War on Journalism Escalates Worldwide

June 5, 2019 •

A centrally-planned conspiracy is not necessarily behind this trend, writes Caitlin Johnstone. It may simply be the reflex of an ailing empire. 

By Caitlin Johnstone

The Australian Federal Police have conducted two raids on journalists and seized documents in purportedly unrelated incidents in the span of just two days.

Yesterday, the AFP raided the home of News Corp Australia journalist Annika Smethurst, seeking information related to her investigative report last year that exposed Australia’s discussions of giving itself unprecedented powers to spy on its own citizens. Today, they raided the Sydney headquarters of the Australian Broadcasting Corp, seizing information related to a 2017 investigative report on possible war crimes committed by Australian forces in Afghanistan.

In a third, also ostensibly unrelated incident, another Australian reporter disclosed that the Department of Home Affairs has initiated an investigation of his reporting on a story about asylum seeker boats which could lead to an AFP criminal case, saying he’s being pressured to disclose his source.

“Why has AFP suddenly decided to carry out these two raids after the election?” tweeted Australian Sky News political editor David Speers during the Sydney raid. “Did new evidence really just emerge in both the Annika Smethurst and ABC stories?!”

Why indeed?

“If these raids unconnected, as AFP reportedly said, it’s an extraordinary coincidence,” tweeted The Conversation’s Chief Political Correspondent Michelle Grattan. “AFP needs to explain ASAP the timing so long after the stories. It can’t be that inefficient! Must be some explanation – which makes the ‘unconnected’ claim even more odd.”

Odd indeed.

It is true that the AFP has formally denied that there was any connection between the two raids, and it is in fact difficult to imagine how the two could be connected apart from their sharing a common theme of exposing malfeasance that the government wanted kept secret. If it is true that they are unconnected, then what changed? What in the world could have changed to spark this sudden escalation of the Australian government’s assault on the free press?

Well, if as I suggested recently you don’t think in terms of separate, individual nations, it’s not hard to think of at least one thing that’s changed.

“The criminalization and crack down on national security journalism is spreading like a virus,” WikiLeaks tweeted today in response to the ABC raid. “The Assange precedent is already having effect. Journalists must unite and remember that courage is also contagious.”

“The arrest and espionage charges against Assange was just the beginning, as many in the media, even those who hate Assange, feared,”  tweeted Consortium News Editor-in-Chief Joe Lauria in response to the News Corp raid. “The home of a mainstream Australian journalist was raided Wed. morning by police because of a story she worked on.”

“Shameful news from Australia as the police raid journalists’ offices and homes,” tweeted legendary Australian journalist John Pilger. “One warrant allows them to ‘add, copy, delete or alter’ computer files at the ABC. The assault on Julian Assange was a clear warning to all of us: it was only the beginning.”

If you think about it, it would have been far less disturbing than the alternative if there were a connection between the two raids, because the alternative is vastly more sinister: that Australia’s attitude toward the free press has changed. And that it has perhaps done so, as Australia has been doing for decades, in alignment with the behavior of the rest of the U.S.-centralized empire.

In an article for Consortium News, titled “After Assange’s Espionage Act Indictment, Police Move Against More Journalists for Publishing Classified Material,” Joe Lauria reminds us that Australia is not the first nation within the Western power alliance to see such an escalation since the paradigm-shifting imprisonment of Julian Assange in the U.K.

“Police in Paris arrested two journalists who were covering Yellow Vest protests on April 20,” Lauria writes.  “One of the journalists, Alexis Kraland, said he was taken into custody after refusing to be searched and to turn his camera over to police at Gare du Nord train station. The largest journalism union in France demanded an explanation from police.”

“And on May 10 in San Francisco, police using sledgehammers to break down the door, raided the home of Bryan Carmody, a freelance journalist, to get him, while handcuffed, to reveal the source who leaked him a police report into the sudden death of the city’s elected public defender,” Lauria added. “Police took away computers, cameras, mobile phones and notes.”

So we’re seeing a pattern already. You can choose to ignore it or dismiss it with a pleasant story, or you can acknowledge that we appear to be in the midst of a rapidly escalating shutdown of the free press in the western world.

