Category : censorship

Remember when Bitcoin was $100? You know, like 2 months ago? Well now it has leaped up $100 in just 4 hours, rising from $500 to $600 USD before retreating slightly.

Bitcoin on Nov 18, 2013

It seems the Little Currency That Could is making a run at $1000. We’ll soon see if it can make it before the bubble bursts again.

But why  are people investing in this crazy “virtual currency” anyway?
When I first stumbled across Bitcoin back in 2011, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It seemed a pretty quixotic goal, making a new currency just for the internet. I knew the network effect was critical for gaining any traction, and at the time it was just the province of a few cypherpunks, led by a mysterious figure known as Satoshi Nakamoto who hasn’t been heard from since 2010. This person or group started the whole thing with a white paper laying out how it would work. Soon the system was up and running. There were a few bumps along the way but this resilient idea has since caught on and now there are a flurry of competing crypto-currencies — that is, digital money that’s secured by lots of complex math.

There’s more to Bitcoin than just another internet scam or tulip craze. The underlying technology that makes Bitcoin work is not smoke and mirrors. You can see it working every day as money is transferred all over the world, nearly insantly. All you need is an internet connection, which of course is needed for any sort of online banking you do with traditional money. Bitcoin’s genius is making large-scale, distributed cryptography work for the masses.

That’s the important point: Bitcoin works for the masses, unlike traditional fiat currencies like the US Dollar. Despite our democratic ideals, American money policy is decided behind closed doors by a secretive agency that fiddles with interest rates and makes huge bond purchases with money it creates from nothing. Transparency is not the Federal Reserve’s style.

Money for the masses
With Bitcoin, the code is open source and there is no central authority or bank — the job of verifying transactions is distributed across the globe. Don’t trust Bitcoin? Review the source code yourself and suggest changes if the security is not up to snuff. Let there be no mistake — Bitcoin is not yet out of “beta” and is not financed by a huge corporation with a strict delivery timeline. Nope, this is a bunch of self-appointed Guardian Nerds who mostly have day jobs not related to Bitcoin (except lead developer Gavin Andresen, who is paid by the nascent Bitcoin Foundation).

With that in mind, it’s best to think of Bitcoin as something that will be really cool and world-changing…

But it isn’t yet. Not until an easier payment system is deployed (it’s being developed now) and a stronger ecosystem of merchants accepting the currency emerges. What we’re witnessing now is a speculative landgrab because smart folks know that Bitcoin’s current market cap of 5 or 6 billion is chump change compared to what a fully mature, global digital currency would have if it were successful. To put it in comparison, Bill Gates could buy the whole Bitcoin economy nearly 10 times over, even in this midst of this bubble.

But is this a bubble or merely staggered massive growth?

Bitcoin versus traditional forms of money
Many valuations have been tossed about for Bitcoin. Most are probably overly optimistic, but the naysayers ignore the fact that Bitcoin was cleverly designed to be a store of value first and a currency second. It’s been derided as a “deflationary currency” even though it’s presently inflating at over 10% as new bitcoins are mined and put into circulation. Though misunderstood, Bitcoin is just on a somewhat-flexible schedule of inflation that will limit it to at most 21 million coins. It will take nearly 100 years for it to inflate from the present total of 12 million to its final total of 21 million. That’s not a bad thing — you can plan your life around that, whereas the Fed could change course tomorrow and you’d have no recourse except to try and compensate for what you think might be their new strategy.

Make no mistake: Bitcoin threatens inflationary currencies because it offers a release valve available to regular folks if the government and/or central bank decides to inflate your currency (as they inevitably do). That’s a good thing because competition among currencies can only help consumers and merchants. Central banks won’t be able to inflate secretly without the price of Bitcoin being affected.

Bitcoin is still pretty clumsy as a currency, but it works well as a store of value as long as you follow proper security procedures and principles. Does your password contain your name or birthday or even the word “password” in it? Does it have the string “12345″ in it? Perhaps you should not buy any bitcoin until “Bitcoin Banks” emerge to offer security to the security-impaired. The bad thing about a global, distributed currency is that it can be stolen remotely too. Don’t skimp on the passwords and don’t keep everything all in one place, like your email account which could itself be hacked. Enable 2 factor authentication where available.

Soon, major merchants will start accepting Bitcoin because they want to save money on credit card transaction fees and/or Paypal charges. Bitcoin is close to free (currently around 3 cents, regardless of the size of the transaction) versus the 2 or 3% fee associated with credit cards.

China: the sleeping giant awakens
Much of the current boom has been driven by enthusiasm in China. During the last huge bubble in April China was barely a participant. This time they are driving the whole market and are responsible for more than half of all exchange trades which consistently outweighs the USD. The Chinese seem to like Bitcoin. A lot.

That means we’re in uncharted waters. Who knows the depths of their desire for bitcoin? Their proclivities could change the world because the Chinese and westerners have different philosophies of money. The Chinese are savers whereas the West has encouraged spending and investment through inflationary currencies that need to be earning you money or solving a problem, or else they are losing value. Much of western civilization is predicated on this quirk of our monetary system. Before, the only way to opt out was to buy gold and silver, but Bitcoin offers a new way to preserve value over time, but has the advantage that it can be sent anywhere in the world cheaply and in about an hour.

That’s why people have taken to calling Bitcoin things like Digital Gold and Gold 2.0. It could become a whole new asset class.

Bitcoin is a blessing and a curse for the Obama Administration
That’s been a problem for the US Government  – it doesn’t know how to classify Bitcoin for tax and regulation purposes. Is it a currency? A store of value? An asset? A security? A collectible? A stock in some hippy/libertarian enterprise? All of the above?

While many observers thought that the US regime would quickly make Bitcoin illegal because of its threat to the US Dollar, it now appears Washington is going to take a more wait & see approach, partly because the Chinese boom seems certain to incubate a new wave of start-ups and millionaires just like the early PC revolution did in the 80s and the internet boom did during the late 90s. Lawmakers face a stark choice: Do you want this new round of innovation to happen in Silicon Valley… or Shanghai?

Besides, Obama/Congress making Bitcoin illegal would only apply to the US and would only serve to drive it underground.  The Feds could try to eradicate it on the internet (at the cost of our liberties), but they would ultimately succeed only restricting commerce. Bitcoin is easy enough to hold offline as a paper wallet. I’m not sure if the US government even still bothers to feign interest in the plight of oppressed peoples living under dictatorships unless there happens to be some oil nearby, but if they did care, Bitcoin is a great way to effect commerce outside the grip of a despot. The obvious early candidates for Bitcoin merchants is any business involving the internet so buying a web domain with bitcoin is already possible. Soon other anti-censorship tools could become available with a digital currency that is difficult for authorities to track if you use appropriate anonymizing tools.

