Archive for the ‘Propaganda’ Category

The Weather Channel, once again

March 10, 2014

He Was Trapped. ATE His Way Out.

He Jumped. Then THIS Happened

25 Places So Colorful You Won’t Believe They’re Real

10-Year-Old Dies From Rat Bite

Creepy, Abandoned Hotels and Resorts

2-Legged Dog’s Unlikely Best Friend

What They Found Under Alcatraz

The Ways a Black Hole Could Kill You

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American fight for freedom only when the imperial benefits are gone

March 9, 2009

This is a reply to Tennessee-Chavizta from Dissident Voice. His words are in italics:

“But USA is just like any other country, i think that we will see a real change in USA in the near future, i think that there will be a popular uprising in this country, because american jobless citizens will not be able to conform to the misery food-stamp program”

The USA is not like any other country. It’s the heart of the global empire, and it’s people (pathetically) reflect that. There may or may not be a popular uprising in this country, but if so it will be the *last* among the Western countries.

Americans will defend their imperial benefits long before they will defend their freedom. It’s only when little hope exists for the continuation or recovery of those imperial benefits that Americans will “fight for their freedom”. This is precisely why the “shift to the left” in America only happened after 9/11, when Americans for the first time glimpsed the end of their empire.

This has always been the case in America, going back to the American Revolution when “fighting for freedom” was overheated rhetoric which translates into “fighting for power”. Once it became more profitable to overthrow British rule than live under it they did so, and Americans ever since have been brainwashed (most quite complicitly) into believing their country was founded on principles of freedom and equality. Tell that to the indigenous population, or the imported african population, or women, or various white ethnicities, or various capitalist losers, or the countless people outside the US enslaved or killed by these “freedom lovers”.

For Americans, it’s always been about power and it always will be. Now that the elite are weak and unable to provide Americans with sufficient imperial benefits sure, they may revolt. And then Dissident Voice can continue the centuries-old brainwashing by providing countless articles breathlessly extolling the “fight for freedom” of the American masses.

When will humanity move past ALL forms of propaganda and embrace truth?

On George W. Bush’s verbal affectation

December 11, 2008

This is a reply to Myles Hoenig on Dissident Voice:

” Fool me once shame on you.
You fool me you can’t get fooled again.
– GWB

Spoken like the true idiot that he is. ”

No, spoken like an affectation.

This way of speaking by GWB is an affectation, occurring only in his recent years. GWB is a political monster and made the calculation that speaking in this way would be beneficial to the Neoconservative cause (by condescending to the American public and thus angering and depressing them).

It is a way for GWB to say: “See, this is what I think of how Americans speak”. The media got in on it, saying that GWB is trying to “talk like Americans do”. What an odd remark – I’ve never heard an American speak like GWB does, not even drunk ones.

By repeating calling GWB an “idiot”, Americans justify not doing anything about him. Him being an “idiot” is a substantial amount of the reason why GWB isn’t sitting in jail. Who’s the real idiot?

Modern US presidents are primarily PR spokespeople. Developing a condescending way to speak is (potentially) a very potent way of conducting the presidency. And since Americans were manipulated successfully, taking the bait and thus the hook of GWB being an “idiot”, we might as well take our hats off to a man who has gotten the best of us.

GWB did exactly what he wanted to do in office – help his cronies and buddies get richer, be re-elected for a second term, and get away with it scot free. He succeeded in all of this with flying colors. Yet somehow he’s the idiot?

So indeed, “Fool me once shame on you. You fool me you can’t get fooled again”.

Public Relations isn’t about speaking *clearly* or *articulately*, it’s about speaking *powerfully*. Americans fell into the trap GWB laid.

The media and Iran

October 2, 2008

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Colombia: What did Interpol find in the laptops?

May 24, 2008

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How the psychological industry is built on mass media and propaganda

May 4, 2008

This is a reply to an email. My reply is in regular print, the quote of the person I’m replying to is in italics.

