The Collapse of the American Empire – Lecture Featuring Chris Hedges
[Q&A begins at 46:13 mins in.]
The Collapse of the American Empire – Lecture Featuring Chris Hedges
[Q&A begins at 46:13 mins in.]
The working families and middle class of this country should not have to subsidize the wealthiest people in the United States. That’s absurd. That’s what a rigged economy is all about.
Year after year, decade after decade, Republicans in Washington have lectured the American people about the need for “welfare reform.” In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan railed against a fictitious “welfare queen” driving a Cadillac. Just a few years ago, Republicans turned their attention to a young surfer who used the food stamp program to purchase lobster. But if you listen closely, you will never hear much talk from our Republican colleagues about some of the biggest welfare recipients in America: The billionaire owners of some of the most profitable corporations in our country.
Here are just a few examples.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, is the wealthiest person on Earth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. He is now worth $168 billion. In fact, since the beginning of this year, his wealth has increased by about $277 million — every single day.
Meanwhile, Mr. Bezos continues to pay many thousands of his Amazon employees wages that are so low that they must rely on food stamps, Medicaid or public housing in order to survive. In effect, the middle-class taxpayers of this country are subsidizing the low wages paid by the richest person on Earth. That’s nuts.
But Jeff Bezos and Amazon are not alone.
The Walton family of Walmart and many other billionaire-owned large and profitable corporations also get richer because of taxpayer support for their low-paid employees. The Walton family of Walmart is the wealthiest family in the country with a net worth of over $160 billion. This one family has owned more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans. Meanwhile, just like Amazon, Walmart pays its workers wages that are so inadequate that many of them are forced to depend upon public-assistance programs, at a cost of some $6.2 billion a yearto taxpayersin order to survive.
The fast food industry is another major recipient of corporate welfare. While the co-owner of Burger King, Jorge Paulo Lemann, has a net worth of about $25 billion, low wages at this fast-food chain cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $356 million a year. And it’s not just Burger King. McDonald’s workers are actually encouraged to sign up for government assistance— meaning the company fully acknowledges that it pays its employees wages that are non-livable.
In total, 52% of all fast food workers rely on public assistance programs to make ends meet.
The wealthy owners of big airlines are also major welfare recipients. While American Airlines made nearly $2 billion in net profits last year, and its CEO is on track to make $31 million in total compensation this year, 27% of workers at its subsidiary Envoy Air, which has over 16,000 employees, need food stamps and other forms of public assistance because of the inadequate wages they receive.
The working families and middle class of this country should not have to subsidize the wealthiest people in the United States. That’s absurd. That’s what a rigged economy is all about.
The fact is that if employers in this country simply paid workers a living wage, taxpayers would save about $150 billion a year on federal assistance programs and millions of workers would be able to live in dignity and security.
That is why we are proposing legislation to demand that billionaires get off of welfare. The bill gives large, profitable employers a choice: Pay workers a living wage or pay for the public assistance programs their low-wage employees are forced to depend upon.
Specifically, this legislation would establish a 100% tax on corporations with 500 or more employees equal to the amount of federal benefits received by their low-wage workers. For example, if a worker at Amazon receives $2,000 in food stamps, the employer would be taxed $2,000 to cover that cost.
Let us be very clear: We believe that the government has a moral responsibility to provide for the vulnerable — the children, the elderly, the sick and the disabled. But we do not believe that taxpayers should have to expend huge sums of money subsidizing profitable corporations owned by some of the wealthiest people in this country.
At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, and when millions of our fellow Americans are working at starvation wages, we must create an economy that works for all — not just the people on top.
A north Queensland couple has been left baffled by a bizarre finding on their property, which seems like something straight from a horror film.
Graziers Mick and Judy Cook were working on their property in Cloverly, north-west of Mackay, when Mr Cook noticed a dead cow carcass which appeared to have had its body mutilated, with its entire udder, ears and tongue removed.
Warning: This story contains images and content that some readers may find disturbing.
“It was like it had been surgically removed, I certainly couldn’t do as neat a job with a very sharp knife, and it definitely wasn’t an animal,” Mr Cook said.
“I thought at first it might have been poisoned, but then I got closer … I saw the body parts missing, there was no blood, even where the parts had been removed, no sign of struggle, just dead.
“There was just no reason or rhyme for it to be done the way it was done, people don’t use those parts, it’s just not something you would wish on your worst enemy.”
On the same trip, Mr Cook said he traveled down a little further on his property, about an hour’s drive from his house on rough terrain, when he found another dead cow.
The second one looked like it had been there for some time.
“By that point we are probably two hours from your nearest neighbour, it’s very mountainous country … there’s no way anyone can get there unless they come straight past our house.
“When I got down there I noticed another carcass, this one was a bit more deteriorated, looked like it had been rotting there for a bit.
“We don’t know how it happened, but we got onto the neighbours just to let them know.”
Local veterinarian David Lemmon said in his 40 years working in the industry, often with livestock, he had never heard of or seen anything like it.
“I deal with everything, you know — all creatures great and small. And I can’t think of any explanation for it, that’s not normal human behaviour is it? That’s something quite bizarre and ill, I would say the person that has done that is not mentally stable.
“We’re talking eyes, we’re talking ears, we’re talking udders. No, I’ve never heard of anything like that ever, that’s something or someone very ill who’s done that.”
In a statement, Queensland Police said it had not been notified about the cow mutilations, however, Mr and Mrs Cook said they had attempted to contact local police unsuccessfully.
4,000,000,029,057. Remember that number. It’s going to come up again later.
But let’s begin with another number entirely: 145,000 — as in, 145,000 uniformed soldiers striding down Washington’s Pennsylvania Avenue. That’s the number of troops who marched down that very street in May 1865 after the United States defeated the Confederate States of America.
Similar legions of rifle-toting troops did the same after World War I ended with the defeat of Germany and its allies in 1918. And Sherman tanks rolling through the urban canyons of midtown Manhattan? That followed the triumph over the Axis in 1945.
That’s what winning used to look like in America — star-spangled, soldier-clogged streets and victory parades.
Enthralled by a martial Bastille Day celebration while visiting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris in July 2017, President Trump called for just such a parade in Washington. After its estimated cost reportedly ballooned from $10 million to as much as $92 million, the American Legion weighed in.
That veterans association, which boasts 2.4 million members, issued an August statement suggesting that the planned parade should be put on hold “until such time as we can celebrate victory in the War on Terrorism and bring our military home.” Soon after, the president announced that he had canceled the parade and blamed local Washington officials for driving up the costs (even though he was evidently never briefed by the Pentagon on what its price tag might be).
The American Legion focused on the fiscal irresponsibility of Trump’s proposed march, but its postponement should have raised an even more significant question: What would “victory” in the war on terror even look like?
What, in fact, constitutes an American military victory in the world today? Would it in any way resemble the end of the Civil War, or of the war to end all wars, or of the war that made that moniker obsolete?
And here’s another question: Is victory a necessary prerequisite for a military parade?
The easiest of those questions to resolve is the last one, and the American Legion should already know the answer. Members of that veterans group played key roles in a mammoth “We Support Our Boys in Vietnam” parade in New York City in 1967 and in a 1973 parade in that same city honoring veterans of that war.
Then, 10 years after the last U.S. troops snuck out of South Vietnam — abandoning their allies and scrambling aboard helicopters as Saigon fell — the Big Apple would host yet another parade honoring Vietnam veterans, reportedly the largest such celebration in the city’s history. So, quite obviously, winning a war isn’t a prerequisite for a winning parade.
And that’s only one of many lessons the disastrous American War in Vietnam still offers us. More salient perhaps are those that highlight the limits of military might and destructive force on this planet or that focus on the ability of North Vietnam, a “little fourth-rate” country — to quote Henry Kissinger, the national security advisor of that moment — to best a superpower that had previously (with much assistance) defeated Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan at the same time.
The Vietnam War — and Kissinger — provide a useful lens through which to examine the remaining questions about victory and what it means today, but more on that later.
For the moment, just remember: 4,000,000,029,057, Vietnam War, Kissinger.
Peace in Our Time… or Some Time… or No Time
Now, let’s take a moment to consider the ur-conflict of the war on terror, Afghanistan, where the U.S. began battling the Taliban in October 2001.
America’s victory there came with lightning speed. The next year, President George W. Bush announced that the group had been “defeated.” In 2004, the commander-in-chief reported that the Taliban was “no longer in existence.”
Yet, somehow, they were. By 2011, General David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, claimed that his troops had “reversed the momentum of the Taliban.” Two years later, then-commander General Joseph Dunford spoke of “the inevitability of our success” there.
Last August, President Trump unveiled his “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia.” Its “core pillar” was “a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions”; in other words, the “arbitrary timetables” for withdrawal of the Obama years were out. “We will push onward to victory with power in our hearts,” President Trump decreed. “America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.”
The president also announced that he was putting that war squarely in the hands of the military. “Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles,” he announced. “They are won in the field drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders and frontline soldiers acting in real time, with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.”
The man given that authority was General John Nicholson who had, in fact, been running the American war there since 2016. The general was jubilant and within months agreed that the conflict had “turned the corner” (something, by the way, that Obama-era Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta also claimed — in 2012).
Today, almost 17 years after the war began, two years after Nicholson took the reins, one year after Trump articulated his new plan, victory in any traditional sense is nowhere in sight. Despite spending around $900 billion in Afghanistan, as the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction determined earlier this year, “between 2001 and 2017, U.S. government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed.” According to a July 30, 2018, report by that same inspector general, the Taliban was by then contesting control of or controlled about 44 percent of that country, while Afghan government control and influence over districts had declined by about 16 percent since Nicholson’s predecessor, General John Campbell, was in command.
And that was before, last month, the Taliban launched a large-scale attack on a provincial capital, Ghazni, a strategically important city, and held it for five days, while taking control of much of the province itself. Finally driven from the city, the Taliban promptly overran a military base in Baghlan Province during its withdrawal. And that was just one day after taking another Afghan military base.