Is Bitcoin anonymous? Sort of.
It should be noted that Bitcoin is not fully anonymous. In fact, every transaction ever made is stored in a huge public ledger (the “Blockchain”) that is hosted and shared by anybody running a Bitcoin node. This helps verify that coins aren’t spent twice and ensures that only the person with the private key can access them. However, you can take steps to make sure no one knows you have that address. Bitcoin addresses are called “wallets” and they are basically both the wallet and bank account of Bitcoin. You can create a new one with a click of a button. No identifying information is required, but the NSA will still be spying on all your activities on the internet (as I’ve been saying for years, but we’re all supposed to be shocked) so tread with caution.

Golden Future: What does the future hold for Bitcoin?
So what does the future hold for Bitcoin? No one knows for sure, but I think we are watching history unfold. People scoffed at the idea of a personal computer. They scoffed at the internet and at mobile phones too. Yet the tide of history flows onward like the River Nile, demolishing our preconceptions and old ideas that no longer serve us in its inexorable ebb and flow.

In the wake of the financial disaster of 2008 and the lingering malaise (even as the Dow breaks 16,000), we have to wonder if our current concept of money is still working. In the old days, money was gold. Or silver. But we banished that idea to the distant past when paper money (which were originally certificates redeemable for gold or silver) caught on. But in the age of derivatives and CDOs and quantitative easing, perhaps it’s time to reassess if paper money — which somehow transformed into digital money in the last few decades — is really helping us.

So the idea of digital money isn’t even new. And neither is Bitcoin’s slow, steady inflation level because it mimics how gold is mined. But the idea of a currency created through cryptographic equations and run on normal PCs is radically new and revolutionary. Could it be that Bitcoin is the best of both worlds, the best of the old and the new?

Time will tell. But Bitcoin is just the first of what promises to be many cryptocurrencies. If Bitcoin doesn’t get it right, it’s likely that some other crypto-coin will.

Learn more about Bitcoin at WeUseCoins.com. Bitcoin has a significant learning curve and it’s worthwhile to invest some time into understanding it before you dive in. And if you’re going to buy in, wait until this current bubble pops. And pop it will, but I bet it will still be higher than it was 2 months ago.

You might be telling your grandkids about way back in your day when a bitcoin was only worth 600 dollars. And your grandkids will ask, “What’s a dollar?”

“The American people are today the best entertained and the least informed people on the face of the Earth.”

–Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

“The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media.”

William Colby
CIA Director, 1973-1976

Kucinich has introduced the Articles of Impeachment against Bush

…and the Media hasn’t said shit.

“Liberal Media” my ass! The Media is fucking fascist, end of story. They are utterly controlled by the same corporate interests that control both major political parties. That’s why Dennis Kucinich is a pariah in his own party — he actually looks out for the Constitution and the rights of We The People. Such dedication to Liberty is considered treason in the bowels of both the Democratic and Republican parties.

A few mainstream outlets picked up the story and managed to spend an approximate average of less than 200 words describing the measure. They couldn’t even be bothered to list more than a few of the 35 articles of impeachment.

I’ve seen better reporting in a fucking high school newspaper.

I don’t blame the beat reporters; if their editors said “give me 2,000 words” they would have. As is, they probably had to fight to get 200.

But it’s disgusting. I mean, jeeze, it’s only the impeachment of the goddamn President of the United States of America. They all managed to mention that it’s not politically feasible. Well I wonder why that is, you jackasses! It’s because you won’t cover it! If you did, everything would change, no matter how shitty and biased your coverage. Mr. 25% Approval Rating would not find many advocates in the populace, even if he would in the dominant press. And then you’d look pretty stupid, wouldn’t you, defending the murdering megalomaniac who launched an illegal war. Those of us who still remember the impeachment of Bill Clinton know that it takes very little to whip the Media into a frothing frenzy of obsessive, inane coverage. Surely you could do the same for Bush. But you won’t.

Because you’re traitors.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. And it’s true. This president is the most evil, diabolical man ever elected and you, the supposed Fourth Estate, won’t criticize him in a voice above a whisper. It’s fucking pathetic.

Look at Kucinich’s 35 articles of impeachment. There’s a lot of red meat here:

#1: Creating a secret propaganda campaign to manufacture a false case for war against Iraq

#2 Falsely, Systematically, and with Criminal Intent Conflating the Attacks of September 11, 2001, With Misrepresentation of Iraq as a Security Threat as Part of Fraudulent Justification for a War of Aggression

#3 Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, to Manufacture a False Case for War

#4 Misleading the American People and Members of Congress to Believe Iraq Posed an Imminent Threat to the United States

#14: Misprision of a felony, misuse and exposure of classified information and cover up (Plame outing)

#15: Providing immunity from prosecution for criminal conduct for contractors in Iraq

#17: Illegal detention – detaining indefinitely, and without charge, American citizens and foreign captives (suspension of habeus)

#18: Torture – secretly authorizing and encouraging use of torture, as matter of official policy

#19 Rendition

#24 Spying on citizens violating 4th Amendment

#26 Announcing intent to violate laws w/signing statements, and then violating those laws.

#27 Failing to comply with congressional subpoenas, and instructing others to do so.

#29: Conspiracy to violate voting rights act of 1965, Ohio Sec of State 2004-06

#34: Obstruction into the investigation of 9/11

That’s just a few of them. And this isn’t wing-nut stuff, this is all stuff that has been discussed at one time or another in the mainstream press. Much of it was hushed up (the NSA spying scandal, election fraud, 9/11 obstruction) but some of it was loud and clear (torture, Plame, illegal Iraq War). Far from being left-wing lunacy, this is the last 7.5 years, distilled into 35 bullet points.

And yet the Media won’t cover a congressman trying to hold Bush/Cheney accountable for their crimes.

I already told you why. But let it sink in. The Mainstream Media are the ones who made the Bush/Cheney disaster possible. They’re the ones who greased the wheels, regurgitated the lies, jumped on the bandwagon and hushed up the really bad shit. Bush, without a fawning press corps, is just another partisan nutcase with a rich daddy. He wouldn’t've been re-elected, let alone “elected” in the first place (another coverup there).

Let me lay it down for ya, real simple: If Bush hangs, Brian Williams should hang, too. If Cheney hangs, Tim Russert needs to swing from the same pole. If Rumsfeld goes down to the gallows, Charles Krauthammer and David Brooks need to die too. The blood of OVER ONE MILLION IRAQI INNOCENTS is on their hands.

Maybe that’s why the Media is so protective of the Bush regime: They know if Bush goes down, they all go down. They’ve all bloodied their hands and sullied their souls together. Might as well stick together until the bitter end.

