Archive for media

“The News” – Jefferson, Chomsky, propaganda, and alternatives

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2016 by jtoddring
As I keep saying, stop watching, reading or listening to “the news.” It is misinformation, disinformation, propaganda, distortion, lies and illusions, mass distraction and mass manipulation – psychological warfare, to put it in the terms of the “intelligence” community – mixed together with a healthy dose of sheer trivia, sensationalism and fluff ( also largely a form of psychological warfare).
Thomas Jefferson was right, “He who does not read the newspapers is better off than he who reads them, because it is better to know nothing, than to have your mind filled with lies, half-truths and illusions.”
Chomsky also summarized it perfectly well. The mass media acts as a propaganda system, working on behalf of the ruling elite, by a great number of well-trained, deeply indoctrinated, self-censoring individuals along with simple liars, creating “necessary illusions” and “manufacturing consent” so that the business elite who rule the society can keep the masses controlled, alienated, divided, demoralized and distracted, while they rob and pillage the nation and the world.
If you want to know what’s going on, go to the library, and read a book. If that doesn’t seem enough, which it is, and more than enough, if the books are well-chosen, then go to CounterPunch, Global Research (Centre for Research on Globalization), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Trends Research Institute or Gerald Celente. Unlike the vast majority of media outlets, journalists and commentators (including most of the so-called “alternative”, “progressive”, and “independent” ones), they don’t lie and they don’t have their heads up their asses. They will tell you what’s really going on. With only a rare few exceptions, virtually all of the rest are pure drivel at best.
JTR,
January 26, 2016
See:
Necessary Illusions – Chomsky
Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Mass Media
and my own recently released work:
Enlightened Democracy: Visions For A New Millennium – on Amazon now.

 

Will Ferrell does a mock music video of gangster rap – and it’s a scathingly hilarious critique of the genre

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2015 by jtoddring

A musical commentary, followed by social and political analysis, followed by hilarious spoof rap videos, and more

This is scathingly funny. Will Ferrell does a mock music video of macho gangster rap.

Man, how I despise that music. As Rage Against the Machine said, “So-called rap’s a fraud.” Worse, most of it is disgustingly offensive, as well as hollow and noxious.

The majority of it is macho, sexist, hate-filled, poser pablum that screams insecure, status-seeking, pre-teen angst and a desire to be “big” – in all the wrong ways, and with nothing to say and nowhere to go but down.

Bob Marley would roll in his grave. Angry and misguided, emotionally disturbed twelve-year-olds with an attitude problem could be forgiven for liking this music, but that’s about all. Only new country and death metal can compete with such sleazy, aggressive, pretentious garbage for the “first into the sewer” rankings.

At least new country is simply vacant, vacuous and vapid, overly commercialized twaddle and wallpaper music, worthy only of playing in elevators, and for a maximum of fifteen seconds, but as unoffensive as it is bland and banal, like a harmless old shoe – death metal and gangster rap are psychologically disturbed and disturbing, and morally bankrupt.

Give me old-school R&B, jazz, blues, soul, reggae, classic rock or classic country, gospel, classical, funk, punk, scat, ska, swing, big band, folk, Latin, electronica, chant or even opera, but spare me that macho rap crap shite!

*

And for the more serious-minded, here is some social commentary to accompany the musical commentary.

Musical tastes aside, there is something to be said about the influence of music – and particularly, music that expresses and generates a violent, aggressive attitude – and how such messages are likely to affect human behaviour, with the result of increasing violence in society.

Violent crime has been declining for decades, but fear and hysteria are at record levels. The media has a great deal to do with this. But in any case, violence in society is still, of course, a very serious concern; and violence in the United States, in particular, is far above the level of other major nations, and needs to be addressed. And violent music, media and video games are likely to have far more to do with this than guns.

In the US there is great hew and cry about gun control, but the obvious facts, or what should be obvious facts, are either overlooked or simply ignored. The fact is that Switzerland and the US have the highest rates of gun ownership in the world, along with Yemen; but while the US has one of the highest rates of violent crime and murder, Switzerland, with similar levels of gun ownership, has one of the lowest rates of violent crime and murder. Clearly guns are not the cause of violence. Something in the culture of the United States is causing high levels of violence.

Getting rid of guns, even if that was possible, would not end the violence. The US government tried to ban and prohibit alcohol, but that did not stop the flow of alcohol – it simply caused organized crime explode, and caused violent crime to explode as a result.

The US government has tried for decades to eliminate drugs, with its infamous, “War On Drugs”. But that has not stopped the flow of drugs. All it has done is to repeat the patterns of prohibition, causing gang activity and organized crime to soar, and with it, the violence that comes in its wake.

A war on guns would be as utterly ineffective as the prohibition of alcohol or the war on drugs, in terms of stopping the flow of guns. And aside from that most critical point, guns are not the cause of the violence – a culture of violence is the cause of the violence.

Evidence links the decline in exposure to lead poisoning with the decline in violent crime in the United States, and this should give us a major clue: when people’s brains, bodies, hormonal systems and nervous systems are being disrupted and poisoned by toxic chemicals in our food, air, water and environment, serious psychological problems, from mild depression to violent, homicidal impulses, are one part of the result. So a war on pollution would be far more effective, more rational and more sane, from all the available evidence, than a war on guns.

More people are murdered with kitchen knives, blunt objects or bare hands than by guns – people will find ways to harm or to kill, whether or not guns are available. What must be addressed are the causes of violent impulses, not the manner or form of their expression. This should be obvious, but the obvious is routinely being missed at present.

What is causing violence in society, and high levels of violence in American society? Could soaring poverty and inequality, frustration, desperation, and a resulting and very understandable and predictable rage, be a large part of the answer? Of course it is.

“We are sitting on a powder keg of inequality, injustice and insecurity,
and it is about to explode.”

