I have been at pains to reconcile my ambivalent feelings on the happenings in our world, alas,I have come to the conclusion that they are a manifestation of what plagues us as human beings rather than a personal identity crisis to resolve. After all, we are talking of a post identity politics reality regardless of the fact that the masses in their pussy hats continue to be dictated about reality via the telly.
As a brown Pakistani Muslim born and raised in Saudi Arabia, it is absolutely surreal to see the world through the eyes of the “me” that once was. It is astonishing. I am the troubled one? I am the pitied one? Am i finally being recognised as the persecuted one? Has the consciousness of the west finally awoken? Really? Am I to rejoice now?
Surveying the flurry of emotions on display, I feel as if I my kin have been heard. Will they finally have a trial for the drone pilot that wiped out a whole wedding celebration in Pakistan? Or will the children maimed receive new prosthetics instead of the used ones from coalition countries? Yes, it is that cynical.
Will someone finally be accountable for the war crimes carried out by the US under Obama? Under Clinton? or Bush?
“No, no, silly boy, heavens be damned, no” a voice tells me in sarcastic laughter. “Have you really gone mad now? Have they finally convinced you that you matter?” it goes on in abject disregard for the “me” that once was.
Here “I” stand, though, having moved, shifted, transformed or rather travelled far afield from the “me” that once was. I do not pray anymore, I do not observe the religious holidays, I do not observe the rituals and I most certainly do not identify as a Muslim. So, am I to be afraid or not ? Once we stop identifying with ideologies the distance allows us to escape a lot of the emotional lures of the narrative being played. I see the truth of my reality; A pawn like the rest of you with your faiths,beliefs,identities and dream-like realities. Identity politics is a mindset that has locked in the participants into a perpetual loop of despair.
Trump or no Trump, US fascism has been alive and well since 1945, accelerated since 1989 and has never been stronger. Fascism permeates our daily lives, it is at our places of learning, our places of exercise, our places of residence, our entertainment spots and in our societal exchange. It is an invisible guest in our daily discourse. It is the alienation of ourselves from our kin, our fellow man and our environment. Everything must be calculated, it must be costed, must be accounted for and prescribed. It must be measured, it must be dictated and legislated.
Somehow the infinite possibility of how existence can manifest itself is not valid. It must be held accountable! We shall do things a certain way, in a certain fashion, with certain rules and consequences. I am talking of the rules in our lives that come from an unknown and manifest through the drones of people who will accept without question what is enforced from the halls of power.
Yet, Trump is the new fascist? Really? It just started 10 days ago apparently! Hallelujah!
These protests have nothing to do with freedom, liberty, recognition of Muslims or of values. When your spokespersons are George Soros and Madeline Albright, you have to look at what you are so upset about. You are being played like a violin.
My Pakistani friends are galvanised, the news papers are dishing out headline after headline. Is Pakistan next on the list is the question on everyone’s mind? The Empire and its mouthpieces are plenty and their blind adherents many. It was “Ok” for the smooth talking black Jesus to bomb 7 Muslim nations, have a global assassination program and arm terrorists. But it is an uproar with pussy hats to have an immigration vetting process from unstable – save Iran, probably on the list to appease some establishment elements – countries.
Do not get me wrong, I am not in anyway condoning anything. I am in no way endorsing Trump. But I am calling a spade a spade. This has nothing to do with values, freedom or respect. This fiasco of immigration has everything to do with the globalist establishment using every card up its sleeve to continue the Military Industrial Complex and its aim of global domination by hook or crook. The Saker has given a good recap on the stakes here, the Deep State is out for blood and it is not backing down. The Attorney General has now come out and challenged the President as well. Edit: Has been fired already. The headlines go too fast these days.
Decades of tyranny was apparently “A-Ok Double Thumbs Up” by the liberal left, as long as it was sugar coated with the right politically corrected vocabulary. And now we are to fear someone who has never held public office, has not been knee deep in the blood of innocents like the entire establishment.
