Monday, April 1, 2024

New Deliberately Falsified Bill Gates Funded Study To Proclaim The Superior Health Benefits of Beef And Pork Over Candy

Bill Gates has thoughts on how to bring home the bacon while you get to eat your candy too!

Here is breaking news. . .  Bill Gates has a new foundation that will be financing deliberately false science studies about health matters.  Some are blowing this off as a “ho-hum, what’s new” event, but this new foundation will be breaking new ground, setting a new precedent and setting a new bar for well calculated deployment of health misinformation.

The first study planned whereby Bill Gate’s new “I Run Contra Foundation” will get up and running and demonstrate the muscle it will be able to flex will be a study that says that beef and pork are far better for you, much better for your health than candy.

It’s not a problem knowing announcing its results before the study has been done, because the study is Gates funded through the “I Run Contra Foundation.” An internal memo from Gates dispensed with this, just in passing, as not being all a problem, saying, “You get what you pay for and we get what we pay for.”  In releasing the study, once its done, Gates plans to be forthright about the fact that study has been paid for by his new “I Run Contra Foundation.”

“This has to do with new problem we face with many of those we are trying to reach and influence,” explained Gates in the same internal memo. He explained that there are a large number of people who are now influenced extremely by paying attention to who is paying for what and where the money is coming from for certain things and especially now in the health industry arena.  For instance, Gates noted that partners he has conferred with over at Google said that one particular quote that was surging in popularity such that Google was having to work harder and be more creative in its algorithms to suppress it is a quote by Dr. Michael Yeadon former VP of Pfizer, who has problematically for Gates, become a heretic when it comes to officially Gates and the Gates funded World Health Organization prescribed narratives and belief about `vaccines’:

    I tried to follow the science, but it was simply not there— I then followed the money; that’s where I found the science.
Gates said that trying to reach people who thought this way might be vexing, but once you thought about it, the answer was simple: Hence his new “I Run Contra Foundation.”

The foundation will finance a whole range of health studies for consumption by people, the audience of contrarians, who always do the opposite of what they are told when they hear a study is funded by Bill Gates. To avoid confusion for those in the subaudiences who still give credence to narratives aimed at them coming from or endorsed by Gates as a medical expert or owner of medical information, the study will be micro targeted to those individuals who act that way.  With Google assisting in such things as individualizing its search results.  Gates says its virtually assured that only the contrarians will see information about the new “I Run Contra Foundation” studies and releases.         
When will this first study be out?  Since the study is to be palpably flawed by the fact that it will be based on zero research, it can be produced quickly.  Gates suggested that it can even be post dated for an earlier date than it’s official release and suggested that April 1st be would be the perfect date.

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Are Our Prohibited Conversations Multiplying?

Does it seem that our list of things we are not supposed to talk about is growing ever longer?

I raise this for a few reasons I will explain in a moment. . . not because this is the season, that with the holiday dinners starting with Thanksgiving we get the inevitable advice columns about what to do when, as extended family members are brought together, our viewpoints clash.  (These articles posit that some of your uncles might just be a little `crazy’ when it comes to things you don’t really need to talk about.)

Here’s one reason I’ve been thinking about what we are not supposed to talk about.  The other day I went into Manhattan to participate in a demonstration.  Arriving early, it wasn’t immediately apparent where things were going to be, so I started walking around looking.  A veteran of quite a few demonstrations, my eagle eye caught a large bag– with the sides of collected foam boards peaking up out of it.  It just had to be full of placards.

“Is that for a demonstration?”
I asked the fellow standing beside it.

“Yes.” he said, “BUT, it’s a demonstration for . . . .”  Mentioning the demonstration.

“That’s the demonstration I’m looking for,” I said, “do you know where it’s going to be?”

“I’m not sure.  They might be assembling over there,”
he said indicating the block across the street.                

“When you told me what the demonstration was for, why did you say ‘BUT’?” I asked.

“Because you are wearing that. .  button,”
was his response.  He actually said what kind of button I was wearing that he referred to, but because I want to discuss the principle here, I want to keep this abstract.  He said that I must therefore be some kind of . . . The things he mentioned, I actually am not.  I’m not even truly conversant with the details of what he might have been envisioning or why it would be viewed as incompatible by him.

I started to tell him why the button I was wearing might actually mean, not surprisingly, that showing up for the same demonstration, we might both of us be, at least mostly, or very much, on the same page about the important reasons why we both showing up. . .

. . . I didn’t get very far. . .

“Don’t talk to me!” he said.

“If you’re here to win people over,”
I said, “you should want to reach out to people.”

“Stop talking to me!”  He said.

“You’re putting yourself in a bubble, if you’re not willing to have conversations with people,” I said.

He covered his ears.  “If you keep talking to me, I’m going to scream,” he said.

I couldn’t believe it.  Everything I was saying I was saying in a quiet, calm and polite voice.  “This is not the way to reach out to people and win them over,” I said.

It didn’t work.  His ears still covered with both hands, the fellow started screaming, “Stop talking to me!  Stop talking to me!” He screamed over and over again and he started walking around in circles.  It was not a normal scream, but an exceptionally loud and full scream that I figured could probably be heard for at least the length of the block or more.

There was nothing more to do.  I slowly ambled away, shaking my head as I headed in the “probable” direction that the demonstration might form.  As I did, I wondered what the woman who had been standing with this gentleman thought.  Leaning against a building, she had remained impassive throughout our exchange.

Our numbers quickly grew to a pretty good sized and easy to find demonstration.  Presumably lost somewhere in the crowd, I never noticed the fellow again.

It’s worthwhile to note that we were there for a cause that, far from being universally popular in this bleeding and forsaken world, sorely needs more converts to be effective in its aims.

