Silicon Valley Billionaire Goes After Online scandal Site Gawker

Gawker is a US based scandal sheet, a sort of online tabloid  that speciaizes in sleazy celebrity gossip and repetition of unsubstantiated rumour. They’ve published stories that have attracted the attentions of copyright and privacy lawyers. There has always been a market for such sleaze and in the contemporary, celebrity obsessed atmosphere, gawker has found an eager audience.

But when Gawker went after wrestler and actor Hulk Hogan it all went pear shaped for the sleaze merchants. Hogan became upset over an intrusive article containing revelations about his sex life, which we would agree is a private matter. So the Hulkster decided to sue.

And a very wealthy and very secretive silicon valley figure, a man obsessed with privacy, decided to help him by hiring a team of the very best lawyers. And then it all went pear shaped for Gawker. Hogan won the case, which was justice. Punitive damages which were out of all proportion to the offence, but would certainly bankrupt Gawker, were awarded. And that was not justice but something very dangerous.

Society and the law are headed down a very dangerous road if the extremely wealthy can use their money and power to avoid scrutiny of their activities and thus can destroy publications they want to silence, not just scandal sheets that reveal sleazy details of their sex lives, but more respectable publications. One of the functions of a free press, we should remember, is to hold to account the rich and powerful and expose any crooked dealings they may be involved in. If the law is perpared to help such people suppress free speech and avoid being held to account, that is an intolerable threat to democracy and free speech. If megamoney damages awards in lawsuits are to be the new weapon in the arsenal of the super rich who believe they are above the law, few publications have the resources or the death wish to scrutinize them closely.

So the question is, in a battle between two piles of shit, which pile of shit should a fair minded person support.

from Talking Points Memo

A Huge, Huge Deal

This morning The New York Times reported an interview with Gawker owner Nick Denton in which Denton said he had begun to believe rumors that some extremely wealthy person had been bankrolling Hogan’s suit. Read the Times article for the specifics. But the gist is that Hogan’s lawyers made key decisions which made zero sense if the goal were to maximize the plaintiff’s settlement. Denton said he thought the person was likely someone from Silicon Valley, where you have a strong overlap between people who have virtually unlimited wealth and people who are not accustomed to the intrusive and aggressive coverage Gawker and its sister sites specialize in. It was a little difficult for me to believe something like this was actually happening. But the evidence of the legal strategy was pretty compelling. And in recent weeks, in the aftermath of the Hogan verdict, there have been a spate of new lawsuits brought against Gawker that are unrelated to the Hogan case. All have been brought by the same lawyer who handled Hogan’s suit.

Now sure enough, this evening Forbes reported that the bankroller of the Hogan suit is none other than Peter Thiel, a prominent Silicon Valley billionaire who styles himself a libertarian but somewhat incongruously is a big time supporter of Donald Trump in addition to numerous other right wing causes, most of which have a distinctly Randian cast.

Regardless of his politics, this news should disturb everyone. People talk a lot about the dominance of the 1% or in this case more like a tiny fraction of the 1%. But being able to give massive political contributions actually pales in comparison to the impact of being able to destroy a publication you don’t like by combining the machinery of the courts with anonymity and unlimited funds to bleed a publication dry.

So one again we see that for all the liberal, politically correct, ‘caring and sharing’ posturing of politicians, the world is increasingly dominated by big money and big power. And everywhere in what we have called ‘the free world’ power is being concentrated in the hands of the obscenely wealthy, and exercised on their behalf by the politicians they control

And whatever label people who support such a system pin to their clothes, liberal, progressive, left wing, socialist, the only label that truly describes it is ‘fascism’.

 

RELATED POSTS:

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … Daily Stirrer …[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]

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Armed Forces Minister: Obama ‘Woefully Ignorant’ of Threat EU Membership Poses

One of the points President Barack Hussein Obama made during his visit to Britain in April 2016, was that the UK will be safer inside the European Union wheras if we vote OUT in the Brexirt referendum scheduled for June this year, we will face existential threats from foreign power. Presumably Obama was referring to Russia, after all he has devoted most of his foreign policy during his second term as president to talking up the imaginary threat posed by a resurgent Russia under Vladimir Putin in order to justify to some extent the USA’s warmongering against small, and largely powerless nations in the middle east.

