Category Archives: Mental Health

Human Rights for Children: Saving Children from Covid Measures Abuses  

Background

The Geneva Academy of international Humanitarian Law and Human Rights is a postgraduate joint center located in Geneva, Switzerland. The faculty includes professors from both founding institutions and guest professors from major universities.  The Geneva Academy is affiliated with the University of Geneva.

Dr. Nils Melzer has been the Swiss Human Rights Chair (HR Chair) at the Geneva Academy since March 2016. As HR Chair he develops and promotes the Geneva Academy expertise in HR via policy work, cutting-edge research, expert meetings, the development of partnerships and teaching. Since November 2016, Nils Melzer has also been the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

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Dear Dr. Melzer,

As UN special Rapporteur on Torture, your mandate comprises three main activities:

1) transmitting urgent appeals to States with regard to individuals reported to be at risk of torture, as well as communications on past alleged cases of torture;
2) undertaking fact-finding country visits; and,
3) submitting annual reports on activities, the mandate and methods of work to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly.

See a full description of mandate here.

Dr. Melzer, your first mandate as Special Rapporteur on Torture is appealing urgently on States and Nations with regard to individuals that are at risk of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. This is the case with children, being forced to wearing masks, including in class, physical distancing, home schooling, out of touch with their friends and colleagues, but forced to be repeatedly covid tested in schools with the hurtful RT-PCT test (RT-PCT = reverse transcription of the polymerase chain reaction). A case in point – though not exclusive – is Switzerland, where cantonal authorities are compelling schools to periodically test children from as young as Kindergarten to pre-college level.

Children’s mask wearing (as well as for senior adults) causes chronic headaches and fatigue because blood and brain receive insufficient oxygen which may lead to lasting damage, including memory loss. Children suffer psychological traumas. Depression and suicide rates increase exponentially.

At the same time, children are increasingly being coerced via teachers and community authorities to be vaccinated against Covid-19, even though the mRNA-type “vaccines” almost the only so-called vaccines available in Europe and the US, are not officially considered as “vaccines” by CDC, but “experimental gene therapies”; i.e., primarily the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnsons and Johnson and a number of other GAVI-supported COVAX injections, or so-called vaccines.

These so-called vaccines – or rather gene-therapy experimental inoculations – are known to be dangerous and bear special long-term risks for children.1

Dr. Melzer, this is an Urgent Appeal – to save Human Rights for children around the world from cruel and inhuman covid measures applied to them, including to adolescents and young adults – measures that have nothing but absolutely nothing to do with health protection but everything with oppression towards long-term slavery, and, yes, a systematic and massive-style depopulation.

You recently said correctly and wisely “Sadly, today, torture remains a very real part of situations of conflict and violence”. What many of the 193 UN member governments are forcing their children to go through is a form of torture, especially considering their potential – and likely long-term effects. (See again the report of Doctors for Covid Ethics here.)

You added that you won’t be able to “save the world single-handedly as a Special Rapporteur, …..  that there are hundreds of stakeholders – organizations, NGO’s, UN agencies and individual experts – who have been working on torture issues for decades. [However], a Special Rapporteur’s independence means I can pick up issues that have remained under the radar of the international community, bring them to the table and try to drive cooperation.”

Dr. Melzer, what I described before as cruel and inhuman acts against children, akin to torture, is one of those issues you mentioned. Therefore, my quest today, my Appeal to you as Human Rights Representative, is to please pick up the issue of covid-based Human Rights abuses on the world population, but particularly on children.

What the absurd covid measures do to the world is a crime, but what they are doing to children is beyond a crime; it is totally immoral, destructive for our powerless children, and for the future of these children, as well as for society as a whole as children are our societies’ future. And worse of all, these measures have nothing to do with health protection – but absolutely nothing. They are sheer tyranny to control.

Children behind masks, social distancing, locked down, remote schooling, deprived from meeting, talking and playing with their peers, friends — instead scaring them into losing their personalities, their self-assurance and self-esteem — results not only in a physical health problem, but also a psychological health issue which, over time, has untold, uncountable collateral damage, including total submissiveness for today’s children.

Our children are vulnerable – they are our future.

They need their Human Rights defended.

Dear Dr. Melzer,  please speak up for them at the UN, at UNICEF, in front of the 193 UN member governments, which follow all more or less the same insane covid narrative, the same covid Human Rights abuse, and especially the same Human Rights abuse on children.

Thank you.

  1. See: Doctors for Covid Ethics Rebuttal Letter to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The post Human Rights for Children: Saving Children from Covid Measures Abuses   first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Our Children are Crying

Children are the world’s most valuable resource, and its best hope for the future.
— John F. Kennedy (“Re: United States Committee for UNICEF, July 25, 1963.”) •

What President Kennedy said over half a century ago, is more valid today than ever. This world needs a generation that can lead us out of the mess of dystopian values that was created predominantly by a western civilization of greed. The covid crisis, man-made, served the destruction of the world economy, as well as the ensuing World Economic Forum (WEF) designed “Great Reset”. If not stopped by our youth and coming generation, Covid cum Great Reset is about to give civilization the final blow.

However, the dark forces of the Global Cabal, the Deep State, has plunged humanity, all 193 UN member states at once, into a global catastrophe of epic proportions. To break that globalist spell and to get out of the disaster still unfolding, the world needs thinking people, courageous people, informed and awakened people; people who are not afraid to swim against the stream, to stem the ever-increasing flow of misinformation and government and media lies. It takes educated people. It takes people who dare to resist.

We are experiencing today just the contrary. The minute global elite that has taken a covid-stranglehold on the world’s 7.8 billion people, is doing everything to keep our children, the generations that are supposed to lead the world and humanity into a bright future, uneducated, scared, socially unfit to communicate, to take initiatives, to lead. Today’s youth is depressed by this constant fear propaganda, by the authorities (sic) rules of confinement, not being able to see their friends, to play with them, communicate with them, to do the healthiest social activities there are – exchanging ideas with peers, acquaintances and friends.

One might think, there is a purpose behind it all. Could it be that this minute diabolical Globalist Cabal, those who are behind “The Great Reset”, co-authored by the WEF’s founder and CEO since the NGO’s creation in 1971, Klaus Schwab, could it be that these people have a plan, namely, to leave the world to a generation of uneducated, fear-indoctrinated people, who are used to and have been trained to follow orders, obey authorities and believe their very leaders’ (sic) lies and fall for their manipulations?

It doesn’t take rocket science to believe that this could, indeed, be part of the Cabal’s demonic plan: breaking our society apart. Leaving behind no natural and new leaders to shape the world according to the real needs of the people, of our children not the imposed “needs” of an egocentric dictatorial cabal.

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In a new book (in German), “Generation Mask – Corona: Fear and Challenge” (Generation Maske – Corona: Angst und Herausforderung), the immunologist and toxicologist Professor Stefan W. Hockertz illustrates the plight of our children in this artificially induced age of corona. He asks in particular the question: what does this pandemic – better called plandemic – do with our children and adolescents?

They are being flooded by autocratic measures they do not understand, like being forced to cover their faces by wearing masks in school, it’s like a forced-hiding of their identity from their friends and peers; being obliged to follow strict rules of social distancing – don’t get close to your friend, for the protection of your health, you need a distance to your friend, you can no longer freely communicate, and even if you could, due to the covered face, you could not read your friend’s facial expressions – which is key to any useful conversation, between kids as well as adults.

Our kids in the west are being fear-induced and permanently indoctrinated by radio, TV-broadcasts, by permanently having to listen to “case” figures, infections, hospitalizations and death rates. Never mind, that most of these figures are false or distorted, made even more meaningless by absurdly obsessive testing-testing-testing.

To crown it all off – newspapers and magazines depict pictures of coffins, not one or two, but hundreds, mass graves. They are utterly disturbing for adults, let alone for children. Fear is being weaponized and replaced by more fear, followed by depression, the perspective of no future,  and often and ever more frequently ending in suicide. Children’s, adolescents’ suicides are skyrocketing.

Children who are the least vulnerable to the covid disease are forced into mass-testing, entire communities, by order of the mayor or the governor,  all the way to kindergarten. Testing with hurtful nasal swaps, as often as once or twice a month, and if positive – high percentages of these PCR tests, so far, the only covid test method available in the west – are false positives.

The Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is a technique used to “amplify” small segments of DNA. If over-amplified, the test results become positive, false positives. Maybe there is a purpose for over-amplifying – increasing the “case figures”, justifying more repression. If one kid tests positive in one of the periodic school tests, the entire class is ordered into quarantine, schooling from home, via computer, Skype, Zoom.

That’s in the wealthy west. What about in the Global South, where not everybody can afford the necessary electronic equipment for “home-schooling”?  There will simply be no schooling, no learning, no interchange with classmates. No education.

Testing is traumatic, especially for young children. It is hurtful and scares a kid on several levels, physically – a swap-stick deep into the upper nose, into the sinus cavities, is hurtful and can be even traumatic for children; and psychologically, what if I’m positive? “All my school mates and teachers have to stay home because of me”; or “I could infect my parents and frail grand-parents”. Guilt is everywhere. Guilt is like fear. It makes people pliable, manipulable – takes all initiative and enthusiasm for life away.

For many kids this continuous repression makes them aggressive, frustrated and eventually so depressed, that many see no way out as they see no future in their lives. They are crying from despair, crying from fear, crying from isolation, crying for not being able to congregate with their friends, classmates and peers, and crying for seeing no way out.

What is being done to our children is inhuman. The unilateral, viciously applied repressive measures of confinement, not being able to physically go to school and mix and exchange with friends is destructive. It may leave a deep dent in the social and psychological fabric and subsequent behavior of this future post-covid generation.

No doubt, with a few exceptions, most of the 193 UN member countries applying the same oppressive rules, are aware of what they are doing. They know what and why they are doing what they are doing. They are complicity and in one way or another corrupted and perhaps coerced to adhere to the dictate from “above” or else, if they don’t follow the ruling narrative. Yet, with a minimum of integrity of our leaders, this would not be happening.

First, they destroy the world’s economy in proportions never seen in recent history, then they destroy our future generations so there are no flag-bearers of a new generation into a bright future, once we, our children’s parents, have disappeared out. Our children are being primed as slaves for a minute diabolical elite to become trans-humans for the “Great Reset”.

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In his book, Dr. Stefan Hockhertz articulates these concerns and worries of the children, for parents, teachers and authorities to understand them. With the objective of stemming against this catastrophically oppressive trend, Dr. Hockhertz also uses the book to uncover lies and manipulations of governments and the media. He corrects false information and outright lies, but also invites to a dialogue for bringing about more objectivity and less dictatorial rules. After all, this is not a deadly pandemic, but has developed into a plandemic – where clearly a set of different, societally harmful objectives is being played out and relentlessly pursued.

As an immunologist and toxicologist, Dr. Hockhertz also corrects the highly propagated alleged over-fatality and informs about the dangers of the “vaccines”, especially the RNA-based inoculations. He warns against these vaccines – which, in fact, are no vaccines, but rather gene-therapy injections. They have not been sufficiently researched and tested to be considered safe. To the contrary, primary inoculation results are disastrous in terms of serious side effects and death rates. And this only after less than six months into a worldwide vaccination campaign.

See also Dr. J. Bart Classen’s January 18, 2021 peer-reviewed Research Paper COVID-19 RNA Based Vaccines and the Risk of Prion Disease”, written for the SCIVISION Publication “Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ISSN 2639-9458).

The paper points to the potential medium- to long-term disabling neurological effects, especially degenerative diseases, that may be linked to RNA-based inoculations. This would be disastrous for children. Entire generations could be wiped out, so to speak.

We must not allow this to happen. We must listen to our children’s grief. We must clear the path for a bright future for our children, for our successor generation and for the future of humanity.

• First published by the New Eastern Outlook – NEO

• “Re: United States Committee for UNICEF July 25, 1963.” Papers of John F. Kennedy. Presidential Papers. White House Central Files. Chronological File. Series 1. President’s Outgoing Executive Correspondence, Box 11, Folder: “July 1963: 16-31,” JFKL.

The post Our Children are Crying first appeared on Dissident Voice.

The Psychic Dangers of Infected Minds (With a Lie this Large)

The emergence in 2020 of the Coronavirus (or Covid-19) and the putative dire implications for us all of its unchecked spread and virulence caught most people on the planet off guard. This development signalled an epochal turning point for the global political economy, for our society and humanity. Greg Maybury gets ‘up close and personal’ with the virus, reflecting more on the ‘popular delusions and madness of crowds’ attending it, and those purporting to manage the crisis in our best interests. In this context, he offers a more off-piste reflection on the forces driving us to a destination almost surely will not be to our liking.

