weeks have passed since Seymour Hersh’s revelation about the United States’ Navy’s mission to destroy Nord Stream II with cooperation from the Norwegian military, and this is the best story they can come up with?

Laughable. In fact, the Powers That Be should’ve gone directly to a Hollywood/Broadway scriptwriter. They would’ve come up with something a little more believable. You know, like what happened in the movie Wag the Dog?

The propaganda isn’t really working too well. Mass protests against the war and its likely escalation are taking place across Europe, yet the official narrative ignores them, just as it ignores the mass protests taking place in France against President Macron’s decision to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. In spite of all this strength of feeling against war, the Powers That Be are determined to escalate, leading us by the hand—or should that be nose—into World War III.

Leaving aside the growing crisis against China (which is a whole other article), we can see the next stage taking shape in Eastern Europe.

Poland has a predominantly right-wing government. It announced recently that if (more likely when) Ukraine loses its war, Poland will attack Russia. All this while Poland’s making a tidy profit out of the estimated 1.3 million Ukrainian refugees fleeing the fighting by charging them costs for housing.

The Polish defense budget has been doubled. Poland’s already in the process of raising an army of 300,000 troops with recruiting centers opening around the country. Any student of history will be aware of the lasting bad blood between Poland and Russia since the Nazi-Soviet pact that saw the country divided between the two powers following the invasions of 1940, and Stalin’s callous refusal to allow Red Army support for the Warsaw Uprising of August 1, 1944 - October 2, 1944.

Just as the United States will fight this manufactured war "to the last Ukrainian," so it’ll fight Russia to the last Pole.

Will all this drag Europe and the world into WW III? It’s possible that cooler heads will prevail, that the public outcry—already pretty strong—will grow to the point governments cannot ignore it, or face losing their positions, and possibly lives.

Let’s hope so.

BIO: Coast Watcher is incredulous that the propagandists can pull the wool over everyone's eyes all at once, everywhere, all the time. But it does seem like they've got a lock on the content coming out of the mainstream media outlets. The poor history education most Americans receive in school doesn't help matters any, either. Still, he's hoping that the truth will prevail.


Related Articles:

Everything we know about the US drone that crashed in the Black Sea https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-64972002

After nuclear-capable B-52 flies near Russian airspace, British and German warplanes intercept Russian jet over Baltic https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/03/18/1981-m18.html

Poland dreams of building Europe’s largest army, against backdrop of Russia’s war against Ukrainehttps://theconversation.com/poland-dreams-of-building-europes-largest-army-against-backdrop-of-russias-war-against-ukraine-192580
Poland to charge Ukrainian refugees for government-provided housing  https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/poland-charge-ukrainian-refugees-government-provided-housing-2022-11-29/

Major US Outlets Found Hersh's Nord Stream Scoop Too Hot to Handle https://scheerpost.com/2023/03/04/major-us-outlets-found-hershs-nord-stream-scoop-too-hot-to-handle/

Abnormal for West to Dodge Nord Stream Explosive Revelations https://enapp.globaltimes.cn/article/1286480 
US and NATO Allies Were Responsible for Nearly 65% of Global Arms Exports in 2018-22 https://scheerpost.com/2023/03/15/us-and-nato-allies-were-responsible-for-nearly-65-of-global-arms-exports-in-2018-22/
“Our Society Is Sick” | They Brainwash You About Ukraine https://rumble.com/v2dscx9-our-society-is-sick-they-brainwash-you-about-ukraine.html 
The US Is The Greatest Threat To World Peace And Collective Humanity  https://popularresistance.org/the-us-is-the-greatest-threat-to-world-peace-and-collective-humanity/ 
Massive Archive of Iraq War Lies Disappeared from "Center for Public Integrity"  https://censorednews.substack.com/p/massive-archive-of-iraq-war-lies
War Made Easy: Will US Media Finally Admit Its Craven Complicity in Iraq War? https://scheerpost.com/2023/03/19/war-made-easy-will-us-media-finally-admit-its-craven-complicity-in-iraq-war/
Chris Hedges: The Lords of Chaos  https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/the-lords-of-chaos
Daniel Ellsberg Is Calling on All of Us to Work to Avert Nuclear War
More on the train derailment tragedy in Ohio:
East Palestine Now Being Blamed on Russia! No Kidding (video) https://youtu.be/X4K7mDTAJAs
Seen on Twitter:


