Just like when the medieval executioners tortured their prisoners to scream out for “mercy”, so today two former aides of US President Donald Trump are put being on the rack to extract a begging response. If they finger the president, then maybe mercy will be shown to the prisoners.
Trump’s former lawyer and his campaign manager are facing lengthy prison sentences for financial fraud and political campaign irregularities. Michael Cohen could get five years in jail, while Paul Manafort faces a soul-crushing 80 years behind bars. A de facto death sentence, given his age.
The set-up here is so obvious and pathetic. Both men are being dangled by the feet ahead of their sentencing, with the blatant purpose of forcing them to incriminate Trump, and in that way, Trump’s political enemies finally get their long-held objective of impeaching the president.
This is how the “American Dream” really operates. It’s dirty, grim, and brutal, and has very little to do with democracy or rule of law. Forget the emblems of supposed American civility, the white-picket fences, apple pie in bourgeois comfort, old glory fluttering down at the courthouse, and all those other imaginary democratic virtues.
American politics has more in common with Francis Ford Coppola’s classic movie, The Godfather, illustrating how organized crime is intertwined with politicians and lawmakers. Mob practices are more the currency of American politics than dainty civic duties. In reality, it’s not the American Dream, it’s the American Scream.
The impossibly perfect American Dream is nevertheless so powerfully ingrained and inculcated in the popular psyche by Hollywood and national myth-making propaganda, it is hard to see the brutal reality.
When the American military obliterated Japanese civilians with atomic weapons, or incinerated children in Southeast Asia with napalm, or when it organized death squads to mutilate peasants in Central America, such practices can be easily obscured because of the opium that is the American Dream and its seductive, illusory vanity.
Even when an American president is hideously assassinated in broad daylight by his own security services, the people are not awakened from the impossible “dream”.
American politics is as dirty and as criminal as it gets. Assassinating foreign leaders, overthrowing governments, subverting and rigging elections, brainwashing the public with lying news media and think tanks, militarizing “allied” societies in the name of “protection”. These are some of the realities that define the US capitalist power system, at home and abroad.
One of America’s most celebrated presidents John F Kennedy began his term in the White House under sordid conditions. Talk about interference? It is well-documented Kennedy’s election was secured by the Chicago-based Mafia, under crime boss Sam Giancana, rigging the ballots in key states to give Kennedy the decisive vote over rival Richard Nixon in 1960.
Admittedly, JFK seemed to undergo a genuinely personal and political evolution during his brief presidency, when he subsequently desired to normalize Cold War relations with the Soviet Union. His perceived betrayal of the Mafia and the US military-security apparatus probably cost him his life when he was assassinated in Dallas in November 1963, three years into his presidency. It is claimed that the CIA and Mafia worked together to organize the killing involving teams of snipers. The hapless Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged shooter, was only a patsy, which the “great and good” American media have used as an odious cover-up ever since.
READ MORE: JFK’s ‘Peace Speech’ and The Road Not Taken
Anyway, let’s get back to Trump. It seems obvious that the prosecution of his former aides is all about a vendetta against Trump, to get him out of the White House. The US political establishment, or deep state, has never accepted this “outsider” as the president. His stated preference to normalize relations with Russia is a particular red line. The whole “Russiagate” saga has been concocted in order to delegitimize Trump’s election and to have him “taken out” as the figurehead for the deep state.
Prosecuting two of Trump’s former associates was bound to dig up plenty of dirt. Because dirt is endemic to how American big business and politics operate. It should not be surprising that Trump and his former friends are inculpated for bank and tax fraud and paying off hookers. That’s how the system pretty much works, and those transgressions are only the surface.
Look at how Trump’s rival Hillary Clinton was involved in political bribery and vote rigging, as well as soliciting foreign interference from trying to get “Russian dirt” on Trump. Not just Clinton, but the senior law enforcement and intelligence services under the Obama presidency were also involved in this massive subversion of American democracy.
What’s going on with Trump’s two associates facing jail time is the Mob’s equivalent of threatening to cut ears off a hostage unless the hostage squeals to betray another, more important target.
Already, it seems the coercion is working. Trump’s ex-lawyer Michael Cohen is reportedly “ready to cooperating” with the so-called Russia probe led by former FBI chief Robert Mueller. Mueller is a long-time operator for the deep state with his own baggage of criminal skeletons, such as lying over the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction ruse to wage a genocidal war on that country. His appointment as the chief inquisitor to entrap Trump is therefore apt.
Cohen is said to have “interesting things” to tell the Mueller inquisition concerning Trump and allegations of collusion with Russia to get him elected. Those allegations are, for any sane person, a risible farrago of lies and fantasies. No evidence has ever been produced despite two years of investigation and prosecutions. The only crimes uncovered so far are financial fraud, American-style.
But, we can be sure, that Cohen, a sniveling, greasy attorney, will deliver “information” to hang Trump in order to save his own skin from five years in the clanger. Expect more and bigger lies about Russia.
By the way, there are no good guys in this squalid drama of American politics. Trump and his gang are as rotten as the rest of the barrel.
The former New York real-estate hustler may deserve some credit in that he at least is not psychotically anti-Russia. Another indirect credit to Trump is that the whole debacle he has provoked with the deep state goes to expose the profound decay and corruption in American politics.
Just to show how Trump is no better than the rest. This week he told media that he would consider lifting economic sanctions off Russia if Moscow made “concessions” on Syria and Ukraine. On Syria, the Trump administration wants Russia to use its leverage to get Iran out of the country in order to pander to Israeli concerns.
So there you have it. Just like the gangsters at home are leveraging Trump’s associates with pain in order to get them to squeal and betray the president, we see the same sordid mentality and methods being played by Trump himself with regard to Russia. The sanctions he has slapped Russia with could be removed, he says, if Moscow does Trump’s bidding on Iran.
The American Dream? It’s a nightmare that screams with crimes and corruption. When will the people awake?
The views and opinions expressed by Finian Cunningham are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has blamed the United States for trying to hamper the modernization of his country’s army and for criticizing his crackdown on illegal drugs.
Rodrigo Duterte has dismissed as “utterly useless” an offer by the US defense chief and other top US officials to buy F16 fighter jets arguing that his country needs lighter aircraft to fight insurgents.
The Philippine president referred to a letter to this effect he had earlier received from US Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
“What I need are just propeller-driven planes for anti-insurgency. We don’t need F16 and yet they dangle before us after they insulted us,” Duterte said during a televised speech atin a military ceremony marking the Eastern Mindanao Command’s anniversary in Davao City.
Duterte also described the letter as an attempt by Washington to “make up” for its previous jabs at his government.
While acknowledging that the US and Philippines have special ties, Rodrigo Duterte said he found the term “friends” hard to stomach.“It’s hard for you to say we are friends. We are friends but remember we are friends because you made us a colony years ago. It was not a friendship agreed upon,” he said.
Duterte repeated his frustrations with the US, including a refusal to deliver about 23,000 rifles for the Philippine’s police after some US lawmakers raised concern over Manila’s police-led crackdown against illegal drugs.
Previously, Duterte railed against US Assistant Defense Secretary for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Randall Schriver who cautioned Manila not to buy military hardware from Russia.
He made the remarks amid media reports that Moscow had offered the Philippine government its help in purchasing Russian submarines and that Manila was considering the proposal.
During a visit to Russia in 2017, President Duterte expressed interest in advanced Russian weapons, including helicopters, planes, as well as precision-guided weapons to help combat the threat of terrorism.
The circus never stops, and no matter who cries fake news against whom, the fact remains that we have entered the post-truth, post-credibility, post-sanity, post-free speech world. While censorship is coming out into the open, the major corporate news organizations still have tremendous reach into the hollows of public consciousness, giving them power to direct and deflect public attention onto or away from whatever they choose.
The news industry parrots scripted narratives and talking points that are written for them by corporate, financial and political interests. This massive public relations and propaganda effort targets the intelligence, common sense and emotional stability of the body politic. It’s part of the endgame of order out of chaos.
Once you wake up to this game, though, it’s easy to see the framework in which they operate, and when you do, the talking heads and recycled government experts are a joke, albeit a dangerous one. Their tactics become more and more obvious, and their intent is easy recognized for its duplicity, subterfuge and hypocrisy.
They want to cram your mind into well-crafted box. It doesn’t matter if you end up in the right side or the left side of the box, as long as you don’t leave and so long as you stay focused on the flickering lights of the flat screen, ignoring anything that is not directly in front of you.
Corporate media has become a weapon of war, and they follow a certain missive. Consider the following directives that drive nearly everything you seen in mainstream news.
1. Be Afraid, Not Empowered
2. Omit and Forget
3. Self-Destruction is Cool, Self-Awareness is a Crime
4. You are a Victim, The State is Your Savior
5. Overreact, Don’t Over Think
6. Enrage Don’t Engage
7. Indulge, Don’t Conserve
8. Stoke Conflict, Ridicule Peace
9. Permanent War is Normal and Expected
10. Panic, Don’t Prepare
Now that we’ve entered the age of open government-backed corporate censorship of the internet, the mainstream media is actively seeking to shut down independent and dissident voices. In order to do so, they must engage in treachery of every form. If you believe that you have a right to the truth, a right to speak out, and a right to demand genuine peace and justice, then you’d better be paying attention.
