Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Rachel Maddow Gives Sheeple Permission To Think, For Now!

I decided to review Rachel Maddow's new book "Blowout," and while I'm at it I'll review her first one "Drift," even though I haven't completely read either one of them. All I've read are a few excerpts and some of the promotions for them, along with way too much of her show.

If you're not accustomed to reading good non-fiction books on a regular basis the first thought going through your mind about someone doing a book review about a book he hasn't even read might be, "What kind of asshole does that?"

Well, apparently me.

However, if you are accustomed to reading good non-fiction books on a regular basis, and you've read enough reviews from the mainstream media, you might suspect that they mass produce book reviews for promotional purposes and they have little or no credibility, since they're sold like a commodity, and the vast majority of these reviews just might be written by people that never read the book.

I mean no offense to the Sheeple that don't see through this scam; after all, for a long time, I was one of them, even though I thought I was well informed! I kept track of the news reading traditional papers every day and watching the nightly news, but for decades I wasn't aware of any alternative media outlets or the academic work that the mainstream media practically never covers. It wasn't hard to see that the Republicans were always favoring the rich, and I saw that many Democrats were as well; but I didn't realize how much I was missing until I started becoming more familiar with alternative media, and good authors the mainstream media practically never covers. This started when I read a book by Howard Zinn, and began looking at other sources, including many on the internet, and began reading far more non-fiction books.

Also, at least I'm admitting I didn't read Rachel Maddow's books and even though I only heard an interview by Chris Hayes and checked Google Books for an excerpt where she explains the "Resource Curse," I also read a lot of other good books including "Blood and Oil" by Klare and "Private Empire" by Steve Coll which did a far better job explaining this long before she did, but they couldn't get nearly as much media promotion as she did to surge to the top of the best sellers list so quickly. (Steve Coll did get some media promotion and eventually made it onto the best sellers list but never had nearly as much name recognition as Rachel Maddow and almost certainly didn't rise as fast.)

By reading enough good non-fiction book I was eventually able to recognize a trend, that the best books were almost never covered much by the mainstream media; and the ones they did cover where mostly celebrities that catered to the interests of the oligarchs that control the media.

David Swanson, who presumably did read this book, made a good point in his review (more below) of "Drift," her first book when he said "I’d love for a hundred million Americans or so who never read books to read this one. It wouldn’t be the first book I’d pick, but it would probably do a lot more good than harm." He had plenty of objections to this book though and one of them is that she's very selective about which wars she opposes and looks the other way at many of the lies leading us into war, including the one about "babies taken out of incubators in Kuwait" which was proven to be fabricated and raising major doubts about an enormous amount of additional propaganda to justify that war. It's also unlikely that she discussed the fact that just a few weeks before the invasion Saddam Hussein was still an ally and US Ambassador April Glaspie indicated they weren't concerned with his dispute with Kuwait over the border and even advised to do some public relations to improve his image.

If people don't give her too many brownie points for pointing out some of the problems, and they don't stop with reading this book, then he may be right about his belief that "it would probably do a lot more good than harm." However since the quality of her reporting has gone down significantly since 2012, and she was never as progressive as she may have seemed by mainstream media standards, it would be a bad mistake for anyone to trust her too much, especially since her bizarre obsession with the Russia election interference conspiracy.

I've never completely ruled out some interference by Russia or claimed that they weren't corrupt and Donald Trump wasn't involved in corrupt activities with them and many other people around the world; however, when it comes to rigging elections they couldn't possibly have done more than the mainstream media for one simple reason. In order to have a chance the first thing any candidate needs is a massive amount of name recognition, and this is almost completely controlled by mainstream media. If they don't give a candidate any coverage then that candidate has no chance, yet they give an enormous amount of obsession coverage to a small percentage of candidates running for office, including Donald Trump. there's more to it than that, of course, but you can't get past that when trying to use Russia as a scapegoat for manipulating elections. I went into more details in several previous articles including Psst, Elections Were Rigged By Oligarchy not Russia & Evidence Was Reported Before It Happened!

