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HI’s Michael Nevradakis discusses Greece’s economic “recovery” & EU political crisis on Fault Lines Radio

The realities of Greece’s “exit from the crisis” and the EU’s attitudes towards Southern Europe were covered in today’s interview.

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Michael Nevradakis, Hellenic Insider’s “head insider,” was interviewed today on Radio Sputnik’s “Fault Lines” program, which airs on Radio Sputnik US, broadcasting on 105.5 FM and 1390 AM in the Washington DC area.

In this 20-minute interview, Nevradakis largely focused on Greece’s so-called economic “recovery” and the decades of austerity which the current SYRIZA-led government has committed to, drawing parallels with the recent political crisis in Italy. He discussed examples with the democratic will of voters in Europe was overturned, as well as first-hand experiences with EU technocrats and their attitudes towards Southern Europe. The Macedonia dispute was also on the agenda, but due to a lack of time, the discussion will be saved for a new, forthcoming broadcast.

Listen to the full interview here:

“Fault Lines” is hosted by Garland Nixon and Lee Stranahan. More information is available here: https://sputniknews.com/radio_fault_lines/.

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How American propaganda bypasses the Constitution

While the First Amendment guarantees freedom of the press, this amendment only guarantees the government will not manage the news.

Seraphim Hanisch

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We are in a propaganda war unlike anything anyone ever expected in the United States. As recently as the 1970’s and 1980’s, the common knowledge even among young elementary school students was that the Government of the United States cannot restrict the operation of a free press. Freedom of speech was taught and vaunted as one of our most precious rights, and the Soviet Union’s history of oppression was the catalyst by which love of the right of free speech was protected.

Do not let go of this freedom, or we will become like them, we were told.

But the most recent couple of years we are seeing media control in very clear obvious ways.

On October 11, Facebook’s internal news site noted that it was removing what it calls “inauthentic news sites”:

11 October 2018

Removing Additional Inauthentic Activity from Facebook

Today, we’re removing 559 Pages and 251 accounts that have consistently broken our rules against spam and coordinated inauthentic behavior. Given the activity we’ve seen — and its timing ahead of the US midterm elections — we wanted to give some details about the types of behavior that led to this action. Many were using fake accounts or multiple accounts with the same names and posted massive amounts of content across a network of Groups and Pages to drive traffic to their websites. Many used the same techniques to make their content appear more popular on Facebook than it really was. Others were ad farms using Facebook to mislead people into thinking that they were forums for legitimate political debate.

But on October 20th, with this information known, Google searches on “Facebook fake news midterm” elections first revealed absolutely nothing any earlier than August, and nothing related to the recent developments in October.

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In research for this piece, one known article on The Duran was found and brought up. By use of the specific search term “removing additional inauthentic activity from Facebook”, we were then able to get the Facebook news page. Subsequent searches on “Facebook midterms fake news” revealed quite a different response:

Oh! There it is! But several Google searches made before directly fingering the information yielded nothing, just as though the news of FB’s efforts didn’t exist.

We already know that Facebook has a core corporate culture that leans left. We also know that many groups have been removed for suspicions of being dishonest or fake news.

What we may not get is how well intertwined the majority of information services on the Internet are, and how they cooperate to manage information.

Google was the search engine used in this research. And indeed, the big four major purveyors of information and social media are Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. These sites are so widely used that they are easy to consider the first stop, the last stop and the only stop for anyone seeking information from the Internet about anything.

The absence of a search result is often enough to lead one to believe the story doesn’t really exist, or that it is a rumor. After all, if it is real news it must be on Google, right?

Wrong.

This would seem to fly in the face of the First Amendment, but it doesn’t, because the Amendment applies only to a limit of powers on the Federal Government. It cannot touch private industry, and indeed, the First Amendment actually protects the rights of individuals and companies to make any statements they wish, or to not make them.

Think of it this way: A newspaper that supports the conservative party writes and publishes news and opinion in such a manner as to bolster support for that party. The paper and its staff are entirely within their First Amendment rights to do so because the Constitution never said anything about reporting the truth. It only says that the press’ freedom cannot be abridged by the government.

So if a liberal paper wants to report the same news and give its editorial bias that supports its own causes, it may. There is not a soul in government that can stop them. But the owners of the company can.

However, those owners and editors can certainly be influenced by hidden efforts. While there is no law restricting free speech in the US, there is certainly a lot of power and money that can accomplish the same thing.

A sweetheart deal between a company CEO and his or her senator or congressman can subtly change the balance. There is no law to break involved here, though such efforts can rightly be called “collusion.” Collusion happens all the time, though, and it is always a cooperative effort so there is very little that can be done to stop it. It is not illegal in most situations, either.