– Amnesty International

The problems are sociological, and cannot be fixed through technocratic means. The “law and order” ideology will not solve it. In fact, it is making things worse, as prison populations soar, repression and militarization of the culture becomes normalized, brutality becomes accepted as necessary, and the cycle of a culture of violence perpetuating itself, continues. The culture is severely out of balance, and it is causing a small minority of people to do desperate and terrible things. Repeating and intensifying the same failed methods and responses is a recipe for continued failure, and escalating social disaster.

But people are only now beginning to be willing to look at the underlying, deeper issues; and most are still focused on the mere surface of things, and are utterly distracted, beguiled and bewildered, propagandized and deeply indoctrinated. This has to change. Inequality must be addressed, or violence will rise beyond its already high levels. Band-aid solutions will not work, and will not do.

As Bob Marley said,

“Everyone is crying out for peace,
None are crying out for justice.
But there will be no peace,
‘Till there is equal rights, and justice.”

Senator Bernie Sanders and many others understand this. If we want peace, then we must sow justice and equality. And if we are to succeed in that effort, then we must make war on Wall Street; and peacefully, but boldly and firmly, transform the system which benefits the richest few, at the expense and tremendous suffering of the great majority; end the reign of the corporate oligarchy of the billionaire class, and restore and reclaim democracy, and return the power to the people.

And maybe while we are making war on poverty and inequality, we should also look at music, television, film and media which make it seem cool to be violently aggressive, narcissistic, egotistical and machismo.

I’m not saying censorship is the answer. Freedom of speech is essential to a free society. Censorship, like prohibition, is not only useless and ineffective, but also dangerous, and produces far more harm than good. But we do need to look at what kind of messages the media, and the music and film industries, are pushing out in mass production into the culture of modern society. And a great deal of it is simply toxic sludge.

We need to create a culture of peace, to replace the culture of violence which, to a large extent, exists now. Courage and strength are shown and measured by compassion: not selfish and narcissistic, puerile pretension, self-inflation, aggression, hate, and egotistical parading of infantile grandiosity – be it from Donald Trump or gangster rappers.

Who shows real strength, who deserves the greatest respect? Certainly not thugs or wanna-be thugs threatening to “cap your ass”, or baring their asses in some other adolescent show of macho bravado. It is people like Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Rosa Parks and others, and musicians like Bob Marley, who show the courage of compassion and love, who deserve our greatest respect, and who show the greatest strength.

There is a time for ferocity, but if it does not come from compassion, and is not guided or channeled wisely, then it is hollow posturing at best, or worse, and far more common, a self-destructive flame that is blinding,  burns all it touches.

Music is powerful, as are films, TV, video games, the internet, and the media in general. We should think about what we subject our minds to, and our children’s minds as well.

And artists and media workers should think about what they are producing. Their role should be to inform, inspire, unite, uplift and empower; or if it is simply entertainment that is being produced, then it should at least not be mental poison. We would be infinitely better with silence, than with that.

But music is one thing – systemic injustice, violence, extreme and growing inequality, and clearly fascist tendencies among the presently ruling corporate elite, are quite another. And it is this second set of concerns that should trouble us. The music is more a symptom than a cause of the real problems we face, although it is sometimes a little of both. It may be of some concern, but the latter, second set of patterns, is simply disastrous and intolerable.

We can change the station, change the music. But far more importantly, we should be willing to change the system – because the system is broken, and it is corrupt, as everybody knows.

J. Todd Ring,
October 28, 2015

Warning: The following videos are not for little ears.

Will Ferrell: Step Brothers – Boats ‘N Hoes

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post/async/embed/dialog/?source=6&url=%2FWillFerrelll%2Fvideos%2Fvb.169242926568179%2F250702351755569%2F%3Ftype%3D3

And of course, Everyday Normal Crew – from the Live As Fuck Tour

And on a more serious note, here is some rap with a message – and a soul:

Wake Up – Rage Against the Machine: Lyrics

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/rageagainstthemachine/wakeup.html

And the de-classified documents quoted in the song, Wake Up:

“Through counter-intelligence it should be possible to pin-point potential trouble-makers, and neutralize them” – National Security Archives

https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/mlk-document-friday-through-counter-intelligence-it-should-be-possible-to-pinpoint-potential-trouble-makers-and-neutralize-them/

CNN lies, distorts, while its own polls tell the truth: Bernie won the debate

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 14, 2015 by jtoddring

CNN’s own polls show Bernie Sanders won the Democratic presidential debate last night, Tuesday, October 13, 2015, hands down. When CNN polled, and asked “Who won the debate?” 83% of people said Bernie Sanders. 83%. Yet, CNN headlines are splashing the big, bold message, Hillary wins debate by landslide. Can the media be any more Orwellian – and blatant about it? Better said, and more to the point, can they be any more disgusting?

Not only is CNN completely distorting, misrepresenting, and flatly lying about the public response to the debate, proclaiming, utterly deceitfully, that Hillary won – when their own polls show the opposite is undeniably true; but they are shamelessly and blatantly slathering support on Hillary, in an open demonstration of extreme bias. The corporate spin in favor of the (Democratic) candidate for corporate America could not be more stark, or more brazenly obvious.

This is why, by the way, CNN has been hemorrhaging viewers, along with the rest of the corporate media – because more and more people see through the propaganda, spin and distortion, and are sick of it.

By the way, C-SPAN also reports that its own polls indicate Bernie won the debate by a landslide.

So it is clear: Bernie has a tremendous and rapidly growing support from the people – far more so than Hillary, who is widely viewed with suspicion, and deep skepticism, and as a Wall Street hack – which, of course, she is; but the corporate media, surprise surprise, don’t support the populist candidate who has declared a war on Wall Street, and the billionaire class who have taken over the political process (as well as 90% of the US media). The network media supports the candidate most favored by big business and corporate America, the candidate who is awash in corporate political “donations”, Hillary Clinton.

