Article 43


Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Take This Job And Shove It

image: wind up workers

[L]ivery car driver Douglas Schifter killed himself outside the gates of City Hall, after writing in a suicide note posted to Facebook, “I will not be a slave working for chump change. I would rather be dead.”
- Democracy Now, March 22, 2018

(American economics is so badly wrong that it says absurd, bizarre, hilarious things like: the economy’s booming!! at the precise moment that life expectancy is cratering, suicide and depression are skyrocketing, young people can’t afford to start families, old people can’t afford to retire, and average incomes have barely budged for half a century. LOL So when people living shorter, unhappier, grimmer, poorer lives, to the point that they kill themselves in despair, have become a “booming economy,” then, my friends, a theory of dunces has replaced reality with a grotesque and backwards illusion. The earth isn’t flat - though American economics would like us all to believe it is, in a weirdly Soviet twist.)
- Looking to 2019

I am single, 64, getting Social Security and working whatever jobs I can find that pay the bills. I’m finally in a job I like now, but it has taken years to get to this place. During those years, I worked in factories, in retail and at a gas station, and I did home care. You name it, and I’ve done it. I’m tired of job hopping to survive.
- Anita

Most of the women (and men) I worked with who suffered a similar fate never seemed to quite get back to where they were even though they worked as hard as I did and even in the booming tech market. And I pretty much expect every day that this could happen to me again, no matter how hard I work or how many points I put on the board. The worst part is the isolation. This is the first time I have ever let on how bad it was (is), and it still feels extremely risky to do so in a valley rife with swagger.

This happened to me in my 40s, and it took me a good 10 years to get back to a normal wage. It took periods of working three jobs at crummy wages and doing whatever I had to do to keep going. The truth is, your friends don’t notice the struggle, because they fear it will happen to them. Decide who your genuine friends are, and come clean to them. If nothing else, it will help to talk about it and frees you up from pretending. This is more widespread than most people think.
- Linda

And exhorting us to simply save more without telling us how to do it doesn’t help us either. I went with my sister to one of those financial-planning seminars and had to leave the room a few times because I was so upset by what I was hearing. It was just so sobering. I have no savings. The planner kept talking about putting 30 percent of your assets into this or that thing. Well, 30 percent of zero is zero. 
- Chris
- Boomers Burned By Recession Part 8


I can understand where all these people are coming from.  LOOKING BACK at my own fall from happy middle-class American, to long-term unemployed/underemployed poor - the way I look at cheap low-wage temp jobs changed dramatically.

Before LOOSING HOPE OF LIVING OUT OLD AGE with a little peace and dignity, I’d DO ANYTHING TO MAKE A FEW BUCKS, which meant taking short-term minimum wage temp jobs, even if for one night sweeping floors for the janitor that called in sick that day - and come home with a check for $20.


Slavery in the U.S. may be illegal - but these crappy temp jobs that pay near nothing seem pretty close.

I guess that’s the PROCESS of middle-class turned POOR.  Kind of like the STAGES OF GRIEF. It starts with a sort of denial that translates to HOPE, moves through resentment (anger) of DEAD-END, low-pay jobs that wears you out while spiraling down a financial hole, and ends in ACCEPTANCE meaning SUICIDE, or living in POVERTY.

I’m guessing some BOOMERS that got the same BAD LUCK as me - FEEL THE SAME.



The Silent Exodus Nobody Sees: Leaving Work Forever
The “take this job and shove it” exodus is silently gathering momentum.

By Charles Hugh Smith
Of Two Minds
September 23, 2020

The exodus out of cities is getting a lot of attention, but the exodus that will unravel our economic and social orders is getting zero attention: the exodus from work. Like the exodus from troubled urban cores, the exodus from work has long-term, complex causes that the pandemic has accelerated.

These are the core drivers of the exodus from work.

1. Labor’s share of the economy has been in multi-decade decline. It’s easy to blame globalization and/or automation--and it’s true that the decline in labor’s share accelerated from 2000 on. But this trend began around 1970, long before China joined the World Trade Organization and the advent of “software eating the world.”

image: fred wage decline over the last 50 years

2. While it’s convenient for those reaping the big gains to blame globalization and/or automation, the real driver was financialization - the neoliberal move to deregulate finance so it could turn everything into an exploitable “market” that could be made to serve one master: shareholder value, the innocuous-sounding code-phrase for anything goes and winner takes most--if you’re rich.

image: fred inequality by income last 40 years

Shareholder value was the super-wealthy’s self-serving justification for unlimited greed as corporations went from being enterprises serving communities, the national interest, employees, customers and shareholders to financialization machines whose sole purpose was enriching insiders via loading the company with debt to pay huge bonuses to top managers, stock buybacks funded by debt, the abandonment of trustworthy accounting principles and so on.

Financialization and the deification of shareholder value sluiced all the gains into the hands of the few at the top at the expense of the many. As the chart below indicates, the top 0.1% enjoyed income gains of around 350% since 1979 while the bottom 90% barely topped 20%--a number that would be sharply negative if real-world inflation were included.

Simply put, the bottom 90%--wage-earners--lost ground over the past four decades of financialization while the wealthy winners of financialization became super-wealthy. The rewards of labor/work have diminished to an extraordinary degree for the bottom 90%, and even the 91% - 99% bracket has found their labor has mostly served to enrich those above them.

These trends will drive both the top wage-earners and the bottom wage earners out of the workforce. The managerial class that keeps the whole machine glued together can either retire or use their human and financial capital to find other less stressful ways to make a living and downsize their expenses to match their reduced income.

Some will be voluntary, many will be involuntary, but the results will be the same: a mass exodus of hard-to-replace skilled workers. This is what I’m calling the take this job and shove it exodus.

Once the Federal Reserve starts sending “free money” directly to households, many at the bottom of the pay scale will realize they too can take this job and shove it.

In Unprecedented Monetary Overhaul, The Fed Is Preparing To Deposit “Digital Dollars” Directly To “Each American” (Zero Hedge)

‘I cry before work’: US essential workers burned out amid pandemic Essential workers reported stress caused by increased workloads, understaffing, fears over Covid and struggles in enforcing social distancing. (The Guardian)

What few well-paid apologists seem to realize is that to equal the purchasing power of the minimum wage I earned in 1970 ($1.65/hour), the minimum wage would have to be close to $20/hour now. The absurdly under-reported rate of official inflation (the Consumer Price Index) claims that a minimum wage of $12/hour now equals the purchasing power of $1.65/hour in 1970, but since I’ve kept records of all expenses I can report that this is totally false.

Wages’ share of the economy has been in a relentless 50-year slide. The entire machinery of inflation calculation has been driven by the desperate need to mask the true collapse of the purchasing power of wages.

Once the workforce awakens to this, the silent exodus out of the workforce will gather into a flood tide. Permanent unemployment payments, Universal Basic Income (UBI), free Fed money--regardless of the program or name, these will enable a mass exodus of those at the bottom of the workforce pay scale while burnout will also decimate the ranks of essential managerial / skilled workers.

It’s payback time, people. Hey, Financial Aristocracy, clean your own floors and slaughter your own meat. Hey, corrupt politicos and apparatchiks, wipe your own tables and watch your own brats. The take this job and shove it exodus is silently gathering momentum.

The Protected Class of pundits, technocrats, flunkies, toadies and enforcers believes the take this job and shove it exodus is “impossible”, just as everyone believed the Titanic was unsinkable. Just as the Titanic sinking went from “impossible” to inevitable, so will the take this job and shove it exodus move from “impossible” to inevitable.


Posted by Elvis on 10/07/20 •
Section Dying America • Section Workplace
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Thursday, October 01, 2020

NWO - Covid-19 PsyOp

image: global reset

Denis Rancourt, PhD, has published over 100 peer-reviewed STUDIES in his career, but ResearchGate choose to censor and remove this paper because it didn’t fit the narrative of the Great Panic of 2020 over COVID-19. Such censorship proves the existence of an alternative agenda.
- A Review Of Science Relevant To COVID-19 Social Policy And Why Face Masks Don’t Work

Implementation of the current draconian measures that are so extremely restrict fundamental rights can only be justified if there is reason to fear that a truly, exceptionally dangerous virus is threatening us. Do any scientifically sound data exist to support this contention for COVID-19? I assert that the answer is simply, no.
- Renowned Microbiology Specialist On Why He Believes Coronavirus Measures Are “Draconian”

Humanity stands at a defining moment in history. We are confronted with a perpetuation of disparities between and within nations, a worsening of poverty, hunger, ill health and illiteracy, and the continuing deterioration of the ecosystems on which we depend for our well - being. However, integration of environment and development concerns and greater attention to them will lead to the fulfilment of basic needs, improved living standards for all, better protected and managed ecosystems and a safer, more prosperous future. No nation can achieve this on its own; but together we can - in a global partnership for sustainable development.
- United Nations Agenda 21

Under the order envisioned by the Great Reset, the advancement of technology is not meant to serve the improvement of the conditions of the people but to submit the individual to the tyranny of a technocratic state. “The experts know better” is the justification.
- NWO - The Great Reset

Demonstrating the Hegelian Dialectic Applied to Covid-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

Jerrmiah Project
April 2020

I don’t want to downplay the potential seriousness of the SARS-CoV-2 COVID19 PANDEMIC. It may be real and people are presumably dying from the infection.  There is presently no known cure.

But, it’s also important to keep it in perspective.

At least 98 percent of those who catch COVID-19 make a full recovery.

There are many examples of PANDEMICS IN THE PAST that were far more deadly than Covid-19 coronavirus.  There are many examples of medical issues and disease that are killing far more people today.

Abortions account for 3,000 babies killed every day in America.
Heart disease kills 647,457 every year
Cancer: 599,108
Medical errors: 250,000
Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
Alzheimers disease: 121,404
Diabetes: 83,564
Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672

At the time of this writing, JOHN HOPKINS CSSE REPORTS there have been 193,705 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S., although it appears these death numbers have been highly inflated and over-hyped through re-defining death caused by Covid to include deaths by just about any other cause when SARS-CoV-2 is also present. The CDC announced in August that only 6% of those deaths were directly attributable to Covid-19, while The other 94 percent had, on average, 2.6 additional conditions or “causes per death,” the CDC REPORT said in its section headed Comorbidities.

EDITOR’S NOTE: In cases where a definite diagnosis of COVID19 cannot be made, but it is suspected or likely (e.g., the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty), it is acceptable to report COVID֖19 on a death certificate as “probable” or “presumed.”

it is acceptable to report COVID19 on a death certificate without this confirmation if the circumstances are compelling within a reasonable degree of certainty.

In the first 3 months of the US coronavirus epidemic, the number of excess deaths in the United States was 122,300, 28% higher than the reported number of COVID-19 deaths, according to an observational study published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.

- US HHS Documentto Doctors on How to Certify COVID-19

So, why have the governments around the world taken steps to lock down their societies and economies?  Why is there so much fear that leaves many paralyzed in a corner?  Are we willing to sacrifice our liberties, our way of life, on the altar of a health crisis that carries a 2 percent risk of death? Que bono? (to whom is it a benefit?)

While the virus is dangerous, I’m afraid what we have to fear more than the virus itself is the response to the virus. We’ve had much larger crisis in the past that never triggered the sorts of reactions going on in our society today.  Businesses closed down, events cancelled, schools closed, groups prohibited, and people instructed to “shelter in place.” I want to believe President Trump who promised the cure would not be worse than the disease, but I don’t see that in reality.  My question is, does the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection equal the response of government and society? 

What’s really going on here?

video: Making Sense of the Coronavirus Data

Over the weeks and months I’ve been following this Covid-19 PlanDemic it has become abundantly clear the American public and indeed citizens across the globe are being played. The truth is not being told and instead we are being subjected to an onslaught of Hollywood style theatrics programming designed to modify our behaviors and relinquish more of our rights to the ever increasing big brother nanny government.

New York Governor Cuomo and California Governor Gavin Newsom seem to out-perform the rest of the crisis actors with their daily reality TV shows.  Both reading polished scripts from teleprompters along with colorful multi-media graphics go on and on about how they’re here to help, while telling us were “non-essential” and should stay home. Newsom’s body language and sheepish grin is perhaps most annoying to me.  Other governors around the country with smaller media budgets sometimes try to compete for the best show in town, but usually come up short. What they do all pretty consistently do is parrot the fearmongering talking points and phrases written by the Whitehouse Coronavirus Task Force, the CDC, and WHO. It’s mostly all a big show with Cuomo and Newsom each vying for the Coronavirus Crisis Award.  Neither of these men have your health interests in mind, they only seek money and power for themselves.  It’s sickening to me to watch that endless stream of PROPGANDA, and it should be categorically rejected.

video:Unmasking The Science You Arent Hearing On TV | COVID-19 Facts from the Frontline

I believe this whole Covid-19 pandemic crisis may actually be a beta-test of the global government’s gauging the adaptive capacity (social compliance) of government’s “guidance” to its citizens.  In other words, the capacity at different levels of society to cope with change and adapt effectively. They are attempting to answer the question of how far they can push their populations and how many rights people will voluntarily give up before the masses rise in opposition.

Technocrats like KLAUS SCHWAB OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM BOASTS “one silver lining of the pandemic is that it has shown how quickly we can make radical changes to our lifestyles. Almost instantly, the crisis forced businesses and individuals to abandon practices long claimed to be essential, from frequent air travel to working in an office. Likewise, populations have overwhelmingly shown a willingness to make sacrifices for the sake of health-care and other essential workers and vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.”

The REPORT FROM IRON MOUNTAIN is a book published in 1967 details the analyses of a government panel which concludes that war, or a credible substitute for war, is necessary if governments are to maintain power. It is a blueprint for how oppressive governments can keep their citizens psychologically incapable of rebelling. Today, we have the Trump declared war on an “invisible enemy” and the country has been put on a wartime footing. The report states, “A viable political substitute for war must posit a generalized external menace to each society of a nature and degree sufficient to require the organization and acceptance of political authority.”

So far, there have been a number of measures temporarily implemented, only time will tell if they extend beyond the COVID-19 pandemic (assuming the pandemic does end). While its too soon to tell what the ultimate outcome of this coronavirus scare will bring, there seems a consensus that when we emerge from this crisis, the world will not be the same as it was six months ago.

What will the new normal look like?

video:BIG GOVERNMENT Using Coronavirus Pandemic to Secure More CONTROL

I dont believe this pandemic is happening in a vacuum and I don’t believe its just a random novel (new) virus striking the world the first time.  Coronaviruses have been with us since the 1960s. If you look below the surface of the mainstream propaganda and deeper into the current crisis, I believe you’ll find there is an ulterior agenda working here.

It appears the 9/11 crisis may have morphed into the Covid-19 crisis.

Like the post 9/11 environment with all its new laws and regulations controlling populations, Covid-19 is leveraging those events even further to advance their agenda.  After President Trump crushed the enemy, the terrorists have now been morphed from ISIS to YOU the asymptomatic carrier of Covid-19.  You are declared “unessential.” You are told to stay at home.  You are being required to quarantine even when you’re healthy. You are told not to gather with your friends or go to church.  You are being prevented from freely traveling. You are required to wear a mask and social distance from others because you or they may be infected with the invisible enemy.

Behind the scenes, and sometimes right in our faces, were witnessing those manipulating this crisis to bring about their vision of a NEW WORLD ORDER system to totally control and dominate the world’s population.

video:COVID-911: From Homeland Security to Biosecurity

James Corbett points out in his article, Coronavirus: The “Cures Will Be Worse Than the Disease,” a bioweapon attack (real or manmade, false flag or otherwise) is the perfect cover for a slew of agenda items on the globalist checklist. And the more the population panics, the more they play into the globalists hands.

I believe we are now witnessing the first two steps of the HEGELIAN DIALECTEC in the hands of the NEW WORLD ORDER.

Problem - What appears to be a man-made virus is intentionally or unintentionally released into the environment.

Reaction - People are sickened and died across the globe while they look to their government public health systems to provide a cure or stop to the pandemic.  I believe we may soon begin seeing civil unrest and citizens will begin demanding from their governments, safety.

but what might be 3) the Solution?

As the SARS-CoV-2 crisis continues to unfold, it would appear there are actually embedded Hegelian Dialectic sequences occurring within others. Its not just one psyop taking place but multiple complex changes in various parts of society AND throughout the world simultaneously.

Governments around the world has an incentive to make this crisis seem as bad as possible in order to accrue as much power for the ruling Oligarchs as possible.

There are a number of solutions being suggested and the ultimate result is yet to be determined.

For example, within the larger coronavirus pandemic is the..  Global Financial Crisis

Global Reset

PROBLEM: Global financial crisis caused by governments locking down their economies.

REACTION: Unemployed and isolated people demand help from their governments.

SOLUTIONA “GREAT RESET” OF CAPITALISM that will revamp all aspects of our societies and economies.

Increasingly sovereign governments are isolating themselves, closing their borders and restricting travel. Could this possibly lead to increasing tensions and world war? Some have suggested SARS-CoV-2 has been weaponized by Communist China and used as a bio-weapon to weaken and collapse the world economy before launching an invasion.  The U.S. has certainly flexed its military muscle in enhanced COUNTER-NARCOTICS OPERATIONS.

Another Hegelian Dialectic within the larger coronavirus pandemic is the
Assault on Liberty and the Constitution

PROBLEM: Unprecedented sickness and death fearmongering caused by SARS-CoV-2.

REACTION: Frightened people cower as they cry out for their governments to protect them from the deadly disease.

SOLUTION: Governments suspend liberties and the U.S. Constitution to provide citizens a sense of safety in exchange for liberty.

As levels of pandemic hysteria continue to set new highs, America and countries around the world are turned into a virtual police state.  DAVE HODGES WRITES, œAmericas entire governmental structure is and will soon be under attack in ways that are irreversible. The very worst of Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Pol Pot and the likes of Castro are being installed in the so-called democracies around the world under the guise of COVID-19. Everything from freedom of speech, to warrant-less and permanent detention, to forfeiture of property, to the right to travel, to earn a living to put food on oneҒs own table, to decide what goes into ones own body, the elimination of the right to worship Christ without severe restrictions which fundamentally eliminates freedom of religion, etc.

The Power of Fear

Individuals looking to take advantage of, and manipulate others, have long realized the power of fear.  When one is gripped by fear of a threat, real or imagined, their rational and higher cognitive capacities shut down, making them easily manipulable by anyone that promises safety from the threat.

Whenever someone is trying to scare you they are trying to control you.

Like some futuristic science fiction movie, numerous jurisdictions around the country are now requiring citizens to wear face masks when in public, despite there is no scientific evidence that cloth face masks are effective.  Airlines are now requiring all passengers to wear face masks.  Many private businesses are requiring face masks for their employees and customers.

U.S. SURGEON GENERAL DR. JEROME ADAMS said that “the data doesn’t show” that wearing masks in public will help people during the coronavirus pandemic.  “What the World Health Organization [WHO] and the CDC [The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] have reaffirmed in the last few days is that they do not recommend the general public wear masks.” A month later, the CDC seemed to reverse its guidance on nonmedical masks, urging the general population to wear them as a ”VOLUNTARY PUBLIC HEALTH MEASURE.”

Dr. Adams not only suggests people to not wear masks to prevent the coronavirus, but warns that you actually might increase your risk of infection if facemasks are not worn properly.  “You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider,” Adams said.  “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.” Washing your hands, staying home when sick and other “everyday preventive actions are the best protections,” he said.

“If the public wear face masks, they run the risk of infecting themselves with flu because every time you touch an infected surface and then you touch the mask, which is on your face, you increase the chances of infecting yourself. Most people do not know how to wear the mask properly and not everybody is aware of it,” said Dr Hend Al Awadhi, head of health promotion and education section at the Dubai Health Authority’s Public Health Protection Department. Instead of wearing a face mask, Dr Al Awadhi said that it is better to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds and avoid close contact with anyone showing the symptoms.
Over 30 countries have made masks compulsory in public, including Germany, Austria and Poland. This is despite the science saying masks do little to protect wearers, and only might prevent them from infecting other people.

Some are enforcing this nonsense in many places by a fine or arrest if youre not wearing your face mask where you should be. New York Governor Cuomo went as far as attempting to shame citizens into wearing masks saying people who refuse to wear a face mask are being ғdisrespectful to the nurses, the doctors, the people who have been frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Excuse me, Mr. Cuomo, but you are being disrespectful to the human race treating us all like children.

However, despite the unnerving situation we find ourselves in, there is an antidote to the power of propaganda and fear mongering: that being, knowledge.

Plato rightly stated that ԓignorance is the root of misfortune, and as long as we remain ignorant of the fact that all too often those who claim to protect us from fear are actually manipulating our fears for their own benefit, then we will be contributing to the misfortune of the world through our ignorant compliance.

How many of us get our knowledge about the coronavirus pandemic from the daily newscast?  DonԒt allow yourself to just accept whatever youre told. Do your own research.  Examine your own thoughts. DonҒt limit yourself to the parameters they set for what is acceptable to think or look into or to FEAR.  Its imperative that if you are going to acquire knowledge, youҒve got to shut off those mass media sources of propaganda.  Youre being bombarded repeatedly with fearmongering designed to control you.  Repetition is a well-known and prevalent propaganda technique used to solidify falsehoods and perpetuate fear in the public consciousness. By repeating specific phrases (flatten the curve) and warnings (infecting others), and displaying particular symbols and images (people wearing face masks) over and over through various mediums, those in power are able to paralyze entire populations with a fear psychosis.

video: Fear and Social Control

What is the real agenda of requiring everyone to wear masks?

In the article, WEAR YOUR FACE MSK AND SAVE YOUR CO2 BREATH , Patrick Wood points to a peer reviewed paper on the National Institute of Healths website ( pointing in the right direction. THE SURGICAL MASK IS A BAD FIT FOR RISK REDUCTION was written in 2016 by Dr. Shane Neilson, MD. He notes that ѓWearing a mask reinforces fear and that ԓThis fear surfaces in public policy. He concludes:

The problem of affect in political terms is a contagious one: fear spreads among the public, leading to intensification of risk management.

Thus, the government’s goal to encourage the continued use of facial masks is to reinforce fear so that their own risk management programs can be intensified.

Sustainable Development, aka TECHNOCRACY, is the endgame of the global elite who want control over all resources on earth, including people. The Covid-19 pandemic, or what Patrick Woods calls the “Great Panic of 2020” has been weaponized to create the biggest economic coup in the history of the world.  When Technocracy prevails, elected politicians of all stripes will be summarily dismissed and engineers and scientists will run the world directly. For citizens, this is the essence of scientific dictatorship: there is no need for representative government because systems will be run autonomously via algorithm. The threat of killing capitalism and free enterprise is very real and most definitely existential to America as we have known it for over 200 years.

How much more are we going to allow this overturning of our liberties to go?  Where do you draw your line in the sand?

Data Driven Science

You hear it everywhere, politicians and globalist experts are parroting that their actions are data driven and based on science the same bogus fear-based theoretical scientific modeling methods used to show global annihilation caused by CLIMATE CHANGE. Not even the top scientists can agree on what is real science.

These so-called experts are paraded before the American people in a daily onslaught of deep state propaganda. The president’s advisers, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, have been exposed as frauds and should not be allowed to continue dictating policy.  They convinced the president to make bad decisions based on faulty science and speculative computer models stocked with false assumptions. They are up to their necks in conflicts of interest, mostly having to do with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and its many global partners pushing POPULATION CONTROL through the use of mandatory vaccines and a global ID system that can be used for tracking individual Americans. And, these are the people telling the public over and over again they have a solution. No pre-existing agenda here, right?

2.2 Million Dead if No Social Distancing

Governments are using their sham prediction models to convince the public the unconstitutional social distancing measures are necessary to “flatten the curve” or slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2. While it may sound reasonable, theres NO CONSLUSIVE EVIDENCE WHATSOEVER THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING REDUCES THE SPREAD OF THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS.  Never mind their theory cannot be proven, we should still listen to these experts and permit authoritarian government officials to enforce extreme social distancing measures.

Most of what were witnessing in this Great Panic of 2020 is rooted in the work of Professor Neil Ferguson and his employer IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON. Ferguson is a statistician who studied math and physics, but has no medical training whatsoever. When Ferguson released his model that predicted a worst-case estimate of 510,000 deaths in the UK, and 2.2 million deaths in the US, the world stood up.  Both heads of government, Trump and Johnson, radically changed course. Instead of allowing people to go about their lives and develop natural immunity, they took the lockdown approach, devastating their economies.

What has Neil Ferguson’s track record been in predicting pandemic outcomes?

· Ferguson was responsible for excessive animal culling during the 2001 Foot and Mouth [actually, Mad Cow disease] outbreak. Ferguson warned the government that 150,000 people could die. Six million animals were slaughtered as a precaution, costing the country billions in farming revenue. In the end, 200 people died.

· Ferguson was accused of creating panic by overestimating the potential death toll during the 2005 BIRD [AVIAN] FLU outbreak. Ferguson estimated 200 million could die. The real number was in the low hundreds.

· In 2009, one of Fergusons models predicted 65,000 people could die from the Swine Flu outbreak in the UK - the final figure was below 500.

And now based on this dismal record, we’ve closed down global economies including the most powerful economy in the world, the United States. Dr Deborah Birx, coronavirus response coordinator to the Trump administration, told journalists at a March 16 press briefing that the Imperial paper [FERGUSON’S COMPUTER PROJECTION] prompted the CDC’s new advice to work from home and avoid gatherings of 10 or more.

Demonstrating the double standard of the coronavirus plandemic, Mr. Ferguson, the architect of the lockdown world, considers himself above the rest of us.  We should be subject to lockdown, but he doesn’t haven’t to follow his own advice. Apparently, after being caught violating the social distancing rules he inspired to meet his married lover, Ferguson has resigned from his post in SAGE, the UK governments SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY GROUP FOR EMERGENCIES. Drs. Fauci and Birx should also resign.

Computer models predicting the spread of disease may be an interesting academic exercise, but in the real world, where lives and nations are on the line, THE DATA, on which the projections are based, are elusive. Without accurate data, what do you have? How about opinion, bias, and conjecture?

video: Lines, Damn Lies and Caronavirus

Its painfully obvious Dr. Fauci and his predictions blew things way out of proportion.

When the REAL SCIENCE DATA flows in, we discover the models were wrong in the first place and massively overestimated the scope of the pandemic. There have been no hundreds of thousands of dead bodies from Covid-19, and the doomsday predictions of “overwhelmed hospitals” never materialized outside of a couple of places in New York City. On April 4th, for example, the IHME model predicted there would be between 120,963 and 203,436 Americans requiring hospitalization, with the average of that range being 164,745. In reality, there were 18,998. Instead of hospitals being overwhelmed with patients, most were emptied as medical staff was furloughed or laid off.

Instead of acknowledging their error, they simply adjust their scientific outcomes to manipulate the facts to fit their ғflatten the curve narrative. ThatԒs not real science, its theory at best and misleading speculation at worst.

Were this just $2 wasted on a lottery ticket it wouldnҒt matter. But are we hurting millions of people and spending trillions of dollars on nothing more than a hunch based on computer models that are wildly inaccurate?

What does the real data show that conflicts their models? 

· 96-98% of coronavirus patients RECOVER.

· Of the 4% that die, 90% of those have comorbitities heart failure, emphysema, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, immunodeficient, HIV

Bottom line is that while coronavirus is real and people do die, the data does not support closing down the economy and promoting draconian social distancing.

To inflate their CASE FATALITY rate numbers and make the virus appear much larger than it really is, patients dying of all sorts of causes are labeled as death by Covid-19. The CDC guidance for labeling deaths even states as much.

Minnesota physician and Republican state senator, Dr. Scott Jensen, went on The Ingraham Angle to discuss how the CDC is encouraging American doctors to over-count coronavirus deaths across the US.

video: Its ridiculous - Dr Scott Jensen

Dr. Jensen also disclosed that hospitals are paid more if they list patients with a COVID-19 diagnosis. And hospitals get paid THREE TIMES AS MUCH if the patient then goes on a VENTILATOR.

Early on in the pandemic, experts were telling us those vulnerable individuals with pre-existing conditions and compromised immune systems were most at risk for dying from Covid-19.  Doctors across the country are reporting they are being pressured to report just about any death as Covid-19.

Oh come on, what happened to common sense?  You dont have to be a rocket scientist to understand that people with pre-existing health conditions and compromised immune systems are more likely to die from ANY condition than healthy people with stronger immune systems.

If we were to follow real proven science regarding the spread of a virus we would be implementing quarantine of infected people.  That is to isolate those sick individuals from the healthy population. Quarantine works!  But, that’s not what we’re doing with SARS-CoV-2.  Instead, we are isolating “non-essential” healthy people through social distancing and “stay-at-home” orders while allowing “essential workers” to continue working.  There is no evidence of that being effective and really amounts to house arrest of non-essential people, not quarantine.

Debate Squashed Through Censorship

To counter the messages contradicting their narrative, greater public/private collaboration is being used to CENSOR and CONTROL THE FLOW OF INFORMATION.  So-called disinformation and fake news as defined by the ruling authorities is being replaced with the official disinformation and fake news of the globalist elite. Any information that questions or disputes the official narrative is labeled CONSPIRACY THEORY and not reported in the MAINSTREAM MEDIA and SCRUBBED FROM GOOGLE, YouTube, Facebook, and other social networking sites. Independent news sources are being financially attacked and increasingly targeted by internet service providers to shut them down.

Another Hegelian Dialectic within the larger coronavirus pandemic is the
Surveillance, Tracking, and Control of World Population

PROBLEM: Businesses are closed and millions thrown into unemployment as increased testing uncovers more Covid-19 cases.

REACTION: Responding to falsified infection and death rates, frightened people demands their government protect them from the silent enemy.

SOLUTION: Governments provide unprecedented SURVEILLANCE, TRACKING, AND CONTROL OF WORLD POPULATION to provide citizens a sense of safety in exchange for their freedom.

We’ve already witnessed the restrictions and control of access to travel technologies, government buildings, and financial transactions through the use of REAL-ID technology.  Now, I believe were seeing the addition of DIGITAL TRACKING OF CITIZENS and biometic controls to access of public spaces.

Another of their “solutions” is also becoming apparent:

The deep state is using this Wuhan coronavirus hype to not only attack our global economy and to suppress dissent, but to also promote MANDATED VACCINATIONS for all. 

What more are you expected to give up?

In this Special Edition of “From the Editors Desk,” Michael Matt asks the question we all want answered: Yes the virus is deadly, but won’t euthanizing the U.S. economy be even deadlier?  By the way, why is the future of our country in the hands of a 79-year-old, unelected medical doctor named Fauci? Who is this guy, and what’s his agenda?

video: COVID-19 Globalismd Perfect Storm

Setting aside his strong Roman Catholic bent, Matt rightly discerns that whats going on is bigger than partisan politics, Democrat vs. Republican. Michael argues that this involves international intrigue, the WHO, George Soros, Bill Gates, the Trump phenomenon and the VaticanҒs globalist Pope Francis. But how? Why? Whats the endgame?

Is this the birth of the NEW WORLD ORDER? Or is America heading for civil war between now and November?

Problem, Reaction, Solution for Opening Up America Again

With ғnon-essential business closed and millions of people driven to unemployment, citizens began to demand of their governments to re-open the economy and let people work and play again.

Authorities were happy to respond with their solutions mixed with arguments about who gets the say of when America can be reopened and what hoops citizens must jump through to get on with our lives.  Will only those ԓdeemed healthy by a statist government be allowed to return to work?

What will this ԓscience based re-opening look like?

President Trump announced on April 16th., his plan to re-open America will be done in three graduated phases:

Phase One

Gatherings larger than 10 people are to be avoided and nonessential travel is discouraged. Large venues like restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship will be allowed to reopen if they “operate under strict physical distancing protocols,” according to the guidelines. Gyms will be also be permitted to reopen “if they adhere to strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols.” Bars, however, “should remain closed.” Schools and youth activities like daycare and camp that are currently should remain closed, and visits to senior living facilities and hospitals should remain prohibited.  Businesses are required to close common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact, or enforce strict social distancing protocols.

Phase Two

Social distancing should continue to be practiced with limitations of gatherings to no more than 50 people unless precautionary measures are taken.  Schools and activities like day care centers and camps can reopen and non-essential travel can resume. Visits to senior care facilities and hospitals, however, will remain prohibited. The large venues, like restaurants, movie theaters and sporting venues, that were allowed to reopen in Phase One can remain open and are allowed to ease their physical distancing protocols to a “moderate” level. Bars can begin operating with “diminished standing-room occupancy,” while gyms can remain open with “strict distancing sanitation protocols.”

Phase Three

“Vulnerable individuals” can resume public interactions but should practice social distancing, according to the guidelines. Low-risk populations should still “consider” minimizing time spent in crowded environments. Worksites can resume normal staffing protocols without restrictions, and visits to senior care facilities and hospitals can resume. People who interact with residents and patients must still remain “diligent” regarding hygiene. Large venues can operate under “limited social distancing” protocols, gyms can remain open with “standard sanitation protocols” and bars can operate with “increased standing room occupancy.”


Of course, all of this will be done in accordance with strong testing and a demonstrable decrease in COVID-19 cases. Still, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infection diseases expert, said it would be a “new normal.”

· Continued expansion of surveillance and diagnostic test capacity along with rigorous CONTACT TRACING.

Now that the attention has been changed from hospital beds and ventilators, we are now focused on testing being a critical factor in returning to normal.

Enormous profits are being made by hospitals and testing labs with the price of testing ranging from $300 $6,000 largely paid by insurance plans. [USA TODAY]

· Businesses allowed to open required to burden financial responsibility of testing and contact tracing.

As outlined in federal guidelines, businesses will now be required to conduct temperature-taking of employees, rapid COVID-19 testing of those suspected of infection, and widespread disinfection efforts in workplaces. They will be responsible for monitoring workforce for indicative symptoms, and not allowing symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider. Businesses will also be required to develop and implement policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing following employee COVID+ test.

It seems to me this burden will be allot easier for those large corporations and chain stores who are more able to benefit from scale and pass on to the consumer the added cost.  Small business owners already operating on small margins will be less able to manage a new federal mandate requiring them to spend huge sums of money in order to conduct business.

· Continued intrusion into the health care industry by federal mandates to hospital capacity and testing facilities.

· Continued mitigation with social distancing requirements.

Officials make clear that the return to normalcy will take time; with federal officials warning that some social distancing measures may need to remain in place through the end of the year to prevent a new outbreak.  Store floors are now covered with signage to train people in social distancing, getting everyone accustomed to standing apart and conforming to crazy “non-science” based propaganda.

· Governors are “allowed” to manage their individual states.

If states don’t perform as authorities dictate, Washington maintains their power to overrule state plans to enforce their guidance. Of course, the Federal government often influences States compliance by withholding funds states need to operate.

It is still early and the ultimate outcomes are yet known.  I do believe there will be a new normal that does not look like the world we experienced last year. New rules are being fashioned for us as we speak. Changes are coming for everything - how we shop for groceries, how we pay for products [cashless?], even how we greet our fellow man [no handshaking!]. If you don’t obey these rules, you will be publicly shamed and blamed as exhibiting anti-social behaviors detrimental to the common good.

It’s also very likely we will experience a second wave of coronavirus later in the fall and technocrats will have more experience and infrastructure in place to LOCK DOWN SOCIETIES quickly with less resistance.  The way we do life may never return to normal if President Trump doesn’t intervene and TAKE BACK the reins from these technocrats aligned with the vision of the United Nations, BILL GATES and a host of creepy NGOs like the Rockefeller Foundation and the World Economic Forum. They share the same eugenicist agenda.



image: cognitive dissonance

The Cognitive Dissonance And Confirmation Bias Of Cases

By AmeriKa Gone Mad
September 25, 2020

FALSE POSITIVES with coronavirus testing are being reported so often that it makes you wonder how many are not being reported.

Considering that people were actually dropping dead in the middle of the streets of China yeah, remember those videos from China?

Considering there are 6,997,468 “cases” in America. Considering there are 203,147 deaths attributed to the “cases” in America.

Considering that the vast majority of those who died of the “cases” had more than one comorbidities. Considering that the vast majority of those who died of the “cases” were ventilated to death. Considering that “cases” patients were deliberately dumped into old folks homes who did not have the “cases” but had one or more comorbidities then died of “cases.” Considering that you can go into a hospital for any reason, from a heart attack to a motorcycle accident to a slip and fall, if you die and they “cases” test you, find a “cases” in you, if just one little bit of “cases” is found in your “cases” test, you died of the “cases” or just a false positive of “cases.”

Considering some of the leading causes of death in America every year: Heart disease: 647,457 - Cancer: 599,108 - Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201 - Cerebrovascular disease 146,383 - Diabetes: 83,564 - Influenza and pneumonia: 55,672. if you have any of these comorbidities and test positive for “cases,” even if just a little tiny bit, you died of the “cases.” Considering, that the vast majority of “cases” deaths are those with compromised health conditions and immune systems.

Considering, despite the fact that we are having massive protests and riots across America, these people are not suddenly, like in China, dropping dead in the streets from “cases.” None of these people are suddenly getting so sick from the “cases” that they are overwhelmingly filling our hospital beds. Considering, and despite the fact, that Trump is having massive rallies, these people are not suddenly, like in China, dropping dead in the streets of “cases,” nor are they overwhelming our hospitals with “cases..”

Consider that despite the “cases it’s okay to protest and riot because it is your right. Consider that you can not go to church because of “cases.” Consider all the things you allowed to do despite the “cases,” and all the things you are not allowed to do because of the “cases.”

Considering, that my family has been directly exposed to 3 “cases” that we know of, and despite my wife being exposed to 8 “cases” through her work that she knows of, which brings us to a total of 11 “cases,” none of us have come down sick with the “cases.” And none of us wear face diapers.

Its a massive con-job. It started in China. With video of people dropping dead in the streets of “cases.” People lined up on the sidewalks dead of “cases.” Video of containment hospitals being built almost overnight. Video of people forcibly removed from their homes, or their doors to the outside world forcibly shut. Video of massive graves and incineration. It was all a massive con-job. A massive mind-fuck. A massive psyops. And it brought the world to its “knees” especially in America and the West. And your usual Globalist UN/WHO NWO Americans and those of the Western world are in on the massive con-job to destroy America and the West economically, mentally, and spiritually. It has literally restructured everything we do as a free people.

And considering, that your government approved health experts have done nothing but flip-flop on national television since the beginning of this cases pandemic. Consider the why. To instill in you cognitive dissonance and confirmation bias. Having conflicting views or feelings = internal conflict - strife - discord dissonance. Because the people of the West are a gullible emotional lot.

Consider that the globalists in our governments put each of you in a wet paper bag, and then told you its no use in trying to escape. Imagine them telling you that you have to take a gene altering vaccine to save you from the “cases.”

video: Moral Compromise


Posted by Elvis on 10/01/20 •
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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Republican Redux 19 - Figuring Out Trump Supporters

image: fuehrer

They just want to “watch the world burn”
Psychological analysis reveals 14 key traits that explain Trump supporters

By Bobby Azarian
Raw Story
September 23. 2020

As he HIMSELF SAID even before he won the presidential election in 2016, I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters. Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not, at least for the majority of his supporters, and that is something that should disturb us. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.

In all fairness, we should recognize that lying is sadly not uncommon for politicians on both sides of the political aisle, but the frequency and magnitude of the current presidents lies should have us all wondering why they haven’t destroyed his political career, and instead perhaps strengthened it. Similarly, we should be asking why his inflammatory rhetoric and numerous scandals haven’t sunk him. We are talking about a man who was caught on tape saying, “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the pussy.” Politically surviving that video is not normal, or anything close to it, and we can be sure that such a revelation would have been the end of Barack Obama or George Bush had it surfaced weeks before the election.

Some of the explanations come from a 2017 REVIEW PAPER published in the Journal of Social and Political Psychology by the psychologist and UC Santa Cruz professor Thomas Pettigrew. Others have been put forth as far back as 2016 by myself, a cognitive neuroscience and psychology researcher, in various articles and blog posts for publications like PSYCHOLOGY TODAY. A number of these were inspired by insights from psychologists like Sheldon Solomon, who laid the groundwork for the influential TERROR MANAGEMENT THEORY, and David Dunning, who did the same for the DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT.

This list will begin with the more benign reasons for Trump’s intransigent support, and as the list goes on, the explanations become increasingly worrisome, and toward the end, border on the pathological. It should be strongly emphasized that not all Trump supporters are racist, mentally vulnerable, or fundamentally bad people. It can be detrimental to society when those with degrees and platforms try to demonize their political opponents or paint them as mentally ill when they are not. That being said, it is just as harmful to pretend that there are not clear psychological and neural factors that underlie much of Trump supporters’ unbridled allegiance.

1. Practicality Trumps Morality

For some wealthy people, its simply a financial matter. Trump offers tax cuts for the rich and wants to do away with government regulation that gets in the way of businessmen making money, even when that regulation exists for the purpose of protecting the environment. Others, like blue-collared workers, like the fact that the president is trying to bring jobs back to America from places like China. Some people who genuinely are not racist (those who are will be discussed later) simply want stronger immigration laws because they know that a country with open borders is not sustainable. These people have put their practical concerns above their moral ones. To them, it does not matter if he’s a vagina-grabber, or if his campaign team colluded with Russia to help him defeat his political opponent. It is unknown whether these people are eternally bound to Trump in the way others are, but we may soon find out if the Mueller investigation is allowed to come to completion.

2. The Brains Attention System Is More Strongly Engaged by Trump

According to a SOURCE that monitored brain activity while participants watched 40 minutes of political ads and debate clips from the presidential candidates, Donald Trump is unique in his ability to keep the brain engaged. While Hillary Clinton could only hold attention for so long, Trump kept both attention and emotional arousal high throughout the viewing session. This pattern of activity was seen even when Trump made remarks that individuals didnt necessarily agree with. His showmanship and simple language clearly resonate with some at a visceral level.

3. America’s Obsession with Entertainment and Celebrities

Essentially, the loyalty of Trump supporters may in part be explained by America’s ADDICTION with entertainment and reality TV. To some, it doesn’t matter what Trump actually says because hes so amusing to watch. With the Donald, you are always left wondering what outrageous thing he is going to say or do next. He keeps us on the edge of our seat, and for that reason, some Trump supporters will FORGIVE anything he says. They are happy as long as they are kept entertained.

4. “Some Men Just Want to Watch the World Burn.”

Some intelligent people who know better are supporting Trump simply to be rebellious or to introduce chaos into the political system. They may have such distaste for the establishment and Democrats like Hillary Clinton that their support for Trump is a symbolic middle finger directed at Washington. These people do not have their priorities straight, and perhaps have other issues, like an innate DESIRE TO TROLL OTHERS, or a deranged obsession with SCHADENFREUDE.

5. The Fear-Factor: Conservatives Are More Sensitive to Threat

Science has unequivocally shown that the conservative BRAIN has an exaggerated 2008 STUDY in the journal Science found that conservatives have a stronger physiological reaction to startling noises and graphic images compared to liberals. A BRAIN-IMAGING STUDY published in Current Biology revealed that those who lean right politically tend to have a larger amygdala - a structure that is electrically active during states of fear and anxiety. And a 2014 FMRI STUDY that it is possible to predict whether someone is a liberal or conservative simply by looking at their brain activity while they view threatening or disgusting images, such as mutilated bodies. Specifically, the brains of self-identified conservatives generated more activity overall in response to the disturbing images.

These brain responses are automatic, and not influenced by logic or reason. As long as Trump continues his fear mongering by constantly portraying Muslims and Hispanic immigrants as imminent dangers, many conservative brains will involuntarily light up like light bulbs being controlled by a switch. Fear keeps his followers energized and focused on safety. And when you think you’ve found your protector, you become less concerned with offensive and divisive remarks.

6. The Power of Mortality Reminders and Perceived Existential Threat

A well-supported theory from social psychology, known as TERROR MANAGEMENT THEORY, explains why Trumps fear mongering is doubly effective. The theory is based on the fact that humans have a unique awareness of their own mortality. The inevitability of oneҒs death creates existential terror and ANXIETY that is always residing below the surface. In order to manage this terror, humans adopt cultural worldviews - like religions, political ideologies, and national identities - that act as a buffer by instilling life with meaning and value.