If you have any more to add to this list, please do so in the comments below.
Sigmund Fraud is a survivor of modern psychiatry and a dedicated mental activist. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com where he indulges in the possibility of a massive shift towards a more psychologically aware future for humankind.
This article (The 10 Primary Directives of Mainstream Media) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sigmund Fraud and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.
Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found a technique that could make all donated blood compatible with all patients, regardless of the blood type of the donor or the recipient.
UBC biochemist Stephen Withers announced that he and his team had found a way to convert different types of blood into the universally useful O-negative. The research was presented at this week’s meeting of the American Chemical Society.
The hope is that this could one day help alleviate chronic shortages of O-negative blood. Earlier this month, Canadian Blood Services made its regular late-summer call for blood donors across the country. With many donors away on vacation, this is one of the times of year when blood can be in short supply.
Human blood comes in four types: A, B, AB and O. What distinguishes them are tiny sugar molecules on the surface of the red blood cells. A, B and AB blood have distinctive sugar molecules that are recognized by the immune system, so if a patient receives blood of an incompatible type, a dangerous immune reaction against the blood cells can occur.
O-negative blood, however, does not have these sugar molecules, and so is essentially invisible to the immune system, which is why its universally compatible with all recipients.
The key to making A, B and AB blood universally compatible is to find molecular scissors that can efficiently snip off the sugar molecules. Researchers have been looking for such tools since the early 1980s, with limited success.
Withers’ group began searching for an enzyme — a kind of protein that targets specific molecules and cuts them. They suspected there was a natural source for the enzyme they needed in the form of bacterium that might produce it, but the trick was to identify the bacteria.
Initially, they looked to blood-sucking creatures for ideas.
“In the lab, we tossed around various ideas about where there might be bacteria that would degrade blood,” Withers told CBC Radio’s Quirks & Quarks. “One thinks of things like the leech gut or the mosquito gut, but those are probably a little hard to access.”
It turned out, there was a more readily available source: human gut bacteria. Our gut wall is coated with sugar structures called mucins, which on their surface have the same sugar molecules that are found on different types of red blood cells. According to Withers, “It was quite likely that the gut bacteria had evolved the capacity to cleave off some of those sugars to derive energy for themselves. So the human gut microbiome seemed like a good place to look.”
Withers extracted 20,000 different DNA samples from gut bacteria taken from human feces, and discovered a number of them that could produce the enzymes to do the job. From those, he noticed one new class of enzymes that was particularly good at cleaving the sugars.
“It can cleave approximately 30 times more quickly from the previous best candidate that was published a while back, when we did a side-by-side comparison of the two.”
This high level of efficiency means less of the enzyme is needed in the blood conversion process. That means lower production costs, but more importantly, it means less of the enzyme needs to be filtered out of the converted blood afterward — a necessary step before transfusion.
“This work is very promising,” Dana Devine, chief scientist at Canadian Blood Services, wrote in an email to Quirks & Quarks. “The type of blood donated will likely never be exactly matched to the demand for specific blood groups, but this new technology offers an opportunity to create a ‘workaround’ for the disproportionate demand for O blood by turning the excess inventory of other blood groups into group O.”
Withers attributes his success in this project to new techniques in metagenomics that weren’t available to his predecessors. These tools gave him a way to grow gut bacteria DNA en masse and examine the gut microbiome at a grand scale, looking at thousands of candidates at once, which let him cast the net wide to find the best bacteria for the job.
It may be some time, however, before this blood conversion technique makes it out of the lab. Extensive safety tests are still necessary before the converted blood can be approved for use in transfusions.
(GPA) — Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 29-year-old woman activist for crimes such as chanting slogans at a protest. Beheading a woman is unprecedented in the kingdom. Meanwhile, Facebook has sprung into action to protect Riyadh’s back by initiating a crackdown on hundreds of accounts posting anti-Saudi content.
One of these activists includes a woman named Israa al-Ghomgham who was arrested three years ago. Although Saudi Arabia has killed or injured several thousand women in neighboring Yemen, beheading a female is completely unprecedented inside the Kingdom thus far.
All of the activists reportedly took part in protests in Saudi Arabia’s town of Qatif — a heavily Shia Muslim region frequently under siege from Wahhabi Saudi forces.
Saudi rulers consider all citizens who do not adhere to their distorted and intolerant version of Islam, Wahhabism, as polytheists and non-believers. Saudi textbooks in schools contain content with the intention of inflaming hatred for Shia Muslims. This hatred overflows into their foreign policy and military strategies as well.
Ghomgham and the other four activists face charges such as chanting slogans, attempting to inflame public opinion, and providing moral support to protestors. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have reportedly both spoke out on Ghomgham’s behalf. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland also took the opportunity to strike back at the Kingdom’s recent arrests.
These arrests are part of a broader trend under Mohammed bin Salman’s rule to arrest all activists, clerics, intellectuals, and journalists that speak out against the regime.
Although all of the recent arrests were Shia Muslim, Riyadh also cracked down on Sunni Muslim pro-democracy activists last month. In mid-July, Saudi authorities raided the home of Sheikh Safar Al-Hawali: a 68-year-old scholar who had just published a book critical of the Saudi regime’s policies. Hawali was arrested and his current fate is unclear.
Just as news broke about five activists, Facebook initiated a crackdown on anti-Saudi accounts — which also made headlines.
In fact, it appears that the Saudi regime and their Western counterparts in the United States have adopted the “Russian interference” hysteria as a strategy in their soft war against Iran. Facebook announced on Tuesday that it had removed 652 accounts which it claimed were promoting anti-Saudi, anti-Israel, and pro-Palestinian themes.
In addition to Facebook’s sweep, Twitter deleted nearly 300 accounts while Google and YouTube also deleted at least one. Facebook claims these accounts originated inside Iran from Tehran’s government itself — just like the hyper-inflated “Russian misinformation” campaign.
A private cybersecurity firm called FireEye tipped Facebook, Twitter, and Google off to the alleged accounts. The CEO of FireEye, Kevin Mandiant, is a former US Air Force officer with an extensive background in cyber espionage.
It’s very convenient for Riyadh that FireEye informed the tech companies about these alleged misinformation accounts on the very same day the news broke about Saudi plans to behead five new activists — and their first woman nonetheless.
And with FireEye’s ties to the US military, this is not surprising at all.
According to Human Rights Watch, the activists will face trial in a secret setting known as the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC): a tribunal designed seemingly specifically for activists speaking out against the regime. Of course, anyone who condemns the regime Riyadh considers a terrorist — both at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, Mohammed bin Salman is portrayed in the media as a poster child for liberal reforms. Although the neoliberals seem more focused on the privatization aspects and less on the oppressed populations in the Kingdom at abroad.
The continuation of arrests shows that Saudi Arabia will dole human rights out as gifts (like women driving) from the regime — rights will certainly not be earned through grassroots movements.
All the while, private security firms will partner with Facebook and other tech companies to crack down on these activists and others online.
This exclusive interview for GRTV features one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear advocates, Dr. Helen Caldicott, addressing the threat of a deliberate or accidental nuclear war 73 years after the first nuclear device was used on a human population.
Dr. Caldicott discusses the recent revelation of personnel responsible for safe-guarding hundreds of missiles with nuclear payloads also operating an LSD ring. She also talks about the consequences of a nuclear exchange, some close calls in the past, and what Canadians can reasonably do to eliminate or at least reduce the threat.
Dr. Helen Caldicott is an author, physician and one of the world’s leading anti-nuclear campaigners. She helped re-invigorate the group Physicians for Social Responsibility, acting as President from 1978-1983. Since its founding in 2001, she has served as President of the U.S. based Nuclear Policy Research Institute, later called Beyond Nuclear, which initiates symposia and educational projects aimed at informing the public about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and nuclear war. She was the subject of the 1982 Academy Award-winning documentary short ‘If You Love This Planet.‘ Her latest book: ‘Sleep-Walking to Armageddon: The Threat of Nuclear Annihiliation‘ featuring some of the world’s leading nuclear scientists and thought leaders addressing the political and scientific dimensions of today’s nuclear war threat.
More resources on how to support the movement to abolish nuclear weapons available at the site http://www.icanw.org
Dr. Caldicott’s site is http://helencaldicott.com
Videography by Paul Graham. Visit his Youtube channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/redriver…
Transcript – Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, August 15, 2018
Global Research: I wanted to start our conversation with a recent article that you wrote in relation to a rather shocking incident. They found out that a number of airmen from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming had been implicated in operating an LSD drug ring. One of the implicated personnel said that he had been feeling… had these feelings of paranoia and fear, and another one said he could not have responded in the wake of a nuclear security emergency.
So, I know that you’ve looked into the stringent protocols or the rigorous… supposedly rigorous protocols that are supposed to guard against any kind of a tragic accident resulting. I have to know, were you surprised by this incident, or is this maybe consistent with what you’d already known. Was this…something like this sooner or later going to happen?
Helen Caldicott: I was shocked, but not surprised.
