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By Robert S. Becker
Hat tip:Dandelion Salad
March 2, 2010
It is a truth universally acknowledged that predatory bankers in possession of great fortunes are in want of media lackeys, especially after savaging the American Dream. Actually not, considering the corporate media outlets reinforcing the clownish social gospel from Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs: conglomerates do good, indeed “God’s work.”How would any CEO richer than Midas know God’s mind or presume entry to heaven, according to a more reliable source, any more likely than a camel through the eye of a needle?
Propaganda aside, hear the hosannas this Great Recession isn’t so bad, no national tragedy, no generational plague, barely involving predatory lending. When viewed correctly this healthy downturn “will improve all of our lives by bringing us back to the original vision of the American Dream.” In the meantime, hard times cleanse debtors and clear books: thus, mystical free markets self-balance, punishing those lovers of excess and betrayers of contracts. Verdict; blame consumer spendthrifts for toppling our shining city on the hill. Rich people, not so much.
The media loves tough love that regains more than lost affluence but transcendent virtues: self-control, family togetherness, even, brace yourself, Yankee introspection. This Sunday CNN blessed us with its Pollyanna sermonette, profiling a perky Bernie Madoff survivor happier than ever. She’s not bitter towards this thug, so outlandish he dared capture, awash instead in wise acronyms, like SNT – Stop Negative Thinking. Unfortunately, no empty platitudes wash away unarguable research testifying joblessness and foreclosure can kill, with an array of anxiety disorders sharpened by depression, addictive and abusive behavior, divorce, even suicide – no endorsement for positive thinking. Note, those justifying pain always have jobs.
December 17, 2009
By Rand Clifford
hat tip: Countercurrents.org
Imagine saying to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, “My, you’re very tall.”
Imagine denigrating anything not hailed as truth by institutions such as government, or mainstream media, as “conspiracy theory.”
What’s the connection? Much deeper than at first it might seem, much deeper than the absence of critical thinking—it’s a pattern of apathy. Both instances lack wit and subtlety…no thinking, whether stating the obvious, or scoffing at any truth not “official.” So why has conspiracy theory become such a knee-jerk label? First, let’s look at what “conspiracy theory” means, institutionally and officially.
Conspiracy theory is most often used to identify secret military, banking, or political actions aimed at stealing power, money, or freedom from the people. “Wikipedia” even adds the zest, or invitation for the absurd (more on this in a moment), of secret plots by conspirators of “…almost superhuman power and cunning.”
America’s plague of conspiracy-theory labeling subverts critical thinking; one of our least popular endeavors—critical thinking that is, has much to do with protecting one’s comfort zone and avoiding cognitive dissonance…much to do with choosing what to believe, regardless of evidence. A fine example is Americans’ attitude regarding official confessions that the anthrax attacks soon after 9/11 were false flag. (1)
So many obvious lies marched out as official truths have made 9/11 the ultimate mother lode of so-called conspiracy theories; one of which portrays the anthrax attacks as false flag terror, an inside job. Despite the government finally admitting that of course the anthrax attacks were an inside job, a shocking number of people still believe anything that strays from the anthrax attacks being Muslim terror is, of course, conspiracy theory. For those comfortable in their comfort zone, will truth ever be enough for them to give up the reassuring lies?
What is “false flag terror?” Essentially, false flag terrorism occurs when elements within a government stage a secret operation whereby government forces attack their own forces or people. The attack is then falsely blamed on an enemy in order to justify going to war against that enemy.
Sound familiar? It’s a trick as old as war.
By Siv O’Neall
hat tip: dandelionsalad
The War of the Empire has many faces
The ‘war on terror’ has become nameless since our administration changed. But it is the same war, it has the same goals and it is as unwinnable as it always was. But certainly there are other ways of conquering the planet, says Washington. And so they impose the huge industries with their humongous profits on the entire world, corporations like Monsanto, Cargill, Dow, Bunge and others, giants that impose their own laws on world-wide agriculture and their goal is to make us eat only what they profit from.
Through lies and total lack of concern for the final outcome, they insert their hired crooks, their representatives, in top positions everywhere, make deals with corrupt governments all over the world, deals that make farmers the innocent victims of a world-wide scam. The result is disaster for the farmers and the poor people all over the world and enormous power for the Biotech Companies that suck the blood out of the earth and out of the people who used to cultivate it with their own millennia-old and environmentally safe methods.
Monsanto is just about the most callous, the most harmful, the most insidious of the whole gang of predators who are out to get on top of the world – and who are ruining it savagely in the process. They are busy ruining the environment irredeemably and the health of the inhabitants of this threatened world. Global warming doesn’t even have to play out its role, the biotech industry will play the part of the Grim Reaper, mowing down everything that does not add to their profits, ruining people’s health, playing hell with the earth’s ecosystems and biodiversity that has served the planet for millennia in a world that was mostly safe from predators, the kind of sharks that devour their prey without any afterthoughts.
by Frédéric Bastiat (1801-1850)
Sophismes économiques, 1845
To the Honourable Members of the Chamber of Deputies,
You are on the right track. You reject abstract theories and little regard for abundance and low prices. You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of the producer. You wish to free him from foreign competition, that is, to reserve the domestic market for domestic industry.
We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity for your — what shall we call it? Your theory? No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine? Your system? Your principle? But you dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, as for principles, you deny that there are any in political economy; therefore we shall call it your practice — your practice without theory and without principle.
We are suffering from the ruinous competition of a rival who apparently works under conditions so far superior to our own for the production of light that he is flooding the domestic market with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers turn to him, and a branch of French industry whose ramifications are innumerable is all at once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, which is none other than the sun, is waging war on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred up against us by perfidious Albion, particularly because he has for that haughty island a respect that he does not show for us.
We ask you to be so good as to pass a law requiring the closing of all windows, dormers, skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains, casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and fissures through which the light of the sun is wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the fair industries with which, we are proud to say, we have endowed the country, a country that cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon us today to so unequal a combat.
I want to begin this column with one of my all-time favorite quotes. It comes from the great German reformer Martin Luther. He said, “If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battlefield besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.”
Luther’s trenchant statement reminds us that today’s Christians, especially our Christian leaders, are conspicuously absent from the field of battle. Oh, they may host large crowds in their gatherings; they may deposit multiplied millions of dollars in their financial accounts; they may receive thunderous applause from politicians, but they have fled the battlefield at the point of attack.