Reader’s Links for September 13, 2020

Each day at just after midnight Eastern, a post like this one is created for contributors and readers of this site to upload news links and video links on the issues that concern this site. Most notably, Islam and its effects on Classical Civilization, and various forms of leftism from Soviet era communism, to postmodernism and all the flavours of galloping statism and totalitarianism such as Nazism and Fascism which are increasingly snuffing out the classical liberalism which created our near, miraculous civilization the West has been building since the time of Socrates.

This document was written around the time this site was created, for those who wish to understand what this site is about. And while our understanding of the world and events has grown since then, the basic ideas remain sound and true to the purpose.

So please post all links, thoughts and ideas that you feel will benefit the readers of this site to the comments under this post each day. And thank you all for your contributions.

This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

115 Replies to “Reader’s Links for September 13, 2020”

  1. President Rouhani Highlights Failure of US’ Anti-Iran Plots

    “Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said hostile plots against the country have ended in failure in all arenas, pointing to the futile American attempts to reinstate the UN sanctions on Iran.

    “Although the enemy has been able to create obstacles for us in the economic field, it has failed regarding political and legal issues. It has faced at least three major historical defeats in recent months,” Rouhani said in a virtual address marking the beginning of the new academic year in Iran on Sunday.

    He also referred to the unsuccessful US effort to trigger the so-called snapback provision in the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at reinstating all UN restrictive measures against Iran.

    On August 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that US was still a participant to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and therefore retained the right to activate a 30-day countdown to a return of UN sanctions that had been imposed on Tehran before the nuclear agreement.

    However, the remaining signatories to the JCPOA maintained that since Washington had left the accord in 2018, it had no right to act under its provisions and could not initiate the “snapback” of sanctions.

    “No UN Security Council member accompanied the US in its snapback push. Until today, America has not been able to invoke the snapback mechanism,” Rouhani said.

    “The end of September is the end of the time envisioned in Resolution 2231, and the United States is basically not a member of the JCPOA,” he added, referring to the UNSC resolution that endorsed the nuclear deal.

    The Iranian president further noted that despite economic difficulties, the country has witnessed inauguration of big projects while universities and knowledge-based companies have made remarkable achievements, Press TV reported.

    “Today is the day the great Iranian nation double resilience against unprecedented sanctions and the dangerous coronavirus; this is possible with trust and hope… The reason we have been able to resist over the past 42 years is the trust of the people,” he concluded.”

  2. Egypt Sentences Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide to Life in Prison over 2013 Port Said Unrest

    “The Port Said Criminal Court sentenced Saturday former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 11 other defendants to life in prison over the 2013 unrest in Port Said.

    Other defendants include Freedom and Justice Party’s Secretary-General Mohamed El Beltagy and preacher Safwat Hegazy.

    The court also sentenced 59 others to three years in prison in the same case, as well as three to six months in prison.

    All convicts are accused of inciting violence outside the Al-Arab Police Station in Port Said in August 2013, forming an armed gang to attack police officers, vandalizing public and private property, looting arms and organizing a demonstration to obstruct law enforcement and assault state authorities.

    According to the indictment, the defendants organized a rally of 3,000 people, assaulted individuals, public and private properties and attacked public service personnel.

    They possessed unlicensed arms, including rifles and pistols, ammunition and knives and inflicted massive damage at the police station and three nearby vehicles and stores.”

  3. Turkey DM: ‘Greece violates international agreements by arming 18 islands’

    “Greece’s violation of international treaties by arming 18 Aegean islands serves only to escalate tensions and sabotage dialogue, Turkey’s top defense official said Sunday, Anadolu Agency reported.

    Greece should put aside ‘provocative behavior’ that raises tension in region, Hulusi Akar said in an interview with Anadolu Agency’s Editor-in-Chief Metin Mutanoglu in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.

    Underlining the importance of diplomacy in resolving disputes, Akar said Turkey is always on the side of dialogue and negotiation.

    However, he added that the country would continue to defend its rights in the region.

    Akar also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron’s attitude towards the dispute in the region, calling on Greeks not to fall for initiatives he is leading to “save himself.””

