By Jeff Childers
Good morning C&C, and welcome to the Weekend Edition! Today’s roundup includes: House committee on the weaponization of the federal government releases another report on FBI censorship; podcasts are now in the censorship crosshairs; former Super Bowl champ SADS while hiking; wedding singer SADS; sports director SADS; athletic dentist SADS; teenage rollerball star SADS; first case of degenerative brain disease found in pro female athlete; elderly cross dresser wins women’s international foot race; MEP Anderson tells off the WHO; and an amusing example of how NOT to propose.
🗞💬 *WORLD NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 💬🗞
🔥 This week, the House Oversight Committee released a refreshing report extolling the FBI’s fairness and political neutrality, explaining that complaints about the law enforcement agency’s so-called political “weaponization” have been wildly exaggerated.
Haha, just kidding! Actually, they released a report explaining how the FBI has been and probably still is working with a foreign secret police service to cancel Americans with whom the FOREIGN GOVERNMENT politically disagreed — all within the LAST YEAR:
You can’t make this stuff up. It’s not clear whether the report described the dumbest law enforcement agency in the world or the most sinister. Either way, here is the Committee’s disturbing summary of what happened:
> [Since February 2022,] the FBI, the federal law enforcement agency responsible for disrupting foreign malign influence, [instead] facilitated censorship requests to American social media companies on behalf of a Ukrainian intelligence agency infiltrated by Russian-aligned actors. In so doing, the FBI violated the First Amendment rights of Americans and potentially undermined our national security.
The Committee sort of undersold its ultimate conclusion, saying the investigation “raises grave concerns about the FBI’s credibility.” Concerns? I think we might be so far past the ‘concerns’ stage at this point we can’t even see ‘concerns’ in the rear-view mirror anymore.
The report included a helpful infographic, for people in the back row:
What happened was, after the Proxy War started in February, 2022, Ukraine’s secret police service (the “SBU”) turned its gimlet eyes toward U.S. social media, ostensibly to “identify and impair Russian influence operations.” Somehow, the SBU began giving orders to the American FBI as part of its political/psychological operations, and the FBI trotted along like a good little doggie getting bacon snacks.
It seems the SBU would email over long lists of American social media accounts that the SBU deemed to be “spread[ing] Russian disinformation.” Then, credulous FBI agents would take those lists and then lean on contacts at social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, who would pass the lists down to their content moderation teams for action.
In other words, at the SBU’s request, the FBI flagged for cancellation Americans’ social media accounts, including a verified U.S. State Department account and American journalists’ accounts. Hilariously, in a dark sort of way, the SBU had been infiltrated by Russian agents, and for the first few months many of the takedown requests were for accounts that either supported Ukraine or criticized Russian President Putin.
For reasons that will become obvious, the FBI’s disinformation agents were too stupid to notice they were working for the Russians at first.
Around July 2022, Zelenskyy publicly fired the SBU’s director, accusing the head of Ukraine’s own secret police of being a Russian plant. On July 16th, Ukraine arrested Oleg Kulinich, the head of the SBU’s Main Department in Crimea. Zelenskyy also disclosed that “651 cases of alleged treason and collaboration have been opened against individuals in law enforcement and in the prosecutor’s office.”
Six hundred and fifty one cases. That’s a purge Uncle Joe Stalin would approve of. One wonders how Zelenskyy found out about all those traitorous secret police.
The Committee’s report included a wide variety of the early, pre-purge censorship examples, such as this March 2022 email from Ukrainian “legal attache” Aleksandr Kobzanets, who even HAS HIS OWN FBI.GOV email account:
Note the involvement of treasonous weasel Elvis Chan, cc’d in the email, who headed the FBI’s San Francisco field office and whose grotesque fingerprints are all over the agency’s political censorship operation. This particular email included a spreadsheet with nearly SIXTEEN THOUSAND posts and over FIVE THOUSAND accounts to be “moderated.”
According to the Committee, the flagged accounts included:
* A photographer working with a studio in New York;
* A manager of a moving company in South Carolina;
* A musician and vocalist based in Minnesota;
* A professor at a university in California;
* A children’s book author living in Washington state; and
* The account @usaporusski, which is the official, verified, Russian-language account of the U.S. State Department.
Even worse, if that’s possible, all of the posts on the spreadsheet had fewer than 100 likes and under130 total engagements — including shares and comments. In other words, it didn’t take much to get on the SBU’s cancellation list. It seems the FBI agents didn’t realize the accounts were pro-Ukrainian, at first, because most of the posts were in Russian.