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Digital McCarthyism

Digital McCarthyism

by C. A. Matthews

It was bound to happen sooner or later. And it did—a self-proclaimed “very important person in government” would impugn the integrity of a journalist who—gasp!—actually posts his/her/their work online for others to read. That this government VIP is Congress-thing Debbie Wassermann-Schultz of Florida comes to no surprise to anyone who followed the Bernie Sanders saga on this blog. 
Yes, it’s the same disgraced Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, former DNC chair, who ultimately took the fall for screwing Bernie over in the Democratic Party primaries of 2016. Somehow she always lands on her feet—unlike her boss Joe Biden, who has been filmed tripping both up and down stairs lately.
So, here we are in the year 2023 and Miss Debbie and her Democratic Party friends find it suspect that an award-winning journalist like Matt Taibbi has a Substack page and edits a digital magazine. The nasty implications the Dems leveled at Matt at a Congressional "Weaponization of Government" hearing this week reveal just how terrified the establishment is that We the People might actually wake up and learn the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth from a Tweet or a Substack post.
The Dems acted so contemptuously that even a non-voting delegate from the US Virgin Islands called Matt a “so-called journalist” and didn’t even apologize for her rudeness. That’s rich coming from a “so-called Congress member” who doesn’t even have voting privileges! By comparison, the Republicans on the committee came off sounding like angels as they questioned Matt and his fellow journalist Michael Shellenberger. (Guess the Dems' billionaire donors told the Dems it’s the Red Hats’ time to win, so go ahead and act like ill-mannered brats, huh?)
The nasty implications
the Dems leveled at Matt reveal just how terrified the establishment is that We the People might actually read a Tweet or Substack post and realize how corrupt the US government truly is and how far they will go to censor this truth. In this instance, Matt and Michael, who both worked on The Twitter Files, discovered and revealed nefarious attempts at social media censorship by various US government agencies and related organizations working on their behalf to censor tweets they didn't like. These censorship actions could possibly get folks in the current administration into big trouble.
But nothing good ever comes from revealing the truth, now does it?
I couldn’t care less what Miss Debbie and her buddies in Congress have to say except they’re in positions of power and have recently come up with such criminal designations as “domestic terrorism” to describe what environmental activists (such as the ones at Cop City/Welaunee Forest in Atlanta) do whenever they hold a protest to protect the Earth
That designation really hurts. Just because we want everyone to have clean air, land, and water doesn’t make us domesticated at all. Far from it. And I apologize for any “terror” having drinkable water and less pollution in our food, skies, and bodies of water causes you, but there you have it. 
I’m one of those crazy people like Matt Taibbi who make pointed observations about our society and publish their thoughts online. We have an overwhelming desire to share information with others so they can know the truth and learn to think for themselves. Miss Debbie and the Kool-Aid Drinking Cult of Democrats will just have to get over their terror of We the People finding out what’s been going on behind the scenes in the world of government propaganda and censorship as well as the running of the government itself.
The Ministry of Truth—or the
DHS Bureau of Disinformation or whatever it’s being called nowadays—worked overtime to cover up their disinfo operations in “Russiagate.” They are royally ticked off to have had their manipulations exposed, which possibly explains Miss Debbie’s surliness. All the smart kids now have no excuse to believe Russia had anything to do with the 2016 presidential election thanks to Matt and others revealing this in The Twitter Files. The “Censorship-Industrial Complex” has been exposed.
Even The New York Times recently was forced to reveal that Russiagate was all a big lie perpetuated by a supposed "Russian propaganda tracking" dashboard called Hamilton 68 or Jefferson Airplane 747 or something like that. Matt Taibbi discovered it was all an operation to cloud the issues and confuse voters in order to cover up the simple fact that warmonger/DOMA supporter Hillary Clinton couldn’t beat her good friend, used car salesman Donald Trump, in something called the US 2016 presidential election.
Nothing important really. The billionaires of the US Military-Congressional-Industrial Complex got their war in Ukraine eventually. They even used the four years Trump was in office to further smear Russia’s reputation via the Russiagate hoax and make people forget all about the Maidan Coup of 2014 and the eight years of Ukraine bombing the civilians of the Donbass region. In the end, the arms manufacturers were glad the Orange Man won. They’re rolling in money nowadays.
