Friday, November 29, 2019

How Much Impact Does Deceptive Marketing to Kids Have On Violence?

Few good researchers would argue that deceptive advertising is the leading cause of violence, early child abuse leading to escalating violence and abandoned inner cities are virtually guaranteed to be far more important; however, there should be no doubt that it is a major contributing factor, especially when there have been so many stories about kids getting killed over hyped up sneakers or Black Friday riots during the holiday shopping season.

Some of the research showing that marketing to kids can lead to violence may be complicated, and subject to debate; however, there's little doubt that one of the leading factors of violence is high rates of poverty and income inequality, and it's easy to demonstrate that deceptive advertising controlled by Wall Street corporations is a leading factor increasing these problems therefore they contribute to the violence they cause as well. I've reviewed studies from other sources showing large correlation between poverty, income inequality and violence in the past, along with my own reviews, and will include links to them below.

If there's any doubt about whether or not advertising contributes to poverty or income inequality, just consider what advertising contributes to the quality of merchandise.


Nor does it help improve service for consumers; instead it misrepresents their merchandise so that people expect more than they pay for which routinely angers people! In a for-profit economic system they don't maximize profits by providing honesty in advertising; they maximize profits by studying what the most manipulative ways to fool people are. This inevitably leads to starting the indoctrination process as early as possible; as several good researchers including Susan Linn, Juliet Schor, Roy Fox, and more have demonstrated with their work; in some cases the words from those creating the propaganda like Edward Bernays or Cheryl Idell also confirm this, although they try to spin it to seem otherwise.

If you haven't heard of these good researchers or the advertisers studying how to manipulate people that's no surprise, because the for profit media establishment practically never mentions them, nor do they cover some of the best research about more important causes of violence as I've reported on in numerous articles following mass shootings including Burying Solutions to Prevent Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso Shootings. In our current political and economic system deceptive ads receives overwhelming protection under the first amendment; however the best research to reduce violence is relegated to alternative media the academic world or books in the library that hardly anyone reads. This means policy to address violence is based on propaganda controlled by the mass media and politicians not by academics that are looking out for the best interests of the majority of the public.

Advertising does nothing to improve the quality of merchandise of services yet the rise in advertising spending has consistently been above the average inflation rate, and advertisers are paid much more than most working class workers that provide service or labor that improves the quality of life for consumers. There should be little or no doubt that this will inevitably lead to higher rates of poverty and income inequality, especially with little or no regulation to preserve honesty in advertising or to demand disclosure of psychological manipulation tactics, assuming people actually want to acknowledge that adverting contributes to poverty.

Those in the industry, of course, don't want to acknowledge this, therefore they can come up with an enormous amount of propaganda to confuse the issue and convince people otherwise, if they have to. However, the most effective way to accomplish this goal has always been to simply decline to discuss it at all and refuse to report on research that raises doubts about the adverting industry, which is exactly what mainstream media has been doing for decades.

Since the mainstream media is financed by mainly advertising they have a financial incentive to suppress criticism and the amount of money spent on advertising has been growing faster than the rate of inflation for decades, while manufacturers have been cutting cost often contributing to lower quality merchandise. at the same time the biggest corporations have been consolidating, meaning that far fewer companies are competing against each other.

This means that instead of competing based on the quality of merchandise, corporations are competing based on their ability to create deceptive ads to convince people to obsessively buy stuff, often that they don't need, which leads to increased income inequality and poverty, as well on spending on things that don't improve quality of life or addressing social issues that might contribute to violence.

Naomi Klein described how much faster advertising spending was growing, than the rest of the economy in her book in the following excerpt and there's additional data to show that it's continued since this was published:

No Logo by Naomi Klein 2000 p.8-9

The marketing world is always reaching a new zenith, breaking through last year's world record and planning to do it again next year with increasing numbers of ads and aggressive new formulae for reaching consumers. The advertising industry's astronomical rate of growth is neatly reflected in year-to-year figures measuring total ad spending in the U.S., which have gone up so steadily that by 1998 the figure was set to reach $196.5 billion, while global ad spending is estimated at $435 billion. According to the 1998 United Nations Human Development Report, the growth in global ad spending "now outpaces the growth of the world economy by one-third."

This pattern is a by-product of the firmly held belief that brands need continuous and constantly increasing advertising in order to stay in the same place. According to this law of diminishing returns, the more advertising there is out there (and there always is more, because of this law), the more aggressively brands must market to stand out. And of course, no one is more keenly aware of advertising's ubiquity than the advertisers themselves, who view commercial inundation as a clear and persuasive call for more-and more intrusive-advertising. With so much competition, the agencies argue, clients must spend more than ever to make sure their pitch screeches so loud it can be heard over all the others. David Lubars, a senior ad executive in the Omnicom Group, explains the industry's guiding principle with more candour than most. Consumers, he says, "are like roaches —you spray them and spray them and they get immune after a while." Complete article

According to articles about Growth of advertising spending worldwide from 2000 to 2021 (2019-21 are projected as of this writing) the average growth in advertising is usually over 4% from 2000-2018 and according to US Inflation Rate by Year from 1929 to 2020 (2019-21 are projected as of this writing) the average rate of inflation isn't much if any more than 2% from 2000-2018. This means that deceptive ads are taking up a growing percentage of the GDP, and it also means that consumer decisions based on these ads, especially when people don't seek out alternative sources to hold them accountable, are less likely to be well informed, since the people controlling the information have a financial incentive to distort it to increase profits.

Advertising is one of the leading industries that is designed to shift wealth from the working class to the wealthy by controlling the information we use to make decisions. The people that create this deceptive advertising get paid much more than the manufacturing jobs that produce the goods or provide services that help get them to consumers. These are college educated people that are taught how to manipulate the public for the benefit of the wealthy, often paid six figures, while wages are being suppressed for most other workers.

Frederic Bastiat once said "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." Advertising is a major part of the way this is accomplished in our current economic system.

There's also plenty of research to show that advertising is intentionally designed to create tensions among family members in more ways than one as demonstrated by Susan Linn who reports on Cheryl Idell’s “Nag Factor study” in her book:

Susan Linn Consuming Kids p.33-5

In fact, the marketing industry purposely comes between children and parents in many instances, potentially wreaking all sorts of havoc in family life. One of the most egregious examples of evidence that they do this comes from a 1998 study on nagging. Conducted not to help parents prevent nagging but rather to help retailers exploit nagging to boost sales, the study, called "The Nag Factor," was conducted by Western Media International (now Initiative Media Worldwide) and Lieberman Research Worldwide.

According to a press release from Western Media International headlined "The Fine Art of Whining: Why Nagging Is a Kid's Best Friend," the study identifies which kinds of parents are most likely to give in to nagging. Not surprisingly, divorced parents and those with teenagers or very young children ranked highest. The study identifies some things children often nag for, estimating for each how often nagging was successful: in four out of ten trips to "entertainment establishments like the Discovery Zone and Chuck E. Cheese," in one out of every three trips to a fast-food restaurant, and in three out of every ten home video sales.

Since research conducted by marketing companies is proprietary, which means that researchers' methods are not usually made available to the public, these firms sell their reports for a great deal of money. I don't know how much the Nag Factor study sold for, but in 2003, for instance, a publication called The U.S. Market for Infant, Toddler and Preschool Products: Vols. 1–3, second edition, cost $6,000.

Perhaps because it found that "the impact of children's nagging is assessed as up to 46 percent of sales in key business that target children," the Nag Factor study attracted a great deal of attention in the marketing world, and several publications described the study and how it was conducted in various amounts of detail. In a story headlined "The Old Nagging Game Can Pay Off for Marketers," ......

"Bare Necessities" are parents who seem able to fend off their kids' pleas and ultimately make all of the purchasing decisions on their own.

"Marketers need to understand," the Selling to Kids article reminds them, "that a single marketing or advertising message may not resonate with different kinds of families." (I've added the italics.)

And who are the "Bare Necessities," the parents who cope so well with nagging? According to the people who did the survey, they are the parents whose lives are the least stressed -- they are the most affluent and the least likely to have babies or toddlers in the house.

We might hope that "The Nag Factor" was an aberration. It's alarming to think that people would actually want to wreak havoc in families just to make a buck, but exploiting the nag factor -- or "pester power," as it is also called in the industry -- continues to be a perfectly acceptable tool from the marketers' point of view. Kelly Stitt, senior brands manager for Heinz's catsup division, had this to say in The Wall Street Journal: "All our advertising is targeted to kids. You want that nag factor so that seven-year-old Sarah is nagging Mom in the grocery store to buy Funky Purple. We're not sure Mom would reach out for it on her own." Complete article

The "Nag Factor" is clearly far more concerned with increasing profits than maintaining good relationships among family members. they also target lower income or divorced parents more, which may also be a risk factor for other social problems, including violence. Parental guidance is an important factor when it comes to solving social problems, yet this will inevitably make it more difficult. By shrouding their research in secrecy, there's no way if they uncovered additional potential arguments while promoting the "Nag Factor" or other psychological manipulation tactics; although we do know that when kids kill each other over sneakers, they have riots on black Friday, or annual thefts of Christmas decorations, that the advertising and media institutions practically never even consider the possibility that it might be related to their business practices, and if forced to address the issue can be expected to spin it in their favor, which is part of their standard practice when faced with controversies of any kind.

This isn't limited to potentially creating tensions between parents and children as a result of nagging; the marketing industry is also intentionally teaching girls to promote products to each other as part of peer pressure, one of the most outrageous examples is the "Girl’s Intelligence Agency" as describes by Juliet Schor in the following excerpt from her book:

Juliet Schor “Born to Buy” 2004 p.76-8

One of the more intriguing companies in the business is the Girl’s Intelligence Agency. In 2002, its first year of operation, the company had already developed a network of 40,000 girls, aged eight to eighteen, ready to swing into action on the drop of a dime to create buzz for whatever product the company sends their way. GIA was founded by Laura Groppe, an academy award winning film producer. Groppe is the founder of Girl Games, which promoted girl video gaming. But girls' gaming hasn't taken off as she had hoped it would, so she jumped into the far more lucrative and rapidly growing business of peer-to-peer marketing.

