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Night of the Living Dead (1968) – Directed by George Romero

“I have always liked the ‘monster within’ idea. I like to think of zombies as being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.” – George Romero

The most heinous thing a human can do is eat another human. Fear of cannibalism along with the other two great taboos, incest and inter-family violence, are the bedrocks of human culture. Without these taboos there is no human civilization, yet zombie cannibals are everywhere, from the most popular TV shows in the US and Europe to the most played PC games. Everywhere we look there is a zombie dragging his feet looking for human prey. The ubiquitous nature of this meme of semi-human creatures that survive only by breaking the most fundamental of human taboos is a clear indicator of a collective cultural pathology.

Humans must not only kill and eat plants and animals to survive, we must make sure they keep coming back so they can be killed and eaten again and again. Life needs death; we must kill to live, and eventually we all wind up as someone else’s food. This paradox lies at the core of the world’s religions and mythologies and the fear/repulsion of eating other humans is the keystone of our culture, without it we turn on ourselves and self-annihilation ensues. The zombie meme is a modern myth pointing to a deep fear of self-destruction.

The great psychologist and mystic Carl Jung was asked if a myth could be equated to a collective dream and he answered this way, “A myth…is the product of an unconscious process in a particular social group, at a particular time, at a particular place. This unconscious process can naturally be equated with a dream. Hence anyone who ‘mythologizes,’ that is, tells myths, is speaking out of this dream.”

If a person had a recurring nightmare that she was eating her family it would be a clear symptom of a profound psychological disturbance. Cultures don’t dream, but they do tell stories and those stories can tell us much about the state of the collective psyche.

Many of the themes in our popular culture are conscious story telling devices with the definite purpose of social engineering/control, but others seem to just emerge from the collective unconscious like the stuff of dreams. The zombie meme is clearly of the latter variety. It’s pointing to a fear that something has broken in our culture and what awaits us is a collective psychotic break of apocalyptic proportions.

In the 1950’s there were widespread fears of a communist takeover that expressed themselves through films like The Village of the Damned or the Invasion of the Body Snatchers. But the zombie meme exposes something much darker in our collective psyche. The fundamental taboo around cannibalism is a pillar of human culture, yet the zombies are obsessive cannibals and we can’t seem to get enough of them.

What does this new archetype of a cannibalistic apocalypse reveal about out culture? By nature archetypes point to transcendent themes that evade definition. They are not symbols that have a clear equivalent, they can only point in the general direction which in the case of the zombie meme is the inverting of some of our most sacred myths and the embracing of our most horrid taboos.

The Walking Dead - The most watched TV show
in the 18 to 49 year old demographic in the United States.

The zombie meme emerged onto the American consciousnesses with George Romero’s 1968 cult classic, The Night of the Living Dead. The archetype was invigorated with Danny Boyles’s 2002 film, 28 Days Later which introduced an important new element: the apocalypse.

The meme reached maturity in 2010 when AMC launched The Walking Dead, now the number #1 show on US television for viewers between the ages of 18 and 49. The Walking Dead was created by Frank Darabont, director of The Shawshank Redemption, and is based on a comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The key to the success of The Walking Dead is the dystopian zombie apocalypse in which the story unravels, allowing it to outperform even the ultimate social opiate, Sunday Night Football.

This is not simply an American phenomenon. In France the series The Returned (French: Les Revenants) has been very popular with both viewers and critics. The Returned puts a fascinating twist on the return of the dead- they just start walking home after having been dead for many years as if nothing had happened. The BBC’s In the Flesh focuses on reintegrating zombies, victims of PDS (Partially Dead Syndrome). World Z had Brad Pitt save the world from fast moving zombies on the big screen and Mel Brook’s son Max even wrote a book titled The Zombie Survival Guide.

The Inverted Christian Mythos

In one episode of The Walking Dead the zombies are seen shuffling under the arch of an episcopal church inscribed with a passage from the gospel of John, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”. Over a billion Catholics in the world regularly transform bread and wine into what they believe is the actual flesh and blood of their savior, Jesus of Nazareth, and eat him. Catholics believe this sacramental right gives them eternal life. In the zombie meme, the infected humans die and are born again but not unto salvation but into a hell of insatiable appetites and mindless meandering.

The Christian myth is agricultural; Christ is killed, buried, and comes to life three days later as the seed emerging from the ground, just as the moon hides for three days behind the sun each month, only to be born again. Christ’s body is the ‘sacred’ meal, the sacrificial food of the gods, his blood is their elixir. The Catholic acts as the god receiving the sacred meal and by doing so gains the eternal qualities of the gods by breaking the most embedded of human taboos – the eating of human flesh. It’s certainly a curios paradox that the sins of man are forgiven by committing cannibalism, as Catholic doctrine clearly states that Jesus was both man and God and the transubstantiation of the Catholic mass physically changes the bread and wine into the flesh and blood of Jesus.

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As the Christian myth begins its third millennium, is the zombie meme telling us that this religious story is no longer viable ? Are billions of ‘zombies’ eating flesh and drinking blood but finding no nourishment? The vast majority of Western people have a profound belief in science and science tells us that the story of Jesus is not to be taken literally, yet our churches insist that the ‘myth’ of Jesus is historical. The Christian software no longer works as the science ‘virus’ has rendered it useless.

Myths are other people’s religions and for Westerners in need of spiritual ‘food’ the Eastern systems of yoga and Buddhism, which don’t depend on dogma that contradicts science, seem to be more palatable to their scientific worldviews. Unfortunately, those ‘programs’ where written for a machine other than modern Western man.

Joseph Campbell described believing in a literal, historical God as someone eating a menu believing that they were really eating the food. One clear component of the zombie meme is the spiritual starvation we are experiencing in the West. We are eating the menus so the speak- old, meaningless books written by foreign peoples from far off places thousands of years ago, and they give us no nourishment.

The Hunger

Dawn of the Dead (1978) George Romero

Another essential quality of the zombie is its unquenchable hunger. No amount of flesh and blood seems able to quench the longing to consume live human flesh. Modern man has a similar problem- no amount of money, sex, gadgets, job titles, drugs, entertainment, pornography, art, religion or gurus seem able to quench our thirst. We live in constant hunger.

If we equate the zombie ‘hunger’ for flesh to the human desire for money, the comparison becomes almost uncanny. Most adult humans spend most of their day either making money or spending it while being constantly bombarded with propaganda/advertising to keep them hungry.

From the most humble street vendor to the billionaires on CNBC, no one seems to ever have enough money. Zombies need to eat live human flesh and money is at its core, human labor. Our craving for money is really the craving for the work of others, for the sweat and blood of millions to furnish us with unlimited amounts of food and consumer goods.

The vast majority of Westerners have ceased to create anything tangible. Only one in five Americans actually produce anything. Eating what one produces on a farm or trading manufactured goods for food connects us to life. But when people spend ten hours hours a day in an office looking at a computer screen and two hours in traffic, somehow eating, and living, become abstract. What are we actually doing to create the food , heat, and the shelter we need?

Our hunger for food and things far outstrips our practical needs and has become the cause of our ever more obese, angry, unsatisfied society while our spiritual hunger leaves us addicted, chasing empty consumer thrills. There is no end to what can be consumed and there is never enough for even those with billions; we always need more.

Zombies Don’t Surf

Halloween surf contest in Santa Monica – Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Zombies don’t think, they simply move in big herds looking for their next meal, reminiscent of the herds piling up behind the doors of malls on Black Friday. Curiously, the only way to kill them is to shoot them in their least vulnerable point, their brains.

Modern man is almost entirely without out any practical skills. He doesn’t know how to grow food, hunt animals or build a house. He uses all sorts of electronic tools whose core technologies he doesn’t really understand and which he doesn’t have the slightest idea how to fix.

This set of circumstances is a recent development in human history, beginning in the 18th century and growing exponentially in the last 30 years during the information revolution. We are helpless slaves to technologies we don’t understand and to media that programs us to believe all sorts of propaganda designed to keep us from actually thinking critically.

The Zombie Apocalypse

Dawn of the Dead – 2004 Re-make

At least since the time of Christ, western man has been waiting for one apocalypse or another. Be it the return of Christ, the turn of the millennium, nuclear war, killer meteorites or UFO’s, apocalyptic fears are nothing new to us. Yet it’s no coincidence that just as the zombie took over prime time with The Walking Dead, the term ‘preppers’ began to appear. The intensity of apocalyptic thinking has noticeably increased in the last few years as shows like Doomsday Preppers is the most watched program in the history of the National Geographic Channel.

The latest wave of apocalyptic furor to take over the US is not based on fears of nuclear war or the return of Jesus, but on the collapse of the financial system which gave us a shot over the bow in 2008. We are so far removed from any practical and productive activities that if the extremely complex financial and logistical infrastructure of the world gave way, how would we survive? If our stores were suddenly empty how many people in the West would be able to produce food, fuel and shelter? The vast majority of us are so far removed from the practical necessities of life that we are in a very real sense, mindless, insatiable, endlessly consuming zombies.

Not only do we not understand the technologies we use, we seem to trust that the complex systems that maintain us will continue working seamlessly even as doubts grow over the people who brought us the sub-prime debacle, the Iraq War and quantitative easing (QE). What would happen to the world supply chain if the confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency were lost? Is the ever increasing gap between rich and poor about to explode into all out class/race war? A key element of the zombie meme is the underlying fear of societal collapse.

The Myth is Dead

Sometime after Galileo but before Newton, science lost the need for meaning. For Galileo the universe, including the earth, was alive but by the time of Newton it was a dead machine. The importance of this shift cannot be overestimated. Galileo was describing something that was alive, that had a soul, a soul humans participated in, but by the time of Newton and the Enlightenment we were existing in a cold universe. The world went from breathing like a mother to ticking like a clock.

From the earliest known cave paintings made over 40,000 years ago to the mystery schools of pre-Aryan Europe through to medieval Christian Europe, the West has been guided by profound mythical stories.

Science can give us answers to almost all our questions, yet in the end its meaninglessness is disquieting. Science gives us technologies and deep understandings of the mechanics of the universe, but it’s unwilling to the breach the topic of meaning. We are asked to live for cliches, consumerism, hedonism or fundamentalism. Rejecting science is absurd but embracing it is deadening.

If we were able to understand our own religions in the same spirit that we decipher the religions of others (myths) while embracing science (with its limitations), than maybe we could find our way to a new myth that would shed meaning on our cold world. But myths emerge, they are not consciously created, and for the moment we wade in the void of knowing how but not why. We consume but are never filled, we seek but we do not find.

We are all zombies.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 

Let’s do a thought experiment and imagine that the Arabs had gotten the better of the Israelis in the 1948 Arab–Israeli War and after years of conflict, all that was left of Israel was the Gaza strip.

Assume for a moment that instead of Palestinians, over 1.8 million Jews were crammed into the 11 mile Gaza strip and the state of Palestine, subsidized and supported by a superpower, was administering the calories to the Jews in Gaza, keeping them to a limit of 2,300 a day.

Imagine that instead of Palestinian children, it was Jewish children living under a Palestinian embargo that denied them toys, books, music and until a few years ago, even pasta. How do you think the world would react? Imagine if it were Palestinian commandos who had assaulted a peaceful cargo ship attempting to break the embargo to bring supplies to Jews in Gaza, killing nine, including one American. Do you think 85 US Senators would have signed a letter supporting the embargo on Gaza and the deadly attack on the cargo ship if that ship had been on a humanatarian mission to help Jews in Gaza?

