Going offline or off the grid is not easy for everyone. Modern society has come to repudiate the very elements that make civilization possible. Living in cyber space is existence on life support at best. Until now, people had idiosyncratic relations, with intimate experiences and personal memories. Thoughts were internal and private conduct was confidential. Under a hi-tech environment, the system moves closer to an all knowing eye. But what happens, when the public becomes enlightened to the bondage of the tech prison, thanks to all the whistleblowers?
The irony befits the hypocrite techie class of privacy violators. Lamenting that their fiefdom of intrusive surveillance and data mining might be compromised, the high priests of SPY, Inc. are flustered. With the disclosure of a synergistic relationship of an intertwined nature, the high-tech prophets lay exposed. NSA Spying Risks $35 Billion in U.S. Technology Sales has the flagship government front companies in full damage control.
“News about U.S. surveillance disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has “the great potential for doing serious damage to the competitiveness” of U.S. companies such as Cupertino, California-based Apple, Facebook Inc., and Microsoft Corp., Richard Salgado, Google’s director for law enforcement and information security, told a U.S. Senate panel Nov. 13. “The trust that’s threatened is essential to these businesses.”
With the announcement that Facebook faces lawsuit for allegedly scanning private messages, the diminutive privacy on this social network just got smaller. “Facebook was one of the Web Services that was caught scanning URLs despite such activity remaining undisclosed to the user,” according to the complaint.Can your personal persona remain your own business? What exactly can be attempted to protect your identity and privacy?
Woodrow Hartzog and Evan Selinger propose in Obscurity: A Better Way to Think About Your Data Than ‘Privacy’, adding layers of complexity guards against most of the ordinary risks of scrutinized personal data. However, this argument is trite since the cyber world of digital transmission uses the technological routing and coding systems, engineered as part of the total government retrieval society.
“Obscurity is the idea that when information is hard to obtain or understand, it is, to some degree, safe. Safety, here, doesn’t mean inaccessible. Competent and determined data hunters armed with the right tools can always find a way to get it. Less committed folks, however, experience great effort as a deterrent.
Online, obscurity is created through a combination of factors. Being invisible to search engines increases obscurity. So does using privacy settings and pseudonyms. Disclosing information in coded ways that only a limited audience will grasp enhances obscurity, too. Since few online disclosures are truly confidential or highly publicized, the lion’s share of communication on the social web falls along the expansive continuum of obscurity: a range that runs from completely hidden to totally obvious.”
Privacy is a hindrance to corporate marketing, while secrecy is a threat to the national security establishment that observes the basic rule of all technology. Use the optimum scientific hi-tech enhancement to maintain and further the interests of the ruling elites. Any technological development is viewed as a useful advancement if it works to expand control over the economy or social structure.
Supporting this conclusion is an article from the master of facture awareness. Michael Snyder provides an impactful list of 32 Privacy Destroying Technologies That Are Systematically Transforming America Into A Giant Prison.
“Many people speak of this as being the “Information Age”, but most Americans don’t really stop and think about what that really means. Most of the information that is considered to be so “valuable” is actually about all of us. Businesses want to know as much about all of us as possible so that they can sell us stuff. Government officials want to know as much about all of us as possible so that they can make sure that we are not doing anything that they don’t like.”
If you need more convincing, examine the 10 Privacy-Destroying Technologies That Are Turning America Into A Police State, by Daniel Jennings. How many of these devices or practices are monitoring your every move and thought?
- Electric meters
- Telematic devices on cars
- RFID chips in drivers’ licenses, credit cards and other cards that allow the tracking of individuals
- Data mining by local and federal government
- Voice recognition. Russian scientists have invented software called Voice Grid Nation that can identify the voices of millions of different people
- Fingerprint recognition
- Chips that monitor your body functions
- Behavior monitoring software
- Next Generation surveillance systems such as Trapwire and Intellistreet
Popular consensus would have you believe that this infringement into your most personal behavior is inevitable and it is futile to resist. From an institutional perspective that viewpoint seems correct. Nonetheless, the preservation of your human dignity demands a vigorous reassessment of the numerous ways you have the ability to influence, if not, protect against this tech assault.
Before assuming that tech is great, reflect upon the culture of expected progress. Proponents of applied science automatically assume that advancement comes from such evolution. Conversely, the actual function of various innovations often brings the loss of personal solitude. Tech is not neutral. By definition new or different technology changes the landscape.
What does not change is human nature. Supercharging the velocity and speed of functions and the distribution of information, without guarding the integrity of personal consent is intrinsically immoral. While that statement may seem obsolete as the NSA constructs the largest digital computer memory center in the history of the world in Utah with the capability of storing 5 zettabytes of data, the principle of inherent autonomy still remains.Amitai Etzioni presents an academic postulation, attempting to answer the question, Are New Technologies the Enemy of Privacy?
“Privacy is one good among other goods and should be weighed as such. The relationship between technology and privacy is best viewed as an arms race between advancements that diminish privacy and those that better protect it, rather than the semi-Luddite view which sees technology as one-sided development enabling those who seek to invade privacy to overrun those who seek to protect it. The merits or defects of particular technologies are not inherent to the technologies, but rather, depend on how they are used and above all, on how closely their use is monitored and accounted for by the parties involved. In order to reassure the public and to ensure accountability and oversight, a civilian review board should be created to monitor the government’s use of surveillance and related technologies. Proper accountability requires multiple layers of oversight, and should not be left solely in the hands of the government.”
The problem with this arms race is that it is waged among equally corrupt globalist factions. When Mr. Etzioni asserts ”How they are used” he interjects the moral imperative. The record of Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon, etc. respect and protection of personal confidentially is not exactly reassuring. Their government parent partner agencies in data mining use the telecommunication corporations like Verizon, AT&T and ISP providers as giant sucking machines that feed the secretive intelligence community.Understanding the drill is simple, secrecy resides within the ruling class, while all personal privacy is relegated to the museum of family archives. Just how can such a relationship be monitored by some kind of nebulous civil board to ensure non consensual privacy?
With the overwhelming wherewithal, increasing technological capacities allow, even greater levels of abuse and evil applications. If no other lesson is internalized from the Edward Snowden disclosures, society better admit that trust in the secure use of communication technology is near zero.
When privacy is surrendered so willingly, especially with no consequences for the offending government agencies or complicit corporatist associates, the future of civilized life comes into question. Yet, people are so easily induced to acclimate into using the next wizard device.
Life is a beach no longer. Now Disney Can Track Your Every Move with NSA-Style Wristbands, is using the “Magic Bands” — which are currently optional — are part of a new MyMagic+ “vacation management system” that can track guests as they move throughout the park..Efficient? Perhaps. But post-Snowden, some worry that Magic Bands are nothing more than NSA-esque tracking devices.”
Oh, that voluntary choice lasts only as long as it is offered. This culture of “personal space” invasion is meant to indoctrinate the friendly likes into a sleeping death from poison apples. Being buried alive, in a snow job of tech that promises you will be the fairest in the land, will not make you a queen.That prince charming kiss only comes with resisting any snooping gear that diminishes the innate right for privacy. Taking protective measure against technological enslavement is the real national security mandate. The enemy is not some fairy tale monster; just look no further than to your own government. You have the right to your secrets. Dump the smart devices and go as low-tech as possible.
As the global financial crisis now enters its seventh year, it is time to start asking difficult questions about the right priorities for popular protest if we want to realise a truly united voice of the world’s people. There can be no revolution in a truly moral or global sense until the critical needs of the extreme poor are prioritised and upheld, which will require mass mobilisations in the streets like we have never seen before.
At the onset of 2014, many people are now anticipating the prospect of a ‘global revolution’. The intense revolutionary fervour of 2011 may have dissipated in North America and much of Western Europe in the past couple of years, but a new geography of protest continues to shift and transmute in different countries and world regions – the million people on the streets of Brazil in June last year; the earlier defence of the commons in Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park; the indigenous uprising and student protests across Canada; the Ukraine demonstrations that are still under way.
There is no way of predicting where a mass protest movement will kick off next or what form it will take, but analysts expect that an even larger-scale version of an Occupy Wall Street-type movement will emerge in 2014. The conditions for a truly global political awakening are firmly in place, and few can believe in the politician’s rhetoric about the world economy sorting out its problems during the year ahead. Wealth and income inequalities continue to spiral out of control, increasingly to the benefit of the 1% (or indeed the 0.001%). Austerity policies pushed by governments on both sides of the Atlantic continue to threaten the social gains made since the Second World War, which is deepening social divisions and creating a new situation of desperately poor and hungry people in Britain, America and many so-called wealthy countries.
And there is no shortage of analysis about the structural crisis of our political and economic systems, from chronic unemployment and falling real incomes to corporate-captured representative democracies and Orwellian state controls. At the same time, governments remain committed to the paradigm of endless growth for its own sake, and are nearly all beholden to the interests of giant energy corporations that are determined to burn more fossil fuels than the planet can absorb without becoming unliveable. Not to mention the escalation of climate and ecological disasters, dwindling oil reserves, the risk of food shortages and further food price volatility, or even the prospect of global terrorism. Hence the growing understanding among everyday people that we are in the midst of a crisis of civilization, and we cannot rely on our existing government administrations to affect a necessary transformation of the international political and economic order.
The revised meaning of ‘revolution’
As we continue along this chaotic and uncertain road, the very idea of social or political ‘revolution’ is taking on new and different meanings. A common understanding of the term is no longer limited to the revolutionary wave of actions of the 20th century, which were typically led by charismatic leaders and a strong ideology, and often involved the violent overthrow of state power (notwithstanding such heroic examples of non-violent political struggle as Gandhi, Luther King and Vaclav Havel). But now we have the examples of Occupy, the Arab Spring, the Taksim Square demonstrations and other mass protest movements that defy conventional explanation in their spontaneous and largely peaceful mobilisations, their leaderless structures and practice of horizontal democracy, as well as their disavowal of traditional left/right politics and ideologies or ‘isms’, such as socialism and communism.
Since 2011 there is also much serious talk of a revolution of love and a collective awakening to our spiritual potential as human beings, as captured in the now-famous words of Russell Brand who advocates a “total revolution of consciousness and our entire social, political and economic systems”. Others speak of a revolution in our sense of self as ‘global citizens’, in which we equate our own interests with those of people anywhere in the world, and we no longer conform to a financialised vision of society in which we are forced to compete with everyone else as ‘others’. In short, a renewed sense of idealism and hope is everywhere being felt for a new society to be built from within the existing one, and for a revolution in every sense of the word – in our values, our imaginations, our lifestyles and our social relations, as well as in our political and economic structures.
What still isn’t clear is how the growing call for revolutionary change and new economic models can be realised on a truly international basis, and for the common good of all people in all countries – not only for the citizens of individual nations (in particular within the most advanced economies). The new protest movements may draw on a concept of human rights that is necessarily international, and they may be driven by social networks and communications technology that is shared beyond national borders, but their various concerns and demands are still generally of a domestic and country-specific nature.
Following the artful state repression of Occupy Wall Street, the vision of a collectively organised alternative to neoliberal politics is too often lost in a fight for or against individual reforms, while the Occupy movement as a whole has become increasingly atomised and fragmented. The Arab Spring is fast fading in memory, as exemplified by the political chaos and recent crackdown on popular dissent in Egypt. And there is little evidence of a shared agenda for change that can unify citizens of the richest and poorest nations on a common platform, one that recognises the need for global as well as national forms of redistribution as a pathway towards sharing the world rather than keeping it divided.
Blueprints for a new world
This is not to say that realistic proposals for planetary change do not exist, as individuals and groups everywhere are discussing the necessary reforms and objectives for how the economy should be run democratically at all levels, from the local to global. An abundance of enlightened thinking outlines the need for a ‘revolution’ in every aspect of our economic and political systems – a commons revolution, a food sovereignty revolution, a renewable energy revolution, the next American revolution – which altogether articulate an effective blueprint for a new and better world. But great uncertainty remains around how this crucial transformation of our lives can be affected when such immensely powerful forces of economic and political self-interest control the current world direction, combined with political apathy and disengagement among a vast swathe of the population.
With the global financial and economic crisis now entering its seventh year, it is time to start asking some difficult questions about the right priorities for popular protest if we want to realise a truly united voice of the world’s people. It is inevitable that the gap between rich and poor will continue to increase in most countries, and the reality of poverty and hunger will worsen across the world – regardless of the distorted arguments by the World Bank and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) coterie at the UN. And as living standards decline for many middle-class families in developed countries, there is a risk that people will remain preoccupied with their own situations and solely national concerns, which is already where all the militant strength is being directed in European and U.S. protest movements.
But there is no escaping the enormous disparities in wealth and income between rich OECD countries and the less developed nations, where millions of people face such extreme deprivation and food insecurity that at least 40,000 people needlessly die each day from poverty-related causes. There can be no genuine revolution in a moral or global sense until the critical needs of these voiceless poor are prioritised and upheld, which will require mass mobilisations in the streets like we have never seen before – not only predicated on redistributing resources from the 1% to the 99% within our own countries, but also centred on a shared demand for a fairer distribution of wealth, power and resources across the entire world. Perhaps that is where the true meaning of ‘global revolution’ begins, and it could be our greatest hope for a sustainable and just future in the coming year and beyond.
It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the Truth and expose lies. — Noam Chomsky.
My book, The Wizards of Ozymandias, was dedicated “To the memory and spirit of Sophie and Hans Scholl and the White Rose, who reminded us what it means to be civilized.” These wonderful young people — most in their teens or twenties — lived in Germany during the Hitler regime, and spent much of their time writing and distributing leaflets exposing and criticizing the policies and practices of the Nazi state. They were found out; brought to trial; found guilty of treason, the demoralization of the troops, and abetting the enemy, and summarily beheaded. Sophie’s Gestapo interrogator raises the same arguments one hears directed against such modern speakers of truth as Chelsea Manning, Ed Snowden, Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, and others. Those whose moral and intellectual standards can rise no higher than to whine “the law is the law,” would do well to consider the exchange between Sophie and her prosecutor. The Nazi functionary declares: “Without law, there is no order. What can we rely on if not the law?” Sophie responds: “Your conscience. Laws change. Conscience doesn’t.”
Our Western culture is in a state of total collapse. Our institutionalized world is increasingly hostile to any utterances of truth that would be upsetting to the status quo. The mainstream media and most of academia long ago gave themselves over to propagandizing on behalf of defending and/or enhancing the coercive power structure of the state. When war policies are under discussion, retired Army generals or officials from “think-tanks” funded by the national defense industry, are trotted out to “debate” such non-issues as how many troops to send in, who to attack, etc., etc., all to maintain the pretense of having a “fully-informed” public. But when was the last time you saw a Robert Higgs, Noam Chomsky, Lew Rockwell, Amy Goodman, Justin Raimondo, Angela Keaton, Karen Kwiatkowski, Chris Hedges, or other critic of the war system allowed to raise the kinds of questions that are not supposed to be asked in this best of all possible worlds? Do you recall the insult to human intelligence perpetrated by the GOP (Grand Old Pettifoggers) in its efforts to prevent Ron Paul from expressing his contrary views?
Noam Chomsky’s above quote doesn’t go far enough: it is the responsibility of all thinking people — not just so-called “intellectuals” — to speak the truth and to expose lies! To this end, increasing numbers of people understand that the sources to whom they have been conditioned to look for truth, analysis, and understanding, have largely failed in their roles. To put the proposition more frankly: more and more people have grasped the fact that the free flow of information is disruptive of the interests of the institutional order, whose established position depends upon suppressing or destroying all evidence of the lies, conflicts, contradictions, and destructive nature upon which its primacy depends. This is why so much of the media and academia are peopled with those unable or unwilling to shed light on the dysfunctional nature of the well-ordered madness of the world; men and women who remain content to tread water at the shallow end of the human gene pool!
The political establishment has implicitly embraced the mindset of Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Dr. Joseph Goebbels:
The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the State.
This is why the state is so threatened by such modern technologies as the Internet, as well as by the “whistleblowers” who insist on exposing the state’s embarrassing truths to the general public. It is also why the classic The Emperor’s New Clothes needs to be read to every child — as well, perhaps, to adults.
Cable news channels continue providing platforms for those who remind us that the whistleblowers “broke the law,” and need to be punished. They recite their bromides with the kind of self-assurance that comes from the delusion that they are actually saying something profound. I find it particularly amusing to hear such babbling coming from lawyers who ought to know that all laws are meant to be broken. Imagine what would happen if every legal dictate were to be obeyed by everyone: no speeding or reckless driving; no illegal drug use; no murders, rapes, or robberies; no discriminatory hiring practices; no zoning violations; etc. What would be the likely consequences? Men and women might then begin to ask the kinds of questions the state could not afford to have asked: why do we need the police, or courts, or prisons? In the world of realpolitik, those who are driven not by a need for social order, but by the ambition for coercive power over their neighbors, would have to dream up new “wrongs” to be policed. The mania that underlies political programs based on “climate change” is just one example of how those who want power over others must invent more and more “conflicts” with which to rationalize their coercive ambitions. It is this sense that Edmund Burke had in mind when he characterized lawyers as “the fomenters and conductors of the petty wars of village vexation.” The habit is not confined to lawyers!
This also explains Randolph Bourne’s observation that “war is the health of the state.” The war system — whose schemes and chicanery the whistleblowers have been exposing — depends upon the kinds of endless conflicts with the rest of the world that will cause Boobus Americanus to part with his liberty, wealth, and life.
Sophie and Hans Scholl and their White Rose friends had minds capable of distinguishing what was legal and what was right, a skill that depends upon separating what is popular from what is true. Sophie’s insights were reflected, years later, in Hannah Arendt’s observation: “The aim of totalitarian education has never been to instill convictions, but to destroy the capacity to form any.”
Butler Shaffer teaches at the Southwestern University School of Law. He is the author of the newly-released In Restraint of Trade: The Business Campaign Against Competition, 1918–1938, Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival, andBoundaries of Order. His latest book is The Wizards of Ozymandias.
Source: Butler Shaffer | LewRockwell.com
For a long time now holocaust revisionists, aka “deniers”, have occupied a spot in the public’s esteem somewhere below pedophiles and just above serial killers. Now, a new contender for the penultimate position in the scale of public opprobrium has emerged: global warming “deniers”. The debate-squelching term has been applied to the likes of Richard Lindtzen, professor emeritus of meteorology at MIT; Roger Pielke Sr., professor emeritus of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State; and Patrick Michaels, past president of the American Association of State Climatologists. A while back, Scott Pelley of CBS News directly linked the two sets of heretics.
As with holocaust deniers, who enjoyed a brief exposure in the national media in the early 1990s but have since been banned from the airwaves, attempts are being made to deny global warming skeptics access to the podium. The Los Angeles Times recently banned “factually inaccurate” letters to the editor skeptical of human-caused climate change. In November, Mark Hertsgaard, environment correspondent for The Nation, accused Piers Morgan of being “journalistically irresponsible” for allowing a denier, Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama-Huntsville, on his program (Hertsgaard, who I suspect has a degree in Art History or the like, admonished Dr. Spencer, a former senior climate scientist at NASA, telling him he “needs to read more scientific papers”, to which Dr. Spencer graciously responded “I’ve got a feeling I’ve read more than you have, Mark”.)
Like holocaust denial, global warming denial can be hazardous to your career. In her inaugural address to Department of the Interior staff, the newly-appointed Secretary, Sally Jewell, warned ““I hope there are no climate-change deniers in the Department of Interior” (She’s probably checking the closets right now). Heidi Cullen, host of The Weather Channel’s “The Climate Code”, has called for the American Meteorologist Society to decertify weathermen who express skepticism about human activity causing climate change. And in Oregon, Governor Ted Kulongoski, sought to strip Professor George Taylor of the honorary title “State Climatologist”, bestowed on him by Oregon State, because of his anti-warmist views.
Fortunately, global warming denial has not been criminalized as has holocaust denial in Europe… yet. But RFK Jr. once accused supposed financial backers of global warming denial, like Exxon-Mobil, of treason, and David Suzuki, a well-known Canadian environmentalist, urged his fans to find a way to throw global warming denying politicians in jail because “what they’re doing is a criminal act”. David Roberts of Grist went ballistic in an op-ed in that online mag, labeling climate change denial a “war crime” worthy of a Nuremberg-type prosecution. Thankfully, we don’t prosecute holocaust deniers in this country, and I think it unlikely their global warming co-defendants will suffer that fate either.
There’s one final similarity between holocaust and global warming deniers: they’re both beginning to win the debate. Success for the global warming skeptics derives from the fact the earth hasn’t warmed in over a decade, something the models didn’t predict. In groping for an explanation, warmists have resorted to arguments very similar to those employed by holocaust believers. For instance, in testimony before Congress recently, David Titley, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in trying to explain the lack of evidence for climate change-induced severe weather, argued “The Absence of Evidence is not the Evidence of Absence”, echoing the holocaust believers’ argument that the absence of any evidence of gas chambers is not evidence that gas chambers never existed. Dedicated and courageous scholars – often writing under pseudonyms for obvious reasons – have debunked the major holocaust myths to my satisfaction. If the Russian archives are ever opened fully, I’m sure the revelations they contain will be sufficient to convince the rest of you.