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Picture the prince, as most of them are today: a man ignorant of the law, well-nigh an enemy to his people’s advantage, while intent on his personal convenience, a dedicated voluptuary, hater of…freedom and truth, without a thought for the interests of his country, and measuring everything in terms of his own profit and desires.

Erasmus

Nothing will avail to offset this virus which is poisoning the whole world. America is the very incarnation of doom…She will drag the whole world down to the bottomless pit.

— Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer (1934).

A Blood Poisoning of the Body Politic (Foul Deeds Arising)

In an early essay “Symbols of Transformation“, archetypal ‘poster-boy’ of the collective unconscious Carl Jung noted:

There’s no adequate protection against psychic epidemics, which are infinitely more devastating than the worst of natural catastrophes. The supreme danger which threatens individuals [and] whole nations is a psychic danger.

Though history is littered with the mortal remains of the countless victims of such dangers, it’s hard to recall an event in recent times where Jung’s insight has carried such portent. The much-touted microbial perils aside for now, possibly not since September 11, 2001 have we witnessed or experienced such a sweeping psychic contamination of the global body politic implicit in Jung’s maxim, as with the emergence of the Coronavirus (or Covid-19). Both events were game changers: disparate to be sure yet ‘transformative’; both have underscored the man’s insight indubitably. It informs much of what follows.

With uncertainty, fear, anxiety, suspicion, hysteria, intolerance, paranoia, and panic in the ascendancy, infecting ever more deeply our already ‘overloaded’ psyches, and some of our most basic, hitherto presumed freedoms and liberties abruptly curtailed or suspended ostensibly for the greater good (by some earnest accounts, temporarily), all of us have been affected in some measure. For the most part and for most people, this has not been in a good way. The true calculus of the effects will be some time in coming, if, in fact, we can expect such. (See here, here, and here for just a few examples of the widely reported mental health impact of Covid and its attendant, bespoke insanities.)

Irrespective of whether one views Covid (and mooted mutations thereof) as a) as bad as we’re told it is or could be; b) [as] real an existential threat to humanity as our established and establishment sources of news and information would have it; or c) whether it is even real at all*, it is the all too human propensity for irrational thought and illogical action that gives rise to the psychopathology implicit in Jung’s assessment. (*See here and here for further information.)

This is decidedly the case when such propensities are combined with our easy willingness to accept prima facie the proclamations of our ruling elites, fuelled as they are by their own hubristic ambitions, almost all of which are fiercely echoed and mirrored by their news and information intermediaries. All this brings to mind that memorable couplet via Hamlet: ‘Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.’

Whilst it seems the global populace has stoically accepted the official narrative of ‘experts’ in such matters, there is all the same a highly credible, eminently qualified, and eclectic mix of folks who’ve declared themselves at least quite sceptical of the whole business. As events and developments triggered by Covid unfold, significantly more individuals and groups are coming forward and crying ‘foul’, about the severity—indeed the very authenticity—of the crisis, and the official responses to it. Indeed, there’s credible evidence the virus was not a naturally occurring phenomenon, but man-made.

To understand why this acceptance has been so ‘contagious’, a slight digression at this point is useful. In his slyly subversive 1995 tome The Doubter’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, philosopher John Ralston Saul offers us a useful view: he presents doubt as ‘the only human activity capable of controlling power in a positive way’. For the eminent Canadian, doubt is ‘central to [our] understanding’. Ralston Saul also suggests: ‘…it is curious just how easily [our elites] set about serving only themselves, even if it means…they or the society will self-self-destruct’. For his part British philosopher John Gray had this to say:

When belief systems are contradicted by facts, beliefs are rarely renounced…More often they’re reinterpreted and thereby reinforced. Humans are more interested in preserving an internally coherent worldview than in testing their view of things against events. Nearly always, faith trumps facts.

As with Jung’s earlier insight, such musings are crucial to our fuller understanding of what’s taking place at present. They’re further critical to providing an insight into the implications of ignoring the portents therein. In the Age of The ‘Coronapocalypse’—with doubt amongst the populace an increasingly rare commodity—it seems clear we’re not only ‘over’ it as an instinctive response to the machinations of our political, economic, media, technocratic, financial, and intellectual power elites. To the extent we do embrace doubt, we’re doing so inwardly, not outwardly. In the wrong direction as it were!

All of which is to say, it is our own judgment we more readily apply such doubts to than [to] those who govern us. In its place, we’re second-guessing our “aggressive common sense”, substituting a misplaced trust in authority. These wielders of great power known and unknown, elected and unelected, for whom the quaint notion ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ is both anathema and risible, know this: as such, they leverage—politicise, weaponise and/or monetise—our (self) doubts, our fears, insecurities, anxieties, even our primal instincts against us in the service of their own agendas and individual and collective self-interest.

It is said: ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste…’. Putting aside the inherent ambiguity of this trope and the fact that the precept itself has been doing the rounds for some time in one form or another, it not by chance shoehorned itself into the political lexicon in the wake of 9/11. Yet the subtext of this meme was then and remains now, ‘if we get tired of waiting for one to show up, go the extra mile and have one tailor-made and fit-for-purpose…’. That this possibility should be apparent to all is, well, without doubt! To re-mint an old adage, we don’t need to be paranoid to see this. In any case, it may even be too late to help us. Such are the stakes with this particular crisis, such is the zeitgeist. This is not idle hyperbole.

And for those who might be tempted to view this as bordering on conspiratorial musing, as  author Lance deHaven-Smith has suggested, our ready acceptance of the edicts from on high is predicated on a misplaced ‘sentimentality’ about our political leaders, public figures and institutions ‘rather than’ he says, ‘on any unbiased reasoning and object observation. One supposes here, then, we’re talking about the benefit of a reasonable doubt versus the disadvantages of unreasonable suspicion or even unreasoned certainty.

It’s difficult, though, reconciling such “sentimentality” with any known, rational reason for it being so. For those of us not naturally inclined towards sentiment when we contemplate the general character, mindset, integrity and scruples of our average political and public figures, this especially might be the case.

Here’s the thing: If we don’t use doubta measure of political agnosticism wherein we question that misplaced trustto control the psycho-pathologically derived misanthropy and the collective totalitarian mindset of these people, they’ll have little compunction in using our inability, refusal, or unwillingness to doubt [to] control us. As indeed they are, and will continue to do! (See here and here.)

Picturing the Prince (The Ballad of ‘Bogus Bill’)

We’ll return to these themes later. But any meaningful discourse of Covid requires us to critically examine the integrity of the chief architect of the existential milieu in which we find ourselves. For those looking into our current malaise (how did we get here?), it is to Bill Gates and the Bill & Melinda Gates (BMG) Foundation we must turn our attention.

In reporting on his much-touted philanthropic endeavours, James Corbett of The Corbett Report is one who’s nailed the essence of Gates, and dared to challenge the accepted narratives of the public relations exercise which has crafted them. For those who haven’t seen Corbett’s expose, suffice to say there are many takeaways, most of which may be difficult to digest for those disinclined to doubt. But essential viewing it is. Along with being an admirer of the man’s work, it’s worth noting I’ve rarely seen him as animated as he has been about the Covid agenda. This in itself is a most telling observation.

From Microsoft to microbes of the life-threatening kind, from viruses of the digital to the less metaphorical variety, Corbett’s own finely tuned doubt receptors have rendered us a compelling portrait of Gates and his backstory, along with the myth, his agenda, and his ‘business model’ for humanity. Once such are revealed, doubt impels us to question many aspects of the Covid phenomenon, not least the disruptive and destructive impositions, edicts, and directives we’ve come to blithely accept from those purporting to manage the ‘crisis’ in our best interests. The wearing of masks, social distancing, lockdowns, border closures, self-isolation, and draconian penalties for infringements of any of the above are just a few of the countless examples.

To be sure, this purportedly philanthropic—and on its face off-piste—career ‘redirection’ for one of the world’s richest and most ruthless of capitalists had many folks reassessing their views of the man. After experiencing a ‘come to me Lord’ moment, Gates had recalibrated his values, mended his ‘wicked ways’, and set out on the road to redemption. Doubtless it was one he presumably felt would, like St Paul’s, in the fullness of time lead him to a higher moral ground and a ‘salvation’ of sorts. And one expects, an immortality of the type few folks might reasonably aspire to much less anticipate.

Sounds fair enough. Using one’s massive, somewhat ill-gotten fortune to eradicate the world’s diseases, reduce poverty along with economic and social inequality, and in general make the planet a better place for the masses (of whom there are far too many in the ‘gospel’ according to Gates), sounds like a grand idea, a selfless goal, taking the whole concept of noblesse oblige to another stratosphere entirely. Some might say it is quixotic, though in his case absent ‘the Don’s’ altruism, the windmills, suit of armour, sceptical off-sider, and trusty steed. It seems to have worked a treat.

To reiterate, there are many who didn’t buy Bill’s ‘bill of goods’ from the off, and remain consistent still; as noted even more now are, if not rejecting it outright, applying suitable mechanisms of doubt. For those doing so, the Covid agenda has revealed Gates’ apparent Damascene conversion all those years ago to all-round good guy, the prince 0f the pathogenic epoch as it were—in his case, the penultimate humanitarian of our era, making John D Rockefeller look like a curmudgeonly ‘scrooge’ even after his not dissimilar re-baptism back in the day—as a fraud, a phony, a chimera of charitable intent.

The Parasitic Profiteers of Adversity

Few people one imagines have transformed the act of giving away their money such a consummately profitable business model. We only need follow the money, or ask: Who benefits? Cui bono? as we say. As with 9/11, the dramatis personae in Covid’s ‘cattle-call’ of beneficiaries is a ‘cast of thousands’, and then some! The parasitic profiteers of angst, adversity and misfortune are rarely in short supply!

And whilst a more complete picture of the ultimate goals of the BMG Foundation, along with the agendas of its various ‘franchisees’ and subsidiaries, might remain unclear for some, it’s enough to say that if its much-touted altruistic aims are to be accepted, there is much more work to be done. In the PR domain that is. This even if the results thus far are quite impressive to say the least.

Public relations (one of whose notable pioneers was no less than Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays, who leveraged then monetised his uncle’s conclusions about the inner working of the human mind to stunning effect), doesn’t as a rule seek to provide objective insights into contemporary events. It is about manipulating and moulding (sorry, “managing”) our perceptions of people, situation and circumstance, and doing so by deception, either by omission or commission, by misinformation or disinformation, or both, in each case! This ‘alchemical’ myth-making aims to poison—indeed mutate—the core narrative of our history, as well as the more contemporary political and civil discourse.

Now I feel I can say all this with some measure of authority as I’ve an insider’s grasp of how PR works, a previous life having afforded me such. Being able to match one’s own knowledge of history in general with the history of PR and how it has become such an omnipotent force governing the management of our political economy and our society provides such insight. For those who might challenge the substance of Freud’s own ‘warts ‘n all’ insights into the human condition, the effectiveness of PR is the best evidence we have that the fabled former Viennese ‘shrink’ knew his id from his superego.

We might even go so far to say that whatever values remained of the heritage bequeathed to us by the so-named age of enlightenment, were subverted by Freud’s conclusions around two hundred odd years later. More accurately, it was their application in the real world for purposes and motives that had little to do with enlightenment, reason and rational thinking and much to do with their antithesis, that may have been the real fly in the ointment.

 True, one does not need a post-doctoral degree in Freudian psycho-analytical theory to decide when the forces of PR are in effect. A modicum of “aggressive common sense” will do it. Yet as the American author H.D. Thoreau once mused, ‘…there is such a thing as circumstantial evidence, as when you find a trout in the milk’. Sadly, our “common sense” is not as ubiquitous as we give ourselves credit for, even less “aggressive” as it needs be.

What Gates and Co. have presented thus far is a masterclass in PR’s preternatural capacity to induce the desired doubts in the populace, and from there, mould opinion and/or manufacture out of thin air the credulous acquiescence of the misgoverned. In the view of many (nowhere near a critical mass to be sure), humanity’s ‘crisis’ du génération has unmasked the Gates’s real motives and their earnest, over-arching game-plan. Put another way, we don’t need to wait for the lab results to tell us there are rats in the gravy!

In squarely assessing the Covid phenomena, one is struck by any number of conclusions—as inescapable as they’re disturbing—about the forces driving it, and about our collective surrender to these forces. As noted (but cannot be overstated), the first is our recidivistic disposition to, like sermons upon the mount, internalise ‘fashionable’ ideas in the deeper recesses of our cognitive backyards. We continue to embrace such edicts from on high, without a great deal (if any) of critical thought, analysis or again, simple, homespun doubt. Our belief in, and acceptance of, such edicts are little more than faith-based.

