The True Face of Facebook and Quakers Arrested
Hello again and welcome back to our USA Really daily podcast for December 12. This is your one-stop place to get all the freshest and hottest news, straight off the presses, from an unbiased point of view—which you rarely if ever get from the mainstream media. We also bring you original analytical opinion pieces from real Americans who speak to your real concerns.
But before we get into all that, first some announcements: Don’t forget that our Global Democracy Award contest has been EXTENDED until December 31, giving you another month to get us your original works about the US government’s interference in other countries! This is a serious contest, offering thousands of dollars to the winners! And we also still have our Zuckerberg Wanted action going, where we’re looking for solid evidence of the government enforcing illegal censorship online, and especially on social networks. If you have something solid, you could find yourself the happy owner of several thousands of dollars, so check this out now!
Let’s get things rolling by talking about today’s opinion piece. It’s called “Brave New World as we “Faceoff with Facebook” – But what’s the Alternative?” and it’s by Jeffrey K. Silverman. He writes: “Facebook is not really anybody’s friend and that is becoming too obvious, not only in terms of internet censorship and their so-called community standards; they are most selective at whom they block. This begs the question as “who is really behind the curtain?” Coincidence or not, two of my publishing outlets: Veterans Today, VT, and USA Really are both blocked—their links cannot be shared by Facebook. I guess that says something good about me, and the company that I keep, or that I keep VERY BAD company and I am not a very politically expedient or correct person—even a useful idiot. My social media savvy friend was curious as why my publishing sites were blocked, “Did VT or USA Really post anti-FB propaganda or something?” I explained that it was more complicated than that and based on being one of many alternative media sites which are on the wrong side of political expediency; you don’t make friends by speaking truth to power.” Indeed, speaking truth in today’s world can certainly get us in trouble. But check out this piece today to find out more about Facebook’s dirty laundry and how they really treat their users.
Of course, next is up our “This Day in History” piece, where we give you some history fun. On this day in 1862, the Civil War made it all the way to Yazoo. For Yazooans, the war at first seemed far away. For its first full year, life at home went on quietly. And in those early, heady days of the conflict, most Yazooans expected things to remain that way. By the spring of 1862, there were significant losses nearer to home in the Western Theater. Union victories at Pea Ridge in Arkansas and Shiloh in Tennessee made the way towards Mississippi's doorstep. Then it became clear that the battle could not be avoided. On this day in 1874, the first White House state dinner was offered… for the king of Hawaii! That’s pretty cool—back in the day before Hawaii was American. And on this day in 1941, the US seized the French liner Normandie. Head on over to this piece to get all the details to give you the warm and fuzzies.
And don’t forget to check out Part 23 of our series “Voting Problems, Fraud, Scandals Plague Polling Places Across America,” this time on Minnesota.
And a second piece on voting fun from that great state: “Minnesota Write-In Votes Disappeared Along With Their Candidates.” Most states require write-in candidates for higher offices to register before or after an election to have their votes counted, including Minnesota. St. Louis County Clerk Phil Chapman said no write-in candidates filed to have their votes counted for county attorney, county sheriff, and county commission board seats or for the 8th District Congressional race. Any write-in candidate for federal, state, judicial or county office in Minnesota must submit a simple form to the Minnesota Secretary of State at least a week before the general election. And no write-ins are allowed in the primary. Otherwise, the votes are simply counted as "write-in," with no clue as to what was written in. Sounds nice and efficient, doesn’t it?!
