You know, AI is already embedded with us. Think about it. Reality is not real anymore.
“If you are bargaining in good faith the audience might forgive you.” (Paraphrasing)
You know, AI is already embedded with us. Think about it. Reality is not real anymore.
“If you are bargaining in good faith the audience might forgive you.” (Paraphrasing)
by: JD Heyes
Friday, January 13, 2023
The discovery phase of a lawsuit against the Biden regime brought by the Republican attorneys general of Missouri and Louisiana has revealed a stunning bombshell — the White House has been busted for being directly involved in pressuring social media companies to censor Americans over COVID-19 vaccine views and facts the regime did not want anyone to hear.
One of the people the Biden administration wanted to be censored was top-rated Fox News host Tucker Carlson, one of several people who were singled out by the regime within a few months after Joe Biden was installed in the Oval Office, according to documents that the attorneys general have discovered and revealed.
GOP AG Jeff Landry of Louisiana released a document last week showing clearly that the regime pressured Facebook to censor Carlson after he said in no uncertain terms what most Americans knew — that the COVID-19 vaccines “don’t work,” as evidenced by the fact that so many vaccinated people caught COVID again, including many of our elected leaders (and Biden).
“Since we’ve been on the phone — the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty said in an April 14, 2021 email, which the AG posted on Twitter.
“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like — if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with [T]ucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!” Flaherty continued, revealing fully that he wanted Carlson to be censored.
Conservative Brief noted further:
Landry and then-Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, now a U.S. senator, sued the Biden administration in May, alleging that officials worked with social media companies to suppress information regarding the 2020 election, the pandemic, and other issues.
A federal court ordered the Biden administration to hand over relevant documents in July.
In response, the unknown Facebook employee said they were “running this down now.”
On his show’s Facebook page, Carlson wrote in September 2020: “Facebook is working hard to make sure you’re unable to see our latest post regarding a coronavirus whistleblower. They don’t want you sharing the video, and they are limiting the number of people who can view it. This is censorship.”
But it’s no wonder Facebook was bending to this pressure. In December, Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to Facebook’s parent company, Meta, demanding new censorship and appearing to threaten the company with new regulatory legislation if the platform followed Elon Musk’s direction in reducing censorship protocols for Twitter.
“With the restoration of free speech protections on Twitter, panic has grown on the left that its control over social media could come to an end. Now, some of the greatest advocates of censorship in Congress are specifically warning Facebook not to follow Twitter in restoring free speech to its platform,” he wrote in a column for Fox News.
In a chilling letter from Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., André Carson, D-Ind., Kathy Castor, D-Fla., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Facebook was given a not-so-subtle threat that reducing its infamous censorship system will invite congressional action. The letter to Meta’s president of global affairs, Nick Clegg, is written on congressional stationery ‘as part of our ongoing oversight efforts,’” he added.
“With House Republicans pledging to investigate social media censorship when they take control in January, these four Democratic members are trying to force Facebook to ‘recommit’ to censoring opposing views and to make election censorship policies permanent. Otherwise, they suggest, they may be forced to exercise oversight into any move by Facebook to ‘alter or rollback certain misinformation policies,’” Turley noted further.
Got that? Democrats, not Republicans, are the party of tyranny, censorship, and unconstitutional limits on speech, as they have once again proven.
Dec 24, 2022
Hundreds of radio hosts have quit their jobs after George Soros took over all Hispanic radio stations in America in a bid to suppress conservative Hispanic voices.
Venezuelan-born former Radio Mambí host Lourdes Ubieta said that the takeover “is going to be a failure” and that “they did this to silence conservative Hispanic voices.”
Per New York Post:
The recent George Soros-backed takeover of 18 Hispanic radio stations, including Miami’s flagship conservative Radio Mambí, is doomed to fail, according to two hosts who quit the station as a result of the planned new progressive agenda.
“This is going to be a failure — I am 100 percent sure of that,” Venezuelan-born former Radio Mambí host Lourdes Ubieta told The Post she believes. She quit the station after she learned of the takeover during the summer. “They did this to silence conservative Hispanic voices but it’s not going to work.”
She and two other Radio Mambí hosts, Dania Alexandrino and Nelson Rubio, all of whom quit over the new management, are now at Americano Radio in Miami, which bills itself as the nation’s first conservative Spanish network.…
“They want to silence and censor Hispanic conservative voices. They have a way of telling Democrats are the party of minorities and the party of the poor,” Alexandrino added. “They treat Hispanics like victims. I wouldn’t take a penny from them. My dignity is not for sale.”
Thegatewaypundit.com reports: Soros bought 18 Hispanic radio stations across 1o different US markets.
A former Hillary for America employee and a former Obama staffer are heading up the venture.
The Latino Media Network is a new network of 18 Hispanic radio stations across 10 different US markets. It boasts it will have access to “one-third of the Hispanic population.”
The network is funded in part by Lakestar Finance, a group affiliated with Soros Fund Management.
Former Hillary for America employee Jess Morales Rocketto and Stephanie Valencia — a former Obama staffer — are heading up the venture.
Will Soros’ attempt to get Hispanic voters back to the Democrat party work?
Paul Craig Roberts
Nov 21, 2022
Almost every minute of every day I see overwhelming evidence of America’s collapse as a free country. Elon Musk conducted a poll on whether Twitter should allow President Trump to use the social media platform. Fifteen million people responded. 51.8% of the respondents said “yes,” but almost an equal number 48.2% said “no.” In other words, almost half of the 15 million social media users who responded to the poll oppose free speech for a former president of the United States.
No doubt, being as indoctrinated as they are, they see Trump as a “pussy-grabber,” a Russian agent, and an insurrectionist and regard cancelling his First Amendment right as punishment. Many of the same crowd want pedophiles to be relabeled “minor-attracted persons,” a step toward removing limitations on sexual relations between adults and children. They are content with the free speech right of pedophiles to advocate, but not for President Trump to express political views on Twitter.
In the case of Julian Assange, Wikileaks’ founder who published the leaked information documenting US war crimes and lies to allies, my headline doesn’t go far enough. A large majority of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans in practically equal percentages, desire Assange to be prosecuted for doing what journalists are supposed to do. President Trump and his Secretary of State Pompeo denounced Assange with the same intensity as Nancy Pelosi.
Members of both political parties believe that free speech that challenges official narratives should be suppressed. Even more stunning, almost 100% of American print and TV reporters want Assange prosecuted. Here we have the entirety of the US print and TV media renouncing their own profession.
Those who oppose free speech for President Trump probably think of themselves as virtuous, the salt of the earth. In fact, they are stupid, brainwashed people easily indoctrinated who are so badly educated that they do not understand that free speech is essential to the preservation of liberty. They are so utterly stupid that they do not understand the meaning for their own lives of the fact that the governing elite are doing everything possible to censor everyone, no matter how distinguished and expert, who dissents from the lies that comprise the official narratives.
Throughout the Western World truth is being rapidly closed down. Honest journalists, such as Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi are evicted from print and TV media. Medical doctors who saved lives by treating Covid patients with Ivermectin and HCQ instead of following the murderous imposed protocol that let them die rather than admit that there were cures, which would have threatened vaccine profits, are having their medical licenses confiscated as if they had committed a medical crime by saving lives. Scientists who don’t accept the Woke ideology that gender is self-declared, not biologically determined, are disciplined and fired as “transgender deniers.” Anthropologists and sociologists who understand that a diverse, multicultural Tower of Babel is not a country are demonized. Historians who understand that the United States is not based on “white racism” are branded “white supremacists” and “threats to democracy.” Elections can be stolen in plain view, and no one is permitted to say so. The incidences of suppression are not merely a few isolated cases that can be dismissed as anomalies. They are across the board.
The so-called media speaks with one voice and it is all lies.
Russian and Iranian news sources that do not adhere to the official Western explanations are either banned in the Western World or forced to register as “foreign agents.”
In other words, the Western World has it fixed so that everything that is not propaganda and a lie in service to official narratives is defined as “misinformation.” The ruling establishment has set up “fact checkers” whose function is to represent official narratives as the only correct explanations. Many Americans are so utterly stupid that they believe that someone who calls himself a “fact checker” is one. The point has been reached where any American who favors free speech, such as Elon Musk, is a prospect for investigation as a foreign agent.
The suppression of truth is the road to tyranny, and 48.2% of Twitter users are all in favor of it.
Americans today live in a matrix of lies. Their beliefs result from osmosis in constantly repeated lies. Truthful information is difficult to find and is being closed down where it exists. The Western World is living in George Orwell’s 1984, the only difference being that the ruling elite today has far more powerful spying and punishment mechanisms.
And they grow stronger every day.
We all must stop supporting the corporate media now!
When Zen teacher Issan Dorsey was asked to describe the essence of Zen art, he answered, “Nothing extra.”
“Nothing extra” is also of course the essence of Zen living itself: perceiving life as it actually is, as opposed to perceiving it through a bunch of believed narrative filters about yourself, about others, about reality, and so on. These narrative filters are an extra pile of layers that are added on top of the actual experience of life, and they give a distorted view which causes a lot of confusion and suffering. Relinquishing belief in them brings clarity and peace.
This is also the essence of clearly understanding what’s really going on in the world. Like so much else, the approach to the large is the same as the approach to the small, which is to say the approach to seeing clearly in the big picture is the same as the approach to seeing clearly as an individual: you need to learn to look at it without the extra narrative overlay.
Because the news media are controlled by plutocrats who have a vested interest in protecting the status quo upon which their kingdoms are built, almost everything in the news is useless narrative fluff. It doesn’t tell you what’s really going on, it rather tries to influence what’s going on by manipulating the perceptions of the audience. It does this by either (A) distracting from what really matters by focusing on what doesn’t matter, or (B) actively working to manipulate how the audience thinks about a given issue.
When you strip away all the empty fluff and manipulative spin, there are basically only four often-overlapping pieces of information that really matter in the big picture: (1) where the money is going, (2) where the resources are going, (3) where the weapons are going, and (4) where the people are going. When it comes to understanding world dynamics, accurate information about these four things is the only real news you’ll ever encounter. Everything else is empty narrative spin meant to justify, distort, or distract from information about these things.
If you ignore everything else and only focus on finding the most accurate information possible about these four items, you will have an infinitely clearer understanding of what’s really going on in the world than someone who trusts news reporters to walk them through it.
Watch where the money is going because you can trust the raw numbers of financial transactions a lot more than you can trust the stories people are telling. A massive percentage of daily news coverage goes toward analyzing the latest foam-brained gibberish that came out of Donald Trump’s mouth even though we all know he’s going to contradict himself two days later, but the fact that he’s been heavily funded by an oligarch who happens to have been a longtime proponent of the Iran policies this administration has been advancing is much more solid.