Rachel Maddow's first book was allegedly about how we wound up in a permanent state of war and presumably how to stop it; however as David Swanson points out she's very selective about which wars base don lies she opposes; and Glen Greenwald pointed out that her support for troops in Syria contradicts her alleged opposition to permanent war described in her book when he tweeted The most bizarre aspect of Rachel @Maddow's deep anger over troop withdrawal from Syria is that she wrote an entire book in 2012 denouncing illegal US Endless War without congressional approval - exactly what Syria is. I interviewed her about it here: 12/21/2018

Some of her points were good, but she almost always ignores many of the worst atrocities and lies when they implicate powerful people within the government and high positions in the business or media establishments, perhaps unless they're too obvious to ignore. She begins this pattern of behavior again in her interview with Chris Hayes describing the basics of the "Resource Curse,” which is well known in the academic world and alternative media but almost never mentioned in the mainstream media so few people relying on them will be aware of it, or the details behind it. And when they here it from her for the first time in listening to this interview or reading her book they might not realize that she's only telling part of the story:

Rachel Maddow interview with Chris Hayes about "Blowout" 09/30/2019

I mean they`re really – I mean, lots of countries are bad actors, right. Russia is a particularly malignant weird actor, why? And what I came up with as the sort of missing link was the fact that they have a really screwed up economy. And then, well, that doesn't really make sense either, because they float on a sea of oil and gas, so why shouldn't they have actually a good economy since that`s so remunerative, and then you get to the particularities of the oil and gas industry, which is that it often screws up your country. It very often co-opts and screws up any hope at good government. But in the hands of an unsavory dictator, it can also be used to deliberately create corruption and to turn the lights on and off at will in other countries, and that`s how Putin has manipulated Ukraine.


MADDOW: Well, it`s – I mean, extractive industries tend to do this, right. So there is this thing called the resource curse, which is that if you are a country that discovers resources that can be extracted and sold internationally, you are subject to the sort of paradox where you – the revenues that you get from that ought to help you out.

HAYES: Right. It`s like all this money. It`s money. It`s raining money.

MADDOW: Except what it tends to do is create a stream of money to the elites and to the government that is going to allow extractive industries to come in and take that stuff out. That elite and those government ministers then end up having no purpose on earth other than keeping themselves in power to cash in on that stuff. And it makes the government essentially serve only that one purpose.

So Equatorial Guinea, which you mentioned, they see, you know, $25 billion poured into that country in less than 10 years when they discover oil. $25 billion in a little poor country like Equatorial Guinea should have been like winning the lottery, right. And instead, infant mortality goes up, poverty goes up, health care and education go down, and the son of the president buys all the world`s Michael Jackson memorabilia, and they build three new capitol cities, and he becomes the longest sitting president in the world. And I mean, that`s the sort of influence that oil and gas companies can have in small countries. They can also do that in big countries.

HAYES: Yeah, I think it was actually today in the AP that the cars taken from the leader`s son were sold for $25 million.

MADDOW: They were. Nice cars.

HAYES: There`s the fleet of the ill-gotten oil.

And there`s – the other part of this, of course, is the fossil fuel companies themselves, who, you know, sort of throughout the book operate in this kind of like ruthlessly amoral space.

MADDOW: Yes, that`s a perfect way to put it.

HAYES: Where they – you know, they`ll deal with – if you`re the governor of Oklahoma, they`ll deal with you. If you are a desperate son, they`ll deal with you. If you`re Vladimir Putin, like, we`re just going to partner with you to get that stuff out of the ground and make our money.

MADDOW: What they want is, in Rex Tillerson`s memorable words, contract sanctity. They will operate anyway, anywhere, and in any environment as long as their contracts are honored.

And what they need is stability and assurance that they don`t have to do too much more for one-stop shopping when it comes to something that they need in your country. And it`s not that oil and gas companies seek to install dictators, but if there is one there, that`s actually going to be quite convenient for them in most cases.

HAYES: It`s simplifying.

MADDOW: It`s simplifying in terms of who do you bribe, in terms of who OKs things for you, and if you have some sort of local uprising that needs putting down, well, you know, exactly who to go to.

And so there`s no – it`s not a coincidence that you end up with a sort of corrosion of democracy in places where oil and gas companies have sway. And I think that we can see that close to home. I think we can definitely sort of more easily see it a broad.

But in Russia, I think, it contributed to them having this real weak spot in terms of what they can do to sway other countries and what Putin can do to get his way in the world. He ended up using oil and gas as a weapon, especially in Ukraine. It`s directly connected to what`s going on with the impeachment crisis right now.

But he also knows that unless he gets these sanctions lifted, unless he can get Exxon and Shell and BP and all these western companies in to help him drill, Russia`s one economic asset is something he`s not going to be able to get out of the ground. Complete article

One of the biggest problems is that neither she or the rest of the establishment media reports on this much sooner, nor do they report on the activities of many other companies and politicians that are also involved in this or that our economic system, and foreign policy allows this. She does implicate ExxonMobil and the Republicans, which she's been doing for a while, justifiably, but she doesn't report on how the Democrats aren't much better, although they're not quite as obvious. furthermore, like everything else she tries to spin everything as if Russia is responsible for almost everything!