I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying, but what I think I understand I disagree with. It sounds like you’re saying that many people who are suffering psychologically are actually, although they don’t recognize it, suffering from all the cruelty going on in the world that it’s beyond their control to stop. It would be pretty easy to empirically evaluate this thesis (perhaps it’s already been done). I think many more people suffer from “real” psychological problems such as manic-depression or from “real-world” problems like drug or alcohol abuse.

I very much doubt that anyone has evaluated that thesis – your stance on this matter is the status quo one. Very little of reality is ever evaluated. Systems of power have no interest in evaluation unless it serves their purpose. You said it quite well yourself in the mid ’90s when you commented about how much time was spent developing video games (unreality) – what is advertising and propaganda if not un-reality? How much time is spent on that versus analyzing truth? The Neoconservative mantra is “We create reality”. That is to say, their mantra is “Our propaganda becomes your truth”.

My thesis is based on the observation that “psychological abnormality” increased greatly during the 20th century, to the point where a shrink is on every streetcorner and the pharmaceutical industry is a behemoth.

By “real” psychological problems I assume you believe there to be primarily a genetic basis for the problems. If I’m correct about a great rise in psychological problems in the 20th century there cannot be a genetic basis for it, since the genetic profiles in question changed very little over such a short time span.

An argument against my position is that there are not more psychological problems than there used to be – it’s just that what used to be non-diagnosed now has been given a label – so what used to be a “normal” or an “unlabeled” human now might be called a “manic-depressive”.

My argument is that psychological profiles, including what are deemed “problems”, are primarily caused by the environment. My argument identifies several factors as providing major psychological and social traumas which result in “psychological abnormality”. After listing these factors I will explain why the 20th century is unique and why the problems of past centuries did not have the same psychological results.

One is the schizophrenic factor of a populace which simultaneously applauds freedom while engaging in imperialism. This factor accelerated in the mid 20th century when much of the third world gained a measure of independence.

The twin terrors of constant threats of nuclear annihilation and global environmental collapse (which boil down to the same thing) cause a kind of darkness and perpetual depression.

Massive endemic propaganda and schizophrenic doublethink, as outlined by Orwell.

More schizophrenia – support for corporations (unaccountable private tyrannies – command economies like mini-versions of the communist state) and simultaneously support for democracy.

The military-industrial complex and the notion of “perpetual war for perpetual peace”.

It’s funny how we have no problem identifying elements specific to the 20th century in some ways (like pertaining to culture) but somehow can’t quite grasp that psychology is also derived from the environment.

Propaganda derives from the rise of mass media and the public relations industry, which only became systematized by the elite in the early 20th century. Propaganda directly targets the mind – seeking to colonize it with disinformation and irrational directives. Somehow, though, the status quo position, such as outlined by yourself, which is allied with this propaganda, doesn’t seem to understand that propaganda affects psychology.

Prior to the 20th century, the major projection of power was done by force. Psychology is fairly irrelevant when facing a gun. With the “civilizing” of the state in the 20th century it switched to propaganda as the primary means of control of the populace – therefore psychological control – therefore psychological resistance by the populace – therefore psychological problems deriving from the battle over control of the mind.

Take the example of Argentina in the 1970s. This culture had perhaps the highest per capita rate of psychologists/psychiatrists in the world. It was also a fascist state which tortured and terrorized it’s citizens – and in terms of propaganda was neo-nazi. The mass media state churns out psychological victims who are then serviced by the psychology industry. It’s no surprise at all that the psychology industry and the mass media industry rose to prominence at the same time.

The role of psychologists is to control the interpretation of psychic victims – to say that “it’s all in your head” and that talking, coming to “realizations” which never have to do with the state (usually have to do with the family and/or personal traumas), and/or use of drugs is the solution. Of course the state doesn’t pay the fee despite causing the event – the fee goes to people who are accredited by the state itself (through the educational system).

There is a kind of comfort in your position. Humans always blame something they can attack – the ruling class is nearly immune from attack and therefore can’t possibly be the problem, according to the logic of comfort and convenience. However, if enough humans recognize the truth of my evaluation they will find that the ruling class can indeed be attacked, and perhaps fatally.

Fastened To A Dying Animal: A Short Jeremiad Regarding That Affront to the Nation’s Dignity Known as the US Election Process

April 28, 2008

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A Critique of the Elite

April 21, 2008

This is an excerpt from a recent email:

One problem I have with your critiques is that they seem to project a society where the elite carefully construct the news and entertainment delivered by the mass media in order to keep the masses ignorant and distracted. I believe only a very small part of that. Certainly there are some elements of the media (e.g., Fox News) that are essentially right-wing propaganda machines, but I think most of the media delivers exactly what the public wants. Why do people watch Judy Judy, Maury Povich, American Idol, etc.? I have no idea, but many people apparently find them entertaining. I don’t think they’re brainwashed into watching this stuff, nor do I think the elite has a great deal of control over the choices the public makes.

I’m not at all surprised that you believe that – it’s the same belief the “journalists” themselves have.

Here’s the basic way it works:

Abuse the populace. This occurs primarily through economic policy and structures (neoliberal capitalism) and political structures whereby the vast majority of the American people have virtually no political power and also through key secondary measures such as the corporate media. One example of media abuse is the inane political debates that don’t deal with substantive issues, or when they do ask a reasonable question never follow it up.

After this abuse has been established and the populace is beaten down they become more receptive to additional abuse. The abuse becomes internalized. So, for example, one secondary measure of abuse by the elite is the extremely unhealthy food served in America. You might think – “that’s just the choices of Americans”. Not exactly. Even if Americans were being abused in any number of other ways the elite could encourage Americans to eat healthy. So let’s take two micro-factors – the vending machines where I work at Meijer’s and the counters where Meijer’s workers directly serve food (as opposed to food off the shelf). The vending machines serve horrible food – overwhelmingly high in saturated fat and high in sodium at ripoff prices. Just the prices alone prove that the corporation sees their own employees as nothing more than wage slaves. Workers like to buy food directly from Meijer’s workers (such as at the deli counter) since it serves a social purpose as well as a health one. These foods likewise are high in saturated fat and sodium and cost-poor, although not as bad typically as the vending machine food.

Meijer’s recently had an ice cream social, where they served cake, ice cream (where they offered a sugar-free option which was of course high in saturated fat), and pop.

Besides the social effect previously noted, there is also a social effect in food selection. So once some despairing wage slaves eat unhealthily because “their own” company encourages them to, this causes subtle peer pressure on their peer group to imitate that, in the sense that eating similar food produces solidarity.

One thing the elite is “good” at is “do as we say, not as we do”. So while they are encouraging terrible health with their actions, like financing yet another McDonald’s restaurant, they “urge” people to eat healthy. So right next to the long lines of vending machines in the break room there is a poster promoting healthy eating. This eases their own conscience and offers them a kind of public relations point, to argue against any detractors or critics. “See, we care! Hear the words that come out of our mouths!”

But let’s get back to the point in which you are technically correct – the choices Americans make. That is to say, despite the despair they feel at their condition, despite their onerous mindless tasks which lead them to looking forward to a delicious if unhealthy meal, they could, in theory, still eat healthy. That’s like saying that they could, in theory, climb Mt. Everest. And people such as yourself, in a privileged position with a relatively good life (whatever complaints you might have about that life), say that they “choose” to not climb Mt. Everest. That’s absolutely correct. It’s also irrelevant. If I take away water from a shark and place that water 100 meters away, does the shark have the “choice” to wiggle it’s way to the water? Absolutely. But how many sharks will succeed at doing that? And who should we be critiquing – the shark for “failing” to make it’s way to the water or me, for taking the water away?

The reason you don’t see what the elite are doing and that when you do see it you make excuses for it are twofold – you benefit from the elite in terms of your privileges (as you said, love of the “good life”) and through propaganda your eyes and mind have been turned away from the actual actions and effects of the elite. Serious critiques of the elite are very difficult to find – and the critiques that can be found without great difficulty are very limited in scope. I’m probably one of the better critics of the elite (although it’s difficult to say) not because I’m impressive but because the competition is so anemic.

It’s one of the more ridiculous propaganda points to say that the elite does what they do based on what the public wants. The public wants socialism – the elite gives them neoliberal capitalism. The public wants universal health care – the elite gives them neoliberal health care. The public wants democracy – the elite gives them plutocracy and corporatocracy. The public wants an end to the war in Iraq, the elite gives them perpetual war. But when it serves the interests of the elite, they machinate their way into “doing what the public wants”, like leading them to despair and unhealthy food, then “serving the interests of the public by giving them unhealthy food”. So after I take water away from the shark I “serve the interests of the shark” by putting sand under his belly.

Here’s a good analogy – let’s take an abused child. Through abuse a child’s consciousness can be changed to accept the abuse. He internalizes the abuse as “normal” and might even look forward to it, as the one time the parent is giving him any attention, despite the painfulness of the attention. So then once the abuse is internalized the abuser can correctly say “I am just giving the child what he wants”. Just putting sand under the belly of that shark.

Judge Judy and the like are the exact same thing. Abuse of the consciousness. Television offered a kind of hope for Americans – as you may recall since you grew up during the early days of it. A hope of national communication – of a greater consciousness. It was of course inevitable that this hope would be exploited by the elite, and sure enough it was. Advertising soon permeated the medium, with it’s irrationalistic propaganda which seeks to drive consumers to products regardless of need or even want. The rise of neoconservatism in the 1970s saw a rise in abusive television, which perhaps started with The Gong Show and culminated in shows like Judge Judy. So, yes, you’re right that Americans might “choose” Judge Judy as opposed to “choosing” an insipid soap opera, “choosing” to fill their minds with irrelevant facts like on “Who Wants to Be an Millionaire?”, “choosing” a show where one is put to a lie detector test to determine infidelity with the spouse sitting right there, or “choosing” to shut off this television.

Let’s look at other elements of television – besides residual effects of the hope that Americans felt with that new medium those several decades ago:

Television is very noisy and hyperactive. In a non-careful critique it might be called “energetic”. It’s easy to see television as larger than life, especially for those people leading abused lives. It’s like any other human institution – once something is seen as larger than life (such as the institution of the presidency of the United States) abuse is sure to follow.

Americans are atomized to an extreme extent, far more than in any other country. Many Americans interact more with technology than they do with people. This lack of human contact, especially intimate human contact, draws them into technology further, as a relationship they can control through the market. Television is a kind of very active person, chatting away constantly, doing tricks and entertainment.

It surely isn’t a good thing, but I believe there are few societies in which more than a small percentage of the people have the inclination to be involved in politics in a meaningful way. I think far more people don’t vote simply because they’re disinterested than because they’re discouraged about the possibility their actions could make a difference.

Again – your belief is no surprise at all, for the previously mentioned reasons. It’s easy to see that you’re wrong, if you care to.

Look at Venezuela. Contrast the political activity of the Venezuelan people ten years ago to today. 10 years ago were they “disinterested” or “discouraged”, in the ways in which you mean those terms?

Since that would probably require you to do a research project, let’s not take water away from you and instead keep you in water with this example:

The political activity of Americans in the 1960s versus that of them in the 1990s. Hmm… quite a difference there. Hmm… let’s see… in the 1960s Americans had hope that some leftist variant (some variant of socialism) could be instituted. In the 1990s they did not. Or that is to say, in the 1960s the shark had water and in the 1990s that water had been taken away from him through neoliberal pursuits, as well as global events.

Here’s an easy way to see it – humans do what is good for them to do. Humans don’t do things that make no difference in their lives. People don’t vote not because they’re “disinterested”, but because voting makes no difference. Contrast the difference in political power between a “voter”, a CEO of Exxon Mobil, and a senator, in America. Now contrast this with a truly democratic system, in which each human has equal political power. Whatever other things you might call the current system, it’s not democratic.

Of course senators are not representatives of the American people, but even if they were they would be illegitimate. The American people don’t need political representatives – they need direct political power. They need to have their will directly implemented.

When I was teaching high school in Ann Arbor, I was surprised how difficult it was to get most kids to think seriously about political issues. At the same time, there was a broad undercurrent of environmental concern that wasn’t around in my generation and that I found quite encouraging. People may be cynical about politics and believe their personal actions won’t make a difference, but they are conscious of major policy dislocations and ultimately exert influence to change them. (I think the course of opposition to the Vietnam War went much the same way and now it’s beginning to happen with Iraq as well.

There was plenty of opposition to the war in Vietnam prior to 1968, but it was irrelevant because the elite weren’t opposing it (with rare exception). However, in 1968, the liberal elite began to oppose the war in Vietnam out of fear of the draft as well as “high cost”, which means money that is going to the conservative elite rather than to them. Opposing the war was an economic decision since too many people in power weren’t profiting from it, so the war had to go.

Vietnam taught the elite two things – they need a private military force to eliminate the draft and they need to unify the interests of the liberal and conservative elite, so as to not cause them to be in opposition on issues of vast profit-transfer, with war being by far the best mechanism thereof. According to subsequent history they learned these lessons quite well.

It really doesn’t matter what high school kids think, as your own experience could teach you:

The American Elite stands against global warming, as long as there is profit in it. Most “solutions” being talked about in America are market-solutions – carbon credit trading, new technologies, and the like. Very little progress has been made against the largest perpetrators – the coal industry, nuclear industry, energy-eaters like the livestock industry. Even this, which despite the profit involves risk, was only accepted long after your high school students were interested in the environment. People have been interested in the environment for a very long time. Throughout that time vast pollution has happened.

I, ignorant as I am, have any number of solutions. One is to shut down all coal-producing plants after buying them out (at fair prices, not those recommended by the industry) using taxpayer dollars, making any new plant illegal, and giving training to the workers to ease their transition into a new industry. If taxpayer dollars are lacking for such a move, end the war in Iraq which will free up countless billions.

Expand public transportation. Invest in renewable energy. I don’t need to go on – in America you can find plenty of sources more knowledgeable than I to talk about market solutions to possibly avoid human catastrophe.

None of this has anything to do with cynicism. Is the shark, wiggling desperately toward water or weeping with despair or wallowing in the sand being fed to him, cynical? Is he cynical if he complains? Does it really make any sense to call him cynical? While you call the shark cynical do you have any idea what look the man who took the water away from the shark is giving you? Do you care? As Amy Goodman might say, “Facts matter”. What matters is the truth. What matters is reality. What matters is the human condition. What matters is improving that condition.

I’d like to hear your thoughts sometime on what it would take to arouse the general public from its stupor and take an active (and educated) approach to dealing with society’s problems. Trying to solve this problem from the top — for example, by banning all intellectual garbage from the public airways — would be a lot like prohibition, and the results would be equally disastrous.

I’ll start with a minor point on the “intellectual garbage”:

Judge Judy and the like are not intellectual garbage – they are intellectually void. They are garbage in terms of morality – they actively abuse the viewers.

Americans need to have power to take power. In order for them to have power they need to unite, organize, and exert power. Every democracy in history had a organized populace – countries like Bolivia and Venezuela are democratic to the extent that they have powerful grassroots populist movements, which allow leaders to emerge, just like Martin Luther King, Jr. emerged from the democratic movement in the 1960s.

