Pompeo Targets WikiLeaks, Threatens Free Speech And Freedom Of The Press…

All who value freedom of speech specifically, and liberty in general, ought be very, very concerned. The implications contained in Pompeo’s remarks are unnerving and frankly tyrannical in nature.

Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.

Decreeing (with no evidence) that WikiLeaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia”  a belief that has become gospel in establishment Democratic Party circles – Pompeo proclaimed that “we have to recognize that we can no longer allow Assange and his colleagues the latitude to use free speech values against us.” He also argued that while WikiLeaks “pretended that America’s First Amendment freedoms shield them from justice,” but: “they may have believed that, but they are wrong.”

He then issued this remarkable threat: “To give them the space to crush us with misappropriated secrets is a perversion of what our great Constitution stands for. It ends now.” At no point did Pompeo specify what steps the CIA intended to take to ensure that the “space” to publish secrets “ends now.”

 

Read the full Intercept article BELOW THE FOLD.

Bourée

This flute-dominated instrumental, based on Bach’s ‘Suite in E Minor for Lute’, was a track on Jethro Tull’s excellent ‘Stand Up’ (1969).

Personnel: Ian Anderson (flute, vocals), Martin Barre (guitars), Glenn Cornick (bass), Clive Bunker (drums)

Composer: J.S. Bach (arr. Ian Anderson)

Anti Planned Parenthood Law Signed By Trump…

Republicans successfully pushed a bill through congress that allows states to withhold federal money from organization that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood. Today Trump signed the bill into law,

Socially conservative republicans have long disliked Planned Parenthood and the desire to defund the organization is deep. Conservatives have argued that Planned Parenthood  is an abortion mill when the reality is that abortion is a small percentage (3%) of the services provided by the organization.

Giving states the right to withhold federal monies that will result in many women not getting the services they need because a small percentage is abortion services can only be classified as a war on women. Republicans and Evangelicals base their opposition to abortion and Planned Parenthood on religious grounds.

 

Yes the above chart (link) is 8 years old, but any changes are likely to be insignificant. For folks that might like more recent data you can follow this link.

Trump, in signing this bill into law, has signaled conclusively his support for the republican backed war on women’s health.

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump privately signed a bill on Thursday that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, including Planned Parenthood, a group frequently targeted by Republicans.

The bill, which the usually camera-friendly President signed without any media present, reverses an Obama-era regulation that prohibited states from withholding money from facilities that perform abortions, arguing that many of these facilities also provide other family planning and medical services.

The bulk of federal money Planned Parenthood receives, though, goes toward preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services. Federal law prohibits taxpayer dollars from funding abortions and Planned Parenthood says 3% of the services it provides are abortions.

The signing comes weeks after Vice President Mike Pence, a social conservative who regularly touts his anti-abortion stances, cast the tie-breaking vote in the Senate after two Republicans opposed the measure.
“(Women’s) worst fears are now coming true. We are facing the worst political attack on women’s health in a generation as lawmakers have spent the past three months trading away women’s health and rights at every turn,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood, said in a statement.
Full story BELOW THE FOLD.

Don’t Look Away

If you want to wage a war,
Don’t resort to euphemisms,
Just call it by its name.
It’s not a skirmish or a conflict,
An unpleasantness or game.

If you want to support a war,
Then look it in the face.
Remember all the loss of life
Is part of your disgrace.

You can’t avoid the consequences.
You need to see them.
You need to look them in the eye.
Mutilated bodies with empty, glassy stare.
That’s how it looks when youth is forced to die.

There are sounds that you must hear,
The cries and screams of death.
The loudest sound is deafening silence
After their last breath.

To look at what you have destroyed
Requires courage and humility,
Decency, and respect.
And you must admit to your participation
And own up to its effect.

You can’t look away from atrocities,
Or ignore the waste of lives unfinished.
Your choice to engage in legal massacre
Renders all humanity diminished.

Penny Rock

Will we never learn?…

GOP Congressman Mike Coffman Says Spicer Needs To Go…

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado has openly called for Sean Spicer to go following his comments about Adolph Hitler. It is good to see that apparently still exists some republicans with principles. We realize this is only one isolated incident, but, nevertheless credit need be given when credit is due.

Aurora, Colorado (CNN) – White House press secretary Sean Spicer “needs to go” in the fallout of his comments about Adolf Hitler, Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado said Wednesday night. In doing so, Coffman appeared to become the first Republican member of Congress to publicly call for Spicer’s ouster.

Coffman, a moderate representing a swing district in and around Aurora, was asked at a town hall about Spicer’s remarks this week that even Hitler didn’t “sink to using chemical weapons” during the Holocaust. He made the remarks while discussing Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and a recent chemical attack that killed dozens in the country.

The pointed question to Coffman came from a woman who said her great-grandparents died in Auschwitz.
“What is your thoughts at this time of a president who has anti-Semetic people in his Cabinet?” she asked. She wanted Coffman’s reaction to the fact that Spicer made reference to a “Holocaust center” and suggested that “Hitler didn’t use gas on his own people.”
“I need to hear from my congressman that these things are unacceptable,” the woman said.
“Spicer made a terrible mistake yesterday. If you’re not familiar with what he did is that he…” Coffman began to say, but the audience made clear that it didn’t want to hear excuses.
Throwing up his hands, Coffman said: “He needs to go.”
Spicer has repeatedly apologized for his comments, calling them “inexcusable and reprehensible.”

Spicer should go. Hopefully Trump is paying attention and speeding up his learning curve. That’s assuming of course Trump actually thinks he can and needs to learn.