A friend told me of “historic” protests at airports and how he probably should have gone. I replied by saying that they were only “historic” in how they are working towards a colour revolution at home after countless ones abroad and that it is better for him to not get involved. “Colour Revolution? What do you mean?” was the response. A discussion ensued and I did what we all do time to time for the ones we hold dear; Give them an ultra condensed recap of geopolitics, Soros, Deep State and so forth. “You must be listening to Alex Jones and his conspiracies” came back the reply.
Another Muslim friend told me how he cannot trust a president beholden to Putin – the dictator- under threat of sex tapes being released. Yes, he believes that.
There is a chasm of knowledge omitted from the discourse that the vast majority of Americans are being actively engaged in. Without knowing how politics, manipulation, propaganda and Deep State works, they are hopelessly lost. They are ripe for the picking. This is a grass roots movement for them and they are all the more willing to cheer on the “revolution” from their smartphones.
Muslims are an easy recruiting ground for the liberal fake left, they have been traumatised for decades, have been the victims of US aggression, have faced back clashes in their own communities from right wing elements edged on by politicians and now finally they are being told that they are going to be singled out for more persecution. This time they have CNN, Hollywood, Silicon Valley and all the vampires in between giving them a platform. This is not coincidence, this is not by chance but instead by design. They will be used like cannon fodder and discarded once Black Jesus is restored to the throne or civil war ensues.
This is a Secular Wahhabi revolt, a new breed very aptly described by Andrew Korybko.
Imperialists are masters of creating ethical. moral juxtapositions that perplex, that rip apart emotional cords in the masses, drive them to hysteria and in the thick of it they take reins of their emotions and play them to their hearts content.
It is a sad sight to behold.
Can human intellect rise above the machinations of the 0.0001 % ?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
For students of official propaganda, manipulation of public opinion, psychological conditioning, and emotional coercion, it doesn’t get much better than this. As Trump and his army of Goldman Sachs guys, corporate CEOs, and Christian zealots slouch toward inauguration day, we are being treated to a master class in coordinated media manipulation that is making Goebbels look like an amateur. This may not be immediately apparent, given the seemingly risible nature of most of the garbage we are being barraged with, but once one understands the actual purpose of such official propaganda, everything starts to make more sense.
Chief among the common misconceptions about the way official propaganda works is the notion that its goal is to deceive the public into believing things that are not “the truth” (that Trump is a Russian agent, for example, or that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction, or that the terrorists hate us for our freedom, et cetera). However, while official propagandists are definitely pleased if anyone actually believes whatever lies they are selling, deception is not their primary aim.
The primary aim of official propaganda is to generate an “official narrative” that can be mindlessly repeated by the ruling classes and those who support and identify with them. This official narrative does not have to make sense, or to stand up to any sort of serious scrutiny. Its factualness is not the point. The point is to draw a Maginot line, a defensive ideological boundary, between “the truth” as defined by the ruling classes and any other “truth” that contradicts their narrative.
Imagine this Maginot line as a circular wall surrounded by inhospitable territory. Inside the wall is “normal” society, gainful employment, career advancement, and all the other considerable benefits of cooperating with the ruling classes. Outside the wall is poverty, anxiety, social and professional stigmatization, and various other forms of suffering. Which side of the wall do you want to be on? Every day, in countless ways, each of us are asked and have to answer this question. Conform, and there’s a place for you inside. Refuse, and … well, good luck out there.
In openly despotic societies, the stakes involved in making this choice (to conform or dissent) are often life and death. In our relatively liberal Western societies (for those of us who are not militant guerillas), the consequences of not conforming to the official narrative are usually subtler. Despite that, the pressure is still intense. Conforming to the consensus “reality” generated by these official narratives is price of admission to the inner sanctum, where the jobs, money, professional prestige, and the other rewards of Capitalism are. Conforming does not require belief. It requires allegiance and rote obedience. What one actually believes is completely irrelevant, as long as one parrots the official narrative.