Groppe began by using her existing contacts, staging events to draw in girls, and perhaps more interesting, working through organizations that “evangelize” for GIA. She was unwilling to name these organizations, explaining only that they are “regional and national organizations that are pro-girl.” When I named Girl Scouts and church groups, she didn’t demur. Girls as young as six are recruited to become GIA agents, and once they’re accepted, they become part of an active online network. Profiles of agents are posted on GIA’s Web site. Six-year-old “swimmergirl” lives in San Diego and loves swimming, cats and chat rooms. Eleven-year-old “slingalot” loves fashion. The girls report going three or four times a week for style and fashion advice to Agent Kiki, a fictitious older-sister type whose answers are written by GIA staffers. Only GIA agents have access to Agent Kiki, who is described as a big sis to all girls who need one!”

The GIA’s trademark product is the Slumber Party in a Box, which takes place in what the company calls the “inner sanctum” or the “guarded fortress,” that is, girls’ bedrooms. There are marketing and “insight” (that is research) parties, depending on the needs of the client. Parties have featured toys, films, television shows, health and beauty aids, and other products. The host girl (a GIA agent) invites up to eleven of her friends to the party. Their first instruction is to put on pajamas and “eat too much junk food.” Then partygoers are given a product sample that they use during the evening. That’s the only payment for the agent or the guests. The host is required to provide feedback during the event. The party becomes a natural, intimate focus group or sale session. Sometimes parties are videotaped with GIA staff in attendance, but most are run by the agents themselves. When they sign on, hosts are congratulated for winning the “distinguished honor” of becoming an “Official GIA Agent,” described as a “VERY ELITE GROUP” with “EXCLUSIVE” access to products and events. Then they’re asked to “be slick and find out some sly scoop on your friends, like what they’re listening to, what the fashion must-haves for this year are, and what they buy for their bedrooms. The company’s literature explains to agents that they’ve “gotta be sneaky” in promoting GIA.

GIA claims that each of their agents reaches an average of 512 other girls in virtually every area of daily life – in English class, at soccer practice, in carpool, even at equestrian club. With their growing network, the company estimates it can reach 20 million girls nationwide.

One of the most troubling aspects of viral marketing is that it asks kids to use their friends for the purpose of gaining information or selling products. GIA’s network is called BFF, for Best Friends Forever, and its start-up relied on a friend-to-friend transmission mechanism. Many firms are involved in similar friend-based marketing such as the POX plan. Kids are hired to send out ads to their e-mail buddy lists. Others organize kids into “friendship pairs” and then listen to their discussions. Throughout the world of kids’ marketing, using kids to pull in other kids is a rapidly expanding practice. A major reason is that word of mouth from friends is one of the remaining sources of credibility in a world that is oversaturated by commercial messages. These recommendations are assumed to be disinterested, unlike ads, which can carry the taint of deceptiveness or manipulation. However, if the trend toward more paid word-of-mouth advertising continues, its likely that people will learn to be more skeptical of it, recognizing that the purveyor of the advice may be acting instrumentally. In the process, this valuable form of consumer information will be corrupted. An even more serious consequence is the corruption of friendship itself. Marketers are teaching kids to view their friends as a lucrative resource they can exploit to gain products or money. They even council kids to be “slick” with their friends.

But friendship is important because it is insulated from commercial pressures. It is considered one of the last bastions of noninstrumentality, a bulwark against the market values and self-interested behavior that permeate our culture. It’s part of what we cherish most about friendships. And that’s precisely why the marketers are so keenly interested in them. additional excerpts

The potential for this type of marketing practice to cause arguments between child is obvious, and it's virtually guaranteed that they try similar tactics with peer pressure among boys. I'm sure many parents or teacher must be outraged by this and anyone that remembers what it's like to be a kid can imagine how this can cause problems.

Many of them must have already dealt with arguments as a result of peer pressure, although I haven't heard of many that have been directly ties to marketing as a result of GIA or another organization similar to them, but there was one killing this year at a "Sneaker Release Party" which may be related to marketing, (more below) but investigation of it wasn't adequate to determine this. Many kids are reluctant to talk to adults about this so it's virtually guaranteed that there are many more issues that many parents aren't aware of; however there are exceptions including many kids that apparently write to there favorite celebrities including fictional novelists like Judy Blume who published some of these letter thirty years ago and a couple of them seem to apply to this kind of peer pressure including one that describes a clique leader that tells others what to wear or eat and what brands to buy:

Judy Blume "Letters to Judy" 1986

Dear Judy,

I'm going to be ten soon. I'm glad I'm writing to you because I really have nobody to talk to. I just lost my best friend. Her name is Carolyn. we used to share secrets, play together and we even had a club! But then Jennifer came along. Jennifer has a clique with some other girls. Me and Carolyn made a vow never to be part of that clique because Jennifer, the leader of the pack tells you what to wear, what to eat, who to like and what labels to buy. But Carolyn went with her anyway and now Carolyn doesn't like me anymore.

I can't talk to my mom about anything private or personal because I'm too embarrassed.

Bonnie, age 10 (p. 51) Dear Judy,


I've got two people who are supposed to be my friends, Elena and Pam. Pam tries to make me jealous for some reason. Elena is too bossy and she's mean to me when someone popular is nice to her. .....

Geraldine, age 10 (p. 52) Judy Blume "Letter to Judy" 1986

I have no idea how far along the marketing to kids research was in the eighties, especially since it's so secretive, but there's no doubt, thanks to documents leaked or released from the tobacco industry, that they began researching marketing to children at least as far back as the fifties. I'm sure I read somewhere that many of the marketers from the tobacco industry later went to work for other industries including food or sneaker industries, presumably sharing any research they had about peer pressure used to promote products, although I can't remember the source. However, Philip Morris owns Kraft foods and research on interlocking board members or sales from one company to another are readily available and many of these corporations have ties to each other.

There are probably much more arguments as a result of peer pressure related to marketing that doesn't get reported at all, but occasionally it gets so extreme that there should be little doubt that marketing to kids is virtually guaranteed to be a significant contributing factor, like the epidemic of shooting and killing people for overpriced sneakers that goes back to the eighties, and may still be going on today although there's not nearly as much reporting on it any more. But there are at least a few cases this year, including one murder that took place at a "Sneaker Release Party."

Fight At Sneaker Release Party Escalates Into A Deadly Shooting 04/19/2019

(WWJ) The search is on for a suspect following a deadly shooting over sneakers in Detroit.

Police say it happened outside the Villa store near Seven Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue on the city's east side before 10 a.m. Friday.

The victim was apparently attending a release party when he got into an argument of some kind. Police did not indicate what the pair were fighting over except that the argument spilled outside where shots were fired. One man was killed. Complete article

Since the media consolidated into six corporations controlling over 90% of the national media, there's good reason to doubt the quality of their reporting and a review of the history of media may show that it was never as reliable as many of us used to believe, so it's difficult if not impossible to know if the killing of kids over sneakers is more or less common than it used to be when there were a few national news stories about it. A thorough online search might help narrow this down but without better resources than Google searches it's unlikely to be complete, especially since these incidents are routinely reported as isolated and there's no effort to track them, but there have been at least two or three more sneaker shootings just this year including Dispute over gym shoes leads to shooting in Detroit's Midtown 04/03/2019 14-year-old shot and killed over pair of shoes, family says 09/23/2019 Sneakers, iPhone, $55 Stolen During Coral Springs Firefighter's Killing: Warrant 10/28/2019 and a couple years ago Trial of 16-year-old charged with killing teen over Nike Air Jordan sneakers begins 07/13/2019

This doesn't necessarily mean that the sneakers were the sole contributing factor in these shootings or killings, though. I wrote to several researchers to get their views including James Garbarino who I've cited previously in other articles and said that advertising to kids is part of what he calls a "Socially Toxic Environment" although it isn't the only factor. Most of his research focuses on early child abuse leading to escalating violence later in life, including bullying, domestic violence etc., which I have no doubt is one of the most important contributing factors to long term violence, if not the most important one. Perhaps a close second might be abandoned inner cities where the highest murder rates, including many of these sneaker killings occur, which is another major aspect of what he called a "Socially Toxic Environment" and Jonathan Kozol went in to this much more in several of his books including Savage Inequalities 1991

I don't know whether or not there's less hype about sneakers or people are less likely to fall for it, but there aren't as many killing for sneakers as was reported when Sports Illustrated reported the following article, and another more recent one from seven years ago, although I can't rule out the possibility that the consolidated media is simply not reporting on them adequately when thy do happen:

Senseless: in America's cities kids are killing kids over sneakers and other sports apparel favored by drug dealers; who's to blame? 05/14/1990 by Rick Telander

Chicago police sergeant Michael Chasen, who works in the violent crimes division in Area Four, which covers four of Chicago's 25 police districts, says his districts have about 50 reported incidents involving jackets and about a dozen involving gym shoes each month. “When you really think about the crime itself—taking someone's clothes off their body—you can't get much more basic,” he says.

But, of course, these assailants aren't simply taking clothes from their victims. They're taking status. Something is very wrong with a society that has created an underclass that is slipping into economic and moral oblivion, an underclass in which pieces of rubber and plastic held together by shoelaces are sometimes worth more than a human life. The shoe companies have played a direct role in this. With their million-dollar advertising campaigns, superstar spokesmen and over-designed, high-priced products aimed at impressionable young people, they are creating status from thin air to feed those who are starving for self-esteem. “No one person is responsible for this type of violence,” says Patricia Graham, principal of Chicago's Simeon High, one of the city's perennial basketball powers. “It's a combination of circumstances. It's about values and training. Society's values are out of sync, which is why these things have become important.”

“The classic explanation in sociology is that these people are driven by peer pressure,” says Mervin Daniel, a sociology professor at Morgan State. “What is advertised on TV and whatever your peers are doing, you do it too.” Most assuredly, the shoe industry relies heavily on advertising; it spends more than $200 million annually to promote and advertise its products, churning out a blizzard of images and words that make its shoes seem preternaturally hip, cool and necessary. Nike alone will spend $60 million in 1990 on TV and print ads that have built such slogans as “Bo knows,” and “Just do it,” and “Do you know? Do you know? Do you know?” into mantras of consumerism. Complete article

Even some of those promoting sneakers selling for outrageous prices have expressed concern although they may try to spin it and deny that advertising is much is any of a contributing factor, like the following excerpt from an article seven years ago by someone that seems to be a sneaker enthusiast that partially buys into the absurd hype around petty sneakers:

Why Are Kids Getting Killed For Their Jordans? 08/25/2012

Though the USA is in the midst of an extended recession, it doesn't seem to stop some kids from spending insane amounts of money on sneakers. Reading blogs and hearing stories about how ‘I dropped $1000 on this and that shoe, but I still haven't paid my rent or electric bill' are scary. Why? Because it's actually happening. Sneakers really are addictive like crack, albeit in a different way. A small minority will do whatever it takes to maintain their habit, putting themselves repeatedly in a financially unstable situation. As long as they have the Hot New Shit, it seems the end justifies the means, even if it means resorting to bag snatching and violent crime.