In this, our education system is to be sure, a principal culprit. As someone who’s spent (another) previous life as a professional educator, for this writer that much is a given. Whilst this’ll be the subject of a future, deeper reflection on the root causes of our contemporary malaise, suffice to say there’s little provision within the modern school curriculum for the encouragement of critical thought (in this writer’s view, the opposable thumb of the intellect), the terrain having been purposely—yet covertly—well-tilled and seeded to this end over several decades. Beyond formal education itself, other forces come into play to be sure, not least our media.

Thus our “worldview” remains forever unchallenged, unchanged. It needs be noted that along with positioning himself amongst the medical and health fraternity as the ‘go-to’ global guru on public health policy in general and the dangers of contagious diseases in particular, Gates has cemented this reputation with the broader public by assiduously courting the mainstream (corporate) media and the reigning political classes and their unelected patrons in unstinting support of the BMG Foundation’s agenda.

And though the COVID thing represents the best evidence we have of how we’re being misinformed—and from there (mis) governed—in the here and now, it serves as a reliable index of how we might be so governed in the future. This much is clear: they’ll keep ‘pushing the envelope’ here until our mailboxes are full. A casual scrutiny of some of history’s most consequential events, developments and turning points is enough for the discerning doubter to appreciate this. Though it might go without saying, as indicated by then it most likely will be too late. Even if the truth of events comes out, the damage has already been done. No collective, belated epiphany upon the part of the public can undo it. Here we might recall John Gray’s earlier point about beliefs being “rarely renounced” when “contradicted by facts”.

In the Land of the Infected (None so Blind)

Now those not persuaded by the preceding views may need to ‘get out more’, to use the vernacular. Which is to say we need to wake up to the brain-numbing barrage of propaganda on the one hand and stifling censorship on the other to which we’ve been subjected for many years: this Orwellian milieu has expanded greatly since the emergence of this so-called crisis. It’s tantamount to psychological warfare of the asymmetrical kind, where the stronger power determines to have the upper hand, and is well positioned to achieve and maintain it.

As Vanessa Beeley from 21C Wire reveals, this trend towards increasing censorship, surveillance and secrecy is very much an exponential work in progress, with the latter possibly not being the most appropriate word given the zeitgeist. To the degree notions of transparency and accountability are in play, the miscreants driving these developments are now more open (or less embarrassed or apologetic) about being caught out, and ever more immune when they are called out. Any sense of embarrassment, guilt or shame their ilk might have been prone to back in the day has long since been surgically removed as if it were a ruptured appendix. (See here, here, here, here, and here for more on this.)

The perpetrators and sources of propaganda and censorship are many and various: They run the gamut from global and regional foundations, commissions, movements, and assorted agenda-driven organisations to national, state and provincial governments; [to] the corporate (mainstream) media along with the intelligence and security agencies; lobby groups, think tanks, NGOs; Big Tech, Big Pharma, Big Arms et. al.; and myriad other private and public institutions and vested interests, including even our regulatory bodies and legislative assemblies. If only we could have a vaccine to inoculate us against this cognitive onslaught, this pernicious societal and political virulence!

This operant conditioning (or programming), a euphemism for old-school brainwashing, albeit utilising more sophisticated technological and psychological instruments, is designed to elicit a false consensus effect (or bias) in people, whereby they ‘see their own behavioural choices and judgments as relatively common and appropriate to existing circumstances’. In other words, we accept our personal beliefs, values, perceptions, and attitudes as relatively widespread through the general populace, and we react in kind, something of a herd mentality one suspects. Once the herd mentality is in play, there is no herd immunity. (Think wildebeests here, or maybe lemmings).

Jung, himself, warned of the ‘politico-social delusional systems’ and ‘monkey tricks’ politicians use to ‘poison the utterly incompetent mind of the masses.’ Less lofty in tone, yet perhaps more pithily, the popular British satirist and fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett acutely observed: ‘…the IQ of a mob is the IQ of its most stupid member divided by the number of mobsters’. Aristotle’s oft-cited postulate that ‘nature abhors a vacuum’ may have its discontents; what is inarguable is that this is where stupidity finds its natural habitat, and ignorance its idyll.

Such acquiescence on our part can be aroused by sub rosa, beguiling means, like predictive programming. This is very much a forte of the film and television business to be sure. According to Alan Watt, ideas which might otherwise be seen as undesirable, bizarre, vulgar or impossible ‘are inserted into films [as] fantasy. When the viewer watches these films, his/her mind is left open to suggestion and the conditioning process begins.’ Hollywood has been called the ‘dream factory’, ironic on many levels, especially as it is no slouch in the fabrication of nightmares. That it does so purportedly for our ‘entertainment’ is doubly ironic. (Here we might again think of the events of 9/11. See here also.)

Predictive programming is usually deemed the domain of the “conspiracy theorist”, Watt and his ilk being dismissed as such. The epithet has always been and remains the de rigueur response from those who like to ‘man the barricades’ at any hint the official narrative of events past and present may not be kosher. As with such theories, whether they turn out to be true or not (we know many do, in fact; see here, here, and here just for starters), coincidence plays a key role in how we determine what’s a conspiracy and what’s not.) Again, as Gray’s previous observation underscores, even then, such revelations rarely deliver an appropriate corrective to the accepted narrative.)

Though by no means the best or the only one, an exemplar of such programming (akin to ‘tilling the soil’), is the 2008 British film Doomsday—a dystopian, nihilistic, viral-apocalypse gore-fest of the first order. The central ‘character’ in this film is the aptly named “Reaper” virus, the arrival and impact of which decimates the population and splits the UK in two under martial law. It then ‘disappears’, only to ‘mysteriously’ resurface thirty years later. By this time, we’re living the nightmare! Cue the darkness, in the land of the infected.

Slickly made—with a plot that on its face stretches plausibility and replete with over-the-top action scenes rivalling the Mad Max (aka Road Warrior) films and their ilk, only with lethal badass germs and a cast of infected zombie-like thousands a la The Living Dead roaming the desolate landscape, the film does what it says on the box. Although I didn’t see Bill Gates’ name in the credits (OK, I didn’t check; but ‘creative consultant’ or ‘technical adviser’ anyone?), it was like so many others of its ilk, scripted and produced to transcend mere edge-of-your-seat, pop-corn entertainment. (See here for the “Top Ten” in the genre; and yes, it is a “genre”.)

There was a message in the film to be sure, and it wasn’t necessarily a cautionary tale about capricious microbes waiting to bush-wack us on our evolutionary path and eradicate us all before we do same to ourselves by other means. What makes this film relevant herein is the subversive political agenda that drives much of the action. (As fictional fare, everyone, man and his dog, loves a good conspiracy theory it seems. It’s only when we step back into the real world that we have trouble entertaining, less so accepting, such possibilities. What makes us think Covid might just be different? This question need not be simply rhetorical.)

Yet for apocalyptic prescience of the pathogenic kind in fictional conspiratorial plotting, it is Israeli Hamutal Shabtai who gets the nod. Over 23 years ago she wrote a book—largely unnoticed it appears—about the emergence of a Covid-like pandemic, set in 2020. Not so imaginatively titled 2020, this novel was apparently only published in Hebrew, and according to Raul Diego of MintPress News, originally written as a film script. Diego:

Shabtai…predicts the state of the world today as a result of the counter-measures with uncanny accuracy and foretells of a society ravaged by a virus, which ushers in a “global health dictatorship”.

Rats in the Gravy

And for those unaware of the origins of the “conspiracy theory” construct as used in the pejorative (it almost always is), it’s time to bring oneself up to speed. Look no further than the CIA’s infamous Operation Mockingbird, the most enduring, successful, well-documented, psychological operation (aka ‘psy-op’) ever concocted by The Company, one promiscuously embraced by all Western intelligence and security agencies and their governments. They’ve been dining out on it for over seventy years. And we’ve been picking up the tab.

The phrase “conspiracy theorist” itself was a purpose-built initiative of OpMock and its attendant illusions and shell-games. So effective has this meme been, it has prevailed against our political enlightenment over three generations, shows no sign of approaching its use-by date, and provides us more evidence if required that Freud knew his stuff.  It has been the perfect vaccine against authentic doubt (or “aggressive common sense”), the latter being the virus that most scares our political and power elites. For his part Gates appears increasingly unhinged by all the Covid naysayers, recently decrying “conspiracy theorists” and their “crazy, evil” accusations. One marvels as to why he took so long to ‘sound the alarm’! (For more information on OpMock, see here, here and here).

And this is without mentioning MK-ULTRA (aka Artichoke), the same agency’s diabolical mind-control and brainwashing plots, programs, experiments and schemes. This is a program the records of which the CIA reportedly destroyed (at least by some accounts) in the early seventies. But this author doesn’t buy that theory. (See here, here, and here.)  Even if the names might’ve changed, that the overarching (and overreaching) goals of both programs could still be in play is something we should take as a given.

We are then via real-time surveillance faced with the prospect of more and more intrusions into, and dispossession of, our privacy—propelled by frontal attacks on our presumed entitlements in this respect. This is especially so with the advent of artificial intelligence, genetic modification (GM) and 5G intelligence and data mining and manipulation technologies: I’m reliably informed of such prospects by an associate, a long-time career computer engineer no less, who sees a dark future for humanity herein. The increasing sophistication of, and both ubiquitous and iniquitous (increasingly untested, unregulated), application of AI/GM/5G control tools and power-wielding processes makes this a given.

In this Brave New World meets 1984 future, such technologies will come to rule, direct, psychologically orchestrate, socially engineer, behaviourally manage, and genetically manipulate every aspect of our lives. One can reasonably surmise this is one of the key motives for—and objectives of—those associated with its rollout. Human nature has a track record of going off-track, and it is not one overly imbued with circumspection, erring on the side of caution, forward thinking, altruism, or broad consideration of the public weal. If it can all be monetised along with being weaponised all the better. Which it is and will continue to be. Of that we can be sure.

Though space prohibits an in-depth discussion of such, it’s worth mentioning at this point the widely perceived connections between the timing of the rollout of 5G and the arrival of Covid. It’s enough to say that one credible observer—Robert F Kennedy Jr.—foresees a “catastrophe” for humanity. For him, there are no ‘mights’ or ‘maybes’ about it. It is instructive that he made this comment in the context of talking about pandemics, vaccines and the like. But he was clearly alluding to the possible environmental and health blow-back from rolling out this scandalously untested technology. (See also here.)

And it would seem that Covid has brought into sharp relief the corruption and avarice of our once trusted medical science and health professions. In this writer’s ‘humble’ opinion, Kennedy is one of the most articulate and principled advocates for more accountability and transparency within and across the broad medical, pharmaceutical, healthcare, health insurance, health science and scientific research and associated regulatory domains. He attends his message with a no punches pulled indictment of the widespread, deep-seated conflicts of vested interests therein, and the rampant abuse and neglect of the public trust he sees as being out of control in these spheres.

In a lengthy interview last year, Kennedy gave vent to all of the above and then some. Whilst the main focus was on Covid and the disturbing implications for our future, his views extended to the numerous issues which attend Covid. There are any number of reveals in this wide-ranging discussion and RFK’s son—a litigation lawyer, safe vaccine advocate, and environmental activist—was ‘all over his brief’ as it were. Like the Corbett revelations on Gates, this interview provides valuable insights. (Similar to many who share his beliefs, Kennedy maintains that he is not against vaccines but wishes that they be more thoroughly tested and investigated.)

One striking illustration (countless others abound) providing further evidence of the misinformation and disinformation that has become the hallmark of the perpetual motion propaganda and censorship machine that has been purpose built to keep the official narrative on track is the following. Dr. Roger Hodkinson is Chairman of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons committee in Ottawa, and also CEO of a large private medical laboratory in Edmonton, Alberta. He’s also Chairman of a medical biotechnology company seeking to enter the vaccination market.

On its face this looks a typical conflict of interest of the type referred to earlier. Yet in a video (originally posted on Youtube, but tellingly removed by YT gatekeepers shortly thereafter), Hodkinson decried the utterly unfounded hysteria’ surrounding Covid, which he said was ‘driven by the media and politicians’. Along with calling it ‘the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on an unsuspected public’, Hodkinson declared the ‘crisis’ as nothing more than ‘a bad flu season. It’s politics playing medicine and that’s a very dangerous game.’ He further added:

There is no action needed…Masks are utterly useless. There is no evidence whatsoever they are even effective. It is utterly ridiculous seeing these unfortunate, uneducated people walking around like lemmings obeying without any evidence. Social distancing is also useless… [T]he risk of death under 65 is 1 in 300,000…the response utterly ridiculous.

