• Same story, different day...........year ie more of the same fiat floods the world
  • There are no markets
  • "Spreading the ideas of freedom loving people on matters regarding high finance, politics, constructionist Constitution, and mental masturbation of all types"

The American Way (Lotta Other Countries Too)

HardTruth

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#41
Personally, I have found that I can often learn a lot from others whom vastly disagree with my opinions. This may be 1 reason why I have never joined in
" cliques-groups" because doing that usually means you just surround yourself with others who agree with you on most things. I think religions are 1 of the biggest tax free money making scams on earth, yet many of my best friends are religious. Humans often seem to have this double standard where they claim they fully support freedom of speech and opinions, but if you firmly disagree with them on delicate subjects and can actually present a argument that exposes their beliefs may be faulty, then those people may want to see you banned from a forum or limit your freedom of speech and opinions.

Humans that have had a certain set of beliefs for many years, do not generally like to admit that maybe their beliefs were wrong. Just another fault of the human character.

Poster 917601 , is 1 of the main posters on this forum whom I have disagreed with for years but I would never dream of trying to shutdown his freedom of speech or opinions or see him banned from the forum just because we don't see " eye to eye" .
 

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#42
Personally, I have found that I can often learn a lot from others whom vastly disagree with my opinions. This may be 1 reason why I have never joined in
" cliques-groups" because doing that usually means you just surround yourself with others who agree with you on most things. I think religions are 1 of the biggest tax free money making scams on earth, yet many of my best friends are religious. Humans often seem to have this double standard where they claim they fully support freedom of speech and opinions, but if you firmly disagree with them on delicate subjects and can actually present a argument that exposes their beliefs may be faulty, then those people may want to see you banned from a forum or limit your freedom of speech and opinions.

Humans that have had a certain set of beliefs for many years, do not generally like to admit that maybe their beliefs were wrong. Just another fault of the human character.

Poster 917601 , is 1 of the main posters on this forum whom I have disagreed with for years but I would never dream of trying to shutdown his freedom of speech or opinions or see him banned from the forum just because we don't see " eye to eye" .
The first amendment is the most important.

Lose that and any hope of a return to greatness for this country is over.
Unless the debate over why the fed is allowed to continue fascism will continue and the results were predicted many years ago.
 

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#43
No One Would Choose to Live a Life Like This | SKWealthAcademy Vlog_006
smartknowledgeu


Published on Oct 2, 2017
Please Like, Comment and Subscribe if you want NEW videos. Today, I discuss why so few of us ever question the pre-engineered currency, academic and corporate work systems into which we are herded, and raise the question if we would be much happier if we did.

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Intro/Outro music provided by creative commons, license free track: Hiphop instrumental vol 4 by Mr. Aurimus
 

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#44
Just a little food for thought...................

An Act of Pure Evil


by Cognitive Dissonance
Oct 3, 2017 12:16 PM


When I selected the name of my avatar here on Zero Hedge and began posting comments, then articles when I became a contributing editor, there was deliberate and conscious intent on my part to disturb the cognitive dissonance of the herd. Rarely do we personally grow unless sufficiently prodded with a poker.

My intent with this article is NOT to stick a finger in the wound and cause more pain. Not in the least. But "We the People" have an extremely complex, some might say insane, relationship with murder/death/kill. To put it bluntly, we have been deeply conditioned to believe certain 'types' of killing are just and righteous, therefore 'legal'. More importantly, we believe that just about the only righteous killing can, and must, be conducted by the state and its duly appointed apparatchiks.

To be even more blunt....that's screwed up. This article illuminates both the state's, and our, hypocrisy.

WARNING!! Trigger alert. Do NOT read this if you wish to remain comfortable with your belief systems.

This is being written the day after the mass shooting in Las Vegas and it in no way diminishes the horror and suffering experienced by all involved. I cannot imagine what it was like to be watching an outdoor concert and suddenly find myself under fire with nowhere to run and no place to hide.

It was truly horrific, senseless and so very sad. Or as President Trump declared in his morning after address to the nation, this was “an act of pure evil”.

There is no doubt over the ensuing days, weeks and months millions of words will be spoken and written about this singular act of violence perpetrated upon an unaware and unprepared crowd of dessert revelers. From arm chair psychologists such as this author to so called ‘experts’, we will be bombarded with one part insight to every hundred parts nonsense.

No doubt the nonsense will prevail.

I suspect some readers will not take kindly to me going off script so soon after what is being billed as a national tragedy. In my defense, the difference between me and your average sociopath politician is I am attempting to empower the reader by expanding our minds while they are trying to dis-empower the reader via carefully crafted propaganda and cognitive manipulation.

They want you to refasten your blinders while I wish to tear them off.

I absolutely guarantee you nearly every single political leader and wannabe is thinking only one thought at this precise moment. How can I use this situation to my political advantage? You cannot participate in modern day politics and not think in this manner, regardless of how good and honest you might claim to be.

When you swim in the swamp, you employ the same techniques and thought processes as all the other swamp dwellers. At best it is an occupational hazard, at worst an all consuming disease. Unfortunately very few escape with their morals and dignity intact and none succeed in draining, or even changing the flow of the fetid swamp waters.

But this isn’t the purpose of this screed at all. Either we fully recognize, and are repulsed by, the nature of the swamp and those who dwell within while taking concrete and purposeful steps to distance ourselves as much as possible from all that the swamp encompasses. Or we have learned to mostly ignore it, live with it, benefit from it or directly participate in it.

I tell myself I’m somewhere in-between, but that just might be my ego talking.

There are no innocents, only collaterally damaged individuals. But there are plenty who declare ourselves innocent, claiming the Sergeant Schultz defense of “I see nothing, I know nothing and I wasn’t even (t)here”.

I do not dispute the fact that planning and preparing for, and then carrying out, an act of mass murder and mayhem is indefensible and inexcusable. I assume the reader feels the same way I do, that the person who perpetuated this bloodshed with forethought and malice was mentally deranged and possibly even ‘evil’, regardless of the details of motive and method.

Where we might depart the same path is in how we characterize mentally deranged as defined by a nearly equally mentally deranged society. What, exactly, is the difference between a ‘crazy’ individual shooting from the 32nd floor of a hotel into a large crowd of people with conscious intent to kill and a nation’s military lobbing cruise missiles or dropping bombs onto an opposing nation’s population centers, occupied hospitals or upon other so called ‘innocents’ with the same conscious intent to kill?

Now I am absolutely positive the reader’s mind is racing through the thousand and one excuses, reasons and rationalizations we have been programmed with, and conditioned to believe and repeat, in order to justify homicide, murder really, to ourselves and to our peers in the name of ‘war’.

I get it. I understand. I am the product of the same conditioning and propaganda everyone else has been exposed to. But the question remains entirely reasonable and relevant. How is homicide by the state any different than homicide by an individual, whether on a mass or individual basis?

Once we begin to delve into this thorny issue, the next question is why do “We the People” support one homicidal entity while vigorously condemning the other?

Ever notice how violence conducted in an ‘offensive’ manner is decried as wrong and ‘illegal’, evil even, while violence employed purely in defense of yourself and those around you is accepted as reasonable and justified? After all, civilized people know there are rules to follow when conducting war. You can’t have people just killing and maiming each other willy-nilly with no rules, now can you?

This is precisely why all nations frame war, before, during and after, as unavoidable and defensive in nature. And it’s also the reason why nations routinely engage in false flag operations in order to create plausible deniability and justification for homicide in order to gain, consolidate or hold on to power, wealth and control.

I can drop 1,000 pound bombs on your head or direct a cruise missile through your kitchen window, but I can’t use poison gas, exploding bullets or other such ‘illegal’ methods of particularly gruesome homicide. As if being blown into bits and pieces by a bomb or missile isn’t particularly gruesome or horrifying.

The fact remains we can rationalize away anything we wish to justify, first as individuals and then as a herd, by simply framing the discussion in ways that fit already programmed terms and conditions that justify our actions. Helpfully (thankfully, for we as ‘moral’ individuals might balk at doing so) the programming is already determined, then promoted and placed via state sponsored education and later via the deeply influenced, if not outright controlled, state propaganda arm called mainstream media.

All that remains is for us to not only accept it, but endlessly repeat it back to others, the ultimate positive feedback loop of group-think that reinforces both our conditioning and the continuing acceptance of our conditioning. The base message is usually not that sophisticated, enabling infinite modification by each individual so that state sponsored homicide is not only acceptable, but in many situations desirable and even necessary.

Once we are able to shoehorn distasteful nonconforming tidbits into our internal narrative, we sleep better at night. Never underestimate the lengths to which we will go to believe precisely what we want to believe.

So there you have it. One ‘madman’ with several automatics and lots of ammo randomly, and rapidly, shooting at human fish in a barrel is bad, very bad. Of this there is no argument from me. But college educated chisel jaw all American hero pilots dropping 1,000 pound bombs on hospitals or strafing wedding parties is acceptable as long as he or she is following ‘legal’ orders and plays by the rules of war a la legal murder/homicide.

And if there is some unfortunate targeting snafu or human error that leads to collateral damage, well…that's just the price others pay for our gloriously righteous war against the evil madmen enemy.

I can’t wait to not only hear what the state will cook up to justify the next large scale war, but how it will be framed so you and I can swallow it hook, line and sinker, then order up pizza and beer just in time to watch the fireworks live on CNN.

A spoon full of sugary rationalization helps the ugly murder and mayhem go down. After all we do have to live with ourselves, now don’t we?

10/02/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-03/act-pure-evil
 

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#46
Survey Find Americans' Views on Free Speech is a Whole Bunch of Crazy


by TDB
Oct 14, 2017 2:38 PM

Via The Daily Bell

The biggest thing this survey proves is that Orwellian double-speak is working.

If you are unfamiliar, doublespeak is a term from the novel 1984. It is speech intentionally meant to confuse, or obscure reality.

What does free speech mean? What is hate speech? And what laws currently or should exist in regards to speaking freely?

The answers from Americans prove just how successful the media and politicians have been in making Americans less grounded than a satellite.

The powers that be have successfully confused and obscured any hint of rationality in beliefs. There seems to be little method and all madness. People simply make up their minds emotionally, instead of thinking critically. And that is how those in power like it.

When people behave emotionally, they are more easy to control. A rational belief would be something along the lines of Evelyn Beatrice Hall’s “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.”

An irrational belief would be that anything that offends you should not be called free speech.

Those who believe the latter fail to understand that practically anything can be considered offensive to someone. Under those circumstances, politicians could limit any kind of critical speech, claiming it promotes violence, offends, or is hate speech.

Holding Two Contradictory beliefs

The study found:

An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that “it would be hard to ban hate speech because people can’t agree what speech is hateful,” …

Yet a majority of Americans and a supermajority of African Americans believe that “society can prohibit hate speech and still protect free speech.” (To complicate matters, a quarter of Americans, 38 percent of African Americans, and 45 percent of Latinos erroneously believe it is already illegal to make a racist statement in public.)

So even though most people don’t think you could properly define “hate speech,” they still don’t think banning it would violate free speech. That’s the magic of government for you! Some people will have speech that they do not consider “hate speech” limited, but somehow free speech will still be protected… okay.

Who should get protection against hate speech? Forty-six percent would support a law making it illegal to say offensive things about African Americans…

Forty-seven percent of Latinos, 41 percent of African Americans, and 26 percent of whites would favor a law making it illegal to say offensive things about white people in public.

I thought this one was hilarious. White people aren’t interested in making it illegal to trash talk them, but other races are!

Of course, where is the line? Who gets to decide what constitutes offensive? Obviously, the government.

So is saying that African Americans are on average better at basketball than white people offensive? I’m sure some people think so. Should I be locked up in a cage for saying something like that in public?

What about stating a simple fact, like Asian Americans are underrepresented in the prison system? What if I go further and comment on what I think that means; that the average Asian is less likely to be a criminal than the average white, latino, or black person?

And don’t you dare say anything even remotely critical or trans-anything.

Fifty-one percent of Democrats would favor a law “requiring people to refer to a transgender person by their preferred gender pronouns and not according to their biological sex.”

Well, no surprise there. That is one of their favorite doublespeak topics. Progressives like to call the right anti-science, but there are few things more anti-science than pretending someone can change their sex. You can certainly mimic the opposite sex. But if you were born a man, you will never get pregnant. If you were born a woman, you will never get someone pregnant. Yet children are being allowed to make life-altering reproductive changes before puberty.

And finally, let’s criticize the “opposite” side of the allegedly two-dimensional political spectrum.

Republicans were most intolerant of speech and most likely to favor authoritarian laws to punish it on the subject of burning or desecrating the American flag: Seventy-two percent of Republicans believe that should be illegal (along with 46 percent of Democrats).

The flag stands for freedom. That’s why you don’t have the freedom to speak out against it. Makes sense, right?

Looks like there are easily offended snowflakes all over. If Americans had their way, there would be practically no free speech allowed whatsoever!

And that is exactly the climate the media and politicians were trying to create this whole time.

But it Wasn’t All Bad News! Right?

There was one point of interest that seemed to offer a glimmer of hope.

Large majorities agree that “a big problem this country has is being politically correct,” including 70 percent of Latinos, 62 percent of African Americans, and 72 percent of whites.

Across partisan and racial divides, large majorities agreed that colleges and universities are not doing enough to teach young Americans about the value of free speech, and not doing enough to ensure students are exposed to a variety of viewpoints…

So it seems people are indeed getting sick of having political correctness jammed down their throats. The only problem is that this feeling is still emotional and ambiguous. There are no hard rules or clear lines that people would ever agree on for when something becomes politically incorrect.

And the very next line shows that again, people’s beliefs contradict themselves.

…a small majority believes colleges “have an obligation to protect students from offensive speech and ideas that could create a difficult learning environment.”

The survey was meant to be about free speech, but I think it proves something much bigger.

America cannot have an intelligent conversation about anything because no one agrees on the basic meaning of words. People will keep talking in circles as long as the media convinces them that they can simultaneously believe two contradictory ideas.

An environment now exists where people will just say and believe whatever they think will get them in the least trouble with social enforcers all around them.

No one will grow intellectually when the media tells them to use their emotions to decide on issues. How can you make informed decisions when you can’t even comprehend an argument?

And that is double-plus ungood.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-14/survey-find-americans-views-free-speech-whole-bunch-crazy
 

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#47
Anecdotes and Reminiscences

-- Published: Friday, 20 October 2017

Originally posted at http://www.plata.com.mx/enUS/More/331?idioma=2

By Hugo Salinas Price

A well-known story from yesteryear: when Venustiano Carranza was President of Mexico (1917-1920). Carranza issued a great quantity of worthless paper money, which caused much resentment on the part of the population. Someone (whose identity was never discovered) printed up some papers, and these were pasted one night on the walls of buildings in the heart of Mexico City; the papers had the following text:

“The Mexican eagle is a very cruel animal: It eats only silver, and shits only paper.”

President Carranza was furious on account of the insult, and his government offered a reward of $5,000 Pesos for information leading to the arrest of the culprit.

The witty author answered with a new text pasted on the walls of downtown Mexico City during the following night:

And with what is the payment to be? With what the eagle eats, or with what the eagle shits?

Another tale from the time of Carranza: one good day, one of the humble peasant women selling vegetables in the great “Merced” market of downtown Mexico City refused to receive payment for her vegetables in paper money. She demanded silver coin in payment. Her example was swiftly followed by the rest of the women selling foodstuffs at the market. I have no further information on what happened after that, but I suspect that this refusal to accept paper money led to the end of Don Venustiano’s paper money scheme. In 1920, he created the 0.720 Peso (i.e. 72% pure silver) which was the money that Mexico used up to 1945, when the coin could no longer be minted because the price of silver in the coin became worth more than $1 Peso.

I think it is interesting to know why the Mexican monetary unit is called the “Peso”. In 1535, the Mexican Mint in Mexico City began to mint silver coins that eventually became the most-used money in the world: the famous “Pieces of Eight”. (Under President Jefferson, the model of the Mexican “Pieces of Eight” was the model used for the US Silver Dollar.) After Mexican Independence, the “Pieces of Eight” minted under Spanish rule had to be modified in their facial characteristics, in accord with the new situation of independence from Spain. The world “peso” in Spanish, means “weight”. The new coin was called the “Peso”, because it contained the same weight of silver as its predecessor, the “Pieces of Eight”. This Mexican silver Peso continued to be the money of Mexico from 1812, shortly after Independence, up to the outbreak of the Mexican Revolution, in 1910. So the silver money established under Monarchy continued without change for nearly four centuries, from 1535 to 1910 – a notable case of monetary stability, perhaps only outdone by the gold Bezant of the Byzantine Empire.

Venustiano Carranza was assassinated in 1920: some historians claim that he was assassinated because his policy did not accommodate the interests of the US, whose aim was to put an end to the great productivity of Mexican agriculture, at the time in the hands of the great landowners of the country. Don Venustiano was opposed to the “Agrarian Reform” that the US wished to impose upon Mexico.

Perhaps the assassination of Don Venustiano also opened the way for the creation of a Central Bank in Mexico, which took place in 1925. Its organization was parallel to the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913. We cannot know whether he would have favored the creation of a Central Bank, or not.

Up to 1925 there existed in Mexico private banks which were well-managed, as for example the Terrazas Bank in the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico, whose banknotes enjoyed an unblemished reputation as representations of wealth - that is to say, their banknotes were fully redeemable in silver money upon presentation to the bank. However, there were also some private banks that were not well-managed by their owners, who used their banks to finance their own ventures, which sooner or later led to their bankruptcy, to the detriment of their depositors and creditors, among which were the owners of the banknotes they had issued as money.

One of the reasons given both for the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, and for the creation of Banco de Mexico in 1925, was that it was necessary to do away with “the bankruptcy of banks” – though the leaders of the move to create the Federal Reserve were the great bankers of the US, who wanted to create an entity that would protect them from their own mismanagement, by means of a guarantee of financial support of the Federal Reserve if and when they should run into a situation of insolvency.

The result of the “Guarantee” on the part of the Federal Reserve was that all the banks associated to the banking system under the control of the Federal Reserve immediately proceeded to operate imprudently: if one bank acted imprudently without any risk, it would have a competitive advantage over its rivals; therefore all were compelled to act imprudently or get left behind. The mismanagement consisted in “borrowing short and lending long”, in other words using funds obtained either “at sight” or for a short period of time from depositors and investors, and lending them out for a longer term, which was more profitable. The same result obtains at present, in the Mexican banking system.

Another reason given for the creation of a Central Bank in Mexico, was that the issue of banknotes would not be permitted to private banks, but would be a function enjoyed exclusively by the Central Bank, which would thus establish a sound and reliable monetary system in the country.

However, what was achieved was a situation which was much worse: instead of having to suffer the bankruptcy of some isolated banks of private property, the establishment of Banco de Mexico became an entity which would collaborate with the government in the government's requirements of unlimited spending.

The interests of isolated cases of private banks whose mismanagement continued until they reached insolvency and bankruptcy, were substituted by a Federal entity, Banco de Mexico, which can never go bankrupt and whose banknotes and digital money must be unquestionably accepted in payment of debts, notwithstanding their continual depreciation.

Up until 1925, and practically since our Independence up to the present, with the exception of the revolutionary period (1910 – 1925) the Peso/Dollar ratio was always more or less $2 Pesos for $1 Dollar. Today, the Peso/Dollar ratio hovers around $19,000 Pesos for $1 Dollar – if we ignore the make-up applied to the Peso en 1993, when three zeros were erased from the ratio. And we all know that the Peso is in danger of falling to $20, to $23, to $25,000 or more – God only knows what is in store for the Banco de Mexico Peso!

To make matters worse, we have to take into account the fall in value of the Dollar itself, during the same period - for the same reason, excessive money printing or creation of excessive digital money. It has been calculated that the US Dollar is today worth only 3 Cents or less of its value in 1925.

One highly important result of the monetary system we are forced to endure, has been the progressive moral deterioration of society in general, both in the Mexico and in the US – actually in the whole world.

The world’s thinkers turn a blind eye to the very strong link that exists between the prevailing morality in a nation and its monetary system. Honesty prevails where real money - of gold or silver – prevails. When a nation is forced to live with false money – paper or digital – honesty is compromised and vice booms; just one of the many symptoms of moral breakdown is the flight from a situation of uncertainty into the refuge of a drug-induced stupor, when how to act in order to provide for life becomes an unsolvable puzzle due to the forced use of false money. Apparently, the Catholic Church itself does not worry about false money. I once had a conversation with Cardinal Norberto Rivera, during which I suggested the support of the Church for my proposal regarding the silver “Libertad” ounce. Don Norberto yawned and said he knew nothing about monetary affairs.

I close with a last anecdote:

My father-in-law, Don Guillermo Pliego y Pliego, once told me of an experience he had: “I saw a truck in downtown Monterrey (Mexico) on its way to the refinery at American Smelting and Refining Company, loaded with 0.720 silver Pesos; the truck had a mishap and dumped its silver load into the street; hundreds of Pesos rolled down the street, but the people passing by gathered every one of them and returned them to the truck.”

Can we imagine how people would react, in a similar situation, today?

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1508505000.php
 

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#49
An outrageous proposal — or not



-- Published: Wednesday, 25 October 2017

By George Smith

A cry could be heard from somewhere in the room.

No one was surprised. This had been an unthinkable outcome for those in attendance, and a sense of quiet shock had overtaken everyone. This was not a G7 or a G20 summit. It was a meeting deliberately without a label. It would never again happen. It couldn’t.

The leaders of the world’s states had gathered to find solutions to the problems they feared were threatening human life on earth. They were reminded of the incessant wars, the likelihood of a recession far worse than the last, the enormous levels of family, student, and government debt, the increasing deterioration of the world’s currencies, the immigration problems, the reciprocal relationship between money spent on eradicating problems and the results obtained, the vast, increasing corruption of government officials and the mainstream media, the failure of the public schools, the various racial, ideological, and religious hostilities, the increasing vulnerability to the planet from end-of-days scenarios, and so many more a sudden outbreak of headaches postponed further discussion.

Later, when the subject of solutions came up, they were reminded that without solutions that worked governments would eventually have no one to govern. With no one to govern their laws and decrees would be meaningless. With no one to govern governments would have no source of revenue. With no one to govern it would be pointless to debauch the currency. With no one to govern the vast bureaucratic arrangement of government would churn to a halt.

“With no one to govern our problems would be solved,” added one, to the amusement of the others.

Immediately another replied, “Could it work the other way?” All heads turned to him. “What if we removed our institutions from society? What if we closed shop, as the Soviet Union did in 1991? What if we eliminate government from the face of the earth and leave people free to deal with the mess we’ve made? It’s their future that’s at stake. I think they’ll find ways to fix things peacefully.”

And after debate that raged for six hours, this is what they — incredibly —agreed to do. Some no doubt had visions of instituting even stronger governments after the peons grew tired of robbing and killing one another.

The long history of slavery — and government

Robert Higgs opened his scholarly Crisis and Leviathan with these words: “We must have government.” Higgs, a libertarian, went on to document how crises, especially war, excused the rapid expansion of the federal government — never mind that the crises developed because of government meddling. When the crises ended the government retained some of the new powers it grabbed during the emergency. Next time you look at your pay stub and see the taxes withheld remember that withholding was passed as a “temporary measure” as well as an alleged benefit to taxpayers to fund US involvement in WW II. (See Rothbard’s comments here.)

Later in life Higgs repudiated his opening statement about the necessity of government as he moved ideologically from a minarchist libertarian to an anarchist libertarian, explaining that

"I believe it is wrong for anyone – including those designated the rulers and their functionaries – to engage in fraud, extortion, robbery, torture, and murder. I do not believe that I have a defensible right to engage in such acts; nor do I believe that I, or anyone else, may delegate to government officials a just right to do what it is wrong for me – or you or anyone – to do as a private person."

He also brought attention to the long history of slavery and the even longer history of government “as we know it,” meaning “the monopolistic, individually nonconsensual form of government that now exists virtually everywhere on earth.” Proponents of slavery once had a list of arguments that went virtually unchallenged. Today almost no one respects those arguments. Yet they would be offered any day of the week in defense of government “as we know it.” Higgs:

Slavery is natural.
Government (as we know it) is natural.