In fact, for the previous two months, the Taliban had overrun government checkpoints and outposts on a near-daily basis. And keep in mind that the Taliban is now only a fraction of the story. The U.S. set out to defeat it and al-Qaeda in 2001. Today, Washington faces exponentially more terror groups in Afghanistan — 21 in all, including an imported franchise from the Iraq War front, ISIS, that grew larger during Nicholson’s tenure.
Given this seemingly dismal state of affairs, you might wonder what happened to Nicholson. Was he cashiered? Fired, Apprentice-style? Quietly ushered out of Afghanistan in disgrace? Hardly. Like the 15 U.S. commanders who preceded him, the four-star general simply rotated out and, at his final press conference from the war zone late last month, was nothing if not upbeat.
“I believe the South Asia Strategy is the right approach. And now we see that approach delivering progress on reconciliation that we had not seen previously,” he announced. “We’ve also seen a clear progression in the Taliban’s public statements, from their 14 February letter to the American people to the recent Eid al-Adha message, where [Taliban leader] Emir Hibatullah acknowledged for the first time that negotiations will, quote, ‘ensure an end to the war,’ end quote.”
In the event that you missed those statements from a chastened Taliban on the threshold of begging for peace, let me quote from the opening of the latter missive, issued late last month:
“This year Eid al-Adha approaches us as our Jihadi struggle against the American occupation is on the threshold of victory due to the help of Allah Almighty. The infidel invading forces have lost all will of combat, their strategy has failed, advanced technology and military equipment rendered useless, [the] sedition and corruption-sowing group defeated, and the arrogant American generals have been compelled to bow to the Jihadic greatness of the Afghan nation.”
And those conciliatory statements of peace and reconciliation touted by Nicholson? The Taliban says that in order to end “this long war” the “lone option is to end the occupation of Afghanistan and nothing more.”
In June, the 17th American nominated to take command of the war, Lieutenant General Scott Miller, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee where Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) grilled him on what he would do differently in order to bring the conflict to a conclusion. “I cannot guarantee you a timeline or an end date,” was Miller’s confident reply.
Did the senators then send him packing? Hardly. He was, in fact, easily confirmed and starts work this month. Nor is there any chance Congress will use its power of the purse to end the war. The 2019 budget request for U.S. operations in Afghanistan — topping out at $46.3 billion — will certainly be approved.
All of this seeming futility brings us back to the Vietnam War, Kissinger, and that magic number, 4,000,000,029,057 — as well as the question of what an American military victory would look like today. It might surprise you, but it turns out that winning wars is still possible and, perhaps even more surprising, the U.S. military seems to be doing just that.
Let me explain.
In Vietnam, that military aimed to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” It never did, and the United States suffered a crushing defeat. Henry Kissinger — who presided over the last years of that conflict as national security advisor and then secretary of state — provided his own concise take on one of the core tenets of asymmetric warfare: “The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose.” Perhaps because that eternally well-regarded but hapless statesman articulated it, that formula was bound — like so much else he touched — to crash and burn.
In this century, the United States has found a way to turn Kissinger’s martial maxim on its head and so rewrite the axioms of armed conflict. This redefinition can be proved by a simple equation:
0 + 1,000,000,000,000 + 17 +17 + 23,744 + 3,000,000,000,000 + 5 + 5,200 + 74 = 4,000,000,029,057
Expressed differently, the United States has not won a major conflict since 1945; has a trillion-dollar national security budget; has had 17 military commanders in the last 17 years in Afghanistan, a country plagued by 23,744 “security incidents” (the most ever recorded) in 2017 alone; has spent around $3 trillion, primarily on that war and the rest of the war on terror, including the ongoing conflict in Iraq, which then-defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore, in 2002, would be over in only “five days or five weeks or five months,” but where approximately 5,000 U.S. troops remain today; and yet 74 percent of the American people still express high confidence in the U.S. military.
Let the math and the implications wash over you for a moment. Such a calculus definitively disproves the notion that “the conventional army loses if it does not win.” It also helps answer the question of victory in the war on terror. It turns out that the U.S. military, whose budget and influence in Washington have only grown in these years, now wins simply by not losing — a multi-trillion-dollar conventional army held to the standards of success once applied only to under-armed, under-funded guerilla groups.
Unlike in the Vietnam War years, three presidents and the Pentagon, unbothered by fiscal constraints, substantive congressional opposition, or a significant antiwar movement, have been effectively pursuing this strategy, which requires nothing more than a steady supply of troops, contractors, and other assorted camp followers; an endless parade of Senate-sanctioned commanders; and an annual outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars. By these standards, Donald Trump’s open-ended, timetable-free “Strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia” may prove to be the winningest war plan ever. As he described it:
“From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.”
Think about that for a moment. Victory’s definition begins with “attacking our enemies” and ends with the prevention of possible terror attacks. Let me reiterate: “victory” is defined as “attacking our enemies.”
Under President Trump’s strategy, it seems, every time the U.S. bombs or shells or shoots at a member of one of those 20-plus terror groups in Afghanistan, the U.S. is winning or, perhaps, has won. And this strategy is not specifically Afghan-centric. It can easily be applied to American warzones in the Middle East and Africa — anywhere, really.
Decades after the end of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military has finally solved the conundrum of how to “out-guerrilla the guerrilla.” And it couldn’t have been simpler. You just adopt the same definition of victory. As a result, a conventional army — at least the U.S. military — now loses only if it stops fighting. So long as unaccountable commanders wage benchmark-free wars without congressional constraint, the United States simply cannot lose.
You can’t argue with the math. Call it the rule of 4,000,000,029,057.
That calculus and that sum also prove, quite clearly, that America’s beleaguered commander-in-chief has gotten a raw deal on his victory parade. With apologies to the American Legion, the U.S. military is now — under the new rules of warfare — triumphant and deserves the type of celebration proposed by President Trump.
After almost two decades of warfare, the armed forces have lowered the bar for victory to the level of their enemy, the Taliban. What was once the mark of failure for a conventional army is now the benchmark for success.
It’s a remarkable feat and deserving, at the very least, of furious flag-waving, ticker tape, and all the age-old trappings of victory.
Despite overall prescription drug addiction abuse dropping dramatically among adolescents over the past 15 years, addiction treatment centers across the country are seeing a surge in the number of young people hooked on Xanax, according to Pew.
addiction practitioners say they’re seeing a surge in the number of young patients who are hooked on Xanax. Many take high daily doses of the drug, sometimes in deadly combination with opioids and alcohol. –Pew
This increase has yet to be reflected in national data, which doesn’t surprise Boston Children’s Hospital head of adolescent addition, Sharon Leavy – who says that addition treatment centers are “the tip of the spear,” and she is “not surprised that the spike in Xanax use isn’t reflected in national data yet.”
Addiction specialists say they’re expecting an “onslaught of teens addicted to Xanax and other sedatives,” according to Pew – one of many anti-anxiety drugs known as benzodiazepines, or “benzos.”
“Adolescent benzo use has skyrocketed,” Levy said, “and more kids are being admitted to hospitals for benzo withdrawal because the seizures are so dangerous.” At the same time, she said, far fewer kids are seeking treatment for prescription opioid addiction.
“When I ask them if they’re using opioids, they say, ‘No. I wouldn’t touch the stuff.’”
Like any addictive substance, Xanax when used early increases the risk of addiction later in life. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s 2016 report on drugs and alcohol, nearly 70 percent of adolescents who try an illicit drug before age 13 will develop an addiction within seven years, compared with 27 percent for those who first try an illicit drug after age 17. –Pew
Johns Hopkins psychiatrist and professor Marc Fishman says that benzos are rapidly overtaking opioids as the primary prescription drug of abuse among adolescent patients seen at Mountain Manor Treatment Centers in Baltimore and other locations throughout Maryland. Many, he says, are extreme, “high-dose users.”
Xanax and other benzos are incredibly addictive, while people with mental illness are at a far greater risk of addiction than the general population, said Fishman.
And while there are three FDA-approved medications which can treat the symptoms of opioid addiction, “no medicines exist to blunt the withdrawal symptoms and cravings associated with benzodiazepine addiction. Instead, patients typically enter residential treatment where a specialist gradually tapers them off the medication. If stopped too quickly, benzodiazepine withdrawal can result in seizures and even death,” according to Pew.
The Saudi government this week it is further criminalizing dissent, satire that “disturbs the public order” a crime…
A cautionary tale
Pew highlights the case of Melissa Ellis, a Baltimore native who was immediately hooked on Xanax from the moment she tried it.
“I noticed this new guy I was dating kept nodding off so I asked him what he was taking. He told me it was Xanax and gave me a handful of bars [the pill form with the highest dose]. I’d never heard of it before. But as soon as I tried it, I knew it was for me.
“It takes away everything you have in your mind that’s bothering you and everything you feel that hurts, and before you know it, those feelings are just gone.”
Melissa was 15 then and just entering high school. Now she’s 24 and struggling to take care of her 3-year-old son. She says she’s determined to beat her addiction to Xanax and be free of all drugs except the depression medicine she’s been taking for more than a decade. Otherwise, she said she could lose her son.
The first time Melissa tried to stop taking Xanax, she was four months pregnant. She managed to get through her pregnancy without relapsing. “But the day after my son was born, I told my friend in the hospital to bring me some. And I started all over again.”
Melissa also started injecting heroin then. “The two drugs are made for each other,” she said. “What one doesn’t have, the other one does. With the dope [heroin], the high doesn’t last as long as Xanax. So, I was more into the Xanax.”
But after she started combining the two, she overdosed, and her mom found her passed out on the floor one day. That’s when she first checked into Mountain Manor.
Melissa detoxed from both drugs, spent two weeks in residential treatment and started taking Suboxone to relieve her opioid cravings. She also attended outpatient classes and stayed sober for a year.
“I got so much closer to my son back then,” she said wistfully. “Everything was better. I was doing so good. But I started hanging out with old friends and I relapsed on Xanax.”