Zoom out and watch where the money is going in the big picture and you’ll see that a grossly disproportionate amount of it is moving away from the general public and toward a very small group of people, which we just saw illustrated in the historically unprecedented multitrillion-dollar wealth transfer in the US corporate bailout. If you watch this small group and pay attention to the projects, candidates, think tanks and media outlets they pour their wealth into, you will notice that they exert an incredible amount of influence on all four crucial factors: where the money goes, where the resources go, where the weapons go, and where the people go.
Watching where the resources are going gives you an even clearer image of what’s going on because resources, unlike money, are completely independent of narrative. There is no such thing as “money” without the thoughts that humans agree to collectively think about it, but oil would still be oil even if all humans were wiped off the face of the earth. When you see the US ramping up escalations against Venezuela, ignore the narratives about “drug trafficking” and what a bad, bad man Nicolás Maduro is, and look at what resources lie beneath the ground in that nation to find out what this is really about. Mentally “mute” the soundtracks the political/media class spout about who’s doing what to whom and just watch where the resources are going, and who’s controlling them. That way you’ll be able to discern the powerful from the disempowered and the takers from their victims.
Watch where the weapons are going because those are another non-narrative factor which exerts a huge influence on the world; a bullet will stop a beating heart regardless of what the mind thinks about it. Ignore the irrelevant narrative fluff about where the coronavirus originated and whether or not it’s racist to say “Wuhan virus”, and look at the ring of US military bases encircling China and the way the Marine Corps is shifting its attention onto that nation. Ignore Trump’s gibberish about ending wars and note that he’s been expanding them and increasing foreign troop presence. Ignore the Democratic Party’s nonsense about Trump having loyalties to Russia and watch his administration’s many dangerous nuclear escalations against that nation. Ignore international finger-wagging at humanitarian abuses by Israel and Saudi Arabia and look at who’s still selling them weapons and supporting them militarily.
Watch where the people are going for another important piece of real information that isn’t dependent on narrative. Where are the prisoners? Where are the refugees, where are they going, and what are they fleeing? Where are people moving to, and what do they want?
With each of these four items you can simply watch raw data and ignore all the stories the establishment spinmeisters tell about that data. As long as you make sure you’re getting the most accurate data possible, it’s like you’re looking at a globe and watching lines in four different colors moving around in it from place to place and person to person. And without anyone’s stories tainting your view.
You will notice that there’s a heavy degree of overlap between these four items. You see the weapons moving toward China and you notice that’s the nation with the US hegemony-threatening Belt and Road Initiative (where the resources are moving) and the key player in the US dollar-threatening Shanghai Cooperation Organization (where the money is moving). You see Julian Assange locked in prison (where the people are going) for exposing US war crimes (where the weapons are going). You see US troops illegally occupying Syrian oil fields (where the weapons and resources are going) to prevent the Syrian government from using it to rebuild the nation (where the money is going). And so on.
Nearly everything that makes it to the top of the daily news churn is either propaganda distortion or distracting drivel, and either way you can safely ignore it. Just watch where the money is going, where the resources are going, where the weapons are going and where the people are going, and ignore all the narrative chatter.
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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.
The Guardian has published an editorial titled “The Guardian view on extraditing Julian Assange: don’t do it,” subtitled “The US case against the WikiLeaks founder is an assault on press freedom and the public’s right to know.” The publication’s editorial board argues that since the Swedish investigation has once again been dropped, the time is now to oppose U.S. extradition for the WikiLeaks founder.
“Sweden’s decision to drop an investigation into a rape allegation against Julian Assange has both illuminated the situation of the WikiLeaks founder and made it more pressing,” the editorial board writes.
Oh okay, now the issue is illuminated and pressing. Not two months ago, when Assange’s ridiculous bail sentence ended and he was still kept in prison explicitly and exclusively because of the U.S. extradition request. Not six months ago, when the U.S. government slammed Assange with 17 charges under the Espionage Act for publishing the Chelsea Manning leaks. Not seven months ago, when Assange was forcibly pried from the Ecuadorian embassy and slapped with the U.S. extradition request. Not any time between his April arrest and his taking political asylum seven years ago, which the Ecuadorian government explicitly granted him because it believed there was a credible threat of U.S. extradition. Not nine years ago when WikiLeaks was warning that the U.S. government was scheming to extradite Assange and prosecute him under the Espionage Act.
Nope, no, any of those times would have been far too early for The Guardian to begin opposing U.S. extradition for Assange with any degree of lucidity. They had to wait until Assange was already locked up in Belmarsh prison and limping into extradition hearings supervised by looming U.S.government officials. They had to wait until years and years of virulent mass media smear campaigns had killed off public support for Assange so he could be extradited with little or no grassroots backlash. And they had to wait until they themselves had finished participating in those smear campaigns.
There is, needless to say, no hint or suggestion in the Mueller Report that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange ever in his life, let alone 3 times in the Ecuadorian Embassy during the election. It would obviously be there if it happened. How can the @guardian not retract this??
This is after all the same Guardian which published the transparently ridiculous and completely invalidated report that Trump lackey Paul Manafort had met secretly with Assange at the embassy, not once but multiple times. Not one shred of evidence has ever been produced to substantiate this claim despite the embassy being one of the most heavily surveilled buildings on the planet at the time, and the Robert Mueller investigation, whose expansive scope would obviously have included such meetings, reported absolutely nothing to corroborate it. It was a bogus story which all accused parties have forcefully denied.
This is the same Guardian which ran an article last year titled “The only barrier to Julian Assange leaving Ecuador’s embassy is pride,” arguing that Assange looked ridiculous for remaining in the embassy because “The WikiLeaks founder is unlikely to face prosecution in the U.S.”
The article was authored by the odious James Ball, who deleted a tweet not long ago complaining about the existence of UN special rapporteurs after one of them concluded that Assange is a victim of psychological torture. Ball’s article begins, “According to Debrett’s, the arbiters of etiquette since 1769: ‘Visitors, like fish, stink in three days.’ Given this, it’s difficult to imagine what Ecuador’s London embassy smells like, more than five-and-a-half years after Julian Assange moved himself into the confines of the small flat in Knightsbridge, just across the road from Harrods.”
This is the same Guardian which published an article titled “Definition of paranoia: supporters of Julian Assange,” arguing that Assange defenders are crazy conspiracy theorists for believing the U.S. would try to extradite Assange because “Britain has a notoriously lax extradition treaty with the United States,” because “why would they bother to imprison him when he is making such a good job of discrediting himself?”, and “because there is no extradition request.”
This is the same Guardian which published a ludicrous report about Assange potentially receiving documents as part of a strange Nigel Farage/Donald Trump/Russia conspiracy, a claim based primarily on vague analysis by a single anonymous source described as a “highly placed contact with links to US intelligence.” The same Guardian which just flushed standard journalistic protocol down the toilet by reporting on Assange’s “ties to the Kremlin” (not a thing) without even bothering to use the word “alleged,” not once, but twice. The same Guardian which has been advancing many more virulent smears as documented in this article by The Canary titled “Guilty by innuendo: the Guardian campaign against Julian Assange that breaks all the rules.”
A look at how sleazeball journalists at the Guardian tried to ‘Russiagate’ Assange https://www.thecanary.co/global/world-analysis/2018/12/20/guilty-by-innuendo-the-guardian-campaign-against-julian-assange-that-breaks-all-the-rules/ …
Guilty by innuendo: the Guardian campaign against Julian Assange that breaks all the rules | The…
Assange prefers transparency
You can see, then, how ridiculous it is for an outlet like The Guardian to now attempt to wash its hands of Assange’s plight with a self-righteous denunciation of the Trump administration’s extradition request from its editorial board. This outlet has actively and forcefully paved the road to the situation in which Assange now finds himself by manufacturing consent for an agenda which the public would otherwise have found appalling and ferociously objectionable. Guardian editors don’t get to pretend that they are in some way separate from what’s being done to Assange. They created what’s being done to Assange.
The deployment of a bomb or missile doesn’t begin when a pilot pushes a button, it begins when propaganda narratives used to promote those operations start circulating in public attention. If you help circulate war propaganda, you’re as complicit as the one who pushes the button. The imprisonment of a journalist for exposing U.S. war crimes doesn’t begin when the Trump administration extradites him to America, it begins when propagandistic smear campaigns begin circulating to kill public opposition to his imprisonment. If you helped promote that smear campaign, you’re just as responsible for what happens to him as the goon squad in Trump’s Department of Justice.
Really great talk by @RonPaulInstitut‘s Daniel McAdams titled “How Not To Be a CIA Propagandist” on the importance of never facilitating propaganda narratives against governments targeted for regime change, even if you disagree with their ideology.https://youtu.be/IgoEFSrRnds?t=5948 …
Before they launch missiles, they launch narratives. Before they drop bombs, they drop ideas. Before they invade, they propagandize. Before the killing, there is manipulation. Narrative control is the front line of all imperialist agendas, and it is therefore the front line of all anti-imperialist efforts. When you forcefully oppose these agendas, that matters, because you’re keeping the public from being propagandized into consenting to them. When you forcefully facilitate those agendas, that matters, because you’re actively paving the way for them.
Claiming you oppose an imperialist agenda while helping to advance its propaganda and smear campaigns in any way is a nonsensical and contradictory position. You cannot facilitate imperialism and simultaneously claim to oppose it.
They work so hard to manufacture our consent because they need that consent. If they operate without the consent of the governed, the public will quickly lose trust in their institutions, and at that point it’s not long before revolution begins to simmer. So, don’t give them your consent. And for God’s sake don’t do anything that helps manufacture it in others.
Words matter. Work with them responsibly.
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 a new book “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.
NOVEMBER 28, 2019
In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin.
My education was a mixture of science and humanities. I combined zoology with Greek (ancient, medieval and modern) history, as well as Roman history and modern European (Russian, Soviet Union, Southeastern European and British) history. To this multidisciplinary bowl I added the history of science from my postdoctoral studies at Harvard.
I did all this book reading, test taking, and writing a dissertation in ten years. The next step was finding work. By the time I graduated from Wisconsin, in 1972, I was married with my first child. This made earning a living imperative.
I worked on Capitol Hill and the US Environmental Protection Agency for twenty-seven years.
Sporadically, I taught at several universities about things I learned at work: how the federal government regulates or fails to regulate pesticides and agriculture.
The hidden truth
If this sounds obscure, technical, and of little value, it is not. There’s complexity in these things, but within this complexity there are gems of truth on how this country works.
Imagine a group of bureaucrats led by a political representative of the president deciding how much pesticide poison goes into each fruit, vegetable, grain, bread, cheese and meat Americans eat. That’s what the Office of Pesticide Programs does. The responsibility is awesome. The science is dubious; the ethics abhorrent. I did not want to do anything with it, save for criticizing the very idea of poisoning our food under the guise of environmental protection, which translated into protecting the farmer and poison maker from legal suits. The moment I came across evidence of massive and chronic malpractice and fraud in the testing of pesticides, I knew my early suspicions were legitimate; I knew how agribusiness rules America.