So I ask this: Have we lost the ability to talk with one another?  Are certain topics, an increasing number of them, off limits to more and more people?  I wonder.  It’s not just topics that are off limits; it’s also who we are not supposed to talk to, or who we are not allowed to talk to.  We’ve got a superfluity of categorizations of individuals related to setting up these limitations.

It’s worse than that: Now sometimes the people we are not supposed to are people we shouldn’t talk to, because those people have, in turn, already talked to somebody that they weren’t supposed to talk to.  We seem to be training ourselves to watch out for disqualifying “associations.” “Guilt by association,” is becoming a quick and ready time saving substitute for disqualifying who we can talk to as opposed to bothering to verify that their “beliefs” are actually dangerously at odds with our own.–   And more and more, for other’s people’s beliefs not to be dangerous to own, the people we are willing to talk to have to believe almost everything we believe, rather than just some or most of the things we ourselves believe.    

If you are surprised at my harangue, here’s more about this that has fixated me in this wondering.  At roughly the same time I went to that demonstration, I went to a “Town Hall” discussion about “Free Speech and Censorship,” instigated by journalist Matt Taibbi who is researching and writing about the subject.  In a provocative mood, he was looking for advocates of censorship to discuss the topic with.  He got some of the action he sought.  The Town Hall was in Park Slope’s beautiful old Montauk Club.

Taibbi has been directing his attention to copious documentation showing the United States government’s coordination with social media companies to achieve the censorship (in various ways) of information and viewpoints that the government doesn’t like.  This includes censoring information and facts that are true but that the government doesn’t like because of the potential influence such true information and facts might have on people.

Some of what has been subject to this kind of coordinated censorship involves quashing what should be considered political speech.  Again, in order to stick with a focus on principle, I don’t want to get very specific about the appreciable list of topics this coordination was censoring, but suffice it first to say that, as can be readily guessed, the documentation shows that among things, the government doesn’t like is speech that is critical of the wars and military actions that the United States is engaged in or backing.

Oh, and once again without being specific, that struggling cause we demonstrated for where the fellow covered his ears and screamed “Stop talking to me”? . . . .  Promotion of that very same cause is one of the things our government and the social media companies are censoring strenuously.

For purposes of all these coordinations, there are theoretically good points of view and bad beliefs, good guys, and bad guys.        

Taibbi began his Town Hall by referring back to 1989, when, in August, Milt Ahlerich of the FBI sent a letter to a small independent record label, Los Angeles's Priority Records setting forth a warning criticism of its distribution of the “Straight Outta Compton” album’s hip hop song, “Fuck tha Police.”  The letter unacceptable to the FBI the lyrics protesting police brutality and racial profiling.  Taibbi noted that, in 1989, this effort at government suppression of speech sparked outrage and that it was widely covered in the liberal media at the time.  Then he noted that the government’s coordination to silence points of view it opposes are currently magnitudes greater, the same thing occurring regularly on an ongoing basis, thousands of times over.  (Protest of police brutality and racial profiling is more acceptable since 1989, although maybe not to the FBI.  It is still targeted for social media censorship.)
Taibbi noted that a vast number of people who consider themselves “liberals,” no longer seem to care, and have abandoned the notion that protecting free speech is still important.  One might want to point out that the cause of free speech has been adopted by many on “the right,” except that, in an unprincipled way, when it is speech they don’t like, many on the right are insufficiently antiauthoritarian, and similarly promote censorship.

Clearly, with some self selection, there were many in the Town Hall audience that night who sympathetically following along with the points Taibbi was making, but, there were also contrary views expressed.  It was suggested that the public may need protection from hearing some kinds of information.  There was the notion that when the government has determined that it’s needful for the public to think certain things or get behind certain actions it can be good to suppress true information if that true information may possibly interfere with manipulations to get the public in line.  There was also the idea that the government and social media companies need to be on guard to protect sensitive segments of the population, probably mostly minority segments, about whom hateful, critical or perhaps even politically incorrect things might be said.

Again, since I want to stick with thinking of these things in terms of principles, I want to steer clear of the specific suppressions and reason for them that were advocated to be condoned. . .

 . . . However, we can note that with changes of fashion, and updates that have been urged for societal mores, some in attendance at the Montauk Club that evening hoped for regulating the social media companies into versions of political correctness that could ban lots of communications that used to be (so thoughtlessly?) commonplace in our very recent past.

Midway through the evening, there was a fellow expressing a number of these views about how and why speech should be regulated.  Maybe he was not for real?  Maybe he was a theatrical student trying out a performance on us?  After he expressed a number of these views, he said he was going to produce “a wail” for all the poor creatures who would be hurt and injured and maybe die, if they were not protected by a regulated internet.  Then he began to produce the wail.  Loud, it lasted for maybe the better part of a minute. He had good breath control. I thought of the fellow at the demonstration covering his ears.  Then our wailer abruptly picked up and left the meeting, leaving behind a scribbled manifesto of his beliefs.   

The strongest thing said in favor censorship during the evening was the idea that the internet has changed everything, that we are no longer the same people we were before the internet, that, now, with the internet, everything is out of control in a way that makes free speech threatening in a way that it has never been threatening before.  To me, rather than a brand new argument, this sounds like an age old argument, the age old argument that “free speech” is generally good, EXCEPT. . .  EXCEPT, EXCEPT– Except for this war, except for that emergency, except for fighting communism, etc.

And I am reminded who brought us the internet.  It came out of the DARPA and the military.  It may be that those who brought us the internet have always been ahead of the rest of us in many respects regarding its uses.  Surveillance is certainly one of them.