Slavery has always existed.
Government (as we know it) has always existed.

Every society on earth has slavery.
Every society on earth has government (as we know it)

The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves.
The people are not capable of taking care of themselves.
etc.

Jim Powell in Greatest Emancipations: How the West Abolished Slavery offers these comments on slavery:
"it had been around for thousands of years, hardly anybody had opposed it in all that time, and powerful interest groups—including established churches—supported it. . . The very idea of emancipation was widely viewed as a threat to the social order."

Substituting “government” for “slavery” fits perfectly. Almost no one opposes it, it's supported by powerful interests, it's been around for thousands of years, and its abandonment would be viewed as a threat to the social order.

Chattel slavery and government have much in common. There were brutal slaveowners. There were also slaveowners who treated their slaves decently, almost as if they were family members. Governments vary in their treatment of citizens as well. Some tolerate conditions of relative freedom, while others will murder or imprison anyone or any group perceived as a threat. Still, “kinder, gentler” governments have sent millions of young men to their deaths after conscripting them into the military. And they stand ready to do it again. Those same governments lose little sleep imposing on other states sanctions that cause civilian deaths, including the slow death of children.

Political scientist R. J. Rummel has estimated that governments in the 20th century killed 262,000,000 people under their rule, with most of those occurring in Soviet Russia, Communist China, Nationalist China, and Nazi Germany. So-called democracies, where citizens exert a degree of control on government policies, are far less likely to murder its citizens. Democracies commit most of their murders against foreigners.

Whether democratic or otherwise, government as an institution has two defining traits: It claims a monopoly of rule over a defined geographic area, and it secures this monopoly with the threat of violence. Within its domain it allows no competitors.

With a superiority of force, governments as we’ve known them have secured their revenue through extortion, though under different names. It is not an exchange for services in a market sense. Governments may say they will do certain things with the revenue collected but that’s as far as it goes. There is no contract with the taxpayers. They are not customers government works hard to satisfy. There is no need to.

Throughout history governments have always supplemented their tax revenue by debasing or counterfeiting the currency. In modern times the government’s central bank has made this process almost impenetrable, while the Keynesian-dominated economics profession has deluded the public into believing it’s in their interest.

So, at base we have an institution that is violent, a monopoly, an extortionist, and a counterfeiter. It’s also a murderer, kidnapper, and a liar. And it’s running our lives.

We ought to be able to do better.

The instant formal government is abolished, society begins to act: a general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.”
— Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, Part Second

http://barbarous-relic.blogspot.com/

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1508959860.php
 

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#51
The Fragmentation of Society



-- Published: Monday, 30 October 2017

By John Mauldin

The Fragmentation of Society
The Future of Work
The End of Cancer
Angst in America
Denver, Lugano, and Hong Kong

Lately, my life has been completely packed with speeches, meetings, and in-depth, often lengthy, conversations. Plus ongoing research and writing, of course. It all culminated Thursday afternoon at the beginning of a business meeting with the leadership team from a firm that will become a significant new business partner. At the very beginning of the meeting, the head of the firm leaned over to me and asked, “What’s on the top of your mind? What are you thinking about?” The previous night we had a small group of about 15 people in my living room after dinner, and the question was similar, “What keeps you up at night?”

It has become an emotional question for me, because the answer does not come easily, is complex, and can be more than a little unsettling. It is, however, evolving out of the research and writing I’m doing on my new book, The Age of Transformation. Whether audiences and readers agree with my answer or not, it is not a feel-good message, which is somewhat frustrating because I’m the biggest long-term optimist in the room. But I acknowledge that what I am talking about suggests that the ride between today and the long-term happy ending is going to be more than a bit bumpy.

This week’s letter is going to be a passionate summary of my answer. In form, it will be something like a conversation between you and me, sitting in your living room or mine, or in a restaurant, maybe sipping an adult beverage, thinking through the future together, and wondering at how the world is transforming in front of our eyes.

In part, the impetus for this letter was a video I did with Patrick Cox last week, one in a four-part series that Patrick is doing called “Riding the Gray Tsunami.” We had a candid conversation about the future that lasted an hour, though our outstanding moderator and editor Jonathan Roth, one of our team members, will likely edit it to about 30 minutes. Patrick’s other guests will be Dr. Mike Roizen, the chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic; Aubrey de Grey, the chief science officer of SENS Research Foundation and one of the true experts on longevity science; and finally, our friend Jim Mellon, self-made British billionaire and avid biotech investor. You can sign up to participate here. You really don’t want to miss this. Now let’s jump to the letter.

research to show that, on a global basis, the poor are getting richer faster than any other group. However, if you look around the US or Europe, that is not the conclusion you come to. But Africa or Asia? Absolutely. Let’s be clear: The Industrial Age and free-market capitalism, for all of its bumps and warts, has lifted more people out of poverty and extended more lives than has any other single development. The collapse of communism has been a great boon to humanity (even if it is still talked about favorably in Western universities).

Because of where the emerging-market economies are in the development cycle, they have the potential for vast, rapid improvement in the lives of their people. But most of my readers do not live in the emerging markets. We live in the developed markets; and here, some of the outcomes of the Age of Transformation will not be so comfortable. Let’s start with this chart (hat tip, Downtown Josh Brown).



Obviously, the rig count in US oilfields is rising rapidly – no surprise there. But distressingly, the number of oilfield workers is continuing to fall. How can this be?

There is an answer to that conundrum in the long article that is the source of this chart and others I’ll use later. There is a new robotic machine called an Iron Roughneck that reduces the human labor required to connect pipe from a crew of 20 down to a crew of five. And those jobs were quite high-paying. Here’s a picture of this new robotic roughneck. Fifteen workers per site at well over $100,000 a year each? Does that machine look like it cost more than a few million? I bet it amortizes pretty quickly, and that’s why it is being rapidly adopted.



Now look back at the chart. The amazing thing is that this transformation happened in two years; it didn’t take a generation or even half a generation. You were an oilfield worker with what you thought was potentially a lifetime of steady, well-paying – if dangerous, nasty, and dirty – work. And then BOOM! The jobs just simply disappeared. Your on-the-job experience doesn’t translate to any other industries very easily, and now you and your family are on the skids.

I could actually spend this entire letter talking about the amazing transformation of the oilfield. Oil production is now a technology business. Computers and artificial intelligence are used in abundance in the oilfield. Future wells are going to be a magnitude more productive and less expensive. There are oilfield operators here in Dallas running around with pro formas, raising money, talking about how they can do very well at $40 and even $30 per barrel. And with oil at $54 and looking as though it could well go to $60, they are raising money and punching holes. Just with fewer workers.

From the report on the Iron Roughneck we get the following alarming quote. (Note that the report is full of links to academic research. While I don’t like the author’s conclusions, his work is at least well researched).

A landmark 2017 study [dismal reading – John] even looked at the impact of just industrial robots on jobs from 1993 to 2007 and found that every new robot replaced around 5.6 workers, and every additional robot per 1,000 workers reduced the percentage of the total population employed by 0.34% and also reduced wages by 0.5%. During that 14-year period of time, the number of industrial robots quadrupled and between 360,000 and 670,000 jobs were erased. And as the authors [Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo] noted, “Interestingly, and perhaps surprisingly, we do not find positive and offsetting employment gains in any occupation or education groups.” In other words, the jobs were not replaced with new jobs.

It’s expected that our industrial robot workforce will quadruple again by 2025 [more troubling MIT research – John] to 7 robots per 1,000 workers. (In Toledo and Detroit it’s already 9 robots per 1,000 workers.) Using Acemoglu’s and Restropo’s findings, that translates to a loss of up to 3.4 million jobs by 2025, alongside depressed wage growth of up to 2.6%, and a drop in the employment-to-population ratio of up to 1.76 percentage points. Remember, we’re talking about industrial robots only, not all robots, and not any software, especially not AI. So what we can expect from all technology combined is undoubtedly larger than the above estimates.

Automation has been happening right under everyone’s noses, but people are only beginning to really talk about the potential future dangers of automation reducing the incomes of large percentages of the population. In the US, the most-cited estimate is the loss of half of all existing jobs by the early 2030s.

You can find people who estimate that technology will eliminate as many as two billion jobs, while also creating a large number of jobs – but nowhere near as fast. I don’t buy those extreme estimates, as I think they amount to sensationalism, but if you want to predict 30 to 40 million jobs lost in the US by the middle of the 2030s (that’s 17 years from now), I’m not going to argue with you. How many jobs will be created? We’ll get to that in a minute.

report, concludes that 90% of all driving in the US will be TaaS (transportation as a service) by 2030, although that will utilize only 60% of the cars. The good news is that the average family will save $5,600 per year in transportation costs, keeping an extra $1 trillion per year in Americans’ pockets. Think of all the time that will be freed for activities other than driving, not to mention the traffic jams that will be reduced. The authors believe that freeing time now spent commuting to work, plus faster transport times, will lead to an increase in GDP of between $500 million to as much as $2.5 trillion. Public sector budgets will benefit because highway infrastructure costs will fall, and vast amounts of land will be freed from parking lots and publicly owned right-of-way properties next to highways. Of course, governments will lose as much as $50 billion in gasoline taxes as we shift from internal combustion engines to electric and other alternative forms of power systems.

The really bad news is that a lot of people will lose their incomes.

The report projects that the adoption of TaaS will come about in typical technological adoption fashion: slowly and then seemingly all at once. The authors talk about the end of individual car ownership. Why would you own a car if it was far cheaper and more convenient just to pick one up via an app on your phone? Not owning a vehicle frees a lot of garage and parking space and might even eliminate the hassle of picking up your kids and getting them to and from their various activities. Of course, the system will work much more effectively in urban and suburban areas than in the rural world.

And it is not just the six million taxi and truck driver jobs that are threatened. Automated driving will save some 30,000 lives per year just in the US, which is something to be applauded. But it will also dramatically decrease the number of people going to emergency rooms from automobile wrecks, reducing the need for healthcare workers. Since cars won’t be in wrecks, the number of people required to repair them will be radically reduced. There are 228,000 auto repair shops in the country, employing some 647,000 workers (at a minimum – data from BLS). When a new car will last for one million miles and have fewer than 30 moving parts, those auto repair people are going to be like the Maytag repairman in the commercials of my youth: very lonely and increasingly unemployed.

If driving is TaaS, then automobile dealerships are in trouble, as are most car salesmen and the 66,000 people who work in automotive parts and accessories stores. What about auto insurance salesmen? And all the gas stations that will not be needed? (When an automated car gets low on electricity, it will simply pull into a spot and replug – automatically, of course, aided by robotics.)

The US auto industry employs 1.25 million people directly and another 7.25 million indirectly. Not all driving jobs will be lost, but the authors estimate that around 5 million will be, with a reduction in national income of $200 billion.

And if we need fewer cars? That shift would put a lot of automotive manufacturing companies and their workers under severe strain. I’m not certain how the authors arrived at the number, but they estimate new-vehicle annual unit sales will drop by 70% by 2030, to around 5.6 million vehicles versus the 18 million that will be sold in 2020. Ugh. If we actually do see wholesale conversion to electric vehicles, US oil demand for passenger road transport could drop by 90% or more. Oil production companies may need to figure out how to make life work at $25 per barrel, if that’s the case.

Personally, I think the report is a little over the top. (Well, maybe more than a little.) But if they stretch those projection figures to 2035 or 2040? Totally in the ballpark. And frankly, as I will note in a few paragraphs, whether it’s 2030, 2035, or 2040, the change will seem like it came overnight and totally out of left field – especially for the workers who no longer have work.

Bexion Pharmaceuticals. The company is now 15 months into a phase I trial to determine the safety of a drug called BXQ-350, which is basically a full-on silver bullet for mass-tumor cancers. It has so far been a small trial in four medical research universities, with a limited but growing number of patients who have pancreatic cancer and brain tumors. The results have been very promising. Ray told me about one patient at the University of New Mexico who has a very rare form of cancer and who was given the drug. This is a cancer for which there is no treatment – it’s basically a death sentence. It occurs in adults but more frequently in children. Ray was initially concerned about treating this patient, as the study is about safety and you really don’t want to have any issues associated with a safety trial. But the patient’s doctor talked him into proceeding, and they began to administer the drug. It hasn’t been very long, but the patient is improving, and the cancer is regressing. He had lost partial use of his right side but is now walking and using that side again.

Because it’s a phase I trial, we don’t really have much information about how effective the drug is, apart from anecdotes; and distressingly, the researchers must sometimes stop administering the drug because that’s part of the required protocol. The rules simply want to make me pull my hair out.

In the US, one million people per year get cancer, and half a million die. Those are ugly statistics, but they could change drastically within less than 10 years. Cancer could become a nuisance rather than a threat to life. I lose more and more friends every year to cancer. We all do. I will be so glad if that stops. So will you.

Full disclosure: I was a first-round investor in Bexion, and so I have a strong home-field bias in wanting BXQ-350 to succeed, but the reality is that its success will be extraordinarily good for humanity. And frankly, one of the main risks to my investment is not that the drug won’t actually work, but that any of several other companies that Patrick Cox and I are looking at will actually come up with a drug that is cheaper, better, and faster. Or maybe, as in treating AIDS, you end up with a cocktail of drugs to fight cancer.

One way or another, cancer is going to go the way of measles and polio. You’ll be diagnosed by means of a simple blood test that will be part of your annual medical checkup, and you’ll be informed if you have cancer. Next you will undergo further tests to determine what type. And then, whatever the therapy is, it is likely that you will simply go to your doctor’s office for regular treatments. In the case of Bexion’s drug, treatment will (hopefully) amount to a few months or less of three visits per week, no side effects, and your cancer goes away. That is the extrapolation from mouse studies. We’ll know more after phase II studies are underway sometime next year. Since it is now public information, I can mention that John McCain will be given access to this drug at the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center. Randomly, McCain has one of the types of cancer that the phase 1 trial has focused on. And he also actually qualifies for the trial (which is not easy to do). With all Americans, I wish him the best.

But let’s think for a minute about the impact of the success of a drug of this type beyond the many lives that will be saved and the significant reduction of pain and suffering. I couldn’t determine the number of healthcare workers specifically associated with the treatment of cancer, but it has to be in the hundreds of thousands, and they have relatively high-paying jobs. Then there are all the hospital beds filled by cancer patients – easily many tens of thousands. Plus all the ancillary workers that are associated with the care and welfare of cancer patients. The good news is that with the rising need for healthcare workers, those workers will be able to relatively quickly moved to an associated field. And let’s not forget the estimate Kyle Bass gave me, that at least $500 billion of market cap in big Pharma will be destroyed by a cure for cancer.

So there are just two examples of major disruptions to employment that will be caused by near-future technological change. We haven’t even gotten into the brick-and-mortar retail jobs that online sales firms like Amazon are taking away. And warehouse workers? The list could go on and on of whole job classifications that are endangered species. These changes are going to disrupt our lives and the social cohesion of our country. And of course these shifts are coming not just in the US, but in the entire developed world. And even technology centers in the developing world are going to find themselves at risk of employment dislocations.

Just so that I don’t appear to be a total Gloomy Gus, let me quickly note that the very technologies that are destroying job are also going to result in tens of millions of new and in many cases better jobs. Many of them will be high-paying, more life-fulfilling, and far less dangerous than the occupations they replace. I’ll write a letter in the near future in which I’ll talk about where those tens of millions of new jobs will hopefully come from.

The glib answer to the question, “Where will the jobs come from?” has always been “I don’t know, but they will.” That is what has always happened in the past. We went from 80% of laborers working on the farm in the 1800s at barely subsistence-level incomes to 2% producing far more food today. As these farm workers became redundant, they moved to where the jobs were. And with a lot of ups and downs, we managed over time to find jobs for nearly everyone. But that transition took place over 200+ years – 10 generations. There was time for people to adjust and for markets to adapt. Even when whole industries appeared and then disappeared again, it happened over generations. Everybody bemoans the loss of US manufacturing jobs, but few realize that we are producing almost as much as we ever have – just with fewer people. And this trend will continue. More production, with fewer workers. Just like we see in the oilfields.



The transformations I am talking about are going to happen in one half a generation, or at the most a full generation. That is not much time for adjustment, especially for a country like the United States where 69% of families have less than $1,000 in savings. (I have seen the figure quoted that 47% have less than $400.) That is not enough to deal with the loss of your job.



The classic Republican answer to this problem is that we need to unleash the entrepreneurial tide in the United States that has been dammed up by bureaucracy and excessive taxation. And there is a point to that. But for whatever reason – and this is a topic for another letter (and it’s one I have addressed in the past) – for the past five or six years the country has had more firms close than be created, and for the first time in our history.



people-press.org/interactives/political-polarization-1994-2017/ and pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/10/05/takeaways-on-americans-growing-partisan-divide-over-political-values/) since 1994, trying to discern political polarization. These three charts look at the years 1994, 2004, and 2017. Even as late as 2004, notice the broad crossover between the median Democrat and median Republican. And then notice how wide the divide is today.







Not only are the median positions of both parties further apart, but both parties have also shifted farther to their respective extremes in the last 13 years. The middle ground is much smaller, and to my eye it looks like the Democratic group is somewhat bigger than the Republican. You can see the same thing in the breakdown of the vote by states and counties; but since political commentary is not my genre, I’m going to avoid going any further down that rabbit hole.

But I will say that the internet, social media, and the media we consume on TV have allowed us to live in echo chambers where we are not really hearing much from the other side. We talk to people who think like we do and who tend to confirm that we are correct in our beliefs. That constant cycle of reinforcement makes our positions even more hardline, to the point where we trivialize or disparage the other side. It has seemingly become acceptable for an American congressman to say that he doesn’t feel sorry for those killed in the mass Las Vegas shooting because they were likely Trump supporters and against gun control. And for white hate groups to blatantly and publicly espouse racist positions. Antifa groups can call for the random killing of white people, simply for being white. And fewer than 30% of Millennials think that democracy is clearly the superior system of government.

And that is where we are today. Where are we going to be when unemployment is well over 12% and rising to 15%, the government is routinely running multitrillion-dollar budget deficits, state and local pensions are defaulting, and taxes are high and still rising?

And all this is going to happen at a time when wealth and income disparity are going to rising even faster than they are today. It’s all there in the data if you take the time to look. I am working hard to document not just the technological changes but the social, demographic, and political changes, along with the economic realities we will face in the book I’m currently writing. My greatest challenge will be to keep it under 300 pages!

And so, yes, when people ask what is in my worry closet, it is the fragmentation of society. As a country, we are going to have to begin to think the unthinkable. We really don’t know how to accurately measure GDP or inflation, and we certainly don’t have any way to statistically measure the improvements in lifestyle over the years. And we will need those tools. As conservatives and Republicans, we are going to have to think about something like universal basic employment, as opposed to universal basic income. Good work and participating in society give us meaning in life. Income just gives us a way to scrape by, but not personal life satisfaction or meaning, which is why we have an epidemic of opioid deaths, suicides, and rising deaths from alcoholism in the United States among white unemployed workers between 45 and 54. They have lost meaning and hope in their lives.

The calls for a guaranteed basic income (like Mark Zuckerberg’s) are just beginning, but that is going to become a major political theme in our future. Like King Canute, we cannot stop the tides – but perhaps we could get creative and channel that tide. What do we think of shorter work weeks? Just as Roosevelt put men to work during the Depression, maybe we need to think about finding jobs around our communities that need to be done. Guaranteed basic employment. Mull that over….

Yes, that offends every Hayekian neuron in my brain, but in a world of an unimaginable and unmanageable future, we are going to have start thinking the unthinkable.

Voters are going to want politicians to solve their problems. Politicians can’t really solve the problems we already have, let alone the problems of the future, so I expect we are going to see shifts from one political extreme to the other.

Let’s be clear, these problems are not all going to show up next year, and most won’t even start to be understood until the early 2020s. But they’re coming, and we need to begin to plan for them now, for our country, for our own and our families’ lives, and for our portfolios. I look forward to being part of your journey and hopefully helping you to plan.

Denver, Lugano, and Hong Kong

On November 7, I will be speaking to the Denver CFA Society. I’m going to try to go to the Rice University homecoming that the following weekend, because there will be a special reception for former editors of the student newspaper. Editing the Rice Thresher is one of my fondest college memories and was a tremendous learning experience. Understand, we had no journalism classes and no faculty oversight. The paper was entirely student-run. The size of the paper depended on how many ads we sold. We were still printing the paper on an old letterpress with handset type. I was told by the printers that I was the first editor in 50 years who actually knew how to come in and set the time, run the presses, etc. I grew up in a print shop setting type and still have ink in my blood. The third-generation owners of the printing company that produced our paper had been printing the Thresher for over 50 years. They possessed a wealth of historical knowledge. At homecoming there will also be a public lecture by Dr. Vernon Smith, Nobel laureate and one of my personal economic heroes. Maybe I can even wrangle an invitation to dinner.

One week later I will fly to Lugano, Switzerland, for a presentation to a conference – and I’ll try not to push myself quite so hard on this next trip across the Pond. Shane and I will also be in Hong Kong for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in early January.

This week has been one meeting after another and one call after another, and I still have 437 emails in my inbox. This letter is already too long, so I am going to hit the send button and push out my plan to share my Thanksgiving mushroom recipe to a future week.

One of the rarest commodities today is time to pay undivided attention to anything, and the fact that that you give me some of your attention is truly humbling. I know that most of you are just as busy as I am. I try to make my writing worth your time and to make you think. I know today’s letter has been a little on the dark side, but I tell you, we will figure out together how to Muddle Through. And I hope I can help you do much better than simply Muddle Through.

Have a great week. Take somebody with a different political view to lunch and have a sensible and agreeable conversation. Listen to other people’s perspectives and try to grasp what they’re saying. Maybe they will pass on the courtesy. Have a great week.

Your more optimistic about life and the future than ever analyst (even though the transition will be bumpy),


John Mauldin
subscribers@MauldinEconomics.com

Copyright 2017 John Mauldin. All Rights Reserved.

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#52
This and That Vol 3 – Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire


by Cognitive Dissonance
Oct 29, 2017 9:59 AM


Lots of original work available exclusively on my Patreon blog. For as little as $3 a month you can support my creative work and access all content. Please consider doing so at https://www.patreon.com/CognitiveDissonance


There are a couple of phrases I often use to neatly describe the personal and social dysfunction exploding into view these days. On the personal side, my “We are only as sick as our deepest darkest secrets” perfectly illustrates how personally damaging those things are that we hide from everyone, especially ourselves.

Since a society is composed of, and accurately reflects, its individual citizens, it stands to reason this dysfunction would reverberate throughout society even if it manifested differently on an individual basis. It is entirely possible, and in fact a regular occurrence, for hundreds of millions of people to share a ‘secret’ by simply not talking about the root issues of our social dysfunction.

We as a society will nearly always talk over, under and around the core issues that are slowly grinding away at our sanity. Therefore “What is not discussed is far more important that what is”. A perfect example of this is the recent silliness of mass righteous indignation about kneeling or not during an act of coerced/conditioned symbolism (the ‘national anthem’) when so many far more important things are ignored like monsters hidden under the bed.

What is often lost by those on the sidelines, either participating in the drama or confused why there is so much ado about nothing, is that the drama IS necessary both for the participants and the viewers. It does not matter which side of the divide we lay on, only that we are engaged in not talking about the things we do not wish to talk about.

To many people my statements above will ring as nonsensical, even ridiculous, because in their view we talk incessantly about everything. The internet sees to that, which is abuzz with endless conversations and dialogue. In my opinion this is a false view and a misunderstanding of what is actually occurring. And it is a perfect example of how the illusion is often just as effective as the real thing, and sometimes more so.

Political correctness, also known as officially promoted self censorship, doesn’t just apply to political speech. We all moderate what we say (and think) in ways large and small depending upon a million variables too numerous to list here.

While we would like to believe society at large determines what speech is acceptable and what speech is not, in practice a few key meme makers leverage their influence via the mainstream media megaphone to set the water mark the public is then coerced into following.