None of this should be surprising, but the popular support which is confirmed, and unequivocally confirmed by the public response to last nights debate, for Bernie Sanders, is heartening, and hopeful; while the pathetic display of manipulation, spin, and sheer corruption of the media, is dismal indeed, and in fact, deeply sickening.

The Republican candidates are fringe candidates, frankly, and it is hard to deny – they are lunatics from the extreme right wing of (corporate-driven) American politics. And they have only a slim support among the people. On the Democratic side, three of the candidates have now destroyed their chances of winning after last night’s debate, leaving only Hillary and Bernie, effectively, in the running.

83% of Americans feel strongly about the need to get big money out of politics. It is the single hottest issue in the country. And that includes an overwhelming majority of both Republicans and Democrats who feel this way. Bernie’s central message, and his central campaign platform, is to reign in Wall Street, break up the “too big to fail” banks, which the great majority of the American peole also support, and get big money out of politics. So Bernie is resonating with the American people in a deep and broad, powerful way – and with people from across the political spectrum, including liberals, conservatives and progressives. Meanwhile, Hillary is widely viewed as just another politician: a poser, a mouth piece, a shill, a PR machine with a hair-do – not all that dissimilar to Donald Trump (another hawkish war-monger and cheerleader for the agenda of corporate America the billionaire class), but more polished, and with a better hair stylist and PR handlers.

“We have seen a rapid movement in this country toward oligarchy, toward a government owned and controlled by a handful of extremely wealthy families. We need public funding of elections [as Norway has, for example], which will enable any candidate to run for office without being beholden to powerful special interests.” – Bernie Sanders

Hillary has picked up a good deal of Bernie’s talking points, and is now trying to paint herself as a progressive, but the polls show that people remain sceptical about her – and rightly so. Hillary is awash in corporate money. Any talk she makes about getting big money out of politics would be supremely hypocritical and hollow, and everyone knows it. As the Christian Science Monitor said, prior to the debate, all the candidates have something to prove. Hillary had to prove she has integrity and honesty, Bernie, that he is electable. Well, the polls showed clearly, after the debate, that Bernie is definitely electable, with 83% of CNN poll respondants saying Bernie won the debate. Hillary, on the other hand, blurted out in the midst of the debate, “I represented Wall Street”. Her credibility and integrity in the eyes of the people remain shaky at best, and more likely dwindling.

As I say, Bernie’s message of getting big money out of politics is resonating with the people across the nation, while Hillary’s trustworthiness is seen as questionable at best. This is why Bernie’s support has soared, from him being virtually unknown across the US just six months ago, to leading Hillary in key primary state polls of Iowa and New Hampshire, to clearly winning the Democratic debate by a landslide, according to CNN and C-SPAN polls, while Hillary loses ground the more she opens her mouth, and the more the people get to know who Bernie Sanders is.

The tide is turning. I would say, in fact, that it has already turned. The first true populist President of the United States in a very long time, the first true President for the people, and not for Wall Street and the super-rich, in a very long time, is about to arrive. His name is Bernie Sanders.

Go Bernie. The groundswell of popular support will not be stopped, no matter how hard the corporate media tries to kill it.

J. Todd Ring,
October 14, 2015

Update, October 22, 2015: CNN has now deleted its own poll from its website

Who actually won last night’s debate? It’s difficult to tell because for every poll you see showing Bernie had a massive win, you have a headline on a newspapers saying Hillary won.

Did Media Declaring Hillary Won Debate Influence Polls?

What Bernie Sanders ‘Won’ in the Debate:

The news media consensus is that Clinton came out on top. Here’s why she didn’t.

Danger and Delusion: From ISIS to Ebola

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 3, 2014 by jtoddring

There are very real dangers in the world, but let’s not lose all perspective. Perspective is everything. Don’t believe the hype.

It must be stated directly: the majority of people have wildly irrational, and frankly delusional modes of thinking when it comes to risk assessment. And of course, pre-formed, unreflective opinions, that is, prejudice and presumption, along with group-think and the mass media, have a great deal to do with it. The media hypes and promotes public fears, and perspective is lost as a result. But let’s step back for a moment, and look at a wider context, from a wider lens.

Public fears are often, if not generally, out of touch with reality, and out of sync with reality. For example, many people are terrified of wolves, bears, sharks and snakes, but extremely few people are killed by snakes, just thirty people are killed by sharks world-wide per year, only a handful of people are killed by bears per year globally, and virtually none by wolves. If you’re going to be afraid of going into the woods, or into the water, at least be rational about it. The real dangers are hypothermia and drowning, not wild beasties with big teeth.

Meanwhile, the most dangerous creatures on the planet are deer, bees, and human beings. Deer kill thousands of people per year – because we are foolishly addicted to the private automobile, and deer get hit by them and fly through the windshield. And thousands of people are killed by bees per year – not because of attacks, but because of allergies and anaphylactic shock.

Automobiles kill 40,000 people a year in the US alone, making getting into a car one of the most dangerous things we can do – but we don’t see a heroic, all-out push to move towards mass transit and cycling, and even the dangers of traffic accidents and automobile addiction must be pushed from consciousness by most people, most of the time. Denial and avoidance of reality are the real pandemics endangering human lives – and by now, all life on earth.

And if we insist on focusing on infectious diseases, we should at least face the facts: Ebola is not a serious threat in North America at present, and may never be, but anti-biotic resistant infectious diseases are an increasing health risk, for a number of reasons, and far exceed any danger posed by Ebola.

“Despite all the panic, Americans don’t face any great risk from Ebola right now. But we do need to worry about a home-grown medical catastrophe of our own that we’re failing to address: the erosion of antibiotic effectiveness.

