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Yesterday — 2 March 2024Main stream

Meta-Hell: Anti-Marketing as Marketing Technique

2 March 2024 at 11:15

Originally published via Armageddon Prose:

Recently, my YouTube music playlist got interrupted once again by an obnoxious ad for soap or dog biscuits or whatever; I didn’t watch long enough to catch the product getting hawked (YouTube puts a 5-second delay on the “skip” button).

More replaced meaningful”: that was the punchline on this ad.

The meta-point being driven home was that somehow, inexplicably, as some kind of organic phenomenon — totally not the result of the saturation of society in marketing itself — that “more replaced meaningful,” implying that “more” is a negative.

The further implication is that whatever deodorant or erectile dysfunction drug or whatever these guys are selling is heavy on enlightened meaningfulness and light on materialism — as if meaningfulness and not volume of product moved is what metric the marketing industry uses to analyze the effectiveness of any given advertising campaign, as if they’re in the “big ideas” game and not the conversion game.

In another YouTube advertisement (the reason I reference this medium is because I don’t consume really any other form of Western advertising, having lived outside of the West for many years now), a marketing guru sits cross-legged on the floor meditating out loud for newer, bigger clients for his website — a parody of the ultra-cringe “self-help” genre that marries pseudo-Eastern mysticism to entrepreneurialism.

RelatedIs Self-Help All Total Bullshit, or Just 90%

The punchline in this one is that the guy marketing a patented new sales funnel or whatever appears and says (paraphrasing) “that’s all New Age bullshit, man; buy my sales funnel instead to get new clients.”

So here the marketers are subversively mocking a specific form of advertising while themselves advertising the very same kind of product that form of advertising hawks.

It thus exceeds in irony and cynicism — the currencies of modern advertising — while masquerading as lighthearted and well-intentioned.

This is getting very meta.

Bill Hicks had a whole bit on this back in the day. I’ve written about it before, because it’s awesome, but having previously omitted the bit about the “anti-marketing dollar”:

“By the way, if anyone here is in advertising or marketing… kill yourself. Thank you. Just a little thought. I’m just trying to plant seeds. Maybe one day, they’ll take root. I don’t know. You try, you do what you can. Kill yourself. Seriously though, if you are, do. Aaah, no really, there’s no rationalization for what you do and you are Satan’s little helpers, okay? Kill yourself, seriously. You’re the ruiner of all things good, seriously. No, no, this is not a joke, you’re going, ‘there’s gonna to be a joke coming,’ There’s no fucking joke coming. You are Satan’s spawn filling the world with bile and garbage. You are fucked and you are fucking us. Kill yourself. It’s the only way to save your fucking soul. Kill yourself. Planting seeds. I know all the marketing people are going, ‘he’s doing a joke…’ There’s no joke here whatsoever. Suck a tail-pipe, fucking hang yourself, borrow a gun from a Yank friend. I don’t care how you do it. Rid the world of your evil fucking machinations. Machi… whatever, you know what I mean. I know what all the marketing people are thinking right now too, ‘Oh, you know what Bill’s doing, he’s going for that anti-marketing dollar. That’s a good market, he’s very smart.’ Oh man, I am not doing that, you fuckiing evil scumbags. ‘Ooh, you know what Bill’s doing now, he’s going for the righteous indignation dollar. That’s a big dollar. A lot of people are feeling that indignation. We’ve done research. Huge market. He’s doing a good thing.’ Goddammit, I’m not doing that, you scumbags. Quit putting a goddamm dollar sign on every fucking thing on this planet! ‘Ooh, the anger dollar. Huge. Huge in times of recession. Giant market. Bill’s very bright to do that.’ God, I’m just caught in a fucking web. ‘Ooh, the trapped dollar, big dollar, huge dollar. Good market. Look at our research. We see that many people feel trapped. If we play to that and then separate them into the trapped dollar…’”

RelatedBill Hicks and I Have Some Life Advice For Marketers

In my personal hierarchy of vocational evils — recognizing we each have our own — the marketer has come to replace the lawyer, the banker, politician, or even the State Department spokesperson as the lowliest creature to ever breathe oxygen, a high bar indeed to clear.

RelatedMetamorphosis

The damage the marketing machine has done to civilization and decency is so great as to be unquantifiable.

Via Forbes:

“The advertising game really shifted from 2020 onward. Nowadays, there’s so much emphasis on creating content that will fit the consumer’s lifestyle rather than on how to persuade them to buy your product. Not to mention, the average consumer wants to know exactly who they’re buying from and where their money is going. Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that ’aligns with their values’ rather than a strong, well-recognized brand. I think this will only expand into 2023. Advertising will require more meaningful, socially relevant and trendy content, which means that your company could quickly fall behind the curve if you’re not agile. In 2023, advertising will need to adapt to consumers more than ever.
-Simon Bacher, Ling App”

So, the advertising industry takes the hatred and disgust and pervasive nihilism that it has itself generated among the public, and, instead of gleaning any moral lesson from it, instead reverse-engineers it in order to psychologically manipulate the public in a novel, unexpected way in the pursuit of selling more product.

Then, always on the cutting edge of emotional manipulation, when the consumer gets hip to the schtick, the industry will pivot once more, this time to subverting advertising that “aligns with their values” and mocking it for its obvious condescension and vacuousness.

It’s a moral abyss with no bottom and ever-increasing cynicism.

Ben Bartee, author of Broken English Teacher: Notes From Exile, is an independent Bangkok-based American journalist with opposable thumbs.

Follow his stuff Substack. Also, keep tabs via Twitter.

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Meta-Hell: Anti-Marketing as Marketing Technique was first posted on March 2, 2024 at 4:15 pm.
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Top 20 Books LRC Readers Are Enjoying This Month

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

The Hazards of One-way Communication and What to Do about Them

1 March 2024 at 23:01

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. –Lao Tzu

When one of our small-group ancestors saw another’s face, unless the second ancestor was blind, the seeing of faces was mutual. This “mutual seeing” results in “two-way communication.” But today there are folks who haven’t ever seen your face at all, yet you may still feel you know them face-to-face – – – because you have seen their faces.

TV news readers such as Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, etc. are early 21st Century examples, as are movie stars and other “celebrities.” Taylor Swift? AND, especially politicians.

While they’ve never seen our face, we see theirs regularly on TV, newscasts, movies, podcasts, in the newspapers, etc.. This results in one-way communication — them to us. Affiliation that happens as a result of such one-way communication has quite interesting side-effects – – -

During the evolution of our ancestral small-groups — 30 folks all in the same place at the same time was a large gathering — there was no writing so nearly all of their communication was face-to-face and in-the-moment. This meant that face-to-face responses were always possible and expected, even if just an acknowledgement that the previous message had arrived.

Further, except temporarily in emergencies or coordinated activities such as a hunt, there was no permanent chain-of-command or even meaningful hierarchical rank to block originations, corrections, or other responses.

Even in tribal meets, everyone who wished-to could speak or else, even in the case of a war council, co-ordinated action wasn’t going to happen. Our Native Americans carried this natural base-line mode of “open-mic” social organization to it’s logical conclusion – – –

“People [native Americans] who do not vote for an issue — whether they abstain or vote against it — often resent having to abide by it and insist that they should not be affected by the final decision since they did not themselves affirm it. A number of Indian groups — such as the Hopis here in the Southwest — are still divided over the issue of their constitution, those who voted against it or who did not participate in the constitutional election, insisting that they should not be bound by the vote of the others.” –James E. Officer, Journal of American Indian Education, Volume 3 Number 1, October 1963, INFORMAL POWER STRUCTURES WITHIN, INDIAN COMMUNITIES

This mode of social organization, depending on multi-way communication, is still practiced elsewhere as, for example, Quaker Process,” etc.

And even some of our early American thinkers understood the logic – – –

“The [U.S.] Constitution has no inherent authority or obligation. …It purports, at most, to be only a contract between persons living eighty years ago. [This tract was published in 1870, 82 years after the U.S. Constitution was ratified on June 21, 1788. -lrw] And it can be supposed to have been a contract then only between persons who had already come to years of discretion, so as to be competent to make reasonable and obligatory contracts. Furthermore, …only a small portion even of the people then existing were consulted on the subject, or asked, or permitted to express either their consent or dissent in any formal manner. Those persons…are all dead now. …their contract, died with them. They had no natural power or right to make it obligatory upon their children. –Lysander Spooner, The Constitution of No Authority

The now well-known Amish tradition of Rumspringa recognizes and rather nicely handles the matter.

So, among our small-group ancestors, regardless of the situation, two-way communication — a message and a response to it (and so-forth) — was expected and nearly always possible.

By contrast in the modern world, especially because of Information Technology (IT), one-way communication, which we have no natural defense against, has become common, normalized, and accepted.

One-way communication happens when someone speaks to you but you are unable — or aren’t allowed — to answer back — or your ability to reply is limited. A news commentator or other video source for example — or listening to a lecturer on-stage, online, or on the radio. And, for example – – –

Don’t you talk-back to me! -Your parent

While it obviously has important uses, keep in mind, this expansion and extreme evolution of one-way communication — and especially its political use — is anthropologically quite recent.

A good marker for when it began to really invade our lives was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s use of his “Fireside Chats” during the banker/government caused “Great Depression.”

It was noted that, “these chats were the first time the people had a sense that they knew their president.” – – –

“I never saw him-but I knew him. Can you have forgotten how, with his voice, he came into our house, the President of these United States, calling us friends…” –Carl Cramer, April 14, 1945

“[A]s you know, these are open forums, you’re able to come and listen to what I have to say.” –U.S. President George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Oct. 28, 2003

On the other hand – – –

“It’s only been a little more than 100 years since most people lived their entire lives without any contact with — or need of — government.” –Neal Wright from rural British Columbia, 2003

Today, it’s more than politicians. It’s common these days for fans to address their favorite characters by their first names as if they were part of their micro-cosmos family.

While one-way communication makes sense in certain situations — an emergency where quick response is necessary and only one person knows the big picture. Or, say, a respected instructor addressing multiple folks, all there voluntarily, and all at once to pass-on solid information and thus save time. But when it becomes embedded and blindly accepted, as it has been in modern cultures, it often has decidedly negative results.

The base line danger is that when you know, non-consciously or otherwise, that you can’t respond, you tend not to formulate a verbal response which usually means you don’t even formulate an internal mental response either. The result is you neither add enhancements to the topic from your own knowledge, realize alternatives, nor recognize the source’s mistakes or hidden agendas.

You become a passive receiver. You’re likely to accept what you hear at face value without critical examination. Thus you and everyone else involved often end up with a less than robust, possibly incorrect, and maybe detrimental understanding of things.

In the strictist sense, when response is difficult or impossible, often through no fault of the source, nonetheless, the result is the same as out-and-out censorship. Or worse.

“…the peculiar evil of silencing an opinion is that it is robbing the human race;… If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose… the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.” –John Stuart Mill

AND, especially when you don’t do your own thinking, in a sense, you’re being controlled by the speaker in various subtle and not-so-subtle ways. To some extent, knowingly or not, you become a minion of the speaker and/or hir presentation. And sometimes a tool of his/her/etc agenda.

Over time, you develop the habit of no longer thinking for yourself.

That’s also the purpose of military “Basic Training.

Think “lemming.”

The potential for serious abuse, especially in political contexts, is humongous.

American Culture has gone to great lengths to condition you to blindly accept one-way communication. Government-form schools are the most glaring examples.

The implausible cover-story for U.S. Government schools is that you might some day need some of the massive over-provision of likely useless information they subject you to for thirteen years. The usually unstated idea is that you’ll remember what they tried to teach you in usable form, years or decades later.

For efficient information transfer and use, that thirteen years is a monumental waste of student time and taxpayer money.

The real purpose of those thirteen wasted years of “compulsory education” — mostly one-way communication from “teachers” — is accomplished by the “hidden curriculum” as explained by multiple times teacher-of-the-year John Taylor Gatto in his aptly entitled, Dumbing Us Down.

The 19th Century Prussian–evolved plan, imported into America around the turn of the 20th Century, is to transform our free-thinking children into good little “human resources” who will always follow one-way communication (orders) without hesitation — and will stop thinking for themselves.

Frederick the Great and the Prussian elite determined this was necessary to turn their kids into effective cannon-fodder so they wouldn’t lose the next war with Napoleon. I’m not making that up. And “we” adopted it.

That’s why it’s always healthy to talk-back to sources of one-way communication — you know, broadcasts from your flat-screen or device for example — and a good idea to develop that as a habit. Especially in case of political speeches.

If anyone challenges you on that, just refer them to this article.

HERE For updates, additions, comments, and corrections.

AND, “Like,” “Tweet,” and otherwise, pass this along!

The post The Hazards of One-way Communication and What to Do about Them appeared first on LewRockwell.

Ukraine Aid Is Support for Socialism

1 March 2024 at 23:01

Progressives keep trying to logroll Ukraine aid by bundling it with Israel aid, Taiwan aid, border amnesty, or conservative-supported border legislation, which, like existing statutes, would be defied.

In the Senate, $61 billion additional aid for Ukraine was passed with cloture votes from 17 Republicans (Capito, Cassidy, Collins, Cornyn, Ernst, Grassley, Kennedy, McConnell, Moran, Murkowski, Romney, Rounds, Sullivan, Thune, Tillis, Wicker, and Young).

In the House, Republican Brian Fitzpatrick said that this bill or an alternative is needed, and that this is time-sensitive. The current speaker, Republican Mike Johnson, said, “the United States, and our partners, must be using every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war.” Fortunately, Republican Warren Davidson said that if Johnson brings the Senate bill to a vote, several Republicans are ready to vote against Johnson remaining speaker. President Biden said, “History is watching the House of Representatives. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten.”

War is crisis, and crises help politicians, analysts, and media distract from what matters.

Here, what matters is simple. The previous congress and the present congress are depriving persons of life, liberty, and property without due constitutional process.

They haven’t passed rules-of-engagement cards. They haven’t declared war. They are grabbing executive power over line-item budget allocations. They are taking property from the people.

Ukraine aid is in no way justified by proponents’ empirically-disproven claims that such aid will bring peace. What wins wars—and what ultimately will prevent wars—is to let free people build up greater economic strength than coercive enemy governments control. Extracting copious money from the people has always made wars more likely and more destructive. When freer governments instead hold themselves to good boundaries, more-coercive enemy governments overextend their people, and fail.

So, Ukraine aid wouldn’t bring peace. Ukraine aid would advance other goals:

  • Increase spending on crony military contractors.
  • Save face, after past negotiators led Ukraine to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for assurances that the USA would protect Ukraine.
  • Prevent Russian exposure of USA-government-affiliated biolabs.
  • Prevent Russian exposure of laundering through Ukraine of contributions to USA political campaigns.
    The disclosed campaign contributions that were laundered through the bankrupt FTX crypto exchange in 2022 totaled $40 million. Undisclosed contributions could have been immense, given that unaudited USA Ukraine aid totaled many billions.
  • Keep Ukraine safe for USA-government-planned socialist takeover.
    Already by 2008, state-department personnel were working to sponsor uprisings. By 2011, they were doing this specifically in Ukraine. By 2013, they were directing significant funding from the USA people to Ukraine, working hand-in-hand alongside accomplished government-destabilizer George Soros.

Spending more and more doesn’t only externally lessen the military power of peaceful nations, it also internally collapses the political power of the USA’s Progressives, eventually. Progressives repeatedly bet that they can collapse the system and come out on top.

But in the similar push by Republican and then Democratic Progressives that spanned the Great Depression, unending economic deprivation and a destructive world war were in-your-face outcomes, and were borne primarily by the people, at first. The Progressives’ overreaches, though, provoked a strong political counterreaction. This subsequently left the more-openly-Progressive activists pushed out and having to hunker down in agencies and academia for decades.

Mike Johnson and his Republican-Progressive plurality, and Mitch McConnell and his Republican-Progressive swing voters, should recalculate their openness to logrolling and their defiance of the Constitution regarding war. As Republican Eric Schmitt wrote about the final Senate bill, “Nearly every Republican Senator under the age of 55 voted NO on this America Last bill. 15 out of 17 elected since 2018 voted NO. Things are changing just not fast enough.” In the end, Republican Progressives wouldn’t win from Ukraine aid.

No one would win. And we the people will long remember.

The post Ukraine Aid Is Support for Socialism appeared first on LewRockwell.

The National Security State Has Already Won in U.S. Versus Assange

1 March 2024 at 23:01

A British court is currently deliberating in what is probably the last appeal by Julian Assange in the U.S. government’s efforts to extradite him to stand trial in the United States for illegally disclosing war crimes committed by the U.S. national-security state. If Assange loses this appeal, it is a virtual certainty that he will be quickly loaded onto a plane and shipped to the United States, where U.S. prosecutors will seek a conviction and a very long jail sentence in a high-security federal penitentiary.

While it is theoretically possible for Assange to win an acquittal, the reality is that conviction will be a fairly easy thing for prosecutors to win. That’s because the prosecution will take place in one of the pro-government federal courts that are located near the Pentagon and the CIA.

Even if Assange were to be acquitted, however, the fact is that the government has actually already won. After all, look at Assange’s life for the last 14 years. They’ve destroyed it. He has been harassed, abused, incarcerated under brutal conditions, and forced to hole up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven long years.

In other words, for 14 years, Assange has been unable to enjoy the life of a free person. For the last three years, he’s been incarcerated under brutal conditions by British officials, who are renowned for patriotically following orders of the U.S. national-security establishment. The destruction of a large part of Assange’s life and liberty is itself a big win for U.S. officials.

Not surprisingly, Assange’s health has deteriorated significantly under these 14 years of harsh conditions. No one would be surprised if he were to suddenly die in prison, which is what U.S. officials would love to see, which they would undoubtedly celebrate with much glee.

Naturally, during the past 14 years, Assange has been impeded in his efforts to disclose more war crimes by the U.S. national-security state, which obviously is another victory for U.S. national-security state officials, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case.

Most important, the 14-year mistreatment of Assange has sent a message to every other person who has knowledge of war crimes or other illegal acts committed by the U.S. national-security establishment. That message is this: “If you dare to disclose our war crimes or other illegal acts, this is what will happen to you.” What person would want to go through what they have done to Assange or, for that matter, what they have done to Edward Snowden, another person who had the courage to take on these people through his disclosure of their illegal surveillance schemes? Not very many, and understandably so.

Thus, regardless of how Assange fares in what appears to be his final appeal in Britain or how he fares in a kangaroo federal court in Virginia, the fact is that the U.S. national-security state has already won by destroying a major part of his life and cowing all others into remaining silent about the war crimes and illegal actions of the U.S. national-security state.

Reprinted with permission from The Future of Freedom Foundation.

The post The National Security State Has Already Won in U.S. Versus Assange appeared first on LewRockwell.

Signs of Deadly Times

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

Among the exemplars of political fads, the left’s creedal yard sign is surely one of the funniest. They’re a bit weatherworn now—and very 2020—but a few remain as fixtures around town; with slight variations on the wording, they serve as the unofficial Progressive’s Creed. More than that, they advertise just how gullible the homeowners still are, even in 2024. No amount of facts or statistics to the contrary can dissuade such neighbors from proclaiming their devotion to a suicidal cause.

A couple such signs still hang around in my neighborhood, too. Naturally, they sit in front of guilt-inducing, beautiful estates; white leftists, in particular, hope to signal remorse by posting one next to the mailbox. It’s like putting blood on the doorpost, minus the actual redemption.

The list of tenets is growing, and so are design challenges; one sign still available online crams in a line about injustice, but in a mismatched, smaller font. Most signs feature an umbrella virtue to underscore the rest—for my neighbor, it’s “kindness is everything”. I feel the kindness, too; each time I pass their new-construction monstrosity, I’m warmed to know that its owners believe “no human is illegal,” because the their gated and fully-fenced acreage suggests otherwise. I guess I’ll just climb right over, then.

The virtue-signaling sign was a new attempt to convince everyone that the left occupies the moral high ground. In fact, they are actually a very religious bunch, unwaveringly devoted to their devilish and debunked ideas. Previously, “Bernie” bumper stickers were a popular way for fellow travelers to distinguish themselves, but the colorful Stalinist yard signs finally let the neighbors in on the wonderful secret, too. Suddenly, it was easier to see who was “vaccinated”, coddling criminals, and endorsing open borders. In a way, the signs were helpful.