There are two men in each missile silo. There are 450 missile silos, and in each missile called a Minuteman because they have minutes to decide whether to launch or not, are three hydrogen bombs. The two men are aged 17 to 26. They’re like Pavlovian dogs. Yes sir, no sir, press the button sir. Each is armed with a pistol. One shoots the other if one shows signs of deviant behaviour, one of the deviant ones shoots the other one.
There are two locks 12 feet apart, so that one man can’t turn both keys. But I worked out that if you tie a key to one string, one man can turn both locks. They’re very — oh and they run by floppy disks, if you please, and often the telephones don’t work. They get very bored down there they go to sleep down there. One of the girlfriends of the Missileers told me years ago that they take drugs before they go down there. So I was shocked at the extent at the drug-taking but not surprised. They’re fallible human beings, and the job they have is one of the most boring you can imagine except that they’re ready to blow up the Earth with a three-minute lead time.
GR: Yeah, I mean, even in a country that prides itself on its belief in their… the right to bear arms, I think that even they understand you don’t hand over to somebody who’s compromised that way a loaded gun, and these Minuteman missiles are a hell of a loaded gun. That being said, however, I feel the need to remind our viewers that these individuals were not accused of having been compromised while on duty, and there was a quote from an Air Force spokesman, Uriah L Orland, and he stated, and I quote, “There are multiple checks to ensure Airmen who report for duty are not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and are able to execute the missions safely, securely and effectively.” Now, you are in a physician in addition to being a … having studied these facilities. Should the public be reassured by these sorts of statments?
HC: Not at all. Absolutely not at all. Because drugs can hang around for many, many hours and sometimes days. So, and they’re known to take cocaine and marijuana and all sorts of other things, so, no I’m not reassured in any way. Why he said to securely carry out their mission, and their mission is to destroy life on the planet. I mean the whole thing is absolutely insane and obscene, and no one really questions what it’s all about. And we’re closer to nuclear war now according to many people in the know than we were during the height of the Cold War, particularly with Donald Trump in charge, and he gets 3 minutes to decide whether or not to destroy the Earth. And there’s always an officer walking behind him with a big suitcase called the football, and in the football are the codes to start a nuclear war.
He has three options. One is ‘counterforce’, and that is to point the missiles at all the missile silos in Russia, and hence ‘win’ the nuclear war. That’s a Pentagon term because everyone’s going to die of radiation sickness, and the missiles almost certainly will be launched in Russia before they’re attacked. Then there’s ‘countervalue’ and that is to bomb all the cities in Russia, which is just obscene. And then there’s ‘counterforce and countervalue’. So they’re the three options: cities, missiles, silos or seas plus missile silos
Because the Russians don’t want to lose a nuclear war, in other words have their missiles bombed while they’re still in their silos, they have to drop two hydrogen bombs on each missile silo within a very specified space of time, because you can get ‘fratricide’ and that is all the debris blown up by the first bomb would destroy the other incoming bomb.
The Russians don’t like this idea at all, so they’ve dug a big cave in the Ural Mountains, and they have put in there a rocket called the ‘Dead Man’. And it is to be launched, if, in fact, they see the missiles coming from America. And all this takes half an hour to go from where to go. And up goes that missile, and it sends a radio message to every single missile in Russia to launch. So nuclear war then would be in the hands of a computer only and no human.
Now, America’s plan is to fight and win a nuclear war, and that’s still a plan, and Canada is still part of that because you’re part of NATO. And the way you ‘win’ the nuclear war is first you decapitate Moscow. That means you destroy Putin so he can’t press his button. And then you land your two hydrogen bombs on each missile silo, and you’ve ‘won’ the nuclear war.
The fact is that they’ve… It only takes a thousand hydrogen bombs on a hundred cities to cause nuclear winter and the end of life on earth when a huge, huge cloud of toxic black smoke rises up to the stratosphere and circles the earth with a cloud so thick it blocks out the sun for up to 10 years and starts a new Ice Age. And everything and everyone will freeze to death in the dark. Of the 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, Russia and America own 94 per cent. So the real terrorists in the world, the actual terrorists, are Russia and America, because only those countries can destroy life on earth.
And after all, why is America not liking Russia now? Russia is now capitalist. What’s it all about? It’s not communist. And so they interfered in American elections? America has interfered, I think, in 80 elections since the end of the second world war, including killing people and the like. So they’re such hypocrites! But Canada goes along with it. And I was able to spend a whole lunch time with Pierre Trudeau, talking about the fact that America was testing cruise missiles in Canada. And I was able to convince him, because of his intense love for his boys, to start the five continent six-nation peace initiative. So Canada has done some good things, but by God, do you need to do some, you need to stand aside like New Zealand, and get out of NATO and not be part of the American plan to blow up the world. In other words, you’re guilty.
GR: Yeah. I’d like to return to Russia just for the moment. Because, as you know, in March, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, had announced in his State of the Federation speech a new class of weapons, a hypersonic missile, the SARMAT. They have these deep underwater drones that defy being tracked. And basically, the context of all that was saying, hey we know you’ve got these anti-ballistic missiles and other strategies, but we have the ability to overcome that. So it is essentially, what some analysts are saying, is that Mutual Assured Destruction, MAD is back, and that they’re sending the message that you can’t attack Russia. You will be obliterated. So, I wanted to get your take on that.
HC: Well, of course you’re, of course you’ll be obliterated. Because if America starts attacking Russia, and, as I say, the missiles take only 30 minutes to go from launch to land, and the Russians pick up the attack, although their satellites are not working because they’ve got a over the horizon radar which isn’t as accurate and doesn’t give them early warning, just the last few minutes, but they will launch their missiles anyway, and that will be the end of life on Earth. I mean all this sort of Pentagon-Russian jargon coming from the military analysts and the military scientists is absolute rubbish.
And what I really can’t understand is why, why the Earth, or the humans are spending so much on killing and the military when in fact, there’s no threat to anyone really at all except to be annihilated, and it’s about empire isn’t it? America’s in many countries in Africa now with military operations… And it sees itself as a policeman of the planet, well we don’t want to be policed thank you very much. But, what I don’t understand this mad lunacy of killing and death, killing and death, killing and death, except it gives the corporations who make these weapons huge amounts of money. And it was Obama who agreed to spend 1.7 trillion dollars in the next 30 years replacing every single nuclear weapon, missile, ship, plane. And rebuild them all new ones, for what reason? No reason!
It’s sheer nuclear madness. It’s nuclear lunacy! And I don’t understand why people don’t talk more about it because, you know, we could have a nuclear war tonight. We really could. By accident, by design, by people hacking into the early warning system, which is – happens quite frequently, I mean, I actually do not know how it is that we’re still here.
GR: Could we touch on what you just mentioned there: that the possibility of an accidental nuclear war? Because I think a lot of people have the belief that there’s technology in place that… fail-safes, backup systems, so that we’re not going to accidentally mistake a flock of geese for a Russian ICBM or something like that. I mean, you mentioned floppy disks earlier. What can you tell us, maybe even invoking a specific example, about that… the unreliability of this technology to prevent an accident?
HC: Well, there is no way to prevent an accident. I’ll give you an example. In 19… God…I can’t remember the exact date. But America was going to launch a weather satellite from Norway, and that’s just near where the Trident submarines roam near Russia. And they told Russia that this was going to happen. They told the Kremlin. But the Kremlin lost the data because the Russians are a bit all over the place. I know from experience. And so, this missile went up with the weather satellite, and there was Yeltsin, a hardened alcoholic, like a bottle of vodka before breakfast. Korsakoff syndrome, whatever the case encephalopathy.
A badly damaged brain sitting there, and they opened the computer or the football for the first time in history. He had three generals standing over his shoulder, and he had three minutes to decide whether or not to press the button because they were sure they were under attack and a decapitation attack was occurring to take out Moscow. And the generals were saying, “press the button Mr. President!” “Press the button!” Three seconds before that three minutes elapsed, the missile veered off course, of course, because it was a weather satellite.
Now that’s just one, one example of many, many. I got to know Robert McNamara, who was the Secretary of Defense under Jack Kennedy, and he was in the Oval Office during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And he said to me, “Helen, you don’t know how close we came. To within 3 minutes. 3 minutes.” Now there are numerous numerous examples like that.
And it’s possible for a 16-year-old brilliant boy or girl, usually a boy because their frontal lobes aren’t as developed as girls at that age, to think it might be a hell of a good thing to, you know, plug into the Pentagon, blow up the planet. Why not? And I ask the computer specialist once at a college, why hasn’t it happened yet? And he said. “well they haven’t worked it out yet.”
There are over a thousand hackers into the Pentagon everyday. Not necessarily into the early warning system but hacking. And Russia, I mean I really don’t know how we’re still here. And then there are the nuclear hot points in my new book. Sleepwalking To Armageddon. My brother, Richard Broinowski, writes about the hot points. I mean, India and Pakistan could easily start a nuclear war between each other.
And that could initiate a global holocaust. Israel’s got over 200 hydrogen bombs, but I’m sure many more. And then they’re trying to make war with Iran. China’s got only 200 bombs, and they’re not very belligerent, that’s for sure. But America is being extremely belligerent with them, going into the China Sea with their big… their ships. And then there’s France, well I don’t know about France, and then there’s England and the only reason England’s got nuclear weapons is to replace its lost empire with nuclear weapons. So you know we’re on a very tenuous situation and nobody, but nobody, is talking about it! Everybody is in a state of manic denial, or is my daughter, who is a doctor said yesterday, “people are paralysed by their comfort.”
