PACIFIST FIGHT CLUB

We will fight for peace, but we will do no violence.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Nonviolent Quakers 1775

"From our past experience of the clemency of the king and his royal ancestors, we have grounds to hope and believe that decent and respectful addresses from those who are vested with legal authority, representing the prevailing dissatisfactions and the cause of them, would avail toward obtaining relief, ascertaining and establishing the just rights of the people, and restoring the public tranquillity; and we deeply lament that contrary modes of proceeding have been pursued, which have involved the colonies in confusion, appear likely to produce violence and bloodshed, and threaten the subversion of the constitutional government, and of that liberty of conscience for the enjoyment of which our ancestors were induced to encounter the manifold dangers and difficulties of crossing the seas and
of settling in the wilderness."

"We are therefore incited, by a sincere concern for the peace and welfare of our country, publicly to declare against every usurpation of power and authority in opposition to the laws and government, and against all combinations, insurrections, conspiracies, and illegal assemblies; and as we are restrained from them by the conscientious discharge of our duty to Almighty God, “by whom kings reign and princes decree justice,” we hope, through his assistance and favor, to be enabled to maintain our testimony against any requisitions which may be made of us, inconsistent with our religious principles, and the fidelity we owe to the King and his government, as by law established; earnestly desiring the restoration of that harmony and concord which have heretofore united the people of these provinces, and been attended by the divine blessing on their labors."

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ernest Hemingway: About War



"The title of the book is A Farewell to Arms and except for three years there has been war of kind almost every year since it was written. Some people used to say, why is the man so preoccupied and obsessed with war, and now, since 1933 perhaps it is clear why a writer should be interested in the constant, bullying, murderous, slovenly crime of war. Having been to too many of them, I am sure that I am prejudiced. But it is the considered belief of the writer of this book that wars are fought by the finest people that there are, or just say people, although the closer you are to where they are fighting, the finer the people you meet; but they are made, provoked and initiated by straight economic rivalries and by swine that stand to profit from them."

-Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

MORE IRAQIS CONVINCED: ISIS IS ACTUALLY US INVENTION



BAGHDAD -- It’s all a ruse, some Iraqis say, nothing more than a carefully thought-out plan to destabilize their bloodied country even more.

Twelve years after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and three years after U.S. forces pulled out, the U.S. role in fighting the Islamic State group here is met with great distrust.

Conspiracy theories abound, with many Iraqis insisting that the United States is actually funding and supporting the Sunni extremist group in order rip apart what’s left of the country and strengthen Iraqi reliance on the West.

“I think ISIS is something that the United States made up,” Aia al-Marsoumy, a 25-year-old dentist in Baghdad, told The WorldPost. “They want their army to be in Iraq. They want Iraq to be helpless without the support of the United States.”

Monday, March 30, 2015

Propaganda Bot Trolls


That Moron Who Spews Garbage and Doesn’t Listen to Reason May Be a Bot

Rampant Disinformation

NATO has announced that it is launching an “information war” against Russia.

The UK publicly announced a battalion of keyboard warriors to spread disinformation.

It’s well-documented that the West has long used false propaganda to sway public opinion.

Western military and intelligence services manipulate social media to counter criticism of Western policies.

Such manipulation includes flooding social media with comments supporting the government and large corporations, using armies of sock puppets, i.e. fake social media identities. See this, this, this, this andthis.

In 2013, the American Congress repealed the formal ban against the deployment of propaganda against U.S. citizens living on American soil. So there’s even less to constrain propaganda than before.

Information warfare for propaganda purposes also includes:
The Pentagon, Federal Reserve and other government entities using software to track discussion of political issues … to try to nip dissent in the bud before it goes viral
Controlling, infiltrating, manipulating and warping” online discourse
Use of artificial intelligence programs to try to predict how people will react to propaganda
Automated Propaganda

Some of the propaganda is spread by software programs.

We pointed out 6 years ago that people were writing scripts to censor hard-hitting information from social media.

One of America’s top cyber-propagandists – former high-level military information officer Joel Harding – wrote in December:


I was in a discussion today about information being used in social media as a possible weapon. The people I was talking with have a tool which scrapes social media sites, gauges their sentiment and gives the user the opportunity to automatically generate a persuasive response. Their tool is called a “Social Networking Influence Engine”.

***

The implications seem to be profound for the information environment.

***

The people who own this tool are in the civilian world and don’t even remotely touch the defense sector, so getting approval from the US Department of State might not even occur to them.
How Can This Be Real?

Gizmodo reported in 2010:


Software developer Nigel Leck got tired rehashing the same 140-character arguments against climate change deniers, so he programmed a bot that does the work for him. With citations!

