MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

Ex CBS Investigative Journalist Explains How Mainstream Media Brainwashes The Masses – Collective Evolution

Posted by M. C. on November 29, 2019

https://www.collective-evolution.com/2019/11/25/ex-cbs-investigative-journalist-explains-how-mainstream-media-brainwashes-the-masses/

In Brief

  • The Facts:Award winning investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson shows how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort mainstream media messages.
  • Reflect On:The printing press and mainstream media in general is quite young. We are living in an interesting time where the majority of people are starting to see through many lies, and it has paradigm shifting implications.

Ever since Operation Mockingbird, a CIA program to infiltrate mainstream media and spread disinformation and propaganda for the purposes of controlling the perception of the masses on several different topics, people have been waking up. That was decades ago, and today, it’s easy to see how mainstream media has been completely compromised by governments, intelligence agencies and corporations. We know this from several documents and several whistleblowers, as well as multiple mainstream media journalists. For example, a declassified document from the CIA archives in the form of a letter from a CIA task force addressed to the Director of the CIA details the close relationship that exists between the CIA and mainstream media and academia. The document states that the CIA task force “now has relationships with reporters from every major wire service, newspaper, news weekly, and television network in the nation,” and that “this has helped us turn some ‘intelligence failure’ stories into ‘intelligence success” stories,’ and has contributed to the accuracy of countless others.”

This is often why in the west, when it comes to the topic of war and terrorism, for example, we see a completely different narrative that goes against the narrative of multiple independent media outlets. Mainstream media has been used to justify the infiltration of other countries, like Syria, with ‘fake news.’ There are even whistleblowers from mainstream media in that realm as well, for example, Riam Dalati, a well known BBC Syria correspondent is one of many who created awareness about the fact that the supposed gas attacks in Douma were “staged.” You can read more about that here

Dr. Udo Ulfkotte, who was a top German journalist and editor and has been for more than two decades, went on the record stating that he was forced to publish the works of intelligence agents under his own name, also mentioning that noncompliance would result in him losing his job. (source)

Again, there multiple examples, as well as several examples of fake footage.

In the below eyeopening talk, veteran investigative journalist (and Former CBS NEWS investigative reporter) Sharyl Attkisson shows how “astroturf,” or fake grassroots movements, funded by political, corporate, or other special interests very effectively manipulate and distort media messages.

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The Takeaway

Edward Bernays, known as the father of public relations, sums it up best:

 

he conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. (Propaganda)

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Index of /2/2m0cku/my own and funny pics

 

 

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Epstein cover-up is final nail in the coffin for any last shred of credibility in mainstream media – NaturalNews.com

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2019

Thank you Project Veritas

https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-11-12-epstein-cover-final-nail-in-the-coffin-credibility-mainstream-media.html

Epstein cover-up is final nail in the coffin for any last shred of credibility in mainstream media

Image: Epstein cover-up is final nail in the coffin for any last shred of credibility in mainstream media

(Natural News) With ABC News’ Amy Robach now admitting on camera that her fake news network buried the Jeffrey Epstein story to protect the Clintons, we are witnessing the final nail in the coffin for any last shred of credibility in mainstream media.

The media long ago abandoned any remaining pillar of journalism in their effort to accomplish two things:

1) Protect the Clintons at all costs.

2) Destroy Trump and his supporters at all costs.

Those two things have driven the media’s entire narrative for at least the last five years (and probably longer).

Now, thanks to a real whistleblower inside ABC News who handed off video to Project Veritas, the whole world can see that ABC News — just like NBC, NYT, WashPost, CNN, MSNBC, etc. — is nothing but an extension of the dishonest, deeply corrupt Democrat party and its war on truth.

It’s not just the news cartels that are waging war on truth, either: It’s also the tech giants. With their malicious, politically-motivated censorship and de-platforming efforts well under way, the tech giants are working to silence all pro-Trump voices while magnifying the bizarre conspiracy theories of Adam Schiff (or the insane anti-science biological subjectivism of the transgender movement).

Watch my new video report below to learn the truth about the fake news networks and the complete abandonment of truth, journalism and ethics across the entire “mainstream” media.

(To subscribe to my channel, click the link below to watch the video on the Brighteon website, then click the SUBSCRIBE button below the video to subscribe.)

https://www.brighteon.com/233e1fda-d98f-4825-86cd-9f93797b8d6c

Watch more videos from my channel at this Brighteon.com link.

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How Surveillance and Propaganda Work in ‘the Free World’ — Strategic Culture

Posted by M. C. on November 13, 2019

The statistics obtained by Caught on Camera and comparitech differ markedly from those in the Bloomberg story which was retailed throughout the Western world by many news outlets, who increasingly refer to the West as “the Free World”. Comparitech records that as at August 2019 Moscow, with a population of 12.4 million, had 146,000 (not 200,000) cameras, while London’s 9 million citizens were being watched by 627,707 cameras.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/11/12/how-surveillance-and-propaganda-work-in-the-free-world/

  Brian Cloughley

A Bloomberg report of October 22 was concise and uncompromising in declaring Russia to be a surveillance state. Harking back to the good old days of the Cold War, as is increasingly the practice in much of the Western media, Bloomberg recounted that “The fourth of 10 basic rules Western spies followed when trying to infiltrate Russia’s capital during the Cold War — don’t look back because you’re never alone — is more apt than ever. Only these days it’s not just foreigners who are being tracked, but all 12.6 million Muscovites, too. Officials in Moscow have spent the last few years methodically assembling one of the most comprehensive video-surveillance operations in the world. The public-private network of as many as 200,000 cameras records 1.5 billion hours of footage a year that can be accessed by 16,000 government employees, intelligence officers and law-enforcement personnel.”