Now, she’s back at Mountain Manor, trying again. She hopes to leave treatment by the end of the week and move into a mother-and-child sober living facility nearby. For now, her mother is taking care of her son.
“It’s really hard,” Melissa says. Withdrawal from Xanax can cause irritability, insomnia, anxiety, panic attacks, tremors, nausea and other flu-like symptoms. And unlike opioid withdrawal, which usually lasts for about a week, it can last for months.
“Treatment is scary all around. It’s fine when you’re here. You can’t go down the street and meet your dealer. The scariest part is when you go back out there.”
As we detailed earlier, in what appears to be the latest escalation in the UK government’s campaign to blame Russia for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal, his daughter Yulia Skripal and three other seemingly random Britons (one of whom succumbed to the deadly Novichok nerve agent used in the attacks), British prosecutors are saying they have “sufficient evidence” to charge Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, both Russian nationals, with conspiracy to murder Skripal, as well as the attempted murder of his daughter and police detective Nick Bailey, according to Reuters.
The news comes nearly two months after investigators said they had identified the suspected perpetrators of the Novichok attack by crossing referencing CCTV feeds with records of people who entered the country around that time.
There’s just one thing… About that CCTV feed!
Russia has apparently developed an astonishing new technology enabling its secret agents to occupy precisely the same space at precisely the same time.
These CCTV images released by Scotland yard today allegedly show Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Borishov both occupying exactly the same space at Gatwick airport at precisely the same second. 16.22.43 on 2 March 2018. Note neither photo shows the other following less than a second behind.
There is no physically possible explanation for this. You can see ten yards behind each of them, and neither has anybody behind for at least ten yards. Yet they were both photographed in the same spot at the same second.
The only possible explanations are:
1) One of the two is traveling faster than Usain Bolt can sprint
2) Scotland Yard has issued doctored CCTV images/timeline.
Will any mainstream media organizations question this publicly?
Sept 5, 2018
The question often arises in liberty movement circles as to how we get to the point of full-blown tyranny within a society. There are numerous factors that determine this outcome, but through all the various totalitarian systems in history there are common denominators – elements that must be there for tyrants to prevail. When we can identify these common elements in an objective manner, we make it far more difficult for despotic structures to stand.
This is a very complex issue, but I’ll break it down as best as I’m able…
The Psychology Of The Tyrant
To come to terms with how tyrants control society, we must first examine how the mind of a tyrant operates, because these people do not in most cases think the way average human beings think. It is one of the few cases in which I would encourage people to “otherize” another group. Tyrants are psychologically abnormal to such an extreme that is difficult to classify them as human.
I believe the key to understanding the motivations of tyrants and where these people come from rests on our understanding of narcissistic sociopathy. I wrote about this extensively in my article ‘Global Elitists Are Not Human,’ so I will only give a summary here.
Narcissistic and sociopathic traits, like many psychological traits, are inborn. They are present in about 5% to 10% of any society at any given time. In the vast majority of cases, these traits remain “latent” and do not affect a person’s actions or relationships to a great extent. In a minority of cases, however, narcissism and sociopathy become the defining factors of a person’s psyche. This occurs in less that 1% of a population.
To be clear, not all narcissists are sociopaths and not all sociopaths are narcissists. There are people who are low-level narcissists who excel in society and retain a conscience. There are low-level sociopaths in society that serve important functions in careers that empathetic people would find difficult, such as certain jobs in the military, or in the medical field. What I am referring to here are HIGH LEVEL narcissistic sociopaths – the kind of people who become murderers, rapists, pedophiles, and yes, tyrants.
A sociopathic narcissist is motivated by personal desire only. They are incapable of empathy for others and see people as a kind of food and fuel source rather than fellow travelers in life. They consider their lack of conscience as an evolutionary advantage; a tool that helps them to survive and thrive by trampling, stealing, manipulating and killing if necessary without guilt or regret.
You would think these creatures would be easy to pick out in a crowd, but it is not always so simple. They have the ability to mimic behaviors of those around them in order to appear more human. Sometimes this does give them away because they can’t help but parrot or steal behaviors and mannerisms from people they meet to the point of obviousness. For those inexperienced with narcissistic sociopaths, though, the tactic works for a time, because what people think they see is someone just like them; a reflection. Imagine it as a survival mechanism, like a chameleon.
For some tyrants, the ability makes them endearing to the public for a time. They can be many things to many groups, and their ability to lie convincingly is exceptional. They climb the ladder of success quickly, and build systems that allow them to prosper. They do have doubts and weaknesses, though.
They are in most cases cowardly. They prefer to get what they want through subversion and trickery, and they run from direct confrontation. They prefer to use other people (useful idiots) as weapons or shields rather than risk facing off with their ideological opponents. As parasites, they focus on the weak-minded or the fragile.
They desperately want admiration from the very people they victimize. Therefore, they are constantly forced to play roles in order to appear normal. They do not like this. They feel that it is below their station in life to pander, and they are convinced that they should be worshiped as they are, not worshiped for the fraudulent image they have constructed. They want to “come out of the closet,” in a sense, as a narcissistic sociopath, but if they do under a stable social climate they will be shunned or burned at the stake. They sometimes band together for protection, and are willing to work with each other as long as there is mutual benefit.
Thus, these “people” seek to create chaos, and then to reorder society to act more like they act, or think more like they think. When the masses have been convinced to abandon conscience, then the monsters can come out into the light of day without fear.
Here is how they achieve this goal, and how average people help them do it…
Almost all bad situations start with false assumptions based on bias rather than facts or evidence. The most dangerous assumption when it comes to tyranny is to say “we are in the right, therefore we are not supporting tyranny.” The question that needs to be asked, though, is are they really “right” according to the facts? If the answer is “no,” then they are probably fueling a tyrannical system.
First and foremost, many human beings want to be “right” more than they want to be correct. That is to say, they are happy to “win” arguments and conflicts regardless of whether or not the truth is on their side. This bias is the root of many catastrophes in history.
This is not to say that they don’t have a conscience. Most people in fact do have a conscience that tells them their assumptions are wrong, but they can still commit acts of stupidity and atrocity. This is where tyrannical manipulators tend to help them along.
Tyrants find great joy in creating all kinds of logical fallacies, mental gymnastics and morally relative sales pitches in order to convince a group of people that their wrong assumptions are right. The truth becomes foggy and evidence becomes unnecessary. In this state of mind, when individuals melt together into a mob, assumptions become cult dictates and “winning” becomes paramount. False assumptions and biases can be used to turn normal upstanding people into monsters, all because they refused to accept that their ideological position was flawed; all because they were afraid to feel embarrassed or admit they had been conned.
The taking of sides in political discourse is natural and normal. Even when people are entirely honest about the facts on hand and agree on basic principles of human decency and freedom, they will STILL disagree on what solutions should be used to deal with the problems in front of them. This creates a spectrum within society that is ever-present; it cannot be helped or avoided. Tyrants understand the basis of this spectrum and try to use it to their advantage to manipulate people away from thoughtful discourse and towards mindless conflict.
Tyrants exploit the masses more easily when people assume that corrupt political and social leaders are working for “their side” against the “other side.” Often these leaders can be bought or threatened into subservience. Tyrants then use them to drive the spectrum to the furthest opposites, until both sides adopt an attitude of zealotry.
This happens not only in politics, but in geopolitics, as entire nations are driven to war with each other by puppet presidents and governments over engineered conflicts that only ever benefit the cabal of tyrants behind the curtain.
Zealotry And False Narratives
I view zealotry as a kind of psychological disease that is actually communicable – it spreads like a virus through a culture until everyone is infected. Zealotry happens when a person embraces an ideology to the point that it overrides their personality and their soul, and they are no longer able to think clearly as an individual. This includes considering the possibility that they are on the wrong side of history and morality.
Zealotry on a mass scale depends on a number of dominoes set in succession. The threat of civil breakdown and economic suffering helps. Ideological opponents must be painted as an eminent and vile threat to the very fabric of society. In some cases they are a real and created threat (controlled opposition); in other cases they are a paper tiger meant to drive another group to support tyrannical measures.
Tyrants build false narratives. This is what they do best. They encourage people to unknowingly become villains, or they accuse innocent groups of villainy in order to sow division. They need all sides to see everyone else either as an ally or an enemy. There is no in-between. If a person does not conform to the views of the zealot, then he must be immediately treated as a threat. This causes an endless echo chamber which destroys all dissent or disagreement, no matter how rational.
Zealots operate primarily on fear, making them easy prey for tyrants. And as some nerd somewhere once said, “Fear is the mind killer; fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”
Apathy And False Hope
More than anything else, tyrants desire an apathetic population. Apathy breeds complacency and inaction, and it also encourages delusional thinking. Apathetic people tend towards the philosophy of pacifism as a means to vindicate their own behavior, but this is merely a mask designed to hide their fear. They might fear suffering, they might fear loss, they might fear failure, but they certainly have fear, and it stops them from standing in the way of developments that they know are evil in nature and that require an aggressive response.
Apathy can also be bred into a society through the use of false hopes. Tyrants conjure scenarios in which the public is made to believe positive “change” is about to take place, usually through politics. But, there will be no change for the better beyond the cosmetic. Things only get worse. In this process of conditioning, tyrants raise up the hopes of the masses, and then dash them to the ground over and over, until the public gives up.
The problem is not that things cannot change for the better, but that the public keeps playing by the rules of a game fabricated by the very people who are causing their misery. Stepping outside the constraints of that game requires us to take matters into our own hands rather than waiting around for others to make changes for us. It requires risk. If the farce of tyranny is to ever end, all awake and aware people will have to take many risks.
I have heard it argued that tyranny is a natural and inevitable product of human society. That tyrants cannot be avoided, that they will always exist and any attempt to remove them will result in them only being replaced with other tyrants. This is the pinnacle of the pathetic mindset. It is the dark void of nihilism.
One could also argue that there is no point to washing ourselves because we are just going to get dirty again tomorrow. But these people would eventually die of disease. If tyranny is a human constant, then rebellion must also be a human constant, otherwise, humanity dies or is turned into something unrecognizable.