So, if over the next few years, the mean global temperature fails to rise, arctic sea ice recovers its former extent, severe weather events don’t increase in intensity or frequency, the polar bears continue to thrive (while you’re shedding a tear for the forlorn polar bears drifting towards extinction on their ever-shrinking ice floes, remember the poor penguins, who now have to walk 22 miles further to reach the sea because of the record ice extent in the Antarctic), and you find yourself listening with increased respect to what the global warming deniers have to say, please consider whether those other more venerable, even more denigrated deniers might, too, have something to say worth listening to. In fact, why wait? (a good place to start is The Committee for Open Debate on the Holocaust)
There’s nothing like a glass of cool, clear water to quench one’s thirst. But the next time you or your child reaches for one, you might want to question whether that water is in fact, too toxic to drink. If your water is fluoridated, the answer may well be yes.
For decades, we have been told a lie, a lie that has led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and the weakening of the immune systems of tens of millions more. This lie is called fluoridation. A process we were led to believe was a safe and effective method of protecting teeth from decay is in fact a fraud. For decades it’s been shown that fluoridation is neither essential for good health nor protective of teeth. What it does is poison the body. We should all at this point be asking how and why public health policy and the American media continue to live with and perpetuate this scientific sham.
The Latest in Fluoride News
Today more than ever, evidence of fluoride’s toxicity is entering the public sphere.The summer of 2012 saw the publication of a systematic review and meta-analysis by researchers at Harvard University that explored the link between exposure to fluoride and neurological and cognitive function among children. The report pooled data from over 27 studies- many of them from China- carried out over the course of 22 years. The results, which were published in the journal Environmental Health Sciencesshowed a strong connection between exposure to fluoride in drinking water and decreased IQ scores in children. The team concluded that “the results suggest that fluoride may be a developmental neurotoxicant that affects brain development at exposures much below those that can cause toxicity in adults.” 1
The newest scientific data suggest that the damaging effects of fluoride extend to reproductive health as well. A 2013 study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology showed a link between fluoride exposure and male infertility in mice. The study’s findings suggest that sodium fluoride impairs the ability of sperm cells in mice to normally fertilize the egg through a process known as chemotaxis. 2 This is the latest in more than 60 scientific studies on animals that have identified an association between male infertility and fluoride exposure.3
Adding more fuel to the fluoride controversy is a recent investigative report by NaturalNews exposing how the chemicals used to fluoridate United States’ water systems today are commonly purchased from Chinese chemical plants looking to discard surplus stores of this form of industrial waste. Disturbingly, the report details that some Chinese vendors of fluoride advertise on their website that their product can be used as an “adhesive preservative”, an “insecticide” as well as a” flux for soldering and welding”.4 One Chinese manufacturer, Shanghai Polymet Commodities Ltd,. which produces fluoride destined for municipal water reserves in the United States, notes on their website that their fluoride is “highly corrosive to human skin and harmful to people’s respiratory organs”. 5
The Fluoride Phase Out at Home and Abroad
There are many signs in recent years that indicate growing skepticism over fluoridation. The New York Times reported in October 2011 that in the previous four years, about 200 jurisdictions across the USA moved to cease water fluoridation. A panel composed of scientists and health professionals in Fairbanks, Alaska recently recommended ceasing fluoridation of the county water supply after concluding that the addition of fluoride to already naturally-fluoridated reserves could pose health risks to 700,000 residents. The move to end fluoridation would save the county an estimated $205,000 annually. 6
The city of Portland made headlines in 2013 when it voted down a measure to fluoridate its water supply. The citizens of Portland have rejected introducing the chemical to drinking water on three separate occasions since the 1950’s. Portland remains the largest city in the United States to shun fluoridation.7
The movement against fluoridation has gained traction overseas as well. In 2013, Israel’s Ministry of Health committed to a countrywide phase-out of fluoridation. The decision came after Israel’s Supreme Court deemed the existing health regulations requiring fluoridation to be based on science that is “outdated” and “no longer widely accepted.”8
Also this year, the government of the Australian state of Queensland eliminated $14 million in funding for its state-wide fluoridation campaign. The decision, which was executed by the Liberal National Party (LNP) government, forced local councils to vote on whether or not to introduce fluoride to their water supplies. Less than two months after the decision came down, several communities including the town of Cairns halted fluoridation. As a result, nearly 200,000 Australians will no longer be exposed to fluoride in their drinking water.9
An ever-growing number of institutions and individuals are questioning the wisdom of fluoridation. At the fore of the movement are thousands of scientific authorities and health care professionals who are speaking out about the hazards of this damaging additive. As of November 2013, a group of over 4549 professionals including 361 dentists and 562 medical doctors have added their names to a petition aimed at ending fluoridation started by the Fluoride Action Network. Among the prominent signatories are Nobel Laureate Arvid Carlsson and William Marcus, PhD who served as the chief toxicologist of the EPA Water Division.10
The above sampling of recent news items on fluoride brings into sharp focus just how urgent it is to carry out a critical reassessment of the mass fluoridation campaign that currently affects hundreds of millions of Americans. In order to better understand the massive deception surrounding this toxic chemical, we must look back to the sordid history of how fluoride was first introduced.
How to Market a Toxic Waste
“We would not purposely add arsenic to the water supply. And we would not purposely add lead. But we do add fluoride. The fact is that fluoride is more toxic than lead and just slightly less toxic than arsenic.” 11
These words of Dr. John Yiamouyiannis may come as a shock to you because, if you’re like most Americans, you have positive associations with fluoride. You may envision tooth protection, strong bones, and a government that cares about your dental needs. What you’ve probably never been told is that the fluoride added to drinking water and toothpaste is a crude industrial waste product of the aluminum and fertilizer industries, and a substance toxic enough to be used as rat poison. How is it that Americans have learned to love an environmental hazard? This phenomenon can be attributed to a carefully planned marketing program begun even before Grand Rapids, Michigan, became the first community to officially fluoridate its drinking water in 1945. 12 As a result of this ongoing campaign, nearly two-thirds of the nation has enthusiastically followed Grand Rapids’ example. But this push for fluoridation has less to do with a concern for America’s health than with industry’s penchant to expand at the expense of our nation’s well-being.
The first thing you have to understand about fluoride is that it’s the problem child of industry. Its toxicity was recognized at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when, in the 1850s iron and copper factories discharged it into the air and poisoned plants, animals, and people.13 The problem was exacerbated in the 1920s when rapid industrial growth meant massive pollution. Medical writer Joel Griffiths explains that “it was abundantly clear to both industry and government that spectacular U.S. industrial expansion and the economic and military power and vast profits it promised would necessitate releasing millions of tons of waste fluoride into the environment.”14 Their biggest fear was that “if serious injury to people were established, lawsuits alone could prove devastating to companies, while public outcry could force industry-wide government regulations, billions in pollution-control costs, and even mandatory changes in high-fluoride raw materials and profitable technologies.” 15
At first, industry could dispose of fluoride legally only in small amounts by selling it to insecticide and rat poison manufacturers. 16 Then a commercial outlet was devised in the 1930s when a connection was made between water supplies bearing traces of fluoride and lower rates of tooth decay. Griffiths writes that this was not a scientific breakthrough, but rather part of a “public disinformation campaign” by the aluminum industry “to convince the public that fluoride was safe and good.” Industry’s need prompted Alcoa-funded scientist Gerald J. Cox to announce that “The present trend toward complete removal of fluoride from water may need some reversal.” 17 Griffiths writes:
“The big news in Cox’s announcement was that this ‘apparently worthless by-product’ had not only been proved safe (in low doses), but actually beneficial; it might reduce cavities in children. A proposal was in the air to add fluoride to the entire nation’s drinking water. While the dose to each individual would be low, ‘fluoridation’ on a national scale would require the annual addition of hundreds of thousands of tons of fluoride to the country’s drinking water.
“Government and industry especially Alcoa strongly supported intentional water fluoridation… [it] made possible a master public relations stroke one that could keep scientists and the public off fluoride’s case for years to come. If the leaders of dentistry, medicine, and public health could be persuaded to endorse fluoride in the public’s drinking water, proclaiming to the nation that there was a ‘wide margin of safety,’ how were they going to turn around later and say industry’s fluoride pollution was dangerous?
“As for the public, if fluoride could be introduced as a health enhancing substance that should be added to the environment for the children’s sake, those opposing it would look like quacks and lunatics….
“Back at the Mellon Institute, Alcoa’s Pittsburgh Industrial research lab, this news was galvanic. Alcoa-sponsored biochemist Gerald J. Cox immediately fluoridated some lab rats in a study and concluded that fluoride reduced cavities and that ‘The case should be regarded as proved.’ In a historic moment in 1939, the first public proposal that the U.S. should fluoridate its water supplies was made not by a doctor, or dentist, but by Cox, an industry scientist working for a company threatened by fluoride damage claims.” 18
Once the plan was put into action, industry was buoyant. They had finally found the channel for fluoride that they were looking for, and they were even cheered on by dentists, government agencies, and the public. Chemical Week, a publication for the chemical industry, described the tenor of the times: “All over the country, slide rules are getting warm as waterworks engineers figure the cost of adding fluoride to their water supplies.” They are riding a trend urged upon them, by the U.S. Public Health Service, the American Dental Association, the State Dental Health Directors, various state and local health bodies, and vocal women’s clubs from coast to coast. It adds up to a nice piece of business on all sides and many firms are cheering the PHS and similar groups as they plump for increasing adoption of fluoridation.” 19
Such overwhelming acceptance allowed government and industry to proceed hastily, albeit irresponsibly. The Grand Rapids experiment was supposed to take 15 years, during which time health benefits and hazards were to be studied. In 1946, however, just one year into the experiment, six more U.S. cities adopted the process. By 1947, 87 more communities were treated; popular demand was the official reason for this unscientific haste.
The general public and its leaders did support the cause, but only after a massive government public relations campaign spearheaded by Edward L. Bernays, a nephew of Sigmund Freud. Bernays, a public relations pioneer who has been called “the original spin doctor,” 20 was a masterful PR strategist. As a result of his influence, Griffiths writes, “Almost overnight…the popular image of fluoride which at the time was being widely sold as rat and bug poison became that of a beneficial provider of gleaming smiles, absolutely safe, and good for children, bestowed by a benevolent paternal government. Its opponents were permanently engraved on the public mind as crackpots and right-wing loonies.” 21
Griffiths explains that while opposition to fluoridation is usually associated with right-wingers, this picture is not totally accurate. He provides an interesting historical perspective on the anti-fluoridation stance:
“Fluoridation attracted opponents from every point on the continuum of politics and sanity. The prospect of the government mass-medicating the water supplies with a well-known rat poison to prevent a nonlethal disease flipped the switches of delusionals across the country as well as generating concern among responsible scientists, doctors, and citizens.
“Moreover, by a fortuitous twist of circumstances, fluoride’s natural opponents on the left were alienated from the rest of the opposition. Oscar Ewing, a Federal Security Agency administrator, was a Truman “fair dealer” who pushed many progressive programs such as nationalized medicine. Fluoridation was lumped with his proposals. Inevitably, it was attacked by conservatives as a manifestation of “creeping socialism,” while the left rallied to its support. Later during the McCarthy era, the left was further alienated from the opposition when extreme right-wing groups, including the John Birch Society and the Ku Klux Klan, raved that fluoridation was a plot by the Soviet Union and/or communists in the government to poison America’s brain cells.
“It was a simple task for promoters, under the guidance of the ‘original spin doctor,’ to paint all opponents as deranged and they played this angle to the hilt….
“Actually, many of the strongest opponents originally started out as proponents, but changed their minds after a close look at the evidence. And many opponents came to view fluoridation not as a communist plot, but simply as a capitalist-style con job of epic proportions. Some could be termed early environmentalists, such as the physicians George L. Waldbott and Frederick B. Exner, who first documented government-industry complicity in hiding the hazards of fluoride pollution from the public. Waldbott and Exner risked their careers in a clash with fluoride defenders, only to see their cause buried in toothpaste ads.” 22
By 1950, fluoridation’s image was a sterling one, and there was not much science could do at this point. The Public Health Service was fluoridation’s main source of funding as well as its promoter, and therefore caught in a fundamental conflict of interest. 12 If fluoridation were found to be unsafe and ineffective, and laws were repealed, the organization feared a loss of face, since scientists, politicians, dental groups, and physicians unanimously supported it. 23 For this reason, studies concerning its effects were not undertaken. The Oakland Tribune noted this when it stated that “public health officials have often suppressed scientific doubts” about fluoridation.24 Waldbott sums up the situation when he says that from the beginning, the controversy over fluoridating water supplies was “a political, not a scientific health issue.”25
The marketing of fluoride continues. In a 1983 letter from the Environmental Protection Agency, then Deputy Assistant Administrator for Water, Rebecca Hammer, writes that the EPA “regards [fluoridation] as an ideal environmental solution to a long-standing problem. By recovering by-product fluosilicic acid from fertilizer manufacturing, water and air pollution are minimized and water utilities have a low-cost source of fluoride available to them.” 26 A 1992 policy statement from the Department of Health and Human Services says, “A recent comprehensive PHS review of the benefits and potential health risks of fluoride has concluded that the practice of fluoridating community water supplies is safe and effective.” 27
According to the CDC website, about 200 million Americans in 16,500 communities are exposed to fluoridated water. Out of the 50 largest cities in the US, 43 have fluoridated water. 28
To help celebrate fluoride’s widespread use, the media recently reported on the 50th anniversary of fluoridation in Grand Rapids. Newspaper articles titled “Fluoridation: a shining public health success” 29 and “After 50 years, fluoride still works with a smile” 30 painted glowing pictures of the practice. Had investigators looked more closely, though, they might have learned that children in Muskegon, Michigan, an unfluoridated “control” city, had equal drops in dental decay. They might also have learned of the other studies that dispute the supposed wonders of fluoride.
The Fluoride Myth Doesn’t Hold Water
The big hope for fluoride was its ability to immunize children’s developing teeth against cavities. Rates of dental caries were supposed to plummet in areas where water was treated. Yet decades of experience and worldwide research have contradicted this expectation numerous times. Here are just a few examples:
In British Columbia, only 11% of the population drinks fluoridated water, as opposed to 40-70% in other Canadian regions. Yet British Columbia has the lowest rate of tooth decay in Canada. In addition, the lowest rates of dental caries within the province are found in areas that do not have their water supplies fluoridated. 31
According to a Sierra Club study, people in unfluoridated developing nations have fewer dental caries than those living in industrialized nations. As a result, they conclude that “fluoride is not essential to dental health.” 32
In 1986-87, the largest study on fluoridation and tooth decay ever was performed. The subjects were 39,000 school children between 5 and 17 living in 84 areas around the country. A third of the places were fluoridated, a third were partially fluoridated, and a third were not. Results indicate no statistically significant differences in dental decay between fluoridated and unfluoridated cities. 33
A World Health Organization survey reports a decline of dental decay in western Europe, which is 98% unfluoridated. They state that western Europe’s declining dental decay rates are equal to and sometimes better than those in the U.S. 34
A 1992 University of Arizona study yielded surprising results when they found that “the more fluoride a child drinks, the more cavities appear in the teeth.” 35
Although all Native American reservations are fluoridated, children living there have much higher incidences of dental decay and other oral health problems than do children living in other U.S. communities. 36
In light of all the evidence, fluoride proponents now make more modest claims. For example, in 1988, the ADA professed that a 40- to 60% cavity reduction could be achieved with the help of fluoride. Now they claim an 18- to 25% reduction. Other promoters mention a 12% decline in tooth decay.
And some former supporters are even beginning to question the need for fluoridation altogether. In 1990, a National Institute for Dental Research report stated that “it is likely that if caries in children remain at low levels or decline further, the necessity of continuing the current variety and extent of fluoride-based prevention programs will be questioned.” 37
Most government agencies, however, continue to ignore the scientific evidence and to market fluoridation by making fictional claims about its benefits and pushing for its expansion. For instance, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “National surveys of oral health dating back several decades document continuing decreases in tooth decay in children, adults and senior citizens. Nevertheless, there are parts of the country and particular populations that remain without protection. For these reasons, the U.S. PHS…has set a national goal for the year 2000 that 75% of persons served by community water systems will have access to optimally fluoridated drinking water; currently this figure is just about 60%. The year 2000 target goal is both desirable and yet challenging, based on past progress and continuing evidence of effectiveness and safety of this public health measure.” 38
This statement is flawed on several accounts. First, as we’ve seen, research does not support the effectiveness of fluoridation for preventing tooth disease. Second, purported benefits are supposedly for children, not adults and senior citizens. At about age 13, any advantage fluoridation might offer comes to an end, and less than 1% of the fluoridated water supply reaches this population. And third, fluoridation has never been proven safe. On the contrary, several studies directly link fluoridation to skeletal fluorosis, dental fluorosis, and several rare forms of cancer. This alone should frighten us away from its use.
Biological Safety Concerns
Only a small margin separates supposedly beneficial fluoride levels from amounts that are known to cause adverse effects. Dr. James Patrick, a former antibiotics research scientist at the National Institutes of Health, describes the predicament:
“[There is] a very low margin of safety involved in fluoridating water. A concentration of about 1 ppm is recommended…in several countries, severe fluorosis has been documented from water supplies containing only 2 or 3 ppm. In the development of drugs…we generally insist on a therapeutic index (margin of safety) of the order of 100; a therapeutic index of 2 or 3 is totally unacceptable, yet that is what has been proposed for public water supplies.”39
Other countries argue that even 1 ppm is not a safe concentration. Canadian studies, for example, imply that children under three should have no fluoride whatsoever. The Journal of the Canadian Dental Association states that “Fluoride supplements should not be recommended for children less than 3 years old.” 40 Since these supplements contain the same amount of fluoride as water does, they are basically saying that children under the age of three shouldn’t be drinking fluoridated water at all, under any circumstances. Japan has reduced the amount of fluoride in their drinking water to one-eighth of what is recommended in the U.S. Instead of 1 milligram per liter, they use less than 15 hundredths of a milligram per liter as the upper limit allowed. 41
Even supposing that low concentrations are safe, there is no way to control how much fluoride different people consume, as some take in a lot more than others. For example, laborers, athletes, diabetics, and those living in hot or dry regions can all be expected to drink more water, and therefore more fluoride (in fluoridated areas) than others. 42 Due to such wide variations in water consumption, it is impossible to scientifically control what dosage of fluoride a person receives via the water supply.43
Another concern is that fluoride is not found only in drinking water; it is everywhere. Fluoride is found in foods that are processed with it, which, in the United States, include nearly all bottled drinks and canned foods. 44 Researchers writing in The Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry have found that fruit juices, in particular, contain significant amounts of fluoride. In one study, a variety of popular juices and juice blends were analyzed and it was discovered that 42% of the samples examined had more than l ppm of fluoride, with some brands of grape juice containing much higher levels up to 6.8 ppm! The authors cite the common practice of using fluoride-containing insecticide in growing grapes as a factor in these high levels, and they suggest that the fluoride content of beverages be printed on their labels, as is other nutritional information. 45 Considering how much juice some children ingest, and the fact that youngsters often insist on particular brands that they consume day after day, labeling seems like a prudent idea. But beyond this is the larger issue that this study brings up: Is it wise to subject children and others who are heavy juice drinkers to additional fluoride in their water?
Here’s a little-publicized reality: Cooking can greatly increase a food’s fluoride content. Peas, for example, contain 12 micrograms of fluoride when raw and 1500 micrograms after they are cooked in fluoridated water, which is a tremendous difference. Also, we should keep in mind that fluoride is an ingredient in pharmaceuticals, aerosols, insecticides, and pesticides.
And of course, toothpastes. It’s interesting to note that in the 1950s, fluoridated toothpastes were required to carry warnings on their labels saying that they were not to be used in areas where water was already fluoridated. Crest toothpaste went so far as to write: “Caution: Children under 6 should not use Crest.” These regulations were dropped in 1958, although no new research was available to prove that the overdose hazard no longer existed. 46
Today, common fluoride levels in toothpaste are 1000 ppm. Research chemist Woodfun Ligon notes that swallowing a small amount adds substantially to fluoride intake. 47 Dentists say that children commonly ingest up to 0.5 mg of fluoride a day from toothpaste. 48
This inevitably raises another issue: How safe is all this fluoride? According to scientists and informed doctors, such as Dr. John Lee, it is not safe at all. Dr. Lee first took an anti-fluoridation stance back in 1972, when as chairman of an environmental health committee for a local medical society, he was asked to state their position on the subject. He stated that after investigating the references given by both pro- and anti-fluoridationists, the group discovered three important things:
“One, the claims of benefit of fluoride, the 60% reduction of cavities, was not established by any of these studies. Two, we found that the investigations into the toxic side effects of fluoride have not been done in any way that was acceptable. And three, we discovered that the estimate of the amount of fluoride in the food chain, in the total daily fluoride intake, had been measured in 1943, and not since then. By adding the amount of fluoride that we now have in the food chain, which comes from food processing with fluoridated water, plus all the fluoridated toothpaste that was not present in 1943, we found that the daily intake of fluoride was far in excess of what was considered optimal.” 49
What happens when fluoride intake exceeds the optimal? The inescapable fact is that this substance has been associated with severe health problems, ranging from skeletal and dental fluorosis to bone fractures, to fluoride poisoning, and even to cancer.