One purveyor of creedal signs advertised their proselytizing powers this way:

“Convey the importance of human rights and equality among fellow citizens by placing love is love yard signs.”

They also offered this persuasive angle:

“Let your fight against social injustice be clearly and silently seen by neighbors as you put on the love is love yard signs.”

The message behind the sign was simple: As you drive by, returning from your greedy hours of meritocratic employment, pause to recognize your more virtuous neighbor’s silent fight against social justice. Consider that women’s rights are human rights, and that therefore all humans can now access your girls’ bathrooms. Forget the millions of dollars in riotous violence, looting, and financial corruption—fists up for BLM! Also, remember, nobody is illegal, but please press the gate code to enter. Without these reminders, you are apt to carry on with life, blissfully unaware of your neighbor’s continuing commitment to deviancy, crime, and open borders.

Leftists are known for destroying economies, but even they could still recognize a good market. The world moves quickly, so signs multiplied to cover emerging virtues. There was the earlier “hate has no home here,” and then the Covid era’s “do your part, get vaccinated,” and “we’re in this together.” Then, recognizing the doom, the proud Biden voters down the street threw up a sign to assure us that “everything will be okay.” The market demanded a more elegant solution, though—a single sign that encapsulated all the latest messaging. An entrepreneur responded, and the leftist virtue sign was born, raising a printed fist against all the realities that disprove the clownish creed.

My neighbors with the creedal signs also had to slap up the Ukraine flag a couple years later. The mailbox garden was perhaps a little crowded, but that was a small price to pay for establishing one’s leftist street cred—Ukraine being a smart-sounding proxy for all anti-Trump fervor. You can almost hear the thick accent: “We stand with Ukraine!” The flags are tattered now, but the battle-worn look makes the old yellow-and-blue a bit more stirring.

Read the Whole Article

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MSNBC, Paul Krugman Panic Over ‘White Rural Rage’

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

“Tom, I’ll start with you,” began Mika Brzezinski. “Why are rural white voters a threat to democracy at this point?”

Fastball delivered, University of Maryland professor and co-author of just-released White Rural Rage: The Threat To American Democracy Tom Schaller took a swing. He and Mika first complained rural voters should be supporting Joe Biden, given his roots — you’d have to be pretty high to call Scranton “rural,” but whatever — then Schaller read off small town America’s charge sheet: rural whites, he said, are the most “racist,” “xenophobic,” “anti-immigrant and anti-gay,” “conspiracist,” “anti-democratic,” they “don’t believe in an independent press or free speech,” and are “most likely to accept or excuse violence,” for starters.

White Rural Rage, which I made the mistake of reading, is a vicious manifesto in the anti-populist tradition nailed by Thomas Frank in The People, NoWhen rural voters in the late 1800s defied New York banking interests and demanded currency reform to allow farmers an escape from one of the original “rigged games” in finance, relentless propaganda ensued. Rural populists were depicted as dirty, bigoted, ignorant. They refused expert wisdom, represented a “frantic challenge against every feature of our civilization,” and waged a “shameful insurrection against law and national honesty.” A populist caricature in Judge magazine showed a violent, destructive idiot, a real-life Lennie from still-unwritten Of Mice and Men, standing over the defiled corpse of civilized America.

The theme is back, condescension multiplied. Despite a pandemic that just graphically demonstrated the social contributions of farmers, truckers, train operators, and other “essential workers,” the people working those jobs were demonized during the crisis as murderous horse-paste eaters and insurrectionists. Their chief crimes: protesting lockdowns and school closures that disproportionately affected them, and being consumers of supposed foreign-inspired “misinformation” that led them to refuse appropriate political choices offered them.

Nobel-winning columnist Paul Krugman of the New York Times spent the last year telling “ignorant” Middle America its negative feelings about the economy are “demonstrably false,” because despite what their bank accounts or home evaluations might say, “Bidenomics is still working very well.” When White Rural Rage came out this week he rushed to review it, the intransigent refusal of yokels to accept his wisdom being his favored current hobby horse. “The Mystery of Rural White Rage” is remarkable on multiple levels, one being that after spending so much energy talking about the health of the economy, he pulls out an economic version of Sam Kinison’s classic “Move to the Food!” routine:

The decline of small-town manufacturing is a more complicated story, and imports play a role, but it’s also mainly about technological change that favors metropolitan areas with large numbers of highly educated workers. Technology, then, has made America as a whole richer, but it has reduced economic opportunities in rural areas. So why don’t rural workers go where the jobs are?

He answers his question: “Some cities have become unaffordable… and many workers are reluctant to leave their families and communities.”

Read the Whole Article

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Technocensorship: When Corporations Serve as a Front for Government Censors

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. We must, therefore, be on our guard against extremists who urge us to adopt police state measures. Such persons advocate breaking down the guarantees of the Bill of Rights in order to get at the communists. They forget that if the Bill of Rights were to be broken down, all groups, even the most conservative, would be in danger from the arbitrary power of government.”—Harry S. Truman, Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States (August 8, 1950)

Nothing good can come from allowing the government to sidestep the Constitution.

Unfortunately, the government has become an expert at disregarding constitutional roadblocks intended to protect the rights of the citizenry.

When these end-runs don’t suffice, the government hides behind the covert, clandestine, classified language of national security; or obfuscates, complicates, stymies, and bamboozles; or creates manufactured diversions to keep the citizenry in the dark; or works through private third parties not traditionally bound by the Constitution.

This last tactic is increasingly how the government gets away with butchering our freedoms, by having its corporate partners serve as a front for its nefarious deeds.

This is how the police state has managed to carry out an illegal secret dragnet surveillance program on the American people over the course of multiple presidential administrations.

Relying on a set of privacy loopholes, the White House (under Presidents Obama, Trump and now Biden) has been sidestepping the Fourth Amendment by paying AT&T to allow federal, state, and local law enforcement to access—without a warrant—the phone records of Americans who are not suspected of a crime.

The government used a similar playbook to get around the First Amendment, packaged as an effort to control the spread of speculative or false information in the name of national security.

As the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government revealed, the Biden administration worked in tandem with social media companies to censor content related to COVID-19, including humorous jokes, credible information and so-called disinformation.

Likening the government’s heavy-handed attempts to pressure social media companies to suppress content critical of COVID vaccines or the election to “an almost dystopian scenario,” Judge Terry Doughty warned that “the United States Government seems to have assumed a role similar to an Orwellian ‘Ministry of Truth.’

Restricting access to social media has become a popular means of internet censorship.

Dare to voice politically incorrect views in anything louder than a whisper on social media and you might find yourself suspended on Twitter, shut out of Facebook, and banned across various social media platforms. This authoritarian intolerance masquerading as tolerance, civility and love is what comedian George Carlin referred to as “fascism pretending to be manners.”