NBC correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin reported first hand the death of four boys playing on the beach in Gaza. “The attack – and its heartrending aftermath – was witnessed by NBC News. Moments earlier, the boys were playing soccer with journalists on the beach. The four victims were named as Ahed Atef Bakr and Zakaria Ahed Bakr, both 10 years old, Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 11, and Ismael Mohamed Bakr, 9.” Ayman Mohyeldin, who is Egyptian-American, was later ordered by NBC to leave Gaza.

Glenn Greenwald reported that, “numerous NBC employees, including some of the network’s highest-profile stars, were…indignant,” and that Mohyeldin had been removed from Gaza allegedly due to pressure from Neo-con quarters which claimed Mohyeldin had been soft on Hamas.

It’s almost impossible to imagine that Mohyeldin would have been replaced if he had been reporting on the death of four Jewish youngsters at the hands of a Palestinian gunboat. What we see repeatedly in Gaza is how the media values Palestinian lives differently than Israeli ones.

The day after the attack, Samantha Power, US ambassador to the United Nations, began her comments this way:

“The United States is deeply concerned about the rocket attacks by Hamas and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region. In particular, we are concerned about the devastating impact of this crisis on both Israeli and Palestinian civilians.”

It’s unimaginable that if a Hamas rocket had landed in a park and killed four Israeli children that Ms. Power would have begun her remarks this way:

“The United States is deeply concerned about the Israeli incursion into Gaza and the dangerous escalation of hostilities in the region…”

Why is this inconceivable? Because Ms. Power and the government she represents support Israeli apartheid and simply do not value the lives of Palestinian children the same way they value the lives of Israeli children.

As reported by MSN, CNN reporter Diana Magnay was removed from Gaza because:

“Magnay was reporting live on the air as a group watched the Israeli bombardment of Gaza around her. After the report was over, she wrote on Twitter: ‘Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land on #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong.’ Scum.’ CNN said in a statement Friday that Magnay was referring specifically to those who threatened her. CNN said the network and Magnay are sorry if anyone was offended. The network said Magnay has been reassigned to Moscow.”

If the people on the hill above her had been Arabs cheering on a Palestinian artillery battery hammering Jews, would Ms. Magnay have been reassigned to Moscow for calling those who threatened her ‘scum’? Unlikely.

World renowned Israeli novelist Amos Oz, who supports the war calling it “justified, but excessive”, asked the following questions during an interview to explain why he supports the Israeli offensive:

QUESTION 1: What would you do if your neighbor across the street sits down on the balcony, puts his little boy on his lap, and starts shooting machine-gun fire into your nursery?

QUESTION 2: What would you do if your neighbor across the street digs a tunnel from his nursery to your nursery in order to blow up your home or in order to kidnap your family?

Maybe the question for Mr. Oz should be: What would you do if your entire neighborhood was forced to live in a giant outdoor prison where your children were denied books, toys and forced to live on a bare minimum of calories? Would you fight back? Would your rhetoric become extreme?

Over 400 hundred Palestinian children have been killed during the current fighting in Gaza, children who during their short lives had been denied the basic necessities for having committed the crime of being born in the land of their ancestors. No one had more of a right to live in Palestine than did those children, yet Bob Scheifer of CBS News said the following:

“In the Middle East, the Palestinian people find themselves in the grip of a terrorist group that has embarked on a strategy to get its own children killed in order to build sympathy for its cause – a strategy that might actually be working at least in some quarters.”

Scheifer can only blame the Palestinians for ‘provoking’ the IDF.

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Of course in Europe, the coverage is somewhat more balanced, but Roger Cohen of the NY Times let’s us know what’s behind that. He begins by quoting poet James Lasdun, “There is something uncannily adaptive about anti-Semitism: the way it can hide, unsuspected, in the most progressive minds.” Then Cohen continues, “…the war has also suggested how the virulent anti-Israel sentiment now evident among the bien-pensant European left can create a climate that makes violent hatred of Jews permissible once again.” What Mr. Cohen is saying is that if one applies the full measure of moral outrage towards the Israeli slaughter of children, as the Europeans are doing and the Americans refuse to do, then you are toying with anti-Semitism of the National Socialist variety.

A good example of Cohen’s logic at work was when Jimmy Carter used the word ‘apartheid’ to describe the situation in Gaza and was branded “dangerous and anti-Semitic” for simply stating the obvious.

While there has been some limited criticism from the United States regarding the Israeli invasion, no one should doubt who is calling the shots in the US/Israeli relationship. During the last conflict in Gaza in 2009, Condolezza Rice was going to vote for a UN resolution calling for a cease fire but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert would have nothing of it. He explained what happened in a speech:

“When we saw that the secretary of state, for reasons we did not really understand, wanted to vote in favour of the UN resolution … I looked for President Bush and they told me he was in Philadelphia making a speech. I said, ‘I don’t care. I have to talk to him now’. They got him off the podium, brought him to another room and I spoke to him. I told him, ‘You can’t vote in favour of this resolution.’ He said, ‘Listen, I don’t know about it, I didn’t see it, I’m not familiar with the phrasing.’ He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favour of it – a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organised and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged.”

Who decides when a child deserves books, toys, and pasta or is better served by an artillery barrage? Mr. Netanyahu and his accomplices in the American government and media have no doubts about who deserves what.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Gaza, Israel/Palestine 

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Contemporary baptized, corporatized and sanitized man rarely has the occasion to question his identity, and when he does a typical response might be, “I am product manager for a large retail chain, married to Betty, father of Johnny, a Democrat, Steelers fan and a Lutheran.”

His answers imply not only his beliefs but the many responsibilities, rules and restrictions he is subjected to. Few if any of these were ever negotiated- they were imposed on him yet he still considers himself free.

But is free the right adjective for him, or would modern domesticated simian be more apt? He has been told what to do, believe, think and feel since he can remember. A very clever rancher has bred billions of these creatures around the globe and created the most profitable livestock imaginable. They work for him, fight for him, die for him, believe his wildest tales, laugh at his jokes and rarely get out of line. When domesticated man does break one of the rules there are armies, jailers, psychiatrists and bureaucrats prepared to kill, incarcerate, drug or hound the transgressor into submission.

One of the most fascinating aspects of domesticated man’s predicament is that he never looks at the cattle, sheep and pigs who wind up on his plate and make the very simple deduction that he is just a talking version of them, corralled and shepherded through his entire life. How is this accomplished? Only animals that live in hierarchical groups can be dominated by man. The trick is to fool the animal into believing that the leader of the pack or herd is the person who is domesticating them. Once this is accomplished the animal is under full control of its homo sapien master. The domesticated man is no different, originally organized in groups with a clear hierarchy and maximum size of 150- it was easy to replace the leader of these smaller groups with one overarching figure such as God, King, President, CEO etc.

The methodology for creating this exceptionally loyal and obedient modern breed, homo domesticus, can be described as having seven pillars from which an immense matrix captures the talking simians and their conscious minds and hooks them into a complex mesh from which few ever escape. The system is so advanced that those who do untangle themselves and cut their way out of the net are immediately branded as mentally ill, anti-social, or simply losers who can’t accept the ‘complexity of modern life’, i.e. conspiracy nuts.

Plato described this brilliantly in his Allegory of the Cave, where people only see man made shadows of objects, institutions, Gods and ideas:

“–Behold! human beings living in an underground cave…here they have been from their childhood…necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance…the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets… and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall…”

It began with the word, which forever changed the ability of men to manipulate each other. Before language, every sensation was directly felt through the senses without the filter of words. But somewhere around 50,000 years ago language began to replace reality and the first pieces of code were put in place for the creation of the Matrix. As soon as the words began to flow the world was split, and from that fracturing was born man’s angst and slavery. The words separated us from who we really were, creating the first screen onto which the images from Plato’s cave were cast. Gurdjieff said it well, “Identifying is the chief obstacle to self-remembering. A man who identifies with anything is unable to remember himself.”

It’s no accident that in Hesiod’s ages of man the Golden Age knew no agriculture, which appeared in the Silver age, and by the time we reach the Bronze age the dominant theme is toil and strife. The two key elements to the enslavement of man were clearly language and agriculture. In the hunter gatherer society, taking out the boss was no more complicated than landing a well placed fastball to the head. Only since the advent of farming was the possibility of creating full time enforcers and propagandists made possible, and hence enslavement inevitable.

The search for enlightenment rarely if ever bears fruits in those temples of words, our schools and universities. Almost all traditions point to isolation and silence as the only paths to awakening; they are the true antidotes to modern slavery. As Aristotle wrote, “Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”

So from the institution from which we are mercilessly bombarded with words and enslaved to time, we begin our descent through the seven layers of the Matrix.

Education
There are things we are born able to do like eating, laughing and crying and others we pick up without much of an effort such as walking, speaking and fighting, but without strict institutional education there is no way that we can ever become a functioning member of the Matrix. We must be indoctrinated, sent to Matrix boot camp, which of course is school. How else could you take a hunter and turn him into a corporate slave, submissive to clocks, countless bosses, monotony and uniformity?

Children naturally know who they are, they have no existential angst, but schools immediately begin driving home the point of schedules, rules, lists and grades which inevitably lead the students to the concept of who they aren’t. We drill the little ones until they learn to count money, tell time, measure progress, stand in line, keep silent and endure submission. They learn they aren’t free and they are separated from everyone else and the world itself by a myriad of divides, names and languages.

It can’t be stressed enough how much education is simply inculcating people with the clock and the idea of a forced identity. What child when she first goes to school isn’t taken back to hear herself referred to by her full name?

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It’s not as if language itself isn’t sufficiently abstract- nothing must be left without a category. Suzy can’t just be Suzy- she is a citizen of a country and a state, a member of a religion and a product of a civilization, many of which have flags, mascots, armies, uniforms, currencies and languages. Once all the mascots, tag lines and corporate creeds are learned, then history can begin to be taught. The great epic myths invented and conveniently woven into the archetypes which have come down through the ages cement this matrix into the child’s mind.

Even the language that she speaks without effort must be deconstructed for her. An apple will never again be just an apple- it will become a noun, a subject, or an object. Nothing will be left untouched, all must be ripped apart and explained back to the child in Matrixese.

We are taught almost nothing useful during the twelve or so years that we are institutionalized and conditioned for slavery- not how to cook, farm, hunt, build, gather, laugh or play. We are only taught how to live by a clock and conform to institutionalized behaviors that make for solid careers as slaveocrats.

Government

In the countries that claim to be democratic the concept of a government created to serve the people is often espoused. Government, and the laws they create and enforce are institutionalized social control for the benefit of those who have seized power. This has always been the case and always will be. In the pre-democratic era it was much clearer to recognize who had power, but the genius of massive democratic states are the layers upon layers of corporatocracy and special interests which so brilliantly conceal the identify of those who really manage the massive apparatus of control.

The functions of the state are so well ensconced in dogmatic versions of history taught in schools that almost no one questions why we need anything beyond the bare essentials of government to maintain order in the post-industrial age. The history classes never point the finger at the governments themselves as the propagators and instigators of war, genocide, starvation and corruption. In Hollywood’s version of history, the one most people absorb, ‘good’ governments are always portrayed as fighting ‘bad’ ones. We have yet to see a film where all the people on both sides simply disengage from their governments and ignore the calls to violence.

