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 email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org ;
Today Show: email@example.com
Matt Lauer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Williams: email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Even after seven years of writing macroeconomic analysis for the liberty movement and bearing witness to astonishing displays of financial and political stupidity by more “skeptics” than I can count, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of blind faith average Americans place in the strength of the U.S. dollar. One could explain in vast categorical detail the history of fiat currencies, the inevitable destruction caused by inflationary printing and the conundrum caused when any country decides to monetize its own debt just to stay afloat — often, to no avail.
Bank bailouts, mortgage company bailouts, Treasury bond bailouts, stock market bailouts, bailouts of foreign institutions: None of this seems to faze the gibbering bobbleheaded followers of the Federal Reserve cult. Logic and reason and wisdom bounce like whiffle balls off their thick skulls. They simply parrot one of two painfully predictable arguments:
- Argument No. 1: There is no way foreign countries will ever dump the U.S. dollar because they are so dependent on American consumers to buy their export goods.
- Argument No. 2: There is no way the dollar’s value will ever collapse because it is the dominant petro-currency, and the entire world needs dollars to purchase oil.
I have written literally hundreds of articles over the years dismantling the first argument, pointing out undeniable signals that include:
- China’s subtle dumping of the dollar — using bilateral trade agreements with other developing nations and, more recently, major economic powers like Germany and Japan
- The massive gold-buying spree undertaken by China and Russia — even in the face of extreme market manipulation by JPMorgan Chase and Co. and CME Group Inc.
- The dumping of long-term U.S. Treasuries by foreign creditors in exchange for short-term Treasuries that can be liquidated at a moment’s notice.
- The fact that bonds now are supported almost entirely by Fed stimulus. When the stimulus ends, America’s ability to honor foreign debts will end and faith in the dollar will crumble.
- Blatant statements by the International Monetary Fund calling for the end of the dollar’s world reserve status and the institution of special drawing rights (SDRs) as a replacement.
The second argument held weight for a short time, only because the political trends in the Mideast had not yet caught up to the financial reality already underway. Today, this is quickly changing. The petrodollar’s status is dependent on a great number of factors remaining in perfect alignment, socially, politically and economically. If a single element were to fall out of place, oil markets would explode with inflation in prices, influencing the rest of the world to abandon the greenback. Here are just a few of the primary catalysts and why they are an early warning of the inevitable death of the petrodollar.
Egyptian Civil War
She asked why I had waited until this year to make the prediction and why I had not called for such an event after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak, as many mainstream pundits had. The question bears merit. Why didn’t Egypt ignite with violent widespread internal conflict after Mubarak was deposed? It seemed perfectly plausible, yet the mainstream got the timing (and the reasons) horribly wrong.
My response was simple: The Mideast is being manipulated by elitist organizations towards instability, and this instability is a process. The engineered Arab Spring, I believe, is not so much about the Mideast as it is about the structure of the global economy. An energy crisis would be an effective tool in changing this structure. Collapse in the Mideast would provide perfect opportunity and cover for a grand shift in the global paradigm. However, each political step requires aid from a correct economic atmosphere, and vice versa.
If you want to identify a possible trend within a society, you have to take outside manipulation into account. You have to look at how economic events work in tandem with political events and at how these events benefit globalization as a whole. The time was not right after Mubarak’s overthrow. The mainstream media jumped the gun. If the target is the U.S. dollar and Egypt is the distraction, this year presented perfect opportunity with the now obvious failure of quantitative easing stimulus being exposed.
As the situation stands, the Egyptian military regime that overthrew Mohammed Morsi has completely cut the Muslim Brotherhood out of the political process and murdered at least 450 protesters, including prisoners already in custody.
Morsi supporters have responded by torching government buildings and shooting police personnel. But the real fighting will likely begin soon, as the current government calls for a ban on the Muslim Brotherhood itself. Simultaneously, hatred for the United States and its continued support of the Egyptian power base — regardless of who sits on the throne — is growing to a fever pitch throughout the region. This is not healthy for the life of the petrodollar in the long run.
It is important for Americans to understand when examining Egypt that this is not about taking sides. The issue here is that circumstances are nearly perfect for war and that such a war will spread and will greatly damage oil markets. The Suez Canal accounts for nearly 8 percent of the world’s ocean trade, and 4.5 million barrels of oil per day travel the corridor. Already, oil prices have surged due to the mere threat of disruption of the Suez (as I predicted). And this time, the nation is not going to recover. A drawn-out conflict is certain, given the nature of the military coup in place and the adamant opposition of the Muslim population.
Strangely, there are still some in the mainstream arguing that the Suez will “never close” because “it is too important to the Egyptian economy,” The importance of the Suez to the Egyptian government is irrelevant in the midst of all-out revolution. The Suez will close exactly because there will be no structure left to keep the canal open. In the meantime, oil prices will continue to rise and distrust of the United States will continue to fester.
Saudi Arabia Next?
The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia is at once symbiotic and parasitic, depending on how one looks at the situation. The very first oil exploration and extraction deal in Saudi Arabia was sought by the vast international oil cartels of Royal Dutch Shell, Near East Development Company, Anglo-Persian, etc., but eventually fell into the hands of none other than the Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The dark history of Standard Oil aside, this meant that Saudi business would be handled primarily by American interests. And the Western thirst for oil, especially after World War I, would etch our relationship with the reigning monarchy in stone.
A founding member of OPEC, Saudi Arabia was one of the few primary oil-producing nations that maintained an oil pipeline that expedited processing and bypassed the Suez Canal. (The pipeline was shut down, however, in 1983). This allowed Standard Oil and the United States to tiptoe around the internal instability of Egypt, which had experienced ongoing conflict which finally culminated in the civil war of 1952. Considered puppets of the British Empire at the time, the ruling elites of Egypt were toppled by the Muslim Brotherhood, leading to the eventual demise of the British pound sterling as the top petro-currency and the world reserve. The British economy faltered and has never since returned to its former glory.
On the surface, Saudi Arabia seems to have avoided the effects of the Arab Spring climate, but all is not as it seems. The defection of Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al-Saud has brought up startling questions as to the true state of the oil producing giant.