Both Michael Klare and Steve Coll provide a far better description of the details behind the resource curse, often implicating powerful people, but as I said they can't get nearly as much coverage from the mass media, which has interlocking boards of directors and stockholders with the oil companies profiting off the resource curse. Nevertheless, her description from her book is a good start, although she doesn't do nearly as good a job as other academics citing her sources and fact checking, as indicated in this excerpt:

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry On Earth By Rachel Maddow 2019

In February 2010, the U.S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations released its own 323-page bipartisan report titled “Keeping foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories.” The case study on Equatorial Guinea ran nearly a hundred pages, focusing entirely on Teodorin. This was the third headline-grabbing Senate investigation featuring Equatorial Guinea in five years, following on 2004’s “Money Laundering and Foreign Corruption: Enforcement and Effectiveness of the Patriot Act,” and 2008’s “the Petroleum and Poverty Paradox: Assessing U.S. and International Community Efforts to fight the Resource Curse.” By the beginning of 2010, Teodorin—“an unstable, reckless idiot,” according to one U.S. intelligence official—had become the poster boy for a paradox known as Dutch Disease, the Paradox of Plenty, or, most widely among academic circles, the Resource Curse.

By any name, the phenomenon is simple and demonstrable. The discovery of oil, you’d think, would be a Beverly Hillbillies-style windfall for any country. Next thing you know, Old Jed’s a millionaire—swimming pools, movie stars, the whole thing. But what actually happens is that many if not most countries that discover oil end up being poorer and in worse shape specifically because they found themselves in possession of that remarkable ruminative tradable commodity. Here’s how it reads in academia: “Proponents of oil-led development believe that countries lucky enough to have ‘black gold’ can base their development on this resource …. To the contrary … countries dependent on oil as their major resource for development are characterized by exceptionally poor governance and high corruption … often devastating economic, health and environmental consequences at the local level, and high incidences of conflict and war. In sum, countries that depend on oil for their livelihood eventually become among the most economically troubled, the most authoritarian, and the most conflict ridden in the world.”

The basic problem is that oil doesn’t happily coexist with other industries upon which you might build a reasonably stable national economy. This is true in the third world, the first world, and even in the world in between, e.g. Russia. It creates such a large up-front, sweat-free gains for connected elites that no one wants to do anything else but chase the oil jackpot. And as oil crowds out other industries, the profits don’t ever seem to end up redounding to the nation at large. Extracting oil takes a lot of up front capital investment, but the expensive initial, physical investment doesn’t create anything utile for any other purpose. The technology and infrastructure of pumping oil out of the ground don’t transfer usefully to any other follow-up industry. Worse, oil infrastructure is often environmentally destructive, which thereby screws up other economically productive things that could be done with that same land.

Complete article ExxonMobil’s various transgressions against the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Clean Air Act, as well as the underpayment of royalties from an American Indian p.376

Details of Qorvis's contract work for Equatorial Guinea and the Obiang family are searchable at the Department of Justice’s Foreign Agents registration Act website p.378

One of the problems that many media pundits have with their books, compared to good academic books, is that they do a terrible job citing sources. I'm not doubting her description of how this is portrayed, since I've read other sources that back this up, many going into far better detail, but I checked the end of her book to see what her worse notes look like and they're not nearly as good as you might expect from good academics, and her first book didn't even have any source notes at all. Some good authors don't do as good a job as they should citing sources, but mainstream pundits are far worse, in general, when they write books. Her description of the Resource curse starts with "Here’s how it reads in academia," as if it's a foreign country or different language, which it might as well be, for the majority of the public, because they typically never hear about good research, since mainstream media never covers it.

She makes a point of saying, "oil infrastructure is often environmentally destructive," which is certainly true but doesn't go on to point out that there's an enormous amount of support for this, often by looking the other way by politicians, economists and many other industries, especially since the victims of environmental destruction have little or no political power. One of the most blatant examples of this was the Lawrence Summers memo where he wrote, " I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that."

After it was published a few months later in February 1992, Brazil's then-Secretary of the Environment Jose Lutzenburger wrote back to Summers: "Your reasoning is perfectly logical but totally insane... Your thoughts [provide] a concrete example of the unbelievable alienation, reductionist thinking, social ruthlessness and the arrogant ignorance of many conventional 'economists' concerning the nature of the world we live in... If the World Bank keeps you as vice president it will lose all credibility. To me it would confirm what I often said... the best thing that could happen would be for the Bank to disappear." Sadly, Mr. Lutzenburger was fired shortly after writing this letter.

Mr. Summers, on the other hand, was appointed the U.S. Treasury Secretary on July 2nd, 1999, and served through the remainder of the Clinton Administration. Afterwards, he was named president of Harvard University. (As reported by Whirled Bank.) this may have been almost thirty years ago but the entire political establishment has been supporting a political agenda that continues to put this into practice, and the vast majority of the country never even heard of Jose Lutzenburger! The vast majority of the people that speak out about epidemic levels of corporate corruption are routinely marginalized and shut out of government or high finance and well paying jobs in the corporate world. Robert Bullard goes into far more detail of how oligarchs dump their pollution in neighborhoods where poor people, primary minority or African Americans in Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class, And Environmental Quality 2000/2018, but of course, he can't get any promotion form the mainstream media either!

This is pattern of behavior which is one of the most basic fundamentals of propaganda, "a lie repeated often enough becomes the truth," or at least it seems to especially if it's not challenged by more reliable sources, and since over 90% of the media is controlled by less than 1% of the wealthiest people in the world that's exactly what is happening and most of the Sheeple don't even suspect it!

Rachel Maddow, would presumably also be marginalized, but she only report this in a very low profile manner, and if past is prologue, As Glenn Greenwald implied, then she can be counted on to use what ever trust the majority of the public mistakenly give her to support the dominant political agenda, which is why she's paid so much money, not because she does a good job reporting on epidemic corruption. She also helped provide obsession coverage for Hillary Clinton, who caters to the oligarchy, including oil companies as much as Republicans, that was necessary for them to rig the nomination, while refusing to provide nearly as much coverage to any other candidate, including Bernie Sanders, which enabled Trump to get elected, since they were both rotten to the core.

David Swanson also does a far better job reporting on wars based on lies, and is much more familiar with the subject then she seems to be as he indicated in his book David Swanson "War Is A Lie" 2010/2016 and the following book review:

Catching Rachel Maddow's Drift 04/03/2012 by David Swanson

People who know better gave Rachel Maddow’s new book unqualified praise in blurbs on the dust jacket. Maybe they see more good than bad in the book, which is called “Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power.” That’s a fair assessment. I’d love for a hundred million Americans or so who never read books to read this one. It wouldn’t be the first book I’d pick, but it would probably do a lot more good than harm. ......

Missing is the fact that U.S. wars kill people other than U.S. troops. The U.S. Civil War’s battles, in Maddow’s view “remain, to this day, America’s most terrifying and costly battles.” .......

Missing is resistance and conscientious objection. “War will exist,” wrote President John Kennedy, “until the distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige as the warrior does today.” That day grows more distant with books like Maddow’s. In “Drift,” everything warriors do is called “defense” (except with the Russians whose actions are called “strategic (aka offensive)”; when the troops do things they are “serving”; they are “patriotic”; and in times when the military becomes widely respected that is considered a positive development. ........

War, in Maddow’s world, is not in need of abolition so much as proper execution, which sometimes means more massive and less hesitant execution. LBJ “tried to fight a war on the cheap,” Maddow quotes a member of Johnson’s administration as recalling. On the other hand, when Colin Powell and Norman Schwarzkopf propose five or six aircraft carriers for the First War on Iraq, Maddow recounts that this “would leave naval power dangerously thin in the rest of the world.” Dangerous for whom?

Meanwhile advocates of ending war show up in a brief reference to “student activists and peaceniks,” and a characterization of publications favoring peace as those advertising “Oriental herbs, futons, prefab geodesic homes, all-cotton drawstring pants, send-a-crystal-to-a-friend, and the magic of Feldenkrais’s Awareness Through Movement seminars.”


.... Maddow quotes Bush’s claims about babies taken out of incubators in Kuwait, but does not mention that some congress members, including the late Tom Lantos (D., Calif.), knew but did not tell the U.S. public that the girl who told Congress the story was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, that she’d been coached by a major U.S. public relations company paid by the Kuwaiti government, and that there was no other evidence for the story.

When Maddow gets to the Clinton wars in the former Yugoslavia, she writes of the urge to bomb as a humanitarian impulse: “Long years on the national security watch had given [Colin Powell] a much stronger stomach than the new president when it came to absorbing the daily press accounts of prison camp survivors, or of homeless starving Muslim and Croat refugees, or of the victims of Serbian artillery, snipers, and para-military knife-wielding thugs.” Somehow Navy SEALS are never “thugs.” Somehow Rwanda did not upset Clinton’s delicate stomach, even though police rather than bombs might have been appropriate in that case, and even though NATO wasn’t interested. Somehow the options are limited to war or nothing. Complete article

I'm sure a lot of people took offense to his statement that "Somehow Navy SEALS are never 'thugs,'" since the vast majority of troops join thinking they're defending their country and freedom, possibly accepting the propaganda they were raised with. However it is prejudicial to say that all of the enemies are "thugs" and none of our troops are "thugs;" and, some of the people who agree are the best veterans who often try to expose wars based on lies or corruption and abuse in the military. this also be comes clear all to often when many veterans have gone on mass shooting sprees.

I went into this much more in several articles including Teach a soldier to kill and he just might which also mentioned Rachel Maddow and a statement by her refuting the stereotype that some people might have come to about many veterans being violent, which didn't seem to involve any research at all. It certainly is true that the vast majority of veterans don't go on to be mass murderers, nor do the majority of other people, however statistically they are more likely to become murderers in general, as well as mass shooters as pointed out by my article, and several additional studies including one from the New York Times and David Phillips author of "Lethal Warriors," which started out as a series run in the Colorado Gazette before being turned into a book.

Since I went into more detail on that article I'll keep it brief her, but some of the leading causes of violence later in life often begin with early child abuse, often including corporal punishment, teaching violence at an early age, and this escalates throughout life with bullying hazing, including in the military, which makes it worse and leads to more domestic violence as well as other forms of violence.

The most common victim of veteran murderers are typically other veterans, and their won family members. In many cases they've been the ones most likely to acknowledge the problem, which is important to note. Even though some of the most emotionally unstable veterans are more likely to be killers, the other ones are more likely to try to solve the problem, which is good reason not to assume that all veterans are troubled and dangerous. This isn't something that many people want to acknowledge is a major problem so there's a lot of denial about it and in my past articles about it, when I tried to inform people on social media, I expected that I might encounter veterans that were outraged by this. But there was little or none of that that I encountered, although higher profile people encountered much more; in fact the opposite turned out to be true that many veterans were more likely to retweet it or like it, and in a few cases comment on it, although they often said that they might not agree with all of it but acknowledge there was a problems there. Part of the reason for this is almost certainly because I'm more likely to encounter progressive people, on social media but a at least one of them, who was married to a veteran, seemed very conservative.

The best statistical evidence of murders by veterans is incomplete at best and mixed in with a lot of propaganda, so it's difficult to sort through it and recognize who the most credible sources are but as my previous article explained Rachel Maddow hasn't done good work on this at all and is obviously biased, and another major propagandist for the military that I mentioned, David Grossman is even worse.

When it comes to mass shootings it may be a little clearer, as David Swanson points out in one of his other articles, Updated Data: Mass Shooters Still Disproportionately Veterans 06/04/2019 He took a sample of mass shootings from Mother Jones that wasn't compiled with the intent to use to find out if veterans were more likely to be mass shooters, and eliminated those that were too young to be in the military, those over 59, and women then found that 34 out of 97 were veterans which was more than twice the male veteran rate for that age group. I'm not sure I would have eliminated the other 14 people, but even if you consider it 34 out of 111 shootings it's still twice the rate of veterans for that age group.

In his articles about this subject he repeatedly claims that he hasn't found that any of the other shooters could be completely ruled out, so the total number of veteran shooters could be higher, which is technically true; however, since I've done the same searches myself and encountered the same problems, I looked a little closer and found records for most of them about activities during prime military years and usually found additional records that couldn't have taken place in the military. Therefore, if any more are in the military from the list of mass shooters, I can safely say it's probably very few. This is almost certainly a much bigger problem when it comes to murders that aren't nearly as high profile as mass shooters, since they don't investigate them as closely, which is why my review as well as the reviews by the New York Times and David Phillips are more likely to have this problem, which they also mentioned, and pointed out that their research was incomplete.

David Swanson was certainly right about Rachel Maddow not mentioning the lie about the incubators and after looking at that particular excerpt it's probably even worse than he indicated, especially since George H.W. Bush was trying to use this to create the appearance of a much higher moral ground:

Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power By Rachel Maddow 2012

Human Rights Watch had reported that Saddam’s soldiers were murdering, raping, and generally brutalizing Kuwaiti citizens. “I mean, people on a dialysis machine cut off, the machine sent to Baghdad,” Bush had explained. “Babies in incubators heaved out of the incubators and the incubators themselves sent to Baghdad.” He was even hearing stories about Kuwaiti children being mowed down and killed on their way to hospitals, or Iraqi soldiers releasing the animals from the Kuwaiti zoo for target practice. “Their efforts, however, were not completely successful,” a Bush administration official told reports. “A lion escaped and mauled a young Kuwaiti girl.”