Social media censorship runs the gamut from content blocking, throttling, and filtering to lockouts, shutdowns, shadow banning and de-platforming.

In fact, these tactics are at the heart of several critical cases before the U.S. Supreme Court over who gets to control, regulate or remove what content is shared on the internet: the individual, corporate censors or the government.

Yet what those who typically champion the right of corporations to be free from government meddling get wrong about these cases is that there can be no free speech when corporations such as Facebook, Google or YouTube become a front for—or extensions of—government censors.

This is the very definition of technocensorship.

On paper—under the First Amendment, at least—we are technically free to speak.

In reality, however, we are now only as free to speak as a government official—or corporate entities such as Facebook, Google or YouTube—may allow.

Clothed in tyrannical self-righteousness, technocensorship is powered by technological behemoths (both corporate and governmental) working in tandem to achieve a common goal: to muzzle, silence and altogether eradicate any speech that runs afoul of the government’s own approved narrative.

This is political correctness taken to its most chilling and oppressive extreme.

This authoritarian impulse to censor and silence “dangerous” speech masquerading as tolerance, civility and a concern for safety (what comedian George Carlin referred to as “fascism pretending to be manners”) is the end result of a politically correct culture that has become radicalized, institutionalized and tyrannical.

You see, the government is not protecting us from “dangerous” disinformation campaigns. It is laying the groundwork to insulate us from “dangerous” ideas that might cause us to think for ourselves and, in so doing, challenge the power elite’s stranglehold over our lives.

Thus far, the tech giants have been able to sidestep the First Amendment by virtue of their non-governmental status, but it’s a dubious distinction at best when they are marching in lockstep with the government’s dictates.

As Philip Hamburger and Jenin Younes write for The Wall Street Journal: “The First Amendment prohibits the government from ‘abridging the freedom of speech.’ Supreme Court doctrine makes clear that government can’t constitutionally evade the amendment by working through private companies.”

It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court can see itself clear to recognizing that censorship by social media companies acting at the behest of the government runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Bottom line: either we believe in free speech or we don’t.

The answer to the political, legal and moral challenges of our day should always be more speech, not less.

Any individual or group—prominent or not—who is censored, silenced and made to disappear from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram for voicing ideas that are deemed politically incorrect, hateful, dangerous or conspiratorial should be cause for alarm across the entire political spectrum.

To ignore the long-term ramifications of such censorship is dangerously naïve, because whatever powers the government and its corporate operatives are allowed to claim now will eventually be used against the populace at large.

These social shunning tactics borrow heavily from the mind control tactics used by authoritarian cults as a means of controlling its members. As Dr. Steven Hassan writes in Psychology Today: “By ordering members to be cut off, they can no longer participate. Information and sharing of thoughts, feelings, and experiences are stifled. Thought-stopping and use of loaded terms keep a person constrained into a black-and-white, all-or-nothing world. This controls members through fear and guilt.”

This mind control can take many forms, but the end result is an enslaved, compliant populace incapable of challenging tyranny.

As Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, once observed, “We’re developing a new citizenry, one that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”

The problem is that we’ve allowed ourselves to be persuaded that we need someone else to think and speak for us, and we’ve bought into the idea that we need the government and its corporate partners to shield us from that which is ugly or upsetting or mean. The result is a society in which we’ve stopped debating among ourselves, stopped thinking for ourselves, and stopped believing that we can fix our own problems and resolve our own differences.

In short, we have reduced ourselves to a largely silent, passive, polarized populace incapable of working through our own problems and reliant on the government to protect us from our fears.

As Nat Hentoff, that inveterate champion of the First Amendment, once observed, “The quintessential difference between a free nation, as we profess to be, and a totalitarian state, is that here everyone, including a foe of democracy, has the right to speak his mind.”

What this means is championing the free speech rights of those with whom we might disagree.

That’s why James Madison, the author of the Bill of Rights, fought for a First Amendment that protected the “minority” against the majority, ensuring that even in the face of overwhelming pressure, a minority of one—even one who espouses distasteful viewpoints—would still have the right to speak freely, pray freely, assemble freely, challenge the government freely, and broadcast his views in the press freely. He understood that freedom for those in the unpopular minority constitutes the ultimate tolerance in a free society.

The government has no tolerance for freedom or free speech of any kind that challenges its chokehold on power.

At some point or another, depending on how the government and its corporate allies define what constitutes “disinformation,” “hate” or “extremism, “we the people” might all be considered guilty of some thought crime or speech transgression or other.

Yet as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, it’s a slippery slope from censoring so-called illegitimate ideas to silencing truth.

Eventually, as George Orwell predicted, telling the truth will become a revolutionary act.

Ultimately, the government’s war on free speech—and that’s exactly what it is—is a war that is driven by a government fearful of its people.

As President John F. Kennedy observed, “[A] nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.”

Reprinted with permission from The Rutherford Institute.

The post Technocensorship: When Corporations Serve as a Front for Government Censors appeared first on LewRockwell.

Great Propaganda

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

The political “elite” clearly look on the rest of us as cattle to be herded, tagged, corralled and culled by their betters. That view of the rest of humanity justifies all manner of crimes against the herd and explains why their treatment of the  citizenry who place their trust in them is so amoral.

It is important not to lose sight of the fact that justifying their egregious treatment of the citizenry by pointing out the alleged dangers of the pandemic does not hold water. These people knew damn well that the alleged pandemic, based on fraudulent tests, false stats and outright propaganda lies, was not the threat it was made out to be, not even close.

Who is responsible for inflicting unethical behavioural-science ‘nudges’ on the British people?

The state’s strategic deployment of fear, shame and peer pressure – or ‘affect, ‘ego’ and ‘norms’ in the language of behavioural science – throughout the covid-19 pandemic, as a means of ‘nudging’ people’s with restrictions and the vaccine rollout has been widely criticised. Ethical concerns about the Government’s use of these psychological techniques in their messaging campaign arise from several aspects of this form of influence: the wilful infliction of emotional distress on the general population as a means of increasing conformity; the failure to seek informed consent from those targeted; the contentious and non-evidenced public health policies which these strategies helped to implement; and the fact that ‘nudges’ commonly exert their influence below a person’s level of consciousness, thereby fuelling the accusation that they are manipulative.

But who is primarily responsible for inflicting these morally dubious, and often damaging, behavioural-science ‘nudges’ on British citizens?

There are four groups of stakeholders who could feasibly be responsible for these egregious actions:

  1. British Psychological Society (BPS)
  2. Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)
  3. Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B)
  4. Elected politicians and their civil servants

To date, all four seem to be shirking any responsibility. Indeed, when probed, the responses of these collectives resemble a duplicitous hybrid of a police officer’s, ‘Move along, nothing to see here’, and the reggae musician Shaggy denying his misdemeanours with the mantra, ‘It wasn’t me’.