There’s no easy way for this to happen. It takes constant struggle among the people. It probably never would have happened in Bolivia or Venezuela without geopolitical assistance – the American elite so thoroughly abused and in some cases destroyed these countries that it caused massive resentment and opposition to neoliberal doctrine. Obviously such assistance isn’t available to Americans since we are in the belly of the beast. In Empires democracies only emerge with the fall of the Empire, which typically decays from within rather than is overcome from within. Since the American Empire is in the process of falling, that should give a big boost to any populist organizing.

Another minor point – prohibition wasn’t about solving problems – it was about creating a problem in order for those who sought to solve it to gain power. Let’s take an even clearer example – marijuana. Marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol. But unlike alcohol, it isn’t dominated by large corporations and probably can’t be, due to the ease of individualized raising. So marijuana is illegal while alcohol is legal, which has nothing to do with health and alcohol kills thousands of people every year and injures the health of countless more but that’s irrelevant, because it makes the right people (the elite) money, and that’s worth pretty much any quantity of blood, as 1.25 Million recent Iraqi corpses discovered. If blood is thicker than water, money is thicker than blood, at least in this monstrous world that the elite have created.

Prohibition was a power play by the progressives to try to gain control over changes in society, especially the rise of power of urban immigrants. This kind of moralizing didn’t start with that and it’s been on-going ever since – one example is the “ratings” given to movies. I’ve taken a semi-close look at that and here’s what I see:

For one thing, children are not harmed by the things the moralists say they are harmed by. Nudity has no effect on children. Nudity has zero effect on anyone prior to puberty, and subsequently for children nudity is a titillation with little meaning, and the meaning then develops in them as they mature.

Violence is more complicated. It’s all about context. In most current contexts violence is bad, although it has little effect on children (there’s more effect on adults) since children have little ability to think. But I do think shows that glorify violence have some negative effect on children, although again, the larger negative effect is on adults, especially young adults.

The reviewers also have a ridiculous concept called “graphic”. So for example there is nudity and then there is graphic nudity, which is supposedly worse. I suppose this is some insane puritan notion that I am happy to commit violence against. It’s of course utterly ridiculous especially with respect to children. It leads to the logical conclusion that killing someone is better than killing some in ugly fashion. Since I don’t want to injure myself trying to figure out just what fucked up mind can come to that conclusion I’ll move on:

Pretty much all the reviewers care about is sex, violence, and swear words. Frankly, BAD movies have a much worse effect on children than anything else. Just as with sex and violence, profanity has no real effect on children. It doesn’t matter that the children might say the word after hearing it since they don’t know what it means – they are just trying it out as an experiment – probably trying to irk the puritan fools who are raising them.

Both as a child and as an adult, I’m most benefited by quality and most harmed by a lack of quality. That should be the primary measure of any rating system. It’s tragic that rating systems exist which ban children from seeing great movies that include sex or violence but allow them (often encourage them) to watch crap that happens to not include it. This is not to say that a great movie to a child is the same as one to an adult, although there are considerable overlaps.

In terms of why there is a movie rating system, it’s obviously not to protect children. The same people who made the rating system created global warming and the perpetual threat of nuclear holocaust, not exactly new-human or future-human friendly affairs. The rating system exists to, again, allow the raters to have power over the industry. Children are used, as they so often are, as a pretext, summed up in the classic phrase “Won’t you think of the children?”

Don’t Give Back: Take Back!