 Quarantining Humanity (Useless Eaters and Useful Idiots)

To sum up: If we relinquish our freedom of action, choice and movement to the pandemic priesthood and supplant our individual thoughts and speech with the accepted narratives of their agendas, we do so at our own peril. We are in effect dispensing with one of the most effective tools of defence in the smoke-filled ‘wilderness of mirrors’ (located as it is inside a cacophonous echo chamber) that passes for reality, one in which we all too readily assume will present greater opportunities for us, our families and descendants to pursue, attain, then lead full, free, productive, meaningful—and better; i.e., improved—lives.

This illusory construct has been purpose-built to reflect and echo a reality of their own making. Such pseudo-realities have been with us for some time and remain extant, a work in progress. One hardly needs to be a political philosopher or logician to detect the vicious circularity of this existential malaise, and we are but bit players performing in this post-modern danse macabre, this cosmic, mordantly ironic, nihilistic opera of the absurd, one directed by criminal sociopaths and choreographed by the certifiably insane.

We sacrifice all this for what is rapidly approaching in extremis, something of a devolution of humanity, marked by soulless economic determinism, technological tyranny, social engineering, genetic manipulation, political absolutism, psychological alienation, and an ineradicable spiritual ennui unimagined of in the most conceivable of pessimistic, dystopian futures. The mythical deities of Grecian antiquity combined, from Zeus himself on down the mountain, might hardly have marshalled, much less manifested, this much narcissistic hubris towards, and disdain for, their mortal constituents and/or presumed omnipotence over them.

Brought into sharp relief by Covid, this entrenched institutional corruption, deception and fraud alone is prevalent and ongoing at the highest levels in both the private and public realms of our global political economy. As always seems to be the case, the corporate media—the glue that holds the monolithic capitalist, free market, globalist, free trade, neoliberal construct in place—have outdone themselves in this regard; after all the Russia-gate farce, some folks might’ve expected this to be a hard act to follow.

But follow it they did, doubling down and being even more brazen about it. Whilst a story for another time, they seem to have outdone themselves once more with their reportage on the conduct and outcome of the 2020 election. On both counts this has no precedent in American history, with the lies, damned lies, and dodgy statistics that underpinned their election coverage and the preordained narrative embedded therein being key to the stand-out nature of the poll.

With each passing day, though it may be too little too late, more high-profile and/or authoritative folks are beginning to speak up about the challenges and variegated dangers posed by the COVID crisis, and the manner in which it has been managed. One such person is the erudite German author Eckhart Tolle. During a recent lecture on the subject of adversity (an apposite title for the age in which we live perhaps?), Tolle delivers some poignant, yet still portentous comments on the Coronavirus hysteria.

In this two-parter, “Awakening Through Adversity,” the following are just a few of the points he covers:

  • Collective ‘hive mind’ and the spread of ‘mind viruses’;
  • How the collective mind is projected through social and mainstream media;
  • How sensationalism in mainstream media drives the ‘crisis’ narrative; and,
  • How to be more conscious of mainstream media manipulation.

 In these uncertain times, Tolle’s views on the Covid upheaval are especially worth listening to.

As a fitting coda to our ruminations then, the following might be appropriate. Insofar as COVID goes—and any plot dreamed up by hidden agenda-driven intriguers and schemers designed to serve their own interests or those in whose service they’re being amply rewarded—we’re looking down the barrel of not so much a medical, health, and/or social crisis (as bespoke as it is). We’re facing nothing less than what we might term a blood poisoning of the body politic.

It’s all but a fait accompli that we now accept it is their interests that will always come first. Although to some extent trust in our political, public and private institutions has declined precipitously, this half-assed realisation is too little, too late. We rarely seem to stop what we’re doing and consider the implications of that. Until that mistrust is converted into critical mass action, we’re on a hiding to nothing.

Which is to say, we’ll face two choices, both of which are something of the Hobson’s variety. We either become one of Vladimir Lenin’s “useful idiots” in the service of this all-out assault on democracy, the public weal, and humanity. Or we end up one of Henry Kissinger’s “useless eaters“. The ‘choice’ is ours (or not).

Or like Henry Ford once reportedly opined, ‘you can have any colour you like, as long as it’s black!’

If only we could embrace doubt with as much enduring enthusiasm and commitment as we do the purported good intentions of those who rule over us. If only…

The post The Psychic Dangers of Infected Minds (With a Lie this Large) first appeared on Dissident Voice.

American Exceptionalism: Private Wealth and Public Squalor

A December 2017 statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US manages to spend “more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined”, US infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, “the highest in the developed world”.

The Special Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to the US, during which he was able to observe the country’s “bid to become the most unequal society in the world” – with some 40 million people living in poverty – as well as assess “soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction”.

Capitalism, it seems, is a deadly business indeed.

Belen Fernandez

A demonstrator from the Occupy Wall Street campaign seen with a dollar taped over his mouth as he stands near the financial district of New York September 30, 2011 [File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]

A demonstrator from the Occupy Wall Street campaign seen with a dollar taped over his mouth as he stands near the financial district of New York September 30, 2011.  (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

How the Cookie Crumbles

She’s 80, comes from Ayr, Scotland, lives in a sea town along the Oregon Coast. She is caretaker for her 55-year-old nephew. Her heart-failed husband, liver shot through, dialysis weekly, is another of her charges.

Imagine, she and her family ran a small chain of shops — clocks, another locksmith, another fish and chips. That was in Bonnie Scotland.

Her sister married a bloke in the US Air Force, and she shipped out with him. Pregnant. Child Drew, early on, in Tucson at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, he was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. Life for her changed, and then her sister promised if anything happened to this sister, Aunt Regina would take care of Drew. That was a long long time ago.

Regina’s sister and her sister’s husband immolated in a crash coming back from El Paso. Boy Drew left with a younger sister — the boy age 20, sis 16.

For 35 years, our Regina and her Bob raised the boy. Drew is now 55, and part of my job is to support him in his job at a grocery store. He’s been there more than 15 years, and he makes $12.01 an hour.

Forget that economic injustice for a moment. Listen to how the crumbling cookie goes in predatory capitalism — Regina has not been back to the old country in 20 years. She has two knees that are shot. She needs two replacements, but she is the caretaker for the chronically-sick husband. Drew lives with them, getting his two-times a week work at the grocery store as a bagger.

He’s got the infectious personality, and he also has some “issues” glomming onto female staff. Regina was not told that adults with Downs Syndrome many times have lost the synoptic connections tied to urgency for urination and defecation.

Sweet drinks he gulps down, like a lost man in the Sahara. He scarfs down or wolfs down his food.

Like anyone, Drew wants to be in a relationship, married, on some piece of property with a horse, dogs and big garden. He works eight hours a week, and receives under $800 in social security payments.

The state pays Aunt Regina for his care. Her biggest worry is Drew losing his job because of the bathroom accidents or the sexual harassment.

Regina is kind but firm, and her bedside manner isn’t from the latest holistic and enlightened training around people who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“I tell Drew, that if he messes up one more time, the grocery store will fire him. The job is more than pocket change for him. He gets out, has responsibilities, is growing some from the integrated employment, and, mind you this is a big AND, I get him out of the house for a few hours a week so I can gain some sense of sanity. I don’t know if he has to be put into a state institution.”

Luck of the draw, luck of the gene expression, luck of the accidental car mortalities, luck luck luck.

That’s the way the cookie crumbles, and in capitalism, we are not judged by how we treat our aged, infirm, vulnerable, youth, sick, disabled, poor. The worse we treat “them,” the more “they” have to struggle, the more daily fear “they” have of failing, faltering, flipping out mentally, the more successful those Capitalists and those Investors and those Finance Wizards and those Upper Economic Class are!

Redistribution of wealth for “them” is taking every last penny from “them,” us. Working people at $12.01 an hour after 15 years in a national/international chain.

A mentality that posits that “they” meant to do that, defecate in their pants, or, oh, “they” know better, and, oh, “they” are gaming the system and pulling the wool over your bleeding heart social services worker heads.

Heartless in a Time of Plague   

Our Scottish Regina is worried about what will happen to Drew once she kicks the bucket, or when she is no longer physically capable of carrying on and running a household with a very demanding Drew and a very failing Bob, her 86-year-old husband.

We talk about the old country’s National Health Service. We talk about the failures of a society that has been ripped open time and time again by the purulent investors — another word for making money anyway they can.

Gutting medical care, gutting entitlement programs, gutting progressive taxation, gutting the measures for health and safety for and by the public. Where oh where will Drew go once his aunt and uncle pass on?

Think of every dollar and penny pinched, and then think of how much we the taxpayer shell out for every nanosecond of the crimes of corporations eating at the belly of communities, and every penny taken in light speed for everything run by the imposters, the misanthropes.

Every million$ here, every billion$ there. Grifters and grabbers. How much did the first Billionaire’s “impeachment” cost us? How much does an Alex Jones or Tom Brady or Michelle Obama get paid for their insipid bolstering of their self-referential mythology? Each speech? Each rot gut book penned?

Every rivet sunk into a Hellfire missile, every pound of fuel used in US Military Terrorism Toys, every nanosecond million made through illegal and unethical investing through algorithm?

That Moon shot by India, or that Mars rover by Japan, or Israel gunning for more surveillance. How much is every human lifetime worth, if we are lumped together in that big pile of “other” and “non-human”?

That heartless cookie crumbling capitalism is rotten to the core. The joke is, though, by the filthy rich, the Art of War Friedman’s and Bezos and all the Google middling’s and upper crust, that if all the billions were taken from the filthy rich, and dumped into the majority on planet earth — the poor, the uneducated, the misbegotten, the terminal, the dysfunctional, the Jerry Springer protagonists and antagonists, in five years all that and more would be back in the hands of the Star Chamber 1,000 or 2,000 Multi-Billionaires.

“We’d just get it all back, because the masses are inherently stupid, know nothing about the value of a dollar, would buy all the junk and shit and whoring dreams we create to sell. We’d have all that so-called ‘redistributed’ wealth back in our hands.”

That myth is coupled with another one, where the rich and the rest of us, having collectively, as much as the 1,000 or millionth richest? Christian Parenti lays it out simply and clearly here:

The 85 richest in the world probably include the four members of the Walton family (owners of Wal-Mart, among the top ten superrich in the USA) who together are worth over $100 billion. Rich families like the DuPonts have controlling interests in giant corporations like General Motors, Coca-Cola, and United Brands. They own about forty manorial estates and private museums in Delaware alone and have set up 31 tax-exempt foundations. The superrich in America and in many other countries find ways, legal and illegal, to shelter much of their wealth in secret accounts. We don’t really know how very rich the very rich really are.

Regarding the poorest portion of the world population—whom I would call the valiant, struggling “better half”—what mass configuration of wealth could we possibly be talking about? The aggregate wealth possessed by the 85 super-richest individuals, and the aggregate wealth owned by the world’s 3.5 billion poorest, are of different dimensions and different natures. Can we really compare private jets, mansions, landed estates, super luxury vacation retreats, luxury apartments, luxury condos, and luxury cars, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars in equities, bonds, commercial properties, art works, antiques, etc.—can we really compare all that enormous wealth against some millions of used cars, used furniture, and used television sets, many of which are ready to break down? Of what resale value if any, are such minor durable-use commodities? especially in communities of high unemployment, dismal health and housing conditions, no running water, no decent sanitation facilities, etc. We don’t really know how poor the very poor really are.

85 Billionaires and the Better Half by Michael Parenti

Ways of Thinking - Feudalism is very much alive

Image by Judite B

The books and discourse and deep discussions and analyses have already been posited and published, and yet, we are in 2021, and the school system, the media system, the propaganda machines of government-military-resource extraction-big ag/med/pharma/AI/finance continue to cobble truth, censor the reality of the penury system that is consumer-corporate-criminal-corrupt Capitalism.

Here, a hodgepodge of readings ramifying the thesis in this essay of mine —

Chris Hedges and Richard Wolff: Capitalism Does Not Work for the Majority of the People

Make No Mistake: The Rule Of The Rich Has Been A Deadly Epoch For Humanity

Michael Parenti: Does Capitalism Work? (2002)

The 1% Pathology and the Myth of Capitalism

Capitalism: The Systematic Poverty and Exploitation of Human Beings by Finian Cunningham

Michael Parenti: These Countries Are Not Underdeveloped, They Are Overexploited (1986)

Luxury Eco-Communism: A Wonderful World is Possible

The Growing Disparity In Living Conditions and Its Consequences by Rainer Shea

Covid-19 and the Health Crisis in Latin America by Yanis Iqbal

The Start Of The Great Meltdown For Industrial Civilization by Rainer Shea

MFTN: Poverty Will Kill More Of Us Than Terrorism

The Rich Are Only Rich If We Let Them Be by Dariel Garner

Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty in the World by Michael Parenti

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger + How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich by Dariel Garner

We Are So Poor Because They Are So Rich by Dariel Garner

Here are the source links — X and Y

Railroaded into this Mess 

It all comes back to the rackets — war, banking, big ag, law, prisons, military, computing, finance, insuring, retail, lending, investing, for-profit medicine, education, utilities.

