Alternative media as an antidote to mainstream propaganda

Justin Raimondo of Antiwar.com writes on the necessity of independent news sites like his.

A slice:

“There’s been much talk of “fake news,” a concept first defined by the “mainstream” media types as an insidious scheme by the Russians and/or supporters of Donald Trump to deny Hillary Clinton her rightful place in the Oval Office. Or it was Macedonian teenagers out to fool us into giving them clicks. Or something. Facebook and Google announced a campaign to eliminate this Dire Threat, and the mandarins of the “mainstream” reared up in righteous anger, lecturing us that journalistic standards were being traduced.

Yet it turned out that the very people who were up in arms about “fake news” were the ones propagating their own version of it. WikiLeaks did much to expose their game by publicizing the key role played by the Legacy Media in acting as an extension of the Clinton campaign. However, the real unmasking came after the November election, when the rage of the liberal elites became so manifest that “reporters” who would normally be loath to reveal their politics came out of the closet, so to speak, and started telling us that the old journalistic standard of objectivity no longer applied. The election of Trump, they averred, meant that the old standards must be abandoned and a new, and openly partisan bias must take its place. In honor of this new credo, the Washington Post has adopted a new slogan: “Democracy dies in darkness”!”

Should Mexico pay for Trump’s wall, or should Trump pay for Mexico’s Drug War?

Seems like a reasonable question. National Memo:

“For years now, Mexico has paid an extraordinarily high price in lives and social disruption for Washington’s insistence that North America’s drug problem be tackled south of the border, where the drugs are grown and transported, rather than primarily in clinics and halfway houses at home to treat the medical and psychological issues of users…

…Successive administrations, starting with President Nixon, have demanded ever tougher border controls, aerial spraying programs, and DEA-backed anti-“cartel” operations in Mexico. All their efforts and sacrifices have been for naught. U.S. residents currently export up to $29 billion in cash to Mexican traffickers each year to buy marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamines, and heroin.”

 

US health officials wage a surreal war on vaping

Despite recent study proving the obvious health advantages of inhaling water vapor versus smoke. Reason

Relevant snippets:

“The differences between vapers and smokers were dramatic, ranging from 57 percent reductions in three volatile organic compounds (ethylene oxide, acrylonitrile, and vinyl chloride) to 97 percent reductions in acrylonitrile (another VOC) and in a tobacco-specific nitrosamine, a potent carcinogen. The levels for vapers were at least as low as those for NRT users and in some cases lower, which is striking because NRT is widely accepted as a safe alternative to cigarettes.

This study, which involved long-term e-cigarette users, reinforces the results of a 2016 study finding large reductions in toxins and carcinogens among smokers who switched to vaping during a two-week experiment. Shahab et al.’s findings also jibe with chemical analyses of e-cigarette liquids and the aerosol they produce, work that led Public Health England to endorse an estimate that vaping is something like 95 percent safer than smoking.

The huge difference in risk between vaping and smoking is hardly surprising, since the former involves inhaling an aerosol that typically consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, water, flavoring, and nicotine, while the latter involves inhaling tobacco smoke, which contains thousands of chemicals, hundreds of which are toxic or carcinogenic. Yet misconceptions about the hazards of vaping are widespread, thanks to public health officials and anti-tobacco activists who seem intent on obscuring the truth.”

Proposed law would finally rein in warrantless cell-site surveillance spree

The “Geolocational Privacy and Surveillance Act” would require a probable-cause warrant for cell-site simulation surveillance, like the secretive use of the Stingray.  From Ars Technica:

“The federal circuit courts of appeal and the lower courts have been all over the map when it comes to this bread-and-butter privacy issue. Even AT&T has said it was confused about the law, and it has demanded clarity on the issue. To that end, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers proposed legislation Wednesday that seeks to answer the question once and for all: the government would need probable-cause warrants to obtain geolocation data on suspects.

“Outdated laws shouldn’t be an excuse for open season on tracking Americans, and owning a smartphone or fitness tracker shouldn’t give the government a blank check to track your movements,” Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat of Oregon, said of the legislation he’s co-sponsoring.”