When fluoride is ingested, approximately 93% of it is absorbed into the bloodstream. A good part of the material is excreted, but the rest is deposited in the bones and teeth, and is capable of causing a crippling skeletal fluorosis. This is a condition that can damage the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and result in muscle wasting, limited joint motion, spine deformities, and calcification of the ligaments, as well as neurological deficits.
Large numbers of people in Japan, China, India, the Middle East, and Africa have been diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis from drinking naturally fluoridated water. In India alone, nearly a million people suffer from the affliction. 39 While only a dozen cases of skeletal fluorosis have been reported in the United States, Chemical and Engineering News states that “critics of the EPA standard speculate that there probably have been many more cases of fluorosis even crippling fluorosis than the few reported in the literature because most doctors in the U.S. have not studied the disease and do not know how to diagnose it.” 50
Radiologic changes in bone occur when fluoride exposure is 5 mg/day, according to the late Dr. George Waldbott, author of Fluoridation: The Great Dilemma. While this 5 mg/day level is the amount of fluoride ingested by most people living in fluoridated areas, 51 the number increases for diabetics and laborers, who can ingest up to 20 mg of fluoride daily. In addition, a survey conducted by the Department of Agriculture shows that 3% of the U.S. population drinks 4 liters or more of water every day. If these individuals live in areas where the water contains a fluoride level of 4 ppm, allowed by the EPA, they are ingesting 16 mg/day from the consumption of water alone, and are thus at greater risk for getting skeletal fluorosis. 52
According to a 1989 National Institute for Dental Research study, 1-2% of children living in areas fluoridated at 1 ppm develop dental fluorosis, that is, permanently stained, brown mottled teeth. Up to 23% of children living in areas naturally fluoridated at 4 ppm develop severe dental fluorosis. 53 Other research gives higher figures. The publication Health Effects of Ingested Fluoride, put out by the National Academy of Sciences, reports that in areas with optimally fluoridated water (1 ppm, either natural or added), dental fluorosis levels in recent years ranged from 8 to 51%. Recently, a prevalence of slightly over 80% was reported in children 12-14 years old in Augusta, Georgia.
Fluoride is a noteworthy chemical additive in that its officially acknowledged benefit and damage levels are about the same. Writing in The Progressive, science journalist Daniel Grossman elucidates this point: “Though many beneficial chemicals are dangerous when consumed at excessive levels, fluoride is unique because the amount that dentists recommend to prevent cavities is about the same as the amount that causes dental fluorosis.” 54 Although the American Dental Association and the government consider dental fluorosis only a cosmetic problem, the American Journal of Public Health says that “…brittleness of moderately and severely mottled teeth may be associated with elevated caries levels.” 45 In other words, in these cases the fluoride is causing the exact problem that it’s supposed to prevent. Yiamouyiannis adds, “In highly naturally-fluoridated areas, the teeth actually crumble as a result. These are the first visible symptoms of fluoride poisoning.” 55
Also, when considering dental fluorosis, there are factors beyond the physical that you can’t ignore the negative psychological effects of having moderately to severely mottled teeth. These were recognized in a 1984 National Institute of Mental Health panel that looked into this problem.
A telling trend is that TV commercials for toothpaste, and toothpaste tubes themselves, are now downplaying fluoride content as a virtue. This was noted in an article in the Sarasota/Florida ECO Report, 56 whose author, George Glasser, feels that manufacturers are distancing themselves from the additive because of fears of lawsuits. The climate is ripe for these, and Glasser points out that such a class action suit has already been filed in England against the manufacturers of fluoride-containing products on behalf of children suffering from dental fluorosis.
At one time, fluoride therapy was recommended for building denser bones and preventing fractures associated with osteoporosis. Now several articles in peer-reviewed journals suggest that fluoride actually causes more harm than good, as it is associated with bone breakage. Three studies reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association showed links between hip fractures and fluoride. 575859 Findings here were, for instance, that there is “a small but significant increase in the risk of hip fractures in both men and women exposed to artificial fluoridation at 1 ppm.” In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine reports that people given fluoride to cure their osteoporosis actually wound up with an increased nonvertebral fracture rate. 60 Austrian researchers have also found that fluoride tablets make bones more susceptible to fractures.61 The U.S. National Research Council states that the U.S. hip fracture rate is now the highest in the world. 62
Louis V. Avioli, professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, says in a 1987 review of the subject: “Sodium fluoride therapy is accompanied by so many medical complications and side effects that it is hardly worth exploring in depth as a therapeutic mode for postmenopausal osteoporosis, since it fails to decrease the propensity for hip fractures and increases the incidence of stress fractures in the extremities.” 63
In May 1992, 260 people were poisoned, and one man died, in Hooper Bay, Alaska, after drinking water contaminated with 150 ppm of fluoride. The accident was attributed to poor equipment and an unqualified operator. 55 Was this a fluke? Not at all. Over the years, the CDC has recorded several incidents of excessive fluoride permeating the water supply and sickening or killing people. We don’t usually hear about these occurrences in news reports, but interested citizens have learned the truth from data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Here is a partial list of toxic spills we have not been told about:
July 1993 Chicago, Illinois: Three dialysis patients died and five experienced toxic reactions to the fluoridated water used in the treatment process. The CDC was asked to investigate, but to date there have been no press releases.
May 1993 Kodiak, Alaska (Old Harbor): The population was warned not to consume water due to high fluoride levels. They were also cautioned against boiling the water, since this concentrates the substance and worsens the danger. Although equipment appeared to be functioning normally, 22-24 ppm of fluoride was found in a sample.
July 1992 Marin County, California: A pump malfunction allowed too much fluoride into the Bon Tempe treatment plant. Two million gallons of fluoridated water were diverted to Phoenix Lake, elevating the lake surface by more than two inches and forcing some water over the spillway.
December 1991 Benton Harbor, Michigan: A faulty pump allowed approximately 900 gallons of hydrofluosilicic acid to leak into a chemical storage building at the water plant. City engineer Roland Klockow stated, “The concentrated hydrofluosilicic acid was so corrosive that it ate through more than two inches of concrete in the storage building.” This water did not reach water consumers, but fluoridation was stopped until June 1993. The original equipment was only two years old.
July 1991 Porgate, Michigan: After a fluoride injector pump failed, fluoride levels reached 92 ppm and resulted in approximately 40 children developing abdominal pains, sickness, vomiting, and diarrhea at a school arts and crafts show.
November 1979 Annapolis, Maryland: One patient died and eight became ill after renal dialysis treatment. Symptoms included cardiac arrest (resuscitated), hypotension, chest pain, difficulty breathing, and a whole gamut of intestinal problems. Patients not on dialysis also reported nausea, headaches, cramps, diarrhea, and dizziness. The fluoride level was later found to be 35 ppm; the problem was traced to a valve at a water plant that had been left open all night. 64
Instead of addressing fluoridation’s problematic safety record, officials have chosen to cover it up. For example, the ADA says in one booklet distributed to health agencies that “Fluoride feeders are designed to stop operating when a malfunction occurs… so prolonged over-fluoridation becomes a mechanical impossibility.” In addition, the information that does reach the population after an accident is woefully inaccurate. A spill in Annapolis, Maryland, placed thousands at risk, but official reports reduced the number to eight. 65 Perhaps officials are afraid they will invite more lawsuits like the one for $480 million by the wife of a dialysis patient who became brain-injured as the result of fluoride poisoning.
Not all fluoride poisoning is accidental. For decades, industry has knowingly released massive quantities of fluoride into the air and water. Disenfranchised communities, with people least able to fight back, are often the victims. Medical writer Joel Griffiths relays this description of what industrial pollution can do, in this case to a devastatingly poisoned Indian reservation:
“Cows crawled around the pasture on their bellies, inching along like giant snails. So crippled by bone disease they could not stand up, this was the only way they could graze. Some died kneeling, after giving birth to stunted calves. Others kept on crawling until, no longer able to chew because their teeth had crumbled down to the nerves, they began to starve….” They were the cattle of the Mohawk Indians on the New York-Canadian St. Regis Reservation during the period 1960-1975, when industrial pollution devastated the herd and along with it, the Mohawks’ way of life….Mohawk children, too, have shown signs of damage to bones and teeth.” 66
Mohawks filed suit against the Reynolds Metals Company and the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) in 1960, but ended up settling out of court, where they received $650,000 for their cows. 67
Fluoride is one of industry’s major pollutants, and no one remains immune to its effects. In 1989, 155,000 tons were being released annually into the air, and 500,000 tons a year were disposed of in our lakes, rivers, and oceans. 68
Numerous studies demonstrate links between fluoridation and cancer; however, agencies promoting fluoride consistently refute or cover up these findings.
In 1977, Dr. John Yiamouyiannis and Dr. Dean Burk, former chief chemist at the National Cancer Institute, released a study that linked fluoridation to 10,000 cancer deaths per year in the U.S. Their inquiry, which compared cancer deaths in the ten largest fluoridated American cities to those in the ten largest unfluoridated cities between 1940 and 1950, discovered a 5% greater rate in the fluoridated areas. 69 The NCI disputed these findings, since an earlier analysis of theirs apparently failed to pick up these extra deaths. Federal authorities claimed that Yiamouyiannis and Burk were in error, and that any increase was caused by statistical changes over the years in age, gender, and racial composition. 70
In order to settle the question of whether or not fluoride is a carcinogen, a Congressional subcommittee instructed the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to perform another investigation. 71 That study, due in 1980, was not released until 1990. However, in 1986, while the study was delayed, the EPA raised the standard fluoride level in drinking water from 2.4 to 4 ppm. 72 After this step, some of the government’s own employees in NFFE Local 2050 took what the Oakland Tribune termed the “remarkable step of denouncing that action as political.” 73
When the NTP study results became known in early 1990, union president Dr. Robert Carton, who works in the EPA’s Toxic Substances Division, published a statement. It read, in part: “Four years ago, NFFE Local 2050, which represents all 1100 professionals at EPA headquarters, alerted then Administrator Lee Thomas to the fact that the scientific support documents for the fluoride in drinking water standard were fatally flawed. The fluoride juggernaut proceeded as it apparently had for the last 40 years without any regard for the facts or concern for public health.
“EPA raised the allowed level of fluoride before the results of the rat/mouse study ordered by Congress in 1977 was complete. Today, we find out how irresponsible that decision was. The results reported by NTP, and explained today by Dr. Yiamouyiannis, are, as he notes, not surprising considering the vast amount of data that caused the animal study to be conducted in the first place. The results are not surprising to NFFE Local 2050 either. Four years ago we realized that the claim that there was no evidence that fluoride could cause genetic effects or cancer could not be supported by the shoddy document thrown together by the EPA contractor.
“It was apparent to us that EPA bowed to political pressure without having done an in-depth, independent analysis, using in-house experts, of the currently existing data that show fluoride causes genetic effects, promotes the growth of cancerous tissue, and is likely to cause cancer in humans. If EPA had done so, it would have been readily apparent as it was to Congress in 1977 that there were serious reasons to believe in a cancer threat.
“The behavior by EPA in this affair raises questions about the integrity of science at EPA and the role of professional scientists, lawyers and engineers who provide the interpretation of the available data and the judgements necessary to protect the public health and the environment. Are scientists at EPA there to arrange facts to fit preconceived conclusions? Does the Agency have a responsibility to develop world-class experts in the risks posed by chemicals we are exposed to every day, or is it permissible for EPA to cynically shop around for contractors who will provide them the ‘correct’ answers?” 74
What were the NTP study results? Out of 130 male rats that ingested 45 to 79 ppm of fluoride, 5 developed osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. There were cases, in both males and females at those doses, of squamous cell carcinoma in the mouth. 75 Both rats and mice had dose-related fluorosis of the teeth, and female rats suffered osteosclerosis of the long bones.76
When Yiamouyiannis analyzed the same data, he found mice with a particularly rare form of liver cancer, known as hepatocholangiocarcinoma. This cancer is so rare, according to Yiamouyiannis, that the odds of its appearance in this study by chance are 1 in 2 million in male mice and l in 100,000 in female mice. He also found precancerous changes in oral squamous cells, an increase in squamous cell tumors and cancers, and thyroid follicular cell tumors as a result of increasing levels of fluoride in drinking water. 77
A March 13, 1990, New York Times article commented on the NTP findings: “Previous animal tests suggesting that water fluoridation might pose risks to humans have been widely discounted as technically flawed, but the latest investigation carefully weeded out sources of experimental or statistical error, many scientists say, and cannot be discounted.” 78 In the same article, biologist Dr. Edward Groth notes: “The importance of this study…is that it is the first fluoride bioassay giving positive results in which the latest state-of-the-art procedures have been rigorously applied. It has to be taken seriously.” 71
On February 22, 1990, the Medical Tribune, an international medical news weekly received by 125,000 doctors, offered the opinion of a federal scientist who preferred to remain anonymous:
“It is difficult to see how EPA can fail to regulate fluoride as a carcinogen in light of what NTP has found. Osteosarcomas are an extremely unusual result in rat carcinogenicity tests. Toxicologists tell me that the only other substance that has produced this is radium….The fact that this is a highly atypical form of cancer implicates fluoride as the cause. Also, the osteosarcomas appeared to be dose-related, and did not occur in controls, making it a clean study.” 79
Public health officials were quick to assure a concerned public that there was nothing to worry about! The ADA said the occurrence of cancers in the lab may not be relevant to humans since the level of fluoridation in the experimental animals’ water was so high. 80 But the Federal Register, which is the handbook of government practices, disagrees: “The high exposure of experimental animals to toxic agents is a necessary and valid method of discovering possible carcinogenic hazards in man. To disavow the findings of this test would be to disavow those of all such tests, since they are all conducted according to this standard.” 73 As a February 5, 1990, Newsweek article pointed out, “such megadosing is standard toxicological practice. It’s the only way to detect an effect without using an impossibly large number of test animals to stand in for the humans exposed to the substance.” 81 And as the Safer Water Foundation explains, higher doses are generally administered to test animals to compensate for the animals’ shorter life span and because humans are generally more vulnerable than test animals on a body-weight basis. 82
Several other studies link fluoride to genetic damage and cancer. An article in Mutation Research says that a study by Proctor and Gamble, the very company that makes Crest toothpaste, did research showing that 1 ppm fluoride causes genetic damage.83 Results were never published but Proctor and Gamble called them “clean,” meaning animals were supposedly free of malignant tumors. Not so, according to scientists who believe some of the changes observed in test animals could be interpreted as precancerous. 84 Yiamouyiannis says the Public Health Service sat on the data, which were finally released via a Freedom of Information Act request in 1989. “Since they are biased, they have tried to cover up harmful effects,” he says. “But the data speaks for itself. Half the amount of fluoride that is found in the New York City drinking water causes genetic damage.” 46
A National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences publication, Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis, also linked fluoride to genetic toxicity when it stated that “in cultured human and rodent cells, the weight of evidence leads to the conclusion that fluoride exposure results in increased chromosome aberrations.” 85 The result of this is not only birth defects but the mutation of normal cells into cancer cells. The Journal of Carcinogenesis further states that “fluoride not only has the ability to transform normal cells into cancer cells but also to enhance the cancer-causing properties of other chemicals.” 86
Surprisingly, the PHS put out a report called Review of fluoride: benefits and risks, in which they showed a substantially higher incidence of bone cancer in young men exposed to fluoridated water compared to those who were not. The New Jersey Department of Health also found that the risk of bone cancer was about three times as high in fluoridated areas as in nonfluoridated areas. 87
Despite cover-up attempts, the light of knowledge is filtering through to some enlightened scientists. Regarding animal test results, the director of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, James Huff, does say that “the reason these animals got a few osteosarcomas was because they were given fluoride…Bone is the target organ for fluoride.” Toxicologist William Marcus adds that “fluoride is a carcinogen by any standard we use. I believe EPA should act immediately to protect the public, not just on the cancer data, but on the evidence of bone fractures, arthritis, mutagenicity, and other effects.” 88
The Challenge of Eliminating Fluoride
Given all the scientific challenges to the idea of the safety of fluoride, why does it remain a protected contaminant? As Susan Pare of the Center for Health Action asks, “…even if fluoride in the water did reduce tooth decay, which it does not, how can the EPA allow a substance more toxic than Alar, red dye #3, and vinyl chloride to be injected purposely into drinking water?” 89
This is certainly a logical question and, with all the good science that seems to exist on the subject, you would think that there would be a great deal of interest in getting fluoride out of our water supply. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. As Dr. William Marcus, a senior science advisor in the EPA’s Office of Drinking Water, has found, the top governmental priority has been to sweep the facts under the rug and, if need be, to suppress truth-tellers. Marcus explains 90 that fluoride is one of the chemicals the EPA specifically regulates, and that he was following the data coming in on fluoride very carefully when a determination was going to be made on whether the levels should be changed. He discovered that the data were not being heeded. But that was only the beginning of the story for him. Marcus recounts what happened:
“The studies that were done by Botel Northwest showed that there was an increased level of bone cancer and other types of cancer in animals….in that same study, there were very rare liver cancers, according to the board-certified veterinary pathologists at the contractor, Botel. Those really were very upsetting because they were hepatocholangeal carcinomas, very rare liver cancers….Then there were several other kinds of cancers that were found in the jaw and other places.
“I felt at that time that the reports were alarming. They showed that the levels of fluoride that can cause cancers in animals are actually lower than those levels ingested in people (who take lower amounts but for longer periods of time).
“I went to a meeting that was held in Research Triangle Park, in April 1990, in which the National Toxicology Program was presenting their review of the study. I went with several colleagues of mine, one of whom was a board-certified veterinary pathologist who originally reported hepatocholangeal carcinoma as a separate entity in rats and mice. I asked him if he would look at the slides to see if that really was a tumor or if the pathologists at Botel had made an error. He told me after looking at the slides that, in fact, it was correct.
“At the meeting, every one of the cancers reported by the contractor had been downgraded by the National Toxicology Program. I have been in the toxicology business looking at studies of this nature for nearly 25 years and I have never before seen every single cancer endpoint downgraded…. I found that very suspicious and went to see an investigator in the Congress at the suggestion of my friend, Bob Carton. This gentleman and his staff investigated very thoroughly and found out that the scientists at the National Toxicology Program down at Research Triangle Park had been coerced by their superiors to change their findings.”91
Once Dr. Marcus acted on his findings, something ominous started to happen in his life: “…I wrote an internal memorandum and gave it to my supervisors. I waited for a month without hearing anything. Usually, you get a feedback in a week or so. I wrote another memorandum to a person who was my second-line supervisor explaining that if there was even a slight chance of increased cancer in the general population, since 140 million people were potentially ingesting this material, that the deaths could be in the many thousands. Then I gave a copy of the memorandum to the Fluoride Work Group, who waited some time and then released it to the press.
“Once it got into the press all sorts of things started happening at EPA. I was getting disciplinary threats, being isolated, and all kinds of things which ultimately resulted in them firing me on March 15, 1992.”
In order to be reinstated at work, Dr. Marcus took his case to court. In the process, he learned that the government had engaged in various illegal activities, including 70 felony counts, in order to get him fired. At the same time, those who committed perjury were not held accountable for it. In fact, they were rewarded for their efforts:
“When we finally got the EPA to the courtroom…they admitted to doing several things to get me fired. We had notes of a meeting…that showed that fluoride was one of the main topics discussed and that it was agreed that they would fire me with the help of the Inspector General. When we got them on the stand and showed them the memoranda, they finally remembered and said, oh yes, we lied about that in our previous statements.
“Then…they admitted to shredding more than 70 documents that they had in hand Freedom of Information requests. That’s a felony…. In addition, they charged me with stealing time from the government. They…tried to show…that I had been doing private work on government time and getting paid for it. When we came to court, I was able to show that the time cards they produced were forged, and forged by the Inspector General’s staff….”
For all his efforts, Dr. Marcus was rehired, but nothing else has changed: “The EPA was ordered to rehire me, which they did. They were given a whole series of requirements to be met, such as paying me my back pay, restoring my leave, privileges, and sick leave and annual leave. The only thing they’ve done is put me back to work. They haven’t given me any of those things that they were required to do.”92
What is at the core of such ruthless tactics? John Yiamouyiannis feels that the central concern of government is to protect industry, and that the motivating force behind fluoride use is the need of certain businesses to dump their toxic waste products somewhere. They try to be inconspicuous in the disposal process and not make waves. “As is normal, the solution to pollution is dilution. You poison everyone a little bit rather than poison a few people a lot. This way, people don’t know what’s going on.”
Since the Public Health Service has promoted the fluoride myth for over 50 years, they’re concerned about protecting their reputation. So scientists like Dr. Marcus, who know about the dangers, are intimidated into keeping silent. Otherwise, they jeopardize their careers. Dr. John Lee elaborates: “Back in 1943, the PHS staked their professional careers on the benefits and safety of fluoride. It has since become bureaucratized. Any public health official who criticizes fluoride, or even hints that perhaps it was an unwise decision, is at risk of losing his career entirely. This has happened time and time again. Public health officials such as Dr. Gray in British Columbia and Dr. Colquhoun in New Zealand found no benefit from fluoridation. When they reported these results, they immediately lost their careers…. This is what happens the public health officials who speak out against fluoride are at great risk of losing their careers on the spot.”
Yiamouyiannis adds that for the authorities to admit that they’re wrong would be devastating. “It would show that their reputations really don’t mean that much…. They don’t have the scientific background. As Ralph Nader once said, if they admit they’re wrong on fluoridation, people would ask, and legitimately so, what else have they not told us right?”