The FBI just assumed that the SBU was on “its side.” One suspects that, at some point they finally caught on, which may explain the June 2022 purge. Meanwhile the Russians were undoubtedly laughing like braying horses.
But the SBU-FBI partnership continued after July, 2022, after the Russian infiltration of the SBU was purged. Presumably after that time the censorship became more ‘correctly’ aimed at pro-Russian accounts.
The Committee hasn’t reached the bottom yet:
Based on open-source information, it appears that the FBI’s cooperation with the SBU remains ongoing. On April 25, 2023, Agent Kobzanets presented on a panel in San Francisco alongside the SBU’s Ilia Vitiuk, with Agent Chan in the audience. During the panel, Vitiuk described the FBI as the SBU’s “top partner.” As of today, the FBI has not made any public statements about its work with the SBU concerning the removal of American “disinformation” on social media platforms and has not issued any statements acknowledging its role facilitating foreign requests to censor lawful domestic speech. The full extent of the FBI’s involvement in this activity to date remains a subject of the Committee’s and Select Subcommittee’s investigation.
So. If you were cancelled because of posting an anti-war meme or a comment critical of Ukraine, it was likely the Ukrainian secret police who fingered you to their top partner. The FBI prefers to be on top.
🔥 And now they’re coming for the podcasts. Two weeks ago, AFP ran this alarming headline:
Oh no! Not PODCAST misinformation! Misinformation like, claiming the shots don’t stop transmission, or that the covid virus leaked from the Wuhan lab. The article identified misinformation super-spreading podcasts like Joe Rogan, Charlie Kirk, and Steve Bannon which, according to the article, often include things that completely-reliable and presumptively un-biased “fact checkers” have deemed to be false.
The fretful fact-checkers worry, because the “conversational tone” of podcasts make them seem more believable, or something. So people might accidentally believe something that’s not officially approved by the government, which could damage the Nation’s cognitive infrastructure. It’s like a highway bridge that starts cracking after a conversational tractor-trailer filled with moonpies of misinformation collides with the cognitive overpass.
It’s JUST like that.
Presumably, the censors are just now getting around to the podcasts because lazy SBU and FBI agents prefer keyword searching over actually reading or listening to content for themselves. Anyway, don’t worry, the have people on the job now, and soon will be “fact checking” podcasts and rating them as unreliable:
NewsGuard, a firm that rates the credibility of websites, announced in May it would begin evaluating the trustworthiness of popular podcasts. NewsGuard said it will release the ratings for some 200 podcasts in 2024, giving more transparency to listeners and enabling advertisers to avoid podcasts featuring misinformation or content at odds with their brand.
I’m sure they will be super-duper careful never to flag people’s OPINIONS or issues that could be argued either way as disinformation, because that would be crazy unconstitutional, right? You believe that, don’t you?
💉 Former Super Bowl Champion Joe Campbell, 68, was suddenly and mysteriously “found dead” Sunday after going hiking in Florida. I probably don’t need to say this, but there aren’t many challenging hikes in Florida. It’s pretty flat here. I’m not even sure if you can call anything in Florida a “hike;” it was probably just a “walk.”
Joe’s brother Patrick told reporters Joe probably “suffered a cardiac event.”
The reporting on Joe’s death featured a new trick that I’ve mentioned before. In the articles, the media talk a lot about the person’s PRIOR health issues, which is probably intended to cover up the complete absence of any discussion of their CURRENT health issue, or maybe suggest they weren’t all that healthy to start with. For example, read this, from the Daily Mail’s article on Joe’s death, about a bad car accident he had SIXTEEN YEARS AGO:
Campbell survived a collision with a pickup truck while cycling in Pennsylvania in 2007. However, he sustained a fractured skull and his left forearm had to be surgically reattached. The accident left him in a coma for more than six weeks, breathing with the help of a respirator. Campbell was also left with memory problems but, despite his challenges, he still remembered his championship winning season.
Ironically, that paragraph provided way more information than anything reported about his mysterious death “on a hike” THIS WEEK. When it comes to old health problems, the media is all chatty Kathy. You can’t get them to shut up. What privacy? But when it comes to the much more interesting current events of people sudden and mysteriously DYING, the media suddenly gets all concerned about being respectful and not delving into people’s medical issues.
We see you, media.
💉 Scottish singer Stephen McCluskey, 43, died suddenly, mysteriously, and unexpectedly on June 6th, 2023, while he was getting ready to sing at a Scottish wrestler’s wedding.