The way we unparalysed people, if you like, during the ’80s was just to describe the medical effect of a bomb dropping on a city. And I had an agent in Hollywood who worked for me with all the film stars, and put me on television all over the place, and in Canada and America. And we were able then to educate the majority of Americans about the medical consequences of nuclear war producing the final epidemic of the human race, and we had a million people in Central Park. I mean that was the second American Revolution. But then we got… We helped bring the Cold War to an end, and we all felt… thank God that’s over. Americans started talking about a peace dividend, you know they can spend all that money, trillions of dollars, on peace and health and education.
But the corporations behind everyone’s back just got going, Lockheed Martin in particular, and took over and just started making more and more weapons, and here we are. And the reason that it’s happening is that the people are uneducated. And as President Jefferson said, an informed democracy will behave in a responsible fashion. I would suggest, Michael, that you play If You Love This Planet again on your television program because it’s only half an hour long, and that really breaks people’s psychic numbing and they get it. It’s an old fashioned film because the haircuts are different, but the data is actually still totally relevant.
GR: Now, I… I just want to note that in addition to the big mobilization we saw in New York City, right here in our hometown, my hometown of Winnipeg, we had huge demonstrations the same day, like 15 to 20 thousand people in a city of just over half a million. It was the biggest we’d seen in several decades. Now, we’re not seeing mobilizations, as you point out, anything comparing to that. But let’s suppose, and remember you’re talking to a Can– this is a Canadian show, let’s suppose that we can get people concerned. Now a lot of those same people will say, yeah let’s get rid of the nukes, let’s disarm, but what can we do about it? Canada is not a nuclear power. We don’t have any agency over what Trump and Putin do…
HC: Yeah, but you’re part of NATO. You’re part of NATO, and… and as such you’re part of the nuclear war apparatus, for sure. Now there is a law coming up at the United Nations to ban all nuclear weapons. 122 countries signed on out of 194. Of course, nuclear nations have not. But they need 50 countries to ratify it. And I think I’ve got nearly 10 countries now to make it law such that all nuclear weapons will be banned like landmines, and cluster bombs, and chemical weapons etc. So Canada can sign on to that and give America a big kick in the bum! [Laughter] To use an Australian expression. You have enormous power, and you’re right next to America. If you mobilize like New Zealand did when it banned nuclear-armed ships coming into its harbors from America, it had a huge effect in America. So you would make news you would support the ICAN ban against nuclear weapons in the United Nations and you would be one of the leaders. So do it. And play.. Get… see if you can, Michael, get If You Love This Planet replayed on CBC and, you know, your show and everything. And I don’t mind being interviewed again after that film plays.
GR: Okay! Well, we’ll see what we can do.
HC: There’s a plan! there’s a plan.
GR: Is there anything else you’d like to say? Just assuming we can get this video, get the Prime Minister Trudeau to see this film, anything else you’d like to say to him before…
HC: Well, Prime Minister Trudeau, should because he is the son of Pierre, who was sort of a kind of friend of mine, and I convinced Pierre over a lunch at the Prime Minister’s residence to do the five continents six-nation peace initiative. I’m sure he knows who I am, Justin, and I…I wouldn’t mind seeing him, but if he, if he could see that film again, I’m sure it would have a big impact on him. He’s got children he loves, he’s a fine young man, walks in the footsteps of his father who is a wonderful man. You’ve had some very good prime ministers in the past. Lester Pearson and others. Please stand tall and do what is required of you to help save the planet, Canadians.
GR: Dr. Helen Caldicott, thank you very much for your time.
HC: Thank you, Michael
Suicide is becoming as big of a public health issue as the opioid crisis. In 2016 alone over 45,000 Americans took their own lives, and the numbers are on the rise. Suicide is now the 10th leading cause of death in America today.
In the last 15 years, antidepressant use has increased over 65%, while the suicide prevention industry has also grown to have a major cultural presence.
Prozac and other antidepressants increase the risk of “suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults” suffering from major depression. It says so in the package insert for Prozac. Take a look for yourself, as it helps to see it to actually believe it.
Prozac has long since gone off patent and in the last twenty or so years we’ve seen the development of a host of new antidepressant drugs, all of which carry similar warnings of an increased risk in suicidal thinking. Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro, Luvox, Paxil, Sarafem, and more.
In the same time frame suicide prevention has become a booming business, one which is primarily organized and led by pharmaceutical companies and pharmaceutical executives, and is largely funded with taxpayer money.
“Indeed, at this time,  the Foundation regularly began collaborating with pharmaceutical companies to produce “educational” materials for the public and for medical professionals. In 1997, for example, the Foundation and Wyeth-Ayerst, the manufacturer of the antidepressant Effexor, jointly produced an educational video titled “The Suicidal Patient: Assessment and Care.” The video was designed to help “primary care physicians, mental health professionals, guidance counselors, employee assistance professionals, and clergy” recognize the warning signs of suicide, and help the suicidal person get the appropriate “treatment.” Shaffer was one of the experts featured in the film.
In subsequent years, pharmaceutical companies provided funding for the Foundation to conduct surveys, run screening projects, and support research. For example, in 2009, the Foundation reported that a new screening project had been made possible by “funding from Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen, Solvay, and Wyeth.” While most of the Foundation’s revenues today comes from its Out of the Darkness Community Awareness Walks, the Foundation’s leadership continues to feature a mix of academic psychiatrists and pharmaceutical executives.
The president of the board is Jerrold Rosenbaum, chair of the psychiatry department at Massachusetts General Hospital. In the early 1990s, while being paid as an advisor to Eli Lilly, Rosenbaum defended Prozac against claims that it could induce suicidal impulses in some patients. Other members of the board today include Mann, Nemeroff, and executives from Pfizer, Allergan, and Otsuka Pharmaceuticals. Allergan executive Jonathan Kellerman chaired the Foundation’s 2018 Lifesavers fundraiser, and the organizing committee included representatives from Lundbeck, Otsuka, Janssen, Pfizer, and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals.” [Source]
The suicide prevention industry has worked its way into every level of society. Federal, state and local government agencies, trade organizations such as in the construction and railway sectors, where suicide rates are markedly high, as well as public schools, universities and church organizations are trained and encouraged to look for signs of depression and mental illness in their members.
But is the introduction of suicide prevention actually associated with lower rates of suicide? In 2004 Australian researcher Philip Burgess looked at this issue, ultimately finding that suicide rates have increased with the rollout of a bureaucratic and institutional approach to preventing suicide.
However, in their study of 100 countries, they found that, “contrary to the hypothesized relation,” the “introduction of a mental health policy and mental health legislation was associated with an increase in male and total suicide rates.” They even quantified the negative impact of specific initiatives:
The adoption of mental health legislation was associated with a 10.6% increase in suicides.
The adoption of a national mental health policy was associated with an 8.3% increase in suicides.
The adoption of a therapeutic drugs policy designed to improve access to psychiatric medications was association with a 7% increase in suicides.
The adoption of a national mental health program was associated with a 4.9% increase. [Source]
Furthermore, researchers have found that mental health initiatives in many countries is actually linked with a rise in suicide rates.
Ajit Shah and a team of UK researchers studied elderly suicide rates in multiple countries, and once again, the results confounded expectations. They found “higher rates (of suicide) in countries with greater provision of mental health services, including the number of psychiatric beds, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses, and the availability of training mental health (programs) for primary care professionals.”
In 2010, Shah and colleagues reported on an expanded study of suicide rates, this time for people of all ages in 76 countries. They found that suicide rates were higher in countries with mental health legislation, just as Burgess had found. They also reported that there was a correlation between higher suicide rates and a higher number of psychiatric beds, psychiatrists, and psychiatric nurses; more training in mental health for primary care professionals; and greater spending on mental health as a percentage of total spending on health in the country.
Finally, in 2013, A.P. Rajkumar and colleagues in Denmark assessed the level of psychiatric services in 191 countries, with a “combined population” of more than 6 billion people. This was a comprehensive global study, and, once again, they found that “countries with better psychiatric services experience higher suicide rates.” Both the “number of mental health beds and the number of psychiatrists per 100,000 population were significantly associated with higher national suicide rates (after adjusting for economic factors),” they wrote.” [Source]
If mental health screenings of patients, students or employees raise concern for an individual, that person is encouraged to seek out professional mental health, meaning doctors and psychiatrists who are qualified to prescribe antidepressants, which is the go-to treatment for mental illness today.
But just as with suicide prevention, psychiatric medications and ‘other’ mental health treatments are also linked to a rise in suicide rates.
In 2014, Danish investigators, led by Carsten Hjorthoj, determined that the risk of suicide increases dramatically with each increase in the “level of treatment.”