Terror Management Theory predicts that when people are reminded of their own mortality, which happens with fear mongering, they will more strongly defend those who share their worldviews and national or ethnic IDENTITY, and act out more aggressively towards those who do not. Hundreds of studies have confirmed this hypothesis, and some have specifically shown that triggering thoughts of death tends to shift people towards the right.

Not only do death reminders INCREASE NATIONALISM, they influence actual VOTING HABITS in favor of more conservative presidential candidates. And more disturbingly, in a study with American students, scientists found that making mortality salient increased support for EXTREME MILITARY INTERVENTIONS by American forces that could kill thousands of civilians overseas. Interestingly, the effect was present only in conservatives, which can likely be attributed to their heightened fear response.

By constantly emphasizing existential threat, Trump creates a psychological condition that makes the brain respond positively rather than negatively to bigoted statements and divisive rhetoric. Liberals and Independents who have been puzzled over why Trump hasnt lost supporters after such highly offensive comments need look no further than Terror Management Theory.

7. The Dunning-Kruger Effect: Humans Often Overestimate Their Political Expertise

Some support Donald Trump do so out of ignorance basically they are under-informed or misinformed about the issues at hand. When Trump tells them that CRIME is skyrocketing in the United States, or that the economy is the worst itגs ever been, they simply take his word for it.

The Dunning-Kruger effect explains that the problem isnt just that they are misinformed; itҒs that they are completely unaware that they are misinformed, which creates a double burden.

STUDIES have shown that people who lack expertise in some area of knowledge often have a COGNITIVE BIAS that prevents them from realizing that they lack expertise. As psychologist David Dunning puts it in an OP-ED for Politico, The knowledge and intelligence that are required to be good at a task are often the same qualities needed to recognize that one is not good at that task - and if one lacks such knowledge and INTELLIGENCE, one remains ignorant that one is not good at the task. This includes political judgment.Ӕ These people cannot be reached because they mistakenly believe they are the ones who should be reaching others.

8. Relative Deprivation A Misguided Sense of Entitlement

Relative deprivation refers to the experience of being deprived of something to which one believes they are entitled. It is the discontent felt when one compares their position in life to others who they feel are equal or inferior but have unfairly had more success than them.

Common explanations for Trumps popularity among non-bigoted voters involve economics. There is no doubt that some Trump supporters are simply angry that American jobs are being lost to Mexico and China, which is certainly understandable, although these loyalists often ignore the fact that some of these careers are actually being lost due to the accelerating pace of automation.

These Trump supporters are experiencing relative deprivation, and are common among the swing states like Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. This kind of deprivation is specifically referred to as “relative,” as opposed to “absolute,” because the feeling is often based on a skewed perception of what one is entitled to.

9. Lack of Exposure to Dissimilar Others

INTERGROUP CONTACT refers to contact with members of groups that are outside ones own, which has been experimentally shown to REDUCE PREJUDICE. As such, itҒs important to note that there is growing evidence that Trumps white supporters have experienced significantly less contact with minorities than other Americans. For example, a 2016 STUDY found that “҅the racial and ethnic isolation of Whites at the zip-code level is one of the strongest predictors of Trump support.” This correlation persisted while controlling for dozens of other variables. In agreement with this finding, the same researchers found that support for Trump increased with the voters physical distance from the Mexican border. These racial biases might be more implicit than explicit, the latter which is addressed in #14.

10. Trump’s Conspiracy Theories Target the Mentally Vulnerable

While the conspiracy theory crowd - who predominantly support Donald Trump and crackpot allies like Alex Jones and the shadowy QANON - may appear to just be an odd quirk of modern society, the truth is that many of them suffer from psychological illnesses that involve paranoia and delusions, such as schizophrenia, or are at least vulnerable to them, like those with SCHIZOTYPY PERSONALITIES

The LINK between schizotypy and belief in conspiracy theories is well-established, and a RECENT STUDY published in the journal Psychiatry Research has demonstrated that it is still very prevalent in the population. The researchers found that those who were more likely to believe in outlandish conspiracy theories, such as the idea that the U.S. government created the AIDs epidemic, consistently scored high on measures of “odd beliefs and magical thinking.” One feature of magical thinking is a tendency to make connections between things that are actually unrelated in reality.

.Donald Trump and his media allies target these people directly. All one has to do is visit alt-right websites and discussion boards to see the evidence for such manipulation.

11. Trump Taps into the Nations Collective Narcissism

Collective narcissism is an unrealistic shared belief in the greatness of ones national group. It often occurs when a group who believes it represents the “true identity” of a nation - the “ingroup,” in this case White Americans - perceives itself as being disadvantaged compared to outgroups who are getting ahead of them “unrightfully.” This psychological phenomenon is related to relative deprivation (#6).

A STUDY published last year in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science found a direct link between national collective narcissism and support for Donald Trump. This correlation was discovered by researchers at the University of Warsaw, who surveyed over 400 Americans with a series of questionnaires about political and social beliefs. Where individual narcissism causes aggressiveness toward other individuals, collective narcissism involves negative attitudes and aggression toward outsiderђ groups (outgroups), who are perceived as threats.

Donald Trump exacerbates collective narcissism with his anti-immigrant, anti-elitist, and strongly nationalistic rhetoric. By referring to his supporters, an overwhelmingly white group, as being true “patriots” or real “Americans,” he promotes a brand of populism that is the epitome of “identity politics,” a term that is usually associated with the political left. Left-wing identity politics, as misguided as they may sometimes be, are generally aimed at achieving equality, while the right-wing brand is based on a belief that one nationality and race is superior or entitled to success and wealth for no other reason than identity.

12. The Desire to Want to Dominate Others

SOCIAL DOMINANCE ORIENTATION (SDO) - which is distinct but related to authoritarian personality syndrome (#13) - refers to people who have a preference for the societal hierarchy of groups, specifically with a structure in which the high-status groups have dominance over the low-status ones. Those with SDO are typically dominant, tough-minded, and driven by self-interest.

In Trumps speeches, he appeals to those with SDO by repeatedly making a clear distinction between groups that have a generally higher status in society (White), and those groups that are typically thought of as belonging to a lower status (immigrants and minorities). A 2016 SURVEY STUDY of 406 American adults published last year in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that those who scored high on both SDO and authoritarianism were those who intended to vote for Trump in the election.

13. Authoritarian Personality Syndrome

Authoritarianism refers to the advocacy or enforcement of strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom, and is commonly associated with a lack of concern for the opinions or needs of others. AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY SYNDROME - a well-studied and globally-prevalent condition - is a state of mind that is characterized by belief in total and complete obedience to one’s authority. Those with the syndrome often display aggression toward outgroup members, submissiveness to authority, resistance to new experiences, and a rigid hierarchical view of society. The syndrome is often triggered by fear, making it easy for leaders who exaggerate threat or fear monger to gain their allegiance.

Although authoritarian personality is found among liberals, it is MORE COMMON AMONG THE RIGHT-WING around the world. President Trumps speeches, which are laced with absolutist terms like “losers” and “complete disasters,” are naturally appealing to those with the syndrome.

While research showed that Republican voters in the U.S. scored higher than Democrats on measures of authoritarianism before Trump emerged on the political scene, a 2016 POLITICO SURVEY found that high authoritarians greatly favored then-candidate Trump, which led to a correct prediction that he would win the election, despite the polls saying otherwise

14. Racism and Bigotry

It would be grossly unfair and inaccurate to say that every one of Trumps supporters have prejudice against ethnic and RELIGIOUS minorities, but it would be equally inaccurate to say that many do not. It is a well-known fact that the Republican party, going at least as far back to Richard NixonҒs “southern strategy,” used tactics that appealed to bigotry, such as lacing speeches with “dog whistles” - code words that signaled prejudice toward minorities that were designed to be heard by racists but no one else.

While the dog whistles of the past were subtler, Trumps signaling is sometimes shockingly direct. ThereҒs no denying that he routinely appeals to racist and bigoted supporters when he calls Muslims dangerousӔ and Mexican immigrants rapistsӔ and murderers,Ӕ often in a blanketed fashion. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a recent study has shown that SUPPORT FOR TRUMP IS CORRELATED WITH A STANDARD SCALE OF MODERN RECISM.

Bobby Azarian is a neuroscientist affiliated with George Mason University and a freelance journalist. His research has been published in journals such as Cognition & Emotion and Human Brain Mapping, and he has written for The New York Times, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, and Scientific American. Follow him on Twitter [at] BobbyAzarian.



New Research Explores Authoritarian Mind-set of Trump’s Core Supporters

By Christopher Ingraham
Washington Post
October 12, 2020

Data reveal high levels of anti-democratic beliefs among many of the president’s backers, who stand to be a potent voting bloc for years to come

And yet, despite the tumult of the past eight months, President Trump’s favorability numbers have barely budged: His approval rating hovers in the low 40s, just as it has most of his presidency. As the economy cratered and covid-19 mortality skyrocketed, the Trump faithful stuck with him, lending credence to his infamous 2016 campaign boast that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any support.”

Why is that?

A new book by a PSYCHOLOGY PROFESSOR and a former lawyer in the Nixon White House argues that Trump has tapped into a current of authoritarianism in the American electorate, one that’s bubbled just below the surface for years. In AUTHORITARIAN NIGHTMARE, Bob Altemeyer and John W. Dean marshal data from a previously unpublished nationwide survey showing a striking desire for strong authoritarian leadership among Republican voters.

They also find shockingly high levels of anti-democratic beliefs and prejudicial attitudes among Trump backers, especially those who support the president strongly. And regardless of what happens in 2020, the authors say, Trump supporters will be a potent pro-authoritarian voting bloc in the years to come.

Altemeyer and Dean define authoritarianism as “what happens when followers submit too much to the authorities in their lives.” They measure it using a tool Altemeyer developed in the early 1980s, called the RIGHT-WING AUTHORITARIAN (RWA) scale.

The “right-wing” label refers not to left and right political leanings as they’re popularly understood today, they write, but rather to a more legalistic sense of “lawful, proper, and correct.” It’s used to identify authoritarian tendencies among people of any political persuasion - supporters of the Communist Party in the former Soviet Union, for instance, would have scored high on the scale despite having decidedly leftist economic and political views. The scale remains one of the most WIDELY USED MEASURES of authoritarianism to this day.

Altemeyer’s scale measures respondents agreement or disagreement with 20 statements, such as: “Our country desperately needs a mighty leader who will do what has to be done to destroy the radical new ways and sinfulness that are ruining us” and “It is always better to trust the judgment of the proper authorities in government and religion than to listen to the noisy rabble-rousers in our society who are trying to create doubt in peoples’ minds.”

For each statement, a respondent can select an answer on a sliding scale ranging from 1 (total disagreement) to 9 (total agreement). The final score on the 20-question survey ranges from 20 (total opposition to authoritarianism) to 180 (total support).

The authors enlisted the help of the Monmouth University Polling Institute to POSE THE QUESTION TO 990 AMERICAN VOTERS IN FALL 2019. They asked participants to answer the questions on the RWA scale, as well as some separate measures of authoritarian beliefs and prejudice toward minority groups.