But if we don’t stop them, they’ll turn this nation into a fascist state and make you and I into criminals for believing in justice, peace and freedom. Somehow we’ve got to stop them, but I just don’t know how. I’m just some random guy with a blog. What can I do? There’s no one representing my interests in Washington except Dennis Kucinich.

One man, standing up against the Forces of Evil, spitting in the wind and calling for change. This doesn’t look good for the underdogs.

Meanwhile, the supposed hope of mankind is cozying up to Israel, possibly attending the secret Bilderberg meeting (another media coverup) and generally doing whatever it takes to get elected. Fair enough. But Barack Obama had better watch out that he doesn’t sell his soul in the process.

Maybe the whole Obama campaign is just a mirage, a hallucination by those of us who have dreamed of someone who could bring our government back from the brink of tyranny and outright fascism.

I hope I’m wrong, but it’s hard to believe in anything or anybody anymore. We’ve been utterly betrayed by the government, the media and the elite. It just hurts too much to care anymore. The audacity of hope, indeed.

I’d feel a lot more hopeful if I knew somebody out there was fighting the good fight. I sleep a little sounder knowing Kucinich has the balls of a man twice his size, but he’s only one man. We need a few hundred more like him in Congress.

Dennis Kucinich: I salute you. You are a true American patriot.

There exists, somewhere deep in the belly of the NSA, a database so large, so secret, and so illegal, that few government officials will dare talk about it, even off the record.

Sources familiar with the program say that the government’s data gathering has been overzealous and probably conducted in violation of federal law and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment.

According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention. [emphasis mine]

Are you on the list? You have no way of knowing. There’s no way to reason with them, to tell them you’re not a threat. There’s no recourse, no due process, no rights.

This is the dark heart of our government, silently beating away in the darkest corner of a military base somewhere deep underground. There are people in position who long for (or at least plan for) the chance to take power in the next emergency. The Constitution would be suspended, Congress rendered impotent, martial law declared and cities locked down.

For what?

Fear. This government fears its citizens, not because they’re all terrorists, but because many of them still believe in democracy. Such people are dangerous. Believing in the Constitution might be enough to get you on the list.

Let’s imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast—say, a suitcase nuke—in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a “parallel government” that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state.

Why? Why do we need to become a police state in order to become “secure”? Well, I already mentioned it above; the people who put these COG plans together are not patriots. They are traitors who wish to dispense with the annoyances of representative government and move instead to a system where everything is much smoother… for those in power.

It’s strange that they would throw 200 years of liberty at the first sign of trouble … if you don’t know who these people are. Notice who gets protected in the scenario above. They aren’t saving the Constitution, they’re saving their own asses. They don’t have contingency plans in place to ensure that citizens’ rights are upheld; no, they’re only concerned with maintaining their power and their control over us.

It’s not necessary that the government be saved. We can start a new one and Lord knows it’ll be better than the one we’ve got. But the one we’ve got is intent on saving its own skin, Constitution and Bill of Rights be damned. This isn’t a Continuity of Liberty plan. This is a Discontinuation of Liberty plan.

The totality of this plan, the way every tactically-important aspect has been planned for seizure and “continuity”, is to me indicative of Totalitarianism. The state and those in power can’t even imagine why we wouldn’t want the government to control everything. The idea that we could survive just fine without a bloated Federal government doesn’t even occur to them.

You know, the United States of America was originally supposed to be an alliance amongst soveriegn states. If something bad happens in Washington D.C. that shouldn’t directly affect Arizona or Minnesota, except as far as Federal money is concerned (the main tool by which the Federal government has tightened its control over the states).

Realize this: We don’t need a strong Federal government! We have state and local governments to take care of things important to every American; things like roads, power, water, communications and other services.

And who’s planning all this stuff anyway? Surely a competent agency with a devotion to civil liberties, right?

Haha, just kidding. You know we’re fucked: It’s FEMA!

Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary.

Seriously.

Well, I guess I should look at the silver lining: FEMA will probably be just an incompetent at taking our liberties away as at helping those in need… But that’s probably optimistic on my part. The reason FEMA sucks at disaster relief is because it was never really set up to be a benevolent agency; the idea behind FEMA was always this: Seizing control of the nation during an emergency.

This is the real purpose of the War on Terror. It’s to get us used to the idea that the government needs to step in and take over when things get rough. What they don’t tell you is that they’re intentionally creating a culture of fear to make the poisonous medecine go down easier, and they’re probably working the other end of things too, creating the conditions for terrorists to thrive so they’ll launch attacks and trigger the COG plans that were the whole point of the War on Terror in the first place. So, like the War on Drugs, the WOT is reall just a War on Liberty.

All this brings us back to the Main Core database:

Another well-informed source—a former military operative regularly briefed by members of the intelligence community—says this particular program has roots going back at least to the 1980s and was set up with help from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has been told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets’ behavior and tracks their circle of associations with “social network analysis” and artificial intelligence modeling tools.

“The more data you have on a particular target, the better [the software] can predict what the target will do, where the target will go, who it will turn to for help,” he says. “Main Core is the table of contents for all the illegal information that the U.S. government has [compiled] on specific targets.” An intelligence expert who has been briefed by high-level contacts in the Department of Homeland Se
curity confirms that a database of this sort exists, but adds that “it is less a mega-database than a way to search numerous other agency databases at the same time.”

The fact that there are 8 million of us in this database is nothing less than horrifying. If there were really 8 million terrorists in the USA we’d have people exploding with Baghdad-like regularity… but we don’t. Nope, it’s far more likely that the people in this database are those like myself who believe in liberty and democracy. We are the true threat a tyrannical government would face in an emergency because we would want the Constitution to be reinstated. The COGers won’t let that happen.

That is why we need to be monitored. All of us. All the time. For no reason other than we might be a threat some time in the future. Maybe. The pesky 4th amendment makes this so much more difficult than the government would like, but after years of merciless attack there’s not much left of it in the public consciousness or on the law books. Here’s a look at what they monitor:

The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database.

Basically, you are being monitored at all times. The NSA has been scooping up anything and everything on the internet for years. They already had phone conversations and financial transactions.

The privacy concerns are horrifying enough, but what’s worse is that the database is probably useless at preventing terrorism:

In any case, mass watch lists of domestic citizens may do nothing to make us safer from terrorism. Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM, a world-renowned expert in data mining, contends that such efforts won’t prevent terrorist conspiracies. “Because there is so little historical terrorist event data,” Jonas tells Radar, “there is not enough volume to create precise predictions.”

But there is a lot of data on regular Americans who aren’t planning any attacks. And that data can be misused, and it probably will be at the first opportunity.

Ah, the wisdom of Twitter. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it’s amazing what you can fit in 140 characters… such as a complete evisceration of the mainstream media (MSM) because of their utter, obsequious hypocrisy and the biased, treasonous way they frame and focus on issues. Here it is, from Chuck Olsen:

“If the corporate media had been as diligent about watchdogging the president as… Rev. Wright, it’s likely we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq.”