I believe this defection is only the beginning of Saudi Arabia’s troubles and that America’s largest oil partner is soon to witness domestic turmoil that will disrupt oil shipments around the world. America’s support for a monarchy that is so brutal to its population will only hasten the end of the dollar’s use in global oil trade, especially if these puppet regimes are toppled.
For those who doubt that Saudi Arabia is in line for social breakdown, I would ask why the nation felt it necessary to pump billions of dollars into the new Egyptian military junta.
While the country is surely being used in some cases as a proxy by the West, the Saudi government itself is fearful that success of dissenting elements will spread to its own borders. Little do they understand that this is part of the globalist game plan. Without control over Saudi petroleum, the United States loses its last influential foothold in the oil market, and there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the dollar will fall as the petro-currency soon after. The desperation caused by such an energy crisis will make international markets beg for a solution, which global banking cartels led by the IMF are more than happy to give.
Iranian Wild Card
The U.S. government’s outright creation of the Syrian insurgency and its funding and armament of al-Qaida agents have understandably angered numerous Mideast nations, including Iran. Iran sits on the most vital oil shipping lane in the world: the Strait of Hormuz. About 20 percent of the world’s annual oil exports are shipped through Hormuz, and the narrow inlet is incredibly easy to block using nothing but deliberately sunken freighters. In fact, this tactic is exactly what Iran has been training for in order to frustrate a U.S./Israeli invasion.
A U.S. or NATO presence on the ground or in the air above Syria, Egypt or Iran will most likely result in the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, causing sharp rises in gasoline costs that Americans cannot afford.
Russia/China Oil Deal
Finally, just as most bilateral trade deals removing the dollar as world reserve have gone ignored by the mainstream media, so has the latest sizable oil deal between Russia and China. Russia has been contracted by the Chinese to supply 25 years of petroleum, and this deal follows previously established bilateral guidelines — meaning the dollar will not be used by the Chinese to purchase this oil.
I expect that this is just the beginning of a chain reaction of oil deals shunning the dollar as the primary trade mechanism. These deals will accelerate as the Mideast sees more internal strife and as the popular distaste for the United States becomes a liability for anyone in power.
The Dollar Is A Paper Tiger
Some might argue that oil discoveries in the Midwestern U.S. could be used to counter the disruption of oil pipelines in the Middle East, and certainly, there is much untapped oil in America. However, to claim that this oil would somehow negate a crisis is naive, primarily because oil supply is not the ultimate issue; the dollar’s petro-status IS the ultimate issue. That status is dangerously reliant on the continued stability of Western friendly regimes in the East. We can produce all the oil we want within our own borders, but if the dollar loses global standing as the world reserve, we will STILL see a massive debasement of our currency’s value, we will still see collapse, and I guarantee, most of our domestic oil will end up being exported as payment to foreign creditors just to satisfy outstanding debts.
The dollar is no more invincible than any other fiat currency in history. In some ways, it is actually far weaker than any that came before. The dollar is entirely reliant on its own world reserve status in order to hold its value on the global market. As is evident, countries like China are already dumping the greenback in trade with particular nations. It is utterly foolish to assume this trend is somehow “random” rather than deliberate. Foreign countries would not be initiating the process of a dollar dump today if they did not mean to follow through with it tomorrow. All that is left is for a cover crisis to be conjured. Existing tensions in the Mideast signal a pervasive crisis, most likely an energy crisis, in the near term.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
Morality is a highly misunderstood component of human nature. Some people believe they can create moral guidelines from thin air based on their personal biases and prejudices. Some people believe that morality comes from the force of bureaucracy and government law. Still, others believe that there is no such thing; that morality is a facade created by men in order to better grease the wheels of society.
All of these world views discount the powerful scientific and psychological evidence surrounding Natural Law — the laws that human beings form internally due to inherent conscience regardless of environmental circumstances. When a person finally grasps inborn morality, the whole of the world comes into focus. The reality is that we are not born “good” or “evil.” Rather, we are all born with the capacity for good AND evil, and this internal battle stays with us until the end of our days.
Every waking moment we are given a choice, a test of our free will, to be ruled by desire and fear, or to do what we know at our very core is right. When a man silences his inner voice, the results can be terrible for him and those around him. When an entire culture silences its inner voice, the results can be catastrophic. Such a shift in the moral compass of a society rarely takes place in a vacuum. There is always a false shepherd, a corrupt leadership that seeks to rule. Rulership, though, is difficult in the face of an awake population that respects integrity and honor. Therefore criminals must follow these specific steps in order to take power:
Pretend To Be Righteous: They must first sell the public on the idea that they hold the exact same values of natural law as everyone else. The public must at first believe that the criminal leaders are pure in their motives and have the best interests of the nation at heart, even if they secretly do not.
Pretend To Be Patriotic: Despots often proclaim an untarnished love of their homeland and the values that it was founded upon. However, what they really seek is to become a living symbol of the homeland. They insist first that they are the embodiment of the national legacy, and then they attempt to change that national legacy entirely. A corrupt government uses the ideals of a society to acquire a foothold, and when they have gained sufficient control, they dictate to that society a new set of ideals that are totally contrary to the original.
Offer To “Fix” The Economy: Tyrants do not like it when the citizens under them are self sufficient or economically independent. They will use whatever methods are at their disposal including subversive legislation, fiat currency creation, corporate monopoly and even engineered financial collapse in order to remove the public’s ability to function autonomously. They will begin this process under the guise that the current less-controlled and less-centralized system is “not safe enough,” and that they have a better way to ensure prosperity.
Offer To Lend A Hand: Once the population has been removed from its own survival imperative and is for the most part helpless, the criminal leadership moves in and offers to “help” using taxation and money creation, slowly siphoning the wealth from the middle class and raising prices through inflation. Eventually, everyone will be “equal”; equally poor that is. In the end, the whole nation will see the rulership as indispensable, for without them, the economy would no longer exist and tragedy would ensue.