Doctors prescribe antibiotics to treat a broad array of infections that can otherwise prove fatal. While the drugs are being grossly overused, diminishing their power to heal, hospitals aren’t to blame [although, they are quickly becoming the most dangerous place to be if you are sick or injured, since they are filled with antibiotic-resistant infectious germs] — factory farms are.”

– A Bigger Threat to US Health than Ebola, November 12, 2014, Nation of Change

If we are serious about health, we should ban factory farms now, immediately, and stop buying any meat or dairy products that are not free-range and organic. But of course, that requires action – so focusing on imaginary fears that we can do nothing about, is in some strange, neurotic way, more comfortable to the majority of people.

Far outstripping all other dangers, are the dangers posed by what human beings do to themselves and one another. Murder is still rare in most places, outside of war; but war kills hundreds of thousands of people per year – many times more than the terrorism it is often claimed to be fighting or preventing, and is in fact instead compounding and intensifying.

Over two million people were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the result was exactly what any intelligent observer would have predicted, and exactly what US intelligence agencies did predict: mass bombings by the US have fuelled animosities and increased the level of terrorism. War is mass murder, and what’s more, we are all in greater danger because of it.

Compare the deaths from Ebola to the US wars in the Middle East. Ebola has killed a reported 14,000 people (and most of these deaths are unconfirmed as to their true cause). Meanwhile the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have killed over 2 million. We should be waging war on war, not panicking about a wildly hyped exotic disease that kills a tiny fraction of the number that die every year from the flu.

Worse even than war, is the death toll from poverty, with 20,000-30,000 children dying every day from hunger. Remember, the death toll from terrorism is 20,000 per year. The death toll, just in terms of children, from poverty and hunger, is over 20,000 per day. But we don’t see an all-out war on poverty, because that would not benefit the big oil companies and arms manufacturers who are driving the “war on terror.”

The death toll from poor diet and unhealthy lifestyles is likewise massive, with an estimated 300,000 people dying in the US every year from obesity alone. The leading cause of death in the world is cardiovascular disease. According to the World Health Organization there were approximately 17.5 million deaths from heart-related illnesses in 2012, amounting to 30% of the total death rate. Again, compare 14,000 deaths from Ebola, to 300,000 deaths every year from obesity – in just one single over-fed, undernourished nation – or more than 17 million people dying a year from heart disease world-wide. The panic over Ebola is so radically out of touch with reality, that it is hard to describe.

But, it is more profitable to sell “food-like substances” at high profits than to sell real food, and it is more profitable to manage disease than to provide real health care, so we must continue to deny and avoid reality, and to instead divert our attention to phantasy and paranoia and other distractions from the real world and the real dangers facing us.

Which is why unhealthy lifestyles and diets, which are killing millions of people a year, along with poverty and war which kill millions more, are realities which we seek constantly to avoid. And yet, our hidden anxieties must have some place, or way to be vented, and since reality is not an option for most people when it comes to dealing with anxiety and danger, we must focus on fabrications, fairy tales and exaggerated bogey men, which we know, secretly, are far safer to confront than our real, yet suppressed fears. It is a self-comforting response – not a rational way to deal with reasonably assessed, real dangers in the world.

Meanwhile, our race to destroy the very world we live on, must be acknowledged to be the number one danger to all human beings, and all living beings on the planet at this time, with truly nothing being even remotely comparable. But we live in a bubble of denial, and refuse to take that on – so the escapism and irrationality, and the fixation on straw men and distractions, must therefore continue.

In short, our priorities are shot, our risk assessment, and our general perception of reality, is shot, our society is run by sociopaths who care only about egotism and greed, and we are in great danger for these very reasons, above all others – and not due to some largely fictitious, or grossly inflated, and wildly exaggerated bogey man.

As to ISIS, there is no question that this is a band of thugs, who, regardless of how ruthless they may be, and are, are also miniscule in scale compared to the terrorism waged by Washington, which, again, has left two million dead since the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq began.

As Chomsky said, comparing petty thugs, such as ISIS, to Washington, is like comparing a small-time criminal to the Godfather. Let’s try to deal with the real world. We will be much safer when we decide to do that – if we are willing to do that.

Furthermore, the US military intervention and bombing of Iraq is what created the explosion of growth of A Queda in the first place, and what created the even more militant offshoot which is ISIS. So one the one hand, our risk assessment is completely shot through with delusion, since we should be far more concerned with the dangers posed by our own governments and the corporate elite that control them; and beyond that, our response to this wildly exaggerated assessment of the dangers of Al Queda, ISIS and Middle East extremists, are creating more danger than we originally had in the first place. This is what we might call, utterly insane, or at least, profoundly delusional.

The fact is, there was no al-Qaeda presence in Iraq before George W. Bush took — made the decision to invade it, except in the Kurdish region in the north of Iraq, which was not under Saddam Hussein’s control. In fact, it was under the control of U.S.-backed entities. And that was Ansar al-Islam. Saddam Hussein’s forces were fighting that group.

So, what am I saying here? What I’m saying is that the United States, through its policies, created the very threat that it claims to be fighting now, and in continuing this policy, what President Obama is doing is embracing the very lies that made the Cheney-Bush Iraq War possible. And in the process, he’s creating yet another generation of people in the Islamic world who are going to grow up in a society where they believe that their religion is being targeted, where they believe that the United States is a gratuitous enemy. And so, this is sort of an epic formula for blowback.”

  • Jeremy Scahill, Obama’s Orwellian War, Democracy Now!

