We live in the age of falsehood. Take any stated claim of the mass media that is not self evident, invert the meaning of what is said, and you will find yourself closer to knowing the truth than before.
The rate at which an accepted Truth changes nowadays is astounding. The ability of people to endure it may appear even more astounding, but there is a simple explanation, and a single term which contains the answer: cognitive dissonance. It is a psychological tool of deception that is being used increasingly and at every level. People can be trained to accept contradictory (or patently false) ideas through social pressure, for example.
In the cases we present here, the concept of cognitive dissonance is being used to make the public accept blatant falsehoods, probably for nefarious purposes.
Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Warring President
It appears now that the problem with George W. Bush was not what he said, nor what he did, but the way he did it and said it. Barack Obama is continuing along practically the same course as his predecessor, perhaps even more radically, but he’s a smooth talker and his team of spin-doctor-crats are better at waltzing the world into a wider Middle Eastern conflict, again under their totally butchered definition of “peace making”. It’s with such finesse that Obama is performing his given tasks that his masters have seen it fit to crown him with the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s an hypocrisy that is not new, and should not really be a surprise. There is no requirement for there to be any real notion of pacifism to be awarded the prize. You just have to be the darling of the Establishment.
In Obama’s case, he voted consistently for the increased funding of America’s various wars, voted to commend the armed forces for incidents which resulted in mass civilian casualties, opposed the withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and voted for the appointment of pro-war candidates to key positions, such as the case Robert M. Gates who espouses pre-emptive war. Henry Kissinger, also controversially awarded the Nobel Prize in 1973 (for negotiating peace in Vietnam), at least had the sense of embarrassment to attempt to withdraw his acceptance thereof after he was shown up by Le Duc Tho, also awarded the prize, who rejected the award because peace had not yet been achieved. Obama, having no sense of shame, accepts this award even before he has had any chance to show whether he is anything but a man on the war path.
By swallowing the notion that Obama is a peacemaker, the public is rendered ever more naive and ignorant. The US Administration pursues its war, rendition and torture programmes unabated, only without the protests. The public is being massaged into accepting blatant criminality.
Economic recession declared magically over
It was announced today that, for America at least, the recession is over. It’s time to spend those dollars, because happy days are back again, but is it really true?
In calculus, one studies the slope of a curve, rates of change and rates of rates of change and so on. This allows economists to butcher the truth by studying whatever degree of change that suits them. A downward line might be good because it’s not getting worse, or bad because it’s downward. It all depends on how you wish to mislead your audience. The quantity of bad news is probably decreasing at the moment, which causes optimists to be optimistic, but the quality, the nature of the bad news is the same, only rephrased. All that can be really said about the economy is that there have been changes in the rate of movement of money, but without changes in the fundamental structure of economies.
The Bank of International Settlements in its September 2009 Review states:
The second quarter of 2009 saw a small rebound in activity on the international
derivatives exchanges, although trading volumes were still well below the pre-
crisis level two years before. Total turnover based on notional amounts
increased to $426 trillion from $366 trillion in the previous quarter, consistent
with a return of risk appetite.
This can be interpreted to mean that the sun is shining and butterflies are chasing the smell of nectar, but there are many who have claimed for some time that a derivatives crisis is just around the corner. The continuing inflation of the derivatives bubble exposes the reckless abandon of those taking part. Given the massive numbers involved (hundreds of trillions of dollars), a device is being set up which, if it crashes, will dwarf any economic disaster we have seen.
What the renewed derivatives boom represents is the bet (by retailers, banks and others) that times will definitely be rosy in 2010 and beyond. The optimists think they will beat the pessimists (or rather, the hard nosed realists). The whole thing hangs on some important things going right, namely that inflation will not spiral out of control, that interest rates remain low and that unemployment does not blow out. If consumption doesn’t pick up, the bubble goes pop, because pretty soon, with interest rates rising, mortgages will start defaulting again, businesses will close and banks will find themselves high and dry. This is actually a likely scenario, if one takes a look at price versus earnings at the stock exchanges, or if one looks at how much debt had to be taken on by governments to support local employment (frequently in economically destructive ways, such as the demolition of cars before the end of their useful lives), or if one looks at what has changed about consumer habits.
So in simple terms, the economy is “recovering” purely through debt expansion, occurring largely out of sight of the public. Was not debt the cause of the crisis in the first place?
It’s either a riddle or a lie. There can only be a real recovery from this economic crisis through real, structural economic reform. This has not taken place. Our hunch is that the current rally is still a sucker’s rally.
By swallowing the notion that the economy is back on its feet again, the public is fooled into taking excessive risk. If you believe this recovery, you are leaning into a false wind. The public is being set up for a fall, all of which appears to be aimed at removing freedoms and sovereignty.
Death By Climate Change
The sky is falling in, as it always has. Back in the 1970’s, we apparently were going to all freeze to death. Recently, of course, we were told that we were all going to boil to death. But we now see that the ice caps are far from melting. Nobody seems to have a clue where climates will be in 25 years. This seems to be largely due to a lack of understanding of the degree of influence on temperature of geothermal and solar activity, and other natural phenomena.
This still doesn’t stop the political activists of claiming that we are all going to die of, well, climate change. See, now it doesn’t matter what happens, they were right and they can say “we told you so!”