The state apparatus is based on law, which is a contract between the people and an organism created to administer common necessities- an exchange of sovereignty between the people and the state. This sounds reasonable, but when one looks at the mass slaughters of the 20th century, almost without exception, the perpetrators are the states themselves.

The loss of human freedom is the only birthright offered to the citizens of the modern nation. There is never a choice. It is spun as a freedom and a privilege when it is in fact indentured servitude to the state apparatus and the corporatocracy that controls it.

Patriotism

Patriotism is pure abstraction, a completely artificial mechanism of social control. People are taught to value their compatriots above and beyond those of their own ethnic background, race or religion. The organic bonds are to be shed in favor of the great corporate state. From infancy children are indoctrinated like Pavlov’s dogs to worship the paraphernalia of the state and see it as a mystical demigod.

What is a country? Using the United States as example, what actually is this entity? Is it the USPS, the FDA, or the CIA? Does loving one’s country mean one should love the IRS and the NSA? Should we feel differently about someone if they are from Vancouver instead of Seattle? Loving a state is the same as loving a corporation, except with the corporations there is still no stigma attached to not showing overt sentimental devotion to their brands and fortunately, at least for the moment, we are not obligated at birth to pay them for a lifetime of services, most of which we neither need nor want.

Flags, the Hollywood version of history and presidential worship are drilled into us to maintain the illusion of the ‘other’ and force the ‘foreigner/terrorist/extremist’ to wear the stigma of our projections. The archaic tribal energy that united small bands and helped them to fend off wild beasts and hungry hordes has been converted into a magic wand for the masters of the matrix. Flags are waved, and we respond like hungry Labradors jumping at a juicy prime rib swinging before our noses. Sentimental statist propaganda is simply the mouthguard used to soften the jolt of our collective electroshock therapy.

Religion

As powerful as the patriotic sects are, there has always been a need for something higher. Religion comes from the Latin ‘re-ligare’ and it means to reconnect. But reconnect to what? The question before all religions is, what have we been disconnected from? The indoctrination and alienation of becoming a card carrying slave has a cost; the level of abstraction and the disconnect from any semblance of humanity converts people into nihilistic robots. No amount of patriotic fervor can replace having a soul. The flags and history lessons can only give a momentary reprieve to the emptiness of the Matrix and that’s why the priests are needed.

The original spiritual connection man had with the universe began to dissolve into duality with the onset of language, and by the time cities and standing armies arrived he was in need of a reconnection, and thus we get our faith based religions. Faith in the religious experiences of sages, or as William James put it, faith in someone else’s ability to connect. Of course the liturgies of our mainstream religions offer some solace and connection, but in general they simply provide the glue for the Matrix. A brief perusal of the news will clearly show that their ‘God’ seems most comfortable amidst the killing fields.

If we focus on the Abrahamic religions, we have a god much like the state, one who needs to be loved. He is also jealous of the other supposedly non-existent gods and is as sociopathic as the governments who adore him. He wipes out his enemies with floods and angels of death just as the governments who pander to him annihilate us with cultural revolutions, atom bombs, television and napalm. Their anthem is, “Love your country, it’s flag, its history, and the God who created it all”- an ethos force fed to each new generation.

Circus

The sad thing about circus is that it’s generally not even entertaining. The slaves are told it’s time for some fun and they move in hordes to fill stadiums, clubs, cinemas or simply to stare into their electrical devices believing that they are are being entertained by vulgar propaganda.

As long as homo domesticus goes into the appropriate corral, jumps when she is told to and agrees wholeheartedly that she is having fun, than she is a good slave worthy of her two days off a week and fifteen days vacation at the designated farm where she is milked of any excess gold she might have accumulated during the year. Once she is too old to work and put to pasture, holes are strategically placed in her vicinity so she and her husband can spend their last few dollars trying to get a small white ball into them.

On a daily basis, after the caffeinated maximum effort has been squeezed out of her, she is placed in front of a screen, given the Matrix approved beverage (alcohol), and re-indoctrinated for several hours before starting the whole cycle over again. God forbid anyone ever took a hallucinogen and had an original thought. We are, thankfully, protected from any substances that might actually wake us up and are encouraged stick to the booze. The matrix loves coffee in the morning, alcohol in the evening and never an authentic thought in between.

On a more primal level we are entranced with the contours of the perfect body and dream of ‘perfect love’, where our days will be filled with soft caresses, sweet words and Hollywood drama. This is maybe the most sublime of the Matrix’s snares, as Venus’s charms can be so convincing one willingly abandons all for her devious promise. Romantic love is dangled like bait, selling us down the path of sentimentally coated lies and mindless consumerism.

Money

Money is their most brilliant accomplishment. Billions of people spend most of their waking lives either acquiring it or spending it without ever understanding what it actually is. In this hologram of a world, the only thing one can do without money is breath. For almost every other human activity they want currency, from eating and drinking to clothing oneself and finding a partner. Religion came from innate spirituality and patriotism from the tribe, but money they invented themselves- the most fantastic and effective of all their tools of domestication.

They have convinced the slaves that money actually has some intrinsic value, since at some point in the past it actually did. Once they were finally able to disconnect money completely from anything other than their computers, they finally took complete control, locked the last gate and electrified all the fences. They ingeniously print it up out of the nothing and loan it with interest in order for 18-year-olds to spend four years drinking and memorizing propaganda as they begin a financial indebtedness that will most likely never end.

By the time the typical American is thirty the debt is mounted so high that they abandon any hope of ever being free of it and embrace their mortgages, credit cards, student loans and car loans as gifts from a sugar daddy. What they rarely asks themselves is why they must work to make money while banks can simply create it with a few key strokes. If they printed out notes on their HP’s and loaned them with interest to their neighbors, they would wind up in a penitentiary, but not our friends on Wall Street- they do just that and wind up pulling the strings in the White House. The genius of the money scam is how obvious it is. When people are told that banks create money out of nothing and are paid interest for it the good folks are left incredulous. “It can’t be that simple!” And therein lies the rub- no one wants to believe that they have been enslaved so easily .

Culture

“Culture is the effort to hold back the mystery, and replace it with a mythology.”
– Terence McKenna

As Terence loved to say, “Culture is not your friend.” It exists as a buffer to authentic experience. As they created larger and larger communities, they replaced the direct spiritual experience of the shaman with priestly religion. Drum beats and sweat were exchanged for digitized, corporatized noise. Local tales got replaced by Hollywood blockbusters, critical thinking with academic dogma.

If money is the shackles of the matrix, culture is its operating system. Filtered, centralized, incredibly manipulative, it glues all their myths together into one massive narrative of social control from which only the bravest of souls ever try to escape. It’s relatively simple to see the manipulation when one looks at patriotism, religion or money. But when taken as a whole, our culture seems as natural and timeless as the air we breathe, so intertwined with our self conception it is often hard to see where we individually finish and our culture begins.

Escaping the Grip of Control

Some might ask why this all-pervasive network of control isn’t talked about or discussed by our ‘great minds’. Pre-Socratic scholar Peter Kingsley explains it well:

“Everything becomes clear once we accept the fact that scholarship as a whole is not concerned with finding, or even looking for, the truth. That’s just a decorative appearance. It’s simply concerned with protecting us from truths that might endanger our security; and it does so by perpetuating our collective illusions on a much deeper level than individual scholars are aware of.”

Whoever discovered water, it certainly wasn’t a fish. To leave the ‘water’, or Plato’s cave takes courage and the knowledge that there is something beyond the web of control. Over 2,300 hundred years ago Plato described the process of leaving the Matrix in the Allegory of the Cave as a slow, excruciating process akin to walking out onto a sunny beach after spending years in a basement watching Kabuki.

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How can this awakening be explained? How do you describe the feeling of swimming in the ocean at dusk to someone who has never even seen the sea? You can’t, but what you can do is crack open a window for them and if enough windows are opened, the illusion begins to lose its luster.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Ideology 

As gold broke below the psychologically important level of $1,200 an ounce late in December of 2013, the mainstream financial media burst with headlines like this one from Marketwatch, “Gold’s Safe-Haven Role is Over“. The Nobel prize winning economist from The NY Times, Paul Krugman, penned a wicked missive on the ‘barbarous relic’ by invoking Keynes and the absurdity of miners going to “great lengths to dig cash out of the ground, even though unlimited amounts of cash could be created at essentially no cost with the printing press.”

The basis of a vibrant and dynamic society is an open and free marketplace where people ‘vote’ with their decisions on where to spend money, where to live, what to read, who to vote for, etc. In the United States, a good example of what occurs when decisions are centralized is healthcare and education- the key decisions are made outside the mainstream of the marketplace and the country ranks far below the rest of the developed world, even behind countries with considerably less economic wealth. As central planning and regulations remove potential players and solidify the positions of special interests, the quality of education and healthcare has plummeted.

So what does this have to do with the price of gold? Everything.

What is Money?

Gold is money. Federal Reserve Notes are not money on one important score; they are a poor long term store of value. One ounce of gold in 1938 was worth just about $35 and a new car was worth $860. If a new car dealer took the money from the sale of a new car in 1938, converted it to gold and gave that gold to his new born son, when the boy turned 75 in 2013 he could have bought a brand new Toyota Camry with the gold his father had given him. If instead, the father had given him the cash, he could have gone out and bought himself a fancy new bicycle with the dollars he’d held on to for 75 years.

If the old man, feeling flush, tossed in an extra ounce of the ‘barbarous relic’ for gas in 1938 his son could have bought about 350 gallons of gas for the ounce of gold. If the kiddo had held on to the gas money in the form of gold, he could have, in 2013, bought almost the exact amount, 360 gallons. But if the youngster had made the mistake of converting his ounce of gold into dollars, he could have, in 2013, bought a good bottle of Spanish wine with the Federal Reserve Notes he received in 1938 for his ounce of gold.
.
Money is a means of exchange, AND a store of value. The dollar is a great means of exchange but it’s a pitiful store of value.

In essence, money is work. If someone wants to sell 1,000 kilos of wild salmon for $10,000 he might find a few buyers who, if they wanted to proceed, would ask about delivery. If the seller pointed toward the cold waters off the Alaskan coast and indicated that the fish were out there swimming around, he wouldn’t have any buyers at any price. When someone pays for fish, they are not paying money for the fish, they are paying money for the work involved in finding them, catching them, and transporting them to market. Money is a means of exchange- the fisherman exchanges his work (the fish) for money and he uses the money to maintain the value of his work and later exchange it for the work of others. That is money for the working man.

The Sucker, the Conman and the Shill


Imagine the fisherman decides he needs a new boat and wants to finance the entire purchase price. He will go to his local bank and, if approved, will be given the funds to purchase the boat in exchange for signing a promissory note for the amount and terms of the loan.

When the fisherman signed the promissory note, he assumed that other fishermen, or their equivalents in productive society, worked, earned money, deposited that money in a bank to earn interest and that’s the interest he was going to pay on his boat loan, plus the margin for the bank. The interest rate he was paying seemed reasonable, 7%. The guy who deposited the money needs a return, and so does the bank. In fact, it seemed cheap to him. He probably wouldn’t continue fishing if the best he could do was make what the bank or the depositor made, say about half of his interest rate, 3.5%. For that, he would sell everything and buy a ten year bond that paid close to 3% and call it a day. But he’s not a banker and he assumes they’re making money some other way.