April 17, 2008

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Critique of the Elite and India: Disappearing the Poor

April 15, 2008

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Although this article is largely about India, it’s equally true in the United States. India is becoming an imitation of the US in terms of it’s elite culture.
I don’t own a television (haven’t since June 2000) but I watch some at work.
The Judge shows are proliferating on daytime TV. These shows run parallel to garbage “freak shows” like Maury Povich. The singular features of both Jerry Springer and Judge Judy and their imitators is that they serve to demean and dehumanize the poor and the working class. It’s tragedy as spectacle. These shows should be illegal and would be in any moral society. They are far more damaging than a stabbing that can get someone put in jail for many years and they are several orders of magnitude more damaging than smoking pot which can likewise earn a hefty prison sentence. But in a nation run by a ruling class that has killed millions, impoverished somewhere between tens of millions and billions and abused billions, I suppose drawing some logical relationship between degree of damage and punishment is irrelevant.
In terms of daytime TV the best thing on is soap operas. It’s a sad day when that is the case. Soap operas are insipid, worn out, lifeless, and often poorly acted, but at least they aren’t aggressively abusive. Are you aware that there is now a TV show where spouses are given a lie detector test to determine whether or not they are telling the truth when they say they are not cheating on their spouse, with their spouse present (for the reaction shot when the “lie detector reveals the truth!”)
After the sun goes down “reality TV” comes out – nevermind that there is no reality and can never be when the cameras are out and the “real people” become actors. Reality is what happens when there are no cameras. Instead comes more abuse – classically related by Simon Cowl on American Idol but present in one form or another on all of reality TV.
There is always only one reason for abuse – the ruler loses his just authority. This vast increase in abuse by the elite, seen in any number of ways (economic policy, reaction to disasters, causing disasters, manner of “entertainment”, etc.) means they no longer are trying to be a just authority, which means they have lost control of themselves as rulers. When rulers lose control over their ability to create just actions but retain their power very very bad things happen. I see no end to this problem because I see no end to the present configuration of the ruling class. Americans just aren’t responding to this condition. They aren’t turning off the TV, they aren’t doing critiques, they aren’t debating, they aren’t caring. Britney Spears’s “Hit Me One More Time” was quite accurate.
Another sad but I suppose potentially good thing – Americans are more outraged about gas prices than anything else. Truckers have now implemented a major strike. Countless dead in Iraq – no problem. Hundreds of billions funneled from American taxpayers to a few American multinational corporations by way of death and destruction, billions impoverished by American policy – no problem. Gas prices go up a couple dollars a gallon and it’s time to be outraged! I keep hearing that “Americans are a compassionate people”. Obviously this is true – they are outraged at the death of cheap gas. The extinction of a species!
In any case – tomorrow’s another day on the neofeudal corporation plantation of wage slavery in order to avoid further impoverishment. Another day of seeing hopelessness and despair on the people and abuse on the television that “entertains” these people, free of charge of course through irrationalist advertising designed to program their consumption and colonize their imagination. It’s another day of seeing overpriced food that causes malnutrition and early death – the row of vending machines issuing sweets and salts. On the wall next to the machines is a poster that urges a healthy lifestyle, and next to that is one that tells employees earning $7 to $9 that they are “remarkable”. It’s funny how those signs are never present when workers earn $12 to $14 an hour. Or rather, it’s “funny”, since what it truly does is presents a quite effective moral argument that the most just action one can take is to destroy the American ruling class.
I remember reading dystopian short stories. Why were they always set in the future? The dystopia is now. Stories of life in hell should be set in the present. Stories of life on earth should be set in the future. Earth is to me what heaven is to people who fantasize.
There is a followup to Martin Luther King Jr.’s phrase that “There can be no great disappointment where there is no great love” – Love is only fulfilled on a two-way street. On earth that two-way street exists and King’s love comes back to him. In hell King’s love is trampled.
Where are we living?