Terrifying, one might think. Straight out of Orwell’s 1984, that dystopian prediction of what the world could become, as noted in one description of how the face of the state’s symbolic leader, Big Brother, “gazes at you silently out of posters and billboards. His imposing presence establishes the sense of an all-seeing eye. The idea that he is always watching from the shadows imposes a kind of social order. You know not to speak out against The Party — because big brother is watching… The face always appears with the phrase Big Brother is watching you. As if you could forget.” Such is the terrifying Bloomberg picture of Moscow where there are supposedly 200,000 video cameras. You can’t blow your nose without it being seen. And wait for the next phase, in which Big Brother will hear you laugh.

In line with the Western approach, there is little mention of surveillance in other cities, but the website ‘Caught on Camera’ has analysed world-wide practices. It reports that there are some 25 million closed-circuit surveillance cameras world-wide and “the United Kingdom [with 4 million cameras] has more CCTV activity than any other European country, per capita… surprisingly, the Wandsworth borough in London in particular has more CCTV cameras than Boston, Dublin, Johannesburg and San Francisco put together. It is estimated there are 500,000 cameras dotted around London. The average person living in London will be recorded on camera 300 times in one day.”

The statistics obtained by Caught on Camera and comparitech differ markedly from those in the Bloomberg story which was retailed throughout the Western world by many news outlets, who increasingly refer to the West as “the Free World”. Comparitech records that as at August 2019 Moscow, with a population of 12.4 million, had 146,000 (not 200,000) cameras, while London’s 9 million citizens were being watched by 627,707 cameras. The picture (if one may use that word) is slightly slanted. To put it another way, London has 68 cameras for each 1,000 people, and the ratios elsewhere are enlightening: Shanghai 113 (China is in treble figures in three cities); Atlanta (Ga) 15; Chicago 13; Baghdad, Sydney and Dubai 12; Moscow and Berlin 11; and St Petersburg, Canberra and Washington DC tie at 5.

The slanting doesn’t stop there, because there are other ways of attacking Russia, spearheaded by such as the Washington Post, which highlighted the Bloomberg surveillance tale. The Post behaves like Big Brother focusing on Winston Smith, the hapless victim/hero of 1984 whose job it is “to rewrite the reports in newspapers of the past to conform with the present reality.” There is an eerie resonance in this, because the Post’s reportage on Russia verges on the obsessively censorious, while it avoids mention of anything remotely positive.

Understandably, the Post relies heavily on such sources as “Meduza, a Latvia-based online news outlet that covers the Kremlin” which reported that the Russian government “passed a law earlier this year that lets Vladimir Putin take all the country’s Internet traffic off the World Wide Web if he decrees that there’s an ‘emergency’.”

The fact that the intelligence services of the West have worked for a long time to devise strategies and tactics to destroy internet services in Russia and many other countries is neither here nor there, but it is important for Western propaganda purposes to condemn Russia for taking measures to counter the manoeuvres of the West’s cyberwar agencies. The Post emphasised that arrangements were made by various Russian ministries and agencies, including the Emergencies Ministry and the Federal Security Service which “is the successor to the KGB, where Putin was once an officer.”

The absurdity of that needlessly-injected personal point is amusing in a way, and serves to highlight the unending reiteration of detail intended to set the western public against Russia. Naturally, there is exclusion of information that could lead to audiences approving of Russia in any way.

The news site Axios states it aims to “deliver the cleanest, smartest, most efficient and trust-worthy experience for readers and advertisers alike” but when it comes to Russia it appears that there could be a bit of selectivity in that delivery. For example, in October the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported approvingly that according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), alcohol consumption in Russia “has dropped by 43% since 2003” and commented that the WHO had “put the decrease down to a series of measures brought in under the sport-loving president, Vladimir Putin, including restrictions on alcohol sales and the promotion of healthy lifestyles.” But Axios didn’t report it quite like that.

The Guardian also noted that “The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, led an anti-alcohol campaign with partial prohibition, which brought down consumption from the mid-1980s until 1990. But after the collapse of the Soviet Union, alcohol consumption exploded, continuing to rise until the start of the 2000s. Under Putin, Russia has introduced measures including a ban on shops selling any alcohol after 11 pm, increases in the minimum retail price of spirits and an advertising blackout.” The result has been “increased life expectancies in Russia, which reached a historic peak in 2018, at 78 years for women and 68 years for men. In the early 1990s, male life expectancy was just 57 years.”

This is an amazing societal development. In no other country has there been a comparable initiative that resulted in such a massive and positive shift in community habits.

The BBC was more coy than the Guardian about allocating approval for the remarkable success of the programme, and confined itself to reporting that the WHO “attributed the decline to a series of alcohol-control measures implemented by the state, and a push towards healthy lifestyles.” There was no reference to President Putin, and indeed the credit went elsewhere, because “alcohol-control measures introduced under former President Dmitry Medvedev included advertising restrictions, increased taxes on alcohol and a ban on alcohol sales between certain hours.”

Axios followed suit, and ‘Radio Free Europe’ didn’t mention Presidents Putin, Medvedev or Gorbachev, retailing simply that the “decline in consumption was due to “alcohol-control measures introduced at the beginning of the 2000s.” There were no reports of the achievement in US mainstream outlets or the UK’s resolutely right-wing anti-Russia media. (The Guardian doesn’t carry a Russian flag; it merely reports without xenophobic bias.)