The rackets of putting garnishments on all of our wages. The punishment rackets of fines, foreclosures, levies, taxes, fees, surcharges, add-ons, user fees, disposal fees, tolls, late fees, interest fees, penalties, wage attachments, wage theft, any-government-revenue/policing/judicial entity having the legal right to crack into any savings or checking or real estate holding they want to….And steal!

Imagine that freedom, uh? My Drew or my Don, they work for pittances, and they have their measly wages garnished if they make too much above the allowable social security benefit level. Imagine all of the flimflam, all those middle and peripheral and shadowy and underhanded people and agencies each taking a gram of flesh until that human life has been pecked away.

Stuck in a closet somewhere. Huddled around a TV, surrounded by the deadly products of a food industry responsible for billions dead. Food (sic) more deadly than cancer sticks, AKA cigarettes.

Think hard how those children-who-come-to-me-as-adults as their social services manager, wanting me to help them find jobs in a dog-eat-dog culture, where the cookie isn’t just crumbling, but rather smashed into smithereens by the capitalists. All those poisons in food, all the polluting, toxin-laced, dam-building, river-tainting, air-staining processes that bring us better living with plastics-fastfood-shelf lives of a decade. Better living through chemistry, pharmaceutics, chronic illness, disease management, pain regulating.

Then, we cannot discuss the possibilities of a society with more and more allergies, more and more chronic illnesses, more and more learning disabilities, more and more developmental disabilities, more and more intellectual disabilities, more and more trauma and PTSD and generalized anxiety and physiological premature weathering.

And poverty does more than just kills. Poverty eats at the soul, drives people to unsafe harbors like consumerism, disposability, obsessions, addictions, inattentiveness, collective Stockholm Syndrome, perversions, empty calories-entertainment-thinking.

There are numbers just for one aspect of our consumer-retail-exploitative societies competing in a trans-national gallery of dirty capitalism — 4.2 million premature deaths annually? Five million? More? Exposure to air pollution caused over 7.0 million deaths and 103.1 million disability-adjusted life years lost in one year.

Attributed to dirty (polluted) air. Not dirty water. Not dirty food. Not dirty drugs. Not smoking. Not boozing. Not war.

The study uses existing data from IHME on global burden of diseases (Mortality and Disability Adjusted Life Years) related to air pollution such as Trachea, Bronchus and Lung cancer, COPD, Ischemic heart disease and Stroke. This study shows that air pollution is one of the major environmental risk factors for the global burden of disease in 1990-2015 and has remained relatively stable for the past 25 years. By region, the largest burden of disease related to air pollution is found in Western Pacific and South-East Asia, reflecting the heavy industry and air pollution hotspots within the developing nations of these regions. Moreover, the rates of Disability Adjusted Life Years increased because of increase in pollution, especially in South-East Asia region, African region, and Eastern Mediterranean region where populations are both growing and ageing.

— Source

I’ve written about this for years — how there is so much disconnect in Criminal Capitalism, where the marketing ploys and psychological tricks force babies and then toddlers and then kindergarteners and then grade schoolers and then more and more millions of growing minds to adapt to counterintuitive thinking, to accept death, slow or otherwise, as part of the social contract. Dog-eat-dog, predation, big fish/small pond, and the roots of America after decimating Turtle Island, one smoke and mirror show after another snake oil sales pitch.

Which sane or humane person would accept a PayDay loan scam? Which humane person would accept forced arbitration clauses? Which caring human would not endorse clean, well-run, full coverage public transportation? Which caring mother would not demand prenatal care, and medicine and clinics on demand? Where is the logic of old men and old women (look at the senate, the congress, the administration) running the lives of the unborn, newborn and youth into the ground.

Even the thirty-somethings in Brooks Brothers suits look, sound, smell, and espouse OLD. I don’t mean old and wise, or elder thinkers, or experienced and well traveled. I mean old in decayed.

If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with old minds and new programs. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but a new program.

The Takers accumulate knowledge about what works well for things. The Leavers accumulate knowledge about what works well for people.

— Daniel Quinn, Ishmael

These flimflam artists, these liars and cheaters and pontificators and media monsters, they are antithetical to a good governance, good society, good people.

They not only do not know the stories of Drew and his Aunt Regina and Uncle Bob, but they have no forward-thinking solutions to the aging old foster parents and the still healthy middle-aged Drew. With all his beauty. With all his kindness. With all his adept knowledge of how to get on, get along, get his day going. Drew, born in the cookie crumbles crap shoot. Regina, who was on her way back to the UK, Scotland, when she answered the call to take care of Drew and his sister.

This story is repeated a million times a month, worldwide. The penalty for living, for being human, for being not one of them (rich, powerful, greed-wielding) and for stopping their lives to do the right thing.

You wake up one day and believe you have a worthy life. You wake up and take account of what good you have done. You wake up and look in the mirror and wonder what it is you actually dreamt, thought, spoke, cared for, read, built, protected, grew, sheltered, did, held sacred, envisioned, husbanded, parented, fostered, ate, drank, created.

Did any of that living have purpose, or some connection to the humanity that is the real culture of Homo Sapiens, mother culture?

Daily, I have a million intersections with culture and cultures — Big D for deaf or small d for disabled? Brain-injured at birth, or hit by a truck at age 11. Traumatic Brain Injury from an early childhood beating, or massive psychological trauma from a rape at age 20. Born with any number of diagnosed maladies, or any expression of “being born on the autism spectrum.” Fragile X or fetal alcohol affective disorder. Or Downs Syndrome.

The luck of the draw is one enormous field of chance, and the outcomes are not just tied to the abilities — emotional, spiritual, economic, personal — of those you call family, but how the society at large and each community gauge the value of life, the value placed on those whose luck of the draw came up short in some areas.

But the world is fragile, and those on some neuro typical scale and those atypically neuro, can we build our culture together, and heal and protect and shelter and engender and facilitate and teach and learn from?

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.

— Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit

victor-palenque-ishmael-lords-wolves-read-ishmael-daniel-quinn

The post American Exceptionalism: Private Wealth and Public Squalor first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Vaccinations and Stimulus Packages Won’t Mend the Economy

The social and economic destruction engulfing the U.S. and dozens of other countries remains out of everyone’s control and more chaos, instability, and insecurity now mark the global landscape.

The ruling elite have repeatedly shown their inability to tackle any serious problems effectively. They are at a loss for how to deal with current problems and refuse to consider any alternative to their obsolete economic system. The best they can do is recycle old ideas to maintain their class power and privilege. Their efforts to block the New focus mainly on promoting disinformation about “new and better forms of capitalism,” including oxymorons like “inclusive capitalism,” “responsible capitalism,” and “ethical capitalism.”

Since the outbreak of the “COVID Pandemic” in March 2020 every week has been a roller coaster for humanity. The economy and society keep lurching from one crisis to another while incoherence and stress keep amplifying. It is said that 1 in 6 Americans went into therapy for the first time in 2020.

Unemployment, under-employment, inequality, mental depression, anxiety, suicide, environmental decay, inflation, debt, health care costs, education, and poverty are worsening everywhere. Thousands of businesses that have been around for years keep disappearing left and right.

Top-down actions in response to the “COVID Pandemic” have made so many things worse for so many people. Many are wondering which is worse: the covid-19 virus or the top-down response to the pandemic. Governments everywhere have steadfastly refused to mobilize the people to solve the many problems that are worsening. The moral climate is low and more people are worried about the future.

An atmosphere has been created whereby people are supposed to feel like the exhausting “COVID Pandemic” will last forever and we can all forget about getting back to any normal healthy non-digital relations, activities, and interactions. No society in history has worn face masks for an entire year. We are told over and over again that there is no returning to anything called “normal.” Moving everything online and repeatedly asserting that this is great, “cool,” and wonderful is proving to be unsatisfactory and unfulfilling. People want and need real, direct, non-digital connections and interactions with other human beings. Life behind a screen is not life.

Even with all the restrictions and shutdowns the virus, according to the mainstream media, continues to wreak havoc at home and abroad. It is almost like none of the severe restrictions on people’s freedoms made any difference. People have had to endure this humiliation while also not being permitted any role in deciding the aim, operation, and direction of the economy or any of the affairs of society; they are left out of the equation every step of the way and not even asked for superficial “input” that always goes unheeded anyway. Existing governance arrangements are simply not working to empower people or affirm their rights. The people’s interests and will are blocked at every turn by an outdated political setup that advances only the narrow interests of the rich.

Despite intense pressure to blindly rely on the rich and their political representatives to “figure things out,” this is not working. Nor does it help that the mainstream media approaches multiple crises and issues with endless double-talk, disconnected facts, catchy sound-bites, dramatic exaggerations, angry voices, political axe-grinding, and lots of confusion. Coherence and a human-centered outlook are avoided at all costs. People are constantly left disoriented. Jumping arbitrarily and rapidly from one thing to another in the most unconscious way is presented as useful analysis and information. This is why sorting out basic information has become a full-time job for everyone. People are understandably worn-out and overwhelmed. Disinformation overload degrades mental, emotional, and physical health.

The world has become an uglier and gloomier place—all in the name of “improving health.” It is no surprise that a recent Gallup Poll shows that the majority of Americans are extremely dissatisfied with government, the economy, the culture, and the moral climate.

In this hazardous unstable context, there are two ever-present key pieces of disinformation operating side by side. Both are designed to deprive working people of any say, initiative, outlook, or power.

First there is the “once everyone is vaccinated things will be much better” disinformation. This ignores the fact that capitalist crises have endogenous causes not exogenous causes and that the economic crisis started well before the “COVID Pandemic.” More than 150 years of recessions, depressions, booms, busts, instability, chaos, and anarchy have not been caused by external phenomena like bacteria, germs, and viruses but by the internal logic and operation of capital itself. A so-called “free market” economy by its very nature and logic ensures “winners” and “losers,” “booms” and “busts.” It is called a “dog-eat-dog” fend-for-yourself competitive world for a reason. The modern idea that humans are born to society and have rights by virtue of their being is alien to “free market” ideology.

Despite the fact that millions have been vaccinated at home and abroad, poverty, inequality, unemployment, debt, and other problems continue to worsen. Businesses continue to suffer and disappear. Hospitality, leisure, recreation, and other sectors have been decimated in many countries. Air travel is dramatically lower. So are car sales. It is not enough to say, “Yes, the next few months will be rough and lousy economically speaking but we will get there with more vaccinations. Just be patient, it will all eventually work out.” This is not what is actually unfolding. The all-sided crisis we find ourselves in started before the “COVID Pandemic” and continues unabated. Such a view also makes a mockery of economic science and the people’s desire to decide the affairs of society and establish much better arrangements that exclude narrow private interests and do not rely on police powers.

In the coming months millions more will be vaccinated but economic decline and decay will continue. Both the rate and amount of profit have been falling for years. And owners of capital are not going to invest in anything when there is no profit to be had and when it is easier instead to balloon fictitious capital and pretend everything is a stock market video game. The lack of vaccinations did not cause the economic collapse the word is currently suffering through, nor will more vaccinations reverse economic decline and decay. The “COVID Pandemic” has largely made some people vastly richer and millions more much poorer. The “COVID Pandemic” has significantly increased inequality. Unfortunately, the so-called “Great Reset” agenda of the World Economic Forum and Pope Francis’s recent call for a “Copernican Revolution” in the economy will make things worse for millions more because they will perpetuate the existing moribund economic system. Such agendas are designed to fool the gullible, block working class consciousness and action, and keep the initiative in the hands of the global oligarchy.

The same applies to so-called “stimulus packages.” Various versions of these top-down monetary and fiscal programs have been launched in different countries, and while they have assuaged some problems for people, they have not been adequate or fixed any underlying problems. They have not prevented poverty or mass unemployment. Economies remain mired in crisis. In most cases “stimulus packages” have made things worse by increasing the amount of debt that many generations will have to repay. This is in addition to the many other forms of debt Americans suffer from and rent payments that will one day have to be paid.

Many are also wondering why trillions of dollars can be printed and instantly turned over to the banks and corporations with no discussion but the same cannot be done for social programs, public enterprises, and the people. Why, for example, can all not get free healthcare or have taxes eliminated? Why can’t various forms of personal debt be wiped out instantly? If the government can print money for “them” why can’t they print money for “us”? Who is government supposed to serve? Billionaires?