This experience helped me understand the meaning and practice of “environmental protection” in an industrialized America. In other words, I brought to the classroom information not in environmental policy textbooks
History, and especially the history of science, hovered around me, always tempting my thought to precedents: how did people of earlier times and other societies face the natural world or raise food?
The message to my students
I probably overwhelmed my students with data, facts and explanations about the environment and how America works. But the take-home message to my students was a warning:
”Your elders have abandoned your protection to the unkind and often corrupt industry and politicians. Study the natural world, study the science of the environment and, once out of school, reform or change the politics of this country for your protection and the protection and health of the natural world. A polluted natural world is your enemy. It will make you sick or kill you.
“Do away with pesticides, industrial agriculture, nuclear bombs, nuclear power plants, plastics, and toxic chemicals. They were the products of war, ignorance and hubris.
“Build a society with different values, one based on carbon-free and toxic pollution-free technologies, including respect for nature. Don’t approve any industry disrupting ecosystems, poisoning the natural world, and causing the extinction of species. Learn from science and older traditions and wisdom how the world works. Learn from the natural world.”
I don’t know if my students understood me. I treated them like graduate students. I opened their eyes to the beauties of science and truth as well as the secret and corrupt ways of the chemical industry. I let them see and examine original documents showing industry-government corruption. Some of them might have passed my ideas to their parents and, possibly, administrators.
I knew college and universities were rarely on the forefront of justice or truth, much less political change. In many instances, like the land grant universities, they become the inventors of hazardous chemicals and technologies that enable agribusiness to control rural America. At other instances, universities legitimize pollution.
With some exceptions, my college colleagues were indifferent to me and my teaching.
At Humboldt State University in northern California, I taught about society and the environment in a sociology department. There was a possibility for a permanent position for me but the chairman of the department said not to bother to apply because my doctorate was in history, not sociology. I asked him to come to my class, so he could form his own opinion about my teaching. “I care less about your teaching or the admiration students have for you,” he said.
Twice at two different schools (the University of Maryland and Pitzer College) I spoke to the Dean about expanding teaching and research on the fate of black farmers in America who declined by 98 percent in the twentieth century. The Deans were black. They listened to me politely but did nothing.
These anecdotes may be a fly in the ointment, but they suggest a deeper malady.
America after WWII
Since World War II, the culture of America is becoming inimical to democracy and civilization. By civilization I mean justice, the rule of law, the employment of science for making decisions, equal opportunity for humans to make a living, relative equality among citizens and ethical and science-based government rules regulating corporate and business behavior. Moreover, protecting human and environmental health should be at the core of this civilization.
Civilization is in trouble in America. Perpetual wars, the nuclear bomb, and the supremacy of money have made this country an empire. This political transformation is dismantling democracy at home and threatens the planet.
An oligarchy of billionaires are behind this aggression. They have captured the government, milking its fat Pentagon budget while using other government departments like the Environmental Protection Agency to buy legal protection for their chemicals polluting our food, drinking water, air, rivers, lakes and the seas.
The spectacle of Trump
The spectacle of Trump being president says it all. This is a very bad man. Some people, including senior government officials, and especially ambassador Gordon Sondland, are saying Trump urged the government of Ukraine to dig dirt about his political opponent Joe Biden. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) accused Trump of being “a criminal in the White House.” Others charge him with betrayal and infamy for allowing the Turks to slaughter the Kurds who have been faithful American allies.
Trump is threatening democracy. He displays and employs government power for his personal benefit. He does not have a clue about international relations. He is an enemy of public and environmental health.
In desperation, the Democrats in the House are collecting evidence of wrongdoing for “impeaching” him. They know, however, that the Republicans in the Senate will declare Trump innocent of all charges.
This effort of finding Trump guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors is the ethical thing to do. But for me, Trump’s persistent undermining of this country’s environmental laws, including his willful ignorance of climate change, constitute high crimes and misdemeanors. They are translated into policies hurting and killing people all over the country. And pretending there’s no climate change, as the Trump EPA does, exacerbates the onslaught from climate change.
This official apathy and blindness is affecting the country, even the Democratic politicians running for president. The warming of the Earth and the fossil fuels causing it have all but disappeared from public discourse.
With the possible exception of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), I just don’t think these candidates are passionate enough to embrace the climate threat and opportunity for shaping American politics and assuring the survival of civilization and the natural world. Yet they say climate change is the gravest danger America and the world face.
The hegemony of commercial television
Another way of explaining this pathology is the overwhelming power and influence of commercial television. It has remade Americans into obedient corporate subjects. Just like cigarette companies during most of the twentieth century brained-washed Americans to do nothing without a cigarette hanging from their mouth, advertisements and news reporting mix with each other so thoroughly the viewer, in most case, does not understand the difference between the two. The result of this willful malpractice and propaganda is the dumbing down of Americans.
Second, commercial television networks treat the natural world like a zoo: a place for expensive cruises, hunting, industrialized farming, logging, mining and forest fires. Even the PBS and BBC nature documentaries keep corporate crimes against nature strictly separate from the lives of the threatened species they document.
This television onslaught has been taking place for decades while most Americans live increasingly in cities, which separate them further from the natural world.
Despite this undemocratic and plutocratic record, commercial television is in charge of the Democratic presidential debates. They ask the questions and restrict answers to seconds and minutes.
Undoing this industrial-cultural-academic-television-propaganda complex requires a “political revolution” even greater than the revolution Senator Bernie Sanders has in mind.
The Sanders agenda
Sanders is an angry American prophet who insists in bringing justice back to America. He wants an economy for all. He is lashing at bankers, drug and insurance companies, billionaires, Trump and the Republicans. He is accusing them of theft: sucking trillions to an oligarchy and impoverishing the rest.
Should Sanders be elected, this country may be spared some of the calamity of climate change. He has promised repeatedly to put fossil fuel companies out of business – replacing them with carbon-free alternatives and creating 20,000,000 well-paying jobs.
In addition, Sanders is likely to save America from tyranny. This will demand a Herculean labor: channeling the Potomac River through the Washington stables of billionaires and industry lobbyists.
This would demand the end of exporting American jobs; taxing the billionaires enough to narrow the gigantic gap between them and the rest of Americans: use that money to fund climate change and cleaning up and eliminating pollution; outlawing the fossil fuels industry and funding alternative carbon-free energy technologies; revive the New Deal government programs of President Roosevelt for healthy farming, environment, and rebuilding of rural America; upgrade America’s medical mess to European health standards; make state universities free; give EPA the freedom and independence it needs to embrace its real mission; regulate commercial television: it should not be able to interrupt news with advertisements, nor charge money to politicians running for office; regulate and tax Wall Street; regulate and tax agribusiness: ban pesticides, break up large plantations, and bring back family farms.
Finally, take money out of politics.
Only this broad agenda of economic, social and ecological renewal can put the breaks to a Hothouse Earth and violent political revolution.
Max Blumenthal, the editor of independent media outlet The Grayzone, was secretly arrested on October 25 in a “SWAT-style” morning raid on his Washington D.C. home. He was held in D.C. Central Detention Facility for two days incommunicado, without the ability to communicate to the outside world, having been refused a phone call. He claims to have been shackled by his hands and ankles for some time and kept in a series of cages and cells. Blumenthal was arrested on a five-month-old assault charge stemming from an incident that took place during the D.C. Venezuelan Embassy siege.
A Venezuelan opposition supporter, Naylet Pacheco, claims that Blumenthal kicked her in the stomach several times during a conflict between the embassy protectors and supporters of opposition leader Juan Guaído, who proclaimed himself President of Venezuela in January. At the time of the incident, The Grayzone was publishing a series of investigative reports and news updates that contradicted the Trump administration’s narrative, noting how much of the supposedly grassroots uprising, was, in fact, funded by Washington and exposing the corruption and violent tactics of opposition members. The warrant for the charge had initially been rejected. It was, however, revived later without Blumenthal’s knowledge.
“If the government had at least told me I had a warrant I could have voluntarily surrendered and appeared at my own arrangement. I have nothing to fear because I’m completely innocent of this bogus charge,” he said. “Instead, the federal government essentially enlisted the DC police to SWAT me, ensuring that I would be subjected to an early morning raid and then languish in prison for days without even the ability to call an attorney.”
When asked for comment, political comedian and TV show host Lee Camp told MintPress News that this was the latest example of the government trying to silence dissenting opinion and controlling the media:
“This is the continued descent into a fascist state. When the US government is arresting journalists in dramatic fashion clearly because their reporting is threatening to the power elite, then what else can one call it?”
Corporate media largely applauded U.S.-backed regime change efforts in Venezuela, refusing to even call them a “coup” and instead preferring to frame them as a people’s “uprising,” taking the same line as the Trump administration that they claim to “resist.” Many of those same media outlets have also begun to partner with the government in a stated effort to fight fake news. The primary consequence of which has been to undermine and reduce the reach of alternative media, a vital counterweight to the corporate message. In response to a call to arms in the Washington Post, algorithm changes to Facebook, Google, YouTube, Bing, and others have led to independent news sites being de-ranked, disincentivized, and sometimes, deleted.
Despite his ordeal, Blumenthal has still been treated better than others who ran afoul of the U.S. government. Chelsea Manning is still held in prison, Edward Snowden is in exile, while Julian Assange, whose condition in solitary confinement is deteriorating, faces a highly uncertain future. On Assange, mainstream media largely applauded his April arrest, describing it as a “long overdue” (Washington Post) and “satisfying” (Saturday Night Live) detention of an “anti-American” (National Review) “narcissistic” (Washington Post) “Internet Troll” with an “outsized view of his own importance” (the Times) leaving his “voluntary confinement” (the Daily Beast) to finally “face justice” (Daily Mail) for his “indisputable crime” (New York Times).
The Trump administration refused to recognize the results of the May 2018 elections that awarded Nicolás Maduro another term in office. Instead, it announced its support for self-appointed President Juan Guaído as the rightful head of Venezuela. This, despite the fact that Guaído has never stood for the office and that over 80 percent of the country didn’t even know who he was. Following Guaído’s self-declaration of his presidency, the Trump administration demanded that all Venezuelan diplomats leave the United States, so those in Venezuela’s Washington D.C. embassy formally invited peace activists to enter and protect the integrity of the building.
Just as Guaído attempted to take the presidential palace in a coup attempt in April, supporters of the far-right anti-President tried to storm the Venezuelan embassy in D.C., an event closely covered by The Grayzone, and by MintPress News’ Alex Rubenstein, who was amongst those invited to protect the building. Rubenstein detailed how the attackers attempted siege and intimidation tactics to the embassy protectors out and enjoyed the tacit support of the local security services, who refused to protect the embassy’s territorial integrity, a serious diplomatic violation.