The public is being made to feel guilty and culpable for hot summers, cold winters, rainy days and sunburnt grass. As a result, the public is made to accept whatever completely ridiculous and illogical carbon trading system the various governments dream up. Instead of sensible endeavours (regardless of climate change), such as improving transport infrastructure to be simply more energy efficient, building better houses and having fewer cars, governments are using climate as a way to amass power and money (through taxes).
In summary, cognitive dissonance is a useful thing indeed! But luckily, exposing it breaks the spell.
Today we have a little daydream about what might happen in American society if unemployment were to skyrocket, as it appears very likely to do.
The scenario might go something like this. Official unemployment soars to twenty, may be thirty percent, such that the number of idle males of working age in America is one in three or one in two. They have no money, their children are hungry, their wives are bitter and angry. There is no point staying at home, so the men walk the streets looking for work, looking for food and looking for trouble. The police find themselves becoming busier and busier picking up loiterers and shoplifters or busting swap meets selling black market goods. Everybody is a criminal nowadays, the police say among themselves. Many of these unemployed men have never stolen anything before and did not anticipate the sophistication of modern shop security systems, nor the heavy handedness of some elements of the police force. Scuffles have been breaking out here and there with angry shoppers or at long queues at soup kitchens, but it’s all orderly 30’s Depression style stuff so far.
One day some inner city police come across a disheveled looking man in his thirties, catch him for jay-walking or some other minor offence (he “looks” suspicious). To teach a quick lesson, they ‘taser’ him in broad daylight, in front of a half dozen nuns on their way to a prayer meeting. The event gets filmed by a teenager with a stolen handy-cam. The man resists and is zapped again, then kicked, and so on. The nuns look on in horror and fear. A police officer sees the teenager filming and confronts the kid, who flees. The kid gets caught and beaten, a short distance up the road. One policeman gets a flower pot thrown on his head by a woman looking down from her apartment above. The nuns rush to the policeman’s aid. Reinforcements arrive in the form of riot police. The nuns are mistaken for having assaulted the police officer (who can’t remember anything) and are arrested and beaten. Every one in sight is rounded up and driven off to detention. Two of the six nuns die en route from heart attacks, since they are in their late eighties. None of this appears in any newspaper or any news network for some days, as is the new policy of media outlets “in the interests of public peace and fairness”.
Almost the same thing happened a week before, but no one heard about it because there was no captured footage. There are only rumours. On this occasion, however, a police clerk handling the evidence happens to be related to one of the deceased nuns and leaks the confiscated video footage, in high definition, on Youtube. People instantly recognize the disheveled looking man as the local guy who runs the soup kitchen network (affectionally known as “Stan The Soup Man”). The local Catholic bishop expresses his outrage at the death of two nuns. Everybody in the city takes to the streets demanding the release of Stan The Soup Man, including the mayor and the bishop. It’s all peaceful, albeit noisy. Most of the people in the crowd have come as families of the unemployed men; wives, children, babies, pet dogs.
They march to police headquarters, demanding an explanation. The police chief is there, on the top step, about to give an announcement of apology and an explanation of events, hoping to assure the crowd that Stan The Soup Man is okay and was merely detained for questioning over an unrelated matter. Just in case, riot police are assembled out of view, a couple of streets away. They are told by their superior officer that “it’s nuttin’ much, just a bunch of women and kids”. However, during his speech, unbenknownst to the police chief, Stan The Soup Man now lay unconscious in a prison cell, bleeding into his head. He was fine several minutes ago, but Stan was always very sensitive about his Hispanic roots, and one police guard had just made a racist taunt agains him. Stan couldn’t hold back and said something in return. A beating ensues, and now Stan was minutes away from inevitable death. At the closing words of the police chief’s speech, an SMS message is received from within the police compound that Stan had just died. Chaos and a blood bath ensues. Women and children are shot and killed. Within hours, protests, sit ins, and riots across the country break out.
It’s not difficult for such an even to happen. Similar mistakes are made by the police, probably every few minutes, but like stray sparks of an electric motor, they mean nothing unless the surrounding conditions are such that an explosion results. Looking at the various developments in the US economy currently, with nationalization of the remnants of US manufacturing, the loss of over 400,000 jobs per month around the country and the increasing aggressiveness, both politically and economically, of America’s biggest trading partner, China, it is very likely that an explosive social situation will develop soon.
There is nothing, currently, to prevent the coming dip in living standards headed for the United States. That said, there is a long way for those standards to fall before one could consider America ‘poor’. The task for government lies in preventing poverty to turn to hunger and starvation. It is when the most basic needs of people are not met that civil disorder becomes most likely.
Will the Obama administration find within itself the skills and wisdom to carry out the successful rescue of the coming wave of an American Underclass? This is not likely, given how poorly eveyrthing else has been managed. The White House itself appears directionless and desperate. All they have is contingency plans, but no way forward, despite all the rhetoric to the contrary. It’s also not realistic to see an atheist, materialistic regime embarking on any kind of genuine charitable enterprise. To US Government policy makers, people are not souls, but numbers and statistics. They are a resource to be managed and exploited. The War on Drugs is the clearest example of how decisions are made in America, where two thirds of the prison population are there because of drug related crimes.
The likely path to be taken by America is to boost its military. It will come in the mass recruitment of the unemployed in exchange for food stamps, housing assistance and health insurance. If there are no wars to fight, the soldiers can be let loose on America’s streets to “help” the police, or to clean the streets, or do some other brain-numbing task. This may be the lesser of two evils, and would likely be sold to the public as such, but it can only result in the further brutalisation and dehumanisaiton of American society.