The internet has been the great disruptor.  And as is the case with a great many rapid disruptions, much as the example disaster capitalism often furnishes, the seeming chaos of abrupt change reliably gets seized upon and taken advantage of by the power elite who are always alert as to how to amplify their interests.

Is it possible that internet, or no internet, the real answers to what is right, wrong, or best for free speech are really still, basically the same as they’ve always been?. . That we are basically the same human beings we have always been . . .

. .  Or do we really suddenly have a world with which we can no longer cope?

Have I given you enough explanation for why I am wondering about how verboten topics seem to have multiplied?

I’ll give you another reason I am thinking about this. . .

. .  Someone senior up in the leadership of the church congregation to which I have long belonged disclosed to me recently that the leadership of the congregation has concluded that the congregation membership is `not very good at handling conflict.’  Therefore potentially conflict-inducing subjects, difficult topics, need to be avoided.  I won’t say who in the leadership told me this.  I won’t specify which congregation.  The latter is probably easy to look up anyway.  Does it matter?  I’ll wager this kind of assessment may be commonplace in  congregations these days. – Some of the thinking seems to be that this helps the congregation “grow” – in numbers.

I’ve never thought that coddling was religion’s role.  I’m extremely wary of religion dictating the answers . .    Still, I’ve always thought the work of religion is tackling tough questions to which we seek answers. “Seeking”— Did I use to think my own congregation had a good quotient of “seekers”?  Our church’s history is resplendent with notables who didn’t hew to conventionality and valued exploration and curiosity.

What does this conflict avoidance mean?  Does it mean that congregation members talking to each other about the wrong topics has to be avoided?  Indeed, maybe so– At least don’t facilitate such discussions.

Even a topic such as the social injustice of censorship and the suppression of free speech may need to be avoided. . . because of where it might lead?  So many social justice issues may have to be avoided, because they might be difficult; so let’s only discuss the few justice issues that everyone can safely agree about, which means perhaps those “issues” don’t really need to be thought about, or discussed much at all. . . . unless you are taking time out to pat yourself on the back.

It generally means don’t rock the boat for powerful interests.

And if discussion of issues that might induce conflict ought to be avoided by the congregants . . . if those exchanges of information and viewpoint amongst congregants can, in fact, be avoided. .

. .  Sermons can be delivered into the resulting void that more adroitly and expertly sidestep the awkward.

There can be soothing sermons that purport to discuss the meaning of life, morality, and/or good and evil, while skirting big issues profoundly affecting most all of us.  Sermons that can skip over our connections to many serious things going on in the world even as those things are life and death issues for the less fortunate.

The hole in what doesn’t get sermonized about might lead to a certain blandness.  Am I a crank to suggest it exalts moral flabbiness?  If we aren’t wrestling with the difficult, is it easier to not stumble in concluding that we are “Okay” moral beings?  MSNBC, to name just one network, similarly never upsets the apple cart for powerful interests– and it is also good at avoiding many significant topics while sending its audience away convinced that they are endowed with a certain righteousness.

I am getting too contentious and I digress too far.  The point is that I worry that as a general populace we are losing our ability to exchange ideas, to grow and learn by listening to each other.  That leaves the lane wide open for our heads to be filled by the noise of the self-serving, harmful nonsense the corporately owned media continually pumps out.  And the powers that be drive home the same messages of how we should shape out ideas via many other channels as well.

If the populace is infantilized into incapacity, then those in power have no problem paternalistically stepping in to tell us what to think.

Maybe part of the growth, potential adulthood involved in learning from one another, involves evolution where we might change our minds or develop thinking that’s more nuanced and complex?

`Changing one’s mind’?: I am not sure whether that is necessarily regarded as either a good or a bad thing these days. . I mean in terms of the off-limits lists.

. . . Recently, I had a long conversation at a wedding with a fellow guest who told that me that a certain prominent individual in the news these days was “crazy” and–  worst part– notoriously never changes his mind, no matter that facts.  When I walked into the Montauk Club’s room for Taibbi’s Town Hall, I found myself almost instantly involved with an individual, somebody there on the side of free speech, who told me that this exact same well known individual was “crazy” and not to be taken seriously, because we was “always changing his mind” so you could never know what that individual thinks.

Personal confession: While I may hope that my principles aren't wavering hypocritically, there are important issues where my thinking has changed in some major ways.

I am obviously not leaving you guessing: I am the side of conversing with people.  Yes, whether or not they agree with me.  The buttons I choose to wear announce my availability for such conversations. As you might have been able to easily tell from what I’ve written here, they lead me into a lot of great and very interesting conversations.

Are you impatient with views that disagree with your own?  Is it distressing when you get angry because others are disagreeing with you, or because others are angry with you because you disagree with them?  I have friends who are tired of the headwinds they encounter respecting what they think are clearly mass delusions.  They find themselves deciding to give up on talking to those who think differently.

It’s oversimplifying and far from the entire answer, but patience is a virtue.  And you don’t have to get angry even when someone is angry with you for disagreeing with them. . .  Ask people why they hold the opinions they hold!  They might surprise you with some interestingly valid answers.  Or they might surprise themselves realizing that they don’t really know exactly why they have decided to think what they told you they think.

Among others, I wear “Don’t Sell Our Libraries” buttons, which I’ve been regularly wearing for a long time.  The beauty of those buttons is that almost everybody agrees with those buttons—   It’s just that they often don’t know about the sale of New York City’s libraries.- Because that’s one more thing the corporate press avoids covering.

I’ve been wearing a “Your Government is Lying to You” button.  It can startle people, maybe generate a chuckle, maybe a nervous one reflecting some unease about its implications.  They might be unsettled about how to direct some possible anger.  Nevertheless, most people find they can’t disagree with that button.    