Failure of Journalism in Iraq

April 3, 2008

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China, Olympics, & Propaganda; Democracy or Economy; Destroying a 5,000-Year-Old Civilization

March 30, 2008

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Norman Finkelstein’s “The Holocaust Industry”

March 9, 2008

This is an excellent book about the exploitation of the holocaust for ideological and political gain. Here’s Norman Finkelstein quoting Elie Wiesel:

“The eyes – I must tell you about their eyes. I must begin with that, for their eyes precede all else, and everything is comprehended within them. The rest can wait. It will only confirm what you already know. But their eyes – their eyes flame with a kind of irreducible truth, which burns and is not consumed. Shamed into silence before them, you can only bow your head and accept the judgment. Your only wish now is to see the world as they do. A grown man, a man of wisdom and experience, you are suddenly impotent and terribly impoverished. Those eyes remind you of your childhood, your orphan state, cause you to lose all faith in the power of language. Those eyes negate the value of words; they dispose of the need for speech.” (from The Jews of Silence)

The Obama Bubble: Why Wall Street Needs a Presidential Brand

March 5, 2008

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Economic Meltdown

March 5, 2008

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Nine Billion Little Feet on the Highway of the Damned

February 7, 2008

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Propaganda Victim

February 6, 2008

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War Made Easy – How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning us to Death

February 5, 2008

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On the Congo death toll – Behind the Numbers Redux: How Truth is Hidden, Even When it Seems to Be Told

February 4, 2008

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You might be a propaganda victim if…

January 26, 2008

You agree with what the talking heads in the corporate media are saying.

You think the educational system is about education.

You think Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly want what’s best for America.

You think capitalism is all about working hard.

You think without capitalism everyone would sit around and get high, like Cheech and Chong.

You think free markets lead to a utopia.

You think Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are sincere.

You think Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and Mike Huckabee are sincere.

You think police officers are there to protect you.

You think corporations should be private because it’s nobody’s business what they do.

You think corporate lobbyists are just fine because “it’s their money and they should do with it as they please”.

You think poor people are lazy.

You think people starving to death is fine because “those who are dying deserve to die”.

You think the American military liberates the people of other countries and brings them “democracy and freedom”.

You call desperate, hungry people in a flooded city who loot stores to survive “scum” and say they should be “shot on sight”.

You think George W. Bush is a noble cowboy who wants to protect Americans from terrorists.

You think Dick Cheney is grim because he takes the task of saving America so seriously.

You think the Democrats in congress will save America, so you voted for them in 2006.

You think you can change the system from within.

You think George Orwell had mental problems and Noam Chomsky is a “bleeding heart”.

You think Oprah Winfrey is wonderful, and deserves her fortune.

You think most people in Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere are terrorists and deserve their torture.

You think anyone who criticizes the policies of the Israeli government is an anti-semite.

You think anyone who criticizes the Neoconservative commander-in-chief at a time of Neoconservative war is a terrorist sympathizer, or maybe a terrorist.

You think anyone who criticizes capitalism needs to work more hours – they obviously have too much time on their hands.

You think Judge Judy is on TV in order to give good advice, and Jerry Springer is just showing us real Americans.

You think Dana Perino’s constant condescension is because the press is so silly and deserving of it.

You think American Idol is the true face of America.

You think Bill Kristol is a liberal mugged by reality, instead of a sad empty man mugged by ideology.

You think Fox News is the antidote to the liberal media.

You think reality TV shows are about reality.

You think the War on Terror is about fighting terror.

You think TV executives make the decisions they do primarily out of the profit motive.

You think Milton Friedman is a hero.

You think Ronald Reagan is a hero who ended Communism.

You think everything would be just fine if government got out of the way and allowed businesses to do as they pleased.

You like Disney movies because they evoke a “simpler” time.

You like the funny sidekick in films because the hero always needs someone to amuse him and play second fiddle.

You think Disney is about entertaining children.

You think the Disney-themed town is wonderful, safe, and “the way America should be”.

You think people are worth as much as their paycheck plus their wealth.

You call this blog entry “bullshit”.

Liberty City 7 Trial: A Foretaste of Things to Come

January 23, 2008

Link

Americanistic Personality Disorder (type 1776.0)

January 19, 2008

Link

Kucinich’s responses to MSNBC debate topics 1-16-08

January 18, 2008

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

John Pilger – The “Good War” is a Bad War

January 17, 2008

Link

Central America and US Foreign Policy – Noam Chomsky

January 16, 2008

Link