According to Glasgow Live, the well-loved father-of-two complained to his fiancée Kirsty about feeling faint, and said he was going back to bed, to take a quick nap. But then he collapsed before he even made it to the bed. The articles reported he died from a “cardiac event” and an “undiagnosed enlarged heart.”
His heart was too big. Not inflamed or anything. Just too dang big.
💉 ESPN Sports director Kyle Brown, 42, died suddenly on Saturday June 10th after suddenly suffering a mysterious “medical emergency” at an NCAA baseball super regional in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Whatever the mysterious “medical emergency” was, Kyle never even made it to the hospital.
Kyle, a 16-year ESPN veteran, was a deeply admired member of the network’s production team, having won two Sports Emmy Awards and worked a wide range of sports including baseball, basketball, Monday Night Football, and college football.
Kyle is survived by his wife, Megan, and their four children — Makayla, 14, Carson, 11, Camden, 9, and Madyn, 6.
💉 Miami Dentist, Lacrosse coach, Crossfit club member, and owner of Herrick Family Dentistry Susana Herrick, D.M.D., 44, passed away mysteriously, suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday, June 24, 2023.
There’s not one single word in any of many local news articles identifying the mysterious cause of her sudden and unexpected death. But fortunately, Dr. Herrick had all her shots.
It’s probably nothing, but online anti-vaxxers zoomed into the image of her vaxx card and it appears Dr. Herrick may have possibly gotten a bad batch:
Who can say? It will forever be a mystery. These things happen, you know.
Susana is survived by her husband Zach and two loving daughters, Isabella and Gabriella.
💉 Australian teenaged roller-derby star Keira Dascoli-Guymer, 18, died suddenly and unexpectedly last month. Of cardiac arrest.
MSN.com described Keira as “perfectly fit and healthy,” apart from the cardiac arrest, of course. She suddenly collapsed on June 17th and was rushed to the hospital, where she spent 10 days in a coma in the ICU before her family made the heartbreaking decision to pull the plug.
Keira’s mother Lisa said the doctors are baffled. Lisa said “She didn’t have a heart attack … her heart just stopped and they don’t know why.” And they never will. The family is now facing the awful “reality they may never know what happened.”
Well. SOMEBODY knows what happened. They’re just not saying.
💉 A couple weeks ago, the New York Times ran an alarming headline: “C.T.E. Found for First Time in Female Pro Athlete.” The sub-headline explained, “Heather Anderson, an Australian rules football player, was found posthumously to have had the degenerative brain disease.”
Heather started playing Australian rules football when she was 5 years old, eventually competing in the top women’s league for the Adelaide Crows. She retired in 2017 when she was 23 after a shoulder injury.
Heather recently took her own life.
After Heather’s family donated her brain for research, researchers discovered three lesions on her brain, indicating early stage C.T.E. The disease can eventually lead to depression, memory loss and changes in personality, including aggressive behavior. It get worse the longer an athlete competes in contact sports, and can only be diagnosed posthumously.
As the headline noted, C.T.E. has never been seen in a female athlete before, and only a handful of cases have ever been found in women. Hopefully Heather’s remains a unique case.
It makes you wonder about the skyrocketing rates of depression and suicide though, doesn’t it?
🔥 A FORTY-NINE YEAR OLD unattractive cross-dresser just won the Women’s 400-meter bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championship in Paris.
Mr. Petrillo is +18 years older than the next-oldest competitor in the race. Silver medalist Alejandra Perez Lopez from Venuezala is 25, and Cuba’s gold medalist Omara Durand is 31. According to the Daily Mail, Mr. Petrillo, 49, told the BBC, “Better to be a slow happy woman than a fast unhappy man. I don’t feel like I’m stealing anything from anyone.”
Now look. It’s totally fair. Senior citizens often beat athletic women in footraces, so don’t start.
🔥 You’ll enjoy this clip of delightful MEP Christine Anderson ranting against the World Health Organization’s “Globaltarian Misanthropists.” That’s a neat way of putting it. I’ll have to use that one. In the clip, Anderson explains, “You wanted this fight. Well, guess what? You’ve got it.”
🔥 Finally, to get your weekend started right, it’s true that it is important to make a proposal memorable, but here’s a perfect example of how NOT to propose:
Always remember: Stable surfaces are best in these emotional moments.
Have a wonderful weekend! Then circle back here on Monday morning, for your week-launching roundup.
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© 2022, Jeff Childers, all rights reserved
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.