Crusade Against “Malinformation” Explicitly Targets Inconvenient Truths

Source: Town Hall
by Jacob Sullum

“Last month, I noted that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had repeatedly exaggerated the scientific evidence supporting face mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook attached a warning to that column, which it said was ‘missing context’ and ‘could mislead people.’ According to an alliance of social media platforms, government-funded organizations, and federal officials that journalist Michael Shellenberger calls the ‘censorship-industrial complex,’ I had committed the offense of ‘malinformation.’ Unlike ‘disinformation,’ which is intentionally misleading, or ‘misinformation,’ which is erroneous, ‘malinformation’ is true but inconvenient. As illustrated by internal Twitter communications that journalist Matt Taibbi highlighted last week, malinformation can include emails from government officials that undermine their credibility and ‘true content which might promote vaccine hesitancy.'” (03/22/23)

CA: Shasta County “in a bad place;” Mike Lindell may be to blame

Source: SFGate

“California’s Shasta County — now controlled by a conservative supermajority on the Board of Supervisors — is still gripped by 2020 presidential election conspiracy theories. Nearly two months after the board terminated its contract with Dominion Voting Systems, county leaders have yet to determine a replacement, setting the stage for a possibly contentious meeting next week. By a 3-2 margin, the board voted to end its Dominion contract in January because of debunked claims of mass voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The claims prompted Dominion to file a high-profile defamation lawsuit against Fox News and also prompted multiple incidents in Shasta County. The board is scheduled to address the matter again during its March 28 meeting. County elections chief Cathy Darling Allen told SFGATE that identifying a replacement by then is ‘essential,’ because of special elections for local offices in the county that could be scheduled for as early as August.” (03/22/23)

The Systemic Risk of Big Accounting

Source: The American Prospect
by Luke Goldstein

“Practically all corporate blow-ups begin with some creative accounting. Unfortunately, the industry best positioned to monitor malfeasance in corporate accounting hasn’t fulfilled its responsibility. In the aftermath of the FDIC’s venture capitalist bailout, Big Four accounting firm KPMG is under fire for issuing a clean bill of health on the audits of SVB, Signature, and First Republic Banks, just two weeks before their collective implosions. Until 2019, KPMG also audited Credit Suisse, which nearly went bankrupt this past week due to long-standing underlying issues, before it secured a stage-managed buyout. KPMG’s botched audits are just the most recent failures by the auditing industry that has repeatedly missed nearly every major corporate meltdown in recent decades, from Enron to Lehman Brothers to FTX. KPMG, in particular, has been a repeat offender.” (03/22/23)

Realigning California Would Realign America

Source: American Greatness
by Edward Ring

“The conventional wisdom on the Right in most of the rest of America is that California is a lost cause. Rather than fight inside California, where you are up against the most powerful and monolithic alliance of progressive special interests in the world, dedicate resources to flipping purple states, and keeping red states red. But to invert a popular quote attributed to Nietzsche, even if you do not gaze into the abyss, the abyss will still gaze back into you. California’s role in influencing the future of the country is unparalleled. In addition to its economic and demographic weight, California remains the epicenter of America’s media and entertainment industry, as well as its high-tech industry. Even if several American states defy the momentum of California’s political class, laws governing California frequently end up becoming federal policy.” (03/22/23)

Mississippi initiative proposal, minus abortion, in limbo

Source: US News & World Report

“Mississippi Senate leaders are not saying whether they will support a new initiative process that would allow voters to put proposed state laws — but nothing dealing with abortion — on the ballot. Senators face a Thursday deadline. They could accept a House proposal to create a new process, which appears unlikely. They could seek final negotiations between the two Republican-controlled chambers. Or they could let the issue die during a year when most lawmakers are seeking reelection. On Wednesday, Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and a key senator would not tell reporters whether they will keep the issue alive. Hosemann said he and other Senate leaders are making ‘good progress,’ but he would not specify what that meant. Senate Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency Committee Chairman John Polk, a Republican from Hattiesburg, said he is talking to Hosemann and Senate colleagues about the House proposal.” (03/22/23)

