Social Articles from 2020
The Bigger Picture Is Hiding Behind a Virus
By Jonathan Cook
Posted April 6, 2020
Things often look the way they do because someone claiming authority tells us they look that way. If that sounds too cynical, pause for a moment and reflect on what seemed most important to you just a year ago, or even a few weeks ago.
Is it possible that only a few weeks ago our priorities were just a little divorced from a bigger reality? That what appeared to be the big picture was not actually big enough? That maybe we should have been thinking about even more important, pressing matters – systemic ones like the threat of a pandemic of the very kind we are currently enduring.
Our current fear is an enemy to our developing and maintaining a critical perspective. The more we are frightened by graphs, by deaths, the more we are likely to submit to whatever we are told will keep us safe. More…
P For Pandemic
by James Quinn
Posted April 6, 2020
In light of what has happened in 2020 thus far, I’d say my fears have been realized, with more downside to come. I was deeply concerned about the surveillance state, on par with Orwell’s 1984, two years before Snowden made his revelations public. The country has been in a downward spiral since the government used the 9/11 fear and panic to ram through a 300-page pre-written piece of legislation to further take away our Constitutional rights and put vastly more power and control into the hands of uncontrolled psychopaths operating in the shadows of government halls.
Those in charge never let a crisis go to waste. 9/11 was used to pass the Patriot Act and initiate nineteen years of declared and undeclared wars in the Middle East to create chaos, empower Israel, and abscond with the oil of sovereign countries.
The 2008/2009 crisis, created by the Fed and their Wall Street banker proprietors, was used by the powers that be to abscond with trillions in national wealth, while further enslaving senior citizens in poverty and forcing the working middle class further into debt servitude. Bernanke, Yellen, Geithner and a myriad of other banker flunkies have been richly rewarded for their traitorous actions by their Wall Street brethren, with tens of millions in compensation for their duty and honor to the cabal. More…
Genetically Modified Seeds: Conceived as a Weapon
By Larry Romanoff
Posted April 5, 2020
If we were to ask about the origin of GM seeds, how the idea was conceived and developed, who did the research and who provided the funding, how would we reply? We might reasonably suggest that perhaps the concept originated in the Biology or Agricultural Department of some university, or that a government lab doing research on food supplies might have conceived and pursued the idea. Or, we might suggest a private company in the agricultural field was looking for more productive varieties of grains and stumbled on this process.
We might suggest all those answers, but in each case we would be wrong. GM seed was conceived, promoted, researched and funded by the US Department of Defense – the American War Department. GM seed was never meant as a way to feed the hungry, but was instead conceived and developed as a weapon or, more precisely, as a weapons-delivery system. Genetically-Modified seed was never intended to support human life, but to eliminate it. More…
Genetically modified food is in many of the products purchased. In the US, 93% of all soy is genetically modified, 90% of all canola is genetically modified, and 89% of all corn is genetically modified.
If genetically modified food is so good for you, why did Monsanto fight so hard against labeling? The next time you go shopping, ask yourself, what is in my food?
The Propaganda of Terror and Fear: A Lesson from Recent History
by Dr. Piers Robinson
(Co-Director Organisation for Propaganda Studies)
Posted April 4, 2020
The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Corona Virus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.
The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.
At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here. More…
Governments are taking drastic actions and assuming vast new powers as the viral pandemic progresses.
Consider what happened to your freedoms and rights after 9-11 and the 2008 economic crisis: the grossly misnamed Patriot Act, the wars without end, the constant and expanding surveillance of citizens, secret courts, the taxpayer paid for bailouts of criminal banks, and other examples. We need to remain vigilant to make sure this is not repeated. The consequences of not remaining vigilant will be far greater than the consequences of the virus itself.
The Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Is a $2 Trillion Slush Fund for Washington Cronies
by Yves Smith
Posted April 4, 2020
The financial crisis was such a successful exercise in looting the public purse that our oligarchs are at it again, this time via the “stimulus” bill.