They found that, in comparison to age- and sex-matched controls who had no involvement with psychiatric care during the previous year, the risk of suicide was:
5.8 times higher for people receiving psychiatric medication (but no other care)
8.2 times higher for people having outpatient contact with a mental health professional
27.9 times higher for people having contact with a psychiatric emergency room
44.3 times higher for people admitted to a psychiatric hospital [Source]
The pharmaceutical, psychiatric and suicide prevention industries have grown so much in the last couple of decades, which is indicative of a ‘war on suicide,’ in much of a similar vein as the war on drugs or the war on poverty. We have the information to prove that when the government declares ‘war’ on a social issue, the end result is an exacerbation of that issue.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo found himself in hot water after claiming that President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is inaccurate because it implies that America was great to start with.
“We’re not going to make America great again; it was never that great,” Cuomo contemptuously remarked.
Wanting to know what young Americans thought of these comments, I went to Washington Square Park in New York City to talk with Governor Cuomo’s constituents about those comments.
When asked if there was ever a time in America’s history when we were great, the majority of the people I spoke with made it clear: they were siding with Governor Cuomo.
“I don’t believe America has been great for all folks, ever. Even today,” said one respondent, while another added simply, “I would have to agree with Governor Cuomo.”
One person elaborated on their reasoning for saying America was never great, saying,
“The idea that there was this once great America is pointing towards this false sense of nationalism…What, it’s talking about white America? Yeah, it’s not great.”
Another respondent cited similar points, declaring that:
“America has been great… for straight white men.”
Wondering if this thought process stemmed from what was being taught in the classroom, I followed up by asking if they’d ever been taught American Exceptionalism in school.
Just one person said it was a concept they’d been taught in class.
“I’ve never heard of it before,” conceded one, while another explained that “I personally wasn’t taught American Exceptionalism because I went to a very forward thinking liberal school…”
What else did they have to say? Did anyone say America is great? Watch the full video to find out!
I wrote this piece based on my knowledge of mainstream reporters and their work, their lives, their forgotten hopes, their realizations (in some cases) that they’re trapped in a system.
Most of them don’t want to get out. They become creatures of the night they once wanted to illuminate.
You’re a mainstream reporter striving to stay afloat. The word has drifted down from the top that this is the season for inflicting wounds on Donald Trump, no matter what, no matter what happened or didn’t happen on a rumpled bed in a hotel room in Moscow, no matter what Putin did or didn’t do to influence the election, no matter who leaked the DNC emails to WikiLeaks, no matter what Michael Flynn said or didn’t say to a Russian on the phone, no matter who or what James Comey is fronting for; every real or possible or non-existent detail needs to be blown up into a gigantic scandal of the moment, this president has to go, and your assignment is to keep cutting him, it’s beyond the point where anybody in your business cares who he is and what he’s done and what he’s doing, so pump up the hysteria, shove in the blade wherever you can, THIS is how your success will be measured, you want a light to shine on you, so attack, attack without let-up, don’t think, don’t think about what’s going on here, the important thing is:
The news business is: careers.
Having a career is life. Losing it is death.
Your career is on the line.
It doesn’t matter what you’ve done over the years, what you’ve written, what you’ve said, this is the big one.
You can’t lose your career.
You know what losing it means.
It means the end.
Losing your career is hanging around a bar until closing time and silently cursing the boss and the other reporters who are climbing faster up the ladder, it’s worrying about where the next story is coming from and how it can zing the editor’s brain so he grunts with satisfaction like an ape on a little throne, it’s all the while knowing that NO ONE at the newspaper or the network can put out a piece that will cause serious ripples in the behind-the-curtain power structure, and you know that because in the past, in what was supposed to be your finest hour, you carefully peeled just one glove from the body of a scandal that should have been stripped entirely naked for the public to see and then you were stopped; suddenly, for you, losing a career is desperately clinging to the biased political stance of the news division, clinging to it as if it were a message from God, it’s taking a piece of info that smells like a rotten slug from an anonymous source and turning it into caviar because it decorates a story that has no foundation whatsoever, it’s pruriently hinting in a story that the enemy, as defined by the editorial staff and the publisher and the corporation that owns the soul of the publisher, is a despicable traitor who should be carted off in the middle of the night and dumped on a boat to the 10th circle of Hell, it’s being wired into who at the news division is moving up and who is moving down, who is the teacher’s pet and who is the bad boy at the back of the room, it’s scouting out jobs that are coming up at rival networks, it’s knowing when dreaded staff layoffs are emerging over the horizon and how flimsy the severance packages will be, it’s grinding on preposterous assignments that have no function other than filling space, it’s pretending one political party or another will stave off the end of civilization, it’s your paycheck that handles the mortgage and the kid’s college fund although how does the kid get into college when he can’t even write a coherent paragraph unless he plagiarizes it from Wikipedia, it’s finally getting your teeth into a good story only to be told there’ll be no follow-up and you know exactly why because you know which person or corporation or advertiser would be rammed into handcuffs if you dug down a foot deeper, it’s forgetting you were once smart and sharp and alert and ready to roll as a member of the fourth estate on a mission to protect the public from the raging excesses of government, it’s sitting for a half-hour with a Congressman and listening to him lie so extensively you can’t believe he knows he’s lying anymore because if he did know, how could he consciously keep up the charade every waking moment, it’s looking at THE elite anchor of your network and knowing he’s a complete cartoon of an ego on parade, it’s wondering how the public even in the depths of its trance can believe what is coming out of the mouth of that ego, it’s lying in bed at night not recalling whether you took a sleeping pill, it’s tearing the cap off a bottle of antidepressant with shaking fingers after coming out of the drug store where you filled the prescription and swallowing a pill and three hours later sitting in your work-cubbyhole thinking with great and rising surety that you want to burn down the newsroom, it’s standing in the kitchen of your silent apartment remembering you wrote a paper in college about the 1776 revolution although you can’t bring back one word of it now, it’s rubbing elbows with celebrities at a cocktail party on the Upper East Side and sensing a few B-listers are giving you a quick once-over to gauge whether you can do them any good and deciding you can’t, it’s having a dream you’re drowning in your bathtub and your editor is standing above you grinning with pistols in his hands, it’s sitting in the antiseptic office of a therapist who is telling you that getting a dog as a friend will rescue your state of mind, it’s standing in the newsroom on election night watching so-called analysts on big screens talking numbers and trends and possible outcomes and you’re thinking you’re supposed to be on the screen yourself but it hasn’t worked out that way, it’s wondering whether selling Porches or hawking real estate would be a better option at this point, it’s wondering by what method you would commit the oh so grand gesture of suicide, because it should be grand, it should have some significance in the scheme of things, it can’t be a mere disappearance, can it, there would at least be a need for some sort of plan, would it be gun or slit wrist or rope or leap—and then you laugh—AND WHY DOES IT SOUND LIKE MUSIC—and then, THEN you recall that in your desk drawer there is a fat folder full of documents proving a major prime-cut number one advertiser for your newspaper, a major advertiser and a colossus apparently beyond the reach of any president with its far-flung global interests in brain-crippling pharmaceuticals and carcinogenic pesticides and real estate and banking is also—and how perfect is THIS—is also a giant HOG-RAISING FACTORY (millions and millions of oinking pigs) that has polluted the soil of half a southern state with hundreds of toxic chemicals and untold numbers and types of germs and the corporation has bribed its way into permission to create gigantic hog-feces lagoons that sit out in the sunlight year after year festering and percolating and seeping down into the groundwater and poisoning every form of life, and you sit there and nod to yourself and open the drawer and take out that fat folder of documents and you find a piece of blank paper and without thinking you write a brief note of resignation to your ape editor and you stand up and walk out of the newsroom carrying the folder and you hit the night street and walk along with the surging crowds and you feel your blood coursing through your veins and you realize there are a few tears on your cheeks and you grin a savage grin and head home to write the story that will rip that hog-colossus a deep wound and you look up at the moon and a shiver goes through your body, it’s almost midnight but it’s not your midnight, all of a sudden a cockeyed sun is coming up for you between big buildings and through some strange unfathomable equation you’re hitting your stride because you just lost your career and a new and unnameable SPACE is swimming into view, and you’re already writing the first paragraph of the REAL story and THIS is the drama you were imagining so long ago, so long ago when you believed in working a real beat as a real newsman…
IS THAT ALL A FANTASY, MR. NEWSMAN?
YOUR CHAPTER ONE.
OR YOUR END.
It’s life or death in the news business.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
Published on 2 Aug 2018
Who rules the land? A deeper and truer version of this question is: What rules the land? Is it the money (the aristocracy), or is it the people (the public, the residents on that land)? (For the interest of paleoconservatives, the issue of residents’ citizenship will come later here, as “immigrants” instead of as “citizenship”; but our basic focus is not ethnicity/nationality; it’s class: the money, versus the voters; not the natives, versus the foreigners.)
In a democracy, the public rule — the people do — and it’s on authentically a one-person-one-vote basis, and anyone who is a resident in that land can easily vote, just like anyone else who lives there, because only the residents there, during the specific time-period of the voting, are the ultimate decision-makers, over that land, and over its laws. This is what a democracy is: it’s one-person-one-vote, and, in the political sense, it’s total equality-of-rights and total equality-of-obligations — real and total equality-by-law: equal rights, and equal obligations, for all residents. A democracy applies the same requirements to everyone.