You do not need to control the herd, just a few of the lead cattle. Even then ‘control’ is too strong a word, for nudge would be more in line with how directional bias is achieved by those who wish to command. This is done in part by subtly limiting subjects to be discussed, often but not exclusively via political correctness, but then encouraging everyone to engage in vigorous debate within these narrow confines.

Yes, there are people who will draw outside the lines and talk about anything and everything, particularly on the Internet. But for the brainwashed masses, meaning those who wish to remain safely within their mainstream cognitive comfort zone, these people are easily marginalized and dismissed as kooks, misfits, conspiracy theorists, mentally unstable and mad-as-a-hatter fruitcakes.

Never underestimate the lengths to which people (that’s you and me folks) will go to believe what they want to believe. Therefore all that needs to be done is to convince people they want to believe what they are told to believe. The glowing idiot box in the corner (and increasing in our back pocket) is the perfect vehicle for that task.







Color me surprised, shocked even, that at the last minute the ‘government’ has withheld full and final disclosure of the last remaining documents related to the John F. Kennedy assassination, ostensibly because they needed more time to examine about 200 for possible (further) redaction.

I don’t even know where to begin here other than to confess to my cynical sarcasm. I do not believe a single word uttered by any ‘intelligence’ agency or those who carry their water. From their perspective it is their job, their honor bound duty, to lie about everything and anything in order to protect and promote their power and control. It’s all about furthering American hegemony at all cost, including abusing any and all remaining rights not previously stripped from average Jane and Joe.

Earlier in life I learned that once you begin to lie, even if you never lie again, additional lies must be created and promoted in order to support or supplant old lies. It’s a vicious circle that feeds upon itself and serves no purpose other than to maintain and support the status quo…especially our personal status quo.

We lie to gain some type of advantage, even if the benefit is merely to maintain our own inner lies and denial. The same applies to nations, particularly when that nation maintains its dominant position via bullying, manipulation, falsehoods and various other belligerent behaviors including outright war.

Ultimately the most egregious lies, thus the most carefully crafted and concealed subterfuge, is reserved for the thoroughly domesticated and conditioned native population.

We the People” have benefited greatly from American hegemony in ways not readily apparent to those completely immersed within the grand illusion of American exceptionalism. Obviously it is to our general and personal benefit for the lies to continue so that the status quo remains in place. The ultimate lie is that present day conditions can, and will, remain in place indefinitely.

They cannot, they will not, they have not. The financial, social and cultural rumblings currently echoing within the hollowed out shell of America are the precursor crumbling to the ongoing (slow motion) collapse. The lies promoted by the powers that be are intended to gain advantage over you and me, along with any one or thing still willing and able to lend the US money, power, prestige, faith and belief.

The looting will continue until the middle class has been stripped of all remaining wealth.

So why would they continue to lie about the JFK assassination? Because we want the lies to continue. It’s that simple. Daddy, tell me another lie so I can believe it’s the truth.

If you were told the truth, whatever that truth may be, exactly what would you do about it? Not think, not bitch and complain, but actually do? For example, if you were informed that elements inside and/or outside the government conspired to kill the President of the United States, then they, along with agencies of the government, acted in concert for decades up to present day to cover up this fact, what would you do?

The answer is mostly likely little to nothing. But that is not the point.

The secret sauce to keeping America limping along and the looting on track is your faith and belief things are not as bad as your average 3rd world banana republic. Undeniable evidence things might actually be equal to, or worse than, a Central American banana republic would propel a tidal wave of fear and disillusionment among the general public, quickly followed by a loss of faith and belief in our leadership and ourselves.

Deep down inside in places we dare not look, we know this to be the truth. We also know without a shred of doubt that not only are we sleeping with the enemy, but we are entirely dependent upon the sociopaths and their skewed and rigged socioeconomic system to maintain our own (declining) lifestyle. And that lifestyle depends upon our continuing faith and belief in both the sociopaths and the system.

We ARE the system. We support the system. Without our faith and belief the system rapidly collapses. This is called a positive feedback loop in that the faith and belief system is self reinforcing to the greatest extent possible. But nothing lasts forever, in this case simply because more and more parasites are sucking the lifeblood from the nation.

We know this. It’s obvious. But we are desperate to believe it’s fixable (with little to no ‘cost’ to us) when it is not. To admit to ourselves this inconvertible truth means we must confront the fact the end is near. And quite frankly, we’ve grown accustomed to having our cake and eating it too. Or at least to the prevailing illusion this is the case.

And so we lie to ourselves and expect, even demand, our leaders continue to lie to us even as we claim we wish to know the truth.

There is no doubt that, with regard to most ‘truths’, we really do want to know the truth. For example we want to be told when a government official has embezzled money, misallocated funds or lied to benefit others, for these truths do not threaten our fundamental belief in democracy and the rule of law.

But to discover, or be told without a doubt the government was involved in what essentially would have been a coup of the Presidential office of the United States which was, and continues to be, covered up to this day would rock people’s faith and belief in the foundation of so-called democracy.

If this were to occur, we might actually have to start asking serious questions about other ‘events’ in the recent past. Worse, we would then begin to feel obligated to do something about it. At the very least it would threaten our own relatively comfortable status quo.

Can’t have that, now can we? If nothing else we demand (the illusion of) law and order from our keepers in exchange for remaining mostly quiet and compliant.

The durability and believability of a lie is in direct proportion to the number of people who benefit from the lie or who would be hurt if the lie were exposed and acknowledged. For many, the primary disadvantage, at least initially, is simply the assault upon our ego that we swallowed such a big lie for so long.

The bigger the lie, the easier it is to keep it going once swallowed whole by the public. Our subservient devotion to a higher authority and its paternal hierarchy helps to initially cement the lie in place, then to keep questions at bay while the cement cures and hardens.

Even those who remain skeptical or refuse to believe the lie are diminished and isolated by the tyranny of the majority opinion who (desperately) wishes to believe the authority, particularly when doubt is present. Of course, doubt is always present because only the authority can proclaim something as true or false.

See how that works?

At best the most recent JFK disclosures are part and parcel of an ongoing, and ever evolving, psychological operation directed at the American people. How do you control a large group of people that far outnumber those who wish to control the group? Divide and conquer is the age old method used consistently and successfully to distract, divert and divide the restless herd.

We ain’t seen nuttin’ yet! Stay tuned for more of the same technique applied with increasing force and less subtly.







I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention that all of the above is not exclusively an American problem. While lying and denial are decidedly human traits, “We the People” seem to take it to extremes in our mindless pursuit of conspicuous consumption.

And what is the number one American export? That would be the American culture of mindless consumption and overall excess. More is always better, even when it isn’t.

This uniquely American export is an absolute requirement if the practice of non sustainable excessive consumption is to be maintained to the bitter end. When running a Ponzi, new marks must constantly be found and exploited if the status quo is to be maintained for those who ultimately benefit from the Ponzi, usually the founders and/or those at the top of the food chain.

This is a disease, a mind virus, an aliment of the spirit that will ultimately kill many of its hosts if only from an early death caused by disease and decay due to the excessive consumption. The obesity epidemic spreading throughout the western world is a perfect example. Everyone is looking for a single source, such as overeating, for what is causing the problem when it is the cumulative effects of a dysfunctional way of life that is destroying us individually and collectively from within.

If we do not recognize, acknowledge and then own our personal participation in this dance of self destructive insanity, nothing will change. How can we possibly expect others to change if we are not willing to do so ourselves? It all begins within.



10/29/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-10-29/and-vol-3-–-where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire
 

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#55
Living with the Exponential - I



-- Published: Thursday, 16 November 2017

By George Smith

Before the middle of this century, the growth rates of our technology— which will be indistinguishable from ourselves— will be so steep as to appear essentially vertical. From a strictly mathematical perspective, the growth rates will still be finite but so extreme that the changes they bring about will appear to rupture the fabric of human history. That, at least, will be the perspective of unenhanced biological humanity.

Kurzweil, Ray. The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, September 26, 2006

Massive debt is sealing the fate of governments and central banks. As the cards collapse, radical developments in diverse areas of technology, combined with free market entrepreneurship, will destroy and rebuild the existing social order.

Smith, George Ford. The Fall of Tyranny, the Rise of Liberty, January 21, 2017

My purpose in "Living with the Exponential" series is to get our thinking oriented to the supercharged future that awaits us. One sample of this future has already arrived when it was reported a month ago that AlphaGo Zero defeated AlphaGo in the game of Go, 100 games to none. A few months earlier AlphaGo had topped the best human player. Unlike AlphaGo, AlphaGo Zero taught itself to play Go.

In 2011, IBM's Watson computer defeated the two best Jeopardy! players. Watson has since gone to medical school to assist doctors in their diagnoses.

Chess programs that run on desktop computers or even smartphones routinely beat human grandmasters.

The tech industry has spawned billionaires by selling to the masses. Tech titans aim to eliminate disease itself, including aging.

But the radical future isn't limited to digits, as we're seeing with Brexit and Catalonia.

The world is changing fast, and it will change much faster in the years ahead. Let's try to stay on top of it.


Medicine

Gene Editing

“We cut your DNA, open it up, insert a gene, stitch it back up. Invisible mending,” said Dr. Sandy Macrae, president of Sangamo Therapeutics, the California company testing this for two metabolic diseases and hemophilia. “It becomes part of your DNA and is there for the rest of your life.”

It’s like sending a mini surgeon along to place the new gene in exactly the right location.

The experiment was done Monday in California on 44-year-old Brian Madeux. Through an IV, he received billions of copies of a corrective gene and a genetic tool to cut his DNA in a precise spot.

Signs of whether it’s working may come in a month; tests will show for sure in three months.

See AP Exclusive: US scientists try 1st gene editing in the body (11-15-2017)


Surgical Training using Virtual Reality (VR)

We wiil need to double the number of surgeons by 2030 to meet the needs of the developing world.

Dr. Shafi Ahmed wants to train them simultaneously using VR.

"Ahmed made a splash back in 2014 when he reached 14,000 surgeons across 100 different countries by using Google Glass to stream a surgical training session. In 2016, Ahmed took this a step further by live-streaming a cancer surgery in virtual reality that was shot in 360-degree video while he removed a colon tumor from a patient."

He also streamed Twitter's first live operation.

Ahmed: “Forget one-to-one. My idea is one to many. I want to share knowledge with the masses.”

See Virtual Reality Is Reshaping Medical Training and Treatment (11-12-2017)


Treating babies born with jaundice

About 60 percent of babies are born with jaundice—a yellow tint to the skin and whites of the eyes.

The color is a sign that the baby’s blood has too much bilirubin—a byproduct of the body replacing old red blood cells.

The liver normally flushes bilirubin out of the body, but a newborns’ organ often can’t get the job done efficiently.

Newborns being treated for jaundice must often lie naked under therapeutic blue light for hours at a time.

New light-emitting pajamas could give parents a more comfortable, portable option for their babies.

See Light-Up Pajamas to Treat Babies With Jaundice (11-8-2017)


Reversing Aging

A team led by Dr. Dongsheng Cai from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine pinpointed a critical source of aging to a small group of stem cells within the hypothalamus.

Like fountains of youth, these stem cells release tiny fatty bubbles filled with mixtures of small biological molecules called microRNAs. With age, these cells die out, and the animal’s muscle, skin and brain function declines.

However, when the team transplanted these stem cells from young animals into a middle-aged one, they slowed aging.

In a groundbreaking paper published in 2013, Cai found that a molecule called NF-kappaB increased in the hypothalamus as an animal grew older. Zap out NF-kappaB activity in mice, and they showed much fewer age-related symptoms as they grew older.

The animals also better preserved their muscle strength, skin thickness, bone and tendon integrity.


See Breakthrough Stem Cell Study Offers New Clues to Reversing Aging (8-6-2017)


Artificial Intelligence

Ray Kurzweil:

[When] a girl in Africa buys a smartphone for $75, it counts as $75 of economic activity, despite the fact that it's literally a trillion dollars of computation circa 1960, a billion dollars circa 1980. It's got millions of dollars in free information apps, just one of which is an encyclopedia far better than the one I saved up for years as a teenager to buy. All that counts for zero in economic activity because it's free. So we really don't count the value of these products.

Technology is always going to be a double-edged sword. Fire kept us warm, cooked our food, and burned down our houses. . . It's only continued progress particularly in AI that's going to enable us to continue overcoming poverty and disease and environmental degradation while we attend to the peril.

I'm a believer that the Turing Test is a valid test of the full range of human intelligence. . . I've been consistent in saying 2029 [will be the year an AI passes the Turing Test].

See Ray Kurzweil on Turning Tests, Brain Extenders, and AI Ethics (11-13-2017)


Integrated Circuits

Most wearable electronic devices that are currently available rely on rigid electronic components mounted on plastic, rubber or textiles. These have limited compatibility with the skin, are damaged when washed, and are uncomfortable to wear because they are not breathable.

University of Cambridge researchers have developed a process that is scalable and according to the researchers, there are no fundamental obstacles to the technological development of wearable electronic devices — both in terms of their complexity and performance.

The printed components are flexible, washable, and require low power — essential requirements for applications in wearable electronics.

The technology is being commercialized by Cambridge Enterprise, the University’s commercialization arm.

See Integrated circuits printed directly onto fabric for the first time (11-10-2017)


Government

The United States was founded upon the concept of secession. Not once, but twice. First, in 1783, when colonies seceded from the British Empire. Second, in 1788, when states seceded from the United States.

Within eight years of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, the first secession movement arose.

It flared up, again, in 1800 when Jefferson was elected the third President of the United States.

And, again, in 1803 when President Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon.

New England States would seek secession from the United States again in 1811 over the admission of the State of Louisiana into the Union, and again in 1814-1815 over “Mr. Madison’s War.”

In the 1850s, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, called “the middle states”, represented 40 percent of the U.S. economy. A powerful secessionist movement arose in these states calling for them to form a separate country.

When the seven “Deep South” states seceded in 1860-61, many Northern newspapers upheld their legal right to secede and advocated a peaceful separation.

Secessionist movements continue in the United States to this day.

See Secession is as American as apple pie (11-6-2017)

http://barbarous-relic.blogspot.com/

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1510842672.php
 

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#56
America the Unserious

How can an "exceptional nation" be so polarized by trivial matters?
By Patrick J. BuchananNovember 21, 2017




How stands John Winthrop’s “city upon a hill” this Thanksgiving?

How stands the country that was to be “a light unto the nations”?

To those who look to cable TV for news, the answer must at the least be ambiguous. Consider the issues that have lately convulsed the public discourse of the American republic.

Today’s great question seems to be whether our 45th president is as serious a sexual predator as our 42nd was proven to be, and whether the confessed sins of Senator Al Franken are as great as the alleged sins of Judge Roy Moore.

On both questions, the divide is, as ever, along partisan lines.

And every day for weeks, beginning with Hollywood king Harvey Weinstein, whose accusers nearly number in three digits, actors, media personalities, and politicians have been falling like nine pins over allegations and admissions of sexual predation.

What is our civil rights issue, and who are today’s successors to the Freedom Riders of the ’60s? Millionaire NFL players “taking a knee” during the national anthem to dishonor the flag of their country in protest of racist cops.

And what was the great cultural issue of the summer and fall?

An ideological clamor to tear down memorials and monuments to the European discoverers of America, any Founding Father who owned slaves, and any and all Confederate soldiers and statesmen.

Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.

But the city that bears Washington’s name is erecting a new statue on Pennsylvania Avenue—to honor the four-term mayor who served time on a cocaine charge: Marion Shepilov Barry.

Whatever side one may take on these questions, can a country so preoccupied and polarized on such pursuits be taken seriously as a claimant to the status of “exceptional nation,” a model to which the world should look and aspire?

Contrast the social, cultural, and moral morass in which America is steeped with the disciplined proceedings and clarity of purpose, direction, and goals of our 21st-century rival: Xi Jinping’s China.

Our elites assure us that America today is a far better place than we have ever known, surely better than the old America that existed before the liberating cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Yet President Trump ran on a pledge to “Make America Great Again,” implying that while the America he grew up in was great, in the time of Barack Obama it no longer was. And he won.

Certainly, the issues America dealt with half a century ago seem more momentous than what consumes us today.

Consider the matters that riveted America in the summer and fall of 1962, when this columnist began to write editorials for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. What was the civil rights issue of that day?

In September of ’62, Governor Ross Barnett decided not to allow Air Force vet James Meredith to become the first black student at Ole Miss. Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent U.S. Marshals to escort Meredith in.

Hundreds of demonstrators arrived on campus to join student protests. A riot ensued. Dozens of marshals were injured. A French journalist was shot to death. The Mississippi Guard was federalized. U.S. troops were sent in, just as Ike had sent them into Little Rock when Governor Orville Faubus refused to desegregate Central High.

U.S. power was being used to enforce a federal court order on a recalcitrant state government, as it would in 1963 at the University of Alabama, where Governor George Wallace stood in the schoolhouse door.

As civil rights clashes go, this was the real deal.

That fall, in a surprise attack, Chinese troops poured through the passes in the Himalayas, invading India. China declared a truce in November but kept the territories it had occupied in Jammu and Kashmir.

Then there was the Cuban missile crisis, the most dangerous chapter of the Cold War.

Since August, the Globe-Democrat had been calling for a blockade of Cuba, where Soviet ships were regularly unloading weapons. When President Kennedy declared a “quarantine” after revealing that missiles with nuclear warheads that could reach Washington were being installed, the Globe urged unity behind him, as it had in Oxford, Mississippi.

We seemed a more serious and united nation and people then than we are today, where so much that roils our society and consumes our attention seems unserious and even trivial.

“And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his Gods?” wrote the British poet Thomas Macaulay.

Since 1962, this nation has dethroned its God and begun debates about which of the flawed but great men who created it should be publicly dishonored. Are we really a better country today than we were then, when all the world looked to America as the land of the future?

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/america-the-unserious/
 

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#57
What is Life All About? Spoken Word | SKWealthAcademy
skwealthacademy


Published on Nov 22, 2017
Today, I question certain accepted systems, including the academic and corporate career systems, into which most of us voluntarily partake of, without ever questioning if they offer the best utility for our time and effort.

The philosophy of questioning society's systems, and whether they are truly implemented to control us rather than liberate us, is a significant element of our coming SKWealthAcademy.

Follow me on snapchat: skweatlhacademy for daily financial and wealth building talk M-F, and for life philosophy Sat-Sun

Visit us at our soon to be launched website
skwealthacademy.com (not yet up and running)

Download the SKWealthAcademy factsheet here:
www.smartknowledgeu.com/pdf/SKWA.pdf

Also please follow me on SnapChat to help us crowdfund the final development of SKWealthAcademy through a coming IndieGoGo campaign

Intro and outro music is creative commons music, free to use commercially: Hiphop instrumental vol. 4, by Mr. Aurimas

All images used on creative commons license and/or the Fair Use act for the transformative purpose of teaching and making a point
 

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#58
Stained-glass windows of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson have been removed from the National Cathedral. Plaques to Lee and George Washington have been taken down from the walls of the Episcopal church in Alexandria where both men worshipped.

But the city that bears Washington’s name is erecting a new statue on Pennsylvania Avenue—to honor the four-term mayor who served time on a cocaine charge: Marion Shepilov Barry.
Let that sink in a minute...
 

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#59
The Public Are All Alone: Understanding How The Enemy Of Your Enemy Is Not Your Friend


by Tyler Durden
Nov 23, 2017 10:15 PM


Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In political matters, the public are taught to believe that some political Party is ‘good’, and that the others are “bad”; but the reality in recent times, at least in the United States, has instead been that both Parties are rotten to the core (as will be clear from the linked documentation provided here).



Belief in this myth (that the opposition between Parties is between ‘good’ ‘friend’ versus ‘bad’ ‘enemy’) is based upon the common adage that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

One side is believed, and ones that contradict it are disbelieved - considered to be lying, distorting: bad. But, maybe, both (or all) Parties are deceiving; maybe all of them are enemies of the public, but just in different ways; maybe each of them is trying to control the country in the interests of (and so to obtain the most financial support from) the aristocracy, while all of them are actually against the public.

Can it really be false that “The enemy of my enemy is my friend?”

Not only can be, but often is. And no one is able to vote intelligently without recognizing this fundamental political fact.

It’s true between entire nations, too - not only within nations.

For example: Hitler and Stalin were enemies of each other, but neither of them was a friend of America (except that Stalin did more than anyone else to defeat Hitler, and thereby saved the world, though the U.S. — far less a factor than the U.S.S.R. was in defeating Hitler — still refuses to acknowledge the fact that Stalin did more than anyone else did to prevent the entire world’s becoming dictatorships; so, whatever democracy exists today, is a result of that dictator, Stalin, even more than it’s a result of either FDR or Churchill).

What about internally, then?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump became enemies of each other, but neither of them had ever really been a friend of the American public: both of them were instead liars who would, and did, do everything they could to grab control (on the aristocracy’s behalf, who financed their respective campaigns) over what is supposed to be our Government, in a democracy. That’s just a sad fact about reality, which both of America’s political Parties deny (because they both need those voters, not merely those mega-donations; they need the public to believe that the Party cares about them).

Most of the American public have been successfully deceived by the ‘news’media, and by the ‘history’-books (likewise published by agents for the aristocracy), to believe that the U.S. Government serves the public-interest, and not the interest of the centi-millionaires and especially billionaires, who finance political campaigns. But it’s no truer than it’s true that the enemy of your enemy is necessarily your friend: both enemies of each other can be your enemies, too. The difference here is that the enmity between the aristocracy and the public is basically intrinsic, whereas the enmities between (Republican versus Democratic, or any other divisions between) aristocrats, are basically personal — these are matters of business, instead of matters of state. They are, in a sense, different business-plans — competing business-plans. But they are all assisting the aristocracy, to control the public, so as to advance the interests of the aristocracy. They’re all competing for the aristocracy’s support, and deceiving for the public’s support. Two blatant recent examples displaying this were America’s invasion in 2003 that destroyed Iraq, and America’s invasion in 2011 that destroyed Libya. Did either of those invasions advance the interests of the American public? But the owners of Lockheed Martin and other ‘defense’ contractors blossomed after 9/11. In fact: U.S. arms-exports are at record highs.

The now-proven reality in America is that the U.S. Government really does represent those billionaires and centi-millionaires, and not the public. It’s a now-proven reality, that the U.S. isn’t a democracy but a dictatorship - albeit, a two-Party one, with a real competition between billionaire and centi-millionaire Republicans on the one hand, versus billionaire and centi-millionaire Democrats on the other. But all billionaires and centi-millionaires are takers (that’s how they came to be super-rich, even the ones who didn’t inherit it from their parents), who (notwithstanding any ‘charity’ they may establish to avoid taxes while extending their control) receive from the public far more than they give to the public; and, so, there is actually an intrinsic class-war — not at all like Karl Marx famously said, between the bourgeoisie (including small-business owners) versus the proletariat (including some centi-millionaires and billionaires who became super-wealthy from being movie-stars or athletic stars and who don’t necessarily actually control any business at all, and so they’re “proletariats”), but instead between the aristocracy versus the public: the ancient and permanent class-conflict. It’s the entire aristocracy-of-wealth (which is maybe half of the nation’s wealth) that’s arrayed against the public (the poorer 99+% of the people). (In fact, Marx — the promoter of the view that the bourgeoisie are the public’s enemies — had aristocratic sponsors, and he would have remained obscure and died poor, if he had instead blamed the aristocracy, not “the bourgeoisie” — which is mainly the middle class — as being the exploiting-class. Marx, too, was an agent of aristocracy. He succeeded and became famous because he had aristocratic sponsors. Otherwise, his name would have simply been forgotten.)

Anyway, the American public are now alone. No Government represents our interests. It’s now been proven that America’s Government doesn’t represent us; and it’s not even the business of any other Government in the world to represent us; so, no foreign government does, either. No Government represents us.