The WHO Case Study provides an admirably detailed timeline of legislature and other developments concerning Russia’s successful drive against alcohol abuse, recording, for example, that in 2018 there was a “presidential decree on ‘National Purposes and Strategic Development Challenges of the Russian Federation until 2024’… including in the field of public health. The aim is to increase life expectancy to 78 years by 2024 and to 80 years by 2030, as well as the proportion of citizens leading a healthy lifestyle and systematically engaging in physical activities and sports.”

Don’t expect such an initiative to be praised or even mentioned by the Western media. Big Brother prefers to slant the cameras.

 

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CCTV: New guidance for household security cameras - Telegraph

 

 

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Propaganda and Post-Truth, by Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on November 7, 2019

https://www.voltairenet.org/article208229.html

by Thierry Meyssan

For 18 years, we have been debating the strange evolution of the media, which seems to place less and less value on facts. We attribute this phenomenon to their democratization through social networks. It would be because from now on any person can become a journalist, that the quality of information would have collapsed. The right to speak should therefore be reserved for the elites.
What if it’s exactly the opposite? If the censorship we are considering was not the answer to the phenomenon, but its continuity?

Propaganda

In political systems where Power needs the participation of the People, the purpose of propaganda is to get as many people as possible to adhere to a particular ideology and to mobilize them to apply it.

The methods used to convince are the same whether one is acting in good or bad faith. However, in the 20th century, the use of lies and repetition, the elimination of different points of view, and recruitment into mass organizations were first theorized by British MP Charles Masterman, US journalist George Creel and especially German minister Joseph Goebbels with the devastating consequences that we know [1]. This is why, at the end of the two World Wars, the United Nations General Assembly adopted three resolutions condemning the use of deliberate lies in the media to provoke war and enjoining Member States to ensure the free flow of ideas, the only prevention of intoxication [2].

While propaganda techniques have been perfected over the past 75 years and are systematically used in all international conflicts, they are gradually giving way to new techniques of influence in countries at peace: it is no longer a question of making the public adhere to an ideology and act in the service of power, but on the contrary of dissuading it from intervening, paralysing it…

Post-truth

Let us take the example of the recent execution of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We all know that a helicopter squad cannot fly low across northern Syria without being seen by the population or spotted by Russian air defence systems. The narrative that is told to us is clearly impossible. However, far from questioning what we consider propaganda, we are discussing whether the Caliph, cornered by the US Special Forces, blew himself up with two or three children.

At other times, we would have agreed that an essential element of this story being impossible, we cannot take seriously the other elements that are before us, starting with the death of the Caliph. Now we think otherwise. We accept that this factual element has been falsified, a priori for reasons of national security, and we consider the rest of the narrative as authentic. In the long run, we will forget our concern with this or other elements and publish encyclopedias that will tell this beautiful story with its most unlikely elements.

In other words, we instinctively understand that this narrative does not tell facts, but conveys a message. We are therefore not positioning ourselves in the face of the facts, but in the face of the message as we have understood it: as Osama bin Laden, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was executed; Power remains in the United States of America…

Antidote

For the past 18 years, we have been told that by offering everyone the ability to express themselves on a blog or social networks, technological progress has devalued public speech. Anyone can say anything. In the past, only politicians and professional journalists had the opportunity to express themselves. They ensured the quality of their interventions and writings. Today the vulgum pecus, the ignorant crowd, takes bladders for lanterns and spreads fake news.

However, it is exactly the opposite. Leading politicians, starting with President George Bush Jr. and Prime Minister Tony Blair, have assumed inconsistent speeches to inhibit the reactions of the public in general and their constituents in particular. This technique substitutes absurdity for truth as others substituted lies. It has destroyed the functioning of the democratic systems that ordinary people are trying to restore with their means.

CRT televisions display 625-line images. It suffices that one of them be blurred for us to perceive so it alone in the image. On the same principle, it is enough to hear a single different point of view for the lies of omnipresent propaganda to be obvious. That is why propaganda, when it lies, requires relentless censorship. But if the lie introduces an inconsistency into the discourse so that this inconsistency becomes voluntarily obvious, alternative points of view should no longer be censored. On the contrary, we must let them express themselves and highlight them by publicly denouncing some of them as fake news.

The antidote to post-truth is not the verification of facts, this has always been the basis of the work of journalists and historians, it is the restoration of logic. This is why a new form of censorship is needed today. Most Facebook users have been logged out at one time or another. In countless cases, users are unable to understand why they have been censored. They search in vain for which prohibited word would have been detected by a computer, or which uncivil position would have been prohibited by a supervisor. In reality, what they are often accused of and arbitrarily sanctioned for is restoring logic to their reasoning.

 

Translation
Roger Lagassé

 

 

 

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Rothbard and War – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 26, 2019

First and foremost, war deforms us morally.

War corrupts the culture

War distorts reality itself. 

Be decent. Be human. Do not be deceived by the Joe Bidens, the John McCains, the John Boltons, Hillary Clintons and the whole gang of neocons.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/lew-rockwell/rothbard-on-war/

By

This talk was delivered at the Ron Paul Institute’s Conference on Breaking Washington’s Addiction to War.

Murray Rothbard was the creator of the modern libertarian movement and a close friend of both Ron Paul and me. His legacy was a great one, and at the Mises Institute I try every day to live up to his hopes for us.

One issue was the most important to him, of all the many issues that concerned him. This was the issue of war and peace. Because of his support for a peaceful, noninterventionist foreign policy for America, the CIA agent William F. Buckley blacklisted him from National Review and tried, fortunately without success, to silence his voice.