Conservatives know this. They have seen the slant of mainstream media lean unerringly to the side of secular humanism, suppression or humiliation of traditional values and lifestyles, and the crazy, psychotic mixture of pacifism or warmongering as best suits the desires of the Left. We have observed this in stark fashion just this year, as critics hysterically railed at President Trump for his tough stance with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, and as they hysterically railed at President Trump for going against his promise to get out of Syria, and then again for not attacking them, and sanctioning Russia even more.

The reasoning behind the Left’s attacks was simple: If Mr. Trump wanted it, they didn’t. This is simple reasoning, indeed but it is also hysterical reasoning, which means it is insane.

The most recent outburst of media control came during the Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination and confirmation events. The eleventh-hour attacks alleging that Brett Kavanaugh was a drunken would-be rapist and the testimonies of Dr Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnik were reported with a heavy emphasis on “believe the women” and they were also tailored for a time to target Judge Kavanaugh for his anger in his response, with CNN heads saying that this anger shows that the Judge is unhinged.

Conservative media efforts to give the truth to this story were certainly going full force on Fox News and with conservative media hosts like Rush Limbaugh, but they were heading for failure. The reason for this was that the conservative arguments were not fielded on mainstream media, so they were not heard or read.

The Kavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation might not have gone through because of this. But one move saved this nomination.

President Trump began talking about it in his rallies, which the media had to cover. When Mr. Trump noted in clear language that none of these allegations were corroborated by anyone, most significantly the named witnesses of Dr Ford’s, the widespread dissemination of that news (because the press had no choice) helped turn that debacle into the nothing-burger it always was.

When news gets around that someone is trying to suppress a story, that often can result in the story getting much bigger. Social media networks have to give the appearance of fairness, after all, and refusing to report a huge story because it runs counter to the political opinion of the network is a risk no network (except maybe CNN) is willing to take.

The First Amendment means the government cannot control our news media. But this also means that the responsibility lies with the American people to control it, to uphold its freedom and to uphold the freedom of speech, be it risky or offensive or politically perilous. There is a good reason for that need.

The most risky, offensive and politically perilous pieces of news are quite often the truth.

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Hillary and Holder are hurting Democrat Party with their rhetoric

Democrat-written opinion piece points out the fact that the party has radicalized so much it has left its own supporters behind.

Seraphim Hanisch

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Fox News ran an opinion piece written by Douglas E. Schoen early Sunday. It points out how radicalized the Democrat Party has become, and it is noteworthy because Douglas Schoen is a Democrat himself. He writes (emphasis added):

As Democrats campaign for the Nov. 6 midterm elections, they have plenty of legitimate criticisms to level at President Trump and Republicans who control the House and Senate. But Democrats were hurt in recent days by amazing and disgusting comments made by Hillary Clinton and former Attorney General Eric Holder.

As a Democrat, I want my party to win as many seats as possible in the House and Senate and to capture as many governorships and other state offices as it can. But the Clinton and Holder remarks do not advance that effort – they hurt it.

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton said Tuesday that “you cannot be civil with” the Republican Party because it “wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” She added that “if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”

But even worse than Clinton’s comments were those of Eric Holder, who said at a recent campaign event in Georgia that Democrats should abandon the advice of former first lady Michelle Obama, who said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention that her party and mine should respond positively to negative attacks from the GOP.

Mrs. Obama said that “when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.”

Holder argued just the opposite, saying: “When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about.” He later said he wasn’t advocating violence – not literal kicking.

I beg to differ with both Clinton and Holder.

The only way the Democrats can regain the majority in either or both houses of Congress is by being civil, and pointing out the differences between Democrats and Republicans on the issues.

This is the real issue that should govern elections. Rather than the politics of popularity, one needs to consider policy points and which side offers points that are actually achievable, believable, concrete, desirable and specific. Calling President Trump and his administration names does not offer any constructive dialogue on policy matters.

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Conservatives and Trump supporters know this and it is precisely because of this that Donald Trump won the White House.

While the mainstream media (and here we can include Fox News largely) tried every possible way to ridicule Donald Trump’s candidacy, the people that actually listened to what he had to say found him very impressive on policy as much as his ability to speak as the voice of the people. The recent hysteria around Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination and confirmation to the Supreme Court was hysteria up front, driven by real policy fears from the deep core of liberals, as they know that this Justice is likely to form an effective wall against liberals ramming their agenda through the courts since their efforts fail legislatively so often.

Mr. Schoen continues:

As a centrist Democrat, the issue that strikes me most is the degree to which the national debt and the deficit are now out of control.

America faces uncertain and unstable times financially. Yet we are seeing a Republican-controlled Congress that has largely failed to do anything besides provide tax cuts for major corporations and the wealthiest individuals. This is by no means certain to have fundamentally altered the path of the economy or to provide economic growth.