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On Friday, August 31st, the neoconservative US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said “The 3 million Syrians who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib, will suffer from this aggression. Not good. The world is watching.”
By “this aggression,” he was referring to the completion, by the Syrian Government and its allies Russia and Hezbollah, of their elimination of jihadist terrorists from Syria. Pompeo’s remark was a veiled threat, especially to Russia, not to intervene in the US-led invasion of Syria, which Pompeo and his boss, US President Donald Trump, and the US ‘Defense’ Department, have planned, in continuation of the policies of aggression against Syria, by the prior US President, Barack Obama, and by his Administration — their policies to protect and train and arm those terrorists, so as to overthrow and replace Syria’s Government.
Pompeo, as a politician, can say things like that — pontificate ‘morality’, to the portion of the world that’s deceived by their national ‘news’-media to believe the opposite of what is about to be documented here. He can do it only because of what the US-and-allied ‘news’-media have assiduously kept hidden from their respective publics. The Syrian people blame US — not Assad — for the ‘civil war’ there, which they know actually has been a US-Saud-led invasion of Syria, an invasion and military occupation so as to overthrow Syria’s Government, and to replace it by the Sauds’ s‘elected’ stooges.
So that the publics in the US and its allied countries can know the truth here, they must be informed, finally, of truths hidden by the media, truths such as these:
For years, Syria’s Government has been liberating increasing numbers of cities and towns and villages, from the approximately one hundred thousand jihadists that have been fighting in Syria to overthrow and replace their Government. Those jihadists have been supported by the US Government in this overthrow-effort. Most of the jihadists were recruited into Syria as fundamentalist-Islamic (actually fundamentalist-Sunni-Islamic) mercenaries, by the US coalition, which have worked with Al Qaeda’s Syrian branch to train and arm these jihadists, for them to serve as the US coalition’s boots-on-the-ground, to overthrow Syria’s non-sectarian Government. The US coalition aim to install in Syria rulers who have been selected by the fundamentalist-Sunni Saud family, the world’s wealthiest family, who own Saudi Arabia, and who want to control also Syria.
Tens of thousands of jihadists have surrendered to the Syrian Government and been bussed by the Government into Idlib Syria — those were the surviving jihadists who chose surrender and relocation to Idlib, instead of immediate death at the hands of the Syrian Government, and of its allies, Russia and Hezbollah.
Ever since the start of the Syrian Government’s operation to transport surviving jihadists to Idlib, there has been a question as to what would be done with them: either to free them to go back to their home countries or to any country that will take them, or else to slaughter them. The expectation has increasingly become that they will be slaughtered, because no peaceable land wants them, and because even the US and its allies say that they want to kill all jihadists. America’s Islamic allies, such as the royal Saud family, say that jihadists need to be educated to convert away from jihad, but everyone knows that with only rare exceptions, that’s impossible to do — and the countries that claim to be doing it are secretly funding jihadists such as Al Qaeda abroad.
There is evidence that most Syrians want the jihadists to be slaughtered. The British polling firm Orb International’s 2014 Syrian poll asked “Q5. Who do you feel best represents the interests and aspirations of the Syrian people?” The top two most-favored choices were: “The Assad Government” 35%, and “Political Opposition” 21%. Both of those are secular, not sectarian. All of the armed groups who were trying to overthrow Assad wanted Sharia law, and they were supported by only 27% of Syrians, but they were supported and armed and trained by all of the US international coalition.
A year later, Orb polled again, and found (“Table 3”) that 47% of Syrians in 2015 said that Assad had a “positive effect” on the country; 43% said Iran did; 37% said “Arab Gulf Countries” (the US Government’s allied nations against Syria) did; 36% said “Free Syrian Army” (America’s proxies or boots-on-the-ground fighters in Syria) did; 35% said “Nusra Front” (Al Qaeda in Syria, which trained and led the Free Syrian Army) did; 26% said the “Syrian Opposition Coalition” (America’s other proxy fighters to overthrow Assad) did; and 21% said “Islamic State” (ISIS or ISIL, or simply “IS”) did. 76% said IS had a “negative effect” on Syria. IS was hated by Syrians, but apparently not as much as US was hated by them: When Syrians were asked “to explain the presence of ISIL in Iraq/Syria” 82% answered (Table 26) that the explanation “is US.” Syrians might not have agreed on whom they supported, but they agreed overwhelmingly that America was their nation’s enemy. And it is. Syrians don’t want to be ruled by stooges selected for them by the Sauds. But that’s whom the US coalition lined up to rule them. Except that Russia decided not to accept it. And now Pompeo is warning Russia (which is legally in Syria at the request of the Government, while the US itself is only an invading power there) to give up and let Syria be conquered by America’s proxies.
Furthermore, the 2015 Orb poll (Table 4) also found that Idlib was the region of Syria which had the lowest percentage of its inhabitants (only 4% — versus 47% in the nation-at-large) supporting Assad. Table 6 there shows that 35% of Idlib’s residents supported ISIS. Table 7 shows that 70% of Idlib’s residents supported Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria). So: when Assad made the decision to relocate surrendered jihadists to Idlib, he knew that he was sending them to the Governorate that’s far more supportive of the jihadist cause than any other area of Syria is. Only a tiny portion of Idlib’s residents oppose jihadists. And, now, suddenly, to America’s Mike Pompeo, all of the people in Idlib are somehow (as he suggests, but is sly enough not to state outright) refugees.
Orb’s 2018 poll of Syrians reported that, “Only 26% think that the influence of the International Coalition has been positive, and 69% think their influence has been somewhat or strongly negative. A further 57% think The West has played a negative role.” Orb, the pollster — since it’s allied with the US instead of with Syria — also blamed Assad, instead of blaming Trump, for the worsening situation their latest poll found in Syria. Orb’s 2018 report says: “Whether or not an Assad victory is good for the future of the country is wide open — Although 39% agree that the country is heading in the right direction, this is a large drop since 2017 when 57% agreed with this statement.” Between 2017 and now, most Syrians, just like most Americans, became disillusioned that Trump really was going to let Syria win the war that the US Government has been waging against Syria ever since 1949 and which exploded into the open once Obama came into the White House. During the past year, it has become increasingly clear that Trump is continuing and even escalating this war; so, of course, Syrians, who know that the US is their enemy, don’t think “that the country is heading in the right direction.” Like Americans, the people in Syria had believed Trump’s lies about what his intentions regarding Syria were. They know better now.
Furthermore: Pompeo’s allegation that “The 3 million Syrians who have already been forced out of their homes and are now in #Idlib,” is itself blatantly false, because the population of the entire region — and not just of the city of Idlib — is only 1.5 million, and far fewer than 100,000 have been added to that population by Syria’s bussing all of the surrendered jihadists there.
Furthermore, as of January 2017, there have been, “Since 2011, … 1 million new Syrian refugees” added to the worldwide refugee total, throughout that 7-year period of the Syrian ‘civil war’. And the perhaps ten thousand surviving and surrendered jihadists who have been bussed and added to the 1.5 million total population of Idlib Governorate, are surviving members of the cause of that refugee-crisis; they’re certainly not themselves refugees, such as Pompeo slyly has implied. They are instead surrendered combatants.
So: only deeply fooled people would trust anything that a leader of the US Government says. Lies by them are so routine.
Therefore, to report or publicize their lies without at the same time documenting that they are lies — such as the present article does — is not merely propaganda instead of being actual news-reporting; it is propaganda to aid and assist the US Government’s evil there.
The vast majority of Syrians consider America and its allies to be their enemies, but Pompeo can pompously pretend to be their defenders even while he is actually threatening them and their defenders; and he can perpetrate such lies only because of The West’s lying ‘news’-media, which constantly feed those same lies to their publics.
For example, on August 30th, columnist David Ignatius headlined in the solidly neoconservative Washington Post, “How to stanch Syria’s bloody final showdown” and bloviated,
President Trump’s personal commitment to Syria is unclear, given his frequent past comments that America’s role there should be limited to fighting terrorists. …
This 11th-hour rediscovery of Syria is poignant, because it comes as America is mourning the death of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who anguished in his final years about the United States’ inability to check the slaughter there. …
The administration has signaled a stiffer stance by warning Russia against its planned escalation in Idlib, which Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov described Wednesday as “a festering abscess” that must be “liquidated.” …
Idlib, located in the northwest corner of Syria, has become a haven for terrorists, anti-regime fighters and desperate civilians who fled there after the fall of Aleppo and Daraa. The province’s population is now about 3 million.
That “3 million” there links to this on August 29th, which says, “According to news reports, the three million people – roughly half of whom are native residents and the other half persons displaced within the country – of Idlib, the last big rebel enclave, are bracing for Syrian Government forces to begin a phased offensive.” So, at least Pompeo could cite “news reports” as ‘confirmation’ for his lie. It’s a house-of-mirrors, which the US Government and its many minions have produced.
Perhaps among those “news reports” was one from the solidly neocon Financial Times, on 4 May 2018, “Idlib offers uncertain sanctuary to Syria’s defeated rebels”, in which, apparently, only persons who were part of the US coalition were interviewed as sources:
”Your choice was die in Ghouta, or leave for Idlib,” said the 35-year-old from his new home in a village in the province [Idlib] …
He is one of more than 70,000 rebels and civilians who made a similar calculation, fleeing the besieged enclave [Eastern Ghouta]. …
Idlib … has become a dumping ground for defeated rebels, their families and supporters. …
Idlib’s population has swelled from about 1.5m before the war to 2.6m, making it the largest populous area controlled by rebels. …
That ‘news’paper likewise failed to source its number in any empirical data. And, of course, the Al Qaeda and ISIS forces who were among those “rebels” weren’t being labelled as “terrorists,” nor even as “jihadists”: they were instead ‘rebels’, even if they had come from a foreign country to fight to overthrow the Government of Syria. This is Western ‘journalism’ — it’s not being honestly called Western “propaganda.” People actually pay for that filth as ‘journalism’. Even the term ‘journalism’ is fake, for propaganda, which is what actually reigns, in US-allied territories.