Create External Fear: Once in place, the criminal leadership then conjures an enemy for the people, or multiple enemies for the people. The goal here is to create a catalyst for mass fear. When the majority of people are afraid of an external threat, they will embrace the establishment as a vital safeguard. When a society becomes convinced that it cannot take care of itself economically, little coaxing is required to convince them that they are also not competent enough to take care of their own defense. The government not only becomes caregiver and nanny, but also bodyguard. At this point, the establishment has free reign to dissolve long cherished liberties while the masses are distracted by a mysterious threat hiding somewhere over the horizon.
Create Internal Fear: They move the threat from over the horizon, right to the public’s front door, or even within their own home. The enemy is no longer a foreigner. Now, the enemy is the average looking guy two houses over, or an outspoken friend, or even a dissenting family member. The enemy is all around them, according to the establishment. The public is sold on the idea that the sacrifice needed in order to combat such a pervasive “threat” is necessarily high.
Sell The People On The Virtues Of Moral Relativism: Now that the populace is willing to forgo certain liberties for the sake of security, they have been softened up enough for reprogramming to begin. The establishment will tell the people that the principles they used to hold so dear are actually weaknesses that make them vulnerable to the enemy. In order to defeat an enemy so monstrous, they claim, we must become monstrous ourselves. We must be willing to do ANYTHING, no matter how vile or contrary to natural law, in order to win.
Honesty must be replaced with deceit. Dissent must be replaced with silence. Peace must be replaced with violence. The independent should be treated with suspicion. The outspoken treated with contempt. Women and children are no longer people to be protected, but targets to be eliminated. The innocent dead become collateral damage. The innocent living become informants to be tortured and exploited. Good men are labeled cowards because they refuse to “do what needs to be done,” while evil men are labeled heroes for having the “strength of will” to abandon their conscience.
Thus, the criminal leadership makes once honorable citizens accomplices in the crime. The more disgusting the crime, the more apt the people will be to defend it and the system in general, simply because they have been inducted into the dark ceremony of moral ambiguity.
The actions of the state become the actions of all society. A single minded collectivist culture is born, one in which every person is a small piece of the greater machine. And, that which the machine is guilty of, every man is guilty of. Therefore, it becomes the ultimate and absurd purpose of each person within the system to DENY the crime, deny the guilt, and make certain that the machine continues to function for generations to come.
Though we have already passed though most of the above stages, Americans are still not yet quite indoctrinated into the realm of moral relativism. This, though, is swiftly changing.
The Current Sales Pitch
Just take a look at the attitude of the Obama Administration and the mainstream media towards Edward Snowden and his recent asylum approved by Russia.
The White House, rather than admitting wrongdoing in its support for the NSA’s mass surveillance of American citizens without warrant, or even attempting to deny the existence of the PRISM program, is now instead trying to promote NSA spying as essential to our well being while wagging a finger of shame at Snowden and the Russian government for damaging their domestic spy network. Obama has lamented on Russia’s stance, stating that their thinking is “backwards.”
Did I miss something here? I’m no fan of the Russian oligarchy, but shouldn’t Obama and most of the NSA (let alone every other Federal alphabet agency) be sitting in a dark hole somewhere awaiting trial for violating the Constitution on almost every level? Yet, we are instead supposed to despise Snowden for exposing the crime they committed and distrust any country that happens to give him shelter?
Due to public outcry, Obama has attempted to pacify critics by announcing plans to make NSA mass surveillance “more transparent”. First, I would like to point out that he did NOT offer to end NSA spying on Americans without warrant, which is what a President with any ounce of integrity would have done. Second, Obama’s calls for more transparency have come at the exact same time as the NSA announces its plans to remove 90 percent of its systems administrators to make sure another “Snowden incident” does not occur.
Finally, when the public called for an investigation into the NSA and the Director of National Intelligence in the handling of the Snowden affair and the PRISM program, the White House appointed none other than James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, as part of the team that would “investigate” any wrongdoing. The Obama Administration insists that Clapper, a documented liar who told Congress that the NSA was not involved in mass domestic spying, was not going to “head” the panel of investigators, even though a White House memo specifically named Clapper as the man who would form the so-called “independent group”. The White House still admits that Clapper will be involved in the process.
So, just to reiterate, the people who perpetrated the criminal act of warrant-less surveillance on hundreds of millions of Americans, and who were caught red-handed lying about it, are now appointed to investigate their own crime.
Does this sound like a government that plans on becoming “more transparent”?
Ask yourself, would Obama have called for ANY transparency over the NSA whatsoever if Snowden had never come forward? Of course not! The exposure of the crime has led to lies and empty placation, nothing more.
In the meantime, numerous other political miscreants have hit the media trail, campaigning for the NSA as well as other surveillance methods, bellowing to the rafters over the absolute necessity of domestic spy programs. Fifteen years ago, the government would have tried to sweep all of this under the rug. Today, they want to acclimate us to the inevitability of the crime, stating that we had better get used to it.
Their position? That Snowden’s whistleblowing put America at risk. My questions is, how? How did Snowden’s exposure of an unConstitutional and at bottom illegal surveillance program used against hundreds of millions of innocent Americans do our country harm? Is it the position of the White House that the truth is dangerous, and deceit is safety?
I suspect this is the case considering the recent treatment of military whistleblower Bradley Manning, who has been accused by some to have “aided Al Qaeda’s recruiting efforts” through his actions. How did Manning do this? By releasing information, including battlefield videos, that were hidden from the public containing proof of U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Perhaps I’m just a traditionalist and not hip to modern diplomatic strategy, but I would think that if you don’t want to be blamed for war crimes, then you probably shouldn’t commit war crimes. And, if you don’t want the enemy to gain new recruits, you should probably avoid killing innocent civilians and pissing off their families (there is also ample evidence suggesting that the CIA has done FAR more deliberate recruiting for Al Qaeda than Bradley Manning could have ever accomplished on accident). Just a thought.
