Saturday, June 18, 2022

Julian Assange (it's not just the media that's silent)

When people are so stupid that they can't see the obvious, it makes me just want to give up.  I can't believe the number of fools in this country.  And that's coming from someone who can be a bigger fool than anyone and enters every room assuming to be the most stupid person present.  Which is why if I can see something, I feel everybody should be able to.

I warned about Vincent Warren.  I warned here, I warned offline.  I had a huge argument with Michael Ratner over Vinnie.  I said that the secret meeting with Barack Obama was a sign that Vincent was not to be trusted.  I repeated that to Michael over and over.  I told him repeatedly that he'd realize too late, when Vincent stabbed him in the back on Julian, that I was right about this.  Shortly before he died, a conversation he had with Vincent revealed I was right.  Michael and I made plans to discuss it when I was next in New York six weeks from our phone conversation but Michael ended up passing away before the six weeks period.  

A major event took place Friday.  

But check the website of the Center for Constitutional Rights or their Twitter feed in vain because they're not noting it.  This was the biggest issue Michael was working on at the time of his death.  And nothing.  Not even on little Vinnie Warren's own Twitter feed.

Little Vinnie's not going to like what I'm saying here and that doesn't matter one damn bit to me.  But what he really should worry about is what I'm saying to other CCR donors today and what I will continue to say to them over the weekend.

He better hope he can hustle that lazy ass come Monday to make it look like he and CCR were just momentarily distracted because I  am -- and will be -- invoking Michael's cause to  CCR donors -- people who know Michael and I were friends.  Between that link and the fact that CCR issued a statement on Saturday -- not about Julian, still nothing about him -- will lend a lot of credence to my call on fake ass Vince Warren.  Better work hard Monday, Vince, the people  will be watching.

In case the title didn't clue you in, we're talking about journalist Julian Assange.

US President Joe Biden continues to persecute Julian  for the 'crime' of journalism.  Yesterday, the government of England formally agreed to go along with the persecution.  Robert Stevens (WSWS) reports:

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has approved the extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States. If extradited, he faces life imprisonment on charges under the Espionage Act for journalism exposing US war crimes, coup plots and human rights abuses and the complicity of the UK and other imperialist allies.

After over 11 and half years since he was first arrested in London in December 2010, kept in arbitrary detention and then imprisoned in London’s maximum security Belmarsh, the British government has dispensed with all legal norms and signed an order that could well result in Assange’s death.

A Home Office spokesperson said, “Under the Extradition Act 2003, the secretary of state must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made.

“Extradition requests are only sent to the home secretary once a judge decides it can proceed after considering various aspects of the case.

“On 17 June, following consideration by both the magistrates court and high court, the extradition of Mr Julian Assange to the US was ordered. Mr Assange retains the normal 14-day right to appeal.

“In this case, the UK courts have not found that it would be oppressive, unjust or an abuse of process to extradite Mr Assange.”

Patel’s decision obliterates any notion of democracy and due process. WikiLeaks denounced the decision as a “dark day for Press freedom and for British democracy”. It announced it would appeal the decision to the UK High Court.

Binoy Kampmark (DISSIDENT VOICE) offers:

The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner.  In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917.

Patel, for her part, was never exercised by the more sordid details of the case.  Her approach to matters of justice is one of premature adjudication: the guilty are everywhere, and only multiply.  When it came to WikiLeaks, such fine points of law and fact as a shaky indictment based on fabricated evidence, meditations on assassination, and a genuine, diagnosed risk of self-harm, were piffling distractions.  The US Department of Justice would not be denied.

“Under the Extradition Act 2003,” a nameless spokesman for the Home Office stated, “the Secretary of State must sign an extradition order if there are no grounds to prohibit the order being made.  Extradition requests are only sent to the Home Secretary once a judge decides it can proceed after considering various aspects of the case.”

Evidently, overt politicisation, bad faith, and flimsy reassurances from the US Department of Justice on how Assange will be detained, do not constitute sufficient grounds.  But the cue came from the courts themselves, which have done a fabulous job of covering the US justice system with tinsel in actually believing assurances that Assange would not be facing special administrative detention measures (SAMs) or permanent captivity in the ADX Florence supermax in Colorado.  