On 16 May 2018, the UN’s chief person on the Syria matter, Staffan de Mistura, told the Security Council that “If we see a Ghouta scenario in Idlib, this could be six times worse, affecting 2.3 million people,” and this likewise-undocumented estimate would mean that since 2011 there has been an influx into Idlib of 800,000 people from other governorates in Syria, who have chosen Syria’s by-far-most-jihadist Governate, as the place they prefer to live. That estimate, of 800,000 increase, is credible, but (like the others) undocumented. In any case: still, the total population of Idlib would likely be considerably more than 90% pro-jihad. Why does The West specialize in defending such people, against the vast majority of Syrians, who have suffered so much from them? In some places, freedom-from-religion is more needed than freedom-of-religion.
Donald Trump has prohibited any refugees from Syria into America. If he is so solicitous about the welfare of the residents in Idlib, why doesn’t he make an exception for them, and simply inform Russia that America will now allow all of the residents in Idlib to enter the US as ‘refugees’? Would he rather start World War III against Russia, in order to try protecting everyone in Idlib, where they are? He even wants Armageddon, if that’s the only way for him to protect everyone in Idlib? And yet, he doesn’t give a damn about the Palestinians? Obviously, the official stories are lies.
Who would have thought, on September 11th of 2001, that within just ten years, the CIA-stirred ‘Arab Spring’ could be started, and that just a year later the US Government would already commit itself to Syria’s Al Qaeda as the local Syrian group that would be chosen by the US to serve as the trainer and leader of America’s main proxy-forces fighting on the ground in Syria to bring down the only non-sectarian Government in the entire Middle East: Syria’s Government? Perhaps a person who knew that the Sauds and the White House were behind the 9/11 attacks would have thought it, but the US-allied ‘news’-media have hidden that fact, too.
Of course, there is the possibility that a million or more Syrians have fled the war into the relative safety (for themselves) of Idlib — safety (for them) if and only if they supported the jihadists, because that’s the province which overwhelmingly supported jihadists, even before the ‘civil war’ had started. But lying ‘news’-media don’t really care about such fine points, anyway, since those would only confuse their readers with truth. Mustn’t do that — not if the ‘news’-medium is actually just propaganda. The demand, in The West, is: “Don’t confuse the reader!” (such as would happen if the lies were exposed instead of touted, or — which is even worse — hidden altogether).
Once, the Secretary General of the United Nations contradicted the US President twice in one day for his having said that Bashar al-Assad must not be allowed to remain in office. Barack Obama was the US President, the putative dictator-of-the-world, at that time. Now Donald Trump stole the White House by promising voters he would abandon Obama’s international aggressions, and by (as the new President) instead continuing and even intensifying them. By such lies, all significant control that the American public have over their Government has become lost. Thus, even the American people are ignored by the US and its allies — the global alliance for evil.
That alliance’s ‘news’-media have been an essential part of this scam. It could not function, but for them — the aid that they provide in deceiving (instead of informing) their public — the aid at reinforcing the regime’s lies.
A stunningly brilliant exposé of America’s (and its media’s) latest lies about Syria can be found at the September 2nd “Moon of Alabama” article, “Syria Sitrep — US To Stay To ‘Create Quagmires’”. Everyone should read it, but it’s found nowhere in “All the News That’s Fit to Print” (in any of the Establishment’s ‘news’-media) — it’s far too honest and well-documented for that. It documents that the US is adding considerably to its military occupation of Syria, digging in there, for a long and maybe permanent stay. If this intention really is so, WW III can be expected to start, perhaps soon, with Syria being merely the first battlefield in the war that will end all wars (and end everything).
On September 11th of 2001, America was attacked by the Government of Saudi Arania, the royal Saud family who own it and are that Government, and now America has invaded countries that had nothing to do with it — Iraq, Libya, and now Syria and Yemen, and threatens to attack also Iran — while having done everything possible to hide the evidence implicating the Saud family and to block their prosecution. Perhaps Donald Trump will finish the job, and end up invading Russia, which also wasn’t involved.
Author’s Note: The text of this article has been drawn from an online debate at Science for Peace, Department of Physics, University of Toronto, September 2018
There is a popular explanation for the world chaos now upon us, and many scientists and philosophers advocate it. The form of this argument is that the rising global crisis we face traces back to human nature and genes to explain it.
The now widespread scientific category of anthropocene to locate the global crisis expresses the same idea and manages the same diversion from the common cause.
In fact, none can remotely explain the ongoing global system collapse nor the extreme climate destabilization which is the major known symptom of it.
The all-fronts planetary life crisis is confined to a much more specific causal mechanism: the cumulative, mounting and unregulated assaults of private industrial destruction, pollution, exhaustion and consumer waste in one relatively short span of the anthro-era.
But the ‘human-nature’ aka ’genetic’ argument obscures this fundamental fact. It does not come from stupid people, but it is a stupid explanation.
The Ancient Fallacy of ‘Human Nature’ to Explain Life-Blind Institutions
More exactly, it is an enduring preconception which has been dominant from ancient times. It has been often disproved, but its return expresses in another way the instituted life-blindness of the neo-capitalist era.
At this dangerous juncture of human evolution and history, it is one more ideological mind-lock to derail examination of the social-structural problem.
We need to bear in mind that the same ‘human nature’ argument was long in place to explain slavery as a natural phenomenon. Socrates, Plato and, most trenchantly, Aristotle, all conceived slavery as natural to human beings, and so unchangeable. They were very intelligent men, but assumed this as a given fact of the human condition.
Since first studying these philosophers, I have observed the argument reappearing in evil times to block people’s understanding of the actual social-structural cause of soluble problems.
For example, the acceptance of both war and slavery over millennia has been based on a ‘human nature argument’. It is natural for some to rule and others to serve them – and wars decide which group is the more fit to rule.
In fact, both institutions are not at all expressions of human nature, but pervasively enforced totalitarian institutions of mass murder and enslavement in particular social formations which serve the rich, non-working minority ruling them.
Capitalism is not Natural or Gene-Determined
Money-sequence capitalism is an historical extension of these institutions which still rules. Its difference is that a de-regulated and hyper-aggressive financialized form has brought mass-killing trends which have been one-way pathogenic since the Reagan-Thatcher turn against life-protective public law and non-partisan government.
It still rampages on today. But the long-ignored cumulative damages have caught up. Planetary life organization is paying the price in degeneration and collapse at every level while still further enriching those leading the global catastrophe.
They have dark reason to select for and quietly fund the argument of ‘genes’, ‘human nature’ and ‘anthropocene’ as the reason for the mounting chaos.
Yet this clinically insane rule is absurdly attributed to ‘human nature’ and ‘genes’ by even those not benefiting from it. After all, far more numerous victims are ‘human nature’ too with ‘human genes’ in ‘the anthropocene’, and only a minority agree with the policies, and ever more abhor the leaders and system they steer which together produce such inhuman character and eco-genocidal misrule.
Yet still you will have the most eminent thinkers – even the inventor of the ecological footprint – argue that our current ecocidal system is based on a genetic character formed in our distant past. He thinks it is indicated by the massive disappearance of large animals by human hand, but this has since been expertly attributed to selection by altered environmental conditions.
The ‘gene’ argument is very appealing, however, for its simplification into fixed one-cause ‘outcomes’. This is the theoretical essence of ‘sociobiology’ in general. It has been dominant in the academy and the legacy media as a seemingly scientific rationalization of a clear social disorder.
Yet as long as its cover story lasts, the rising crisis of life-blind private money-rule destroying the shared planetary life-ground need not be faced or solved.
The Solution of Nicer People
One of the enfeebling consequences of human-nature-gene diversions from the reigning system disorder is that it puts the onus on individual human beings to solve the problem by being “nicer” to and “kinder” to each other.
This certainly sounds good. Yet it track-switches critical attention from the life-blind corporate-market disorder to the personalities of individuals who normally have as such little or nothing to do with it, and are usually victims of its systematic stripping of public institutions, life-protective regulations and income bases.
Indeed this system disorder has invaded so many levels of society’s evolution that citizen life insecurity has been normalized in all phases of work, environment, and future however nice we are to each other as individuals (which I for one love).
Yet it is not individual choices that are responsible for the system oppressing the majority’s livelihoods, their life conditions and their futures, including that of their children. To focus on them is an implicit form of blaming the victim. Their being nicer people is essentially beside the point of the problem.
In logical terms, this is a fallacy of division. It falsely infers from the properties of a collective entity the properties of the individuals members of it, thereby making them responsible for its getting worse or better. “We are all responsible, each and every one of us for this human crisis” is a boring choral expression of this fallacy.
Because it makes those saying this seem so, well, nice and kind, they can bask in virtuous-self reflection. Those in fact leading the crisis as its planners and executives, with obscenely high financial pay-offs and privileges for doing so, are meanwhile left blameless and off the hook.
The cui bono question – who benefits and profits from this life-insane system? – is nullified a-priori.
Those who argue this way are not so nice as they seem. They present as good people to others, ingratiate themselves to those in control, and avoid having to face the real problem. This is all certainly easier and safer. In fact, it may bring top-down favor to the pacifiers and their ‘peace activism’ for side-tracking from the real evil and its lead agents.
The Cover-Up Culture of the Omnicidal System
Self-centering avoidance of the omnicidal system also lies in perfect line with the atomic-agency metaphysics of ‘free-market choice’. It is the individual consumer who chooses the system.
Again we revert to the individual human character as responsible for the system disorder – although, in fact, the consumer’s desires are operantly conditioned into preferences (why far more money is spent on pervasive advertisements than on research or health); the conditions of production are ruled out of trade regulations and rights (why ‘race to the bottom’ worker and environmental standards occur); and almost consumer or citizen remotely chooses that societies must compete to lower taxes to the rich, abolish public scrutiny and enforcement of environment and consumer thazards, and have their elected representatives decided by invisible corporate lobbies and money manipulators.
Human nature? Genes? Consumer choice? The cover-up culture has many levels.