During the 1950’s, Murray worked for the Volker Fund, and in a letter to Ken Templeton in 1959, he complained about the situation:  “I can think of no other magazine which might publish this, though I might fix it up a bit and try one of the leftist-pacifist publications. The thing is that I am getting more and more convinced that the war-peace question is the key to the whole libertarian business, and that we will never get anywhere in this great intellectual counterrevolution (or revolution) unless we can end this . . . cold war-a war for which I believe our tough policy is largely responsible.”

Buckley’s position was that it would be necessary to erect a “totalitarian bureaucracy” within our shores in order to battle communism abroad. The implication was that once the communist menace subsided, this extraordinary effort, domestic and foreign, could likewise diminish.

Since government programs do not have a habit of diminishing but instead seek new justifications when the old ones no longer exist, few of us were surprised when the warfare state, and its right-wing apologists, hummed right along after its initial rationale vanished from history.

As it turns out, by the way, the Soviet threat was grossly exaggerated, as such threats always are. The wickedness of the Soviet regime was never in doubt, but its capabilities and intentions were consistently distorted and overblown.

Despite the dubious foundations on which the hysterical claims behind the alleged “Soviet threat” rested, its existence ossified into one of the unchallengeable orthodoxies of National Review and of the broader conservative movement then being born. When Murray pointed out the silliness of the whole thing, not to mention the counterproductive nature of American military intervention abroad, he quickly became an un-person at National Review, which had published him in its early years.

Well before there was an official “conservative movement,” with its magazines, its crusty orthodoxies, its ineffectual think-tanks (complete with sinecures for ex-politicians) and its craving for respectability, there was a loose, less formal association of writers and intellectuals who opposed Franklin Roosevelt (in both his domestic and foreign policies), a group Murray dubbed the “Old Right.”

There was no party line among these intrepid thinkers because there was nobody to impose one.

Even into the 1950s and the advance of the Cold War, voices of restraint amidst the remnants of the Old Right could still be found. In a 1966 article, Murray points to the right-wing group For America, a political action group whose foreign-policy platform demanded “no conscription” as well as the principle, “Enter no foreign wars unless the safety of the United States is directly threatened.”

Murray likewise pointed to the Jeffersonian novelist Louis Bromfield, who wrote in 1954 that military intervention against the Soviet Union was counterproductive:

One of the great failures of our foreign policy throughout the world arises from the fact that we have permitted ourselves to be identified everywhere with the old, doomed, and rotting colonial-imperialist small European nations which once imposed upon so much of the world the pattern of exploitation and economic and political domination…. None of these rebellious, awakening peoples will…trust us or cooperate in any way so long as we remain identified with the economic colonial system of Europe, which represents, even in its capitalistic pattern, the last remnants of feudalism…. We leave these awakening peoples with no choice but to turn to Russian and communist comfort and promise of Utopia.

Murray likewise made note of a 1953 article by George Morgenstern, editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune, in Human Events (“now become a hack organ for the ‘Conservative Movement,’” Murray lamented in 1966) that deplored the imperialist tradition in American history. Morgenstern ridiculed those who “swoon on very sight of the phrase ‘world leadership,’” and wrote:

An all-pervasive propaganda has established a myth of inevitability in American action: all wars were necessary, all wars were good. The burden of proof rests with those who contend that America is better off, that American security has been enhanced, and that prospects of world peace have been improved by American intervention in four wars in half a century. Intervention began with deceit by McKinley; it ends with deceit by Roosevelt and Truman.

Perhaps we would have a rational foreign policy…if Americans could be brought to realize that the first necessity is the renunciation of the lie as an instrument of foreign policy.

With the advent of National Review, these increasingly isolated voices would be silenced and marginalized. Even the heroic John T. Flynn, whose anti-FDR biography The Roosevelt Myth had reached number two on the New York Times bestseller list, was turned away from National Review when he tried to warn of the dangers of a policy of military interventionism.

Why did Murray oppose war? Here are a few points basic to his thought:…

You will have to see for yourself here…

See through the propaganda. Stop empowering and enriching the state by cheering its wars. Set aside the television talking points. Look at the world anew, without the prejudices of the past, and without favoring your own government’s version of things.

Be decent. Be human. Do not be deceived by the Joe Bidens, the John McCains, the John Boltons, Hillary Clintons and the whole gang of necons. Reject the biggest government program of them all.

Peace builds. War destroys.

Let’s return for a moment to Murray. When he opposed the Vietnam War, he alienated not only National Review, the major right-wing magazine and the most important conservative voice in the country, as well as virtually everyone on the right. He had to write for a small number of newsletter subscribers. By the late 1960s, he told Walter Block there were probably only 25 libertarians in the entire world.

Things are much easier for us today, thanks in large part to Murray’s commitment and Ron Paul’s extraordinary example. There are now millions of people who are resolutely antiwar, and who don’t care which political party the president launching any particular war happens to belong to.

On top of that, it’s encouraging to know that younger people are much less convinced of the need for an interventionist foreign policy. The younger the audience, the less the warmongers’ fact-free exhortations fall on receptive ears.

This in my view is Murray Rothbard’s greatest legacy. It’s up to all of us to help carry it forward.

Be  seeing you

706a7-rothbard2bmurray

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NPR Mocks Cancer Survivor in Drumbeat of Syria Propaganda – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2019

https://original.antiwar.com/rick_sterling/2019/08/20/npr-mocks-cancer-survivor-in-drumbeat-of-syria-propaganda/

It may be a new low in propaganda. National Public Radio (NPR) used the news that Syrian First Lady Asma Assad had overcome breast cancer to mock her and continue the information war against Syria. They interviewed a Human Rights Watch staffer named Lama Fakih who is an American from Michigan now based in Beirut.

