Australian news, and some related international items

TODAY. Australian Nuclear Free Alliance (ANFA) meeting across the nation, via Zoom.

Nobody wants the Covid-19 pandemic, but at the same time, it has resulted in enabling people across the continent to meet digitally, to build their awareness, and collaboration for action on nuclear issues.

Leading activists met on 16th July for the national ANFA meeting via Zoom – representing groups such as Friends of The Earth, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, Medical Association for the Prevention of War, Conservation Council of Western Australia – and with people from at least 4 States and the Northern Territory.

These groups are working away quietly, informing communities, and encouraging governments to promote clean energy. and to protect Australia from the hazards of the nuclear industry.

These are some of the areas that they are working on:

Uranium mining: Preventing uranium mining in Western Australia, the rehabilitation of The Ranger and Rum Jungle closed mines,  Olympic Dam’s problems of water guzzling, dangerous tailings wates, injustice to Aboriginal people. Australia sends uranium to Russia, and to Ukraine.

Nuclear Weapons: – some political support for Australia to join the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, from Labor. the Greens. the Teals, and even some Liberals

Nuclear submarines: The former Morrison government’s $170 billion plan to get them is by no means a done deal – how it can be scrapped or altered.

Nuclear wastes: the coming court case in which the Bargarla people oppose the plan for a nuclear waste dump at Kimba, South Australia – a plan in which they,  and the wider South Australian community, were excluded from decision making. 

The new Labor governments – federal and South Australian, have inherited these very poor decisions from the previous Liberal Coalition administration. ANFA is working to advise and influence the Albanese government to review these decisions.

July 16, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

How social media is censored by algorithms to effectively throttle dissent.

ED note: This article is very personal for me. I’ve had the experience in the last few days of Facebook suppressing my post (posted as Noel Wauchope). The post was a transcript of a Youtube item by prestigious Australian journalist Michael West

It was an important article, showing up the hypocrisy of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, in this case , shamefully and inaccurately promoting nuclear power as ”cheap”

I can dispute this censorship – but that could take months – even if I succeed, it would be too late to matter.

Censorship By Algorithm Does Far More Damage Than Conventional Censorship, Caitlin’s Newsletter, Caitlin Johnstone Jan 25 2022

”…………………………………………………….’And Silicon Valley did eventually admit that it was in fact actively censoring voices who fall outside the mainstream consensus. In order to disprove the false right-wing narrative that Google only censors rightist voices, the CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet admitted in 2020 to algorithmically throttling World Socialist Website. Last year the CEO of Google-owned YouTube acknowledged that the platform uses algorithms to elevate “authoritative sources” while suppressing “borderline content” not considered authoritative, which apparently even includes just marginally establishment-critical left-of-center voices like Kyle Kulinski. Facebook spokeswoman Lauren Svensson said in 2018 that if the platform’s fact-checkers (including the state-funded establishment narrative management firm Atlantic Council) rule that a Facebook user has been posting false news, moderators will “dramatically reduce the distribution of all of their Page-level or domain-level content on Facebook.”…………………….

That’s the biggest loophole the so-called free democracies of the western world have found in their quest to regulate online speech. By allowing these monopolistic megacorporations to become the sources everyone goes to for information (and even actively helping them along that path as in for example Google’s research grants from the CIA and NSA), it’s possible to tweak algorithms in such a way that dissident information exists online, but nobody ever sees it.

You’ve probably noticed this if you’ve tried to search YouTube for videos which don’t align with the official narratives of western governments and media lately. That search function used to work like magic; like it was reading your mind. Now it’s almost impossible to find the information you’re looking for unless you’re trying to find out what the US State Department wants you to think. It’s the same with Google searches and Facebook, and because those giant platforms dictate what information gets seen by the general public, that wild information bias toward establishment narratives bleeds into other common areas of interaction like Twitter as well.

The idea is to let most people freely share dissident ideas and information about empire, war, capitalism, authoritarianism and propaganda, but to make it increasingly difficult for them to get their content seen and heard by people, and to make their going viral altogether impossible. To avoid the loud controversies and uncomfortable public scrutiny brought on by acts of overt censorship as much as possible while silently sweeping unauthorized speech behind the curtain. To make noncompliant voices “disappear from view so slowly you won’t even notice,” as Cook put it

The status quo is not working. Our ecosystem is dying, we appear to be rapidly approaching a high risk of direct military confrontation between nuclear-armed nations, and our world is rife with injustice, inequality, oppression and exploitation. None of this is going to change until the public begins awakening to the problems with the current status quo so we can begin organizing a mass-scale push toward healthier systems. And that’s never going to happen as long as information is locked down in the way that it is.

Whoever controls the narrative controls the world. And as more and more people get their information about what’s happening in the world from online sources, Silicon Valley algorithm manipulation has already become one of the most consequential forms of narrative control.

July 16, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, media, secrets and lies | Leave a comment

Russia’s will to win in Ukraine By Jared Peterson 8 July 22,

There was never a U.S. or Western strategic interest in Ukraine for which it was rational for us to provoke this war.  And once this war started, Russia’s commitment to its successful conclusion — inevitably, unavoidably — was known to all who could fog a mirror as greater than that of the U.S. and the West.

Western policy elites who claim not to have seen this war coming — after the Biden administration treated Ukraine as a de facto member of NATO during all of 2021, and after Russia had been saying for nearly a decade that it would not tolerate Ukraine as a U.S. military bulwark on its border — are just plain fools.  If they really were this blind, they were unqualified for their jobs.

Before the war started, as late as December of 2021, the Russians very probably would have settled the Ukraine problem by a declaration of permanent Ukrainian neutrality (i.e., no NATO membership, ever); some form of reasonable autonomy for the Russian-speaking, pro-Russian Donbas within Ukraine; and recognition of Crimea as Russian.  This settlement in no way would have adversely affected legitimate U.S./Western interests.  The only U.S. ox that would have been gored by this settlement would have been that of our odious neocon triumphalists, who want America to destroy Russia and become the world’s unquestioned hegemon.

Now, after Russian lives, treasure, and U.S.-orchestrated sanctions and obloquy, who knows what Russia’s demands will be?

Those who think Russia will be defeated in this war are whistling past the graveyard.  They should listen to John Mearsheimer

The Russians will not be defeated, period, for the simple reason that, by orders of magnitude, Ukraine means more to them than it does to us.  They see a Ukraine within NATO, armed to the teeth with U.S. sophisticated weapons aimed at them, as an existential threat to mother Russia.  They won’t let it happen.  They have said so for years.  If the war looks as though it’s moving toward a Russian defeat, they will do what it takes to avert that.   We don’t want that outcome.  That way lies catastrophe.

The West’s interest in Ukraine, on the other hand, is merely a neocon, U.S. hegemony adventure, seeking to assert U.S. top dog dominance in Eastern Europe, and thereafter the world.  Failing to achieve this foolish and arrogant goal, the culmination of U.S.-sponsored eastern expansion of NATO to which Russia has objected vigorously since the time of Yeltsin would in no way threaten any real U.S. or Western interest.

Other things being roughly equal (as they are in this war), victory in war goes to the side with the greater commitment and willingness to suffer.  Russia has the greater will in this war.  And it knows how to suffer.  Therefore, it wins. 

Unless the Pentagon chooses nuclear Armageddon, in which case both sides will lose.

It was a fool’s errand for the U.S. to provoke this war, and for that matter a fool’s errand from the start (1999), for the U.S. to expand NATO eastward in the total absence of any Russian threat after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
It’s very hard to see how this can end other than very badly. 

July 16, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment