Death, Money, and the Dueling Frauds: Trump and Biden

When the New York Times and CNN recently referred to the staged town hall spectacles of Biden and Trump as dueling events, they inadvertently revealed the truth that U.S. presidential elections are America’s favorite movie and that the corporate media is in the entertainment business.

While it is ludicrous to imagine these tottering actors crossing swords in tights, their skirmishes in suits and ties are good for a few laughs, if you have the stomach to watch them. Only people who still believe in professional wrestling would think these clowns don’t work for the same bosses – the Umbrella People, aka the power elites, the national security state, etc., who own the country and choose their stooges to represent their interests in the White House.

I much prefer Mel Brooks, a genuinely funny guy.

The columnist Russell Baker once said the purpose of such political entertainment is to “provide a manageably small cast for a national sitcom, or soap opera, or docudrama, making it easy for media people to persuade themselves they are covering the news while mostly just entertaining us.”

As for debates and town hall farces in television prime time, the witty Baker said that “the charm of television entertainment is its ability to bridge the chasm between dinner and bedtime without mental distraction.”

Now let’s proceed to the dark side, where the sardonic screams of laughter dissolve into tears.

For such entertainment serves a devious distracting purpose: to conceal the nature of social evil and the driving forces behind American politics today.  It is not particularly complicated unless the syllogism – All cats die/Socrates is dead/ therefore Socrates is a cat – rings true.

Then it’s an impossible conundrum.

We are not cats or Socrates, as far as I know.  But like them, we will also die. Everyone knows this, but the thought of death is not particularly “have-a-nice-dayish,” so people deny it as much as possible in a host of ways. Most people prefer life over death, and when death does approach and can no longer be denied, most hope for immortality in some way, shape, or form.

Yes, there are those who assert this isn’t true for them, and there is no reason to doubt their sincerity. There are philosophical arguments to support their position, such as that of the Roman poet Lucretius in his famous poem De rerum natura (On the Nature of Things). But I would maintain with the great psychoanalyst Rollo May that all such naturalistic efforts, including Lucretius’s, to explain away human anxiety rooted in death, founder on the human emotions of pity, grief, love, and loneliness. Rational explanations take us only so far.  In their efforts to deny the human condition and dismiss the spiritual dimension, the irrational, and the daimonic, they open the door to madness, as is happening today with the push by the world’s economic elite to convince people that they are machines and that their machine dreams will conquer death.

For those who love life, it seems axiomatic to me that some form of perpetuation and redemption of an individual’s life in the face and fear of death is widely desired. This can take many forms: a literal afterlife, fame, heirs, monuments, money, children, etc. History is quite clear that people have always sought some way of transcending their physical fates.

This was aptly noted by Graham Greene, the English novelist, when, as an old man approaching death, he was asked if he was disappointed at not receiving the Nobel Prize, and he said no, since he was hoping for a greater prize.

In his important book, The Denial of Death (Pulitzer Prize 1974 for general non-fiction), the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, puts it succinctly:

Man is literally split in two: he has an awareness of his own splendid uniqueness in that he sticks out of nature with a towering majesty, and yet goes back into the ground a few feet in order blindly and dumbly to rot and disappear forever.

Faced with such an impossible situation, then, overwhelmed from childhood with a sense of one’s own ultimate physical powerlessness but being symbolic creatures as well as physical ones, the normal person learns to repress the terror of death by building various defenses that allow one to believe that he ultimately controls his death.  One’s natural impotence is then hidden within “ the vital lie of character”; one lives within the manageable social world that helps one blot out existential awareness by offering various social games and cultural symbols, agreed forms of madness that narcotize the fear.  One learns to adjust. The aim is to cut life down to manageable proportions, domesticate terror, and trust in the cultural and social authorities for protection and reassurance. Obedience is key.

Listen to Big Daddy and he will rescue you , especially when he first tells you that Mr. Pumpkin Head is coming to get you unless you run into his protective embrace.

These days, it’s Halloween all year round in the land of the free and the home of the brave where the fear of death is handed out like poisoned candy and Big Daddy waits at the door disguised as everyone’s benevolent grandfather.  To be treated, you must be masked. That is his trick. “Stay well,” he mutters, after he drops a dollop of sweet fear into your bag and cackles behind his face.

Everywhere you look these days, people are doubly masked. The paper kind and by definition, since the the word person, being derived from the Latin, persona, means mask, while there is another Latin word, larva, that also means mask or ghost or evil spirit.  Clearly there is a dance contest underway, a danse macabre.  And who will win nobody knows.

“Every conflict over truth,” wrote the psychoanalyst Otto Rank, “ is in the last analysis just the same old struggle over … immortality.”

This is exactly what is going on now with the fierce disagreements over Covid-19.

Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, the anthrax attacks, the ginning up of terrorism fear with Homeland “Security’s” color-coded warning system, the lies about weapons of mass-destruction, and the coronavirus early warning systems, people have adopted positions upon which they stake their psychological lives. To admit you were snookered is a little death that is hard to swallow.

We are being subjected to mind-control on a vast scale, the continual pumping up of the fear of death to control the population.  Americans have been living in an atmosphere of dread for almost twenty years.  It’s so old and so obvious but cuts so deep it works like a charm. “You don’t want to die, do you, so come here into Big Daddy’s arms.”

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell writes that “The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake.”  It is a famous quote that is not true when taken out of context.  The Umbrella People and their lackeys don’t seek power entirely for its own sake. They have a larger agenda: immortality.

If one reads Orwell carefully, one comes upon a key passage that clarifies the previous quote. The evil O’Brien, the torturer and member of the Inner Party who poses as a member of the resistance to Big Brother (sound familiar?), asks his victim Winston Smith to reverse the slogan from “Freedom is Slavery” to Slavery is Freedom:

Alone – free – the human being is always defeated.  It must be so, because every human being is destined to die, which is the greatest of all failures.  But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he will be all-powerful and immortal.  The second thing for you to realize is that power is power over human beings.  Over the body – but, above all, over the mind.  Power over matter – external reality as you would call it – is not important.  Already our control over matter is absolute.

All power is fundamentally power to deny mortality.  This is true whether it is the power of the state or church.  And it is always sacred power.

Many often ask why do the super-rich and  powerful always want more.  It’s simple.  They wish to transcend their pre-existing human mortality and become gods – immortals.  They stupidly believe that if they can lord it over others, kill, dominate, achieve status, become billionaires, presidents, magnates, celebrities, etc., they will somehow live in some weird forever.

In a process that has spanned at least a hundred and fifty years or so, our traditional cultural/religious symbol systems have been radically undermined, most momentously by the Faustian creation of Lord Nuke.  All forms of symbolic immortality (theological, biological, creative, natural, and experiential) that formerly provided a sense of continuity have been severely threatened. This is the haunting specter lurking in the background of life today.

What is death?  How to defeat or transcend it?  How to affirm life in the face of death?

One paradoxical way that political leaders do this is by killing.  Followers who accede to such killing join their leaders, not simply to see others dead, but to acquire power over death itself – to kill their own deaths.  It is perverse of course, and is summed up in the saying to love the bomb joyously, to experience the nightmare of oblivion as ecstasy.  Isn’t this what the philosophy of voting for the lesser of two evil is about?  At least he will be our killer.  Our evil killer, but not as bad as yours.  You lose.

I have read that there is a painting still visible at the entrance to a house in ruined Pompeii that tells us much about power and wealth. It perfectly symbolizes the meaning of the economic gap between the super-rich – e.g. those behind the World Economic Forum, the CIA, the presidential candidates, the corporate media – and the rest of us.  It pictures a man weighing his penis on a scale of gold coins. Gold, God, wealth, and power.  It’s an old story.

Today, however, there is a difference, for the spirit of nihilism has grown as belief in the spiritual dimension and God has diminished dramatically. Money or gold, wealth in all its forms, is today’s foremost immortality symbol, a sign that one is powerful and can conquer death. What else are Trump’s gold-emblazoned Tower and hair, and Biden’s boastfully admitted threat to withhold one billion dollars from Ukraine unless they fire the prosecutor investigating his son, Hunter. The greasing of palms, bribery, tax theft, etc. – par for the course in a corrupt society run by thieves and criminals.