It wasn’t long before Bush, the old World War II fighter pilot, started turning his description of Saddam up to eleven. “Worse than Hitler!” he said. “I began to move from viewing Saddam’s aggression exclusively as a dangerous strategic threat and an injustice to its reversal as a moral crusade,” Bush later wrote. “I became very emotional about the atrocities. They really gave urgency to my desire to do something active in response. At some point it came to me that it was not just a matter of shades of gray, or of trying to see the other side’s point of view. It was good versus evil, right versus wrong. I am sure the change strengthened my determination not to let the invasion stand and encouraged me to contemplate the use of force to reverse it.” Additional excerpts p.129

Additional excerpts p.130

If he lied about the incubators how do we know he didn't lie about dialysis machine or the lion? Not that I would try to argue that Saddam Hussein wasn't a tyrant though; however just a few weeks before the invasion when he was still an ally US Ambassador April Glaspie apparently did just that on behalf of Bush!

An article How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf 10/28/2004 reports on how shortly before Iraq invaded Kuwait, "US Ambassador April Glaspie commiserated with Hussein over a 'cheap and unjust' profile by ABC's Diane Sawyer, and wished for an 'appearance in the media, even for five minutes,' by Hussein that 'would help explain Iraq to the American people.'" This shows how public relations people were controlling the message about one tyrant after another, including Saddam Hussein, depending on whether they're our allies or enemies, and in Hussein's case he switched from an ally that they were trying to help improve his image to the boogie man almost overnight; however thanks to control of the media the vast majority of the public isn't aware of this!

In the same interview April Glaspie told Saddam "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." as Stephen Walt reported in WikiLeaks, April Glaspie, and Saddam Hussein 01/09/2011. Walt refers to this as a "now famous interview," which for many people familiar with alternative media outlets might be an accurate description; however, the vast majority of the public is almost certainly not as familiar with news or history from alternative media outlets, and never heard of this meeting at all.

This is just a small fraction of the news that's most completely absent form traditional media, including the worst of it, and in many causes when traditional media does cover many of these stories they do so in a very low profile manner while promotion of the books or news stories they want to highlight are routinely featured over and over again as part of a massive propaganda effort. This even includes many media pundits that claim to be part of the reform movement, even though they give overwhelming amount of favorable coverage to traditional candidates that routinely make progressive promises during campaigns then break them after being elected.

One of the most brazen examples is an article last year, I'm Woke. Now What: Tarana Burke, Symone Sanders, Tamika Mallory & Luvvie Ajayi Discuss The Work Ahead In The Fight For Social Change 07/13/2018 If anyone thinks they're "woke" and has to get advice from Symone Sanders about what to do they're not nearly as "woke" as they think they are! this is a common practice among the mainstream media presenting the same people that rigged the primary for Hillary Clinton which enabled Trump to get elected as the "resistance" even though they catered overwhelmingly towards Wall Street, NOT the best interests of the vast majority of the public, which is why Hillary Clinton wasn't able to beat someone as bad as Trump.

I went into Symone Sanders more in a couple previous articles explaining that she was supposedly a campaign worker for Bernie Sanders in 2016, but while Hillary was in the process of rigging the nomination for her, instead of calling it out she started coming to Hillary is defense when Trump smeared her on cable news, which was also done by several other high profile pundits at the time, including Van Jones, who claimed to support Bernie Sanders as well. Bernie's most trustworthy supporters couldn't get nearly as much air time as these two, who spent more time defending Hillary Clinton than Bernie; and now she working for the Biden campaign which is obviously catering to Wall Street as much if not more than Hillary.

This is what "woke" people are protesting against, NOT supporting!

Being "woke" has become a popular rallying cry for some people that are just starting to become familiar with alternative media, often using the hash tag #StayWoke or something like that but actually being woke requires slow tedious research, which not everyone has the time for, although everyone can check at least a little bit with alternative media outlets and get more reliable sources than the mainstream media. Once people recognize that the mainstream media buries the most important stories and hypes the propaganda that benefits the wealthy, often pretending to be progressive, that's a major step in the right direction.