In short, official propaganda is not designed to deceive the public (no more than the speeches in an actor’s script are intended to deceive the actor who speaks them). It is designed to be absorbed and repeated, no matter how implausible or preposterous it might be. Actually, it is often most effective when those who are forced to robotically repeat it know that it is utter nonsense, as the humiliation of having to do so cements their allegiance to the ruling classes (this phenomenon being a standard feature of the classic Stockholm Syndrome model, and authoritarian conditioning generally).
The current “Russian hacking” hysteria is a perfect example of how this works. No one aside from total morons actually believes this official narrative (the substance of which is beyond ridiculous), not even the stooges selling it to us. This, however, is not a problem, because it isn’t intended to be believed … it is intended to be accepted and repeated, more or less like religious dogma. (It doesn’t matter what actually happened, i.e., whether the “hack” was a hack or a leak, or who the hackers or leakers were, or who they may have been working for, or what whoever’s motives may have been. What matters is that the ruling classes have issued a new official narrative and are demanding that every “normal” American stand up and swear allegiance to it.)
The ruling classes are not exactly making it easy for their followers this time. Their new official narrative (let’s go ahead and call it “The Putinist Putsch to Destroy Democracy”) is so completely fatuous that it’s beyond embarrassing. The plot is more or less what you’d expect from a mediocre young adult novel or a Game of Thrones-type fantasy series. And if that wasn’t already humiliating enough for the liberals being asked to pretend to believe it, the PR folks in charge couldn’t even be bothered to assemble a new collection of liars to market their childish fairy tale for them. Not only are they insisting that liberals take the word of the “Intelligence Community” and the mainstream media that sold the world the “Saddam Has Secret WMDs” hoax, they actually dispatched James R. Clapper to sit there, in more or less the same spot he sat in the last time he lied to Congress, and do his dog and pony show again.
Meanwhile, the ruling classes’ papers of record, which cosmopolitan liberals rely on to provide a simulation of “serious journalism,” highbrow “arts and culture,” and so on, have descended to the level of the National Enquirer. Among the recent highlights was The Washington Post‘s “Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid” story, which it turned out involved neither Russians nor hackers, nor the Vermont power grid’s actual computers, and was basically just another made-up story, like the one about Putin’s Fake News Army. The New York Times, which has also been dutifully rolling out the new official narrative, has taken the leash off Charles M. Blow (aka “The Withering Gaze”), who is accusing Trump of being Russia’s appointment” and proclaiming his election “an act of war.” And now, as I was writing this piece, they hit us with the “Golden Showers” story, in which Trump paid a bunch of Russian hookers to pee on the bed where Obama slept. Any day now we are going to be told that Elvis is secretly working with Putin to deploy a Zhirinovskian gravitational weapon in a UFO disguised as Jesus that Assange and Snowden will personally pilot across the Atlantic to sink America. It’s like some kind of loyalty test in which the ruling classes are trying to determine just how far they can go with this crap before liberals refuse to salute any more of it.
The point of all this propaganda is to delegitimize Donald Trump, and to prophylactically reassert the neoliberal ruling classes’ monopoly on power, “reality,” and “truth.” In case this wasn’t already abundantly clear, the neoliberal ruling classes have no intention of giving up control of the global capitalist pseudo-empire they’ve been working to establish these last sixty years. They’re going to delegitimize and stigmatize Trump (and any other symbol of nationalist backlash or resistance to transnational Capitalism), bide their time for the next four years, and then install another of their loyal servants … after which life will go back to “normal,” and liberals will do their best to forget this unfortunate period where they pretended to believe this insipid neo-McCarthyite nonsense.
If I wasn’t worried that Trump is going to launch an all-out War on Islam, or that one of “our boys” in the tanks Obama has theatrically ordered to the Russian border was going to go bonkers and try to “git some” for Clinton, I’d be looking forward to seeing just how batshit crazy it’s going to get.
C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright and satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (US). He can reached at his website, cjhopkins.com, or at consentfactory.org.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
Source: Information Clearing House
“Reform always provokes rage on the part of those who profit by the old order.” Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., The Crisis of the Old Order
Who are the anti-Trump protesters besmirching the name of progressives by pretending to be progressives and by refusing to accept the outcome of the presidential election? They look like, and are acting worse than, the “white trash” that they are denouncing.