This persecution is about silencing the press.  Monday April 5, 2010, WIKILEAKS released US military video of a July 12, 2007 assault in Iraq. 12 people were killed in the assault including two Reuters journalists Namie Noor-Eldeen and Saeed Chmagh.  That is when the persecution begins.  It was an intimidation carried out by multiple presidents starting with Barack Obama, continuing with Donald Trump and now the baton for killing the press has been handed off to Joe Biden. This has had the effect of scaring off many traditional news outlets.  They once partnered with Julian to report and now they act as though they've never heard of him.  Saving their own asses?  They may think that.  If they do, they're dead wrong.  An attack on Julian is an attack on all.  And if the attack on Julian is not loudly and publicly rebuked, you can be sure that next up will be THE WASHINGTON POST or THE MIAMI HERALD or some other institution -- despite the US Constitution -- the same one that's being ignored in this attack on Julian.

Kevin Gosztola (SHADOWPROOF) explains that Patel and the Home Office made the decision that press freedom is "an act capable of 'far more serious damage' than traditional espionage." Here's Max Blumenthal:

Mainstream US reporters could have led a drum beat for freeing Assange but most kept silent or defamed him as a digital terrorist and/or Russian asset. The US msm has thus colluded in one the worst assaults on a free press of our time and share responsibility for his extradition.

Glenn Greenwald (SUBSTACK) notes, "An extremely unusual unanimity among press freedom and civil liberties groups was formed in early 2021 to urge the Biden administration to cease its prosecution of Assange, but Biden officials — despite spending the Trump years masquerading as press freedom advocates — ignored them (an interview conducted last week with Stella Assange by my husband, the Brazilian Congressman David Miranda, on Brazil's Press Freedom Day, regarding the latest developments and toll this has taken on the Assange family, can be seen here)."  And Caitlin Johnstone (SUBSTACK) concludes:

Assange's fight against US extradition benefits us not just because the empire's war against truth harms our entire species and not just because he cannot receive a fair trial under the Espionage Act, but because his refusal to bow down and submit forces the empire to overextend itself into the light and show us all what it's really made of.

Washington, London and Canberra are colluding to imprison a journalist for telling the truth: the first with its active extradition attempts, the second with its loyal facilitation of those attempts, and the third with its silent complicity in allowing an Australian journalist to be locked up and persecuted for engaging in the practice of journalism. By refusing to lie down and forcing them to come after him, Assange has exposed some harsh realities of which the public has largely been kept unaware.

The fact that London and Canberra are complying so obsequiously with Washington's agendas, even while their own mainstream media outlets decry the extradition and even while all major human rights and press freedom watchdog groups in the western world say Assange must go free, shows that these are not separate sovereign nations but member states of a single globe-spanning empire centralized around the US government. Because Assange stood his ground and fought them, more attention is being brought to this reality.

Amnesty International has called out the move to extradite Julian:

Responding to the news that the UK Home Secretary Priti Patel has certified Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage Act, Agnes Callamard, Amnesty International Secretary General said:

“Allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the US would put him at great risk and sends a chilling message to journalists the world over.”

“If the extradition proceeds, Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate  the prohibition on torture or other ill treatment. Diplomatic assurances provided by the US that Assange will not be kept in solitary confinement cannot be taken on face value given previous history.”

“We call on the UK to refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the US to drop the charges, and for Assange to be freed.”

Julian Assange is likely to further appeal the extradition on separate  grounds that it violates his right to freedom of expression.

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:        

+44 20 7413 5566        


twitter: @amnestypress  

The following sites are updated:


Max Blumenthal's Grayzone TARGETED Over Pro-Kremlin 'Disinformation': Katie Halper

‘We’re surrendering our sovereignty’ | Mahyar Tousi on Julian Assange treatment


BPM WEEKLY REWIND (Recap of Various Shows)


Can the Secret Service protect Joe Biden . . . from himself?


Blackonomically Speaking: Neoliberalism Is NEVER The Answer!

Kat's Korner: George Ezra and Rod Stewart prove the British are still invading

KatGeorge Ezra has a new album.  What is it about British male singers?  They usually seem to have much more gravitas than American male singers.  To this day, I listen to George Michael, Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart, for example and, more recently,  I've added George Ezra and Harry Styles.

Don't judge a book by its cover, right?  Well I'm a photographer offline.  So a cover matters a great deal.  And the biggest obstacle to my listening to GOLD RUSH KID was the cover.

I have no idea what anyone was thinking.  The inside shot of the cover (vinyl album) isn't really that much better.  The landscape in front of Geroge looks fine and probably that's the best yellow they could use to write "Gold Rush Kid" across the back of his denim jacket but that jacket?