Let’s consider, in turn, each group of actors who might be responsible.

1British Psychological Society (BPS)

The BPS is the professional organisation representing psychologists in the UK. Several of its prominent members have been actively involved in SAGE, providing psychological advice to Government about how to maximise the impact of the covid-19 messaging campaign.  One of the central roles of the BPS is to ensure that its members practice in a responsible and morally acceptable way. According to its Code of Ethics, psychologists should respect ‘consent’ and ‘self-determination’, while always ensuring ‘the avoidance of harm and the prevention of abuse or misuse of their contribution to society’. Given this remit, and the BPS’s role as the guardian of ethical psychological practice, presumably this learned organisation would thoroughly address our concerns about ‘nudging’, expressed in a letter signed by 46 psychologists and therapists, and submitted on the 6th January 2021.

But no, they were having none of it!

An initial response from Dr Debra Malpass (Director of Knowledge and Insight) questioned whether the ‘nudges’ under scrutiny were actually covert, asserted that it was ‘not appropriate’ for the BPS to respond to concerns about unnamed psychologists, and that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the ‘fantastic work done by psychologists throughout the pandemic’. When it subsequently became apparent that our questions had not been addressed by their ethics committee, we prompted them further and on the 1st July 2021 Dr Roger Paxton (chair of the BPS Ethics Committee) responded, stridently arguing that:

  • The psychological strategies deployed were ‘indirect’ rather than covert;
  • The application of psychology in this instance fell outside the realm of individual health decisions (so the ethical requirement to obtain informed consent was not an issue);
  • Levels of fear within the general population were proportionate to the objective risk posed by the virus;
  • The psychologists’ role in the pandemic response demonstrated ‘social responsibility and the competent and responsible employment of psychological expertise’.

Dr Paxton’s claims constitute a misleading cocktail of distortion, evasion and disingenuousness.

So if the guardians of ethical psychological practice deny any wrongdoing – ‘move along, nothing to see here’ – who else might be responsible for the unethical application of behavioural science?

2Behavioural Insights Team (BIT)

In 2010, in the Prime Minister’s office, the BIT was spawned: ‘The world’s first government institution dedicated to the application of behavioural science to policy’. The psychological strategies deployed by the BIT have been described as providing ‘low cost, low pain ways of nudging citizens … into new ways of acting by going with the grain of how we think and act’. Many of these techniques of persuasion act – to various degrees – below people’s conscious awareness.

Since its inception, the BIT has been led by Professor David Halpern who, along with at least two other BIT members, also participated in the Scientific Pandemic Insights Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), a subgroup of SAGE that advised the Government on its covid-19 communications strategy. Over the last decade, the BIT has witnessed major expansion and now operates in many countries across the world.

Importantly, a 2010 document describing behavioural science techniques and co-written by Professor Halpern states: ‘Policymakers wishing to use these tools … need the approval of the public to do so’ (p74). More recently, in Professor Halpern’s book, Inside the Nudge Unit, he is even more emphatic about the importance of consent: ‘If Governments … wish to use behavioural insights, they must seek and maintain the permission of the public. Ultimately, you – the public, the citizen – need to decide what the objectives, and limits, of nudging and empirical testing should be’ (p375). As such, the leading voice of the BIT contradicts the above-mentioned Dr Paxton, chair of the BPS Ethics Committee.

The malevolent influence of the BIT in promoting deployment of fear, shame and scapegoating as weapons of influence can be detected in a (subsequently redacted) document advising front-line healthcare staff about how to effectively promote the covid-19 vaccines. The paper – the product of a collaboration between the BIT and the NHS – included recommendations to ‘leverage anticipated regret’ in older people by telling them that the ‘over 65s are three times more likely to die if you get COVID’ and to tell young people that ‘normality can only return, for you and others, with your vaccination’ [my emphasis].

In light of the abuse of behavioural science throughout the covid-19 pandemic, have members of the BIT been announcing their disapproval? One of their former founder members, Dr Simon Ruda, has recently expressed concern, stating that ‘the most egregious and far-reaching mistake made in responding to the pandemic has been the level of fear willingly conveyed on the public’ – another comment at odds with Dr Paxton’s testimony. In contrast, the current BIT practitioners have remained silent about the ethical basis of their recent work, despite their sphere of influence broadening into many areas of our day-to-day lives, including zero-carbon green messages in the media and the work of Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (the latter involvement potentially implicated in tragic consequences for some of those targeted).

Intriguingly, on the 31st January 2022, I received an email from the BIT’s communication department denying any responsibility for the Government’s use of fear, shame and scapegoating in their covid-19 messaging. According to this spokesperson, ‘none of the examples you reference were actually our work or anything we worked on at all, and we categorically do not believe in using fear as a tactic’.

So it’s an emphatic, ‘It wasn’t me’ from the BIT.

Read the Whole Article

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California Is Dumping Radioactive Waste Into the Pacific

By: Mac Slavo
1 March 2024 at 23:01

While forcing new “climate change” policies on the slave class and making them pay for the ineffective (and fraudulent) green initiative in California, the rulers are dumping what is likely radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean. Even the Los Angeles Times indicated that pollution in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast could be even more dangerous than originally thought.

Using a deep-sea robot, UC Santa Barbara scientists discovered an eerie graveyard of leaking barrels in 2020, spread out on the seafloor near Santa Catalina Island. DDT, a powerful pesticide that was banned 50 years ago, was found in high concentrations near the barrels, leading scientists to suspect they were full of it. (Scientists later discovered that companies didn’t even bother putting DDT in barrels — they dumped it directly into the sea.) –Los Angeles Times

DDT or Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, is a colorless, tasteless, and almost odorless crystalline chemical compound, an organochloride. It was originally developed as an insecticide, but it’s now known as a toxic substance to humans and animals. Disturbingly enough, that is not the only thing California is dumping into the Pacific Ocean.

Records show that from the 1940s through the 1960s, it was not uncommon for local hospitals, labs, and other industrial operations to dispose of barrels of tritium, carbon-14, and other low-level radioactive waste at sea.

The company tasked with pouring the DDT waste off the Los Angeles coast had also dumped low-level radioactive waste. The radioactive waste sitting down there is unequivocally terrible, but the “concerning concentrations” of DDT in the deep ocean are worse said UC Santa Barbara’s David Valentine. His research team published their findings in Environmental Science & Technology.

Unfortunately, researchers have found high levels of DDT across an area of seafloor larger than the entire city of San Francisco, according to the new study. What this could mean for human and marine life is still unknown.

For 35 years, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT was based in Los Angeles and as many as half a million barrels of DDT waste have not been accounted for, based on historical records and undigitized research reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.

The Montrose Chemical Corporation in Torrance produced massive amounts of the chemical between the end of the Second World War through 1982. Since they were likely making this for the ruling class to continue a massive and global war, it stands to reason that the masters had tasked the company with the disposal of DDT and other radioactive waste and “looked the other way” while it was dumped into the ocean.

