I received a 24-hour suspension from FB for calling Americans, bloody idiots! Firstly, it’s accurate, and secondly, I should have the right to bloody think what I want.
Social media is awash with people angry that their posts have been removed for no legitimate reason. MintPress was no exception, with a story about Cuba’s response to the coronavirus flagged and blocked.
The late psychonaut/philosopher Terence McKenna once said “The cost of sanity, in this society, is a certain level of alienation,” and I think my regular readers will immediately and experientially understand exactly what he was talking about.
It’s not always easy to be on the outside of consensus reality. Our entire society, after all, has been built upon consensus — upon a shared agreement about what specific mouth sounds mean, on what money is and how it works, on how we should all behave toward each other in public spaces, and on what normal human behavior in general looks like.
We all share a learned agreement that we picked up from our culture in early childhood that it’s normal and acceptable to stand around with your hands in your pockets and babble about the weather to anyone who gets too close to you, for example, whereas it would be considered weird and disruptive to stand around slathered in Cheese Whiz shrieking the word “Poop!” But we could just as easily reverse that consensus on behavioral norms tomorrow, and as long as we all agreed, we could do that without missing a beat.
In exactly the same way, there exists a general consensus about what’s going on in our world at the moment. There’s a general consensus that we live in the kind of society we were taught about in school: a free and democratic nation which maybe did some not so great things in the past, but is now a supremely virtuous beacon of light on this earth that kicked Hitler’s ass and then surfed into the present day on a wave of truth and sensible fiscal policy. There’s a general consensus that the news reporters on our screens paint us a more or less accurate picture of world affairs, that there are a lot of Bad Guys in our world with whom the Good Guys in our government are fighting, and that most of our nation’s problems are caused by the people in the other political party.
This consensus is grounded in delusion. It is insanity.
In reality, of course, we live in a world where our understanding of the world is constantly being deceitfully manipulated by oligarchic media propaganda and the utterances of oligarch-owned politicians. Where elections are mostly just a live-action role-playing game that allows the rabble to pretend that they have some degree of influence over the things that their government does. Where our government routinely forms alliances with the worst Bad Guys on the planet while manufacturing consent to topple governments whose downfall would be utterly disastrous. Where our nation’s problems have almost nothing to do with half its population disagreeing with our personal ideology, and practically everything to do with the loose international alliance of plutocrats and government agencies who actually run things behind the facade of the comings and goings of official elected governments.
Friendships Can End
Sanity means seeing this as it is, rather than subscribing to the mass delusion of the consensus worldview. Which, as you probably already know, can make it difficult to relate to others in some ways. Conversations about politics often either get heated very rapidly when you challenge a tightly-held orthodoxy or dead-end in awkwardness. Friendships can end. Family relationships can be ruined. Collective narratives about you can be woven and circulated within your social circle which have nothing to do with how you actually see things.
And that’s just if you talk about your worldview. If you keep your views to yourself, as many do, that’s just another kind of alienation. It’s to stand outside of public political discourse completely, unable to participate out of fear of the backlash you’d receive from your friends, loved ones and acquaintances if you started talking about President Donald Trump as a symptom rather than the disease, or said that the U.K.’s Jeremy Corbyn is being targeted by a transparently bogus smear campaign, or said that Russia’s interventions in world affairs are clearly dwarfed by America’s by orders of magnitude. The specific heresies will vary depending upon the social circle, but the inability to voice them necessarily comes with the same sense of alienation.
But the alternative to that sense of alienation is to live a lie. It’s to climb back inside the distorted funhouse-mirror reality tunnel of the establishment narrative control matrix and plug yourself back into the same delusions that everyone else is living. Most of us couldn’t even do that if we wanted to. Even if we could, the intense mental gymnastics we’d have to perform just to avoid the discomfort of cognitive dissonance would make it not worth the effort.
We close ourselves off from a full sense of participation in our society when we depart from the consensus worldview, but in closing that door we open so many more. Because, as it turns out, all that effort that people pour into staying on the same wavelength as everyone else closes them off to a vast spectrum of potential human experience. The allure of the mass delusion is that you need to devote yourself to being plugged into it in order to achieve what the mass delusion defines as “success”, but in so doing you lose the ability to leap down psychological and experiential rabbit holes of consciousness that those still jacked into the matrix can’t even imagine. And in so doing you open up the possibility for an immensely more fulfilling and enjoyable life that has really deeply explored the more intimate questions about what it means to be a human being on this planet.
Jiddu Krishnamurti once said, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” And a profoundly sick society is indeed what we have here. The alienation which we experience is an alienation from something that isn’t worth belonging to anyway.
I began this essay with a quote from one of the celebrated thought leaders of the psychedelic movement, and I think the question of what we can do to cope with the alienation McKenna spoke of is best answered by ending with a quote from another such leader, Timothy Leary:
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and is the author of “Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.”
This article was re-published with permission.
The views expressed are solely those of the author and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.
If you’re skeptical of western power structures and you’ve ever engaged in online political debate for any length of time, the following has definitely happened to you.
You find yourself going back and forth with one of those high-confidence, low-information establishment types who’s promulgating a dubious mainstream narrative, whether that be about politics, war, Julian Assange, or whatever. At some point they make an assertion which you know to be false–publicly available information invalidates the claim they’re making.
“I’ve got them now!” you think to yourself, if you’re new to this sort of thing. Then you share a link to an article or video which makes a well-sourced, independently verifiable case for the point you are trying to make.
Then, the inevitable happens.
“LMAO! That outlet!” they scoff in response. “That outlet is propaganda/fake news/conspiracy theory trash!”
Or something to that effect. You’ll encounter this tactic over and over and over again if you continually engage in online political discourse with people who don’t agree with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re literally just linking to an interview featuring some public figure saying a thing you’d claimed they said. It doesn’t matter if you’re linking to a WikiLeaks publication of a verified authentic document. Unless you’re linking to CNN/Fox News (whichever fits the preferred ideology of the establishment loyalist you’re debating), they’ll bleat “fake news!” or “propaganda!” or “Russia!” as though that in and of itself magically invalidates the point you’re trying to make.
And of course it doesn’t. What they are doing is called attacking the source, also known as an ad hominem, and it’s a very basic logical fallacy.
Most people are familiar with the term “ad hominem”, but they usually think about it in terms of merely hurling verbal insults at people. What it actually means is attacking the source of the argument rather than attacking the argument itself in a way that avoids dealing with the question of whether or not the argument itself is true. It’s a logical fallacy because it’s used to deliberately obfuscate the goal of a logical conclusion to the debate.
“An ad hominem is more than just an insult,” explains David Ferrer for The Quad. “It’s an insult used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion. Verbally attacking people proves nothing about the truth or falsity of their claims.”
This can take the form of saying “Claim X is false because the person making it is an idiot.” But it can also take the form of “Claim X is false because the person making it is a propagandist,” or “Claim X is false because the person making it is a conspiracy theorist.”
I don’t think @bellingcat knows what’s about to hit them now that @caitoz is on their case. Settle in for a few fun months as their entire bullshit narrative on #Syria chemical weapons comes tumbling down. Here’s her opening jab: https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/narrative-managers-faceplant-in-hilarious-opcw-scandal-spin-job-6710730cda01 …
Narrative Managers Faceplant In Hilarious OPCW Scandal Spin Job
Imperialist propaganda firm Bellingcat has published a response to the ever-expanding OPCW scandal, and it’s got to be seen to be believed.
Someone being an idiot, a propagandist or a conspiracy theorist is irrelevant to the question of whether or not what they’re saying is true. In my last article debunking a spin job on the OPCW scandal by the narrative management firm Bellingcat, I pointed out that Bellingcat is funded by imperialist regime change operations like the National Endowment for Democracy, which was worth highlighting because it shows the readers where that organization is coming from. But if I’d left my argument there it would still be an ad hominem attack, because it wouldn’t address whether or not what Bellingcat wrote about the OPCW scandal is true. It would be a logical fallacy; proving that they are propagandists doesn’t prove that what they are saying in this particular instance is false.
What I had to do in order to actually refute Bellingcat’s spin job was show that they were making a bad argument using bad logic, which I did by highlighting the way they used pedantic wordplay to make it seem as though the explosive leaks which have been emerging from the OPCW’s investigation of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria were insignificant. I had to show how Bellingcat actually never came anywhere close to addressing the actual concerns about a leaked internal OPCW email, such as extremely low chlorinated organic chemical levels on the scene and patients’ symptoms not matching up with chlorine gas poisoning, as well as the fact that the OPCW investigators plainly don’t feel as though their concerns were met since they’re blowing the whistle on the organisation now.
And, for the record, Bellingcat’s lead trainer/researcher guy responded to my arguments by saying I’m a conspiracy theorist. I personally count that as a win.
The correct response to someone who attacks the outlet or individual you’re citing instead of attacking the actual argument being made is, “You’re attacking the source instead of the argument. That’s a logical fallacy, and it’s only ever employed by people who can’t attack the argument.”
The demand that you only ever use mainstream establishment media when arguing against establishment narratives is itself an inherently contradictory position, because establishment media by their very nature do not report facts against the establishment. It’s saying “You’re only allowed to criticise establishment power using outlets which never criticize establishment power.”
2/2 No principle is worth nuclear war. This honest reporter, @caitoz, beholden to no ideology or special interest, calls it as it is, not as the #MSM wants to see — https://consortiumnews.com/2019/11/19/25-times-trump-has-been-dangerously-hawkish-on-russia/ …
25 Times Trump Has Been Dangerously Hawkish On Russia
Caitlin Johnstone discredits a CNN listicle on Trump’s “softness” towards Moscow. In fact, she writes, the U.S. president has actually been consistently reckless towards Moscow, with zero resistance…
Good luck finding a compilation of Trump’s dangerous escalations against Moscow like the one I wrote the other day anywhere in the mainstream media, for example. Neither mainstream liberals nor mainstream conservatives are interested in promoting that narrative, so it simply doesn’t exist in the mainstream information bubble. Every item I listed in that article is independently verifiable and sourced from separate mainstream media reports, yet if you share that article in a debate with an establishment loyalist and they know who I am, nine times out of ten they’ll say something like “LOL Caitlin Johnstone?? She’s nuts!” With “nuts” of course meaning “Says things my TV doesn’t say”.
It’s possible to just click on all the hyperlinks in my article and share them separately to make your point, but you can also simply point out that they are committing a logical fallacy, and that they are doing so because they can’t actually attack the argument.
This will make them very upset, because for the last few years establishment loyalists have been told that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to attack the source instead of the argument. The mass hysteria about “fake news” and “Russian propaganda” has left consumers of mainstream media with the unquestioned assumption that if they ever so much as glance at an RT article their faces will begin to melt like that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. They’ve been trained to believe that it’s perfectly logical and acceptable to simply shriek “propaganda!” at a rational argument or well-sourced article which invalidates their position, or even to proactively go around calling people Russian agents who dissent from mainstream western power-serving narratives.
But it isn’t logical, and it isn’t acceptable. The best way to oppose their favorite logically fallacious tactic is to call it like it is, and let them deal with the cognitive dissonance that that brings up for them.
Me: This link proves my claim.
Empire loyalist: Eww, THAT outlet? They publish criticisms of western imperialism!
Me: Yeah. That’s why I’m linking to them.
Empire loyalist: No. You can only criticize western imperialism linking to outlets that never criticize western imperialism.
Of course some nuance is needed here. Remember that alternative media is just like anything else: there’s good and bad, even within the same outlet, so make sure what you’re sharing is solid and not just some schmuck making a baseless claim. You can’t just post a link to some Youtuber making an unsubstantiated assertion and then accuse the person you’re debating of attacking the source when they dismiss it. That which has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence, and if the link you’re citing consists of nothing other than unproven assertions by someone they’ve got no reason to take at their word, they can rightly dismiss it.
If however the claims in the link you’re citing are logically coherent arguments or well-documented facts presented in a way that people can independently fact-check, it doesn’t matter if you’re citing CNN or Sputnik. The only advantage to using CNN when possible would be that it allows you to skip the part where they perform the online equivalent of putting their fingers in their ears and humming.
Don’t allow those who are still sleeping bully those who are not into silence. Insist on facts, evidence, and intellectually honest arguments, and if they refuse to provide them call it what it is: an admission that they have lost the debate.
Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, checking out my podcast on either Youtube, soundcloud, Apple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.
An investigation by the Wall Street Journal has confirmed many of the central allegations made by the World Socialist Web Site in 2017 regarding Google’s censorship of the internet.
In an extensive article published Friday, the Journal concludes that, contrary to Google’s repeated assertions, the company maintains blacklists of individual websites and intervenes directly to manipulate individual search results.
On July 27, 2017, the World Socialist Web Site reported that changes to Google’s search algorithm, internally dubbed “Project Owl,” had drastically reduced search traffic to left-wing, antiwar and progressive websites.
The WSWS based its assertions on Google’s public declarations that it was seeking to “surface more authoritative content” and demote “alternative viewpoint[s],” as well as detailed data from the WSWS’s analytics systems and data provided by other websites and publicly available web and search traffic estimators.
Based on these data points, the WSWS concluded that Google was operating a blacklist of opposition news outlets, the primary impact of which was to restrict access to left-wing and antiwar websites.
The WSWS was a central target of this initiative. As we explained: “Google has severed links between the World Socialist Web Site and the 45 most popular search terms that previously directed readers to the WSWS. The physical censorship implemented by Google is so extensive that of the top 150 search terms that, as late as April 2017, connected the WSWS with readers, 145 no longer do so.”