And you know we have to do it—more fun with the migrants, only this time, it’s not immigrants who got arrested, but full-on Americans who were demonstrating. This is a tough situation. On the one hand, I respect and agree with Trump’s policies, but I also agree that Americans have the right to protest and demonstrate, but then again, they weren’t arrested simply for demonstrating, but for entering a restricted zone. So lots of moving parts here, but in the end, restricted does mean restricted. But about 400 people in all, representing Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and indigenous communities all came out to take a stand for the immigrants. “As a Quaker who believes in our shared humanity...we’re calling on the U.S. to respect the rights of migrants,” said Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee, which has run a week of actions to back migrants. It looks like in all 32 people were arrested—one for assaulting an officer, the rest for trespassing. This whole migrant story is sure to stay in the news cycle for quite a while, and get all the latest details in our piece, “U.S. Border Patrol Arrests 32 at Demonstration Supporting Asylum Seekers.”
Our next piece is all about the benjamins, baby, and to be honest it totally goes over my head. I’ve said before that the economy is way too complicated for me, and this piece, “Fed decides to replace key rate,” is all about the Federal Reserve and interest rates and liquidity and all kinds of stuff that I’ve just never gotten into and wrapped my head around. But for those who get their motors running by this stuff: spurred by declining volumes and the dominance of a few participants in the market for Fed funds, the central bank has started discussing potential alternative policy benchmarks as it seeks firmer control over the nation’s short-term interest rates. Moreover, “The Fed knows that Fed funds is flawed,” said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. interest-rate strategy at Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). “It’s probably fatally flawed in their mind, and in the market’s mind.” This piece will help you unpack and unwind all of that, so be sure to check it out!
Then we have more on the wild and wooly case of the Chinese CFO who was arrested in Canada with the US’s involvement: “Trump says he could weigh in on Huawei CFO case.” At the request of US authorities, Huawei Technologies executive Sabrina Meng Wanzhou was arrested earlier this month in Vancouver on charges of violating US sanctions against Iran, involving a company she supposedly runs in Iran and has been deceiving international banks about. President Trump said on Tuesday he would intervene with the Justice Department in the case against the Chinese telecommunications executive if it would help secure a trade deal with Beijing. “If I think it’s good for the country, if I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security – I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary,” Trump said in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters in the Oval Office. Check out this full piece for all the background and important details surrounding this case!
Next up: “Shale gas: an additional source of energy and problems.” The U.S. government has become a pitchman for the natural gas industry. That could raise profits — and temperatures. But cheap gas appeared to be too expensive for America in terms of environmental safety. Three states — Louisiana, Texas and Pennsylvania-are on the verge of an environmental disaster. American gas production is projected to account for almost 40% of the world’s gas growth through 2040, according to the International Energy Agency. Countries like China are buying up tank loads of LNG — natural gas that has been supercooled to liquefy it — to generate power, heat buildings, and fuel trucks. Now ordinary Americans have no choice but to sue oil companies that have spoiled nature in the residential areas of the country and tightly seal water pipelines. Otherwise, there is no choice but to continue drinking muddy, flammable water from the tap. Sounds pretty apocalyptic!
And that is our news for the day, so let’s take a look at tomorrow’s opinion piece and bounce on outta here! It’s called “The Catch-all word in American policy discussions is now “Hate”” and it’s by Seraphim Hanisch. He writes: “In recent years the American media’s “buzzword” in political discourse is “hatred.” This word, presented in its various forms, serves as an effective show-stopper in some people’s minds, easily drawn out and used, not to win a debate, but to prevent one. At first it seemed that this term was used almost exclusively by the Left against conservatives, most notably Christians who adhered to traditional values-based Christianity rather than the “new” expressions that espouse everything from legalized narcotics to homosexuality and everything in between. Such people were termed not only as “haters”, but also as “racists”, “bigots” and other terms that were designed again, not to win the debate, but to prevent it. It worked remarkably well. A Christian, faced with being called a “hateful person” usually found himself or herself in the position to try to defend themselves against the label of “hateful” and the consequent discussion of the issue was lost.” Hanisch also takes you, the reader, through a short history of this phenomenon and talks about how its developed and where we’re headed, and what it means for discourse in America. Check it out!
And with that, we sign off for the night. Thanks for listening, thanks for reading, and keep it right here for all the news you need to know.