The dramatic story of a SWAT team bursting into a dissident journalist’s home, bundling him into a car and holding him incommunicado for days appears not to have interested either corporate media or professional press freedom groups like Reporters Without Borders or the Committee to Protect Journalists. When pushed for comment, the US Press Freedom Tracker excluded this case on a technicality, stating:
There has been exactly zero mainstream coverage or commentary of the government’s arrest of a prominent critic, meaning that for those relying on corporate media to inform and shape their worldview, the event did not happen. This is all the more remarkable considering Blumenthal is an award-winning, New York Times bestselling author, comes from a well-connected family of elite former White House insiders (his father was a senior aide to President Clinton), and boasts a huge following on social media.
The silence from the mainstream press contrasts the considerable attention that the event has received in alternative media and the outpouring of support from independent journalists. His colleagues at The Grayzone immediately came to his defense; Aaron Maté stated:
.@MaxBlumenthal was just arrested on a ridiculous charge stemming from delivering food to besieged activists in Venezuela’s DC embassy *FIVE* months ago. Max has done incredible work exposing US-backed coup in Venezuela & this is a bid to intimidate him. https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/this-charge-is-one-hundred-percent-false-grayzone-editor-max-blumenthal-arrested-months-after-reporting-on-venezuelan-opposition-violence/ …
‘This charge is 100% false’: Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal arrested months after reporting on…
The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal has been arrested on false charges after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence outside the DC embassy. He describes the manufactured case as part of a wider…
Meanwhile, Anya Parmpil (another embassy protector) noted that she was assaulted in broad daylight by Guaído supporters and in front of the secret services, who did nothing to protect her.
Many saw the action as part of a wider government campaign aimed at silencing dissenting opinions. “The establishment has declared war on anti-imperialist journalists,” declared Kerry-Anne Mendoza, Editor-in-Chief of The Canary, “There should be global outrage.” Middle East specialist Jonathan Cook agreed, claiming it was “the latest example of the growing crackdown on independent journalism.” Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah offered his support to Blumenthal, decrying the U.S. government’s “clear retaliation and intimidation” tactics.
✔@AliAbunimahThe shocking raid and arrest of @MaxBlumenthal on a false charge is clear retaliation and intimidation for the essential and truthful reporting he and @GrayzoneProject are doing. Full solidarity. https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/this-charge-is-one-hundred-percent-false-grayzone-editor-max-blumenthal-arrested-months-after-reporting-on-venezuelan-opposition-violence/ …
‘This charge is 100% false’: Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal arrested months after reporting on…
The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal has been arrested on false charges after reporting on Venezuelan opposition violence outside the DC embassy. He describes the manufactured case as part of a wider…
Others criticized the mainstream press’ reaction to the arrest of a prominent critic of the U.S. government. Mark Ames, the founder of the Moscow-based outlet the eXile, noted that Blumenthal’s treatment reminded him of “the worst of Russia”, except for the fact when opposition journalists like Ivan Golunov were arrested, even the Putin-friendly press decried it. Meanwhile, journalist and filmmaker Abby Martin offered a thought experiment, tweeting:
Max was arrested on a total fabrication concocted by the Venezuelan opposition to punish him for exposing them. Cops continue to do the bidding of rightwing provocateurs––If this happened in Venezuela to a critical journalist, they would be crying about Maduro’s authoritarianism. https://twitter.com/MaxBlumenthal/status/1188933829387534338 …
I was arrested on Friday on a COMPLETELY FALSE charge manufactured by the Venezuelan opposition related to their siege of the embassy in DC. I spent 2 days in jail, was shackled for extended periods & was denied my right to call a lawyer. Here’s the facts: https://thegrayzone.com/2019/10/28/this-charge-is-one-hundred-percent-false-grayzone-editor-max-blumenthal-arrested-months-after-reporting-on-venezuelan-opposition-violence/ …
In fact, a similar event did happen in Venezuela; earlier this year freelance American journalist Cody Weddle was detained and deported by Venezuelan authorities. The incident made worldwide headlines, for example, in the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today, Reuters and the Guardian, and drew immediate condemnation from Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists, highlighting the selective outrage of the corporate press and the human rights industry.
Blumenthal is uncompromising in his position regarding the accusation: “This charge is a 100 percent false, fabricated, bogus, untrue, and malicious lie,” he declared. “It is clearly part of a campaign of political persecution designed to silence me and The Grayzone for our factual journalism exposing the deceptions, corruption and violence of the far-right Venezuelan opposition.”
Far from the wholesome image they enjoy in much of the press, the Venezuelan opposition has a long and exceptionally violent history of attacking political opponents, including journalists. Their many campaigns to oust President Maduro from power have included beheading innocent passers-by and roasting Afro-Venezuelans alive in the street in an attempt to terrorize the population into surrender.
After reporting on this violence in 2017, journalists Abby Martin and Mike Prysner were the subject of a viral fake news campaign that claimed they were informants gathering information on the opposition for the secret police. They received dozens of death threats as part of a campaign in Venezuela to find and lynch them. The two escaped unharmed but others were not so lucky. TeleSur’s Adriana Sivori was shot in the back by the same opposition movement while wearing a bulletproof vest and helmet marked “press.” Meanwhile, journalists for the Globovisión network were covered with gasoline by far-right protestors who attempted to set them on fire. This “warm welcome” is extended to those in the press who the U.S.-backed opposition feel will not present them as positively as corporate media does.
These incidents were not mentioned, let alone condemned, by human rights or press freedom groups, indicating, as does the Blumenthal arrest, that some consider the right to free speech as dependent on who is doing the talking and what they are saying.
Filmmaker Dan Cohen described Blumenthal’s treatment as a “blatant attempt to stifle and suppress” The Grayzone’s reporting on the U.S.’ attempts to overthrow the Venezuelan government, adding, “Everyone who cares about press freedom in the US should speak out against this.”
Judging by their silence, very few in the mainstream media do.
Feature photo | Graphic by Claudio Cabrera
Alan MacLeod is a MintPress contributor as well as an academic and writer for Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. His book, Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting was published in April.
John W. Whitehead
November 1st, 2019
The Rutherford Institute
This article was originally published by John W. Whitehead at The Rutherford Institute.
We’re living in two worlds, you and I.
There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.
Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.
All is not as it seems.
This is the premise of John Carpenter’s film They Live, which was released more than 30 years ago, and remains unnervingly, chillingly appropriate for our modern age.
Best known for his horror film Halloween, which assumes that there is a form of evil so dark that it can’t be killed, Carpenter’s larger body of work is infused with a strong anti-authoritarian, anti-establishment, laconic bent that speaks to the filmmaker’s concerns about the unraveling of our society, particularly our government.
Time and again, Carpenter portrays the government working against its own citizens, a populace out of touch with reality, technology run amok, and a future more horrific than any horror film.
In Escape from New York, Carpenter presents fascism as the future of America.
In The Thing, a remake of the 1951 sci-fi classic of the same name, Carpenter presupposes that increasingly we are all becoming dehumanized.
In Christine, the film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel about a demon-possessed car, technology exhibits a will and consciousness of its own and goes on a murderous rampage.
In In the Mouth of Madness, Carpenter notes that evil grows when people lose “the ability to know the difference between reality and fantasy.”
And then there is Carpenter’s They Live, in which two migrant workers discover that the world is not as it seems. In fact, the population is actually being controlled and exploited by aliens working in partnership with an oligarchic elite. All the while, the populace—blissfully unaware of the real agenda at work in their lives—has been lulled into complacency, indoctrinated into compliance, bombarded with media distractions, and hypnotized by subliminal messages beamed out of television and various electronic devices, billboards and the like.
It is only when homeless drifter John Nada (played to the hilt by the late Roddy Piper) discovers a pair of doctored sunglasses—Hoffman lenses—that Nada sees what lies beneath the elite’s fabricated reality: control and bondage.
When viewed through the lens of truth, the elite, who appear human until stripped of their disguises, are shown to be monsters who have enslaved the citizenry in order to prey on them.
Likewise, billboards blare out hidden, authoritative messages: a bikini-clad woman in one ad is actually ordering viewers to “MARRY AND REPRODUCE.” Magazine racks scream “CONSUME” and “OBEY.” A wad of dollar bills in a vendor’s hand proclaims, “THIS IS YOUR GOD.”
When viewed through Nada’s Hoffman lenses, some of the other hidden messages being drummed into the people’s subconscious include: NO INDEPENDENT THOUGHT, CONFORM, SUBMIT, STAY ASLEEP, BUY, WATCH TV, NO IMAGINATION, and DO NOT QUESTION AUTHORITY.
This indoctrination campaign engineered by the elite in They Live is painfully familiar to anyone who has studied the decline of American culture.
A citizenry that does not think for themselves, obeys without question, is submissive, does not challenge authority, does not think outside the box, and is content to sit back and be entertained is a citizenry that can be easily controlled.
In this way, the subtle message of They Live provides an apt analogy of our own distorted vision of life in the American police state, what philosopher Slavoj Žižek refers to as dictatorship in democracy, “the invisible order which sustains your apparent freedom.”
We’re being fed a series of carefully contrived fictions that bear no resemblance to reality.
They want us afraid and dependent on the government and its militarized armies for our safety and well-being.
They want us distrustful of each other, divided by our prejudices, and at each other’s throats.
Most of all, they want us to continue to march in lockstep with their dictates.
Tune out the government’s attempts to distract, divert and befuddle us and tune into what’s really going on in this country, and you’ll run headlong into an unmistakable, unpalatable truth: the moneyed elite who rule us view us as expendable resources to be used, abused and discarded.
In fact, a study conducted by Princeton and Northwestern University concluded that the U.S. government does not represent the majority of American citizens. Instead, the study found that the government is ruled by the rich and powerful, or the so-called “economic elite.” Moreover, the researchers concluded that policies enacted by this governmental elite nearly always favor special interests and lobbying groups.
In other words, we are being ruled by an oligarchy disguised as a democracy, and arguably on our way towards fascism—a form of government where private corporate interests rule, money calls the shots, and the people are seen as mere subjects to be controlled.
Not only do you have to be rich—or beholden to the rich—to get elected these days, but getting elected is also a surefire way to get rich. As CBS News reports, “Once in office, members of Congress enjoy access to connections and information they can use to increase their wealth, in ways that are unparalleled in the private sector. And once politicians leave office, their connections allow them to profit even further.”
In denouncing this blatant corruption of America’s political system, former president Jimmy Carter blasted the process of getting elected—to the White House, governor’s mansion, Congress or state legislatures—as “unlimited political bribery… a subversion of our political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over.”