On August 25, 2017, David North, the chairperson of the WSWS International Editorial Board, published an open letter to Google asserting:
Censorship on this scale is political blacklisting. The obvious intent of Google’s censorship algorithm is to block news that your company does not want reported and to suppress opinions with which you do not agree. Political blacklisting is not a legitimate exercise of whatever may be Google’s prerogatives as a commercial enterprise. It is a gross abuse of monopolistic power. What you are doing is an attack on freedom of speech.
These assertions have been dramatically confirmed by the Wall Street Journal investigation. Its report concludes:
Despite publicly denying doing so, Google keeps blacklists to remove certain sites or prevent others from surfacing in certain types of results. These moves are separate from those that block sites as required by US or foreign law, such as those featuring child abuse or with copyright infringement, and from changes designed to demote spam sites, which attempt to game the system to appear higher in results.
The report went on to substantiate its claim that the company’s actions were in contradiction to its public statements:
Google has said in congressional testimony it doesn’t use blacklists. Asked in a 2018 hearing whether Google had ever blacklisted a “company, group, individual or outlet … for political reasons,” Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of public policy, responded: “No, ma’am, we don’t use blacklists/whitelists to influence our search results,” according to the transcript.
But the newspaper’s investigation concluded that Google takes “what the company calls ‘manual actions’ against specific websites,” adding, “The company could also blacklist a website, or remove it altogether.”
The Journal report argues that Ben Gomes, “one of Google’s early search executives,” was an early advocate of direct, manual intervention into search terms. It was Gomes who announced what would later be known as “Project Owl” in an April 25, 2017 blog post under the title, “Our latest quality improvements for Search.”
In that blog post, Google claimed that its efforts to promote “authoritative” news sources were an extension of its attempts to combat efforts to “’game’ our systems in order to appear higher in search results.” But the investigation by the Wall Street Journal reveals this to be a total fraud.
“There’s this idea that the search algorithm is all neutral and goes out and combs the web and comes back and shows what it found, and that’s total BS,” the newspaper cites an unnamed former executive as saying. “Google deals with special cases all the time.”
The report documents how the company maintains its blacklists:
Engineers known as “maintainers” are authorized to make and approve changes to blacklists. It takes at least two people to do this; one person makes the change, while a second approves it, according to the person familiar with the matter.
The Journal reviewed a draft policy document from August 2018 that outlines how Google employees should implement an “anti-misinformation” blacklist aimed at blocking certain publishers from appearing in Google News and other search products.
Its report continues:
Google’s culture of publicly resisting demands to change results has diminished, current and former employees said. A few years ago, the company dismantled a global team focused on free-speech issues that, among other things, publicized the company’s legal battles to fight changes to search results, in part because Google had lost several of those battles in court, according to a person familiar with the change… “Free expression was no longer a winner,” the person said.
The investigation by the Wall Street Journal raises serious questions about the coverage of Google’s censorship in the New York Times. After publishing a report on September 27, 2017 on the front page of its business section concerning the WSWS’s open letter opposing Google’s censorship, including an interview with David North, the Times went on to attempt to discredit accusations that Google was carrying out political censorship.
In a follow-up article, Daisuke Wakabayashi, who conducted the interview with North, sought to whitewash Google’s censorship regime, echoing the company’s self-serving denials without any serious examination of the facts. Wakabayashi wrote: “Google said political ideology was not a factor in any aspect of its search results. Google said that whether a user is conservative or liberal is not part of the information collected by the company, and that it didn’t categorize web pages by political leanings.”
This, too, was a fraud. Google’s decision about which sites were “authoritative” was clearly political in nature.
In 2018, Google set up a “news initiative” to “Clean Up False News,” as the New York Times reported. Among its partners are the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Guardian, all of which circulated false statements by the Bush administration regarding so-called “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq, among countless other lies.
Google’s statements about promoting “authoritative” news outlets is code for promoting news outlets that support US foreign policy and the lies that underpin it, because, as the Journal writes, “search is a zero-sum game: A change that helps lift one result inevitably pushes down another.”
Aside from the initial report in the New York Times and a report by Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone, the vast majority of corporate news outlets simply ignored the WSWS’s reporting.
But notably, before he was gagged and arrested, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange penned a letter to an online event organized by the WSWS warning about the dangers of internet censorship. It stated:
While the internet has brought about a revolution in people’s ability to educate themselves and others, the resulting democratic phenomena has shaken existing establishments to their core. Google, Facebook and their Chinese equivalents, who are socially, logistically and financially integrated with existing elites, have moved to re-establish discourse control… I commend WSWS for drawing attention to this phenomenon.
In the three years since Google announced its efforts to bury “alternative viewpoint[s],” the censorship drive by major technology corporations has only intensified. In multiple mass deletions, Facebook and Twitter have removed left-wing accounts and pages with millions of followers.
Last month, Twitter announced that it would ban all political advertisements on its platform, while Facebook, despite the declarations by Mark Zuckerberg that it will not carry out political censorship, announced that it would remove any posts that include the name of the alleged CIA “whistleblower” in the Trump impeachment inquiry.
The motivation for the relentless efforts at political censorship promoted by all factions of the political establishment is their fear of the growth of working-class opposition all over the world, which is bound up with the growing audience for socialism.
Propaganda is essential to the Deep State’s operation…
The Deep State is the small number of people who control the organizations that donate the majority of the funds which finance the political careers of national officials, such as Presidents, Prime Ministers, and members of the national legislature. Almost always, the members of the Deep State are the controlling stockholders in the international corporations that are headquartered in the given nation; and, therefore, the Deep State is more intensely interested in international than in purely national matters. Since most of its members derive a large portion of their wealth from abroad, they need to control their nation’s foreign policies even more than they need to control its domestic policies. Indeed, if they don’t like their nation’s domestic policies, they can simply relocate abroad. But relocating the operations of their corporations would be far more difficult and costly to them. Furthermore, a nation’s public know and care far less about the nation’s foreign than about its domestic policies; and, so, the Deep State reign virtually alone on the nation’s international issues, such as: which nations will be treated as “allies” and which nations will instead be treated as “enemies.” Such designations are virtually never determined by a nation’s public. The public just trust what the Government says about such matters, like, for example, the US regime’s standard allegation, for decades, that “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism”, which is clearly a blatant lie.
Iran, of course, is the world’s leading Shia nation, whereas Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading Sunni nation; and the US aristocracy are bonded to the aristocracies of both Saudi Arabia and Israel, against Iran. This allegation against Iran has always been promoted by the royal family who own Saudi Arabia, the Saud family, and also by the billionaires who control Israel, as well as by the billionaires who control the US So: this allegation is by the Deep State, which controls at least these three countries: US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.
But, as was just said, this allegation by the Deep State is false: On 9 June 2017, I headlined “All Islamic Terrorism Is Perpetrated by Fundamentalist Sunnis, Except Terrorism Against Israel” and listed 54 terrorist attacks which had been prominent in US-and-allied media during 2001-2017, and all of them except for a few that were against Israel were attacks by Sunni groups — not affiliated with Iran. Subsequently, Kent R. Kroeger’s 16 May 2019 study “Is Iran the biggest state sponsor of terrorism?” concluded that overwhelmingly the majority of terrorist attacks ever since 1994 have been by Sunni groups, but he attributed the attacks by Yemen’s Shiite Houthis against Sunni Saudi Arabia as being “terrorist” attacks, even though these were instead actually responses to the Sauds’ war against, and to eliminate, Houthis in Yemen. Also, Kroeger attributed those Houthi actions to “Iran,” which is absurd. (The Houthis simply did not like being exterminated. And the US, of course, supplied the weapons and the military planning, for this attempted ethnic cleansing operation.) There were many other methodological flaws. And yet, still, even with its methodological flaws, Kroeger, concluded: “The distorted US propagandized image of Iran’s aggression looming over the Middle East is, frankly, ‘fake news.’” This is how untrustworthy the Deep State’s ‘news’ actually is. The term “fake news” is, in fact, misleading (or itself fake news) if it is not referring to the Deep State’s propaganda. In my 27 November 2017 “How the US Came to Label Iran the Top State Sponsor of Terrorism”, I described specifically the Deep State’s operation that had created the phrase “Iran is the leading state sponsor of terrorism”. But this is the way the Deep State operates, routinely, on all international issues. It operates by deceit. This is how it achieves the consent of the public, whom it actually rules. This is entirely consistent with the scientific findings about the United States, that it is a dictatorship, not a democracy. All of the evidence is consistent.
The Deep State here is the US-and allied Deep State, no merely national organization. It consists mainly of America’s billionaires, plus of the billionaires in US-allied countries such as UK, France, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel — but many more (including, for example, in Honduras, Brazil, etc.). These people number fewer than 2,000 in total, and they do deals together, and their contacts with one-another are both direct person-to-person, and indirect by means of representatives or agents. However, America’s billionaires lead the US-and-allied Deep State. That’s to say, the leaders are among the 607 US billionaires, the people who mainly fund American national political campaigns and candidates — and these 607 individuals determine who will get an opportunity to become a US President or member of Congress, and who won’t. For example: these individuals don’t necessarily select the politician who will become America’s President, but they do select who will get the opportunity to be among the serious contenders for that position. (Basically, what the mullahs do in Iran, these super-rich do in America. Whereas in Iran the clergy rule, in America the aristocracy rule.)
One, in particular, is George Soros, and this article will detail the views of one of his many beneficiaries. Another of these billionaires is Charles Koch, but he will not be discussed here, and inside the United States he is popularly considered to be an enemy of George Soros, only because the two men oppose each other on domestic issues. (Billionaires tend to be much more concerned with, and united about, foreign affairs than about domestic affairs, though they do oppose both their taxation and their regulation — they are for ‘free markets’, both domestically and abroad, and yet they also favor imposition of economic sanctions against countries which resist becoming controlled by them, and so they don’t really favor free markets except to the extent that free markets favor their own increase in power and thus tend toward oligopoly and away from competition.) Both men are much more alike than different, and both represent what’s called “neoliberalism,” which is the universal ideology of billionaires, or at least of all billionaires who donate to (i.e., invest in) politicians. Only few billionaires don’t invest in politicians; and, though politicians disagree with one-another, almost all of them are neoliberals, because politicians who aren’t that are not funded by the Deep State (the billionaires). The foreign policies of neoliberals are called “neoconservative” and this means supporting regime-change in any country that’s labeled by billionaires and their government an “enemy” nation. So, “neoconservative” is merely an extension of “neoliberal”: it favors extending neoliberalism to other nations — it is internationally aggressive neoliberalism; it is imperialistic neoliberalism. It is fascism, but so is neoliberalism itself fascist; the difference between the two is that neoconservatism is the imperialistic extension of fascism — it is the imperialistic fascism that, in World War II, was represented by the three Axis powers — Germany, Italy, and Japan — not by the purely domestic fascism that was represented by Spain. Whereas Spain was merely neoliberal, the Axis were also neoconservative (expansionist neoliberal), and the latter is what the Allies in WW II were warring against. But now the US has emerged as the world’s leading neoconservative regime, invading and occupying country after country, none of which had ever invaded nor even threatened to invade the United States. Propaganda is necessary in order to ‘justify’ doing that. This article will describe how that’s done.
The Deep State doesn’t concern domestic issues, because virtually all of its members control international corporations, and the Deep State is almost entirely about international issues: foreign policies, diplomacy, military issues, and international spying agencies called “intelligence agencies” — extending the empire. The Deep State controls all of that, regardless of what Party is nominally in power. (The public care little about foreign policy, pay little attention to it, and believe the government when it alleges that “national security” is about protecting them, and not about expanding the power and wealth of the billionaires.)
The dictatorship of the US Deep State really is more international than national; it provides the continuity in international relations, when it chooses and defines which nations (which foreign governments) are “allies” (meaning “we sell arms to them”) and which are instead “enemies” (meaning “we should sanction them and maybe even bomb them”). Both allies and enemies are essential in order for the military-industrial-press-government complex (here: “MIPGC”) to thrive, and the Deep State controls the entire MIPGC. In other words: the Deep State is an international empire, and, as such, its supreme aspiration is to conquer (via subversion, sanctions, coups, and/or invasions) all countries that it labels as “enemies.”
The way that the Deep State views things, there is no need for an ‘enemy’ to threaten or invade the United States in order for it to be “an enemy,” but, instead, the United States and its allies possess a God-given right to impose sanctions against, or coups overthrowing, or invasions of, any country they choose, so long as they can criticize that other country for being a ‘dictatorship’, or for ‘violating human rights’, or for otherwise doing what the Deep State itself actually does more than any other government on this planet does (and particularly does it to its selected ‘enemies’ — such as were Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, and any other country that’s either friendly toward, or else an ally of, Russia, which is the other nuclear super-power, and the Deep State’s central target).
However, though those few super-wealthy individuals (in addition to the general public’s taxes) fund its operations, their many operatives are true-believing followers (believers in neoliberalism-neoconservatism), and this is the reason why the masters fund those individuals’ careers. It’s why these masters provide the platforms and personal connections and employment which enable the true-believers to advance, while opponents of the Deep State (i.e., opponents of the billionaires’ collective dictatorship) cannot find any billionaires to patronize them. In a society that has extremely concentrated wealth, this means that there will be virtual penury for opponents of the billionaires’ collective dictatorship. Especially the major politicians need patrons amongst the aristocracy, the billionaires, in order to have successful careers.
The beneficiary of the Deep State who will be exemplified, discussed, and finally quoted, here, will be Jacek Rostowski, who is also known as Jan Anthony, and as Jan Anthony Vincent-Rostowski. Wikipedia’s article on him opens:
Jan Anthony Vincent-Rostowski, also known as Jacek Rostowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈjan ˈvint͡sɛnt rɔsˈtɔfskʲi]; born 30 April 1951, London) is a British-Polish economist and politician who served as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Poland.
He was a candidate for Change UK in London at the 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom.