The banker is thrilled. He did take some deposits and put them in reserve (about 10% of the loan amount) and he will be paid interest (.25%) on that amount by the Fed. Then he created, out of thin air, the entire loan amount to give to the fisherman. The money he gave the fisherman never existed before the fisherman signed the promissory note. The banker is making more than 70% on the money he has left in reserve, for which is also earning interest. Worst case, if the fisherman goes belly up, the banker will sell the boat. He can’t lose much.

The PhD Nobel Laureate, writing for a one of the world’s great newspapers, never a word he speaks of this, for if he did, only for Zero Hedge would he write and not a penny would he see for his poetic prose. So instead he writes about Democrats and Republicans and higher taxes on the fisherman to pay for the bigger deficits he is so fond of. More deficits, more debt, he exclaims. Just print the stuff like it’s going out of style and we’ll all be living high on the hog.

The fact is, only the fisherman actually does something worthwhile for society, while the banker stuffs his pockets and the PhD stuffs his ego while filling the masses with fantasies.

So what does this have to do with gold going below $960? Everything.

The Script


To survive as a human being in the United States, as well as in most corners of this world, one needs money. Money to put a roof over one’s head, money to buy food, money to heat one’s house, money to put a shirt on one’s back. The banker’s script says that fiat money (dollars, yen, euros, etc.) is real money, the same as gold. Money is work, and gold stores the value of work. Fiat money is a claim on future work- it’s not work itself.

What banks do is the equivalent of allowing people to become indentured servants, signing away their futures for a stack of instantly made Federal Reserve Notes, and they get their hooks in early. The average college graduate in 2012 had just over $20,000 in student loan debt on graduation day as well as additional credit card debt. The banker’s ability to create money out of nothing and lend it to kids is a good example of how they have completely demolished any semblance of democracy in America. Who in their right mind would loan a kid $20,000 for a college education if the money they lent was earned through work? Would we pay billions to the NSA to spy on us, or trillions to fight imperial proxy wars all over the world if we had to pay for them with work (gold)?

Of course we wouldn’t. If the money that was loaned to governments, businesses and individuals was real, much more critical thinking would be involved in its allocation and the cumulative votes of investors would render practical results, instead Twitter is valued at over $30 billion. But when the Fed is pumping trillions into markets, who is thinking about risk? If people actually decided on public policy through having to pay for those polices through work, the world would look much different than it does today. When money is created by the trillions out of nothing and simply laid as claim on the future work of the populace, then the only ones deciding on those policies are the money masters who control the printing presses.

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If gold were used as the basis of our money, the only way to make more of it would be to dig it out of the ground and that takes work, something bankers and shills are quite averse too. To loan money they would first have to either work and earn it, or make a spread on what they paid in interest and what they earned on loans, becoming intermediaries. Neither variant is to their liking as they much prefer to print it out of thin air, loan it out and keep the interest. The now infamous 1% are dependent on this model of money creation and when their ponzi scheme collapsed in 2008, they turned on the presses overtime and made it all back and more in a few short years.

Gold is incredibly democratic in that there is no machine to print it. But there is paper gold, which the bankers have leveraged about a 100 times and with which they can drive the price of gold wherever they want with their fiat money. The script says that their money is real- the new and improved version of the outdated gold. Gold is the enemy of fiat money because its intrinsic scarcity and universally accepted value is a constant reminder of the banker’s ponzi scheme.

In April of 2011 gold hit a record high of $1,923 an ounce. Come hell or high-water, the banksters want to announce in the corporate media they own, that once and for all the shiny stuff has been deemed a relic, nice for jewelry but wholly useless as money. To do this they will drive the price below $960 an ounce, halving its price in dollars in about three years. It doesn’t take much to imagine the headlines, Is Gold a Worthless Investment? etc. But Dr. Krugman would say these are the fantasies of conspiratorial gold nuts. Really Dr. Krugman?

Supply and demand? Chinese physical purchases skyrocket while
the paper price plummets.

On April 11, 2013 gold closed at $1,562 an ounce. On April 12 someone sold 400 tons of gold, 300 of which was sold in just 30 minutes, driving the price of gold down below $1,500 an ounce, crashing through important technical levels and for many, marking the end to gold’s bull run which began in 2000. How much is 400 tons of gold? It’s about 15% of all the gold mined in 2011 or .25% of all the gold ever mined in the history of man, worth about $20 billion dollars at the time. This was obviously not done by someone who owned gold because there would be no reason to drive the price down so dramatically if someone wanted to exit a position. This was a naked short, done by someone with deep pockets to make a dramatic, headline catching move in the gold market. Not surprisingly, Dr. Krugman wasted no time chiming in and on April 15, 2013 he wrote of gold bugs, “Maybe, just maybe, the gold crash will finally bring intellectual capitulation. But I wouldn’t bet on it.”

That’s very interesting coming from a Nobel prize winner who doesn’t even understand the basics of money creation, as was clearly shown in his debate with economist Steve Keen.

Gold is much more than an investment, it’s the backbone of liberty. Without it we will be led by the banksters and their shills down the merry way of slavery, plutocracy and totalitarianism.

It’s in the script.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Gold 

Bill Keller, editorialist for The NY Times and former executive editor of the paper, has recently penned a strong attack on Vladimir Putin arguing that Putin’s leadership “deliberately distances Russia from the socially and culturally liberal West”, describing the Kremlin’s policies as “laws giving official sanction to the terrorizing of gays and lesbians, the jailing of members of a punk protest group for offenses against the Russian Orthodox Church, the demonizing of Western-backed pro-democracy organizations as ‘foreign agents’, expansive new laws on treason, limits on foreign adoptions.”

Keller, who during his tenure as executive editor of The NY Times argued for the invasion of Iraq and wrote glowingly of Paul Wolfowitz, makes no mention of Moscow’s diplomatic maneuvers that successfully avoided a US military intervention in Syria or the Russian asylum given to Edward Snowden. Keller, who had supported the US intervention in Syria by writing, “but in Syria, I fear prudence has become fatalism, and our caution has been the father of missed opportunities, diminished credibility and enlarged tragedy,” also made no mention of Seymour Hersh’s stinging dissection of the Obama administration’s misinformation campaign regarding the sarin attacks in Syria. Hersh’s piece, which drives grave doubts into the case against Assad actually having carried out the attacks, was not published in The New Yorker or in The Washington Post, publications that regularly run his work.

Keller focuses on a Russian law that bans the promotion of gay lifestyles in Russia, a far cry from “giving official sanction to the terrorizing of gays and lesbians”, while failing to mention that according to his own paper, 88% of Russians support the law.

Putin did expel the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) from Russia, cutting off the $50 million in aid, most of which went to pro-democracy and anti-corruption groups. The Kremlin believed that much of this money wound up supporting the protest movement against Putin that emerged in 2011. If Russian funding had been suspected in the Occupy Wall Street Movement would The New York Times have supported Putin for promoting social equality in the US? If the punk band Pussy Riot had broken into a prominent Jewish temple in New York, instead of a Moscow cathedral, and defamed it to call attention to the millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps, would the young ladies have done some time? And if so, would they have received support from all corners of stardom?

The European Model

William Browder

Quoting Dmitri Trenin, Keller argues that Putin sees Europe in decline, “it’s national sovereignty… is superseded by supranational institutions.” Is Putin mistaken in his assumption? Maybe ask the people of Greece,Spain or Ireland? Keller also mentions “limits on foreign adoptions” but fails to mention the cause, the Magnitsky Act, which imposed “visa and banking restrictions on Russian officials implicated in human rights abuses.” The Kremlin saw this law as the perfect example of US meddling in internal Russian affairs.

The heart of the Magnistsky saga was the death in Russia, while under custody, of an attorney for Hermitage Capital, a hedge fund run by British citizen William Browder. Browder made billions in Russia before running afoul of Russian authorities. His Hermitage Capital was funded by the Lebanese national Edmond Safra and eventually claimed to have lost $300 million after having moved billions out of Russia. Browder, who has renounced his US citizenship, lobbied hard in Washington to have the Magnitsky Act passed. Why was the US involved in passing a law to protect Lebanese and British capital and a Russian prisoner? America hasn’t enough trouble with its own prison system that it needs to legislate on the Russian penal system? Are there no American politicians who have been implicated in human rights abuses?

Keller’s final point is that Putin is being heavy handed over the Ukrainian/EU integration crisis, but Keller avoids discussing the deep historic and ethnic links between Russia and Ukraine. Most Americans would agree that Russia should stay out of NAFTA negotiations, seeing North America as clearly not within the Russian sphere of influence. Ukrainians are deeply divided over the integration with Europe, so why not let the Ukrainians and Russians work out their trade relations without the American government getting involved?

Khodorkovsky

Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Probably more than any other topic, The NY Times has repeatedly published articles in defense of the long imprisoned and recently freed Russian oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a man whose rise to power was filled with unsavory schemes to appropriate businesses which were once the property of the Russian people. The NY Times Sabrina Tavernese wrote in 2001 that he had “orchestrated a series a flagrant corporate abuses of minority shareholders unparalleled in the short history of modern Russian capitalism.”

Khdorkovsky eventually wound up the billionaire owner of Yukos Oil, which he planned to sell to Exxon Mobil. Khdorkovsky also had political ambitions, creating the Open Russian Foundation and putting Henry Kissinger and Lord Jacob Rothschild on the board of directors. He was clearly eyeing political power by making close ties with the West, even being named to the Advisory Board of the Carlyle Group, all of which made him a potential threat to the Kremlin.

The Khodorovsky affair was a complex battle for power in Russia with Khodorkovsky playing the Western powers against the strongly nationalistic Putin. But at The NY Times editorialist Joe Nocera in four pieces on Khodorkovsky never delves into the complexities of Putin’s strategy to keep Western interests at bay, preferring to present a black and white scenario of ‘western liberal’ rule of law against the ‘authoritarian’ Putin.

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Curiously, The NY Times doesn’t seem so interested in Harvard’s Russia Project which ended in disgrace and professor Andrei Shleifer, Larry Summers protege, being forced to pay a $2 million fine for enriching himself under the guise of a USIAD program where he was to ‘teach’ Russians about capitalism. He gave them an interesting lesson, yet was not forced to resign his post at Harvard, possibly due to his close relationship with Summers. Nocera hasn’t written one article on that scandal which is much more relevant to Americans and their iconic institutions, but which also might make him a few enemies closer to home.

Putin and American Values

Most Americans see Edward Snowden as whistle blower and not a traitor, yet The NY Times star editorialist, Thomas Friedman, isn’t so sure, “The fact is, he dumped his data and fled to countries that are hostile to us,” though he doesn’t elaborate on why Russia is a ‘hostile’ nation and he advises Snowden to come home and face the music if he’s truly a patriot, “It would mean risking a lengthy jail term, but also trusting the fair-mindedness of the American people.”

Putin is a social conservative and a fierce patriot who, like many Americans, opposes regime change in the name of democracy. The American people, after failed interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, agree with him- both Putin and Americans, unlike The NY Times, vehemently opposed a US intervention in Syria. It seems Putin has more in common with the opinions of Americans than does The NY Times, which begs the question, why is The NY Times so hell bent on demonizing the President of the Russian Federation when he’s supported by more than 60% of the Russian people?