In order to understand any aristocracy, one must understand what gives rise to almost all wars, because almost all wars throughout history have been between contending aristocracies - between the aristocracies of different nations. Each aristocracy needs to be able to fool its national public, to believe that they’re fighting against the foreign public, when, in fact, they’re fighting against the foreign aristocracy, and they’re fighting for the home-nation’s aristocracy - they are, almost always, fighting for one aristocracy, against another aristocracy. Any public who would know that this is the reality, would just as soon commit a democratic revolution, against the local aristocracy, as go to war for the local one, against the foreign ones. This is the reason why, in every dictatorship, the local centi-millionaires and billionaires buy up all of the ‘news’media that inform, or (on essential matters) misinform, their audiences about international relations, and about who did what to whom and why. They hire only ‘reporters’ who comply with whatever deceptions the owners feel to be necessary, in order to be able to attract sponsorships from other aristocrats’ corporations and ‘charities’. But, the aristocrats themselves are actually all in this together, because their mutually shared enemy is the public. Without deceiving the public about essential matters, no national news-medium would be able to attract the sponsorships it needs in order to grow, or even to survive.

The public thinks it’s fighting an international war, when, in fact, they’re fighting for the local aristocracy (and its allied aristocracies), against foreign aristocracies (and their allied aristocracies). This has been true since the dawn of human civilization. Only the weapons are bigger now, and the alliances (in the World Wars) are now global. (But, of course, if there is another World War, then all of human civilization will immediately end, and not long thereafter, all human and most other forms of life will also end.)

An excellent example of the real class-war, and of its international nature, is James Bamford’s 3 April 2012 masterful and pioneering article in Wired, “Shady Companies With Ties to Israel Wiretap the U.S. for the NSA”. He documented that even very high-up people in America’s NSA were kept out of the loop when joint U.S.-and-Israeli intelligence-agencies and private corporations were creating the present 1984-ish, “Big Brother” reality, in (at least) those countries (but, actually, the Sauds, and probably a few others, were also on the inside — the aristocracies not merely of those two countries, U.S. and Israel, are in the alliance).

The “Deep State” isn’t merely one nation’s aristocracy and its agents; it is basically a form of actually international gang-warfare. That’s what got us into invading and destroying Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, Syria 2012-, Ukraine (by coup 2014), and so many other nations. It wasn’t done in order to serve the America public’s interests. That’s just the standard lie — and it keeps going on, and on. Maybe until we invade Russia.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-...standing-how-enemy-your-enemy-not-your-friend
 

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#60
The Dangerous Dream of Secession


-- Published: Sunday, 17 December 2017


By George Smith

A fundamental requirement for lasting peace and prosperity is to reject government by coercive monopolies such as we have had for all of human history. How anyone can expect a government invested with a monopoly on violence to restrain itself from bullying people whenever it can get away with it is difficult to understand. Most people apparently refuse to explore alternatives to statism and hope their particular government doesn’t go the way of Zimbabwe or Venezuela — or Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia.

As I’ve detailed in my book The Fall of Tyranny, The Rise of Liberty we have two strong trends working in our favor: the inevitable blowup of state finances, coupled with the exponential growth of digital technologies. The result of these forces — state bankruptcy and exponential tech growth — will put individuals and voluntary associations front and center in everyday life.

Recently, and paradoxically, mankind’s number one futurist Ray Kurzweil has predicted that nation states will become the horse and buggy of our future, while assuring the world a universal basic income (UBI) will emerge from the sick beds of declining states. Come again? Kurzweil and his billionaire pal Mark Zuckerberg, who’s also touting a UBI and saying “People like me should pay for it,” ought to look more closely at their positions.

The exponential pace of technology is evolving into a merger of humans with their technology as miniaturization on an atomic scale enables an enhancement or replacement of our biological substrate. As Kurzweil notes in The Singularity is Near, “all of these technologies quickly become so inexpensive as to become almost free.” Humans enhanced with nanotech won’t need a UBI even if states were able to provide it.

Count us out

There is an age-old means to free people from coercive states rather than wait for them to implode from gangster-driven economics — secession. It amounts to a public declaration that a certain group of people no longer considers themselves subject to their state’s jurisdiction. It’s quite possible a tidal wave of secessions will occur as states grow more debt-drenched, bureaucracy-laden and weaker.

The only problem with secession is the state. States survive by bleeding its subjects, literally (wars) or figuratively (taxes). Fewer subjects means less blood. A state that loses too much blood imperils its survival. Plus it’s a sign of weakness if it can’t check the bleeding, and no state can afford to look weak among the community of like bullies.

Arguments about the legality of secession are so much noise. The most important issue is whether or not the state will allow it to happen peacefully, which is not much of an issue historically. As we’ve seen recently, Spain crushed the Catalonia declaration of independence with a combination of force, lies and political double-talk. And other states have rallied in support of Spain.

Americans celebrate their 1776 secession once a year, but almost no one calls it that. “Independence Day” — great. “Fourth of July” — certainly. “Secession Day”? Politically incorrect. Yet, if the Declaration of Independence is not a declaration of secession, nothing is. It is the source of American pride.

In the U.S. the legitimacy of secession as such was not an issue for the first 71 years of its existence. Instead, the issue was debated in terms of its appropriateness under certain conditions.

In the introduction to Secession, State, and Liberty, David Gordon notes that opponents of secession will sometimes concede that

secession is to be allowed should the government violate individual rights, but not otherwise. A group may not renounce duly-constituted authority just because it would rather be governed by others.

Gordon asks the obvious: What is the justification for making secession dependent on violations of rights? The judge and jury of the decision to secede is the seceding group, whether their grievances are well-founded or not. The decision may be unwise but it is theirs and theirs alone. Besides, what government would ever acknowledge they’re violating the rights of their citizens? Who will determine whether secession is “allowed”?

Allen Buchanan, who Gordon describes as the most influential philosopher on secession, argues that any group that violates individual rights has no right to secede. For this reason Buchanan rejects the legitimacy of Southern secession in 1861. Again, Gordon asks, why did slavery in the South make secession illegitimate?

To many contemporary abolitionists the Southern threat to secede was a gift from God because it would no longer require enforcement of fugitive slave laws, without which slavery would eventually end.

Secession as the foundation of the American republic

In The Real Lincoln author Thomas DiLorenzo tells us about constitutional theorist William Rawle,

who, in 1825, published a book, A View of the Constitution, that would become the text for the one course on the Constitution taught at West Point to virtually all the top military leaders who would later participate in the War between the States. . . .

In addition to being one of the most distinguished and prominent abolitionists of his time, Rawle was an articulate proponent of a constitutional right of secession. He believed that there was an implied right of secession in the Constitution and that this right should be enjoyed by the individual states.

The implied right came from the 10th Amendment. Since the Constitution did not prohibit secession, it was legal under the law. In Rawle’s words: “The states may wholly withdraw from the Union . . . . The secession of a state from the Union depends on the will of the people of such state.”

A proposal to outlaw secession was presented at the constitutional convention but was rejected after James Madison convinced members that “The use of force against a State, would look more like a declaration of war, than an infliction of punishment, and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound.” [quoted in The Real Lincoln]

As it happened the slave states of Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia remained loyal to the Union until April 15, 1861 when Lincoln called for a 75,000-man militia to “suppress” the Deep South states that had already seceded. South Carolina had taken Lincoln’s bait and bombarded Fort Sumter three days earlier, giving Lincoln the appearance of defending the Union from an aggressor.

As John Denson argues in The Costs of War: America’s Pyrrhic Victories, the most important question to ask was not “Why did the South secede?” but rather “Why did the North refuse to let the South go?” The war on Southern secession was a war on liberty, even though the secessionists were slave states.

Northern newspaper editorials before Fort Sumter often supported the legitimacy of the southern states to secede (source: Howard Cecil Perkins, Northern Editorials on Secession, quoted in The Real Lincoln, pp. 107-109):

Bangor Daily Union (11/13/60) - A state coerced to remain in the Union is “a subject province” and can never be “a co-equal member of the American Union.”

Brooklyn Daily Eagle (11/13/60) - “ . . . let them [the Southern states] go.”

Kinosha (Wisconsin) Democrat (1/11/61) - Secession is “the very germ of liberty . . . the right of secession inheres to the people of every sovereign state.

Detroit Free Press (2/19/61) - “An attempt to subjugate the seceded states, even if successful, could produce nothing but evil . . .”

New York Tribune (2/5/61) - Lincoln’s latest speech contained “the arguments of the tyrant—force, compulsion, and power.” If the southern states want to secede, “they have a clear right to do so."

With sentiment in the North open to secession, why did Lincoln pursue war? The un-American American System of high tariffs, corporate welfare, and a central bank Lincoln had championed all his political life was in jeopardy if the South were allowed to leave the Union. The favors dealt to one group had to be funded by another, and the South had been on the short end of that arrangement.

“My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery,” he explained to New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley in 1862. But he wasn’t saving the Union — not a union of free and independent states. He was destroying it.

In his address to the Second Continental Congress on June 7, 1776, calling on the colonies to declare their independence, Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proclaimed “That these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved." The seceding southern states were clearly united in their determination to be “absolved from all allegiance” to the federal government. Their connection was dissolved but not the political entity known as the United States. Had it been otherwise the South would have seceded unopposed.

The seceding South posed no threat to the Union. What it threatened was the Union’s unconstitutional usurpations. I wonder how many of those favoring Lincoln’s “object” understood that the object was to destroy the fragile American republic.

Holiday shoppers: If you like my articles please consider a gift of one of my books, all of which are available on Amazon in paper and digital form:

The Flight of the Barbarous Relic

Eyes of Fire: Thomas Paine and the American Revolution

The Jolly Roger Dollar and the pirates who made it

Write Like They’re Your Last Words

Publish on Amazon without breaking a sweat

Soldier Boy’s Last Battle

Defining Moments

The Fall of Tyranny, the Rise of Liberty

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1513531574.php
 

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#61
Cogs Two Ice Floes Post

Resistance Is Futile: The Borg Empire’s State of Mind
Gallery December 26, 2017 Cognitive Dissonance 1 Comment


Resistance Is Futile: The Borg Empire’s State of Mind

By

Cognitive Dissonance

Despite claims to the contrary, it is extremely difficult to differentiate between reality and the Borg Empire’s State of Mind. If you live and die in a water filled fish bowl where algae, barnacles and various other vision obscuring detritus slowly accumulate on the circular glass wall, the worlds both inside and out are perceived in very specific ways.

Have you ever experienced an epiphany, that moment of clarity and realization where nothing has changed, but everything is different? I’m not speaking of a Eureka moment when sudden insight is gained into a particular issue or problem. Rather I speak of that moment when our focus suddenly shifts from the green slime on the wall to some or all of what lay beyond.

Personally I’ve experienced it three times in my life, four if you count that wonderful acid trip way back when my young mind was still flexible enough to comprehend the impossible. The problem presents when returning to this distorted reality thoroughly shaken and awestruck, but still capable of functioning in an insane world while not clearly remembering, or comprehending, the real one.

Not everyone can re-adjust to our horribly distorted and altered reality once near perfection is revealed. Then again, well adjusted and functioning within the Borg Mind most definitely doesn’t mean we are healthy and sane.

Each of my visits to the other side of the glass divide was eventually followed by back sliding into the comfortably numb black abyss of the Collective Mind. Cognitive leaps are usually an accumulation of carefully digested baby steps, often one or two forward and on occasion one or two back. True progress is measured in experience units, not in accumulated pieces.

The more I know, the more I know I don’t know diddly. This is not a declaration of surrender, but rather a profound and humbling insight. We silly humans are lazy creatures when comfortably sated. If we are led to believe there is nothing of significance left to see or hear, we simply stop looking and listening. Confine the perceived world solely to what is within easy cognitive reach, our cozy fish bowl for example, and our critical thinking and alternative reality perception muscles grow weak and flabby from inactivity.

The big lie endlessly promoted by the Borg Empire is simply stated; all that is real and important is already known. And the vessel of knowledge, understanding and happiness lay safely confined within the Borg Mind. All we need do is give ourselves over to its control willingly and completely. After all, resistance is futile and entirely unnecessary. You will be assimilated, so why fight the inevitable?

From what I’ve been told, all my life in fact, the Borg Mind ain’t all that bad. We get constant superficial affirmation from the carnival barkers as well as our fellow sleepwalkers seeking the same cursory confirmation. Life’s highest goal is to conspicuously consume using the ultimate unsecured credit card. We knowingly steal food from our grandchildren’s mouths, pulling forward demand while pushing away the unpaid bill, then punch the reset button every eight to ten years and start it up all over again.

Sounds perfectly sustainable to me!

The best part of this devil’s deal with our inner demons is the streaming video and lightening fast page loads via a super quick broadband connection now considered a basic human right guaranteed by the Geneva Convention’s Net Neutrality Addendum of 2017. Cut the cable bro, for we can now eat our internet cake and surf it too.

Sublime succulent ecstasy, soon wirelessly delivered directly into our brain via outpatient chip implantation surgery! I can’t wait for the rave reviews from the early adopters as they barf up what’s been beamed in. Even so, garbage in garbage out has taken on a whole new meaning long before we are seamlessly wired into Big Borg Brother.

Want to bet the chip placement will eventually be fully covered by all health insurance plans? Trust me on this one; it will be declared a matter of national security. I’m not frightened in the least by the prospect of Artificial Intelligence, but I am scared to death of the coming ‘Enhanced Intelligence” human.

By now most people are aware, even if only via personal experience, that inflation adjusted wages have stagnated since the 90’s here in the great US of A. And by inflation adjusted I mean the official criminally under-reported inflation measure everyone who purchases anything knows is a total lie. Using a more accurate and realistic inflation input, wages have steadily dropped for more than twenty years.

But productivity has steadily increased since the industrial revolution began more than a hundred years ago; accelerating even faster as computer technology and the accompanying automation is integrated. Common sense, along with several academic studies, suggests the average worker should be working less hours per week, not more, if we were fairly sharing the benefits of the productivity increases.

But such is clearly not the case. Aside from the obvious incentive of the owners to hoard as much profit as possible derived from the workers’ labor, why hasn’t the average worker benefited more from the greater productivity?

To be perfectly frank, to even ask this question in this manner exposes our deeply embedded programming. For it tends to illustrate our fundamental belief in the greatest myth ever sold, that the US government (any government for that matter) was created to serve and to protect “We the People” rather than to serve and to protect the ruling class/elite slave owners from “We the Slaves”.

To fully recognize the Borg Empire for what it truly is, a control system of the many for the benefit of the few, appears at first glance to fly in the face of our present day reality. Isn’t this the land of the free and the home of the brave? Cannot we do anything we want, say anything we want, live wherever and however we want and buy anything we want?

Well, yes of course we can…within reasonable limits of course. To quote Johann Wolfgang von Goethe “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Sorry if that rubs our noses a little too firmly into our own stinking mess. Based upon my experience the truth usually hurts…and stinks even worse.

The place where so many dismiss this line of thought is right here and right now. Since the traditional ‘slavery’ meme entails whips, chains and great suffering, if those components are not (obviously) present, there simply can be no slavery.

We conveniently forget that the vast majority of the real slaves of legend (movies actually) self regulated their own incarceration. A few severe beatings, an occasional lynching along with slave word of mouth was sufficient to deliver a loud and clear message to the slave population: this far and no further.

Exactly how different is it today than it was 200 years ago? Does this mean your heart is filled with joy when you see flashing lights in your rear view mirror? I suppose if four police cruisers converged in your front lawn, officers exiting with guns drawn and game faces on, you would fling the front door open and welcome them with milk and cookies. I bet you’re thrilled to receive a letter from the IRS informing you the bank error was not in your favor.

It always amazes me how much energy people devote to ignoring the obvious. Then again, denial is presently the number one national pastime, leaving football far behind in second place.







We are a fantasy believing culture, a culture of make believe in fact, where everyone agrees not to discuss the obvious while vigorously debating the silly and mostly inconsequential. As Noam Chomsky once famously said, “The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

It is entirely permissible to bitch and complain all we want about the dehumanizing effects brought upon by a blood sucking soul quenching control system perpetrated by the Borg State of Mind. But one must NEVER question the system itself. All hail capitalism, democracy and our storm troopers because everyone hates us for our freedoms.

Or maybe they just hate us for our hypocrisy and war mongering.

Either we believe the lie or we confront the lie; there is no in-between. Conditioned from birth to seek the softer easier way, the choice is obvious…and the dark and suffocating cognitive dissonance is slowly driving us mad.

Why would a control system liberate and enlighten the previously enslaved minds? The answer is frighteningly obvious: it would not. But it would encourage the conditioned mind to believe it has been liberated for one simple reason. Those who believe themselves free are vastly more productive than those who know they are not. The plantation system may have completely changed over the last two centuries, but the labor source and ultimate beneficiaries have not.

Perhaps ‘control’ is too severe a word, too loaded with belly sickening connotation and pre-conditioned meaning for the ego to allow passage thru the rational part of the brain to liberate the self aware consciousness. Then again, we refuse to believe what we cannot bring ourselves to accept as real.

This conundrum was never clearer to me than when I witnessed what was obviously a series of explosions while being told it was a collapse. To this day people who view a video replay of the Twin Towers being destroyed from within swear to their almighty cognitive creators (CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX) it was a collapse. Our programmed and conditioned truths are too precious to our fragile slave psyche to be easily dispatched by reasonable doubt and rational questions.

Seeing is definitely not believing in the Borg Empire’s State of Mind. If it ever actually arrives, the rescue team will have to pry our comforting self delusions from our cold dead brains. And based upon what I see dead ahead, that won’t be too long now for Borg assimilation is accelerating on an exponential basis.

In many respects, a nation of walking brain dead is already upon us.

But one doesn’t need to actually be brain dead to be assimilated. In fact being mindless is a distinct disadvantage. The Borg Mind seeks more than just increased productivity from the pacified mind. Someone needs to purchase all those products and services being produced by the collective. Plus the pleasantly pacified must also keep its own house and body in a somewhat orderly fashion. This requires intelligence at a minimum level and a willingness to employ it.

Can’t say I really blame anyone for participating in the collective denial. Who wants to believe the Necromongers are alive and well and posing as shepherds of the benevolent (deep) state. Better to believe there is a fault in the system than accept it is the system itself that’s at fault, along with the psychopathic monsters we allow (enable would be a more honest assessment) to corral us into open air, and door, cognitive pens.

We can check out at any time, but we can never leave…because we don’t want to. The Borg Mind provides us with perceived purpose, cognitive comfort and a nearly impregnable shield protecting us from self awareness and personal responsibility. It just doesn’t get any better than this, giving us exactly what we want by first telling us what we want. Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.

But as with all illusions, there is no substance, no form or function, nothing of real value to be found in the flickering shadows splayed across the walls of our glass bowl. We grow physically obese from consuming empty calories while spiritually, emotionally and intellectually starving from a lack of soul nurturing nourishment.

Our amniotic fluid, also known as our co-opted and conditioning culture, is killing us softly but oh so assuredly. Either we need to change the water on a regular basis or stop peeing in the pool. I vote for both, the Empire votes neither.

This would all appear to be ripped out of some fantastical science fiction novel if it weren’t a horribly perverse truth. Then again, truth is always far more unbelievable than any fiction could ever be. At least fiction must make some kind of sense if it is to be consumed whole and passed undigested. In so many respects we apply far more critical thinking to fiction than we do to purported fact, particularly when those facts confirm preconceived notions already implanted in our minds.

The sad fact is very little of our thinking is actually original thought. One need only spend a few minutes gathered around the water cooler or other similar rallying point and listen to the prevailing conversations. Odds are extremely high what is claimed as personal opinion will in fact be regurgitated mainstream media spun political, social and business news.

Garbage in, garbage out…just the way the Borg Mind likes it.

It has been suggested by those much smarter than me that animals gather in herds to increase their chance of survival. While a few of the unlucky may be culled from the fringes by predators, overall the majority of the herd remains intact, therefore able to feed, grow and reproduce. In this case there is strength in numbers.

But it is also true human predators leverage the herding instinct to corral and slaughter those very same animals. Why wouldn’t a more sophisticated application be employed when human predators herd and harvest fellow humans? The only difference is the technique used and the product harvested.

Sadly the most valuable product harvested from humans, one of many plucked from the mind when ripe, is our consent and willingness to comply and produce on command. But of course, “We the Cattle” don’t see it that way. Mission accomplished for the Borg Empire’s State of Mind.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming already in progress…for decades.

12/26/2017

Cognitive Dissonance

http://twoicefloes.com/resistance-is-futile-the-borg-empires-state-of-mind/
 

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#62
How The Establishment Undermines American Democracy

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 01/21/2018 - 14:59


Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy.



Up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.

In a devastating critique, former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer John Kiriakou has described how the Democratic Party, as part of its frenzied effort to bring down President Donald Trump, has embraced a whole group of former intelligence and law enforcement officers who appear to be on the same side in seeking a more responsible and accountable executive branch but who are in reality pursuing their own agenda.

Formerly intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted under the direction of the White House but without any political bias. Transitions from Democratic to Republican administrations were consequently seamless for the employees of CIA, FBI, DIA and the NSA, but this has changed. In the 2016 election a line-up of retired senior officers from those organizations openly supported the Clinton campaign and even went so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories regarding Trump and his associates, including the claim that Donald Trump is actually an agent of Russia.

The desire to discredit and ultimately delegitimize Trump even involved some active duty senior officers, including John Brennan, Director of CIA, who exploited Agency relationships with foreign intelligence services to develop information on Trump, and James Comey of the FBI who initiated an investigation of Trump’s associates. Both were involved in the later surfacing of the notorious Steele Dossier, a collection of fact mixed with fiction that sought to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began.

Kiriakou cites recent activity by Brennan as well as former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have been politically active. The three men appear frequently on television as self-described “senior statesmen,” but, as Kiriakou observes they are “…monsters who have ignored the Constitution…and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” They together with lesser figures like George Tenet, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Morell and John McLaughlin authorized technical spying on nearly everyone, torture, rendition of suspects so they could be tortured by others, random killing of “profiled” foreigners and targeted killing of American citizens. Brennan was in charge of a “kill list” for President Barack Obama.

Former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts meanwhile asks why liberal international organizations like Amnesty International are fundraising to oppose Trump when the real threat to a better and safer world and country is coming from the largely unaccountable “security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media and the Republican and Democratic Parties?”

Antiwar activist Justin Raimondo also picks up the gauntlet, describing how the national security agencies and the Democratic Party have joined forces to create a totally false narrative that could lead to nuclear war. They and the media appear to truly believe that “…the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State…Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the president and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.”

He concludes that “Our intelligence agencies are at war with the executive branch of government…to reverse the [2016] election results.” Raimondo believes that Trump is being particularly targeted because his unpredictability and populism threaten the wealth and power of the elites and he notes “If you think they’ve ruled out assassination you’re being naïve.”

Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-21/how-establishment-undermines-american-democracy
 

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#63
Why We're Underestimating American Collapse

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 01/26/2018 - 05:33


If you mindlessly imbibe your social-media-sanctioned news feed from the palm of your hand, then you could almost be forgiven for thinking everything is awesome (with perhaps a nod to your implicit feed's bias that things would be 'awesome-er' if "the other side" just got out of the way).





However, if you have your eyes opened matrix-like to the real world surrounding you, the number of divergent and dissonant headlines begins to leave you questioning the reality of exceptional America... record stock prices, record homeless, record wealth, record food stamps, and so on...




But as Umair Haque, via Eand.co, writes the rot goes deeper and is far graver.

When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history.

They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline - shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on - we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Haque lays out five examples of what he calls the social pathologies of collapse - strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days.

Why are America kids killing each other?

Why would people abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world?

How did America’s elderly end up cheated of dignity?

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the ones above.

Americans appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above.

Read more here...




As Umair notes, If these pathologies happened in any other rich country — even in most poor ones — people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

Haque's ominous view of our world concludes

American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesn’t put any of its problems in global or historical perspective — but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.

Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk art, junk economics — that America has fed upon for too long.

Read Umair Haque's full essay here...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-25/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse
 

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#64
Why We're Underestimating American Collapse

by Tyler Durden
Fri, 01/26/2018 - 05:33


If you mindlessly imbibe your social-media-sanctioned news feed from the palm of your hand, then you could almost be forgiven for thinking everything is awesome (with perhaps a nod to your implicit feed's bias that things would be 'awesome-er' if "the other side" just got out of the way).