The entire media establishment, including Chris Hayes, spend an enormous amount of time flattering their own pundits talking about how great their work is; however anyone that is really "woke" and familiar with alternative media has to know that establishment pundits aren't even trying to do a good job explaining the truth to the majority of the public and are constantly putting spin on it pretending to be progressive, or something even though they're not!

Excessive promotion of books by pundits, isn't limited to Rachel Maddow, of course she did an interview with Hillary Clinton a couple days after her interview with Chris Hayes and a few weeks before this they provided obsession coverage for Samantha Powers, however that didn't even mention Toussaint Birwe a six year old African boy who was killed by her motorcade while speeding through his small village without even stopping, except for one ambulance, and the vehicle that hit him who stopped only briefly before being told to get back in the convoy. I first heard about this when someone at the grassroots tweeted about it during her book tour, but the media didn't remind the public of it at all.

When I Googled his name I didn't find any articles until two months after the incident; apparently they withheld his name that long, and the articles at the time were all relatively low profile, and there was, as far as I know nothing about it on cable news or the evening world news. They eventually compensated the family with $1,700 two cows and some food, which would have come to a total of less than $2,500, I imagine.

African life is cheap. There was another person killed by the wife of an ambassador in the UK where they have much more political power within the last week which got far more attention. The few articles from mainstream media spun it to minimize the damage. There was a reporter in the convoy that was born in Liberia and reported about it months later I Was in the Motorcade That Struck and Killed 6-Year-Old Toussaint Birwe 01/05/2017 Helene Cooper who "got a one-in-a-million lottery ticket" to become a reporter covering the administration and "somehow became one of the people whose lives are deemed so important that we need millions of dollars spent to protect us from people so poor they have no shoes on their feet." She described how she "was angry at the State Department aide who questioned why the reporters were writing about Toussaint, saying there were better things for us to cover. ... I was angry when, before the story ran, a top Obama administration national security aide asked me at the White House Christmas party why we were revisiting the story of Toussaint."

There's little or no chance that she'll become a high profile media pundit, and will probably be marginalized. Her article was printed but not circulated widely by the rest of the media, which doesn't like to remind the public about public officials that try to suppress coverage of stories like this, and manage to keep them to a minimum even though they don't completely censor them. She certainly won't get the obsession book tour coverage given to Rachel Maddow; that's reserved by those that support the agenda of the Oligarchy!

This is just a small example of how media coverage is heavily favored and spun to favor the wealthy.

My best guess is the vast majority of people reading this are already accustomed to reading alternative media and have learned how to sort through at least some corporate propaganda on their own, but there are millions of people still accustomed to relying on the mass media for their information, including many people that think they're well informed as I used to. Mark Twain once said "If you don't read the newspaper, you're uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you're mis-informed." this is as true today as it was when he was alive; if anything it's much worse, since over 90% of the media is now controlled by a fraction of 1% of the wealthiest people in the world.

I've gone into a few suggestions about how to recognize propaganda tactics in the past, some listed below, but one of the most important things is to seek out alternative media outlets and, when possible look up the basics on any given subject that you might be interested, reading a few books, if you have time. If you read the good ones then it won't be long before there's little or no doubt that the media coverage of just about any subject is incredibly incompetent, and that you'll have to look into it yourself to know how bad it is.

Caitlin Johnstone has also written several articles below, and one of the things she recommends is to seek out individual news reporters to follow that you trust; however, if your new to alternative media, it would be advisable to check them carefully and be prepared to switch to more credible ones once you start to find flaws with them. Many people think that Rachel Maddow is still a progressive, and there are many more like that. The most credible ones are almost never in the mainstream media. Caitlin agrees that no news outlets are completely reliable but that some individual reporters are far better, but it would be foolish to trust anyone completely on all subjects all the time. When it comes to details on many different subjects it's better to find someone that researches that subject, although in most cases they won't have much to say about things outside their own specialty.

The more you become familiar with alternative media outlets, history and a variety of related subjects the more obvious it might be that the political establishment has been studying propaganda to manipulate the majority of the public for decades of not centuries, and that we've always fought one war after another based on lies and propaganda. Eugene Debs was right when he said "The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and all to lose—especially their lives." this was true a hundred years ago in his time; and it's still true today.

The same could also be said about just about any other including labor or environmental protection etc.; the working class does all the labor, and is stuck with all the pollution and risk to their lives in dangerous working conditions; while the ruling class takes all the profits and controls the media to ensure that the economy is rigged in their own favor.