Boom. Pretty much says it all doesn’t it?

Here’s where he originally found that quote.

The corporate media chooses — seemingly as one — what to make a big deal out of. And what to blackout.

The Corporate Media (especially the TV news stations who were caught red-handed) have been feeding us Pentagon-approved talking points through the supposedly-independent retired generals who show up for interviews about the war. Strange that they never invite peaceniks on the air, isn’t it? Well, war is big business. You can’t expect truth and fairness when the bottom line is at stake.

Quite simply, the Media act as a megaphone for the positions they support and a censor for those they do not. Peace, wisdom, tranquility, free thought…. these concepts are all offensive to the corporate media. They would rather focus on strife, stupidity, distraction and obedience.

All three major cable news networks are wasting valuable air time on Senator Obama’s former pastor. Why? Is the story newsworthy? Sure. Is wall-to-wall Wright coverage more important than Iraq or gas prices or the climate crisis? No way. But Reverend Wright is a scary, shouting black man and scary shouting black men equal ratings-sweet-ratings.

We expect to see this sort of race-baiting behavior from Fox News Channel, but CNN and MSNBC have, once again, similarly crossed the tabloid threshold into the very same nefarious Roger Ailes realm by beating this nothing story to death.

They’re all the same. Fox News is simply the worst offender. But instead of being an embarrassment to decent journalists everywhere Fox News is seen a pioneer, a bold leader in the (fascist) future of news. Thus, the other news channels simply follow Fox’s lead.

Face it folks: Our mainstream media is controlled. Totally controlled. By just five mega-corporations, all of whom have interests vastly different from the average American.

Is it too hard to imagine that these corporations embrace war, hypocrisy and distraction? Five corporations means five CEOs. These reptilian CEOs have a different agenda than the common man. They’re often Republican, always rich, usually ruthless and seldom charitable. These five scumfucks control 90% of what we see, hear or read in the press and they’ve all profited from the war. The only thing that gives us a chance at regaining our freedom is the internet and I assure you this blog and others like it don’t have ratings anywhere near that of Fox or CNN.

So when you see the Media trumpeting something, be it Paris Hilton, Rev. Wright or American Idol, just remember that they’re showing you what they want you to know and they’re hiding the rest. For everything they tell you they’re obscuring another ten useful facts with their incessant bullshit.

The media doesn’t investigate, they serve the rich; they afflict the afflicted and comfort the comfortable. They are traitors, liars, demons and filth. I consider Big Media’s tacit embrace of the Iraq War before and after the fact to be nothing less than treason.

One former participant, NBC military analyst Kenneth Allard, has called the effort “psyops on steroids.” As Barstow reports, “Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as ‘message force multipliers’ or ‘surrogates’ who could be counted on to deliver administration ‘themes and messages’ to millions of Americans ‘in the form of their own opinions.’ … Don Meyer, an aide to Ms. Clarke, said a strategic decision was made in 2002 to make the analysts the main focus of the public relations push to construct a case for war.”

If there’s any justice in this world they will all burn in the hell they’ve created. I say we give them all a one-way ticket to Baghdad. Sleep in the bed you’ve made, Fuckers!

You might’ve heard that a huge, mile-long UFO was spotted in Texas last week.

Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.

Well, that sounds like a weather balloon. Federal officials are sure it was in fact a weather balloon.

While federal officials insist there’s a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane.

I’m sure there’s a logical explanation too. Clearly weather balloons have learned how to accelerate and maintain high speeds. It’s the only logical explanation.

Officials at the region’s two Air Force bases — Dyess in Abilene and Sheppard in Wichita Falls — also said none of their aircraft were in the area last week. The Air Force no longer investigates UFOs.

Uhh…. The Air Force hasn’t actually “investigated” anything, and yet they’re sure that it was an earth-based phenomenon. How can this be?

Well you see, the Air Force has a very detailed and complex methodology that they use to figure out what some yokel saw in the skies. I managed to sneak this out of an unnamed AFB undetected. This is very top secret. Click for a larger version.

Trust your government, folks. They would never lie to you.

UPDATE 1.24.08: The Air Force Reserve has completely changed their story.

I love giving free advice, so here’s some for their spokesman, Maj. Karl Lewis…

A hint: If you want people to believe you’re being straight with them, you can’t just change your story two weeks after the event. Dumbass.

Officials at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth initially said none of their planes had been in the area, but on Wednesday they said 10 F-16s were there that day. The officials said they were mistaken and wanted to set the record straight “in the interest of public awareness.”

They were fucking “mistaken”! Ha! They must’ve sent those ten F-16s up accidentally and not even noticed until they came back 2 weeks later. What a “brilliant” explanation!

I love to see the incompetence card played so poorly.

So now the Air Force looks completely retarded and deceitful. They first claimed that they didn’t have any planes in the area, but now they’re saying they did, but neglecting to mention what kind of plane could elicit this reaction from the natives:

Anne Frazor, who owns a fabric store in Stephenville, about 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, said many in town have seen military aircraft zoom overhead from time to time as part of training operations. But she said that wasn’t what she saw Jan. 8.”I couldn’t begin to say what it was, but to me it wasn’t planes,” Frazor said.

–snip–

From well-respected business owners to a county constable, several dozen people say they saw a flying object that was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said its lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane.

“I guarantee that what we saw was not a civilian aircraft,” Steve Allen, a pilot and freight company owner, said Wednesday.

This guy would probably recognize an F-16 … or ten of them. And it’s not like the Air Force trains near where the sightings occurred.

The planes’ training area in the Brownwood Military Operating Area includes Stephenville‘s Erath County, but Allen said it does not include the airspace where he saw the object. Also, Jan. 8 was not the only day sightings were reported.

And I daresay the pilot could distinguish 10 F-16s from a half mile-wide object.

So now we can say that the AF is completely full of shit.

Great. Just great. I love being lied to… Oh wait! No I don’t; it fucking sucks, you dicks! Why you gotta be like that, Air Force Reserve?? huh?!! … .. [/frontin']

I suspect the answer is that they were leaned on by more powerful forces.

It’s pretty clear that there are those in power who don’t want this information to get out. I really don’t think people who call UFO coverup conspiracy theorists names like “kooks” are right, simply because it’s so obvious the government has been lying to us. There is plenty of reason to believe the worst if somebody lies to you. Boldly. Repeatedly.

“In the interest of public awareness,” the spokesman said. As if they’ve ever given two shits about “public awareness” before. Where’s the “public awareness” right here?

The U.S. Air Force says it has not investigated UFO sightings since 1969 when it ended Project Blue Book, which examined more than 12,600 reported UFO sightings — including 700 that were never explained.