The New York Times has written extensively about the gay rights issue in Russia but 45% of Americans still think that homosexuality is a sin and as the ‘Duck Dynasty’ controversy has revealed, homosexuality in America is still a very divisive issue. Is the prohibition against publicly speaking in favor of gay lifestyles in Russia such an important stumbling block to ties between the two nations when the vast majority of Russians support the law?

Americans probably don’t approve of roads where members of one religion can drive while members of another religion must walk, as occurs in Hebron and reported on by Ynet, “Jewish residents are allowed to cross the road by vehicle, but Palestinians are now only permitted to cross by foot or by bicycle.” They probably wouldn’t look fondly on back of the bus seating for women, yet in spite of this type of segregation in a country that claims to be democratic, The NY Times doesn’t feel compelled to demonize Mr. Netanyahu and his ‘socially conservative’ Likud party.

The Interests of the American People

Just as The NY Times despises Putin and Russia, it’s equally enamored with Israel. Imagine if the millions of Palestinian refugees were not in camps because of their mother’s religion but instead because they were LGBT? What if Netanyahu were held to the same standard as Mr. Putin? How many millions of Palestinian Khodorkovsky’s are languishing in refugee camps in their own country? It seems that Mr. Keller, Mr. Friedman and Mr. Nocera are much more interested in the rights of Khodorkovsky and William Browder than they are in the rights of Palestinian children living in squalor under an Israeli blockade in Gaza.

Saudi Arabia and Israel, through its surrogate AIPAC, lobbied hard for war in Syria and both supposed allies are furiously attempting to undermine peace talks with Iran. The government Putin leads brokered the deal to avoid US involvement in Syria, played an important role in the Iranian peace initiative and also allowed Americans a glimpse into the massive surveillance program the NSA has hoisted upon them by giving refuge to Edward Snowden.

Just as Americans would not look fondly at the Kremlin interfering in domestic American politics, so the Kremlin pushes back when it see US interference in it’s internal affairs, a good example being American aid to opposition groups during the 2011 Moscow protests against Putin. If the US can accept serious human rights violations by supposed allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, can’t it also accept that Russia has its own way of governing itself, based on its own history and culture?

The NY Times does not represent the best interests of most Americans, nor does it use its powerful voice to protect the millions persecuted within the realms of so called allies. The NY Times represents a small sector of US power, bent on propagating special interests at the expense of the vast majority of Americans.

Mr. Putin certainly acts in the best interests of Russia, but curiously enough, by working in his own interest, he has done more to protect the 4th Amendment than the constitutional law professor currently occupying the White House. In Syria he was protecting Russian interests, but by doing so he kept the US out of an intervention that could have easily developed into a major war. If it had been up to The NY Times, we would have intervened in Syria and Snowden would be behind bars awaiting the mercy of the Obama Administration.

So who is a better friend of the American people? There are no doubts that The NY Times is a better friend of the Khodorkovsky’s and William Browder’s of the world but Americans might actually be better off if their government listened more to Putin and less to the Grey Lady.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Classic, American Media, Russia 

Criminals leave signatures. There is consistency in their motives, methods, alibis and techniques. A detective from the Spanish National Police said that investigators knew within minutes of reaching the mangled remains of commuter trains in Madrid where almost 200 commuters were killed that the Basque terrorist group ETA had not carried out the attack- a fact which was concealed by the Spanish government for several days in a vain attempt to save an election. The investigators immediately saw that the signature was wrong; it just didn’t smell right.

President Kennedy was murdered on November 22, 1963 and less than two years later American Marines entered South Vietnam beginning the US intervention that would end ten years later with the fall of Saigon and millions dead. Less than two years after the September 11th attacks in New York and Washington, the United States began the Iraq War, which would end eight years later with the withdrawal of the coalition forces, leaving Iraq destabilized and clearly within the sphere of Iranian influence.

Apart from the similar aftermaths, both events have common elements both in their buildup and execution as well their social ramifications.

Precision Beyond the Apparent Capacity of the Perpetrators

The Warren Commission argues that Oswald fired on the President’s motorcade from a distance of about 80 meters, getting off three shots in 8.3 seconds with an Italian bolt action rifle made in 1940 which he bought for $19.95. On behalf of the Warren Commission, Army rifleman were not able to reproduce Oswald’s feat and Italian tests on the rifle determined it would have been impossible to get the shots off in such a short time span.

The Marine Corp rates shooting ability on the following scale:

Expert: a score of 220 to 250.
Sharpshooter: 210 to 219.
Marksman: 190 to 209.

Oswald was last rated in 1959 and scored 191, barely reaching the lowest level of marksmanship. Marine Colonel Allison Folsom interpreted the results by explaining that Oswald “was not a particularly outstanding shot”. If Oswald did in fact fire all the shots, it was a highly unlikely, even extraordinary feat.

Hani Hanjour was considered a terrible pilot and neither he nor the other two pilots who successfully guided their jets into buildings on that day had ever flown a jet before. According to 9/11 Commission Report, “To our knowledge none of them [the hijackers] had ever flown an actual airliner before.” Yet they were able to commandeer the aircraft, and on their first time ever in the cockpit of an actual jetliner, navigate towards their destinations, maneuver the planes under extreme conditions in terms of velocity and altitude before guiding the airliners perfectly into their targets.

One of the air traffic controllers from Dulles said the following when describing Hani Hanjour’s maneuver which brought American Airlines flight 77 into the Pentagon, “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane. You don’t fly a 757 in that manner. It’s unsafe.”

CBS News described Hanjour’s maneuver this way:

“…flying at more than 400 mph, was too fast and too high when it neared the Pentagon at 9:35. The hijacker-pilots were then forced to execute a difficult high-speed descending turn. Radar shows Flight 77 did a downward spiral, turning almost a complete circle and dropping the last 7,000 feet in two-and-a-half minutes. The steep turn was so smooth, the sources say, it’s clear there was no fight for control going on. And the complex maneuver suggests the hijackers had better flying skills than many investigators first believed. The jetliner disappeared from radar at 9:37 and less than a minute later it clipped the tops of street lights and plowed into the Pentagon at 460 mph.”

And retired Navy pilot, Ted Muga, explained it this way:

“The maneuver at the Pentagon was just a tight spiral coming down out of 7,000 feet. And a commercial aircraft, while they can in fact structurally somewhat handle that maneuver, they are very, very, very difficult. And it would take considerable training. In other words, commercial aircraft are designed for a particular purpose and that is for comfort and for passengers and it’s not for military maneuvers. And while they are structurally capable of doing them, it takes some very, very talented pilots to do that… to think that you’re going to get an amateur up into the cockpit and fly, much less navigate, it to a designated target, the probability is so low, that it’s bordering on impossible.”

Yet Hani Hanjour, one month before the attacks, was not allowed to fly a Cessna alone after a test flight with instructors. As reported by NewsDay, his instructors stated that “they found he had trouble controlling and landing the single-engine Cessna 172.”

Oswald could have hit the President in the upper body on two out of three shots fired within 8.3 seconds, and Hani Hanjour could have made an exceptional maneuver moments before his death the first time he ever flew an airliner, but it takes a leap of faith to believe amateurs actually carried out these actions with such professional precision. More importantly, it casts enough doubt on the official version of events for a reasonable person to have reasonable doubts about the accepted view of what happened on those fateful days.

Immediate Identification of the Villains

Lee Harvey Oswald was apprehended seventy minutes after the assassination when his supervisor at The Texas School Book Depository alerted the police that he had gone missing. By that evening he had been charged with killing police officer J.D. Tippit and assassinating the President. Oswald’s troubled and short life would end two days later when he was killed by Jack Ruby, a man with significant ties to organized crime. This terrible murder with many potential culprits was solved in 90 minutes and justice was served in two days. Oswald is a true enigma, so complex a figure, so multi-layered that it’s almost impossible to separate the real from the surreal, the man from the hologram.

Two days after the 9/11 attacks Colin Powell identified Bin Laden as the key suspect in the attacks and the following day the FBI released the names of the hijackers. Apparently, there was no need for an investigation, evidence or witnesses to tie Bin Laden to the crime.

The two most horrendous, violent, and nebulous events in American history are officially solved within hours, yet years later they continue to confound.

Silenced Suspects who are Never Tried

The institutions of government so clearly saw the truth that neither perpetrator was ever tried. For a society based on rule of law, it’s ironic that Americas’s two greatest crimes were resolved by politically appointed commissions and not courts of law.

Bin Laden released three tapes in the days and weeks after the 9/11 attacks, in the first of which he denied responsibility for the attacks of 9/11 and in the subsequent two he took no responsibility for them. Then, on November 9, 2001, American forces found a tape in a house in Afghanistan. In the video tape Osama Bin Laden supposedly takes responsibility for the attacks though many have argued about the translation. Finally, on October 29th, just days before the 2004 US Presidential elections al Jazeera broadcast a tape of Bin Laden explaining to the American people why he had made the attacks. The extremely fortunate timing and discovery of the self contradicting Bin Laden tapes has created much doubt and confusion.

What would Oswald have said if he had taken the stand? Which Bin Laden would have appeared in court, the one who claimed innocence or the one who explained how he came up with the ideas of taking down the World Trade Center? We will never know.

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On May 2, 2011 American commandos captured Bin Laden and assassinated him. Leon Panetta, CIA Director at the time, explained that capturing him alive was not considered, “we always assumed from the beginning that the likelihood was that he was going to be killed.” From details of the raid it seems clear that Bin Laden was not armed when he was located. So why wasn’t he captured, brought to the United States and tried publicly for the crime he was accused of committing?

The American people were deprived of the opportunity to test the case the government had formed within days of the attack, a case whose consequences were two wars and hundreds of thousands killed.

Anomalies

The Magic Bullet – “According to the single-bullet theory, a three-centimeter (1.2″)-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter rifle bullet fired from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository passed through President Kennedy’s neck and Governor Connally’s chest and wrist and embedded itself in the Governor’s thigh. If so, this bullet traversed 15 layers of clothing, 7 layers of skin, and approximately 15 inches of tissue, struck a necktie knot, removed 4 inches of rib, and shattered a radius bone. The bullet was found on a gurney in the corridor at the Parkland Memorial Hospital, in Dallas, after the assassination.” From Wikipedia

In October of 1963 someone claiming to be Lee Harvey Oswald called and went to the Soviet and Cuban embassies in Mexico City asking for a visa. The problem was, it wasn’t the same Lee Harvey Oswald who was captured in Dallas. Less than 24 hours after having supposedly killed the President, Lyndon Johnson had this conversation with J Edgar Hoover:

LBJ: Have you established any more about the visit to the Soviet embassy in Mexico in September?
Hoover: No, that’s one angle that’s very confusing, for this reason—we have up here the tape and the photograph of the man who was at the Soviet embassy, using Oswald’s name. That picture and the tape do not correspond to this man’s voice, nor to his appearance. In other words, it appears that there is a second person who was at the Soviet embassy down there.

And then there is this FBI report:

“The Central Intelligence Agency advised that on October 1, 1963, an extremely sensitive source had reported that an individual identified himself as Lee Oswald, who contacted the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City inquiring as to any messages. Special Agents of this Bureau, who have conversed with Oswald in Dallas, Texas, have observed photographs of the individual referred to above and have listened to his voice. These Special Agents are of the opinion that the above-referred-to-individual was not Lee Harvey Oswald…..”