The buttons I choose are for getting into the conversations we are being trained not to have.

It seems to me that one of the best indicators of exactly what’s most important to talk about is what gets designating as off limits topics and what gets subjected to the most vigorous censorship.  There is, of course, censorship that's straight out and vanilla in nature.  There is also a greater range of what gets done to silence voices.  What gets done includes silencing journalists: We can algorithmically suppress them; we can fire people, deplatform them; we cut them off from collecting funds; we can even imprison them, in some cases murder them; we can target them for execution, sometimes the executions can involve significant numbers of journalists; and, most awful, their family members may be targeted too. . .

These are signals which should tell us to pay attention. . . and where to direct out attention.

I am not going to get specific about the buttons that I’ve been wearing that are most likely to provoke disagreement.  That’s again, for the purpose of keeping this abstract for a focus on principle, but those buttons present subjects that have been made controversial largely because the establishment can be so desperately energetic when trying to keep certain viewpoints down to a minority.

I will, nonetheless, specifically mention that I’ve been wearing “Peace” buttons.  (Brooklyn For Peace is a good source of them.)   One might hope “peace” wouldn’t be controversial, but recently, I’ve found it important to include more “Peace” buttons amongst those I’ve been wearing.  It’s odd, but “Peace” buttons are escalating into the most controversial of the conversation starting buttons one can wear.

People, no doubt, are often ready to think that “peace,” abstractly speaking, is a good thing.  At the same time they can fret that “peace” can be a problem when if you might be opposed this or that particular new war.  Why?  Because inevitably, our government promotes our current wars as necessary and good.  And, inevitably, it can take time for a lot of us to catch on our government’s latest lies.

We may sing about “peace,” during the holiday season, but please let us shun the idea of talking about particular wars that need to be ended to bring peace about.

I’ll end by reiterating the question I started with: Does it seem that our list of things we are not supposed to talk about is growing ever longer?

Hmm, if so, are we, through self-censorship, handing over the formulation and structuring of our narratives to others?

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Amy Goodman, of Democracy Now, And Rachel Maddow, of MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, In Talks About Merging Their Broadcasts

Amy Goodman left, Rachel Maddow right

It’s not like `continental drift’ although there is a `drift’ to be gotten, . . . and it is drift on a truly monumental scale.  People talk about `watching grass grow’ or ‘watching paint dry’ when they talk about things happening slowly so as to go unnoticed.  `A watched pot doesn’t boil,’ but when your tea kettle starts whistling, you know that something’s happened.
These are the words of Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman letting the cat out of the bag about her talks with Rachel Maddow about merging their shows based on the things they increasingly have more in common.  Goodman seems very happy to be the one giving the exclusive `cat out of the bag’- or is it `trial balloon’?- interview.

“Look,” says Goodman, “change is part of life.”  Goodman seems more relaxed than usual, as though allowing herself to wax philosophically this way is allowing her to speak her thoughts more truthfully in a liberating way.  She continues:
Yes, change is part of life.  It was when Rachel was doing Air America radio with Al Franken as a “left–wing,” albeit poorly funded, counter to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, that people got to know who she is.  That was then. [2004] Now she, like us, has regular headlines that track well with the lead you can get from the New York Times.  Rachel, us, and also pretty dependably the New York Times, we’re true blue behind the powerful narratives of the Democratic Party. When I say that those narratives are powerful, I don’t mean that they are inspiring or attuned to the populace, or to the directions for leadership our populace may yearn and hunger for, what I mean is the power of Democratic party coming from the corporations that the party aligns with and, of course, coming from Wall Street.  It’s those alignments that give the selective narratives of the party extraordinary force as they are deployed and can be insisted on.  And I am very happy about the whole identity politics thing.
If, with some migration of platforms, Democracy Now and the Maddow show are going to merge, the reason for their discussion of the possibility is the growing commonality of themes.

Goodman points out that the nation’s had an era where the awfulness of Donald Trump made it easy to find common ground, “I mean Donald Trump’s awfulness was so important, that you didn’t need to pay attention to really anything else.”  And, she points out there have been a lot of things tying into Donald Trump’s awfulness that were consequently easy to agree on: Russiagate and the way that Russians are nefariously interfering to make this country worse and make Trump more dangerous, January 6th and the way we have to stop insurrectionists from taking away our democracy, which we are realizing really needs to be revered (“January 6th sort of taught me that word `insurrectionist’ and got me thinking about it, before then I doubt I’d thought to know what it meant– did you know it’s right out of the constitution?- Though no law under it yet”- interjects Goodman parenthetically), the way we have to censor hate speech (including anything an insurrectionist or any of those election deniers might have to say, and then there’s need to regulate speech in our social media Town Squares so that people don’t get depressed by conversational downers.

Goodman sips her green tea and goes on: “Rachel is very much against hate speech,” she says, “she’s a firm counter the bad kind of hate speech we both deplore.”  Blowing on her tea, she continues:
We are also aligned by being both on the right side of those divisive cultural issues that the Trump presidency made even easier to checklist for future segment coverage.  Thank God Trump changed his position on abortion, thankfully 180 degrees, before taking on his role as a supremely obnoxious president, otherwise it could have been confusing!

We were also both perfectly aligned on the Covid narrative thing: "Wear a mask, wear two masks," we told our Democracy Now audience, "it’s an act of love.'  (We didn’t get to adding the eye visor thing, but thought about it.- Oh maybe we did)  While Rachel was beautifully firm and emphatic: "Now we know that the vaccines work well enough that the virus stops with every vaccinated person."!