But there's something even more absurd, and insane going on and this will be more clear for those accustomed to checking facts, and keeping up with the news, than those going along with the program and trusting the establishment media. they've known how to rig elections by only covering candidates they support, and how not to push people too far; yet they're doing what appears to be an incredibly bad job if it. Donald Trump never could have been elected unless the so-called Deep State allowed it; and even he knows how not to behave so insanely.

This looks like an absurd asinine charade for some bizarre reason or another. They've obviously demonstrated they don't care about the best interests of the vast majority of the public with their actions, yet they're willing to push our civilization to the edge with their epidemic levels of environmental destruction and wars based on lies that could easily approach apocalyptic proportions if it's not controlled, yet the charade goes on. They have to be smart enough at least to save themselves.

With all this insanity I wouldn't be surprised if eventually Giorgio Tsoukalos jumps out from behind the curtain and says "therefore aliens!"

Then when you ask him how he came to that conclusion he says, "there wasn't enough oxygen for the lighter to work" in Seti's tomb and before you have a chance to ask how they could breathe or what that has to do with anything he might jump out a window and disappear.

This sounds idiotic, of course but no less idiotic than the entire Trump presidency or the insane effort to rig the primary for Hillary Clinton and a large portion of the current political campaign.

As Bob Dylan might say "Something is happening And ya' don't know what it is Do you, Mister Jones?"

"Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall; I think she'll know!" JA

When billionaires and multimillionaires control all the most powerful institutions it would be foolish to trust the pundits they allow to virtually dictate the truth; however, that doesn't mean we should trust a demagogue form lower classes either. the following are some of my previous articles about manipulation tactics that are designed to enable people to think for themselves instead of trusting so-called experts, or potential cult leaders, along with Caitlin Johnstone's and some additional sources for this article:

Indoctrination Tactics and Educational Alternatives

Manipulation Tactics

Political Manipulation

THREAD Ongoing list of tips for navigating your way through the personal, cultural and international narratives we tell ourselves about what's going on in a world that is saturated with manipulation, cultural mind viruses and propaganda. 06/02/2019

Twelve Tips For Making Sense Of The World 06/11/2019 The push towards truth always starts with yourself. .... Always be honest with yourself. Find all the different ways that you are manipulating others and see them and acknowledge them. ..... If you are blindly partisan or loyal to a particular faction, that makes you gullible to propaganda because your wishful thinking and your desire to be right come into play. Get honest with yourself about who you are and what you want, and you will start to become an un-playable piece on the board.

Thirty-Two Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation 06/03/2019 14 – Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay on top of what’s going on. Use individual reporters, not outlets; no outlet is 100 percent solid, but some reporters are pretty close on some specific subjects.

UN ambassador Samantha Power's motorcade kills child in Cameroon 04/18/2016 The motorcade moved at a significantly slower pace for the rest of the day.

Under capitalism: ‘They don’t really care about us’ 01/10/2017 Six-year-old Toussaint Birwe was killed by a 14-car State Department convoy that barreled through his hometown of Mokong in the African nation of Cameroon on April 18, 2016. ......

The State Department eventually paid Toussaint Birwe’s African family $1,700, two cows and sacks of flour, rice, salt, sugar and onions in compensation. (New York Times, Dec. 16, 2016) That’s more than the $120 that Vietnamese families got when their children were killed by U.S. armed forces.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon paid Michelin $600 for each rubber tree it destroyed during its carpet bombing of Vietnam.

The U.S. government refuses to pay any compensation to the hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people suffering from Agent Orange, which was sprayed by U.S. planes, .....

Rich people have been running over poor children since the days of chariots.

US diplomat’s wife suspected of involvement in crash that killed teenager leaves UK after claiming diplomatic immunity 10/06/2019

David Swanson "War Is A Lie"

I Was in the Motorcade That Struck and Killed 6-Year-Old Toussaint Birwe 01/05/2017 It seemed to happen in an instant. Our heavily armored 14-car convoy was barreling up the road from Maroua toward Mokolo, where Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, was scheduled to begin the first in a daylong series of meetings with people who had suffered at the hands of Boko Haram. ....... We didn’t slow down when we approached the village of Mokong, where more people lined the road to watch. And suddenly, in the corner of my eye, I saw a small body, two cars ahead, flip into the air before disappearing out of sight. As my vehicle roared past, I saw the boy on the ground, his head bashed in. Nearby, a man, looking horrified, was running toward the boy, both of his hands on his head. Then we were gone. While an ambulance in the convoy stopped to offer aid (there was nothing that could be done) and the S.U.V. that hit Toussaint briefly pulled over before being ordered back on the road, the motorcade did not stop.

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