Do you believe Ms. Fakih in Beirut or do you believe people who live in Syria who say we are being lied to? Lilly Martin is such a person. Although she is American from Fresno California, Lilly has lived in Syria for nearly 25 years. She is married to a Syrian and has two Syrian sons. Dr. Nabil Antaki is another such person. He is a medical doctor in Aleppo, fluent in English and French as well as his native Arabic.

While NPR snorts about Asma Assad “sporting a chic blonde pixie cut”, Lilly Martin points out that she was recently bald while fighting for her life.

While Ms. Fakir in Beirut says that there is “quite a lot of anger” because Asma Assad has conquered cancer, Dr. Antaki says that Syrians are happy at the news. Asma Assad is First Lady, mother to three children, and known for her compassion. Lilly Martin says that even while she battled cancer Mrs. Assad continued her charitable work.

While Ms. Fakih says that the “Assad government has been systematically targeting medical facilities and medical personnel”, Dr. Antaki, who has remained in Aleppo throughout the conflict, says this is not true. While there are many western accusations that the Syrian government attacks hospitals, the evidence is remarkably thin. One of the most highly publicized cases was regarding “Al Quds Hospital” in east Aleppo. In April 2016 there was a media blitz about this hospital having been destroyed by the Syrian Army. Following the departure of the “rebels”, it was discovered that “Al Quds Hospital” was an unmarked portion of an apartment building, that it had NOT been bombed and was the LEAST damaged building in the area. It was determined that the nearby Nusra (Al Qaeda) headquarters and ammunition depot was the Syrian army target. Accusations that “Al Quds Hospital” was bombed were false. It was a media stunt.

Ms. Fakih says that “Syrians have not been able to benefit from medical care in Syria since the beginning of the uprising in 2012”. Lilly Martin simply says “This is factually untrue. The Syrian system of national hospitals, free services to the public, are in every area of Syria and have run continuously throughout the war.” Dr. Antaki is an example; he is one of thousands of doctors working at hundreds of hospitals throughout Syria. But you would never know it from NPR or Ms. Fakih…

Be seeing you

'Welcome to 'All Sides of the Issues.' Here's our panel of commentators -- a communist, a socialist, a liberal, and a progressive....'

 

 

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The Worst “Fact Check” Ever

Posted by M. C. on July 28, 2019

Truth is treason in an empire of lies.

https://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/2019/07/the-worst-fact-check-ever/?fbclid=IwAR0bSIisduyxs0rh37wj8UtBV_ZBq18qV0T7XzZe_N3dHTwSJQ_8jF-KdYE

By:

Voice of America has responded! And it may well be the worst “fact-check” and rebuttal in the history of fact-checks and rebuttals. As Ron Paul Institute executive director Daniel McAdams put it, “Unbelievable! They confirmed everything you said as true and then pronounced you wrong!”

This revolves around an interview I did on RT where I talked about how the U.S. weaponizes the dollar and uses the global SWIFT payment system as a foreign policy billy club. The Voice of America “fact-checking” website Polygraph.info contacted me for comment. Since it was clear they intended to discredit my narrative, we decided not to respond to their email but instead write a full-blown rebuttal of the narrative that I knew they would advance.

This worked out even better than I anticipated. Polygraph.info actually responded to my pre-rebuttal. And in their response, they basically conceded my main point – that the U.S. government can and does use SWIFT as a foreign policy tool. Of course, they tried to downplay the significance, but their concession is telling.

“While the U.S. has the ability to pressure SWIFT thanks to its position in the global economy, it could be limited by potential costs that would be felt by U.S. businesses and those of U.S. allies. An Atlantic Council opinion piece warns the U.S. Congress to ‘be wary of taking unilateral steps to target SWIFT in future legislation,’ adding the practice risks hampering the flow of financial data, “slowing global trade and transactions.” Moreover, the U.S. does not directly control SWIFT.” [Emphasis added]

McAdams is right. This essentially confirms what I said — No. The U.S. does not control SWIFT, but it can exert significant pressure on it.

“So, despite what VoA and the Treasury Department claim, the U.S. government clearly pressures SWIFT to serve as a foreign policy tool. It may be technically accurate to say the U.S. government does not ‘control’ SWIFT. But the U.S. clearly applies political pressure on the institution and that pressure yields results.” [Emphasis added]

The Atlantic Council piece Polygraph.info links to confirms what I wrote. The very fact that somebody felt the need to warn Congress about the consequences of abusing its influence over SWIFT indicates that my position is absolutely correct.

Polygraph.info chose to ignore most of the points that I made in my pre-rebuttal article, writing that they were “beyond the scope of this fact check.”

This is an odd statement considering my article addressed the substance of what they were supposedly fact-checking. So basically, the very thing they were fact-checking was beyond the scope of the fact check.

OK.

As Ron Paul once said, “Truth is treason in an empire of lies.” The fact that a propaganda arm of the U.S. government wants to whitewash the truth about America’s economic warfare is telling. Its inability to effectively do it is even more so.

Be seeing you

truth

 

 

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How To Inoculate Yourself From Establishment Bullshit

Posted by M. C. on July 27, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/25/how-to-inoculate-yourself-from-establishment-bullshit/

In a recent interview with CBS This Morning host Gayle King, former First Lady Michelle Obama contrasted her husband’s presidency with that of his successor by claiming that unlike Trump, the Obama family had had “no scandal”.

