Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 12, 2011

Free Speech - Only When Convenient

Getting challenged from the street reactionary governments all over the world response in just the same ways:

The prime minister told parliament on Thursday that Facebook, Twitter and Research in Motion (Rim), the maker of BlackBerry devices, should take more responsibility for content posted on their networks, warning the government would look to ban people from major social networks if they were suspected of inciting violence online.

The home secretary, Theresa May, is to hold meetings with the three companies within weeks.

The police have promised to track down those suspected of inciting the violence on Twitter, but much of the planning for the disturbances took place in the relatively private world of the BlackBerry Messenger service.

Meanwhile in Washington (slightly modified):

In the wake of historic protests in Britain spurred by the use of social media, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in strong support of Internet freedom in Jack Morton Auditorium Tuesday.

Clinton commended the British people and journalists who took to Facebook and Twitter to organize protests and share stories from London.
“What happened in Britain and what happened in Iran, which this week is once again using violence against protesters seeking basic freedoms, was about a great deal more than the Internet,” Clinton said. “In each case people protested because of deep frustrations with the political and economic division of their lives.”

It would certainly be interesting to listen in on Clinton's next talk with Cameron.

I suspect she will explain how the U.S. will shut down social internet media when the protest wave will finally move there.

Posted by b on August 12, 2011 at 14:27 UTC | Permalink


it's quite an advantage when you've got a tame media, the support of capitalist fascist corporations, and billions of dollars to train and plant agent provocateurs.

so, you stir up trouble, in the US, or syria, libya, or iran, or the balkans, or chechnya, or somalia, or sudan, or burma or thailand or wherever...

you dont really know what the final outcome will be, but you have the advantage of knowing exactly what's going on, because you started the commotion in the first place.

and in most cases, the procedure falls into a pattern... you stir up violence, the government intervenes in self-defense, you can then accuse the government of human rights violations and intervene on humanitarian grounds... then you can install a puppet government that will, for instance, chase the chinese out of your oil patch, or encourage pipeline construction that will make you the oil hub of the middle east.

once in a while, you get a little backfire, like somebody repeatedly sabotaging a pipeline that supplies 40% of your natural gas, which causes massive demonstrations about your unaffordable standard of living... that's a problem, but your population is so cowed that they back down when they're seriously threatened.

of course, if you're in the process of ethnic cleansing a racial minority that you've oppressed for 60 years, you've got to control those demostrations, lest they go off on some wild tangent about universal human rights, racial equality, justice, and all that other liberal folderol.

Posted by: groundresonance | Aug 12 2011 15:05 utc | 1

According to Cameron, invading Iraq and killing millions of children is legal, but speaking out on twitter against police brutality is not.

Police Arrest 3 for attempting to Incite New Riot.

Three individuals have been arrested on suspicion of using Twitter and BlackBerry messenger to incite new riots. Hampshire police clarified that two of the three people allegedly were arrested for messages sent via Twitter while the third was picked up for messages allegedly sent over BlackBerry's messenger service. The two arrested for Twitter use included a 25-year-old man and 27-year old women from Shirley, they were both arrested Wednesday evening.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 12 2011 16:30 utc | 2

Open letter to David Cameron's parents:

A good read

Posted by: Cloned Poster | Aug 12 2011 17:28 utc | 3

Cloned Poster @ 3: Yes indeed, a good read. Change a few names, and the scenario fits very well in the U.S. also.

Posted by: ben | Aug 12 2011 19:43 utc | 4

Ground @ 1: Yep, pretty fair description of "Disaster Capitalism."

Creating, or taking advantage of a disaster for Corporate profit.

Posted by: ben | Aug 12 2011 19:50 utc | 5

Its already happening:

US railway blocked phones to quash protest - Americas - Al Jazeera English

California rail transit provider asked mobile providers to cut service to hamper protesters angry over police shooting.

A rail transit provider in the United States disabled mobile phone services to prevent a planned protest on Thursday, attracting criticism and unflattering comparisons to crackdowns on dissent in the Middle East.

Demonstrators in northern California's Bay Area had planned a protest to condemn the shooting death of Charles Hill, who was killed on July 3 after Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers responded to complaints about a drunk man at a station in the city of San Francisco.

Hill was fatally shot in the torso - police said he had lunged with a knife - and protesters responded eight days later with a demonstration that shut down three San Francisco BART stations.