The “extremely sensitive” source was the CIA itself as they were filming the visitors and tapping the phones of the two embassies Oswald visited. Why would the CIA want to make it appear that Oswald was colluding with the enemy a month before he kills the President?

Oswald, who had top secret clearance working for the CIA on U2 flights, defects to the Soviet Union, announces to US Embassy that he is renouncing his citizenship and going to reveal U2 secrets to the Soviets but later decides to leave the Soviet Union and is welcomed with open arms and even given a loan to come back to the US. Why wasn’t he tried as a traitor? He then moves to Texas where he is surrounded by people with connections to the FBI and the CIA.

The incredible way Building 7 collapsed on 9/11, at almost free fall speed and very similar to the way buildings collapse in controlled demolition caused many to question the official version of events. Building 7 wasn’t hit by a plane and the BBC even reported it had collapsed twenty minutes before it actually did. The lack of film footage of the attack on the Pentagon, which one can assume has extensive video surveillance, was also very surprising.

These are only a few of the many quagmires embedded in these two crimes. None of this proves a conspiracy, but it does make it reasonable for a person to doubt the official version of events.

The Taboo of not Believing

Due to the many inconsistencies and oddities in the Warren Commission, more and more Americans in the late 1960’s began doubting the ‘lone shooter’ thesis it described. This worried the CIA which created a “dispatch”, numbered 1035-960 in order to counteract the growing skepticism and marginalize those who questioned the official story. As Kevin R. Ryan explains:

“This cultural phenomenon goes back to 1967. At that time, in response to questions about the Warren Commission Report (which President Ford helped create), the CIA issued a memorandum calling for mainstream media sources to begin countering “conspiracy theorists.” In the 45 years before the CIA memo came out, the phrase “conspiracy theory” appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times only 50 times, or about once per year. In the 45 years after the CIA memo, the phrase appeared 2,630 times, or about once per week.”

As a consequence, those that spoke out against the Warren Commission’s conclusions were tainted with the derogatory term of ‘conspiracy theorist’ which implied they lacked the psychological and intellectual capacity to understand a complex world. It became more mature, patriotic and coherent to assume that a momentous crime with cataclysmic consequences was only within the purview of a lone nut. If a journalist or academic suggested that the CIA had played a role in the assassination then they were considered outside the mainstream in spite of the fact that the CIA had a hand in the overthrows of: Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, Mossadegh in Iran, Lumumba in the Congo, Jacob Arbenz in Guatemala, Joao Goulart in Brazil, and Sukarno in Indonesia. It was deemed socially and intellectually unsound to believe that such an organization would ever use its skills at home in order to move forward its agenda.

Following the 9/11 attacks the meme repeated itself with an Orwellian flavor by calling those who doubted The 9/11 Commission Report ‘Truthers’. No major American newspaper has an editorial writer that questions the official version of events on 9/11. It’s a taboo topic that if breached, pushes one beyond the pale and into the margins of public rhetoric.

Why was it so absurd to think that the CIA, which had been running Operation Mockingbird to manipulate the press in the United States from the 1950’s through the 1970’s and which, through its Project MKUltra, had tried to create ‘Manchurian Candidates’ wouldn’t also stoop to violence against the American people to achieve it’s goals?

It’s perfectly acceptable in the mainstream to deny the existence of evolution, yet it’s grounds for expulsion from major media if one doubts the official version of how Building 7 collapsed or if one implies that the CIA may have had a hand in the Kennedy assassination.

Kennedy himself spoke to the need for a free press to push the limits, but that same press ignored his words when they were confronted with the complexities of his death.

“Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed and no republic can survive. That is why the Athenian lawmaker Solon decreed it a crime for any citizen to shrink from controversy. And that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment– the only business in America specifically protected by the Constitution–not primarily to amuse and entertain, not to emphasize the trivial and the sentimental, not to simply “give the public what it wants”–but to inform, to arouse, to reflect, to state our dangers and our opportunities, to indicate our crises and our choices, to lead, mold, educate and sometimes even anger public opinion.”

Lost and Senseless Wars: Cui Bono?

In the days previous to the Bay of Pigs fiasco the CIA knew that Castro had information regarding the invasion but they withheld it from Kennedy in the hopes that he would bow to their pressure to intervene-he didn’t acquiesce. In the aftermath Kennedy fired CIA Director Allen Dulles saying, “I want to splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.” Dulles would later become a member of the Warren Commission which would consecrate the official narrative of the ‘lone gunman’ Oswald.

During the Cuban missile crisis the generals clamored for war, pushing their Commander and Chief to invade the island. Curtis Lemay, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, argued vehemently with the President:

“This is almost as bad as the appeasement at Munich…We don’t have any choice but direct military action. I see no other solution. This blockade and political action I see leading to war.”

As James Douglass eloquently argues in his book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Kennedy changed during his time in the White House from a hawk to man determined to establish peace and end the Cold War. He had begun communicating with Khrushchev through back-channels and had sent feelers out to do the same with Castro. He became increasingly pessimistic about Vietnam and on Oct. 11, 1963 he signed directive NSAM-263 which called for the immediate withdrawal of 1,000 advisers from Vietnam and the removal of the remaining 15,000 by the end of 1965. Four days after his death, his successor Lyndon Johnson, signed directive NSAM 273 which overturned Kennedy’s directive and increased military involvement in Vietnam.

As Kennedy lost faith in his generals and the CIA, he moved away from military solutions and this evolution culminated in his American University speech where he laid out his plans for peaceful coexistence with the communist world- heresy to the military and the CIA.

“What kind of peace do I mean and what kind of a peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that makes life on earth worth living, and the kind that enables men and nations to grow, and to hope, and build a better life for their children—not merely peace for Americans but peace for all men and women, not merely peace in our time but peace in all time.”

Kennedy was killed and the generals got their war. They used the domino theory to justify it, arguing that if Vietnam fell to the communists, the rest of South East Asia would also fall, threatening American security. Vietnam fell in 1975 to the communists after millions were killed, their domino theory long discredited.

In the 1990’s the Neo-Cons pushed for the invasion of Iraq. In 2003, in the aftermath of 9/11, they also got their war. They had their own version of the domino theory as they argued that if Saddam Hussein was ousted, the Iraqi Shiites would rise up, creating a vibrant democracy that would empower the Iranian and Syrian youth to overthrow their respective regimes. Instead Iran wound up controlling Iraq and Assad remains in power in Syria. Another theory was laid to waste over the corpses of hundreds of thousands.

Conclusion

The late 1950’s and late 1990’s had much in common. America experienced prosperity, peace, wealth, the admiration of the world and clear military superiority over all nations. They were by far the ‘best of times’ of the postwar period, guided by two-term presidents who were blessed with such immense economic growth that their most important role was to keep their hands off the controls and let peace and prosperity bloom. Both periods ended abruptly, violently, and were followed by long, ill conceived wars, the expansion of the security state, internal strife, extreme partisanship, ballooning debt and an inflated and overextended military.

The only beneficiaries of these two violent turns were the military industrial complex. In light of much of the transcripts and documents released from the Kennedy era, it’s clear that JFK was on a path of peace, not only in Vietnam, but with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Similarly, it was hard to imagine in the year 2000 that the US would entangle itself in two new wars lasting almost a decade, forgetting all the terrible lessons of Vietnam and once again descending into the hell of violence. It was as if some dark hand swooped down in a malevolent fury, angry at the peace and prosperity the nation was enjoying.

ORDER IT NOW

No matter who committed these heinous crimes, what is clear is that their aftermaths were cataclysmic for the nation and the dissent of those seeing more than a lone gunman or a band of religious fanatics operating out of caves was met with fierce resistance and marginalization. Why was this dissent shunned with such opprobrium? Could it be that those who ventured beyond the strict confines of mainstream ideas might see the obvious and shout it out from the rooftops?

The most disturbing common thread in the aftermath of these two crimes was the reticence to thoroughly and openly investigate them. Both crimes were ‘solved’ within hours, the basic outline of events decided on in days and etched in stone, never to be disturbed. Even to mention a doubt as to the perpetrators was to question the very essence of the nation because it seemed clear that to disbelieve the guilt of Oswald or Bin Laden had one very dangerous consequence- the implosion of the modern myth upholding the entire state apparatus.

It’s hard not to make the comparison with a family ravaged by an abusive father, avoiding the obvious in a desperate attempt to maintain its existence as a unit.

Thomas Merton

The mystic Thomas Merton called it the ‘unspeakable’ and described it with sublime understanding in his 1965 essay:

“Those who are at present so eager to be reconciled with the world at any price must take care not to be reconciled with it under this particular aspect: as the nest of The Unspeakable. This is what too few are willing to see….

“You are not big enough to accuse the whole age effectively, but let us say you are in dissent. You are in no position to issue commands, but you can speak words of hope. Shall this be the substance of your message? Be human in this most inhuman of ages; guard the image of man for it is the image of God. You agree? Good. Then go with my blessing. But I warn you, do not expect to make many friends. As for the Unspeakable—his implacable presence will not be disturbed by a little fellow like you!”

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: History • Tags: Classic, 9/11 

September was not a good month for the U.S. dollar. The world’s reserve currency is sustained in large part by the Petrodollar, the agreement by the Saudis and OPEC to price oil in dollars and only accept dollars for payment. The US gets a guaranteed demand for its fiat currency and in exchange the US has agreed to protect militarily Saudi oil fields. However, after President Obama was forced to back off his plans to attack Syria in support of the Saudi backed insurgency fighting the Assad regime, one of the pillars of the Petrodollar scheme was shaken to its core.

If America has no more stomach for war in the Middle East, how certain can the Saudis be that America will protect the regime militarily if the need arises? Now that the President has acquiesced to public opinion in his decision on whether to use military force, can he be counted on in the future to hold up his end of the bargain in the Petrodollar scheme? The United States may have by far the world’s largest military, but what use is it if it can’t be used? And even when it is, seven years of war in Iraq has done little more than bring the country under the influence of Iran.

Another major problem for the dollar is the fact that the Fed has spent five years printing money and its balance sheet, at about 3.4 trillion dollars, is almost a quarter of US GDP. When Bernanke let the world know he was going to tap on the brakes, interest rates soared and the equities markets got spooked. He, like the President, had to back off.

And to finish the month we get an exercise in game theory galore with the House leadership playing high stakes chicken with the President by offering him only two solutions to the debt-ceiling, both of which would leave him devastated politically. He can either postpone implementation of his signature accomplishment, Obamacare, or shut down the government- it seems Mr. Boehner has taken a page from Mr. Putin’s playbook. After the foreign policy debacle with Syria, can the President afford to reside for long over a shutdown government? His other option is to be made politically irrelevant. One would think that his opponents will feel emboldened to hold their ground.

The dollar is backed by a military that has been left neutered by an incalcitrant home front, by a Federal Reserve Chairman who has no idea how to stop printing money by the trillions, and by an executive and legislative branch who spend billions on election campaigns yet are unable to renew the credit card used to pay the monthly bills of the government they supposedly serve.

It seems difficult to fathom that gold will not recover its march toward $2,000 an ounce and beyond while the dollar’s stature as a secure store of value continues to be gutted by an inept and irresponsible national leadership.
 