Rest assured that when and if fascism finally takes hold in America, the basic forms of government will remain: Fascism will appear to be friendly. The legislators will be in session. There will be elections, and the news media will continue to cover the entertainment and political trivia. Consent of the governed, however, will no longer apply. Actual control will have finally passed to the oligarchic elite controlling the government behind the scenes.
Clearly, we are now ruled by an oligarchic elite of governmental and corporate interests.
We have moved into “corporatism” (favored by Benito Mussolini), which is a halfway point on the road to full-blown fascism.
Corporatism is where the few moneyed interests—not elected by the citizenry—rule over the many. In this way, it is not a democracy or a republican form of government, which is what the American government was established to be. It is a top-down form of government and one which has a terrifying history typified by the developments that occurred in totalitarian regimes of the past: police states where everyone is watched and spied on, rounded up for minor infractions by government agents, placed under police control, and placed in detention (a.k.a. concentration) camps.
For the final hammer of fascism to fall, it will require the most crucial ingredient: the majority of the people will have to agree that it’s not only expedient but necessary.
But why would a people agree to such an oppressive regime?
The answer is the same in every age: fear.
Fear is the method most often used by politicians to increase the power of government. And, as most social commentators recognize, an atmosphere of fear permeates modern America: fear of terrorism, fear of the police, fear of our neighbors and so on.
The propaganda of fear has been used quite effectively by those who want to gain control, and it is working on the American populace.
Despite the fact that we are 17,600 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack; 11,000 times more likely to die from an airplane accident than from a terrorist plot involving an airplane; 1,048 times more likely to die from a car accident than a terrorist attack, and 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist , we have handed over control of our lives to government officials who treat us as a means to an end—the source of money and power.
As the Bearded Man in They Live warns, “They are dismantling the sleeping middle class. More and more people are becoming poor. We are their cattle. We are being bred for slavery.”
In this regard, we’re not so different from the oppressed citizens in They Live.
From the moment we are born until we die, we are indoctrinated into believing that those who rule us do it for our own good. The truth is far different.
Despite the truth staring us in the face, we have allowed ourselves to become fearful, controlled, pacified zombies.
We live in a perpetual state of denial, insulated from the painful reality of the American police state by wall-to-wall entertainment news and screen devices.
Most everyone keeps their heads down these days while staring zombie-like into an electronic screen, even when they’re crossing the street. Families sit in restaurants with their heads down, separated by their screen devices and unaware of what’s going on around them. Young people especially seem dominated by the devices they hold in their hands, oblivious to the fact that they can simply push a button, turn the thing off and walk away.
Indeed, there is no larger group activity than that connected with those who watch screens—that is, television, laptops, personal computers, cell phones and so on. In fact, a Nielsen study reports that American screen viewing is at an all-time high. For example, the average American watches approximately 151 hours of television per month.
The question, of course, is what effect does such screen consumption have on one’s mind?
Psychologically it is similar to drug addiction. Researchers found that “almost immediately after turning on the TV, subjects reported feeling more relaxed, and because this occurs so quickly and the tension returns so rapidly after the TV is turned off, people are conditioned to associate TV viewing with a lack of tension.” Research also shows that regardless of the programming, viewers’ brain waves slow down, thus transforming them into a more passive, nonresistant state.
Historically, television has been used by those in authority to quiet discontent and pacify disruptive people. “Faced with severe overcrowding and limited budgets for rehabilitation and counseling, more and more prison officials are using TV to keep inmates quiet,” according to Newsweek.
Given that the majority of what Americans watch on television is provided through channels controlled by six mega-corporations, what we watch is now controlled by a corporate elite and, if that elite needs to foster a particular viewpoint or pacify its viewers, it can do so on a large scale.
If we’re watching, we’re not doing.
The powers-that-be understand this. As television journalist Edward R. Murrow warned in a 1958 speech:
We are currently wealthy, fat, comfortable and complacent. We have currently a built-in allergy to unpleasant or disturbing information. Our mass media reflect this. But unless we get up off our fat surpluses and recognize that television in the main is being used to distract, delude, amuse, and insulate us, then television and those who finance it, those who look at it, and those who work at it, may see a totally different picture too late.
This brings me back to They Live, in which the real zombies are not the aliens calling the shots but the populace who are content to remain controlled.
When all is said and done, the world of They Live is not so different from our own. As one of the characters points out, “The poor and the underclass are growing. Racial justice and human rights are nonexistent. They have created a repressive society and we are their unwitting accomplices. Their intention to rule rests with the annihilation of consciousness. We have been lulled into a trance. They have made us indifferent to ourselves, to others. We are focused only on our own gain.”
We, too, are focused only on our own pleasures, prejudices and gains. Our poor and underclasses are also growing. Racial injustice is growing. Human rights is nearly nonexistent. We too have been lulled into a trance, indifferent to others.
Oblivious to what lies ahead, we’ve been manipulated into believing that if we continue to consume, obey, and have faith, things will work out. But that’s never been true of emerging regimes. And by the time we feel the hammer coming down upon us, it will be too late.
So where does that leave us?
The characters who populate Carpenter’s films provide some insight.
Underneath their machismo, they still believe in the ideals of liberty and equal opportunity. Their beliefs place them in constant opposition with the law and the establishment, but they are nonetheless freedom fighters.
When, for example, John Nada destroys the alien hyno-transmitter in They Live, he restores hope by delivering America a wake-up call for freedom.
That’s the key right there: we need to wake up.
Stop allowing yourselves to be easily distracted by pointless political spectacles and pay attention to what’s really going on in the country.
The real battle for control of this nation is not being waged between Republicans and Democrats in the ballot box.
As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the real battle for control of this nation is taking place on roadsides, in police cars, on witness stands, over phone lines, in government offices, in corporate offices, in public school hallways and classrooms, in parks and city council meetings, and in towns and cities across this country.
The real battle between freedom and tyranny is taking place right in front of our eyes if we would only open them.
All the trappings of the American police state are now in plain sight.
Wake up, America.
My new word for Americans: United Statians. Why? Because I live in Canada, North America, so I am an American. For the USA to think that they are the only Americans is part of their bullshit exceptionalism ideology.
Conducted by the Pew Research Center, the poll found that 64 percent of Americans believe that the media has a damaging effect on the United States – making them more loathed than other often-demonized institutions such as banks (39 percent) and large corporations (53 percent).
“This doesn’t surprise anybody,” media analyst Lionel told RT.
The media are not here to provide information …so that you can make intelligence decisions. No, that’s not what the media are. The media are corporate tools.
But numbers don’t lie and the news media shouldn’t feel singled out. With growing distrust in corporations – especially tech companies – America’s establishment institutions can take solace in the fact that none of them enjoy majority support.
Lately, the news has been flooded with horrifying updates about the case of registered sex offender and alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
You can read our Epstein coverage at the following links:
Singer R. Kelly, 52, is being held without bond in Chicago on charges that include producing child pornography and coercing minors to engage in sex. He faces similar federal charges in New York.
Unfortunately, Epstein and R. Kelly are not the only alleged sexual predators in the news.
Reader discretion is advised. This article contains information that may be upsetting for some people.
More than three dozen suspected online child sex offenders were arrested in Aurora, Colorado, during Operation Broken Heart. The nationwide operation was led by the US Department of Justice and resulted in nearly 1,700 arrests during April and May. On June 11, 2019, the DOJ announced that its “task forces identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 357 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or were exploited in the production of child pornography.”
The operation targeted suspects who: (1) produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the sex trafficking of children; and (4) travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children. (source)
The Colorado Sentinel reports 32-year-old Raymond Fredericks was sentenced to 22 years in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony sex trafficking charge in May.
Todd Bush, a 42-year-old former teacher, was arrested in an undercover sting on July 18 after agreeing to pay $100 to who he thought was the mother of an 11-year-old girl for sex with her daughter, authorities said. He was charged with human trafficking of a child, obscene communication, and traveling to meet a minor for sex. Bush was already a registered sex offender and was on probation for a 2011 incident when he was busted in the sting last week.
On July 18, a federal jury in Baltimore convicted Ryan Russell Parks, 26, on two counts of sex trafficking a minor and one count of using the internet to promote a prostitution business.
Parks faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison for each of the two counts of sex trafficking a minor, and a maximum of five years in prison for using the Internet to promote a business enterprise involving prostitution.
The case was investigated by the FBI-led Maryland Child Exploitation Task Force (MCETF), created in 2010 to combat child prostitution, with members from 10 state and federal law enforcement agencies. (source)
A two-day undercover operation in Minneapolis–Saint Paul earlier this month resulted in the arrests of 11 people on sex trafficking charges:
Three people were arrested for sex trafficking and promotion of prostitution while eight people were arrested for solicitation of a minor or solicitation of prostitution under 16 years of age.
In the operation, 18 trafficking victims were recovered from trafficking situations and offered help through victim services. (source)
A former first-grade teacher at an Omaha elementary school has been given 50 to 100 years in prison for sexually assaulting students. Douglas County District Court records show that 31-year-old Gregory Sedlacek was sentenced Tuesday. He’d pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault of a child.
Yesterday, New Hampshire’s attorney general launched an investigation into the state youth detention center after two former counselors were charged with raping a teenage boy 82 times, at least once at gunpoint, in the late 1990s.
Last month, the head of a sex cult was found guilty on multiple charges in New York, reports NPR:
The leader of NXIVM, a group that espoused a philosophy of self-improvement but was accused of recruiting, grooming and even branding an inner circle of female sex slaves, was found guilty Wednesday by a federal jury in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Keith Raniere, who was known as “Vanguard,” was convicted on all charges, including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, human trafficking and multiple counts of racketeering — including sexual exploitation of a child. (source)
The victims of sexual assaults by a former North Carolina teacher are filing a class-action lawsuit against the school district:
News outlets report the victims of Michael Kelly filed the complaint Tuesday against him, the New Hanover County Board of Education and others.
Earlier this month, two concurrent Human Trafficking Task Force operations were conducted in the Cleveland region. A total of 49 arrests were made, and some of the individuals are facing felony charges of Attempted Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor, Importuning, Possess Criminal Tools, and Attempting Corruption with Drugs, reports Richland Source.
You can read more about recent arrests on the DOJ’s dedicated page: Human Trafficking.
Thousands of allegations of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns, and members of religious orders have been made over the last few decades. Many investigations, trials, and convictions – and revelations about decades of attempts by Church officials to cover up reported incidents – have resulted. These offenses are not limited to clergy in the US – cases have occurred all over the world.
I think it is important to note here that my family is Catholic, so I know how painful this subject can be for some followers.
According to a 2009 report, the founder of a religious order that treats Roman Catholic priests who molest children concluded decades ago that offenders were unlikely to change and should not be returned to ministry:
As early as the mid-1950s, decades before the clergy sexual-abuse crisis broke publicly across the U.S. Catholic landscape, the founder of a religious order that dealt regularly with priest sex abusers was so convinced of their inability to change that he searched for an island to purchase with the intent of using it as a place to isolate such offenders, according to documents recently obtained by NCR.
Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald, founder of the Servants of the Paracletes, an order established in 1947 to deal with problem priests, wrote regularly to bishops in the United States and to Vatican officials, including the pope, of his opinion that many sexual abusers in the priesthood should be laicized immediately. (source)
Yesterday, a Florida minister and registered sex offender was arrested after authorities found child pornography on his home computer, reports the Associated Press:
Sarasota County Sheriff’s officials tell news outlets that 66-year-old Charles Andrews was arrested Tuesday. He’s charged with 500 felony counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of failing to meet sex offender requirements.
Andrews is a pastor at Osprey Church of Christ. Andrews also is a registered sex offender who was convicted in 2006 of second-degree sexual abuse in Alabama. Now he’s in jail, his bond set at more than $5 million. (source)
The Associated Press has a Sexual Abuse by Clergy page that is dedicated to coverage of cases.
Here is a sampling of recent cases they have documented:
A genetics expert retained by the family of a girl who went missing in 1983 said Saturday that a cavernous underground space near a Vatican cemetery holds thousands of bones that appear to be from dozens of individuals, both “adult and non-adult.”
The expert, Giorgio Portera, said the “enormous” size of the collection under the Teutonic College was revealed when Vatican-appointed experts began cataloguing the remains, which were discovered last week .
“We didn’t expect such an enormous number” of bones and other remains which “had been thrown into a cavity,” Portera said. “We want to know why and how” the bones ended up there. (source)
Victims of abuse by religious and institutional authorities (priests, ministers, bishops, deacons, nuns, coaches, teachers, and others) can find support here: SNAP. BishopAccountability.org has an Abuse Tracker page that provides links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
While Epstein’s arrest has increased awareness of predatory behavior by the elite, the wealthy and powerful are not the only ones committing such heinous acts.
According to The National Center for Victims of Crime, the prevalence of child sexual abuse (CSA) is difficult to determine because it is often not reported. Experts agree that the incidence is far greater than what is reported to authorities.
Statistics below represent some of the research done on child sexual abuse.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau report Child Maltreatment 2010 found that 9.2% of victimized children were sexually assaulted (page 24).
According to Darkness to Light, a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse, only about one-third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified, and even fewer are reported.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children operates the CyberTipline, a national mechanism for the public and electronic service providers to report instances of suspected child sexual exploitation.
In 2018 the CyberTipline received more than 18.4 million reports, most of which related to:
Since its inception, the CyberTipline has received more than 48 million reports.
Those statistics are grim.
There are various types of sex offenders and sex crimes, and that topic is beyond the scope of this article. Because sex trafficking and the vulnerability of minors are crucial issues, we will focus on them here.
US federal law refers to sex trafficking as any commercial sex act that is “induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age.”
A recent report from Insider sheds light on just how many people are victims of sex trafficking.
The statistics are alarming and heartbreaking:
It’s estimated that there are around 4.5 million victims of sex trafficking across the world. And though it’s difficult to know just how many people are involved in sex trafficking in the US, the Polaris Project, a non-profit dedicated to ending human trafficking, received more than 34,000 reports of sex trafficking on its Human Trafficking Hotline between 2007 and 2017.
End Slavery Now, an anti-human trafficking and slavery organization, estimates many of those trafficked into the US come from countries like Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Honduras, Guatemala, India and El Salvador. But experts say that plenty of sex trafficking victims are from the US, too. (source)
The conclusion of the Insider report is chilling:
But the millions sex trafficked around the world don’t look like they do in movies. These people, often minors, can lead normal lives and pass through normal places, jobs, and homes.
The sex trafficking that goes on in the US largely takes place in a criminal underbelly ubiquitous in US cities and communities, which millions of Americans, for whatever reason, turn a blind eye to daily. (source)
Power, anger, and revenge are common motivators for sex offenders, according to Criminal Justice School Info:
It is mistakenly believed that sexual offenders are solely motivated by sexual gratification when they commit their crimes. Dr. Nicholas Groth developed three typologies to describe the motivations of rapists, two of which suggest sexual gratification is secondary. Anger rapists are fueled by rage towards their victims and rape is their way of seeking violent revenge. According to the Center for Sex Offender Management (CSOM), these rapists may actually be extremely discontent with another area in their lives and thus take out their frustration on their victims. “Anger rapists tend to use a significant amount of physical force when they subdue their victims – in most cases, far more force than is necessary to perpetrate the abuse,” adds the CSOM. Verbal abuse is also a common component of these types of violations that are generally impulsive – not planned.
Power rapists on the other hand are less impulsive and rely on psychological manipulation more so than physical violence to subdue and sexually assault their victims. “The power rapist was motivated by his need to control and dominate his victim, and inversely, to avoid being controlled by [the victim],” describes Dr. Lisak. Those who rape their domestic partners are often characterized as power rapists. There are also sadistic rapists who receive sexual or erotic gratification from exerting power and control over the victims they rape. “Because they have an erotic response to power and control, extreme violence and torture often characterize their assaults,” says the CSOM. “In many cases, victims of sadistic rapists are murdered during the assaults”. The CSOM adds that these types of rapes are least common and account for between 2% and 5% of cases in the United States. (source)
Repeat sex offenders do not necessarily target only one category of victim or offend in the same manner, that report explains:
Dr. Lisak explains that a proportion of sexual offenders are ‘non-specialists’. “Multiple studies have now documented that between 33% and 66% of rapists have also sexually attacked children; that up to 82% of child molesters have also sexually attacked adults; and that between 50% and 66% of incest offenders have also sexually attacked children outside their families,” states Dr. Lisak.
Additionally, many of us tend to think a sex offender will keep on offending until he or she is caught. While in reality, recidivism does happen, it may not be as common as we think. According to Arkowitz and Lilienfeld, approximately 14% of sexual offenders reoffend within a five to six year period and 24% within a 15 year period. While this suggests recidivism is less often the case, it does suggest the longer it takes law enforcement to track down a sexual predator or criminal, the more likely he or she will reoffend. (source)
Not everyone who sexually abuses children is a pedophile, as Darkness to Light explains:
Child sexual abuse is perpetrated by a wide range of individuals with diverse motivations. It is impossible to identify specific characteristics that are common to all those who molest children. Situational offenders tend to offend at times of stress and begin offending later than pedophilic offenders. They also have fewer victims (often family), and have a general preference for adult partners.
Pedophilic offenders often start offending at an early age and often have a large number of victims (frequently not family members).
70% of child sex offenders have between one and 9 victims, while 20% have 10 to 40 victims. (source)
It is important to understand that there are people who have or will sexually abuse children in churches, schools, and youth sports leagues, as Darkness to Light explains:
Abusers can be neighbors, friends, and family members. People who sexually abuse children can be found in families, schools, churches, recreation centers, youth sports leagues, and any other place children gather.
Significantly, abusers can be and often are other children.
About 90% of children who are victims of abuse know their abuser. Only 10% of sexually abused children are abused by a stranger.
Approximately 30% of children who are sexually abused are abused by family members. The younger the victim, the more likely it is that the abuser is a family member. Of those molesting a child under six, 50% were family members. Family members also accounted for 23% of those abusing children ages 12 to 17.
About 60% of children who are sexually abused are abused by the people the family trusts. (source)
Sexual abuse is a challenging topic to discuss. It can be even more difficult when you’re talking about protecting your own children. Families can take steps to keep their children safe and give them the tools to speak up when something isn’t right.
Here is a list of resources that can help you keep your family safe.
Do you think that sex crimes are on the rise, or that we are just hearing about them more now? Are there things you do to keep you and your family safe from predators? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
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 American bourgeoisie is in an existential crisis. It is overworked, in perpetual fear of debt or bankruptcy due to healthcare costs, mortgage and rent, education and the costs of daily living. Its privileged status stands threatened by the natural trajectory of capitalism toward gross economic inequity, avarice fueled corruption, the capriciousness of a sadistic “free market,” rising fascism, militarism and an imperiled biosphere that stands to topple the entire house of cards.”
JULY 19, 2019
To say we live in extraordinarily strange times is perhaps the ultimate understatement. Strange times indeed, and terrifying as well. Rising global fascism, the continued threat of nuclear war, an imperiled biosphere and a climate that is rapidly heating up. In the US it is even more apparent. There are concentration camps on the southern US border where children are being separated from their parents. Children are being forced to share lice combs and told to drink toilet water. Several have died. People arrested for leaving out water for dehydrated immigrants in the desert. Jackbooted raids are being threatened against undocumented people by President Trump as institutions like ICE reveal a staggering level of racism and blatant fascism. The orange hued megalomaniac in the Oval Office routinely tweets racist screeds or threatens the annihilation of millions of people, from Iran to North Korea. The US military is engaged in several wars of imperialism abroad. And homeless encampments in and around US cities are exploding.
But to watch American mass media one might feel they are in a parallel universe. Case in point, the popular Netflix series “Stranger Things.” I will confess that I do enjoy watching many series on Netflix, including this particular one, mostly for their entertainment value. And I have a bit of an addiction to pop culture. But when I watched the recent third season I was astonished by the level of blatant American propaganda on display, without even a morsel of ambiguity.
If you haven’t watched the previous seasons or this one, don’t worry. I won’t spoil the ending. But the series generally revolves around a group of kids in suburban, middle America in the 1980s. They become swept up in a whirlwind of events involving the US Department of Energy, secret government experiments and a dark power that threatens to destroy everything in the world we know. The entire set and character development is steeped in 80’s kitsch, but it deserves credit for its fast pace, special effects and endearing characters; and there have been some truly remarkable moments of humanity in relation to the struggles of a young and psychokinetically talented girl named Eleven, “El” for short, in earlier seasons.
But in this last season the nefarious machinations of Department of Energy and other US agencies have been jettisoned to focus on the “evil Russians.” No, really. They actually use the term “evil Russians” several times throughout the show. That, along with “Soviet scum.” Now, anyone who has studied American mass media understands how Hollywood has long parroted the talking points of the US ruling establishment and the Pentagon. Russophobia has always been a common plotline. But this is a time where #Russiagate has flooded the consciousness of the American liberal bourgeoisie. Anyone who expresses doubts about the extent of Russian meddling in US electoral politics, even if they are staunchly opposed to the fascism of Donald Trump as I am, are often branded as “Russian bots” or on the Kremlin’s payroll. Pundits like Rachel Maddow and many in the Democratic Party establishment have devoted themselves to the #Russiagate narrative 24/7. So this is not merely done in a vacuum. It plays neatly into American reactionary politics.