Accompanying a loss in status would be a tremendous loss in revenue. Yiamouyiannis points out that “the indiscriminate careless handling of fluoride has a lot of companies, such as Exxon, U.S. Steel, and Alcoa, making tens of billions of dollars in extra profits at our expense…. For them to go ahead now and admit that this is bad, this presents a problem, a threat, would mean tens of billions of dollars in lost profit because they would have to handle fluoride properly. Fluoride is present in everything from phosphate fertilizers to cracking agents for the petroleum industry.”
Fluoride could only be legally disposed of at a great cost to industry. As Dr. Bill Marcus explains, “There are prescribed methods for disposal and they’re very expensive. Fluoride is a very potent poison. It’s a registered pesticide, used for killing rats or mice…. If it were to be disposed of, it would require a class-one landfill. That would cost the people who are producing aluminum or fertilizer about $7000+ per 5000- to 6000-gallon truckload to dispose of it. It’s highly corrosive.”
Another problem is that the U.S. judicial system, even when convinced of the dangers, is powerless to change policy. Yiamouyiannis tells of his involvement in court cases in Pennsylvania and Texas in which, while the judges were convinced that fluoride was a health hazard, they did not have the jurisdiction to grant relief from fluoridation. That would have to be done, it was ultimately found, through the legislative process. Interestingly, the judiciary seems to have more power to effect change in other countries. Yiamouyiannis states that when he presented the same technical evidence in Scotland, the Scottish court outlawed fluoridation based on the evidence.
Indeed, most of Western Europe has rejected fluoridation on the grounds that it is unsafe. In 1971, after 11 years of testing, Sweden’s Nobel Medical Institute recommended against fluoridation, and the process was banned.93 The Netherlands outlawed the practice in 1976, after 23 years of tests. France decided against it after consulting with its Pasteur Institute64 and West Germany, now Germany, rejected the practice because the recommended dosage of 1 ppm was “too close to the dose at which long-term damage to the human body is to be expected.” 84 Dr. Lee sums it up: “All of western Europe, except one or two test towns in Spain, has abandoned fluoride as a public health plan. It is not put in the water anywhere. They all established test cities and found that the benefits did not occur and the toxicity was evident.”94
Isn’t it time the United States followed Western Europe’s example? While the answer is obvious, it is also apparent that government policy is unlikely to change without public support. We therefore must communicate with legislators, and insist on one of our most precious resources pure, unadulterated drinking water. Yiamouyiannis urges all American people to do so, pointing out that public pressure has gotten fluoride out of the water in places like Los Angeles; Newark and Jersey City in New Jersey; and 95Bedford, Massachusetts. 46 He emphasizes the immediacy of the problem: “There is no question with regard to fluoridation of public water supplies. It is absolutely unsafe…and should be stopped immediately. This is causing more destruction to human health than any other single substance added purposely or inadvertently to the water supply. We’re talking about 35,000 excess deaths a year…10,000 cancer deaths a year…130 million people who are being chronically poisoned. We’re not talking about dropping dead after drinking a glass of fluoridated water…. It takes its toll on human health and life, glass after glass.” 96
There is also a moral issue in the debate that has largely escaped notice. According to columnist James Kilpatrick, it is “the right of each person to control the drugs he or she takes.” Kilpatrick calls fluoridation compulsory mass medication, a procedure that violates the principles of medical ethics. 97 A New York Times editorial agrees:
“In light of the uncertainty, critics [of fluoridation] argue that administrative bodies are unjustified in imposing fluoridation on communities without obtaining public consent…. The real issue here is not just the scientific debate. The question is whether any establishment has the right to decide that benefits outweigh risks and impose involuntary medication on an entire population. In the case of fluoridation, the dental establishment has made opposition to fluoridation seem intellectually disreputable. Some people regard that as tyranny.” 98
Source: Dr. Gary Null, PhD
While walking through the streets of San Francisco the other day and totally admiring this beautiful city’s “painted lady” architectural glory, I suddenly and inexplicably started wondering what this amazing place might look like if it too had been bombed all to crap in the same manner that Damascus has been bombed all to crap by all those missiles and cluster-bombs and Al Qaeda operatives that American taxpayers are paying for — as they happily torture, rape and/or maim women and children in our name.
And this sudden unexpected vision of beautiful San Francisco as a bombed-out ruin has even further strengthened my resolve to do everything that I can to prevent America’s ruthless War Street from spending our money on bombing other countries — lest something like this happens to our beloved San Francisco too. Or to my own beloved Berkeley.
We need to stop all this expensive, bloody and worthless slaughter and seriously consider a far, far better alternative instead: “Do unto Syria what we would have Syria do unto us.”
And let’s also consider what corporate America’s current utter lack of a “Do unto Africa as we would have Africa do unto us” policy would do to us here if it also was reversed? Can you even imagine what it would be like in America if what happens in Africa today daily was happening here too? Really? Would we Americans love to be perpetually in debt to the world bank, have our lands and resources seized by neo-colonialists, our crops polluted with GMOs, millions of our women and children raped and killed, and our pristine forests turned into a dumping ground for nuclear and industrial waste? Hardly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?
And while we’re at it, let’s also “Do unto Israel as we would have Israel do unto us.” America’s relationship to Israel right now sucks eggs for the Israelis. And what exactly is this relationship? It might be easier to understand if we look at it from a different perspective and if our roles were reversed.
Imagine, for instance, that some huge gonzo super-power on the other side of the world was pumping billions and billions and billions of dollars into America’s economy annually — but with only one stipulation: That all this gigantic wad of free Moola can only be used for one purpose: To kill, torture, maim and and jail Native Americans. And steal their land. And establish an American Gestapo defense force and fund Settlers to take over what few Indian reservations we have left (after 19 million Native Americans have already been slaughtered here already), and to treat native Americans like animals and to napalm their children. And to do this all in the name of God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
Would we, as Native Americans — or even as just plain American citizens — see the cruelty and injustice in this? Or would we just sell out to all those big bucks thrown our way like the Israelis have; and just relax and glorify in the joy of having a vampire-like power over others who are completely at our mercy?
These same choices are the ones that America’s War Street is forcing Israelis to make every day. And so far, most Israelis seem to have chosen blood-money over the Ten Commandments. What a waste.
And also let’s consider another new perspective: “Do unto nature and the environment what we would have nature and the environment do unto us.” Always remember that Nature bats last. Think Fukushima. Think a thousand more hurricanes like Sandy, Haiyan and Katrina. More fracking earthquakes. More 140-degree days. “Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, [stated] that global climate change was the greatest threat the United States faced — more dangerous than terrorism, Chinese hackers and North Korean nuclear missiles.”
And America’s War Street and Wall Street and related skin-flint tax-dodging huge corporations are obviously not clear on the concept of “Do unto Americans as you would have Americans do unto you” either.
In the 1940s, every American sacrificed their comfort and rationed their goods and went without in order to pay for the “Good War”.
But ever since that stupid and useless invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, 99% of Americans are sacrificing and going without in order to pay for some stupid and useless “Endless War” that in no way benefits them — while America’s top one percent make no sacrifices at all; dining on caviar, buying cruise-ship-sized yachts with their bloody “war” profits and fiddling like Nero.
And yet most Americans these days do nothing to protect themselves from being cheated, robbed and exploited, but rather spend their last decaying days as citizens of a formerly economically-viable democracy happily watching pseudo-myths and fables on Fox News — as our beloved country slowly slips into third-world status. “Welcome to Jakarta.”
Are we finally getting the Big Picture here yet — that what goes around comes around? If Americans continue to let Wall Street and War Street run our domestic policies, our foreign policies and our environmental policies, then all we can ever expect to receive is blood and carnage in return.
As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) doles out billions of dollars to convince local police departments to surrender control to the federal agency, a recent report indicates that intelligence gathered at precincts-cum-surveillance-centers will be shared among all levels of law enforcement.
An article published by Fierce Homeland Security on November 4 reports:
The phenomenon of fusion centers sharing intelligence and skills with each other — not just with the federal government — is a new and underappreciated aspect of the centers, panelists at a Homeland Security Policy Institute event said.
Fusion centers mainly apply national intelligence to local contexts and gather information locally that they can share with federal agencies. But in recent years, a great deal of “horizontal sharing” has occurred, where fusion centers work closely with each other, said Ross Ashley, the executive director of National Fusion Center Association.
“We’ll find an expert in Washington state on international human trafficking over international ferry systems. Well, I don’t need that expert everywhere. What I need is the ability to reach out to that expert if I’m in West Virginia,” he said at the event, held Oct. 23 in Washington, D.C.
That meeting, entitled “State and Local Fusion Centers: Key Challenges for the Next Decade,” featured three panelists: John Cohen, principal deputy under secretary for intelligence and analysis, U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Thomas Kirk, director, West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center; and Ross Ashley, executive director, National Fusion Center Association. The keynote address was delivered by Representative Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security.
In July, McCaul co-authored with Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) a report on the progress of the establishment of the nationwide spread of the fusion centers. The press release announcing the report reveals the pair’s support for a program that dismantles federalism and accelerates the militarization of local police and the consolidation of control of those departments to the federal government. The McCaul-King report states:
Fusion centers serve as hubs of strategic analysis and information sharing where Federal, State, and local agencies are all represented in one location. State and local crime data is coordinated, gathered and reviewed to determine if there is any potential connection to terrorist activity. In addition, Federal terrorism-related information is shared with State and local law enforcement.
Seems the congressmen should be reminded of the fact that there is not a single syllable of the Constitution authorizing any such federal participation in law enforcement. If the power isn’t granted to the federal government in the Constitution, then authority over that area remains with the states and the people as described in the Tenth Amendment.
Remarkably, McCaul and King lament the fact that the chain of fusion centers isn’t growing quickly enough and the DHS isn’t getting adequate access to all that information. The report adds:
The Committee’s review concludes that the Network is not functioning as cohesively as it should be and fusion centers are facing numerous challenges that prevent the Network from realizing its full potential to help secure the homeland.
Of course, there couldn’t be a piece of federal police and surveillance program propaganda without reminding citizens that all this deprivation of their rights is for their safety. As if to say, if the federal government doesn’t take control of your local police department and keep all citizens under surveillance, the terrorists will strike again.
The representatives’ zeal for constructing local outposts of the central surveillance headquarters is not surprising. Self-serving bureaucrats inside the U.S. government are tirelessly trying to obliterate local police forces answerable to local citizens and promote the consolidation movement as a step toward federalization of law enforcement. These proponents of regional and national police forces desire nothing less than the eradication of all local police departments and sheriffs’ offices, the surrender of state and municipal sovereignty, and the conversion of police into federal security agents sworn not to protect and to serve their neighbors, but to protect the prerogatives of politicians.
Take for example the information contained in a White Paper presented in 2012 to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In that report, the DHS is encouraged to embark on an “evolving mission” away from its ostensible purpose of fighting terrorism, toward becoming the administrator of an enormous domestic intelligence agency resulting from an integration of the country’s local and state law-enforcement agencies.
This report was written by the Aspen Institute Homeland Security Group, co-chaired by former DHS chief Michael Chertoff. The blueprint promoted in the White Paper pushes Congress toward green-lighting the growth of DHS and the dissolution of local police and sheriffs.
The organization described in the paper, entitled “Homeland Security and Intelligence: Next Steps in Evolving the Mission,” is reminiscent of more draconian governments. For example, one section of the report calls for a transition in the mission of DHS away from protecting the country from the “terrorism” of foreign militants and toward “more specific homeward focused areas.” Additional sections of the report lay out the plans for building a DHS/police hybrid agency that can monitor Americans in any town and prevent threats from fellow citizens.
In order to achieve their ultimate aim, the globalists demand that DHS or some other federal agency take control of the personnel decisions currently made by local police chiefs and county sheriffs. “As the threat grows more localized,” the report claims, “the federal government’s need to train, and even staff, local agencies, such as major city police departments, will grow.” Put another way: The federal government will run your local police department and sheriff’s office.
The establishment of fusion centers is a key component of this plan. The following information is taken from a fact sheet on fusion centers posted on the DHS website:
A fusion center is a collaborative effort of two or more agencies that provide resources, expertise and information to the center with the goal of maximizing their ability to detect, prevent, investigate, and respond to criminal and terrorist activity.
A description of the functioning of these incubators for the forthcoming federal police force is also provided on the DHS site:
State and major urban area fusion centers (fusion centers) serve as primary focal points within the state and local environment for the receipt, analysis, gathering, and sharing of threat-related information among federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) partners…. Fusion centers conduct analysis and facilitate information sharing, assisting law enforcement and homeland security partners in preventing, protecting against, and responding to crime and terrorism.
The literature promoting the acceptance of fusion centers lists several ways the new federal agency will impose its will on the formerly autonomous and accountable police chief or county sheriff.
Last year, The New American described the likely procedure:
First, the feds will decide where and when to deploy local police department personnel. The chief, if he still exists, will be no more than a functionary required to make sure that the orders of the federal government are carried out. More likely than not, these new missions, in addition to preventing crime in the city or county, will engage in the collection of information about and apprehension of those local citizens identified by a committee in Washington as posing a threat to national security. Consider the revelation in 2009 that Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis released a document entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalism and Recruitment,” which listed war veterans, anti-abortion activists, small-government advocates, and those concerned about immigration as terrorist risks.
Second, DHS (or whichever one of the federal agencies eventually takes over law-enforcement duties) will train new recruits. Policies, procedures, and purposes will not reflect traditional (and constitutional) goals of law enforcement, but will be tailored to training officers to perform those duties associated with the new, national emphasis of the force, with a slant toward federalism.
Finally, funds for this conversion from local police department to outpost of the federal law-enforcement agency will be provided by the bureaucrats on Capitol Hill. This carrot will be tied to the stick of federal control.
The speed and success of the Department of Homeland Security’s plan to string together a powerful net of surveillance-focused fusion centers in all the country’s police departments is evident in the following statement at the Homeland Security Policy Institute’s meeting made by Thomas Kirk, director of the West Virginia Intelligence Fusion Center:
“In all law enforcement, I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said. “Most of the time when I call another fusion center director, they know my voice.”
Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D. is a correspondent for The New American and travels frequently nationwide speaking on topics of nullification, the NDAA, and the surveillance state. He is the host of The New American Review radio show that is simulcast on YouTube every Monday. Follow him on Twitter @TNAJoeWolverton and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American
Ten years ago, brilliant research-writer James Howard Kunstler wrote a book: The Long Emergency. He explained what America faces with its huge population when Peak Oil manifests on our civilization. I met him at a Washington, DC conference where he pointed out how fast America runs out of non-renewable resources.
Among the most important non-renewable resources we face in this century: oil. As of 2011, according to the top oil geologist in the world, M. King Hubbert predicted that America’s oil would peak in 1970. He predicted that we would decline from nine million barrels of oil daily in the lower 48, to three million. That’s exactly what happened.
Hubbert also predicated the “Hubbert Curve” would show the Middle East and other oil rich countries facing depletion in the early to middle part of the 21st century.
(The Hubbert Curve shows us that we now face the last half of all oil reserves in the world as of 2011. Numerous other oil geologists concur. Humanity faces running out of oil by 2050 or sooner.)
Why? Right now in 2013, humans burn 84 million barrels of oil 24/7. If you lined up every 42 gallon drum of oil side by side at 20 inches per drum in diameter, at 84 million of them, they would form a belt of barrels around the globe at the equator some 25,000 miles. We load them up every midnight and burn them down in the next 24 hours. As can be imagined, that’s a lot of oil being burned and a lot of carbon being expelled all over the planet, called “Carbon Footprint.”
That Carbon Footprint warms our oceans and causes such typhoons like Haniyan, as well as hurricanes Sandy and Katrina. I discovered that developing global phenomenon while I worked with top climate scientists in Antarctica in 1997-98.
Note this reason for this series: we expect to add 100 million immigrants to America within 37 years. That’s enough to duplicate our top 20 cities’ populations in America. Those immigrants will be driving cars, warming their homes, using water and demanding food.
By that time, world population will add another three billion people demanding more oil to water, feed, house and transport themselves.
In Kunstler’s book, he noted that China, because it’s adding 27 million cars to its highways annually, expects to burn 98 million barrels of oil daily by 2030. Did you get that number? Let me repeat it: China expects to burn 98 million barrels of oil daily within the next 17 years. That’s more than all of the world burns in 2013 daily.
When you add the total of 10 billion humans burning oil by 2050, we face imminent depletion faster. Amazingly, NO ONE will talk about it at the national level. Obama, all world leaders and our Congress stick their heads into the sand as if it will go away. It won’t. It’s coming at us faster than a speeding bullet train with no brakes.
“The cheap oil age created an artificial bubble of plentitude for a period not much longer than a human lifetime….so I hazard to assert that as oil ceases to be cheap and the world reserves move toward depletion, we will be left with an enormous population…that the ecology of the earth will not support. The journey back toward non-oil population homeostasis will not be pretty. We will discover the hard way that population hyper growth was simply a side-effect of the oil age. It was a condition, not a problem with a solution. That is what happened and we are stuck with it.” James Howard Kunstler, The Long Emergency
No amount of conservation will save us because we remain on course to add 100 million immigrants. China remains on course to add another 400,000,000, that’s 400 million people. India, also burning oil at an accelerating pace, expects to add 500 million people to reach 1.6 billion.
Folks, how do you pump in excess of 200 million barrels of oil out of the ground daily by 2050, burn it all up and not appreciate that our biosphere faces some serious “carbon footprint” overload?
As I research this information, I sit before my keyboard almost in a state of catatonic depression. Future generations will face our utter disregard of reality by what we bequeath to them.
“As we go from this happy hydrocarbon bubble we have reached now to a renewable energy resource economy, which we do this century, will the “civil” part of civilization survive? As we both know there is no way that alternative energy sources can supply the amount of per capita energy we enjoy now, much less for the 9 billion expected by 2050. And energy is what keeps this game going. We are involved in a Faustian bargain—selling our economic souls for the luxurious life of the moment, but sooner or later the price has to be paid.” Walter Youngquist, energy
Once oil depletes, what do we intend to fill our tractor gas tanks with for energy? Some say, “Technology will save us.” I wonder how we will eat “technology” for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fact: nothing exists on the short or distant horizon that can duplicate the energy of oil.
With the Amnesty Bill S744, our Congress doubled our current legal immigration from one million to two million people annually. That single bill expects to add 100 million immigrants, their babies, diversity visas and chain-migration faster than 37 years. Once they land on America, we face Peak Oil’s consequences with no way out. The problem becomes unsolvable and irreversible.
What can you do?
- We need to stop S744 and reduce all legal immigration to less than 100,000 annually.
- We need to work on conservation of all oil burning by mandating conservation, smaller cars, mass transit and more taxes to discourage accelerating use.
- We need to collective empower ourselves by joining www.CapsWeb.org ; www.NumbersUSA.org and www.Fairus.org
- We need to write major media email addresses and newspapers to force them to address this population nightmare.
Start here by writing letters demanding these media people address this situation in America:
George Noory: email@example.com ;
Today Show: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Lauer: email@example.com
Brian Williams: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greta van Susteren: Ontherecord@
It is natural for a society to search for explanations and motivations in the wake of a man-made tragedy. It is also somewhat natural for people to be driven by their personal biases when looking for someone or something to blame. In recent years, however, our country has been carefully conditioned to view almost every criminal event from an ideological perspective.
The mainstream media now places far more emphasis on the political affiliations and philosophies of “madmen” than it does on their personal disorders and psychosis. The media’s goal, or mission, if you will, is to associate every dark deed whether real or engineered to the political enemies of the establishment, and to make the actions of each individual the collective shame of an entire group of people.
I could sift through a long list of terror attacks and mass shootings in which the establishment media jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrators were inspired by the beliefs of Constitutional conservatives, “conspiracy theorists”, patriots, etc. It is clear to anyone paying attention that the system is going out of its way to demonize those who question the officially sanctioned story, or the officially sanctioned world view. The circus surrounding the latest shooting of multiple TSA agents at Los Angeles International Airport is a perfect example.
Paul Ciancia, the primary suspect in the shooting, was immediately tied to the Liberty Movement by media outlets and the Southern Poverty Law Center, by notes (which we still have yet to see proof of) that law enforcement claims to have found on his person. The notes allegedly use terms such as “New World Order” and “fiat money”, commonly covered by those of us in the alternative media. The assertion is, of course, that Paul Ciancia is just the beginning, and that most if not all of us involved in the exposure of the globalist agenda are powder kegs just waiting to “go off.” The label often used by the MSM to profile people like Ciancia and marginalize the organizational efforts of liberty based culture is “anti-government.”
The establishment desires to acclimate Americans to the idea that being anti-government is wrong; that it is a despicable philosophy embracing social deviance, aimless violence, isolation and zealotry. Looking beyond the mainstream position, my question is, is it really such a bad thing to be anti-government today?
The terms “anti-government” and “conspiracy theorist” are almost always used in the same paragraph when mainstream media pundits espouse their propaganda. They are nothing more than ad hominem labels designed to play on the presumptions of the general population, manipulating them into dismissing any and all alternative viewpoints before they are ever heard or explained. The establishment and the media are ill-equipped to debate us on fair terms, and understand that they will lose control if Americans are allowed to hear what we have to say in a balanced forum. Therefore, their only fallback is to bury the public in lies so thick they won’t want to listen to us at all.
