Day two of the government shakedown, if this space was CNN, we would have a “shutdown clock” splashed on the screen somewhere as we leveraged another manufactured drama to garner more clicks. We rather not delve into the gutters of yellow journalism, so instead we present you with news and notes from independent journalists around world. Here is your Daily Ghion Water. Make sure to check out the profile of this day at the bottom to see why we opted to highlight Julian Assange for the feature picture for today’s edition of the Ghion Water.
Because Federalism is a Racket
With more than half the states legalizing marijuana for medical purposes, Congress needs to acknowledge the will of the people and remove this natural herb from the Schedule I classification that says it is a deadly dangerous drug with no health benefits. The Tenth Amendment gives the federal government only those powers specifically enumerated in the Constitution, and regulating medical practice is not one of them. Federal courts have held that the federal Controlled Substances Act does not allow the federal government to usurp states’ exclusive rights (pursuant to their inherent police powers) to regulate the practice of medicine. [from Truthdig]
Trump is not a 3-D Chess Master
MAGA friends, do you remember your frustration at the blindness of Obama supporters to the fact that their president wasn’t helping them or giving them the change they voted for, and was in fact merely extending Bush’s legacy? I know I interacted with many Republicans who felt that way at the time. Well guess what? They’re pulling the same exact wool over your eyes as this president continues and advances the same establishment agendas as his predecessor. [from Caitlin Johnstone]
Cancerous Corporatism Strikes Again
On November 17, 2016, a Colorado environmental activist named Pete Kolbenschlag used Facebook to leave a comment on a local newspaper article, the kind of thing more than a billion people do every day. However, most people don’t get sued for libel over their Facebook comments. (Although some do.) The Post Independent story that Kolbenschlag commented on was about oil and gas extraction on federal lands near his home, in western Colorado’s North Fork Valley. It announced that the Obama administration’s Bureau of Land Management was canceling all oil and gas leases on the iconic Thompson Divide, a large, rugged swath of Forest Service land. [from Naked Capitalism]
Duplicitous Natural Criminals (aka DNC)
Konstantin Kozlovskiy, a Russian hacker, made headlines throughout December with the revelation that he had confessed to hacking the Democratic National Committee, a story that even seemed to drag Kaspersky’s name into the mix. First came the claims he was responsible for hacking the DNC and doing so on orders from someone within the FSB, then came a second wave in the media with the added claim from Kozlovskiy that he had inserted a “poison pill” on the DNC’s servers in the form of data stored in a file with a “.dat” extension. [from Disobedient Media]
This Duopoly We Call Democracy
Last week, the House pushed through a six-year extension of the controversial Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; this week, the Senate followed suit. This provision ensures that under the direction of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and President Donald Trump, federal law enforcement agencies can arguably eavesdrop on virtually any American with impunity.
While Republicans control both branches of Congress — and the White House — the extension would not have been possible without a sizable faction of the Democratic Party, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Representative Adam Schiff, voting to hand over dangerously autocratic surveillance powers to Trump. Without this group of House Democrats siding with the Bush/Cheney era law, it would not have passed by a vote of 256-164. [from Anti-Media]
Pain is a Universal Language
There is no right way to die: that’s what my late friend Gordon Aikman — who died aged 31 last year from the horror of Motor Neurone Disease, and spent Boxing Day 2016 with my parents — taught me. But it would be remiss of me not to mention how good-humoured, upbeat even my dad was, even as it was increasingly clear that he had run out of road. The incredible love and care given to him by my mother and by those nurses made a horrible situation so much easier, too. [from Owen Jones]
How Independent Media Can Succeed
This Day in History
1921 – J.D. Rockefeller pledges $1 million for the relief of Europe’s destitute. This was the same Rockefeller that was making tens of millions in profits from the very same onerous debts that were imposed on Germany that eventually gave rise to Hitler. The rich give pennies on the dollar they make and then get celebrated as heroes. In reality, they are monsters equal to Hitler.
Quote of the Day
“Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
Profiled this Day
Julian Assange is profiled this day for his tenacity in pursuing truth and the persecution he endured for daring to be a journalist who dared to question authority. Whether or not one agrees with Julian Assange’s approach is inconsequential, the point is that this man has been targeted as a terrorist for putting a light to the dark deeds done by the US and British governments away from the public’s awareness. Assange is our version of Daniel Ellsberg and Wikileaks is our era’s Pentagon Papers.
In a time where “journalists” are casting their lots with the very powers they are supposed to be checking and by extension have become the mouthpieces of people in power, Assange stood out as one of the few voices who insisted in telling that the emperor has no clothes. For this decision, he has been effectively imprisoned against his will as he has been forced to seek refuge in an Ecuadorian embassy. Time will remember the corporate journalists who let one of their fellow reporters languish in limbo and saying nothing as the US and British governments declared war on journalists and the free press.
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