In adopting this scaremongering approach Obama seems to have seriously underestimated the amount of influence his word carries in Britain and around the world, just as he underestimated first the capability of Syria’s secular, Shia Muslim regime under President Assad to mount a very effective resistance to the US backed attempt to depose Assad and make way for a Sunni Muslim regime friendly to US allies Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Oman. In taking this pro – Sunni position and trying to escalate tensions between Russia and the NATO alliance of western Europe and north America, the US President has shown his “woeful ignorance” of the hampering effect that being within the European Union has on Britain’s security, the UK defence minister has said. The minister suggested that rather than behaving as if he is an omnipotent monarch, Obama might think about asking the US diplomats in Euriope and the middle east, or maybe the CIA  why creating a European Army or an EU-wide intelligence agency would not help to ease tensions with Russia.

Mr Obama spent a lot of his visit to Britain, telling the British people why he thinks they should vote to remain within the European Union at the IN / OUT referendum on June 23.
He has made it clear that he believes it to be in America’s economic and political interests interest for Britain to remain within a large European bloc rather than striking out alone.
His arguments on security in particular have been closely followed by Britain’s Armed Forces minister Penny Mordaunt, who has concluded that she cannot agree with what the President has had to say.
While she acknowledged the role that America and Britain have played as allies in the fight to promote freedom and democracy, she said “Where we part company, however, is in our views of the value of EU membership to this mission.”
Referring to a statement Mr Obama made in the Telegraph on Friday in which he said: “The European Union doesn’t moderate British influence – it magnifies it,” she responded: “Unfortunately this opinion betrays a woeful ignorance of the practical reality of the EU’s impact on our security, and the interests of the U.K. and the US.”

In his effort to persuade the British people to think as he does, he suggested that Europe owes a debt to the USA for saving it from the Nazis in World War Two, and has the European Project to tank for the last seven decades of peace in Europe . He is completely wrong on both, it was British obduracy and a Russian winter that saved Europe from the Nazis. By the time the USA entered the shooting war, the tide was turning; in North Africa, the Advance of the Axis (Germant / Italy was halted at the first Battle of El Alamein in July 1942 and in a second battle in October and November of the same year, the Allied army, mainly troops from Britain and Commonwealth nations including Canada, Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Nigeria, Keyna, and the Caribbean colonies, supported by ex – patriate forces from conquered nations in Europe, includinf France, Poland and Czechoslovakia began the pushback by defeating Gerneral Rommel’s combined German and Iralian army.  Although  The USA had been supplying Britain and Russia for some years, military involvement did not begin until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour in December 1941 and in the early months was focued in the Pacific theatre. A small contingent of US troops was deployed to north Africa but serious US involvement did not begin until the invasion of Italy in 1943.

Several times during the visit he reiterated the pro EU British government’s argument that Britain is more secure within the European Union.
Ms Morduant told the media, “Obama warned that divisions in Europe will weaken NATO, but often those divisions are caused by the EU itself. Obama confuses collective action and defence through Nato with the integration at all costs and damn the consequences ideology that too often motivates the EU, which Russia, understandably sees as a provokation if not a realistic threat.”
Mr Obama also used his statement to argue: “We must be resolute and adaptive in our efforts to prevent terrorist attacks against our people, and to continue the progress we are making to roll back the threat posed by Islamic State (ISIL) until it is destroyed.”

Ms Mordaunt agreed, but countered that membership of the European Union is inimical to that aim.
“The President must be unaware of the alarming weaknesses that allow Daesh [Islamic State] terrorists to move unimpeded across Europe are the result of the EU’s bull-headed desire to take down all frontiers on the continent,” she said.
“Even in this country, although we are outside the Schengen borderless zone, European free movement rules mean we cannot keep out those we suspect wish us harm if it is based on incomplete evidence.”
And Ms Mordaunt went on to dismiss Mr Obama’s claims that intelligence sharing is enhanced by the European Union, saying: ”Obama cannot appreciate how the ECJ has repeatedly undermined the arrangements which enable the UK and US to share intelligence. I am sure the CIA would be happy to explain to him why that the creation of a EU intelligence agency will not result in intelligence being shared EU-wide.”