I think I know who they are. They are thugs for hire and are paid by the Oligarchy to delegitimize Trump’s presidency in the way that Washington and the German Marshall Fund paid students in Kiev to protest the democratically elected Ukrainian government in order to prepare the way for a coup.
The organization, change.org, which claims to be a progressive group, but might be a front, along with other progressive groups, for the Oligarchy, is destroying the reputation of all progressives by circulating a petition that directs the electors of the Electoral Collage to annul the election by casting their votes for Hillary. Remember how upset progressives were when Trump said he might not accept the election result if there was evidence that the vote was rigged? Now progressives are doing what they damned Trump for saying he might do under certain conditions.
The Western presstitutes used the protests in Kiev to delegitimize a democratically elected government and to set it up for a coup. The protest pay was good enough that non-Ukrainians came from nearby countries to participate in the protest in order to collect the money. At the time I posted the amounts paid daily to protesters. Reports came in to me from Eastern and Western Europe from people who were not Ukrainian but were paid to protest as if they were Ukrainians.
The same thing is going on with the Trump protests. CNN reports that “for many Americans across the country, Donald Trump’s victory is an outcome they simply refuse to accept. Tens of thousands filled the streets in at least 25 US cities overnight.” This is the exact reporting that the Oligarchy desired from its presstitutes and got.
I hope no one thinks that simultaneous protests in 25 cities were a spontaneous event. How did 25 independent protests manage to come up with the same slogans and the same signs on the same night following the election?
The US elections much like the rest of our usual daily consumption of Mass Media are more about stage managed theatre with bucket loads of Americanism, a seasoning of hyperbole and most certainly reality-free. The constant barrage of infotainment from the indispensable nation, the exceptional nation and the benign super power tells us of a distinct desire to consume information reality-free.
This informational GMO has permeated every facet of our existence and has infected the minds of billions around the world. It can be ridiculed, seen as inferior or even unsustainable. But do understand that it is the food for the liberal soul and it is a formidable force to be reckoned with.
Human beings drive the vast bulk of their understanding of the world through information either delivered directly via consumable media or indirectly via peer impressions, religion, anecdotes, fables and cultural norms. All of it ultimately centres on the flow of information which is a commodity that has been designed, refined, repackaged and is continually ‘improved’. Most of us underestimate the true awesome power of mass media, we read the statistics, the concentration of power and observe the echo chamber yet we still need to let it all sink in to truly grasp what it means.
Mass media is the encapsulation of the spectrum of information; From magazine to sports to history to business to politics, it is driven by a seamless thread of a philosophy guiding the ego & soul towards an atomised individualistic view of the world. It is an echo chamber that has not seen its parallel before on this planet, an organ to shape reality for the billions. A human being is a hodge-podge of history, culture, religion, philosophy, geography, epigenetics and a host of many more layers of information. Mass Media is the flute that organises this cacophony into a melody, and just like that a marionette of the modern man is born.
Resistance to the pied piper is possible but requires one to leave that womb of comfort that the information matrix provides with its legions of followers; That feeling of belonging, of being understood, of being ‘right’ and of being good. The strength can only come from reality but in our upside down world many are malnourished on the diet of GM information and it is not a problem for only Americans – who are severely affected – but instead it is a global phenomenon.
Successful entrepreneurs, businessmen, academics, financial experts, journalists, neighbours, friends, brothers, sisters and parents can all be entangled in the web of the information matrix. Many of us have been at pains to explain the conflicts in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine and Yemen to our colleagues and friends but it is as if the words fall on deaf ears. The cognitive dissonance is heavy and the Teflon like value-matrix – a product of pre-packaged popularly accepted globalised values- lets all facts, figures and evidence that we present slip off. It is about the first woman president elect and not her war crimes, it is about the opposing camp saying that a racist, misogynist bigot is worse than a psychopathic mass murderer. It is inverted reality. It is full on dystopia.