In fact, many productions to this day have active CIA, DHS and DoD agents sitting on their sets in advisory roles, and US military hardware has been made readily available for those studios and productions who follow the script, so to speak. So the dialogue of Stranger Things should not come as a surprise. But there are other examples. One scientist, Alexei, expresses a desire to become an American scientist after seeing the “evil” of his government. And an enormous Soviet base, for instance, built deep in the bedrock beneath a shopping mall in the small Indiana town of Hawkins. The silliness of this aside, the fact that the USSR was at the beginning of an economic death spiral at the time is one issue, but the Soviet operatives here are given an almost supernatural physical strength in most cases.
Now of course none of this is to defend the anti-democratic leanings, human rights violations, attacks on journalists, political opponents or LGBTQ people, atrocities, militarism or war crimes of the former USSR or of the current Russian Federation under Putin; but it is to say that US propaganda is alive and well in mass media. And there is a nationalistic impulse for collective amnesia when it comes to the US role in toppling democratically elected governments (Chile, Iran, Honduras, etc), gross anti-democratic and authoritarian atrocities (the internment of Japanese Americans, Red Scare and Jim Crow for three glaring 20th century examples), or enormous war crimes (the nuking of civilians in Japan, carpet bombing Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Libya, etc.), or crimes against humanity (see Marshall Islands nuke testing, Tuskegee experiments, COINTELPRO, etc.) committed by the American government and military. This rebranded propaganda appears to have resurfaced for a new generation.
In addition to the obvious Russophobia there is another component of the plot in Stranger Things that is striking for the current age. An evil “Mind Flayer” from the dark world of the “Upside Down” takes over the minds and wills of various townspeople. With the backdrop of a “communist menace” various conclusions can be drawn about American Red Scare and its fearmongering about collectivism. Think: Invasion of the Body Snatchers redux. But one character, a little precocious black girl named Erica Sinclair, makes several pronouncements on the virtues of capitalism. She proclaims at one point: “know what I love more about this country? Capitalism. Do you know what capitalism means? It means this is free market system. which means people get paid for their services, depending on how valuable their contributions are.”
Now little Erica can be forgiven for her ignorance, but the reality for millions of other black kids in 1980s America (or before and since for that matter) was far less forgiving. This was an era marked by Reagan’s ruthless neoliberal order, a “trickle-down” economy that never managed to trickle any material benefits to working class black and brown people, let alone working class whites. And the show never touches on any of the rampant racism at play in the 1980s either; although it includes a palpable identity politics drenched, au courant, bourgeois-based, sexist conscious component of the #MeToo variety.
But the producers of Stranger Things, brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, are the real culprits here. Their net worth is reported to be around $12 million each, so they have certainly benefited from that “free market” capitalism Erica boasts about. One wonders if they notice the mega shantytowns on their way to the studio each day. The ones that are burgeoning throughout California and around the country. I doubt many of them would share Erica’s enthusiasm for the current economic order.
The third season of Stranger Things encapsulates the angst of the American bourgeoisie today. Its appeal to a nostalgia is seen in the excess emphasis on sentimentality and kitsch; and there is a nod of acceptance of authoritarianism in the liberties taken by police chief Jim Hopper, or “Hop,” where his abuses are portrayed humorously. And this at a time where police brutality is off the charts. Its conformity is evident in the constant promotion of corporate products, consumerism and the dominant shopping mall milieu. Nationalism and jingoism are predominant with the US military and 4th of July symbolism playing a key role in the defeat of evil. And there is an ever present fear of an “other” who threatens everything America supposedly stands for: individualism, liberty and shopping, of course.
The American bourgeoisie is in an existential crisis. It is overworked, in perpetual fear of debt or bankruptcy due to healthcare costs, mortgage and rent, education and the costs of daily living. Its privileged status stands threatened by the natural trajectory of capitalism toward gross economic inequity, avarice fueled corruption, the capriciousness of a sadistic “free market,” rising fascism, militarism and an imperiled biosphere that stands to topple the entire house of cards. The so-called “opposition” to the tyrant in the White House has been playing a game of appeasement and focusing on outside “threats” like Russia, instead of tackling the real enemy: the American ruling class establishment. But mass media is incapable of reflecting this reality. To do so, it would need to examine American history accurately, honestly, and with humility, and face the truth about the past and the current untenable arrangement. And that would undoubtedly be the strangest thing of all.
Kevin Spacey in House of Cards
Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe in Massachusetts announced Wednesday that his office was dropping its sexual assault case against prominent actor Kevin Spacey. The prosecution had little choice in the matter since the accuser in the case, William Little, refused to testify 10 days ago about a missing cellphone that the defense argued was essential to the actor’s claims of innocence.
When asked by Spacey’s lawyer whether he understood that deleting relevant text messages from his cellphone would be illegal, Little, after consulting with his family and legal counsel, pleaded the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, essentially bringing the pretrial hearing and the entire case to a halt. Spacey was accused of groping the then-18-year-old late at night in a Nantucket bar and restaurant in July 2016. The actor argued that the incident involved consensual flirtation.
Judge Thomas S. Barrett of Nantucket District Court indicated July 8 the case might well be dismissed if the accuser continued to refuse to testify. Barrett pointed out the case revolved around Little and that without him the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would “have a tough row to hoe.”
A July 17 press release from the Cape and Islands District Attorney’s Office explains, “On Sunday July 14, 2019 the complaining witness, family members, and the attorney for the complaining witness, met in the District Attorney’s office to further review the case in light of the development [the accuser’s refusal to testify]. The complaining witness was informed that if he chose to continue to invoke his Fifth Amendment right, the case would not be able to go forward. After a further period of reflection privately with his lawyer, the complaining witness elected not to waive his right under the Fifth Amendment.”
As a result, the District Attorney’s office entered a Nolle Prosequi, a voluntary withdrawal of charges against Spacey, “due to the unavailability of the complaining witness.”
The case against Spacey reeked of a politically motivated vendetta from the start.
The Nantucket allegation was launched with great fanfare in November 2018 by Little’s mother, Heather Unruh, a former local news anchor, at a widely publicized press conference in Boston. Unruh proclaimed that she “wanted to see Kevin Spacey go to jail. I want to have the hand of justice come down on him.”
Neither the family nor the authorities ever explained why it took the accuser 15 months to report the alleged assault to police. No objective observer would fail to be struck by the date of the original report, October 31, 2017. This was a few weeks after the #MeToo campaign erupted and only two days after actor Anthony Rapp accused Spacey in an interview of making inappropriate advances to him some 30 years previously, when he was 14 and Spacey was 26, fueling the sexual witch-hunt atmosphere.
Following the filing of charges in January 2019, prosecutors falsely contended that Little made his police report three months after the 2016 incident. However, the “lead investigator in the case…testified Monday [July 8] under questioning from Spacey’s defense attorney that the one-year difference was the result of a ‘typo.’ ” It would take a very naïve person to believe that the possibly suspicious date of Little’s initial police report, coming on the immediate heels of Rapp’s claims, was not a troubling detail to the police and prosecution.
The inability of the prosecution even to bring this miserable case to trial is a humiliating defeat not only for Massachusetts authorities and Unruh, but for the entire #MeToo witch-hunt.
The dropping of the charges against Spacey comes on top of Australian actor Geoffrey Rush’s victory in a defamation suit in April against Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid Daily Telegraph and its celebrity gossip columnist Jonathon Moran. The suit was filed in response to the newspaper’s claims that Rush had been guilty of “inappropriate” behavior towards a co-star in a production of King Lear, as well as its sensationalist publication of the allegations, characterizing Rush as “King Leer,” a “sexual predator” and a “pervert.”
The McCarthyite #MeToo campaign has proceeded largely through innuendo, gossip and unsubstantiated or anonymous denunciations fueled by media frenzy. When charges have been subjected to vigorous investigation and questioning, as in the Rush and Spacey cases, to this point they have evaporated.
The Nantucket case did not by itself destroy Spacey’s extraordinary acting career, but it played its own filthy part. Fantastically, FoxBusiness news lamented Wednesday that while the case against Spacey had fallen apart, “Netflix and Hollywood producers employing the actor [had] lost millions.” We shed no tears for the spineless executives at Netflix, producer of House of Cards, who immediately threw Spacey to the wolves in November 2017. The cowards and opportunists also include director Ridley Scott and Imperative Entertainment who cut the actor out of the already completed All the Money in the World and reshot his scenes with Christopher Plummer.
Following the Cape Cod district attorney’s decision to abandon the case, CBS News “legal expert” Rikki Klieman claimed the dropping of charges “in no way” meant that Spacey had been exonerated. Klieman herself first noted, “If you have a complaining witness who is allegedly a sexual assault victim, who is claiming the Fifth Amendment and is therefore is not going to testify, what have you got? You’ve got nothing.” How is the prosecution having “nothing” against the accused not an exoneration? Klieman attempted to explain: “The prosecution was simply faced with a case that by virtue of the alleged victim…taking the Fifth Amendment, they didn’t have a witness to say what happened.” The “alleged victim” took the Fifth Amendment after he was warned about the illegality of deleting possibly exculpatory evidence. The likelihood of his account of “what happened” being believed was poor.
By now, a great many people have seen through the #MeToo campaign. It never aroused great genuine public sympathy to begin with. The collective realization of self-involved, primarily female Hollywood performers—years after the fact in many cases—that they didn’t like the shabby, boorish way they may have been treated by studio executives and others or, worse still, what they themselves had consented to in the interests of advancing their careers, did not constitute a major national scandal or a cause that the mass of the population had any reason to adopt.
The #MeToo campaign and its leading spokespeople continue to remain conspicuously silent on the conditions of immigrant detainees, subject to systematic brutality and, in many appalling cases, sexual abuse.
The lack of interest in the conditions of working-class women is not accidental. Launched in the aftermath of the 2016 election, the sexual abuse hysteria was aimed from the outset by its Democratic Party and media initiators (Ronan Farrow and others) at whipping up susceptible layers of mostly middle-class professionals, diverting attention from the social crisis and doing everything possible to block a left-wing movement against the Trump administration. The #MeToo effort was intended to create a politically disoriented and toothless non-class, “across-the-board” movement that corporate warmongers such as Hillary Clinton (Farrow’s former boss at the State Department) could effortlessly adopt and promote, thus giving the Democrats breathing space and allowing them to mount their right-wing opposition to Trump, centered on the anti-Russian and other bogus issues.
The ganging up of the media, the police and prosecution and the political system against Spacey indicates something about the reactionary direction and underpinnings of this campaign.
Another indication of this social reality, and specifically of the sexual abuse crusade’s subjectivist, irrational side, is the announcement by actress Alyssa Milano, who initiated the #MeToo campaign with a tweet on October 15, 2017, that she was attending her first Democratic Party fundraiser of the 2020 election cycle, for self-help guru and raging idealist Marianne Williamson, one of the two-dozen Democratic candidates for the presidential nomination. A 1992 article by popular mathematics and popular science writer Martin Gardner reported that Williamson believed that the “Voice” she described in her book, A Course in Miracles, came from Jesus, that “nothing occurs outside our minds” and that “sickness is an illusion and does not actually exist.” According to the Los Angeles Times, she once told a group of HIV-positive disciples that the “AIDS virus is not more powerful than God.”