Becker says of this wealth obsession:

The only hint we get of the cultural repression seeping through is that even dedicated financiers wash their hands after handling money.  The victory over death is a fantasy that cannot be fully believed in; money doesn’t entirely banish feces [decay and death that is of course defeated with toilet paper as Covid-19 has proven], and so the threat of germs and vulnerability in the very process of securing immortality.

Pseudo immortality.

Enter Covid-19.  Like the attacks of September 11, 2001, it is death writ large. An insidious terrorist threat.  Invisible, sneaky, ready to pounce. Fear and trembling.  So-called surprise attacks that were preceded by simulations and live drills.  Numerous parallels, too many to mention.  Let’s not.  Have a nice day!  Stay safe!

So what do the super-rich controllers want now?  What are the World Economic Forum’s Claus Schwab, Google and the Defense Department’s Eric Schmidt, Bill Gates, Ray Kurzweil of Google and “The Singularity,” et al. pushing now that Covid-19 has so many cowering in fear?

These people have realized that the thing that their money and power must do is to create a world where trans-humanism must triumph and people of flesh and blood must be induced and forced to become the machines they have been told they are. If you doubt this is underway, research the World Economic Forum’s agenda, see what the Great Reset is about, the Build Back Better slogans, the massive push to create on-line existence for everyone, etc.  As a recent ad I saw says: “The world is going digital.”

The goal of these mad technocratic elites is to create a fabricated reality where the visible world becomes nearly meaningless once the screen world becomes people’s “window on the world.” An electronic nothingness to replace reality as people in the industrialized countries gleefully embrace digital wraparound apparitions and the poor and vulnerable of this world suffer and die out of sight and out of mind. It is the fundamental seismic shift of our era and perhaps the greatest propaganda operation ever undertaken.  A sort of end-times desperate gambit.

And “it just so happens” to revolve around the use of death fear to accomplish its goals.

But for the elites, there will be no death.  For having realized that their stolen wealth and power can only take them so far, and they too will become food for worms, they have commandeered science and medicine to undertake their immortality projects.  If medicine fails to find for them the secret of immortality, then computer science and Artificial Intelligence will, and they will be uploaded into computers and live forever in their beloved cyberspace.  Digital immortality is not a joke for these people – see  Kurzweil’s (the director of engineering at Google) “The Singularity,” etc. – for they are actually insane but hold key positions throughout the computer and biotechnology industries.  Check where the super rich invest their money to confirm this.  None of it is secret.

Having heeded Russell Baker’s words about television offering no mental distraction between dinner and bedtime, I took to my crib early, knowing Tweedledee and Tweedledum would be dueling again, this time in what they humorously called a debate.  I was surrounded by my stuffed animals that protected me and I slept safe and sound.

Upon awakening, I read that the gladiators had exchanged blows but that both were left standing for the big showdown on November 3.  I also noticed that each had used the words “dark winter” in reference to Covid-19. Biden said one was coming and Trump said he didn’t know.

Neither, of course, spoke of the Dark Winter Exercise, a senior level war game conducted on June 22-23, 2001, about a biological attack, a smallpox outbreak, the public health response, the lack of vaccines, the need for quarantine and isolation, the restriction of civil liberties, and the role of the Defense Department and the military in the response. Nor did they speak of anthrax attacks, but the Canadian researcher, Graeme MacQueen, will here fill you in on both, in case you don’t know.  Maybe the boys just forgot.

I am sure they didn’t talk about the elements of Trump’s “Operation Warp Speed,” but if you wish to understand how we are being gamed, Whitney Webb will tell you here.

Was there any mention of the Russians?  I haven’t heard.  They are always a kind of a solution.  As my friend Joe Green has said:

All dissenting opinions are Russian. I think Socrates said that. I’m paraphrasing.

Maybe many are still Waiting for the Barbarians.

The post Death, Money, and the Dueling Frauds: Trump and Biden first appeared on Dissident Voice.

Wisdom From a Master

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America today confronts an unprecedented crisis. Our economy is collapsing, and the fake coronavirus “epidemic,” with its draconian restrictions, is destroying our liberty. What can we do? We’re fortunate that Dr. Ron Paul, our greatest living American, has provided a masterful diagnosis and offers us hope for a cure—if only we will listen.

The End of Unearned Opulence sums up and extends the message that Ron has given us in his many years of devoted service. In the book, he speaks of the “Faustian bargain” that Nixon imposed on the American people when he abandoned convertibility of the dollar into gold in 1971. He offered us fifty years of fake prosperity, but, inevitably, the bill from the devil came due. In telling us about this, Ron talks about the great German writer Johann Wolfgang Goethe and how he modified the Faust legend. As I read this, I thought about Goethe finishing his great play Faust in the wisdom of his later years. Ron has in like fashion offered us his mature wisdom in this book.

What is Ron’s message for us? He says, “The opulence of great wealth has been exposed. The grave danger we now face can no longer be denied. What we are witnessing today is what happens to a society when counterfeit wealth dissipates….A Ponzi scheme mentality which has existed for decades allows for constant pyramiding of debt as part of our fiat monetary system. This policy is a predictable event and is instrumental in the creation of financial bubbles. Fractional reserve banking is a major contributing factor in creating money out of thin air, which inflates the debt bubble. Much of the malinvestment that results appears as wealth, but is in reality an illusion that disappears with the bursting of the bubble.”

The Austrian business cycle theory of Mises and Rothbard shows irrefutably that this policy won’t work. Why, then, has it been imposed on us? Ron gives us the answer. It benefits the crony capitalists—the opposite of genuine free market entrepreneurs—who are in bed with the government. He says, “The humanitarian claim of the welfare/warfare proponents is that their efforts have always been designed to care for the poor. The only problem is that as financial bubbles develop, the already wealthy receive most of the benefits….The huge bailouts in the 2008 recession saw the banks and mortgage companies benefitting while individuals lost their homes. With today’s lockdowns we see the large corporations avoiding the worst regulations and permitted to operate, while the mom and pop businesses go broke.”

Why do people allow that mad and evil policy to continue? Ron answers that the government deludes people with crusades against imaginary enemies, in order to gain more control over us. First and foremost, Ron is a critic of the warfare state. Ron is not a pacifist – an ancient charge against those who oppose constant war. He believes in the right to self-defense, but he does not believe in the initiation of violence, whether by private criminals or the state.

Still, this is the issue strategists would have had him avoid: just talk about the budget, talk about the greatness of America, talk about whatever everyone else was talking about, and you’ll be fine. And, they neglected to add, forgotten.

But had Ron shied away from this issue, there would have been no Ron Paul Revolution. It was his courageous refusal to back down from certain unspeakable truths about the American role in the world that caused Americans, and especially students, to sit up and take notice.
While still in his thirties, Murray Rothbard wrote privately that he was beginning to view war as “the key to the whole libertarian business.” Here is a key way Ron Paul has been faithful to the Rothbardian tradition. Time after time, in interviews and public appearances, Ron has brought the questions posed to him back to the central issues of war and foreign policy.

Worried about the budget? You can’t run an empire on the cheap. Concerned about TSA groping, or government eavesdropping, or cameras trained on you? These are the inevitable policies of a hegemon. In case after case, Ron pointed to the connection between an imperial policy abroad and abuses and outrages at home.

Inspired by Ron, libertarians began to challenge conservatives by reminding them that war, after all, is the ultimate government program. War has it all: propaganda, censorship, spying, crony contracts, money printing, skyrocketing spending, debt creation, central planning, hubris – everything we associate with the worst interventions into the economy.

But Ron Paul permanently changed the nature of the discussion on war and foreign policy. The word “nonintervention” rarely appeared in foreign policy discussions before 2007. Opposition to war was associated with anticapitalist causes. That is no longer the case.

Ron brilliantly extends his point to our present crises. The fake coronavirus menace has become the means by which the state criminals can distract the public from their disastrous economic policies and put us under their control. As Ron says,
The goal of the hysterical reaction to the coronavirus, from both local and national politicians, has been to distract from the much bigger crisis we face dealing with: the Fed’s responsibility for the economic collapse and its hunger for unlimited power. The fact that responding to the exaggerated coronavirus crisis made the economic downturn much worse was not a disappointment to those individuals who see economic turmoil as an opportunity to promote radical Marxist ideas.
Ron is of course a medical doctor, and he speaks with authority when he tells us that the health crisis is phony:
The coronavirus epidemic is not the bubonic plague….It’s now recognized that much of the data reported on the severity and extent of the disease was seriously flawed and misleading. The reports inevitably made it appear that the epidemic was much worse than it was. To many observers, this was more than just careless mistakes but rather a concerted effort to spread fear and panic. This effort amazingly led to a delusional and extreme reaction by the media, politicians, public health fanatics, drug companies, national and global governments, supporters of socialism, fascism, and Marxism, all promoting the infamous lockdown.
As if this weren’t bad enough, the Marxist BLM and Antifa are rioting and looting while left-wing elements in government aid and abet their revolutionary tactics. “Antifa, BLM, and cultural Marxism’s concerted efforts to topple the remainder of the American Republic means, ‘they smell blood.’”

We thus face a dire situation, but Ron inspires us to change things. I had the rare honor of serving as Ron Paul’s congressional chief of staff and observed him in many proud moments in those days, and in his presidential campaigns. People today sometimes compare Ron Paul with Bernie Sanders. The comparison of Bernie to Ron goes like this: both launched insurgent, antiestablishment presidential campaigns while in their 70s, shook up their respective party establishments, and attracted large youth followings. But Bernie is no Ron.

Just on the surface: Bernie is a grump and difficult to work with; Ron is a kindhearted gentleman who always showed his appreciation for the people in his office.

More importantly, Ron urged his followers to read and learn. Countless high school and college students began reading dense and difficult treatises in economics and political philosophy, because Ron encouraged them to. Ron’s followers were curious enough to dig beneath the surface. Is the state really a benign institution that can costlessly provide us whatever we might demand? Or might there be moral, economic, and political factors standing in the way of these utopian dreams?

It’s not hard to cultivate a raving band of people demanding other people’s things, as Bernie Sanders does. Such appeals arouse the basest aspects of our nature and will always attract a crowd. It’s very hard, on the other hand, to build up an army of young people intellectually curious enough to read serious books and consider ideas that go beyond the conventional wisdom they learned in school about government and the market. It’s hard to build up a movement of people whose moral sense is developed enough to recognize that barking demands and enforcing them with the state’s gun is the behavior of a thug, not a civilized person. And it’s hard to persuade people of the counterintuitive idea that society runs better and individuals are more prosperous when no one is “in charge” at all.
Yet Ron accomplished all these things. Ron knew that the philosophy of liberty, when explained persuasively and with conviction, had a universal appeal. Every group he spoke to heard a slightly different presentation of that message, as Ron showed how their particular concerns were addressed most effectively by a policy of freedom.

Before leaving Washington and electoral politics, Ron delivered an extraordinary farewell address to Congress. The very fact that Ron could deliver a wise and learned address only goes to show he was no run-of-the-mill congressman, whose intellectual life is fulfilled by talking points and focus-group results. When Ron first spoke to the so-called values voters, for example, he was booed for saying he worshipped the Prince of Peace. The second time, when he again made a moral case for freedom, he brought the house down. But he did not pander to them nor to anyone else, and he never abandoned the philosophy that brought him into public life in the first place. No one had the sense that there was more than one Ron Paul, that he was trying to satisfy irreconcilable groups. There was one Ron Paul.

That a farewell address seemed so appropriate for Ron in the first place, while it would have been risible for virtually any of his colleagues, reflected Ron’s substance and seriousness as a thinker and as a man.

In that address Ron did many things. He surveyed his many years in Congress. He made a reckoning of the advance of the state and the retreat of liberty. He explained the moral ideas at the root of the libertarian message: nonaggression and freedom. He posed a series of questions about the US government and American society that are hardly ever asked, much less answered. And he gave his supporters advice on spreading the message in the coming years.

“Achieving legislative power and political influence,” he said,
should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders, and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior.
I am convinced that historians, whether or not they agree with him, will continue to marvel at Ron Paul for many, many years to come. Libertarians a century from now will be in disbelief at the very notion that such a man actually served in the US Congress of our time.

One of the most thrilling memories of the 2012 campaign was the sight of those huge crowds that came out to see Ron. His competitors, meanwhile, couldn’t fill half a Starbucks. When I worked as Ron’s chief of staff in the late 1970s and early 1980s, I could only dream of such a day.

Now, what was it that attracted all these people to Ron Paul? He didn’t offer his followers a spot on the federal gravy train. He didn’t pass some phony bill. In fact, he didn’t do any of the things we associate with politicians. What his supporters love about him has nothing to do with politics at all.

Ron is the antipolitician. He tells unfashionable truths, educates rather than flatters the public, and stands up for principle even when the whole world is arrayed against him.

Of course, Ron Paul deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. In a just world, he would also win the Medal of Freedom, and all the honors for which a man in his position is eligible.

Young people are reading major treatises in economics and philosophy, because Ron Paul recommended them. Who else in public life can come close to saying that?

No politician is going to trick the public into embracing liberty, even if liberty were his true goal and not just a word he uses in fundraising letters. For liberty to advance, a critical mass of the public has to understand and support it. That doesn’t have to mean a majority, or even anywhere near it. But some baseline of support has to exist.

That is why Ron Paul’s work is so important and so lasting.

Ron concludes The End of Unearned Opulence with these challenging words: “Ideas whose times have come cannot be stopped by armies or political chicanery. Considering the intelligence and character of our enemies, it should never be said by us not resisting that we capitulated to their evil nonsense. We are indeed in unchartered waters surrounded by blood-thirsty sharks.” With Ron’s wisdom and courage, we can escape those waters.

Reprinted with permission from LewRockwelll.com.

Here's how you can get Ron Paul's new mini-book, "The End of Unearned Opulence."

The Cult of the Brave New Normal

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In March, it was just a three-week lockdown, to flatten the curve so as not to overwhelm the NHS. The narrative has quickly evolved. It has progressed from what seemed a reasonable idea of keeping NHS bed space free based on the completely false Neil Fergusson prediction that hospitals would be overwhelmed by patients suffering from COVID19.

This never happened. Many weeks passed where face masks were not needed and then suddenly in July, long after the majority of supposed COVID19 deaths had occurred, face masks were made compulsory.

Indeed, the UK government advice from the likes of Chris Whitty and the World Health Organisation was that face masks were not effective in stopping the spread of COVID19 or in contracting it; science does not change that quick – anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

The result is that we have now fallen deep into a Covidian Cult, a totalitarian psychotic narrative that has little connection to reality or to the facts.

The opposition to official government narratives regarding Covid19 are well known. I will not bother again telling you what is already known or can be readily ascertained.

Suffice to say, one just needs to type into Google “The Great Barrington Declaration” or ACU2020, where one can read about the doctors, scientists and lawyers who are opposing multi-governmental COVID19 restrictions and laws of social distancing, lockdown, mandatory/coerced consent to vaccines, and mandatory face masks, amongst other things.

Their essential argument, contra the multi-government policy on COVID19, is that virus is not the danger we are being told it is; the data on COVID19 is clear: we do not need to lockdown society, wreck the economy, or frighten people into death as they are scared to leave home for fear of catching COVID19 or seek medical treatment for non-COVID19 illness, which has happened.

Specifically, many doctors and scientists argue that face masks are not protective and could be very harmful. Dr Jay Bhattacharya, a signatory of the Great Barrington Declaration, which 40,000 medical, public health scientists and medical practitioners have signed, said that the use of face masks are not supported in the scientific literature. There is no randomised data to indicate if they are effective in reducing the spread of COVID19.

Indeed, face masks have no effectiveness in the spread of influenza. This is backed up by the fact that social distancing and face masks have not made a difference on yearly rate of influenza deaths in the UK.

On the 15th October 2020 the stark reality that we are being led by a psychotic Covidian cult narrative became even more evident; Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, announced with great glee that couples marrying would no longer have to wear face masks when tying the knot. Of course, the Priest, Vicar, or Registrar etc conducting the ceremonies never had to wear a mask to conduct the marriage ceremony. What kind of political leader would impose on couples, who for all intent and purposes will be living together and spending the night together after the wedding, have to wear a mask during their wedding ceremony? Would a mask be required for the happy couple to consummate their marriage on their wedding night?

This ridiculous face mask rule imposed by Nicola Sturgeon shows quite clearly the dark side of Scottish politics. It is ridiculous because Nicola Sturgeon (as well as all the other MSP’s and Holyrood staff) has met many people from other households indoors in parliament (before and after face masks were imposed), whilst at the same time continually telling the masses that they cannot meet people from other households indoors. One rule for me, one for thee.

The paranoid fuelled COVID19 rules delivered by Sturgeon on a daily basis during the week and even reiterated on her twitter account on a frequent basis, and the blatant inconsistent and illogical nature of these rules, are not meant to console or comfort the masses. No, they are a deliberate attempt to disorientate and control the minds of the masses.

Cult leaders do this to their followers to short circuit their critical thinking. Cult leaders will also change the rules or the narrative at a whim for no apparent reason. Hence the change of now being able to get married without a face mask, even though the COVID19 restrictions are being tightened again all over the UK; it makes no sense, its not meant to, and the masses are meant to follow, not question and obey.

Cult leaders want to make the masses follow chaos.

This kind behaviour is equally applicable to the realm of BDSM (bondage, domination, sado-masochism) or the Master-Slave dialectic. In the world of BDSM, a master or mistress will impose illogical rules, but demand to be obeyed. As a slave in BDSM scenario might say, “Mistress is correct even when Mistress is wrong”.

This forms the basis for a human subject becoming an object, of becoming alienated from themselves. This logical structure underpins the dictates from politicians in relation to COVID19 restrictions. The blatant flaunting of the dictates by the likes of Catherine Calderwood, Neil Fergusson, Dominic Cummings, Margaret Ferrier (and the many more we have not heard about yet) is testament to the fact that they don’t really take this COVID19 restrictions all that seriously.

This abusive objectification and alienation are what totalitarians and cult leaders want to achieve and impose on their followers. Initiation rituals like mask wearing (especially when getting married) and social distancing, attack a person with terror, pain, humiliation and subjugation. Of course, anyone who has been in an abusive relationship will tell you that pointless rituals or behaviours are demanded by the abusive and sadistic abusive partner to wear the other person down.

As is so often found in cults and individuals in abusive relationships, the cult members or abused partner will even go to great lengths to defend the cult leader’s demands or the person who abuses them. In our current predicament, this is highly ironic as the Scottish government have recently introduced psychological abuse as a crime.

This abusive dialectic that is playing out between the UK government/Scottish government/devolved assemblies and the masses might explain why so many people cannot perceive the totalitarianism that is being inflicted upon them right in front of them, or right on their faces in the guise of masks and up till recently masked up in front of the alter getting married.

The problem we have is this: people generally find it very difficult to recognise the delusional nature of a totalitarian master narrative. One case in point was Nazi Germany; cognitive dissonance was a prevalent characteristic of people during these times. People who cannot see the totalitarian moves made upon them are not ignorant or unintelligent; they have been initiated into a cult through the methods of initiation, chaos, confusion and the short circuiting of critical thinking.

We are being initiated and conditioned for a future way of life where there will be no return to normality, and it has nothing to do with a virus. This is why children are being socially distanced in schools, are made to wear masks in certain contexts, are treated like bio-hazards by their teachers and are frightened half to death by being made to obsessively wash their hands multiple times a day with an abrasive hand sanitiser.

Drawing on psychoanalytic thought, such directives pushed onto children will ensure that many children will grow up to be socially anxious and fearful of social interaction. It begs belief that the Adverse Childhood Experiences “movement” (ACEs) in Scotland are utterly silent about the harms being committed upon children as a result of these scientifically challengeable COVID19 restrictions and rules.

As the Centre for Disease Control state, the survival rate estimates for people aged 0-19 years for COVID19 is 99.997%, 20-49 years is 99.98%, 50-69 years 99.5%, and 70 years+ 94.6% respectively. And now we have a casedemic where the rates of false positives (89%-94% of positives potentially false) and the PCR test does not even test for COVID19 (See ACU, 2020). Of course, the politicians ignore the fact that the PCR test was never intended to be a diagnostic instrument to be used to inform public health policy, never mind mandate it.

The culture of deindividuation that the totalitarian abusive cult-like rituals of social distancing, mask wearing and not being able to meet people freely is also primed to be ramped up even further; Nicola Sturgeon has stated that she is considering face masks to be compulsory even in outside spaces-seven months into this COVID19 nightmare-another illogical and ridiculous idea with no basis in science.

We are now entering a precarious tipping point; not from the virus, but from deindividuated members of the cult slavishly following these new rules and not challenging the wearing of masks outside. No doubt the “nudging” from the Government will work a treat on the masses

This is because the UK and Scottish governments are manipulating, coercing and frightening us into following the rules and shaming us when we don’t. The UK and Scottish Governments are using applied behavioural psychology, breaking the ethical guidelines for psychologists, to deliberately ramp up fear in the population. A group of psychologists called Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B) of SAGE have been tasked with advising the UK and Scottish Governments how to get people to adhere to COVID 19 restrictions.

From their document which is freely available on the UK Government website, it is written:
A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened.”
And:
The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.”
The psychologists of SPI-B and the UK government knew fear alone would not be enough. Therefore, SPI-B suggested to government to use and promote social approval for desired behaviours, to consider enacting legislation to compel required behaviours, and to consider the use of social disapproval for failure to comply.

They have used the Mainstream Media and Social media, along with false fact-checking and censorship to get their message across and it has been working.

The tactics of the SPI-B psychologists informing UK and Scottish Governments’ policies on the COVID19 response are in my opinion contrary to the ethical and practice guidelines of The British Psychological Society (BPS); the psychology equivalent of the Hippocratic oath for medicine.

The mainstream media are silent on these unethical practices of deliberately ramping up people’s sense of personal threat, creating a culture of feeling shame to follow COVID19 regulations and encouraging people to shame others for not following regulations. From the reports of several mental health charities, UK and Scottish Government reports, mental ill-health is in a crisis because of the COVID19 response/measures.

Suicide risk factors have undoubtedly been hugely multiplied (house repossessions, unemployment, poverty and stress etc); when the official figures are completed, I have no doubt that there will have been, and there will be to come, many suicides because of the COVID19 lockdown and associated measures.

Our political leaders, despite their lip service to mental health, are aware of the mental health and suicide crisis that now engulfs us, yet they proceed onwards with the COVID19 agenda regardless complicit in more psychological abuse being foisted upon people, knowing full well that this will cause untold misery.

Read the rest here.

Will Democracy’s Myths Doom Liberty?

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The Supreme Court declared in 1943, “There is no mysticism in the American concept of the State or of the nature or origin of its authority." In reality, the cardinal doctrines of contemporary democracy are layer upon layer of mystical claptrap. The phrases which consecrate democracy seep into many Americans’ minds like buried hazardous waste.

If Joe Biden wins the presidential election, voters will be told that our political system is redeemed: the “will of the people” is now clear, Biden will rule with “the consent of the governed,” and Americans are obliged to again trust and obey the federal government. If Donald Trump is reelected, much of the same media will continue howling about imaginary Russian plots. But these notions remain dangerous delusions regardless of who is declared the winner on Election Day.

The notion that election results represent the “will of the people” is one of the most shameless triumphs of democratic propaganda. Rather than revealing the “will of the people,” election results are often a one-day snapshot of transient mass delusions. Votes which only reveal comparative contempt for competing professional politicians are transmogrified into approvals for blueprints to forcibly remake humanity.

Americans are encouraged to believe that their vote on Election Day somehow miraculously guarantees that the subsequent ten thousand actions by the president, Congress, and federal agencies embody “the will of the people.” In reality, the more edicts a president issues, the less likely that his decrees will have any connection to popular preferences. It is even more doubtful that all the provisions of hefty legislative packages reflect majority support, considering the wheeling, dealing, and conniving prior to final passage. Or maybe the Holy Ghost of Democracy hovers over Capitol Hill to assure that average Americans truly want every provision on every page of bills that most representatives and senators do not even bother reading?

A bastard cousin of the “will of the people” flimflam is the notion that citizens and government are one and the same. President Franklin Roosevelt, after five years of expanding federal power as rapidly as possible, declared in 1938, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us.” President Johnson declared in 1964: “Government is not an enemy of the people. Government is the people themselves,” though it wasn’t “the people” whose lies sent tens of thousands of American conscripts to pointless deaths in Vietnam. President Bill Clinton declared in 1996, “The Government is just the people, acting together—just the people acting together.” But it wasn't “the people acting together” that bombed Serbia, invaded Haiti, blockaded Iraq, or sent the tanks in at Waco.

President Barack Obama hit the theme at a 2015 Democratic fundraiser: “Our system only works when we realize that government is not some alien thing; government is not some conspiracy or plot; it’s not something to oppress you. Government is us in a democracy.” But it was not private citizens who, during Obama’s reign, issued more than half a million pages of proposed and final new regulations and notices in the Federal Register; made more than 10 million administrative rulings; tacitly took control of more than 500 million acres by designating them “national monuments”; and bombed seven foreign nations. The “government is the people” doctrine makes sense only if we assume citizens are masochists who secretly wish to have their lives blighted.

Presidents perennially echo the Declaration of Independence's appeal to “the consent of the governed.” But political consent is gauged very differently than consent in other areas of life. The primary proof that Americans are not oppressed is that citizens cast more votes for one of the candidates who finagled his name onto the ballot. A politician can say or do almost anything to snare votes; after Election Day, citizens can do almost nothing to restrain winning politicians.

A 2017 survey by Rasmussen Reports found that only 23 percent of Americans believe that the federal government has “the consent of the governed.” Political consent is defined these days as rape was defined a generation or two ago: people consent to anything which they do not forcibly resist. Voters cannot complain about getting screwed after being enticed into a voting booth. Anyone who does not attempt to burn down city hall presumably consented to everything the mayor did. Anyone who does not jump the White House fence and try to storm into the Oval Office consents to all executive orders. Anyone who doesn't firebomb the nearest federal office building consents to the latest edicts in the Federal Register. And if people do attack government facilities, then they are terrorists who can be justifiably killed or imprisoned forever.

In the short term, the most dangerous democratic delusion is that conducting an election makes government trustworthy again. Only 20 percent of Americans trust the government to “do the right thing” most of the time, according to a survey last month by the Pew Research Center. Americans are being encouraged to believe that merely changing the name of the occupant of the White House should restore faith in government.

If Biden is elected, we will hear the same “redemption” storyline that was trumpeted when Obama replaced (temporarily) disgraced George W. Bush. The same media that ignored Biden’s corruption during the presidential campaign will insist that his inauguration purifies Uncle Sam. With Biden in charge, pundits and pooh-bahs will swear that it is safe to expand federal control over healthcare, education, housing, the economy, the environment, and anything else that moves.

But the benevolence of government rarely transcends the perfidy of politics. Washington will remain as venal as ever, regardless of the hallelujah chorus of PBS NewsHour panelists. When scandals erupt, citizens will be told to trust politically approved fixes to the system—even though most Washington reforms are like fighting crime by hiding the corpses of victims.

It is time to demystify democracy. The surest effect of exalting democracy is to make it easier for politicians to drag everyone else down. Until presidents and members of Congress begin to honor their oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, they deserve all the distrust and disdain they receive. Americans need less faith in democracy and more faith in their own liberty.

Reprinted with permission from Mises.org.

Danish Newspaper Reveals Largest Study on Masks has been Rejected by Three Medical Journals

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Why not just conduct a randomized controlled trial to test whether masks work against COVID-19? Why assume such a draconian and dehumanizing mandate works as if it's an article of faith and create such division when we can discover which side is correct? That's what a group of Danish researchers felt, which is why, over the spring, they conducted such a study. So why have the results not been published, three months later? According to one Danish newspaper, the study has been rejected by three medical journals because the results are too controversial.

Berlingske, Denmark's oldest operating daily newspaper, published an article on Thursday titled, "Professor: Large Danish mask study rejected by three top journals" (translation from Google translate), which finally reveals the mystery of the disappearing Danish mask study.
"The researchers behind a large and unique Danish study on the effect of wearing a mask even have great difficulty in getting their research results published," wrote the Berlingske in the subtitle. "One of the participating professors in the study admits that the still secret research result can be perceived as 'controversial'."

The article reveals that, thus far, the study has been rejected by the Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the American Medical Association's journal JAMA, three of the publications that have been posting much of the research on coronavirus.

The CDC, prior to changing its position on universal mask-wearing, had previously cited 10 randomized controlled trials that showed "no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks." Now, the CDC and other elite institutions would have us believe that coronavirus is somehow different. The Danes were the first to actually study the effect of large-scale universal mask-wearing specifically against the spread of COVID-19.

The rest of the article is behind a paywall, but Dr. Andrew Bostom of Brown University posted a translation of the text he obtained. The professor who spoke to the newspaper did not reveal why the publications felt the study was "controversial," but did defend the study as an "outstanding sample."

The researcher involved told the Berlingske, "The study and its size are unique in the world, and the purpose was once and for all to try to clarify the extent to which the use of masks in public space provides protection against corona infection."

Fair use excerpt. Read the whole article here.

Iran Seeks to Confuse the United States?

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Those who have been waiting for the elusive October Surprise that will upset the apple cart on election day are admittedly running out of time. The media’s unwillingness to even consider that the antics of Hunter Biden just might constitute an embarrassment of major proportions or even something worse has done much to kill that story. And the old tried and true expedient of starting a little war somewhere is also proving to be a false hope as no one appears ready to provoke the righteously wrathful Secretary of State Mike Pompeo by ponying up a casus belli. Maybe there is still time for a false flag operation, but even that would require more prior planning than the White House appears capable of.

There is, however, one area that might just be exploitable to create a crisis, though it much depends on whether a tired public is willing to go one more round over the issue of “foreign election interference.” And yes, the Russians are presumed to be involved, on this occasion, as they always are, joined by the ever-vengeful Iranians.

On Wednesday Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe held a news conference at which he laid out details of the most recent dastardly plot against American democracy. He described how Iran and Russia both obtained American voter registration data, apparently through publicly accessible databases and through purchases of email lists. Though no actual votes have been altered, they are using that information “to influence the presidential election as it enters its final two weeks.” Ratcliffe elaborated how “This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine…confidence in American democracy.”

Ratcliffe focused mostly on Iran, saying that it had been identified as the source of what he described as a claimed 1,500 “spoofed emails” routed through Estonia that “seek to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump.” Iran was also blamed for other material, to include a video encouraging the casting of illegal ballots both domestically and overseas. Additional intelligence suggests that Iran is planning to take more steps to influence the election in the coming days, though what those measures could possibly be was not revealed.

Other government sources elaborated, indicating that Iranian intelligence has been credited with the sending of the email messages going out to Democratic voters in four states, including hotly disputed Pennsylvania and Florida. The emails falsely claimed to be from the alleged far-right group Proud Boys which has been much in the news. Their message was that “we will come after you” if the recipients fail to vote for Donald Trump.

It doesn’t take much to realize that threatening messages relating to voting for Trump allegedly coming from a source described as “racist” would undoubtedly motivate most registered Democratic voters to do the opposite, but that seems to have escaped the analysts of the Directorate of National Intelligence. And one must also ask why Tehran would want the re-election of a president who has been unremittingly hostile, including imposing crippling sanctions, withdrawing from a beneficial nuclear agreement, and assassinating a leading Revolutionary Guards general. Even US Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer appears to have figured that one out, saying “It was clear to me that the intent of Iran in this case and Russia in many more cases is to basically undermine confidence in our elections. This action I do not believe was aimed... at discrediting President Trump.”

The anti-Trump New York Times has, of course, another, more sinister interpretation, suggesting that “…it may also play into President Trump’s hands. For weeks, he has argued, without evidence, that the vote on Nov. 3 will be ‘rigged,’ that mail-in ballots will lead to widespread fraud and that the only way he can be defeated is if his opponents cheat. Now, on the eve of the final debate, he has evidence of foreign influence campaigns designed to hurt his re-election chances, even if they did not affect the voting infrastructure.”

The Times also notes a broader conspiracy by the dreadful Persians, explaining how “Iran has tinkered at the edges of American election interference since 2012, but always as a minor actor. Last year, it stepped up its game, private cybersecurity firms have warned. They have caught Iranian operatives occasionally impersonating politicians and journalists around the world, often to spread narratives that are aimed at denigrating Israel or Saudi Arabia, its two major adversaries in the Middle East.” Again, however, the article provides no explanation of what Iran could possibly hope to gain from the minimal “tinkering” it might be able to engage in an American election in which billions of dollars will be spent by Democrats and Republicans who are viciously attacking each other without any outside help.

Ratcliffe had less to say about Russia but US media coverage of the story included a referral to a recent account of how the US military’s Cyber Command helped take down a network developed by Russian hackers called TrickBot that had been used in ransomware attacks directed against companies as well as cities and towns across the United States. It also reported how “In recent days, another Russian hacking group called Energetic Bear, often linked to the F.S.B. — one of the successors to the Soviet Union’s K.G.B. — appears to have focused its attention on gaining access to state and local government networks. That has caught the attention of federal investigators because, until now, the group had largely targeted energy firms, including public utilities.”

There was, however, no evidence that either hacking group was being directed against voter systems, so Russia’s inclusion in the front-page Times story headlined “Iran and Russia Seek to Influence Election in Final Days, US Officials Warn” has to be considered questionable editorial judgment. Perhaps scaremongering would be a better description. In any event, the story itself is much ado about nothing. Iran’s sending out 1,500 emails if that actually occurred, would have zero impact. Likewise, the claimed existence of alleged Russian hacking groups that have done nothing directed against voters or balloting systems with only a few days left until the election would appear to be an electoral tactic rather than exposure of any genuine threat. One might even describe it as a bit of deliberate disinformation.

Reprinted with permission from American Herald Tribune.

Guardian-Friendly Omissions

In his latest book, This Land: The Story of a Movement ((Penguin, ebook version, 2020.)), the Guardian’s Owen Jones charts the rise and fall of Jeremy Corbyn.

Jones depicts Corbyn as a ‘scruffy,’ (p. 8), ‘unkempt’ (p. 50), thoroughly shambolic backbench MP, ‘the most unlikely’ (p. 50) of contenders for the Labour leadership. In May 2015, Corbyn reluctantly dipped his toe in the water of the leadership contest, saying: ‘You better make fucking sure I don’t get elected’ (p. 54), only to be swept away on a tide of popular support.

As this suggests, Jones argues that while Corbyn was indeed relentlessly savaged by forces both inside and outside the Labour Party – including the ‘mainstream’ media, with ‘profound hostility’ from ‘the publicly funded, professedly impartial’ BBC (p. 68) – he was out of his depth, his team making constant, massive mistakes from which all progressives must learn. It is not at all inevitable, Jones says, that future leftist movements need suffer the same fate.

Much of this analysis is interesting and useful; Jones interviewed 170 insiders closest to the action, ‘people at the top of the Labour Party right down to grassroots activists’, who supply important insights on key events.

Jones portrays himself as someone who fundamentally agrees with much that motivated Corbyn, emphasising that his disagreement lies in tactics and strategy. But, once again, we note a remarkable pattern of omissions in the work of Jones, an ostensibly outspoken, unconstrained leftist, and by his serious misreading of the antisemitism furore that engulfed Corbyn.

Jones recognises that people loved Corbyn because, unusually for a UK politician, he was made of flesh rather than PR plastic; he told the truth:

‘While other contenders refused to give direct answers to questions, and were caught squirming between their principles and their political compromises, he spoke with immediacy – sometimes rambling, always authentic, always passionate.’ (p. 57)

Ironically, Jones does plenty of his own ‘squirming’ between ‘principles’ and ‘political compromises’ as he airbrushes out of existence facts, views and voices that are consistently and conspicuously Guardian-unfriendly. He writes:

‘Corbynism… was woven together from many disparate strands: from people who marched against the Iraq war in 2003’ to people hit by the ‘trebling of college tuition fees in 2010’ and ‘the millions more frightened by a looming climate emergency’. (p. 10)

Above all, of course, ‘Corbyn’s entire career had been devoted to foreign affairs’. (p. 29) Andrew Murray of the union, Unite commented: ‘Corbyn was very prominent in the anti-war movement.’ (p. 33)

Thus, deep popular outrage at the Iraq war is key in understanding Corbyn’s popularity. And yet, in discussing this central feature of the movement, Jones makes no mention at all of Julian Assange (or WikiLeaks), of Noam Chomsky, or John Pilger – the most important anti-war voices – exactly as he made no mention of them in his previous book, The Establishment, published in 2014.

Jones has not mentioned Assange in his Guardian column in the last twelve months. Indeed, his sole substantive mention came in April 2019.

Corbyn became Labour leader in 2015, but Jones mentions NATO’s catastrophic, 2011 war on Libya, opposed by Corbyn, once in passing, noting merely that Labour MP Chris Williamson had ‘supported the war in Libya’. (p. 251)

Jones’ previous book, The Establishment, published three years after NATO’s assault, similarly granted ‘Libya’ a single mention, noting that UK voters were ‘Weary of being dragged by their rulers into disastrous wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya…’.1. (See our discussion.)

The fact that the US-UK assault resulted in mass death, ethnic cleansing, mass displacement for millions of Libyans and the destruction of the entire country was not mentioned in either book.

Elsewhere, Jones has been more forthright. In February 2011, with NATO ‘intervention’ clearly looming, he tweeted:

‘I hope it’s game over for Gaddafi. A savage dictator once tragically embraced by me on left + lately western governments and oil companies.’2

On 20 March 2011, one day after NATO bombing had begun, like someone writing for the ‘Soaraway Sun’, Jones commented:

‘Let’s be clear. Other than a few nutters, we all want Gaddafi overthrown, dead or alive.’3

Similarly, in 2012, Jones reacted to news of the killings of Syrian ministers in a bomb explosion with:

‘Adios, Assad (I hope).’4

After all, Jones tweeted, ‘this is a popular uprising, not arriving on the back of western cruise missiles, tanks and bullets’.4

As was very obvious then and indisputable now, Jones was badly mistaken.  The West, directly and via regional allies, played a massive role in the violence. The New York Times reported that the US had become embroiled in a dirty war in Syria that constituted ‘one of the costliest covert action programs in the history of the C.I.A’, running to ‘more than $1 billion over the life of the program’.5

As though tweeting from the NATO playbook, the same Guardian columnist now analysing the peace movement supporting Corbyn, wrote:

‘I’m promoting the overthrow of illegitimate and brutal dictatorships by their own people to establish democracies.’4

In This Land, Jones mentions Saudi Arabia’s disastrous war in famine-stricken Yemen exactly once, again in passing:

‘…Labour MPs refused to back Corbyn’s call for a UN investigation into alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen’. (p. 81)

There is no mention of the UK’s support for these crimes since 2011, no discussion of the horrors the UK has inflicted (See our discussion). The word ‘Yemen’ was unmentioned in Jones’ previous book in 2014. To his credit, he has written several Guardian pieces on the war in Yemen, the most recent in 2018.

Gaza was mentioned once, in passing, in Jones’ previous book and three times, in passing, in This Land. Our media database search found that, since he joined the Guardian in March 2014, Jones has made three substantive mentions of Gaza, in 2014 (a philosophical piece focusing on ‘How the occupation of Gaza corrupts the occupier’, with few facts about the situation in Gaza) a brief piece here, and one in 2018 (with a single paragraph on Gaza).

This Land simply ignores the Western propaganda wars on Iran and Venezuela.

Remarkably, while recognising the role of climate fears in the rise of Corbyn and discussing the UK’s ‘Climate Camp’ in the late 2000s, Jones makes no mention of Extinction Rebellion or of Greta Thunberg, both strongly supported by Corbyn, further fuelling popular support for his cause.