It also says:
From 1995 he has been Professor of Economics and was the head of the Department of Economics at the Central European University in Budapest during the periods: 1995–2000 and 2005–2006. …
Rostowski was a member of Britain’s Conservative Party. In the beginning of 2010, it was announced that two months prior he has become member of the Civic Platform party (PO). In the wake of the Parliamentary Elections of 2011, he became Member of Parliament, being elected from the list of Civic Platform Party (PO).
In late 2015, Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz appointed Rostowski as her top political adviser.
Vincent-Rostowski has published around 40 academic papers on European enlargement, monetary policy, currency policy and the transformation of post communist economies. He is the author of academic books including Macroeconomic Instability in Post-Communist Countries published by Oxford University Press.
On November 3rd, the Ukrainian ‘news’-medium Apostrophe interviewed him, and published the interview in Ukrainian. (The interviewee isn’t fluent in Ukrainian, but the article’s translator into Ukrainian isn’t identified.) What will be posted here is an English translation of that Ukrainian original.
Apostrophe started in August 2014.
The site was aimed to prepare informational and analytical materials, presentations of important events in politics, economics, society and culture. Apostrophe’s editorial policy is based on principles of impartiality, precision and veracity, velocity, objectivity and balance in the presentation of information. Apostrophe sticks to journalism ethical standards. That is why published materials should not propagate violence, cruelty, cause racial, national or religious hatred. Apostrophe is a proponent of the common humanism values, peace, democracy, social progress and human rights.
The project functions with the direct participation and use of the resources of the International Centre for Policy Studies (ICPS). Apostrophe’s idea lies within the framework of synergy between journalists and analysts.
ICPS was founded in 1994 upon the initiative of the Prague-based Open Society Institute (OSI). At that moment, ICPS was the first independent think-tank in Ukraine.
The Open Society Institute was founded by George Soros. He also founded the Central European University in Budapest, where the interviewee was employed for five years.
Those are just the obvious ways in which the interviewee had been funded and advanced by Mr. Soros.
Soros also had helped to fund the overthrow of the democratically elected and internationally non-aligned President of Ukraine in 2014 and to replace him with a nazi anti-Russian regime which serves as a terrific asset for the US-and-allied Deep State, because of Ukraine’s having a 1,625-mile border with the country that the US-installed regime in Ukraine hates: Russia (hates it because the Deep State craves, above all, to control also the other nuclear super-power; so, this is hatred-on-command).
A basic presumption of that interview, both by the interviewer and by the interviewee, is the Russian Government’s being wrong in everything, and the Ukrainian Government’s — the regime which Obama (another of Soros’s beneficiaries) had installed — being right in everything. Here is this interview, as an illustrative example of how propaganda is professionally done:
ORIGINAL OF THIS ARTICLE (in Ukrainian) (now translated here into English):
Apostrophe: How would you describe the current state of security in the European region?
Jan Anthony: Since 2014, military security has become a more important topic of discussion in Europe. After all, the events in Crimea and Donbass caused shock. After a long period of time, when defence issues were put on the back burner, they are now again becoming an important factor in the European security environment. Now there are serious problems requiring high priority and serious solutions. And, of course, there are other problems that relate to the same issue — the fight against terrorism, for example.
The EU and NATO work very closely together to prepare for different types of threats. Now there is a return to a potential military conflict with Russia. In addition, there is an unsustainable security situation in the south, in Africa, because of the conflict in Libya, and in the Sahara. They can also pose a terrorist threat. Therefore, the issue of European security has become more complex than it was 5-10 years ago.
“You specialize in managing military conflicts. How do you think the conflict in Ukraine can be solved?
“Conflict management and conflict resolution are different things. Now I see attempts to create a more positive context in the Donbass issue. We need to return to the Minsk agreements as a basic resolution on the conflict. As you know, discussions are under way on the so-called Steinmeier formula. Therefore, now there is an opportunity to return to the discussion of how the Minsk agreements should be implemented. There are serious questions about the sequence of points — what should be done in the first place. And there is also the question of how to confirm the parties’ compliance with their obligations, because now there is a very low level of trust among the participants. Therefore, everything that will be done, it is necessary to immediately demonstrate — behold, it is fulfilled.
“How about the implementation of Minsk? Especially given that it has not worked for almost 5 years.
“As I see it, no one is discussing any alternatives now. Perhaps among the people discussing ways to implement the agreements, there are other options, but I have no idea what they can be. The Minsk agreements are still in the spotlight.
“Let’s talk about Crimea. What are the threats on the peninsula?
“With Crimea it’s a different story than with Donbass. In Crimea there are facilities that can be a base for Russian nuclear weapons, including the Russian navy, capable of carrying nuclear weapons in the Black Sea. [NOTE HERE: Obama’s takeover of Ukraine was originally aimed at taking over Russia’s naval base in Crimea and installing an even larger US naval base there, against Russia.]
“So the main threat is nuclear weapons?
“Of course, it is an extremely serious threat by its nature. Any use of it would be disastrous.
“Will the Kremlin decide to use these weapons in the near future? Or is it just a way to intimidate the West?
“The primary objective of nuclear weapons is deterrence. This is the main goal with which Russia placed it in Crimea.
“Is it possible to compare the situation with the Cuban crisis?
“I would not say that these two situations are similar. There the crisis came very, very close to escalating into an armed conflict. I don’t think we’re going to get to that level of confrontation. [NOTE HERE: Both the interviewer and the interviewee ignore that instead of the Soviet Union’s 1962 attempt to place nuclear missiles on the island of Cuba 95 miles from America’s border, the US ploy now is to place its nuclear missiles right on Russia’s 1625-mile border with Russia — the discussants’ assumption reverses the actual threat, and thus insults their readers’ — or else their own — basic intelligence.] But now it is a very dangerous situation. We need to find more stable mechanisms that cannot be developed by comparing the situation to the Cuban crisis.
“How can the Western world force Russia to take its weapons from Crimea?
“Of course, the sanctions have had an effect. I’m sure they’ll stay — I don’t see any reason to take them off. International pressure on Russia will continue. Normalization of relations with it is impossible as long as the current situation in Crimea remains. And since Russia has no intention of leaving the peninsula, we will live for a long time in difficult relations with it, including sanctions, as well as cooperation of Western countries, taking into account possible military confrontation.
“Let’s recall the attack on Ukrainian military vessels in the Kerch Strait, which occurred almost a year ago. How can we avoid the threat of further Russian attacks on Ukrainian and foreign ships?
“Ukraine has lost control of part of its navigation, as well as guaranteed access to the Sea of Azov — and this is a complex problem. This issue must therefore remain the focus of international attention. Ukraine should have access to the water area and carry out commercial operations in ports. Georgia faced the same problem — the loss of control over navigation in a certain area. A special mechanism is needed to address these issues. But I have no suggestions on what it should be.
“Russia recently blocked international waters in the Black Sea and thus blocked trade routes. How should the international community respond to such behaviour?
“We must respect the International Convention on Navigation. We must continue to conduct military exercises in the Black Sea and it is important that NATO countries participate in them. Of course, there remains a risk that Russia will also organize its exercises. I think the ships will enjoy the freedom of navigation established by the International Convention. Some issues may need to be discussed more broadly for the sake of a future long-term convention. We need to make it more relevant to modern security requirements. It is important to revise time limits on stay in the Black Sea for NATO ships. Nato’s defence and deterrence plans should also be changed. NATO must have greater access to the Black Sea and its naval forces spend more time there.
“Does the need to renegotiate international agreements on the weakness of international institutions, as well as their unpreparedness for strikes by Russia, speak?
“Many countries have entered into bilateral agreements with Russia to ensure their confidence in the use of the sea. I think such deals need to be modernized, as well as add another agreement, which spells out a mechanism for discussing maritime incidents on the basis of international organizations, for example, under the OSCE umbrella. This will avoid misunderstandings that may arise from disregard for the rules.
In the case of deliberate violations, for example, when military exercises block part of the Black Sea, other measures of influence will have to be used. And in that case, there must be a clear international response. If you look at the 2014 NATO summit at Brussels, there have been decisions that have had a very tough response in the event of any crisis. The only question is what to do to Ukraine, which is not a member of the Alliance and does not obey its decisions.
“Regarding Russian military power. During the “Grom-2019” exercises, which were held recently under the personal guidance of Vladimir Putin, the nuclear submarine cruiser K-44 “Ryazan” fired only one ballistic intercontinental missile R-29R. The other missile just didn’t come out of the mine. This is not the first time that the Russian army has failed. So the question arises, is Russia really a threat to peace, all this is just a demonstration?
“Russia can solve the problems that you have named. But no one doubts that it has an extremely powerful nuclear arsenal. Despite some problems with weapons, Russia is still very strong.
“The Kremlin has promised to develop short- and medium-range missiles and deploy them to confront the West (in fact, they already exist — Iskanders). Does this mean that now the situation in Europe is close to the state of the Cold War, when the USSR and the West deployed iCBM for mutual deterrence?
“Yes, Russia has already developed and deployed the ICBM. We don’t know if they’re all equipped with nuclear weapons. But for the balance of power, NATO must have a significant force with nuclear weapons.
There are differences with the Cold War. Then there was complete separation and no contact between East and West. And now we have significant economic cooperation. It is still possible to hold political discussions, including with the participation of intergovernmental organizations. So now the situation is not quite the same as during the Cold War. But, as I said, the security situation in Europe is very difficult and relations with Russia deteriorate. The absence of signs that this deterioration is coming to an end is worrying. There are no very effective ways to improve relations with Russia. Therefore, there are different reasons for concern.
“The Kremlin sent the S-400 division and the Panzir-S battery to Serbia to the Russian Air Defense Forces. This is, in fact, Russian military exercises near the EU. [NOTE HERE: The problem isn’t that Russia is moving too close to the EU — such as the discussants imply — but that NATO has moved right up to Russia’s borders. Again, the presumption insults readers’ — and/or their own — basic intelligence.] Is this preparation for a strike against the West?
“Serbia’s position is that they want to have good relations with both their neighbors and NATO countries, but also with Russia. Serbia is also training with NATO countries. Serbia wants a balance of power, but in the event of a conflict it will support EU membership. It is politically and economically related to Western countries. Therefore, I do not believe that such exercises are the Kremlin’s preparation for an attack on the EU.
“How would you assess the military threats to Europe in Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova?
“It is difficult to answer because these are three different countries and the situation in each of them is completely different from the other.
“Ukraine and Moldova have similar situations. Russian soldiers are still in Transnistria – the only difference is that the conflict there is frozen.
“Yes, they are there, but they do not fight like in Ukraine.
Do you believe that this frozen conflict can continue?
“Today we think it’s not very likely.
“Is Europe expecting a military strike from Russia?
“No, we don’t expect it and we don’t expect it. But we do not rule it out, we allow it in our defense plans. Preparations are under way for these attacks, which means that their probability is reduced.
“Russia invests heavily in European political parties like the French National Front or the League of the North in Italy. Is there any evidence that the Kremlin is investing in “militia” in EU countries and supplying weapons to Europe to shake up the situation. Perhaps it is funding crime to influence the situation in the EU?
“There have been many investigations into ties with the Kremlin, in particular financial ties from politicians. The EU discusses a lot of cyber threats, the possibility of attacks on infrastructure, as well as information attacks. But I have never seen the Kremlin supply weapons to non-state organizations, especially criminal groups.
“Russia has taken up the settlement of the issue in Syria. What’s going on out there now?
“Officially, Russia is helping Bashar al-Assad’s forces gain control over Syrian territory. But what is happening now is, from the Kremlin’s point of view, the formation of a single strategic space, including the Black Sea and the eastern Mediterranean. Russia has free access to the Black Sea and now the Russian Navy has gained much greater access to the waters of the eastern Mediterranean. They plan to use this strategic space for a possible confrontation with NATO forces.
“How can this affect Europe?
“It’s a very difficult question. One issue of concern is the influx of refugees and temporarily displaced persons to Turkey and Europe. On the other hand, again, Russia’s creation of a single strategic space, interference in the Mediterranean.
“Let’s go back to Ukraine. You are a nuclear safety expert. We have many nuclear power plants, can they pose a threat to the world in the event of full-scale aggression?
“Yes, this is a very big threat, first of all for Ukraine itself, then for the rest of the world. One of the Ukrainian officials stated that this is why there was a significant revision of the concept of Ukraine’s security. It includes so-called “internal threats” to nuclear equipment and the creation of national protection, will protect and defend nuclear reactors. I think that the threat to the infrastructure of the nuclear power plant in Ukraine is real. But the Ukrainian government takes this seriously and takes the necessary measures.
As can be clearly seen there, the basic method of the Deep State’s propagandists is to ask questions which have assumptions that are the reverse of reality, and to answer these questions in ways that confirm those falsehoods.
This is what many millions of people get paid to do.
And it creates “Big Brother” or the Deep State here, just as, in 1948, George Orwell might have been thinking that it would do in 1984. And a good example of how the Deep State ‘justifies’ itself in America, is shown here.
Without a hint of irony one of the stars of the Biased Broadcasting Corporation, Nick Robinson, says that when Boris Johnson uses Twitter or Facebook to get his message out to the people he is using “propaganda like a dictator”.
However, an alternative view is that Boris is using social media, as Trump has had to, because the only way to get a right of centre view out to the masses is by staying clear of the terrible left-wing, anti-Brexit, anti-capitalist mainstream media. So who can blame him or Trump?
For too long the BBC, Sly News and of course outfits like CNN (The Clinton News Network) have been able to filter and spin the news to their political and social justice warrior, virtue signalling angle.
Trump showed the world that he didn’t need their bias and they hated it when he went over their biased heads and straight into every one of his core supporters’ mobile phone or laptops and then into the White House.