I checked with British community members to make sure this wasn't a culture difference between the US and the UK but they assured me that, no, they thought a faded blue would have been better as well.  It's just too bright and, for George, honestly too dark.

He's a big guy.  I don't mean he's stocky or fat.  I mean he's obviously over six foot tall.  Maybe the dark blue's supposed to say he's an emerging mountain?  Or maybe it's supposed to say he's new to the world?  I have no idea.

But if there's an artistic statement in that cover, I still would have argued that it made a very poor commercial statement because that jacket's a turn off.  It's like his mom just took him to some local superstore and he's all excited, taking the tags off, to wear it to school the next day -- all the kids there are going to think it needed a few washings as well.

A lighter color, a faded blue, would have warmed him up.  

In that way, he's like another famous British male singer: Elton John.  Elton took awhile to decide on a look.  When he finally hit it, he expanded on it and -- this being the extreme seventies -- expanded on it a lot more.

But the thing is someone's been helping George with his official look.  Since 2013's "Budapest," there's been a steady growth.  Doubt it, just compare his look there with his look on the video for this album's "Green Green Grass"

It's not been a move to may him a style icon, it's been a move to make him look less rigid.  I'm sure every guy under five-feet-six has no sympathy for it, but tall guys have their own issues too.  

And George's dealing with issues on this album including his own o.c. disorder on "I Went Hunting" and if I just blurred or muted your enjoyment of that song, well, live in my world.

"I Went Hunting" is a great song.  And it could be about many things including something we yearn for and miss (including a lost love or a even a treasured object like a favorite album) and I was listening to it and marveling over the lyrics and how they reminded me of a poem Anne Sexton might write when the internet dee jay tells me George wrote this song about Pure O which, it turns out, is not a drug like X, though that's where my mind immediately went.  No, Pure O is a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.  

And that might have inspired the song or be word-for-word what it's about but I like to get there on my own and it also meant a lot more to me when I was pondering what he was saying.  

The quick fix.  That's what the dee jay gave and that's what happens to often these days with music.  We don't get to absorb it or find out what it means to me (take care of TCB?), we just get a meaning thrust off on us.  That was the fear when music videos first began emerging.  That a song a writer hoped would move people and register with them would instead be reduced to, for example, Billy Idol humping the stage in "To Be A Lover" -- a song I love, by the way, and a video I do as well.''

"To Be A Lover" features some great piano work as does "Anyone For You (Tiger Lily)," Joel Pott on the latter. 

The song seems to be about many things including how eager/desperate we can get in a relationship -- at the beginning and throughout.

And it's got this surprising depth.  I don't mean that as an insult, if you know his work, you know George is a gifted songwriter.  But the looks . . . 

He's the jock who has everything and only gets humanized when the arty girl at school takes an interest in him.  

I guess that's why the cover bothers me so much.  The only way he's not getting made fun of for wearing that jacket to school is that he's the jock no one would dare crack on.  

And that visual stereotype is nothing like the artists who emerges in his songs.

"Gold Rush Kid" is a fun song that drifts along quickly.  The title track is only two minutes and forty-three seconds.  And that's one great about the vinyl boom.  Unless you're going to make it a two disc set, a lot of pretension and greed is going to be gone. Most songs are not worthy of going over four minutes in length.  However, ego and greed by the CD age had given us tons of songs over four minutes because, you hit that mark, and after it, you start making higher royalties.  So the track drifts along quickly in terms of the length of the recording but it also drifts along quickly on a bouncy beat.  You get several meanings after many listening (the most obvious meaning, of course, is George and his relationship with the audience).  

The playing.  George has always had great music and strong arrangements but this is even more true today.  I love, for example, "Hold My Girl" and, honestly, when we were on the road speaking all the time (now it's Zooms or Teams for the most part), that was a song I'd usually listen to before I'd go to bed in some strange hotel room.  But listening to "Fell In Love At The End Of The World," I really would love to hear George and the band lay down a new version of "Hold My Girl."

You can't talk George without talking the voice.  He's not a tenor.  He's  really a baritone but he can hit a lot of notes even lower than that.  And his voice is unique and identifiable.  

"I Went Hunting."  See if you can forget what we discussed above and just enjoy the beauty of his voice and whatever word pictures the song paints for you.

GOLD RUSH KID is one of the best of the year and it will make my top ten, I'm sure.  I'll just spend the rest of the year wondering where it will fall on my best of 2022.

Rod Stewart.