There does not necessarily have to be any centrally-planned conspiracy behind this trend; it can simply be the natural result of an ailing empire seeing that it’s going to need a lot more war, lies and deception in order to keep from collapsing, and responding accordingly. Once the Assange line was crossed, it could simply have served as a precedent for the other governments within the empire to begin doing things they’d already wanted to do anyway.

CHARIS: a new service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

Il giorno della consegna statuto CHARIS 2.jpg

CHARIS, a new unified service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal, will be inaugurated at Pentecost. Father Alexandre Awi Mello, secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, and Jean-Luc Moens, the first moderator of CHARIS, were asked by Vatican News to tell us about this new service, which was commissioned by Pope Francis.

Vatican News (VN): On 8 December 2018, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life instituted a new unified service for the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. This service is called CHARIS, an acronym for Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service. What are its objectives?

Fr. Awi: CHARIS is called to serve all who express this “stream of grace”. Its statutes will enter into force on 9 June 2019 on the Solemnity of Pentecost. That same day, the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships (known as Catholic Fraternity) and ICCRS (International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services) will terminate their activities. It is important to note that CHARIS is not a merger between these two organisations, but rather a new service that initiates a new phase for the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I believe that after Pentecost this innovation will gradually become more evident. It should also be noted that CHARIS is not a governing body but a Service of Communion in accordance with the explicit desire of the Holy Father.

VN: How is this new service structured?

Fr. Awi: CHARIS is under the responsibility of a moderator who is assisted by a council called the International Service of Communion, which is composed of 18 people from all over the world. Some represent the continents and others represent the different kinds of entities in the Charismatic Renewal. For this first mandate all have been appointed by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.

The first Moderator is Jean-Luc Moens, a married layman and father who has been committed to the Charismatic Renewal for over 45 years. The first Ecclesiastical Assistant, following the desire of the Holy Father, is Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM cap., Preacher to the Papal Household.

The Pope wanted CHARIS to be established by the Holy See so that those in the Charismatic Renewal and the whole Church would know that the Charismatic Renewal belongs fully to the universal Church.

One of the essential points emphasised by the Holy Father is the importance of communion, that is, of unity in diversity. CHARIS serves all the charismatic communities in the world, and none of them has priority over the others. In no country can a community, group, organisation or movement claim leadership of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

VN: At the local level in different countries, what changes will it imply? Will the current local structures of the Charismatic Renewal change?

Fr. Awi: The statutes of CHARIS stipulate that each country will have a National Service of Communion that will bring together as much as possible all the charismatic groups in the country where none will have predominance over the others. In some countries, the establishment of this service will be a real novelty. Until now there have been various forms of the Charismatic Renewal coexisting that have never cultivated real communion with each other. Sometimes they have even been ignoring or mutually excluding each other. In other countries, the existing structure is already one of true communion. In these cases, no changes need to be applied. It will be up to CHARIS to organise these different national services.

VN: Jean-Luc Moens, what was your reaction when you heard about the creation of CHARIS and the fact that you were appointed Moderator?

Jean-Luc Moens: My reaction was twofold. I felt joy and thanksgiving for this new ecclesial recognition received for the Charismatic Renewal, 52 years after the Holy Spirit awakened this stream of grace in the Church. I was also quite astonished at my appointment. I did not expect it at all.

VN: The Charismatic Renewal is presented everywhere as a “stream of grace”. Can you explain where this expression comes from?

Jean-Luc Moens: It was Pope Francis himself who used the expression “stream of grace” during his meeting with the Charismatic Renewal in Rome’s Olympic Stadium in 2014. Our Pope adopted the expression used by Cardinal Léon Joseph Suenens, the first cardinal delegate for Charismatic Renewal, appointed by Pope Paul VI. For Cardinal Suenens, whom I had the honour of knowing personally, the Charismatic Renewal should not be considered a movement, but a stream of grace called to revitalise the whole Church. This expression also better reflects the great diversity of components of the Charismatic Renewal: prayer groups, communities, schools of evangelisation, ministries, publishing houses, television channels, etc. We all share the same grace of Baptism in the Holy Spirit.

VN: CHARIS is a new service. Can you explain what it brings that is new?

Jean-Luc Moens: As Fr. Awi said earlier, it is the place that the Charismatic Renewal occupies in the Church through the establishment of CHARIS by the Holy See.