So, forgive me when I say that US presidential elections aren’t all that important. They’re not as important as a journalist revealing the US government's sanctioning of an actual terrorist attack on another country’s LNG pipelines located under the Baltic Sea. Elections aren’t as important as possibly instigating a war with a nuclear power.
An award-winning journalist named Seymour Hersh revealed this truth to the world last month. For his courage and hard work, he is being slandered and libeled by his lesser peers at the behest of the government propagandists that Miss Debbie and her darling Dems keep protecting and accusing Matt Taibbi of exposing in The Twitter Files. One of their biggest smears concerning Sy Hersh’s journalistic integrity and impeccable career is that he first published his Nord Stream 2 explosion article on his Substack, probably because US government propagandists pressured mainstream media outlets not to publish it. 
How can the US government fool We the People into thinking that a small group of “Pro-Ukrainian non-state actors” blew up pipelines of such a grand size, found underwater at a depth only a professional military operation handled by US Navy deep sea divers could have done? The New York Times and Washington Post are trying hard with this rather wimpy story (possibly written by the Disinformation Bureau), but it’s not having as much success as Sy Hersh’s better researched story.
The massive amounts of time and money spent brainwashing We thePeople into thinking the “Uni-party that Goes by Two Names” isn’t corrupt and owned by billionaires is a crime—not what Matt Taibbi and Michael Shellenberger do for a living. Just think of what could have been done with all the energy and resources wasted by our government’s propagandistsMaybe we could have tackled homelessness in America and forgiven thousands of student loan debts. Medicare For All could have been enacted and saved millions of Americans their lives and their personal finances.
realize now those things aren’t important to well-off Miss Debbie and her fellow VIPs in Congress, but they are important to We the People, the workers, the 99%. A whole lot of our family members, friends, and neighbors who suffered or are still suffering from homelessness, student loan debt, and no health care could be alive, healthy, and happy today if Miss Debbie and her kind actually cared enough to work for us instead of their billionaire donors with their insatiable need to shut down indie journos like Matt and company.
Senator Joseph McCarthy became infamous for calling journalists, authors, actors, and others “Communists” in the 1950s. Sen. McCarthy destroyed the careers and lives of innocent Americans with his baseless accusations and all for what? To shut up people he didn’t agree with and didn’t want others to learn important facts from. 
Now we’re living in the era of “Digital McCarthyism” where the politician-puppets working for the billionaires shut down truth-tellers online via shadow-banning and outright closing down of social media accounts. Censorship and destroying the reputations of others was wrong seventy years ago, and it’s still wrong today.
I asked you to do a couple of things a few weeks back in regards to the East Palestine, Ohio, train derailment story. Are you still doing them? Are you making notes of how and when the mainstream media ignores big stories or tries to slant them in a way to cover up for whatever billionaire, corporation, or government official might be at fault? Are you still comparing and contrasting news articles/stories by independent journalists with the "so-called journalists" of the mainstream media? Keep it up. 
Watch out for
ad hominem (personal) attacks that are made by those in authority (and their sycophants) against the messengers (like Matt Taibbi, Michael Shellenberger, and Seymour Hersh) of potentially embarrassing messages. Always focus on the message and not the medium (newspaper, TV, radio, podcast, blog, Tweet, etc.) that the message happens to occur in. Do your research and find out who the messenger really works for and what’s in it for them. Are they working to spread propaganda for the government or a private corporation? What has this person or organization got to lose if the truth comes out?
Why do the powerful feel that turning independent journalists into pariahs will keep them, the elites, safe from We the People exacting justice upon them? When the truth reveals itself in time, the shit always hit the fan. And the results aren’t pretty. Why tempt fate?
Guess whatwe’re suspect too! Follow us on Substack at therevolutioncontinues.substack.com It’s where all the cool kids like Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Aaron Mate, Chris Hedges, Seymour Hersh and so many other independent journalists post their work. I’m assuming you’re not living in the 18th century like Miss Debbie and her friends, and are, in fact, reading this article on a computer, cell phone, tablet, or similar device. I really doubt you’re reading this via smoke signals or on the remains of dead trees. Please, replant those dead trees if you are. Our planet needs all the trees we can grow to avert the climate catastrophe to come. We “domestic terrorists” want to save all the trees that we can, like the ones in Atlanta. Thank you.
Related Links (lots of revealing video links):
The Democrats' Disastrous Miscalculation on Civil Liberties https://www.racket.news/p/the-democrats-disastrous-miscalculation
The Twitter Files