Nigel Farage and the Brexit party used similar techniques in the EU elections to great effect.
Of course, the responses from the lefties and Cultural Marxists that infest the media on both sides of the Atlantic was to call foul and blame the usual suspects, those pesky Russians, which of course has now been proven to be absolute FAKE News.
Before I go on let’s also remind ourselves that the King of using Facebook and political profiling was the darling of the soft left, Barrack Obama. In this country, the hardcore commies who prop up Comrade Corbyn, in Momentum, are also brilliant at using the new media.
The mainstream media have had it all their way for far too long and they haven’t quite got used to the idea that they no longer control the agenda.
In the mainstream press the popular cliché was that Rupert Murdoch decided who the next Government would be. Who can forget the Ex-editor of the Sun, Kelvin Mackenzie, and his brilliant Neil Kinnock lightbulb front page which declared “Will the last person out of Britain switch off the lights”, illustrated with the Welsh windbag as a dim lightbulb.
However, the truth is, that although Murdoch had power and influence, what he was most adept at, just like the Wizard of OZ, was at spinning his own reputation.
Murdoch just knew, aided and abetted by the brilliance of his former Political editor at the Sun, Trevor Kavanaugh which horse to back in the final stages of any election race.
Today, however, the stark reality is that the “dinosaur” press has hardly any influence. I mean who even considers buying a newspaper these days let alone reads one? The editors, proprietors and most importantly the dwindling readers know this to be the truth.
Meanwhile a new poll by Sky News this morning states that only 1 in 7 of the UK population have any faith in the Politicians to deliver the right outcome on Brexit and only 1 in 100 trust politicians “a lot”.
This is pretty damning of our politics and politicians. But, despite this massive slap in the face for the establishment Sky News are spinning the results as a case of laying “bare how three and a half years of grinding negotiations since the 2016 referendum have worn down public trust in politicians”.
What a load of hogwash! We have all hated politicians and their mates in the MSM ever since the expenses scandal when we realised that they were all self-serving pigs with their snouts in the trough.
It was also clear that the MSM were, both metaphorically or literally sleeping, with these pigs and that they had forgotten that the real relationship between the free press and a politician should be that of a dog and a lamppost.
This is why all the Brexit coverage has been so biased. The leftie, EU loving lickspittles who infest the BBC and Sly News never wanted or expected us the common people to vote for Brexit. They have still not recovered from the day when they had to cancel their summer holidays in their villas in Tuscany on 23 June 2016 as we the people spoke and said we wanted out.
These people in the media and politics, whichever colour rosette they wear, when they knock on your door have no real empathy or even sympathy with the common people and in fact openly despise us. Some do it by spending our taxes, via expenses, on a duck house or even buying a poppy, others by adopting a mock Brummie accent and pretending to be down with the working class! I despise all of them.
Nick Robinson is correct to say that when Boris broadcasts on Facebook that “There’s no capacity for anybody to say, ‘What did you mean about that?’ or .Hold on a second.’ Politicians do need to be held to account. He is correct to say, “it is undemocratic to avoid proper scrutiny by journalists”.
But do we have proper journalists anymore or do we now just have activists posing as journalists and broadcasters?
And Nick please tell me about the bias when right of centre politicians appear on the BBC and they get treated as if they are extremists and are always cut off or sneered at before they even start their point, let alone finish it?
Look at the way Andrew Marr thought it was acceptable to give our Home Secretary, Priti Patel, dressing down for smirking when he trotted out a load of old clichés about the dangers of leaving the EU. He was the one using propaganda, and who the hell does Andrew Marr think he is to take the moral high ground?
Then, of course, we have Lady Haw-Haw of BBC Newsnight who thinks she is representing the Brussels Broadcasting Corporation every time an EU sceptic is stupid enough to appear on that poorly watched programme.
Over on Channel 4 News, Boris is treating Jon (I’ve never seen so many white people) Snow with the same disdain as Trump treats CNN and is refusing to be interviewed by them.
The pity of all this, of course, is that our politicians, of all persuasions, do need to be held to account but mainstream broadcasting news has become so biased and so Cultural Marxist in its attitude that this has become impossible.
The way the BBC have tied themselves up in knots over Naga Munchetty’s remark about Trump is a perfect example of what has gone wrong.
The so-called regulator, OFCOM, have been as much use as a chocolate fireguard in this case because they too are stuffed full of snowflakes and Cultural Marxists and ex BBC lackeys. It seems that both organisations almost offer a job share approach to regulation and freedom.
This why I say it is time to scrap the licence fee and impartiality. Allow broadcast news to have an opinion and attitude just as our free press is allowed too.
People are clever enough to understand bias and big enough to be able to watch whichever channel they fancy.
For God’s sake, it is already happening with the internet. People now choose where to get their news from.
The idea that in the 21st century we still have news controlled by an establishment elite who all hold essentially the same globalist and cultural attitudes is ridiculous.
Let’s scrap the BBC, Scrap OFCOM and scrap partial impartial news.
Let the market decide who is telling the truth and who is peddling FAKE news!
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
Americans are losing trust in each other, in the government, and in the media, according to a concerning new survey.
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that conducts public opinion polls and social science research and informs the public about issues, attitudes, and trends shaping the world. The organization recently published a new report called Trust and Distrust in America, which reveals that Americans think declining trust in the government and in each other is making it harder to solve important problems.
“Two-thirds of adults think other Americans have little or no confidence in the federal government. Majorities believe the public’s confidence in the U.S. government and in each other is shrinking, and most believe a shortage of trust in government and in other citizens makes it harder to solve some of the nation’s key problems,” the report states.
Many Americans think it is necessary to clean up the “trust environment”: 68% say it is very important to repair the public’s level of confidence in the federal government, and 58% say the same about improving confidence in fellow Americans.
Source: Pew Research Center
Diminishing trust is viewed by some as a sign of cultural sickness and national decline. Others believe it is linked to what they perceive to be increased loneliness and excessive individualism.
Those who think interpersonal trust has declined in the past generation offer a laundry list of societal and political problems, including a sense that Americans on the whole have become more lazy, greedy and dishonest. Some respondents make a connection between what they think is poor government performance – especially gridlock in Washington – and the toll it has taken on their fellow citizens’ hearts. (source)
Overall, 49% of adults think interpersonal trust has been tailing off because people are less reliable than they used to be.
In a comment typical of the views expressed by many people of different political leanings, ages, and educational backgrounds, one participant in a new Pew Research Center survey said: “Many people no longer think the federal government can actually be a force for good or change in their lives. This kind of apathy and disengagement will lead to an even worse and less representative government.” Another addressed the issue of fading interpersonal trust: “As a democracy founded on the principle of E Pluribus Unum, the fact that we are divided and can’t trust sound facts means we have lost our confidence in each other.” (source)
Levels of personal trust tend to be linked with people’s broader views on institutions and civic life. Those who are less trusting in the interpersonal sphere also tend to be less trusting of institutions, less sure their fellow citizens will act in ways that are good for civic life, and less confident that trust levels can rise in the future:
For instance, high trusters often have significantly more positive views about their fellow Americans’ civic and political behaviors than do medium or low trusters. The gaps are particularly striking when it comes to how much confidence high trusters and low trusters express in Americans’ willingness to treat others with respect (54 percentage point gap between the high and low trust groups), respect the rights of people who are not like them (48 points), do what they can to help others in need and obey federal and state laws (both have 45-point gaps), accept election results regardless of who wins (43 points) and honestly report their full income when paying taxes (38 points). (source)
Trust in government has been declining for decades, and for good reasons, according to the report:
Long-running surveys show that public confidence in the government fell precipitously in the 1960s and ’70s, recovered somewhat in the ’80s and early 2000s, and is near historic lows today.
By and large, Americans think the current low level of trust in government is justified. Just one-in-four (24%) say the federal government deserves more public confidence than it gets, while 75% say that it does not deserve any more public confidence than it gets. Similarly, among U.S. adults who perceive that confidence in each other has dropped, many think there is good reason for it: More than twice as many say Americans have lost confidence in each other “because people are not as reliable as they used to be” (49% support that statement) than take the opposite view, saying Americans have lost confidence in each other “even though people are as reliable as they have always been” (21% say that). (source)
The rise of independent news sources like Wikileaks that are not afraid to dump truth out there for all to see – exposing widespread government corruption in the process – has no doubt led to the diminishing trust in government.
Confidence in institutions is associated with how those institutions handle and share important information with the public. People’s confidence in key institutions is associated with their views about the transparency of institutions. Those who hold those skeptical views are more likely than others to have greater concerns about the state of trust.
About two-thirds (69%) of Americans say the federal government intentionally withholds important information from the public that it could safely release, and 61% say the news media intentionally ignores stories that are important to the public.
In addition, many say it is becoming more difficult to tell fact from fiction:
Significant shares also assert they face challenges separating the truth from false information when they are listening to elected officials and using social media. Some 64% say it is hard to tell the difference between what is true and not true when they hear elected officials; 48% say the same thing about information they encounter on social media. (source)
In this era of rampant mainstream media “fake news” and the government’s long history of orchestrating false flags, it is no surprise many Americans do not trust either institution. Attempts to censor alternative media outlets are not exactly helping to build trust, either. Mainstream news outlets are often quick to report on events, often sensationalizing them, facts be damned. Remember when the MSM twisted the Covington Catholic story, essentially putting a target on the back of a teenaged boy? The MSM also has a tendency to sugar-coat important events, including glossing over details surrounding extremist attacks. There are countless examples of the media’s manipulation of details in order to fit a certain narrative. Often, it seems that the media is deliberately trying to incite civil war (that would be great for their ratings, right?).
The report explains that while social trust “is seen as a virtue and a societal bonding agent, too much trust can be a serious liability. Indiscriminate trusters can be victimized in any number of ways, so wariness and doubt have their place in a well-functioning community.”
As preppers know, the risk of widespread civil unrest becoming reality in the near future is increasing. “Uncivil behavior isn’t just widely accepted – it’s praised and cheered on. Hatred of one another is becoming the norm and this is how civil wars begin,” Daisy Luther warned us last year.
While it is wise to be careful about who you allow in your circle, distrust can be taken to the extreme. Finding a small group of like-minded people to collaborate with isn’t a bad idea. But because it can be difficult to know whom you can really trust these days, becoming as self-reliant as possible is crucial.
On a grand scale of national issues, trust-related issues are not near the top of the list of Americans’ concerns. However, people do link declining trust as a factor that impacts other issues they do consider important:
For example, in their open-ended written answers to questions, numbers of Americans say they think there are direct connections between rising distrust and other trends they perceived as major problems, such as partisan paralysis in government, the outsize influence of lobbyists and moneyed interests, confusion arising from made-up news and information, declining ethics in government, the intractability of immigration and climate debates, rising health care costs and a widening gap between the rich and the poor.
Many of the answers in the open-ended written responses reflect judgments similar to this one from a 38-year-old man: “Trust is the glue that binds humans together. Without it, we cooperate with one another less, and variables in our overall quality of life are affected (e.g., health and life satisfaction).” (source)
The majority of Americans think that trust can be restored and that it is possible to improve the level of confidence people have in the government and each other:
More than eight-in-ten Americans (84%) believe it is possible to improve the level of confidence people have in the government.
Their written responses about how to make headway on trust problems urge a variety of political reforms, starting with more disclosure of what the government is doing, as well as term limits and restrictions on the role of money in politics. Some 15% of those who answered this question point to a need for better political leadership, including greater honesty and cooperation among those in the political class.
Similarly, 86% believe it is possible to improve peoples’ confidence in each other. They say local communities can be laboratories for trust-building as a way to confront partisan tensions and overcome tribal divisions. Some also make the case that better leaders could inspire greater trust between individuals. Others suggest that a different approach to news reporting – one that emphasizes the ways people cooperate to solve problems – would have a tonic effect. (source)
To read Pew Research Center’s full report, click here: Trust and Distrust in America
About the Author
Dagny Taggart is the pseudonym of an experienced journalist who needs to maintain anonymity to keep her job in the public eye. Dagny is non-partisan and aims to expose the half-truths, misrepresentations, and blatant lies of the MSM.
The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure “national security officials” have “no concerns.”
The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication.
This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said: The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don’t want made public.
On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. According to the article, “the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively,” as part of a larger “digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”
In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article “a virtual act of Treason.”
The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.
“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” the Times communications team said. “We described the article to the government before publication.”
“As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns,” the Times added.
Do you believe that the Failing New York Times just did a story stating that the United States is substantially increasing Cyber Attacks on Russia. This is a virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story, any story, even if bad for our Country…..
Indeed, the Times report on the escalating American cyber attacks against Russia is attributed to “current and former [US] government officials.” The scoop in fact came from these apparatchiks, not from a leak or the dogged investigation of an intrepid reporter.
‘Real’ journalists get approval from ‘national security’ officials
The neoliberal self-declared “Resistance” jumped on Trump’s reckless accusation of treason (the Democratic Coalition, which boasts, “We help run #TheResistance,” responded by calling Trump “Putin’s puppet”). The rest of the corporate media went wild.
But what was entirely overlooked was the most revealing thing in the New York Times’ statement: The newspaper of record was essentially admitting that it has a symbiotic relationship with the US government.
In fact, some prominent American pundits have gone so far as to insist that this symbiotic relationship is precisely what makes someone a journalist.
In May, neoconservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen — a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush — declared that WikiLeaks publisher and political prisoner Julian Assange is “not a journalist”; rather, he is a “spy” who “deserves prison.” (Thiessen also once called Assange “the devil.”)
What was the Post columnist’s rationale for revoking Assange’s journalistic credentials?