The whole Covid thing, the crazy need for lock-downs meant there were a lot of fearful things, numbers and statistics to tumble out before the public in a stream; for a while Democracy Now even changed its mantra slogan from "the war and peace report? to the "quarantine report."  When it comes to history and wars waged, history, when it doesn’t repeat itself, at least rhymes.

But that Covid fear and what to do about it, that’s another thing where we both agreed about how important it was to be saying the right thing and make sure that people were not allowed to say the wrong thing– That Joe Rogan! Talk about people who need to be stopped in their tracks with a dose of good old healthy censorship and centrally managed social opprobrium- Imagine saying good things about the `horse paste’ Ivermectin,

 Mentioning Rogan and Ivermectin Goodman wrinkles her nose in disgust.

“We still have significant differences, Rachel’s show and mine”
says Goodman, “so I don’t know where that takes us.”

She mulls:
Rachel is more provincial, addressing herself more specifically to what riles Americans living locally in this country, more specifically, her kind of Americans.  Democracy Now has an increasingly worldwide audience and worldwide sensibility, for instance, Rachel hasn’t caught up to match me with things like my guttural pronunciations, like when I say“Afghanistan,” or introduce my co-host Nermeen Shaikh.  It just isn’t her style, and we can’t expect it.

But Democracy Now can’t leave its worldwide audience behind it.  If this thing is going to happen, we have to take that worldwide audience along with us in the merger.  We at Democracy Now, also spend more time feeling for the victims in this world, which is not exactly the way Rachel likes to keep the energy up, especially when those victims come from far-flung places in the world that Americans have rarely heard of.  When the time comes, we at Democracy Now are better positioned to do truly convincing ‘worthy victim’ stories.

Some things are going to be very problematic.  Democracy Now was originated out of, was incubated out of WBAI, out of the Pacific network of station.  We are still carried on that family of stations, still with a reasonably hefty listenership.  We’ve established ourselves and Pacifica has cast its lot reporting, with a fair amount of honesty, about the Israeli state’s vile and horrendous treatment of Palestinians.  That honesty, on our part and many other Pacifica carried programs, has been determinative in the loss of a certain appreciable amount of funding for Pacifica.  Unlike perhaps some other things, that’s something where we can’t now leave our audience behind by backtracking or denying our core DNA. . .

    . .  But you can imagine what a problem this would be for Rachel.  Even if our meld is only accomplished by doing back-to-back shows that could be a toxic proximity for her.  The solution, if the time comes, may be to take our cue from her.  She deep-sixes those kinds of stories and that kind of reporting.  So you also don’t hear anything about our U.S. Saudi Yemen war from her.— Out of sight is out of mind.  What we could do, and might do, is just move all of out Israel/Palestine reporting and coverage to our web edition special section.  There it would be invisible to the kind of audience that never looks for that kind of thing and justifiably still there for the kind of audience that still does.  You know we are all in our individual bubbles these days.  So you always have to remember to think in those terms.
It causes Goodman to sigh.
But merging these shows is meant to take us counter to that bubble thing.  Instead of isolating bubble thinking, we’ll have more people thinking the same things when we get our shows together.  But we can’t move too fast.  Our audience has to move with us.  We do polling and focus groups to make sure we don’t get too far out in front of them.  We are alert for feedback.  And, for instance, at Democracy Now we’ve recently had to go back and do some stories to illustrate that we are still anti-war and ant-US imperialism, like what’s expected of us from our past.   Like, for instance, with that particular segment of the audience that still listens to us on Pacifica stations, those we haven’t yet pulled away to listen to us just through the disintermediation of our multiple internet platforms, it can a bit jarring right now if our content is too different from other Pacifica shows.

We want to be on the same page with Rachel and crew about things like the Ukraine war
, [Goodman catches herself and doubles back]. .  The `Russian provoked’ Ukraine war, [she emphasizes], but our audience can get a little unnerved by the idea we are on the brink of possible nuclear annihilation of the world and wonder if we really are still sincerely for peace enough if we are to expect them to keep following us where we go. An easy way to offer reassurance, like we just did, is to use the 20th anniversary of the Iraq war, ahem, U.S. invasion of Iraq, and reiterate where we stood on that twenty years ago.  The past is a place where you can anchor the trust you hope to keep getting  in the future.  So people will keep following into whatever Heraclitian storms may toss us on the waves in that future.

Look, I believe that `in solidarity there is strength.’  For progressivism to win, we have to be rowing in the same direction.  When we marched into wars, the Democrats were once thought of as the anti-war party.  Now we have two war parties, but it’s clear that the Democrats are now taking the lead.  The Republicans have a few isolationists who are against our bringing democracy-enhancing regime change to other countries. . .  The name of our show is Democracy Now, something to remember, when we try to keep our bearings.
The interview can’t end without posing one obvious question: Why not PBS or NPR instead?  Goodman smiles, shaking her head as if disappointed with the quality or lack of perspicacity of such a question, even if it might be obligatory and expected as inevitable.  Goodman speaks slowly and deliberately:
Merging our audience with PBS or NPR wouldn’t be any kind of achievement.  PBS and NPR are already where Rachel and her show are, which is to say, aligned with The Washington Post and New York Times, but PBS and NPR are selling the audience the idea that they are the thinking man’s version and the cultured man’s of media consumption.  That pose already successfully siphons audience, say from Pacifica, when the audience is looking for better production values along not so obvious and time-consuming commercials that you get with `commercial’ broadcasts.  But sliding over there wouldn’t be an achievement.  Because it’s sort of contrary to their brand, PBS and NPR don’t fish for audience indignation, including the Red Team, Blue Team variety of indignation, the way that Rachel and I do,– not so overtly–  Rachel does it with her raised-to-the-sky eyebrow and cocked neck, while I put it in my voice.  I can do it with slight variations in my tone and I also pick words to drawl out more slowly.  Moreover, we at Democracy Now do subtle, not quite subliminal, editorializing with our interspersed music segments, something Rachel doesn’t do.  Bringing our audience to MSNBC with skillful drifting would be a much more real achievement.      
One last question to Goodman (but is it too rude?): And the true “achievement” to be aspired to might also be inextricably associated with handsome recompense?— Doesn’t Rachel Maddow get paid something like $30 million a year counting salary and regular bonuses?  Goodman simply smiles.