I experienced a glimpse of this craziness firsthand a while back when I did my first camp-out for the New Balance x Staple White Pigeon release. I showed up at around 6pm on the day prior to release, with a small crowd of about 15 campers already present. The guy that was first-in-line was putting names down so we could keep track of everyone arriving. As the hours went past, more people showed up and as daybreak hit, more than 40 campers were waiting patiently. Minutes before release over 100 people showed up suddenly. This is when it started to get rowdy because the person handling the list had some ‘friends' cut in front and behind him. Arguments went back and forth and that's when the line started to curve and get noisy. As it turned out I did get my shoes and no one came close to being killed or maimed, but the intense feeling of that morning is something I will never forget. Complete article

That article came from a web site called "Sneaker Freaker" which appears to be accompanied by a magazine that looks like a sneaker promotion from beginning to end; the people getting so excited about these sneakers are far more familiar with the potential violence surrounding the absurd hype than the vast majority of the public, yet they seem to think it's worthwhile. This is part of the factionalization of America where different segments of society live in their own worlds and don't get information or peer review from other segments of society. This is partly a result of mainstream media that has turned into obsession TV repeating the same propaganda over and over again supported by wealthy elites without covering any of the most effective research to prevent violence or expose their propaganda tactics that are being used to indoctrinate children.

The marketing industry is using tactics that you might expect from drug dealers or pedophile rings to indoctrinate kids not to talk to others about manipulation tactics. No doubt the marketing industry would be outraged by this and claim that they take precautions to ensure that they don't use the same manipulation tactics as drug dealers and pedophiles; and I'm sure they do, since they're well aware that it would be a public relations disaster if their marketing people were caught dealing drugs or molesting children. However, when they're more concerned about people willing to indoctrinate kids to maximize profits they inevitably attract people with limited ethical values and repulse those that are inclined to speak out against these practices. Both Susan Linn and Juliet Schor wrote about some reservations so of the marketers to kids have and some of the justifications that adopted to downplay this which is far more likely when their financial well-being is based on justifying marketing to kids and looking the other way when it comes to ethical problems.

There's already been at least one high profile example where a sex offenders, Jared Fogle, was exposed being in the advertising industry, perhaps there might be many more, although they may not all be reported in a high profile manner if there are. In the business world, Laura Groppe, Cheryl Idell and other experts on marketing to children are often presented as glamorous entrepreneurs, although they don't get much media coverage their work has an enormous impact on the development of marketing to children, yet since the media makes their profits selling these ads they have a financial incentive to minimize the coverage of the critics of these tactics; and researchers exposing them get far less media coverage, and in some cases may even be portrayed as pinko commies, or something like that, although when people check their work it's clear that this is an obvious smear.

There are some articles citing the work of researchers like Susan Linn, Julet Schor and other child rights advocates on the mainstream media but they get very little circulation and are placed in locations that aren't likely to get the attention of the majority of the public, except for those that search for it. I had never heard this subject discussed until after I stumbled on a library book on the subject, which lead me to several other books on the subject. While researching it I found several more mainstream media articles, which were often written years earlier, yet I had never heard of them before. The only exception was one morning about six or seven years ago when I was writing about the subject and up early watching the first hour of Morning Joe they mentioned something very briefly about it before moving on to the next story, and I didn't catch most of it because I wasn't paying much attention at first; however, since Morning Joe routinely plays the same hour over three times in a row I made a point of watching carefully, especially at the same time after the hour when I expected them to play that same segment again. It turns out that they don't always play the same exact hour every time, this was cut in the two following hours yet little or nothing else changed in it which is a common propaganda tactic, to repeat the things they want people to remember over and over again and to minimize coverage for subjects they want to avoid.

There are several examples of this where they wrote articles about new marketing tactics, or old one that weren't previously reported briefly, at a low profile years ago if not decades, then quickly forgot about it without going into any follow up while the tactics continue to be used without any scrutiny, including one article I found that was twelve years old about Laura Groppe where Juliet Schor expressed her outrage, and another one about four years ago where the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood was exposing a new doll called "Hello Barbie" that shared information from children talking to the doll on the cloud which could be analyzed by computers to study new marketing techniques; essentially they're using this doll to spy on children to develop more effective ads to manipulate them. In both cases there was no follow up and the vast majority of parents are almost certainly not aware that these practices aren't regulated or that the media coverage on it was kept to a minimum, and it's difficult if not impossible to know how many more indoctrination tactics that get no media coverage at all.

Professor Garbarino also cites marketing to kids and Cheryl Idell's work as part of a Socially Toxic Environment which could potentially be a contributing factor for violence as described in the following excerpt:

James Garbarino "See Jane Hit: Why Girls Are Growing More Violent and What We Can Do About It" 2007 p.69-71

For example, there is tremendous competition for access to children as consumers, most notably through the medium of television. James McNeal, author of The Kids Market: Myths and Realities, is one of the leading experts on selling to children. Writing in Mothering magazine, Gary Ruskin reports that McNeal sees children “as economic resources to be mined.” To show just how despicable this can be, Ruskin cites the work of Cheryl Idell, a consultant who has written about the advertising strategy for corporate clients seeking to sell to children. According to Ruskin, Idell advocates that corporate clients capitalize upon nagging and whining by children to motivate parents to make purchases. “In other words, Idell’s job is to make your life miserable,” says Ruskin. This is business as usual in much of corporate America and the reason why some psychologists have sought action by the American Psychological Association to declare collaboration with this process a violation of ethical standards.Additional excerpts

I wrote him about his views on this subject a couple weeks ago and he responded by saying "I do think that the advertising for kids IS a dimension of 'social toxicity.' I dealt with those issues in my 1994 book Raising Children in a Socially Toxic Environment, and will do so again in an updated version on which I am currently working (that will emphasize the relationship of this issue-- among others-- to dealing with climate change in the coming decades). I completely agree with those who have challenged and criticized psychologists who contribute to this dimension of 'the dark side.'" I didn't read this book but found the following article about the subject, which includes some comments about advertising, pollution or disruptions in family life, presumably including the ones that can be caused by the "Nag Factor" which can lead to arguments with parents over petty marketing hype, and the "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child," which the United States is one of a handful of countries that haven't ratified it, yet the media practically never mentions this:

Educating Children in a Socially Toxic Environment by James Garbarino April 1997

Why do greater numbers of our children display signs of serious problems? I believe that children are most vulnerable to the negative influence of an increasingly socially toxic environment. Unless we do something about it now, the situation for children will only continue to deteriorate.

What Is a Socially Toxic Environment

What I mean by the term socially toxic environment is that the social world of children, the social context in which they grow up, has become poisonous to their development—just as toxic substances in the environment threaten human well-being and survival. The nature of physical toxicity is a matter for public policy and private concern. For example, we now know that the increasing rates of cancer throughout the 20th century result at least in part from the buildup of toxic substances in the air, the water, and the soil. We know that air quality is a major problem in many places, so much so that in some cities, just breathing "normally" is a threat to your health.

What are the social equivalents to lead and smoke in the air, PCBs in the water, and pesticides in the food chain? I think some social equivalents include violence, poverty, and other economic pressures on parents and their children. They include disruption of family relationships and other trauma, despair, depression, paranoia, nastiness, and alienation—all contaminants that demoralize families and communities. These are the forces in the land that contaminate the environment of children and youth. These are the elements of social toxicity. .......

Children's Vulnerability

Beyond the immediate threats to children, many other issues are subtle, yet equally serious. High on the list is the departure of adults from the lives of kids—and some studies report a 50 percent decrease over the past 30 years in the amount of time parents are spending with kids in constructive activities. The lack of adult supervision and time spent doing constructive, cooperative activities compounds the effects of other negative influences in the social environment for kids. Kids "home alone" are more vulnerable to every cultural poison they encounter than are children backed up by adults. ........

Children's Rights

A global consensus about the meaning of childhood is emerging, as seen in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Cohen and Naimark 1991). This document represents an international effort to define what it should mean to be a child, based on what middle-class societies have learned about children and child development. The United States stands among a handful of renegade countries that have not ratified the U.N. Convention.

The Convention proposes that to be a child is to be shielded from the direct demands of adult economic, political, and sexual forces. It proclaims that childhood is a protected niche in the social environment, a special time and place in the human life cycle, having a special claim on the community. Regardless of their economic value, children have a right to receive support from their families and communities. They have a right to be shielded from war and violence, to lead a life free from adult sexuality, and to have a positive identity.

The U.N. Convention tells us that children need not pay their own way and earn their keep. They have a human right to be cared for. Typically, families want to provide this support and, as a rule, will do so if possible. But when families cannot provide for their children, the U.N. Convention says that society should pick up the tab. This deeply held principle gives moral force to ongoing efforts to eliminate exploitive labor and poverty from the lives of children. And specific articles in the document testify to this impetus to offer every child what middle-class families offer to their children. We should bear this in mind in the United States, where we see a high and growing rate of poverty among children.

Children and economics. At present, about one in five of all U.S. children, and two in five among children age 6 and under, live below the officially defined poverty line. By historical and global standards, this may seem a relatively small number—in many countries of the world, the figure is more like 65 percent. But when contrasted with the affluence of our society and the success of other modern societies in protecting children from poverty, the U.S. data represent a telling statistical accusation, particularly if we factor in the finding that among modern societies, the United States has the biggest gap between rich and poor. Whereas in Sweden the top 10 percent of families make two times what the bottom 10 percent earn, for the United States the difference is a factor of six times (and for Canada, four times) (Rainwater and Smeeding 1995).

But the economic foundations of childhood go beyond protection from poverty. The idea of childhood as a protected niche implies that children are not direct participants in the cash economy. Any work they do should be guided by their parents and should serve educational and developmental purposes. We can celebrate the strides that have been made in many countries in protecting children from work-force participation. Dramatically reducing child labor was an important accomplishment in creating childhood in the United States; around the world, it remains a hot issue. But the economic rights of children go beyond being protected from adult work.