“I had to sit in [Trump’s inauguration] audience, one of a handful of people of color and then listen to that speech, and all that I had sort of held onto for eight years, watching my husband get raked over the coals, feeling like we had to do everything perfectly, you know, no scandal,” Obama said.

“Yeah,” King responded.

“No nothing,” Obama said  “No nothing!”

“Yes. No scandal,” King said.

You hear this claim a lot from Democrats. There was a viral tweet with tens of thousands of shares shortly before the 2016 election which read, “8 years. No scandals. No mistresses. No impeachment hearings. Just class and grace, personified.” It’s a very common refrain which resurfaces in memes and tweets periodically, usually as criticisms of the sitting president.

Of course, the only reason anyone can attempt to claim that Barack Obama had “no scandals” is because in our bat shit crazy world, murdering, oppressing and exploiting large numbers of people isn’t considered scandalous.

In a sane, healthy world, a presidency like Obama’s would be looked upon with abject horror. Actually in a sane, healthy world a warmongering Wall Street crony like Obama would never have been elected in the first place, but if you were to show the members of a healthy, harmonious society the way that president used his power to do what he did to Libya and Syria, to continue and expand all of Bush’s most evil policies, to divert the push for economic justice into a neoliberal orgy for eight years, those people would recoil in absolute revulsion.

The only reason liberals think Obama had a low-key, drama-free presidency is because that presidency was normalized for them by the establishment narrative managers of the political/media class. If that class had been shrieking about Obama’s warmongering, surveillance expansion, persecution of whistleblowers, crony capitalism etc in the way that it’s been shrieking about Trump’s nonexistent Russia ties or his obnoxious tweets, these same people would see Obama as a horrible monster. But the propagandists didn’t do that, because it would hinder the cause of bloodthirsty imperialism abroad and crushing austerity at home.

The plutocrat-owned media and the plutocrat-owned politicians have the ability to control what people view as normal and what they view as weird, just by not reacting with alarm to occurrences they want normalized and reacting hysterically to occurrences they want rejected.

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard’s fairly mild differences with US foreign policy orthodoxy, for example, are treated as so freakishly bizarre that you routinely see establishment pundits making fascinatingly absurd statements about her and getting away with it. The Hill‘s Reid Wilson posted a tweet that got thousands of likes and shares saying “Hot take/prediction: Tulsi Gabbard is going to endorse Trump in the end.” Center for American Progress President Neera Tanden shared Wilson’s tweet with the hysterical caption, “My prediction: Tulsi runs as third party Green candidate to help Trump win. I will take bets on this.” Again, thousands of likes and retweets.

Neither of these things are going to happen. Both Wilson and Tanden know they will never happen. Gabbard is a fairly conventional center-left Democrat who just wants to scale back US warmongering somewhat; she’s so well within the establishment-authorized Overton window that she just voted in favor of a House anti-BDS bill for Christ’s sake. But because she opposes a few aspects of the forever war and says it’s a good idea to communicate with world leaders who the US government doesn’t like, establishment attack dogs are acting like Hawaii’s second congressional district is being represented by some kind of eldritch tentacle beast from the Andromeda Galaxy.

I’m highlighting some of the more glaring recent examples here, but this sort of thing is happening all the time with varying degrees of subtlety. The public’s perceptions of events are continually being distorted by an establishment narrative management machine which controls what people view as normal and what they view as abnormal. You notice this very quickly when you start cultivating your news sense and paying attention to what news stories the mass media choose to give tons of coverage to and what stories they all but ignore; you notice almost immediately that there’s very little connection between how important a story is and how much news coverage it receives. The factor that determines the extent of coverage is the advancement of establishment interests and advertising revenue, in that order. Actual newsworthiness barely registers.

The way to rob the narrative managers of their ability to manipulate our sense of normalcy is to create an image of a sane and healthy world for ourselves to hold onto at all times, and to make that image into our own personal sense of what normal is. By having a vivid picture of what a sane and healthy world would look like in your mind, the false normal that the propagandists are trying to sell you will have no purchase.

Many people want to change the world, but hardly anyone ever sits down and creates a clear, positive image for themselves of a world in which all positive changes have been successfully put into full effect. Most people tend to just look at the current hot topic debates they’re seeing in the news over healthcare, immigration policies, gun control, austerity policies, abortion, LGBTQ issues, police brutality etc, and hope that those specific issues are resolved in their preferred way. But what if you zoomed out to a much bigger picture and imagined a healthy and harmonious world in which all our major problems have been resolved, and we’ve built something beautiful together? What would that be like?

I can’t envision such a world for you, because you and I will have different ideas about what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world looks like. I’m not trying to give you a specific image, I’m trying to get you to make a solid, lucid image of your own creation that can’t be replaced by the false normal the narrative managers are trying to implant in your mind day in and day out. Don’t hold back; go all the way and make the world as perfect as possible. All your ideas about what changes you might make are “realistic” or “unrealistic” are corrupted by propaganda anyway, so just create a perfect world.

This is worth setting aside an hour or two and investing some serious mental energy into. Once you’ve got a positive image of a healthy and harmonious world, and once you have a really clear image of what it would be like to live in that world, it’s kind of like you become someone from that imaginary world who stepped into this one and gets to see it for the first time. You get to see life through the eyes of someone for whom “normal” isn’t endless violence, oppression, exploitation and degradation, but for whom normal is the absence of those things. This makes all of the insanity in this world stand out like a black fly on a white sheet of paper, and gives you the ability to clearly see and describe precisely what needs to change about our situation here.