Unlike “reputable news organizations, Assange did not give the U.S. government an opportunity to review the classified information WikiLeaks was planning to release so they could raise national security objections,” Thiessen wrote. “So responsible journalists have nothing to fear.”
In other words, this former US government speechwriter turned corporate media pundit insists that collaborating with the government, and censoring your reporting to protect so-called “national security,” is definitionally what makes you a journalist.
This is the express ideology of the American commentariat.
NY Times editors ‘quite willing to cooperate with the government’
The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington’s interests.
But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.
In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.
1. #JamesRisen: “A top CIA official once told me that his rule of thumb for whether a covert operation should be approved was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?” https://theintercept.com/2018/01/03/my-life-as-a-new-york-times-reporter-in-the-shadow-of-the-war-on-terror/ …
My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
As I took the stand, I thought about how much press freedom had been lost and how drastically national security reporting had changed in the post-9/11 era.
Risen detailed how his editors had been “quite willing to cooperate with the government.” In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?”
There is an “informal arrangement” between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials “regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories.”
“At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations,” the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.
“He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan,” Risen said. “I agreed.”
Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. “If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden,” he wrote. “That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously.”
This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. “And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times,” he said.
“After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently,” Risen continued. “They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing.”
One year ago: Former New York Times national security reporter James Risen reveals how the paper repeatedly suppressed stories at the request of the Obama and Bush administrations https://theintercept.com/2018/01/03/my-life-as-a-new-york-times-reporter-in-the-shadow-of-the-war-on-terror/ …
My Life as a New York Times Reporter in the Shadow of the War on Terror
As I took the stand, I thought about how much press freedom had been lost and how drastically national security reporting had changed in the post-9/11 era.
The Times’ executive editor Howell Raines “was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war,” Risen said.
In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.
Risen said Rice told him “to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone.”
“The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories,” Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the “war on the press.”
CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent
In their renowned study of US media, “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a “propaganda model,” showing how “the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them,” through “the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors’ and working journalists’ internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution’s policy.”
But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.
In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.
Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled “The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up.”
Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.”
“Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries. Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country. Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.”
Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.
However, he added, “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.”
These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government — or at least for the US national security state.
As an American wouldn’t you want to live in a country with a powerful military that can prevent any invasion and backs up your foreign policy with some muscle? Wouldn’t you want to make sure that America remains a cohesive nation that shuts down any attempts at succession and asserts a firm military, governmental and cultural presence all over its own territory? As an American wouldn’t you feel that America has the right to try to get back regions that it controlled for generations filled with Americans cut off from the bulk of the US if need be? And finally wouldn’t you think that it is fine for the USA to resist economic, military and cultural pressure from an aggressive foreign power while developing itself?
Unless you are some sort of self-hating SJW zealot then all of the above should seem perfectly reasonable to you… because it is. It is reasonable not just for America but for any great human civilization on our planet. So the question is why is it that when Russians follow these same normal patterns of behavior they are labeled as “aggression” and somehow immediately become horrible and unacceptable.
The Russian aggression trope has come up again as CBS brutally shoehorned the expression into the title of one of their videos. In the piece, Senator Joe Manchin comments on a few different topics but the main one was his tour of Arctic nations and the climate issues related to them. All he had to say about Russia is that they are really putting their chips down on the Arctic and have invested massive amounts of money and resources into the region.
The topic of Russia came up after the presenter asked Mr. Manchin a bizarre conspiracy theory site style question related to Russians doing major nuclear tests in the Arctic for no clear reason other than Russians do bad things by default according to CBS’s editorial line. The presenter did not state where she got this nugget of fake news from, she just boldly asserted they are nuking snow and polar bears as Russians are known to do.
Thankfully Mr. Manchin bluntly said “no” ignoring this mad question to immediately go on to lay out his opinion that the US could be really falling behind in terms of the Arctic due to the Russian surge in the great white north and that the US should be aware of this and try to catch up. He feels that America needs to catch up, overtake, or offset the Russians in the Arctic.
This is a totally reasonable respectable and patriotic stance to have, which is probably why CBS had to force “aggression” into the title of the video. If all American politicians had the same rational view of competition between nations that Mr. Manchin does, then the pointless tension between the US and Russia would probably be very nominal right now.
Perhaps it is part of human nature to create lots of double standards in favor of one’s own group. Every political movement and every nation seems to forgive the sins of its own guys when they do things “for the greater good” and demonizes anyone who tries to stop them. Our soldiers are heroes, their soldiers are monsters, our way of life is good for everyone, their way of life is a threat to the world, etc. This aspect of tribal mentality is part of who we are and something we need to be much more mindful of in our 21st-century nuclear standoff because the worst that could happen from this type of rhetoric is no longer just some kind of pogrom but total nuclear annihilation.
If the Pro-Diversity machine in the media would wake up to the fact that the geopolitical chessboard, is, was and always will be “diverse” and that all players have similar goals with similar means that would really help the entire world move forward and keep us all very far away from the potential of a WWIII nuclear scenario. This “good guy vs. bad guy” racist narrative that Russia is on the bad end is propping up an ultimately artificial conflict with the US. It is time to acknowledge the reality that there are numerous cultures on Earth that want to be powerful and prosperous and just because they look different from us doesn’t make them any more or less capable of doing great evil.
Occasionally the fakery hits a point where it’s hard not to have some kind of reaction, be it anger, groans of despair or uncontrollable fits of laughter. I prefer the latter as a way to deal with the insanity of the ‘official’ version of reality promulgated by the Establishment.
For years the Mainstream Media (MSM) persisted in disseminating its fake news item of the decade, the admitted “nothing burger” of Russian collusion. Many alternative news reporters and aware citizens saw right through the fakery, however it took some until the Mueller Report was released to get the definitive evidence that there never has been any definitive evidence.
The Russian collusion joke has served important purposes for the NWO manipulators, i.e. drumming up fear and hatred of Russia (to stoke the embers for a future US-led war against Eurasia), exert control over Trump (especially to prevent him from improving US-Russia relations) and to distract the public with a matter of no importance.
Meanwhile, the real collusion that no one is permitted to discuss is Israeli collusion. The ideology of political correctness has shut down a lot of free speech, and at the top of the pyramid is Zionism – ‘that which cannot be criticized.’
Public figures of all shapes and sizes are routinely whacked down when they question the policies and actions of the Israeli government, including its ongoing murder of Palestinians and theft of their land.
In Trump, Israel has found a US President that will do just about anything for them (and that is saying something). Israeli collusion is so overwhelming and widespread that it is practically woven into the fabric of US politics, and it’s pretty much identical in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere.
The power of the Zionists is to hide their power, as Gilad Atzmon once said. They have hidden their power so well that many people can’t even see it, and if they do, they’re too afraid to highlight it for fear of being called ‘anti-semitic’ or losing their job / popularity.
In Unprecedented Move, USG Defines IRGC as Terrorist Organization
In part due to the undue Israeli influence and control of the USG (US Government), the Trump administration ever since it came to power has targeted Iran with all sorts of threats and sanctions. On Monday April 8th 2019, in an unprecedented move, the USG declared and designated the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) a foreign terrorist organization, the first time that the USG has classified an agency or military body of another nation / government as a terrorist organization.
This puts the IRGC, a military organization of 125,000 with its own army, navy and air force, with vast economic resources and which answers only to Iran’s supreme leader, on par with Al Qaeda and ISIS. The IRGC’s mission is to protect the structure of the Islamic Republic itself, including against coups, so you can imagine how prepared they would be for the shenanigans of the USG.
The IRCG has 2 additional small branches: one is the missile force which controls Iran’s medium range missiles; the other is the Quds Force, a brigade size unit with some 4,000 men trained for special operations abroad.
Why did Trump’s Zionist and neocon administration decide to classify a branch of a foreign nation’s government/military as terrorists? This article on MoonOfAlabama.org offers some reasons:
“In 2007 the U.S. Treasury already designated the Quds Force for its “support of terrorism”. It also sanctioned several enterprises that are connected to the IRGC. It is totally unclear what the designation of the IRCG as a whole is supposed to achieve. It could be a symbolic move or, as some assume, a step towards a war on Iran:
“Former Under-Secretary of State and lead Iran negotiator, Wendy Sherman, said she worried about implications for U.S. forces.
“One might even suggest, since it’s hard to see why this is in our interest, if the president isn’t looking for a basis for a conflict,” said Sherman, who is director of the Center for Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School. “The IRGC is already fully sanctioned and this escalation absolutely endangers our troops in the region.”
Mohammad al Shabani lists additional reasons:
Mohammad Ali Shabani @mashabani – 14:36 utc – 8 Apr 2019
THREAD. Usual suspects pushed Trump to designate #IRGC as FTO. Why?
– Constrain Trump’s deal-making instincts
– Box in next US president on Iran (Dems say will rejoin JCPOA)
– Force Lebanon/Iraq into picking between Iran/US
– Force Europe to further cut whatever meager outreach
– provoke Iran to scrap JCPOA
– and, ideally, initiate military confrontation”
Iranian State Sponsored Terrorism or Saudi Arabian State Sponsored Terrorism?
Calling Iran the biggest state sponsor of terrorism is totally backwards, like many things in this world. Time and time again, Iran has actively fought against the extreme Islamic terrorists, jihadis, takfiris and Salafists which comprise organizations like Al Qaeda, ISIS, Al Nusra and more. ISIS even attacked Tehran, the capital of Iran, at one point.
While demonizing Iran, Trump continues to cosy with Saudi Arabia, the true fountainhead of Islamic terrorism via its extensive worldwide system of madrasses (training schools). Trump is even trying to give the Saudis (who have formed an unholy alliance with Israel) nuclear technology!
Saudi Arabia is run by barbaric, head-chopping “royals” who murder journalists at home and abroad (e.g. Khashoggi who was assassinated inside an embassy in Turkey). Saudi Arabia is truly the biggest state sponsor of terrorism in the world, but don’t expect the USG or MSM to admit it.
Meanwhile, Israel passed a law in July 2018 that states that Israel “is the nation-state of the Jewish people.” This is despite the fact they have millions of Arab citizens! If that’s not blatant apartheid, racism and ethnocracy (rule by race/religion) then I don’t know what is.
Some fundamentalist Jews believe they are the ‘chosen people’ so for them Israel is being rebranded as the Jewish-only state of the chosen people. It goes without saying that this throws egalitarianism, human rights, democracy or equality under the bus.
Then we have the gold ole USA which previous presidents and leaders have called the ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ nation, as though life on Earth couldn’t exist without the United States.
Yes, the US started off with a bang with its fantastic Declaration of Independence and impressive Bill of Rights, but through constant war, conquest, coups, installation of puppet dictators, false flags and rabid imperialism, it long ago turned from the good guy to the global bully. The USA is now seen as the primary force for evil by billions of people in many, many countries across the globe.
So we have the ‘Exceptional’ and ‘Indispensable Nation’ engaging in ‘Collusion’ with the Racist Apartheid Land of the ‘Chosen People’ to blame the wrong country for ‘State Sponsor of Terror’ while protecting the real biggest ‘State Sponsor of Terror.’ Funny world we live in.
In the barrage of information you come across daily online, how do you know what’s true and what’s nothing more than hearsay, gossip or all-out lies?
“If you’re relying on Snopes as your arbiter of truth, however, you’re in for a surprise: Snopes engages in massive censorship of natural health and general promotion of industry talking points. What started as a tool to investigate urban legends, hoaxes and folklore has manifested into a self-proclaimed “definitive fact-checking resource” that’s taking on topics like whether or not vaccines can cause autism.”
“A report by journalist Whitney Webb for MintPress News details how NewsGuard is working to hide and demonetize alternative media outlets like MintPress, marketing itself directly to tech companies, social media platforms, libraries and schools. NewsGuard is led by some of the most virulently pro-imperialist individuals in America, and its agenda to shore up narrative control for the ruling power establishment is clear.”
Jan 19, 2019
The frenzied, hysterical Russia narrative being promoted day in and day out by Western mass media has had two of its major stories ripped to shreds in the last three days.
A report seeded throughout the mainstream media by anonymous intelligence officials back in September claimed that U.S. government workers in Cuba had suffered concussion-like brain damage after hearing strange noises in homes and hotels with the most likely culprit being “sophisticated microwaves or another type of electromagnetic weapon” from Russia. A recording of one such highly sophisticated attack was analyzed by scientists and turned out to be the mating call of the male indies short-tailed cricket. Neurologists and other brain specialists have challenged the claim that any U.S. government workers suffered any neurological damage of any kind, saying test results on the alleged victims were misinterpreted. The actual story, when stripped of hyperventilating Russia panic, is that some government workers heard some crickets in Cuba.
Another report which dominated news for a day recently claimed that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort (the same Paul Manafort who the Guardian falsely claimed met with Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy) had shared polling data with a Russian associate and asked him to pass it along to Oleg Deripaska, who is often labeled a “Russian oligarch” by western media. The polling data was mostly public already, and the rest was just more polling information shared in the spring of 2016, but Deripaska’s involvement had Russiagaters burning the midnight oil with breathless excitement. Talking Points Memo‘s Josh Marshall went so far as to publish an article titled “The ‘Collusion’ Debate Ended Last Night,” substantiating his click-generating headline with the claim that “What’s crystal clear is that the transfer to Kilimnik came with explicit instructions to give the information to Deripaska. And that’s enough.”
Except Manafort didn’t give any explicit instructions to share the polling data with Deripaska, but with two Ukrainian oligarchs (who are denying it). The New York Times was forced to print this embarrassing correction to the story it broke, adding in the process that Manafort’s motivation was likely not collusion, but money.