The child also has a right to be protected from the excesses of the consumer economy. In this view, the child's consumer purchases are to be kept separate and sheltered from commercial advertising that exploits the cognitive, emotional, and social limitations of children. The fact that children are often not so shielded is a violation of their rights. Turn on a television set during the children's hours before and after school, on weekends, and in the early evening, and you can see for yourself where our society stands on this matter. Children are commercial targets. Walk around any shopping mall, and you can see today's parents trying to cope with the fruits of this commercial exploitation of childhood. You may well be one of these parents. Complete article

James Garbarino's primary focus on a lot of his research involves early child abuse leading to escalating violence later in life and this includes his opposition to the use of "'physical assault as discipline' (a term I much prefer to the euphemism of 'corporal punishment,' which only serves to obfuscate)." Statistics back up his opposition to corporal punishment, since it's presumably used most widely in the homes of the same nineteen states that still allow it in the schools; and as I pointed out in Research On Preventing Violence Absent From National Media these nineteen states have had average murder rates for the past ten years that are 22% to 31% higher than in the states that don't allow it in schools. This is one of the activities that the "United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child" is trying to prevent and presumably the reason the United States refuses to ratify it might be that southern states want to continue this practice. Yet not only doesn't the media provide any media coverage bout the United States refusal to ratify this convention; but they also refuse to provide coverage on the research showing how early child abuse leads to escalating violence.

Most conservative pundits would no doubt be outraged by the claim that "when families cannot provide for their children, the U.N. Convention says that society should pick up the tab," however we're already doing that, in a much more inefficient manner through the court system and other social problems that result of abandoned children by abusive parents or in abandoned inner cities! We spend a fortune keeping two million people in jail, far more than any other country in the world and even more on court costs or other expenses resulting from high crime rates in troubled areas. Europe does a far better job addressing the social needs of their people in economic system that our politicians and media pundits demonize as socialist, yet they have far less income inequality, drug addiction, murder rates, and other social problems. Our murder rates are consistently above five per 100,000 although they did drop briefly below, for a few years, yet the European average has been only about three, and many of the countries that ban corporal punishment in both the home and schools have rates less than one, a fifth of our murder rates. The only reason Europe isn't even farther below our average is because handful of countries like Russia and Ukraine are much higher.

Programs like the home visitor program which Professor Garbarino supports and provided research showing it's far more effective then relying solely on punishment ads a deterrent, this is cited in my previous article about "Burying Solutions to Prevent Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso Shootings," and there're plenty more programs like that which can help reduce violence; but instead of implementing them our government is suppressing funds for them and shipping jobs overseas where they use child labor forcing local workers to compete with them & creating a race to the bottom both her and abroad while they rig the economic system in a manner that is designed to create more economic inequality which is contributing to social problems including violence!

In a functioning democracy, we need a media establishment that is willing to report on the most effective research to solve social problems; we don't have that! Although those that look for this research in libraries, alternative media, or academic research can find it.

I also wrote to Susan Linn who responded by saying "Violent media is heavily marketed to children—so it’s not so much the deception, but the products being marketed and any violence included in the advertisement itself. Here’s a link to the most recent American Academy of Pediatrics statement on media violence," and sent a few documents that might be helpful about violence in media. She also covered this in her book in the following excerpt:

Susan Linn "Consuming Kids" 2004 p.117-8

Given that children spend more time engaged with media than they do engaged in any activity other than sleeping, it’s hard to see how they could escape being affected by the content of media’s advertising and programming. In addition to the study cited above, there is plenty of research to back this-especially about violence. I’m sure that it would be easier for everyone if media violence had no negative impact on children’s attitudes and behavior. It does. And given that it does, it would be convenient if media violence were the sole cause for children’s violent behavior. It isn’t.

On July, 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the American Medical Association, the American Association of Family Physicians, and the American Psychiatric Association issued a joint statement on media violence. After reviewing more than a thousand studies conducted over thirty years, they reported a consensus in the public health community that “viewing entertainment violence can lead to increases in aggressive attitudes, values and behavior, particularly in children.”

While acknowledging that the effects of entertainment violence on children are complicated and may vary from child to child, the statement identifies several measurable effects:

• Children who see a lot of violence are more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts. Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume that acts of violence are acceptable behavior.

• Viewing violence can lead to emotional desensitization towards violence in real life. It can decrease the likelihood that one will take action on behalf of a victim when violence occurs.

• Entertainment violence feeds a perception that the world is a violent and mean place. Viewing violence increases fear of becoming a victim of violence, with a resultant increase in self-protective behaviors and a mistrust of others.

• Viewing violence may lead to real life violence. Children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency for violent and aggressive behavior later in life than children who are not so exposed. Complete article

Susan Linn also agrees with Professor Garbarino that our economic system is also a contributing factor for many social problems, including violence, and she provided some additional research on this, including her claim that advertising violence may be a contributing factor to real world violence, in the following article:

Growing Up under Corporate Capitalism: The Problem of Marketing to Children, with Suggestions for Policy Solutions 01/05/2016

Tim Kasser Knox College
Susan Linn Boston Children’s Hospital & Harvard Medical School

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological model of development suggests that children are affected by the economic system under which they live. Corporate capitalism is one such economic system, and evidence suggests that the focus on profit and power characteristic of deregulated, competitive forms of capitalism can suppress how much citizens prioritize the values that support the nurturing of children. One manifestation of this capitalist ideology is the practice of marketing to children, a practice known to be associated with a variety of negative outcomes for children. We present empirical evidence supporting these claims and conclude by proposing numerous policies aimed at reducing children’s exposure to marketing. The policies, many of which have widespread public support, can be implemented in a number of types of institutions that directly or indirectly affect children, including professional organizations, schools, businesses, and all levels of government.

This article explores one relatively ignored fact about children’s development: They grow up under economic systems. This fact, as we hope to show, has a variety of implications for children’s development and well-being. In particular, we will argue that children who grow up under certain forms of the economic system known as corporate capitalism are subject to a variety of deleterious environmental influences. We focus in this article on commercial marketing that is directed at children and/or that uses advertising techniques known to appeal to children. We conclude by proposing an array of policy solutions to decrease the extent to which children are targeted by marketing.

The Ecological Model of Children’s Development

One helpful framework for thinking about the influences of an economic system on children derives from Urie Bronfenbrenner’s widely cited 1977 American Psychologist article and later, 1979 book, The Ecology of Human Development. In these writings, Bronfenbrenner presented an “ecological model” in which he argued that developing humans exist within a “nested arrangement of structures, each contained within the next” (1977, p. 514). Bronfenbrenner’s conceptualization of this nested structure encouraged psychologists interested in child development to begin studying not only the proximal aspects of the environment that directly impinge upon the child, but also the more distal features of the broader environment in which the proximal environmental systems were nested.1

Bronfenbrenner (1977, 1979) labeled the most proximal environments that influence the child the microsystem. The microsystem encompasses the “immediate” settings that actually “contain” the child, i.e., settings that directly impinge upon the child at particular moments. These are the sorts of environments that most psychologists tend to study: events that take place in the home, at school, and in one’s neighborhood, where developing individuals have direct interactions with other people (e.g., parents, teachers, peers) and/or with particular stimuli (e.g., second-hand smoke, television shows, fun playgrounds).

At a somewhat more distal level is what Bronfenbrenner (1977, 1979) called the exosystem. This level encompasses the structures of the environment “that do not themselves contain the developing person but impinge upon or encompass the immediate settings in which that person is found, and thereby influence, delimit, or even determine what goes on there” (Bronfenbrenner, 1977, p. 515). For example, few children directly interact with government agencies, but if the local, state, and/or national government cuts spending on schools, children will probably experience crowded classrooms taught by harried teachers who have fewer concrete resources to provide the children. That is, children’s microsystem experiences in school are influenced by occurrences at the exosystem.


There are numerous other ways in which a capitalistic macrosystem ideology might affect children by filtering down to the exosystem and microsystem levels. Here are two more examples:

(1) At the macrosystem level, hierarchy values suggesting that it is proper for money, status, and possessions to be unequally distributed in a society would lead to policies and practices that create high levels of wealth and income inequality, via wage-earning practices among businesses and taxation policies among governmental institutions. In turn, wide disparities of income and wealth would affect the experiences of children in their home, school, and neighborhood microsystems.

(2) The focus on economic growth, wage-earning, and profit inherent in the capitalist macrosystem ideology would lead to a belief that the purpose of educating young people is to prepare them to enter the workforce, rather than to prepare them to be well-rounded, healthy citizens in a democracy. The former purpose would lead to a focus on imparting marketable skills, whereas the latter would include teaching topics that are perhaps less likely to yield high-paying jobs, such as the arts and humanities, philosophy, and physical education. To the extent the capitalist ideology dominates, students in elementary schools would experience diminishing opportunities for recess, art, music, etc., and children in preschool would spend less time learning through hands-on, creative and exploratory play. Further, policies would be developed in state governments to focus higher education around the priorities of business, and a college education would increasingly come to be seen as an “investment” designed to prepare young people for economic success rather than a way to prepare them for successful citizenship in a democracy (see, e.g., Deresiewicz, 2015; Harris-Perry, 2012; Keldermain, 2015).

Violence and Aggression

Violent media is heavily marketed to children through traditional commercials and licensed products, including toys (Linn, 2004). Even though violence does not increase a cartoon’s appeal to children (Weaver, Jensen, Martins, Hurley, & Wilson, 2001), more violence is present in child’s television shows than in adult programming (Wilson et al., 2002). Promotional spots for upcoming shows during children’s programming are even more violent than the shows themselves, with the former showing an average of 3.46 violent acts per minute and the latter an average of 1.32 acts per minute (Shanahan, Hermans, & Hyman, 2003).