The studious way they avoid investigating isn’t weird or anything. Riiiight. I totally believe you guys… [rolls eyes]

Don’t you think it’s odd that not investigating something is official government policy?

“It’s official government policy to ignore these weird, unexplained events. Carry about your business, consu- .. uh, .. er… I mean, ‘citizens.’”

Are we supposed to salute?

Fuck this. Give me the truth.

Pakistani politician Benazir Bhutto is dead. She was shot by her assassin, who then blew himself up.

Bhutto’s archenemy, Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf, who has the most to gain from her death, tried to make it look as though he hadn’t wished for such a thing:

Musharraf blamed Islamic extremists for Bhutto’s death and said he would redouble his efforts to fight them.

“This is the work of those terrorists with whom we are engaged in war,” he said in a nationally televised speech. “I have been saying that the nation faces the greatest threats from these terrorists. … We will not rest until we eliminate these terrorists and root them out.”

Right, right, right. “Terrorists.” Gotcha. Anything bad happens, it’s dem damn dirty terr’rists.

Isn’t it weird how the terrorists’ are so kean to assassinate a politician with no actual power who may or may not have had a shot at the presidency? Especially when the presidency is currently occupied by a secular militant Bush-crony who hated Bhutto?

Hmmm….

Meanwhile, our esteemed president was quick to blame teh terr’rists too:

In the U.S., a tense looking President Bush strongly condemned the attack “by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy.”

Undermine Pakistanti democracy? You mean, like by supporting a dictator instead of demonstrators agitating for liberty? I guess that makes Bush a “murderous extremist.” Even more interesting is how he already knows that it was some lone gunman (“extremist” is a great catch-all) when there hasn’t been an investigation yet.

In fact, all of the neocon/fascist front have already condemned the attack, from Sarkozy to Karzai to Gordon Brown to the Pope. They were so quick with statements you have to wonder if they knew it was coming. And every single one of them has accepted Musharraf’s version of events without question.

Interesting….

Of course, Americans are in the thrall of a malicious and corrupt media establishment. There will be no questioning the official version of events.

The Pakistanis at least are not so stupid:

Many chanted slogans against Musharraf, accusing him of complicity in her killing.

“We repeatedly informed the government to provide her proper security and appropriate equipment … but they paid no heed to our requests,” Malik said.

As news of her death spread, angry supporters took to the streets.

In Pakistan it’s obvious. The president’s most esteemed foe is dead with a bullet in her neck. Do the fucking math.

Musharraf is a military man. The military is the most powerful institution in Pakistan and their intelligence service, the ISI, is a known collaborator with the CIA (some say it’s just a CIA puppet). The motive, means and opportunity are all right there. But we Americans — you know home of the brave, land of the free — will swallow the Musharraf propaganda like manna because our Dear Leader and his corrupt, oligarchical establishment have their fingers in this wicked little pie.

Pakistan is necessary for the perpetuation of other frauds, including the al Qaeda myth. That’s why control of Pakistan cannot be allowed to return to the hands of a democrat. The secret could be revealed, and that is most certainly worth killing for.

This is not the first attempt on Bhutto’s life:

Bhutto had returned to Pakistan from an eight-year exile on Oct. 18. On the same day, she narrowly escaped injury when her homecoming parade in Karachi was targeted in a suicide attack that killed more than 140 people.

That was Musharraf’s first “welcome back” message. Now, he has said “goodbye.”

Now here comes the lie:

Islamic militants linked to al-Qaida and the Taliban hated Bhutto for her close ties to the Americans and support for the war on terrorism. A local Taliban leader reportedly threatened to greet Bhutto’s return to the country with suicide bombings.

That’s a straight-up lie. First of all the Taliban has no claim on Pakistan; they are (ostensibly) Afghanis who are more concerned with fighting the Bush-puppet Hamad Karzai. Second, if al Qaeda truly hated Bush and the Americans they would target Musharraf, since he is Bush’s closest and most powerful ally in Pakistan. Bhutto’s death does nothing but strengthen his hand. The truth is that the CIA and the ISI worked together to train and create al Qaeda for bin Laden as a convenient scapegoat for anything and everything.

Now al Qaeda is getting the blame again. How convenient for a dictator like Musharraf (or Bush) to have a shadowy, ultra-evil organization to blame for everything. How convenient that al Qaeda apparently hates the same people that Bush and Musharraf do. How convenient that al Qaeda never seems to manage to kill right-wing hardliners but has amazing success with leftist pro-liberty politicians. How extremely fucking convenient.

The CIA/ISI/al-Qaeda axis is just a modern day Gestapo. They are an all-purpose assassination squad under control of the evil proto-fascist oligarchs who rule this planet.

It’s time for people to wake up and see through the lies. How many more people have to die before we finally learn we’re being played for fools?

UPDATE 12/28: The police charged with providing security for Bhutto left their posts shortly before the assassination.

Perhaps more shockingly, an attendee at the rally where Bhutto was killed says police charged with protecting her “abandoned their posts,” leaving just a handful of Bhutto’s own bodyguards protecting her.

As commenter pk_analyst points out below Bhutto was shot with an AK-47 rifle. Now the spinning, changing storylines and Big Lies come into play. In order to do a proper cover-up the authorities will have to eliminate the gun (many are saying she hit her head on some sort of lever instead of taking a bullet) and throw all the blame on mysertious al Qaeda members who may or may not even exist.

While some intelligence officials, especially within the US, were quick to finger al Qaeda militants as responsible for Bhutto’s death, it remains unclear precisely who was responsible and some speculation has centered on Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, its military or even forces loyal to the current president Pervez Musharraf. Rawalpindi, where Bhutto was killed, is the garrison city that houses the Pakistani military’s headquarters.

Just to be clear, “intelligence officials” almost certainly means “CIA officials.” The CIA is busily spinning the press. This is misinformation, folks. You are being lied to indirectly by your government and somewhat unwittingly by the media. Just so you know.

Oh wait, it’s a total hatchet job:

Paul keeps white supremacist donation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Republican presidential hopeful Ron Paul has received a $500 campaign donation from a white supremacist, and the Texas congressman doesn’t plan to return it, an aide said Wednesday.

Don Black, of West Palm Beach, recently made the donation, according to campaign filings. He runs a Web site called Stormfront with the motto, “White Pride World Wide.” The site welcomes postings to the “Stormfront White Nationalist Community.”

The mainstream media (MSM) has no intention of covering the presidential race fairly. They plan to turn it into a horserace and throw the issues out the window.

I’ve written extensively about this before. From their incredible (and intentional) stupidity to their orthodox adherence to inanity the mainstream press apparatus is nothing more than a treasonous corporate whore. Glenn Greenwald has been covering this issue superbly as well.