In view of the realities in seems Penny Morduant’s description of Obama as ‘woefully ignorant’ is typically British understatement.

Far from being the answer to Europe’s security problems, it has often been the cause of them. Is Obama aware of what happened to Greece in the past five years? And the other nations, chiefly Italy, spain, Portugal and Ireland, that face economic ruin because of the appalling consequences of forced harmonisation of the Eurozone? Is he oblivious to the suffering, the resulting tensions, the distrust, the rise of extremism?
There is certainly an evidence based case to be made that Obama cares little about anything that does not relate to gay and transgender issues in the USA, yet European leaders continue to take not of his words and act on them, thus serving the interests of Washington and US Corporate culture rather than those of the people who elected them.

The EU has its own geopolitical ambitions including an expansion of the union beyond Turkey and Ukraine and into the middle east and North Africa,  which, while detrimental to the people of its members states will secure places for members of Europe’s political elites in the global government bankers, businessmen and academics have been working towards since  the United Nations was formed after World War Two.

It has been said of the EU that expecting it to act as a functioning geopolitical entity is like putting wheels on your grandmother and saying she is a car. I worry that in years to come we will see a major car crash because of the misplaced ambitions of Brussels.

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Just a couple of points on this

The minister’s presumption of Obama’s “woeful ignorance” is ignorant. What Obama displays is rather “purposeful deception”. He believes in serving the interest of his globalist control agenda for Britain to remain in the EU, but he does not genuinely believe it is in America’s interests. He is working against the interests of free, self-governing, self-reliant people in America, Britain, and elsewhere. He wants to debilitate their freedoms, their economic sustenance, and their independent thinking to drive them into dependence upon the cold embrace of government. In short, he wants government to gain control over the now-free people in the world. Watch what he does and says – what what he’s done and said, then use your own discrimination.
Britain was the one nation in the Euroland that stood against tyranny and paid a tremendous price to ultimately prevented Europe from falling under it during WWII. It would be such a shame to see both the US and Britain willingly cede to those forces again due to the ignorant political correct/lefty components of their populations now.

It is always wrong to attribute to incompetence and ignorance that which is really motivated by malice and racist resentment. This blog would never defend defend Obama, who is part of a movement that aims to abolish democracy and freedom and put the world under the control of a new elite, similar in all way to the medieval aristocracy except that rather than being identified by birth this new class of superior beings will be identified by their conformity to a common ideal.  The reality of the modern world is that nearly all the ‘leaders’ of western nations are spineless and incompetent and in thrall to the faceless people who make up ‘The Shadow Government’, the kind of people who met at annual jaunts like the Bilderberg Group or the World Economic Forum.  Hardly anybody in the political or academic establishments has ever had real jobs, nor have they run businesses nor been in the military. All they did is go to the ‘right’ schools and write essays and debate clubs and then join political organizations (usually socialist, like Merkel). Thus one of the qualities they have in common is they are big on book learning and academic theory about how the world runs but pathietically short of life experience.

Yes, the politicians do know the reality, and talk about it in private. They don’t mean harm, but they are completely incompetent in what they do – they simply don’t have the moral courage to do what is right for their own citizens.

Another common misconception is that these leaders are spineless jellyfish who have to go the way the current flows, in fact they constantly take up strong positions that go completely against common sense and public opinion popular sentiment.