All the argument forms analysed above share one feature. They locate responsibility in individual agency. This is the dominant metaphysics of Western civilization, and why we have such a problem today recognizing the collective system derangement.
In fact, we are continuously misled from understanding and knowing the collective causal mechanism of the Great Disorder as a central function of it – to divert blame, responsibility and social action from the inherited but cumulatively pathological misrule from the top which threatens life on Earth itself.
Only one diagnostic model fits all of the depredatory phenomena across organic, social and ecological life hosts. It is not ‘human nature’ or ‘genes’ or ‘the anthropocene’, or too few ‘nice/kind’ individuals, or ‘consumer choice’.
The true causal mechanism of all the one-way degenerate trends of this cumulatively omnicidal disorder is a highly invasive private financial cancer metastasizing across societies and global life organization.
Prof. John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and author of the three-volume study, Philosophy and World Problems of UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). His works are translated across continents, and his last book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism: from Crisis to Cure.
“As for false flag operations, he says, “Indeed, the trajectory of the American Empire has relied so heavily on these types of attacks that one could describe it as a false flag empire.”
The past is not dead; it is people who are sleeping. The current night and daymares that we are having arise out of murders lodged deep in our past that have continued into the present. No amount of feigned amnesia will erase the bloody truth of American history, the cheap grace we bestow upon ourselves. We have, as Harold Pinter said in his Nobel address, been feeding on “a vast tapestry of lies” that surrounds us, lies uttered by nihilistic leaders and their media mouthpieces for a very long time. We have, or should have, bad consciences for not acknowledging being active or silent accomplices in the suppression of truth and the vicious murdering of millions at home and abroad.
But, as Pinter said,
“I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. It is in fact mandatory.”
No one is more emblematic of this noble effort than David Ray Griffin, who, in book after book since the attacks of 11 September 2001, has meticulously exposed the underside of the American empire and its evil masters. His persistence in trying to reach people and to warn them of the horrors that have resulted is extraordinary. Excluding his philosophical and theological works, this is his fifteenth book since 2004 on these grave issues of life and death and the future of the world.
In this masterful book, he provides a powerful historical argument that right from the start with the arrival of the first European settlers, this country, despite all the rhetoric about it having been divinely founded and guided, has been “more malign that benign, more demonic than divine.” He chronologically presents this history, supported by meticulous documentation, to prove his thesis. In his previous book, Bush and Cheney: How They Ruined America and the World, Griffin cataloged the evil actions that flowed from the inside job/false flag attacks of September 11th, while in this one – a prequel – he offers a lesson in American history going back centuries, and he shows that one would be correct in calling the United States a “false flag empire.”
The attacks of 11 September 2001 are the false flag fulcrum upon which his two books pivot. Their importance cannot be overestimated, not just for their inherent cruelty that resulted in thousands of innocent American deaths, but since they became the justification for the United States’ ongoing murderous campaigns termed “the war on terror” that have brought death to millions of people around the world. An international array of expendable people. Terrifying as they were, and were meant to be, they have many precedents, although much of this history is hidden in the shadows. Griffin shines a bright light on them, with most of his analysis focused on the years 1850-2018.
As a theological and philosophical scholar, he is well aware of the great importance of society’s need for religious legitimation for its secular authority, a way to offer its people a shield against terror and life’s myriad fears through a protective myth that has been used successfully by the United States to terrorize others. He shows how the terms by which the U.S. has been legitimated as God’s “chosen nation” and Americans as God’s “chosen people” have changed over the years as secularization and pluralism have made inroads. The names have changed, but the meaning has not. God is on our side, and when that is so, the other side is cursed and can be killed by God’s people, who are always battling el diabalo.
He exemplifies this by opening with a quote from George Washington’s first Inaugural Address where Washington speaks of “the Invisible Hand” and “Providential agency” guiding the country, and by ending with Obama saying “I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being.” In between we hear Andrew Jackson say that “Providence has showered on this favored land blessings without number” and Henry Cabot Lodge in 1900 characterize America’s divine mission as “manifest destiny.” The American religion today is American Exceptionalism, an updated euphemism for the old-fashioned “God’s New Israel” or the “Redeemer Nation.”
At the core of this verbiage lies the delusion that the United States, as a blessed and good country, has a divine mission to spread “democracy” and “freedom” throughout the world, as Hilary Clinton declared during the 2016 presidential campaign when she said that “we are great because we are good,” and in 2004 when George W. Bush said, “Like generations before us, we have a calling from beyond the stars to stand for freedom.” Such sentiments could only be received with sardonic laughter by the countless victims made “free” by America’s violent leaders, now and then, as Griffin documents.
Having established the fact of America’s claim to divine status, he then walks the reader through various thinkers who have taken sides on the issue of the United States being benign or malign. This is all preliminary to the heart of the book, which is a history lesson documenting the malignancy at the core of the American trajectory.
“American imperialism is often said to have begun in 1898, when Cuba and the Philippines were the main prizes,” he begins. “What was new at this time, however, was only that America took control of countries beyond the North American continent.”
The “divine right” to seize others’ lands and kill them started long before, and although no seas were crossed in the usual understanding of imperialism, the genocide of Native Americans long preceded 1898. So too did the “manifest destiny” that impelled war with Mexico and the seizure of its land and the expansion west to the Pacific. This period of empire building depended heavily on the “other great crime against humanity” that was the slave trade, wherein it is estimated that 10 million Africans died, in addition to the sick brutality of slavery itself. “No matter how brutal the methods, Americans were instruments of divine purposes,” writes Griffin. And, he correctly adds, it is not even true that America’s overseas imperialistic ventures only started in 1898, for in the 1850s Commodore Perry forced “the haughty Japanese” to open their ports to American commerce through gunboat diplomacy.
Then in 1898 the pace of overseas imperial expansion picked up dramatically with what has been called “The Spanish-American War” that resulted in the seizure of Cuba and the Philippines and the annexing of Hawaii. Griffin says these wars could more accurately be termed “the wars to take Spanish colonies.” His analysis of the brutality and arrogance of these actions makes the reader realize that My Lai and other more recent atrocities have a long pedigree that is part of an institutional structure, and while Filipinos and Cubans and so many others were being slaughtered, Griffin writes, “Anticipating Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld’s declaration that ‘we don’t do empire,’ [President] McKinley said that imperialism is ‘foreign to the temper and genius of this free and generous people.’”
Then as now, perhaps mad laughter is the only response to such unadulterated bullshit, as Griffin quotes Mark Twain saying that it would be easy creating a flag for the Philippines:
We can have just our usual flag, with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by the skull and cross-bones.
That would have also worked for Columbia, Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Nicaragua, and other countries subjugated under the ideology of the Monroe Doctrine; wherever freedom and national independence raised its ugly head, the United States was quick to intervene with its powerful anti-revolutionary military and its financial bullying. In the Far East the “Open Door” policy was used to loot China, Japan, and other countries.
But all this was just the beginning. Griffin shows how Woodrow Wilson, the quintessentially devious and treacherous liberal Democrat, who claimed he wanted to keep America out of WW I, did just the opposite to make sure the U.S. would come to dominate the foreign markets his capitalist masters demanded. Thus Griffin explores how Wilson conspired with Winston Churchill to use the sinking of the Lusitania as a casus belli and how the Treaty of Versailles’s harsh treatment of Germany set the stage for WW II.
He tells us how in the intervening years between the world wars the demonization of Russia and the new Soviet Union was started. This deprecation of Russia, which is roaring at full-throttle today, is a theme that recurs throughout The American Trajectory. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. Wilson called the Bolshevik government “a government by terror,” and in 1918 “sent thousands of troops into northern and eastern Russia, leaving them there until 1920.”
That the U. S. invaded Russia is a fact rarely mentioned and even barely known to Americans. Perhaps awareness of it and the century-long demonizing of the U.S.S.R./Russia would enlighten those who buy the current anti-Russia propaganda called “Russiagate.”
To match that “divine” act of imperial intervention abroad, Wilson fomented the Red Scare at home, which, as Griffin says, had lasting and incalculable importance because it created the American fear of radical thought and revolution that exists to this very day and serves as a justification for supporting brutal dictators around the world and crackdowns on freedom at home (as is happening today).
He gives us brief summaries of some dictators the U.S has supported, and reminds us of the saying of that other liberal Democrat, Franklin Roosevelt, who famously said of the brutal Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza, that “he may be a son-of-a-bitch, but he’s our son-of-a-bitch.” And thus Somoza would terrorize his own people for 43 years. The same took place in Cuba, Chile, Iran, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, etc. The U.S. also supported Mussolini, did nothing to prevent Franco’s fascist toppling of the Spanish Republic, and supported the right-wing government of Chiang-Kai Shek in its efforts to dominate China.
It is a very dark and ugly history that confirms the demonic nature of American actions around the world.
Then Griffin explodes the many myths about the so-called “Good War” – WW II. He explains the lies told about the Japanese “surprise” attack on Pearl Harbor; how Roosevelt wished to get the U.S. into the war, both in the Pacific and in Europe; and how much American economic self-interest lay behind it. He critiques the myth that America selflessly wished to defend freedom loving people in their battles with brutal, fascist regimes. That, he tells us, is but a small part of the story:
This, however, is not an accurate picture of American policies during the Second World War. Many people were, to be sure, liberated from terrible tyrannies by the Allied victories. But the fact that these people benefited was an incidental outcome, not a motive of American policies. These policies, as [Andrew] Bacevich discovered, were based on ‘unflagging self-interest.’
Then there are the conventional and atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Nothing could be more demonic, as Griffin shows. If these cold-blooded mass massacres of civilians and the lies told to justify them don’t convince a reader that there has long been something radically evil at the heart of American history, nothing will. Griffin shows how Truman and his advisers and top generals, including Dwight Eisenhower and Admiral William D. Leahy, Truman’s Chief of Staff, knew the dropping of the atomic bombs were unnecessary to end the war, but they did so anyway.