Democracy Now and The Rachel Maddow Show are not merging broadcasts just yet.  This April 1st interview with Goodman was just to preview how it’s being talked about.  Goodman was specific that if it happens it could be a year from now, say next April 1st, or two years from now on the April 1st after that.

Friday, April 1, 2022

Attaining A New Level of Global Nuclear Weapons Security, Weapons Will Be Purchased For Transfer Away From Belligerent Countries To New Private Peace Keeping Consortium

The Four Bien Guys Peace Project: Bezos, Zukerberg, Gates and Musk

“Blessed are the peacemakers”
is what the Bible’s New Testament tells us Jesus told his assembled flock in his Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:9): “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”  Blessed once were also the “Peacekeepers,” missiles made by Martin Marietta, the LGM-118 being the most modern ICBM in the United States Air Force  inventory (designed primarily for nuclear weapons delivery- one or more thermonuclear warheads, third-generation) for almost 20 years before it was retired in 2005 as a result of arms reduction treaties.

Once we had nuclear weapons called “Peacekeepers”; Now its time for all the nuclear weapons on our earth to all to be called the “Peacemakers,” because that’s what their new owners have decided they will all be renamed upon transfer of title.  And this will signify the purpose of a new plan being executed to attain a new maximum level of procured global nuclear weapons security.  Heretofore, nuclear weapons have all been very undependably held by various belligerent countries, holding those devices out of fear and hostility towards one another.  But this is an inherently dangerous situation and, as recent years have made clear, few things are as unstable as the governments of all the countries across the world, basically each and every one of them: Any madman can be elected to head almost any one of them.  (Let’s leave out the word “almost.”)

Moreover, there is another problem: Nuclear weapons like ICBMs fly through outer space.  As everyone knows, the space race and space exploration has been taken over by the likes of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, and their private companies who, for their purposes of being in outer space in the first place, want serenity and order in our starry skies.  Who wants a belligerent nation’s ICBM whizzing past their telecommunications satellite?  Or zooming within impact zones of their lower altitude hovering (LEO- “Low Earth Orbit”) “internet of all things” 5G tracking monitors?  

And things have gotten dangerously worse: The Outer Space Treaty of 1967 set outer space aside for peaceful purposes. For decades, it precluded any nation from deploying weapons in space or waging war there.  But, much to the consternation of other nations, including China and Russia, the United States walked away from the treaty even as Trump launched Space Force, a new branch of the U.S. military specifically to fight in outer space.

To people like Bezos and Musk, and to their friends who think like them, Bill Gates and Mark Zukerberg most specifically, the answer for the world was simple, basically more of the same that came with privatizing space flight: “Why share?”  If the heavens are to be privately theirs for all other purposes of regular space frontier dominance, why share any last lick of the heavens for the potential destructive interference of weapons flying through the stratosphere and beyond, maybe catastrophically even leaving behind the clutter of exploded debris that would be impossible to deal with?  “If the orbit of our planet is filled with a debris field,” says Musk, “it will be impenetrable and we will never be able to leave earth to go elsewhere as should be humanity’s destiny.”

The answer was not to put the nuclear arms industry out of business (potentially unending the world’s economies), but to expand and bring the weapons under private ownership.  For this purpose a new peace keeping or peace making consortium has been formed by a small group of four Big tech colossuses, Musk, Bezos, Gates and Zuckerberg. Into this private consortium will be conveyed all the world’s nuclear weapons.  These four men are four of the ten wealthiest men who just doubled their wealth during Covids’ two years.  As these four are taking the lead for the public’s benefit here, they are naming the consortium the Four-Bien Guys Project.  (“Bien” is French, a not too foreign word for “good.”)

“It’s a natural next step for private ownership,” says Bill Gates who has been privatizing the worldwide health delivery schema along with worldwide thought patterns about it, while buying up farmland to become the biggest owner of it in the United States.  Gates amplified:

Since governments are  increasingly less dependable, corporations are increasingly taking things into their own hands in other areas, privatization of intelligence agency work, private military forces, schools, etc.

    Nuclear weapons are just another subset of science, which, as you see with medicine, pharma, the private ownership of the internet and most of the electronic technology that serves us, plus all the patent joint-venturing investments of our universities, has all been privatized already.– The arc of history is long, but it bends toward privatization.  It bends toward neoliberalism.  It bends toward `liberalism’ actually-- I don’t know why we have to put that “neo” in before the word, except to assure conservatives that what we are talking about is actually compatible with, and essentially what they also believe in.
The four guys said that they will be calling in their chits with other oligarches around the world to make sure the plan happens with the necessary responsiveness from– not naming any names-  all their respective countries.  

Bezos and Zukerberg both say that they feel at ease with their assumption, via the consortium, of responsibilities that, before transfer, once had a military flavor.  Bezos pointed out that he built up the gigantism of his entire Amazon empire based on skillful and knowledgeable use of the internet and that his maternal grandfather and mentor, Lawrence Preston Gise was one of those who, at DARPA launched and set the internet in motion, plus, he said, he was now doing a lot of work with the CIA and also acquired and owns a newspaper that is one of the most important in the country for telling American what to think about USA’s military conflicts. Zukerberg noted that the nuclear weapons sharing under NATO was certainly a foremost means by which such weapons were deployed throughout the world and that he had a lot of experience and was very comfortable working with NATO’s Atlantic Council think tank to regulate Facebook sharing and news popularity and permissions on the platform.