They found a striking linear relationship between support for Trump and an authoritarian mind-set: The stronger a person supported Trump, the higher he or she scored on the RWA scale. People saying they strongly disapproved of Trump, for instance, had an average RWA score of 54. Those indicating complete support of the president, on the other hand, had an average score of 119, more than twice as authoritarian as Trump opponents.

Many fervent Trump supporters, Altemeyer and Dean write, are submissive, fearful, and longing for a mighty leader who will protect them from life’s threats. They divide the world into friend and foe, with the latter greatly outnumbering the former.

Trump’s personal authoritarian bona fides are well-established, with experts across NUMEROUS ACADEMIC FIELDS warning that his attacks on basic democratic principles PRESENT A CLEAR DANGER TO THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM. But his beliefs and actions are toothless without the support of millions of followers.

“Donald Trump only has the power to flaunt American institutions, treaties, and laws because he has a large, dedicated base who will believe whatever he says and do whatever he wants,” Altemeyer and Dean explain.

Other researchers have reached similar conclusions using very different methods. Vanderbilt political scientist Larry Bartels, for instance, RECENTLY USED YOUGOV SURVEY DATA to find that many Republican voters hold strong authoritarian and anti-democratic beliefs, with racism being a key driver of those attitudes. Researchers have also consistently found that separate measures of authoritarian belief, such as a short survey of attitudes toward child-rearing, are reliable predictors of Trump support.

Not all of the presidents supporters fall into the “authoritarian” category, however. Monmouth’s polling director Patrick Murray, who administered the survey, RECENTLY WROTE that about 23 percent of strong Trump supporters scored in the middle or bottom of the authoritarian scales used in the survey. Moderate Trump supporters, meanwhile, are split roughly 50/50 between “high” and “moderate to low” on the scales.

Many, however, express extremely authoritarian viewpoints. Roughly half of Trump supporters, for instance, agreed with the statement: “Once our government leaders and the authorities condemn the dangerous elements in our society, it will be the duty of every patriotic citizen to help stomp out the rot that is poisoning our country from within,” which Altemeyer and Dean characterize as practically a “Nazi cheer.”

Among people who disapproved of Trump, just 12 percent agreed with that statement.

“Trump’s supporters are much more inclined to stomp out the people they dislike than Trump’s opponents are,” Altemeyer said in an email. “This reflects the authoritarian aggression that is a central part of the RWA personality.”

One common criticism of the RWA scale is that it could simply be a proxy for generic conservative or religious beliefs, such as respect for tradition or a deference to religious authority. Murray TESTED THIS IDEA by running the scale without questions touching on religious identity and sexual norms. He found the different versions of the scale produced findings that were nearly identical to the original 20-question battery, suggesting the scale is measuring a distinct psychological attribute that can’t be explained away by religiosity or political ideology.

Contemporary discussions on authoritarian backsliding in the United States tend to focus on Trump and his allies in Congress. But Altemeyer and Dean’s work is a reminder that his followers will remain a potent force in American politics for years to come.

“Even if Donald Trump disappeared tomorrow,” they write, “the millions of people who made him president would be ready to make someone else similar president instead.”


How to Win a Debate With a Bully

Joe Biden should simply name what is true and what most Americans intuit about the president: He is a terribly broken man.

By Peter Wehner
Contributing writer at The Atlantic and senior fellow at EPPC
September 24, 2020

I’m used to bullies.

That’s a line Joe Biden has used several times during his run against Donald Trump, and he said it again recently in talking about the first presidential debate.

“I hope I don’t take the bait, because hes going to say awful things about me, my family, et cetera,” Biden said at a virtual fundraiser. “I hope I don’t get baited into getting into a brawl with this guy, because that’s the only place he’s comfortable. Biden expects to be able to keep his cool because, he said, “I’m used to dealing with bullies.”

The challenge for Biden isn’t simply that he’ll be facing a bully on the debate stage in Cleveland on Tuesday; its that he’ll be facing a man who is shameless and without conscience, a shatterer of norms and boundaries, a liar of epic proportions, a conspiracy-monger who inhabits an alternate reality. President Donald Trump operates outside any normal parameters.

If one is not used to dealing with someone like that, it can be utterly disorienting. Just ask the 2016 GOP primary field, or Hillary Clinton.

“We were on a small stage,” Clinton said about her second debate with Trump, “and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled.”

She went on to describe what went through her mind: Should she keep her calm and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading her space, or should she turn to him, look him in the eye, and say, Back up, you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me, so back up? Clinton chose the first option, but in retrospect, she wonders whether she should have chosen the second.

What might Vice President Biden do to prepare for his debates with President Trump?

For starters, I hope the former vice president’s campaign team has consulted psychologists who can help prepare Biden to deal with Trumps disordered personality.

A second thing Biden can do is put Trump’s words within a larger context. For example, the president is a profligate liar; we know that in the course of the debates the president will tell an avalanche of falsehoods. It might therefore be useful for Biden, early in the debate, to warn viewers what will happen - Trump will lie, and lie again, and lie again. The former vice president should put a frame around those claims, so people understand what’s happening in real time.

In February, a friend pointed out to me that years ago Donald Trump lied about the size of Trump Towers, claiming he lived on the 66th to 68th floors. Here’s the thing: Trump Tower has only 58 floors, according to New York City documents. So Trump lied about even this, as he lies about virtually everything else. (In fact, Trump has lied about the height of several of his buildings, including Trump World Tower, which he claimed has 90 floors. In fact, it has 70.)

If Biden were to use this story at the beginning of a debate, perhaps even before Trump’s first lie, the former vice president, when hearing a lie, could simply say, Donald, we’re at the 66th floor again. This response would certainly be more effective than repeatedly calling Trump a liar and serving as a fact-checker for the entire debate. Biden has to find a way to quickly name what’s happening and move on.

When its his turn to respond to a comment by Trump, the former vice president should confidently name each strategy Trump attempted. “That was a deflection… That was a hoax… That was scapegoating… We’re at the 66th floor again.” By quickly and succinctly answering any question after naming the strategy, Biden will appear controlled, reasonable, and intelligent; Trump will feel dismissed and mocked. This will enrage the president, especially if his attempts to engage in argument are ignored, and Biden refuses to look at him.

Beyond that, as one clinical psychologist I consulted for this piece suggested, Biden should simply name what is true and what most Americans intuit about the president: He is a terribly broken man. Money and privilege spared him from the consequences that might have helped him develop a conscience. He does not show remorse or guilt, because he does not feel it. Decency and honesty yield no reward for Trump; indecency and lying yield no consequences. He doesn’t apologize to others, because he doesn’t feel the pain of others. He does not have the capacity for empathy and authentic relationships; all his relationships are conditional. He knows only pleasure and pity for himself. He perseverates on the wounds to his ego. Telling the truth, when its not Trump’s truth, is viewed as a betrayal by the president, because he always places his interests above truth.

Such a damaged individual may deserve some measure of pity as well as some measure of contempt; but in either case, such a person should not be the president of the United States.

Yet the reality is that such a man is the president, and with every passing day, his pathologies grow worse, his instability becomes more apparent, the danger he poses to American democracy more undeniable. Yesterday, he once again signaled that he has no interest in accepting the election results if he loses. In the summer of 2016, I said of Trump, with him there’s no bottom. We’re now seeing what no “bottom” looks like.

The investigative reporter Bob Woodward, whose book Rage is just the most recent, scathing indictment of the Trump presidency, said that historians, looking back at this period, are going to ask, “What the F happened to America?”

The answer is that Donald J. Trump happened to America.

Joseph R. Biden is the only person who can keep Trump to a single term and stop this ongoing American carnage. And that, in turn, could depend in large part on how the former vice president does during the first debate.

I’m a conservative who served in the Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations. I’m also wishing Joe Biden very well on Tuesday evening. Its less for his sake than for the sake of the country I love.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or writeto letters at

Peter Wehner is a contributing writer at The Atlantic and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He writes widely on political, cultural, religious, and national-security issues, and he is the author of The Death of Politics: How to Heal Our Frayed Republic After Trump.


Posted by Elvis on 09/24/20 •
Section Dying America
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Bad Moon Rising Part 81 - Oceania

image: chinese flag

The United States and China in Oceania: the Showdown Is Heating Up

By Petr Konovalov
New Eastern Outlook
September 23, 2020

During the modern stage in the geopolitical rivalry among world powers to gain influence in the Asia-Pacific, where it shows up most vividly is in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean: Australia, China, the United States, and Japan are all trying hard to become chummy with the countries in Oceania, but each of those is pursuing its own objectives. Australia is struggling to keep its dominant position in Oceania by strengthening its position in Melanesia; China is standing for expanding its political, economic, and possibly even military role throughout the region; the United States, whose largest Pacific bases are concentrated in Micronesia, is trying to put up resistance to the Chinese by bolstering its own defense capabilities.

Back in 2019, during his visit to Guam, where the most strategically important American military base in the Pacific Ocean is located, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the start of negotiations on the Compact of Free Association with the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau, which Washington intends to use to counter China’s growing influence in Oceania. In this regard, in September 2020 relations with Palau, which is a small country with a population of 18,000 that has a compact of free association with the United States, gained an impetus to develop further in the form of a 200-mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or about 630,000 square kilometers, which is comparable to twice the area occupied by Germany. The Compact of Free Association between the US and Palau was signed in 1986, and this means that for 50 years the American side has borne (and will continue to do so) responsibility for the country’s security, and, stemming from that, was permitted to deploy its military bases there.

For a long time, the United States did not take advantage of that opportunity, but now, against the backdrop of its struggle with China for influence in the Pacific Ocean, the situation has radically changed. At the end of August 2020, US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made a visit to Palau in the framework of a tour around the Pacific Ocean, and proclaimed China’s “malign influence” in the area. What is noteworthy is that China, unlike the United States, has invested about $ 1.6 billion in Oceania over the past decade while being a relatively “new actor” in the region, whereas the United States has invested $ 1.19 billion. This fact is already calling into question how “harmful” Chinese influence is: after all, Beijing is not spending money on military bases, but on infrastructure and social projects.

In any case, during the visit by the US Secretary of Defense the Palauan President, Thomas Remengesau, Jr., proposed that Washington could deploy a military base in his country along with the ancillary infrastructure in the form of ports and airfields, and provide assistance patrolling the waters of its enormous EEZ. It is important to note that Palau is still one of four countries throughout Oceania that diplomatically recognizes Taiwan. Among other things, one of the reasons for Palau turning to Washington for help could be the economic problems inflicted on it by suspending air travel during the pandemic, given that the tourism industry is the main source of profit for the Micronesian country.

Despite the fact that the US has ramped up its activities in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, China not only maintains its interest, but is showing markedly increased interest in cooperating with the island countries throughout Oceania, which hold appeal for Beijing for many reasons. First of all, this means the desire for “true friendship, implementing practical cooperation, and achieving mutually beneficial results,” which was personally stated by the PRCs General Secretary, Xi Jinping. Second, this means commercial interests, including access to the resources possessed by several states in Oceania: gas, oil, nickel, gold, copper, and many fishery resources. Finally, this means logistics routes, and the vast exclusive economic zones in the southern part of the Pacific; these will permit China to take a more active part in the local fishing grounds there.