He reminds us of Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeline Albright’s response to the question whether she thought the deaths of more than 500, 000 Iraqi children as a result of Clinton’s crippling economic sanctions were worth it: “But, yes, we think the price is worth it.” (Notice the “is,” the ongoing nature of these war crimes, as she spoke.) But this is the woman who also said, “We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall…”
Griffin devotes other chapters to the creation of the Cold War, American imperialism during the Cold War, Post-Cold War interventions, the Vietnam War, the drive for global dominance, and false flag operations, among other topics.
As for false flag operations, he says, “Indeed, the trajectory of the American Empire has relied so heavily on these types of attacks that one could describe it as a false flag empire.” In the false flag chapter and throughout the book, he discusses many of the false flags the U.S. has engaged in, including Operation Gladio, the U.S./NATO terrorist operation throughout Europe that Swiss historian Daniele Ganser has extensively documented, an operation meant to discredit communists and socialists. Such operations were directly connected to the OSS, the CIA and its director Allen Dulles, his henchman James Jesus Angleton, and their Nazi accomplices, such as General Reinhard Gehlen. In one such attack in 1980 at the Bologna, Italy railway station, these U.S. terrorists killed 85 people and wounded 20 others. As with the bombs dropped by Saudi Arabia today on Yemeni school children, the explosive used was made for the U.S. military. About these documented U.S. atrocities, Griffin says:
These revelations show the falsity of an assumption widely held by Americans. While recognizing that the US military sometimes does terrible things to their enemies, most Americans have assumed that US military leaders would not order the killing of innocent civilians in allied countries for political purposes. Operation Gladio showed this assumption to be false.
He is right, but I would add that the leaders behind this were civilian, as much as, or more than military.
In the case of “Operation Northwoods,” it was the Joint Chiefs of Staff who presented to President Kennedy this false flag proposal that would provide justification for a U.S. invasion of Cuba. It would have involved the killing of American citizens on American soil, bombings, plane hijacking, etc. President Kennedy considered such people and such plans insane, and he rejected it as such. His doing so tells us much, for many other presidents would have approved it. And again, how many Americans are aware of this depraved proposal that is documented and easily available? How many even want to contemplate it? For the need to remain in denial of the facts of history and believe in the essential goodness of America’s rulers is a very hard nut to crack. Griffin has written a dozen books about 11 September 2001, trying to do exactly that.
If one is willing to embrace historical facts, however, then this outstanding book will open one’s eyes to the long-standing demonic nature of the actions of America’s rulers. A reader cannot come away from its lucidly presented history unaffected, unless one lives in a self-imposed fantasy world. The record is clear, and Griffin lays it out in all its graphic horror. Which is not to say that the U.S. has not “done both good and bad things, so it could not sensibly be called purely divine or purely demonic.” Questions of purity are meant to obfuscate basic truths. And the question he asks in his subtitle – Divine or Demonic? – is really a rhetorical question, and when it comes to the “trajectory” of American history, the demonic wins hands down.
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out one place where Griffin fails the reader. In his long chapter on Vietnam, which is replete with excellent facts and analyses, he makes a crucial mistake, which is unusual for him. This mistake appears in a four page section on President Kennedy’s policies on Vietnam. In those pages, Griffin relies on Noam Chomsky’s terrible book – Rethinking Camelot: JFK, the Vietnam War, and US Political Culture (1993), a book wherein Chomsky shows no regard for evidence or facts – to paint Kennedy as being in accord with his advisers, the CIA, and the military regarding Vietnam. This is factually false. Griffin should have been more careful and have understood this. The truth is that Kennedy was besieged and surrounded by these demonic people, who were intent on isolating him, disregarding his instructions, and murdering him to achieve their goals in Vietnam. In the last year of his life, JFK had taken a radical turn toward peace-making, not only in Vietnam, but with the Soviet Union, Cuba, and around the globe. Such a turn was anathema to the war lovers. Thus he had to die. Contrary to Chomsky’s deceptions, motivated by his hatred of Kennedy and perhaps something more sinister (he also backs the Warren Commission, thinks JFK’s assassination was no big deal, and accepts the patently false official version of the attacks of 11 September 2001), Griffin should have emphatically asserted that Kennedy had issued NSAM 263 on October 11, 1963 calling for the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, and that after he was assassinated a month later, Lyndon Johnson reversed that withdrawal order with NSAM 273. Chomsky notwithstanding, all the best scholarship and documentary evidence proves this. And for Griffin, a wonderful scholar, to write that with the change from Kennedy to Johnson that “this change of presidents would bring no basic change in policy” is so shockingly wrong that I imagine Griffin, a man passionate about truth, simply slipped up and got sloppy here. For nothing could be further from the truth.
Ironically, Griffin makes a masterful case for his thesis, while forgetting the one pivotal man, President John Kennedy, who sacrificed his life in an effort to change the trajectory of American history from its demonic course.
It is one mistake in an otherwise very important and excellent book that should be required reading for anyone who doubts the evil nature of this country’s continuing foreign policy. Those who are already convinced should also read it, for it provides a needed historical resource and impetus to help change the trajectory that is transporting the world toward nuclear oblivion, if continued.
If – a fantastic wish! – The American Trajectory: Divine or Demonic? were required reading in American schools and colleges, perhaps a new generation would arise to change our devils into angels, the arc of America’s future moral universe toward justice, and away from being the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, as it has been for so very long.
Edward Curtin is a writer whose work has appeared widely. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research. He teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His website is http://edwardcurtin.com/.
What Should Putin Do?
Andrei Martyanov http://www.unz.com/article/russia-as-a-cat/ has answered my question https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/08/31/can-war-be-avoided-and-the-planet-saved/ .
I agree with everything Martyanov says. But I believe my question remains unanswered.
Probably it is my fault. Perhaps I framed the question so sharply that it came across as an attack on Putin’s level-headed policy. Also, my use of the phrase “turning the other cheek” could have implied denigration of Putin rather than my admiration for his level-headedness and humane approach to his great responsibility.
I understand Putin’s policy. I agree with Martyanov that it is the only policy that makes sense. I also agree with Martyanov that the correlation of forces has changed dramatically in Russia’s favor. But to use another phrase, I am concerned about the slip between the cup and the lip. I think something needs to be done to halt Washington’s provocations before they become so extreme that matters get out of hand.
Historically, provocations do tend to get out of hand, more often than not.
Perhaps Russia has prevented, by exposing it in advance, the false flag chemical attack that Washington had in the works in order to have an excuse for another missile attack on Syria, an attack designed by Washington to disrupt Syria’s elimination of the last stronghold of Washington’s proxy army in Syria. That Washington would actually use an obvious false flag chemical incident to attack Syria a second time in defiance of Russia does not indicate that Washington understands that its power is not what it was. I agree with Martyanov that Washington should understand that, but I am not sure Washington does.
Further evidence that Washington does not understand the new correlation of power is the political, academic, and media treatment of Professor Stephen Cohen, perhaps America’s premier Russian scholar. Cohen sees all the dangers in the current level of tensions that I see, and he is denigrated as a Putin stooge for his balanced analysis. I am on the CIA- or George Soros- or National Endowment for Democracy- or Israel Lobby-funded PropOrNot list of “Russian agents/dupes.” Indeed, Martyanov’s own excellent book, which I recently reviewed, explains the extraordinary myths in which Washington lives. I doubt Washington escaped, as Martyanov seems to think, from its self-made Matrix between 2014 and 2018. Countries as full of themselves as America is don’t sober up in four years without a revealing military defeat or an economic collapse for which no fix is available. Indeed, Martyanov begins his excellent book with Alexis de Tocqueville’s analysis of American hubris in 1837. Hubis is the definition of American existence.
Or consider this for example: The open wound of Novorussia is festering. Washington is pouring arms into Ukraine https://russia-insider.com/en/trumps-envoy-kurt-volker-us-eager-drastically-expand-military-aid-ukraine/ri24663 . I think that Putin left this wound open, because he did not want to enable Washington’s propaganda to inflame Europe’s fears of more “annexations” on top of the alleged “annexation” of Crimea. This was a sound decision consistent with Martyanov’s explanation, but it is an opportunity for the neoconservatives who Martyanov correcly understands to have a tendency to be unrealistic. It is those unrealistic times that are dangerous.
I don’t think Washington has yet lost its hubris. My reference to Napoleon and Hitler is meant only as examples of the extraordinary mistakes that people lost in their hubris can make. Ordinary peoples probably do not perceive the limitations on American power that Martyanov describes. What they hear are belligerent US accusations and threats against Russia and the presentation of their own president as a traitor who has to be impeached because he wants peace with Russia and is involved in a conspiracy with Putin against America. With their own perceptions influenced by Washington’s propaganda, populations in the US and Europe cannot serve as constraints on their governments’ belligerence toward Russia. When we read in the British press that the militarily impotent UK is preparing for war with Russia, where is there realization of the real correlation of forces? To say that the UK is preparing for war against Russia is like saying that the local Boy Scout troop is preparing for war against Russia. It makes no sense, and this absence of sense is a big concern.
It seems to me that some decisive response by Russia that signaled a clear defeat for Washington would bring awareness to Western populations that their governments are risking all of our lives by provoking incidents in which Washington does not hold a winning hand. The idea that the militarily impotent European countries, who are incapable of preventing themselves from being overrun by refugees from Washington’s wars in behalf of Israel in the Middle East and North Africa, serve as any sort of NATO constraint on Russian military power is totally absurd. Jean Raspail’s The Camp of the Saints is happening before our eyes. Europe is ceasing to exist. Already London, England, has a Muslim Mayor.
There are a lot of things Putin could do short of the easy task of sinking US ships—every one of which is totally indefensible against Russian hypersonic missiles. The US Navy is poised to attack Syria. Syria is a Russian ally that Putin has spent Russian lives, money, and prestige helping to clear Syria of the “insurgents” Washington sent to overthrow Syria in order to establish chaos in place of an organized country. Putin could have equipped Syria with the S-300 and/or S-400 air defense system. Russia (and China) could enter into an alliance with Syria and Iran that suggests or implies, without declaring it, mutual defense provisions. This would introduce an element of caution in the West that is missing. The more the West has caution, the less the risk of war. If Russia stands aside or accepts attacks on Syria and Novorussia, Russia tells Washington that there is no need for caution.