You’ve already had a taste of this if you’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of having to explain what war is to a small child. Nothing about war makes sense to a creature who is looking at this world with fresh eyes; the confusion and upset which immediately flashes over their face will make you feel like an idiot even if you oppose war, just for being a part of a world where grown-ups engage in such idiotic behavior. Someone who came into this world from a healthy and harmonious parallel earth would see it very much the same way.

Imagine if war weren’t normalized. Imagine if a US plane dropping a bomb on foreign soil and ripping human bodies to shreds was treated as the horrific event that it actually is and given weeks of extensive investigative coverage, instead of something that happens many times every single day without any mention at all. A pundit on Fox or MSNBC will tell you that you’re a delusional imbecile if you think this should cease immediately. Anyone who’s seeing our world with unindoctrinated eyes knows you’re a delusional imbecile if you don’t.

All the injustices we’re trained like dogs to see as normal are like this. Corruption. Plutocracy. Wage slavery. The way the homeless are treated. The fact that there are homeless at all. Police militarization. The drug war. Prisons for profit. Government surveillance. Propaganda. All of these things are inherently disgusting, but we lose our accurate sense of disgust because we’ve been tricked into accepting them as normal. So remove the scales from your eyes by creating a new normal for yourself.

_____________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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The Just World Fallacy: Why People Bash Assange And Defend Power – Caitlin Johnstone

Posted by M. C. on July 24, 2019

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07/23/the-just-world-fallacy-why-people-bash-assange-and-defend-power/

I write a lot about how important it is for political dissidents to research and understand cognitive biases, the large number of well-documented logical glitches in the way human brains process information. I do this because the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for more than a century, so if public domain psychology is aware of these glitches we can be absolutely certain that the propagandists are as well, and that they are exploiting those glitches currently.

If you don’t cultivate a healthy respect for just how advanced modern propaganda has become, you won’t be able to understand what the propagandists are doing when observing the behaviors of the political/media class, and you’ll almost certainly wind up being fooled by the propaganda machine in various ways yourself.

The fact that people think of themselves as rational creatures, but in reality have many large cognitive vulnerabilities which can and will be exploited to cause them to interpret data in an irrational way, is not some amusing-yet-inconsequential bit of trivia. It’s an absolutely crucial piece of the puzzle in understanding why the world is as messed up as it is, and in figuring out how to fix it. The immense political consequences of this reality extend into every facet of civilization.

For example, have you ever wondered why ordinary people you know in real life often harbor highly negative opinions about Julian Assange, seemingly to no benefit for themselves, even while he’s being viciously persecuted for his truthful publications by some of the most corrupt political forces on the planet? You’ve probably correctly concluded that it’s because they’re propagandized, but have you ever wondered why that propaganda works? Even on some of the more intelligent people you know?

The reason is partly because of a glitch in human cognition known as the just world hypothesis or just world fallacy, which causes us to assume that if bad things are happening to someone, it’s because that person deserves it. Blaming the victim is more psychologically comfortable than seeing that we live in an unjust world where we could very easily become victim ourselves someday, and we select for that comfort over rational analysis.

In the early 1960s a social psychologist named Melvin Lerner discovered that test subjects had a curious tendency to assign blame for an unfortunate event to the victims–even when said event couldn’t logically have been their fault–and to assign positive attributes to people who received good fortune–even if their fortune was due solely to random chance. Lerner theorized that people have an unconscious need to organize their perceptions under the fallacious premise that the world is basically just, where good things tend to happen to good people and bad things tend to happen to bad people. Nothing in a rational analysis of our world tells us that this assumption is in any way true, but tests by Lerner and subsequent social psychologists have backed up his theory that most of us tend to interpret events through the lens of this irrational assumption anyway.

Like other cognitive biases, this one fundamentally boils down to our annoying psychological tendency to select for cognitive ease over cognitive discomfort. It feels more psychologically comfortable to interpret new information in a way that confirms our preexisting opinions, so we get confirmation bias. It feels psychologically comfortable to assume something is true after hearing it repeated many times, so we get the illusory truth effect. It feels more psychologically comfortable to believe we live in a fair world where people get what they deserve than to believe we’re in a chaotic world where many of the most materially prosperous people are also the most depraved and sociopathic, and that we could be next in line to be victimized by them, so we get the just world fallacy.

When news first broke in November of last year that the Trump Justice Department was preparing to charge Julian Assange for 2010 publications by WikiLeaks, establishment Democrats suddenly began babbling about “karma”. These people weren’t Buddhists or Hindus, yet when the Trump administration (who they claim to oppose) began an aggressive assault on the free press (which they claim to support), they began reaching for eastern philosophical concepts which have no evidentiary basis whatsoever in order to justify it. Their irrational belief in a just world was psychologically more comfortable than going against their confirmation bias about the guy who spilled dirt on Queen Hillary, so they selected it. Not because it was more truthful, but because it was more comfortable.

You see this more and more often as facts in evidence make it abundantly clear that the Trump administration’s persecution of Assange pose the greatest threat to the free press in modern history, both among the rank-and-file citizenry and among the political/media class. Countless opinion segments and articles have flooded the mainstream media denying that Assange’s persecution poses a threat to press freedoms, on the basis that Assange is different from the mainstream press in some way.

This isn’t due solely to the fact that these establishment lackeys know they’ll never publish anything which inconveniences power like Assange did (many mainstream journalists sincerely believe that they hold power to account in some way); a lot of it is due to the fact that it’s much more psychologically comfortable to believe that Assange is being savagely persecuted because he deserves it. Believing that Assange is getting what’s coming to him is just plain more psychologically comfortable than believing you’re in an endlessly out-of-control world where bad things happen to good people, and that in fact you live in a world where your own government will torture and imprison a journalist for publishing embarrassing facts about it. And it’s certainly a lot more comfortable than believing you could be next.