Put another way, what the Trump administration has failed to do is to fix health care and cover pre-existing conditions more fundamentally; lead America in a fiscally responsible way; and pass tax cuts that help the average American. The Trump tax cuts have driven up the national debt and endangered funding for programs that benefit millions of people in our country.

So, here are policy points. Now we can begin to have a debate. Is Mr. Schoen right, or wrong in his information? This is far different than name-calling!

Democrats have long argued the need for a centrist agenda that focuses on:

  • Providing health-care benefits – whether private or public – to all Americans to cover expansively all pre-existing conditions.
  • Protecting the environment from the policies of the Trump administration that have only encouraged –and I dare say exacerbated – environmental degradation and climate change.
  • Promoting a pro-growth, inclusive agenda that seeks to put working people first, and the interests of Washington insiders and economic elites second. President Trump claims that he is doing this – he calls it “draining the swamp” – but this has not happened.

There is no justification for the angry rhetoric of Clinton and Holder, which only feeds into Republican claims that Democrats are an angry mob that can’t get over Clinton’s loss to Trump two years ago.

And Holder looks particularly bad because he was once the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, yet now sounds like he is effectively advocating what appears to be either illegal activities, or metaphorical initiatives that run counter to our traditions and our politics.

Hillary Clinton has said she won’t run for office again, but Holder has said he may run for president in 2020. Whoever the Democratic candidate turns out to be needs to be a responsible and respectable opponent – not one who calls for kicking the GOP or for incivility.

We should have learned from the Senate confirmation hearing for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh that resisting for the sake of resisting doesn’t work. In fact, Democratic attacks on Kavanaugh may well have backfired, recent polls show.

The Democratic Party itself is lost now, without a message, a direction, a strategy, or agenda to confront a Republican Party that is seen as in many ways as having let the American people down.

We need change – but it must be constructive change. This Democrat believes that the comments that Eric Holder and Hillary Clinton made are wrong, counterproductive, and deserve to be rejected by the leadership of the Democratic Party.

Perhaps Fox News ran this opinion piece because Douglas Schoen is the first rational Democrat contributor to say anything in some time. However, it also appears that Mr. Schoen is a minority in his own party. It is a greatly logical approach to argue policy, as he has and as anyone who really understands American government should. But it is unclear as to whether the bulk of the Democrat Party even has reasonable people remaining.

If they do, it may well be that they are being betrayed by their party’s increasingly leftist and radical positions. The Party apparatus seems focused, but it also seems to have left people like Mr. Schoen behind.

Who knows? Maybe that will bring them into the Trump camp.

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Kavanaugh circus displayed how radicalized the Left is in America

Media begins to indicate concern for life-threatening acts of political outrage, as Alinsky-esque radicalization around Kavanaugh dominates.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On Saturday, October 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh officially became Associate Justice Kavanaugh of the United States Supreme Court. His accession to the Court marked two extremely significant events in American history.

The first is the return of the Court to what is being called a “conservative majority”, where five of the justices are actually strict constitutional constructionists that accept the US Constitution as it stands without trying to “adapt it” to the present whims of society. The remaining justices are reputed to do precisely this, through their language of the Constitution as a “living document” that implies malleability.

In short, it appears that the days of imposing things, like legalized abortion and homosexual marriage through the manipulation of the Court System rather than through the passage of legislation, are probably over, or at least significantly hampered. We need one more liberal judge to retire or die for President Trump to seal the deal, but this is the first time the court has had a conservative majority in at least fifty years.

The second significant event is actually very interesting because its existence was largely brought on by the prevalence of the activist Court over these last fifty years. That is the extraordinarily aggressive and activist Left, which, rightly sensing their immediate doom, came out in droves and did everything possible to block and destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s chance at nomination.

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It should be known that they did have successes:

  • Breitbart.com, The New York Post and other sources on October 2 noted that Judge Kavanaugh will no longer be teaching at Harvard Law School. This came about after a reported “outcry” from hundreds of alumni:

Hundreds of alumni signed a letter calling on law school Dean John Manning to “rescind” Kavanaugh’s position as lecturer and prohibit him from teaching a three-week class titled “The Supreme Court Since 2005” this winter.

“We believe that Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment as an HLS lecturer sends a message to law students, and in particular female students, that powerful men are above the law, and that obstructive, inappropriate behavior will be rewarded,” says the letter, which the newspaper said is available online. “Judge Kavanaugh is not leadership material, and he is not lectureship material. HLS would be tarnished to have him on campus in any position of authority.”

The Crimson reported that the letter had 700 signatures by Monday, including alumni who graduated from as far back as 1959.