However, if you have your eyes opened matrix-like to the real world surrounding you, the number of divergent and dissonant headlines begins to leave you questioning the reality of exceptional America... record stock prices, record homeless, record wealth, record food stamps, and so on...




But as Umair Haque, via Eand.co, writes the rot goes deeper and is far graver.

When we take a hard look at US collapse, we see a number of social pathologies on the rise. Not just any kind. Not even troubling, worrying, and dangerous ones. But strange and bizarre ones. Unique ones. Singular and gruesomely weird ones I’ve never really seen before, and outside of a dystopia written by Dickens and Orwell, nor have you, and neither has history.

They suggest that whatever “numbers” we use to represent decline - shrinking real incomes, inequality, and so on - we are in fact grossly underestimating what pundits call the “human toll”, but which sensible human beings like you and I should simply think of as the overwhelming despair, rage, and anxiety of living in a collapsing society.

Haque lays out five examples of what he calls the social pathologies of collapse - strange, weird, and gruesome new diseases, not just ones we don’t usually see in healthy societies, but ones that we have never really seen before in any modern society.

America has had 11 school shootings in the last 23 days.

Why are America kids killing each other?

Why would people abuse opioids en masse unlike anywhere else in the world?

How did America’s elderly end up cheated of dignity?

And that is my last pathology: it is one of the soul, not one of the limbs, like the ones above.

Americans appear to be quite happy simply watching one another die, in all the ways above.

Read more here...




As Umair notes, If these pathologies happened in any other rich country — even in most poor ones — people would be aghast, shocked, and stunned, and certainly moved to make them not happen. But in America, they are, well, not even resigned. They are indifferent, mostly.

Haque's ominous view of our world concludes

American collapse is much more severe than we suppose it is. We are underestimating its magnitude, not overestimating it. American intellectuals, media, and thought doesn’t put any of its problems in global or historical perspective — but when they are seen that way, America’s problems are revealed to be not just the everyday nuisances of a declining nation, but something more like a body suddenly attacked by unimagined diseases.

Should the world follow the American model — extreme capitalism, no public investment, cruelty as a way of life, the perversion of everyday virtue — then these new social pathologies will follow, too. They are new diseases of the body social that have emerged from the diet of junk food — junk media, junk science, junk art, junk economics — that America has fed upon for too long.

Read Umair Haque's full essay here...

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-25/why-were-underestimating-american-collapse
Does this guy think that we don't notice this crazy crap going on all around us? What else can we expect when people install monuments to Baal and Baphomet and Satan, but you aren't allowed to put up nativity scenes or the ten commandments in public places and talk about Jesus Christ in schools. There's no coincidence here. All of this scary insanity is a result of those things.
 

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#65
Better than the alternative?


-- Published: Wednesday, 14 February 2018

By George Smith

As people age we sometimes hear them say it beats the alternative, which is usually left unsaid. It’s an old joke technology aims to eliminate by treating aging as a disease and curing it.

But there’s another sense in which the alternative is assumed to be far worse than the present condition. I’m referring to the type of government almost all people live under, which is the nation state. As bad as states might be — we’ve all been taught — it certainly beats the alternative, anarchy.

Really?

Headlines have never been favorable to the state as a form of government. In the days when states couldn’t threaten humanity with total extinction it was common for writers like Thomas Paine, Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Alfred Jay Nock, H. L. Mencken and others to lampoon them mercilessly, even if their criticisms amounted to little more than entertainment. The public for the most part expects others to make changes in government when the need arises and registers their preference at the polls. Ruling elites know this of course and have rigged the system of state governance, whatever form it takes, to ensure significant change never happens. See Brexit.

Here in the US as elsewhere, the quarrels between the political parties are mostly for our entertainment. Neither party would ever seriously consider doing away with the income tax or the federal reserve, for example. Doing so would starve the state, and our bipartisan overseers won’t allow it. Even worse, thanks to government schools and a corrupt media, most people see nothing wrong in principle with government theft.

It is alleged that the state represents order, whereas the absence of the state releases all the evils of which man is capable, producing dog-eat-dog chaos. Since states have become our schoolteachers the idea of government without the state is simply not discussed.

According to most dictionaries, synonyms for anarchy include lawlessness, disruption, turmoil, disorganization, and disintegration. Such terms also describe countries being bombed back to the stone age, such as those in the Middle East where “righteous” states have intervened to eradicate evil or “defend the freedom” of their clueless citizens thousands of miles away.

The synonyms also depict the current state of Venezuela, where a human rights organization “detailed cases of sexual violence, censorships, personal insecurity, limits on political rights, food shortage, malnutrition and inadequate health service -- all amid hyperinflation and high levels of corruption and impunity.”

Venezuela has stolen the spotlight from Zimbabwe, which in recent years had prices doubling every 24.7 hours, thanks to the state’s printing press. According to CNNMoney, “About the only thing Venezuela has in abundance is chaos.”

Is it possible states create the conditions associated with anarchy?

The US war in Iraq from 2003-2011 cost $1.06 trillion. Since the invasion was based on lies and without a declaration of war, every Iraqi life lost amounts to murder. But to the government and media the war was a mistake, nothing more, like getting off at the wrong exit. From 2012-2014 another $7.8 billion was paid to “contractors” who stayed in Iraq. From 2015-2016 the US spent $38.7 billion fighting militants its original invasion made possible.

The devastated city of Mosul claims it needs $100 billion to rehabilitate it. Baghdad wants the same. No one is coming forth with money. The US has already spent $60 billion over nine years for Iraqi reconstruction, $8 billion of which was wasted through corruption and mismanagement.

And none of the money it spent was the state’s to begin with. It was loot stolen from hapless Americans. Any reasonable account of the cost should also include the infringements on liberty that monsters such as the DHS and Patriot Act impose.

Given what the US state and its coalition partners have done to Iraq, to Iraqis, to American military personnel, to the cultural climate of peace and liberty that makes prosperity possible, it’s hard to imagine a stateless America would be even worse.

Keep in mind that it wasn’t anarchy that produced the massive death and devastation of the two world wars, or the numerous illegal regime change operations carried out by US intelligence agents. Neither Stalin, Hitler, nor Mao are remembered as anarchists, though Mao, the number one murderer, gets off with having only made a “mistake” in some quarters. It wasn’t anarchists who built atomic bombs. It wasn’t anarchists who dropped them on civilian populations. Nor is President Trump considered an anarchist for declaring he might hit North Korea with nuclear weapons if it doesn’t behave.

Father Abraham, Wilson, and FDR are not renown for their anarchist views. Through the state they had the means to go to war while forcing others to do the killing and dying. Through the state they had the propaganda tools and the arms to keep most of the public compliant. Through the state they had the means to steal wealth from their citizens to pay for it. Even today, with their crimes detailed online, they remain among the “great” in American history because of an insouciant public that has been indoctrinated from an early age.

Better than the alternative?

http://barbarous-relic.blogspot.com/2018/02/better-than-alternative.html

http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1518613380.php
 

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#66
How The Establishment Undermines American Democracy

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 01/21/2018 - 14:59


Authored by Philip Giraldi via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

There is a growing consensus among many observers in Washington that the national security agencies have become completely politicized over the past seventeen years and are now pursuing selfish agendas that actually endanger what remains of American democracy.



Up until recently it has been habitual to refer to such activity as the Deep State, which is perhaps equivalent to the Establishment in that it includes financial services, the media, major foundations and constituencies, as well as lobbying groups, but we are now witnessing an evolutionary process in which the national security regime is exercising power independently.

In a devastating critique, former Central Intelligence Agency operations officer John Kiriakou has described how the Democratic Party, as part of its frenzied effort to bring down President Donald Trump, has embraced a whole group of former intelligence and law enforcement officers who appear to be on the same side in seeking a more responsible and accountable executive branch but who are in reality pursuing their own agenda.

Formerly intelligence and law enforcement agencies acted under the direction of the White House but without any political bias. Transitions from Democratic to Republican administrations were consequently seamless for the employees of CIA, FBI, DIA and the NSA, but this has changed. In the 2016 election a line-up of retired senior officers from those organizations openly supported the Clinton campaign and even went so far as to construct elaborate conspiracy theories regarding Trump and his associates, including the claim that Donald Trump is actually an agent of Russia.

The desire to discredit and ultimately delegitimize Trump even involved some active duty senior officers, including John Brennan, Director of CIA, who exploited Agency relationships with foreign intelligence services to develop information on Trump, and James Comey of the FBI who initiated an investigation of Trump’s associates. Both were involved in the later surfacing of the notorious Steele Dossier, a collection of fact mixed with fiction that sought to destroy the Trump presidency even before it began.

Kiriakou cites recent activity by Brennan as well as former NSA and CIA head Michael Hayden as well as former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, all of whom have been politically active. The three men appear frequently on television as self-described “senior statesmen,” but, as Kiriakou observes they are “…monsters who have ignored the Constitution…and international law. They have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity.” They together with lesser figures like George Tenet, Jose Rodriguez, Michael Morell and John McLaughlin authorized technical spying on nearly everyone, torture, rendition of suspects so they could be tortured by others, random killing of “profiled” foreigners and targeted killing of American citizens. Brennan was in charge of a “kill list” for President Barack Obama.

Former Reagan Assistant Treasury Secretary Paul Craig Roberts meanwhile asks why liberal international organizations like Amnesty International are fundraising to oppose Trump when the real threat to a better and safer world and country is coming from the largely unaccountable “security agencies, the police, the neoconservatives, the presstitute media and the Republican and Democratic Parties?”

Antiwar activist Justin Raimondo also picks up the gauntlet, describing how the national security agencies and the Democratic Party have joined forces to create a totally false narrative that could lead to nuclear war. They and the media appear to truly believe that “…the country has been taken over by Vladimir Putin and the Russian State…Trump is an instrument in their hands, and the independence of the United States has been fatally compromised: the president and his top aides are taking their orders from the Kremlin.”

He concludes that “Our intelligence agencies are at war with the executive branch of government…to reverse the [2016] election results.” Raimondo believes that Trump is being particularly targeted because his unpredictability and populism threaten the wealth and power of the elites and he notes “If you think they’ve ruled out assassination you’re being naïve.”

Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-01-21/how-establishment-undermines-american-democracy
Raimondo believes that something like a civil war is coming, with the war party Establishment fighting to defend its privileged global order while many other Americans seek a return to normal nationhood with all that implies. If true, the next few years will see a major internal conflict that will determine what kind of country the United States will be.
 

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#67
Why I Don't Believe in 'Compromise' - and YOU Shouldn't Either!
ThePatriotNurse



Published on Feb 18, 2018
Sometimes you just roll out of bed and have an immediate download. Pardon the bead head, but I had to speak my piece!
Tytler Cycle: http://commonsensegovernment.com/the-...


And now.................

 

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#68
Prisons Of Pleasure Or Pain: Huxley's "Brave New World" Vs. Orwell's "1984"


by Tyler Durden
Fri, 03/02/2018 - 00:05

Authored by Uncola via TheTollOnline.com,

Definition of UTOPIA

1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

2: a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions

3: an impractical scheme for social improvement


Definition of DYSTOPIA

1: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives

2: literature: anti-utopia

Merriam-Webster.com

Many Americans today would quite possibly consider Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” to be a utopia of sorts with its limitless drugs, guilt-free sex, perpetual entertainment and a genetically engineered society designed for maximum economic efficiency and social harmony.

Conversely, most free people today would view Orwell’s “1984” as a dystopian nightmare, and shudder to contemplate the terrifying existence under the iron fist of “Big Brother”; the ubiquitous figurehead of a perfectly totalitarian government.

Although both men were of British descent, Huxley was nine years older than Orwell and published Brave New World in 1932, seventeen years before 1984 was released in 1949. Both books are widely considered classics and are included in the Modern Library’s top ten great novels of the twentieth century.


Brave New World
Aldous Huxley was born to academic parents and he was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a famous biologist and an enthusiastic proponent of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog”. Huxley’s own father had a well-equipped botanical laboratory where young Aldous began his education. Given the Huxley family’s appreciation for science, it makes perfect sense that Brave New World began in what is called the “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre” where human beings are artificially grown and genetically predestined into five societal castes consisting of: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon.

Initially, the story centers on Bernard Marx, who is a slightly genetically flawed Alpha Plus psychologist with an inferiority complex due to his short stature. By the end of the novel, however, the protagonist becomes a boy named “John the Savage” who is the bastard child of the “Director of the Central London Hatchery”, and a lady named Linda, who naturally birthed John on a remote American Indian Reservation. When Bernard discovers the true identities of John and Linda, he arranges to fly them back to London in order to leverage his position with John’s biological father, the Hatchery Director.

Bernard is in love with a beautiful fetus technician named Lenina Crowne, who, upon meeting John the Savage falls madly in lust. Lenina is a gal who enjoys multiple lovers because, in the Brave New World, “everyone belongs to everyone else”. In other words, sexual promiscuity is encouraged as sort of a societal “pressure relief valve” designed to discourage negative emotions such as jealousy and envy. John the Savage, however, suppresses his sexual attraction to Lenina because he considers her a slut.

Eventually, John’s sexual repression contributes to him violently attacking some children of the Delta caste who were waiting in line for their “Soma”, a mood-altering drug; and the outburst causes both Bernard and John to be brought before the powerful Mustapha Mond, who is one of ten world controllers. A debate ensues between John and Mr. Mond who explains to the Savage that a stable society requires the controlled suppression of science, religion, and art. John, who is an avid admirer of William Shakespeare, argues that human life is not worth living without these things.

In Brave New World, the State achieves a harmonic equilibrium via the economic parity of production and consumption while utilizing Eugenics as a means to counterbalance the life and death of the citizens. Technology is employed as a means of control in lieu of any search for scientific, or spiritual, truth; as these are considered a threat to the established order. People are cloned in hatcheries in accordance to the needs of the State and trained into obedience through “Hypnopedia”, or sleep-teaching. Happiness is valued over dignity and morality, and emotions are regulated through the use of the drug, Soma, amid constant entertainment including superficial games and virtual reality venues called the “feelies”. Although there is no God or religion, per se, in Brave New World, Henry Ford is canonized in the place of a deity as a testament to corporate efficiency, assembly line production and rampant consumerism.

1984
Like Huxley, George Orwell also envisioned a future where government monitored and controlled every aspect of human life; yet the world is much more terrifying in 1984. Orwell actually volunteered and fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1936 before being injured by a sniper’s bullet in May of 1937; it was there where he witnessed, first-hand, the ghastly barbarism of political fascism. Moreover, he previously observed the rise of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union and, later, Adolf Hitler in Germany. In turn, Orwell published Animal Farm in 1945 and four years later, his novel 1984, as literary warnings to mankind.

The setting of 1984 takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Great Britain which, at that time, was part of “Oceania”; one of three world super-states all engaged in never-ending warfare. The protagonist of the novel is Winston Smith, a middle-class member in the Outer Party of INGSOC, a totalitarian regime led by the figurehead known only as “Big Brother”.

Winston works in the Records Department of the “Ministry of Truth” where he revises history on behalf of the Party while under constant surveillance both at work and home. Everywhere he goes; there are posters with a photo of the party’s leader and the words: “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. In an act of rebellion, Winston acquires a diary and begins to record what Big Brother and the INGSOC party would label as “crimethink” and “thoughtcrime”.

Eventually, Winston meets and falls in love with a beautiful coworker named Julia, and they engage in what they believe to be a secret affair whereby they have illicit sex as a form of political rebellion. In 1984, the Party members living in Oceania are brainwashed to have sex only for procreation and this is how sexual repression is channeled into enthusiasm for the State.

Under the threat of detection by the “Thought Police”, torture and even “vaporization”, which would eliminate every last vestige of proof he ever existed, Winston persists in his rebellion against the Party with certain fatalism. In fact, just before he and Julia are captured by the militant, jackbooted INGSOC Party authoritarians, Winston told Julia “we are the dead”; to which she replied the same words back to him.

Throughout Orwell’s dark narrative, various themes are explored such as “Newspeak” which is a language of mind control; the terrifying tyranny of totalitarianism; historical revisionism; torture, and psychological manipulation. The INGSOC Party’s prisonlike control and complete invasion of individual privacy is such that a citizen’s own facial expression could betray their inner disloyalty to the Party through what Orwell labeled as “crimeface”:

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.

– Winston Smith, 1984, part 1, chapter 6

Orwell was near prophetic in describing the proliferation of listening devices in both public and private settings as well as “telescreens”, which simultaneously broadcast propaganda while relaying live video feeds back to the Party watchers. In Orwell’s chilling story, free will and individuality are sacrificed to the extreme demands of Collectivism and in deference to complete societal control by an authoritarian government.

Compared and Contrasted
In both, Brave New World and 1984, common themes are addressed including government, orthodoxy, social hierarchy, economics, love, sex, and power. Both books portray propaganda as a necessary tool of government to shape the collective minds of the citizenry within each respective society and towards the specific goals of the state; to wit, stability and continuity.

In Brave New World, The “Bureaux of Propaganda” shared a building with the “College of Emotional Engineering” and all media outlets including radio, television, and newspaper. Much of the brainwashing of the citizens in Huxley’s world included messaging to stay within their genetically predetermined castes or to encourage the daily use of the drug, Soma, in order to anesthetize emotional agitation:

a gramme in time saves nine

A gramme is better than a damn

One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments

When the individual feels, the community reels.

The “Ministry of Truth”, in 1984, also known as “minitrue” in Newspeak, served as the propaganda machine for Big Brother and the INGSOC regime. Although its main purpose was to rewrite history in order to realign it with Party doctrine and make the Party look infallible, the Ministry of Truth also promoted war hysteria in order to unite the citizens of Oceania while broadcasting simple messages designed to discourage any self-determination or autonomous thought.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

war is peace

freedom is slavery

ignorance is strength



Whereas the citizens of Brave New World used the drug Soma and cursory material distractions to vanquish any desire for real knowledge or truth; the “memory hole” in 1984 was a chute connected to an incinerator and served as the mechanism by which the Ministry of Truth would abolish historical archives as if they never existed.

In other words, truth was unimportant to the citizens of Brave New World and it was summarily rescinded from the realm of 1984.



Furthermore, in order to additionally fill the empty existence of those living in Brave New World, Huxley envisioned a character by the name of Helmholtz Watson as a creator of hypnopaedic phrases designed to fill the mental and emotional vacuum vacated by knowledge:

Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m really awfuly glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides, they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.

– BNW, Chapter 2, pg. 27

In 1984, however, Orwell conceived of a character named Syme, who was an enthusiastic Newspeak redactor of language:

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

– Syme, 1984, part 1, chapter 5

In Brave New World, Helmholtz Watson worked to fill the mind of people with hypnotic messages. In 1984, Syme strived to remove words from the English language in order to eliminate what the Party considered to be “thoughtcrime”.

Although the methodologies varied, mind control was prevalent throughout both the fictional worlds of Huxley and Orwell.

Social hierarchies were also present in both futuristic novels. The citizens of Brave New World consisted of the Alpha caste which held the highest jobs in the world state, and Betas, who were allowed to interact with the Alphas. The Gamma’s were considered to have average intelligence, they were eight inches shorter than Alpha’s in height, and they maintained the office jobs and held administrative positions. The Delta’s were trained from a very young age to despise books and were conditioned to work in manufacturing, while the Epsilon caste members were considered as morons who performed the menial labor within the lowest strata of society.

Although 1984 doesn’t have a caste system, per se, the citizenry were still separated into three groups: the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles, or the proletariat. The Proles constituted 85% of the population and were allowed privacy and anonymity, yet they lived in extreme privation in pursuit of bread and circuses.

As the Party slogan put it: ‘Proles and animals are free.’

– ”1984”: part 1, chapter 7

Although both Inner and Outer Party members of 1984’s Oceania lived under constant surveillance, the members of the Inner party led lives of relative luxury compared to the middle-class lifestyle of those within the Outer Party. Additionally, the members of the Outer Party were denied sex, other than within marriage and for the sole purposes of procreation. They were also denied motorized transportation and were allowed cigarettes and gin as their only vices.

Governments of both Brave New World and 1984 also filtered information and propaganda in accordance to the class ranking of their citizens.

In Brave New World, the separate castes, except for the Epsilons who couldn’t read, received their own newspapers delivering specific propaganda for each class of society; whereas the INGSOC party members of 1984 were allowed newspapers and to view broadcasted reports of world news via their telescreens.

Even though there is no actual organized religion described in either book, there were deities endorsed by the government, primarily for economic reasons, and complete with mandated rigorous orthodoxies.

Again, the aforementioned god of Brave New World was called “Ford”, after Henry Ford, in celebration of his efficient assembly-line production of goods that was worshiped by both the overseers and citizenry of the world state.

In 1984, Big Brother served as the almighty “beginning and end”, creator, judge, grand architect and savior for the INGSOC party disciples.

In Huxley’s vision of the future, the higher power of consumerism guided the people; complete with memorized short phrases designed to encourage the replacement of material items in lieu of repairing them; and, those wearing older clothes were shamed into purchasing new apparel:

Ending is better than mending.

The more stitches, the less riches.

BNW, Chapter 3, pg. 49

Orwell, on the other hand, considered war as the means by which a collectivist oligarchy could maintain a hierarchical society by purging the excess production of material goods from the economy; thus, keeping the masses impoverished and ignorant by denying them the surplus “spare time” that is afforded via the convenience of modern technology:

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.

— Emmanuel Goldstein, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9



The futuristic societies envisioned by Huxley and Orwell, additionally, both discouraged romantic love, yet diverged on the subject of sex. As mentioned earlier, Brave New World treated sex as a “pressure relief valve” remaining constantly open in order to release any negative emotions like suspicion, distrust, jealousy, rage or envy. “Everyone belonged to everyone else”, so there was no need for secrets. Even children were encouraged to sexually experiment guilt free. Of course, sex was meant to be enjoyed only as a means of pleasure in Brave New World; as procreation was considered an anathema by the people and beneath the dignity of mankind.

In Orwell’s dark dystopia, however, promiscuous sex was encouraged among the proletariat and the Ministry of Truth even had a pornography division called “Pornosec”, which distributed obscene media for consumption by the Proles alone. Conversely, and also as mentioned prior, the members of the INGSOC party were required to abstain from sex; except for married couples attempting to procreate solely on behalf of the government.

In reading both books, it was also fascinating to see how both Huxley and Orwell painted their female protagonists, Lenina Crowne and Julia, respectively, as shallow nymphomaniacs.

Nevertheless, the procreative sterilized purity and casual sexual promiscuity of Brave New World along with 1984’s hierarchical rationing of sex, combined with the twisted morality of the INGSOC Party, represented the power of government invading into the most personal means of expression, and engenderment, between individuals of both worlds.

The concept of “everyone belongs to everyone else” in Brave New World allowed intimate acts to be considered merely as trivial recreation whereas the Party’s power over copulation in 1984, created a sense of fatalism within Winston and Julia as they made love knowing they were “the dead”.

In spite of any differences, both scenarios were the end result of extreme philosophical collectivism manifested into distorted and perverse destinies of speculative, future populations.

The Future is Now
For reasons described heretofore, many might consider Brave New World to be a utopian dream. In the context of individual autonomy, however, as well as the pursuit of truth, the opportunity for personal self-actualization, the dilemma of ethical considerations and the governmental dispensation of immoral law; Huxley’s vision of the future removes the lid of a veritable Pandora’s Box of questions. In reality, the societal structure as delineated in Brave New World would greatly resemble what could be called a “prison of pleasure” and, perhaps, even a “penitentiary of profligate practicality”.

Applying the same philosophical critique of 1984, and in similar fashion, Orwell’s nation-state of Oceana would be considered as a bona fide dystopian “prison of fear”.

As a matter of fact, both societies portray prisons of man’s own making, formed by governments following their own directions toward their respective future destinations. To say it another way: The road to hell is actually paved with bad intentions. As the Inner Party member (and administrator of torture), “Obrien”, admitted to Winston Smith in Room 101 of The Ministry of Love:

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

– Obrien, ”1984”: part 3, chapter 3

Both power structures in Brave New World and 1984 chose to diminish individual rights in order to achieve societal stability. To the governments of both super-states, their citizens were considered as mere “means to an end”; namely, the continuation of power.