"One More Time" opens the 12 track THE TEARS OF HERCULES.  This album came out in November.  I didn't know about it until Saturday when I was talking to Betty, Mike, Elaine, Ava and C.I. about my thoughts on George's album.  I noted that I really loved British male singers. And we started listing some.  Then, at the end, I noted, "And, of course, there's always Rod." Which prompted C.I. to ask me what I thought of THE TEARS OF HERCULES.


She walked over to the shelves she keeps her vinyl on, grabbed it, put it on the turntable.

And I have no idea what else happened.  

They may have continued talking or they might have listened in silence along with me.

I was transported.  Caught up in the landscape that Rod was creating.  

I've always loved Rod's singing and he writes some really great songs.  And there are albums of his that I love.  But, and I recently lost a family member, I really connected with the world he shares in this album.  We go on living, we try to find passion, and we remember our loves ones that have passed away.  Maybe it makes us a little more aware of how short life is.  And how precious. Maybe we just think it does. 

But this is a wonderful album.  

I looked at some reviews and apparently I'm the only one that feels that way.  Some people are really not liking the album.  

Sail away, sail away

I'm going down to Mexico to live out all my days.

Maybe you have to be in a certain place to get the uplift of that in "All My Days."  But I love it.

And if you're reading this when it goes up, you can get this album on vinyl at AMAZON right now for $8.73.  You can't beat that price.  I have no idea how long this sale price (65% reduction) will last but I went to AMAZON as soon as the second side finished.  Pulled out the phone determined to buy it immediately upon hearing C.I.'s copy -- and willing to pay $30 or so bucks.  $8.73?  Suddenly, I was back at Sam Goodys and thrilled to find Bon Jovi's new album SLIPPERY WHEN WET and Ashford &  Simpson's REAL LOVE both on sale for $8.99.  I grabbed them both that day.  Hint, hint, the price of vinyl today needs to come down.

U.S. Hypocrisy on Press Freedom Is “Absolutely Striking” Says Assange’s Brother

The Empire Strikes Back: Imperialism's global war on multipolarity

The Metaverse Is Worse Than You Think

If President Biden Is Serious About PRESS FREEDOM, He'd Free Assange: Brother Of Assange

Biden RECESSION Imminent? Dems Fantasize About OPRAH As '24 Replacement

How the FED Caused Inflation | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

JULIAN ASSANGE EXTRADITION To US Ordered By UK Home Secretary. Brother Says He Will Appeal

Google Engineer Claims AI Machine Has COME TO LIFE | Breaking Points with Krystal and Saagar

Nearly Half STRONGLY DISAPPROVE Of Biden As WH Flirts With Gas Rebates Amid Soaring Prices

The Chris Hedges Report: Struggle makes us human


IAVA Celebrates Bipartisan Senate Passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act 

 From IAVA:

               IAVA Celebrates Bipartisan Senate Passage of the Honoring Our PACT Act 

Calls on the House to Pass and Send to the President

June 16, 2022

Washington, DC Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) celebrates the passage of the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring Our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins (PACT) Act, out of the Senate with a final vote of 84-14. 

IAVA applauds the leadership of Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jon Tester and Ranking Member Jerry Moran in forging this landmark bipartisan legislation, and Senators for delivering long-overdue care and benefits to millions of veterans and servicemembers suffering from military toxic exposures. The PACT Act will return to the House for a vote due to changes made in the Senate. 

“The House has already passed this historic toxic exposure legislation by a large bipartisan majority once, and now our representatives have the chance to reaffirm our country’s commitment to care for past, current, and future veterans,” says Jeremy Butler, CEO for IAVA. “Over 80% of IAVA’s members were exposed to burn pits during their deployments. This bill keeps a promise to those veterans and the millions of others affected, that the country they fought for is there to fight for them too.” 

IAVA calls on the House of Representatives to expedite final passage of the PACT Act and send it to the President’s desk. 

By advancing the passage of this historic bill, and through our work as a leading veterans organization, IAVA continues to advocate for the generations of veterans, active-duty servicemembers, and their families, affected by toxic exposures.