In the United States, movies that the film industry rates as PG-13, containing material which “may be inappropriate for children under thirteen,” and R, where “some material may be inappropriate for children under 17,” have been routinely marketed to very young children through toys, ads during children’s programs, Web sites aimed at young children, and fast food promotions (Fentonmiller, Rusk, Quaresima, & Engle, 2007). In fact, market research on violent PG-13 movies has been conducted with children as young as 7 years old (Fentonmiller et al., 2007). These occurrences are especially problematic today, given that more violence is now allowed in films rated PG-13 than was the case in years previous (Thompson & Yokota, 2004). In 2009, one study found over 5,000 ads on popular children’s television stations corresponding to just five violent PG-13movies and their related merchandise (Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, 2009). What’s more, in 2008, 75% of the highest-grossing R-rated movies were advertised on Web sites that are popular with children under 17; of those, 35% were sites that are particularly popular with children aged 2 to 12 years (Fentonmiller et al., 2007).

In 2000, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, and other major public health organizations collaborated on a review of 30 years of research regarding the impact of media violence on children; they concluded that heavy exposure to media violence is a risk factor for aggression, desensitization to violence, and lack of sympathy for victims (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2000). A more recent review concluded that children who view substantial amounts of media violence are also more likely to view violence as an effective way of settling conflicts (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009). In addition, research shows that children exposed to violent programming at a young age have a higher tendency to engage in violent and aggressive behavior, including bullying, than do children who are not so exposed (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009).

This association between exposure to media violence and real-life aggression is particularly strong, stronger even than the link between condom nonuse and sexually transmitted HIV, and nearly as strong as the link between smoking and lung cancer (Bushman & Huesmann, 2000). The negative effects of violent “interactive” media, such as computer and video games, appear to be even greater than the effects of traditional media, such as television and movies (Anderson, Gentile, & Buckley, 2007). A meta-analysis of studies conducted in both Eastern and Western countries concluded that exposure to violent video games (i.e., a product marketed to children) is a causal risk factor for increased aggressive behavior, for aggressive thoughts and feelings, and for decreased empathy and prosocial behavior (Anderson et al., 2010). Aditional excerpts

The claim that violence media contributes to violence is treated as a highly controversial subject by the media, and academics like Susan Linn and James Garbarino that present studies showing that it does get little or no attention. Susan Linn acknowledges that it's not the sole contributing cause of violence behavior and Professor Garbarino puts most of his emphasis on other aspects like child abuse, implying that it's probably not the most important factor; and as I pointed out in Burying Solutions to Prevent Gilroy, Dayton and El Paso Shootings. Vox provided a chart that showed that Japan and South Korea both sell more video games than the United States, yet the United States has ten times higher violent gun violence deaths, and while violent media and video games have been escalating dramatically over the mast five decades the murder rates have been dropping significantly; however this chart of the decline in murder rates over decades doesn't take any consideration of any other contributing factor, making them of little value from a statistical point of view, although they do imply that there are other factors involved.

If, however you compare the decline in murder rates and other types of violence to the decline in child abuse over the same time period then there's a much stronger correlation, clearly implying that it's a much more important contributing factor. Yet there's still plenty of research that does try to separate different contributing factors, including the ones cited by both James Garbarino and Susan Linn among many other researchers; however, to the best of my knowledge there's little or no research into how much of a contributing factor lack of coverage in traditional media about leading causes of violence, or discussion in the political debate.

Susan Linn points out a partial solution when she writes "It has been pointed out that if broadcasters were to be charged a fee for their use of the digital spectrum, the government could earn $2 to $5 billion annually that could then be spent on a truly public, truly non-commercial broadcasting system. Since government expenditures for public broadcasting are currently in the $250 million range, imagine the commercial-free programming that a few billion dollars could create – including programming for children." Susan Linn "Consuming Kids" 2004 P.153 In addition to funding programming for children that money could be used to ensure that the media provides ample coverage for the best academics that can explain the leading causes of violence and most effective ways to reduce it!

Of course media pundits would be outraged by this is they were forced to discuss it at all and say it would drive up the cost of television or something; but the cost of television is already far higher than most people realize; and guess who's paying for it and how. The public is already paying for it in the form of what I call a hidden propaganda tax. The media is funded by advertising and the cost of these ads is passed on to consumers yet we have little or no influence on the reliability of the ads or the coverage the media provides.

The so-called experts or media pundits that they give an enormous amount of coverage to get paid much more than the most credible experts that can do a much more effective job teaching about the leading causes of violence and how to prevent it; and it's not the "free market" that makes these decisions! the vast majority of the public doesn't have the educational background to participate in these decisions thanks to incompetent media coverage, nor do they even understand who makes the decisions how or why! It's Wall Street executives that make these decisions; they pay people providing propaganda that makes them richer by deceiving the public much more than they pay those that teach how to reduce violence!

This problem isn't limited to advertising to kids; advertising to adults is also a major factor, especially if they weren't taught to recognize fraudulent ads when they were younger and indoctrinated from an early age to accept an economic system that glorifies many contributing causes of violence n or censors other factors; this includes both insurance and gambling. As I reported previously in Insurance Executives Profit By Inciting Murder Occasionally Paying Killers there are dozens if not hundreds of people murdered every year that may be related to a life insurance motive and at least seven or eight people got away with murder in the past and collected over a million dollars, before eventually being caught; and there's also plenty of violence associated with Gambling after the Mandelay Bay massacre I reported Las Vegas Massacre Is Just A Minuscule Fraction Of Gambling Crime which documented dozens if not hundreds of other murders at Casinos and plenty of studies show how gambling is a major contributing factor to crime.

However, both the gambling industry and insurance industry spend enormous amounts of money on advertising and the media often has interlocking boards of directors or stockholders with these industries and research about this is also absent from the media!

The best researchers often explain how a rigged economic system is contributing to violence which is why they can't get media coverage!

The following are some additional sources or related articles:

Susan Linn Consuming Kids

Roy Fox Harvesting Minds

Studies on Media Violence

Do Video Games Make Kids Saints or Psychopaths (and Why Is It So Hard to Find Out)? August 28, 2014 Common excerpt with "Mediators and moderators of long-term effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior: practice, thinking, and action." : More than 90% of American youths play video games. More than 90 % of games that are E10+ rated, teen rated, or mature rated contain depictions of violence, and that violence is often portrayed as justified, fun, and without negative consequences

Mediators and moderators of long-term effects of violent video games on aggressive behavior: practice, thinking, and action. May 2014

There Is Broad Consensus: Media Researchers Agree That Violent Media Increase Aggression in Children, and Pediatricians and Parents Concur July 2015

Tobacco Explained 11/2/2019
The truth about the tobacco industry
…in its own words
3 Marketing to children

If the last ten years have taught us anything, it is that the industry is dominated by the companies who respond most to the needs of younger smokers.

(Imperial Tobacco, Canada)

3.1 Summary

Publicly the tobacco companies have always maintained that they do not target youth, but the market logic of selling to teenagers is overpowering - teenagers are the key battleground for the tobacco companies and for the industry as a whole. Their response has been that peer pressure is the most important aspect in children smoking. But internal documents sharply contradict this, by showing that they set out to aggressively advertise to youth, and even manipulate peer pressure to make people smoke their brand.

The industry knows that very few people start smoking in the teenage years, and if you can “hook” a youngster early on they could well smoke your brand for life. Indeed, independent surveys show that approximately 60 per cent of smokers start by the age of 13 and fully 90 per cent before the age of 20. This is the paradox of the cigarette industry – it is both socially and legally unacceptable to advertise to under-age teenagers and children – yet it is to this precise age group that it has to advertise to in order to survive.

The documents show that the tobacco industry:

• Examined young people as young as five – some studies did not even set a lower age limit. As one executive says “they got lips, we want them”.

• Thought about using honey and comic strip, as well as advertising, to entice youngsters to smoke.

• Looked at ways of preventing teenagers from quitting.

• Undertook studies how to manipulate pubescent/teenage anxieties into making people smoke. Examined the attitudes, aspirations, and lifestyles of the young and how to exploit them. One document says the company needs to “Create a Living Laboratory”.

The documents also show that:

• Marketing executives set out to present cigarettes as part of adulthood initiation - an illicit pleasure, which like sex, is one of a few initiations into the adult world.

• Advertisers set out to equate cigarettes with rebellion, self-expression, self-confidence, independence, freedom, adult identity, masculinity for boys and femininity for girls.

• Two of the most successful advertising campaigns: Marlboro’s Cowboy and RJ Reynolds’ Old Joe Camel pitched their appeal directly to youth.

• The companies advertised in sports magazines and sponsored motor racing as new ways to market to youth
Complete article

Our economic system is based on the assumption that all spending that contributes to the GDP is good, whether it improves the quality of life or not; therefore if adverting drives up the GDP without improving the quality of life this is considered a good thing, at least for the rich who increase profits. But this isn't a good thing for the working class when cuts to education or other social services are accompanied by obsessive spending on products promoted by deceptive ads that do little or nothing to improve the quality of life. spending on social workers to reduce violence doesn't contribute to the GDP, but when kids spend three or four times more than a pair of hyped up Air Jordans or Lebron James sneakers than they're worth and they lead to fighting and even killing kids for these sneakers the growth in the GDP clearly isn't improving the quality of life.

No Logo by Naomi Klein (part I) 11/27/2000

The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads 10/28/2019 Agencies are better informed than ever before about consumers, having amassed huge stores of their data. But many of those consumers, especially the affluent young people prized by advertisers, hate ads so much that they are paying to avoid them.

Growth of advertising spending worldwide from 2000 to 2021 (2019-21 are projected as of this writing) Average growth in advertising is usually over 4% from 200-2018

US Inflation Rate by Year from 1929 to 2020 (2019-21 are projected as of this writing) Average rate of inflation isn't much if any more than 2% from 2000-2018

New Study Confirms Advertising as Key Driver of the U.S. Economy; Advertising is a Major Contributor to GDP, National Employment and Labor Income 11/15/2015 "According to a new report, advertising contributed $3.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP in 2014, comprising 19 percent of the nation’s total economic output. The report was commissioned by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and The Advertising Coalition, which represents the nation’s leading advertisers, advertising agencies and media companies."

U.S. Advertising As Percentage Of GDP Slows 04/08/2016 Looking at the past 15 years -- 1999 to 2014 -- total advertising averaged 1.17% of GDP. Looking only at 1999 and 2010, advertising as a percentage of GDP was 1.25%.

Hell No Barbie: 8 reasons to leave Hello Barbie on the shelf 2015

This holiday season, Mattel hopes to make Hello Barbie, a doll that records and analyzes children’s private conversations, a must-have toy. But experts agree: it’s a threat to children’s privacy, wellbeing, and creativity.