To return to Ebola, it is hard to estimate accurately its true danger, because governments, health authorities and the media are systematically distorting information. But in all likelihood, judging from the historical context of disease and contagion, Ebola will remain a killer disease that ranks somewhere far below the common flu. Between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from the flu every year according to the World Health Organization (not, it should be noted, from influenza, but from flu-like infections for which flu vaccines are utterly useless) – mainly due to weakened immune systems. It is difficult to be certain at this point, but it is most likely that Ebola will not rise to this level of death toll of the common flu: at least, not any time in the foreseeable future.

So in terms of both ISIS and Ebola, the media, government and other social “authorities” are spinning a web of distortion, delusion and radical hyperbola, and are wildly overstating, as well as misrepresenting, the dangers. And with so much distortion, exaggeration and fear-mongering being paraded out systematically, we must ask ourselves: why?

*

All would-be God-kings, fascists, tyrants, emperors and power-mongers play the same cards, over and over again, and use the same tried and tested tactics and strategies to gain and maintain power: divide and conquer, alienate and subjugate; demoralize, demean and dispirit; deceive, misinform and lie; and above all, terrorize and instill fear.

The most central tactic of all power hungry elites, throughout history, including the present corporate elite and their political prostitutes, who, together, rule the world today, is to spread the message, far and wide, daily and incessantly, “Be afraid – be very afraid….”

(Just don’t be afraid about the real dangers. These things, we have to distract you from, by directing your fear and anger elsewhere, anywhere, other than where it should be directed.)

It’s a shell game folks. And it’s time for us to take a more realistic look at the world around us, and cut through the smoke screens, the propaganda, the lies, the distortions and the distractions.

As for Ebola, as with ISIS, and other dangers that are hyped and inflated, and paraded as if they were the second coming of Hitler, or the next thing to the apocalypse, the first rule is to question everything you hear. The second rule is to stay calm, and think things through for yourself. Turn off the mainstream media, do your own research, and think for yourself.

*

Government sources of information have proven themselves, time and time again, to be deeply unreliable, to say the least – and frequently, if not routinely, filled with lies, delusions, distortions and deceit. Mainstream media has proven itself, over and over again, to be deeply unreliable, at best, and more often, also filled with lies, half-truths, delusion and deceit. Even the so-called alternative media is generally hit and miss, and is riddled with confusion, illusion and errors, a great deal of the time, if not most of the time. In such a media environment, or media circus – or hall of mirrors, deception and mass bewilderment – we are forced to think for ourselves. And if we want the truth, the real story, we will have to dig for it. This short essay is a mere first look at the real situation facing us with regard to ISIS and Ebola. We should not stop here, but dig deeper, and keep asking questions. However, we can say this much.

First of all, don’t believe the hype. And remember this: a) even during the Black Plague, also known as the Black Death, or Bubonic Plague, which struck Europe in 1348, when one third of the populace died – two-thirds did not: in other words, it was an enormous tragedy, but not the end of humankind, by any stretch of the imagination; b) had poverty, poor sanitation and malnutrition not been widespread and pervasive, the death toll likely would have been just a fraction of that; c) even this level of pandemic, such as the Bubonic Plague or Black Death, is extraordinarily rare in human history; and d) there are reasons why Ebola, as terrifying as it may sound, is far less dangerous than the common flu – which, again, almost exclusively kills only those with highly weakened immune systems, and which, nonetheless, kills far more people every year than Ebola ever has, or is ever likely to do.

Why is Ebola, in all likelihood, far less of a threat than it is hyped to be, and many people imagine it to be? Because it has a short incubation period: so no matter how high its mortality rate, it is limited in its ability to spread due to its short incubation period. People get sick fast, show symptoms, and can be quarantined or avoided before they come into contact with a great many people. When a virus has a long incubation period, then a great many people can become infected with the virus, and spread it widely before showing any symptoms of being infected. Fortunately this is not the case with Ebola, which is why it’s pandemic risk is relatively low.

Of course, if this recent strain of Ebola has been weaponized by biowarfare labs – US or otherwise – then the contagion and pandemic risk is an unknown. Presently, the evidence is overwhelming that this strain of Ebola did in fact come from US bioweapons labs in West Africa, either intentionally or accidentally, but we do not yet know if it is a weaponized strain. Pray it is not, because if it is, it will be far more dangerous than the strains we have seen since 1976, when Ebola was first seen.

(Since 1976, when Ebola first appeared, there have been some 14,000 deaths from the disease, versus 250,000-500,000 a year from the flu. Presently, the flu is far more dangerous, but if this Ebola strain has been weaponized, then all bets are off. Let’s hope the ruling military-industrial-security complex has some small trace of remaining sanity, and has not gone this far. We could say the same for the risk of nuclear war, which is also a very real and present danger.)

In any event, we should not be afraid of infectious diseases to such an extent that it becomes paranoia or sheer irrationality. What is far more sensible is that we build up our natural immune strength, since this is the overwhelming factor in whether we get sick or stay healthy, or how well we can fight off an infection of any kind.

It is called germ/host theory in medical science for a reason, and it is the health of the host, the health of the individual and the individual’s immune system, and not the virulence of the germ, that is the primary indicator of the outcome.

It is our immune strength, and not the strength of the infectious disease, that is overwhelmingly the greatest factor in whether or not we get sick, and in how well we recover if we do. This is critical to understand for anyone who wants to live in the real world.

The flu, tuberculosis, poverty, hunger, unhealthy lifestyles and poor diets each kill far more people every year than Ebola ever has, or ever likely will. If we want to be healthy and well, then we should eat well, and stay calm; and not stuff our faces with largely toxic “food-like substances,” and then panic over a disease that is a hundred times less likely to kill us than our lifestyle, and what we put in our mouths. Again, eat well, boost your immune system naturally, and don’t believe the hype.

The people are possessed of a natural common sense. They must make better use of it, or bear the consequences of refusing to do so.