Despite the Spacey setback, the #MeToo witch-hunt, driven by powerful social forces, will proceed. Both the recent announcement by Netflix that it is was going ahead with a stand-up special with comedian Aziz Ansari and the news that fellow comedian Chris Hardwick was returning to San Diego Comic-Con have come under criticism. Ansari was accused by an anonymous woman in January 2018 of being sexually aggressive on a date, and Hardwick faced unsubstantiated allegations of abuse from an ex-girlfriend. Neither man came close to being charged with a crime, but that didn’t stop each of them from coming under career-threatening attacks.
Major Israeli media outlets have launched a systematic bullying campaign to demonize Germany’s leading news weekly, Der Spiegel, after it recently revealed that two small pro-Israel organizations were directing Berlin’s Middle East policy.
Reacting to Der Spiegel’s article, Israeli Hebrew-language daily newspaper Israel Hayom, which is close to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, claimed that journalists involved in the article were linked to the fake news reporting by Claas Relotius, a well-known investigative journalist.
The Jerusalem Post and several other Israeli media outlets on Monday also accused the German magazine of promoting Israel-related anti-Semitism and demanded an apology.
Der Spiegel, a 71-year-old publication, is renowned for its quality journalism and is read by hundreds of thousands of people in print and by millions online.
The defamatory campaign by Israeli media comes after a team of six Spiegel journalists wrote in a three-page article that two Germany-based organizations – Values Initiative and The Middle East Peace Forum (Naffo) — used “dubious methods” to mount a “targeted campaign” to secure a Bundestag (parliament) resolution opposing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel.
The German magazine in its weekend publication went onto point out that German lawmakers did “not want to reject the resolution out of fear of being labeled an anti-semite.”
In May, a cross-party alliance in the German parliament Bundestag voted to condemn as “anti-Semitic” the BDS movement, which calls for economic pressure on Israel to end the occupation of Palestinian territories.
In a move welcomed by the Tel Aviv regime, the majority of German lawmakers in the Bundestag voted in favor of a motion that accuses the BDS of using anti-Semitic tactics to fulfill its political goals.
The resolution was submitted by German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fellow-conservatives, their Social Democrat coalition partners, as well as the Greens and Free Democrats.
The vote was denounced by the BDS as anti-Palestinian.
Der Spiegel further revealed that the two organizations were “front organizations” for the Tel Aviv regime with links to the Israeli spy agency Mossad.
Naffo “advocates for positions of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu” and “carries out aggressive lobby work” in Berlin’s government district, the magazine noted
The authors stated that the “questionable methods” of Naffo involved a conference where positions were exchanged with politicians and trips were arranged to bring German MPs to Israel.
The magazine has stressed that the organizations run a “network” and wield outsized “influence.”
The article also quoted German Undersecretary of State Niels Annen, who criticized the two pro-Israel groups: “Any attempt to influence the balanced position of Germany or Europe in one of the sides’ directions is problematic.”
Israel and its allies in Washington and other Western capitals have long railed against the BDS, which calls for people and groups across the world to cut economic, cultural and academic ties to Tel Aviv.
Inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement, the BDS has claimed several recent successes in isolating Israel.
We live in a world where reality has been subjugated and inverted. The laws of nature have been trampled upon by a clique of parasitic hoarders who have hoodwinked the vast majority of people into accepting a life of hardship and bondage as a result on an inter-generational reign of terror meted out by these well-dressed entitlement-demanding bloodsuckers.
Surrounded by a cast of uniformed magicians in fuzzy hats who march around reinforcing the terror trance, these “royal” family welfare cases depend on humanity remaining under the illusion that people who live in castles should be respected rather than reviled. This illusion is etched ever deeper into the human psyche via assassinations, terror attacks, coups and the occasional world war.
The court magician Freemasons are instructed by the Privy Council to obfuscate, confuse, divide and indoctrinate society. Their job is to create an artificial reality which perpetuates the medieval storyline that these royal thieves and pirates are justified in their history of barbarism to the point that they should be the most respected and deferred to members of society. If you rob a liquor store they call you a thief. But if you rob a nation they call you a king.
So long as the black magicians can keep this fake reality going, the royals and their coterie can continue along their bloody path, concentrating all the wealth of the planet in their undetectable offshore coffers. This while the peasants fight one another, always pointing the finger at some black magician-concocted villain.
A good example of this was seen recently when the lower-case villain Trump visited the UK. To the Privy Council’s delight, the confused peasants busied themselves readying their placards to denounce the assigned villain, whilst completely ignoring his royal parasite hosts who, via Cambridge Analytica, put him in charge of their United States Corporation colony to play the necessary villain role.
Here the parasites use Trump as a shield who can like a magnet attract all the negative energy and attention away from the perps. The black magicians use their media (medium) to gin up this negativity. Finally, the parasites harvest this negativity and feast on it, having put another one over on the sheeple.
This methodology is used over and over in society by the Luciferians. Create chaos, anger, resentment, envy and outright war between and among the masses; then harvest the negativity and bloodshed to reinforce the mass-terror simulation grid which keeps the sub-consciously cued peasants cowed towards the royal perpetrators of the terror.
All the while kings and queens remain in the eyes of most water-treading suckers, something to strive to become. Just look at any deck of cards. Or at the popularity of Game of Thrones. Or at bed sizes. Or at who runs a beehive. This black magic inversion of language is everywhere and in our faces. They even call it “the Queen’s English” for Christ’s sake.
If we are to reclaim this world and revert back to the paradise that it once was, we must reject the spells of the Privy Council’s black magicians and begin to think and talk like real human beings again. Black must be black and a tree a tree.
Human nature is good, just like nature itself. This is the biggest of all magician lies. It is this royal parasite-created artificial reality which shields evil behind mesmerizing pomp and circumstance which must be shouted down, mocked and completely rejected if we are to revive paradise under natural law.
Paramount to this is breaking out of their mass terror simulation, which with the advent of artificial intelligence will become more pervasive and sophisticated. There is nothing to fear and no reason to fight one another, divide into camps, or jump on the latest outrage/negativity bandwagon.
Parasites are most easily killed by cutting off their food supply.
Dean Henderson is the author of five books: Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Stickin’ it to the Matrix, The Federal Reserve Cartel & Illuminati Agenda 21: The Luciferian Plan to Destroy Creation.
“Talk of freedom, democracy and human rights are just a convenient cover. Washington is never at risk, for example, of stumbling into war with Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh’s laundry list of crimes against humanity.”
Very often when media coverage of war is analysed, there is a focus on how hawkish pundits cheerlead for conflict and journalists parrot official narratives while dissenting voices are drowned out. Mainstream networks, for example, have been heavily criticized by media watchdogs for almost exclusively inviting pro-war guests and ex-military hawks onto their news shows to convince Americans that war is the only reasonable course of action, while refusing to let anti-war commentators get a look in.
But there is another more subtle and unnoticeable way that the media deceives us. Even when they are not outright cheerleading for military action (as was the case in the lead up to the Iraq War), the language they use to describe events is designed to absolve Washington of blame.
Next time you read the news, notice how the US is always “stumbling into” war, or “drifting into” war or “sliding into” war — or even “sleepwalking into” war. To “stumble into” war seems to be a firm favorite among headline writers. The US has “stumbled” into war in Iraq and Syria and has been, at one time or another, at risk of “stumbling” into war with Russia, North Korea and most recently Iran.
According to these headlines, the US has also been “dragged into” (CNN) and “sucked into” (NI) war in Syria and Afghanistan, twice (NI, The Times). In recent weeks, the Trump administration has been “sliding into” (AP) a potential “accidental” war with Iran — and back in 2017, it was “dragged into” (FP) the disastrous Yemen conflict.
The examples of the US stumbling, blundering and bumbling its way into wars are endless — and it does raise a question that no one ever seems to ask: If it’s so easy to trip and fall into massive never-ending wars, why isn’t it happening to everyone else? Is Washington just especially clumsy?
With this narrative of the bumbling superpower, agency is always removed from the architects of war. Instead of enthusiastically banging the drums for war, we’re told the White House is always ‘reluctant’ to deploy its military, but is ‘forced’ into it . Then, once the war is in full-swing, when things are not panning out exactly as planned, the US can become the sacrificial hero, propelled into a deadly conflict not of its own making.
A recent headline in the Miami Herald framed recent US actions on Venezuela as the US being “pushed to act.” Pushed by who? The Trump administration voluntarily helped organize and instigate the attempted coups that worsened the country’s political crisis and proudly imposed the economic sanctions which have led directly to thousands of premature deaths. There was no “pushing” involved.
In April, Foreign Policy magazine even had Venezuela’s self-declared interim president Juan Guaido “stumbling toward a coup.” How do you stumble into a military coup? Surely that’s the kind of thing that requires careful, deliberate planning and execution? The Washington Post had Trump “fumbling”an uprising in Caracas, too.
It’s not just media pundits and journalists who employ this kind of misleading language, either. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said this week that a US war with Iran could happen“by accident.” Did Hunt take a vacation from reality and miss US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton ramping up war rhetoric against Iran for months? Maybe Trump abandoned the 2015 Iran nuclear deal by accident and sent an aircraft carrier and bomber task force into the Persian Gulf last week to “send a message” to Iran by mistake.
Such framing obscures basic facts about Washington’s motives and predilection toward military conflict over diplomacy. Washington doesn’t get into wars by mistake. Unless a country is directly attacked, threatened or occupied, wars are quite easy to avoid getting into if you really don’t want to be in them — but the hawks in Washington, no matter how much they pretend to not want war, are always itching for more and they will stop at nothing to get what they want, even if that means fabricating evidence (as in Iraq) or pulling off false flag attacks to use as convenient pretexts for the US to ‘respond’ to.
Please stop publishing pieces declaring the US is “stumbling” or “drifting” into a war. The US goes to war because it’s by design, not by accident. If it’s not painfully clear the intentions are to goad Iran into an armed conflict, you haven’t been paying attention.
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) May 15, 2019
US military actions are designed specifically to provoke the conflicts that they believe will be of benefit to their overall geopolitical strategy. Talk of freedom, democracy and human rights are just a convenient cover. Washington is never at risk, for example, of stumbling into war with Saudi Arabia, despite Riyadh’s laundry list of crimes against humanity.
Whether this propagandistic language is always employed in a totally conscious way or not, it’s difficult to tell. Either way, it’s a psychological trick which frames the most powerful, military-minded and trigger-happy country in the world as some kind of innocent victim of events beyond its control.
Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance writer based in Dublin.
Follow her on Twitter @DanielleRyanJ