When historians look back on our current government’s response to a public health emergency and resultant economic depression, there won’t be many paeans to profiles in courage. It may seem impressive that Congress has approved legislation worth $2 trillion to help sustain the American economy, but it’s no New Deal. Rather it’s a massive economic slush fund that does its utmost to preserve the old ways of doing things under the guise of masquerading as a response to a public health emergency. In reality, the relief provisions are barely adequate.
Bloomberg has also confirmed that the NY Fed has outsourced picking the lucky recipients for this slushy cornucopia to a private contractor, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager (Goldman Sachs apparently has done enough of “God’s work” this time). The more things change in Washington, the more they stay the same. More…
The Biometric Threat
by Jayati Ghosh
Posted April 3, 2020
As with so many other convenient technologies, the world is underestimating the risks associated with biometric identification systems. India has learned about those risks the hard way – and should serve as a cautionary tale to the governments and corporations seeking to expand the use of these technologies.
If a fingerprint or iris scan is even slightly tilted or otherwise wrongly positioned, it may not match future verification scans. Moreover, bodies can change over time – for example, daily manual labor may alter fingerprints – creating discrepancies with the recorded data. And that does not even cover the most basic of mistakes, like misspelling names or addresses.
If honest mistakes can do that much harm, imagine the damage that can be caused by outright fraud. Police in Gujarat, India, recently found more than 1,100 casts of beneficiary fingerprints made on a silicone-like material, which were used for illicit withdrawals of food rations from the public distribution system. Because we leave fingerprints on everything we touch, we are all vulnerable to such replication.And manual replication is just the tip of the iceberg. More…
The USA’s Doll House: A Vast Tapestry of Lies and Illusions
by Edward Curtin
Posted April 2, 2020
While truth-tellers Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning sit inside jail cells and Edward Snowden lives in exile in Russia, the American people hole up in an illusionary dwelling constructed to reduce them to children afraid of the truth. Or is it the dark?
This is not new; it has been so for a very long time, but it has become a more sophisticated haunted doll’s house, an electronic one with many bells and whistles and images that move faster than the eye can see. We now inhabit a digital technological nightmare controlled by government and corporate forces intent on dominating every aspect of people’s lives.
This is true despite the valiant efforts of dissidents to use the technology for human liberation. The old wooden doll houses, where you needed small fingers to rearrange the furniture, now only need thumbs that can click you into your cell’s fantasy world. So many dwell there in the fabricated reality otherwise known as propaganda. The result is mass hallucination. More…
The Superorganism That Created the Pandemic
By Gaia Vince
Posted April 1, 2020
Humans do not operate within their ecosystems in the same way as other species, even other top-level predators. We don’t have an ecological niche, but rather we dominate and alter the local—and now, global—ecosystem cumulatively to suit our lifestyles and improve our survival, including though habitat loss, introduction of invasive species, climate change, industrial-scale hunting, burning, planting, infrastructure replacement, and countless other modifications.
We also don’t interact with each other in the same way as other species. We operate in large networks of unrelated individuals, treating each other as other species treat family. Just as genetic information is passed down through generations of families, humans also pass a whole suite of cultural information through societies and down the generations, including knowledge, behaviors, tools, languages, and values. More…
How to be anonymous in the age of surveillance
By Melissa Hellmann
Posted March 31, 2020
Cory Doctorow’s sunglasses are seemingly ordinary. But they are far from it when seen on security footage, where his face is transformed into a glowing white orb.
At his local credit union, bemused tellers spot the curious sight on nearby monitors and sometimes ask, “What’s going on with your head?” said Doctorow, chuckling.
The frames of his sunglasses, from Chicago-based eyewear line Reflectacles, are made of a material that reflects the infrared light found in surveillance cameras and represents a fringe movement of privacy advocates experimenting with clothes, ornate makeup and accessories as a defense against some surveillance technologies. More…
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