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  • From the blog

    Julian Assange and the Future of the Free Press

    Free Press
    I read a piece today on Julian Assange by the always thought-provoking Caitlin Johnstone and came to the conclusion (after following some of the links and thinking hard) that America and the Free World’s Free Press is in a fight for its very existence. The next conclusion I came to was the notion that the only ones who can save our free press are independent journalists.

    If you think I’m off my trolly, consider:

    • Donald Trump is fighting anyone in the press or Twittersphere who levels criticism at him or his presidency.
    • Democrats are fighting anyone who is against the FBI and the CIA.
    • Corporate America has transmorphed our Free Press into corporate mainstream media conglomerates who parrot the company line to protect the relationship between the government and the media’s corporate ownership. By being cheerleaders for the establishment they have burned their press cards and become public relations agencies.
    • Julian Assange is about to be kicked out of the Ecuadoran embassy and perp-walked to jail for “leaking” (reporting) things people in power don’t want you to know.

    If you think that any of these things are how it should be, they have won.

    Many people think Julian Assange is a child rapist and a criminal secret stealer/leaker. Those people would be wrong. The rape narrative is most assuredly a trumped charge foisted upon us by the system that wants him silenced. The system that insists that players in the journalism game play by the rules the system wrote to retain their stranglehold on the throats of the unwashed masses. Anyone paying close attention to Wikileaks knows it’s a clearing-house for information that someone doesn’t want published.

    Journalism Is Something Someone Doesn’t Want You To Read

    They want Assange silenced for the same reason Lance Gilman wants me silenced; when the people are conned into believing the folks in charge are our benevolent benefactors by the media, those folks in charge can wield power and make money unhindered to the benefit of few at the expense (and on the backs) of the many.

    Be it on a national scale or right here in “The Richest Place on Earth”, when the purveyors of information are in the pockets of the “establishment”, we as a society are doomed. When the people are told by information sources they consume that the folks in charge are our benevolent overseers, we are all in deep kimchi.

    The Times They Are A-Changin’

    In my lifetime I have watched our Free Press undergo such change and transformation that it is unrecognizable from its form a generation ago. Consider just the printed version of the news for a moment. When I opened the doors of The Electric Page in Sacramento in 1986, The Sacramento Bee, was a client located a few blocks away. A powerhouse of free ink founded by James McClatchy in 1857, The Bee had a vast reach and influence in Northern California.

    Purchased by Knight Ridder in 2006, The Bee is now part of a vast corporate media empire forced to morph itself something as weak as rooster soup. Caused in part by arrogance and in part by craigslist.org, the ink on paper pillar of the Fourth Estate is today a shadow of its former self. And the Bee is not alone.

    The Reno Gazette-Journal recently sold their presses and slenderized into a teeny printed broadsheet printed at the same Swift Media plant where the Carson Appeal is printed. The Carson Appeal announced this month that it would cut it’s print frequency from six days a week to just Wednesday and Saturday. Minden-Gardnerville’s Record-Courier and the Lahontan Tribune are getting slashed as well.

    Print papers all over the county are moving to the digital wasteland of the (don’t believe anything you read on the) internet.

    While this shift from print to online is happening like it or not, there is another more sinister change underfoot; the existence of a press that maintains a healthy adversarial relationship with the power structure. Without tough questions being asked of our County Leaders or our National Leaders, followed up by tougher ones when they avoid actual answers with babble-speak and mumbo-jumbo, real truth, and facts remain untold. When a pandering sycophantic collection of pathetic grovelers replace real journalists, the gig is up.

    Free Speech

    For the most part, the free press gig is already up.

    “Every time we witness an injustice and do not act, we train our character to be passive in its presence and thereby eventually lose all ability to defend ourselves and those we love.” – Julian Assange

    One of my go-to information sources on Tesla was silenced just this week. As the manager of a billion dollar fund, The Montana Skeptic was a vast source of data and insight into the remarkable flimflammery that is Tesla. Maintaining anonymity, Montana was able to distribute insight on Tesla without revealing his identity. Elon Musk called his employer on Monday and on Tuesday Montana deleted his twitter account and vowed to stop writing on Seeking Alpha.

    When people like Donald Trump, Elon Musk, and Lance Gilman use their money, power, and influence to quash voices of dissent, we will continue to drift away from the ideals of governance that make The United States the best place to live in the entire planet. When they win, it’s game over, man.

    Lucky for us, the game’s not over just yet. As long as people have a chance to read stuff written by courageous keyboard operators, we have a chance. With fearless people like Glenn Greenwald, Nafeez Ahmed, Julia Angwin, Caitlin Johnstone, Julian Assange, and many others keeping it hot and keeping it real, we still have hope.

    While my name belongs nowhere near the aforementioned names, I will continue to keep it real in Gold Hill.

    Hasta la Victoria, Siempre!

     

    Sam Toll is the Communication Director for the Libertarian Party of Nevada

    He operates a hyperlocal news site in Gold Hill Nevada called The Storey Teller where this piece first appeared.

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    Missives From New Orleans

    Libertarian Convention 2018

     

    From the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Nevada

    Many of you were following the events of the convention online with facebook, emails, texts and other mediums.  Much of the behind the scenes activity and work were not able to be conveyed efficiently, and I won’t be able to regale you with all of it, but I want you to know what was going on by our state representatives, as well as those we had interactions with from other states.  There is much to be proud of, and this is going to be braggadocious and clearly one sided (mine). There is some benefit to sitting in the chair :)

    First off, as James Weeks knows, being a fat guy in a humid climate, clothes are sometimes optional and many times uncomfortable.  I will assure each of you, nobody got naked on stage, but I did have more changes of clothes than most of the “radicals” had costumes.  Most of mine had a collar, and all of them had pants. You can rest assured, our delegation was respectable and professional throughout.  I know this was a wild topic two years ago, and we can all be proud of the decorum showed throughout by most. I also would like to thank CSPAN for not showing up...just in case.  But next time, please trust us again.

     

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