These are just the latest debacles as reporters eager to demonstrate their fealty to the U.S.-centralized empire fall all over themselves to report any story that makes Russia look bad without practicing due diligence. The only voices who have been questioning the establishment Russia narrative that is being fed to mass media outlets by secretive government agencies have been those which the mass media refuses to platform. Alternative media outlets are the only major platforms for dissent from the authorized narratives of the plutocrat-owned political/media class.
Imagine, then, how disastrous it would be if these last strongholds of skepticism and holding power to account were removed from the media landscape. Well, that’s exactly what a shady organization called NewsGuard is trying to do, with some success already.
A report by journalist Whitney Webb for MintPress News details how NewsGuard is working to hide and demonetize alternative media outlets like MintPress, marketing itself directly to tech companies, social media platforms, libraries and schools. NewsGuard is led by some of the most virulently pro-imperialist individuals in America, and its agenda to shore up narrative control for the ruling power establishment is clear.
No. 1 The company has created a service called BrandGuard, billed as a “brand safety tool aimed at helping advertisers keep their brands off of unreliable news and information sites while giving them the assurance they need to support thousands of Green-rated [i.e., Newsguard-approved] news and information sites, big and small.” Popularizing the use of this service will attack the advertising revenue of unapproved alternative media outlets which run ads. NewsGuard is aggressively marketing this service to “ad tech firms, leading agencies, and major advertisers”.No. 2 NewsGuard’s advisory board reads like the fellowships list of a neocon think tank, and indeed one of its CEOs, Louis Gordon Crovitz, is a Council on Foreign Relations member who has worked with the American Enterprise Institute and Heritage Foundation. Members of the advisory board include George W Bush’s Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge, deep intelligence community insider Michael Hayden, and the Obama administration’s Richard Stengel, who once publicly supported propaganda in the U.S. (see the Tweet below for a direct quote.) All of these men have appeared in influential think tanks geared toward putting a public smiley face on sociopathic warmongering agendas.
No. 3 Despite one of its criteria for trustworthy sources being whether or not they are transparent about their funding, the specifics of NewsGuard’s financing is kept secret.
No. 4 NewsGuard is also planning to get its news-ranking system integrated into social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, pursuing a partnership which will make pro-establishment media consumption a part of your experience at those sites regardless of whether or not you download a NewsGuard app or plugin.
No. 5 NewsGuard markets itself to state governments in order to get its plugin installed in all of that state’s public schools and libraries to keep internet users from consuming unauthorized narratives. It has already succeeded in accomplishing this in the state of Hawaii, with all of its library branches now running the NewsGuard plugin.
As we enter 2019, one thing above all others is clear, the mechanisms of human engagement, education, media and information, even what passes for human contact through social media and email, is all subjected to “algorithms,” whatever those are. It was Snowden that brought it to our attention…
As we enter 2019, one thing above all others is clear, the mechanisms of human engagement, education, media and information, even what passes for human contact through social media and email, is all subjected to “algorithms,” whatever those are.
It was Snowden that brought it to our attention, from the Guardian back in 2014:
“Increasingly, we are watched not by people but by algorithms. Amazon and Netflix track the books we buy and the movies we stream, and suggest other books and movies based on our habits. Google and Facebook watch what we do and what we say, and show us advertisements based on our behavior. Google even modifies our web search results based on our previous behavior. Smartphone navigation apps watch us as we drive, and update suggested route information based on traffic congestion. And the National Security Agency, of course, monitors our phone calls, emails and locations, then uses that information to try to identify terrorists.”
Documents provided by Edward Snowden and revealed by the Guardian today show that the UK spy agency GHCQ, with help from the NSA, has been collecting millions of webcam images from innocent Yahoo users. And that speaks to a key distinction in the age of algorithmic surveillance: is it really okay for a computer to monitor you online, and for that data collection and analysis only to count as a potential privacy invasion when a person sees it? I say it’s not, and the latest Snowden leaks only make more clear how important this distinction is.”
When we look back on 2014 from where we are today, Edward Snowden’s warnings of an Orwellian nightmare seem innocent. Maybe it was Donald Trump that opened our eyes, if so, whatever contribution history attributes to him, he might well want to hang his hat on this one.
The fake science of intruding into lives in order to recognize and control “influencers” began in the private sector and was “tuned up” for political races, crime and terrorism prevention and more.
By “more,” we mean “dumbing down” the “masses,” as they are called, presenting reality as a consumer product, custom engineered to be believable, to create drama or fear, to raise concerns of imaginary threats, to distract, and, above all, to control.
Social scientists have postulated that humans can actually be programmed to respond to the most basic stimuli, touch, hearing, taste, based on “fake” information, that the human mind can be fooled into filtering out such basic sensory responses as smell.
The basic synaptic connections that tie sensory input to ideas or concepts, let’s look at one glaring example. Try to say the word “Palestinian” without following it with “terrorist.”
Then again, let’s go back one more step and define the difference between an “armed militant” and a “freedom fighter.” Nothing here is new, the rules were laid out a century ago.
Einstein predicted this in his “Autobiographical notes” on epistemology. It was some 50 years ago when Dr. John Ward of Michigan State University pounded this into my head in his Philosophy of Science lectures. “The relationship between sense experiences and concepts is entirely intuitive as are the relationships between all concepts. You see what you see, not because of what you see but because of what you think.”
It was quite one thing when such pursuits were endeavors of science and philosophy at our great universities, but it became something quite different when Wilson Bryan Key, back in 1973, wrote the seminal work, Subliminal Seduction, demonstrating how altered images could reach into the most basic primitive drives, the “reptile brain,” as it were, driving an unknowing viewer to alter both perceptions and reasoning, even toward lowering human survivability.
Key’s imagery, taken from popular magazines, strange figures of death’s heads or nude women, airbrushed into ice cubes, were an opening salvo. If thanatotic drive could sell liquor or cigarettes, how easy might it be to sell a war?
No more films like Sergeant York or Red Dawn needed, or perhaps only as a “supporting actor,” pounding the nail in just a bit more.
Twenty years prior to the publication of Key’s work, the US government began a project known as MK Ultra. Though it officially ended in 1973 after 20 years of poorly documented “research” into every form of psychological manipulation, in truth, MK Ultra and other programs as well, simply “went dark.”
The reason, of course, we are traveling his historical path today is that those programs, after not 50 but 65 years of still classified efforts, after billions of dollars in black funding, programs with no oversite, programs carried out on unsuspecting citizens, sometimes entire cities, sometimes on unwilling victims in “black sites,” are the precursors to the world of Google and Facebook today.
Looking at 2018, there were some obvious “projects,” the White Helmet staged fake gas attacks for sure. This involved Facebook posts, fake videos, but the key is that they were channeled directly to the President of the United States who had been programmed to ignore credible intelligence sources. Thus, Trump ordered an attack on Syria entirely based on a Facebook post.
But there are millions of Facebook posts every day. Why did he get this one? Who put it in front of him? Is Trump surrounded by handlers, traitors?
You see, it is one thing when something is put on the internet, the equivalent of leaving a post-it note in a public restroom on the “wrong side of town.” It is quite something else when the message, a parentless bastard of disinformation, is given to a man who has, according to sources within the White House, openly advocated use of tactical nuclear weapons against Syrian people in retribution for wildly fabricated accusations.
Consider the implications, even if someone, perhaps General Mattis, had taken the nuclear option off the table. Simply put, it lowers the standards of the United States exercising war powers in attacking a sovereign nation to an anonymous social media post.
Again, we ask, it is one thing posting something malicious and dangerous and quite something else when a national leader with access to nuclear weapons is programmed to seek out and act upon same.
Then again, were any other president to order a missile strike based on, well, based on nothing whatsoever, not even a decent lie, one might expect negative repercussions.
Let’s take a second to juxtapose. If a fake public narrative exists, and it is reasonable to postulate that “the public,” such as it is, is more than aware that a “real world” exists in which what is generally known and accepted as true is, in fact, utterly false.
In fact, some of the most popular television series of the past decades have exposed the flummery of generally accepted history. Shows like The Secret History of World War II and many if not endless others, feed a hungry public a continual diet of debunked reality.
What we are left with is this, an ongoing process, a spiral as it were, around and down, around and down, ever faster, ever more hopeless, intrusion into lives, into thoughts, planted feelings, manipulated responses, altered perceptions, until nothing can be trusted, especially not ourselves.
Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War that has worked on veterans and POW issues for decades and consulted with governments challenged by security issues. He’s a senior editor and chairman of the board of Veterans Today, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”
I believe that the older generation the article speaks about knows about fake news, but have decided to use that information as an ideological weapon to propagate their agenda.
“It’s “important to be clear about how rare this behavior is on social platforms,” researchers say.”
Most social media users still know bullshit when they see it, a new study suggests. In a study of social media behavior during the 2016 election, more than 90 percent of their sample “shared no stories from fake news domains,” a trio of researchers reports in Science Advances.
The study has been getting a good deal of media attention, mainly for the parts that confirm people’s biases. “Conservatives were more likely to share articles from fake news domains,” states the study abstract. And “on average, users over 65 shared nearly seven times as many articles from fake news domains as the youngest age group.”
The conservative bit comes with a caveat: In 2016, fake news domains “were largely pro-Trump in orientation.” So it’s not necessarily that conservatives are more susceptible than moderates or liberals to propaganda; it could just be that there was more propaganda aimed at them.
The research team—Andrew Guess of Princeton, Jonathan Nagler of New York University, and Joshua Tucker of New York University—considered the possibility that older people were more likely to be Trump fans. But they found “the age effect remains statistically significant when controlling for ideology and other demographic attributes.” Older liberals shared a lot of fake news too.
A common denominator in many visits to hoax articles was scrolling through Facebook. That network appears “to be much more common than other platforms before visits to fake news articles,” the study found.
With permission from
Paul Craig Roberts
Jan 9, 2019
A Majority of Americans Do Not Believe the Official 9/11 Story
“Conspiracy Theorists” Now A Majority
TruePublica, a British website that has avoided the 9/11 issue, has had its fill of ignorant journalists at the BBC, Huffington Post and other propagandists for the military/security complex. The constant, shrill demeaning of experts and distinguished people who have raised questions about the official story has convinced TruePublica that skeptics who need so much shouting down must have a point.
The media has NEVER EXAMINED the evidence or explained the analysis provided by scientists, architects, engineers, pilots, and the first responders who experienced the explosions of the World Trade Center twin towers. The media has never asked for the release of the multiple videos that recorded whatever struck the Pentagon. The media has never investigated whether cell phones worked in 2001 from the altitudes at which the official story claims calls were made.
Instead two-bit punk presstitutes, such as the BBC’s Chris Bell and the Huffington Post’s Jess Brammer andl Chris York, label experts with knowledge and integrity “conspiracy theorists.” These presstitutes knowingly use a cover-up term that the CIA put into use via its media assets to discredit the expert skeptics of the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of President Kennedy.
The fact that the carefully presented evidence is NEVER ENGAGED EXCEPT WITH NAME-CALLING is a strong indication that the evidence is true and cannot be refuted.
TruePublica is such a mainline site that, in its own words, it does not even “publish news sourced by RT,” a far more reliable source of news than the BBC, CNN, or New York Times. However, it has dawned on TruePublica that after 18 years an ad hominem attack remains the only defense of the official story. The official account has NO EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER. It rests entirely on the AVOIDANCE OF EVIDENCE and on unverified assertions.
The success of the 9/11 Lawyers’ Committee in obtaining the consent of the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York to “comply with the provisions of 18 U.S.C. 3332,” which requires the convening of a federal grand jury to examine the unexamined 9/11 evidence, has impressed TruePublica as no US attorney would convene a grand jury on the basis of a conspiracy theory. Clearly compelling evidence has been presented to the US Attorney.
Obviously, Washington expects the Justice (sic) Department to escape from the bind into which it has been put by the Lawyer’s Committee, an escape that the presstitute media will aid and abet. Nevertheless, the escape will likely reinforce the public’s view that the government is afraid of the evidence and is no more likely to follow it than in the case of President Kennedy’s assassination, Robert Kennedy’s assassination, the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty and a large number of other officially covered up crimes.
More and more people will come to realize that ad hominem name-calling is not an acceptable response to evidence.
Some Interesting New Information About 9/11
TruePublica Editor: We have published almost nothing about 9/11 on TruePublica. When independent news outlets do, they are immediately branded by the mainstream media and so-called ‘fact-checkers’ as conspiracy theorists. The BBC makes this point precisely in a 2018 article that starts like this – “On 11 September 2001, four passenger planes were hijacked by radical Islamist terrorists – almost 3,000 people were killed as the aircraft were flown into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field. Just hours after the collapse of New York’s Twin Towers, a conspiracy theory surfaced online which persists more than 16 years later.”
The entire article is dedicated to all the ‘conspiracy theories’ involved in 9/11 and makes a mockery of anyone or anything that questions the official government line. They even heavily mock the brother of one man killed in 9/11 and frankly, true or not, the BBC’s report itself is rather sickening to read.
And yet, here we are, all these years later and it’s hardly surprising the theories of a conspiracy continue.
A 2016 study from Chapman University in California, found more than half of the American people believe the government is concealing information about the 9/11 attacks. This is in part because, large sections of the official US government report were redacted for years – and is still missing to this day.
The big problem is that the government is withholding crucial evidence. And then there’s other evidence the state and mainstream media refuse to even consider.
Paul Craig Roberts is an American economist and former United States Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan. Roberts was an associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and has received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.