So, to keep track – U.S. government funds and trains Al Qaeda, but is the good guy. U.S. government commits war crimes, but is the good guy. U.S. government hides the truth from the American people, but is the good guy. Bradley Manning exposes war crimes, and is the bad guy. Moral relativism at its finest. Moving on…
The shift towards moral bankruptcy is being implemented in the financial world as well. Investors, hedge funds, and major banks now surge into the stock market every time the private Federal Reserve hints that it may continue fiat stimulus. When bad news hits the mainstream feeds, people playing the Dow casino actually cheer with glee exactly because bad economic news means more QE from the Fed. They know that the Fed is artificially propping up the markets. The Fed openly admits that it does this. And, they know that our fiscal system is hanging by a thin thread. And you know what, very few of them care.
The Fed created the collapse with easy money and manipulated interest rates, and now, some people cheer them as the heroes of the U.S. financial structure.
The American narrative is quickly changing. There has long been criminality and degeneracy within our government (Democrat and Republican) and the corporate cartels surrounding it, but I believe what we are witnessing today is the final step in the metamorphosis that is totalitarianism. The last stage accelerates when the average citizen is not just complicit in the deeds of devils, but when he becomes a devil himself. When Americans froth and stomp in excitement for the carnival of death, and treat the truth as poison, then the transformation will be complete.
Source: Brandon Smith | Alt-Market
They’re strip-mining Greece for profit. It’s the epicenter of global pillage. Ordinary people have no say. They’re victims of force-fed harshness.
The more Athens borrows, the greater its debt burden, the harder it is to get out from under. Greece is dying. It’s practically a corpse already. Only its obituary remains to be written.
Official unemployment tops 27%. It’s likely higher. Youth unemployment approaches 65%. An entire generation’s lost. It’s being systematically destroyed. It’s dying on the alter of pay bankers first. Whatever they want they get.
Greece’s New Democracy/PASOK coalition plans thousands more layoffs by yearend. On July 17, it enacted its seventh austerity package since 2010.
It calls for firing 15,000 state workers. About 25,000 will be gone by yearend. Up to 150,000 will be sacked by yearend 2014.
Troika scoundrels demand their pound of flesh. They insist in return for emergency loans. They reflect loan shark economics writ large.
Greek economist Yanis Varoufakis calls “Bankruptocracy in the Greek Sector of Bailoutistan” destructive. It’s “progressing in leaps and bounds.”
It’s doing so with “European taxpayers loan guarantees providing the capital and a bonfire of the Greek people’s hopes for the future supplying the energy.”
Greece is a black hole of inequity. It’s burning. It’s a model of self-destruction. It’s birthrate’s in decline. Stillbirths rose 20% since 2008.
Greece spends much less on education than other OECD countries on average (8.3% compared to 13.1%). It doesn’t matter. In mid-July, parliament approved thousands more teacher layoffs. They promise recovery ahead. Things do from bad to worse.
Around 40% of households lack healthcare. A late March Lancet study said Europe’s financial crisis poses major threats to health.
Greece is hardest hit of all. So are Spain, Portugal and Italy. Suicides and infectious disease outbreaks “are becoming more common in these countries, and budget cuts have restricted access to health care.”
Public health’s in crisis. Policy makers are largely silent. They’re dismissive. They’re indifferent to human need. John Pilger calls willfully destroying social justice the “Age of Regression.” Police state harshness enforces it.
It’s vicious. It’s the new normal. It reflects nations gone mad. Potemkin societies replace real ones. Black hole harshness reflects them. Greece is prologue for what’s deepening.
It’s spreading across Europe. It’s hammering Americans. It affects Canadians. It’s coming to a community near you. Imagine unaffordable basic services. Imagine unavailable healthcare when ill.
On April 20, the TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) IP Policy Committee addressed Greece’s healthcare crisis. It did so by open letter to coalition officials, saying:
“This letter is an attempt by Greek scholars and physicians from diverse academic areas of specialization to raise our concerns regarding the current, dire, state of Health Care services in Greece.”
“Our country has fallen into a dismal state, and it is constantly challenged by extrinsic and intrinsic pressures, while the economic and social climate deteriorates further each day.”
“The Greek government, in total obedience to the irrational demands of the Troika, focuses on the obligations of the citizens towards the state, and seems to forget or ignore its own obligations towards its citizens.”
“The Government has imposed a brutal and self-defeating fiscal austerity; in a confiscatory manner, it tries to collect extra revenue from an already impoverished and afflicted populace, while it neglects its main role, as specified by the Constitution: The Protection of the Rights and the Welfare of the Citizen Body.”
Greece’s black hole deepens. Coalition partners shrank GDP by 25%. Doing so’s a shocking indictment of corrupt mismanagement.
Public health’s in disarray. It’s “collapsing on all fronts.” The health of an entire population is “seriously undermine(d).”
Mortality and morbidity are increasing. Troika subservience demands vital service cuts. Medical staff numbers are reduced.
Essential equipment deteriorates. Everything’s in short supply. “Patients now have to pay for consumables, for medical tests, and for surgeries.”
“This is all on top of what they already paid through their insurance funds.”
“Those who suffer from chronic diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, are forced to pay a 25% deductible for the cost of their medication, while prior to the crisis this deductible stood at 5%.”
“Cancer and kidney failure patients suffer not only due to the increased costs of specialized treatments, but also the general rundown of these facilities, loss of key personnel and dramatic shortages in medications.”
“Unable to receive treatment at home anymore, they have to travel far away for dear life, and wait in endless queues in the corridors of bureaucratic health-insurance offices and/or hospital clinics.”
Mental health services are greatly diminished. “Psychiatric hospitals in Greece can no longer perform at the level required to provide even basic treatment to patients diagnosed with serious mental illnesses.”
“Standard (surgery) rates” force patients to pay about 20% in advance for materials and services.
Doing so “makes both emergency and elective surgeries virtually unapproachable for a broad segment of the population.”
Millions of unemployed and underemployed Greeks have inadequate resources for expensive treatment. Many can’t afford rent, utilities, enough nourishing food, other basics, and other living expenses easily affordable years earlier.
Greece’s poor, unemployed and retired “have no choice but to forego basic, life-saving drugs and healthcare monitoring.”
They do it to afford minimal sustenance. Thousand of medical and other professionals emigrated. Prior to crisis conditions, Greece’s National Health System (ESY) provided exceptional services.