The weapons will be paid for.  Title to the weapons will transfer to the consortium at the very outset, whereupon their renaming as “Peacemakers” will take place, but payments will be made over an extended period, which may or may not be keyed to the time frame during which the weapon’s incorporated isotopes are expected to remain radioactive.  A loan will be provided to the Four-Bien Project Consortium by the Fed.

The U.S. Space Force and all its employees will also be simultaneously transferred to the consortium.  Gates said, “we need them to feel secure in space and these days we can only depend on ourselves to make sure they get paid.”  Commanding the Space Force after transfer will be Comdr. Newt Rippley who has expressed assurance that experiences resulting from the privatizations will be good.

The various governments of the world have agreed to pay (or as the case may be, will be required to pay) to the consortium a caretaking fee. But, while the agreed upon and the to-be-specified amounts are more than enough to pay the loan, Gates is not sure that payments can always be expected to come in on time: “If governments were that dependable, we wouldn’t have to step into so many situations continually to take over.”  He says that taking care of nuclear materials is also very expensive and could take thousands of years.

Because humans lack longevity and are not exactly so perfect for the job, keeping the weapons will be turned over to robots and there is fanfare about this as an opportunity to unroll the most start-of-the-art AI, that will also apply to clear algorithms about how and when and what would apply if there is ever a question of whether any weapons needed to be used.  This is one reason Gates was solicited as a principal to participated in the consortium.  “This is really most desirable” says Bezos of the robots, “because, after all, who would want just a few oligarchs deciding what is best when it comes to matters that concern the fate of the entire world.– No, says Gates, we will be keeping ourselves out of these decisions.”

So “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the divine children of our gods.”  A memorandum of understanding to effect the plan is being signed today, April 1st, with a consummation date for full transfer specified as one year from today, also April 1st.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Government Covid Policies Are Doing A Great Job of Dividing The “Progressive” Left, Making It The “Anti-vaxers” vs. The “Faithful Pfizerite Fauci Followers.”

Maybe you’ve been noticing this too?: How vaccination mandates and government Covid policy, accompanied by barbs all over the place about “misinformation,” is doing a great job of dividing what we’ve considered the progressive left.  Now what we get is the so-called “Anti-vaxers” vs. the “Faithful Pfizerite Fauci Followers,” even though most who are “anti-mandate” or even who have questions about these particular (EUA- “Emergency Use Authorization”) vaccines aren’t exactly always 100% “anti-vax,” and even though the “Fauci Followers” of the left, however faithful they are at the moment, usually distrust Big Pharma and official government information.  Whew!

Why is the left always so good at getting divided and conquered?  Or maybe it’s just that there are people out there who are more intent on seeing that kind of division get done to the left than to any other group!  Basically, if you’re paying attention, dividing and conquering the public is a long-standing tradition in this country.  Those who have an interest in doing so can best be described as the power elite.  Oh yes, and if you want to know where the power is, money is pretty measure of where it resides.

The potent presence of this new fracturing force (is there no end to Covid’s ills?) really hit home for me when I heard about how government policy over mandates is probably going to break up New York State’s Green Party this year, perhaps pretty much wipe it out of existence- We’ll see. Will that “third” party fade so entirely in New York so as to become just a ghostly relic of an alternative to the corporate duopoly that people once held significant hope for?  

But then, after thinking about the Green Party, I realized that we are seeing this fracturing in various ways all over what has been traditionally been considered the progressive left.  Did you think that the way that people were holing up and sequestering during Covid was anti-social enough?; well now people are walking away from age-old relationships over this.  In some cases, it’s like they don’t even recognize the very basic principles that once steadfastly connected them.

What, no possibility for a united middle ground here if the two sides were dialoguing?

Maybe not.  If not, the issues of government handling of Covid and the corporate media blasting those polices non-stop into the culture are doing a truly superb job of weakening and annihilating coalitions that were already comparatively weak, poorly populated, and ineffective in trying to deal with the pervasive corporatism dominating society.

I could observe that between these two sides, one side might be a little more open minded and have a better, more tolerant understanding of the other’s point of view and its origins, while saying, conversely, that other side may be more prone to shutting down dialogue and information exchange, and it may be a side much more prone to argue for or to demand censorship and to advocate for a totalitarian treatment of others.  One side in this debate is anti-authoritarian, the other is not. . .  With the split, both sides are going to try to claim the mantel of “true left,” “true progressive” thinking.–

– One of the sides in this split will claim that mantel by saying that it is anti-social for those on the other side to “downplay” the menace of Covid by questioning whether the public’s fear is proportional to the illness's actual threat, and anti-social if those on the other side “gullibly” wonder if, in fact, there might be measures and treatments going unadvertised and unpromoted that could ward off illness, fortify healthy resistance and that could treat Covid in ways that diminish the terribleness of what we've been worrying about 24/7 non-stop– (Shouldn't we rest assured that the health industry has always acted in the best interests of the public?)  That side will think that those who make arguments for personal freedoms or who venture to explore ideas that might diminish the perceived peril of Covid and the prescribed vigilance it certainly requires are selfish violators of the Star Trek principle of needed self-sacrifice we heard enunciated in that once climactic exchange between Kirk and Spock: “It is logical. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, . . . or the one.”

While the left further fractures into the splintered shards of increasingly small, self-contained, self- referential bubbles (as is the problem with the country in general). . .  (Sorry that’s not an internally consistent metaphor) . . . . Something else interesting is happening. . .