This does not mean that individuals are equal in their abilities and in their needs, and so it’s not a statement about the economy; it is purely a statement about the government — a political question. The economy is a separate matter, though it’s highly dependent upon the government — the laws that are in place and enforced. Many people confuse these two fields, and mistakenly think that the economy is basic to the government.
So: the economy is dependent upon the government; the government determines the economy, which, in any land, is highly dependent upon the laws that are in place and that are enforced — the government.
That’s only “natural persons” who control a democracy — no collectives of any type, corporate or otherwise, can vote, because, if it were otherwise, it would be an easy way to establish a dictatorship there: persons with the financial means could create any number of “artificial persons” who could vote, or could buy votes (such as by purchasing news-media to slant ‘reality’ selling politicians and political positions to the voters), and this money could produce a country controlled more by dollars, than by owners (i.e., than by actual persons, voters — not by artificial “persons” such as the wealth-collections that are known as corporations). If wealth-collections could vote, that would invite control over the land to be by wealth (the number of dollars) instead of by actual residents (the number of persons). It could even produce control by foreign wealth. Foreigners could end up controlling the country if the number of dollars is a bigger determinant of who rules than is the number of voters.
Obviously, no democracy will allow foreigners to control the land. Imperialism is inconsistent with democracy; any empire is dictatorial, by its very nature. It entails dictatorship over the residents in its colonies, even if not necessarily over the residents in the imperial land that had conquered the colonial area.
Empire is consistent with a free market, but it is inconsistent with democracy. No empire is democratic, because each colony is ruled by non-residents. (If the colony were ruled by its residents, it wouldn’t be a colony, and there wouldn’t be an empire.)
A federation is not an empire. The difference between them is that, whereas in a federation, the right of self-determination of peoples takes precedence over the federation’s interest in maintaining the status-quo; in an empire, there is no such right — an empire is a dictatorship.
The propaganda for a free market is funded very heavily by billionaires such as the Koch brothers and George Soros, because control over countries naturally devolves into control by wealth, instead of into control by people (and certainly not by residents), if a free-market economy exists there. Billionaires do whatever increases their power; and, beyond around $100,000-per-year of income, any additional wealth buys no additional happiness or satisfaction, but only additional status, which, for individuals who are in such brackets, is derived from increases in their power, because, at that stage of wealth, money itself is no longer an object, only status is, and additional status can be derived only from additional power. All of the empirical findings in the social sciences are consistent with this; and, whereas the income-point in most of those studies, beyond which additional dollars produce no additional happiness for the owner, has been $75,000 per year, there has been inflation since those studies were performed, and one might more accurately say today that $100,000-per-year is the income-point beyond which only status is increased by additional income; happiness or satisfaction is not increased by income above that point. This is a statement about nature; it is the reality in which any market — free or otherwise — exists. It is “human nature,” and that’s basic to all of the social sciences which pertain to humans, including political science, and economics.
In economic theory, the phrase that has been traditionally used to refer to this reality, even before recent empirical studies showed the reality to be this way, was “the declining marginal utility of money.” Beyond around $100,000/year, additional “bucks” are for status, not for happiness. Anyone who has no addiction to status, doesn’t care about having more money coming in beyond that amount. Beyond that amount, the additional marginal utility of each dollar received is actually zero. The wealth-addict might cravemore, but it won’t do him-or-her any actual good; it won’t make the person happier. That’s the reality, now proven in numerous empirical studies.
This reality has major political consequences. One is that a country with highly concentrated wealth (the bottom 50% own almost nothing) is serving the addictions of a few, not the needs of the many — and therefore concentrated wealth cannot be sustained in a democracy, but only in a dictatorship: a dictatorship of wealth, where what determines power isn’t the voters but the dollars.
An important philosophical champion of free markets is the libertarian philosopher Hans-Hermann Hoppe. In 2001, Hoppe published his DEMOCRACY: The God that Failed, which was considered a libertarian masterpiece. Hoppe unapologetically argued there that libertarianism and conservatism are one and the same — and that he wanted it, passionately: he hated democracy. Unlike many libertarians, who falsely allege that democracy is impossible without there first being libertarianism (a free market), Hoppe acknowledged and argued for the mutual inconsistency between libertarianism and democracy. Although I don’t share his preference for a rule by the wealth instead of a rule by the residents, and thus he is an ideological opponent — the opposite of a supporter of my own position, as it’s being set forth here (and far more briefly than his tome) — I consider him to be the fullest and most internally consistent libertarian philosopher, and perhaps the most significant libertarian political philosopher in this Century, thus far. Whereas lots of people call themselves “libertarian,” he actually is — fully — that. Of course, some libertarians don’t agree with Hoppe’s view; but, on 30 August 2011, Michael Lind at salon.com headlined “Why Libertarians Apologize for Autocracy: The experience of every democratic nation-state proves that libertarianism is incompatible with democracy,” and he empirically found that Hoppe was correct about this incompatibility.
Hoppe argues not only for an aristocracy, but for a hereditary one, and he even opposes immigration; so, if he were a democrat, at all, then he’d be excluding immigrants from voting. But he’s not even that much of a democrat. And he especially approves of hereditary monarchy. His reason for that preference is traditional libertarianism, which favors the private over the public: “Hereditary monarchies represent the historical example of privately owned governments, and democratic republics that of publicly owned governments.” Libertarianism opposes public ownership, favors private.
Like any philosopher, Hoppe has ignored crucial issues in order to sell his case (after all, it’s a philosophical, not a scientific, case; it is ideological propaganda alleging that libertarianism is good — instead of being anything scientific); and the most interesting thing that he has avoided discussing in it is anti-trust, anti-monopoly, anti-oligopoly — the issues about concentration of power. He ignores those issues. For example, whenever he uses the term “monopoly,” he is referring solely to “government,” never to the economy (he assumes that in a free market there can’t be any oligopolies or monopolies). He is, after all, a crank (a free-market political theorist and therefore someone who implicitly denies that government is basic to an economy, and who assumes the converse, that the government is instead built upon the economy), though he’s an erudite one and thus acceptable to his fellow-scholars. Erudition doesn’t mean, nor necessarily include, being scientific. And the scientific reality is that the political issue isn’t ‘the government’s monopoly on power’, but instead it’s simply any concentrations of power — both monopolies and oligopolies — which unequalize both rights and obligations in the society, such that whereas a few people (the aristocracy) have many rights and few (if any) obligations, most people (the public) have few rights and many obligations. The latter type of society is called a “dictatorship.” The more that it exists, the more that it comes to exist — and, consequently, the less that there can exist democracy.
The basic issue in political science is not “freedom” versus “slavery” (two concepts in economics); it is “democracy” versus “dictatorship” (two concepts in politics).
Power precedes the economy; it directs the economy, if and where an economy even exists.
Democracy is natural where wealth is nearly-evenly distributed. Dictatorship is natural where wealth is extremely-unevenly distributed. The latter is true because no nation can maintain a democracy if the wealth is highly unequal. If the wealth is highly equal, then the possibility for democracy to emerge is substantial. But if the wealth is highly unequal, then the possibility for democracy even to exist to any extent, is low. All of the extremely wealthy people would have to be honest in order for them to tolerate rule by the majority. Otherwise, they’d simply be using their news-media to deceive instead of to inform the public: that’s what the ‘news’-people would be paid to do, cover-up real problems, and manufacture ‘reality’ — manipulate the public, instead of inform the public. If the distribution of wealth is highly unequal, the ‘news’people will be paid to deceive the public, instead of to inform the public. This (and it includes the ‘charitable’ foundations) is why the majority of the public have come to believe the profoudly false assertion that “having a rich class is a benefit” to the public. They’ve been deceived.
Most of the world is dictatorial. That’s because, almost everywhere, wealth, and even income, is extremely unevenly distributed. The laws and their enforcement determine the distribution of wealth and of income. The natural tendency is toward dictatorship, because a free market produces increased economic concentration. Democracy is not natural. Dictatorship is natural. What’s natural for a body-politic is to fulfill addictions, not to fulfill needs.
As inequality of wealth increases, corruption also increases. Empirical studies find that successful people tend to be bad: it’s natural for the scum and not the cream to rise to the top in organizations. So, the wealthier a person is, the worse the person tends to be. And it’s not just that, but success itself tends to make a person worse than the person was before the success. So, it’s natural that at the very top, tend to be the very worst people. Good government is not natural; bad government is natural. Good government is unnatural.
Corruption is rule by deceit. An example of how that works at the federal-government level is here. An example of that in more detail is here. Another such detailed example, but at the state-or-local government level, is here. And an example of it within academia, and at the federal regulatory agencies, is here. So, in a country that has extreme wealth-inequality, the way in which the public’s ‘consent’, to the billionaires’ rule, is manufactured, is by means of deceit — a rot that’s throughout the entire body-politic and society. This is how an extreme inequality of wealth is produced. It cannot be done honestly. Transparency International has reported that corruption and “social exclusion” or bigotry tend to go together, but has ignored the possible relationship between corruption and the economic distribution of either wealth or income. Perhaps the billionaires who fund TI don’t want such correlations to be pointed out, if they exist; so TI doesn’t investigate this.
