Netanyahu does everything he can to stop Israelis from reading | Opinion


09-09-20 10:13:00,

“No Israeli leader encourages and advances the reading of books more than” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his spokesman Jonatan Urich wrote in Haaretz’s Hebrew edition this week. But certain facts don’t jibe with this claim.

If Netanyahu sought to encourage the reading of books, he wouldn’t have appointed as culture minister a woman who was so clearly inappropriate for the job, and wouldn’t have let her rescind the so-called Book Law – which required a fixed price for any Israeli book during its first year and a half on the market and set minimum rates for Israeli authors’ royalties.

The revocation of the law abandoned Israeli book publishers to the predatory duopoly of the bookstore chains, and deprived most Israeli book publishers of their economic independence. As a result, a raft of important books haven’t been published in Hebrew because the impoverished publishers don’t have the money to finance them.

A woman is reading at a cafe in Jaffa, Israel, September 2020.

Reading at a cafe in Tel Aviv, Israel, September 2020.

There is no relation between production costs and the ludicrous prices that books are sold for in Israel as a result of the duopoly, so the book publishers can’t invest in translation and publishing. I’ve often seen Netanyahu on television holding a thick book in English that I recognized and even considered publishing, but couldn’t.

All people for whom reading books is important must ask themselves how we’ve reached this state where, as a routine matter, publishers are asking authors to share in a book’s production costs. In this situation, publishers often publish books that have no justification to be published – just because they need the money.

We’ve seen the results in recent years in the form of a market flooded with works that are merely cheap entertainment for the masses – because these books are easy to finance. Many of these readers can’t distinguish between good translation and not good translation, and often it’s not good because the publishers are saving money anywhere they can in an effort to survive.

Reading in Tel Aviv, September 8, 2020.

A woman reading a book in Tel Aviv, September 8, 2020.Credit: Avshalom Halutz

If books and reading were important to Netanyahu, he would have instructed the Education Ministry to design a curriculum that didn’t require students to be tested on five examples of Spanish poetry,

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TED Talk On How Your Smart Devices Know and Share Everything About You – Everything – Activist Post


20-08-20 11:42:00,

By B.N. Frank

All wireless “Smart” devices collect data often without users knowledge or consent while simultaneously emitting harmful electromagnetic radiation which can make people and animals sick (see 1, 2, 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8) AND increase their cancer risk (see 1. 2. 3, 4). More details about data collection from “Smart” and WiFi-enabled products by 2 tech experts.

From TED Talks:

Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out — so they outfitted Hill’s apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising — and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits — and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)

This talk was presented at an official TED conference, and was featured by our editors on the home page.

From the transcript: SM: If you decide to make your home smart, hopefully, you’ll find it less infuriating than Kashmir did. But regardless, the smart things you buy can and probably are used to target and profile you. Just the number of devices you have can be used to predict how rich or poor you are. Facebook’s made this tech, and they’ve also patented it.

KH: All the anxiety you currently feel every time you go online, about being tracked, is about to move into your living room. Or into your bedroom.

SM: The devices Kashmir bought range from useful to annoying. But the thing they all had in common was sharing data with the companies that made them. With email service providers and social media,

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“Everything About This Is Insane” – Begging Big Tech To Be Arbiters Of Truth Will Ultimately Backfire


27-05-20 06:10:00,

‘Be careful what you wish for’.  To all those calling for more censorship of “the Other’s” voices – urging Big Tech companies to become managers in the ministry of truth to rescue the world from dissent, disagreement, and dissolution – there is a simple message – it will ultimately backfire in ways even Huxley and Orwell could not imagine.

As Evan Greer argues below “we need to address the problem of viral disinformation at its root.”

In the United States, progressive groups and lawmakers rightly concerned about the rise of far right online activity, and attempts by state actors to manipulate elections, have increasingly turned to calls for Internet censorship, deplatforming, and more aggressive moderation by companies like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

These calls are well intentioned but ultimately misguided.

These comments come just hours after controversy was exposed about the sudden and purely coincidental deletion of numerous Hong Kong dissident Twitter accounts after Li Fei-Fei was appointed to Twitter’s board.

As Liberty Bltizkrieg’s Mike Krieger noted so perfectly, “everything about this is insane.”

“The tech giants are out of control, actively laundering national security state talking points via mass media “fact checker” censorship. It’s only gonna get worse.”

Authored by Evan Greer, Deputy Director of Fight for the Future, via Medium,

Okay I’ll admit it. I still use Facebook. When I logged on last night I saw something I had never seen before: a notification that read “Partly false information found in your post by independent fact checkers.” I was surprised, but figured maybe it was a glitch or related to some joke meme I had posted or something like that. I clicked it to learn more.

Screenshot of the notification Facebook sent me.

It turned out that “Independent fact-checkers” at USA TODAY had flagged a VICE article that I shared, and am quoted in, about the reauthorization of the Patriot Act and the ongoing fight around amendments to rein in mass government surveillance.

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Biden Is Everything The Democrats Are: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix


02-05-20 10:56:00,

Joe Biden is not an “imperfect candidate” for the Democrats. He is the perfect candidate, because he’s everything the party is: Demented. Decrepit. Bloodthirsty. Corrupt. Cronyistic. Authoritarian. Reactionary. Rapey. He is exactly what they deserve. He is exactly what they are.

Joe Biden is the Democrat’s Democrat. He is the perfect representative of the party. They should even take it a step further and replace that donkey with Joe Biden.

Biden is to the Democrats as Trump is to the Republicans. Everyone’s just wearing their true face now.


If you’re willing to sacrifice all principles, all sanity and all morality to get rid of Trump, what exactly is the point of getting rid of Trump?


We know Biden is a liar. He’s been pinged for lying his whole career. Everyone is trying to undermine the victim’s character in order to discredit her while ignoring Joe’s character. We know he lies. He also has a history of unwanted sexual advances. His story is not credible.


Nobody actually believes that Biden didn’t sexually assault Tara Reade. Nobody’s actually confident that Creepy Uncle Hair Sniffer isn’t a rapist, they’re just pretending they are. I can understand saying “It’s possible but unproven”, but saying it’s false is so gross and dishonest.

They’re accusing Reade of lying for partisan reasons, when in reality that’s exactly what they are doing: they’re pretending they believe Handsy Joe Biden is incapable of shoving his fingers into a woman without her consent, and they are lying. Out of pure partisan loyalty.


It’s funny how refusing to support a literal dementia patient who has been credibly accused of rape for the world’s most powerful elected office is a very, very normal thing to do, yet people are acting like it’s bizarre and freakish.


Which looks more likely to you? (A) That Reade seeded a bunch of vicious lies about Senator Joe Biden in the 1990s with the intention of someday sabotaging his presidential bid in the distant future for some reason, or (B) that a powerful man sexually assaulted a woman?


It’s so weird how Joe Biden is a spent piece of leftover 1970s beltway flotsam made of plastic donor class dinner parties and AIPAC lobbying but everyone’s all pretending they like him as a person and stuff.

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