Anti-authoritarian sentiment and a belief in personal freedoms is uniting one side of this split left with people on the right, with libertarians, with independents, definitely with lots of varieties of anti-corporatists, even with people across the spectrum who may consider themselves to have no basic political philosophy, only perhaps to have pragmatic instincts about things they feel are askew.  Maybe, like Occupy Wall Street and The Tea Party, who concurred on this, they are against what they view as the corruption and crony capitalism that occurs when corporations capture the government.

Is the broad spectrum uniting of all these elements in what may be termed the “Medical Freedom Movement” frightening to those in power?  It’s suggested that it is and that an example of the growth of these new alliances that could be troubling to them was the recent anti-mandate rally in January in Washington D.C..  The anti-mandate event in D.C. was just days after another rally by the D.C. mall’s monuments.  The earlier event was a “March for Life” anti-abortion rally, greatly diminished in attendance from prior years.  That rally from several days before, made the front page of the New York Times above the fold.  The anti-mandate event at the Lincoln Memorial did not get such conspicuous coverage by the Times.

Time Magazine, not downplaying or disparaging the anti-mandate rally the same way the Times did, choose to admonish and forebodingly scold that this coming together of folk of different political stripes under an anti-mandate banner represented something in the nature of Svengali-like hypnotism.  Their January 26 headline was: How the Anti-Vax Movement Is Taking Over the Right.”  I don’t know what the photo they used to underscore their headline was actually intended to illustrate: Right-wingers being taken over, or the “anti-vaxxers” who are taking over the right. . .

.. .  I feel that it is usually destructive to pigeonhole people, but, for the sake of de-pigeonholing those featured in the photo Time chose, I can assure you that the group depicted, including the woman putting her hands together in a prayer clasp, were a group of non-corporatist, left-of-democratic-party-mainstream Democrats (or at least recent Democrats), including, if you look, one who wore a big “Black Lives Matters” button.  If you know what I look like, you’ll know why I can speak with authority on that subject.

This coming together of people from different walks of political life could have long-range significance; not just on this single issue, but only multiple issues of utmost concern.  As I have written about before, there is a long list issues of foremost concern to Americans that supermajorities merging both left and right agree on, more than a score.  While those are things the vast majority of Americans want and that we, as a country, could easily have, the political establishment is not willing to provide them. Collusively, the corporate media downplays them all and does its best to instead divide us with Red Team/Blue Team squabbles about things that are generally far less important.

I’ve also written about how we have to get away from the “Red Team/Blue Team” divisions, since both the Republican and the Democrat parties are controlled by corporatist money and interests; viewed with the slightest bit of perspective, the two parties can be seen to work more like a tag team pursuing the same goals than anything else. 

I wrote about how we need a new political “color.”  Unfortunately, “purple” has already been grabbed by the “Purple Project,” which while purporting to be a populist styled erasure of Red/Blue differences, is actually just more top-down corporatism for those realizing that the “Red Team/Blue Team” stuff is total mishegoss.  I wrote then that “green” with its connotations of environmentalism wasn’t the best choice because it was already taken by the Green Party. Now if the Green Party is one more of those groups going to further fracture its pursuit of principles in the face of the Covid policies coming from government and Big Pharma, that just confirms the need for a new color for new emerging alliances.

PS: Here is the Monday, December 13, 2021 statement of the National Black Caucus of the Green Party, We Say No To Mandates,” that explains the political stance and direction they are taking.  I am unaware that the Greens in New York State on the other side of this split have articulated their position or the ways in which they disagree and can’t go along with what the Black Caucus expressed here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Upward Transfer of Wealth Alert! Upward Transfer of Power Alert! Look What Just Doubled! Enough To Make Everyone Sick!

Stories from The Guardian and Grayzone

There are different variations to the story, but almost everyone has heard one version of it or another.  A king or raja offers a reward to someone who has done him a favor, or won a bet, or game of chess.  Maybe the king offers anything that they might ask, even up to half his realm.  The offer is declined, seemingly modestly, with a request for just a grain of rice (or a grain of wheat) placed on the square of a chess board, two grains on the next, four on the next, etc.  Or the doubling of the amount is to occur daily for 30 days.  The point is the same: With a simple doubling the promise of the doubled grains far exceeds everything the king of raja has to give.

Look what just doubled!– The wealth of the world’s richest 10 men doubled since the start of the 2-year pandemic (as 160 million more people were pushed into poverty). That’s according to Oxfam in a just released report “Inequality Kills.”

The ten wealthiest men in the world have collectively singed a letter of thanks to the Corona Covid-19 virus— Just kidding, but I leave it to others to figure out exactly how the response to the pandemic around the world has helped bulk up the wealth of the wealthiest. One of the men, heavily invested in pharmaceuticals, is a poster boy for recommended virus response: Bill Gates.  It’s also obvious why Jeff Bezos made money on the pandemic.  And Mark Zuckerberg’s role in what information flows about our tactics responding to the virus is obvious.

The ten wealthiest men in the world are:

    1.    Elon Musk
    2.    Jeff Bezos
    3.    Bernard Arnault & family
    4.    Bill Gates
    5.    Larry Ellison
    6.    Larry Page
    7.    Sergey Brin
    8.    Mark Zuckerberg
    9.    Steve Ballmer
    10.    Warren Buffett

Use the link if you want to get specifics about their windfalls.

Important to recognize that, along with that upward transfer of wealth goes a more or less equivalent upward transfer of power.  Wealth is power.  The question is often asked, beyond a certain point where wealth takes care of your every need, why want or pursue more?  What good does it do you?  One answer is that what is being pursued is really just more power.

It’s a lot of power.  Remember that doubling the grains of rice exercise?