It’s been fascinating to watch the media blackout on Ron Paul. I mean, Pravda couldn’t have done a better job at squashing stories about him, but the internet has provided Paul supporters a platform to spread the word. It’s interesting to watch the media desperately try to keep a lid on his campaign even while he’s breaking fundraising records.

The media still has to cover him, of course. A total blackout would be rather bizarre and would draw more attention than it would divert. However, the “subtle” blackout we’ve been subject to is obvious and suspicious nonetheless.

I should point out that I’m not a fervent Paulite. I don’t like a lot of his conservative positions, but his opposition to the Federal Reserve certainly caught my attention. Apparently it caught the Oligarchy’s attention too, which is why Dr. Paul is not getting any mainstream play.

You’ll notice that even the mainstream outfits that do cover Paul tend to do it in their “blog section”, which is exactly where I found the link above. That same blog post displays the most common way reporters deal with Paul; draw attention to his supporters and make them seem a little unhinged:

His legions of alert supporters scour the Internet for slights to right, frequently crudely, and any opportunities to promote their strict constructionist candidate. They dismiss the polls as slanted and the money-raising as the real indicator of the 72-year-old ob-gyn’s growing national support among disaffected Republicans, Democrats and previous non-voters. The Times’ James Rainey examined one Southern California meet-up group for Paul here.

We’ve written about these supporters here and examined hundreds of their comments here. No doubt there’ll be some more to read down below here shortly.

Nice of them to examine the man’s supports and their internet activities, but (and maybe I’m old fashioned here) what about his position on the issues?

Oh silly me. I forgot the Media has already decided that we’ll be choosing between Hillary and Ghouliani.

But what if I want to live in a democracy?

There are still many, many unanswered questions about 9/11. One of them revolves around the radios that firemen were using on that day, and a shady no-bid contract between the city of New York and Motorola. Was it just standard corruption, or was there something more? And why isn’t the Media covering this story? Robert Greenwald takes a look:

The intellectual cowards over at the head office of the St. Thomas University adminstration should be ashamed. They have shown themselves to be contemptible weaklings without the guts or the will to hear viewpoints they may disagree with. And this institution is supposed to be a vanguard of academic freedom? For shame.

What am I talking about? I’m referring to St. Thomas’ recent decision to withhold an invitation to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

St. Thomas never invited Tutu to speak, but declined to approve an invitation as part of the PeaceJam, an event the school has hosted for the past four years. PeaceJam officials have now arranged to have the South African archbishop and activist speak at its April event, which will be held at Metropolitan State University.

St. Thomas officials said that local Jewish leaders they consulted felt that Tutu had made remarks offensive to the Jewish people in a 2002 speech about Israeli policy toward the Palestinians.

Columbia University just made St. Thomas look like a bunch of backwater bush-league pussies. Nobody likes Ahmadinejad; that’s not the point. The point is the free exchange of ideas. If you don’t like what somebody says you don’t try to censor them, you use your freedom of speech to elucidate your opposition to said ideas. The president of Columbia, Lee Bollinger, may have been a dick to Ahmadinejad, but at least he let the motherfucker speak. St. Thomas’ president, the Rev. Dennis Dease, won’t even let a fellow man of the cloth on campus. What a fucking pussy.

His lame-ass excuse “Teh Joos don’t like one speech he made dis one time!” is full of shit. What he means is “Some extreme-rightwing Zionist oppressor Jews don’t want nobody talking shit about the way they fuck over A-rabs in Palestine.” There, fixed it for you, Dease. (You can suck dees nuts)

In fact, Dease has been getting a lot of mail from Jewish groups saying, “Let this guy speak! We’re not anti-free speech! Why’d you listen to those assholes?!” [[ I'm paraphrasing in case you haven't noticed ]]

So, you might be wondering what crazy-ass shit this Tutu guy was spewing that pissed off the hard-right fascist/zionist types. Well, he said the most offensive thing you can possibly say to a warmonger: “Peace is possible.”

Israeli Jew, Palestinian Arab can live amicably side by side in a secure peace. And, as Cannon Ateek kept underscoring, a secure peace built on justice and equity. These two peoples are God’s chosen and beloved, looking in their face back to a common ancestor Abraham and confessing belief in the one creator God of salaam and shalom.

Oh man, that is some whack shit! Who let this guy in here?

Then he reveals his true hatred for teh Joos:

I give thanks for all that I have received as a Christian from the teachings of God’s people the Jews. When we were opposing the vicious system of apartheid, which claimed that what invested people with worth was a biological irrelevance – skin color – we turned to the Jewish Torah, which asserted that what gave people their infinite worth was the fact that they were created in the image of God.

He calls teh Joos “God’s people.” We’re clearly dealing with a loose cannon here, folks.

Seriously, that’s what the whole speech is like. He criticizes the occupation of Palestinian lands, but he clearly has problems with the Israeli government, not the Jewish people.

I with many other Nobel Peace Laureates. I, after taking counsel with the then Bishop of Jerusalem, am a member of the Board of the Shimon Peres peace center in Tel Aviv. I am a patron of the Holocaust center in Capetown. I believe that Israel has a right to secure borders, internationally recognized, in a land assured of territorial integrity and with acknowledged sovereignty as an independent country. That the Arab nations made a bad mistake in refusing to recognize the existence of sovereign and in pledging to work for her destruction. It was a short sighted policy that led to Israel’s nervousness, her high state of alert and military preparedness to guarantee her continued existence. This was understandable. What was no so understandable, what was not justifiable was what Israel did to another people to guarantee her existence. I have been very deeply distressed in all my visits to the Holy Land, how so much of what was taking place there reminded me so much of what used to happen to us Blacks in Apartheid South Africa.

This guy sees echoes of Apartheid in Israel. He was there. He expresses viewpoints not too far from middle-of-the-road Democrats in America. When did expressing disagreement with a foreign government become a censorable offense? Oh that’s right; when you’re a boot-licking fascist who wants to kiss the ass of future dictator George Bush. I guess Dease thinks he can become the Tsar of Education under a future King George. (Or whatever. Maybe he’s just a fucking idiot, I don’t know.)

The scary thing here is not the shoddy treatment of a Nobel laureate. He’ll speak on another campus, one not controlled by Nazis. He’ll be fine. No, the scary thing here is how incredibly fucking normal, sane and mainstream his ideas are. If this is how a Nobel laureate is treated by The Powers That Be, how are the rest of the us going to be treated when the other jackboot falls and we’re under martial law? Tutu’s beliefs are almost exactly in line with mainstream Democrats, Independents and even many Republicans. The main difference is that he’s an archbishop, an Apatheid survivor and a international icon.

Where the fuck does that leave the rest of us?

Proving once again that they value partisanship over America, freedom and informed debate, the sellout hacks at DailyKos have “warned” anti-war protester Cindy Sheehan that if she posts more about her independent candidacy she will be banned.