Merkel has a 67% disapproval rate with the German people but keeps holding the line with her immigration stance.
Obama/Kerry “negotiated” the Iran arms treaty in secret while (illegally) circumventing congress and while the polls showed America’s citizens were against it 2-top-1. Many people attribute the chaos that he’s cause in the middle east by his actions in various countries there (Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Syria,…).
However if you look at the series of now double-digit “errors” they fall to the advantage and power of globalist corporations and Muslim extremist groups (and of course, for every 1000 Muslim Syrian refugees the west is importing importing, only  5 Syrian Christians are being received in the west, and the Christians are the ones experiencing genocide there). If all these were truly a result of incompetence, would the results of them so consistently  disadvantage western Judeo-Christian free society and act against rights like free speech and values like freedom of religion and to the advantage those that want societies controlled by government micromanagement of individuals’ lives.

 

But if this what you want, vote to remain in the EU.

 

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … Daily Stirrer …[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]

Did Corbyn Sell Out To The Establishment The Day He Was Elected

Compare Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s comments on the EU from before and after he became Labour leader.

CORBYN
Eurosceptic comments
Photo: EPA

On the EU president: “The creation of the post of president is a triumph for the tenacity of the European long-sighters. The project has always been to create a huge free-market Europe, with ever-limiting powers for national parliaments and an increasingly powerful common foreign and security policy.” Read more

On the Lisbon Treaty: “There is a strong socialist argument against the Lisbon Treaty and the economic consequences that flow from it. What is also explicit in both the Maastricht Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty is the imposition of a market economy on Europe, a control on borrowing made by any member states’ government and serious control on the political choices open to any one member state.” Read more

On corporate interests: “The EU is too beholden to corporate interests, and the behind-closed-doors negotiations over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) confirm this. This poses a huge threat to our environmental standards, consumer protections and workers’ rights.” Read more
Pro-EU comments
Photo: Eddie Mulholland

On staying in: “The Labour party is overwhelmingly for staying in, because we believe the European Union has brought investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment, and offers the best chance of meeting the challenges we face in the 21st century. Labour is convinced that a vote to remain is in the best interests of the people of this country.”

On engaging with the world: “You cannot build a better world unless you engage with the world, build allies and deliver change. The EU, warts and all, has proved itself to be a crucial international framework to do that.”

On employment rights and environmental standards: “EU membership has guaranteed working people vital employment rights, including paid holiday, maternity and paternity leave, protections for agency workers and health and safety in the workplace. Being in the EU has raised Britain’s environmental standards, from beaches to air quality, and protected consumers from rip-off charges.”

The Separation Of Bathroom & State

When the US city of Charlotte, North Carolina passed a local law which became known as ‘the bathroom ordinance’ which gave ment the right to use women’s public toilets, sports facilitity changing rooms and so on, in effect a spineless caving in to the hate politics of the Gay BLT lobby, the state of North Carolina’s response to it — has taken on a life of its own.

In late February 2016, the Charlotte, North Carolina, city council passed the “antidiscrimination” law, scheduled to go into effect on April 1. It was aimed at protecting what, in the view of the city council, are the rights of those in the gay, lesbian, and transgender community. The centerpiece of this law was a clause that prohibited businesses providing bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers from segregating usage of those facilities by biological gender. Biological males or females must be allowed to use the facilities of the opposite sex if they claim that that is the sex they identify with psychologically. (Note, no proof was required.)

Much of the criticism of the Charlotte bill was centered around two issues: the ‘religious’ freedom of business owners and the privacy rights of people, particularly women, using public bathroom and shower facilities. Most sane people would I think, contend that the issue of religious freedom is irrelevant, providing separate facilities is a matter of common decency.

Similar ordinances have been used to force small business owners like florists, bakers, photographers and bed-and-breakfast owners and others either to conform to a government-dictated viewpoint in violation of those sincerely held religious beliefs or to face legal charges, fines and other penalties that have ultimately caused some to go out of business. I attacted a lot of hate mail when blogging on a case of a bakery in Ireland that refused to supply a celebration cake bearing a message supporting same sex marriage was charged under hate crime laws. My offence was to point out that why a gay couple could demand they business serve them and be backed by law, my wife and I could ask the bakery to make a cake saying “best wishes to Dave and Debbie, thanks for giving us a grandchild,” and the business would have every right to refuse simply because they did not like the look of us. Freedom always has to be a two way street.