Reprinted with permission from SHTFplan.

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Rocky Road to Dedollarization: Sergei Glazyev Interview

By: No Author
1 March 2024 at 23:01

Very few people in Russia and across the Global South are as qualified as Sergei Glazyev, an academic with a prominent role within the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU), to speak about the drive, the challenges and the pitfalls in the road towards de-dollarization.

As the Global South issues widespread calls for real financial stability; India inside the BRICS 10 makes it clear that everyone needs to think seriously about the toxic effects of unilateral sanctions; and Professor Michael Hudson keeps reiterating current policies are not sustainable anymore, Glazyev graciously received me at his office at the EEC for an exclusive, extensive conversation, including fascinating off the record odds and ends.

These are the highlights – as Glazyev’s ideas are being re-examined, and there’s huge expectation for the green light from the Russian government for a new trade settlement model – which for the moment is in the final stages of fine-tuning.

Glazyev explained how his main idea was “elaborated a long time ago. The basic idea is that a new currency should be first of all introduced on the basis of international law, signed by the countries which are interested in the production of this new currency. Not via some kind of conference, like Bretton Woods, with no legitimacy. At the first stage, not all countries would be included. BRICS nations will be enough – plus the SCO. In Russia, we already have our own SWIFT – the SPFS. We have our currency exchange, we have correspondent relations between banks, consultation between Central Banks, here we are absolutely self-sufficient.”

All that leads to adopting a new international currency: “We don’t really need to go large scale. BRICS is enough. The idea of the currency is that there are two baskets: one basket is national currencies of all countries involved in the process, like the SDR, but with more clear, understandable criteria. The second basket are commodities. If you have two baskets, and we create the new currency as an index of commodities and national currencies, and we have a mechanism for reserves, according to the mathematical model that will be very stable. Stable and convenient.”

Then it’s up to feasibility: “To introduce this currency as an instrument for transactions would not be too difficult. With good infrastructure, and all Central Banks approving it, then it’s up to businesses to use this currency. It should be in digital form – which means it can be used without the banking system, so it will be at least ten times cheaper than present transactions through banks and currency exchanges.”

That Thorny Central Bank Question

“Have you presented this idea to the Chinese?”

“We presented it to Chinese experts, our partners at Renmin University. We had good feedback – but I did not have the opportunity to present it on a political level. Here in Russia we promote the discussion via papers, conferences, seminars, but there’s still no political decision on introducing this mechanism even on the BRICS agenda. The proposal by our team of experts is to include it in the agenda of the BRICS summit next October in Kazan. The problem is the Russian Central Bank is not enthusiastic. The BRICS have only decided on an operating plan to use national currencies – which is also a quite clear idea, as national currencies are already used in our trade. Russian ruble is the main currency in the EAEU, trade with China is conducted in rubles and renminbi, trade with India and Iran and Turkiye also switched to national currencies. Each country has the infrastructure for it. If Central Banks introduce digital national currencies and allow them to be used in international trade, it’s also a good model. In this case crypto exchanges can easily balance payments – and it’s a very cheap mechanism. What is needed is an agreement from Central Banks to allow a certain amount of national currencies in digital form to participate in international transactions.”

“Would that be feasible already in 2024, if there is political will?”

“There are some start-ups already. By the way, they are in the West, and the digitalization is conducted by private companies, not Central Banks. So the demand is there. Our Central Bank needs to elaborate a proposal for the summit in Kazan. But this is only one part of the story. The second part is price. For the moment price is determined by Western speculation. We produce these commodities, we consume them, but we do not have our own price mechanism, which will balance supply and demand. During the Covid panic, the price for oil fell to nearly zero. It’s impossible to make any strategic planning for economic development if you do not control prices of basic commodities. Price formation with this new currency should get rid of Western exchanges of commodities. My idea is based on a mechanism that existed in the Soviet Union, in the Comecon. In that period we had long-term agreements not only with socialist countries, but also with Austria, and other Western countries, to supply gas for 10 years, 20 years, the basis of this price formula was the price for oil, and the price for gas.”

So what stands out is the effectiveness of a long-term, long view policy: “We did create a long-term pattern. Here in the EEC we are looking at the idea of a common exchange market. We already prepared a draft, with some experiments. The first step is the creation of an information network, exchanges in different countries. It was rather successful. The second step will be to set up online communication between exchanges, and finally we move to a common mechanism of price formation, and open this mechanism for all other countries. The main problem is that the major producers of commodities, first of all the oil companies, they don’t like to trade through exchanges. They like to trade personally, so you need a political decision to make sure that at least half of production of commodities should go through exchanges. A mechanism where supply and demand balance each other. For the moment the price of oil in foreign markets is ‘secret’. It’s some type of colonial times thinking. ‘How to cheat’. We must create legislation to open all this information to the public.”

The NDB in Need of a Shake-up

Glazyev offered an extensive analysis of the BRICS universe, based on how the BRICS Business Council had its first meeting on financial services in early February. They agreed on a working plan; there was a first session of fintech experts; and during this week a breakthrough meeting may lead to a new formulation – for the moment not made public – to be put into the BRICS agenda for the October summit.

“What are the main challenges within the BRICS structure in this next stage of trying to bypass the US dollar?”

“BRICS in fact is a club which doesn’t have a secretariat. I can tell it, from a person that has some experience in integration. We discussed the idea of a customs union here, on the post-Soviet territory, immediately after the collapse. We had a lot of declarations, even some agreements signed by heads of state, over a common economic space. But only after the establishment of a commission the real work stated, in the year 2008. After 20 years of papers, conferences, nothing was done. You need someone who’s responsible. In BRICS there is such an organization – the NDB [New Development Bank]. If the heads of state decide to appoint the NDB as an institution which will elaborate the new model, the new currency, organize an international conference with the draft of an international treaty, this can work. The problem is that the NDB works according to the dollar charter. They have to reorganize this institution in order to make it workable. Now it works like an ordinary international development bank under the American framework. The second option would be to do it without this bank, but that would be much more difficult. This bank has enough expertise.”

“Could an internal shake-up of the NDB be proposed by the Russian presidency of BRICS this year?”

“We are doing our best. I’m not sure the Ministry of Finance understands how serious this is. The President understands. I personally promoted this idea to him. But the chairman of the Central Bank, and ministers are still thinking in the old IMF paradigm.”

‘Religious Sects Don’t Create Innovation’

Glazyev had a serious discussion on sanctions with the NDB:

“I discussed this issue with Mrs. Rousseff [the former Brazilian President, currently presiding the NDB) at the St. Petersburg Forum. I gave her a paper about it. She was rather enthusiastic and invited us to come to the NDB. But afterwards there was no follow-up. Last year everything was very difficult.”