“I understand the passions of the moment. But I would say to those senators, your words have meaning,” he said. “Millions of Americans listened carefully to you. Given comments like those, is it any surprise that people have been willing to do anything, to make any physical threat against my family, to send any violent email to my wife, to make any kind of allegation against me and against my friends, to blow me up and take me down.”

But the liberals also ran a significant risk of overplaying their hand. Indeed, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson of Fox News stated as much in their commentaries one can see by clicking the above linked names.

However, the question that is presently unanswered about American politics is “how deep does this go?”

We have seen blatant, outrageous and some would say, mindless, displays of leftist radicalism in regard to Judge Kavanaugh. For the first time, we even saw conservative leadership speak back with force, as done several times by Senator Lindsey Graham, who promises to continue to drive his points home about this. See his anger here:

And indeed both Democrats and Republicans claim that the Kavanaugh controversy has energized the voters as the final month before the November Congressional midterms approaches. At the present time, the GOP side appears to be enjoying the larger boost in voter interest and committment, but there is still a full month to go.

That means that there is a great deal of time for the liberal activist side to cook something up to try to discredit and dissuade GOP and Trump supporters while at the same time ginning up the liberal / Democrat base.

However, the level of unhinged radicalism on display through the Kavanaugh proceedings was very high, and honestly, untested for its approval among the average American voters. The media was all for it with comments coming from late night show writers like Ariel Dumas, who writes for the Stephen Colbert program:

This is only one sample. All of Hollywood went in against Kavanaugh, feminists did, many deluded men (probably cowed into it by the feminists in their lives; for more on that read Paul Craig Roberts’ opinion piece here) and women who appeared to use their own real or perceived traumas as the basis for some sort of attempt at a logical argument against the judge, whose allegations proved 100% uncorroborated. 

The craziest thing about this is that the allegations and ensuing circus got very far indeed. What is not known yet is if this is strong enough to make it to the ballot boxes in November. If it does, then the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” has been swept aside by the court of public opinion, or more honestly speaking, the mob.

Mobs are fickle. A mob greeted Christ and wanted to make him king, only to be successfully turned against him five days later, screaming for his crucifixion. Mobs destroyed books in Hitler’s Germany and in the early days of the Communist Revolution, and manipulation of the masses sent hundreds of thousands of people, even tens of millions, to the death camps and to the grave. It is easy to say it cannot happen in the United States, but there is plenty of evidence to show that it not only can happen, but that it is presently happening. It may look civilized now, but death threats are often followed up, and there have been plenty of these going around lately.

Rush Limbaugh was asked months ago about how he thought these midterms would go, and his response at the time was to say that the issue that determines the outcome of the midterms had not occurred yet, so he didn’t know. Last week on Mr. Limbaugh’s radio program, the talk-show host noted that he believed the Kavanaugh issue was in fact that determining issue:

I just need to ask if any of you remember who it was who’s been saying all these months that the issues that would decide the midterm elections hadn’t happened yet. That would be me back in April, May, June, July, August. That’s right, Mr. Snerdley. That would be me. Now, here is Harwood. I think… Folks, I think just based on the way I’m watching liberal reporters talk about this today, I’m getting a sense of a bit of panic setting in.

I really believe that they thought that no matter how this Kavanaugh thing went, they would win. I think they thought they’d persuade people Kavanaugh was a reprobate and if he got confirmed it was really firepower their base that a mugger and a rapist and all this stuff’s on the court. If they lost it, ditto, same thing. I think the one thing they didn’t count on is rejuvenating and reviving the Republican base they think is happening, they think it’s happening. Here’s Harwood. He went out and talked to some voters, and this is that report.

He also noted that the level of threats against Senators supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation have been relentless:

I have been made privy to some of the comments, not just on social media, but to the offices that many Republican senators are getting. They are being deluged, their entire families are being threatened. Their grandchildren are being threatened. Their wives, their husbands, barmaids, everybody they know being threatened.

It’s enormous; it is never ending; the phones don’t stop ringing; the threatening emails and tweets do not stop arriving; it is unhinged; it is vile, and it is evil. And it’s not just Flake and Collins and Manchin. It’s all the Republicans are hearing. It is one of the most disgusting things many of these people say they’ve ever seen. In that regard, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins, I think they have to be credited for doing the right thing.

…It’s unhinged. Much of it is insane and deranged and is made up of the psychological disorders that I believe constitute now the mainstream of the Democrat Party. The protesters are paid. Their signs are all the identically manufactured, the same phrases all over them. And these people… I don’t know if you’ve received threats and I don’t know if you’ve been barraged by them, but if you have and if you believe them, they can unnerve you.

There is still a whole month to go, and only patience and dedication will win the day.

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