The Liberty Movement now has the upper hand in the war for information. The exposure of multiple conspiracies in the past several years alone has given immense weight to our stance, and reaffirmed warnings we gave long ago.
When we spoke out against the invasion of Iraq, commissioned by George W. Bush on the dubious claim that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction were an immediate threat to the security of our nation, we were called “liberals” and “traitors.” Today, Bush and Cheney have both openly admitted that no WMD’s were ever present in the region. When we attempted to educate the masses on the widespread surveillance of innocent people by the NSA, some of them laughed. Today, it is common knowledge that all electronic communications are monitored by the Federal government. When we refused to accept the official story behind the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Fast and Furious program, we were called “kooks”. Today, it is common knowledge that the Obama Administration purposely allowed U.S. arms to fall into the hands of Mexican cartels. When we roared over the obvious hand the White House played in the Benghazi attack, we were labeled “racists” and “right wing extremists.” Today, it is common knowledge that the White House ordered military response units to stand down and allow the attack to take place. I could go on and on…
Events that were called “conspiracy theory” by the mainstream yesterday are now historical fact today. Have we ever received an apology for this slander? No, of course not, and we don’t expect one will ever surface. We have already gained something far more important – legitimacy.
And what about Paul Ciancia’s apparent belief in the dangers of the “New World Order” and “fiat money”? Are these “conspiracy theories”, or conspiracy realism? The Liberty Movement didn’t coin the phrase “New World Order”, these political and corporate “luminaries” did:
Is economic collapse really just a fairytale perpetrated by “anti-government extremists” bent on fear mongering and dividing society? Perhaps we should ask Alan Greenspan, who now openly admits that he and the private Federal Reserve knew full well they had helped engineer the housing bubble which eventually imploded during the derivatives collapse of 2008.
Or, why not ask the the White House, which just last month proclaimed that “economic chaos” would result if Republicans did not agree to raise the debt ceiling.
Does this make Barack Obama and the Democratic elite “conspiracy theorists” as well?
It is undeniable that government conspiracies and corporate conspiracies exist, and have caused unquantifiable pain to the American people and the people of the world. Knowing this, is it not natural that many citizens would adopt anti-government views in response? Is it wrong to distrust a criminal individual or a criminal enterprise? Why would it be wrong to distrust a criminal government?
The Purpose Behind The Anti-Government Label
When the establishment mainstream applies the anti-government label, they are hoping to achieve several levels propaganda. Here are just a few:
False Association: By placing the alleged “anti-government” views of violent people in the spotlight, the establishment is asserting that it is the political philosophy, not the individual, that is the problem. They are also asserting that other people who hold similar beliefs are guilty by association. That is to say, the actions of one man now become the trespasses of all those who share his ideology. This tactic is only applied by the media to those on the conservative or constitutional end of the spectrum, as it was with Paul Ciancia. For example, when it was discovered that Arizona mass shooter Jared Loughner was actually a leftist, the MSM did not attempt to tie his actions to liberals in general. Why? Because the left is not a threat to the elitist oligarchy within our government. Constitutional conservatives, on the other hand, are.
False Generalization: The term “anti-government” is so broad that, like the term “terrorist”, it can be applied to almost anyone for any reason. The establishment does not want you to distinguish between those who are anti-government for the wrong reasons, and those who are anti-government for the right reasons. Anyone who questions the status quo becomes the enemy regardless of their motives or logic. By demonizing the idea of being anti-government, the establishment manipulates the public into assuming that all government by extension is good, or at least necessary, when the facts actually suggest that most government is neither good or necessary.
False Assertion: The negative connotations surrounding the anti-government stance also suggest that anyone who defends themselves or their principles against government tyranny, whether rationally justified or not, is an evil person. Just look at how Washington D.C. has treated Edward Snowden. Numerous political elites have suggested trying the whistle-blower for treason, or assassinating him outright without due process, even though Snowden’s only crime was to expose the criminal mass surveillance of the American people by the government itself. Rather than apologizing for their corruption, the government would rather destroy anyone who exposes the truth.
False Shame: Does government criminality call for behavior like that allegedly taken by Paul Ciancia? His particular action was not morally honorable or even effective. It helped the establishment’s position instead of hurting it, and was apparently driven more by personal psychological turmoil rather than political affiliation. But, would it be wrong for morally sound and rational Americans facing imminent despotism within government to physically fight back? Would it be wrong to enter into combat with a totalitarian system? The Founding Fathers did, but only after they had exhausted all other avenues, and only after they had broken away from dependence on the system they had sought to fight. Being anti-government does not mean one is a violent and dangerous person. It does mean, though, that there will come a point at which we will not allow government to further erode our freedoms. We will not and should not feel shame in making that stand.
I do not agree with every element of the “anti-government” ethos that exists in our era, but I do see the vast majority of reasons behind it as legitimate. If the establishment really desired to quell the quickly growing anti-government methodology, then they would stop committing Constitutional atrocities and stop giving the public so many causes to hate them. If they continue with their vicious bid to erase civil liberties, dominate the citizenry through fear and intimidation and steal and murder in our name, then our response will inevitably be “anti-government”, and we will inevitably move to end the system as we know it.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
A Flimsy Piece of Worn Out Script…
“If the dollar does indeed lose its role as leading international currency, the cost to the United States would probably extend beyond the simple loss of seigniorage, narrowly defined. We would lose the privilege of playing banker to the world, accepting short-term deposits at low interest rates in return for long-term investments at high average rates of return. When combined with other political developments, it might even spell the end of economic and political hegemony.”
– Economist Menzie Chinn, “Will the Dollar Remain the World’s Reserve Currency in Five Years?”, CounterPunch 2009
Barack Obama’s economic recovery has been a complete bust. Unemployment is high, the economy is barely growing, and inequality is greater than anytime on record. On top of that, inflation has dropped to 1.2 percent, private sector hiring continues to disappoint and, according to Gallup’s “Economic Confidence” survey, households and consumers remain “deeply negative”. More tellingly, the Federal Reserve’s emergency program dubbed QE– which was designed to mitigate the fallout from the 2008 stock market crash and subsequent recession–is still operating at full-throttle five years after Lehman Brothers defaulted. This is inexcusable. It’s an admission that US policymakers have no idea what they’re doing.
Why is it so hard to get the economy up and running? Everyone knows that spending generates growth, so if the private sector (consumers and businesses) can’t spend the public sector (the government) must spend. That’s how sluggish economies shake off recession, through growth.
Spend, spend, spend and spend some more. That’s how you grow your way out of a slump. There’s nothing new or original about this. This isn’t some cutting-edge, state-of-the-art theory. It’s settled science. Economics 101.
So is it any wonder why the rest of the world is losing confidence in the US? Is it any wonder why China and Japan have slashed their purchases of US debt? Get a load of this from Reuters:
“China and Japan led an exodus from U.S. Treasuries in June after the first signals the U.S. central bank was preparing to wind back its stimulus, with data showing they accounted for almost all of a record $40.8 billion of net foreign selling of Treasuries….
China, the largest foreign creditor, reduced its Treasury holdings to $1.2758 trillion, and Japan trimmed its holdings for a third straight month to $1.0834 trillion. Combined, they accounted for about $40 billion in net Treasury outflows.” (“China, Japan lead record outflow from Treasuries in June”, Reuters)
While things have improved since August, the selloff is both ominous and revealing. Foreign trading partners are losing confidence in US stewardship because of policymakers erratic behavior. Here’s how former Fed chairman Paul Volcker summed it up:
“We have lost a coherent successful governing model to be emulated by the rest of the world. Instead, we’re faced with broken financial markets, underperformance of our economy and a fractious political climate.”
Naturally, this loss of confidence is going to hurt the dollar vis a vis its position as the world’s reserve currency. But don’t kid yourself, China and Japan want to be the top-dog either. They’re fine with the way things are right now. The problem is, it’s looking more and more like the US is not up-to-the-task anymore given the irresponsible way it conducts its business. And we’re not talking about the government shutdown either, although that circus sideshow certainly lifted a few eyebrows in capitals around the world. Foreign leaders have come to expect these tedious outbursts from the lunatic fringe in Congress. But, the fact is, the government shutdown fiasco had very little effect on the bond market. The benchmark 10-year US Treasury shrugged off congress’s screwball antics with a wave of the hand. No big deal. Not so the talk of “tapering” by the Fed, which sent 10-year yields soaring more than 100 basis points to 3 percent in less that a month. Tapering put the fear of god in everyone. The sudden jolt to mortgage rates was enough to put the kibosh on new and existing homes sales putting a swift end to Bernanke’s dream of reflating the housing bubble. The rising long-term rates threatened to push the economy back into recession and wipe out five years of zero rates and pump priming in the blink of an eye. That’s why China and Co. started to jettison USTs. They figured if the Fed was going to scale back its asset purchases, rates would rise, and they’d be left with a whole shedload of US paper that would be worth less than what they paid for it. So they got out while the gettin’ was good.
So don’t believe the media’s fairytale that Bernanke postponed tapering because the economy still looked weak. That’s nonsense. It was the selloff in USTs that slammed on the brakes. The Fed actually wants to reduce its purchases because there are humongous bubbles emerging in financial assets everywhere. But how to do it without triggering another crash, that’s the question. The Fed has distorted prices across the board, which is why the main stock indices are climbing to new highs every day on the back of an economy that has less people in the workforce than it did 10 years ago. What a joke. And people wonder why foreign lenders are getting nervous?
What China wants from the United States is simple. They want proof that the US hasn’t lost its mind. That’s all. “Just show us that you still know how to fix the economy and run the system.” Is that too much to ask?
Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t think it needs to answer to anyone. We’re Numero Uno, le grand fromage. “What we say goes!”
Okay. But the only thing that’s going is the US’s reputation, it’s economic dominance, it’s behemoth debt market, and its reserve currency status. Not because the world is rebelling, but because the US is imploding. “Stupid” is a disease that has spread to every part of the body politic. The country is run by crackpots who implement counterproductive policies that weaken demand, boost unemployment, shrink growth leave the rest of the world scratching their heads in bewilderment. This is from Bloomberg:
“While government debt was a haven as the U.S. endured the worst recession in seven decades, primary dealers such as Barclays Plc (BARC) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. say the gains this month show the Fed’s $85 billion of monthly bond purchases are masking the risk of owning fixed-income securities as the recovery in America takes hold.
“Treasuries are just not worth the risk,” Thomas Higgins, the Boston-based global macro strategist at Standish Mellon Asset Management Co., which oversees $167 billion of fixed-income investments, said in a telephone interview on Oct. 23.” (Bloomberg)
Not worth the risk, indeed, which is why the dollar is getting pummeled mercilessly at the same time. This is from Reuters:
“The dollar fell towards a nine-month low against a basket of currencies on Monday, with more investors selling on growing confidence the Federal Reserve will keep policy accommodative….
Most expect the central bank to delay withdrawing stimulus until March 2014…. The longer the Fed keeps policy accommodative, the more U.S. yields stay anchored, making the dollar less attractive to hold.” (Reuters)
So the dollar isn’t looking too hot either, is it, which is why China and Japan have started to reconsider their holdings. This is from Businessweek:
“U.S. government debt has already lost some of its appeal among foreign investors. They were net sellers of Treasuries for five-straight months ended August, disposing of $133 billion in that span, last week’s Treasury data showed.
The streak is the longest since 2001 as China, the largest overseas U.S. creditor, reduced its holdings to $1.268 trillion, the least since February….With the economy recovering from the depths of that recession, Treasuries may be more vulnerable to a selloff this time.” (“Treasuries Risk Shown as Fed Distorts Correlation to Stocks”, Businessweek)
Of course, there’s going to be a selloff. Why wouldn’t there be? And probably a panic too to boot.
Look, it’s simple: If the biggest buyer of US Treasuries (The Fed) signals that its either going to scale back its purchases or reduce its stockpile of USTs, then what’s going to happen?
Well, the supply of USTs will increase which will lower prices on US debt and push up rates. Supply and demand, right?
So, if the other participants in the market (aka China and Japan) think the Fed is about to taper, they’re going to try to sell before other investors race for the exits.
The question is: What’s that going to do to the dollar?
And the answer is: The dollar going to get hammered.
The US gov going to have to borrow at higher rates which could tip the economy back into recession. Also, the US could lose the ”exorbitant privilege” of exchanging colored pieces of paper for valuable goods and services produced by human sweat and toil. Isn’t that what’s really at stake?
Of course, it is. The entire imperial system is balanced on a flimsy piece of worn scrip with a dead president’s face on it. All that could change in the blink of an eye if people lose faith in US stewardship of the system.
But, what exactly would the US have to do for foreign countries to ditch the dollar? Here’s how economist and author Menzie Chinn answered that question in an interview in CounterPunch in 2009:
“If the US administration were to pursue highly irresponsible policies, such as massive deficit spending for many years so as to push output above full employment levels, or if the Fed were to delay too long an ending to quantitative easing, then the dollar could lose its position.” (“Will the Dollar Remain the World’s Reserve Currency in Five Years?” An Interview With Economist Menzie Chinn, Counterpunch)
Funny how Chinn anticipated the problems with winding down QE way back in 2009, isn’t it? His comments sound downright prophetic given Wall Street’s strong reaction.
But we keep hearing that China is stuck with the US and has to keep buying Treasuries or its currency will rise and kill its exports. Is that true or will China eventually split with the dollar?
Menzie Chinn again:
“It is true that each Asian central bank stands to lose considerably, in the value of its current holdings, if dollar sales precipitate a dollar crash. But we agree with Barry Eichengreen that each individual participant will realize that it stands to lose more if it holds pat than if it joins the run, when it comes to that. Thus if the United States is relying on the economic interests of other countries, it cannot count on being bailed out indefinitely.” (Counterpunch)
Well, that sounds a bit worrisome. But maybe China won’t notice that we’re governed by morons who’ve forgotten how to fix the economy or generate demand for their products. Any chance of that?
No chance at all, in fact, China already has already started its transition away from the dollar. Here’s the scoop from former chief economist for Morgan Stanley Asia, Stephen S. Roach:
“China has made a conscious strategic decision to alter its growth strategy. Its 12th Five-Year Plan, enacted in March 2011, lays out a broad framework for a more balanced growth model that relies increasingly on domestic private consumption. These plans are about to be put into action….
Rebalancing is China’s only option…..With rebalancing will come a decline in China’s surplus saving, much slower accumulation of foreign-exchange reserves, and a concomitant reduction in its seemingly voracious demand for dollar-denominated assets. Curtailing purchases of US Treasuries is a perfectly logical outgrowth of this process…..
For China, this is not a power race. It should be seen as more of a conscious strategy to do what is right for China as it confronts its own daunting growth and development imperatives in the coming years.” (“China gets a wake-up call from US”, Stephen S. Roach, Project Syndicate via bangkokpost.com)
In other words, “No hard feelings, Uncle Sam. We just don’t need your fishwrap currency anymore.”
No matter how you cut it, the dollar is going to be facing stiff headwinds in the days ahead. If Roach’s analysis is correct, we can expect a gradual move away from the buck leading to a persistent erosion of US economic and political power.
The end of dollar hegemony means America’s “unipolar moment” may be drawing to a close.
A scandal is brewing in Chicago which threatens to make Operation Greylord look like a dress rehearsal for a cotillion. Starting with a seemingly innocuous question, tendered to press liaison Jim Grogan at the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) in Illinois, a boil of corruption got inadvertently pricked, which threatens now to reveal a subterranean cancer in the legal system in Illinois.
For those who are unaware of Greylord, here is a bit of history: back in the eighties, a collaborative effort by the FBI, IRS and a couple of outraged judges and attorneys resulted in one of the biggest takedowns of public officials in the history of Illinois. At the end of the 3 1/2 year undercover operation, a total of 92 people were indicted, including 17 judges, 48 lawyers, ten deputy sheriffs, eight policemen, eight court officials, and state legislator James DeLeo.
The extent of the takedown might have mitigated further predatory acts by those in the legal system. Thirty years later, however, the corruption that was supposedly expunged by Greylord has simply become systemic.
Back to Jim Grogan. Grogan, who is an attorney as well as ARDC press liaison, declined to reply to questions from this reporter as to why no statements of economic interests could be found for the attorneys who work for the ARDC. The law governing economic interests reporting is in place to ensure that those working in government capacities are not being influenced by financial lures and temptations. These statements are mandated by 5 ILCS 420 to be filed every year for nearly everyone who works in a government capacity.
Here are relevant clauses from the law, with pivotal sections underlined:
When Grogan failed to respond to the query, Press Secretary Jim Tybor at the Illinois Supreme Court was contacted and astoundingly told this reporter that this law did not apply to the judicial branch. (See 6 and e, above).
Michelle Burton, a paralegal at the ARDC assured this reporter that the ARDC employees are not state employees. However, the website for the ARDC announces that the Commission is an arm of the Illinois Supreme Court.
The ARDC is in a particularly pivotal position. As the Commission responsible for disciplining attorneys, the ARDC functions as a gatekeeper. In that sense, the ARDC defines the legal climate in Illinois. Right now, the ARDC has taken upon its shoulders the regulation of an attorney’s right to free speech. Attorney Ken Ditkowsky, who has been practicing law in Chicago area since 1961, is facing disciplinary proceedings for sending emails to federal authorities asking for an investigation of corrupt practices in Illinois courts.
Shades of Greylord . . . Except this time, the feds are turning a deaf ear to evidence of legal malfeasance in Illinois. And Ditkowsky may in fact lose his license to practice law, due to his incisive perceptions and requests for investigation.
Attorney Ken Ditkowsky’s concerns about judicial and attorney misconduct began with the adult guardianship of Mary Sykes, an elderly woman who was placed under a guardianship without due process. Another Illinois attorney, JoAnne Denison, is also under disciplinary proceedings due to her maintaining a blog about the Sykes guardianship. (Source)
Ditkowsky soon realized that the phenomenon of what he is calling “elder cleansing” is going on nationwide. And for his act of speaking out against a pervasive assault on a vulnerable demographic group—the elderly and incapacitated—the ARDC has recommended a four year suspension of his license to practice law.
As it turns out, the ARDC attorneys appear to have quite a bit to hide in terms of their economic interests.
If you want to bribe someone, there are only a couple of ways to do this that would not trigger the red flags that are built into the banking infrastructure. One way would be to give someone a big envelope stuffed with cash. Brian Mulroney, a former Prime Minister of Canada, was caught red handed receiving such a bounty and a scandal ensued. (Source)
The other way is through a “loan.” The mechanism is simply and virtually opaque—Mr. X takes out a loan, such as a mortgage and Mr. Y pays it back. There are no banking flags to trigger and no embarrassing wads of cash, a la Mulroney, to explain.
The use of such property loans to funnel payola to judges was exposed in a 2009 article, which first appeared in the San Bernardino County Sentinel. Now it seems that those in the Illinois legal system, specifically attorneys at the ARDC, have climbed onto the dinero express.
Jerome Larkin, the Administrator of the ARDC and the individual who has signed the complaint against Ken Ditkowsky, has funneled several million dollars through his property in the last ten years. For example, Larkin took out a loan for $450,000 in December of 2001 and paid it back in exactly five years. In the meantime, he had taken out another $450,000 loan—in October of 2006, which he paid back in just a tad over four years, in January of 2011. In the meantime, he had taken out yet another mortgage—this one for $101,000—in November of 2009, which he was miraculously able to repay in just about a year.
But his unusual loan behavior doesn’t stop here. In January of 2011, Larkin took out a whopping $750,000 mortgage on the same piece of property. Larkin must have a direct line to lottery bucks, because he was able to repay this loan by January of 2013.
In the meantime . . . are you getting the picture yet? . . . he took out another $750,000 loan in December of 2012.
Neither Jerome Larkin nor his wife, psychologist Antoinette Krakowski responded to telephone inquiries concerning the amount of money being funneled through their home.
Larkin is the big cheese over at the ARDC. There are other attorneys in the employ of that powerful, shadowy, not-government, not private – commission whose loan history is also questionable, including attorneys Melissa Smart and Sharon Opryzcek.
Apparently, the word about the loan trough is getting out. A check was run on the loan history of attorneys and guardians ad litem, Adam Stern and Cynthia Farenga, whose actions first alerted Ken Ditkowsky to the predatory nature of probate guardianships. Lo and behold, Adam Stern’s loan history looks like that of a hyperactive kid in a Ritalin store.
A review of the Cook County recorder’s website reveals that Stern has run over a million dollars through his property loans in roughly the last ten years. A couple of examples of quickly repaid large loans taken out by Stern include a $272,000 mortgage taken out on 9/13/2004 and paid back on 2/17/05. Stern also took out a $51,000 mortgage on 9/13/04 and paid it back May of 2005. On October 4, 2004 Stern took out an $80,000 mortgage which he paid back less than three months later.
Adam Stern also has a federal tax lien on his home for $60,000. Stern, who is parenthetically serving as guardian ad litem in the Sykes guardianship and is thus in the responsible position of looking out for OPM—other people’s money—can’t even pay his own taxes.