The CHARIS Statutes emphasise three dimensions: the spread of Baptism in the Holy Spirit, the unity of Christians and service to the poor. These dimensions are at the service of evangelisation, to which the Renewal is called by the Holy Father and to which it is committed.

The spread of baptism in the Spirit may not seem new. This is what the Charismatic Renewal has been doing since its birth. But what is new, really new? It is that today the Pope himself asks that baptism in the Holy Spirit be known throughout the Church. He did so on several occasions in a very clear way. This is a new step for the Charismatic Renewal, a challenge that must be carried out in the service of the universal Church.

Pope Francis also calls for the Charismatic Renewal to return to its ecumenical roots, that is, to work proactively towards Christian unity. This is something that was very much present at the birth of the Charismatic Renewal and which, in many places, was gradually set aside. The Pope asks us to put it back in the forefront.

Neither is service to the poor an innovation. What is new, however, is how “charismatics” are explicitly encouraged to serve the poor and needy. This should not surprise us because the Holy Spirit is love. It is normal for those who want to depend totally on God to be witnesses of love. That is why service to the poor is central to the Renewal.

The three dimensions that I have just emphasised are naturally included in the call to evangelisation that is addressed to the whole Charismatic Renewal. Baptism in the Spirit is the experience of Pentecost that set the apostles on a mission. Compassion and charity give new strength to evangelisation because “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn 13:35). Christian unity is also part of the challenge of mission because Jesus calls us to it: “that all of them may be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).

Also for the first time, the CHARIS International Communion Service includes a young woman under 30 years of age who represents young people from all over the world. Young people are also active players in the International Charismatic Renewal. And they are a priority for CHARIS.

VN: What activities is CHARIS planning to carry out first?

Jean-Luc Moens: On 6 and 7 June we will hold a world conference of servant leaders of the Charismatic Renewal in Paul VI Hall in Vatican City. Registrations are open. We are expecting about 500 leaders from all over the world.

On Saturday 8 June, also in Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis will be present with us. We will listen to him and pray with him for a new Pentecost. All are welcome (register at www.charis.international). We will also participate in the Pentecost Vigil prepared by the Diocese of Rome in Saint Peter’s Square.

Of course, on Sunday 9 June, Solemnity of Pentecost, we will be in Saint Peter’s Square for Mass and the blessing.

How to Avoid Being a Pushover at Work

by lollydaskal

In any group of people, some will be more assertive than others. Many of those who aren’t assertive by nature face a constant battle to avoid crossing the line into passivity. Even the most laid-back people don’t want to be a pushover.

If your lack of assertiveness has become unhealthy—or is starting to take a turn in that direction—start by asking yourself where the issues are coming from. Maybe you feel you need to please people, or you want to be liked, or you think silence shows your strengths.

Whatever your reasons, being a pushover won’t raise you in anyone’s estimation. It means you’re being taken advantage of. And when you’re tired of it, here are some smart steps you can take as you learn to stand up for yourself with confidence:

Get to know your triggers. What situations freeze you up the most? What people or areas do you associate with problems? The more you understand what’s going on, the better you can combat it. Becoming mindful of self is the first step to making a change.

Learn to prioritize. If you’re saying yes to too many things, spend more time thinking through priorities. Start with the things that are most central to your role and responsibility. When you focus on your priorities, it’s easier to say no to the things that will interfere with them.

Practice saying no. The best way to change your responses is to learn a new behavior, and at the core of not being a pushover is mastering the art of respectfully but firmly saying no. A good starting place is my blog post “17 Different Ways to Say No.” Remember that the best way of getting good at anything is to keep practicing, and that learning to say no gives you more room to say yes to the things you really want to do.

Offer solutions. If you find yourself presented with impossible requests, try to present a solution or an alternative resolution that will help achieve fill the need without making it your responsibility. Learn to be part of the solution without taking over ownership of someone else’s problem.

Stop saying you’re sorry. If you have a tendency to be a pushover, you likely find yourself apologizing often. Try to eliminate “sorry” from your vocabulary except in situations where you’ve actually made an error or caused harm. The next time someone wants to dump something on your lap, just say no and let it go. Offer an alternative if you’re able, but don’t apologize for not taking on something that wasn’t yours to begin with.

Enlist the help of others. It’s hard to change behavior on your own, so enlist a group of people to support you. Find friends, colleagues or a coach who can keep you assertive and accountable. Create yourself an inner circle of people you can count on to help you set appropriate limits.