Where do you begin to explain that elections are for the most part mere stage managed theatre? That the USA is an Empire of 1,000 military bases and not a country? That Obama the peace maker has incinerated civilians in 7 countries with impunity? That Hillary’s black lives did not matter for whole black Libyan towns that were extinguished? That President Asad’s Syria is LGBTQ friendly and the “Syrian revolution” that never was is the opposite? Or that it simply is not about personality politics, gay rights and black lives but is about a class struggle?
source: New Eastern Outlook
With the war in Syria raging in its fifth year, and the Islamic State wreaking havoc throughout the Middle East and North Africa, it’s clear that the entire region has been made into one large theater of conflict. But the battlefield must not be understood solely as a physical place located on a map; it is equally a social and cultural space where the forces of the US-UK-NATO Empire employ a variety of tactics to influence the course of events and create an outcome amenable to their agenda. And none to greater effect than propaganda.
Indeed, if the ongoing war in Syria, and the conflicts of the post-Arab Spring period generally, have taught us anything, it is the power of propaganda and public relations to shape narratives which in turn impact political events. Given the awesome power of information in the postmodern political landscape, it should come as no surprise that both the US and UK have become world leaders in government-sponsored propaganda masquerading as legitimate, grassroots political and social expression.
London, Washington, and the Power of Manipulation
The Guardian recently revealed how the UK Government’s Research, Information, and Communications Unit (RICU) is involved in surveillance, information dissemination, and promotion of individuals and groups as part of what it describes as an attempt at “attitudinal and behavioral change” among its Muslim youth population. This sort of counter-messaging is nothing new, and has been much discussed for years. However, the Guardian piece actually exposed the much deeper connections between RICU and various grassroots organizations, online campaigns, and social media penetration.
The article outlined the relationship between the UK Government’s RICU and a London-based communications company calledBreakthrough Media Network which “has produced dozens of websites, leaflets, videos, films, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and online radio content, with titles such as The Truth about Isis and Help for Syria.” Considering the nature of social media, and the manner in which information (or disinformation) is spread online, it should come as no surprise that a number of the viral videos, popular twitter feeds, and other materials that seemingly align with the anti-Assad line of London and Washington are, in fact, the direct products of a government-sponsored propaganda campaign.
In fact, as the authors of the story noted:
One Ricu initiative, which advertises itself as a campaign providing advice on how to raise funds for Syrian refugees, has had face-to-face conversations with thousands of students at university freshers’ fairs without any students realising they were engaging with a government programme. That campaign, called Help for Syria, has distributed leaflets to 760,000 homes without the recipients realising they were government communications.
It’s not hard to see what the British Government is trying to do with such efforts; they are an attempt to control the messaging of the war on Syria, and to redirect grassroots anti-war activism to channels deemed acceptable to the political establishment. Imagine for a moment the impact on an 18-year-old college freshman just stepping into the political arena, and immediately encountering seasoned veteran activists who influence his/her thinking on the nature of the war, who the good guys and bad guys are, and what should be done. Now multiply that by thousands and thousands of students. The impact of such efforts is profound.
But it is much more than simply interactions with prospective activists and the creation of propaganda materials; it is also about surveillance and social media penetration. According to the article, “One of Ricu’s primary tasks is to monitor online conversations among what it describes as vulnerable communities. After products are released, Ricu staff monitor ‘key forums’ for online conversations to ‘track shifting narratives,’ one of the documents [obtained by The Guardian] shows.” It is clear that such efforts are really about online penetration, especially via social media.
By monitoring and manipulating in this way, the British Government is able to influence, in a precise and highly targeted way, the narrative about the war on Syria, ISIS, and a host of issues relevant to both its domestic politics and the geopolitical and strategic interests of the British state. Herein lies the nexus between surveillance, propaganda, and politics.
But of course the UK is not alone in this effort, as the US has a similar program with its Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) which describes its mission as being:
…[to] coordinate, orient, and inform government-wide foreign communications activities targeted against terrorism and violent extremism… CSCC is comprised of three interactive components. The integrated analysis component leverages the Intelligence Community and other substantive experts to ensure CSCC communicators benefit from the best information and analysis available. The plans and operations component draws on this input to devise effective ways to counter the terrorist narrative. The Digital Outreach Team actively and openly engages in Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi, and Somali.
