Social Articles from 2019
The Militarization of Everything
By William J. Astore
Posted November 18, 2019
When Americans think of militarism, they may imagine jackbooted soldiers goose-stepping through the streets as flag-waving crowds exult; or, like our president, they may think of enormous parades featuring troops and missiles and tanks, with warplanes soaring overhead. Or nationalist dictators wearing military uniforms encrusted with medals, ribbons, and badges like so many barnacles on a sinking ship of state.
But militarism is more than thuggish dictators, predatory weaponry, and steely-eyed troops. There are softer forms of it that are no less significant than the “hard” ones. In fact, in a self-avowed democracy like the United States, such softer forms are often more effective because they seem so much less insidious, so much less dangerous. Even in the heartland of Trump’s famed base, most Americans continue to reject nakedly bellicose displays like phalanxes of tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue.
What do I mean by softer forms of militarism? I’m a football fan, so one recent Sunday afternoon found me watching an NFL game on CBS. People deplore violence in such games, and rightly so, given the number of injuries among the players, notably concussions that debilitate lives. But what about violent commercials during the game? In that one afternoon, I noted repetitive commercials for “SEAL Team,” “SWAT,” and “FBI,” all CBS shows from this quietly militarized American moment of ours. In other words, I was exposed to lots of guns, explosions, fisticuffs, and the like, but more than anything I was given glimpses of hard men (and a woman or two) in uniform who have the very answers we need and, like the Pentagon-supplied police in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, are armed to the teeth. (“Models with guns,” my wife calls them.) More…
The End of Accountable Government Is Close at Hand. Julian Assange and the CIA
By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts
Posted November 16, 2019
For about 70 years the CIA has been undermining a free press. It began with Operation Mockingbird, a Cold War operation against communism. The CIA recruited journalists into a propaganda network. The CIA paid journalists to write fake stories or to publish stories written by the CIA in order to control explanations that served the agency’s agendas. Student and cultural organizations and intellectual magazines, such as Encounter, were suborned into the CIA’s propaganda network. Thanks to the German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, we know that every European journalist of any significance is a CIA asset.
What is astonishing about the CIA’s destruction of Julian Assange is the silence of American law schools and bar associations, the silence of universities, the absence of student and labor union protests, the absence of any protection of Assange’s rights from courts as the last news organization willing and capable of holding governments accountable for their crimes is destroyed openly in full view of the law schools, intellectuals, bar associations, courts, and print and TV media. More…
Convicted Antinuclear Activists Speak Out: ‘Pentagon Has Brainwashed People’
by Marjorie Cohn
Posted November 13, 2019
The seven Catholic peace activists who were convicted on Oct. 24 for their symbolic protest against nuclear weapons at the Kings Bay Naval Base in Georgia are now facing a two-to-three-month wait to hear their prison sentences. They could face more than 20 years in prison.
The jury that convicted the Kings Bay Plowshares 7 activists was self-avowedly apathetic about the risks posed to humanity by nuclear weapons, and the judge and prosecution worked together to prevent the defendants from sharing information or arguments to raise jurors’ consciousness on the issue.
The manner that the judge allowed the case to be made did not make it clear that the house was indeed on fire — or even that there was a house. The reality of the nuclear weapons, the threat they pose, and certainly their illegality, were not objectively communicated” to the jury. More…
Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain — We Survived 1962
By Ray McGovern
Posted November 12, 2019
Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov spared humanity from extinction on what has been called “the most dangerous moment in human history.
Much of this account of what happened on submarine B-59 is drawn from Daniel Ellsberg’s masterful book, “The Doomsday Machine” — one of the most gripping and important books I have ever read. Dan explains, inter alia, on pages 216-217 the curious circumstance whereby the approval of Arkhipov, chief of staff of the submarine brigade at the time, was also required.
Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a close adviser to President John F. Kennedy, later described Oct. 27, 1962, as Black Saturday, calling it “the most dangerous moment in human history.” On that same day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an all-out invasion of Cuba to destroy the newly emplaced Soviet missile bases there. More…
The US and Soviet Union barely avoided a nuclear war in 1962.
Consider how a person or an animal reacts when backed into a corner. Consider the wisdom [lack of] by backing any nation into a corner. Consider what US foreign policy has done to many nations in the past, and is doing in the present.
President Eisenhower Warns Nation Against Military-Industrial Complex
by President Dwight Eisenhower
Posted November 11, 2019
Listen carefully to the words of President Dwight Eisenhower in his farewell speech to the nation. His words were almost prophetic. Listen carefully and see if his warning resonates with you and consider the relevance of his words to the situation of our society today. (Length = 2:30)
President Kennedy Warns Nation Against Excessive Secrecy
by President John Kennedy
Posted November 10, 2019
Listen carefully to the words of President John F. Kennedy in his speech before the American Newspaper Publishers Association. His words were almost prophetic. Listen carefully and see if his warning resonates with you and consider the relevance of his words to the situation of our society today. (Length = 5:24)
The End of Accountable Government Is Close at Hand
by Paul Craig Roberts
Posted November 9, 2019
For about 70 years the CIA has been undermining a free press. It began with Operation Mockingbird, a Cold War operation against communism. The CIA recruited journalists into a propaganda network. The CIA paid journalists to write fake stories or to publish stories written by the CIA in order to control explanations that served the agency’s agendas. Student and cultural organizations and intellectual magazines, such as Encounter, were suborned into the CIA’s propaganda network. Thanks to the German journalist, Udo Ulfkotte, we know that every European journalist of any significance is a CIA asset. In 1977 Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame wrote in Rolling Stone that the CIA “has secretly bankrolled numerous foreign press services, periodicals and newspapers—both English and foreign language—which provided excellent cover for CIA operatives.” Like most other people, Western journalists were all too willing to sell out their integrity for money. The few who were not were blackmailed into submission.
The few honest journalists who remain have been forced out of the “mainstream” or presstitute media onto Internet websites. Wikileaks is by far the best news organization of our time. To bring this organization to heel Washington, using its Swedish, British, and Ecuadoran vassals, has persecuted Wikileaks’ founder, Julian Assange, for years. The CIA’s media vassals, including the New York Times and The Guardian, both of which published the material leaked to Wikileaks that is being used to destroy Assange, have joined wholeheartedly in the persecution of the World’s Best and Most Honest Journalist. More…
DARPA’s New Project Is Investing Millions in Brain-Machine Interface Tech
By Shelly Fan
Posted October 26, 2019
When Elon Musk and DARPA both hop aboard the cyborg hypetrain, you know brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) are about to achieve the impossible.
BMIs, already the stuff of science fiction, facilitate crosstalk between biological wetware with external computers, turning human users into literal cyborgs. Yet mind-controlled robotic arms, microelectrode “nerve patches”, or “memory Band-Aids” are still purely experimental medical treatments for those with nervous system impairments.
With the Next-Generation Nonsurgical Neurotechnology (N3) program, DARPA is looking to expand BMIs to the military. This month, the project tapped six academic teams to engineer radically different BMIs to hook up machines to the brains of able-bodied soldiers. The goal is to ditch surgery altogether—while minimizing any biological interventions—to link up brain and machine. More…
It is a known fact that if government has the power to do something, they will push the limits of what they can do with that power.
How will this extremely invasive technology be used? Do you really think it will be used to help people, or rather to surveil and control people?
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