Keep practicing. Like everything else in life, learning to stand up for yourself takes practice. Remind yourself daily to be confident and firm. It may be difficult at first, but you’ll be happier in the long run.

If you’re among the pleasers, the sacrificers, the doers, the martyrs, remember that being a pushover is not a sign of strength but a gap in your leadership.

Strength will come from standing up for yourself, learning to say no, coming up with solutions and being confident. When you stop sacrificing yourself to please others, you can showcase your strengths

THE MEDIA MONOPOLY: The Deep State and The Deep Media

The Smoking Man

Source – economicnoise.com

The Deep State and The Deep Media –  By Monty Pelerin*

To fully understand the Deep State one need focus on matters both inside and outside of government. The Deep State corrupts everything it touches. Today that includes much of the country.

The Deep State corrupted the media. The first task of any State is to control the information (propaganda) fed to its citizens.

Totalitarian states eliminate any free exchange of opinions. The Soviet Union had a state-run newspaper known as Pravda. It was a monopoly in that no other sources legally provided news. The new Russia pretends it has press freedom, but it controls the media. So does China. Severe penalties, including murder, are used to obtain conformity.

In the US, we say we have freedom and a “free press.” But do we?

The answer regarding freedom is increasingly negative, at least when compared with our history. The issue regarding a “free press” is a bit more complicated. America’s press, while not owned by the State, is under similar restrictions as the press in more totalitarian states. These restrictions are not officially codified in law but are understood by the media. They result from the fact that the US government has the power to bankrupt any person or corporation it chooses to target.

The unlimited resources of the Deep State make it impossible for individuals or corporations to defend themselves. If they come after you, you will lose. Your limited resources or the resources of even the largest corporation are no match for the unlimited resources of the Deep State. Admission of guilt (even when not guilty) and plea deals (often admitting guilt), are generally the least costly alternative to settling any argument with the State. Often it is necessary to survive such assaults.

With this kind of power and the willingness to use it, the Deep State need not own corporations.

The recognition that the Deep State can “kill” any corporation it chooses explains why the “free press” (or literally any other person or company) is not truly free. There is no corporation or individual that does not break the law every day in some manner. These violations are not intentional nor are they even known by the actor. There are too many laws that none of us don’t violate several of them, unknowingly, every day.

This type of society is not socialism in the normal sense. Actually, it is more like fascism where private ownership is allowed but behavior is so subject to government rules and regulations that it is government that actually drives behavior.

While we think of the media as independent companies operated in local markets, they are hardly that. Most media giants control local markets. US media (as most large corporations) is “owned” by the State because of the State’s arbitrary and immense regulatory and punative powers. To understand how easy it is to influence/control media, this information sent by a reader is useful:
This is what you call a “stacked deck.” Info like this can be a great benefit to the general public and help more and more people to wake up to who their real enemies are


ABC News executive producer Ian Cameron is married to Susan Rice, Obama’s former National Security Adviser.
CBS President David Rhodes is the brother of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications.
ABC News correspondent Claire Shipman is married to former Obama Whitehouse Press Secretary Jay Carney.
ABC News and Univision reporter Matthew Jaffe is married to Katie Hogan, Obama’s former Deputy Press Secretary .
ABC President Ben Sherwood is the brother of Obama’s former Special Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood.
CNN President Virginia Moseley is married to former Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Secretary Tom Nides.

This is “Huge” and is only a ‘partial’ list since the same holds true for NBC/MSNBC and most media outlets.

Trump has been right all along. Fake News is generated by these incestuous relationships .

Proverbs 31:26-31

Arlin Sorensen's Thoughts on Scripture

In Proverbs 31:26-31 King Lemuel’s mother continues with her expose on the excellent wife. She begins by describing a woman filled with wisdom. She is a beautiful person on the inside. She has what is often described and valued in the Book of Proverbs—wise speech and words that show the law of kindness. Both her deliberate speech (she opens her mouth) and her spontaneous words (on her tongue) are marked by wisdom and kindness. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” This is one of the most important characteristics of this woman who with all her eminence and excellence, was of a meek and quiet spirit.

She is observant of her family and what they are doing. The choice to watch so carefully means that she does not choose to sit idly by or being consumed by her own selfish…

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