On BRICS, “the financial services working group is discussing reinsurance, credit rating, new currencies in fintech. That’s what should be in the agenda of the NDB. The best possibility would be a meeting in Moscow in March or April, to discuss in depth the whole range of issues of BRICS settlement mechanism, from most sophisticated to least sophisticated. It would be great if the NDB sign up for it, but as it stands there is a de facto gulf between the BRICS and the NDB.”

The key point, insists Glazyev, is that “Dilma should find time to organize these discussions at a high level. A political decision is needed.”

“But wouldn’t that decision have to come from Putin himself?”

“It’s not so easy. We heard statements by at least three heads of the state: Russia, South Africa and Brazil. They publicly said ‘this is a good idea’. The problem, once again, is there is no task force yet. My idea, which we proposed before the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, is to create an international working group – to prepare in the next sessions the model, or the draft, of the treaty. How to switch to national currencies. That’s the official agenda now. And they have to report about that in Kazan [for the BRICS annual summit]. There are some consultations between the Central Banks and Ministers of Finance.”

Glazyev cut to the chase when it comes to the inertia of the system: “The main problem for bureaucrats and experts is ‘why they don’t have ideas?’ Because they assume the current status quo is the best one. If there are no sanctions, everything will be good. The international financial architecture that was created by the United States and Europe is convenient. Everyone knows how to work in the system. So it’s impossible to move from this system to another system. For businesses it will be very difficult. For banks it will be difficult. People have been educated in the paradigm of financial equilibrium, totally libertarian. They don’t care that prices are manipulated by speculators, they don’t care about volatility of national currencies, They think it’s natural (…) It’s a kind of religious sect. Religious sects don’t create innovation.”

Now Get on That Hypersonic Bicycle

We’re back to the crucial issue of national currencies: “Even five years ago, when I spoke about national currencies in trade, everybody said it was completely impossible. We have long-term contracts in dollars and euro. We have an established culture of transactions. When I was Minister of Foreign Trade, 30 years ago, at the time I tried to push all our trade in commodities into rubles. I argued with Yeltsin and others, ‘we have to trade in rubles, not in dollars’. That would automatically make the ruble a reserve currency. When Europe moved to the euro, I had a meeting with Mr. Prodi, and we agreed, ‘we will use euro as your currency, and you will use rubles’. Then Prodi came to me after consultations and said, ‘I talked to Mr. Kudrin [former Russian Finance Minister, 2000-2011], he didn’t ask me to make the ruble a reserve currency’. That was sabotage. It was stupidity.”

The problems actually run deep – and keep running: “The problem was our regulators, educated by the IMF, and the second problem was corruption. If you trade oil and gas in dollars, a large part of profits is stolen, there are a lot of intermediate companies which manipulate prices. Prices are only the first step. The price for natural gas in the first deal is about 10 times less than the final demand. There are institutional barriers. A majority of countries do not allow our companies to sell oil and gas to the final customer. Like you cannot sell gas to households. Nevertheless, even in the open market, quite competitive, we have intermediates between producer and consumer – at least half of the revenues are stolen from government control. They don’t pay taxes.”

Yet fast solutions do exist: “When we were sanctioned two years ago, transfer from US dollar and euro to national currencies took only a few months. It was very quick.”

On investments, Glazyev stressed success in localized trade, but capital flows are still not there: “The Central Banks are not doing their job. The ruble-renminbi exchange is working well. But the ruble-rupee exchange doesn’t work. The banks that keep these rupees, they have a lot of money, accrue interest rates on these rupees, and they can play with them. I don’t know who’s responsible for this, our Central Bank or the Indian Central Bank.”

The succinct, key takeaway of Glazyev’s serious warnings is that it would be up to the NDB – prodded by the leadership of BRICS – to organize a conference of global experts and open it for public discussion. Glazyev evoked the metaphor of a bicycle that keeps rolling along – so why invent a new bicycle? Well, the – multipolar – time has come for a new hypersonic bicycle.

This originally appeared on Sputnik News.

The post Rocky Road to Dedollarization: Sergei Glazyev Interview appeared first on LewRockwell.

New Psychotic Technology To Stop Viruses That Don’t Exist

1 March 2024 at 23:01

Sounds like a bad horror movie. And it is, in real life.

Informed Consent Action Network (Feb 14, 2024) (*):

A new class of “encrypted RNA” vaccines are being developed where the RNA would piggyback onto an existing wild virus and spread from person to person without any person’s knowledge or consent.

This so-called “therapy” uses a technology called TIPs (Therapeutic Interfering Particles), which are described as “engineered molecular parasites” that piggyback on a wild virus. If you get the virus, you also get these parasites. Once inside an infected person, the TIPs are supposed to rapidly multiply, hijacking the resources the wild virus needs to multiply and therefore stopping the virus.

Supporters of this technology claim it will “solve” several problems with traditional vaccine delivery, including “behavior barriers” like noncompliance. Meaning everyone gets vaccinated—whether they like it or not.

Let me try to disentangle this.

Some naturally circulating virus (which doesn’t exist) will be captured and outfitted with lab-created molecular parasites.

The virus (which doesn’t exist) plus its attached parasites will enter the body, where the parasites will “hijack the resources” the virus (which doesn’t exist) needs to survive and multiply.

What resources would these be? The bloodstream? The nervous system? The brain? The anus?

And what does “hijack” mean? Destroy? Disable? Wall off from the rest of the body?

The virus (which doesn’t exist) stops multiplying and dies. Then that person is immune from further infection by that type of virus (which doesn’t exist).

I assume, when the wild virus plus the parasites enter the body, even though the virus doesn’t exist it’s a tiny blob of SOMETHING, rather than just an idea.

What would that something be? No idea.

Whatever the parasites are actually doing in the body, we know they’re not aiding in destroying the virus, because the virus doesn’t exist.

Glad we’ve cleared all that up.

Read the Whole Article

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LIVE: Trump Holds a “Get Out The Vote Rally” in Greensboro, N.C. – 3/2/24

By: Ad rem
2 March 2024 at 13:10

Today’s “Get Out the Vote rally takes place at the Greensboro coliseum complex, where President Trump is scheduled to speak at 2 p.m. ET.  Trump comes to Greensboro following his victory in the South Carolina primary over Nikki Haley. According to the Emerson college/The Hill poll released last week, North Carolina voters are favoring a […]

The post LIVE: Trump Holds a “Get Out The Vote Rally” in Greensboro, N.C. – 3/2/24 appeared first on The Last Refuge.

March 2nd – 2024 Presidential Politics – Resistance Day 1138

By: Sundance
2 March 2024 at 00:20

In an effort to keep the Daily Open Thread a little more open topic we are going to start a new daily thread for “Presidential Politics”. Please use this thread to post anything relating to the JoeBama Administration and Presidency. “This is no small thing, to restore a republic after it has fallen into corruption. […]

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Saturday March 2nd – Open Thread

By: Sundance
2 March 2024 at 00:15

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but DELIVER US FROM EVIL. […]

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