Notice that the CSCC is, in effect, an intelligence hub acting to coordinate propaganda for CIA, DIA, DHS, and NSA, among others. This mission, of course, is shrouded in terminology like “integrated analysis” and “plans and operations” – terms used to designate the various components of the overall CSCC mission. Like RICU, the CSCC is focused on shaping narratives online under the pretext of counter-radicalization.
It should be noted too that CSCC becomes a propaganda clearinghouse of sorts not just for the US Government, but also for its key foreign allies (think Israel, Saudi Arabia, Britain), as well as perhaps favored NGOs like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, or Doctors Without Borders (MSF). As the New York Times noted:
[The CSCC will] harness all the existing attempts at countermessaging by much larger federal departments, including the Pentagon, Homeland Security and intelligence agencies. The center would also coordinate and amplify similar messaging by foreign allies and nongovernment agencies, as well as by prominent Muslim academics, community leaders and religious scholars who oppose the Islamic State.
But taking this information one step further, it calls into question yet again the veracity of much of the dominant narrative about Syria, Libya, ISIS, and related topics. With social media and “citizen journalism” having become so influential in how ordinary people think about these issues, one is yet again forced to consider the degree of manipulation of these phenomena.
Manufacturing Social Media Narratives
It is by now well documented the myriad ways in which Western governments have been investing heavily in tools for manipulating social media in order to shape narratives. In fact, the US CIA alone has invested millions in literally dozens of social media-related startups via its investment arm known as In-Q-Tel. The CIA is spending the tens of millions of dollars providing seed money to these companies in order to have the ability to do everything from data mining to real-time surveillance.
The truth is that we’ve known about the government’s desire to manipulate social media for years. Back in February 2011, just as the wars on Libya and Syria were beginning, an interesting story was published by PC World under the title Army of Fake Social Media Friends to Promote Propaganda which explained in very mundane language that:
…the U.S. government contracted HBGary Federal for the development of software which could create multiple fake social media profiles to manipulate and sway public opinion on controversial issues by promoting propaganda. It could also be used as surveillance to find public opinions with points of view the powers-that-be didn’t like. It could then potentially have their “fake” people run smear campaigns against those “real” people.
Close observers of the US-NATO war on Libya will recall just how many twitter accounts miraculously surfaced, with tens of thousands of followers each, to “report” on the “atrocities” carried out by Muammar Gaddafi’s armed forces, and call for a No Fly Zone and regime change. Certainly one is left to wonder now, as many of us did at the time, whether those accounts weren’t simply fakes created by either a Pentagon computer program, or by paid trolls.
A recent example of the sort of social media disinformation that has been (and will continue to be) employed in the war on Syria/ISIS came in December 2014 when a prominent “ISIS twitter propagandist” known as Shami Witness (@ShamiWitness) was exposed as a man named “Mehdi,” (later confirmed as Mehdi Biswas) described as “an advertising executive” based in Bangalore, India. @ShamiWitness had been cited as an authoritative source – a veritable “wealth of information” – about ISIS and Syria by corporate media outfits, as well as ostensibly “reliable and independent” bloggers such as the ubiquitous Eliot Higgins (aka Brown Moses) who cited Shami repeatedly. This former “expert” on ISIS has now been charged in India with crimes including “supporting a terrorist organisation, waging war against the State, unlawful activities, conspiracy, sedition and promoting enmity.”
In another example of online media manipulation, in early 2011, as the war on Syria was just beginning, a blogger then known only as the “Gay Girl in Damascus” rose to prominence as a key source of information and analysis about the situation in Syria.The Guardian, among other media outlets, lauded her as “an unlikely hero of revolt” who “is capturing the imagination of the Syrian opposition with a blog that has shot to prominence as the protest movement struggles in the face of a brutal government crackdown.” However, by June of 2011, the “brutally honest Gay Girl” was exposed as a hoax, a complete fabrication concocted by one Tom MacMaster. Naturally, the same outlets that had been touting the “Gay Girl” as a legitimate source of information on Syria immediately backtracked and disavowed the blog. However, the one-sided narrative of brutal and criminal repression of peace-loving activists in Syria stuck. While the source was discredited, the narrative remained entrenched.