Here are 8 reasons not to buy Hello Barbie. Please help us spread the word about this terrible toy. If Hello Barbie is a hit, other eavesdropping toys are sure to follow.

1) Children’s private conversations shouldn’t be shared with corporations or strangers.

Children confide in dolls and reveal intimate details about their lives, but Hello Barbie won’t keep those secrets. When Barbie’s belt buckle is held down, everything your child says is transmitted to cloud servers where it will be stored and analyzed by ToyTalk, Mattel’s technology partner. Employees of ToyTalk and their partner corporations listen to recordings of children’s conversations--and ToyTalk won’t even say who their partners are.

2) Is Hello Barbie a “friend,” or a viral marketer?

Mattel says “there is no advertising content within Hello Barbie,” and “your children’s conversations will not be used to advertise to your child.” But Mattel doesn’t define what it means by “advertise.” Will Hello Barbie discuss other Barbie products with children? Her script already includes several lines of dialogue about her sisters, who have dolls of their own for sale on Mattel has also acknowledged that Hello Barbie will talk to children about pop culture, and the doll’s script will be updated to discuss the latest movies and music. Isn’t that marketing? How does Mattel decide which artists and media Barbie talks about? And when Mattel and ToyTalk update their privacy policy, they could use Hello Barbie—and the valuable information it collects—to advertise to children. That means parents (if they are even aware of the privacy policy changes) will face a terrible choice: allow Hello Barbie to market to their child, or take their child’s “friend” away. ......

4) Surveillance has no place in children’s play.

In an era where corporations monitor what we say, where we go, what we buy, and who our friends are, Hello Barbie will instill exactly the wrong habits in children. Children should be taught to protect their privacy, not encouraged to divulge their private thoughts to a device that will share their secrets far and wide. Complete article

Hello Barbie, Your Child's Chattiest and Riskiest Christmas Present 12/15/2015

Marketing To "Tweens" Going Too Far? 05/14/2007

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Could Bolivian Coup Threaten Us All?

It should be clear to anyone keeping track of the news that the coup in Bolivia has no legitimacy, at least if they've checked alternative media; however some people that rely primarily on the mainstream media might not know the full story since there are significant number of politicians supporting it already, and the media is trying to avoid calling it what it is!

This should be considered vital for all of us, because it indicates that we have an international oligarchy suppressing democratic rights and threatening to derail major reforms, including those needed to address Climate Change which are threatening us all, although this isn't mentioned by traditional media and often by many alternative media outlets either.

There was never any doubt that Evo Morales was in the lead; the only question was if he had enough votes to avoid a run-off which would require either 50% of the vote plus one or 40% with 10% more than the runner-up, which he did as described in the following report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research indicates:

What Happened in Bolivia’s 2019 Vote Count?
The Role of the OAS Electoral Observation Mission November 2019

On October 20, 2019, Bolivia held presidential and parliamentary elections. Nine presidential candidates competed in the presidential election. However, well before the electoral campaign began, polling indicated that the election was likely to be a two-way race between incumbent president Evo Morales of the Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS-IPSP), and former president Carlos Mesa of Comunidad Ciudadana (CC).

There are potentially two rounds in Bolivia’s presidential elections. A candidate receiving either more than 50 percent of the vote, or at least 40 percent with a 10 percentage point lead over the runner-up in the first round, is declared the winner. If no candidate meets either of these requirements, the two candidates with the most votes must face each other in a runoff election.

On October 25, Bolivia’s electoral authority, the Tribunal Supremo Electoral, or TSE, published the final official election results. Morales had obtained 2,889,359 votes, or 47.08 percent, to Mesa’s 2,240,920 votes, or 36.51 percent. Morales’s 648,439-vote lead gave him a 10.5 percentage point margin and therefore a first-round victory without the need for a runoff. Complete article

Mark Weisbrot one of the authors of this report explains how this was misrepresented in the media and the Organization of American States in this article How OAS Deception Helped the Coup in Bolivia, 11/19/2019 where he says "there was an interruption in the vote count at 84% of votes tallied and Evo was ahead by 7.9%, and then vote, the tally resumed… And by the way, this is not even the official tally, so we shouldn’t even really be arguing that much about it because it doesn’t count for anything. It’s just a quick count that’s done to let people know what’s going on as the votes are coming in. And they don’t tell you that either in most of these… In almost none of these articles do they even tell you that this isn’t even the official count, and the official count was never even interrupted."

Weisbrot goes on to explain that once they misrepresented this they repeated it over and over again and that it wasn't the first time they had done something like this. The OAS had also interfered with Haiti's elections and numerous other countries. It's hard to imagine why they would go to such extremes to overthrow democratic governments, but that has been a pattern of behavior, and the leading motive is, presumably greed and thirst for power, as most people seem to believe; however, this is also threatening efforts around the world to reverse the impact from climate Change, which Evo Morales and leaders of other third world countries has spoken in favor, but the Trump administration and some of the right wing dictatorships including Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil who doesn't seem to want to take action to reverse Climate Change any more than Donald Trump and many of the oil companies profiting from it.

Even if you accept that it was less than ten percent lead then the reasonable demand should have been a run-off which Evo probably would have won; however the right wing responded by organizing violence riots intimidating Morales supporters, and the majority of the traditional media doesn't appear to have covered this adequately as described in the following article from Fairness and Accuracy in reporting which is followed by another one by Caitlin Johnstone:

Western Media Whitewash Bolivia’s Far-Right Coup 11/15/2019 by Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz

Bolivia has a new US-backed puppet leader, and the Western media can hardly conceal their adulation.

Jeanine Áñez declared herself “interim president” in a near-empty Senate chamber on November 12, proceeding to don the presidential sash with the assistance of uniformed soldiers. Despite a lack of quorum rendering the move nakedly unconstitutional, Áñez was immediately recognized by the Trump administration and 10 Downing Street.

Tuesday’s scene seemed like a parody of January’s events in Venezuela, in which a virtually unknown lawmaker, invoking highly dubious constitutional arguments, proclaimed himself “interim president” to the delight of Washington.

For all the supposed threat Trump represents and the enthusiasm sparked by his possible impeachment, Western media continue to march lockstep behind his administration’s coups in Latin America.

Áñez has been sympathetically described as a “qualified lawyer” (BBC, 11/13/19), a “proud Christian” (France 24, 11/13/19) as well as a “women’s rights activist and television presenter” (Time, 11/12/19). Reuters (11/13/19) called her “Bolivian Interim President Jeanine Áñez,” AP (11/13/19) had her as “Bolivia’s newly declared interim president,” whereas for the BBC (11/13/19) she was simply “President Áñez.” AFP (published in France 24, 11/13/19) described her as “the South American country’s 66th president and the second woman to hold the post.”

This language mirrors corporate media profiles of Venezuelan coup leader Juan Guaidó (, 7/23/19), who was depicted as a “freedom fighter” (Fox Business, 1/29/19) and a “salsa-loving baseball fan” (Reuters, 1/23/19) who had “captured the heart of the nation” (New York Times, 3/4/19). References to Guaidó as “president,” however, have dwindled in the face of his repeated failure to seize power (, 7/23/19). Complete article

FAIR goes on to describe her racists comments among other things which is confirmed in the Wikipedia page for Jeanine Áñez Chávez (retrieved on 11/21/2019) which says
Her senior ministers included prominent business people from Santa Cruz de la Sierra. Her government did not include any members of the indigenous peoples in Bolivia, which The Guardian described as a sign that she did "not intend to reach across the country's deep political and ethnic divide." Her designated interior minister vowed to "hunt down" his predecessor, which reportedly stroked fears of a "witch-hunt" against members of Morales' administration.[23] She further stated that Morales would not be permitted to run in an upcoming election for a fourth term, should he return to Bolivia.[24][25]

In the face of protests against the interim government, Áñez called for police to restore order and, on 14 November, issued a decree that would exempt the military from any type of criminal responsibility when maintaining order.[26][27] On 15 November, security forces fired upon protesting coca farmers in Cochabamba, resulting in nine deaths, with dozens more injured.[26]......

Through social media, Áñez has made remarks[39] towards indigenous peoples that have been described as "racist" by The Guardian,[40] "anti-indigenous" by the Agence France-Press,[41] and "provocative" by the New York Times.[42] Around 41% of the population of Bolivia identifies itself as indigenous.[42] On Twitter, she called the Aymara people's New Year celebration "satanic" and said that "nobody can replace God", and has implied that indigenous people were not genuine for wearing shoes.[41][36]

As an un-elected leader she's declared that the person chosen by 47% of the people, more than 10% more than the runner up, can't run for office, and she's giving the police immunity to use violence against those protesting against her government after she rose to power as a result of violence protest.

There can be no justification for this, yet the media and numerous governments including Trump have accepted her as a legitimate interim president! Bernie Sanders came out and called it what it is, a coup; Elizabeth Warren seems to be hedging saying The Bolivian people deserve free and fair elections, as soon as possible. Bolivia's interim leadership must limit itself to preparing for an early, legitimate election. Bolivia's security forces must protect demonstrators, not commit violence against them. 11/18/2019 without questioning how she rose to power in the first place or calling it a coup, as Sanders did.

Caitlin Johnstone also exposed some of the media bias and pointed out a possible motive when she reminded people that Evo Morales called out the United States for supporting repeated coups dating back at least to the 1953 against Iran at the United Nations last year which got very little attention, nor did a more recent one where Evo Morales speaks about Climate Change:

MSM Adamantly Avoids The Word “Coup” In Bolivia Reporting 11/11/2019 by Caitlin Johnstone

here has been a military coup in Bolivia backed by violent right-wing rioters and the US government, but you’d hardly know this from any of the mainstream media headlines.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales steps down following accusations of election fraud” proclaims CNN.

“Bolivia’s Morales resigns amid scathing election report, rising protests” reports The Washington Post.

“Bolivian Leader Evo Morales Steps Down” says The New York Times.

“Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns amid fraud poll protests” declares the BBC.

“President of Bolivia steps down amid allegations of election rigging” we are informedby Telegraph.

“Bolivia’s President Morales resigns after backlash to disputed election” says the Sydney Morning Herald.