It now lacks basic resources. It has too few trained professionals. It’s “besieged at every level.” It’s “plundered with your consent.”
It’s dying a slow death. So is Greece. It’s beholden to foreign bankers. It’s “not a government of Greeks for Greeks.”
“The disastrous policies that undermine even the basic health of the Greek population must come to an end.”
Greece represents the worst of neoliberal harshness. Social services across the board are disintegrating. They’re in disarray. They’re disappearing in plain sight.
In 2013, martial law was imposed three times. Coalition gangsters wage war on their own people.
Central Athens demonstrations are banned. Police state harshness targets nonbelievers. Courageous people initiate change, said Pilger.
There’s no other way. They’re responsible for “taking back their own lives against (long) odds.” Civil disobedience is a noble tradition. Pilger says read Percy Shelley. “Ye are many; they are few.”
Victor Hugo said nothing’s stronger than “an idea whose time has come.” Seize it. “(D)o it,” said Pilger. The alternative is deepening dystopian harshness.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
A Growing Precariat Class…
I knew a man whose wife divorced him and who never remarried. He liked women and for the remainder of his life he had affairs with several. His exuberant intentions were good but he was blind to the preferences of the people he intended to help (usually women friends) and they often resisted his plans. He went through life intending to do good deeds that were often barely tolerated.
Public television recently ran a documentary on the Rockefeller family. My friend and the Rockefeller family had a common goal of bettering the lives of others whether they like it or not. David Rockefeller promotes the new world order because he sincerely believes world government benefits mankind. He and other like minded individuals seem to have the power to move their goal forward but they are meeting heavy resistance from multitudes who cherish freedom, hate tyranny and prefer to make their own choices.
Competition is a fitting impetus to a healthy business environment. But competition produces winners and losers. Unfortunately, all men are not created equal. (Jefferson’s claim in the Declaration of Independence notwithstanding). Some men have superior abilities, allowing them an advantage over their fellows. Men who win in the money war become wealthy while losers become relatively poor. The libertarian nature of the early American business culture provided a realistic example of the outcome of free Capitalism. Several families accumulated massive fortunes and were able to shelter their wealth allowing an extended influence on the culture.
John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937). was raised in poverty by a Christian mother. His father was often absent. The family lived in Ohio during the birth of the oil industry. He was an astute competitor who successfully used the freedom of Capitalist system to gain control of a majority of the industry. In spite of government intervention he preserved the family fortune allowing his descendents to wield the power of great wealth through successive generations.
J. P. (John Pierpont) Morgan (1837-1913) was a key recipient of the bounty of Capitalism. A Connecticut banker Morgan gained control over much of the country’s manufacturing base. He formed U. S. Steel Corporation and on at least two occasions (one with Rothschild help) bailed out the U. S. government.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) came to the United States from Scotland in his early teens. He was an astute businessman who enjoyed success in several different enterprises. Ultimately he became extremely wealthy by creating the world’s largest steel mill. The mill was finally sold to J. P. Morgan and became a major part of U. S. Steel Corporation.
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) was an uneducated farm boy of Dutch and English extraction, his thrifty ways allowed him to prosper by moving goods by steamship around New York City. As the railroads took over the freight moving business he used his profits to invest in the railroads. Though uncouth in manner he was astute in business.
Henry Ford (1863-1947) made his fortune in a later era. He reduced manufacturing costs and made products available to the general population by using an assembly line to mass produce automobiles. Mass production was the crown of the industrial revolution making its benefits available to everyone.
Bill Gates (1955 - ) a contemporary “robber baron” started and nurtured software giant Microsoft into the world’s pre-eminent producer of computer software. He was criticized for his business practices and called before congress but he warded off the government wolves and saved his company. He and his wife Melinda are now busy managing their Foundation. .
Hundreds of fortunes have been made in the United States. These six are well known. All had the advantage of living in times when the conduct of their businesses was largely unencumbered and they could garner great riches from a wealthy nation. They were criticized for cutting prices and buying up competition but both of these practices are legal in a free Capitalist system; they did it better than their competitors.
Corporations and Foundations are stores of wealth and power. They are artificial entities that function as individuals. They can and often do grow into quasi-monopolies that can be controlled with a small percentage of the outstanding stock. Real Estate appreciation and the steep rise in value of hard assets produces riches but the primary source of great wealth is the huge increase in value of the stock of a successful company. Foundations are usually spawned with shares of stock. They depend upon profits from stocks for their income. Stocks are a store of wealth.
Bill Gates became one of the wealthiest men in the world through ownership of stock in Microsoft Corporation, a company he nurtured to greatness. Using that stock he and his wife Melinda have formed the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest in United States and second largest in the world.
The stock market uncouples the cost of a stock from its real value as an ownership unit and allows speculation to determine value. In a bull market a popular stock, as a fractional unit of owner ship, might have a real value of $10.00 but sell on the market for $100.00. Owners of successful business enterprises who retain or purchase large blocks of stock can enjoy a massive increase in wealth that has no relation to value or effort.
We see this principle play out in the price of gasoline. The real cost of oil at the well head might be $10.00 a bbl. but on the commodities market it sells for $100.00. Consumers pay the inflated market price and the well owners enjoy a massive increase in income.
Before the revolution English Corporations had exploited the colonies and in its early years the United States government was wary of corporate power. . For decades, until the Civil War, corporations were strictly regulated.
The Internet page Reclaiming Democracy provides this information:
- Corporate charters (licenses to exist) were granted for a limited time and could be revoked promptly for violating laws.
- Corporations could engage only in activities necessary to fulfill their chartered purpose.
- Corporations could not own stock in other corporations nor own any property that was not essential to fulfilling their chartered purpose.
- Corporations were often terminated if they exceeded their authority or caused public harm.
- Owners and managers were responsible for criminal acts committed on the job.
- Corporations could not make any political or charitable contributions nor spend money to influence law-making.
The Civil War brought an end to restrictions on corporate power. Corporate agents infested both state and federal governments; they bribed officials, enjoyed huge profits, gained limited liability, more autonomy, and extended charters. The corporate demon was loosed!