Posted by: Fran | Aug 13 2011 7:11 utc | 6

They're not going to shut down the social media....the social media is being used, and will be used, to aid and abet the zoo animals (how they see anyone who is not of their pedigree) gouging each other's eyes out, as we have witnessed with the riots in London. There's an old saying amongst New Orleans' chefs.........first you make a rue. It's far easier to get the plebes to crush and kill each other, than it is to do it yourself. Twitter aided and abetted the flash mob vandalizing, looting and opportunistic violence against anyone who happened to be there at the moment. The Elite obviously want's the only thing that makes sense. They've been baking this cake for years. Now it's out of the oven and the icing is about to be applied. Just wait til it gets eaten...that's when the real action begins.

Posted by: Morocco Bama | Aug 13 2011 13:13 utc | 7

Trickle-Down Cruelty and the Politics of Austerity
Henry A. Giroux


What should be clear is that the politics of austerity is not about rethinking priorities to benefit the public good. Instead, it has become part of a discourse of shame, one that has little to do with using indignation to imagine a better world. On the contrary, shame is now used to wage a war on the poor rather than poverty, on young people rather than those economic and political forces that undermine their future and on those considered other rather than on the underlying structures and ideologies of various forms of state and individual racism.

As the welfare state is dismantled, it is being replaced by the harsh realities of the punishing state..

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 13 2011 14:33 utc | 8

Yes, it is all very silly and glaringly hypocritical. But all these authorities are praising the medium (western inventions that aid protesting for democracy in the likes of Iran and Egypt) or condemning it on far shakier grounds, if only because positive aspects are easier to put forward. I would claim that the role played by social media, in Iran, and certainly in Egypt, was close to nil, or not different to what could have been accomplished with the old fashioned fixed telephone (possibly plus some mobile phone access.) The USSR banned and regulated, surveilled, vetted, charged and taxed, the...photocopier and the contents copied! (See where that got them, say.)

Why? Well it is true that tweets go out to many at once and a blog or FB page can be read by thousands (I seem to recall internet penetration in Egypt is under 2%) but radio and the phone, word of mouth, do the same...and ppl who are not predisposed to act in a certain fashion, such as go and demonstrate, or dash out and loot will not see such messages or if they do will not react because of them. They can only be swayed by ppl they know or trust or are subservient to, some authority. The idea of riots can be in the air, so to speak, and find no material expression, and go kaboom - just look at all the riots of the past. Brixton, say, for England. 1981.

So all this talk of banning social media or its use for some ppl is a huge red herring, a distraction. Banning the medium is beyond lame, and shows how seriously the authorities are at sea.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 13 2011 16:10 utc | 9

Salary of retired US Presidents .............$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate .......................$174,00​0 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House ............$223,500 FOR LIFE
...Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders ...... $193,400 FOR LIFE
...Average Salary of a teacher ................ $40,065
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN $38,000
I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree... RE-POST

At least here in Amorica..

I knew about the pres for life, what above doesn't include are the other tax payer funded perks, such as, but not limited to, a)SS body guards for life, and b) the, 'for life' carries over to the spouses life too... didn't know about the others though...

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 13 2011 22:11 utc | 10

cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: NATO-led rebels tell local residents near Az-Zawiyah to join civil war or die.
1 hour ago

cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: Facebook and Twitter working to assist NATO-led rebels in Libya, but with US government against anti-war activists in USA.
1 hour ago
cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: NATO-led rebels reportedly agree to UAE 10-15,000 strong force of mercenaries to control Tripoli if they capture city.
1 hour ago

cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: NATO-led rebel vow to destroy Libyan capital and execute all those loyal to government. Consider making Benghazi new capital
1 hour ago
cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: NATO-led rebels using Israeli arms to kill fellow Libyans. Will not says if arms come with strings attached by Israeli government.
1 hour ago
cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: Captured NATO-led rebels admit they are well armed by NATO states (including Turkey) and Qatar to kill Libyans.
1 hour ago
cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: NATO pushes NATO-led rebels to control Libya during Ramadan saying it will send a message if they slaughter Libyans during holy mth
2 hours ago

cdoebbler curtis doebbler
#Libya: UN sits back and watches as NATO and NATO-led rebels slaughter Libyans under cover of UN authorization to illegal aggression.

Posted by: brian | Aug 14 2011 21:28 utc | 11

"According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $35,952 in 2006."

The above is bad enough, since they should be paying us back for their salaries for the way they treat us, but they don't get their whole salary for life, Uncle $cam.

Posted by: Linda J | Aug 15 2011 0:56 utc | 12

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