So there you have it. The indigenous leader of a socialist South American government which has successfully lifted masses of people out of crushing poverty, which happens to control the world’s largest reserves of lithium (which may one day replace oil as a crucial energy resource due to its use in powering smartphones, laptops, hybrid and electric cars), which has an extensive and well-documented history of being targeted for regime change by the US government, simply stepped down due to some sort of scandal involving a “disputed election”. Nothing to do with the fact that right-wing mobs had been terrorizing this leader’s family, or the fact that the nation’s military literally commanded him to step down and are now currently searching for him to arrest him, leading to ousted government officials being rounded up and held captive by soldiers wearing masks. .......

At a United Nations Security Council meeting last year, President Morales summed up the true nature of America’s role in the world very accurately, and, it turns out, very presciently.

“I would like to say to you, frankly and openly here, that in no way is the United States interested in upholding democracy,” Morales said. “If such were the case it would not have financed coups d’etat and supported dictators. It would not have threatened with military intervention democratically elected governments as it has done with Venezuela. The United States could not care less about human rights or justice. If this were the case, it would have signed the international conventions and treaties that have protected human rights.It would not have threatened the investigation mechanism of the International Criminal Court, nor would it promote the use of torture, nor would it have walked away from the Human Rights Council. And nor would it have separated migrant children from their families, nor put them in cages.”

“The United States is not interested in multilateralism,” Morales continued. “If it were interested in multilateralism it would not have withdrawn from the Paris Agreement or given the cold shoulder to the global compact on migration, it would not have launched unilateral attacks, nor have taken decisions such as illegally declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of Israel. This contempt for multilateralism is motivated by the thirst of the United States for political control and for the seizing of natural resources.”

“Each time that the United States invades nations, launches missiles, or finances regime change, it does so behind a propaganda campaign which incessantly repeats the message that it is acting in the course of justice, freedom and democracy, in the cause of human rights or for humanitarian reasons,” Morales also said.

“The responsibility of our generation is to hand over a fairer and more secure world to the following generation,” Morales concluded. “We will only achieve this dream if we work together to consolidate a multipolar world, a world with common rules that are respected by and defended from all the threats ranged against the United Nations.” ...... Complete article

Additional excerpts are available at Evo Morales Bolivian Slams President Trump And US Not Interested In Democracy 11/1/2019 which includes his reference to Iran in 1953 among other things.

These are all bad enough, but perhaps what may be more important is the fact that international corporations, the United States government and the media among other organizations are supporting absurd policies that are leading to the destruction of our environment and they're preserving an economic system which is oppressing people all over the world especially indigenous people. Evo Morales spoke even more about recently in this speech to the United Nations, from September, which wasn't covered much if any more than his previous speech:

United Nations General Assembly Seventy-fourth session 09/24/2019

President Morales Ayma (spoke in Spanish):

We gather once again at humankind’s most important multilateral Organization to collectively reflect upon and analyse the global problems that affect the people of the world. We note with concern the deterioration of the multilateral system as a result of the unilateral measures promoted by some States that have decided to act in bad faith and ignore the commitments and global structures set up for healthy coexistence among States, within the framework of international law and the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

We meet in this forum to discuss and seek solutions to the serious threats to humankind and life on the planet. Our home, Mother Earth, is our only home and is irreplaceable. Fires, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and other disasters are becoming increasingly frequent. Each year is hotter than the previous one, global melting is increasing and ocean levels are rising. Every day we suffer the disappearance of species, land erosion, desertification and deforestation.

We have been warned that, if we follow this course of action, by the year 2100 the global temperature will have increased by 3° Celsius, with concomitant massive and devastating changes. According to data from our Organization, the consequences of climate change will condemn millions of people to poverty, hunger, lack of drinking water, the loss of their homes, forced displacement, more refugee crises and new armed conflicts.

We have been surprised in recent weeks by the forest fires that have broken out in different parts of the planet — in the Amazon, Oceania and Africa — affecting the flora, fauna and biodiversity. In recent weeks, Bolivia has experienced literal hot spots, which we have been battling with financial, technical and human resources. Our country has spent more than $15 million to date to mitigate fires. We thank the international community for its timely cooperation in our fight against the fire, as well as its commitment to participate in post-fire relief.

The arms race, military spending and technology in the service of death and the unscrupulous arms trade have all increased. The financial system continues to be anti-democratic, inequitable and unstable. It promotes tax havens and banking secrecy, which subjugate weak countries and force them to accept conditions that perpetuate their dependence. We note with sadness that the great social asymmetries persist. According to Oxfam data, currently 1.3 billion people live in poverty, while 1 per cent of the richest held 82 per cent of the world’s wealth in 2017. Inequality, hunger, poverty, the migration crisis, epidemic diseases and unemployment are not merely local problems, they are global problems.

Nevertheless, humankind’s creative ability surprises us every day with new inventions and new technological applications, which have provided great solutions to very complex problems. Technology has meant a qualitative leap for humankind. However, it is necessary for this multilateral body to establish agreements in that domain with the participation of all States.

It is essential that we talk about the structural causes of the various crises. Transnational companies control food, water, non-renewable resources, weapons, technology and our personal data. The aim is to commercialize everything in order to accumulate capital. The world is being controlled by a global oligarchy; a mere handful of billionaires define the political and economic destiny of humankind. Twenty-six people possess the same wealth as 3.8 billion people. That is unjust. That is immoral. That is inadmissible.

The fundamental problem lies in the production model and consumerism, the ownership of natural resources and the inequitable distribution of wealth. Let us put it very clearly — the root of the problem lies in the capitalist system. That is why the United Nations is more relevant and important than ever despite individual efforts, which are insufficient, because only joint action and unity will enable us to overcome those problems.

As we have already said, our generation’s responsibility is to pass on to the next generation a fairer and more humane world. That will be achieved only if we work together to build a multipolar world with rules common to all, while defending multilateralism, the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and international law.

We have taken some very important steps in Bolivia. We are the country with the highest economic growth in South America, averaging 4.9 per cent in the past six years. Between 2005 and 2019, the gross domestic product increased from 9.574 to 40.885 billion dollars. We have the lowest unemployment rate in the region, which fell from 8.1 per cent in 2005 to 4.2 per cent in 2018. Extreme poverty fell from 38.2 per cent to 15.2 per cent over 13 years. Life expectancy has increased by nine years. The minimum wage rose from $60 to $310.

The gender gap in land titles owned by women has been reduced — only 138,788 women had received land by 2005, while 1,011,249 women had received land by 2018. Bolivia has the third-highest participation of women in Parliament in the world — more than 50 per cent of its representatives are women.

Bolivia declared itself an illiteracy-free country in 2008. The school dropout rate fell from 4.5 per cent to 1.5 per cent between 2005 and 2018. The infant mortality rate has been reduced by 56 per cent. We are in the process of implementing a universal healthcare system that will guarantee that 100 per cent of Bolivians — women and men — have access to free, quality services that are caring and that respect their dignity. We have adopted a law on free care for cancer patients.

The data I have just mentioned are part of the achievements of our democratic and cultural revolution, which have brought political, economic and social stability to Bolivia. How did we achieve that in such a short time? How did Bolivia embark upon the path to defeating poverty and underdevelopment?

It was thanks to the conscientiousness of the people — social movements and indigenous people, campesinos, workers, professionals and rural and urban men and women. We nationalized our natural resources and strategic businesses. We took control of our destiny. We built a communitarian and productive socioeconomic model that recognizes basic services as a human right, not as a private business. Today we can say with pride and optimism that Bolivia has a future.

There is one outstanding issue in the region, and that is the sea. The sea is indispensable for life, integration and the development of peoples. For that reason, Bolivia will not give up its right to sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean. In 2015 and 2018, the International Court of Justice in The Hague ruled on the following elements in its judgments.

First, in paragraph 19 of the 1 October 2018 judgment in Obligation to negotiate access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile), the Court stated that “Bolivia had a coastline of over 400 km along the Pacific Ocean”.

Secondly, in paragraph 50 of the 24 September 2015 ruling in the same case, it stated that
“the matters in dispute are matters neither ‘settled by arrangement between the parties, or by arbitral award or by decision of an international court’ nor ‘governed by agreements or treaties in force’”.

Thirdly, in paragraph 176 of the 1 October 2018 ruling, it also stated that
“[n]evertheless, the Court’s finding should not be understood as precluding the Parties from continuing their dialogue and exchanges, in a spirit of good neighbourliness, to address the issues relating to the landlocked situation of Bolivia, the solution to which they have both recognized to be a matter of mutual interest. With willingness on the part of the Parties, meaningful negotiations can be undertaken”.

That judicial decision did not put an end to the controversy; on the contrary, it explicitly recognizes that the controversy persists and emphasizes that it does not exclude the possibility of both States finding a solution. Therefore, the United Nations should monitor the situation and demand full compliance with the Court’s decisions, so that both peoples continue negotiating in good faith to close open wounds. It is possible to promote a spirit of good neighbourliness and to open a new chapter in our relationship in which mutually acceptable and lasting solutions can be forged.

Our countries face diverse and contentious situations that must be approached in a sovereign manner and for which solutions must be found through dialogue and negotiations that benefit the interests of our peoples. Bolivia, in accordance with the resolutions of the United Nations, ratifies its rejection of the economic and financial blockade imposed against Cuba, which violates all human rights.

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank all the member countries for their support in the various initiatives promoted by Bolivia, such as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Peasants and other People Working in Rural Areas and the recognition of 21 June as the International Day of the Celebration of the Solstice.

To conclude, we ratify our commitment to consolidate a new world order of peace with social justice, in harmony with Mother Earth, with a view to living well while respecting the dignity and identity of the world’s peoples. Complete article

The threat to the planet as a result of Climate Change is just one of the reasons why all of us should be concerned with the Bolivian coup; another one is, of course, as the old saying goes, "First they came for the Socialists, but I'm not a socialist" etc. or what they do for you they'll do to you, if they think they can get away with it and this type of violence has a history of escalating. They've already tried to overthrow the government in Venezuela several times and interfered with many other Latin American governments as Evo pointed out in his speech. Like Jeanine Áñez Chávez, Juan Guaidó was never elected by the people, yet he claimed to be the legitimate president of Venezuela with the United States support, despite having little support form the majority of people from Venezuela.

This problem didn't begin with Donald Trump and there's little or no chance that it will end when he's out of office, no matter how they remove him. The same media establishment and Democratic Party that is trying to expose him also propped him up by giving him obsession coverage before the 2016 election and rigging the primary for someone so horrendous he could beat her! Most of the coups supported by the United States took place long before he took office; and unless we do something to bring major reform and stop them from rigging primaries for corrupt politicians they'll continue to take place!