And this last point is perhaps the key: online manipulation is designed to control narratives. While the war may be fought on the battlefield, it is equally fought for the hearts and minds of activists, news consumers, and ordinary citizens in the West. The UK and US both have extensive information war capabilities, and they’re not afraid to use them. And so, we should not be afraid to expose them.
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City, he is the founder of StopImperialism.org and OP-ed columnist for RT, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Oceania Saker.
“Contrary to the rising-tide hypothesis, the rising tide has only lifted the large yachts, while many of the smaller boats have been dashed on the rocks.” Joseph Stiglitz, economist
American plutocrats and their political lackeys in congress have implemented a plan that’s putting pressure on wages and further decimating the already-battered middle class. By sustaining high levels of unemployment over a long period of time, US elites have “restructured the labor force”, which is a pretentious-sounding expression that means they’ve created a permanent underclass that’s willing to slave-away at demeaning, part-time jobs for mere peanuts without uttering a peep of protest. This metamorphosis of the workforce has taken place mostly in the shadows, concealed behind a thick fog of state propaganda touting the fictitious “recovery”, a recovery in which long-term jobless workers have abandoned all hope of finding gainful full-time employment and resigned themselves to a lifetime of scrambling from one odious task to the next just keep a roof over their heads and the wolves away from the door.
After eight years of applying this coercive ‘starvation strategy’, the plutocrat’s ‘grand plan’ is finally coming into focus. According to economists Lawrence F. Katz and Alan B. Krueger’s new paper titled “The Rise and Nature of Alternative Work Arrangements in the United States, 1995-2015″:
“All of the net employment growth in the U.S. economy from 2005 to 2015 appears to have occurred in alternative work arrangements.”
“Alternative work arrangements”? You mean there’s been zero growth in ordinary 9 to 5, 40-hour-per-week jobs in the last 10 freaking years???
Indeed, that’s exactly what it means. It also means that Obama’s relentless crowing about the phantom “recovery” is mostly bunkum. There is no recovery. It’s an invention built on the ruined lives of people who have been forced to take all-manner of servile, low-paying, part-time, service-sector jobs just to keep food on the table. That’s Obama’s glorious recovery in a nutshell. Here’s more from the World Socialist web Site:
“All US job growth for the last decade came in “alternative work arrangements”—people working as independent contractors, temps, through contract agencies or on-call—according to a study published Tuesday by Princeton University and the RAND Corporation…
The actual number of contingent full-time workers rose from 14.2 million in February 2005 to 23.6 million in November 2015, an increase of 9.4 million. Since total US employment rose by 9.1 million during this period, the number of workers in conventional, full-time positions actually dropped by nearly 400,000.” (Temps and contractors accounted for all US job growth since 2005, World Socialist Web Site)
Repeat: “The number of workers in conventional, full-time positions actually dropped by nearly 400,000.”
Great. So we’re actually going backwards, is that what they’re trying to say?
Source: The Truth Speaker
As most anyone in the UK, from the UK, I grew up watching the BBC. Blue Peter, Friday Film Specials, and news – John Craven. Going on to a lifetime of watching the BBC. I still watch news on the BBC, but in a different way now. I actually now feel involuntary twitches of disgust every time I watch a piece on BBC news.
Before, I’d watch BBC News as kind of an extended family member – the logo, the studio, all familiar like a father figure. But now, it’s like you’re one ofJohn Darwin’s children, discovering that your father has lied to you, likely lied to you all his life. I can say this, having covered events myself in Crimea, Donbass, seeing first hand how things were, and then how the BBC made them out to be.