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.

– Obrien, ”1984”: part 3, chapter 3

This is a perfect description of mankind striving to be as gods; an attempt to create metaphysical law from carnal desire. Foregone were the virtues of mercy, humility, temperance, autonomy, self-reliance, and restraint.

Mustapha Mond, one of ten world controllers in Brave New World and the evil Obrien of 1984’s nation of Oceana, both knew what they were doing. They were fully conscious in order to exert complete control and ensure the continuation of their respective, fictional nation-states.

But, could this type of power consolidation occur in the real (non-literary) world?

To answer that question one only needs to study history then, go turn on all of the various “telescreens” in their private homes: Televisions, smartphones, tablets, lap-taps and desktop computers. Tyrannical regimes have been centralizing and fortifying ramparts of power from the time man first crushed grapes. And, obviously, as the exiled enemy of the State, Edward Snowden, has revealed, modernity is no antiserum to the cancerous systematization of power.

When considering the prosperous technological paradise of Brave New World, where the societal elite had unrestricted access to intercontinental transportation and private helicopters; where even the lower classes enjoyed pampered lives of perennial comfort, ceaseless entertainment, and eternal recreation; as compared to the dingy, post-apocalyptically war-torn, third-world existence of 1984; it becomes difficult not to view both Huxley and Orwell as prophets.

Indeed, both futures have come to pass and are merely economically separated and dispersed into diverse geographic locations.

Today, it is the westernized cultures of the world, including Asian nations like Japan and South Korea, that more closely resemble Brave New World, whereas vestiges of 1984 can be seen in the eastern bloc communist countries, China, North Korea and the Islamic societies of the middle-east.

Although Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of Capitalism had created a rising economic tide that lifted many boats; much of the world’s population still languishes in squalor and will never rise from the muck.

Moreover, even the modernized nations today have sacrificed individual freedom upon the altar of Collectivism as political correctness stifles free speech; families suffocate beneath mountains of debt and United Nations Agenda 21 policies release a deluge of regulations causing extra-governmental autonomous innovation to collapse before the inexorable, gravitational pull of the hive-mind.

Corporations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple have become the eyes and ears of Big Brother who is always watching, and ever listening.

To the sounds of mouse-clicks, once free people have “accepted” the “terms” of their surrender and have forfeited their liberty in the name of convenience. Like buzzing insects, the citizens of modern societies are caught in silicon honey traps mortgaged with plastic and electronically powered via USB cable nooses wrapped tightly around their collective throats.

The Technocratic Powers That Be wield weapons far more powerful than any time prior in history and soon, people will wake up to realize the electronic buzzing sound ringing in their ears was not emanating from their own wings, but rather, it was merely the sound of drones over their heads.

Like in Brave New World, science now rules supreme over ethics as medical professionals sell fetus organs to advance the cause of genetic research. The United States currently leads the world in illegal drug use and consumes near all of the global opioid supply; according to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy:

In most countries, the use of opioid prescriptions is limited to acute hospitalization and trauma, such as burns, surgery, childbirth and end-of-life care, including patients with cancer and terminal illnesses. But in the United States, every adult in America can have “a bottle of pills and then some.

Just as 1984’s Ministry of Truth purveyed pornography to the Proles, statistics show at least 35% of all internet downloads and at least 30% of all data transferred across the internet are porn-related. Also similar to Huxley’s Brave New World, sex runs rampant throughout the modernized nations as cases of sexually transmitted disease have reached a record high in the United States.

In correlation to the ever-expanding gulf between rich and poor, strict adherence to orthodoxy now determines how high one can rise in the societies of the westernized nations, as political correctness defines the faith of the pantheistic disciples of Mother Earth in the form of Gaia worship; and social hierarchy is increasingly determined via the identity politics of the collectivist left. The American body politic has now witnessed the rise of the warrior cop and the militarization of domestic law enforcement, as interminable wars are eternally fought on foreign shores and sovereign nations are bombed under false pretense.

Even 1984’s “Victory Gin” has manifested in the form Russian Vodka within the eastern nations, as Oceania’s type of man-made orthodoxy silently drowns the human spirit in devastating despair, while contorted moralities overtake both the Christian and Islamic societies of the modern age.

Orwell defined “doublethink” as:

the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them

— Emmanuel Goldstein, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9

Only in wealthy westernized nations do billionaires own multiple mansions, fly private jets and ride in eight-cylinder limousines to climate-change conferences where policies are decreed to lower the carbon footprint of the proletariat. Only in wealthy westernized nations, do ever-increasing numbers of women consider white men to be pigs while simultaneously striving to be their equals. And, only in the wealthy Christian nations of the northern hemisphere will citizens support a women’s right to third-trimester abortions, while rigorously and righteously battling for legislation to save endangered dung beetles.

Throughout Islamic societies, drinking alcohol and gambling is forbidden, but the governments and their citizens gladly tolerate canings, whippings, lashings, honor killings, suicide attacks, and the genital mutilation of young girls.

This does NOT prevent, however, the citizens of the wealthy Christian nations in the West to welcome with open arms, and in the name of “tolerance”, the pervading flood of Islamic immigrants.

The writings of Huxley and Orwell resonate by the echoes of history, over the canyons of time, and to the very cliff upon where mankind now stands. Propaganda daily spews via the machinations of five corporations which control 90% of all mainstream media channels. These companies toe the war-party line and wield their great powers of disinformation to contort facts or even censor the failures of the politicians whom they favor while, simultaneously, attacking their political enemies with lies and innuendo; even to the point of creating a phony election hacking narrative to satisfy their radioactive lust for war with nuclear powered enemies.

Even the characters of both Brave New World and 1984 are resonant of familiar archetypes from days gone by. Brave New World portrayed the character Bernard Marx as being short like Hitler, with a small man’s inferiority complex and complete with the surname of Karl Marx, the eponymous founder of Marxism.

The noble sounding Lenina Crowne’s name contains the surname of Vladimir Lenin, and Orwell’s portrayal of Julia does not seem overly diverse from former President’s Obama’s vision of “The Life of Julia”. Even the mustachioed, evil-eyed Big Brother from 1984’s dystopian nation of Oceana, looks eerily similar to just about every other tin-pot dictator who ever walked the earth.



Art imitating life? Indeed.

Yet the irony fails to impress America’s young social justice warriors of the Millennial generation who have been raised on a steady diet of socialism, political correctness, and participation trophies; a far cry from the rugged individualists of previous American generations. In the 2016 U.S. Democratic Party Primaries, and with the same sense of vague dissatisfaction as exhibited by Huxley’s Bernard Marx, millions upon millions of rainbow worshipping Snowflakes, old and young alike, turned out in force to show their support for another Bernard: Bernard Sanders, a redistributionist of the line of Robin Hood who, in the spirit of Santa Claus, offered free college educations to all of Uncle Sam’s children.

Sadly, Big Brother is here to stay and, with time, he will only grow more bigly; regardless of any transitory elected politicians in the governments of the world’s “sovereign” nations today.

Although Aldous Huxley and George Orwell valiantly spun fictional narratives in order to warn the real world’s future citizens, they were not alone in their efforts.

On January 17, 1961, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of an ever-encroaching “Military Industrial Complex” in his farewell address to the nation:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Exactly 100 days after Ike’s farewell, on April 27, 1961, John F. Kennedy spoke before the American Newspaper Publishers Association in an address that later became known as his “Secret Society” speech. In that address, he stated the following:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence: on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed– and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

Thirty months after that speech, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.



Many people consider Kennedy to have been the last American president not controlled by a financial global elite hell bent on world domination.

In one of the twentieth century’s minor ironies, Aldous Huxley died on the very same day that John F. Kennedy was killed. It was also the exact day C.S. Lewis, the British author, and Christian apologist, passed from this earth.

Coincidence? Only God knows.

Regardless, by 1984 all had been forgotten; and, in a Brave New World, none of it really matters anyway.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...-pain-huxleys-brave-new-world-vs-orwells-1984
 

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#69
Prisons Of Pleasure Or Pain: Huxley's "Brave New World" Vs. Orwell's "1984"


by Tyler Durden
Fri, 03/02/2018 - 00:05

Authored by Uncola via TheTollOnline.com,

Definition of UTOPIA

1: an imaginary and indefinitely remote place

2: a place of ideal perfection especially in laws, government, and social conditions

3: an impractical scheme for social improvement


Definition of DYSTOPIA

1: an imaginary place where people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives

2: literature: anti-utopia

Merriam-Webster.com

Many Americans today would quite possibly consider Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” to be a utopia of sorts with its limitless drugs, guilt-free sex, perpetual entertainment and a genetically engineered society designed for maximum economic efficiency and social harmony.

Conversely, most free people today would view Orwell’s “1984” as a dystopian nightmare, and shudder to contemplate the terrifying existence under the iron fist of “Big Brother”; the ubiquitous figurehead of a perfectly totalitarian government.

Although both men were of British descent, Huxley was nine years older than Orwell and published Brave New World in 1932, seventeen years before 1984 was released in 1949. Both books are widely considered classics and are included in the Modern Library’s top ten great novels of the twentieth century.


Brave New World
Aldous Huxley was born to academic parents and he was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a famous biologist and an enthusiastic proponent of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution who was known as “Darwin’s Bulldog”. Huxley’s own father had a well-equipped botanical laboratory where young Aldous began his education. Given the Huxley family’s appreciation for science, it makes perfect sense that Brave New World began in what is called the “Central London Hatchery and Conditioning Centre” where human beings are artificially grown and genetically predestined into five societal castes consisting of: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon.

Initially, the story centers on Bernard Marx, who is a slightly genetically flawed Alpha Plus psychologist with an inferiority complex due to his short stature. By the end of the novel, however, the protagonist becomes a boy named “John the Savage” who is the bastard child of the “Director of the Central London Hatchery”, and a lady named Linda, who naturally birthed John on a remote American Indian Reservation. When Bernard discovers the true identities of John and Linda, he arranges to fly them back to London in order to leverage his position with John’s biological father, the Hatchery Director.

Bernard is in love with a beautiful fetus technician named Lenina Crowne, who, upon meeting John the Savage falls madly in lust. Lenina is a gal who enjoys multiple lovers because, in the Brave New World, “everyone belongs to everyone else”. In other words, sexual promiscuity is encouraged as sort of a societal “pressure relief valve” designed to discourage negative emotions such as jealousy and envy. John the Savage, however, suppresses his sexual attraction to Lenina because he considers her a slut.

Eventually, John’s sexual repression contributes to him violently attacking some children of the Delta caste who were waiting in line for their “Soma”, a mood-altering drug; and the outburst causes both Bernard and John to be brought before the powerful Mustapha Mond, who is one of ten world controllers. A debate ensues between John and Mr. Mond who explains to the Savage that a stable society requires the controlled suppression of science, religion, and art. John, who is an avid admirer of William Shakespeare, argues that human life is not worth living without these things.

In Brave New World, the State achieves a harmonic equilibrium via the economic parity of production and consumption while utilizing Eugenics as a means to counterbalance the life and death of the citizens. Technology is employed as a means of control in lieu of any search for scientific, or spiritual, truth; as these are considered a threat to the established order. People are cloned in hatcheries in accordance to the needs of the State and trained into obedience through “Hypnopedia”, or sleep-teaching. Happiness is valued over dignity and morality, and emotions are regulated through the use of the drug, Soma, amid constant entertainment including superficial games and virtual reality venues called the “feelies”. Although there is no God or religion, per se, in Brave New World, Henry Ford is canonized in the place of a deity as a testament to corporate efficiency, assembly line production and rampant consumerism.

1984
Like Huxley, George Orwell also envisioned a future where government monitored and controlled every aspect of human life; yet the world is much more terrifying in 1984. Orwell actually volunteered and fought in the Spanish Civil War in 1936 before being injured by a sniper’s bullet in May of 1937; it was there where he witnessed, first-hand, the ghastly barbarism of political fascism. Moreover, he previously observed the rise of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union and, later, Adolf Hitler in Germany. In turn, Orwell published Animal Farm in 1945 and four years later, his novel 1984, as literary warnings to mankind.

The setting of 1984 takes place in a futuristic, post-apocalyptic Great Britain which, at that time, was part of “Oceania”; one of three world super-states all engaged in never-ending warfare. The protagonist of the novel is Winston Smith, a middle-class member in the Outer Party of INGSOC, a totalitarian regime led by the figurehead known only as “Big Brother”.

Winston works in the Records Department of the “Ministry of Truth” where he revises history on behalf of the Party while under constant surveillance both at work and home. Everywhere he goes; there are posters with a photo of the party’s leader and the words: “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”. In an act of rebellion, Winston acquires a diary and begins to record what Big Brother and the INGSOC party would label as “crimethink” and “thoughtcrime”.

Eventually, Winston meets and falls in love with a beautiful coworker named Julia, and they engage in what they believe to be a secret affair whereby they have illicit sex as a form of political rebellion. In 1984, the Party members living in Oceania are brainwashed to have sex only for procreation and this is how sexual repression is channeled into enthusiasm for the State.

Under the threat of detection by the “Thought Police”, torture and even “vaporization”, which would eliminate every last vestige of proof he ever existed, Winston persists in his rebellion against the Party with certain fatalism. In fact, just before he and Julia are captured by the militant, jackbooted INGSOC Party authoritarians, Winston told Julia “we are the dead”; to which she replied the same words back to him.

Throughout Orwell’s dark narrative, various themes are explored such as “Newspeak” which is a language of mind control; the terrifying tyranny of totalitarianism; historical revisionism; torture, and psychological manipulation. The INGSOC Party’s prisonlike control and complete invasion of individual privacy is such that a citizen’s own facial expression could betray their inner disloyalty to the Party through what Orwell labeled as “crimeface”:

Your worst enemy, he reflected, was your own nervous system. At any moment the tension inside you was liable to translate itself into some visible symptom.

– Winston Smith, 1984, part 1, chapter 6

Orwell was near prophetic in describing the proliferation of listening devices in both public and private settings as well as “telescreens”, which simultaneously broadcast propaganda while relaying live video feeds back to the Party watchers. In Orwell’s chilling story, free will and individuality are sacrificed to the extreme demands of Collectivism and in deference to complete societal control by an authoritarian government.

Compared and Contrasted
In both, Brave New World and 1984, common themes are addressed including government, orthodoxy, social hierarchy, economics, love, sex, and power. Both books portray propaganda as a necessary tool of government to shape the collective minds of the citizenry within each respective society and towards the specific goals of the state; to wit, stability and continuity.

In Brave New World, The “Bureaux of Propaganda” shared a building with the “College of Emotional Engineering” and all media outlets including radio, television, and newspaper. Much of the brainwashing of the citizens in Huxley’s world included messaging to stay within their genetically predetermined castes or to encourage the daily use of the drug, Soma, in order to anesthetize emotional agitation:

a gramme in time saves nine

A gramme is better than a damn

One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments

When the individual feels, the community reels.

The “Ministry of Truth”, in 1984, also known as “minitrue” in Newspeak, served as the propaganda machine for Big Brother and the INGSOC regime. Although its main purpose was to rewrite history in order to realign it with Party doctrine and make the Party look infallible, the Ministry of Truth also promoted war hysteria in order to unite the citizens of Oceania while broadcasting simple messages designed to discourage any self-determination or autonomous thought.

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

war is peace

freedom is slavery

ignorance is strength



Whereas the citizens of Brave New World used the drug Soma and cursory material distractions to vanquish any desire for real knowledge or truth; the “memory hole” in 1984 was a chute connected to an incinerator and served as the mechanism by which the Ministry of Truth would abolish historical archives as if they never existed.

In other words, truth was unimportant to the citizens of Brave New World and it was summarily rescinded from the realm of 1984.



Furthermore, in order to additionally fill the empty existence of those living in Brave New World, Huxley envisioned a character by the name of Helmholtz Watson as a creator of hypnopaedic phrases designed to fill the mental and emotional vacuum vacated by knowledge:

Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they’re so frightfully clever. I’m really awfuly glad I’m a Beta, because I don’t work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don’t want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They’re too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides, they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I’m so glad I’m a Beta.

– BNW, Chapter 2, pg. 27

In 1984, however, Orwell conceived of a character named Syme, who was an enthusiastic Newspeak redactor of language:

It’s a beautiful thing, the destruction of words.

Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten.

– Syme, 1984, part 1, chapter 5

In Brave New World, Helmholtz Watson worked to fill the mind of people with hypnotic messages. In 1984, Syme strived to remove words from the English language in order to eliminate what the Party considered to be “thoughtcrime”.

Although the methodologies varied, mind control was prevalent throughout both the fictional worlds of Huxley and Orwell.

Social hierarchies were also present in both futuristic novels. The citizens of Brave New World consisted of the Alpha caste which held the highest jobs in the world state, and Betas, who were allowed to interact with the Alphas. The Gamma’s were considered to have average intelligence, they were eight inches shorter than Alpha’s in height, and they maintained the office jobs and held administrative positions. The Delta’s were trained from a very young age to despise books and were conditioned to work in manufacturing, while the Epsilon caste members were considered as morons who performed the menial labor within the lowest strata of society.

Although 1984 doesn’t have a caste system, per se, the citizenry were still separated into three groups: the Inner Party, the Outer Party, and the Proles, or the proletariat. The Proles constituted 85% of the population and were allowed privacy and anonymity, yet they lived in extreme privation in pursuit of bread and circuses.

As the Party slogan put it: ‘Proles and animals are free.’

– ”1984”: part 1, chapter 7

Although both Inner and Outer Party members of 1984’s Oceania lived under constant surveillance, the members of the Inner party led lives of relative luxury compared to the middle-class lifestyle of those within the Outer Party. Additionally, the members of the Outer Party were denied sex, other than within marriage and for the sole purposes of procreation. They were also denied motorized transportation and were allowed cigarettes and gin as their only vices.

Governments of both Brave New World and 1984 also filtered information and propaganda in accordance to the class ranking of their citizens.

In Brave New World, the separate castes, except for the Epsilons who couldn’t read, received their own newspapers delivering specific propaganda for each class of society; whereas the INGSOC party members of 1984 were allowed newspapers and to view broadcasted reports of world news via their telescreens.

Even though there is no actual organized religion described in either book, there were deities endorsed by the government, primarily for economic reasons, and complete with mandated rigorous orthodoxies.

Again, the aforementioned god of Brave New World was called “Ford”, after Henry Ford, in celebration of his efficient assembly-line production of goods that was worshiped by both the overseers and citizenry of the world state.

In 1984, Big Brother served as the almighty “beginning and end”, creator, judge, grand architect and savior for the INGSOC party disciples.

In Huxley’s vision of the future, the higher power of consumerism guided the people; complete with memorized short phrases designed to encourage the replacement of material items in lieu of repairing them; and, those wearing older clothes were shamed into purchasing new apparel:

Ending is better than mending.

The more stitches, the less riches.

BNW, Chapter 3, pg. 49

Orwell, on the other hand, considered war as the means by which a collectivist oligarchy could maintain a hierarchical society by purging the excess production of material goods from the economy; thus, keeping the masses impoverished and ignorant by denying them the surplus “spare time” that is afforded via the convenience of modern technology:

The essential act of war is destruction, not necessarily of human lives, but of the products of human labour. War is a way of shattering to pieces, or pouring into the stratosphere, or sinking in the depths of the sea, materials which might otherwise be used to make the masses too comfortable, and hence, in the long run, too intelligent.

— Emmanuel Goldstein, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9



The futuristic societies envisioned by Huxley and Orwell, additionally, both discouraged romantic love, yet diverged on the subject of sex. As mentioned earlier, Brave New World treated sex as a “pressure relief valve” remaining constantly open in order to release any negative emotions like suspicion, distrust, jealousy, rage or envy. “Everyone belonged to everyone else”, so there was no need for secrets. Even children were encouraged to sexually experiment guilt free. Of course, sex was meant to be enjoyed only as a means of pleasure in Brave New World; as procreation was considered an anathema by the people and beneath the dignity of mankind.

In Orwell’s dark dystopia, however, promiscuous sex was encouraged among the proletariat and the Ministry of Truth even had a pornography division called “Pornosec”, which distributed obscene media for consumption by the Proles alone. Conversely, and also as mentioned prior, the members of the INGSOC party were required to abstain from sex; except for married couples attempting to procreate solely on behalf of the government.

In reading both books, it was also fascinating to see how both Huxley and Orwell painted their female protagonists, Lenina Crowne and Julia, respectively, as shallow nymphomaniacs.

Nevertheless, the procreative sterilized purity and casual sexual promiscuity of Brave New World along with 1984’s hierarchical rationing of sex, combined with the twisted morality of the INGSOC Party, represented the power of government invading into the most personal means of expression, and engenderment, between individuals of both worlds.

The concept of “everyone belongs to everyone else” in Brave New World allowed intimate acts to be considered merely as trivial recreation whereas the Party’s power over copulation in 1984, created a sense of fatalism within Winston and Julia as they made love knowing they were “the dead”.

In spite of any differences, both scenarios were the end result of extreme philosophical collectivism manifested into distorted and perverse destinies of speculative, future populations.

The Future is Now
For reasons described heretofore, many might consider Brave New World to be a utopian dream. In the context of individual autonomy, however, as well as the pursuit of truth, the opportunity for personal self-actualization, the dilemma of ethical considerations and the governmental dispensation of immoral law; Huxley’s vision of the future removes the lid of a veritable Pandora’s Box of questions. In reality, the societal structure as delineated in Brave New World would greatly resemble what could be called a “prison of pleasure” and, perhaps, even a “penitentiary of profligate practicality”.

Applying the same philosophical critique of 1984, and in similar fashion, Orwell’s nation-state of Oceana would be considered as a bona fide dystopian “prison of fear”.

As a matter of fact, both societies portray prisons of man’s own making, formed by governments following their own directions toward their respective future destinations. To say it another way: The road to hell is actually paved with bad intentions. As the Inner Party member (and administrator of torture), “Obrien”, admitted to Winston Smith in Room 101 of The Ministry of Love:

We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it.Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

– Obrien, ”1984”: part 3, chapter 3

Both power structures in Brave New World and 1984 chose to diminish individual rights in order to achieve societal stability. To the governments of both super-states, their citizens were considered as mere “means to an end”; namely, the continuation of power.

Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness; only power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from all the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just round the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that.

– Obrien, ”1984”: part 3, chapter 3

This is a perfect description of mankind striving to be as gods; an attempt to create metaphysical law from carnal desire. Foregone were the virtues of mercy, humility, temperance, autonomy, self-reliance, and restraint.

Mustapha Mond, one of ten world controllers in Brave New World and the evil Obrien of 1984’s nation of Oceana, both knew what they were doing. They were fully conscious in order to exert complete control and ensure the continuation of their respective, fictional nation-states.

But, could this type of power consolidation occur in the real (non-literary) world?

To answer that question one only needs to study history then, go turn on all of the various “telescreens” in their private homes: Televisions, smartphones, tablets, lap-taps and desktop computers. Tyrannical regimes have been centralizing and fortifying ramparts of power from the time man first crushed grapes. And, obviously, as the exiled enemy of the State, Edward Snowden, has revealed, modernity is no antiserum to the cancerous systematization of power.

When considering the prosperous technological paradise of Brave New World, where the societal elite had unrestricted access to intercontinental transportation and private helicopters; where even the lower classes enjoyed pampered lives of perennial comfort, ceaseless entertainment, and eternal recreation; as compared to the dingy, post-apocalyptically war-torn, third-world existence of 1984; it becomes difficult not to view both Huxley and Orwell as prophets.

Indeed, both futures have come to pass and are merely economically separated and dispersed into diverse geographic locations.

Today, it is the westernized cultures of the world, including Asian nations like Japan and South Korea, that more closely resemble Brave New World, whereas vestiges of 1984 can be seen in the eastern bloc communist countries, China, North Korea and the Islamic societies of the middle-east.

Although Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” of Capitalism had created a rising economic tide that lifted many boats; much of the world’s population still languishes in squalor and will never rise from the muck.