Most Americans know of Foundations but few know much about them. Foundations are tax-free instruments that allow the winners of the money war to protect their wealth from taxation and exert some control over how it is used According to “The Non-Profit Times” private foundations have at least four characteristics:
- It is a charitable organization and thus subject to the rules applicable to charities generally;
- Its financial support came from one source, usually an individual, family, or company;
- Its annual expenditures are funded out of earnings from investment assets, rather than from an ongoing flow of contributions; and,
- It makes grants to other organizations for charitable purposes, rather than to its own programs
Foundations have few restrictions. They are not dogged by the media or overseen by congress. Wealthy donors are seldom confronted by elected officials who might at some point seek their donations.
Billions of dollars are sheltered by Foundations and the income earned is frequently used to support an elite agenda. The world is often impacted and sometimes altered by the organizations these Foundations support but people are usually unaware of the source of the change. Foundations are big supporters of world government; they supported the Feminist Movement and donate heavily to woman’s rights, the homosexual agenda enjoys large grants, as does Planned Parenthood, there are also big efforts to influence other nations. The Global Fund for women is a relatively new foundation but their U. S. giving provides a glimpse of the humanist agenda supported by the Foundation culture.
Writing in “Intelligence and National Security” (Vol. 18, No. 2, 2003) Valerie Aubourg contends that the Bilderberg meetings were organized by European Elites with help from American sources as well as the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation and the CIA.
The Foundation Center lists some past foundation grants, “dissidents and intellectuals in Eastern Europe in the 1970s and 1980s, funded legal challenges to apartheid in South Africa starting in the 1970s, and helped human rights groups in Latin America in the 1970s and 80s. Foundations supported work on AIDS at home and abroad when those with the disease were stigmatized; they pushed for public policies to address climate change when the U.S. federal government denied there was a problem of global warming; and they established a dialogue with Iran when the U.S. and Iranian governments were not talking directly to each other. Building on the early vision and practice of Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford, today’s foundation leaders see these problems in global, not just American terms; seek to address them on a worldwide scale; and directed considerable resources around the world to that end.”
In the Washington Post, Michael McFaul, a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute, describes Foundation interventions: “Did Americans meddle in the internal affairs of Ukraine? Yes. The American agents of influence would prefer different language to describe their activities — democratic assistance, democracy promotion, civil society support, etc. — but their work, however labeled, seeks to influence political change in Ukraine. The U.S. Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy and a few other foundations sponsored certain U.S. organizations, including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, the Solidarity Center, the Eurasia Foundation, Internews and several others to provide small grants and technical assistance to Ukrainian civil society. The European Union, individual European countries and the Soros-funded International Renaissance Foundation did the same.”
Large amounts of U. S. Foundation money go to organizations located in Switzerland and England. Open the link, (wait for it to load) click on Switzerland and England and note the number of grants to International organizations. While American citizens sign petitions and hold rallies, powerful U. S. Foundations often finance the programs concerned citizens groups are trying to prevent.
The Rockefeller Foundation is one of three funds supported by the Rockefeller family. The other two are The Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Rockefeller Family Fund. The Rockefellers are famous for supporting studies on Eugenics. here and here They are also big supporters of Globalism and according to Andrew Gavin Marshall one of the most powerful families in the world. He describes the breadth of Rockefeller influence: “Initially through the Standard Oil empire, which was broken up into corporations we now know as ExxonMobil, Chevron and others, Rockefeller influence was prominent in universities (notably the University of Chicago and Harvard), in finance, with Chase Manhattan Bank (now JPMorgan Chase), in the creation and maintenance of major foundations (Rockefeller Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller Family Fund) and in the establishment and leadership of major think tanks (Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderberg), all of which created access to political and social power that shaped institutions, ideologies and individuals on a vast scale.”
The Financial Times reported in May of 2012,”Two of the best-known business dynasties in Europe and the US will come together after Lord Jacob Rothschild’s listed investment trust and Rockefeller Financial Services agreed to form a strategic partnership, with the Rothschild-owned RIT Capital Partners purchasing a 37% stake in the Rockefeller family’s ‘wealth advisory and asset management group.’This ‘transatlantic union’, noted the Financial Times, ‘brings together David Rockefeller, 96, and Lord Rothschild, 76 – two family patriarchs whose personal relationship spans five decades.’”
I could not find a Foundation for the descendents of J. P. Morgan but Jamie Dimon, CEO of J. P. Morgan Chase, the world’s largest bank ($13 trillion assets), describes their current philosophy this way, “Diversity is a cornerstone of our global corporate culture, and we continue to build upon it by: Linking management rewards to progress in achieving diversity; identifying top talent and building development plans accordingly; seeking a diverse slate of candidates for all key job openings; building a pipeline for diverse talent by working closely with universities and key industry groups; actively involving our people – through employee networking groups, annual forums, open discussions with senior leaders, seeking input on multicultural marketing efforts, and partnering on community activities; and, offering a comprehensive set of policies, programs and benefits to meet the changing needs of a wide spectrum of individuals”
The Carnegie Foundation lists many of its recipients in this database: Most of the big Foundations support world peace and feminism. Many make donations to the Council on Foreign Relations and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. The boards of directors of the large foundations and the major international corporations are made up of individuals who know each other, have a common agenda and often serve together on more than one board.
I did not find a contemporary Foundation for the Vanderbilt Family. The Vanderbilt fortune suffered losses during the Twentieth Century but the family is still prominent; Gloria Vanderbilt and her son, Anderson Cooper, are well known descendents.
The Ford Foundation has an interesting history. John J. McCloy became president of the Ford Foundation in 1954. McCloy, a consummate insider, used the foundation as a cover for CIA agents making it almost a subsidiary of the U. S. Government. Henry Ford exposed the Talmudist Jewish conspiracy and when the Foundation gave some support to the Palestinians it was excoriated as an anti-Semitic organization. It repented and ceased supporting Paletinian causes. The Ford Foundation provides serious support for National Public Radio and like many others it helps finance the Council on Foreign Relations. Both the Rockefeller Family Fund and the Ford Foundation support the Third Wave Foundation, a fast growing, fifteen year old organization that “supports young people creating new models of leadership that strengthen community efforts to resist oppression and ensure justice, that are led by and for young women, transgender, and gender non-conforming youth and queer youth of color.”