I can’t post here anymore because my potential run for Congress is not on the Democratic ticket.

If Speaker Pelosi does her constitutionally mandated duty and I don’t run, then I can come back and post.

DailyKos is shameful. The site is bathed in hypocrisy and founded on partisanship.

The two-party system has destroyed America and put us in the current mess, and DailyKos and other Yellow Dog Democrats are part of the problem. They care about Democrats first and America second (just as the Republicans look after themselves first and America… well, okay they don’t care about America at all).

That said, there is still some hope that Pelosi is just being strategic, but where has trusting the Democrats to hold Republicans accountable got us so far? I can see Cindy’s point; what’s the purpose of having the Democrats in charge of Congress if they won’t impeach? 50% of the nation is pro-impeachment (46% for Bush, 58% for Cheney) and the Democrats aren’t even talking about it. Once the real investigations start and we find some dirt the numbers will go higher. But will the Democrats have the balls to do it?

Only if it doesn’t harm their precious party, or the two-party system.

Ironically, many DailyKos regulars are the best enemies Bush could hope for: weak, timid, divided and fucking stupid. They proceed with undue caution and fret that attacking Bush could make them look like big meanies. They make excuses rather than try and build a consensus on impeachment, and they are far more concerned about their electoral chances in 2008 than in actually holding the illegal Bush/Cheney administration accountable. In short, they are Bush’s enablers.

Sheehan gets points in my book for being against the Federal Reserve, which many Kossacks think is a Republican position (it’s not), so, unthinkingly, they reject it like the fucking mindless borg shitheads that they are.

Opposition to the Fed is generally an independent position (Ron Paul is the exception here, but he’s so hated by his own party that I think it only strengthens my point), and is generally the province of informed, independent-minded folks who don’t follow marching orders of the Washington establishment oligarchy.

The sad truth is the there’s nothing progressive about DailyKos; it’s about as regressive and unimaginative as you can get. These people are too wrapped up in the sports team mentality (“Gooooo Dems!”) to realize that their party is as much a part of the fascist oligarchy as the Republicans.

DailyKos is decidedly mainstream, and worships at the altar of pragmatism, not freedom, liberty, or truth. Their only goal is victory (and they admit as much), although they still like to pretend to be anti-establishment nothing could be further from the truth. When Kos casts himself as a revolutionary, he doesn’t mean to change the system. He merely wants to sieze control it and use it for his own selfish aims… Just like everybody else in politics.

The Democrats, for their part, have accomplished exactly nothing in Congress. Not that Bush would sign their reform bills anyway, but isn’t that all the more reason to impeach the stonewalling, lying, election-stealing fascist bastards? Apparently not.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s only one party — The Business Party, and Democrats and Republicans are merely factions of that monolithic party. We don’t live in a democracy, we live in a constitutional republic that is quickly shedding the “constitutional” part for fascism instead. And what are the Democrats doing to stop it? About as much as they’re doing to stop the war: Nothing but a few bellicose speeches for the choir.

Still, the Kossacks will continue to support the Dems, no matter what. Blind loyalty is their modus operandi and they show no signs of changing it. So, how are they any different from the Republicans who support Bush no matter how many laws he breaks?

Partisans on both sides are the same. They all think it’s okay to break a few rules in order to achieve their party’s higher goals. What’s best for America doesn’t enter into it.

Taking part in a televised debate can be a make-it-or-break-it moment for any presidential candidate. But what if you’re not allowed to debate at all?

A diabolical Catch-22
As many of you are aware, not all candidates are allowed to debate in a given broadcast debate. This has been a problem for years. During the last presidential election both the Libertarian and Green party candidates were actually arrested trying to get into a debate they had been explicitly banned from!

Most candidates are excluded from the debate simply because the Media (big M) deems them minor/unknown/unpopular candidates. Well, of course they’re unknown; they’re not allowed to debate on national TV!! Bit of a Catch-22, wouldn’t you say?

A most insidious and foul Catch-22, I would say. Here’s why: We supposedly live in a democracy. It’s not really a democracy, it’s a republic (that’s a story for another day), but we like to pretend that the people really have a say. The hidden reality is that the bosses of the major television stations are making decisions that define the course of our nation, and they’re doing it from private boardrooms sequestered on the 100th floor of a skyscraper, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it because they aren’t elected or accountable to anybody but the company’s shareholders — ya know… other rich people.

Why should the CEO of CNN have such power? Why should he (and it’s almost certainly a he) determine who will and won’t be the next president of the United States before the people ever get a chance to vote in a primary?

Isn’t that censorship? Isn’t that more like an oligarchy than a democracy? Why do we let them get away with it?

Well, until recently most people didn’t even know about the problem. And we didn’t have the power to make a difference anyway. But things are changing.

Social Media saves the day
Social Media has finally offered regular people like you and me a voice. Sites like Digg, while not perfect, have enabled users to vote (you know, like a democracy) on what stories they think are worthy.

Two candidates, Ron Paul and Mike Gravel, owe most of their young supporters to the users of two social media sites: Digg and Reddit. Without those two sites neither candidate had a hope in hell of cracking the oligarchy and getting significant, objective coverage by the mainstream media (MSM).

Why does the media censor and ostracize certain candidates?
The candidates that find themselves locked out of televised debates tend to have a few things in common: They tend to be unpopular or unknown (but that is not always the case). Their campaigns are usually poorly funded (maybe because it’s hard to raise funds if you get no coverage) and sometimes they have views that are contrary to the political mainstream.

But sometimes the political mainstream is very much at odds with the desires of the voting public. A perfect example is the continued prohibition of cannabis (you know: “marijuana”), an issue on which the politicians are most definitely out of step with most of America, which favors medicinal pot by an astonishing 78% margin. Net candidate Mike Gravel recently came out in support of legalizing cannabis, which he says should be for sale in liquor stores. For a mainstream, “media-approved” candidate, such a position would be political suicide. Why?

Perhaps the media has been shaping our political landscape for such a long time nobody can even remember a time when they weren’t. Perhaps there are certain forces at work behind the scenes that determine what is considered politically acceptable and what is considered “extremist.”

It’s hard not to see the media as a controlling, suppressing force when they blatantly censor certain candidates. Ron Paul’s performance in the recent Republican debate at the Reagan Library was hailed by many observers, but when it came time to review the field and do some analysis ABC News made a curious omission: Ron Paul.

He wasn’t even available as an option for viewers to vote for. He wasn’t mentioned anywhere in David Chalain’s analysis. If not for a web uprising (involving Digg and Reddit) Ron Paul would probably still be excluded. When ABC finally backed down (after deleting a storm of comments asking, “Where’s Ron?”) Ron Paul ran away with a landslide victory in the online poll. The numbers are incredible (and no doubt skewed by a reaction to the censorship). Paul clearly has a massive groundswell of public support…. but in the corporate realm he has apparently earned only hand-waving dismissal and contempt.