Roberts wrote this really interesting piece of information just a few days ago that the mainstream media has been completely silent about: “Although the United States is allegedly a democracy with a rule of law, it has taken 17 years for public pressure to bring about the first grand jury investigation of 9/11. Based on the work of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth led by Richard Gage, first responder and pilots organizations, books by David Ray Griffin and others, and eyewitness testimony, the Lawyers’ Committee for 9/11 Inquiry has presented enough hard facts to the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York to force his compliance with the provisions of federal law that require the convening of a federal grand jury to investigate for the first time the attacks of September 11, 2001. https://www.lawyerscommitteefor9-11inquiry.org
This puts the US Justice (sic) Department in an extraordinary position. There will be tremendous pressures on the US Attorney’s office to have the grand jury dismiss the evidence as an unpatriotic conspiracy theory or otherwise maneuver to discredit the evidence presented by the Lawyers’ Committee, or modify the official account without totally discrediting it.
“What the 9/11 truthers and the Lawyers’ Committee have achieved is the destruction of the designation of 9/11 skeptics as “conspiracy theorists.” No US Attorney would convene a grand jury on the basis of a conspiracy theory. Clearly, the evidence is compelling that has put the US Attorney in an unenviable position.”
If the Lawyers’ Committee and the 9/11 truthers trust the US Attorney to go entirely by the facts, little will come of the grand jury. If the United States had a rule of law, something as serious as 9/11 could not have gone for 17 years without investigation.”
Three weeks before Roberts’ made this statement a letter was published by Off-Guardian about a Huffington Post hit piece about an academic teaching journalism. Its first paragraph explains entirely its own position.
“An academic teaching journalism students at one of the UK’s top universities has publicly supported long-discredited conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terror attack, HuffPost UK can reveal.”
This entire article, like that of the BBC’s, vigorously attacks any individual or organisation that has the temerity to question the ‘official’ narrative on any major incident as offered up by the state, such as the Skripal poisonings, Syria’s chemical weapons, Iraq and Chilcot Report.
HuffPost even uses an unnamed former head of MI6 and an unnamed former Supreme Commander of Nato to dispel such challenges to this narrative and then attacks other sources of news such as RT as nothing more than Russian propaganda irrespective of the source. As a rule, TruePublica does not publish news sourced by RT but that does not make all of its content propaganda.
David Ray Griffin, a retired American professor and political writer who founded the Center for Process Studies which seeks to promote the common good by means of the relational approach found in process thought was the co-author of the book ‘9/11 Unmasked’ – part of the attack piece was centered on by the HuffPost hit piece.
The head of the 9/11 Consensus Panel, the other co-author, responded to the HuffPost. For information, the goal of the Consensus Panel is to “provide a ready source of evidence-based research to any investigation that may be undertaken by the public, the media, academia, or any other investigative body or institution.”
That letter is as follows:
Jess Brammer, UK Huffington Post
Chris York, UK Huffington Post
Dear Ms. Brammar and Mr. York:
I was the head information specialist serving the Medical Health Officers of British Columbia, Canada, for 25 years.
Your attack piece on Professor Piers Robinson and on the scholarly work of Dr. David Ray Griffin is the least accurate and the lowest quality published article I have ever seen.
I have assisted Dr. Griffin with 10 of his investigative books into the events of 9/11. In 2011 we decided to create the international 9/11 Consensus Panel to review and evaluate the official claims relating to September 11, 2001. The Panel we formed has 23 members, including people from the fields of physics, chemistry, structural engineering, aeronautical engineering, piloting, airplane crash investigation, medicine, journalism, psychology, and religion.
In seeking a consensus methodology, I was advised by the former provincial epidemiologist of British Columbia to employ a leading model that is used in medicine to establish the best diagnostic and treatment evidence to guide the world’s doctors using medical consensus statements.
The Panel methodology has produced, seven years later, 51 refutations of the official claims, which were published as 911 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation in September, 2018. https://www.amazon.com/11-Unmasked-International-Review-Investigation/dp/1623719747
Each Consensus Point, now a chapter in this book, was given three rounds of review and feedback by the Panel members. The panelists were blind to one another throughout the process, providing strictly uninfluenced individual feedback. Any Points that did not receive 85% approval by the third round were set aside.
The Honorary Members of the Panel include the late British (and longest-serving) parliamentarian Michael Meacher, the late evolutionary biologist Lynn Margulis, and the late Honorary President of the Italian Supreme Court, Ferdinando Imposimato.
The Huffington Post drastically lowered its standards to publish this hit piece, and what influenced it to do so is a question worth pursuing.
Elizabeth Woodworth, Co-author with Dr. David Ray Griffin of 9/11 Unmasked
It is over 18 years now since the world-changing event of 9/11. One wonders when the information held by the American government, that continues to anger so many people affected by it will ever emerge.
However, one reason why such questions persist is precisely that of the actions of the US government itself. One should not forget those so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ that actually came true that continues to pour petrol on the flames of doubt.
For example, the American government killed thousands by poisoning alcohol to prove its point that alcohol was bad for the general public during prohibition. This was a ‘conspiracy theory’ that went on for decades – until it was proven to be true. https://slate.com/technology/2010/02/the-little-told-story-of-how-the-u-s-government-poisoned-alcohol-during-prohibition.html
Then, you can take your pick of the lies government tells when it comes to starting wars – how about the lie the Saddam Hussain and Iraq had WMD ready to fire at Western targets. Total deaths exceeded 1 million. Yet another classic American lie was the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August 1964, as a pretext for escalating the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War that killed 60,000 American soldiers. Total deaths racked up 1.35 million, all based on a lie. That incident only came about because of an unintentional declassification of an NSA file in 2005.
Edward Snowden proved with his revelations in 2013 that the government was spying on everyone when the government had denied they had ever done so. It took a whistleblower to let us all know. The UK government has been found by the highest courts in the land to have broken numerous privacy and surveillance laws as a result of mass civilian surveillance systems.
Operation Mockingbird was a US government operation where journalists were paid to publish CIA propaganda, only uncovered by the Watergate scandal. It took a thief to unknowingly capture secret documents and recordings for the public to find out.
The list goes on and on – just as 9/11 will, so it will be interesting to see how the US Attorney, presented with evidence from so many prominent professionals will bury yet more 9/11 evidence. Don’t hold your breath though, the same questions will, no doubt, still be being asked in another 18 years time.
In the Cold War there was a notion going around that the Soviet and Western systems were converging and that they would meet in the middle.
The heroes of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers visit the fictional borough of Eatanswill to observe an election between the candidates of the Blue Party and the Buff Party. The town is passionately divided, on all possible issues, between the two parties. Each party has its own newspaper: the Eatanswill Gazette is Blue and entirely devoted to praising the noble Blues and excoriating the perfidious and wicked Buffs; the Eatanswill Independent is equally passionate on the opposite side of every question. No Buff would dream of reading the “that vile and slanderous calumniator, the Gazette”, nor Blue the ”that false and scurrilous print, the Independent”.
As usual with Dickens it is both exaggerated and accurate. Newspapers used to be screamingly partisan before “journalism” was invented. Soon followed journalism schools, journalism ethics and journalism objectivity: “real journalism” as they like to call it (RT isn’t of course). “Journalism” became a profession gilded with academical folderol; no longer the refuge of dropouts, boozers, failures, budding novelists and magnates like Lord Copper who know what they want and pay for it. But, despite the pretence of objectivity and standards, there were still Lord Coppers and a lot of Eatanswill. Nonetheless, there were more or less serious efforts to get the facts and balance the story. And Lord Coppers came and went: great newspaper empires rose and fell and there was actually quite a variety of ownership and news outlets. There was sufficient variance that a reader, who was neither Blue nor Buff, could triangulate and form a sense of what was going on.
In the Soviet Union news was controlled; there was no “free press”; there was one owner and the flavours were only slightly varied: the army paper, the party paper, the government paper, papers for people interested in literature or sports. But they all said the same thing about the big subjects. The two principal newspapers were Pravda (“truth”) and Izvestiya (“news”). This swiftly led to the joke that there was no truth in Pravda and no news in Izvestiya. It was all pretty heavy handed stuff: lots of fat capitalists in top hats and money bags; Uncle Sam’s clothing dripping with bombs; no problems over here, nothing but problems over there. And it wasn’t very successful propaganda: most of their audience came to believe that the Soviet media was lying both about the USSR and about the West.
But time moves on and while thirty years ago 50 corporations controlled 90% of the US news media, today it’s a not very diverse six. As a result, on many subjects there is a monoview: has any Western news outlet reported, say, these ten true statements?
I typed these out as they occurred to me. I could come up with another ten pretty easily. There’s some tiny coverage, far in the back pages, so that objectivity can be pretended, but most Western media consumers would answer they aren’t; didn’t; don’t; aren’t; isn’t; where?; does; not; what?; never heard of it.
Many subjects are covered in Western media outlets with a single voice. Every now and again there’s a scandal that reveals that “journalists” are richly rewarded for writing stories that fit. But after revelations, admissions of bias, pretending it never happened, the media ship calmly sails on (shedding passengers as it goes, though). Coverage of certain subjects are almost 100% false: Putin, Russia, Syria and Ukraine stand out. But much of the coverage of China and Iran also. Many things about Israel are not permitted. The Russia collusion story is (privately) admitted to be fake by an outlet that covers it non stop. Anything Trump is so heavily flavoured that it’s inedible. And it’s not getting any better: PC is shutting doors everywhere and the Russian-centred “fake news” meme is shutting more. Science is settled but genders are not and we must be vigilant against the “Russian disinformation war“. Every day brings us a step closer to a mono media of the One Correct Opinion. All for the Best Possible Motives, of course.
It’s all rather Soviet in fact.
So, in a world where the Integrity Initiative is spending our tax dollars (pounds actually) to make sure that we never have a doubleplusungood thought or are tempted into crimethink, (and maybe they created the entire Skripal story – more revelations by the minute), what are we to make of our Free Media™? Well, that all depends on what you’re interested in. If it’s sports (not Russian athletes – druggies every one unlike brave Western asthmatics) or “beach-ready bodies” (not Russian drug takers of course, only wholesome Americans) – the reporting is pretty reasonable. Weather reports, for example (Siberian blasts excepted) or movie reviews (but all those Russian villains). But the rest is some weird merger of the Eatonswill Gazette and Independent: Blues/Buffs good! others, especially Russians, bad!
So, as they say in Russia, что делать? What to do? Well, I suggest we learn from the Soviet experience. After all, most Soviet citizens were much more sceptical about their home media outlets than any of my neighbours, friends or relatives are about theirs.
My suggestions are three:
In the Cold War there was a notion going around that the Soviet and Western systems were converging and that they would meet in the middle, so to speak. Well, perhaps they did meet but kept on moving past each other. And so, the once reasonably free and varied Western media comes to resemble the controlled and uniform Soviet media and we in the West must start using Soviet methods to understand.
Always remember that the Soviet rulers claimed their media was free too; free from “fake news” that is.
by: Isabelle Z.
Monday, December 31, 2018
No matter how much it has been drilled into us that we can’t believe everything we read, many of us take for granted that news stories posted by legitimate outlets are factual. After all, they use fact checkers, right? A recent scandal illustrates a point that Natural News has been making for quite some time: Fact checkers are a complete joke.
An award-winning journalist for the respected German news magazine Der Spiegel, Claas Relotius, was recently exposed for having falsified several stories over the years. Der Spiegel was forced to admit the journalist had “made up stories and invented protagonists” in dozens of articles it published online and in print. They added that other outlets could be affected as well.
Relotius admitted to the scam and resigned from the magazine, where he had worked for seven years. During his time at Der Spiegel, he won several awards for investigative journalism. In 2014, he was named CNN Journalist of the Year.
Some of his awards were based on false stories. The Reporter of the Year in Germany award he won earlier this month – an award he has won four times in total – about a young Syrian boy was based on a story that we now know he made up. Other fraudulent stories he has come up with include one about football player Colin Kaepernick and one about a Guantanamo Bay prisoner from Yemen.
It’s hard to believe that such fraud could be carried out in this day and age, when we have so much information at our fingertips – yet that is also partly why he was able to get away with such a scam. After all, you don’t have to visit places in person to describe them in detail anymore; Google Earth can show you everything you need to know to make it seem authentic.
What about the so-called fact checkers that many media outlets employ? They are supposed to separate fact from fiction, but as Politico points out, they’re also human. Perhaps they felt intimidated by the prospect of questioning such a decorated journalist, or maybe they felt it was so detailed that it couldn’t possibly have been concocted.
Many times, editors have preconceived notions about a topic and therefore won’t question articles that confirm their beliefs. This may have been the case with one of his fabricated and most celebrated articles, in which he talked about how people in the small town of Fergus Falls pray for President Trump on Sundays. The redneck picture painted here seems believable enough to those who already envision Americans acting this way, never mind the fact that it turned out the administrator of the town in question does not carry a Beretta 9mm to work as the story claims, nor does he even own one. The town also does not have a sign that says “Mexicans get out,” but it must have seemed believable enough to the fact checkers.
Relotius was only exposed after a colleague who worked on a story with him started to doubt some details. After contacting two of the alleged sources and finding out they had never met Relotius, only then was his work called into question.
Der Spiegel prides itself on having one of the best fact-checking departments in the business, so if it happened to them, it can happen anywhere. Fact checkers have biases – some might even argue that they are selected with this in mind to ensure the articles that are approved push whatever narrative the publisher wants people to see.
For example, a group of Facebook fact checkers recently came forward to express their dismay that rather than checking facts to identify inaccurate news, they were being used to remove honest information from Facebook that goes against their official narrative. They said they felt like they were involved in propaganda rather than journalism.
While the idea of fact checkers sounds good in theory, it ultimately provides a false sense of security. Fact checkers are people, and they, too, are prone to bias, laziness, and intimidation. The reality is that fact checkers simply can’t be relied upon to keep genuinely fake news out – not even in the “upper echelon” of the mainstream media.
Sources for this article include:
Radical feminists are now being banned by Twitter not because they hate men, which is perfectly OK as far as Twitter is concerned, but because they object to “transwomen.”