  4. Terrorist commander among four killed in tribal area military operation

    “The Pakistan Army in a major breakthrough has eliminated hardcore terrorist commander Ihsan Ullah alias Ihsan Sanray along with his three accomplices in an Intelligence Based Operation (IBO) in a tribal area of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

    “Terrorist commander Ihsan Ullah alias Ihsan Sanray along with 3 other terrorists killed during an Intelligence Based Operation (IBO) today in Ghariom, Shaktu near the inter district boundary of North and South Waziristan,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a tweet on Sunday…”

  5. Syrian girl allegedly injured by Greek soldier at Turkish border

    “An eight-year-old Syrian girl was injured by two rubber bullets allegedly fired by a Greek soldier at the Turkish border on Sept. 13.

    Turkish security forces were informed of nine Syrian migrants, including one who was injured, in the Meriç district of the northwestern Edirne province, bordering Greece.

    Gazin Abdu, who had been injured by rubber bullets was referred to the hospital.

    Her 19-year-old brother Hazar Abdu told Anadolu Agency that they had arrived at the Greek border hoping to cross into Europe.

    “A Greek soldier opened fire on us. My sister was injured in her foot by two rubber bullets, and then they insulted us,” he said, adding that Turkish soldiers had helped them and took her sister to the hospital.

    After routine checks, the asylum seekers were taken to the provincial migration authority.

    The EU last Thursday urged Greece to respect fundamental rights and European asylum law at the Greek-Turkish border.”

  6. Muslim scholars union forbids normalization with Israel

    “The International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) on Sunday forbade any normalization of relations with the Israeli occupation authorities.

    In a statement, IUMS Secretary-General Ali al-Qaradaghi said normalization emboldens Israel to continue its decades-long occupation of the Palestinian lands.

    “Normalization with the occupiers of Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem is forbidden and is considered a treason,” he said.

    Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, where Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. It annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move never recognized by the international community.

    On Friday, Bahrain and Israel announced a US-brokered agreement to normalize their relations, in a move that came one month after a similar deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

    Bahrain became the fourth Arab country to have diplomatic relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979, Jordan 1994 and the UAE in August 2020.

    The normalization deals have drawn widespread condemnations from the Palestinians, who say that such agreements do not serve the Palestinian cause and ignore the rights of Palestinians.

    The Palestinian Authority said any deal with Israel should be based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative on the principle of “land for peace” and not “peace for peace” as Israel claims.”

  7. Turkish police arrest 5 Daesh/ISIS terror suspects

    “Police in Turkey arrested five people allegedly linked to the Daesh/ISIS terror group, security sources said on Sunday.

    The police carried out simultaneous raids at predetermined addresses in northwestern Bursa and southern Mersin provinces, said the sources who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

    The sources said many photos and videos used by the terrorist group while disseminating propaganda were found on phones of the suspects.

    Turkey was one of the first countries to declare Daesh/ISIS as a terror group in 2013.

    The country has since been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists multiple times. The terror group has carried out at least 10 suicide bombings, seven bomb attacks, and four armed attacks, killing 315 people and injuring hundreds more.

    In response, Turkey launched anti-terror operations at home and abroad to prevent further attacks.”

  8. Greece: New migrant camp and COVID testing area set up after Moria fire

    A new migrant camp was set up on Lesbos near the Kara Tepe migrant camp, after the Moria camp fire left thousands homeless, Sunday.

    Thousands of migrants are expected to be relocated following the fires that broke out at the Moria refugee camp on Wednesday, September 9, burning large parts of it to the ground. Hundreds have reportedly already been relocated.

  9. BBC – US election 2020: Bloomberg donates $100m for Biden in Florida

    Billionaire Mike Bloomberg has pledged at least $100m (£78m) to help Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign in Florida.

    Of the battleground states Florida offers the biggest share of the electoral college votes needed to win.

    Mr Bloomberg already spent $1bn this year trying to defeat Mr Biden to become the Democratic challenger.

    Donald Trump has hinted he will spend his own money in the state ahead of early voting opening on 24 September.

    Both campaigns are keen to appeal to voters who may be casting their votes early by post and set the tone of the final weeks of their campaigns.

    Postal voting is expected to be double that seen in 2016 as the coronavirus pandemic spurs voters to avoid polling stations.

    Florida offers 29 of the 270 electoral college voters needed to win the election. Only California (55) and Texas (38) offer more but are seen as safe Democrat and Republican territory respectively. President Trump won Florida in 2016, while Democrat Barack Obama took the state in 2012.