What are we supposed to think of this? When there are 10 candidates at a debate and viewers are only allowed to vote for 9 of them is that not censorship? Is that not electioneering by a major corporation?

And when they back down and include the suppressed candidate and he wins the poll, how do they respond? They write an article in which they find people to scratch their heads and say, “who knows how this Ron Paul got popular. Must be sumthin’ to do with them internets.” Then they conclude he has no chance of winning and that this is just an exercise in teenage rebellion (or something) and wave their hands, content that they will never have to talk about him again.

Democratic candidate Mike Gravel has experienced the exact same treatment, but on the other side of the aisle. Gravel and Paul are both painted as “extremists” within their respective parties, so we’d can conclude that Paul is a right-wing extremist and Gravel is a left-wing extremist, right?

Not quite. Both candidates are populists, espousing “common sense” positions that many average Americans hold, but which are not endorsed by many mainstream politicians. Both are opposed to the Iraq War (and always were), both question Prohibition, both are wary of a pre-emptive strike against Iran and both are suspicious of the corporate media that excludes them from debates. In short, they have a lot in common with the public they are trying to represent.

Meanwhile, the Media’s favorite Republican candidate, Rudy Giuliani, goes around saying fascist shit like this:

We see only the oppressive side of authority. Maybe it comes out of our history and our background. What we don’t see is that freedom is not a concept in which people can do anything they want, be anything they can be. Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.[ Interruption by someone in the audience. ]

You have free speech so I can be heard.

Is that what most Americans believe? Wasn’t America founded by overthrowing the “lawful authority” of the British? And this “Freedom is about authority” stuff sounds like a parody of George Orwell’s 1984… but Rudy was being serious! “You have free speech so I can be heard”?!! Saturday Night Live couldn’t parody Rudy any better than he does himself.

Which candidate is really an “extremist”? Which candidate is fundamentally out-of-line with the thinking of mainstream America? Well, maybe America really does want fascism instead of freedom, but the noise on the internet would seem to indicate otherwise.

Media Control and Manipulation
It seems like ancient history now, but it was actually the recent past when the mainstream media controlled every avenue of information and expression in this country. Nowadays we can talk about these things and send our message out to a wide audience, but as recently as 12 years ago it simply was not possible for a middle class person to route around the MSM. Suddenly most people can afford machines that are more powerful than a printing press, and allow common people to talk to each other without the Media’s filter. That’s why the Media is so upset about blogging and social media — they’re so used to having an absolute stranglehold over the conversation in this country.

The Media is used to controlling:

  • what information citizens receive
  • what information citizens are allowed to share with one another on the national stage
  • discussion and framing of issues in mainstream press
  • which issues receive national coverage (and which are ignored)
  • who gets to talk about the issues in the press (and who doesn’t)
  • how political actors are portrayed (villain or hero or neutral)

Social Media smashes that control grid and puts power in the hands of the many, rather than the few. This is a recent development so the full ramifications are not yet clear, but one thing we are finding out is that the Media has been using their incredible power to highlight certain candidates and suppress others.

The media has a paternalist streak that is really out of place in this day and age. The Washington Post thinks they know best and they aren’t afraid to tell you that they already know Gravel & Paul are not going to be elected, so why don’t we just eject them from the debates already?

The Democratic debate in South Carolina featured eight candidates, while 10 crammed into the GOP debate in California last Thursday. Voters trying to sort out their presidential choices aren’t helped by debates cluttered with the likes of Mike Gravel (hint: he’s a former senator from Alaska) on the Democratic side and Ron Paul (hint: he’s a libertarian House member from Texas) among the Republicans.

Thank goodness for our dear corporate masters. If they didn’t come in any set things straight we’d have to learn somebody’s name and what they stand for. MY GOD! The very idea exhausts me.

Sarcasm aside, this sort of thing has been going on for generations. That’s why an editorial like the one above doesn’t seem odd to them; this is standard operating procedure! The Media has identified the candidates they don’t like (the ones that aren’t easily bought/co-opted) and now they’ve decided to tell you, Dear Voter, than you needn’t concern yourself with these troublesome miscreants. Big Media will make things simple for you by excluding them.

…But wait a minute. Isn’t this a democracy? Don’t the voters decide who is voted off the proverbial island?

Well, now you know better. That is not the way America works. America is run by a ruling class of oligarchs no different than the ones who control Russia. The difference is the American media freely admits that oligarchs run Russia, but they would sooner give their mansions to the poor than admit America is the same. The exact reverse scenario plays out in Russia where the Russian (government/oligarch-controlled) media is free to disparage America and mock its corrupt institutions, while speaking ill of Russia is a good way to get your broadcasting license revoked.

The awful truth is that America has long been controlled by the rich, just like most nations throughout history. They have remade American society and government to suit themselves and they have grown very comfortable on their throne.

What is an Oligarchy?
Stephen Fleischman, himself a former mainstream media man, tackles the reality of the Oligarchy in an article for Counterpunch:

My dictionary says an oligarchy is a form of government where most or all political power effectively rests with a small segment of the society. As Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopedia, puts it, “Oligarchies are often controlled by a few powerful families whose children are raised and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy, often at some sort of expense to those governed.” Does that sound like the administration of George W. Bush?

Why, yes it does! That must be a weird coincidence. … right?

I wish I could tell you more about the Oligarchy, but it operates in secret and prefers that most citizens do not even know it exists. In fact, by using the mainstream media the Oligarchy is able to program us so that even if we are provided with irrefutable evidence of the existence of said Oligarchy, many will still deny it and disbelieve it.

You’re probably wondering “How?!”

Have you ever been called a “conspiracy theorist?” Well, it tends to end any meaningful discussion of the facts and immediately puts the onus on the accused to defend himself from the charge leveled at him. The Media has a few “magic words” like this at their disposal. It’s amazing how effective they can be. Nobody wants to be called a conspiracy theorist… but isn’t that just an ad hominem attack? It’s no different than calling someone a poopy-head.

I suspect there may be more to it than that. In a future post I’ll look into how the Oligarchy exploits its control of the media for fun and profit.

What should we do about it?
At a certain point we in the ‘net community need to stand up and say, “To hell with you guys. We’re hosting our own debate and we’ll invite everybody!” We ju
st need to set up a website with a group of people dedicated to hosting the cyber-debate; we’ll get some buzz going and then what candidate will say “no” to a chance to get his/her message out to such an elusive audience?

The media can’t be trusted to define, design and delineate the ground rules for our national debate. Candidates are having trouble getting their message across because of the media’s filter. It’s time to cut out the middle man.