Matt Taibbi Schools Dem Congressman On Purpose Of “Twitter Files” Hearing https://youtu.be/yy51IrTq61Y
Court Admits DNC and Debbie Wasserman Schulz Rigged Primaries Against Sanders https://observer.com/2017/08/court-admits-dnc-and-debbie-wasserman-schulz-rigged-primaries-against-sanders/

Dems Attack ‘Twitter Files’ Journalists & Completely Clown Themselves https://youtu.be/EzcAIJUKEIw

Matt Taibbi BATTLES Congress https://youtu.be/qD1HXnd8ruo

How the media misled us about Russiagate w/Jeff Gerth | The Chris Hedges Report https://youtu.be/IiefPIKp9XY

Russiagate was a hoax w/Matt Taibbi | The Chris Hedges Report
Unchastened by its Russigate Embarrassment the NY Times Doubles Down in its Special Counsel Coverage

Matt Taibbi Squares Off w/ House Dems Over #TwitterFiles | SYSTEM UPDATE #52 https://rumble.com/v2cel4c-system-update-show-52.html

Debbie Wasserman Schultz vs Matt Taibbi (go to 1:50 in the video) https://www.youtube.com/live/ZiUroNVKtqw

How the USA PATRIOT Act redefines "Domestic Terrorism"

23 charged with domestic terrorism over protest against proposed Atlanta, Georgia police training center https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/03/10/bcbm-m10.html

How America Took Out The Nord Stream Pipeline

White House Counters Hersh’s Reputation With Weak ‘Intelligence’ https://popularresistance.org/nord-stream-attack-white-house-counters-hershs-reputation-with-weak-intelligence/

US complicity in Nord Stream bombing stands exposed

US Officials Point the Finger at Pro-Ukrainian Group for Nord Stream Attack https://scheerpost.com/2023/03/05/us-officials-point-the-finger-at-pro-ukrainian-group-for-nord-stream-attack/

More on the Norfolk Southern train derailment aftermath:

How Corporate Greed Destroyed East Palestine (Documentary by Second Thought) https://youtu.be/TcSLlveDu6k

Another Norfolk Southern Train Derailed as Its CEO Testified Before the Senate https://truthout.org/articles/another-norfolk-southern-train-derailed-as-its-ceo-testified-before-the-senate/

Railroad Executives Got Cash, In Part For ‘Record’ Train Length

Norfolk Southern Conductor Killed in Crash as Train Safety Bill Faces Pushback https://truthout.org/articles/norfolk-southern-engineer-killed-in-crash-as-train-safety-bill-faces-pushback/

Norfolk Southern’s “six point plan” for rail safety: More PR damage control after East Palestine, Ohio derailment

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