    “Mike Bloomberg is committed to helping defeat Trump, and that is going to happen in the battleground states,” Kevin Sheekey, an adviser to Mr Bloomberg, told Reuters.

    In a tweet, Donald Trump reacted by criticising Mr Bloomberg’s own run to become the Democratic candidate for president in which he reportedly spent $409m (£313m).

    “I thought Mini Mike was through with Democrat politics,” he wrote about the former mayor of New York City. “Save NYC instead.”

    Nationally Mr Biden is leading in the polls.

    • bloomberg – Trump Vote-Rigging Claims Fit Russia’s Plan, Former Top Spy Says

      President Donald Trump is playing into Russia’s hands by claiming that his political adversaries are trying to rig the U.S. election, a former senior intelligence official said.

      Sue Gordon who left the second-highest post in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence a year ago, said that the nation’s election infrastructure is “as well protected as it’s ever been.” She suggested that misinformation circulating on social media is at least as much of a challenge heading toward November.

      Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about Trump’s unsubstantiated claim at a rally in Minden, Nevada, on Saturday night that Democrats are “trying to rig” the election, Gordon said any president has a “disproportionate responsibility” to avoid tainting the vote’s integrity.

      “I’m going to always hold the president more responsible than anybody else because he’s, well, the president, and his voice carries further, speaks louder,” Gordon said.

      “And that message that you can’t trust our system, that you can’t trust the vote, that you can’t trust the other party, that you can’t trust — is exactly what the Russians, particularly, hope to achieve,” said Gordon, who’s now a Microsoft Corp. consultant. “Their aim would be to sow the divisions” and dissuade Americans from voting, she said.

      “But he’s not the only one,” she added of Trump. “When the other party says that a difference in policy means that he is malfeasant, or evil, or being controlled — that, too, is undermining it.”

      A Microsoft investigation published last week found that Russian, Chinese and Iranian hackers have stepped up efforts to disrupt the U.S. election by targeting the campaigns of Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

      Cyber-attacks have also been aimed at political parties, advocacy groups, academics and leaders in the international affairs community, Tom Burt, Microsoft’s vice president of customer security and trust, said in a blog post on Thursday.

      While expressing confidence about U.S. election infrastructure, Gordon said “we have more work to do” to stop misinformation on social media.

      • Bloomberg’s shenanigans are worrisome because he’s part of a cabal that could make the DOW sink like a stone.
        PT tied himself to a precarious and vulnerable device. Any combination of oligarchs from anywhere could tank it.

        (Besides the fact that it’s absurdly out of whack right now, valuations on borrowed time, anyway.)

    • Associated Press – Whistleblower’s claims on Russian interference fit pattern

      WASHINGTON (AP) — A whistleblower’s allegation that he was pressured to suppress intelligence about Russian election interference is the latest in a series of similar accounts involving former Trump administration officials, raising concerns the White House risks undercutting efforts to stop such intrusions if it plays down the seriousness of the problem.

      There is no question the administration has taken actions to counter Russian interference, including sanctions and criminal charges on Thursday designed to call out foreign influence campaigns aimed at American voters. But Trump’s resistance to embracing the gravity of the threat could leave the administration without a consistent and powerful voice of deterrence at the top of the government heading into an election that U.S. officials say is again being targeted by Russia.

      Russian President Vladimir Putin “is not deterred,” said Connecticut Rep. Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee. Himes said Putin feels “empowered, probably inoculated in the U.S. because of the president’s behavior.”

      Brian Murphy, the former top intelligence official at the Department of Homeland Security, alleges in the complaint made public Wednesday that he was instructed to hold back intelligence on Russian interference because it “made the president look bad.” That follows reports that Trump berated his then-intelligence director after a congressional briefing about Moscow’s interference, and that the president sought the firing of another official who told Congress he supported intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia had interfered in 2016 with a preference for Trump.

      The department denied Murphy’s allegation, and the White House issued a statement describing instances in which it said the president had it taken action against Russia.

      “This president has been resolute that any foreign adversary seeking to disrupt our elections will face tremendous consequences,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews said.

      Senior Trump administration officials have been eager to focus more on China in discussing election interference, asserting that Beijing is the more potent danger. Though career intelligence officials do say China is a major espionage concern, there is also bipartisan consensus, including in a Republican-led Senate intelligence committee report, that Russia directly interfered in 2016 with the goal of helping Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

      This year, intelligence officials say, Russia is working to denigrate Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

      Murphy is not alone in alleging that he felt stymied from raising the Russia threat head-on.