While the United States is vigilantly guarding Micronesia from “malign” Chinese influence, China is ratcheting up its presence in the countries throughout both Melanesia (Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, etc.) and Polynesia (Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, etc.). For example, in 2019 Beijing managed to “woo over” a country right in the heart of Polynesia to its side, Kiribati, which used to diplomatically recognize Taiwan. There is no doubt that Kiribati is a unique country, which is located in all four of the Earth’s hemispheres at once, and has both extensive reserves of fish and a gigantic EEZ of 3.5 million square kilometers. At the same time, Kiribati is very active in drawing the world community’s attention to the issue of climate change, since its inhabited atolls are gradually being absorbed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. Beijing has responded to the calls for help from the Polynesian state, and is now planning to reclaim the land that the country has lost by raising and reinforcing the atolls that have sunken beneath the water. Moreover, China has extensive experience doing this kind of work in the South China Sea. Beijing also intends to build two massive ports in Kiribati, which, along with the rebuilt atolls, could have a positive impact on the local economy. Chinese projects are expected to help attract fishing companies and tourist cruise liners, and provide Kiribati residents with new jobs. It is fairly hard to call this influence “malign,” especially taking into account the fact that for a long time Australia and the United States paid little attention to the impact that climate change has been having on the countries in Oceania. It is worth noting that China is one of the world leaders in the field of green energy: at the end of last year, China produced roughly one-third of the world’s volume of solar energy, and kept its leading position in terms of its number of wind turbines. This kind of cooperation between China and Kiribati is well-suited to the One Belt, One Road Initiative, and the Oceanic state joined this in January 2020.

In response to Beijing’s plans, some Western experts have started to sound the alarm about the Chinese presence in KIRIBATI, and are specifically expressing their concerns that Chinese military bases could potentially be deployed in Polynesia and control logistics routes in the center of the Pacific Ocean, as well as around Kiribati itself, which is rich in water and mineral resources. The Polynesian state truly does have an important geostrategic position in the South Pacific due to its proximity to the US military bases in Hawaii and the Marshall Islands, but, on the other hand, all the rumors about the Chinese setting up military bases in Oceania have not yet been confirmed.

In either case, this kind of struggle for influence in Oceania between China and the US for opportunities to gain footholds in the region, and the talk about bolstering the presence of armed forces there, is a significant indication that in the future Oceania will likely become militarized. The ways of implementing these plays adopted by Washington and Beijing also stand in stark contrast to each other: the former is directly proclaiming its intentions to deploy military bases on the islands, while the latter is providing financial assistance where it is needed. Nonetheless, despite these different approaches, both world giants are pursuing the same goal in Oceania, and achieving that means that the struggle between them will be growing more severe.

Petr Konovalov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


Posted by Elvis on 09/24/20 •
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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 36 - End Times For Democracy

dying america

The America we once knew is gone forever. The 21st century has dawned just as the true light of liberty fades into shadow. The sooner the world recognizes this, the better off humankind will be.
- End of Empire 2

[O]ur political system has become the major barrier to solving nearly every important challenge our nation needs to address. This was the unexpected conclusion of the multiyear Project on U.S. Competitiveness at Harvard Business School, established in 2011 to understand the causes of America’s weak economic performance and rising inequality that predated the Great Recession.

The starting point for understanding the problem is to recognize that our political system isn’t broken. Washington is delivering exactly what it is currently designed to deliver. The real problem is that our political system is no longer designed to serve the public interest, and has been slowly reconfgured to benefit the private interests of gain-seeking organizations: our major political parties and their industry allies.
- Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America [.pdf]
- The U.S. Political System Has Been Hijacked

[I]gnorance can often be propagated under the guise of balanced debate. For example, the common idea that there will always be two opposing views does not always result in a rational conclusion.

This balance routine has allowed the cigarette men, or climate deniers today, to claim that there are two sides to every story, that experts disagree - creating a false picture of the truth, hence ignorance.
- Agnotology

The biggest con beyond the obvious criminal actions of our non-elected leaders lies in the fantasy of an active democracy and the illusion of a choice between two political parties that purportedly ‘oppose’ each other
- The Big Con

This complacency by governments who are cowed by big business and big finance means a cocktail of increasing inequality, joblessness and informality with little or no change in the volatility of the financial sector as serious financial regulation gets pushed into the medium term at best.
- Corporate Power Rules

Empires in decay embrace an almost willful suicide. Blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. They replace diplomacy, multilateralism and politics with unilateral threats and the blunt instrument of war.
- End of Empire

And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
- Revelation 17:12-13, 16-17

End times for American democracy? An interview with Chris Hedges

By Bruce Livesey
National Observer
September 10, 2020

Is the United States, as the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek once wrote, living in the End Times? Are these the empires last days, its moral authority to claim pre-eminence withered and gone?

It certainly seems so: A staggeringly high pandemic death toll, race riots, rampant police brutality, a political class locked in a vicious knife fight with itself, and a mainstream media egging on the whole circus. Prevailing over the mess is a president whose incompetence is shocking to behold.

Canada’s National Observer spoke about it with Chris Hedges, 63, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who was a foreign correspondent for 15 years for the New York Times, where he served as the paper’s Middle East and Balkan bureau chiefs. The interview was edited for length.

If Trump wins, expect naked and frightening authoritarianism

Q: In regards to Trump’s term in office, how would you characterize it? Has it surprised you?

A: Well, (Donald) TRUMP is a daily surprise. Just when you think he can’t sink any lower, he does. The kinds of policies and even statements that he’s engaging in are just wilfully self-destructive. He’s a prisoner of his own megalomania and his own narcissism. So in that sense, I think, like most Americans, we’ve all been surprised at that how far worse (it is) than we suspected.

Q: If Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 election, would the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic been any different than under Trump given America’s structural problems?

A: It would have been very different, and I am not fan of the Clintons. They were architects of the neo-liberal policies that have plunged this country into such distress. However, they remain rooted in verifiable fact and science in a way that Trump and his millions in the CHRISTIAN RIGHT do not.

And I think the way to look at it is the difference between the lies - and the Clintons lie like they breathe in the same way Trump does. But those were tactical lies. For instance, (Bill) Clinton lied about all the great jobs he created I think he threw out a number of four million new jobs under NAFTA, but he didn’t continue to lie about NAFTA AFTER IT WAS CLEAR that it was probably the worst assault on the American working class since the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act.

The same way with George W. Bush: He lied about weapons of mass destruction, but when the weapons of mass destruction were not uncovered in Iraq, he didn’t continue to lie about that they were there.

That’s the difference between Trump and the Christian right, which is, in essence, his base. That’s the “permanent lie” - a fact, verifiable fact, evidence - none of that matters.

So, yes, I think it would be different.

Q: In regards to Trump getting re-elected or stealing the election, as it has been suggested he might, or not going anywhere, what will happen if he somehow remains in office?

A: Don’t put anything past him. I don’t think anyone is, including the Democratic leadership. He will do anything: Whether that’s voter manipulation - the Republican Party has long had a history of pretty egregious voter manipulation, erasing people from the rolls.

They’ve got this program where if you don’t vote in the last election, you’ll show up at the polling place and you have been erased from the voter rolls because you didn’t vote, or you won’t get your mail-in ballot, which is not even legal.

So, yeah, there are a series of mechanisms that they’ve already used and set in place, which Trump will attempt to employ.

If Trump wins, then I think you will see a very naked and frightening AUTHORITARIANISM. Trump already functions for his followers as a cult leader. And remember, Trump gets a lot of money from the OLIGARCHS because he carries water for them.

The American political system before Trump took office was a KLEPTOCRACY, but now you will see just wanton, undisguised pillage, which I think is already pretty evident within the Trump White House given the PERSONAL ENRICHMENT that he and his family have made off of the office and his catering to his fellow billionaire class without any kind of restraint.

Q: Have you been surprised at how little it seems that the Republican Party has done to try to control him?

A: No, because the policies of both parties, and we know this from the polls, they are wildly unpopular - the tax cuts, the catering to the oligarchic and the CORPORATE ELITE, the endless wars, the destruction or assault on social services - none of it has any popularity. So politics has devolved in the United States to cultural wars, and the Republican Party long tied themselves, starting with Reagan, to this retrograde neo-Confederate, white nativist Christian right.

The party hierarchy, the Bushes, the Cheneys, look at (the Christian right) as the useful idiots. But what they didn’t realize is that (the Christian right) have the numbers and that one day the useful idiots will take over. And that’s exactly what happened.

Pandemic shows American model doesn’t work

Q: In the background is the health of the American empire and what Trump and the Republicans represent in regards to its health. How is the empire doing?

A: The fatal mistake on the part of the empire was the invasion of Iraq. Now we have nearly 20 years of warfare in the Middle East, which has cost tremendous suffering, hundreds of thousands of dead, millions displaced, seeing the creation of failed states, whether in Libya or northern Syria. And that’s characteristic of all late empires, that they embrace or engage in military fiascos in a kind of desperate attempt to recover a lost glory or a lost hegemony.

I also think what’s happening now in the United States around the pandemic is that it has exposed to the rest of the world that the American model doesn’t work. We are unable to cope. There are very few countries, maybe Brazil, that have a worse track record than we do. We cant cope with the pandemic.

So we can cope neither with a pandemic because of our for-profit health-care system, which is not about delivering health, but of course gouging the public. And we can’t cope with the economic fallout, which is going to be - even by the government’s figures - extremely severe. So as this pandemic continues to hit us in wave after wave and just spirals out of control, we’re now facing an estimated 300,000 American dead by December and 400,000 by January.

Tens of millions of people have already been thrown into destitution, the ruling elites are bickering over an extension of unemployment insurance, the moratorium on evictions has been lifted, which means that some 40 million Americans are at risk of being thrown out of their homes by the end of the year. Twenty-seven million Americans are expected to lose their health insurance because health insurance in the United States is tied to employment; it is employer-sponsored. And real figures of unemployment are probably 20 per cent, because they fix the figure.

The system was hollowed out anyway by corporations and oligarchic elite so that it couldn’t withstand any stress, and that I think has been exposed (by the pandemic).

So the credibility of the American empire is embodied in a figure like Trump, embodied in the inability of the United States to cope with a pandemic.

Q: You mentioned the Iraq War, which brings up the issue of defence spending, which is now in excess of $738 billion US a year. How much of the fact that so much of the Treasury is spent on defence and not on infrastructure and health care plays a role in all of this chaos?

A: Huge, huge. This again is a characteristic of late empires. Go back and look at the Roman Empire, there was a one-million men standing army, and all of your resources are being funnelled into it.

The military in the United States is beyond control, it’s not even audited. (Editor’s note: Since 1990, the Pentagon was audited twice - and failed both times.) Back in the 1960s, and early 70s, you had liberals within the Democratic Party, which would fight against wasteful weapon systems. That is completely gone. They are completely subservient to the MILITARY-INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX that is hollowing out the country from the inside - our bridges, our roads, our public transportation, our utilities. I live in Princeton, N.J., which is an enclave of the one per cent, and when it rains, the power goes out, and not only that, but the phone lines go down. It’s all falling apart.