The reason why a free market inevitably increases dictatorship, is that dictatorship is natural, just as a free market itself is natural, and power pre-exists everywhere to upset and overturn any equality that might exist in either sphere. Power is natural. No economy exists but that power pre-exists. The political sphere pre-exists the economic sphere. The basic reality, in any society, is power.
Thus, the question has always been: What rules? Is it the wealth? Or is it the people? The natural condition is for wealth to rule, because money (especially all excess money, all income above $100,000 per year, and certainly all income above $1,000,000 per year — what can truthfully be called 100% political money, because it can be ‘given away’ with no real loss to the current owner) is power. Although wealth isn’t the only source of power, it is a major source of power. (It can even be the major source of power.) And power rules everywhere. By definition, power rules in politics; and, by nature, the wealthy tend to rule not only in the economy, but also in the government.
That’s what’s natural. Democracy isn’t natural, but a free market, and an aristocratic government, are both natural. And the political reality determines the economic reality.
PS: You have just read here an online book. This article, including all of its sources that are linked to, and the sources that are linked to in those sources, constitute more than an ordinary book. The complete case and its documentation are fully presented in it. To anyone who finds this book valuable, I would recommend, as follow-up, a book of the traditional sort: Marjorie Kelly’s masterpiece, The Divine Right of Capital.
We wish we could say this was a satire piece, but a new story in the San Francisco Chronicle reveals just how lucrative collecting shit actually is.
It’s but the latest in a string of shocking revelations to hit headlines throughout the summer exposing how deep San Francisco’s crisis of vast amounts of vagrant-generated feces covering its public streets actually runs (no pun intended).
We detailed last week how city authorities have finally decided to do something after thousands of feces complaints (during only one week in July, over 16,000 were recorded), the cancellation of a major medical convention and an outraged new Mayor, London Breed, who was absolutely shocked after walking through her city: they established a professional “poop patrol”.
As described when the city initially unveiled the plan, the patrol will consist of a team of five staffers donning protective gear and patrol the alleys around Polk Street and other “brown zones” in search of everything from hepatitis-laden Hershey squirts to worm-infested-logs. At the Poop Patrol’s disposal will be a special vehicle equipped with a steam cleaner and disinfectant.
The teams will begin their shifts in the afternoon, spotting and cleaning piles of feces before the city receives complaints in order “to be proactive” in the words of the Public Works director Mohammed Nuru, co-creator of the poop patrol initiative.
While at first glance it doesn’t sound like the type of job people will be knocking down human resources doors to apply for, the SF Chronicle has revealed just how much each member of this apparently elite “poop patrol” team will cost the city: $184,678 in salary and benefits.
The surprisingly high figure is buried in the middle of the SF Chronicle’s story on Mayor London Breed’s morning walks along downtown streets with her staff, unannounced beforehand to her police force and department heads so she can view firsthand what common citizens endure on a daily basis.
After quoting Mayor Breed, who acknowledges, “We’re spending a lot of money to address this problem,” the following San Francisco Public Works budget items are presented:
Who rules the land?
And crucially, there’s now “the new $830,977-a-year Poop Patrol to actively hunt down and clean up human waste.”
The SF Chronicle casually notes in parenthesis, “By the way, the poop patrolers earn $71,760 a year, which swells to $184,678 with mandated benefits.”
Though we’re sure the city’s giant $11.5 billion budget can handle the burgeoning clean-up costs, likely to blow up even further, we’re not sure how property owners paying hefty land and sales taxes which have soared over the past years will react.
And with limited spots open on the new poop patrol team, and at a salary and benefits package approaching $200K, we can imagine people might give second thought to the prospect of shoveling shit on a professional basis.
Perhaps the only question that remains is, what kind of resumé does one have to have to rise to the top of pile?
More than one million American student loan borrowers default on their debt each year, a new report says.
That means by 2023, approximately 40 percent of borrowers are expected to default.
That is according to a new report by the Urban Institute, a nonprofit research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights on critical socioeconomic issues. Researchers found about 250,000 student loan borrowers see their debts go into default every quarter, and an additional 20,000 to 30,000 borrowers default on their rehabilitated student loans.
“My results indicate that the likelihood of student loan default is positively correlated with holding other collections debt (e.g., medical, utilities, retail, or bank debt). About 59 percent of borrowers who defaulted on their student loans within four years had collections debt in the year before entering student loan repayment (compared with 24 percent among non-defaulters). Those who will default on their student loans are more likely to reside in neighborhoods that have more residents of color and fewer adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher, but a borrower’s personal credit profile is a stronger predictor of default than the neighborhood where she resides,” said Kristin Blagg, a research associate in the Education Policy Program at the Urban Institute.
The average defaulter is more likely to live in Hispanic and black neighborhoods, Blagg found. Her previous research has shown that minorities are more burdened by their education debt because their parents have a lower net wealth as well as higher rates of unemployment. These neighborhoods also have a median income of around $50,000, compared with $60,000 for non-defaulters.
The Urban Institute made a startling discovery: Those with the smallest loan balances had a higher probability of not paying off their debt. In fact, 1 in 3 people who had a student loan balance less than $5,000 defaulted within four years, compared with 15 percent of borrowers who owed more than $35,000.
This is because students who dropped out of college have less debt, but are easily burdened by debt since they do not have the benefit of a degree, said Mark Kantrowitz, a student loan expert, who spoke with CNBC.
Also, Kantrowitz said, “They often lack awareness of options for dealing with the debt, such as deferments, forbearances, income-driven repayment and loan forgiveness.”
The report then describes the relationship between a borrower’s credit profile and student loan default in a nationally representative sample of student loan borrowers, over the first four years of repayment. It found that by the time the student loan falls into the default, the borrower will see their credit score plunge by 60 points, to an average of around 550. Borrowers who stay current, usually have credit scores in the high 600s.
As we have mentioned, millennials are delaying marriage, home-buying and having kids (pretty much delaying the American dream), simply because of their gig-economy job(s) cannot cover debt servicing payments of their loans.
“Negative effects of student loan default can be wage garnishments, tax offsets, and other methods of loan collections,” said Elaine Griffin Rubin, senior contributor and communications specialist at Edvisors. “In addition, some states suspend or revoke state-issued professional licenses, and some states suspend a driver’s license because of a defaulted loan.”
To make the situation worse, defaulting on student loans increases the balance, likely due to collection fees and the accumulation of interest. Kantrowitz said a borrower could expect their balance to jump by over 10 percent after default.
These myriad consequences that come with a default can be hard to recover from, Kantrowitz said.
“At best, it delays participation in the American Dream,” he said. “At worst, they are shut out permanently.”
Student debt is a crisis that many Americans will not be able to recover from. The College Board, a non-profit organization, says the average cost of a U.S. degree is $34,740 a year at a private college, minus living costs.
Graduates of the Class of 2016 owe a staggering $37,000 each in student loans. Total Student Loans Owned and Securitized, Outstanding (SLOAS) has surpassed the $1.5 trillion mark in Q2 2018, which is second only to home mortgages among categories of consumer debt and the main reason Americans’ household debt has swelled to a record high.
Credit bubbles are all the same. It just happens that the life cycle of the student debt bubble is nearing a deleveraging period. According to both Keynesian and monetarist theory, when the student debt bubble cracks, the state should intervene directly, and bailout the millennials who made terrible life decisions in accumulating massive amounts of debt for a worthless liberal arts degree, simply because the myth of going to college would usher in a high paying job. As it has become increasingly evident, that is not the case in today’s gig-economy. The failing education system has duped millennials, they have now realized that the greatest con of all time is college.
“It turned out that a two-week long balanced diet was enough to considerably change the composition of intestinal microflora.”
Aug 22, 2018
Scientists from Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University took part in a large-scale research project to assess intestinal microflora changes during short-term nutrition changes. It turned out that a two-week long balanced diet was enough to considerably change the composition of intestinal microflora.
While using various search engines for “individual nutrition,” people find hundreds of websites with suggestions, comments, and recommendations. Scientists also recognize the value of trendy well-balanced nutrition in line with personal programs. Until recently, it was unclear how such nutrition plans influenced intestinal microflora.
University experts teamed up with their colleagues from other Russian universities and conducted a large-scale experimental research project to see whether a two-week long diet plan was enough to change the composition of intestinal microflora.
“Our partners formulated the experiment’s idea, and we provided technical support during some of its stages, including preparations of test samples and high-capacity sequencing,” said one of the research authors Alexei Korzhenkov from the University’s Institute of Living Systems.
During the first stage of this rather sensitive project, the participants filled out a questionnaire, noting the regularity of their eating habits. For example, some of them said they were eating carrots on a daily basis, plus sausages twice a week.
They also replied to how often they smoked and drank alcohol, how long they slept and what medication they are on. During the next stage, scientists conducted clinical tests of respondents’ intestinal microflora and compiled personalized nutrition plans for each of them. They conducted repeat tests two weeks later and compared the results. It turned out that even such short-term dieting positively affected intestinal microflora.
The project involved 207 people, including 110 men and 97 women aged 18-64. Their personalized nutrition plans consisted of individual and basic aspects.Scientists asked all volunteers to minimize their intake of sugar, salt, and saturated fats. They advised them to consume less “empty calories,” including sweet fizzy drinks, pastries, mayonnaise, and to drink plenty of water.