Please take time to click on the Foundation links and look over the recipients of grants. A short study will help you understand the nature of the organizations they support. Foundations hold billions of dollars in assets. The common interests of those that control these assets allow them to support programs outside and sometimes against the governments of the nations of the world. Not only can they go around governments but they can and often do control them. They are a powerful force for the privileged one percent.
The addiction to wealth often culminates in a quest for power. This hunger to control has become more evident in the Twenty-First Century as the world’s neo-Feudal Lords have begun to exert their power for world dominance in the public realm. They have succeeded in gaining control of the world’s most powerful nation and are using it to insert their tentacles into all corners of the Globe. The theft of knowledge has succeeded through control of public education and the theft of wealth is well underway. Failure to curtail the centralization of power has exposed the world to the domination of an amoral, cruel and Godless oligarchy that is well on the way to enslaving mankind.
World corporations have become fewer and fewer and bigger and bigger. International corporations benefit from globalization by acquiring multiple new marketing opportunities. Wealthy corporations and foundations exert influence on the governments of the nations of the world. Their leaders are members of the secret elite groups that meet and determine policy. So far David Rockefeller’s dreams are progressing at a formidable rate.
It is not unusual for Christians to ignore significant scriptures. The Law of the Sabbath Year has been significantly neglected for centuries. It is doubtful that even ancient Israel practiced it properly. The Bible describes the year of Jubilee like this: “You shall thus consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim a release through the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family.” Land is to be returned to its original owners, debts are to be forgiven, and slaves are to be freed!
God created the world in six days and on the seventh day He rested. Sunday, the Sabbath, is a day of rest. God also applies this principle to years. We are to plant and harvest for six consecutive years and on the seventh year the land is to lay fallow. Jubilee is to be celebrated in the year following seven Sabbaths of years – the fiftieth year.
There are several important principles contained in the 25th Chapter of Leviticus: God makes a distinction between the people He has chosen and others. He supports competition but does not want permanent, burgeoning inequities of wealth among His people. Benevolent slavery is condoned but His people are to be freed at jubilee. Foreigners do not enjoy the provisions of jubilee. They can be used as slaves until their debts are paid. Usury is forbidden among God’s people but not among foreigners.
Erroneous interpretations of scripture often nullify important principles. Arminianism and modern methods of evangelism urge people to choose God destroying the Biblical doctrine of selection. God’s chosen people are granted legal benefits that are lost in the doctrine of universal atonement. The Bible teaches that Christians are a chosen people who have special legal rights that are not afforded to others.
Jubilee is God’s remedy for the inordinate accumulation of wealth and power. It is a resource to correct the inequities that develop in a competitive society without depending on the arbitrary, emotion driven policies of frivolous politicians.
Today, in the United States the disparity between the wealthy and the remainder of our population is greater than ever before. One percent of our population own 40 percent of the nation’s wealth. Turn on your speakers, watch and listen to this video. The Middle Class is being destroyed and a permanent underclass is growing. In the 1970s the upper 1 percent received 8 percent of the nation’s income, in 2010 that figure had risen to 21 percent. The 400 wealthiest Americans own more than the bottom 150 million. According to Andrew Gavin Marshall almost all of the wealth gains over the previous decade went to the top 1%. In the mid-1970s, the top 1% earned 8% of all national income; this number rose to 21% by 2010.
We have ignored the Word of God and are in the process of suffering the consequences. God provided The Law of Jubilee to protect His people from human tyranny. There is a righteous way of rectifying the imbalance of wealth that results from a competitive economy. God’s Law always trumps the imagination of His creatures.
Christians are often described as followers of Jesus. This definition is inadequate because Jesus is a servant to His Father. He sits on the right hand of His father and judges the world. Those who truly follow Jesus follow the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This concept brings the entire Bible into focus and sets up legal standards for Christian behavior.
“To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – - Voltaire (1694-1778)
Having recently celebrated their nation’s independence on July 4th, Americans were invited to recall the spirit of protest, rebellion, and revolution that marks the popular myth of the birth of the United States of America.
The Declaration of Independence still stands as an important example of how the tolerance of any man can be exceeded by the actions of an over-bearing and intrusive government. Yet, 237 years after the signing of this document, one has to wonder what has happened to the spirit of fearlessness and rugged self-determination that set the American experiment in motion.
As a form of redress of grievances by a people to it’s leadership, protest is as much of a historical part of democracy as voting is. A near-last resort when the populous is bereft of political power, publicly voicing dissent in an organized, peaceful, and constructive manner is a critical and vital sign of life for a society that wishes to be free. Yet, when a ruling elite and political class become too intrusive, parasitic or too dangerous to the population, protest is often a precursor to violence, therefore the outcome of rebellion and protest is never certain and often disastrous. However, the fate of a people without the will to resist the suffrages of an encroaching tyranny is just as foreboding.
While giving credit to the Occupy movement, those who engage in protest at global summits and party conventions, growing national actions like the Tar Sands Blockade and Idle No More, and growing localized activist movements, the nation has no formidable popular mass-movement for dissent. Apparently the American people have little interest in expressing dissatisfaction with the quality of leadership we have in America today.
Why are the American people so permissive of government abuse, intrusion, waste, corruption, cruelty, and stupidity?
Here are 5 reasons reasons why more Americans don’t protest.
1. Protest is Unwelcome in the Matrix
The matrix cannot function properly when people are in the streets speaking truth to power, therefore, protest is an unwanted inconvenience for the economy, the media and the government.
For this, the government is engaged in squashing domestic protest and the media makes every effort to marginalize and ignore popular dissent. Increasingly, protest and civil disobedience are also being viewed as security threats to be met with near-military force. ‘First amendment zones,’ event permits, and laws that equate protest with terrorism all assist in dissuading Americans from participating, while tricks like agent provocateurs, police intimidation, arrest and assault are used to shut protest events down.