Nether the CARES Act of 2020 nor the stimulus package passed in December 2020 nor the one President Biden is pushing for in March 2021 will be adequate or solve any major problems. Many felt that the $600 stimulus checks that went out in December 2020 were pathetic and insulting.

The problem lies with a socialized productive economy run by everyone but owned and controlled by a tiny handful of competing private interests determined to maximize profit as fast as possible regardless of the damage to the social and natural environment. There is no way for the economy to benefit all individuals and serve the general interests of society so long as it is dominated by a handful of billionaires. The social wealth produced by workers cannot benefit workers and the society if workers themselves do not control the wealth they produce and have first claim to.

The outlook, agenda, and reference points of the rich must be rejected and replaced by a human-centered aim, agenda, direction, and outlook. The current trajectory is untenable and unsustainable. The situation is dangerous in many ways, but perhaps one good thing to come out of the accelerated pace of chaos, anarchy, and instability are the contradictions that are presenting new opportunities for action with analysis that favors working people.

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Proxy Jailor: Denying Assange Bail

History, while not always a telling guide, can be useful.  But in moments of flushed confidence, it is not consulted and Cleo is forgotten.  A crisp new dawn can negate a glance to the past.  Having received the unexpected news that Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States for charges of breaching the Espionage Act of 1917 and computer intrusion had been blocked by Justice Vanessa Baraitser, his legal team and supporters were confident. All that was left was to apply for bail, see Assange safely to the arms of his family, and await the next move by wounded US authorities.

Former UK ambassador Craig Murray, human rights activist and veteran reporter on the Assange case, was initially buoyant in his column.  “I fully expect Julian will be released on bail this week, pending a possible US appeal against the blocking of his extradition.”  He further got “the strong impression that Baraitser was minded to grant bail and wanted the decision to be fireproof.”

That fireproofing never came.  On Wednesday, January 6, the application for bail by Assange’s legal team was rejected.  Counsel for the US government, Clair Dobbin, built the prosecution’s case around the strong possibility that the publisher might flee the clutches of UK authorities even as the US was gathering its wits for an appeal to the High Court.  “His history shows he will go to any lengths to get away.”

Forums would welcome this disreputable character: Mexico, for instance, had offered to “protect Assange with political asylum.”  The defence might well say that he would not flee due to poor health, but could they be sure?  A “flight risk” had little to do with mental wellbeing.  Remember, she pressed, what he did during the Swedish proceedings, how he “ruthlessly” breached the trust of those who fronted the bail money. Those who had offered surety for him, such as the Duchess of Beaufort, Tracy Worcester, had also failed in ensuring that Assange presented in court in 2012.  Beware, warned Dobbin, of sinister networks of operatives he could call upon to aid him vanish.  WikiLeaks had, after all, facilitated the escape of Edward Snowden.

Dobbin’s tone and manner – gloomy and Presbyterian, as Murray described it – was all judgment.  She insisted to the court that, “any idea that moral or principled reasons would bear on Mr Assange’s conscience turned out to be ill-founded indeed.”  And she had much to go on, as Baraitser’s own judgment had essentially accepted virtually everything the prosecution had submitted bar grounds of mental health and the risk posed to him in US prison facilities.

As for the basis of whether an appeal would succeed, Dobbin was convinced the prosecution were on to something.  The judge, she respectfully submitted, had erred on a point of law in applying the incorrect test on the prison conditions awaiting Assange.  The test was not whether measures taken by US prison authorities would make suicide impossible; the only issue was for authorities to put measures in place to lessen its prospects.  Reprising her role in attacking various defence witnesses who had put together a picture of grotesque danger awaiting Assange, including the ADX supermax prison in Colorado, Dobbin was convinced that the US system stood the test.

Sidestepping the defence evidence on this, more thorough than anything supplied by the likes of US Assistant US Attorney Gordon Kromberg during the trial, Dobbin argued that no thorough assessment of the facilities for treatment and prison conditions had taken place.

Baraitser proved accommodating to Dobbin’s whipping submission.  “Notwithstanding the package offered by the defence, I am satisfied he might abscond.”  Having discharged Assange, she promptly repudiated her own ruling in a fit of Dickensian jurisprudence.  “The history of this case is well known…  Assange skipped bail and remained in the Ecuadorian Embassy to avoid extradition to the US.”  Assange would remain in Belmarsh prison pending the US appeal.

In her Monday judgment, Baraitser had acknowledged the signs of potential suicide shown by Assange during his stay in Belmarsh.  The prison adjudication report confirmed that, on May 5, 2019 “during a routine search of the cell solely occupied by Mr Assange, inside a cupboard and concealed under some underwear, a prison officer found ‘half a razor blade’.”  Baraitser even went so far as to accept, based on the assessment of defence witness Professor Michael Kopelman, that the finding of the razor was not merely a “disciplinary infraction” but one of the “very many factors indicating Mr Assange’s depression and risk of suicide.”

On Wednesday, her tune was indifferent to the consequences of sending Assange back to a maximum security prison stocked with Britain’s most notorious inmates.  Continuing her long spell of denial on the seriousness of COVID-19 in the UK prison system, she swatted the submission by defence counsel Edward Fitzgerald QC that there had been 59 cases specific to Belmarsh before Christmas and that the prison remained locked down.  Dobbin demurred on this point, showing an email sent by prison authorities at 10.49 pm the previous night claiming that only 3 positive tests for COVID for Belmarsh had been returned.

The result is that Assange continues to be punished, facing brutal carceral conditions while he awaits the next move by US prosecutors, despite having already served his sentence of skipping bail.  As a dejected Murray wrote, “Julian is living his life in conditions both torturous and tortuous.”

Amidst the banal cruelties of Wednesday’s proceedings came a smidgen of hope for Assange.  G. Zachary Terwilliger, the US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia handling the prosecution, had to admit to being uncertain about what a Biden administration would do.  Speaking to NPR, Terwilliger suggested that any decision taken on Assange would “come down to resources and where you’re going to focus your energies.” But he is not waiting to find out: a position at the law firm Vinson & Elkins awaits.

The UK, having adopted a position as Washington’s proxy jailor, is not about to quit its sordid role. Assange’s wellbeing and health continue to be jeopardised by his stay in Britain’s most notorious prison, where determined despair, as Baraitser herself has acknowledged, can take their toll.

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The Connection Between Poverty and Mental Illness

Image Source: Pixabay

“Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.”

This is a saying our country is familiar with. It’s a mentality that built American society the way it is today. Unfortunately, it’s not the only problematic sentiment our society is familiar with either.

Our society is full of platitudes, bromides all too often used to gloss over and even to excuse the profound economic injustices that continue to plague our modern world. The stark reality is that many people commend America as the land of promise and plenty, yet millions of people are struggling with extreme poverty. Now not only are the impoverished paying the price with their physical health but with their mental health as well.

But what, exactly, is the connection between poverty and mental illness? And what can be done to break this devastating cycle?

The First Pandemic

Long before the outbreak of COVID-19 shattered the national and global economy, the US was plagued by another, more enduring, and more pervasive pandemic: the pandemic of poverty. According to a 2017 article published by the National Institutes of Health, an estimated 1.5 million families in America, including 16 million children, were living in deep or extreme poverty, which is typically defined as living on $2 or less per day.

But poverty is far more than just a social or economic problem, and its health effects extend far beyond the physical health impacts related to malnutrition or lack of adequate healthcare. The greatest health risks associated with poverty may not be physical at all.

Research increasingly suggests that, regardless of the physical toll associated with poverty, the mental toll is even greater. Worse, perhaps, is that these impacts may outlast any change in an individual’s or a family’s socioeconomic status.

Children who grow up in poor homes are at greater risk for adult-onset mental illness, for example, as well as for disruptive behavioral disorders (DHD) during childhood. These disorders, combined with persistent financial struggles, put these children at an increased risk of dropping out of school prematurely. By dropping out and discontinuing the opportunity for a furthered education, the cycle of poverty and mental illness only continues. As this cycle continues to spin, many people below the poverty line end up suffering from mental health issues due to the trauma they’ve experienced.

Poverty, Mental Illness, and Addiction

Studies increasingly show that poverty is linked both to behavioral disorders in children and to anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) in adults and children alike. According to the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, more than 2.5 million adults living below the poverty line in the US have also suffered from some form of serious mental illness (SMI), including psychiatric, emotional, and/or behavioral disorders.

Studies indicate that the most prevalent of these disorders are substance use disorders (SUD). Those contending with the extreme and persistent financial stress may turn to substances to cope, leading to SUD in those who may be predisposed to addiction. This can be especially problematic for those that also suffer from homelessness.

Poverty as Mental Illness

The connection between mental illness and poverty is, perhaps, most apparent in the crisis of homelessness. Studies suggest that a significant proportion of the unhoused also suffer from undiagnosed or insufficiently treated mental illness.

The question remains, however, of whether homelessness is a symptom of mental illness or a cause. Indeed, for far too many years, homelessness, and poverty in general, has been pathologized. By viewing extreme poverty as a form or a manifestation of illness, we get to lay the “blame” on the supposed illness, and subsequently point the finger at those in whom the “illness” lies, as the source of the suffering.

In doing so, we individualize poverty and mental illness, rather than looking deeper. This pathologizing of poverty makes it easier to deflect from its true causes. To refuse to acknowledge the problem as a social one but as an individual one instead makes it easier to sustain the economic and social inequities that sustain the dividing lines between the haves and the have nots.

Although there is still far more work to be done to get at root causes, significant social support services do exist to help those facing food and housing insecurity establish a firmer financial footing. That includes not only financial aid but also vocational, employment, and education resources. In addition, mental health assistance has become more available to those under the poverty line.

Practicing Self-Care

As profound as the connection between mental illness and poverty may be, help is out there. If you are suffering from addiction, for example, you can access quality telehealth services, many of which are now covered by Medicare and Medicaid.

Likewise, if you are experiencing depression or anxiety, you can also access on-demand counseling and other free and low-cost mental health services over the phone and online. In addition to seeking quality healthcare, simply understanding your emotional triggers and creating a plan to manage them can help to prevent a mental health spiral, no matter what your financial situation may be.

The Takeaway

The connection between poverty and mental illness is a significant one. All too often, the two link in a vicious cycle that seems almost impossible to escape. The pandemic of poverty is both pervasive and systemic, but that does not mean that the poor are doomed to suffer both financially and psychologically. From housing and education support to mental healthcare and addiction counseling, help is available to help you break the chain.

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Covid and its Man-Made Gigantic Collateral Damage: The Great Reset

The going narrative in the west is: “Covid is on the Rise.  We are entering the second wave.  We must protect our people.”

The offered recipe is testing-testing-testing. It is the instrument for increasing “cases”. The more you test, the more cases you have. Is that so difficult to understand? If tomorrow the world stops “testing”, covid is gone. Finito. Back to life. That’s what they don’t want, though. “They”, the higher-ups. Let me call them the diabolical Deep Dark State.

However, testing and the testing results are never analyzed. How many positives are asymptomatic, who are the “positives’, what are their age groups? According to all those doctors around the world who have stepped out of the Matrix and formed associations of medical professionals and related scientists, most of them call themselves Doctors for the Truth, in Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria, Netherlands, Denmark, Peru, the USA and more – more than 80% of the “positives” are asymptomatic, meaning asymptomatic people feel nothing and never get sick.

About ten to fifteen percent have slight to more serious symptoms, but do not need hospitalization  and the rest who may be hospitalized is above 75 or 80 years of age almost all of them with one to several comorbidities. Of those who die, most die from a medical pre-condition – coronary disease, diabetes, cancer – with “tested” covid-19, but not from covid-19.

According to the various associations of Doctors for the Truth, they concluded, based on their experience, more than 50% of the so-called RT-PCM (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) deliver “false positives”. Of course, the labs, hospitals and doctors who perform them are aware, but they are silenced with a carrot or a stick. And the “false positives” conveniently help drive covid statistics through the roof.

But who would have an interest in that?

Curiously, very curiously, in the northern hemisphere — also called the Global North — the hundreds of years-old common flu has literally disappeared. From one year to another. We have just entered the season of the common flu, or “influenza”. Fall and winter are typical for the annual flu and cold. But nobody talks about it. Suddenly the flu has evaporated. No flu statistics. No mainstream media, no coopted doctors, hospitals or Covid Task Force, and, of course, no government officials, especially not those from the sacrosanct Health Authorities, would ever mention the word flu or “influenza”. Why? They don’t think that We, the people, could get the idea. Or do they?