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Economics • Tags: Dollar 

The Tide has Changed

Since 9/11 the state’s power has grown exponentially and it’s ability to wage war and infiltrate a digitized populace has reached epic proportions, but the pendulum has reached its apogee. The Obama Administration has made a terrible miscalculation regarding the public’s reaction to it’s proposed military intervention in Syria and it appears the President will not be able to garner the votes needed in congress to pass the resolution in support of his plan to attack Assad.

As Private Manning sits in a prison cell and Eric Snowden lives in exile, AIPAC is working tirelessly to lobby congress to pass the war resolution, but the public’s heart is with Snowden and Manning, not Netanyahu. If Obama and AIPAC lose this vote their grand plan to confront Iran’s nuclear aspirations will crumble. If Americans reject a military intervention in order to punish Assad for his supposed use of WMD’s, how will they ever support taking on the Iranian regime for just having them? This is not the same America that re-elected George Bush in 2004.

Kerry’s Case

Secretary of State John Kerry made a forceful argument in favor of intervention:

“In an increasingly complicated world of sectarian and religious extremist violence, what we choose to do — or not do — matters in real ways to our own security. Some cite the risk of doing things. We need to ask what is the risk of doing nothing.

It matters because if we choose to live in a world where a thug and a murderer like Bashar al-Assad can gas thousands of his own people with impunity even after the United States and our allies said no, and then the world does nothing about it, there will be no end to the test of our resolve and the dangers that will flow from those others who believe that they can do as they will.”

Many Americans would have rallied to this call for war in the early years of this century, but not now. They know that President Obama has killed hundreds of innocent civilians with drones, some of them even Americans. They know that hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s were killed under false pretenses. Not only were innocents killed and money wasted, but strategically Iraq has moved under the influence of supposed arch enemy Iran while the Taliban are simply waiting for the NATO troops to leave before making their final assault on the puppet government installed in Afghanistan.

What was also conspicuous in Mr. Kerry’s speech was what he didn’t mention. Are the Saudis, the Qataris, and the CIA also ‘thugs’ for financing, training and facilitating a civil war that has killed over a hundred thousand people? And why are the Saudis and Qataris doing this and why don’t we stop them? Apparently Mr. Kerry believes there is something ‘sectarian and religious’ about bringing natural gas from Qatar to Europe through a proposed pipeline through Syria. Since almost 25% of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia’s Gazprom, the Russian angle becomes clear. But if Americans aren’t buying the WMD story, it’s even more unlikely they would support a war to reduce Gazprom’s market share in Europe.

The Danger

Democracy is a messy business and if we had one, we would be reminded of it constantly. However, we live in a plutocracy where public opinion is created through corporate media. The fabricated message being sent is that Muslims are the enemy and Israel is our closest ally. Israel, however, does have a real problem with its Muslim neighbors, especially Syria, Iran, Lebanon and the Palestinian state it occupies. In a democracy there would be a stormy debate as to whether Israel’s security has any bearing on America’s well being and it would be openly argued for America to jettison the ‘special relationship’ with Israel.

This debate never occurs in America because it’s corporate media has a strong pro-Israel bias and questioning the ‘special relationship’ with Israel is taboo. Both those in and outside the US Government who strongly believe that America must stand by the Jewish state are being faced with the reality that the moment for action has passed and the pendulum is beginning a long journey back toward isolationism and cynicism regarding the state security apparatus.

Syria is their last chance and it is quickly slipping through their fingers. If there is no attack on Syria, the chances of attacking Iran will quickly fade to zero. If one believes that there is a grand strategy then we have reached a critical and dangerous moment. If Obama backs down and doesn’t attack, he will lose enough international credibility to make him a de-facto foreign policy lame duck just as the Iranians cross the nuclear threshold. This is unacceptable to those bent on protecting Israel’s monopoly on nuclear weapons in the Middle East.

It seems highly unlikely that this group of people will allow President Putin to become the new voice of reason in the region. The absurdity of Assad committing this gassing, Putin’s argument, is now also being supported by intelligence as reported in a Huff Post article which quoted a report that seems to contradict the Obama Administration’s claim that Assad was the perpetrator of the gas attack. It would be catastrophic to the US standing in the world if it were proved that this was a false flag attack by the rebels in Syria, and more importantly it would make it almost impossible to make a case for the ultimate target, Iran.

No Exit

It’s difficult to fathom that those who brought us the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, the NSA surveillance apparatus, The Department of Homeland security and the drone war will simply take their bows and fade away. Their only options at this point are either to force the issue in Syria and quickly escalate it through their time honored method of rallying the home front with images of horrors committed on innocents, or throw up their hands and accept defeat.

God help the innocent.

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Syria 

The Trayvon Martin affair was one of the most important media events in recent memory. The major networks spent endless hours of prime time discussing it, but what made the episode so exceptional was who benefited from the incredible amount of coverage.

At the heart of the story were two young men who both made poor decisions- one died, and the other almost wound up in prison for life. But is this so exceptional in America?

In fact, it’s all to common. Data from 2008 shows that more than four minors (under 18 years) were murdered a day in the US- four Trayvons a day. Was it the racial aspect of the case that was so exceptional? Yes, but not for the obvious reasons. More than 80% of interracial violent crimes are black on white, which would make one think it more likely that a black on white crime would galvanize the nation, but that wasn’t the case.

Most reasonable people probably saw the tragic elements as the most outstanding feature of the Trayvon/Zimmerman encounter. Both young men let their pride get the better of them. If only Zimmerman had stayed in the car, if only Trayvon had not began an altercation. The story is filled with the regret of how we weave our own demise- true tragedy. But the media wanted to make this a racially charged issue, but for whose benefit?

For the African American community this case poured salt on deep wounds and they were rightly angered in a profound way. Nonetheless, white on black crime is not a grave problem for blacks in contemporary America. But for the white community, for whom interracial crime is an issue, the Trayvon circus created deep resentments and reinforced negative stereotypes.

One has to wonder, apart from ad revenue for the networks, why it was decided to make the Trayvon case the immense public spectacle it became. The decision to bombard the country with the Trayvon tragedy was a decision. But what if some other issues had been given the same media coverage?

During the Trayvon case the NY Times published an article describing how 30% of the price of oil is due to speculation- “an internal Goldman memo suggested that speculation by investors accounted for about a third of the price of a barrel of oil. A commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal regulator, subsequently used that estimate to calculate that speculation added about $10 per fill-up for the average American driver.” What if CNN and Fox had spent two weeks during which three hours a day of prime time were dedicated to discussing how African Americans AND white Americans are paying a 30% gasoline tax to Goldman Sachs? Would it have divided us racially or would it have put the spotlight on the very 1% that created the Trayvon circus in the first place?

The United States has become a third world nation in regards to wealth distribution, scoring abysmally on the CIA calculated Gini coefficient. As described in The Atlantic, “The U.S… with a Gini coefficient of 0.450, ranks near the extreme end of the inequality scale. Looking for the other countries…with comparable income inequality: Cameroon, Madagascar, Rwanda, Uganda, Ecuador… Mexico, Côte d’Ivoire, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Serbia.” Surprisingly, China, Russia and India all had more equitable distributions of wealth. But for the major networks Travyon and Zimmerman were much more interesting.

What about corporate profits, is that worth taking a few hours of prime time to discuss? According to the NY Times, wages are at their lowest in recorded history in terms of percent of GDP, while corporate profits are at all time highs for percent of GDP, “it appeared that wages and salary income in 2012 amounted to 44 percent of G.D.P., the lowest at any time since 1929, which is as far back as the data goes. The flip side of that is that corporate profits after taxes amounted to a record 9.7 percent of G.D.P. Each of the last three years has been higher than the earlier record high, of 9.1 percent, which was set in 1929.” This would not only anger African Americans, but their white brethren as well. But putting the onus on the 1% is not part of the corporate media’s script.

What about discussing the oath that the generals running the NSA took, to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Could CNN spend a few hours of prime time discussing whether said generals, and maybe even the commander and chief, have betrayed that oath?

It is very unlikely that any of these topics will be given anywhere near the attention that the Trayvon episode did making the real question, cui bono? If, for a moment, we assume that what is emphasized in corporate media is not guided by random upsurges in public interest, but selected by an interested few, then a coherent scenario emerges.

The editorial influence on corporate media from the financial interests that own them is unmistakable. It’s much more in the interest of the powers that be to encourage race tensions between the have-nots than to instigate a united front against the 5% in power that control over 60% of the wealth in the nation. When anyone brings this very obvious point up they are almost immediately relegated to the rubber walled basement of marginalized media.

There has been no better example of the Matrix in action than the Trayvon/Zimmerman media orgy. It exemplified the kind of social control that has dumbed down the TV watching, flag waving, Bible thumping masses to a point dangerously close to slavery.

As Goethe put it, “No one is more of a slave than he who thinks himself free without being so.”

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Race/Ethnicity • Tags: Classic, Trayvon Martin 

A very small yet conscious minority has come to the realization that the current world regime is one giant corporate infomocracy that needs to be terminated with “extreme prejudice”, disengagement being the weapon of choice. The next revolution will not be carried out by mobs of angry people, guerrillas, terrorists or, god forbid, politicians. It will be accomplished by a small (10%) militant minority that will simply unplug the matrix.

A Very Condensed Case for Revolution

An enormous, dictatorial corporate cartel is ruling the world through its proxies in government, banking, academia and media. Our entire western culture has become an insidious farce with the sole purpose of maintaining the enslaved masses in their conjured up democracies, religions and histories. Two developments have increased its control exponentially: globalisation and the information revolution.

The world is entering the final acts of a great social, political and economic shift. The international currency regime, the keystone of control, is peering into the abyss; the middle east is being turned upside down; the bankrupt United States government is fighting several wars and maintaining more than 560 military bases in over 120 countries. The insatiable greed and desire for world control have created a breach in the system. People are becoming aware while their masters scramble for control as the chaotic climax approaches.

Violence, crackdowns, massacres and all out wars are erupting from Libya to Bahrain. As Yeats put it , “the centre cannot hold”. The Arab Spring will soon reach the Wall in the West Bank and when it does the possibility of a large scale conflict and the eventual involvement of Iran are almost inevitable. How the west reacts when this conflict erupts upon us will be the inflection point for the entire period.

The great strides made in western liberal societies since the Enlightenment have been firmly based on the Greco/Christian tradition. It should be no surprise that the purveyors of consumerist agnosticism firmly reject this tradition within the western democracies. By pulling the spiritual rug out from under Euro/American culture, they have left a black hole that can only be filled by their circus and gadgets. We have not only paid, but have in fact indebted ourselves, to worship at the feet of their materialist God. This has nothing to do with theology and everything to do with culture. The West is paying a very dear price for having stopped thinking critically and educating its children.

The great European experiment (much more than simply the EU), thought by many to be the light of the world, is sinking like the Titanic. With a total disregard for traditional culture, the ruling elites have turned our schools, universities, arts and mass media into a giant propaganda machine promoting political correctness, pseudo history & economics and the new world religion: debt based consumerism. Anyone who questions their version of science, world history or monetary policy is immediately branded as a malcontent and removed from the public discourse. They control the message by controlling the money.