And it’s all falling apart to feed essentially this rapacious military complex and defence contractors. The only thing we make any more are weapons, and that’s because it’s not capitalism

Democrats were never going to allow Bernie Sanders to win nomination

Q: With the Democratic Party, you’ve seen the emergence of a left represented by BERNIE SANDERS and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a few others. But once more, an establishment candidate, Joe Biden, was chosen as the party’s nominee. What do you suppose happened and did the left ever really have a shot this time around?

A: No. The Democratic Party was never going to give Sanders the nomination, and the largest and most important Democratic donors and leaders had made that publicly clear - people like Lloyd Blankfein, the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, who had said several times quite openly that if Sanders got the nomination, which wasn’t going to happen, he and the rest of the donor class of the Democratic Party were going to support Trump.

So they had fixed it so the super delegates, which are appointed by the Democratic National Committee and are composed of lobbyists and the Democratic Party leadership, could vote on the second round. So Sanders if had gotten enough votes on the first round, he would have been trounced in the second

So it was organized to push out the other candidates and leave Biden alone. There were all sorts of tricks they used in 2016 that they used again in 2020.

But Sanders winning was never going to happen, and I think all the publicity around AOC obscures the fact that these people (on the left) are utterly irrelevant, both within Congress and within the Democratic Party.

Again, THE TWO RULING PARTIES AGREE ON FAR MORE THAN THEY DISAGREE ON - whether it’s on trade agreements or defence spending or austerity programs or tax cuts.

Biden essentially functions for the Democratic liberal elite as a kind of symbol of nostalgia for a return to what I call the “pantomime of democracy.” But the political rot that is now eating away at the nation is not going to be solved by elections.

And, by the way, (the political class has) already instituted all sorts of totalitarian forms of control, from wholesale government surveillance to the revoking of civil liberties, to the use of paramilitaries on the streets of our cities - these are all part of the twisted pathologies of all civilizations sputtering towards oblivion. And I saw this in the old communist regimes I covered in Eastern Europe and later in Yugoslavia.

So the removal of Trump isn’t going to do anything. In fact, it’ll probably exacerbate the lust for racial violence and WHITE NATIONALISM, because both parties have built a mafia economy and out of that, a mafia state. And that’s going to continue under Biden as it did under Trump, under Barack Obama, under George W. Bush, under Bill Clinton, under Ronald Reagan to give essentially carte blanche to corporations and oligarchs to pillage and loot.

Even if Biden wins, underlying problems in U.S. will remain

Q: If Biden wins in November, what does that mean?

A: It will restore the decorum of our version of monarchy, and it will restore the civic religion that is built around our government power. That’s all. It may also bring with it a rational response to the pandemic. But remember, the pandemic may be beyond control by then.

The militarized police that terrorize people in poor neighbourhoods aren’t going away. The endless wars, they’re not going to end. The bloated military budget we just saw passed is not going to be reduced. The world’s largest prison system - 2.3 million people incarcerated with four per cent of the world’s population, we hold 25 per cent of the world’s prison population - that will remain, along with militarized police, which are the two bulwarks of social control.

The MANUFACTURING JOBS are NOT GOING TO RETURN, the social inequality is already growing exponentially, the FOR-PROFIT-HEALTH-CARE-SYSTEM, which are huge donors to the Biden campaign, will continue to GOUGE THE PUBLIC and PRICE MILLIONS of people OUT OF THE HEALTH-CARE SYSTEM.

The language of hate and bigotry has already been normalized as the primary form of communications. So I think that what has happened in the United States is not solvable by an election, and my last book, America: The Farewell Tour, which comes out of (French sociologist mile) Durkheim’s great work on his book on suicide, where Durkheim examined what drove individuals and societies to carry out acts of self-destruction and self-annihilation. And that’s where you get his term “anomie.” Anomie is a rupturing of those social bonds, the bonds that give individuals a sense of having a place in a collective, in being engaged in a project that’s bigger than the self.

And you find that once you consider yourself part of this collective and valued by this collective, you express it through rituals, elections, democratic participation, patriotism, all these shared national beliefs. And these bonds, as Durkeim writes, provide meaning, they give a sense of purpose, they give status, they give dignity. In essence, they offer psychological protection from the meaningless that comes with being isolated and abandoned, as well as impending mortality. And once you break these bonds, you push individuals and societies into very deep and self-destructive psychological distress. And that is writ large across the United States.

The self-destructive pathologies of opioid addiction, gambling, suicide, sexual sadism the rise of armed white hate groups. Durkheim wrote that people who seek the annihilation of others, are driven by desires for self-annihilation, nihilistic mass shootings - this is all a product of this anomie, as is our political dysfunction. And that’s not going away with Biden.

Police violence against African-Americans reveals system is beyond reform

Q: On top of all this, you’ve had the George Floyd murder and other African-Americans killed by the police. Youve had the emergence of Black Lives Matter. What is the significance of the reaction to this police brutality?

A: Well, again, that’s a product of this dislocation, this anomie, this shunting aside of poor people of colour and AFRICAN-AMERICANS and having a state that treats them as human refuse. And the two forms of social control, as I mentioned before, the prison system and these militarized police, what you’ve seen is a gaslighting on the part of the elite.

So you will have the police take the knee or NASCAR and the U.S. Marine Corps ban the display of Confederate flags, and Nancy Pelosi don a kente scarf and Biden meets with George Floyd’s family at his funeral, or the mayor of Washington, Muriel Bowser, has the words “Black Lives Matter” painted in 35-foot tall letters on a street near the White House. But at the same time, of course, she’s proposed a $45 million increase to the police budget and the construction of a $500-million jail.

(But) I think that the gaslighting isn’t working. It worked in the past, but it’s not working anymore, and my sense is that those who are in the streets have come to the realization, the correct realization, that the system is beyond reform, that we can’t reform the police. All these tricks more body cameras, consent decrees, revised use of force policies, banning chokeholds, civilian review boards, banning no-knock search warrants, training de-escalation tactics - they’ve all been proposals that have been proffered in the past, and in several cases, have been adopted in the wake of other police murders, like the killing of Eric Garner and Michael Brown.

So again, it’s the structure. Police unions are very powerful because they are big donors to political campaigns. And they have been able to push aside any reformers within the system, like community review boards, even mayors and police chiefs who are reformers.

So these are all smoke and mirrors, it’s a pantomime of a faux anguish and empathy by the ruling elites. But I don’t think people are buying it. I think my sense is that in the street, there’s a kind of political sophistication, and that’s why you see people calling for the abolition of police, not the reforming of police.

Q: The mainstream media, and especially outlets like FOX News, how are they covering all of this? Are they doing an adequate job, or does it depend? Or are they doing a terrible job?

A: They’re not covering it. They cover the eruption of a crisis, but don’t cover the issues. And that doesn’t matter which wing of the media landscape you’re in, including the New York Times.

I worked there for 15 years. It doesn’t cover day in and day out the suffering and humiliation and economic distress that is now visited on half the country, and, in particular, poor people of colour in urban areas. And that’s because of their advertisers, they’re catering to their advertisers.

I think it’s important to note that the media landscape has changed from when Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky wrote Manufacturing Consent (in 1988). It’s changed quite radically.

You don’t need the old print media to connect sellers with buyers. Sellers can go directly to buyers, they have all of our profiles, courtesy of our digital platforms. And so that whole notion of faux objectivity and impartiality is gone, and the media landscape is splintered into people who seek out their particular demographic, whether it’s MSNBC or whether it’s FOX News or Breitbart or whatever.

And in order to solidify that demographic, they have become purveyors of hate.

So you have a media that still, as Chomsky and Herman pointed out, manufactures consent, but it does this by setting group against group. And it does this by catering to the particular opinions and prejudices of that group, which are reinforced and then sold back to us. So it’s kind of packaged anger just for us.

MSNBC does this, CNN does this, Fox does this.

And the danger is that as those divides widen, you can’t communicate across them. And that’s how you have huge sections of the country essentially cut off from each other, unable to communicate and entranced by the fake dissent of the cultural wars and conspiracy theories. Its all become, especially the electronic media, kind of a tawdry reality show. Politics is reduced to political personality, civil discourse is defined by insults and invective, and meanwhile, the superstructure of power, of corporate power, is never examined and never challenged, and that creates political impotence among the populous.

So the media is a junior partner in the destruction of American democracy, and, of course, we’re a huge factor in publicizing Trump җ because he’s good for profits. And that kind of moral swamp that the media has created is a very fertile place for demagogues like Trump.

America’s billionaires are clueless of what is going on

Q: Do you think the corporate elites, the billionaire class - are they worried about what’s happening to the United States in any regard?

A: The billionaire class doesn’t live in the United States, it lives in its self-created entity, as a writer for New Yorker magazine once called it, Richistan. They don’t fly commercial airlines, they only hang out with other billionaires. You know, its like Versailles or the Forbidden City - they’re just utterly disconnected from what’s happening around them. They make insane amounts of money, and this pandemic has made them even wealthier.

So I think they’re fairly clueless. I think they think Biden is the solution. They don’t have any contact with the working class other than the people who serve them. So that’s again, always very dangerous when you allow an elite to essentially seize complete political and economic power, and they are utterly disconnected from the reality around them.

If you read Joseph Tainter’s The Collapse of Complex Societies, where he looks at 24 civilizations that collapsed, he actually uses that phenomenon as one of the major reasons of collapse - the elite is essentially able to hoard so much. American billionaires have gotten almost $500 billion richer since the pandemic. And, of course, they’re driving all the policies, and yet they really are clueless about what they’re doing and where we’re going.

Q: All of which leads to one question: Is America a failed state?

A: AMERICA IS A FAILED STATE, and it is what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls the system of “inverted totalitarianism.” And by that he means it’s not a classical totalitarian society like fascist Germany or Stalinism, it’s more like the end of the Roman Republic where you still have the old language, the old institutions, the old iconography and symbols, but they’re rendered meaningless. Even under Nero and Caligula there was still a Senate.

So that’s what’s happened. The facade has remained, but our democracy seized up and stopped functioning, beginning in the early 1970s, but certainly, I would say, going all the way back to Clinton. That’s when it really kind of stopped working completely.

So you had Clinton - and Biden was at the epicentre of this - speaking in the traditional feel-your-pain language of the Democratic Party while assiduously serving corporate power. That was done, as I mentioned, through NAFTA, it was done through the 1994 OMNIBUS CRIME BILL that militarized the police and exploded the prison population, the deregulation of the Federal Communications Commission, which allowed a half-dozen corporations to seize control of the airwaves. The destruction of welfare was done under Clinton - and under the old welfare system, 70 per cent of the recipients were children - the ripping down of the firewalls between commercial and investment banks, which was the revoking of GLASS-STEAGALL ACT, all of this came under the Democratic Party.

So I think part of the problem was that betrayal by the Democratic Party elite saw the white working class gravitate towards the worst elements of the Republican Party - because that betrayal cuts so deep. And then we have the assault on unions. Only 11 per cent of the American workforce is unionized, and I think six per cent of them are in public sector - and most of them CAN’T USE the only weapon that workers have to further their interests, which is to strike.

So America has long been a failed state, and I’ve written book after book Death of the Liberal Class, Empire of Illusion, Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt - which were all reported all over the country essentially talking about the dangers of where we’re headed. And, of course, now we’re there.


Posted by Elvis on 09/22/20 •
Section Dying America
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