Below is the record of the Senate vote on the PACT Act today:

Yes – 84

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI )
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Sherrod Brown (D-OH )
Maria Cantwell (D-WA )
Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD)
Thomas R. Carper (D-DE )
Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA)
Christopher A. Coons (D-DE )
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
Tammy Duckworth (D-IL )
Richard J. Durbin (D-IL )
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA )
Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY)
Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
John W. Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
Tim Kaine (D-VI )
Mark Kelly (D-AZ)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
Joe Manchin III (D-WV)
Edward J. Markey (D-MA)
Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR )
Christopher Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA )
Jon Ossoff (D-GA)
Alex Padilla (D-CA )
Gary C. Peters (D-MI)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)
Tina Smith (D-MN)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Jon Tester (D-MN)
Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
Mark R. Warner (D-VI)
Raphael G. Warnock (D-GA)
Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR )
Angus S. King Jr. (I-ME)
Bernard Sanders (I-VT)
John Barrasso (R-WY )
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Roy Blunt (R-MI)
John Boozman (R-AR)
Mike Braun (R-IN )
Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)
Bill Cassidy (R-LA )
Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Kevin Cramer (R-ND)
Ted Cruz (R-TX)
Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Deb Fischer (R-NE)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Chuck Grassley (R-IO)
Bill Hagerty (R-TN)
Josh Hawley (R-MO)
John Hoeven (R-ND)
Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS)
James M. Inhofe (R-OK )
Ron Johnson (R-WI )
John Kennedy (R-LA )
Roger Marshall (R-KS)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Jerry Moran (R-KS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Rob Portman (R-OH )
Marco Rubio (R-FL )
Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Rick Scott (R-FL )
Tim Scott (R-SC)
Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
Todd Young (R-IN )

No – 14

Richard Burr (R-NC )
Mike Crapo (R-ID )
James Lankford (R-OK )
Mike Lee (R-UT )
Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY )
Rand Paul (R-KY)
James E. Risch (R-ID )
Mitt Romney (R-UT )
Mike Rounds (R-SD)
Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)
John Thune (R-SD)
Thom Tillis (R-NC )
Patrick J. Toomey (R-PA)
Tommy Tuberville (R-AL)

Not present – 2

Steve Daines (R-MO )
Roger F. Wicker (R-MS)

IAVA is the voice for the post-9/11 veteran generation. With over 425,000 veterans and allies nationwide, IAVA is the leader in non-partisan veteran advocacy and public awareness. We drive historic impacts for veterans and IAVA’s programs are second to none. Any veteran or family member in need can reach out to IAVA’s Quick Reaction Force at or 855-91RAPID (855-917-2743) to be connected promptly with a veteran care manager who will assist. IAVA’s The Vote Hub is a free tool to register to vote and find polling information. IAVA’s membership is always growing. Join the movement at


Citibank's Slavery Roots

Martin Luther King and Deep State Politics with Dr. Cynthia McKinney

Cutting Fossil Fuels Would Save 50,000 Lives & $600Bil


Friday, June 17, 2022

Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road TV Schedules Shop Donate
WHAT TO WATCH June 17, 2022
Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

American Masters

Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road

Explore the life and career of the singer, songwriter and co-founder of The Beach Boys. The film traces the legendary performer’s journey of reflection on a drive through Los Angeles with his longtime friend and Rolling Stone editor Jason Fine.

Watch Now
Gershwin Prize: Lionel Richie

Gershwin Prize: Lionel Richie

This special is now available to station members with PBS Passport.

Watch Now
Celebrating Juneteenth 2022

PBS Playlist

Celebrating Juneteenth 2022

Here are some programs that tell the history of Juneteenth and others that show the joy of communities coming together in celebrations of independence.

Watch Now
Anthony Ray Hinton

Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan

Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on death row for a crime he didn’t commit.

Watch Now
Gun Violence in the U.S.


Gun Violence in the U.S.

In this year alone, 247 mass shootings have occurred, 27 of them were school shootings, and it's only June. As we continue to move forward despite the grief and pain we're experiencing, here are some resources we hope will help.

Read More
Celebrate LGBTQIA Pride Month

What to Watch

Celebrate LGBTQIA Pride Month

Celebrate Pride Month this June and every day with PBS! Explore a special collection of films, series and short stories that explore the LGBTQ experience in the United States and around the world.

Watch Now

Upcoming Programs

Endeavour Season 8 Premiere


Endeavour Season 8 Premiere

Learn if Morse’s future on the force is in jeopardy.

Premieres June 19th
Series Premiere

Hotel Portofino

Series Premiere

Step into the 1920s at the Italian Riviera for drama and mystery in the aftermath of WWI.

Premieres June 19th

Pledge Your Support Today

We're able to continue to bring you great programs because of support from viewers like you. Show your support by donating to KQED right now!

Donate Now
PBS Video App

Stream the best of PBS.
Anytime, anywhere.

Get the Free App


Copyright © 2022 PBS  All rights reserved.