Leck’s bot, @AI_AGW, doesn’t just respond to arguments directed at Leck himself, it goes out and picks fights. Every five minutes it trawls Twitter for terms and phrases that commonly crop up in Tweets that refute human-caused climate change. It then searches its database of hundreds to find a counter-argument best suited for that tweet—usually a quick statement and a link to a scientific source.

As can be the case with these sorts of things, many of the deniers don’t know they’ve been targeted by a robot and engage AI_AGW in debate. The bot will continue to fire back canned responses that best fit the interlocutor’s line of debate—Leck says this goes on for days, in some cases—and the bot’s been outfitted with a number of responses on the topic of religion, where the arguments unsurprisingly often end up.

Technology has come a long way in the past 5 years. So if a lone programmer could do this 5 years ago, imagine what he could do now.

And the big players have a lot more resources at their disposal than a lone climate activist/software developer does. For example, a government expert told the Washington Post that the government “quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type” (and see this). So if the lone programmer is doing it, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the big boys are widely doing it.
How Does It Work?

How does this work?

We have no inside knowledge, but we can imagine some possibilities:
Any article that includes the words “Russia” or “Ukraine” automatically triggers comments accusing Russia of seeking to form a new empire, Putin of being the new Hitler, and the Russians invading and being responsible for all of the violence Ukraine
Any article including the words “NSA”, “spying” or “mass surveillance” automatically triggers comments saying that the government is just trying keep us safe, and anyone who questions their actions is a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist who lives in his mom’s basement
Any article mentioning the phrases”Federal Reserve” or “quantitative easing” automatically launches comments saying that the Fed is doing the best it can under difficult circumstances, and that the economy would be much worse without QE

So that moron who keeps spewing garbage – and doesn’t seem like he’s even listening to your responses – may actually be a bot.
How Effective Are Automated Comments?

Unfortunately, this is more effective than you might assume …

Specifically, scientists have shown that name-calling and swearing breaks down people’s ability to think rationally … and intentionally sowing discord and posting junk comments to push down insightful comments are common propaganda techniques.

Indeed, an automated program need not even be that sophisticated … it can copy a couple of words from the main post or a comment, and then spew back one or more radioactive labels such as “terrorist”, “commie”, “Russia-lover”, “wimp”, “fascist”, “loser”, “traitor”, “conspiratard”, etc.

Given that Harding and his compadres consider anyone who questions any U.S. policies as an enemy of the state – as does the Obama administration (and see this) – many honest, patriotic writers and commenters may be targeted for automated propaganda comments.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Want To Disappear? Your Government Can Help.



Habeas Corpus is the oldest and most fundamental of our civil liberties. Dating from the Magna Carta in the Anglo-American tradition, it is enshrined in our Constitution. 

The principle denies government authorities the right to arbitrarily detain citizens. Most of our criminal jurisprudence flows from this ensconcing of habeas corpus. There is nothing more hallowed in word and deed.

Yet the Congress has passed, and President Obama -- the constitutional law professor -- has signed into law legislation that directly contravenes that principle. 

The Act requires the Executive to apprehend, imprison and detain indefinitely any person who it judges to be a threat to the safety and security of other Americans, i.e. a potential terrorist. 

These actions involve no due process whatsoever, are to be kept secret, and even the victim's family members kept in the dark. 

In short, persons are to be "disappeared" as in Argentina under the military Junta, as in the old Soviet Union, as In North Korea today.

An ignorant Congress, an ignorant MSM and an ignorant public thus shred our most basic civil liberty without public debate. 

Although there is no guarantee that fuller awareness of what habeas corpus is and has meant would have prevented Congress and Obama from this blatantly unconstitutional act, such knowledge might have agitated the public and given our rulers pause.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

LIES ABOUT AFGANISTAN


A few weeks ago, President Obama held a White House ceremony to mark the end of the Afghan war. A neat photo-op lapped up by the media. .

Yet, the factual truth is that the United States' military engagement has not ended and will not end.

Yes, on several occasions the President had stated that American forces numbering about 10,000 would remain in place to train the Afghan national Army and to provide passive Intelligence support. That has changed, though -- officially.


The President announced late last year that our forces would continue to participate in search-and-destroy missions and to operate attack helicopters (not just drones) on an 'as needed" basis. That has been confirmed by recent reports of American troops leading raids, and by statements of newly confirmed Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter.

Therefore, the United States' war-fighting role is not over.

Whatever one thinks of the policy, the important thing is that the President has gone back on a solemn pledge that he made to the American people. He obscures the fact by hosting a ceremony to mark an ending that is contradicted by his actions. And he has felt no obligation to explain why the reversion.

The MSM and the political class have ignored this shell game -- in part because their brains had forgotten what was said earlier.