What is a “transwoman?” As far as I can understand, a “transwoman” is a male with a penis who declares himself to be a women and demands his right to use women’s toilette facilities among with the women who are using them.
The feminist, Meghan Murphy, twittered a statement and a question:
“Men are not women.”
“How are transwomen not men? What is the difference between men and transwomen?”
Twitter described this as “hateful conduct” and banned Meghan Murphy. https://quillette.com/2018/11/28/twitters-trans-activist-decree/
There you have it. Yesterday it was feminists who were exercising their special society-bestowed privileges to censor. Today it is the feminists who are being censored. As this insanity of “Western Civilization” continues, tomorrow it will be the transwomen who are censored and banned.
What precisely is afoot?
My readers, who have partially and some wholly escaped from The Matrix, understand that this is the further fragmentation of American society. Identity Politics has set men, women, blacks, Jews, Asians, Hispanics, and white people against one another. Identity Politics is the essence of the Democratic Party and the American liberal/progressive/left. Now, with the creation of “new” but otherwise nonexistent “genders,” although they are honored as real by the controlled whores who masquerade as a “Western media,” we witness radical feminists being silenced by men pretending to be women.
I sympathize with Meghan Murphy, but she brought this on herself and on the rest of us by accepting Identity Politics. Identity Politics gave Meghan a justification for hating men even, as she failed to realize, it provided the basis for moving her into the exploitative class that must be censored.
Where does this end?
It has already gone far enough that the American population is so divided and mutually hostile that there is no restraint by “the American people” on government and the elite oligarchs that rule. “The American people” are no longer a reality but a mythical creature like the unicorn.
The film, The Matrix, is the greatest film of our lifetime. Why? Because it shows that there are two realities. A real one of which only a few people are aware, and a virtual one in which everyone else lives.
In the United States today, and throughout “Western Brainwashed Civilization,” only a handful of people exist who are capable of differentiating the real from the created reality in which all explanations are controlled and kept as far away from the truth as possible. Everything that every Western government and “news” organization says is a lie to control the explanations that we are fed in order to keep us locked in The Matrix.
The ability to control people’s understandings is so extraordinary that, despite massive evidence to the contrary, Americans believe that Oswald, acting alone, was the best shot in human history and using magic bullets killed President John F. Kennedy; that a handful of Saudi Arabians who demonstratively could not fly airplanes outwitted the American national security state and brought down 3 World Trade Center skyscrapers and part of the Pentagon; that Saddam Hussein had and was going to use on the US “weapons of mass destruction;” that Assad “used chemical weapons” against “his own people;” that Libya’s Qaddafi gave his soldiers Viagra so they could better rape Libyan women; that Russia “invaded Ukraine;” that Trump and Putin stole the presidential election from Hillary.
The construction of a make-believe reality guarantees the US military/security complex’s annual budget of $1,000 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money even as Congress debates cutting Social Security in order to divert more largess to the pockets of the corrupt military/security complex.
Readers ask me what they can do about it. Nothing, except revolt and cleanse the system, precisely as Founding Father Thomas Jefferson said.
Is Thomas Jefferson Alive and Well In Paris?
If this report is correct, pray the revolt spreads to the US.
For quite some time, debate about ‘fake news’ has reverberated clamorously in both mainstream and alternative discourse. One could easily conclude the issue was a pressingly new plague, restricted to certain corners of the web – but academic TJ Coles begs to differ. In fact, he tells Sputnik fake news has been ubiquitous for thousands of years.
Nov 16, 2018
For quite some time, debate about ‘fake news’ has reverberated clamorously in both mainstream and alternative discourse. One could easily conclude the issue was a pressingly new plague, restricted to certain corners of the web – but academic TJ Coles begs to differ. In fact, he tells Sputnik fake news has been ubiquitous for thousands of years.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the precise moment the term ‘fake news’ entered the Western political and media lexicon, but the election of Donald Trump as US President certainly turbocharged its usage. For the controversial leader and his supporters, the label can be automatically applied to any and all media reporting critical of him, while his opponents play much the same game when roles are reversed.
This tit-for-tat sparring inspired TJ, director of the Institute for Peace Research, to write a book on the subject — the fruit of his labours, Real Fake News: Techniques of Propaganda and Deception-based Mind Control, was published in September.
“All that talk made me think ‘hang on a minute, we’ve always had fake news’. It’s the nature of power — all power structures want to maintain and expand their power, so it’s therefore important to present information that benefits them, and keeps populations in a psychological and/or intellectual prison. The ‘fake news’ peddled by elite financial, commercial and political financial interests, duly regurgitated by major media organizations, eclipses any bogus story perpetuated by alleged ‘bots’ on Twitter, or whatever,” TJ says.
In his work, TJ traces the birth of fake news all the way back to ancient Babylon, when rulers sought to perpetuate the notion they were descended from Gods and thus had a right to dominate and control the populace — history’s first recorded instance of the ‘divine right of kings’.
Similarly, Plato famously popularized the idea of the ‘noble lie’ — privileging untruths told for the benefit of elites and the population alike. These ideas very much endure in the modern day — TJ notes Wikileaks’ dump of the Clinton campaign’s internal emails amply demonstrates her team felt it wouldn’t be good, or necessary, for Hillary’s supporters to be aware of her close connections to Wall Street, so did their utmost to conceal the mephitic kinship.
“Elites the world over are acutely aware information is power, and actually quite open about their use and abuse of the news to shape public perceptions and preserve sociopolitical conditions benefitting them. For instance, the UK Ministry of Defence regularly publishes projections of how planners think the world will look in 10 — 20 years, and they routinely note the media is one of the key ways to maintain the current paradigm, and discuss the various ways information can be ‘weaponized’ against the public,” he says.
TJ suggests elites shape and control the public mind so effectively because they exploit fundamental facets of human nature. First, the well-established instinctive inclination to reflexively believe something reinforcing one’s existing beliefs, rather than assessing whether alternative facts or viewpoints have any value, or indeed considering whether what one believes might be wrong, or informed by confirmation bias.
This tendency is greatly exacerbated by the use of internet and social media algorithms that present a ‘personalized’ picture of the world to users, unfailingly presenting individuals with content they want to see, and tacitly suppressing information contrary to their existing opinions.
“Elites also know how easy it is to exploit guilt, which is why atrocity propaganda is so widespread today. Most sympathize with the victims of major atrocities, and naturally want to do something to help, so this aspect of human nature can be easily manipulated to justify aggressive foreign policy actions — ‘look at what we’re letting happen to poor defenceless people, we have a responsibility to protect them’ etcetera. It’s funny, when it comes to the economy, the powerful are quick to say people are naturally selfish, so it’s everyone for themselves, but when it comes to foreign policy, we should care about our fellow human beings and do something to help,” TJ says.
As the academic’s work makes clear, atrocity propaganda doesn’t even need to have any grounding in reality whatsoever. In the lead-up to the NATO-backed violent overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the mainstream media was awash with reports government forces fuelled by viagra were conducting mass rapes of civilians, and planning a borderline genocidal massacre of rebel forces — claims used to justify the imposition of a no-fly zone over the country, and NATO airstrikes.
The stories were subsequently found to be entirely without foundation — similarly, serious question marks hover over the veracity of numerous claimed chemical weapons attacks in Syria, which likewise have provided a pretext for Western attacks on the country.
“It’s especially easy to exploit guilt when you present bite-sized news reports about an atrocious event stripped of all context, and exclude the voices of people who are actually on the ground. Occasionally, contradictory voices do filter through the system, although largely by accident. For instance, the BBC made the mistake of inviting Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria, on air to discuss chemical weapons attacks — he quickly demolished their propaganda. He hasn’t been invited back since,” TJ says.
Ford is surely but one of a great many talking heads to effectively be banned from appearing on the BBC for daring to state views and evidence contrary to ascendant elite narratives. However, the British state broadcaster’s blacklisting activities also extend to its own employees — in April 2018, the BBC admitted that for decades, job applicants and serving staff were subject to political vetting by MI5, in an effort to prevent “subversives” gaining employment with the Corporation.
Often, individuals were ostracized on extremely tenuous grounds. For instance, respected film director John Goldschmidt was blacklisted in the late 1960s, with two projects he was working on for the Beeb cancelled midway through production without warning or explanation — MI5 deemed him a potential subversive as he’d spent a few weeks in Czechoslovakia in his youth, as part of a student exchange program. Similarly, award-winning journalist Isabel Hilton was refused a job by BBC Scotland in 1976 — that she spoke Chinese and had been a member of Scottish China Association at Edinburgh University made MI5 extremely anxious.
Under the policy, popular children’s book author and playwright Michael Rosen was also outright sacked from the BBC in 1972 while a graduate trainee for a number of ‘transgressions’, including student activism at Oxford, and producing a film featuring clips of US soldiers being tested with LSD. The American Embassy in London complained about the project to both MI5 and the BBC directly, whereupon Rosen was shown the door.The policy was wound down in the 1990s, and it’s unknown whether any comparable structures existed at other major news organizations — although City University research suggests dissenting voices remain rare in the British mainstream media. The 2016 study concluded UK journalists are overwhelmingly white, male, and elite-university educated — and are far more trusting of politicians, the government, police and military than the general population, which the study’s authors partly attributed to reporters’ “reliance on these institutions as sources of information”.
Such widespread faith in the establishment may account for why so many prominent reporters see no problem with maintaining close relationships with the intelligence services. The Guardian’s Luke Harding has frequently, openly and proudly advertised his warm bond with British spying agencies in articles and books — and equally frequently been condemned for uncritically running stories of questionable probity potentially provided to him by agency staff. In a September article he claimed Russian diplomats had held secret talks in London with associates of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in an attempt to assist in his escape from the UK. The covert action would’ve allegedly seen Assange smuggled out of the Ecuadorian embassy in Knightsbridge under cover of Christmas Eve in a diplomatic vehicle and transported to Moscow.
The story was entirely based on the testimony of anonymous sources, the identity of which Harding didn’t even hint at in the piece. In response, Craig Murray, former UK Ambassador to Uzbekistan, slammed the article, calling it a “quite extraordinary set of deliberate lies” and “entirely black propaganda” published by an “MI6 tool”.”I was closely involved with Julian and with Fidel Narvaez of the Ecuadorean Embassy at the end of last year in discussing possible future destinations for Julian. It is not only the case Russia did not figure in those plans, it is a fact Julian directly ruled out the possibility as undesirable. The entire story is a complete and utter fabrication. It is very serious indeed when a newspaper like the Guardian prints a tissue of deliberate lies in order to spread fake news on behalf of the security services. I cannot find words eloquent enough to express the depth of my contempt for Harding and Katherine Viner, who have betrayed completely the values of journalism,” Murray wrote.
Similarly, in 2007 the Campaign Against Sanctions and Military Intervention in Iran published an analysis of 44 articles written by Daily Telegraph Defence Editor Con Couglin on Iran — including stories suggesting North Korea was helping Tehran prepare a nuclear weapons test, and the country was grooming Bin Laden’s successor. They found the pieces almost invariably were based on “unnamed or untraceable” sources in intelligence agencies or the UK Foreign Office and “published at sensitive and delicate times” when there’d been “relatively positive diplomatic moves” towards Iran, and contained ‘exclusive revelations’ about Iran combined with eye-catchingly controversial headlines, which were typically based on a single sentence in the wider article.
Despite his bleak analysis, TJ does not view the elite monopoly on information as insurmountable, or invincible — there’s much individuals and groups can do to shatter the stranglehold.
“People should keep a keen eye on sources that analyse news reporting and misreporting, such as Glasgow University Media Group and MediaLens, which offer alternative information and tell you what media coverage is actively omitting from the real story. However, change must come from within too — people should divorce themselves from preconceptions, and question their beliefs wherever and whenever possible. When presented with information that doesn’t conform to our predispositions, we should ask ourselves whether it’s true, rather than reflexively dismissing it outright,” TJ says.
While having less trust in the media more generally is a must, the academic also warns against placing too much faith in alternative news outlets and social networks, despite them being valuable resources with a significant positive potential.”Independent media is growing in size and strength, but its overall reach is still relatively tiny — while print circulation is obviously down, people still get the vast bulk of their information from mainstream outlets. Similarly, social media could’ve democratized the spread of information, but it hasn’t — and in fact any such potential has probably been neutered by the proliferation of ‘fact-checking’ resources, which are anything but unbiased and disinterested arbiters of truth,” TJ notes.
One-such ‘fact-checker’ is the Atlantic Council, a NATO-offshoot with a board of directors comprised of a ‘who’s who’ of contentious US political figures, including Henry Kissinger, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Robert Gates, Michael Hayden and David Petraeus, among others.
It partnered with Facebook in May to “independently monitor disinformation and other vulnerabilities” and combat the spread of fake news on the platform. To date, the collaboration has resulted in untold hundreds of pages and personal accounts being shut down — rather than being promulgators of propaganda though, the overwhelming bulk of the banished were alternative news sources, political organizations and individuals, highlighting issues and events the mainstream media downplays or ignores, such as US interventionism, drug legalization and police brutality.
Moreover, that elites exploit social media’s information-sharing capabilities to suit their own objectives is well-established.”The US State Department has used major social networks to recruit revolutionaries on several occasions, most notably during the ‘Arab Spring’, connecting ‘moderate rebels’ — actually violent jihadist lunatics — in select countries. Washington wanted Assad, Gaddafi and Mubarak gone, because they weren’t following orders — but there were no Twitter or Facebook ‘revolutions’ in the Gulf states, because the American empire wanted their rulers to remain in place. In Cuba, the CIA even went as far as creating a social network for the same purpose,” TJ concludes.
The views and opinions expressed by the contributors do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.