*

Deeper questions:

With all of the fear and distortion surrounding infectious diseases and terrorism, in both cases, something very fishy seems to be happening – and the indicators keep getting worse. Ebola as US-orchestrated bio-terrorism for purposes of global and domestic power politics? Anyone who has any understanding of real world power politics, or any understanding of history, would not be surprised. And now, US and African scholars and scientists are saying the evidence points overwhelmingly in this direction.

Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, College of Law, questions the Obama administration’s actions in West Africa:

US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US,” Prof. Francis Boyle said.

Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?”

– U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist, Timothy Alexander Guzman, Global Research, October 17, 2014

F. William Engdahl, a strategic risk consultant and lecturer who holds a degree in politics from Princeton University, and best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, has this to say:

For a Nobel Peace Prize President, Barack Obama seems destined to go down in history books as the President who presided over one of the most aggressive series of wars ever waged by a bellicose Washington Administration. Not even George Bush and Dick Cheney came close.

First, before the ink was even dry on his Nobel Prize certificate, Obama announced the Afghanistan “surge”, pouring another 30,000 US military into that destroyed part of the world. Then came Obama’s war against Libya’s Qaddafi, followed rapidly by his war to try to topple Syria’s Bashar al Assad. Soon after came Obama’s “war for democracy in Ukraine,” otherwise better called Obama’s attempt to provoke Russia into a new war confrontation with NATO by backing a gaggle of Ukrainian oligarchs, criminals and outright neo-nazis in Kiev. In July of this year, Obama’s Administration was pushing the President to launch a second try at bombing Syria back to the Stone Age, allegedly to destroy ISIS, a looney Jihadist Sunni sect that was said to be a joint venture of the CIA and Israeli intelligence.

Now Obama’s advisers, no doubt led by the blood-thirsty National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, have come up with a new war. This is the War Against Ebola. On September 16, President Obama solemnly declared the war. He announced, to the surprise of most sane citizens, that he had ordered 3,000 American troops, the so-called “boots on the ground” that the Pentagon refuses to agree to in Syria, to wage a war against….a virus?…..

The issue of oil in West Africa, notably in the waters of the Gulf of Guinea, have become increasingly strategic both to China, who is roaming the world in search of future secure oil import sources, and the United States, whose oil geo-politics was summed up in a quip by then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in the 1970’s: ‘If you control the oil, you control entire nations.’

The Obama Administration and Pentagon policy has continued that of George W. Bush, who in 2008 created the US military Africa Command or AFRICOM, to battle the rapidly-growing Chinese economic presence in Africa’s potential oil-rich countries. West Africa is a rapidly-emerging oil treasure, barely tapped to date. A US Department of Energy study projected that African oil production would rise 91 percent between 2002 and 2025, much from the region of the present Ebola alarm.

Chinese oil companies are all over Africa and increasingly active in West Africa, especially Angola, Sudan and Guinea, the latter in the epicenter of Obama’s new War on Ebola troop deployment.”

  • Obama’s “War on Ebola” or War For Oil? Sending 3,000 Troops to African “Ebola” Areas that Happen to Export Oil to China, October 2, 2014

And does anyone else find it strange that the U.S. Centre for Disease Control holds the patent on Ebola? First of all, it seems very strange that anyone would hold a patent on a disease – but the CDC itself? The evidence I have seen is preliminary, and I have only begun to dig into it; but surely this must make warning bells go off. And when we hear from an esteemed American professor of international law, professor Francis Boyle, whose specialization is in bio-warfare, that the CDC has been deeply involved in the Pentagon’s bio-warfare programs for decades, then the signs become all the more troubling.

Dr. Jason Kissner, Associate Professor of Criminology at California State University, states:

We can now be extraordinarily confident that the U.S. government is lying, in key material respects, about the latest Ebola outbreak—and not just because it lies about nearly everything of political consequence. This article shows that there are compelling reasons to believe we are being told three big lies about Ebola. It also offers a simple, rational, yet disturbing, explanation that very tidily accounts for all three lies. The explanation supposes that the current Ebola outbreak consists in an act of U.S.-linked bioterror.”

Professor Francis Boyle, the professor of international law who drafted the U.S. Law pertaining to the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972, makes it clear:

“What we are dealing with here is a biological warfare work that was conducted at the bio-warfare laboratories set up by the USA on the west coast of Africa. And if you look at a map produced by the Center of Disease Control you can see where these laboratories are located. And they are across the heart of Ebola epidemic, at the west coast of Africa….

I have absolute proof from a Pentagon document that the Center of Disease Control was doing bio-warfare work for the Pentagon in Sierra Leone, the heart of the outbreak, as early as 1988….”

In particular they [the public] must not believe anything they are being told by the WHO and CDC….

Back in 1985, I was down in Nicaragua investigating atrocities of the Contras there, and all of a sudden the country was hit with an outbreak of a hemorrhaging Dengue Fever, which is similar to Ebola. And it seemed pretty suspicious to me. So I met with some of the highest level officials of the Nicaraguan government and said: “You know, this very well could be US bio-warfare against Nicaragua. They did the same thing to Cuba. And my advice is you convene health care medical experts, not politicians, to look into this. And if you agree with me and that’s the result, file a complaint with the UN Security Council for violation of the Biological Weapons Convention against the USA”.

– Francis A. Boyle is a leading American professor, practitioner and advocate of international law. He was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention. He served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and represented Bosnia – Herzegovina at the World Court. Professor Boyle teaches international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign. He holds a Doctor of Law Magna Cum Laude as well as a Ph.D. in Political Science, both from Harvard University. He is also the author of “Biowarfare and Terrorism”. The book outlines how and why the United States government initiated, sustained and then dramatically expanded an illegal biological arms buildup.