The modern American protestor faces regulations, intimidation and physical threats from military crowd control technologies like flash-bang grenades, the LRAD acoustic weapon, pepper sprays, surveillance of all modern types, and even the prospect of microwave pain ray technologies.
All of this already makes protest and dissent seem rather unpalatable to the average American, but, the media further demonizes protest by highlighting and focusing in on any violence that may occur, while downplaying the peaceful moments where intelligent people come together to articulate valid grievances with an out of control system.
The media tarnishes the image of any protest movement to take advantage of the fact that most people are natural followers, not natural leaders, and that most people are watching the protest in relative isolation at home, separated from friends and neighbors. Creating the perception that protests are dangerous events involving un-American, un-patriotic and irresponsible people who are likely to get hurt, helps to prevent popular support on any single issue from reaching critical mass by convincing the average person that it is too complicated and too risky to get involved.
2. Conflict Consciousness – Divided We Fall
Are you a liberal or conservative? Democrat or Republican? Are you on this team, or that team?
It doesn’t matter at all really, but, we’ve been brainwashed into dividing ourselves into an inescapable prison of bi-polarized pigeon-holes.
We blame our neighbors, friends and families for the mismanagement in the world. We blame those different than us, those in different countries, those with different color skin. We trust in authority, those with matching uniform shirts and batman belts, while we distrust and fight amongst each other. We have become culturally programmed to argue, compete, fight, and win for no real purpose. Winning, and being on the winning team has become more valuable than learning, gaining wisdom or uniting.
In this climate, with a social atmosphere so rigidly divided and so pointlessly competitive, any energy for consensus and widespread concerted action is sapped in inter-personal and tribal-like conflict. We are missing great opportunities for compromise, reciprocity, healing and growth. The consciousness of conflict ensures our self-destruction.
3. Higher Priorities… Work and Play
The American Dream of personal freedom and the opportunity for prosperity as a reward for hard work has been transformed in recent decades, influenced by an ongoing sales pitch about what life should be like for the average person. Convenience, ease, comfort, entertainment, excess, escape, work, money, debt. These are the values most available today.
Americans are working harder than ever, if they’re working at all. The economy is in terrible shape and in decline, and the American lifestyle has become so heavily invested in consumerism and debt that the average person is too dependent on continuity of income to risk even a single paycheck. Protesting is at the bottom of the list of things to do on vacation day.
Outside of work, life for most people has become a screen. Television, movies, the internet, work, handheld devices, iPads, Kindle, whatever. A new version of reality has emerged in the delivery of media and the sophistication of entertainment. Our priorities have evolved to put entertainment and escapism at the top of the list, and increasingly less value on honest government, human rights and justice.
Life is also still very good in America for most in the middle class. Food is easy to come by, credit still widely available. Charity, welfare and government assistance in some form are available to most if sought.Drone strikes and IED‘s are not yet to be seen in the homeland.
Commitment to protest and social change requires personal sacrifice. In our social atmosphere of extreme busyness and dumbed-down priorities, participation in social causes is now too risky, too inconvenient, and insufficiently fun. Our natural and historical energies for rebellion and protest are effectively expired in the office, at the bar, or at the movies, or projected onto a character on a screen.
Life has become a hamster wheel of superfluous labor and deliberate distraction.
4. Mindset of Fear, Apathy, and Resignation
Mindset is everything in our quantum-world, and our emotional under current governs how we relate to and participate in the world. Regarding politics, participatory democracy, and protest, the typical American mindset generally falls into one of three categories:
Fear - We are heavily propagandized to approach life from fear-centered consciousness. Life is to be viewed as a threat. America has already become a police state, and is heavily invested in the combination of fear and security. To the average person, the prospect of facing militarized police and possibly being beaten, gassed, dispersed, arrested and perhaps even criminally charged for voicing dissent is certainly an adequate deterrent.
Brutal, violent oppression of dissent works famously well to stop a protest, and for this, people logically fear getting involved.
Apathy - Apathy is another symptom of our cultural decline, and a mindset that keeps most people from participating in civics or protest. Apathy is a nearly-conscious choice to remain ignorant and distracted about something while pursuing the path of least resistance. Apathy seems to be the number one byproduct of our culture of convenience. People don’t care about the quality of our world enough to become involved.
Resignation - Many Americans understand all too well what is happening to constitutional and lawful government and realize that until a much more massive awakening occurs and far more people take interest, there is little to be gained from protesting. This resignation has led many to focus instead on preparing for the worst, including for scenarios like economic collapse and social unrest. Storing food and developing emergency plans is now seen by many as a more productive use of energy than attempting to influence acorrupt political system by participating in politics or protest.
While there are signs that Americans may be slowly waking from the dream-like state that is preventing any unified form of mass protest, it appears that for now, the formerly American qualities of courage, independence and self-determination have been replaced with fear, apathy, and resignation.
5. People Approve of the Status Quo
Americans, by and large, are still happy to enjoy the lifestyle that the status quo delivers, even if it means further forfeitures of privacy and essential human rights. Additionally, the lack of public opposition in mass is also a de facto approval of the political and economic status quo.
‘It is better to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission,’ goes the saying, and by not objecting to any scandal or violation, no matter how offensive, the majority of America consents to being governed by this domineering logic.
Whether actively or passively, the majority of America supports any and all actions by our government and the corporate status quo.
America is a wonderful place with a vast and breath-taking landscape and a rich culture of ingenuity and creativity. Americans are interesting and generous people. It is difficult to grasp the contradiction between the beautiful and comfortable aspects of American life and the troublesome developments emerging from our leadership. It not easy to understand the gap between the values extolled in still celebrated Declaration of Independence and the lack of public will to hold the government accountable to even the simple Bill of Rights.
Why don’t more Americans protest things like government spying, endless wars, the fraudulent banking system, the growing police state, the destruction of the environment, genetically modified foods, the assault on natural health, or even torture?
While the above 5 reasons are merely one person’s observations and generalizations about American culture, the patterns that emerge here are useful in helping to recognize opportunities for our own personal and collective evolution.
Source: Waking Times