Individual nutrition plans were based on respondents’ data. Some of them who ate too many potatoes were advised to eat them only twice a week.
Before and after the dietary intervention, researchers analyzed the composition of intestinal microflora, and their total diversity topped 600 types of microorganisms. To compare the results, scientists calculated the so-called Bray-Curtis coefficient, used to assess the similarity of two animal groups’ species.
This coefficient is calculated by assessing the number of unique species and species that are common to both groups and varies from zero (absolutely identical composition) to 1 (absolutely different composition). A 0.45 intestinal microflora similarity coefficient was posted during the experiment before and after a two-week long dietary intervention. And a 0.26 indicator was calculated for representatives of a test group eating regular sorts of food.
According to experts, the results of their work can help compile effective individual nutrition plans using new data on intestinal microflora.
The project involved colleagues from ITMO University, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (State University), Novosibirsk State University, the Medical-Genetic Research Center, George Mason University, University of Groningen and the Vinogradsky Microbiology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The experiment’s results are published in the journal Nutrients.
By Professor Doom
YouTube is such a fine resource for learning things. It’s only drawback (beyond the way how it supports pedophilia and censors counter-narrative views) is the one common to any learning tool: if you don’t know what you should know, you’re unlikely to learn it. Today I’ll highlight a couple stories which strike me as fairly typical.
–attributed to Stalin.
Student loan debt in this country is now around $1.5 trillion. When I started this blog 5 years ago, it was under a trillion dollars, but it can only head up, because these loans, in many cases, simply cannot be paid back. Trouble is, numbers this large are just statistics, they don’t register for most people.
YouTube to the rescue, as it has individual testimonials, “single deaths” of people from student loan debt. I want to highlight a few, because what we’re doing to our next generation with these debts is positively criminal…though in today’s generally lawless society (at least for those at the top), no charges will ever be filed.
My first story is from an art student who ran up over $100,000 in student loan debt.
“It was my lack of experience, and my naivety, that put me in this position…”
In order for a student to qualify for student loans, the student must go to an accredited school. Accredited schools certify, in writing, that they will act with integrity…but many accredited schools regularly exploit lack of experience and naivety in kids as they come out of high school, signing them up for a mountain of debt.
So, yes, there are those who point and laugh at this art student for foolishly getting so much debt for an art degree…but I find this as unsettling as pointing and laughing at a baby for crying when an adult rips candy from the baby’s hands.
“…I owe over $100,000, and that number will continue to grow…”
It didn’t start out this way for her. She graduated with a “mere” $16,000 in debt, and even got a job. So what happened?
“…in 2009 I went back to school to get an MFA in art so I could be an art professor…”
The above is how many get smashed by student loans. After they get their bachelor’s and see that there’s not much available, they go back to grad school. Now, yes, at this point perhaps the schools are no longer taking advantage of kids right out of high school but we still have a problem. The schools know full well they’re offering graduate degrees in fields that can’t pay back what they’re charging, as only the schools are hiring those graduate degrees (and moreover the schools flood the market with people for these scarce jobs)…they set the pay, you see. There’s an obvious conflict of interest here as the schools once again knowingly engage in hurtful behavior.
By 2011, she graduated with over $90,000 in debt, got another job and started making payments. Trouble was, the payments were too much based on what the school was paying her, so she asked for help.
She got reamed.
“…I got in an IBR repayment plan…”
Most student loans are in default, or would be if they were being honestly accounted. One trick is “IBR” repayment, “Income Based Repayment,” which lowers your payments based on your income. There are many variations on IBR, but they all screw you. Even if you’re not being paid much, you’re making payments, so it’s all good, right? Nope:
“…my loan hadn’t gone down…my loan went up $4,000…I’ve been paying every month…”
Yes, you’re making payments, but you’re not covering the interest, so your loan goes up, now there’s more principal on the loan, so you owe more interest you can’t pay. It’s a death spiral. She didn’t know what she was signing up for.
“…you shouldn’t have to get a degree in finance to get a degree…”
She had no idea how she was being screwed, but she’s not alone, there are 40,000,000 people with student loans now. Many of them are being tricked into this abyss.
Our schools have millions and millions of dollars to pay the coach of even a badly losing team, and millions more to pay the coach after he leaves the school. But they have no money at all available to stop this, even though these scams have been screwing over their students for years now.
She’s already figured out her job as a professor will never pay back the system that indebted her to become a professor, and she’s learned, too late, that even though she’ll be effectively bankrupt forever, she can’t clear her student loan through bankruptcy, even though she was taken advantage of every step of the way to her mountain of student loan debt.
I assure the gentle reader, this particular student is very far from alone. She has some good advice, too late to help herself with it…but I doubt any prospective student will ever hear her words of wisdom freely available on YouTube, because how would they find her?
My next student accrued over $200,000 in debt, again getting suckered into the “go get a graduate degree” trap.
“…at the community college it was like, here, take this free money…I was not fiscally wise…”
So many kids are cheated like this in community college, it’s pathetic. Some 28% of students with loan debt don’t even know it. How could that possibly happen in a system acting with integrity? Doing the math that means well over 10,000,000 of our kids with student loan debt had no idea they signed up for it until after school. The vast majority of community colleges should be shut down, plain and simple.
“…undergrad, I accrued about $45,000 in…debt.”
She immediately went back to grad school, spending another 6 years getting her Ph.D. She didn’t have to make payments while in grad school, and thought that was great…but once again the interest on that loan simply compounded.
“…over $200,000 accruing at 5.8% every month…I just don’t think about it.”
When she finishes paying this off (if she does), she’ll have paid over $750,000 for this loan. The actual cost to the school for educating her was probably around $10,000. How is this not exploitative? She wasn’t dealing with a sketchy fly-by-night loan place, either:
“…this is Sally Mae. They just got handed billions of dollars!”
It really is demented how our country’s system creates money from nothing, and uses it to enslave, rather than help, the citizens. I sure look forward to a time when I’m not so alone in wondering why we have such an evil system.
“…work in a field where I make nothing…”
I again point out: the schools charging so much for graduate degrees know they’re trapping the students into a deadly system, because they know how much professors will make.
“…how ridiculous higher education has become…”
Well, at least she learned something in her ordeal. Too bad finding these types of videos is too tough to expect kids to see them before stumbling onto campus.
“…the thing that makes me the saddest…I wanted to be a parent….the more we make the more we pay in student loans.”
She’s now heading towards her late 30s, and is doomed. By the time she pays off that debt, assuming she can, she’ll be close to 60. So, theoretically, at the age of 60, she’ll be able to afford to have a child. Higher education didn’t just enslave her, they’ve effectively sterilized a generation, and in many cases they’re taking the most intelligent of our population out of the gene pool.
“…they sell you this dream world with no intention of following up.”
The schools have a very bloody hand in the carnage they’ve wreaked on a whole generation. I shouldn’t be alone in seeing that higher education has a real problem here.
More importantly, I shouldn’t be alone in seeing how to fix it: end the student loan scam.
This might come off as racist but if Watson, of Infowars, is speaking the truth, France has a serious problem.
Published on 22 Aug 2018
August 22nd, 2018
A magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck off the coast of Oregon on Wednesday. The quake, which occurred 188 miles west of the town of Bandon is sparking fears that the Cascadia subduction zone will slip causing a major apocalyptic tsunami.
The quake was recorded at a depth of about 10 km, according to the USGS website and there was no tsunami warning issued. Robert Sanders said people as far away as Portland reported feeling the tremblor. No injuries or damage has been reported.
All seems well and quiet on the West Coast. For now. But scientists still warn that the Cascadia subduction zone could cause a major event if the Juan de Fuca ocean plate, which goes under the North American continental plate causes a “slip” and a massive 9.0 earthquake.
FEMA is already preparing for that exact scenario too. Although the San Andreas Fault in southern California gets more headlines, it is important to remember that the Cascadia Subduction Zone is a much larger threat by far. This fault zone is where the Juan de Fuca plate meets the North American plate, and it stretches approximately 700 miles from northern Vancouver Island all the way down to northern California.
If a magnitude 9.0 earthquake were to strike, the immense shaking and subsequent tsunami would cause damage on a scale that is hard to even imagine right now. Perhaps this is why FEMA feels such a need to get prepared for this type of disaster because the experts assure us that it is most definitely coming someday. The following comes from the official website of the “Cascadia Rising” exercise (FEMA’s operation to plan for a major quake):
A 9.0 magnitude earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone (CSZ) and the resulting tsunami is the most complex disaster scenario that emergency management and public safety officials in the Pacific Northwest could face. Cascadia Rising is an exercise to address that disaster.
June 7-10, 2016 Emergency Operations and Coordination Centers (EOC/ECCs) at all levels of government and the private sector will activate to conduct a simulated field response operation within their jurisdictions and with neighboring communities, state EOCs, FEMA, and major military commands.
According to a professor of geophysics at Oregon State University, the Cascadia Subduction Zone has the potential to create an earthquake “almost 30 times more energetic” than anything the San Andreas Fault can produce.