Attorney and guardian ad litem Cynthia Farenga’s loan history is similarly manic. Farenga is also a guardian ad litem in the Sykes case. For example, Farenga took out a $385,000 loan on 11/09/2006 and paid it off on 6/12/2007. A loan of over a half million dollars – $575,000 to be exact – was paid off by Farenga within five years, on 6/24/2013. Farenga took out a smaller, $244,000 mortgage on 10/16/2003 and paid it back within two years, on 9/28/05. In the meantime, she had taken out another mortgage, this time for an even $300,000 on 9/07/2005, which she quickly reconveyed in less than a year and a half, on 1/08/2007. All told, over two and a quarter million dollars have been funneled through Farenga’s property in the last ten years.
The head of a private investigator’s firm out in the Southern California area confided in me that judges were coming to him to inquire how to hide their property, so that public searches for these records would not result in transparency. Recently, Judge Ronald Christianson, formerly the Presiding Judge in San Bernardino County, changed the name on the records of his primary residence to “Property Owners.” Such tactics will make determinations of suspicious activity increasingly more difficult.
Ditkowsky has filed a complaint with the ARDC referencing the impropriety of Adam Stern working as a GAL when he has failed to fulfill his own tax liabilities. At the time of going to press, other records detailing suspicious financial activity by ARDC attorneys and others are being turned over to a Grand Jury.
The Director of the Administrative Office of the Illinois Supreme Court, Michael Tardy, did not respond to queries from this reporter concerning the economic interests and reporting requirements of the ARDC, which is an arm of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Torture, or what our government calls “enhanced interrogation”, is not a tactic so much as a darkly artistic process. The subject of this process has something that the torturer wants; it might be information, or a forced confession to a crime the subject did not commit, but most often, torture is designed to gain nothing more than psychological compliance.
The goal is to manipulate the subject into believing that submission is the only possible future, and that such submission is inevitable regardless of the will of the victim. The torturer often builds himself up as a kind of parent figure for the subject – becoming the only entity that can supply shelter, water, food, and comfort. The torturer is taskmaster and abuser, but also caregiver in the twisted relationship dynamic. A schizophrenic balance is struck in which the subject longs for the outside world and a return to the pleasures of the past (making him desperate and malleable), but he also partially accepts his prison walls as home (giving him a false faith that compliance will lead to a safer and more predictable tomorrow).
Until this compliance is achieved, the subject is exposed to endless and erratic crisis events in which his body is damaged, his mind is deprived of sense, perception, and sleep, and his life is overtly threatened. He may receive brief moments of rest, but these are designed only to make the next torture session even more raw and painful. If the subject does not understand how the process works, or if he doesn’t have a strong sense of his own identity, then he will quickly lose track of reality. Every moment becomes a waking nightmare, a warped and gruesome carnival, and life becomes nothing more than an absurd and obscure experiment barely worth living.
It is my belief based on substantial evidence that America, as a nation and a culture, is now being held hostage and tortured into submission on a grand scale using economic terror by the elitist establishment which dominates BOTH major political parties. The goal? To push our society to conform completely with the concepts of globalization, bureaucratic micro-management, and greatly reduced living standards. We are being conditioned to accept defeat and failure, and like children, to cry out for a parental authority to save us in our state of helplessness and fear, even if that authority was the cause of our fear from the very beginning.
The Thin Thread Of The American Economic Fantasy
In the past three months the U.S. has flirted with total fiscal collapse three times. The first event came in August with market rumors that the Federal Reserve was nearing a “consensus” on plans to cut QE stimulus measures, causing panic amongst investors who now realize that the ONLY pillar still holding our fiscal edifice together is endless fiat currency creation by the Fed. Markets began a paradigm which is now the “new normal”; plummeting whenever good economic news hits the mainstream on the fear that the central bank will tighten policy, and skyrocketing when bad economic news hits the mainstream on the assumption that the Fed will continue printing. It is official – lackluster employment reports are something to cheer, and overall systemic crisis is good for stocks:
The possibility of a Fed taper has shown us clearly that any action by the private bank to reduce or remove quantitative easing will result in a market panic and implosion. If the globalists within the Fed apparatus decide one day soon that they want to bring the U.S. to its knees, destroy the dollar, and introduce a new world reserve currency, they can do it with little more than a word proclaiming QE over, or unsuccessful. So far, they keep the life support machine running…
The second event came with the drive by the Obama Administration to turn their covert war in Syria into a full blown invasion. Despite presumptions by many naysayers that Russia and China wouldn’t lift a finger to aid the Assad regime, both nations staunchly opposed action by the U.S. in the region and tensions neared critical mass. Make no mistake, a WWIII level event could have easily erupted, and some Americans seem to remain oblivious to the danger.
China and Russia maintain vast influence in global markets. The EU, for instance, is utterly dependent on Russian natural gas exports for their energy needs. The U.S. economy could be annihilated within weeks by an announcement by China to dump their treasury holdings or the dollar as the world reserve currency. This is just a taste of the financial risks associated with a new war in the Middle East, and military risks add even more potential calamity. Anyone who believes that Chinese or Russian views on American political or military behavior “do not matter” is living in a deluded cartoon-land.
The third event came with the recent debt ceiling debate and government shutdown. One-third of the U.S. population is disturbingly dependent on scraps from the government’s table, and any mention of cuts to entitlement programs (or social security, which government treats exactly like an entitlement program) causes immediate and militant finger pointing. Democrats have been especially vicious in their accusations and rhetoric, consistently referring to Constitutional conservatives and “Tea Party” legislators as “extremists”, “traitors”, and even “domestic enemies”:
I happen to take a slightly different view to a majority of independent analysts in that I believe the establishment is just as likely to push America into deliberate default as it is to push America into infinite debt and inflationary collapse. The end result will be exactly the same regardless of the path taken, and we have yet another opportunity to dance on the edge of oblivion coming in three to four months when the debt debate starts all over again.
The point is, our financial system has become so unbalanced and internally diseased that if ANY event follows through to culmination, whether political, economic, or international, the economy WILL shatter. The past three month are a resounding testament to this fact.
The “De-Americanization’ Of The Global Economy
In my article ‘How The Dollar Will Be Replaced’, published in 2012, I summarized the Catch-22 nature of America’s debt problem which I have been warning about since 2006, and how this will eventually end in the abandonment of the dollar as the world reserve currency. To this day, and in the face of overwhelming evidence that the dollar is doomed, some people still refuse to grasp reality.
In the midst of the latest debt debate China has made clear it’s intentions through state run media to end its relationship with the greenback, not just to form a Chinese-centric reserve currency system, but a global currency system centered on a “new world order”:
Last year China surpassed the U.S. as the world’s largest importer and exporter, making its currency, the Yuan, more desirable than the greenback as a reserve in the long term. Since 2010, China has been quietly but quickly establishing multiple bilateral trade agreements with numerous countries dropping the dollar as the primary purchasing mechanism. China has accumulated massive gold stores and is set to become the world’s largest holder of gold in the next two years. In the past year, China has also surpassed the U.S. as the number one importer of oil, making it a more valued market for the Middle East and causing many to question the dollar’s relevance as the petro-currency:
Saudi Arabia, America’s primary ally and foothold in the global oil market, is now openly calling for an end to traditional agreements and a separation from the U.S. because of the lack of military action in Syria. This too does not bode well for the dollar’s petro-status. Like a chess maneuver, it would seem we have been cornered by the globalists on oil. If we invade Syria or Iran we risk losing petro-status. If we do not invade Syria or Iran, we still risk losing petro-status:
In response to the dismal debt ceiling extension and the uncertainty underlying the new debate coming in the next few months, China’s ratings agency, Dagong, has downgraded U.S. treasury bonds yet again:
Three near-crisis events in only three months have signaled a severe acceleration in what the Chinese call the “de-Americanization” of the global economy. All of the financial shifts taking place since the derivatives implosion of 2008, as well as those rushing like white-water rapids through the global system in the wake of the debt ceiling debate, are gravitating towards ONE outcome – the destruction of the dollar, and the introduction of a new global currency (the SDR) controlled the the IMF.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin has called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the dollar:
China has called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the dollar:
Elitists within the U.S. have called for a global currency run by the IMF to replace the Dollar:
Hell, even the Vatican has called for a global currency run by a “global public authority” to replace the dollar:
There is a world-wide strategy in motion to end the dollar, and with it, America as we know it today. The only question is, how many more near-disasters will we have to experience before the trigger event takes place?
The Torture Continues
With so many near misses culminating so close together, it may be wise to consider what could happen in the the next three months while we wait for debt debate theater part duex. Like a prisoner in Abu Ghraib, America is trapped, waiting for the next humiliation, the next degradation, or the next session of pain. Are we merely being acclimated to the idea of incessant crisis? Are we learning to become apathetic at the edge of the chasm? Or, are we being driven to madness, mass-madness, by a concert of elitist interrogators seeking our acquiescence?
Again, the central purpose of torture is to acquire consent. Not just extorted consent, but voluntary consent. It is not enough for the torturer to force the subject to obey, he wants the subject to EMBRACE his servitude. To gladly abandon all hope. To see his captor as his only salvation.
The globalist establishment wants us to beg them to save us from the tortures they create. If we never give them this, they will never win.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
You know, in spite of the visit from The Bone Lady when I was just three years old, and all the grim foreshadowing that she downloaded to me via direct intuition, I always held out hope that humanity could or would somehow turn things around on this planet, and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
As long as there is breath there is always hope, that was my thinking for a long time, but I am no longer so sanguine.
As one of my friends recently remarked to me, there is, indeed, real evil abroad in this world. I don’t know how else to explain the wickedness of what is happening at Fukushima, in Japan, where the situation with the exploded and/or melted down nuclear reactors just goes from frightfully dire to unimaginably worse.
I frequently check the developments there at www.enenews.com and the latest news is very disturbing. I said from the outset, in the spring of 2011, that Tokyo would be evacuated. I still believe that to be inevitable. It is possible that much of Japan will be evacuated to elsewhere. The apocalyptic dimensions of the crisis are being covered up by TEPCO, the Japanese government, General Electric, and the USSA government. The reality is that there was at least one, and maybe more, really dirty nuclear blasts there in March of 2011, that wrecked the reactors and created a radioactive hell that no one knows how to remedy or bring under control. At the least we are probably looking at the failure and collapse of Japanese society with likely evacuation of tens of millions of people or more, and the fairly rapid death of vast portions of the Pacific Ocean, as deadly radioactive waste water continues to flow into the sea by the hundreds of tons, every day.
And when the cooling pool at reactor four collapses, the many tons of highly radioactive, spent, fuel rods that it contains will overheat and burn and or catastrophically fission, i.e., cause a runaway, nuclear reaction, or, in lay man’s terms, there will be another atomic explosion, along with a mushroom cloud, and tons of highly poisonous nuclear isotopes will be spread aloft into the atmosphere and/or will drain or be blown into the sea, to poison the Pacific Ocean even further.
This is worse than bad news. This is planetary chaos news. This is civilization ending news. This is species extinction level news, as in extinction of the human species on this planet. If you do not think so, all I can say is: wait. It won’t be long. Probably not ten years, not five, maybe even by Christmas this year, and you will begin to see what i mean, if you haven’t already.
And even if the cooling pool at reactor four doesn’t fail or collapse of its own accord in the near future, though that is very highly probable, TEPCO’s plan to manually remove the many tons of bent, mangled, fused, welded together, very highly radioactive fuel rods that remain in the pool, beginning in November of this year, is so fraught with peril that it is likely to spectacularly fail, with unimaginably negative consequences. Any slight mistake, miscue or dropped fuel rod could result in a fission criticality, a runaway nuclear chain reaction, to wit, an atomic explosion that will shower the northern hemisphere and the Pacific Basin with a fatal radioactive sleet that will persist for hundreds of thousands of years.
As I said, the situation is somewhere far south of dire, with a headlong, hellward trajectory.
The Nuclear Chain Reaction
Because what is inevitable, the longer the situation at Fukushima festers, is that the whole site will have to be abandoned. Due to the high radiation levels, no one will be able to work there without dying. So the workers will pull back, and the cooling pools and storage pools that contain thousands of tons of extremely radioactive, spent fuel rods will fail or collapse and there will be more explosions and radioactive fires. As the radioactively contaminated NO GO ZONE expands, as the population flees, the day will come when nuclear reactors at other, nearby power generating plants will also fail, melt down and/or explode, because the nuclear engineers and maintenance workers no longer come to work and operate them — BECAUSE THEY ARE DEAD.
And then there will be three or four more, and the radioactive No Go Zone will expand, widen, grow. And other nuclear power plants will then fail, melt down and/or explode, because their operators are also DEAD, and so do not come to work, do not maintain them.
There are over 50 nuclear power reactors in Japan, and they all have their spent fuel rod cooling pools. It doesn’t matter if the reactors themselves are shut down, because there are thousands and thousands of tons of highly radioactive, spent, nuclear fuel rods stored in the cooling pools all over Japan. So, given time, the crisis will continue to fester and worsen, and then it will begin to cascade, like a row of toppling dominoes, only it will be a series of failing nuclear power reactors, one after the other, heralding the end of the nuclear age, and quite possible the end of humanity.
It’s just that serious.
All of that will send a killing wave of radioactivity across the Pacific to North America. So what happens when the population on the west coast of the USSA flees in panic from the approaching killer wave of radioactivity? Well, there will be no one left to operate the nuclear power reactors in California, for example. or at Palo Verde, the massive nuclear power plant just to the west of Phoenix. So when those nuclear reactors and their spent fuel cooling pools fail, melt down, and/or blow up, the civilization-ending, planet-killing, Fukushima Syndrome will come home to America with a wicked vengeance.
All courtesy of General Electric. General Electric designed five out of the six reactors at Fukushima and built three of them, so what we see here is genocidal, planet-killing failure of American (alleged) “high technology” on a spectacular scale.
At the end of the day, all the differential calculus, the nuclear physics, the nuclear chemistry, the nuclear engineering, the corporate profits, the Madison Avenue advertising slogans, the multinational wheeling and dealing, all has conspired to assassinate the planet on which we, and they, all live. Make no mistake, the planet is now dying. The global poisoning process is so very far advanced that it probably cannot be stopped. Certainly, there is not now any serious, international effort to do so, not anything remotely commensurate with the level of danger that we are facing.
No doubt we are dealing with profound iniquity, a betrayal so complete of all that is human that no words exist to describe its foul dimension. The ones who have done this thing walk among us, though for how long? – understanding that they, too, will certainly drop dead along with countless millions of others, as a direct result of their abjectly arrogant ignorance.
All of their super-computers, the advanced mathematics, their (so-called) “hi-tech” industrial base, all of their billions of dollars of (so-called) “high finance” — and they kill the planet? And themselves and their posterity in the process? That’s the best they can do? They get a PhD in nuclear chemistry and use their (so-called) “knowledge” and (so-called) technical “expertise” to kill the planet? The planet that they also live on?
Geniuses. All of them.
Central Banking Middle East Madness
Then there is the very real prospect of a shooting, nuclear war, beginning in the Middle East. The USSA has a powerful fleet in the region. So do the Russians, as a counterpoint. Sadly for all humanity, the Washington, DC — City of London — Lower Manhattan — Tel Aviv — NATO cabal seems hell bent on war, and so we are on the slippery slope to war. Unfortunately, this psychopathic cabal is very heavily nuclear armed.
I saw all of this coming from waaaaaaay back, from way back in my infancy, since the age of three years, when The Bone Lady visited me and clued me in to realities that I still don’t want to think about, given their ghastly, hideous savagery. But I’ll tell you what, it’s enough to give a man insomnia, it’s enough to drive him out onto the nuclear missile silos, again and again, in a personal effort to inject a note of sanity and warning into a positively insane political and military climate, in an attempt to wake up anyone who may be susceptible to awakening.
My latest sally was 15 April 2010 in North Dakota, USA. I went over the security fence onto the H-8 Minuteman III nuclear missile silo in the Minot Air Force Base nuclear missile field, near Parshall, North Dakota, at the intersection of 33rd Street and 76th Avenue. I conducted a nonviolent, peace demonstration on the silo and was arrested by the USSA military and imprisoned for 100 days, almost all of the time served in the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center in Rugby, North Dakota.
My Minot Manifesto explains my motivations, reasons and spiritual and political philosophy. It is one of the most important documents I have written in my entire life.
A Serious Message From The Heart of America was my personal statement that I mailed to the news media from jail in Rugby, North Dakota, on 14 July 2010, prior to being criminally tried and convicted in USSA federal court in Minot, North Dakota.
I explain the symbolism in my dress and accoutrements in the photo below, in the text of my lengthy Minot Manifesto. It’s thirteen pages, but worth the time and effort to read. It is a major life statement on my part, that reflects literal decades of deep thought, a very large quantum of concentrated life energy and hours, weeks, months and years of preparation, a statement that distills an important fraction of my life essence into human language. I invite you to partake of my gift by taking the time to read and reflect on what I have written, and then to take meaningful, principled, creative, nonviolent action yourself.
I don’t quite know what more to say, what more to do. In fact, were I to do more than I already have, and I have been out on the nuclear missile silos three times (and been jailed for my trouble all three times, in Arkansas, Missouri and North Dakota), I would run the very real risk of infringing on your right and your very real, personal RESPONSIBILITY to also courageously act. So what are you waiting for? Why are you here on this planet, at this time, reading this blog post, and articles like it?
Because make no mistake about it, the time to act, if you are going to act, is here. The time has arrived. The planet is on the brink. We face the very real prospect of a shooting nuclear war. Additionally, the Fukushima crisis, and the threat from nuclear power plants in general, ALL OF THEM, could not be more serious.
In recent days, I find myself musing about the closing scene from “Dr. Stramgelove,” with the haunting song by Vera Lynn, “We’ll Meet Again, Don’t Know Where, Don’t Know When,” that was such a huge hit in World War II, for obvious reasons.
And it fills me with such melancholy and sorrow. Because if it starts, this ugly thing called nuclear war, and we are headed that way, can all unravel very rapidly. The machines will take over, and automated, pre-programmed orders of battle will be carried out, without human control, as machines battle machines with nuclear fire. Waves of missiles will come in, again and again, to batter the underground bases. I have read the declassified documents. Warhead after warhead will come in at 10 minute intervals. You cannot imagine the depths of the hell that is already programmed and waiting to be unleashed.
Back in the 1960s, the USSA military was counting on 140 million casualties in the mainland USSA alone. I know this because I have read the documents. I have done the research. The USSA population is much larger now, and much more urban, so the casualty rate would be even higher. Maybe 200 million? 250 million casualties in the USSA alone?
Do you think you will just watch that on CNN?
Refuge in the Southern Hemisphere
If you have read my previous writings you will know that I have said that IF humanity has a future, it is likely to be in the southern hemisphere, if only because the lion’s share of the nuclear weapons and nuclear power reactors are in the northern hemisphere. As the nuclear power plants fail, melt down, and/or explode most of them will be in the northern hemisphere. This is not an intellectual exercise — already we have had catastrophic failure of nuclear power plants at Chernobyl, Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan. They are just the first. There will be more.
Likewise, any shooting nuclear war is logically likely to be concentrated in the northern hemisphere, since all of the known, nuclear armed, military powers are in the northern hemisphere
But even then, there are enormous problems in the southern hemisphere. The vegetation in the Amazon region of South America produces something like 20 to 30% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. As the Amazon dies, and it is being destroyed right now, so too, is the Earth’s breathable oxygen supply being destroyed. I don’t know about you, but I breathe oxygen all day and all night, every day and every night of my life.
So even if we resolve the nuclear issue, and there is ZERO progress on that front right now, only to lose the Amazon, we all will still die, because none of us can survive with 20 to 30% less oxygen. Just cannot.
Right now, we, humanity, every last one of us, are in a life and death struggle for the life of our species, and the life of our planet.
If we win, we live. If we lose, we die. ALL OF US.
End of the story. End of our species’ genetic line. For ever and ever.
So maybe moving to Bolivia or Uruguay or Namibia or Madagascar or New Zealand will buy you a little time, a year or ten. However, if we fail to rein in and ABOLISH nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons, if we fail to reforest the Earth and cleanse it of radioactive contamination, then we are through. It’s the end for us.
This is our group decision. Right now we are on a self-destructive path to global extinction.
So Here Is My View
If you will act decisively, now is the time. Pick your issue and your spot and act creatively, courageously and nonviolently.
It’s your world and your life. Act like they both count for something.
And here’s the other thing. If you cannot, or will not act, then how about supporting those of us who have acted, and who continue to act?
In my case, I have paid a very heavy price, in earnings forever foregone, by putting my life on the line, repeatedly, for you, whom I do not even know. But because you are my human kin, I went out on the missile silos, again and again, and I went to jail. I lost more than a year and a half of productive labor. I lost, as well, the opportunity to have a whole wide range of well paying jobs, due to my arrest and prison record, even though I have multiple advanced university degrees, up to the doctorate level.
Subsequent to my arrival in South America, I immersed myself in Amazonian shamanic culture, the better to understand the Amazonian region, the jungle itself, and the shamanic human ecology of the region that interfaces with the hyper-conscious plants in the jungle, only to be very gravely assaulted by one of the said Amazonian shamans and hospitalized for more than four months with massive trauma to both my body and emotions. I am now pursing a criminal case against the shaman and that also costs heavily, several thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, at the very time when so much of my time and energy is taken up with therapy and the sheer physical effort of getting around with impaired mobility. Nine months after the assault I still have physical nerve trauma in my lower extremities, a good deal of numbness and what is called drop foot. I walk with crutches. My electro-therapy also costs. At the moment I cannot go to electro-therapy, although I badly need it, because I only have $35 to my name.