      Miles Taylor, as chief of staff to former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, participated in high-level administration meetings and has in recent weeks publicly conveyed his concerns about Trump’s leadership. In an interview, Taylor said Nielsen had to create a “shadow” National Security Council to deal with the issue because she felt the president’s own team had not convened enough meetings to coordinate a response.

      Once when Nielsen tried to communicate the seriousness of the threat heading into the 2018 election, Trump responded that the whole issue was “all (expletive),” Taylor said.

      In addition, Taylor said Trump president once tried to have the Homeland Security Department’s then-intelligence chief fired after hearing that the official had told lawmakers that he agreed with the assessment of Russian interference during the 2016 election.

      ”The president himself has threatened to fire multiple individuals in the administration for even publicly supporting the intelligence community assessment on Russia, and that had a direct and chilling effort on the ability of key Cabinet secretaries to get out and do what they needed to do to thwart foreign interference in our democracy,” Taylor said.

      Trump’s stance on Russian interference, including publicly questioning intelligence agencies’ assessment at a Helsinki news conference with Putin, has colored his relationship with spy chiefs.

      Last February, Trump erupted after learning of a congressional briefing involving Russian interference, a senior administration official has said, and berated the then-acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire.

      In arguing that Trump has been tough on Russia, the White House pointed to actions including the closure of Russian consulates on the West Coast, the expulsion of dozens of Russian agents from the U.S., sanctions on hundreds of targets, the U.S. suspension of a decades-old nuclear arms treaty and millions of dollars in election-related funding.

      The administration has also issued public statements acknowledging ongoing efforts by Russia and its proxies to interfere in the election, including one last month that said Russia was denigrating Biden. The Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned a Ukraine lawmaker who has leaked recordings of Biden’s calls that Trump has promoted on Twitter but that his own administration has said rely on a false narrative. Also Thursday, the Trump administration Justice Department announced charges against a Russian national in a plot to sow discord in the U.S.

      But Taylor said that when he was in the administration, far tougher options that were contemplated were not always pursued when it came to Russia.

      “We felt like it was mission critical that the president firmly come down on the Russians and punish Moscow for their interference and punish them hard enough that they would be dissuaded from engaging in foreign meddling again,” Taylor said. “The president didn’t want to do that.”

      Some administration officials contend that China, which has been aggressive in efforts to steal American intellectual property, is the more assertive adversary. Intelligence officials say China prefers that Trump lose because it views him as unpredictable and has been expanding its influence operations and weighing risks and benefits of more aggressive action.

      But a statement from intelligence officials that accused Russia of actively trying to undermine Biden suggested that China’s actions against Trump were less direct. Microsoft, in identifying both countries as well as Iran as being involved in election-related hacking, has said that people associated with the Biden campaign were among those targeted by Chinese state-backed hackers.

      Himes, the House Intelligence Committee member, said he was concerned heading into the Nov. 3 election about intelligence being twisted for political reasons.

      “I’m not sure people naturally understand the destruction,” he said, “that can be caused by the politicization of intelligence.”

  10. Ottawa seeking legal response to unregulated internet content “spreading hate”

    The federal government is seeking “legal remedies” for unregulated internet content.

    In a private discussion paper sent to advocacy groups, Attorney General David Lametti expressed concerns about the “double-edged nature of the internet,” according to Blacklock’s Reporter.

    “As Canadians spent more time online than ever, we must grapple with the double-edged nature of the internet and social media platforms,” wrote staff in Consultation Paper: Online Hate.

    “On one hand they bring tremendous opportunities for connection, expression and empowerment, but on the other hand … the spreading of hate has never been easier. We want to canvass your views in order to develop options for legal remedies,” the Consultation Paper states.

    The AG ministry wouldn’t say why the paper wasn’t published openly or name which groups or individuals were asked for comment.

    But the Ontario Civil Liberties Association said it’s against anything that “attacks individuals’ freedom of expression,” while B’nai Brith Canada said it supports attempts to “develop and implement codes of conduct to address harmful speech” on the internet.

    “We are talking about hate speech,” said David Matas, senior honorary counsel for B’nai Brith.

    However, some MPs at the Commons heritage committee describe the move as federal regulators overreacting.