Moreover, even the modernized nations today have sacrificed individual freedom upon the altar of Collectivism as political correctness stifles free speech; families suffocate beneath mountains of debt and United Nations Agenda 21 policies release a deluge of regulations causing extra-governmental autonomous innovation to collapse before the inexorable, gravitational pull of the hive-mind.

Corporations like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Samsung and Apple have become the eyes and ears of Big Brother who is always watching, and ever listening.

To the sounds of mouse-clicks, once free people have “accepted” the “terms” of their surrender and have forfeited their liberty in the name of convenience. Like buzzing insects, the citizens of modern societies are caught in silicon honey traps mortgaged with plastic and electronically powered via USB cable nooses wrapped tightly around their collective throats.

The Technocratic Powers That Be wield weapons far more powerful than any time prior in history and soon, people will wake up to realize the electronic buzzing sound ringing in their ears was not emanating from their own wings, but rather, it was merely the sound of drones over their heads.

Like in Brave New World, science now rules supreme over ethics as medical professionals sell fetus organs to advance the cause of genetic research. The United States currently leads the world in illegal drug use and consumes near all of the global opioid supply; according to U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy:

In most countries, the use of opioid prescriptions is limited to acute hospitalization and trauma, such as burns, surgery, childbirth and end-of-life care, including patients with cancer and terminal illnesses. But in the United States, every adult in America can have “a bottle of pills and then some.

Just as 1984’s Ministry of Truth purveyed pornography to the Proles, statistics show at least 35% of all internet downloads and at least 30% of all data transferred across the internet are porn-related. Also similar to Huxley’s Brave New World, sex runs rampant throughout the modernized nations as cases of sexually transmitted disease have reached a record high in the United States.

In correlation to the ever-expanding gulf between rich and poor, strict adherence to orthodoxy now determines how high one can rise in the societies of the westernized nations, as political correctness defines the faith of the pantheistic disciples of Mother Earth in the form of Gaia worship; and social hierarchy is increasingly determined via the identity politics of the collectivist left. The American body politic has now witnessed the rise of the warrior cop and the militarization of domestic law enforcement, as interminable wars are eternally fought on foreign shores and sovereign nations are bombed under false pretense.

Even 1984’s “Victory Gin” has manifested in the form Russian Vodka within the eastern nations, as Oceania’s type of man-made orthodoxy silently drowns the human spirit in devastating despair, while contorted moralities overtake both the Christian and Islamic societies of the modern age.

Orwell defined “doublethink” as:

the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them

— Emmanuel Goldstein, ”1984”: part 2, chapter 9

Only in wealthy westernized nations do billionaires own multiple mansions, fly private jets and ride in eight-cylinder limousines to climate-change conferences where policies are decreed to lower the carbon footprint of the proletariat. Only in wealthy westernized nations, do ever-increasing numbers of women consider white men to be pigs while simultaneously striving to be their equals. And, only in the wealthy Christian nations of the northern hemisphere will citizens support a women’s right to third-trimester abortions, while rigorously and righteously battling for legislation to save endangered dung beetles.

Throughout Islamic societies, drinking alcohol and gambling is forbidden, but the governments and their citizens gladly tolerate canings, whippings, lashings, honor killings, suicide attacks, and the genital mutilation of young girls.

This does NOT prevent, however, the citizens of the wealthy Christian nations in the West to welcome with open arms, and in the name of “tolerance”, the pervading flood of Islamic immigrants.

The writings of Huxley and Orwell resonate by the echoes of history, over the canyons of time, and to the very cliff upon where mankind now stands. Propaganda daily spews via the machinations of five corporations which control 90% of all mainstream media channels. These companies toe the war-party line and wield their great powers of disinformation to contort facts or even censor the failures of the politicians whom they favor while, simultaneously, attacking their political enemies with lies and innuendo; even to the point of creating a phony election hacking narrative to satisfy their radioactive lust for war with nuclear powered enemies.

Even the characters of both Brave New World and 1984 are resonant of familiar archetypes from days gone by. Brave New World portrayed the character Bernard Marx as being short like Hitler, with a small man’s inferiority complex and complete with the surname of Karl Marx, the eponymous founder of Marxism.

The noble sounding Lenina Crowne’s name contains the surname of Vladimir Lenin, and Orwell’s portrayal of Julia does not seem overly diverse from former President’s Obama’s vision of “The Life of Julia”. Even the mustachioed, evil-eyed Big Brother from 1984’s dystopian nation of Oceana, looks eerily similar to just about every other tin-pot dictator who ever walked the earth.



Art imitating life? Indeed.

Yet the irony fails to impress America’s young social justice warriors of the Millennial generation who have been raised on a steady diet of socialism, political correctness, and participation trophies; a far cry from the rugged individualists of previous American generations. In the 2016 U.S. Democratic Party Primaries, and with the same sense of vague dissatisfaction as exhibited by Huxley’s Bernard Marx, millions upon millions of rainbow worshipping Snowflakes, old and young alike, turned out in force to show their support for another Bernard: Bernard Sanders, a redistributionist of the line of Robin Hood who, in the spirit of Santa Claus, offered free college educations to all of Uncle Sam’s children.

Sadly, Big Brother is here to stay and, with time, he will only grow more bigly; regardless of any transitory elected politicians in the governments of the world’s “sovereign” nations today.

Although Aldous Huxley and George Orwell valiantly spun fictional narratives in order to warn the real world’s future citizens, they were not alone in their efforts.

On January 17, 1961, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned of an ever-encroaching “Military Industrial Complex” in his farewell address to the nation:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Exactly 100 days after Ike’s farewell, on April 27, 1961, John F. Kennedy spoke before the American Newspaper Publishers Association in an address that later became known as his “Secret Society” speech. In that address, he stated the following:

For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence: on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed. Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed– and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy.

Thirty months after that speech, President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.



Many people consider Kennedy to have been the last American president not controlled by a financial global elite hell bent on world domination.

In one of the twentieth century’s minor ironies, Aldous Huxley died on the very same day that John F. Kennedy was killed. It was also the exact day C.S. Lewis, the British author, and Christian apologist, passed from this earth.

Coincidence? Only God knows.

Regardless, by 1984 all had been forgotten; and, in a Brave New World, none of it really matters anyway.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...-pain-huxleys-brave-new-world-vs-orwells-1984
Good stuff, that. Today's Amerika is more like the Brave New World than 1984...but that may very well change.
 

Son of Gloin

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#70
Damn good essay. This guy, whoever he is, just brilliantly illustrates the position we are all in as described by Huxley in Brave New World and Orwell in 1984. Both writers were geniuses and prophets. I have both books here, at home. I'm inspired to read them again.
 

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#71
Don't agree with everything in this one but it sure made me think.

Dictator For Life: The Rise Of The American Imperial President


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/06/2018 - 23:40


Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

I’m not a fan of Communist China.

It’s a vicious totalitarian regime that routinely employs censorship, surveillance, and brutal police state tactics to intimidate its populace, maintain its power, and expand the largesse of its corporate elite.

Just recently, in fact, China - an economic and political powerhouse that owns more of America’s debt than any other country and is buying up American businesses across the spectrum - announced its plan to make its president, Xi Jinping, president for life.

President Trump jokingly thinks that’s a great idea.

Trump thinks the idea of having a president for life is so great, in fact, that America might want to move in that direction. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” joked Trump.



Here’s the thing: we already have a president for life.

Sure, the names and faces and parties have changed over the years, but really, when you drill down under the personalities and political theater, you’ll find that the changing names and faces are merely cosmetic: no matter who sits on the throne, the office of the president of the United States has, for all intents and purposes, become a unilateral power unto itself.

Although the Constitution invests the President with very specific, limited powers, in recent years, American presidents (Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, etc.) have claimed the power to completely and almost unilaterally alter the landscape of this country for good or for ill.

The powers amassed by each successive president through the negligence of Congress and the courts—powers which add up to a toolbox of terror for an imperial ruler—empower whomever occupies the Oval Office to act as a dictator, above the law and beyond any real accountability.

The presidency itself has become an imperial one with permanent powers.

As law professor William P. Marshall explains, “every extraordinary use of power by one President expands the availability of executive branch power for use by future Presidents.” Moreover, it doesn’t even matter whether other presidents have chosen not to take advantage of any particular power, because “it is a President’s action in using power, rather than forsaking its use, that has the precedential significance.”

In other words, each successive president continues to add to his office’s list of extraordinary orders and directives, expanding the reach and power of the presidency and granting him- or herself near dictatorial powers.

So you see, we have been saddled with a “president for life”—i.e., a dictator for life—for some time now.

This abuse of presidential powers has been going on for so long that it has become the norm, the Constitution be damned.

The government of laws idealized by John Adams has fallen prey to a government of men.

As a result, we no longer have a system of checks and balances.

All of the imperial powers amassed by Barack Obama and George W. Bush—to kill American citizens without due process, to detain suspects indefinitely, to strip Americans of their citizenship rights, to carry out mass surveillance on Americans without probable cause, to suspend laws during wartime, to disregard laws with which he might disagree, to conduct secret wars and convene secret courts, to sanction torture, to sidestep the legislatures and courts with executive orders and signing statements, to direct the military to operate beyond the reach of the law, to operate a shadow government, and to act as a dictator and a tyrant, above the law and beyond any real accountability—were inherited by Donald Trump.

These presidential powers—acquired through the use of executive orders, decrees, memorandums, proclamations, national security directives and legislative signing statements and which can be activated by any sitting president—enable past, president and future presidents to operate above the law and beyond the reach of the Constitution.

These are the powers that will be passed along to each successive heir to the Oval Office.

This is what you might call a stealthy, creeping, silent, slow-motion coup d’etat.

Donald Trump has already picked up where his predecessors left off: he has continued to wage war, he has continued to federalize the police, and he operates as if the Constitution does not apply to him.

As tempting as it may be to lay all the blame at Trump’s feet for the totalitarian state of the nation right now, remember that he didn’t create the police state.

He merely inherited it, along with the dictatorial powers of the presidency.

If we are to return to a constitutional presidency, we must recalibrate the balance of power.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the only thing that will save us now is a concerted, collective commitment to the Constitution’s principles of limited government, a system of checks and balances, and a recognition that they—the president, Congress, the courts, the military, the police, the technocrats and plutocrats and bureaucrats—answer to and are accountable to “we the people.”

As historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. points out, “Holding a President to strict accountability requires, first of all, a new attitude on the part of the American people toward their Presidents, or rather a return to the more skeptical attitude of earlier times: it requires, specifically, a decline in reverence… The age of the imperial presidency has produced the idea that run-of-the-mill politicians, brought by fortuity to the White House, must be treated thereafter as if they have become superior and perhaps godlike beings.”

Schlesinger continues:

If the nation wants to work its way back to a constitutional presidency, there is only one way to begin. That is by showing Presidents that, when their closest associates place themselves above the law and the Constitution, such transgressions will be not forgiven or forgotten for the sake of the presidency but exposed and punished for the sake of the presidency.”

In other words, we’ve got to stop treating the president like a god and start making both the office of the president and the occupant play by the rules of the Constitution.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-06/dictator-life-rise-american-imperial-president
 

DodgebyDave

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#72
Sounds like a frog that is butthurt

 

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#73
Paul Craig Roberts Fears "A Stalinist Purge In America?"


by Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/07/2018 - 23:35


Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

This year could turn out to be a defining year for the United States. It is clear that the US military/security complex and the Democratic Party aided by their media vassals intend to purge Donald Trump from the presidency. One of the open conspirators declared the other day that we have to get rid of Trump now before he wins re-election in a landslide.

It is now a known fact that Russiagate is a conspiracy of the military/security complex, Obama regime, Democratic National Committee, and presstitute media to destroy President Trump. However, the presstitutes never present this fact to the American public. Nevertheless, a majority of Americans do not believe the Democrats and the presstitutes that Trump conspired with Putin to steal the election.

One question before us is: Will Mueller and the Democrats succeed in purging Donald Trump, as Joseph Stalin succeed in purging Lenin’s Bolsheviks, including Nikolai Bukharin, who Lenin called “the golden boy of the revolution,” or will the Democratic Party and the presstitutes discredit themselves such that the country moves far to the right.



Stalin didn’t need facts and could frame-up people at will as he had absolute power. In the US the presstitute media, like Stalin, does not concern itself with facts, but the presstitutes do not have absolute power. Indeed, few people trust the presstitutes, and even fewer trust Mueller.

Many are puzzled that President Trump has not moved against his enemies as they have no evidence for their charges. Indeed, Mueller’s indictments have nothing whatsoever to do with the Russiagate accusations. Why are not Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, and all the rest indicted for their clear and obvious crimes?

America’s future turns on the answer to this question.

Is it because the Trump regime is letting the presstitutes and the Democrats destroy their credibility, or is it because Trump is weak, confused, and doesn’t know how to use the powers of his office to slay those who intend to slay him?

If it is the former, then America will move far to the right.

If it is the latter, America will have had its own Stalinist purge, and the purge is likely to follow the Stalin model and to extend down to those who voted for Trump.

The failure of the integrity of the liberal/progressive/left has left the US facing two unpalatable outcomes. One is a right-wing government empowered by the left’s self-defeat. The other is the rise of the Identity Politics state in which oppression will be based on gender, race, and beliefs.

This is not the only issue that could be resolved in 2018. There are others, and the other two major ones are the economic situation and the military situation.

For a decade the central banks of the West and Japan have printed money far in excess of the increase in real goods and services. This money printing has not caused massive inflation of consumer prices. Instead it has caused inflation in financial instruments and real estate.

The high Dow Jones average is the product of this money printing. Can the central banks stop printing money and allow interest rates to rise, thus collapsing equity prices and pension funds? What would be the consequences?

Militarily, since World War II Washington has relied on its armed predominance to dictate to the world. But now the President of Russia has announced possession of what are from the US perspective super weapons that do not, as some claim, give Russia parity with the US, but give Russia immense military superiority over the US, indeed over the entire Western alliance.

Russia’s capability, which the US has no chance of matching any time soon, means that Washington’s policy of intimidation has no chance of intimidating Russia. If Washington’s policy toward Russia continues in a hostile demeanor, Russia is likely to kick Washington’s teeth out.

The cat has been belled. America is no longer “the sole superpower.” It is a second-rate power whose hubris is likely to do it in. Will it happen in 2018?

* * *

If you continue to support his website, you will continue to receive honest analysis of our dangerous times. Paul Craig Roberts' website is your portal on reality. There is no reality in the presstitute media or in the voices in Washington except the reality of the special interests who rule you for their own gain. Stand up for the truth. Donate here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/donate/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-07/paul-craig-roberts-fears-stalinist-purge-america
 

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#74
Paul Craig Roberts Fears "A Stalinist Purge In America?"


by Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/07/2018 - 23:35


Authored by Paul Craig Roberts,

This year could turn out to be a defining year for the United States. It is clear that the US military/security complex and the Democratic Party aided by their media vassals intend to purge Donald Trump from the presidency. One of the open conspirators declared the other day that we have to get rid of Trump now before he wins re-election in a landslide.

It is now a known fact that Russiagate is a conspiracy of the military/security complex, Obama regime, Democratic National Committee, and presstitute media to destroy President Trump. However, the presstitutes never present this fact to the American public. Nevertheless, a majority of Americans do not believe the Democrats and the presstitutes that Trump conspired with Putin to steal the election.

One question before us is: Will Mueller and the Democrats succeed in purging Donald Trump, as Joseph Stalin succeed in purging Lenin’s Bolsheviks, including Nikolai Bukharin, who Lenin called “the golden boy of the revolution,” or will the Democratic Party and the presstitutes discredit themselves such that the country moves far to the right.



Stalin didn’t need facts and could frame-up people at will as he had absolute power. In the US the presstitute media, like Stalin, does not concern itself with facts, but the presstitutes do not have absolute power. Indeed, few people trust the presstitutes, and even fewer trust Mueller.

Many are puzzled that President Trump has not moved against his enemies as they have no evidence for their charges. Indeed, Mueller’s indictments have nothing whatsoever to do with the Russiagate accusations. Why are not Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, and all the rest indicted for their clear and obvious crimes?

America’s future turns on the answer to this question.

Is it because the Trump regime is letting the presstitutes and the Democrats destroy their credibility, or is it because Trump is weak, confused, and doesn’t know how to use the powers of his office to slay those who intend to slay him?

If it is the former, then America will move far to the right.

If it is the latter, America will have had its own Stalinist purge, and the purge is likely to follow the Stalin model and to extend down to those who voted for Trump.

The failure of the integrity of the liberal/progressive/left has left the US facing two unpalatable outcomes. One is a right-wing government empowered by the left’s self-defeat. The other is the rise of the Identity Politics state in which oppression will be based on gender, race, and beliefs.

This is not the only issue that could be resolved in 2018. There are others, and the other two major ones are the economic situation and the military situation.

For a decade the central banks of the West and Japan have printed money far in excess of the increase in real goods and services. This money printing has not caused massive inflation of consumer prices. Instead it has caused inflation in financial instruments and real estate.

The high Dow Jones average is the product of this money printing. Can the central banks stop printing money and allow interest rates to rise, thus collapsing equity prices and pension funds? What would be the consequences?

Militarily, since World War II Washington has relied on its armed predominance to dictate to the world. But now the President of Russia has announced possession of what are from the US perspective super weapons that do not, as some claim, give Russia parity with the US, but give Russia immense military superiority over the US, indeed over the entire Western alliance.

Russia’s capability, which the US has no chance of matching any time soon, means that Washington’s policy of intimidation has no chance of intimidating Russia. If Washington’s policy toward Russia continues in a hostile demeanor, Russia is likely to kick Washington’s teeth out.

The cat has been belled. America is no longer “the sole superpower.” It is a second-rate power whose hubris is likely to do it in. Will it happen in 2018?

* * *

If you continue to support his website, you will continue to receive honest analysis of our dangerous times. Paul Craig Roberts' website is your portal on reality. There is no reality in the presstitute media or in the voices in Washington except the reality of the special interests who rule you for their own gain. Stand up for the truth. Donate here: https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/donate/

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-07/paul-craig-roberts-fears-stalinist-purge-america
The increase of rates in the last year don't seem like a coincidence to me...collapse equities and pensions, then blame it all on Trump. I was afraid of this type scenario before he was even elected...make any conservative ideal unpalatable for everyone in America and "Order 66" will be complete.
 

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#75
5 Of The Most Violent Cities In The World Are Right Here In America


by Tyler Durden
Sun, 03/11/2018 - 12:47


Authored by Daisy Luther via The Organic Prepper blog,

When you think of the most dangerous, violent cities in the world, do you picture slums in Third World countries with vicious drug cartels or arrogant warlords? Maybe the kind of violence where enemies are decapitated and whole families are murdered seem like things that happen far away in some terrifying, exotic locale.

Some of this is true – but FIVE of the world’s most violent cities are right here on the American mainland and another is in an American territory. The list was created by researchers of anti-violence think-tank Seguridad, Justicia Y Paz (Security, Justice, and Peace), who made their rankings based on statistics of homicides per 100,000 residents.

The vast majority of the cities on the list were in Central and South America. Interestingly, the violence in Venezuela appears to have dropped in violence this year, but not because it’s suddenly become a mecca of safety. The official situation there has devolved so much that they simply can’t track all the homicides.

But back to America
We pride ourselves on our first world status and civilized societies, and yet four of our cities ended up on the list of the most dangerous and violent locales on the planet.




They are:

  • #13 St. Louis

  • #21 Baltimore

  • #32 San Juan

  • #41 New Orleans

  • #42 Detroit
How did these cities make the list?

  • St. Louis, Missouri: Since the Ferguson riots, the entire state of Missouri has seen a sharp increase in violence. This has culminated in the city of St. Louis, which had a 2017 murder rate of 65.83 per hundred thousand people. There are thousands of violent crimes each year in the city, which only has a population of about 320,000 people.

  • Baltimore, Maryland: The city of Baltimore has an astounding murder rate of 55.48 people per hundred thousand. Last year’s murder rate was nearly as high as the year that the riots erupted over the killing of Freddie Gray by city police officers. There’s a murder nearly every day of the year in Baltimore and the police force there is widely considered to be one of the most corrupt – if not the most corrupt – in the nation.

  • San Juan, Puerto Rico: Many will think that San Juan earned its place on the list due to the devastation wrought by two back to back hurricanes, but it was already bad for years before. DHS ties this to drug trafficking. The island territory had begun to see signs of improvement in 2015 after a massive spike in 2011 that brought murders to an all-time high. The homicide numbers didn’t immediately escalate after Hurricane Maria, but as the unrelenting darkness continued, violent crime began to increase until it reached 48.70 murders per hundred thousand residents.

  • New Orleans, Louisiana: Murders in New Orleans, Louisiana fell last year but armed robberies and non-fatal shootings have risen by a whopping 30% since 2010. The city is renowned for its food, music, and festivals, making it a popular destination for tourists. Yet, the 40.10 murders per hundred thousand people rank The Big Easy as more dangerous than some of the most notorious cities in Brazil and Columbia.

  • Detroit, Michigan: Detroit is the fourth American city to be featured on the list of places you’re most likely to be murdered. With a homicide rate of 39.69 per one hundred thousand people, Detroit was the 42 most dangerous city in the world according to these statistics. The city used to be an American hub of industry, but when the automotive manufacturers left, it fell into disrepair and poverty. Residents have a whopping unemployment rate of almost 11%, the population has plummeted, and since it is one of the poorest cities in the nation, perhaps the residents who remain simply can’t afford to get out.
For those who are interested in preparedness, the collapse of these cities is something to watch. Note how the increase of violence in many cases ties in with a lack of confidence in local law enforcement officers. A failing economy is another factor, as increased desperation leads to increased crime.

What other cities made the list?
Here’s the list of the 50 most violent cities in the world in its entirety:

  1. Los Cabos, Mexico
  2. Caracas, Venezuela
  3. Acapulco, Mexico
  4. Natal, Brasil
  5. Tijuana, Mexico
  6. La Paz, Mexico
  7. Fortaleza, Brazil
  8. Victoria, Mexico
  9. Guayana, Mexico
  10. Belem, Brazil
  11. Vitória da Conquista, Brazil
  12. Culicacan, Mexico
  13. St. Louis, Missouri, USA
  14. Maceio, Brazil
  15. Cape Town, South Africa
  16. Kingston, Jamaica
  17. San Salvador, El Salvador
  18. Aracaju, Brazil
  19. Feira de Santana, Brazil
  20. Juarez, Mexico
  21. Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  22. Recife, Brazil
  23. Maturin, Venezuela
  24. Guatemala City, Guatemala
  25. Salvador, Brazil
  26. San Pedro Sula, Honduras
  27. Valencia, Venezuela
  28. Cali, Columbia
  29. Chihuahua, Mexico
  30. João Pessoa, Brazil
  31. Obregon, Mexico
  32. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  33. Barquisimeto, Venezuela
  34. Manaus, Brazil
  35. Distrito Central, Honduras
  36. Tepic, Mexico
  37. Palmira, Columbia
  38. Reynosa, Mexico
  39. Porto Alegre. Brazil
  40. Macapa, Brazil
  41. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  42. Detroit, Michican, USA
  43. Mazatlán, Mexico
  44. Durban, South Africa
  45. Campos dos Goytacazes, Brazil
  46. Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa
  47. Campina Grande, Brazil
  48. Teresina, Brazil
  49. Vitoria, Brazil
  50. Cúcuta, Colombia
Seguridad, Justicia Y Paz blames much of the violence on drug cartel turf wars, economic crises, and violence perpetrated by gangs like MS-13.

Do you have any doubt that violence will be abundant when the SHTF?
All you need to do is look at this list and study these cities to see how violence escalates when the rule of law collapses, when economies crash and people starve, when police officers go dirty, and when criminal gangs turn into the ruling class.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-11/5-most-violent-cities-world-are-right-here-america
 

FunnyMoney

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#76
It took a while to go through all these but let's be clear about the crime stats....

Americans are armed and Thank GOD we are. The crime stats don't reflect kidnappings, rapes, home invasions and a number of other violent crimes. They reflect the reported murder rate. So it is only about murder, not all violent crimes (strike one) and doesn't take into account dozens of countries where reporting is very low or where there's almost no reporting at all (strike two) and the report doesn't take into account military or insurgency violence which is many times worse than anywhere in places like Africa, the ME and Asia (strike three).