There is no mention of the Guardian’s lead role in destroying Corbyn; although, ironically, Jones does celebrate the fact that, ‘I wrote the first pro-Corbyn column to appear in the mainstream media: a Guardian piece’. (p. 53)

The silence is unsurprising. In 2017, Jones tweeted:

‘I’m barred from criticising colleagues in my column.’6

He wasn’t joking:

‘Guardian colleagues aren’t supposed to have these public spats…’

Of his own opposition to Corbyn, in the Guardian and elsewhere, Jones writes:

‘Although I voted for him again in 2016, I had a period of disillusionment before the [June 2017] general election – something which still riles his most ardent supporters.’ (p. 14)

In fact, the ‘period of disillusionment’ was extensive and began long before the 2017 election. In July 2016, fully one year earlier, Jones wrote:

‘As Jeremy Corbyn is surrounded by cheering crowds, Labour generally, and the left specifically, are teetering on the edge of looming calamity.’

He added:

‘As things stand, all the evidence suggests that Labour — and the left as a whole — is on the cusp of a total disaster. Many of you won’t thank me now. But what will you say when you see the exit poll at the next general election and Labour is set to be wiped out as a political force?’

Similar comments followed in February, March and April 2017. For example:

‘My passionate and sincere view is Jeremy Corbyn should stand down as soon as possible in exchange for another left-wing MP being allowed to stand on for leadership in his place: all to stop both Labour and the left imploding, which is what is currently on the cards.’7

Blaming The Victim – The Great, Fake Antisemitism Scandal

Time and again, Jones criticises the Corbyn leadership for failing to deal adequately with antisemitism claims: ‘there was no coherent strategy within the leader’s office on how to tackle claims of antisemitism’. (p. 227)

While Jones accepts that there were ‘bad-faith actors opposed to Corbyn’s policies’, his emphasis is focused elsewhere: ‘ultimately there were severe and repeated errors by the leadership, which resulted from those two characteristic failings: a lack of both strategy and emotional intelligence’. (p. 254)

Remarkably, Jones concludes that the crisis ‘need never have happened’. (p. 254)

This is nonsense. The crisis had to happen because sufficiently powerful forces within the Labour Party and Conservative Party, and across the corporate media ‘spectrum’, were determined to make it happen.

Compare Jones’ account with that of Norman Finkelstein, whose mother survived the Warsaw Ghetto, the Majdanek concentration camp and two slave labour camps. Finkelstein’s father was a survivor of both the Warsaw Ghetto and the Auschwitz concentration camp. In an interview with RT in May, Finkelstein commented:

‘Corbyn, he did not present a threat only to Israel and Israel’s supporters, he posed a threat to the whole British elite. Across the board, from the Guardian to the Daily Mail, they all joined in the new anti-semitism campaign. Now that’s unprecedented – the entire British elite, during this whole completely contrived, fabricated, absurd and obscene assault on this alleged Labour anti-semitism, of which there is exactly zero evidence, zero.’

He added:

‘Yeah, there’s some fringe members of Labour who, you know, play the anti-semitic [interrupted by interviewer]… I read the polls, I read the data – it hovers between six and eight per cent are hardened anti-semites in British society. It’s nothing! Yeah, so there are a few crazies, but there’s no “institutionalised” anti-semitism in the British Labour Party. There’s no threat of anti-semitism in British society. I’ve read all the data, I’ve studied it closely. It just doesn’t exist. It’s all being designed and manipulated… I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, as you know, but this is a conspiracy.’

Jones accepts that ‘the former leadership and the vast majority of Labour’s membership abhor antisemitism’, arguing that the problem lay with a ‘small minority’. (p. 254) But Jones does not cite an October 2016 report by the Commons home affairs committee, which found:

‘Despite significant press and public attention on the Labour Party, and a number of revelations regarding inappropriate social media content, there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party.’

And he does not cite a September 2017 report by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, which found:

‘Levels of antisemitism among those on the left-wing of the political spectrum, including the far-left, are indistinguishable from those found in the general population… The most antisemitic group on the political spectrum consists of those who identify as very right-wing: the presence of antisemitic attitudes in this group is 2 to 4 times higher compared to the general population.’

Instead, Jones pours scorn on leftists who ‘still were in denial, claiming that the antisemitism crisis had been entirely manufactured by a media “out to get” Corbyn…’ (p. 254)

Rational commentators have always accepted that antisemitism exists within the Labour Party. The point is that making that ugly reality a ‘crisis’ specifically for Labour, rather than for other parties and other sectors of society, and above all making it a ‘crisis’ for Corbyn – reviled as a dangerous antisemite – was entirely manufactured.

Jones cites ‘the passionately anti-Corbyn editor of the Jewish Chronicle’, Stephen Pollard, who grotesquely claimed to perceive ‘nudge, nudge’ (p. 253) antisemitism in one of Corbyn’s self-evidently anti-capitalist critiques. Such outlandish claims, Jones notes, only encouraged leftists to believe the whole furore was a smear campaign:

‘It was a vicious circle, and it turned to nobody’s benefit – least of all Corbyn’s, while causing more hurt and distress to Jewish people.’ (p. 253, our emphasis)

But this is absurd. Quite obviously, the smear campaign was to the very real benefit of the political and media forces trying to crush Corbyn’s version of socialism.

The claims targeting Corbyn were fake and they depended on ignoring as non-existent a mountain of evidence indicating that Corbyn is a passionate, committed and very active anti-racist. What is so outrageous is that this was accepted by essentially everyone before Corbyn stood for the leadership in 2015. As Jones comments:

‘Anti-racism is core to Corbyn’s sense of identity. He believes, proudly, that he has fought oppression all his life, so being labelled a racist was a cause of profound personal trauma to him.’ (p. 228)

Corbyn’s chief of staff, Karie Murphy, commented on the impact of the smear campaign:

‘This was a man who was beyond broken-hearted, that, as a proud antiracist campaigner, he was being accused of racism. So he was paralysed… It wasn’t true – no one will convince me that he has an antisemitic bone in his body…’ (p. 242)

Genuine racists are not left ‘beyond broken-hearted’ by claims that they are racist. They are not ‘paralysed’ by a sense of injustice and grief.

Jones comments on Corbyn: ‘no one close to him believes for a moment that he would ever willingly associate with a Holocaust denier’. (p. 222) And Corbyn ‘could point to an extensive record opposing antisemitism and showing pro-Jewish solidarity’ (p. 221). Jones lists some of Corbyn’s efforts in this regard: helping to organise a counter-mobilisation to a demonstration by National Front fascists in the so-called Battle of Wood Green in 1977; taking part in a campaign to save a Jewish cemetery from being sold off to property developers in 1987, calling on the British government to settle Yemeni Jewish refugees in 2010.

Before the sheer intensity of propaganda caused most commentators to find truth in lies, Corbyn’s deep-rooted opposition to racism was simply unquestioned. Chris Mullin, who did not vote for Corbyn to either become or remain leader, commented:

‘I’ve always liked him as long as I’ve known him. He’s a thoroughly decent human being, almost a saintly man.’ (p. 30)

As Jones writes of Corbyn at the time he stood for the leadership in 2015:

‘Corbyn had no personal enemies. Everyone liked him. Relentlessly cheerful, endlessly generous with his opponents, he exuded integrity.’ (pp. 50-51)

Despite this, Jones says of the antisemitism crisis:

‘The damage to Corbyn’s Labour was grievous. The crisis led to months of media coverage.’ (p. 254)

In fact, the media coverage was the crisis! It was this real crisis that was the cause of the ‘crisis’. The antisemitism ‘crisis’ was just one more fabrication by an awesomely corrupt and immoral media system willing to throw, not just the kitchen sink, but – God help us! – Nazi gas chambers at Corbyn.

The key to understanding the anti-semitism ‘scandal’ was explained by Jones himself:

‘Anybody who knows anything about the British press knows that it is almost unique in the Western world for its level of commitment to aggressively defending and furthering right-wing partisan politics… the media onslaught that greeted his [Corbyn’s] leadership win in 2015 was as predictable as it was unrelentingly hostile.’ (p. 67)

Jones lists only a few of the endlessly fabricated stories used to smear Corbyn: he supposedly planned to ‘abolish’ the army, refused to bow his head on Remembrance Day, danced happily on Remembrance Day, didn’t sing the national anthem loudly enough, and so on. The London School of Economics reported in 2016:

‘the British press systematically delegitimised Jeremy Corbyn as a political leader’ through a ‘process of vilification that went beyond the normal limits of fair debate and disagreement in a democracy’. (p. 68)

Corbyn’s great anti-semitism ‘scandal’ was a non-story, a fabricated non-event, a Soviet-style propaganda smear. Sufficient numbers of people wanted it to be true because they wanted to be rid of Corbyn. Everyone else bowed their heads to avoid being subject to the same career-destroying smears.