Is it possible that the flu has been adopted, integrated into covid? This is just an innocent question, of course. One ought not to speculate with things that could put authorities in a corner, or worse, imply that they have been lying to the people who elected them, to the very people who pay their salaries.

And why would they do that? Do they have an obscure reason? Someone, something high-high above them, who tells them, all 193 UN nations at once, they have to cheat their people, because these high-high above them, sinister dark un-people have an agenda to implement? Perhaps Bill Gates’ Agenda ID2020, accompanied by WEF’s Klaus Schwab’s “Covid-19 – The Great Reset” (July 2020, available on Amazon and everywhere)?

It is indeed possible that governments around the globe have been coopted, by carrot or by stick (to put it benignly), to drive up covid statistics, covid “cases”; and what’s more convenient in the fall-winter season than converting the common flu which in any case, when tested, will show corona viruses. The flu and covid viruses are very, very similar; they are practically undistinguishable in a test.

Ask the doctors who stepped out of the Matrix, the doctors for the truth. Virtually all flu viruses contain a proportion of corona viruses, as high as 17% to 20%. So, telling what is what is almost impossible, and even less so if the mix-up can be favorable for covid and help drive the covid statistics up and up and up.

But who would be interested in making the pandemic look worse than it already is? Isn’t it that everybody wants to “flatten the curve”? At least that’s what they said during the first wave. It justified the first lockdown. Why would it be different in the second wave? And, yes, we are suddenly in the midst of the second wave. But nobody dares talking again about flattening the curve.

Virtually all governments have assured their people – frankly, we are more subjects than people for them, subjects that are manipulated with lies and masks and social distancing, separated from their loved ones through senseless quarantines – these potentially resisting subjects, WE, were assured that there will be no second lockdown, that the countries, the world, could not afford a second lockdown. However, gradually but with giant steps, these dictatorial governments, almost all of whom have quietly and without consultation of the people, adopted “Health Emergency Laws” — a close equivalent to Martial Law — have closed all the windows and doors, so that “bang” another lockdown is on the plate. And again, nowhere to escape.

Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, the UK, and so far, partly Switzerland have just declared within the last 48 hours a lockdown, or a quasi-lockdown, with curfews and “house arrests” – isolation at home, shop closings, work-from-home rules, and more.  Worse may follow. People take it. Benign protests only. But no steadfast and unrelenting resistance yet.

Others governments are weighing in, rather “when” than “if” – they want to take this draconian step, eviscerating the last shred of the remaining economy, and causing detrimental damage to humanity, social damage from isolation, social distancing – not being able to get together with family and friends. In some countries like Canada, the tyrannical Trudeau government has already announced that this year “Christmas may be cancelled” – meaning, no visits with families and friends. Others may follow suit. Can you imagine!

In a recent interview with RT, Stanford University Professor, medical doctor and President Trump’s Covid advisor, Scott Atlas, called the lockdown policies an “epic failure” and argued they are “killing people,”. Atlas added, “The public-health leadership have failed egregiously, and they’re killing people with their fear-inducing shutdown policies.” And further, “The lockdowns will go down as an epic failure of public policy by people who refuse to accept, they were wrong.”

Atlas then pointed to job losses, rising suicides, rising drug abuse and the harm being done to young people, tying the issues to the Covid-19 restrictions put in place. He referred to a study showing that 25 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 thought about killing themselves in June “due to the lockdown,” he said. And what’s maybe worse, We’re creating a generation of neurotic children, forcing them to wear masks and be six feet apart from their friends, or not even have school in person.”

People do not take it! Resist!

France, under President Macron, is already considering a third wave. RT reports:

France’s minister of solidarity and health, Olivier Veran, has said he cannot rule out a third wave of the coronavirus, as the country enters a second national lockdown.

As they battle a new spike in Covid-19 cases, French officials are already concerned about the threat of a third wave. Discussing the situation on France Info radio, Veran told listeners that, due to the severity of the virus and the speed at which it’s spreading, it’s not possible to rule out a third wave, even if the second peak is brought under control.

Defending the government’s decision to implement a second national lockdown, which comes into effect at midnight on Thursday (29 October), Veran claimed that it’s “nobody’s failure,” but said there are challenges with containing the spread, as they are dealing with an “invisible enemy.”

A second wave, worldwide, was already predicted in May 2020 because those who call the shots on the “innocent” people knew exactly that the flu season will come, as it does every year.

Now, the flu is blended in with covid, mixed up and adding to the dramatic hike of covid “cases”, covid statistics. This and the media hype will create more FEAR, more – or rather – THE justification for a second lockdown, and obedience, yes.  The scared are weak and vulnerable, they are manipulable, especially when threatened at the same time with disproportionately huge fines for disobedience. FEAR is the strongest weapon of these tyrants.

The FEAR factor makes new parents accept that hospitals impose upon them to wear masks when receiving their newborn. Faceless parents, fearsome world. Their newborn and later toddlers and children will know their parents with masks. Facial expressions are hidden. The child is being isolated in plain sight from their parents. That’s what this monstrous dictatorship, to which every government of this world is submissive, wants. Alienated children – a generation that grows up in a faceless society. This is a sinister form of child abuse that may destroy an entire generation. But that’s what the eugenists behind this covid cum 5G atrocity want – heartless, emotionless people, who may easily become dispensable. The dispensable people is not a new term. It has been used regularly in the circles of the current US Administration to designate people who are in their views worthless for society.

This reminds of an infamous Henry Kissinger saying, “Who controls the food supply controls the people; who controls the energy can control whole continents; who controls money can control the world.” These words were spoken already in the 1960s, by a eugenist. That’s what Kissinger is, a Rockefeller protégé, sharing his Master’s deepest thoughts, and he is joined, by whom else, Bill Gates, who doesn’t make a secret of wanting to reduce “drastically” the world population. It would therefore not come as a surprise, if the Great Reset also had in mind reducing food supply to certain “lesser populations”.

Even without disrupting food supplies, the poor will have no money to purchase food. They will enter a painful phase of famine, parents seeing their children starve  and many will succumb to famine, death by famine. This is the natural consequence of what’s already happening – bankruptcies abound, unemployment rises into unheard dimensions. The International Labor Office (ILO) predicts by end 2020 to mid-2021 that up to half of the world’s workforce may be out of work – most of them in the Global South, where about 70% of labor is “informal”, meaning no social safety nets, no pensions, no unemployment benefits, nothing.

Simultaneously, The World Food Program (WFP) predicts a Famine Pandemic, the consequences of which are far more disastrous than those of the so-called “covid-pandemic”. The WFP reports that today already 821 million people go to bed hungry every night, and an additional 135 million people facing crisis levels of hunger or worse. That means 135 million people on earth are marching towards the brink of starvation.

WFP predicts that Covid-19 will likely add another 130 million, who could be facing starvation by the end of 2020. That’s a total of 265 million people on the brink of death from starvation by the end of 2020.

The world’s governments – and all 193 UN members participate in one way or another – they are genocidal, since they know exactly what they are doing.

Enter the Great Reset, referred to above. It presents a disaster plan of total destruction – the 4th Industrial Revolution, based on IT, algorithms, robotism, transferring assets from the bottom to the top, what’s left of them, converting them in an “eco-friendly” way into a new capitalism, painted green, The New Green Deal. Will people fall for it? Propaganda is strong. Propaganda had already started with the 1992 Environmental Conference in Rio (The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), from 3-14 June 1992. This conference set the pace for the climate hype that ensued and to which by now almost the entire world is enslaved, leading to “How Dare You” Greta – and now the New Green Deal.

In this 4th Industrial age, where robots call the shots, we the surviving people, other than the commanding elite, of course, would become tele-commanded obedient servants, a bit like Aldous Huxley’s futuristic “Brave New World”.

We can resist. Peacefully, of course. For example, no more testing. Nobody goes “testing” and within no time the covid figures would decline. Covid would actually stop. And the common flu, as it does every year, would bother us a bit. But no reason for fear, because there are plenty of remedies – but NO Vaccines.

We have to peacefully engage in dialogue with the police and military, explain to them what’s at stake. They must understand that they are only the obedient servants of an abject rich elite’s agenda that has nothing to do with protecting public health, that, to the contrary, they are destroying public health and humanity. Police and military are just like us, We, the People. Once this dark sinister elite reached their goal of total control and take-over, police and military will be discarded and replaced by robots. That’s already in the books.

We have to talk to medical personnel in hospitals, clinics and medical practitioners, as well as to teachers from Kindergarten to primary school, all the way to universities – explain to them the “sinister plan” and what it has already done to humanity, to the world’s socioeconomic fabric.

And finally, we have to engage with the numerous country associations of thousands of medical doctors, virologists, immunologists and other scientists in the bio-medical field, who have stepped out of the matrix and sided with the people, often at the detriment of their careers – and worse.

No more testing and covid will be gone. And no vaccines.  Only in unison we are strong and can overcome. And overcome we shall!

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Anxiety Mindfulness and the Natural Unity of Life

Depression and anxiety are commonplace in contemporary societies, part of everyday life; celebrities and public figures, British Royalty even, talk openly about their struggles with conditions that were hidden and dismissed just a few years ago. Most of us either suffer from one of these debilitating diseases or know someone who does; for huge numbers of people around the world, life has become a kind of agony, something to cope with, a competitive battlefield in which only the few triumph.

Individual stress adds to, and is intensified by, the collective anxiety and tension under which we all live, which in turn exacerbates personal suffering; and so a self-perpetuating cycle of pain and discomfort is created. Divisions along a variety of lines, from income/wealth to ideology, nationality, race and gender are pronounced, fracturing society, feeding fear, fermenting conflict. This fragmentation contradicts the natural unity of life; all of life is connected, an integrated, complex whole with human beings constituting part of the intricately diverse planetary ecosystem, one that, due to ignorance and greed, is being destroyed apace.

Globally the number of people suffering from one or other form of mental health illness is thought to be around 720 million, or a tad over one in ten; among children, the World Health Organization estimates that, “10-20% experience mental disorders.” Given the stigma (still) surrounding mental health in many countries and cultures, plus the lack of data in developing countries, for example, the figures are no doubt a great deal higher, the problem even more serious, the suffering more widespread.

Anxiety and depression are the most common strains and find focus in relation to a number of areas: economic uncertainty, low self-esteem, self-image, fear of loneliness, fear of failure, environmental worries and others. The pressures to conform and ‘succeed’ are relentless and all pervasive, applied primarily through education, the media, peers and fearful parents who ‘only want the best’ for their children. The whole focus is on becoming something or somebody, instead of being; of allowing oneself to be, and finding out what that is. All of this creates the conditions in which anxiety and depression are virtually inevitable.

There are various conventional treatments for anxiety, depression and related conditions, most commonly counseling and medication (prescribed or self-medicating), and, in recent years, like other so-called ‘spiritual’ practices emanating from the East, Mindfulness has become increasing popular. It is even recommended by the UK’s National Health System (NHS). Although only now becoming widely known, mindfulness is an ancient technique, shared by Gautama Buddha some 2,500 years ago (but one that may be even older). It is generally spoken of as a practice – the ‘practice of being mindful’, but being mindful moment-to-moment is closer to an art form than a practice, which implies an action. It is not meditation, but if embraced fully can open a door onto the silence and unmediated relationship that is meditation.

Being mindful is the act of attending to the moment, this moment, then the next, then the next and so on. Paying attention to the various aspects of oneself and the world around us, so that we become consciously aware of: the physical form, that’s our body and the sensory space; emotional movements and reactions; and the activity of the mind, the endless chatter of thinking.

Such attentive observation helps tackle anxiety and depression by focusing the mind in the present moment, and not allowing movement into an uncertain future or a painful past to take place; not by control, but by choice-less awareness – without judgment – of life as it is at any given moment. As the mind moves forwards in time, and away from ‘the now’ we create the conditions in which uncertainty and anxiety can flourish, and when the mind drifts backwards into a past allowing regret, sentimentality or guilt to surface, depression can occur. By being wholly, not partially attentive, and not fragmented, the psychological movement in time ceases. Sustained, and this is key, it is a powerful act that frees the mind from its constant yearning and ceaseless agitation, allowing ‘peace of mind’, or contentment, to naturally occur.

These ‘Qualities of Being’ – peace, contentment, happiness – are inherent within all human beings, but for most of us, all of us perhaps, they are absent from our lives, replaced by anxiety, desire, dissatisfaction and fear. The socio-economic structure and the ideology of competition and greed intensify such debilitating states.