The BBC lie. They twist, contort, distort. And a particular bias of the BBC in recent times, has been a strident anti-Russian polemic which seems to effortlessly correspond with the UK government’s own. UK Prime Minister David Cameron has stated many times how he views Crimea’s 2014 reunification with Russia as ‘annexation’, ‘under the barrel of a Kalashnikov’etc. Who did the BBC send to cover Crimea, only Daniel Sandford (who duly came up with all the ‘annexation’ stuff on demand), a man who makes no secret of detesting Russia. A long journey through Sandford’s tweets would be to try to find something positive about the country. A rather shorter one, to find the countless negatives Sandord passes on, despite not evening being Moscow correspondent anymore –
Sandford also covered Euromaidan, and what was the BBC’s position on that? Blanket support at the time, only a year later getting round to admittingthat things perhaps hadn’t been as they first portrayed them. But, by that time, protest had long turned into war in Donbass, as a result of the government Euromaidan put in power in Ukraine. What was the BBC’s take on that? The same as the UK government’s, against the Donbass uprising.
Source: Last Week Tonight
The Military Industrial Complex is in panic mode. Their candidate Hillary is sure to secure the Democratic vote but it is looking increasingly unlikely that Americans can be fooled again.
For the few that really need the nudge, please use Google and see what Bernie’s war record is both past & present. He is at the end of it a Military Industrial Complex candidate. Period.
Here is one of the (Democratic) Military Industrial Complex’s many mouthpieces. He really went all out this time, stage fireworks and a rap song to boot. Looks like the conservatives in America are back with a vengeance. There maybe a chance of peace.
Will thinking Millenials & Baby boomers – be they African American, Latino or Asian – wake up in time to vote Trump?
Sam offers below a fresh perspective on how there could still be hope left in the most unlikeliest of places, the police state of America.
After all, the country still claims to be a democracy so why not call it out on that? At the very least it advances the debate beyond the goebbelsesque headlines being pumped out of the “media”. The establishment has always fed off hate at every turn and the common man is manipulated,isolated and disenfranchised.
300+ million Americans are being “informed” by 6 media companies on what they should eat,drink,write,think,see,accept,vote and well you get the picture. Anything that leads to a distortion in a false reality – which promotes endless war – is positive.
Sam has done a great job at bringing a viable solution to the table, check out his excellent initiative at votepact.org
The establishment so wants everyone else to unfriend Trump supporters on Facebook. There’s even an app to block them. That’ll teach them!
Yes, Trump plays a bully boy and is appealing to populist (good), nativist, xenophobic, and racist sentiments (bad).
Those things need to be meaningfully addressed and engaged, not for self-styled sophisticates to raise their noses, dismissing them.
But focusing only on the negative aspects of Trump’s campaign has blinded people to the good — and I don’t mean good like, oh, the Democrat can beat this guy. I mean good like it’s good that some of these issues are finally getting aired.
Trump appeals to nativist sentiments, but those same sentiments are skeptical of the militarized role of the U.S. in the world — as was the case during Pat Buchanan’s 1992 campaign.
The New York Times recently purported to grade the veracity of presidential candidates. Of course by their accounting, Trump was off the scales lying. But he recently said the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State “killed hundreds of thousands of people with her stupidity….The Middle East is a total disaster under her.” Now, I think that’s pretty accurate, though U.S. policy in my view may be more Machiavellian than stupid, but the remark is a breath of fresh air on the national stage.
But I’ve not seen anyone fact-check that assertion, because that’s not an argument much of establishment media wants to debate. Of course, a few sentences later Trump talks about the attack on the CIA station in Benghazi, causing Salon to dismiss him as embracing “conspiracies,” which is likely all many people hear.
Shouldn’t someone who at times articulates truly inconvenient truths be noted as breaking politically correct taboos? Trump says such truths, such as this nugget from the Las Vegas debate about U.S. wars:
“We’ve spent $4 trillion trying to topple various people that frankly, if they were there and if we could’ve spent that $4 trillion in the United States to fix our roads, our bridges, and all of the other problems; our airports and all of the other problems we’ve had, we would’ve been a lot better off. I can tell you that right now.”
This I think is a stronger critique of military spending than we’ve heard from Bernie Sanders of late.