I wouldn't be surprised if the authors of the report (Seguridad, Justicia Y Paz) were to come out and support gun laws soon. This is the first report I've seen from this group, but I would be very suspect of any future ones.
 

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#77
Happy Perjury Anniversary, James Clapper


by Tyler Durden
Tue, 03/13/2018 - 05:00


Via JonathanTurley.org,

Today is an important anniversary for former intelligence chief James Clapper. No it is not his marriage anniversary or conventional milestone. Clapper can celebrate the running out of the statute of limitations on his alleged perjury before Congress — five years and Clapper is now beyond the reach of the law.




I recently wrote a column on the approaching anniversary and how it reaffirms the widely held view that powerful people in Washington are immune from laws used against the rest of society.

Clapper appeared before the Senate to discuss surveillance programs in the midst of a controversy over warrantless surveillance of the American public. He was asked directly, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

There was no ambiguity or confusion and Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” That was a lie and Clapper knew it when he said it.

Later, Clapper said that his testimony was “the least untruthful” statement he could make. That would still make it a lie of course but Clapper is a made guy. While feigned shock and disgust, most Democratic leaders notably did not call for his prosecution. Soon Clapper was back testifying and former president Obama even put Clapper on a federal panel to review the very programs that he lied about in Congress. Clapper is now regularly appearing on cable shows which, for example, used Clapper’s word as proof that Trump was lying in saying that there was surveillance of Trump Tower carried out by President Barack Obama. CNN and other networks used Clapper’s assurance without ever mentioning that he previously lied about surveillance programs.

News organizations now regularly feature Clapper who has denounced Donald Trump and members of his government, as discussed in an earlier column.

It is the latest chapter in America’s Animal Farm as average citizens are criminally charged with small discrepancies in statements to investigators while people like Clapper and David Petraeus and Sandy Berger are protected from serious repercussions for alleged criminal acts.

Orwell wrote the fanciful account of a farm society of animals at the end of World War II during a period of authoritarian power and government propaganda. The farm government proclaimed equality of all animals but, as the pig Squealer explained, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

Of course, none of our politicians is nearly as open and honest as Squealer. There will be no sign proclaiming the different treatment of the governing and governed classes. They prefer the barnyard to return to its previously sleepy existence once the offender has been put away. That is why Clapper’s anniversary is a point of celebration in the Beltway as a reaffirmation that, in Washington, “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-12/happy-perjury-anniversay-james-clapper
 

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#78
A World War Might Sound Crazy, But It Could Be America's Last Act Of Desperation


by Tyler Durden
Wed, 03/21/2018 - 02:00




Authored by Darius Shahtahmasebi via TheAntiMedia.org,

Though some have been warning about the catastrophic potential for a third global conflict for years, it wasn’t until recently that these warnings became more mainstream. The calamitous nature of the violence in Syria - which has one nuclear power defending a government that has been the target of a regime change operation led by the world’s superpower - combined with 2017’s threats of “fire and fury” against another state intently pursuing a nuclear weapons supply of its own, has pushed the issue of a third world war directly into the public discourse.



While certain hotspots throughout the Middle East, Asia, and Eastern Europe (i.e. Ukraine) have seen some notable escalations in the last few years, a direct conflict between Russia and the United States is still yet to emerge. That’s because the idea of a third world war in today’s world is completely insane. If the two countries that currently possess the world’s greatest supplies of nuclear weapons go to war, there may not be a world left for the victors to inhabit after the war is done, thereby making it an unthinkable proposal.


Then again, the U.S. did just recently bomb a significant number of Russian-linked forces in Syria, reportedly killing scores of them. The targets of these air strikes were also predominantly Iranian-backed militias (just in case there weren’t enough state actors already involved in this ongoing conflict).

Speaking of Iran, Donald Trump recently fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state and immediately appointed CIA director Mike Pompeo to replace him. Pompeo is a notable anti-Iran hawk who will almost certainly go further than Tillerson was ever prepared to go with regard to the Iranian nuclear accord, a deal Pompeo believes is “disastrous.”

There are also reports now emerging that Donald Trump is planning to oust his national security advisor, General H.R. McMaster. McMaster originally replaced anti-Iran war hawk Michael Flynn, but apparently, McMaster’s non-stop allegations against Iran were not enough to please Trump.

McMaster was not on board with Trump’s attempt to completely derail the Iranian nuclear deal.

One should bear in mind that when Donald Trump made the decision to strike the Syrian government in April of last year in what amounted to one of the year’s most important and over-publicized geopolitical events, it was McMaster who drew up the strike plan options and presented them to Trump to choose from. If this is a man not hawkish enough for Trump’s administration, his looming removal from the administration is a worrying sign of what’s to come.

Donald Trump’s Nuclear Posture Review entails that, as Katrina vanden Heuvel noted in an article published in the Washington Post:

“The United States reserves the right to unleash nuclear weapons first in ‘extreme circumstances’ to defend the ‘vital interests’ not only of the United States but also of its ‘allies and partners’ — a total of some 30 countries. ‘Extreme circumstances,’ the review states explicitly, include ‘significant non-nuclear attacks,’ including conventional attacks on ‘allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure.’ The United States also maintains a ‘portion of its nuclear forces’ on daily alert, with the option of launching those forces ‘promptly.’ [emphasis added]​
Considering that a former analyst for the Council on Foreign Relations, Micah Zenko, just warned that Pentagon officials are actively searching for a “big war” against Russia and China, the trajectory we are currently on starts to make a lot more sense.

In other parts of the world, we are witnessing a new era of hostilities towards Russia. The debacle taking place in the U.K. right now, which has seen allegations of a Russian chemical attack on British soil, has prompted the U.K., U.S., France, and Germany to band together and condemn Russia for something that hasn’t even been conclusively investigated yet.

After years of constantly being painted as the enemy, Russia justdeclared via Twitter that a “Cold War II” has begun, and who can blame them?

A third world war might sound crazy, but it is only crazy if we fail to understand the desperation that continues to plague the men in suits who pull the strings guiding American foreign policy. Consider that the Syrian government, with Russian and Iranian backing, has managed to stabilize significant parts of the country despite all odds so that refugees can return home safely. It should be clear that the best way to solve the Syrian crisis is to discontinue America’s regime change policy in Syria and allow the people of Syria to normalize their own lives without Washington’s interference. Yet, after seven years of brutal violence, the U.S. still refuses to admit defeat in Syria. If anything, the U.S. has now officially set its sights on directly combatting Iranian influence in the country, raising the potential for significant escalations.

Maybe, just maybe, the U.S. is that desperate. Apparently, the U.S. has to remain in Syria out of necessity. It cannot afford to sit on the sidelines as Russia re-emerges as the major power broker in the region, eating up all the major contracts coming out of Syria (together with Iran) as it looks to poach American allies left, right, and center.

Additionally, Russia recently warned the U.S. that it will not tolerate Washington’s aggressive attacks on the Syrian government and will respond with strikes of their own should the U.S. military threaten Russian personnel. One should expect that eventually, there will be a point where Russia will no longer allow these attacks to go unanswered.

As America’s power and influence wane, the time will come for both Russia and China to make their mark on the global stage. Just on a side note, it should come as no surprise that Trump’s nominated ambassador to Australia, Adm. Harry Harris, is a known anti-China war hawk who recently warned Congress to prepare for a war with China.

Why should we need to prepare for a war with China? Who talks and thinks like that? A nation on a slow and inevitable decline that cannot refuse to admit defeat in almost any battle theater since World War II, that’s who.

Realistically, nobody wants a third world war, but as the U.S. increasingly thrashes to maintain its control of the global financial markets, its network of over 1,000 bases worldwide, and its status as the world’s global policemen, a third world war may be Washington’s only hope at staying afloat as the world’s top power.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...azy-it-could-be-americas-last-act-desperation
 

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#79
How The Military Controls America

by Tyler Durden
Sun, 03/25/2018 - 19:30


Authored by Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org,

Unlike corporations that sell to consumers, Lockheed Martin and the other top contractors to the U.S. Government are highly if not totally dependent upon sales to governments, for their profits, especially sales to their own government, which they control - they control their home market, which is the U.S. Government, and they use it to sell to its allied governments, all of which foreign governments constitute the export markets for their products and services.





These corporations control the U.S. Government, and they control NATO. And, here is how they do it, which is essential to understand, in order to be able to make reliable sense of America’s foreign policies, such as which nations are ‘allies’ of the U.S. Government (such as Saudi Arabia and Israel), and which nations are its ‘enemies’ (such as Libya and Syria) - and are thus presumably suitable for America to invade, or else to overthrow by means of a coup. First, the nation’s head-of-state becomes demonized; then, the invasion or coup happens. And, that’s it. And here’s how.



Because America (unlike Russia) privatized the weapons-industry (and even privatizes to mercenaries some of its battlefield killing and dying), there are, in America, profits for investors to make in invasions and in military occupations of foreign countries; and the billionaires who control these corporations can and do - and, for their financial purposes, they must - buy Congress and the President, so as to keep those profits flowing to themselves.

That’s the nature of the war-business, since its markets are governments - but not those governments that the aristocracy want to overthrow and replace. The foreign governments that are to be overthrown are not markets, but are instead targets. The bloodshed and misery go to those unfortunate lands. But if you control these corporations, then you need these invasions and occupations, and you certainly aren’t concerned about any of the victims, who (unlike those profits) are irrelevant to your business.

In fact, to the exact contrary: killing people and destroying buildings etc., are what you sell - that’s what you (as a billionaire with a controlling interest in one of the 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government) are selling to your own government, and to all of the other governments that your country’s cooperative propaganda will characterize as being ‘enemies’ — Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, etc. — and definitely not as being ‘allies’, such as are being characterized these corporations’ foreign markets: Saudi Arabia, EU-NATO, Israel, et cetera.

In fact, as regards your biggest foreign markets, they will be those ‘allies’; so, you (that is, the nation’s aristocracy, who own also the news-media etc.) defend them, and you want the U.S. military (the taxpayers and the troops) to support and defend them. It’s defending your market, even though you as the controlling owner of such a corporation aren’t paying the tab for it. The rest of the country is actually paying for all of it, so you’re “free-riding” the public, in this business.

It’s the unique nature of the war-business, and a unique boon to its investors.

Thus, on 21 May 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump sold to the Saud family, who own Saudi Arabia, an all-time-record $350 billion of U.S. arms-makers’ products, which they’re now obligated to buy during the following ten years, with an up-front commitment of $100 billion during just the first year, so as to make even that one-year commitment an all-time record. This deal is by far the biggest part of Trump’s boost to American manufacturers - but it’s only to military manufacturers, the people who depend virtually 100% on sales to governments, specifically to ‘friendly’ governments: to ‘allies’, such as, in this case, to the Saud family.

In fact, the Sauds’ war against their neighbor Yemen is a good example of just how this sort of operation (profit to the billionaires, bloodshed and destruction to - in this case - the Yemenites) works:

Yemen’s war goes back to the “Arab Spring” revolution in Yemen, which overthrew the U.S.-and-Saud-backed President, former Colonel and then General, Saleh. Wikipedia says of him: “According to the UN Sanctions Panel, by 2012 Saleh has amassed fortune worth $32-60 billion hidden in at least twenty countries making him one of the richest people in the world. Saleh was gaining $2 billion a year from 1978 to 2012 mainly through illegal methods, such as embezzlement, extortion and theft of funds from Yemen's fuel subsidy program.”​
And, furthermore: “New York Times Middle Eastern correspondent Robert F. Worth described Saleh as reaching an understanding with powerful feudal ‘big sheikhs’ to become ‘part of a Mafia-style spoils system that substituted for governance’. Worth accused Saleh of exceeding the aggrandizement of other Middle Eastern strongmen by managing to ‘rake off tens of billions of dollars in public funds for himself and his family’ despite the extreme poverty of his country.” Saleh fled to Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s Army installed the Vice President, and former General, Hadi to succeed him. Then, there was a second revolution, and, on 21 January 2015, the Shia Houthi tribe took over, and the rabidly anti-Shia Saud family promptly started their bombing of Yemen, using American training, weaponry and tactical and refueling support. The U.S. Government - like its ally the Saud family — is rabidly anti-Shia.​
That’s to say: The U.S. aristocracy, like Saudi Arabia’s aristocracy (the royal family), is rabidly anti-Shia. But, whereas for the Sauds, this is motivated more by hate than by greed, it’s more greed than hate on the U.S. side, because at least ever since the U.S. coup in the leading Shia country, Iran, in 1953, it’s been purely about greed, specifically that of the oil (and other) companies who also (in addition to the armaments-firms) control U.S. foreign policies. (For example, international oil companies need to extract and sell oil from many countries. They’re highly dependent upon the military, though not nearly to the extent that the weapons-firms are.)
The most recent poll that has been taken of American public opinion regarding America’s arming and training Saudi forces to fly over and bomb Yemen was taken during November 2017, tabulated on 28 January 2018, and finally published a month later, on 28 February 2018. This “Nationwide Voter Survey - Report on Results - January 28, 2018” asked 1,000 scientifically sampled American voters, “Question: Congress is considering a bi-partisan bill to withdraw U.S. forces from the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Would you say that you support or oppose this bill?” It reported that, “Support” was 51.9%, “Oppose” was 21.5%, no opinion was 26.6%; and, so, 71% of the opinions were “Support”; only 29% were “Oppose.”

That’s more than two-thirds supporting this bill to consider withdrawing U.S. forces from that war. But, when the vote was taken in the U.S. Senate, it was 55% opposing the bill, opposing, that is, consideration of the matter, and 44% supporting consideration of the matter (and not voting was 1% of the 100 Senators). 55% of Senators didn’t want the Senate to even consider the matter. Here’s how the issue had managed to get even that far:

On 4 December 2017, just weeks after that poll of Americans was taken, Russian Television headlined “Saleh’s death means a fresh hell beckons for Yemen”, and the U.S. Government’s participation in the bombing of Yemen then did increase. This event — the murder of Saleh — raised the Yemen war to broader public attention in the country that was supplying the bombs and the weapons to the Sauds.​
On March 19th, NBC bannered “Senators to force vote to redefine U.S. role in Yemen” - that was merely to force a vote in the Senate, not actually to vote on the issue itself. However, given how overwhelmingly America’s voters opposed America’s arming the Sauds to slaughter the Yemenese, this vote in the Senate to consider the measure was the gateway to each Senator’s being forced to go public about supporting this highly unpopular armament of the Saudis; and, so, if it had gotten that far (to a final vote on the issue itself), the arms-makers might lose the vote, because Senators would then be voting not ‘merely’ on a procedural matter, but on the actual issue itself. So, this vote was about the gateway, not about the destination.​

The next day, Breitbart News headlined “Administration, Bipartisan Interventionist Establishment Kill Aisle-Crossing Effort to Rein In U.S. Military Involvement in Yemen” and presented a full and documented account, which opened: “The Senate resolution invoking the War Powers Act to demand the administration seek congressional authorization or withdraw American support from Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen was defeated Tuesday by a vote of 55-44.” The peace-activist, David Swanson, headlined at Washingtonsblog, “Why 55 U.S. Senators Voted for Genocide in Yemen”, and he alleged that the vote would have been even more lopsided than 55% for the weapons-industry, if some of the Senators who voted among the 44 non-bloodthirsty ones hadn’t been in such close political races. The weapons-industry won’t hold against a Senator his/her voting against them if their vote won’t even be needed in order to win. Token-votes against them are acceptable. All that’s necessary is winning the minimum number of votes. Anything more than that is just icing on the cake.​

So, this explains how the U.S. Government really ignores public opinion and only pretends to be a democracy. It’s done by fooling the public. On the issue of which countries are ‘allies’ and which are ‘enemies’, and other issues regarding national defense, all necessary means are applied in order to achieve, as Walter Lippmann in 1921 called it, “the manufacture of consent.” He wrote:

That the manufacture of consent is capable of great refinements no one, I think, denies. The process by which public opinions arise is certainly no less intricate than it has appeared in these pages, and the opportunities for manipulation open to anyone who understands the process are plain enough.

The creation of consent is not a new art. It is a very old one which was supposed to have died out with the appearance of democracy. But it has not died out. It has, in fact, improved enormously in technic, because it is now based on analysis rather than on rule of thumb. And so, as a result of psychological research, coupled with the modern means of communication, the practice of democracy has turned a corner. A revolution is taking place, infinitely more significant than any shifting of economic power.

The CIA virtually controls the ‘news’ media.

Furthermore, even corporations that aren’t on that list of top 100 U.S. Government contractors can be crucially dependent upon their income from the U.S. Government. For example, since 2014, Amazon Web Services has supplied to the U.S. Government (CIA, Pentagon, NSA, etc.) its cloud-computing services, which has since produced virtually all of Amazon’s profits (also see “Cloud Business Drives Amazon’s Profits”), though Amazon doesn’t even so much as show up on that list of 100 top contractors to the U.S. Government; so, this extremely profitable business is more important to Jeff Bezos (the owner also of the Washington Post) than all the rest of his investments put together are.

The most corrupt part of the U.S. Government is the ‘Defense’ part. That also happens to be — and by far — the most popular part, the most respected (by the American public) part. That’s a toxic combination: toxic not only for a government’s domestic policies, but especially for a government’s foreign policies - such as for identifying which nations are ‘allies’, and which nations are ‘enemies’. This type of mega-toxic combination can’t exist in a nation whose press isn’t being effectively controlled by the same general group that effectively controls the Government (in America, that’s the richest few, by means of their many paid agents), the Deep State. In America, one key to it is that the ‘Defense’ firms are privately owned.

* * *

POSTSCRIPT:

On March 24th, Zero Hedge Headlined an opinion-article “The Death of Democracy” and Alasdair Macleod said that, “The Deep State is on course to take control of Congress. If this happens, it will be the next step in a global trend of side-lining democracy in the West, driven in large part by American foreign policy. It has led to governments everywhere increasing control over their people, in an inversion of democratic principles.”

Furthermore: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has identified 102 seats as ‘competitive' in its red-to-blue campaign programme. Eighty of these seats are vulnerable Republicans, and 22 are seats where the incumbent is retiring. 57 of the 221 candidates standing for the Democratic nomination in these 102 districts are current or past agents of the military-intelligence complex. And of those 102 districts, 44 have one of these candidates, 11 have two, and one has three. Furthermore, there are indications that the financial backers of the Democratic Party are supporting this influx of intelligence operatives, and that they are well-funded.”

Macleod went on to say that they’ve already apparently taken over Trump: “There can be no doubt that the chaos in the White House since Trump’s victory has reflected a fight behind the scenes for control of foreign policy, homeland security and military spending. It has been about the CIA’s ultimately successful attempts to ensure Trump backtracked on relevant electoral promises and complies with its own agenda. So far, Trump has backed down on Russia, North Korea, Iran and on military spending, suggesting he is well on the way to becoming the Deep State’s lackey. It now seems the CIA wants to control the balance of power in Congress.”

His conclusion is: “If the US military-intelligence complex manages to pack out Congress, it will be the killer blow for any democracy remaining in America. It will clear the field for a secret state organisation, which has shown little or no regard for human life and the rule of law, to accelerate its warlike agenda. It will have unfettered access to the national finances to accelerate its programme of global aggression, and damn the consequences for anyone else."
* * *
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-25/how-military-controls-america
 

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#80
Whitehead: Enough Is Enough - If You Really Want To Save Lives, Take Aim At Government Violence

by Tyler Durden
Mon, 03/26/2018 - 23:05




Authored by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,

Enough is enough.

That was the refrain chanted over and over by the thousands of demonstrators who gathered to protest gun violence in America.

On March 24, 2018, more than 200,000 young people took the time to march on Washington DC and other cities across the country to demand that their concerns about gun violence be heard.

More power to them.

I’m all for activism, especially if it motivates people who have been sitting silently on the sidelines for too long to get up and try to reclaim control over a runaway government.

Curiously, however, although these young activists were vocal in calling for gun control legislation that requires stricter background checks and limits the kinds of weapons being bought and sold by members of the public, they were remarkably silent about the gun violence perpetrated by their own government.




Why is no one taking aim at the U.S. government as the greatest purveyor of violence in American society and around the world?

As journalist Celisa Calacal recognizes, “It is often the case that police shootings, incidents where law enforcement officers pull the trigger on civilians, are left out of the conversation on gun violence. But a police officer shooting a civilian counts as gun violence. Every time an officer uses a gun against an innocent or an unarmed person contributes to the culture of gun violence in this country.”

Enough is enough.

The systemic violence being perpetrated by agents of the government has done more collective harm to the American people and our liberties than any single act of terror or mass shooting.

Violence has become our government’s calling card, from the more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans to the military’s endless wars abroad.

Indeed, the day before thousands of demonstrators descended on Washington DC to protest mass shootings such as the one that took place at Stoneman Douglas High School, President Trump signed into law a colossal $1.3 trillion spending bill that gives the military the biggest boost in spending in more than a decade.

With more than $700 billion earmarked for the military, including $144.3 billion for new military equipment, you can be sure this financial windfall for America’s military empire will be used to expand the police state here at home.

This will put more militarized guns and weapons in the hands of local police and government bureaucrats who have been trained to shoot first and ask questions later.

Enough is enough.

Remember, it was just a few months ago that President Trump, aided and abetted by his trusty Department of Justice henchman Jeff Sessions, rolled back restrictions on the government’s military recycling program to the delight of the nation’s powerful police unions.

Under the auspices of this military “recycling” program, which was instituted decades ago, more than $4.2 billion worth of equipment has been transferred from the Defense Department to domestic police agencies.

There are now reportedly more bureaucratic (non-military) government civilians armed with high-tech, deadly weapons than U.S. Marines.

In the hands of government agents, whether they are members of the military, law enforcement or some other government agency, these weapons have become routine parts of America’s day-to-day life. As investigative journalists Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz reveal, “Many police, including beat cops, now routinely carry assault rifles. Combined with body armor and other apparel, many officers look more and more like combat troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Thanks to Trump, this transformation of America into a battlefield is only going to get worse.

Get ready for more militarized police.

More police shootings. More SWAT team raids.

More violence in a culture already drenched with violence.

Enough is enough.

You want to talk about gun violence?

According to the Washington Post,1 in 13 people killed by guns are killed by police.”

Growing numbers of unarmed people are being shot and killed by police for just standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

Enough is enough.

With alarming regularity, unarmed men, women, children and even pets are being gunned down by twitchy, hyper-sensitive, easily-spooked police officers who shoot first and ask questions later.

Americans are being shot and killed by police…

For standing in a “shooting stance.”
For holding a cell phone.
For carrying a baseball bat.
For opening the front door.

For running towards police with a metal spoon.
For running while holding a tree branch.
For crawling around naked.
For wearing dark pants and a basketball jersey.
For driving while deaf.
For being homeless.
For brandishing a shoehorn.
For having your car break down on the road.
For holding a garden hose.
For calling 911.
For looking for a parking spot.

This is what passes for policing in America today, folks, and it’s only getting worse.

That police chose to fatally resolve these encounters by using their guns on fellow citizens speaks volumes about what is wrong with policing in America today, where police officers are being dressed in the trappings of war, drilled in the deadly art of combat, and trained to look upon “every individual they interact with as an armed threat and every situation as a deadly force encounter in the making.”

Enough is enough.

You want to save lives?

Start by doing something to save the lives of your fellow citizens who are being gunned down every day by police who are trained to shoot first and ask questions later.

You want to cry about the lives lost during mass shootings?

Cry about the lives lost as a result of the violence being perpetrated by the U.S. government here at home and abroad.

If gun control activists really want the country to reconsider its relationship with guns and violence, then it needs to start with a serious discussion about the role our government has played and continues to play in contributing to the culture of violence.

If the American people are being called on to scale back on their weapons, then as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the government and its cohorts - the police, the various government agencies that are now armed to the hilt, the military, the defense contractors, etc. - need to do the same.

It’s time to put an end to the government’s reign of terror.

Enough is enough.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018...-want-save-lives-take-aim-government-violence