CA: New bill aims to outlaw caste discrimination

Source: SFGate

“California may become the first state in the nation to outlaw caste-based bias, a safeguard people of South Asian descent say is necessary to protect them from discrimination in housing, education and the tech sector where they hold key roles. State Sen. Aisha Wahab, the first Muslim and Afghan American elected to the state legislature, introduced the bill Wednesday. It adds caste — a division of people related to birth or descent — as a protected category in the state’s anti-discrimination laws. Those at the lowest strata of the caste system known as Dalits, have been increasingly calling for such legislation saying they have faced this kind of discrimination in the United States. But such policies remain divisive. Wahab said caste discrimination is ‘a social justice and civil rights issue.'” (03/22/23)

An Old Government Trick: Calling Cop City Activists “Terrorists”

Source: In These Times
by Eric Laursen

“Last month, Georgia police assassinated environmental activist Manuel Esteban Paez ‘Tortuguita’ Teran, who was defending Atlanta’s Weelaunee forest from the construction of a large police training facility, known by opponents as ​’Cop City.’ During the same raid, seven of Tortuguita’s fellow activists were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism. If they are convicted, they will receive mandatory minimum sentences of 5 to 35 years in prison. Reporting for In These Times over two decades ago, journalist Eric Laursen described how the U.S. government used terrorism charges to suppress environmental protests. His subject, Long Island activist Connor Cash, was eventually acquitted in 2004. As people continue to mourn Tortuguita with vigils and protests, this piece reminds us that, while their death is shocking, government intimidation is nothing new, and domestic terrorism charges have long been a legal and rhetorical weapon of state power.” (03/22/23)

Judge: California law mandating handgun safety features violates Second Amendment

Source: Fox News

“A federal judge on Monday blocked a California law that restricts the sale of new handguns. U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney said parts of the legislation violate the Second Amendment. He wrote that the state’s requirements for new handguns are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced. Because of these restrictions, Carney wrote, no new models of semiautomatic handguns have been approved for sale since 2013 and Californians are forced to buy older and potentially less safe models. He issued a preliminary injunction to take effect in two weeks, giving the state Department of Justice time to appeal. A lawsuit challenging the law was filed last year by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and other gun rights supporters. California law requires new handguns to have a chamber load indicator, a magazine disconnect mechanism and microstamping capability.” (03/21/23)

Russia: Regime targets leaders of banned Nobel Prize-winning group

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Nine leaders of one of Russia’s oldest human rights groups, Memorial, have been targeted in raids on their homes, 15 months after their organisation was shut down by the courts. Among them was Memorial’s co-chair, Oleg Orlov, who is facing a criminal case for ‘discrediting’ the military. Founded in 1989, Memorial aimed to remember millions of innocent people persecuted by Soviet repression. But it was liquidated ahead of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. The raids took place after Russia’s investigative committee opened a criminal investigation against Memorial for alleged ‘rehabilitation of Nazism.’ Memorial has come under political pressure for years and that intensified in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine and Russian proxy forces seized areas of eastern Ukraine. It won the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with Ukraine’s Centre for Civil Liberties and Belarusian civil rights activist Ales Bialiatski.” (03/21/23)

Is Hallie the most underrated member of the Biden family?

Source: The Spectator
by Grace Curley

“Move over Dr. B! There’s a new lady from the House of Biden who is stealing the spotlight. Hallie Biden, widow of Beau Biden and ex-lover of her brother-in-law Hunter Biden, has earned the scrutiny of the House GOP. After two months of stalling, this week the Treasury Department finally handed over suspicious activity reports relating to Hunter Biden’s finances to House Republicans. … The New York Post reported that back in 2017, ‘State Energy HK Limited, a firm affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party-backed energy company CEFC China Energy, wired $3 million to Biden family associate Rob Walker.’ Over the next three months, Walker distributed cuts of this $3 million to different members of the Biden bunch. After plenty of speculation, the new Biden was revealed: Hallie Biden.” (03/21/23)