Jones often mentions Len McCluskey, general secretary of the Unite Union, in This Land. McCluskey commented in the New Statesman last week on Corbyn’s press chief Seumas Milne and chief of staff Karie Murphy:

‘Having given a brilliant and detailed polemic of the history of anti-Semitism, he [Jones] veers away to lay blame at the [door of] Milne and Murphy, based on a distorted view of what it was like trying to deal with the constant daily attacks.

‘When you are in a war – and be under no illusion, from day one of his leadership, Corbyn was subjected to an internal and external war – you develop methods of defence and attack that change by necessity almost on a daily, if not hourly basis.  Being in your living room, observing with a typewriter, is a damn sight easier than being in the ditches on the front line, trying to dodge bullets flying at you from all angles, especially from your own side.’

Establishment forces were out to destroy Corbyn with antisemitism, or whatever else they could think of, no matter what he did, how he replied. And it worked. The incompetence of Corbyn’s team may have made things worse, but the truth that matters is that a form of ruthless fascism arose out of British society to crush an attempt to create a more democratic politics.

Needless to say, Jones has not one word to say about the lead role of his employer, the Guardian, in the antisemitism smear campaign.

Conclusion

Why do we focus so intensely on popular progressives like Owen Jones, George Monbiot and loveable, NATO-loving loon Paul Mason?

The reason is that they breathe life into the faded dream that progressive change can be achieved by working within and for profit-maximising corporations that are precisely the cause of so many of our crises. Even the best journalists cannot tell the truth within these undemocratic systems of top-down power. As Jones freely admits, they have to compromise, to self-censor. Guardian colleagues may not be criticised! Ultimately, they have to compromise in ways that allow the state-corporate status quo to thunder on.

Our most celebrated public radicals – almost all of them made famous by corporate media – function as dissident vaccines that inoculate the public against a pandemic of authentic dissent.

Corporate media are careful to incorporate a tiny bit of progressive poison, so that we all hang around for a whole lot of propaganda-drenched news and commentary, and a perma-tsunami of unanswered corporate advertising persuading us that status consumption, status production and paper-thin concern for the problems of our world are all there is.

Ultimately, corporate dissidents are the final nail in the corporate coffin, normalising the blind, patently doomed rush to disaster called ‘business as usual.’

  1. Owen Jones, The Establishment:  And how they get away with it, Penguin, 2014, p. 275.
  2. Jones, Twitter, 20 February 2011.
  3. Jones, ‘The case against bombing Libya’, Left Futures, March 2011.
  4. Jones, Twitter, 18 July 2012.
  5. Mark Mazzetti, Adam Goldman and Michael S. Schmidt, ‘Behind the sudden death of a $1 billion secret C.I.A. war in Syria’, New York Times, 2 August 2017.
  6. Jones, Twitter, 19 November 2017.
  7. Jones: ‘“I don’t enjoy protesting – I do it because the stakes are so high”’, Evening Standard, 3 February 2017.

The post Guardian-Friendly Omissions first appeared on Dissident Voice.

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Early Voting, Long Lines, and Voter Suppression

November 3rd, Election Day in America, is rapidly approaching. However, early in-person voting has started in several states across the country and there are some concerning issues already coming to light this election year.

Videos by voters have been circulating on social media sites such as Twitter, showing extremely long lines and long waiting periods. The state of Georgia in particular had several videos circulating around with people claiming it took 11 hours to cast their vote. While big voter turnout numbers alone are not necessarily a bad sign, the long lines speak to something darker: a lack of adequate polling locations, a gutting of the U.S. postal service, and voter suppression.

Of course, it’s not the first time voter suppression has occurred in a major election, and it likely won’t be the last unless more active efforts are made to combat voter suppression and we demand better from our leaders.

Hiding in Plain Sight

It’s fair to wonder: what exactly is voter suppression? It’s not as if we are given a handbook on it when we register to vote and it’s often left out of political debates — but voter suppression tactics have been around nearly as long as voting itself. They have ranged from literacy tests to what we’re seeing now in Texas, with Governor Greg Abbott restricting the number of locations in each county where voters can drop off their mail-in ballots before the election.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was created to help combat voter suppression and while it is regarded as a significant change in voting rights, like most legislation created decades ago, it fails to cover modern voter suppression tactics and problems. Of course, provisions to the act have been created over the years, but it’s proving to still not be enough to completely stop voter suppression tactics.

One modern-day issue that has prevented who knows how many votes are more restrictive voting laws. Half of the states in the United States have strict photo ID requirements, limited early voting, and tough voter registration restrictions. These restrictions significantly affect POC, senior citizens, those with disabilities, and college students. And that’s not by mistake.

Voter suppression makes it difficult for people to pass legislation that actually benefits them as well as vote against the things that would directly harm their livelihood. And the people creating and utilizing these voter suppression tactics know that. Look at North Dakota, for example.

In 2018, the state passed a new voter ID law that required voters to have a current residential street address printed on their ID. This directly impacted the Native Americans living in North Dakota on rural tribal reservations as they typically use a P.O. box due to their homes being too remote for the Post Office to deliver mail. With this new law in place though, tribal IDs with P.O. boxes were no longer considered a valid voter ID.

While it is hard to say if this new law was directly responsible for the outcome of the North Dakota 2018 elections, it is worth noting that Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp lost her seat in Congress to her Republican challenger, Kevin Cramer.

More Than a Tweet

How can we start tackling this issue in an effective way? One option could be social media. While social media won’t change our voting rights laws outright, it can serve as a powerful tool to help spread awareness of this problem. Being active on social media and educating others about voter suppression is a start that could ultimately lead to real change.

Social media activism, as those at Maryville University put it, can promote social justice. They explain, “The use of social media to uplift voices and stories, create awareness, and build and strengthen relationships creates a space for organizations, activists, and citizens to demand justice.” A few examples of how social media can be used to combat issues such as voter suppression include:

  • Platforming Lived Experiences: Social media has a long and wide reach across the globe and as such, is able to amplify and share the issues impacting people. For minorities and underrepresented communities, social media might be the only way to have their voices heard and get their story out into the public’s eye. We’ve seen it already with the Black Lives Matter and MeToo movement, but there are certainly more issues social media can help tackle, including voter suppression.
  • Coordinating Community Responses: Not only is it important to bring awareness to social justice issues through social media, but it can also be a useful tool for creating online communities where people are able to find support and come together to fight against the issues that affect their lives.
  • Sharing Pictures and Videos: With most people now walking around 24/7 with a camera in their pocket, it’s a lot easier to record and document real-life examples of injustices and other concerns. Moreover, it’s a lot easier to share those videos and pictures thanks to social media platforms, meaning more people can see with their own eyes what is happening in the world and their communities.

Of course, social media can also be used as a harmful tool in the wrong hands. There are some who still struggle with digital literacy, meaning conspiracy theories, edited content, and outright lies can also be massively shared amongst communities. And while there are those who can tell if a video or post is credible or not, there are still a number of people who aren’t familiar with the online world and aren’t able to discern fact from lies.

Unfortunately, social media activism really only benefits those who have access to the online world. So, while it is an extremely helpful tool, it can still be limiting and should be used in addition to other concerted efforts.

Changing Our Perspective

Voters who deal with problems such as long lines and long wait times often get labeled as enthusiastic and committed to their civic duty. While that is certainly true, many voters don’t have the ability to wait in line all day to cast their vote — and they shouldn’t have to. Furthermore, by sharing “inspiring” stories of those who wait in line for hours on end, it puts voter suppression tactics in a more positive light rather than exposing it for what it is.

In order to start enacting change within our voting rights, we need to change our perspective. It should not be difficult to vote. As Americans, it is our right to vote and those who make an active effort to stop certain people from exercising their civic duty need to be held responsible. With the right tools, motivation, and determined efforts it is possible to rewrite the discriminatory voting system we know today.

The post Early Voting, Long Lines, and Voter Suppression first appeared on Dissident Voice.