As well as education, social media and the dominance of screens in the lives of billions throughout the world play a major role in keeping everyone in a state of unease, discontent and mindlessness. Like all areas of consumerism, social media is built on people, or ‘users’ (like drug addicts) as they are called, being in a constant state of inattention and agitated desire, with the forces of competition and comparison, running throughout. Like anxiety and depression, desire, partly functions in relation to psychological time and is a cornerstone of the pervasive economic model. Undivided attention to the activity, thought, feeling (including desire) at hand, negates the power of desire in that moment, and starves anxiety/depression of the conditions needed for their growth.

Like anything, to be potent mindfulness requires consistent application and focused effort; specific periods of concentrated attention during the day are helpful (when, for example, undertaking daily tasks, washing, cooking, dressing etc.) functioning as reminders and aiding in the establishment of a new rhythm of conscious living. In observing ourselves: the body with its aches and pains, its movements and sensations, fluctuating feelings (observed and not named) and the activity of thought we become mindful, in that moment, of our pre-occupations and of our own conditioning. Everyone is conditioned and all forms of sociological and psychological conditioning whatever the source, are imprisoning, divisive and fear inducing. Mindfulness allows us to become consciously aware of this false and limited image constructed by and sustained through our identification with the body and thought.

There is, or should be, no goal with mindfulness; there is nothing to achieve or aim at. In the moment of observation, and with consistency, such moments expand, the activity of the body including the mind/brain slow down, and when we slow down the nervous system can begin to settle. Doing things (everyday activities) slowly and mindfully is a powerful tool in bringing relief from anxiety and depression. In a world dominated by divisive modes of living designed to cause discontent, mindfulness creates a space in which awareness can naturally operate, and awareness is a liberating quality and the key to change, individually and collectively.

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Assange’s Fifteenth Day at the Old Bailey: Solitary Confinement and Parlous Health Care

September 28.  Central Criminal Court, London.

Throughout the sham process formally known as the Julian Assange extradition trial, prosecutors representing the United States have been adamant: the carceral conditions awaiting him in freedom’s land will be pleasant, accommodating and appropriate.  Confronting 17 charges under the US Espionage Act and one under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Assange and his defence team have been resolutely sceptical.

Today, the prosecution reiterated its position on the US federal prison system as one of rosy comfort and decent facilities.  As has happened at several points in the extradition trial, the views of Gordon Kromberg, assistant US attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, were given another airing.  Stale as ever, Kromberg told the court that, “Inmates in administrative segregation are able to speak to one another through the doors and windows of their cells.”  How civil!  “Typically,” he also noted, “there are several inmates in administrative segregation.”  He does not tire of this canard, and makes the point one more time with robotic certitude.  “Even in administrative segregation, Assange would be able to communicate with other inmates through the doors and windows of his cell.”

Ellis on solitary confinement

The defence witness Yancey Ellis, as with others more acquainted with the bestial prison conditions of the imperium, suggested something quite different.  Ellis is a former judge advocate in the US Marines.  First would come the experience of being held in the Alexandria Detention Center (ADC), where Assange will be given his pre-trial blooding on US soil.  Most likely, he will find himself, Ellis claimed, in X block, kept in a narrow cell each day for 22 to 23 hours, containing “a sleeping area, a small sink and a toilet”, guarded by thick doors.  Meals would be taken in the cell.  The precious one or two hours granted to the inmate would often only be granted at “very odd hours.”  The time would be spent in the “common area of the ADSEG unit, which is maybe about twice the square footage.”  Only one inmate in the unit would be permitted out of the cell at any one time.  “There is limited interaction with other ADSEG inmates because their doors and food-tray slots are closed.”

Such an individual is purposely segregated from others, alienated and prevented from accessing therapeutic or other programs available at the facility.  “There is no outside recreational or exercise area at the Alexandria jail and I do not recall there being any windows in the ADSEG unit,” Ellis notes in his written submissions.

As with other defence testimonies, Kromberg’s came in for special attention.  There were “several assertions made by Mr Kromberg” that were “incorrect or incomplete”.  When asked by Edward Fitzgerald QC for the defence whether Assange would be given the means to “associate with other prisoners”, Ellis was far from convinced. “The short answer is: not really.”  Administrative segregation implied just that.  Kromberg’s assertion in his affidavit that there was no solitary confinement at ADC was dispatched. “1X ADSEG unit is essentially the same as solitary confinement.”

Ellis had himself experimented with conversing through such barriers, and was discouraged by the effort.  In his court statement, he suggests that it might be “technically true” to suggest that words might be exchanged.  But in practice, it was “impossible.  In 1X ADSEG the cell doors are made of thick steel and the ‘windows’ are transparent, thick plexiglass material with no slots or holes.”  It would be, Ellis explained, “almost impossible to speak through the door if the food tray slot is not open.  It would not be possible for anyone to say that if he is familiar with the X Bloc.”

Communicating with his clients through such doors proved “very difficult, even when standing several inches away. I find it implausible that inmates could really communicate in this way, unless they constantly screamed at loud volumes.  I would routinely have to ask for a deputy sheriff to open the cell’s food tray slot in order to be able to speak with a client.”

In addition to the physical features of the facility will be Special Administrative Measures (SAMs), further limiting Assange’s communication and hindering his means of mounting an adequate legal defence.  While Ellis conceded to having had no experience of them, he understood them to entail further impositions on visits and communication with friends and family.

On matters of mental health, Ellis was distinctly discouraging.  Provision at the facility was rudimentary.  “The extent of mental health care is that a social worker or counselor comes around to check on you every once in a while to ensure basic functioning.”  There were no permanent doctors in residence at ADC.  Part-time psychiatrists were employed instead, meaning irregular visits and consultations.  Those at risk of self-harm found themselves in suits designed to prevent suicide, immobilizing “the arms away from the body, removing shoe strings and sheets, etc.”

In cross-examination, James Lewis QC for the prosecution attempted to shore up the shoddy assertions in Kromberg’s affidavit.  Ellis, he suggested, was doing a bit of crystal ball gazing: how could he really know if Assange would be held in X Bloc?  Ellis had, after all, not interviewed the warden, a psychologist or prison staff about the conditions.  This was a desperate ploy; Ellis had been asked to testify on the conditions he had seen, not the totality of a policy that remained opaque.  “I have requested those records [determining how inmates will be housed] before and can never get them.”  Triumphantly, Lewis suggested that “Kromberg’s statement of how [Assange] would be assessed for housing at the ADC” was not something that could be disputed.  As to whether Assange would actually find himself in administrative detention, Ellis was cautious but convinced.  “I can’t predict the future, but I would bet he would be put in administrative detention.”

The prosecutor also attempted to lay a trap in discrediting the testimony.  Had Ellis been massaged by the defence to use the words “solitary confinement” in his statement to the court?  No, came the reply.  The time detainees in administrative segregation are permitted outside the cramped confines of their cell was “generally equivalent to solitary confinement.”  Mockingly, Lewis scrapped about definitions: an inmate could not be said to be enduring conditions of solitary confinement meeting his lawyers three hours each day.  (Not much verisimilitude on the part of the prosecution, given that the application of SAMS would make such meetings a difficult, if not an impossibility.)

Lewis then focused on Assange’s standing in Ellis’ eyes.  Did he feel that the publisher’s case had garnered publicity and large public support?  “I would agree with the publicity,” came the reply.  Public support was another matter he could not speak to.  The fact that previous prominent figures such as Paul Manafort and Maria Butina had been housed at the ADC and placed in “administrative segregation” suggested that Assange would not be treated any differently.

This line of questioning stirred Judge Vanessa Baraitser, who went on to probe Ellis on how the US Bureau of Prisons would handle Assange’s case.  In the United Kingdom, “Assange has been in custody in this jurisdiction for 18 months,” housed in the general wing. “Other than his being a public figure, any reason you think he’ll be held in administrative detention?”  The “primary reason”, suggested Ellis, would be his notoriety, though mental health might be a factor officials would consider.  But as the mental health unit was located in the general population, a decision might still be made to place him in “administrative segregation”.  “The mere fact you are high-profile dictates conditions?” inquired Baraitser.  Generally, came the reply, the ADC preferred segregating “these types of defendants” to “maintain a secure and safe environment” though he could not say why. “I am just speaking from experience.”

Sickler on health care

Veteran prison advocate and founder of the Justice Advocacy Group in Virginia, Joel Sickler, followed for the defence.  Much of his testimony seemed reiterative and supplementary to that of Ellis, though it also moved into discussion about the ADX Florence supermax facility, a nightmare Assange may face after softening at the ADC.  He suggested that Assange would have “no meaningful reaction” at the ADC, kept in his parking-space sized cell.  It was “ridiculous” to assert, as Kromberg had done, that credible communication between inmates in administrative segregation in the facility could take place.  “You’re twiddling your thumbs.  You’ll have access to reading material, but your whole world is the four corners of that room.”  There was also “significant sensory deprivation comparable to isolation in a cell.  There is little natural light as well as access to fresh air.”

While Assange’s attorneys would be permitted “to meet with him at any time during professional visiting hours” finding yourself “in the ADSEG unit at the ADC could compromise Mr Assange’s ability to focus on and assist his attorneys in his defence – for reasons related to how debilitating the experience may be for a prisoner.”

There was also a real risk of SAMSs being applied by the Attorney-General in the event of conviction. Challenging them would pose almost insuperable challenges. “It’s a well-known fact here that even the most minor administrative appeals by inmates are denied.”  Sickler claimed to have filed over a thousand appeals, “winning a dozen at most.”

Sickler’s testimony also covered the issue of health care at the ADC.  “Mr Assange should expect to receive only the most limited medical service at the ADC.  Any suggestion to this Court that he will be fully evaluated and assessed for medical or mental health conditions is misleading.”

Holding the flame for the prosecution was Clair Dobbin, who attempted to create a world of textual reality rather than grounded fact.  Policies of the US Bureau of Prisons were discussed; staffing and health care provisions were canvassed, including ADX facilities where inmates might be able to labour and improve their conditions.  This would present a good case to the authorities to have their SAMs removed.  Sickler suggested that what the BOP was claiming was different from practice.

While the prosecution smelled blood in suggesting that Sickler was actually unexperienced on the actual operations of X Bloc and the application of SAMs, Sickler rallied on the issue of how medical care would be supplied in such prison facilities.  Dobbin made the assumption that he had no access to prison medical records.  Not so, came the correcting reply.  Dobbin then moved on to limiting the value of such knowledge gained: it was specific to Sickler’s clients; not of the same order as an academic or research account on medical care in the prison system.  As for whether SAMs would be applied or not, this was up to the US Attorney General, who would determine the case on the basis of whether the prisoner had classified information threatening to “national security”.

Dobbin then engaged in what could only be described as a tidying up effort for one of the most notorious facilities in the US.  ADX Florence was hardly atrocious, she insisted.  Prisoners, she noted from a report, had claimed to form close personal relations with the staff.  “If it’s such a great place,” Sickler retorted, “why are so many prisoners trying to get out?”  Finding the report “incredulous,” he also suggested that institutionalisation brings with it fears of change.  Under re-examination, he noted that a client of his at ADX was “begging to get out.”

On Sickler’s own example of the darker side of the US penal system – an individual who suffered a mental breakdown at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York, “severely beaten by correctional officers” and “thrown in the hole naked” – Dobbin was bizarrely disingenuous.  Initial calls by Sickler that the individual suffered psychiatric illness might have been callously ignored; and it took a federal court to grant the individual bail and eventually receive a writ for treatment at the Bellevue psychiatric center, but “judicial oversight” had prevailed.

The prosecutor also referred to the case of Cunningham v BOP to illustrate that things, even if they had been dire, must have improved.  The case involved ADX inmates, described as “five seriously mentally ill men”, along with six other ADX prisoners (“interested parties”) with “serious mental illnesses” suing the Bureau of Prisons in 2012 for violating BOP policy and the Eighth Amendment.

The class action argued that the authorities had failed to adequately diagnose and treat prisoners at ADX with grave mental illness.  This eventually led to an approved settlement covering, amongst other things, a range of improved measures for screening and diagnosis for mental illness and the provision of mental health care and suicide prevention.  Dobbin was being selective. As Sickler noted in his statement, “that same Court would find that the health care in ADX failed to meet basic standards of care for inmates.”

Dobbin, continuing her train of dissimulation, submitted another, deeply flawed example.  ADX Florence had permitted a convicted terrorist known as the “Underwear Bomber”, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, time to see family members during his time at the facility.  This belied an inconvenient reality: Abdulmutallab sued the Justice Department in October 2017 claiming that prison officials had held him in “long-term solitary confinement”, restricted his communication with relatives and force-fed him during hunger protests and fasting sessions.  Abdulmutallab had also been the subject of SAMs, and incarcerated in the infamous H-Unit of ADX.  Not exactly a paragon of US prison treatment, and not one of the prosecution’s better examples.

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