Many look at the twentieth century as a time of great economic and technical advance, but history, while recognizing the the technical innovation, will condemn this century as the most vile in man’s history. The miracle that began in Greece, expanded in Rome, flourished in the Renaissance & Enlightenment and finally found its modern form in the western liberal democracy has been been gutted by a century of materialism, enslavement, slaughter and greed.

The Corporation and Infomocracy

There is no better example of fascism in today’s world than the major corporation: decisions made by a select group of insiders, bureaucratic conformism, communications ripe with propaganda, and the cult of power. There is nothing democratic about the boardrooms of these behemoths, so how can we expect the governments they rule to be democratic? They have created a two party charade with news programs, talking heads and opposing media facing off in faux battles to conjure up their infomocracy.

The corporations control the creation and distribution of our money, our foreign policy, entertainment and news. The only way to put a wedge between these monoliths and the liberty of individuals is to completely disengage from them. They manipulate news and opinion to the extent that actual issues are never discussed, only the distractions are debated.

Two Examples – Health care and Iraq

The United States has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, and a decidedly unhealthy population. Something is clearly wrong with this system. The debate is carefully divided into those who want to maintain the status-quo – Republicans, and those that want to enhance the status quo – Democrats. All of the actors fall into line and go either shirts or skins, but the truth is never discussed.

The Federal Government subsidizes the corporate health care system and the over payed doctors by regulating the market out of the system and creating a closed corporate hegemony over the industry. The media and academic shills stick to their subsidized scripts and the real solution is never discussed because that solution would destroy the bottom lines of the corporate players.

Simply deregulate. Remove ALL regulations on who can practice medicine and how. Any drug can be sold in the US, period. End the FDA. Private FDA’s will sprout up, vouching for the validity of drugs. Some will be better than others, but the consumers will decide which ones work. Any doctor can practice medicine and many private organizations will appear vouching for their credentials. As long as there is a judicial system that can pass judgement on reasonable claims, the system will work out its kinks and we will have, without a doubt, the cheapest most effective health care system in the world. It’s that simple. The only thing the government is doing in healthcare is subsidizing corporate profits.

Those preferring universal health coverage can certainly make their case at the local level without imposing it on a nation of over 300 million people.

ORDER IT NOW

The war in Iraq was started by taking advantage of the fear and confusion from 9/11 with the intention of creating a safer Middle East for the state of Israel. While this idea is far from novel, it’s not allowed to enter the mainstream discussion of the issue. The truth is taboo because the consequences of accepting it would be beyond the pale for those who conceived of and pushed the country to war; too much blood to be laid at the feet of the guilty. The motives and consequences of Vietnam were argued in academia and the mainstream media ad nauseam, but you will not see a Pentagon Papers come out of The New York Timesregarding Iraq because the repercussion would reverberate too close to home. How can the purveyors of morality be nothing more than war mongers?

THE CONTROL MECHANISMS

Artificial Scarcity

Why is there a world ‘economic’ crisis? Is it a lack of able-bodied workers, natural resources, factories, or infrastructure? Absolutely not. It’s a lack of liquidity and/or too much debt, however one decides to slice it. The most important myth supporting the system is the belief in fractional reserve money as a valid store of value and means of exchange. The banks are allowed to create the money out of nothing, and charge interest for turning the trick while the masses have to earn it. The right to create money is the right to leverage, and it’s that financial leverage that hoists them to the top of the pyramid. Without this leverage they would not be able to create such massive amounts of wealth and control. The only way to destroy this system and create fair money is by creating awareness. Once people understand the “trick”, the whole house of cards begins to collapse.

One simple thought experiment is to imagine what would happen if the the mega banks and the Fed came to an agreement to cut all personal debt by 50%, send a credit card with 20K to every American while at the same time paying off all government debt (federal, state and local). In this experiment everything would be paid for by quantitative easing and removing bank reserve requirements for bad debts. The “crisis” would be over in about three months: anyone who wanted to work would be able to find job, factory capacity would surge and the entire world economy would rise on a massive wave of prosperity. The only trick would be keeping inflation at bay by reducing government spending to a balanced budget and keeping interest rates high enough. This is not to say that creating money out of thin air and giving it away is the answer, but it does point out that the entire crisis is abstract and contrived and the supreme charge of the government is to protect those that live off interest and leverage. The debts pushed on the 99% by the powers that be are its main source of leverage and wealth, and by overburdening the productive population with debt they killed the proverbial goose.

People out of work, factories shuddered, fields unploughed, students without teachers, children without food – all because of digital debt money. Why can’t a man with a strong back and a working brain simply go out, work, create something and exchange it for money? That would be too easy. First someone has to create the money, with interest. The fractional reserve system, by design, creates artificial scarcity, allowing the ruling banker class and their political puppets to skim enough off everyone’s work and turn abundant, productive labor and private property into a giant banker-run slum- turf wars included. They put massive claims on future production until, at the end of the cycle, their debt chickens come home to roost.

Propaganda

Why is this basic truth not shouted from every newspaper, college classroom, church pulpit and street corner? In a world of brands, they control who is deemed appropriate. Anyone who states the truth is isolated, blacklisted or demonized as inappropriate, which is now just another word for honest. An entire caste of over-educated shills dominate media, film, the arts, literature, and academia. Organized religion, when not protecting pedophiles and apartheid states, spends the rest of its moral capital railing against the basic pleasures of humanity that have yet to be monetized and securitized by Wall Street.

They tell us to kill and we kill. Current fashion is that it is okay to kill Yemenis, Bahrainis, Palestinians, and some other assorted Muslims. Libyans have been put on the no kill list and Syrians may soon find themselves on the same list. That list means only NATO can kill them (see Afghanistan). Iraqis have the special honor of being the exclusively killed by Americans since May 2011

Education, Religion & Circus

One of the most amazing feats of the regime is how they coerce young people to go into extreme amounts of debt to be brainwashed and taught not to think before they ever even have a career .

Mainstream and not so mainstream religion generally tries to sell people on a hodgepodge of fear and fantasy, with a big pay-off for the self righteous who drink most from the sacred well of Kool-Aid. What must never be attempted is to actually have an authentic spiritual experience, for this would cause the subject to run from the dogma and quite possibly bring most of the remaining parishioners with him. Real consciousness as much an anathema to religion as critical thinking is to academia.

But even if one can escape the grasp of schools and universities, dodge the churches, few can evade the tempting trap of the circus. The television, music, the press, spectator sports, movie stars and the like have an almost hallucinatory power over the sheeple. Not only do these pastimes steal the money of the masses, they brainwash them to boot. The regime’s mantra: pay the master for the right to be enslaved.

SOLUTIONS

Violent Revolution?

In the Allegory of the Cave, Plato compares the awakening process to realizing the shadows on the wall are only reflections from lanterns in a cave, but he points out that there is a period during which the eyes need to get adjusted, in these moments the person can see neither the shadows nor make out the real images soaked in sunlight.

Those who awaken go through many stages, one of which is the strong desire to plant bombs and slit throats. As Plato points out, there is a period of disorientation as one meanders out of the cave. While violence is the most appetizingly simple of choices, it is also the most counterproductive. Anything one does that can be utilized by the masters to fire up their destructive paraphernalia is a mistake. In fact, anything that even breaks their laws is harmful to the cause and will only create useless opposition. All forms of violent resistance only generate energy which they use to manipulate news and events in order to create fear and reactionism. They thrive on our anxieties and use the very energy generated against them as the impetus to foment division among their opponents.

Enlightened Disengagement

The enlightened conscious man needs no school to raise his children, no church to know his God, no banker to validate his work and no government to choose his enemies. He is free to do as he pleases, when he pleases and how he pleases. His liberty allows him to need almost nothing, which is how the great evil matrix becomes undone: in a great fire of awareness.

Money – Use fractional reserve money only for what is needed in the short term. Have no savings denominated in their dollars. All savings in hard assets.

Work & Corporations – Avoid, to the greatest extent possible, working for and using corporations. Actively pursue locally owned alternatives and self-employment. As a consumer, avoid all corporate products whenever possible. This includes clothes, food, religion, news, etc.

Bread & Circus – Cancel all cable subscriptions immediately. Sell all your televisions and take your best friend out for a night on the town with the proceeds. Stop participating in the corporate entertainment network. If you love baseball, follow a local independent team. If you love dramas, frequent your local theater. Read independent news services. Always know the source of what you are consuming. Avoid corporate food at all costs. Pay the premium for locally, independently grown and prepared food.

Follow the Law to the Letter – That means paying all taxes, following all regulations, and submitting to all their rules while they are still in force. The cause is not advanced by having militants ensnarled by the criminal justice system. All their efforts must be fully dedicated to disengaging themselves, their families and their friends. Moves must be calculated to maximize strength and staying power, even if it means remaining “attached” to parts of the system longer than one would like. A financially sound, secure militant family disengaging and evangelizing is their worst enemy.

Politics - The obvious thing to be done is abstain from participation. In most cases, this would be the clear strategy. However, with an iconoclastic candidate like Ron Paul still in the running, it makes sense to give him support. The more the mainstream avoids him and dances around his campaign, the more he should be backed.

The Magical 10%

We don’t need to convince the whole village, we only need 10% of them. A recent study has confirmed that once an idea reaches the 10% threshold and that 10% is demonstrably fixed to the idea, the majority will quickly follow.

“Three conditions are key: a majority that is flexible with their views, a minority that is intractable, and a critical threshold wherein about a tenth of the population advocate the minority opinion. They also saw that the time it takes to reach social consensus drops dramatically as the minority grows past this tipping point”

The focus must be on the best and the brightest, the rest will follow. There is no need to dummy down the message; on the contrary, the highest level of argumentation and language should be implemented to capture the critical thinkers, leaders and trend setters.

A Well Sharpened Blade

There is only one path to freedom, and it is terribly straight and narrow. To navigate it one must shed prejudice, education, political correctness, patriotism, greed and fear. Realizing the profound depth of the deception can be frightening; a slew of long-held beliefs will come tumbling down. Much of the truth is, by design, diametrically opposed to what we have been “taught” to consider moral, ethical, even decent. Whatever term one wishes to apply to consciousness, revolution without it is simply exchanging masters. The enemy is ignorance in all its insidious forms.

The real revolution needs no leaders, banners, or platforms. Each awakened man’s consciousness is his own guide. Those looking for a place to sign up are simply looking for more enslavement. The controllers are well aware of the danger to their pyramid and will surely toss out some interesting schemes to hold on to power. The enemy of awareness is distraction, but the antidote is simple: close out, turn off, unplug and ignore.

This article was edited by Jim Horky

(Reprinted from CactusLand by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Classic, Government Surveillance 
Robert Bonomo
About Robert Bonomo

Robert Bonomo is a blogger, novelist and esotericist. He has lived and worked in Madrid, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Kamchatka, Miami, Valencia, Cartagena, New York and a few other not so interesting places. He has toiled as a writer, blogger, car salesman, land surveyor, media buyer, spice salesman, transportation salesman, teacher, advertising salesman, marketing manager and consultant (of course he had to be a consultant too). He has done some other things but asked that we not mention them here.

Robert is a late blooming anarchist and has been published in some of the leading alternative media sites including LewRockwell.com, INFOWARS.com, Global Research.com, Activist Post, Business Insider, Pravda, RINF, Astrological News Service, Occidental Observer and Henry Makow. When the smoke clears, the tyrants are vanquished and liberty is restored, he will have done his part, God willing.