The just world fallacy explains so much about what’s going on today. It explains why everyone scrambles to defend their government when it begins victimizing a sovereign nation for refusing to comply with the demands of the powerful. It explains why people have been so easily propagandized into believing that poverty is caused by the laziness of the poor rather than the exploitation of the rich. It explains why people are so quick to justify the censorship of a perceived political enemy on the internet. It explains why any time video footage of a controversial  police shooting goes viral, the comments are always flooded with people saying the victim should have known better than to get down on the ground so slowly or reach for his wallet so quickly. It explains why attempts to discuss rape culture are so often bogged down by moronic comments about how its victims should behave. It explains why people justify mass government surveillance claiming that if you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about. Some of these issues are more obvious to those on the left of the partisan divide, and some of them are more obvious to those on the right, but the impulse to create a false sense of safety in yourself is the exact same in all examples.

Even those who are wide awake to what’s going on in the world and don’t fall for any of the victim-blaming dynamics described above still often fall for a victim-blaming illusion of their own: the impulse to blame the propagandized masses for being propagandized, instead of blaming the propagandists. This one is just as deluded as any of the others, and it works for the same reason: it’s just plain more psychologically comfortable to believe that someone is being victimized by the system because of some flaw in the victim.

If we had a just and fair world, creating propaganda would be illegal along with murder, theft, fraud, and every other infraction on an individual’s personal sovereignty. To be clear, I don’t think that trying to make it illegal would work. I believe we need to evolve beyond the manipulations so they no longer affect us, but that requires us to see it as the serious offense that it is. If in the future we are to evolve to see it clearly, propaganda will elicit an instant and aggressive backlash from the collective against the propagandist. But right now it doesn’t, and it’s protected in part by people who believe that the crime of manipulation is outweighed by the crime of being trusting. Deliberately manipulating people for money, power or both is an attack on people’s psychological sovereignty, and until we see it as such then we will never turn our anger where it’s meant to go: on the perpetrators. If we can’t eradicate propaganda then we will never be able to see and understand what’s going on in the world clearly enough to fix it.

In reality, we live in a very unjust world. We live in a world where money is the only real valuing system, and money selects for ruthlessness. Money elevates those who will do what it takes to get ahead, and so money elevates sociopaths. No amount of muddle-headed magical thinking about “karma” is going to make that untrue. There is no grand arbiter in the sky selecting for goodness and badness. We must select good and badness. People must be held to account for their actions by those that observe that those actions are unjust. Great things happen to bad people, and awful things happen to good people, and when culture elevates greed and sociopathy that is only going to get more true until we put an end to it.

It is psychologically comfortable to believe that we live in a just world. It is much less psychologically comfortable to understand that we don’t, and that we never will unless we fight very hard for it. One is an illusion, the other is reality. A preference for reality over comfort is the primary factor which separates those who serve corrupt power from those who speak out against it.

________________

The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitterthrowing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypalpurchasing some of my sweet merchandisebuying my new book Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone, or my previous book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish or use any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Soros and Koch funding new ‘anti-war’ think tank— and we should probably be a little bit suspicious — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on July 6, 2019

…but given that organizations funded by Soros and Koch have spouted war-promoting propaganda to serve the US imperialist agenda for years, it’s a little difficult to see this sudden change of heart as entirely genuine. 

Very hard to believe. The game is afoot as the famous detective said.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/463405-soros-koch-anti-war/

Danielle Ryan

There’s a new “anti-war” think tank coming to town. It will promote a new US foreign policy — one based on diplomacy instead of sanctions and war. Sounds great, until you hear it’s being funded by Soros and Koch.

The ‘Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft’ will oppose Washington’s “endless wars” and will “challenge the basis of American foreign policy in a way that has not been done in at least the last quarter-century,” according to co-founder Trita Parsi.

With financier George Soros coming from the left (though he’s hardly a real leftist) and industrialist Charles Koch coming from the right, everyone is supposed to applaud the bipartisan nature of the initiative. The Boston Globe called it “one of the most remarkable partnerships in modern American political history” as though the two billionaire businessmen come from alternate universes.

The Globe notes that promoting an anti-war message is “radical notion,” given that nearly every major think tank in Washington currently promotes “some variant of neocon militarism or liberal interventionism.”

To give credit where it’s due, this really is a radical notion — and the more the anti-war narrative begins to trickle into the mainstream, the better. If the Quincy Institute does what it says on the tin, most genuine anti-war activists and readers won’t quibble too much about where the think tank got its start-up cash. Soros and Koch have thrown $500,000 each into the pot…

In 2017, the Soros-funded ‘European Values’ think tank smeared 2,327 people as “useful idiots” for Russia for merely appearing on RT, in a McCarthyist-style attack on anyone deemed not to be sufficiently compliant with prevailing Western narratives.

Koch too has been linked to havoc-wreaking policies everywhere from Iraq to Venezuela. Despite supposedly opposing the Iraq war, independent journalist Caitlin Johnstone notes that Koch has been a major donor to the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute, whose members are considered leading architects of the invasion.

The Quincy Institute is slated to launch in September and until it gets off the ground, it will be impossible to declare a final judgement on its work — but given that organizations funded by Soros and Koch have spouted war-promoting propaganda to serve the US imperialist agenda for years, it’s a little difficult to see this sudden change of heart as entirely genuine.

 

Be seeing you

war-is-peace

 

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