The same Democratic Party that pretends to oppose him voted for massive increases in the Defense bill; they also just voted to give this person who they're supposedly trying to impeach the right to continue spying on us & suppressing our rights, by renewing the Patriot Act without any accountability! Democrats have supported coups in Honduras, Venezuela and other countries as much as the GOP.

Even when it comes to impeachment they didn't begin it over the worst crimes that Trump was involved in, including violations of the emoluments clause, oppressing rights of immigrants putting them in cages, even though they're victims of oppression from coups supported by USA, instigating violence in the Middle East by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, and much more; instead they used the Ukrainian scandal as grounds. It may be reasonable to be outraged because Trump is using his political clout to start an investigation against his opponent, but that opponent is equally corrupt and they're trying to convince us that we should accept corruption as usual and look the other way when the corrupt person is on your side!

But the threat to the environment is escalating and at some point we're going beyond a point of no return, most estimates indicate this is within about ten years, yet we're constantly bickering and often doing more harm than good thanks to extremists in denial that are in power.

The mainstream media is hardly covering this adequately, any more than they cover many of these speeches, wars base don lies, or epidemic levels of destruction to the environment including the Amazon which I reviewed in Amazon Fire Already Headed Down Memory Hole Like Kuwait Fires & China Smog! In that article, as well as others I pointed out that the researchers within the academic and political world have to be as aware if not much more aware of how much damage they're doing to the environment and the fact that when it gets bad enough it will destroy even the wealthiest people.

This means that either the entire political establishment is insane and willing to destroy the planet for short term profit or they must think they have a way to avoid destroying the planet or .... what else? Something else insane? There's no doubt there's something extremely far-fetched going on, although there might not be enough evidence to show what. One possibility that I've been considering is that Philip Corso, who claimed that he shared technology obtained from alien spacecraft in a best selling 1997 book "The Day After Roswell" might be at least partly right. If so that could explain the rapid development of advanced technology since World War II which has been escalating rapidly in the past twenty to forty years.

If this is the case then it could begin to explain many other major unsolved mysteries, including UFOs, Crop Circles, Cattle Mutilations, how ancient megaliths were moved, mystics that haven't been fully explained, and much more. If it's not true then there's another mystery about why the media establishment and hundreds of members of the military or other related researchers and investigators are trying to make it look like there are aliens when there aren't. Either there's a conspiracy to make aliens, or cover them up!

There's no doubt that there's problems with this theory; however there're also major problems with the official explanation of history and science as well as the insane political establishment and constantly fighting wars based on lies. I haven't declared it to be conclusive, but without a much better explanation to major unsolved mysteries the official version isn't conclusive either. we need full disclosure of what ever the government and corporations or other organizations know about these mysteries, and sincere peer review to check the facts before we can know for certain which version is true; but that's not what we're getting from the traditional media or political establishment.

Another thing we can be certain of, when it comes to the 2020 elections, is that the only candidate the media provides fair coverage for that consistently stands up for fundamentals of democracy and defends the environment or the working class among other things is Bernie Sanders. Joe Biden was never a serious candidate which was exposed in a couple runs for president and while he was making an absurd number of gaffes as vice president. I can't imagine why they ever pretended otherwise. They've done a much more effective job creating propaganda to make Elizabeth Warren look progressive, but those doing a good job checking alternative media are much more likely to recognize that her record doesn't come close to matching her rhetoric.

I can't imagine why they're pretending that Pete Buttigieg is rising in the polls either, there's as many problems with his candidacy as there is with Biden's. If an alternative to Bernie or Warren does rise in the Democratic Party it won't be either Biden or Buttigieg, nor is it likely to be Deval Patrick or Michael Bloomberg, both of whom are running campaigns that look like a joke.

If there is a candidate as good or better than Bernie Sanders it's one that the mainstream media refuses to cover! In the long run the grassroots are going to have to demand fair coverage for all candidates for office local and national; even Bernie Sanders won't be nearly as effective as us if we're going to get the reform we need.

The following are some additional sources or related articles to this:

CodePink Founder Medea Benjamin Threatened with Arrest After Protesting U.S. Foreign Interventions 11/14/2019

'They Choked Me. They Threw Me Down.': CodePink's Medea Benjamin Assaulted by Right-Wing Venezuelan Opposition and Threatened With Arrest 11/14/2019

Medea Benjamin: After this peaceful protest, 5 police cars sorted up at my house, threatening to arrest me for assaulting the congresswoman next to me, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Police state 11/13/2019 After this peaceful protest, 5 police cars sorted up at my house, threatening to arrest me for assaulting the congresswoman next to me, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Police state

Medea Benjamin: Police intimidation, surrounding my house and threatening to arrest me 11/13/2019

Capitol Police Attempted To Arrest Code Pink Activist Medea Benjamin For Allegedly 'Assaulting' Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz 11/13/2019

The War on Latin America’s Left 11/17/2019

'Pinochet-Style Dictatorship': Bolivia's Coup Government Threatens to Arrest Leftist Lawmakers and Journalists 11/18/2019 "Bolivia is living through a violent, regressive, completely undemocratic power grab. All governments must sever relations with this illegal regime."

Protestors Massacred in Post-Coup Bolivia 11/18/2019

WATCH: Bolivia President Evo Morales Ayma's full speech to the UN General Assembly 09/ 24/2019

The U.S. Is Setting the Stage for Another Coup in Iran 11/18/2019

General Assembly Seventy-fourth session 09/24/2019 President Morales Ayma (spoke in Spanish): .......

Where can I find statements made by Bolivia during the General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly?

Is it a crime to tell the truth? Bolivia President Evo Morales at the United Nations in February of this year. Right in front of Trump./16/2019

Bolivia’s New Self-Declared “Interim President” Believes Indians Are “Satanic”, Shouldn’t Be Allowed in Cities 11/13/2019

Calling for an 'End to Violence,' Bernie Sanders Becomes First 2020 Democratic Presidential Contender to Criticize Bolivian Coup 11/11/2019 "I am very concerned about what appears to be a coup in Bolivia, where the military, after weeks of political unrest, intervened to remove President Evo Morales."

Police fire tear gas at protesters in Bolivia election unrest 10/29/2019 Continued protests come as President Morales and opposition candidate Carlos Mesa wrestle over an audit of the results.

Bolsonaro attacks 'putrid' media over Marielle Franco murder revelations 10/30/2019 Brazilian president seethes after investigation revealed suspects met at his compound before leftist politician’s murder. “You rascals, you scumbags! This will not stick!” Bolsonaro fumed after the report on Marielle Franco’s 2018 murder.

While Warning of Nazi-Like Fascism and Corporate Crimes, Pope Francis Proposes Adding 'Ecological Sin' to Church Teachings 11/16/2019

Big Oil Needs to Pay for the Damage It Caused 11/18/2019

Bolivia’s Anti-Indigenous Backlash Is Growing 11/13/2019

What the coup against Evo Morales means to indigenous people like me Nick Estes 11/14/2019 The indigenous-socialist project accomplished what neoliberalism has repeatedly failed to do: redistribute wealth to society’s poorest sectors

Bolivia coup led by Christian fascist paramilitary leader and millionaire – with foreign support (Enhanced version] 11/18/2019

Bolivian U.N. Ambassador: “Racist Elite” Engineered Coup to Restore Neoliberalism in Bolivia 11/19/2019

Bernie Sanders' Stance on Bolivia Matters 11/18/2019 “I don’t agree with that assertion,” he said. “I think Morales did a very good job in alleviating poverty and giving the indigenous people of Bolivia a voice that they never had before. Now we can argue about his going for a fourth term, whether that was a wise thing to do. … But at the end of the day, it was the military who intervened in that process and asked him to leave. When the military intervenes, Jorge, in my view, that’s called a ‘coup.'” ....... Any presidential candidate who claims to represent workers and marginalized communities, who even nominally opposes U.S. imperialism, should be able to identify a coup as such. If they can’t, why should we trust them to implement a just and holistic foreign policy?

Sema Hernandez: I'm indigenous. I don't speak for all indigenous people, but I will speak for myself: I condemn @ewarren for taking this position on the #BoliviaCoup. The interim leadership is ethnically cleansing Bolivia's indigenous population and declaring Bolivia a Christian nation. 11/18/2019

Bolivian President Evo Morales resigns following mass protests 11/10/2019

Opinion: The OAS lied to the public about the Bolivian election and coup 11/19/2019

Bolivia's Evo Morales: 'Let me come back and finish my term' 11/17/2019

After Week of Violence and Unrest, Warren Criticized for Conciliatory Remarks on Post-Coup Bolivia 11/19/2019

Bolivia's democratically elected President Evo Morales explains how the US government was behind the far-right military coup that overthrew him. "The US embassy was conspiring against me," he said, adding that the US directly supported the right-wing opposition to undermine him. 11/19/2019

Top Bolivian coup plotters trained by US military's School of the Americas, served as attachés in FBI police programs 11/13/2019

House Democrats Hand Trump 'Authoritarian' Surveillance Powers 11/19/2019

Bernie Sanders Is the Only Presidential Candidate to Call Bolivia President's Ouster a 'Coup' 11/19/2019

Bolivia is falling into the grips of a brutal right-wing regime 11/19/2019

The Coup in Bolivia Has Everything to Do With the Screen You’re Using to Read This 11/20/2019

Evo Morales Urges United Nations to 'Denounce and Stop This Massacre' as Bolivian Military Guns Down Protestors 11/20/2019

Handing Trump 'Terrifying Authoritarian Surveillance Powers,' House Democrats Include Patriot Act Reauthorization in Funding Bill 11/19/2019 "Wow. House Democrats are ignoring civil liberties and including a three month straight reauthorization of the Patriot Act (with zero reform) in the continuing resolution."

President Donald Trump Applauds Bolivia's Military For Role In Coup 11/11/2019

Bolivian President Evo Morales accuses US of 'harboring terrorists' 09/25/2013

Bolivia’s Morales, at UN, says natural resources, basic necessities must be viewed as human rights 09/20/2017

Trump backs Brazilian president as he rejects aid for fighting Amazon fires 08/27/2019

Bolivia President Evo Morales speech to the United Nations General Assembly, September 24, 2019