    “There’s words in there: ‘fair’, ‘reasonable’, ‘trusted’, ‘accurate’, ‘reliable’,” said Conservative MP Martin Shields (Bow River, Alta.). “Those words scare the hell out of me. They’re subjective. Those kind of subjective words don’t fit in the law.”

    Canadian Heritage Minister Guilbeault Says Social Media Sites Linking to News Content Without Payment is “Immoral”

    Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault appeared on The West Block over the weekend in an interview that provides a strong – and disturbing – sense of where the government is headed on Internet regulation . Most problematic was the discussion on compensation from social media companies such as Facebook to news organizations for allowing their users to link to news articles. As I discussed in a post last week examining recent developments in Australia:

    Facebook users post many things – photos, videos, personal updates, and links to various content online, including news articles. Those news articles do not appear in full. Rather, they are merely links that send users to the original news site. From Facebook’s perspective, there is enormous value in referring users to media sites, who benefit from advertising revenue from the visits.

    Facebook has said that it will block all news sharing on its platform in Australia if the government proceeds with a mandated payment system, noting the limited value of the links and arguing that its referrals that are worth hundreds of millions to the news organizations. If Canada were to pursue the same strategy, Canadian news sites would also likely be blocked and a trade complaint under the USMCA would be a virtual certainty.

    Yet despite the significant risks and survey data that this could lead to a less informed public, Guilbeault is aligning with Rupert Murdoch, the chief advocate for these payments in Australia. He characterizes non-payment as “immoral and unacceptable”, claiming that Facebook makes hundreds of millions of dollars from Canadian media content without fair compensation. This points to a showdown like the one taking place in Australia, even though Canada has announced significant support for the sector that Guilbeault has thus far largely failed to deliver.

    The same interview pointed to another upcoming series of reforms focused on requiring foreign Internet companies to create Canadian content. Guilbeault says:

    “We’re going to put some fairness into the Canadian regulatory system, because right now there is no fairness. We have Canadian companies that have regulatory obligations and we have international web giants that have none. And that’s unsustainable.”

    Actually, what is sustaining the sector is the spending from international giants such as Netflix. According to CRTC chair Ian Scott, Netflix “is probably the biggest single contributor to the [Canadian] production sector today.” Moreover, according to data commissioned by the Broadcast and Telecommunications Legislative Review panel, Canada ranks first among peer countries with respect to television production per capita, domestic television production (ie. Cancon or equivalent domestic production) per capita, hours of television production, and employment. Last year, Ontario enjoyed a record-breaking year in production over more than $2 billion: $1.1 billion in foreign production and $1 billion on domestic productions.

    While Guilbeault is expected to hand new powers to the CRTC to establish new Internet regulations and mandated payments, there is a far better approach available to the government if it remains convinced that more financial support is needed for these sectors. Rather than adopt the Internet subsidy model that runs major policy and political risks, it should ensure that the technology companies pay their fair share of taxes that will go into general revenues. There needs to be an international consensus on how to do so, but there is considerable momentum behind a fairer allocation of the tax revenues from large technology company earnings. If the government wants to use some of those revenues in cultural or media support, it is free to do so without invoking the CRTC to establish cross-subsidies that will hurt both consumers and access to information and content online.

  11. Collateral damage: Huge surge in cases of MALARIA in India.

    “Civic officials have attributed the rise to the creation of breeding grounds at under-construction sites where work stands halted owing to the lockdown, and ongoing Metro railway work in the island city. Doctors said they are being cautious because symptoms of malaria such as fever, breathing difficulties and loss of appetite are indistinguishable from those of COVID-19. To rule out co-infection, all malaria patients have to additionally undergo the test for the novel coronavirus.…”

    …witnessed an almost 9-time increase in malaria cases, from 10 cases in January to 97 in August. “Due to the lockdown, all the migrant workers from the Metro construction sites have gone back. So, no one has cleaned the accumulated stagnant water, which has turned into breeding grounds for mosquitoes…”

    [D]uring monsoon, water gets inside the houses…. As a large number of people have left the city due to the pandemic, the rainwater lies stagnant, thereby making it a breeding ground for mosquitoes.…

    Despite this, [the Municipal Corporation] didn’t fog the areas and clean the mosquito breeding grounds. As most people are staying inside due to the lockdown, many of them living in these congested areas are getting malaria, and the number will rise further. However, civil society members have criticized the civic body for delaying the monsoon-related preparations due to COVID-19….

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