I have run completely through my meager life savings and there is no more.
Additionally, I have this week begun the formal petition process to the government of Ecuador to request political asylum. My years-long record of anti-nuclear activism and repeated jailing by the USSA government is one factor in my decision, coupled with other factors such as recent revelations of universal NSA surveillance and espionage, the secret arrest and indefinite military detention provisions of the NDAA of 2012 and 2013, the recently revealed, previously secret 2011 FBI documents that blatantly discuss plans to murder Occupy Movement activists by sniper fire, including in San Antonio, Texas, where I lived and worked as a window washer from 2000 to 2009, and all of this in the context of an all encompassing pattern of unbridled lawlessness and pervasive lying with regard to EVERYTHING by the American government. All of this and more, has brought home to me the seriousness of this moment that we are living now.
I have the obligation to safeguard my own liberty and safety. It is clear to me that politically I am freer and safer in Ecuador than in the USSA. The American government has taken a hard, dictatorial turn towards neo-fascism. That is the plain truth. The harsh, repressive treatment of Edward Snowden and Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning makes that clear enough. We are in altogether different territory now. And so I have petitioned for political refuge in Ecuador.
This also entails paying an attorney, to assist me in my interactions with the administrative, legal and political system in Ecuador. It is my life on the line and I am proceeding very carefully, every step of the way.
But it is also your life on the line, in that my anti-nuclear activism, my immersion in the Amazonian culture, and my pursuit of political refuge in Ecuador all have profound implications far beyond just me. What happens to me also has broad implications for you. The consequences of nuclear war are too horrific to contemplate, and if it is to be avoided, it is because of actions such as mine. Similarly, we simply cannot afford to lose the Amazon, and yet we are losing it right now. If we are to save it, a big part of that will be due to the personal efforts of those who come to the region and get personally involved in the nitty-gritty, even life-threatening struggle for the soul of the Amazon, because more than anything, we are involved in a pitched battle for the very spirit and soul of the Amazon and of the rest of this planet.
Similarly, if I, with my history of activism, book writing, researching, blogging, public speaking, interviews, and repeated nonviolent civil disobedience and consequent jail record, cannot obtain political refuge abroad, then what hope do you have? You’re boxed in, that’s what. You’re in a cage with no exit.
And so, if you cannot or have not done the things that I and others like myself have done and are doing, then can you please, will you at least please support us?
I desperately need your support now. My legal fees run to thousands of dollars, and my therapy is ongoing. I appreciate and really need your generosity. Please communicate with me at: email@example.com or via Skype at richard.sauder333 as to how to donate.
Come Ye That Love The Lord
I am a native Virginian, and have lived, worked, traveled, studied and gone to jail all over the American South, from the Virginias and Maryland, all the way across to South Texas, and numerous points in between. A very large block of my life has been spent down South. Although I am not now a church attending man, I have in the past been in all kinds of Christian churches, both Black and White, in big cities and small country towns.
Some of the most memorable sermons I have ever heard have been by Black pastors in rural areas of the deep South. One of the things I like about the traditional Black style of hymn singing down South is the way that the head deacon or pastor will frequently line out a hymn, especially the first line or two of a verse, and then the other deacons or members of the choir will join in, accompanied by riffs on the organ, if there is an organist, and there are some really gifted organists playing in southern Black churches.
I well remember a sermon that I once chanced to hear, decades ago, by a Black lay preacher, one sultry, Sunday night, in a tiny little town way down South, about as far south as you can go, and still be in the South and not somewhere else. The ceiling fans lazily stirred the muggy summer air, as the moths flitted vainly around the naked incandescent light bulbs hanging from the ceiling overhead. The windows were flung wide open and the pale light from the sanctuary washed feebly out through the rusted screens and flooded onto the close cropped lawn that surrounded the church. It was one of the most extraordinary public speaking performances I ever witnessed. The preacher used as his text Ezekiel 37, the theme being dry bones and systematically connecting them one to the other, the purpose being to reassemble and restore “them dry bones” to life. As he spoke, I saw that he fell into a trance, that he entered another state of consciousness, that he was self-hypnotized and that the sermon itself had a sort of existence independent of him, that the message took on a life of its own and was using his mind, his mouth, his body, to project itself into the ears, hearts and minds of the sparse assemblage present that evening. As he finished, he collapsed exhausted backwards into his armchair and lined out the first words of the hymn that he wanted the choir to sing. I don’t anymore remember exactly what song he called for, but it could well have been this: Come Ye That Love The Lord
If there is to truly be a new world order, as distinct from the obscene power that currently holds sway on this planet today, then we will need to see a completely new order of human being on this world, a species of human being motivated by love for the Creator and by devotion to inward and outward service to the sacred life impulse. We don’t see that now, and the human species may go extinct on this planet for its want.
I do believe in God and have been profoundly privileged to see some of His servants face to face. I find their company congenial.
Come, ye that love the Lord,
And let your joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
Let those refuse to sing
That never knew our God,
But children of the heavenly King
May speak their joys abroad.
The God of heaven is ours,
Our Father and our love ;
His care shall guard life’s fleeting hours,
Then waft our souls above.
There shall we see his face,
And never, never sin;
There, from the rivers of his grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.
Yes, and before we rise
To that immortal state.
The thoughts of such amazing bliss
Should constant joys create.
Children of grace have found
Glory begun below:
Celestial fruits on earthly ground,
From faith and hope may grow.
The hill of Sion yields
A thousand sacred sweets,
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.
Then let our songs abound,
And ev’ry tear be dry;
We’re trav’lling through Immanuel’s ground,
To fairer worlds on high.
(John Wesley, ca. 1703- 1791)
Source: Richard Sauder | Event Horizon Chronicle
Charity is wonderful, and I’ll be the first to say we have an obligation to share our gifts, be they material, intellectual or talent oriented. Yet whether our redistributionist endeavor is charity — and charity is voluntary redistribution — or the less noble, coercive, outsourcing of charity known as government programs, there first must be wealth to redistribute. But where does wealth come from?
If we go back to biblical times and beyond, a man might be considered wealthy if he had 70 goats. In point of fact, the standard for wealth was so different that the US’s average middle-class person today — with his car, TVs, computer, refrigerator and many other luxuries — would have been considered wealthy for most of history. And our average “poor” man, who also usually has an old car and various creature comforts, likewise has a material lifestyle that would have been the envy of our forebears. The reason for this is simple: there is far, far more wealth in the world now than in ages past.
The first lesson this teaches is that wealth can be created. This happens when people find more efficient ways of raising livestock (so 70 goats becomes small potatoes) and growing crops, and when they extract raw materials from the Earth and use them to create the manifold necessities and luxuries we enjoy. In a word, it happens when people produce, which is why economists and businessmen will measure productivity. And how will people be encouraged to produce?
They must have an incentive, and this is where the profit motive comes into play. Ah, the much maligned profit motive. Let’s talk about that.
There are two extremes with respect to the profit motive. One is typified by some libertarian Ayn Rand acolytes who seem to treat it as the highest motivation; the other is far more prevalent today and is represented by another brand of “libs,” people who behave as if profit is something dirty (at least other people’s profit, anyway). But the balanced view is a bit different.
There is another kind of incentive. In America’s early Christian communes, for instance, residents’ belief that they were doing God’s will — and perhaps winning His favor — served as a great incentive to be productive; thus did the communal Oneida Colony create renowned flatware. And, truth be known, there’d be no need for profit if we lived in a sinless world, for there would be neither covetousness nor laziness. If there was an unfulfilled need — paper products, for example — people would readily volunteer to create them simply to serve others, and no one would be wasteful or undermine the system by taking more of anything than he needed. But in a sinless world we wouldn’t need a military, police or prisons, either.
Sane people live in the real world, however, where different rules apply. One of them is that since the spiritual/moral motive is the highest reason to serve your fellow man, it is also the rarest. And because of this, it cannot be relied upon to motivate people at the level of population. Enter the profit motive. To paraphrase economist Walter Williams, profit encourages your fellow man to serve you even if he doesn’t give a darn about you. After all, Domino’s didn’t start making pizza to relieve hunger; Ivory doesn’t make soap because “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” To have your needs and wants satisfied, would you rather rely on the charity of your fellow man or his profit-driven self-interest? For the answer, just look at all the wonders of science and medicine, all the luxuries around you, and ponder what percentage of them were created based on charitable motives versus the profit motive. Again, charity is wonderful — but it’s also relatively rare.
Of course, we should all strive to make it less rare in ourselves. But the lesson here is this: to minimize the profit motive personally is virtuous; to minimize it in public policy is vice. The motivation to serve others for a higher reason must come from within; a bureaucrat can decide to eliminate the profit motive via regulation, but he cannot replace it in the hearts and minds of the people with a more ethereal purpose. And this should be very easy for the bureaucrat to understand. Would he — or anyone else who sneers at profit — do his job for free? Precious few of us would. In fact, research has shown that those who protest the profit motive most are most driven by it (the likely explanation? Projection).
In fact, unnecessarily reducing the profit motive in civilization is evil. This is because productivity in a nation — which means wealth creation — will generally (at least) be proportional to the degree of profit to be had. Thus, a person who institutes unjust profit-reducers such as excessive taxes and regulations is a policy poverty pimp who can literally rob his society of billions in prosperity. A thief in an alley is less to be feared.
The fact that wealth is created teaches other lessons as well. For example, class-warfare demagogues encourage the notion that the poor have less because the rich have more. But unless the wealth has been stolen (which does happen; e.g., Bernie Madoff), this is utter nonsense. Consider: would it have made even one poor person richer if Microsoft’s Bill Gates hadn’t pursued his dreams and made his billions? It would in fact have made people poorer, as we wouldn’t have the jobs and productivity-enhancing products he created.
So how can nations become as prosperous as the culture and character of their people allow? There must be a powerful profit motive so that people produce as much wealth as possible. And there is a prerequisite for this: great economic freedom (most still call this “capitalism,” a grave mistake because the term was originated by socialists).
How important is this factor? In “Self-Inflicted Poverty,” Dr. Walter Williams points out that there is an extremely strong correlation between a nation’s level of economic freedom and its level of prosperity. He asks “Why is it that Egyptians do well in the U.S. but not Egypt?” After pointing out that the same could be said of others from poor nations who immigrate to the US, he points out that Egyptians are smothered with regulations and corruption. Providing one damning example, he writes, “To get legal title to a vacant piece of land would take more than 10 years of dealing with red tape. To do business in Egypt, an aspiring poor entrepreneur would have to deal with 56 government agencies and repetitive government inspections.” The result is that Egypt’s mummies have more life than its economy.
Given how important economic freedom is, we should note how it’s lost: through lack of appreciation. After all, cease to value something, and you may not preserve it — demonize it enough, and you’ll surely destroy it.
When appearing on a radio show some years ago on the heels of the financial crisis, the first question the host asked me was why economic freedom (she said “capitalism”) had failed. Her attitude was a staggering tribute to a lack of perspective, a spirit of entitlement and the tendency to count curses and not blessings.
Just walk into any American supermarket with the thousands of products from the world over available at affordable prices, and tell me economic freedom has failed. In fact, our whole modern world is a tribute to economic freedom. And what of the financial crisis? Well, people will talk about how it destroyed so many trillion dollars of wealth and place the blame on economic freedom. But remember the time when 70 goats made you wealthy? We only had trillions of dollars of wealth that could be destroyed to begin with because of economic freedom! In fact, economic freedom has provided a climate for such tremendous wealth creation that the trillions lost still represented only a small percentage of all the wealth in existence. Our “failure” is history’s raging success.
The problem here is that people tend to take what they have for granted and view wealth in relative terms. But returning to what I said about the poor, historically, being so meant that you didn’t have shoes on your feet or food on the table (if you had a table). In America today it generally means you have an older car, a TV, refrigerator, air conditioning and a host of other luxuries. The reality? Our government’s “poverty line” is a political ploy. In an absolute sense, there is very, very little poverty in the US — because of economic freedom.
Our great discoveries, inventions and innovations were not made by bureaucrats, nor generally at their direction. And while I encourage and support the charitable endeavors of my Catholic Church (the world’s largest private provider of aid to the poor), even its efforts to end poverty pale in comparison to economic freedom’s triumphs. This is no slight. Economic freedom unleashes the creative capacities of the common man, from border to border, transforming the populace into an army of wealth creators. And nothing can compete with that.
Without creation, there can be no distribution.
In the early 1960s, Yale professor Stanley Milgram conducted a serious of famous psychological experiments to measure people’s obedience to authority. A volunteer was instructed by an experimenter to help administer a simple test to a subject in another room. Cards were drawn to determine which of two “volunteers” would play each role, but the cards were rigged such that the actual volunteer was always given the same role each time, and the other role was played by an actor. This gave the volunteers the impression that the role they happened to be assigned was arbitrary.
The test subject (i.e. actor) could be heard but not seen by the volunteer. Whenever a test question was answered incorrectly by the subject-actor, the volunteer was instructed to administer a shock by pressing a button on a control panel. These shocks began at a negligibly low voltage, but with each wrong answer, the shocks were to be increased in 15-volt increments until eventually the final level of 450 volts was reached. The shocks were fake, so no one was physically harmed, but the volunteers didn’t know that the shocks were fake.
As these shocks were administered, the subject in the next room (who again could be heard but not seen by the volunteer), would express discomfort in a manner befitting the severity of the shock, including complaining of a heart condition, screaming louder and louder, and banging on the wall. After a certain voltage was passed, the shock-receiver eventually become completely silent (as if to simulate unconsciousness or death). Even after this point, the volunteer was instructed to continue administering shocks.
Milgram’s experiment was intended to test how far the average person would go. At what point would they refuse to give out any more shocks, despite being told by the experimenter to continue?
If you haven’t already heard of this experiment, what would your prediction be? What percentage of people would go all the way to the end?
Before the first experiment was run, senior psychology students polled by Milgram collectively predicted that only 1.2% of the test volunteers would go all the way to 450 volts. They expected that about 99% of people would stop before that point, figuring that most people are not so sadistic. Similar polling of professional psychiatrists yielded a prediction that about 0.1% would go all the way to 450 volts, meaning that 99.9% would stop before that point.
What was the actual result?
In reality, 65% of volunteers made it all the way to the end of the experiment, which required pushing the 450-volt button not just once but three times in a row.
This experiment has been repeated numerous times with highly consistent results, even when the experiment was updated to conform to today’s stricter experimental ethics guidelines. Compliance rates are generally in the 61-66% range, meaning that most people go all the way to administering the full 450 volts.
Milgram himself reported 19 variations on this experiment that he conducted. By tweaking different factors, such as whether a fellow volunteer participant (played by an actor) voiced strong objections and quit, or obeyed until the end, Milgram found that the compliance rate could be tweaked up or down. In one variation he was able to achieve a compliance rate of 92.5%, while in another he was able to get it down to 10%. The effect of peer pressure had a strong influence on the results.
Incidentally, the compliance rate was the same for men and women alike, so the female volunteers were no more or less obedient than the male ones.
Instead of being blindly obedient or downright sadistic, the volunteer would usually object to going further at some point, often around 135 volts. In response to each verbal objection voiced by the volunteer, the experimenter would instruct the volunteer to continue with the following statements:
- Please continue.
- The experiment requires that you continue.
- It is absolutely essential that you continue.
- You have no other choice. You must go on.
If the volunteer objected a fifth time, then the experiment was halted. And of course the experiment would end if the volunteer objected more strongly at any point such as by getting up and walking out of the room. So the experimenter would eventually take no for an answer — but not right away.
There were also a few custom responses that the experimenter would give as replies to specific types of objections. For instance, if the objection was about doing irreparable harm to the subject, the experimenter would assure the volunteer that although the shocks were strong, no permanent tissue damage would occur.
As payment for participating in the experiment, which took about an hour, each volunteer received $4.
How Nazi Are You?
Milgram’s experiments were partly conceived in response to the trials of Nazi war criminals after WWII. Did the Nazis have to recruit unusually sadistic people to implement their plans? Did they have to use fear and force to get people to obey? Or is it actually much easier to get people to obey a perceived authority, even when it runs contrary to the person’s conscience?
I recently returned from a 30-day trip to Europe, during which I visited Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. This was an interesting progression as it relates to WWII since I went from the the aggressor (Germany) to an occupied country (Netherlands) to one of the victors (UK). I visited WWII-related museums and sights in each country and talked to locals about their perceptions of this phase of European history.
It was a compelling experience to visit some of the actual WWII-related locations I’d previously only read about in school or had seen in movies. I visited an old WWII bunker. I walked through the Secret Annex where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis. I explored the underground war rooms used by Winston Churchill and his staff. I caught trains at some of the stations that were once used to transport Jewish people to concentration camps.
Other than Pearl Harbor (which I visited when I was a teenager) and various constructed memorials, the USA is largely devoid of significant WWII sights. I can’t just stroll around Las Vegas and point to places where bombings or battles occurred. But when walking around certain European cities, such locations are hard to miss.
In many American WWII films, the Nazis are depicted as a society of evil, inhuman sadists. A great example of this portrayal can be seen in the role of Amon Göth (played by Ralph Fiennes) in the movie Schindler’s List. The real Amon Göth, who was the commandant of a concentration camp, would do things like make the Jews pay for their own executions, taxing them to compensate the Germans for the bullets used to kill them. After the war he was tried as a war criminal, found guilty, and executed by hanging at age 37. Apparently it took three tries to hang him before the execution was successful, due to a miscalculation of the rope length. As an SS Captain in charge of a concentration camp, Göth had plenty of people under his command to carry out his orders. So why did people obey him? More importantly, how many factors (like the threat of punishment) can we strip away and still see people obeying orders from someone like Göth?
Stanley Migram set out to discover some deeper truths. What would it take for a typical person to override his/her conscience and obey commands to hurt or kill others? As it turns out, for most people it doesn’t take much at all. If someone assumes an air of authority and tells people what to do, there will be plenty of people willing to obey, even if the commands contradict a person’s sense of ethics and morality.
According to Milgram,
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
A key to the Milgram experiments is that a person is gradually eased into overriding their conscience. They aren’t instructed to give the 450-volt shock right away. Instead they begin with a voltage that isn’t even noticed. They progress from there in small increments.
The Nazis used a similar strategy. They didn’t immediately begin shipping Jews to gas chambers. They changed the climate and the culture slowly, such as by producing lots of propaganda, progressively restricting Jews’ rights, increasing Jews’ taxes, isolating the Jewish community in ghettos, and then moving them into camps. They started small and tuned the dial several notches each year. And people went along with each incremental step, which was a little stronger than the previous step.
It’s been interesting to observe some social changes that are happening today, which strike me as part of a gradual progression. For example, Microsoft recently announced the XBox One device, which comes with a Kinect camera system. This device actually watches you while you use it. It can closely monitor your eye movements, allowing it to determine exactly which part of the screen you’re looking at. It can register small shifts in your body movement. Supposedly it can even detect an increase in your heart rate, which tells it which part of a commercial may be affecting you emotionally.
Years ago a device like this would have seemed unconscionable and incredibly creepy. Some people will undoubtedly perceive it as such today, but as part of a progression towards greater personal surveillance and less privacy, this can also be viewed as just another incremental step. It’s only an entertainment system, right? But it also helps you get used to putting a surveillance device in your home, one that watches you, collects data about you, and rewards you in accordance with behavioral conditioning practices (such as by giving you points for watching commercials). If you object to some aspects of this, you may choose to disable those aspects initially, but of course not everyone will. Society will have time to get used to each progressive step, just like Milgram’s volunteers.
You may object verbally of course, but your verbal objections won’t be an issue if you still tolerate the outcome in the long run. As Milgram discovered, just about everyone objects at some point, but most of them still obey.
Another example is Google Glass, which is slated to be released next year. This device has already been banned by many businesses, including Las Vegas casinos, largely because it can function as an unwelcome surveillance device. Google claims that the privacy concerns regarding Glass are overblown. Cell phone cameras are already ubiquitous, and this is just one incremental step beyond that.
And of course if various authorities tell us these next steps are okay, nothing to worry about, then it shouldn’t be a big deal, right?
I’m not saying that this is a terrible thing per se. But I do think these are interesting examples of how progressive acquiescence can be used to change behavior, one incremental step at a time. When people object, it doesn’t necessarily kill the progression. It just means that people may need more time to get used to the current step before moving on to the next one. Verbal objections may slow the progression, but they aren’t sufficient to stop it.
If Milgram could get people to issue painful/lethal electric shocks by having an authority figure tell them to do so, you might imagine that it’s even easier to get people to take less extreme (but still questionable) actions, such as working long hours for low pay doing meaningless busywork.
Even though many people would naturally object to throwing so much time at empty and unfulfilling work, they’ll still go ahead and do it if someone tells them to. Most people with jobs don’t like the work they do, but they still show up, even if the incentives aren’t very compelling.
What if you want to quit, but your boss, your parents, or some other perceived authority figure objects? Will you surrender and go back to work if they say something like this:
- Please don’t quit.
- We need you to keep working.
- Many people are out of work. You should be glad that you have a job at all.
- You have no choice. You have to go to work.