My concern is that there are many ways to end up in war. Unanswered provocations and unaddressed open wounds are two ways of getting there. All that I am suggesting is that some thought be given to these possibilities. If provocations produce an unintended showdown, a mistake made with nuclear weapons would be the last mistake of the human race.
The Saker intends to answer my question. We will see where he takes this issue. I will say that this discussion has risks for each of us, because those we are attempting to alert, warn, and to bring out of their insouciance will characterize us as “Russian agents” and “Putin stooges” for doubting US primacy. We will be accused of trying to protect Russia with a peace campaign.
What I think tells most against Martyanov’s optimism is that it is he, The Saker, Stephen Cohen, Pat Buchanan, and myself who are marginalized, not the crazies who are responsible for the dangerous and irresponsible provocations of the world’s most capable and best armed nuclear power—Russia. The crazies are in control of the US National Security Council, office of Homeland Security, office of National Intelligence, CIA, US Department of State, Pentagon, the US media, and the US Democratic Party. Republican Senator John McCain is being made into a hero for his hatred of Russia and support for war. The National Endowment for Democracy, the private foundations, the Council on Foreign Relatons, NPR, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post—the entirety of monied and loudspeaker America is organized for the demonization of Russia and any American who questions this demonization. Who could have ever imagined that a candidate for President of the United States—Hillary Clinton—would declare the elected president of Russia, elected with a majority vote never achieved by any American president, to be “the new Hitler?” Hillary’s accusation breached all known diplomatic protocols, yet she was not held accountable.
In contrast, what is controlled by Martyanov, The Saker, Professor Cohen, Pat Buchanan, and myself? Perhaps we are buttressed by truth, but the truth is not widely acknowledged and few hear it. In an important way, Putin’s strategy relies on the recognition of truth and on good will, whose prospects are not favorable in the West. Indeed, the United States government and the interests that control it have turned a deaf ear to all facts and all truth.
We also need to consider that for centuries Germanic and other tribes continued to attack Roman legions that they had no prospect and no success for the longest time in defeating. Humans do crazy things, and there are no more crazy humans than American neoconservatives. It is these crazy humans who are in control of the US government, its foreign policy, its military policy, its media, and its organizations such as the National Endowment for Democracy that are its tools for the destabilization of targeted countries.
Whatever the correlation of forces, the Russian government is so insouciant that it permits Washington-funded NGOs inside Russia to operate against the Russian government; it permits Washington-funded newspapers inside Russia to demonize Putin and the Russian government; it permits Russian oligarchs and Russian companies to keep money abroad where it can be seized, thus creating animosity against the Russian government from holders of wealth. The Russian government continues to describe its current enemy, which is far more dangerous than Hitler ever was, as “our partner.” Imagine the consciousness-changing effect if Putin and/or Lavrov used the words “our enemy.”
Martyanov is correct. Russia holds the correlation of forces, but it doesn’t know what to do with it. The Russian government permits attacks on itself from an inferior power. It is this that is the danger.
(Natural News) The surge of autism diagnoses in recent years has left many people looking for an explanation. Oft-labeled a “conspiracy theory,” or something to that effect, the suspicion that vaccines are a potential cause of autism is on the rise. New research from the Canadian government has indirectly shown that in highly vaccinated populations, autism rates are noticeably higher. These shocking findings are sure to leave vaccine propagandists reeling while they try to somehow discredit the findings of a government agency.
As The World Mercury Project reports, Canada ranks in the “top 10” countries for autism rates. In 2018, it was revealed that 1 in 66 Canadian children were on the autism spectrum, based on data collected in 2015.
The Public Health Agency of Canada even crafted the “National ASD Surveillance System,” or NASS, to track the number of people diagnosed with autism. The system was intended to provide a look at autism diagnoses “both across regions and over time.”
The agency’s efforts proved successful, showing a steady increase in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses since 2003 — as well as substantial differences from region to region.
As The World Mercury Project explains, six provinces British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec and one Canadian territory (Yukon) were featured in the research.
The three regions with the highest autism prevalence were Newfoundland and Labrador (1 in 57), Prince Edward Island (1 in 59) and Quebec (1 in 65). Comparatively, the Yukon boasted significantly lower rates of autism, at just 1 in 125.
Moreover, the provinces with the highest rates of autism seem to have experienced a massive increase in ASD diagnoses in recent years. Newfoundland and Labrador went from 6 to 19.6 per 1,000 — a 227 percent increase, while Prince Edward Island went from 5 to 17.7 per 1,000 — marking a 254 percent increase. Most shocking, however, is the data from Quebec, which shows that ASD diagnoses went from 3.5 to 15.7 per 1,000 — a staggering 349 percent increase.
One health practitioner has dared to speak out, after noticing an undeniable “coincidence” among the provinces: Those with the highest rates of autism also have the highest rates of vaccination.
As Dr. Zimmerman, from British Columbia, notes, there was a report on vaccination coverage in Canadian kids published back in 2013 — just two years before the data for the ASD survey was collected.
And what do you know: At that time, Newfoundland and Labrador had the highest rates of vaccination, while the Yukon had the lowest. Now data also shows that Newfoundland and Labrador have the highest rates of autism, while the Yukon seems to have the lowest. Who would have thought?
While correlation does not always equal causation, the fact of the matter is that this is an association worth investigating. Moreover, countless parents have reported a sudden change in their child post-vaccination — which to any scientist worth their salt, should at least be cause for concern.
Sadly, vaccine dogma has become so ingrained in our society that the very notion of even questioning vaccine safety is seen as an outrageous act of total lunacy. Indeed, those who dare to even suggest that vaccines contain harmful ingredients are labeled as “crackpots,” “conspiracy theorists” and deniers of “real” science. In a truly Orwellian fashion, anyone who posits that vaccines have the potential to harm children is labeled “anti-science.”
In reality, the belief that vaccines are completely innocuous is what’s “anti-science,” as it disregards the mountains of evidence that vaccines can and do harm children every year. Who’s really benefiting from all this vaccine totalitarianism? (Related: Stay up to date on the latest vaccine truths at Vaccines.news or AutismTruthNews.com.)
Sources for this article include:
People tend to ignore warnings from their internet service providers that they face imminent legal action for illegally distributing a movie. They’re skeptical a copyright holder would actually follow through and sue them for merely downloading a film, something millions of people do every day.
But these threats are no longer empty. Movie rights holders over the past year and a half have launched at least 17 copyright infringement lawsuits naming a total of more than 1,000 Canadians, and, in some cases, have won damages hundreds of times higher than the cost of renting or buying an online movie or streaming it legally on Netflix.
The federal court has ordered at least a dozen people to pay statutory damages of $5,000 apiece to rights holders including Headhunter LLC and LHF Productions LLC, respective owners of movies A Family Man and London Has Fallen.
Even more have paid undisclosed settlements in “John Doe” lawsuits, where one lawsuit is filed against an unlimited number of “Does” who allegedly infringed copyright.
Intellectual property lawyers and telecom companies say the volume and type of activity is unprecedented in Canada. But they expect even more consumers to get caught up — whether they intentionally distributed a movie or their internet account was unwittingly used to do so — depending on a forthcoming Supreme Court of Canada decision on who pays the cost of chasing content pirates.
The top court is poised to rule on a dispute between movie production company Voltage Pictures LLC and Rogers Communications Inc. over who should foot the bill for identifying customers who allegedly infringe copyrights, a process Rogers said costs about $100 per hour.
Voltage, the studio behind films such as The Hurt Locker and Dallas Buyers Club, has ties to all 17 of the movies involved in the copyright lawsuits cited above. Toronto law firm Aird & Berlis LLP represents all the plaintiffs in those lawsuits.
If the Supreme Court sides with Rogers — a verdict is expected by year-end — it could become prohibitively expensive to sue thousands of people simultaneously. But if Voltage wins, lawyers expect even more legal action.
The lower the cost for the plaintiff up front, the easier for them to increase the number of defendantsGraham Honsa, intellectual property lawyer
“This could be the tip of the iceberg,” said Toronto-based intellectual property lawyer Graham Honsa, who noticed a “torrent of claims” earlier this year.
“The lower the cost for the plaintiff up front, the easier for them to increase the number of defendants. That can make the difference between naming a lot of defendants and a few.”
But though it is economically efficient for a plaintiff to sue all the Does at once, each individual could have vastly different circumstances that the court may have to weigh separately, said James Plotkin, an associate at Caza Saikaley, who has represented a few Does accused of infringing copyright.
“This is all really untested in court. It’s pretty novel,” he said.
But even though each lawsuit is separate, legal action typically unfolds in a similar way, Aird & Berlis lawyer Ken Clark said.
First, his clients use software called Maverickeye to identify infringing activity on BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer sharing service where files are automatically distributed as soon as a user starts to download them. It reveals the internet protocol (IP) address used at the time of the alleged infringement.
The client then files a statement of claim against “Doe #1 et al.” — a type of lawsuit where the plaintiff doesn’t know the identity of the defendants. It can add additional Does at any time.
Next, it notifies the internet service provider (ISP) of the violation. Under Canada’s “notice-and-notice” copyright system, the ISP must send notices to users accused of infringement.
The first notice states an account has been detected giving away a movie and gives the user a week to stop. The second notice, sent only if the activity continues, states the copyright holder reserves the right to take legal action.
Clark said he has sent nearly 300,000 such notices since early 2017.
“You’ve got massive infringement,” he said.
If we send you a notice telling you that your internet account is being used illegally and you do nothing to stop it from being used illegally, then you become primarily liableKen Clark, lawyer, Aird & Berlis
Some account holders may not be responsible for the infringement — perhaps a teen downloaded a movie unbeknownst to their parents or a neighbour illegally used an open Wi-Fi network — and others may not understand that BitTorrent automatically distributes downloaded files.