In a victory for academic freedom (and common sense) Professor Anthony Hall is back at work at the University of Lethbridge, starting today, after the Board of Governors announced that it is rescinding his suspension. Here is the Board’s statement:
Read the rest of this entry
Originally published at MemoryHoleBlog.com on November 22, 2012.
Report From Iron Mountain: On The Possibility and Desirability of Peace is a uniquely important document worthy of careful reconsideration a half-century after JFK’s passing. It points to not only the rationales behind the military industrial complex and its overarching influence, but perhaps more importantly how a very real discussion concerning the nation’s priorities proceeded under Kennedy’s watch—a window of possibility that was violently shut on November 22, 1963.
Those who are old enough may likely offer their recollections of where they were at the time they received the news of President John F. Kennedy’s death. Then a bachelor, my father heard about the assassination while traveling home from a business trip to visit family. As he approached the front door his father was waiting at the threshold and, much like the rest of the nation, they proceeded to cry in each others’ arms.
Such recollections suggest the degree of potential Americans recognized in themselves that was confirmed in their young leader’s intelligence and charm. This sense of possibility extended to the political system more broadly, and it has since been effectively shattered and replaced by a perpetual effort to becloud and sideline attempts at a more concrete public understanding of past and present issues and events. Among these were the very crucial concerns at stake in the early 1960s that remain underlying motivations for US domestic and foreign policies to this day.
By James F. Tracy
As feds and Facebook join forces to rein in ‘fake news’ who will fact check the ‘fact-checkers’?
Facebook is the world’s most powerful social media platform, deemed by one observer as “the biggest nation in the world” with no semblance of democracy. The mass medium’s size and breadth is often obscured by its capacity to interlink 1.8 billion users with their friends and loved ones in the broader context of everyday life. Situated at this primary intersection of human relations one cannot overemphasize the significance of the outlet’s self-appointment as chaperon of public discourse.
By its own admission Facebook is no longer merely a for-profit corporation seeking to inject advertising and commerce into the abundant social interaction it oversees. The entity’s new censorial ventures, loosely masquerading as promotion of “good journalism” and “information you can trust,” strongly suggest combined government and corporate efforts to suppress citizen-generated “alternative” news and analysis.
In the United States alone close to half of the population (44% 2016 Pew Research) receive “at least some of their news” from the social media behemoth, putting Facebook among the nation’s most influential distributors of news. This makes the entity’s actual transition from neutral observer to forthright interventionist aided by often unprincipled, even amateurish news media, a momentous and worrisome political event.
Facebook’s recently-announced “news literacy” and “fact checking” initiatives must be recognized as coming in the wake of two other especially significant and likely uncoincidental developments: 1) corporate media’s recent propaganda campaign highlighting so-called “fake news” and alleged Russian-inspired media seeking to “undermine faith in American democracy,” and 2) US lawmakers’ December 8 passage of the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda Act” within the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act