Getting people to do meaningless work is actually pretty easy. Most of the time, you can just have an authority figure like a boss command them to do it, and they will.
Is this a trap you’ve fallen into?
Another place where people succumb to overrule-by-authority is their relationship life.
What if you want to split up, but your partner objects? Now what if your family objects? Or you partner’s family? Or your mutual friends? Or what if you sense that society at large objects to your desire to split up? What if you’re married? Do you have the inner resources to make this decision for yourself without being overruled by someone else?
What’s especially interesting about Milgram’s experiments is that just about every volunteer resisted in some way. They verbally questioned the experiment. They sweated, squirmed, groaned, or dug their nails into their skin. Some said they didn’t want the $4 payment. A few even had seizures. The experiment produced obvious signs of stress and discomfort in the volunteers. Yet the majority of them still obeyed all the way to the end.
We see these results all the time when people stay stuck in unfulfilling jobs or relationships. They show obvious signs of distress. Some complain. Some have nervous breakdowns. Some read self-help material incessantly, looking for a way out. Yet the majority still stay in those situations, lacking the inner strength to leave.
Do you allow anyone in your life to wield authority over your relationship decisions? Do you need anyone’s approval or fear their disapproval?
Students and Authority
Many students get suckered into high-stress situations at exam time. They’re told by authoritative professors and administrators that they must be tested and that exams are necessary. But the apparent necessity of exams is a manufactured illusion of academic life. Outside of such domains, the academic examination process is largely irrelevant. No one outside of school cares what exams you have or why you think you need them. In fact, many people consider the academic testing process ludicrous and dysfunctional.
During my first run at college, I disliked exams, so I declined to show up for many of them. A predictable consequence was that I failed many classes and was soon expelled. But I learned that the decision to take or not take any exam was mine to make. No one ever forced me to take a test — my permission was always required. I could see that behavioral conditioning techniques were being used to compel me to behave a certain way, such as rewards or punishments. Once I saw through this silly game, I became free to choose for myself whether to play the role of academic student, knowing that it was entirely my choice and that it was impossible for anyone to force me to be tested if I didn’t want to be tested. This turned out to be a powerful mental shift. When I returned to college later, I found it easy to ace my exams without undue stress and generally without needing to devote extra time to studying. I understood that submitting myself to testing was always my choice and never something I had to do. I could only be tested if I chose to be tested.
As a reward for taking and passing certain exams, you may receive a slip of paper that says you know something, but you’ve probably forgotten most of that material a week after the exams anyway. The purpose of the exam was to temporarily convince someone else that you know what they want you to know. What that slip of paper really says is that you’re obedient to authority and that you’ll do the assignments and take the tests that are given to you, and that in itself is something that many employers value. But if you don’t care to submit to another authority, then that slip of paper is of minimal utility. I have one in a box in my garage from my university days, and no one has ever asked to see it. In retrospect, I regard the effort required to earn it to be largely a waste of time, even though I did it faster than most people. (Incidentally, if you still want that slip of paper and you’d like to graduate faster than normal, read “10 Tips for College Students”.)
If you’re currently a student, recognize that no one has authority over you. You don’t actually have to show up to class, take exams, and do busywork. Participating is your choice, and no one can force to you play the role of academic student without your permission. The best they can do is apply behavioral conditioning techniques to try to get you to submit to their authority, but if you see through their silly games of rewards and punishments, those techniques lose a lot of their power. You may still choose to play the academic game for your own reasons, which is perfectly fine. Just don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any part of it is being forced upon you. The whole thing is your choice.
Now that you know about this tendency of human beings to obey authority even when strong objections may be present, how shall you deal with this?
The first step is to become aware of any areas in your life where you may already be succumbing to the pressure of authority and allowing it to override your own morals, ethics, values, or desires.
If you value your time, then where are you feeling pressured to waste time or to invest in activities or responsibilities that aren’t actually important to you? For example, how much time did you invest in social media or web surfing this week? Was that a conscious decision on your part, or did you behave that way because someone or something else was conditioning your behavior with the promise of updates, information, or the illusion of pseudo-connection?
If you value freedom, where have you been encouraged to give up some of that freedom in ways that feel uncomfortable to you? What do you feel compelled or obligated to do this week? What are your have-tos? Are those genuine needs you’ve decided to fulfill, or were you progressively lured into a trap by giving your power away unnecessarily? For instance, did you choose to take on as much debt as you have now, or were you subtly enticed to go there, one easy step at a time?
What areas of your life are causing you signs of distress? Where are you sweating, squirming, complaining, or biting your nails? What parts of your life are causing you the equivalent of mild seizures?
Notice where some part of you is objecting to the state of your reality. Is this an area where you’re still obeying some kind of authority, even if you’re not happy with the results?
As you become aware of your tendency to submit to authority, even if it’s hard to stomach all the areas where you’ve been doing so, this will increase your alignment with truth. At first these realizations might sting a little. But please don’t allow yourself to sink back down to a place of denial and ignorance. Do your best to maintain this level of awareness, even if you don’t feel ready to act on it yet.
A run of one of Milgram’s experiments with a single volunteer took about an hour. That didn’t give people much time to think about their decisions — they were caught in a high-pressure situation. In real-life situations, however, you’re more likely to have some time to pause and reflect on your decisions. This is especially true when it comes to career and relationship decisions. Use this reflection time to your best advantage, and learn to trust yourself in those quiet spaces where the influence of a perceived external authority figure is minimal. For instance, pay attention to how you feel about your job when you’re not at work, and notice how you feel about your relationship when your partner is away — in these moments you’ll have access to a more accurate assessment of your feelings.
Peer pressure certainly played a role in some of the Milgram experiments, either increasing or decreasing the compliance rate. The nice thing about peer pressure is that you can consciously create your own peer pressure to align with your desires.
When it’s possible to do so, seek out the support of others. When your inner voice is being squashed by the seemingly louder voice of some perceived authority, reach out to connect with others who’ve been in similar situations and have already moved beyond them. Especially target people who already have the results you desire, such as a fulfilling career, a happy relationship, or a stress-free academic life, and seek their counsel. Ask such people what they would do in your situation and why. See if their answers resonate with you.
You’ll often find when you talk to such people that they’ll have very different attitudes towards the same authorities that tend to overpower you. I experience this all the time from the opposite side when people share their current challenges with me. They constantly fall into the trap of giving away their power to some perceived outside authority. They often don’t even realize that they can choose to disobey, and that once they get past their resistance to doing so, everything will work out just fine. Disobeying may seem very difficult before you do it, but afterwards you’ll look back and kick yourself for making such a big deal out of it. In many cases it’s as simple as saying no and meaning it.
The student can’t change his/her major because Mom and Dad would be disappointed. The unhealthy relationship can’t end because the needy partner would be hurt. The crappy job can’t be quit because the bank wants to keep receiving the monthly loan payments.
You’re the authority in your life. Not your parents. Not your partner. Not your bank.
You can expect that other people will apply behavioral conditioning techniques to get you to comply with their wishes. Parents do it. Partners do it. Bosses do it. Banks do it. But in the end they’re all powerless to force you to do anything. The only way you obey is that you mistakenly believe that you have to obey. They tell you to obey, and you obey. But like the ornery volunteers in Milgram’s experiments who refused to go all the way to 450 volts, you always remain free to stop administering shocks at any time — especially to yourself.
The good news is that you’re not alone. Other people will be delighted to support you on this path, if you choose to invite their support. But they won’t be the same people who’ve benefitted from your obedience in the past, so don’t go looking for support from the authorities who are still giving you orders. If you go complaining to Amon Göth, you’ll get a bullet in the head for your troubles.
Don’t feel you must make a dramatic shift overnight. You may find it more realistic to make gradual, step-by-step progress.
In the Milgram experiments, even the subjects who objected and quit didn’t generally do so immediately. Their resistance increased gradually as the experiment progressed. As the voice of their conscience grew louder, their willingness to blindly obey authority gradually diminished.
During the 5-year Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, the Dutch didn’t immediately jump to maximum resistance. At first they tried to accept the occupation and adapt to it, but as the Nazis grew more oppressive, the Dutch pushed back with greater levels of resistance, including helping people go into hiding, printing underground newspapers, espionage, sabotage, and armed resistance.
Members of the Dutch resistance also sought to collaborate and coordinate their efforts, working together to support each other. Individually they were weaker, but collectively they could support each other in resisting the occupation on the long journey towards Liberation Day.
Demolishing Unauthorized Authority
Ultimately the task before you is to dismantle the external forms of authority in your life that you’re no longer willing to accept.
One memorable act of rebellion from my own life was when I was 17 years old and realized that I didn’t actually believe in the religious gobbledegook that had been fed to me throughout my childhood. For the first few months, I held this awareness only to myself, not having anyone in my life that I could safely confide in.
When I eventually shared my honest beliefs openly, the reaction from others was predictably negative. Initially this was a stressful time for me. What kept me going was the feeling of certainty that I was in the right, which was largely something created from within.
I experienced a powerful shift when I stopped giving my power away to the old perceived authority figures in my life. I stopped believing that they were smarter or wiser than I was. I finally allowed myself to believe that they could be wrong, mistaken, or deluded. By seeing them as fallible, I no longer held them up as worthy authorities over me.
In other words, I de-authorized those previous authorities. I rescinded permission for them to wield authority over me. Once I experienced that shift in my thinking, I then had the power to think and choose for myself, and no amount of behavioral conditioning tactics (i.e. rewards or punishments) would cause me to yield. As people recognized this shift in me and realized that they no longer had my permission to wield such authority over my thinking and behaviors, they soon gave up on trying to control me. Really I gave them no choice.
The power of Milgram’s experiment lies in the volunteers’ belief in the authority of the experimenter. By giving this person permission to wield authority over their decisions, they gave their power away and became capable of denying responsibility for the pain they may have caused. This allowed them to justify their participation as that of a cog in a machine.
One way to opt out of such an experiment before reaching the end is to place anyone who tries to claim authority over you on a lower rung than yourself on your mental ladder of authority. Don’t assume the experimenter is smarter or wiser than you. Realize that they may be mistaken, wrong, or unethical in their dealings and that you may be right. Stop doubting what your own mind is telling you.
Who or what have you authorized to be a greater authority than yourself in your life? If someone in a position of authority tells you that something is okay, but inside you feel creeped out by their actions, do you go along with them, or do you listen to yourself and say no? What if most of your friends and family go along for the ride? Will you succumb to that kind of peer pressure, even if you feel something isn’t right?
Note that the word authority includes the word author. To wield authority over your life is to become the author of your life. You can’t consciously author much of your life if you give someone or something else authority over you.
Objecting to the misapplied use of authority isn’t enough. Just about everyone objects at some point. People object yet still obey. At some point you have to be able to object and disobey, which means to obey your own inner guidance above the demands of any perceived external authority.
Subjectively speaking, there is no external authority. What’s happening internally (within your own mind) is that you’re stressing yourself out. The stress is a result of trying to deny your own power and authority, make yourself weak, and act like a cog in a machine. This is stressful because it contradicts your true nature. The reality is that you’re very powerful and creative, and if you desire to change some aspect of your reality that doesn’t suit you, you can do so. But in order to do so, you must recognize and accept your power. If you don’t like the way the world is right now, you can step up and do something about it. Pretending to be a powerless victim of circumstance doesn’t suit you.
Becoming an Authority
If you de-authorize the phony authorities in your life and become your own authority, you’ll begin to experience the flip side of Milgram’s experiment. Instead of being the hapless follower, you’ll soon find other people following your lead.
This is where the authority game becomes much more interesting. Instead of being a blind follower, you can transform yourself into a conscious leader. By authoring your own life more proactively, you’ll inspire others to follow your example.
I think that’s the secret fear that many people have when it comes to authority. Once you regain your personal authority, it’s an easy progression into the land of greater public responsibility. When you take charge of your life, you’ll attract others who want to follow your lead and do something similar. You won’t even have to try — those people will come to you.
If you know in advance that authoring your own life will result in others wanting to experience a similar story, is this something you can accept? Are you willing to step into the role of leader? Can you welcome that role into your life? Or would you rather keep playing the follower for a while?
You can follow, or you can lead, and there isn’t much of a space in between. If you’re not willing to lead, you’ll end up following by default.
If you’re willing to lead, then how are you going to lead? When people recognize the authority you have over yourself and become attracted to it, how will you deal with that? Will you try to ignore them? Will you accept that kind of responsibility and do your best? Will you abuse it and become a sadist?
One benefit of leadership is that you can learn a great deal more about your own path when you have a chance to see it reflected in those who seek to join you. Just as Milgram’s experimenters could observe when their volunteers were experiencing stress in response to the unethical demands placed upon them, you can also gauge the response to the authorship of your life from public feedback — but without giving your power away to that feedback. Allow the requests of others to serve as input, but make your own decisions from your personal sense of authority, wisdom, and conscience.
Reclaiming Your Power
Incidentally, Stanley Milgram was only 27 years old when he began conducting his famous experiments (he died at age 51), so don’t make the mistake of assuming that he was some wizened old senior professor. In his day he was quite the rabble-rouser, shaking up the status quo by challenging people’s beliefs.
As a result of going against the grain, Milgram had some authority-based pressure used against him as well. He moved from Yale to Harvard, but he was denied tenure at Harvard, probably because of the controversial nature of his experiments. His membership application to the American Psychological Association was also put on ice for a year.
Many of Milgram’s peers challenged the ethics of his experiments because the experiments caused significant stress to the volunteer participants. Yet most of the original participants, when interviewed about it later, were glad to have been part of the study. Some of them even wanted to work with Milgram. They understood the significance of his work, even though helping him with his research was stressful.
If Milgram’s experiments were indeed unethical, then wouldn’t it also be unethical for teachers to use their authority to stress out their students with exams and grades, for companies to control their employees with rewards and punishments, and for parents to demand that their children comply with family traditions and expectations? When is it okay to use stressful psychological tactics to control the behavior of another?
When stress-producing tactics are used on you in order to manipulate you into behaving a certain way, try to recognize these tactics for what they are — an invitation for you to give your power away. Realize that you can always decline this invitation, reclaim authority over your own life, and make your own conscious choices.
Even if most people continue to give their power away, you don’t have to be one of them. You can stop the shocks whenever you want. The shocks were never real to begin with.
Source: Steve Pavlina
Only a public relations genius would roll out a news channel in the domestic American TV market with the name Al Jazeera. Sparing no expense, this new leap into sober journalism has not been seen since the formation of regional news bureaus in the days when CNN was a serious network. The Current TV purchase, financed by the Qatar government, shows that money can buy glitz and glamour, when reporting from the trenches of global conflicts or personal tragedies. Notwithstanding, hiring known retreads or celebrity has-beens, the cast of characters that will present this new version of reality, needs to earn creditability for the public to overlook the image of the corporate logo.
RT suffers from the same baggage, when Russia Today broadcasts within the shadow of the Kremlin. Can these patron sponsors be trusted to provide objective information? Having Larry King do his stick on RT, while David Frost joins the Al Jazeera net, is supposed to soften the transition to a world viewpoint outside the American lamestream media.
Al Jazeera America has a comprehensive web site that show off the range of their mission. Undoubtedly, the targeted viewer is less concerned about the Middle East news than domestic reports. However, the added emphasis on international affairs is a sharp departure from the under reporting to the virtual black out from the pro-Zionist establishment media. Offering a choice, deemed a threat to the prevailing ”Bellum Americana” military-media, has never been a rating getter in the Neilson rankings.
The difference between aggressive advocacy and propaganda misinformation should be clear to the sophisticated observer. Nevertheless, no one can correctly assert that the American public is highly developed or attentive to the real significance of current events. The distinction that separates factual reporting and drawing a particular political conclusion is a gap that is usually determined by the respective ideology of the viewer.
This standard also applies to such venues as varied as Link TV to Glenn Beck’s Blaze. With the sale of Current TV to Al Jazeera America, the Young Turks now become a Muslim Nationalist. At least that will be the perception bias of the average television view, which in all probability will never turn on the channel to make up their mind about the accuracy in reports.
The rub comes when a peculiar autonomist viewpoint comes into conflict with the prevailing foreign policy of the NeoCon and DespotLib establishment. A red flag appears in The Daily Caller article, Media Matters still hearts Al-Jazeera.
“Media Matters for America doesn’t often find much time in its busy schedule of incessantly attacking Fox News to praise other news outlets, so it is noteworthy that it took a moment Wednesday to give a slobbering electronic kiss to Al-Jazeera.
“During its first day on the air, Al Jazeera America gave climate change nearly half as much coverage as network news programs did during the year 2012, all while avoiding common pitfalls like providing false balance to those that deny the science and leaving the crisis’ manmade origins ambiguous,” Media Matters’ Max Greenberg wrote of Al-Jazeera’s latest creation, which launched Tuesday.
“The fledgling network’s first climate report comprised the entirety of Tuesday’s edition of Inside Story, a half-hour news discussion program that promises to ‘take an in-depth look at the story behind the headlines.’ Indeed, the inaugural show featured a meaningful dialogue on — in guest Heidi Cullen’s words — ‘coming to terms with the fact that we’re all part of the problem … [and] the solution’ to manmade global warming, and discussed consequences like extreme weather and rising sea levels.”
“Bottom line: this was a great start,” Greenberg concluded.”
Was the editorial decision to cover the bogus climate change scam an intentional image builder to attract the bleeding heart NPR crowd, or just an effort to conceal the underlying political message that will be inserted into future reports? Maybe it was part of a payoff to Al Gore and part of the purchase agreement. Time will tell, but if the public never makes the attempt to review the Al Jazeera America news presentation, their present propaganda programming from network TV will just ignore an alternative voice.
Now take a close look at the RT style that has been on air for some time. Any channel that plays the Rawhide theme cannot be all bad. Well, if you never experience watching, you will not get the point. No link on this one, just ask Max Keiser. Yes, RT has a political link that reads Russian politics. Surely, the old Soviet Block would demand a tight rein on the herd if past practices were in play. Yet, what you actually get is a surprisingly fresh approach that covers events that directly applies to the policy-making landscape in the United States.
Watching one episode of Abby Martin on Breaking the Set makes you think you are reading a BREAKING ALL THE RULES column. Is that proof evident that RT is pure propaganda or is it true that the indoctrination you are constantly being fed from the pressitude media is the real newspeak?
Not everyone likes the editorial viewpoint from the tundra. The cold shoulder to a favorite “PC” cause is covered in The Washington Free Beacon article, Gay Reporter Kicked Off Kremlin Network After Protesting Anti-Gay Law.
“Reporter James Kirchick was kicked off the air of the RT network Wednesday after he refused to talk about Bradley Manning and instead spoke about the Russian government’s anti-gay laws.
RT, formerly Russia Today, is funded by the Russian government, which recently passed a sweeping law that bans the public discussion of gay rights and relationships in the presence of children.
As Kirchick continued to speak about the laws and the government’s funding of the network, one RT host insisted to Kirchick, “You have to come over here and see for yourself.”
“You have 24 hours a day to lie about America, I am going to tell the truth with my two minutes,” Kirkchick went on to say after RT hosts tried to cut him off.”
The sentiment ‘you have to watch to see what the coverage is all about’ holds true to the skeptics that think that international news is inadequate in interpreting American developments. For the Fox News warmongering Sean Hannity junkies to the Reverend Al Sharpton hate mongering racists on MSNBC, there is little room in their minds that allows for a different and challenging standpoint.
The Kirkchick incident may be an on air interview for a slot in the bootlicker “TC” media that has no room for moral values or traditional civilization.
Both Al Jazeera America and RT are challengers to the constant drumbeat from the pro-Israel monopoly. For this reason alone, they provide a valuable substitute from the half-truths to the downright lies. Designed to keep the globalist agenda on track, the electronic media pushes a visual, stylistic and emotional guilt trip. The pysops of mass population control is at the essence of the Totalitarian Collectivist culture.
Serious journalists are so rare on television that rational, judicious and responsible news seekers have abandoned the medium. Many display a mute TV broadcast while listening to talk radio. The influence of internet citizen journalism is gravely under attack because it is decentralized and independent of a “PC” editorial filter.
If government sponsorship for Al Jazeera America and RT were smart, they would spin off the managerial authority into a fully autonomous enterprise. State control of any media is Orwellian by nature.
Just cited in Studio Briefing, U.S. Propaganda Radio, TV Stations Now Allowed in America, seems to be meeting the competition from abroad.
“A recently passed law now permits radio and television broadcasts produced by Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks to be carried by U.S. broadcasters. Previously they could only be viewed or heard abroad on the grounds that they represented American propaganda. A spokeswoman for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the government-funded outlets, has told Foreign Policy magazine that it is not fare to suggest that they merely broadcast programs that support U.S. policies. According to Lynne Weil, the outlets “don’t shy away from stories that don’t shed the best light on the United States.”
Isn’t it not nice and reassuring that the American brainwashing can be brought home for domestic consumption as if it wasn’t already all around us all the time. So what is the material difference between Al Jazeera America and RT broadcasting their variant of foreign policy from what the U.S. government does? Actually the imperial message in jingoistic disinformation out of the federal agencies and think tanks, are far less credible than the reporting by the international press.
However, most people avoid getting their news from written accounts. The trend for foreign interests acquiring or starting a television network on satellite or cable will accelerate. Only distribution over the internet will grow faster. Let’s hope the message will be worth viewing, since all news is a form of propaganda.