In the face of public outrage from the herterosexual majority who were quite happy with the status quo, the state of North Carolina’s responded by imposing a law at state level that ruled all toilets (or rest rooms as the somewhat prissy American left refer to them) and changing facilities did not have to be politically correct and non discriminatory. This prompted the Gay BLT lobby (yes, I know that is offensive, if the politically correct clowns claim the right to ffend me, then in the name of equal rights and diversity, I claim the right to offend them,) and their supporters the progressives to take up arms against sanity and demonstrate once more that when they screech about equal rights, what they really mean is very unequal rights or privileged status for favoured minorities.

In fact the North Carolina law did not discriminate agains transgender freaks or men who, usually for highly unsavoury reasons, want to ‘identify’ as women in order to use women’s toilets and changing rooms, what it did restore freedom and property rights to business owners while respecting the rights of people, mostly women, to share facilities only with people of their own gender and to guarantee those rights across the state. In fact it should surprise me that the feminists and ‘progressives’ who have screeched about womens rights for fifty years are now prepared to brush aside womens’ rights because the cause of chicks-with-dicks rights is more fashionable.

I say it should surprise me because I have been exposed to the double standards, hypocrisy, authoritarianism and sheer selfishness of US ‘progressives’ and ‘liberals’ that nothing they do or say could surprise me now unless they all succumbed to a plague of common sense and decency.

Now as a man I am not particularly worried about who I share public toilet facilities with, but I do understand why women do not want to share with us lads as we curse, fart, scratch our bollocks and exchange crude remarks. And I understand why males who are going through the lengthy gender ‘reassignment’ program would feel unsafe in a mens’ facility. But if such people are sensible and do not make a big deal of the fact that they have dangly bits or make typically male comments (e.g. “nice tits love, show us your knickers”) to women then there is no problem.

However, under the Charlotte law gender specific facilities would be illegal, people would be forced to share. And that is not acceptable, what’s more there is nothing liberal or progressive about imposing the moral values of a minority on the majority.
The law in North Carolina that ‘progressives’ (i.e. fascists) are angry about does not prohibit businesses from having bathrooms, locker rooms, showers, etc., that allow use by people of all genders defined biologically, psychologically, or whatever. In a “myths vs facts” explanatory statement put out by the governor of North Carolina this was made quite clear:

Can private businesses, if they choose, continue to allow transgender individuals to use the bathroom, locker room or other facilities of the gender they identify with …
Answer: Yes. That is the prerogative of private businesses under this new law. …The law neither requires nor prohibits them from doing so.

In other words, where the US Constiution codifies the separation of church and state, the state of North Carolina has now gone a step further and codified a basic libertarian principle: the separation of bathroom and state.
The only places in North Carolina where bathrooms, showers, etc., must conform with biological sex is in government owned facilities — courtrooms, city halls, schools, etc., where this separation is not possible. So yes, in North Carolina prurient 14 year old old boys, as defined by certain biological features, may not use the girls’ locker room and showers after gym class at the local public middle school. In private middle schools, governors are free to do what they want. If not accepting this is unjust discrimination makes me a bigot, then so be it. Under the Charlotte arrangement the aforementioned prurient 14 year old boys can use facilities according to how they self identify. If you cannot see what is wrong with that arrangement then you know nothing of: a) fairness and b) 14 year old boys.

Leftists all over the USA and some on Europe are accusing North Carolina of bigotry while, in the name of tolerance, a growing list of pop stars, show biz luvvies and businesses are boycotting the state. Unfortunately, what has gotten lost in all the rhetoric surrounding this issue is the truth about both the original Charlotte law and the state’s response to it.

RELATED POSTS:

Elsewhere: [ The Original Boggart Blog] … Daily Stirrer …[Little Nicky Machiavelli]… [ Ian’s Authorsden Pages ]… [Scribd]…[Wikinut] … [ Boggart Abroad] … [ Grenteeth Bites ] … Ian Thorpe at Flickr ] … [ Tumblr ] … [Ian at Minds ] … [ Authorsden blog ] … [Daily Stirrer News Aggregator]