(Cited in a recent article by Paul Craig Roberts, the former assistant secretary to the US Treasury and former editor of the Wall Street Journal, Is the US Government the Master Criminal of Our Time? October 20, 2014, Institute for Political Economy. Paul Craig Roberts is the author of How America Was Lost, and, The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism.)

So yes, it would seem that there is something very fishy about the Ebola scare – even more so than with the earlier SARS scare and Swine Flu scare. And this is in addition to the fact that the hype and hysteria are wildly out of sync with any remotely rational human risk assessment, regardless of the origins of the outbreak, or any questions as to its relation to U.S. bioterrorism.

It could turn out that this particular strain of Ebola is in fact highly dangerous – all other questions surrounding it aside, and whether or not it originated in US bio-weapons labs in West Africa, as at least four different eminent US professors are now stating. But in any event, panic and hysteria are both useless and inappropriate, as well as utterly self-defeating. We need to stay calm, dig deep for the truth, question all supposed authorities, and everything we read or hear, and take care of our own family’s health through natural means and good nutrition.

As Professor Boyle has said, we know from their record that we cannot rely on the health authorities or governments for protection of public health – especially the WHO, the CDC and the US government. And the evidence seems irrefutable that the Canadian and British governments are partnered, unsurprisingly, with Washington, as they have been for a long time, and are likewise wholly unreliable.

More to come on this – stay tuned, and don’t fall for the media hysteria.

*

The War on Ebola, the War on Terrorism, and the War on Drugs: Parallels and Perspective

To place things into a wider context, we could say that the War on Drugs has been a huge success – for the ruling elite, that is; but it has not been sufficient in itself for elite purposes. What on earth am I talking about? The war on drugs has been a total failure by every measure, except in one regard: except in regards to the purpose it was meant to serve, which is the further consolidation and reinforcement of elite control over the domestic population.

The “war on drugs” has removed from the streets a large percentage of the superfluous and expendable population – and young black men in particular – who, in the wake of globalization and off-shoring of manufacturing, are no longer needed for either production or consumption, and has put them in prison, where they are not only contained, and prevented from becoming a force for revolt or revolution, but can also be used, and are currently being used, for low-cost, virtually free prison labour for corporate interests.

The war on drugs would have been abandoned years ago if it was intended to actually combat or reduce drug use, drug trafficking or drug-related crime, since it is, by all indications and all measures, a total failure in these regards, and worse, a case of monumental blowback, with the cure being worse than the illness. But it has not been cancelled, but instead, expanded, and that is because it is serving its intended purpose, which is to corral large segments of the population, and neutralize them. The war on drugs, however, is not sufficient in itself for such elite purposes of control over the domestic population. Other strategies were needed to be invoked along side it, such as the “War on Terror”.

The “War on Terror” has also been a great success – in the eyes of the elite who orchestrated it – but again, insufficient in itself to the primary task. The “war on terror” has been used to rationalize and justify imperial warfare abroad for the sake of control of resources, again for the sake of corporate interests; and has, more centrally, been used at home to create the pretext for the construction of a police state and a global surveillance network – again, for the sake of elite corporate interests, and for the purposes of securing elite power in the face of a growing crisis of legitimacy, rising popular discontent and outrage, and in order to avert the threat of popular revolt or the outbreak of authentic democracy.

But as we have said, neither the “War on Drugs” nor the “War on Terror” have proven to be sufficient to the task. And what is the task? It has two parts. One: maintain, secure and expand elite corporate interests and power on a global scale, through war, covert operations, state-sponsored crony capitalism and financial terrorism. And two, much more centrally: maintain, secure, expand and consolidate elite corporate interests and power at home, in the heartland of the global corporate empire, in the US, Canada and Europe, through the demolition of democracy, the neutralization of the superfluous population and all dissent, and the creation of a fascist architecture and a police state.

(See Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky, Gerald Celente, Chris Hedges, Paul Craig Roberts, Naomi Klein or Naomi Wolf, among others, if there is any doubt as to the accuracy of these statements and the veracity of the conclusions drawn here.)

And now we have the “War on Ebola,” and what appears to be yet another means of elite control over the population, through fear, manipulation, distraction, further pretexts for war and empire, and in addition, most likely, repressive, draconian measures at home and abroad.

What should we be worried about? Not Ebola, and not ISIS, and not any other bogey man paraded by the puppet media and the elite, in a fear-mongering campaign designed to distract, mislead and to manipulate the people. We should be worried about the rising tide of fascism, and the escalating war on democracy and freedom, the people and the earth – and the corporate and political elite who are behind it.

Summary and conclusion:

What can we conclude from this morass of msinformation, confusion, bewilderment, distortion and deceit that surrounds the current Ebola outbreak, if anything?

  1. We are forced to question every authority and everything we read or hear, since the misinformation, confusion and outright lies are so common as to be a pandemic in itself.
  2. We must think for ourselves and do our own research.
  3. We should try to put things into perspective, and keep them in perspective. War, poverty, unhealthy lifestyles and diets, and the poisoning and destruction of our environment, are by far the greatest dangers facing humankind at this time. Infectious diseases kill a tiny fraction of the people that war, poverty, environmental toxins and poor diets kill. And even in terms of infectious diseases, Ebola ranks as a tiny threat compared to the common flu, and in all likelihood, will remain so.
  4. To the extent that we should be somewhat concerned – not paranoid or irrational, but concerned to some degree – about Ebola or any other contagious disease, we should remember that vaccines, like antibiotics and pesticides, are rapidly nearing their end of usefulness and effectiveness. In fact, we are essentially at their end already. The reason is that bacteria, germs, insects and viruses mutate and evolve at a rate which is far faster than our ability to come up with new antibiotics, pesticides or vaccines. And beyond the fact that these weapons of defence, our arsenal of antibiotics, pesticides and vaccines, both present and future tense, are rapidly becoming useless, and are by now, in many cases, including Ebola, largely useless, they are also dangerous in themselves. Antibiotics weaken our immune systems and create super-germs. Pesticides poison our environment and our bodies, cause cancer and other diseases, create super-bugs and also radical food insecurity. And vaccines have frequently and repeatedly been shown to pose more dangers than the diseases they are intended to prevent. In the case of a rapidly mutating and evolving virus such as Ebola, the risk from vaccines is even higher, since vaccines have to be developed and deployed rapidly, and without adequate testing for safety. In short, vaccines are not the answer to viral outbreaks, and may in fact pose greater dangers than the viruses themselves. Natural methods for increasing our immune strength are now shown to be more effective, and that should reasonably be our first response – if, that is, we wish to be rational. Many, of course, do not.
  5. We should remember that it is called germ/host theory in medical science, and not germ theory. Mounting, and overwhelming evidence indicates that it is the strength of our immune system, and not the strength of the infectious disease, or any other form of disease, which determines if we get sick or not, and how well we will recover if we do get sick. Therefore, we should take good care of our health, eat healthy food, get lots of exercise and adequate rest, manage our stress levels, and take natural immune boosting foods, such as red algae, omega-3 essential oils, garlic, ginger, astragalus, echinacea, pro-biotics, etc.
  6. Governments – or, we should more accurately say, the ruling elites who control and manipulate and dominate current governments – have shown a clear record of using crises, whether they be real or manufactured, actual or fake, for their own advantage, and at the expense of the people. The greatest threat and the greatest danger posed by Ebola, as with ISIS and terrorism generally, is most likely not from this one exotic disease, or this or that fringe group of extremist fanatics, but from the government response to them. There is a very real danger of elites using the present crises, as they have done many times before, to further their own interests, and with great dangers and grave costs to the people. (See Naomi Klein’s, Shock Doctrine.)

But how can such levels of corruption exist, or be believed? Here is an example from the “leading” nation-state super-power on the planet, the now clearly sinking USA.

US politics explained: Wall Street rules, and the military-industrial-security complex forms the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, under the reign of the corporate oligarchy, which also controls the economy, the financial system, the Federal Reserve, the major media networks and conglomerates, and in fact, 90% of the media in the country, along with both major political parties, both Democrat and Republican. Anyone who still believes the US is a democracy is living in a dream world. A ruthless and sociopathic, criminal elite have taken over, and democracy, for the time being, is dead and buried in America.

But fear not. The truth will win out in the end. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The people will triumph in the end. The people are awakening, and a renaissance is emerging, and being born. We should do all we can to nourish it, and in the process, keep the vision of a better world alive, for it will be born, and is being born.

In the meantime, eat your vegetables, boost your immune system with natural methods, such as red algae and other natural immune boosters, work for positive social change and the healing of our world in whatever way you can, stay calm, and do your own research – and again, above all, don’t believe everything you read or hear, especially in the mainstream media.

As always, the price of democracy and freedom is eternal vigilance – and the dangers most often, are close to home, and not far away.

Keep your perspective, stay real, and be well. There is more to unfold yet in the story of human life on earth.

J. Todd Ring,

December 3, 2014

For more information on intelligent responses to Ebola, see, Your Best Strategy In the Face of Ebola, From GreenMedinfo, October 20, 2014, by James Maskell

For more on flu shots and vaccine effectiveness, see: Flu Vaccines Sold by Marketing Fear, Not Because They Work: BMJ Report, Health Impact News, December 3, 2014

For more on ISIS in context, see Noam Chomsky, America Is The World’s Leading Terrorist Nation:

http://www.popularresistance.org/chomsky-america-is-the-worlds-leading-terrorist-nation/

and

Jeremy Scahill, Scahill On Obama’s Orwellian War, on Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/2014/10/3/jeremy_scahill_on_obamas_orwellian_war?autostart=true&get_clicky_key=suggested_next_story

Trends in the news – real analysis for a change, and honesty, if you can imagine that!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 16, 2014 by jtoddring

Trends in the news: Energy madness, tech stocks plummeting, gold prices rising, propaganda over Ukraine, and China refuses GMO food – real news, brought to you by the world’s leading trend analyst, Gerald Celente.

Forget your media schmucks and presstitutes – tune into Gerald Celente for the real story that the mass media won’t tell you. Then go to CounterPunch or GlobalResearch.ca to get the background information you need to fully understand what he is saying – or subscribe to his quarterly Trends Research Journal.

Geez, you’d think I was getting paid for this promo, but I’m not – I’m just deeply impressed by this man’s honesty and lucidity, and deeply disgusted by the utter lack of honesty in the mainstream media. Change the channel, people!

JTR,
April 16, 2014

 

Gerald Celente – YouTube.

Advertising, bondage and consumerism

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2014 by jtoddring

I turn off the mute on the radio, to check if the nauseating ads are finished and we can get back to the music, and I hear, “New York steak…” – so I mute it again immediately; and I think:

Advertising = the intensification and multiplication of human wants and desires = the diminishing of human peace, contentment and happiness = higher corporate profits and increased wealth and power for the few = debt bondage, servitude and the yoke of a treadmill for the many, who will run and run until they drop dead, chasing that ever-retreating carrot, like well-trained Pavlovian dogs.

When will people realize the nature of this equation?

This is central, people. Simplify, simplify.

JTR,
February 18, 2014

Public poll on the state of democracy: please respond – your views and your voice matter!

Posted in analysis, corporations, corporatism, democracy, economics, economy, Media, political economy, politics, social theory, sociology, sovereignty, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by jtoddring

Please answer the following question below, share this poll with friends, and leave your comments as well if you wish. (Naturally, of course you can only vote once! This poll aims to be as democratic as possible!)