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Friday, May 13, 2011

Addicted to codswallop -- or: Why you deserve to be raped

Blogger was down for a bit, and I had a project -- hence, no post for the past day or so. Besides, I wanted to leave the previous piece up, just in case someone wanted to have a look at it.

Not many did. That inattention makes me a bit sad. During this same period, a depressingly large number of people clicked on my notorious April 1, 2006 post. That makes me sadder.

Do people prefer sensationalistic codswallop?

The Amanpour affair is potentially very important. Some of you may think: "Oh, her source was probably speculating, or offering an opinion." Come on. Think about it. A CIA officer (former or active) does not simply ring up a reporter of Amanpour's stature to offer blue-sky conjecture -- especially not on a topic of that sort.

The officer in question -- whom I suspect to have been Mary McCarthy -- probably felt impelled to make this revelation because Porter Goss had already revealed that he knew the location but was restricted from action by politics. The importance of this cannot be exaggerated. We really could have a congressional investigation into this matter -- if the public could overcome its apathy, if people like you understood that chic cynicism functions as a tool to keep you disempowered.

Obama recently made headlines by suggesting that elements of the Pakistani government knew where Bin Laden was. But what if the Bush government knew? What if Obama knew?

Even before the Amanpour prediction came to light, there was excellent reason to believe that such was the case. In 2007, Emmanuel Razavi made a remarkable (albeit little-seen, at least in America) documentary called The Search for Osama Bin Laden, which not only indicated Pakistan's role in hiding the terror leader, but also provided excellent evidence of covert American aid to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. (There are a couple of documentaries with similar names; Razavi's is here.)

Some of you may also be familiar with another documentary called 9/11: Press for Truth, which investigates the possible role of ISI in the attacks -- and presents convincing testimony that the United States government literally flew Al Qaeda terrorists to safe havens in Pakistan.

That's the real thing.

But the American public doesn't know about this. On the other hand, everyone is familiar with the bombs-in-the-buildings codswallop. Most people you know have seen or heard of Loose Change, a codswallop masterpiece. You probably don't know anyone who has seen the two documentaries listed above.

(On a side note: I was distraught and disheartened to learn that Daniel Hopsicker, whom I once greatly admired, has turned into a raving toon who cites neo-Nazis as though they were responsible authorities. More on that unhappy development anon. I'll de-link his site soon.)

Bottom line: The conspiracy theories you hear about -- the ones that right-wingers like Alex Jones talk about, the ones which "everyone" knows, the ones which function as the Official Alternative Reality -- are invariably diversions. They are disinformation. They were designed to keep people stupid while flattering them with the illusion of hipness.

The same could be said concerning widespread views about how to fix our economy.

The financial disaster which came to light in 2008 was caused by libertarianism, neo-liberalism, deregulation, call it what you will. The Establishment pundits soon offered their response: We need belt-tightening, austerity measures, small government. We need more deregulation.

Those countries which have heeded that advice -- Ireland is a good example -- are miserable, and are going to be miserable for a long time to come. Meanwhile, Iceland -- which did not heed that advice, even though many thought that the devastation would last a generation -- is rebounding nicely. Indeed, Iceland got into that mess in the first place only because too many people there listened to neo-liberal liars.

Yet in this country, the majority of Americans have been "carefully taught" to think that the main problem facing us is, of all things, socialism.

Not Wall Street deregulation. Not the way big bankers have corrupted our political establishment. Not free trade. Not outsourcing. Not the wholesale abandonment of the pro-worker principles which kept us prosperous and mighty for a generation after WWII.

No, two decades after the fall of the USSR, American ninnies actually believe that all of our problems are caused by Marxists.

Taxes on the wealthy are much lower than they were in 1992, the twelfth year of the Reagan/Bush era. Yet armies of propagandists will try to convince you that the rich are overtaxed.

Everywhere you go -- the internet, cable news, the radio -- you'll run into people telling you that we need more libertarianism to fix the problems that libertarianism created. How to put out a raging oil fire? More oil!

That's not a mainstream media viewpoint: That's what you read in the so-called alternative press. The people who buy into this "blame Socialism" codswallop actually think of themselves as hipper-than-hip outsiders, as radically cool anti-mainstreamers.

I'm beginning to think that there is no point to writing. If my audience would rather read this than this -- well, what can I say? You people are too fucking stupid to live. You deserve to be enslaved and raped.
I read the important article and I'm glad I did. I hope you're not becoming too disillusioned with your readers to continue. I'll be left with even fewer sites I check everyday.

Please continue.
A Captain goes down with his ship as a matter of pride. To be able to say the kind of things you have the balls to say, I would hope you will stay the course. And, even though I often wonder what kind of dope you're on (a back handed compliment), I always enjoy your take on the Fascists who think they run the world. Not all of us are idiots, by the way. We will never be taken alive, as the old saying goes, because we know that to give in means to give up. Don't you fall for that trick, either. We need a few good men and, brother, you are one of us. Say your piece and quit being so damn neurotic. Some of us have been reading you for a long time and when you went on your long hiatus, we missed you. Now quit feeling sorry for yourself and get back to work.
Thanks guys.

I didn't say I was going to stop writing. I'm just wondering if there's a POINT to writing.

Of course, like you, I do a lot of pointless things every day. Waking up, for example.

And really, the last words in my post probably aren't directed toward the people most likely to read them. They are directed to the thousands who prefer Fools' Day pranking to the serious stuff.
This is the reason I stopped reading your neighbor, Bob Somerby. His criticism of the media is dead on in my opinion but it does nothing to change the land scape.

We all saw it during the 2008 primary season when the print and broadcast media went after the Clintons for having the nerve to offer voters a choice other than the Plastic Primadonna.

Same thing during the health care "reform" debate, how many of the news programs went out of their way to educate the viewers about how it works overseas or to the North?

What is it about the truth that doesn't lend itself to sound bites?
While still wondering about "Er ..Yes.."
I'll risk to do, what could be considered 'trolling' by some.
(i.e.commenting now)
Josef : "designed to keep people stupid while flattering them with the illusion".
The point here is to study exactly
how perception managing actually works these days.
Latest developments.
Anybody not familiar with this will
fail on any explanation.
It would be similar to seriously trying to "analyse" cosmics in pre-einsteinian terms.
One could do that and even generate lots of traffic.etc. but..

The problem to be solved is not to the Idiots, by definition they evidently can't.

So, You will have to adjust Your
perception. Or, not be able to clue.

If not, stop crying.

But, then again, anybody able to see through the illusionists mecanics .. ->(...)
Yes, there is a point to your writing. Raising important questions. Seeking answers. Making a record. Keep it up. So many of us are so very busy keeping our heads above water that we are too exhausted to comment sometimes.

To use your metaphor, none of us hardworking stiffs deserves to be raped. Really. Often, the only escape is to tune out. That, I suspect, is what an awful lot of people are doing now. No TV news, no print news. But reading your material and appreciating it. Then back to the grindstone.

I appreciate this site.

Joseph, you are one of the best investigative journalists I've read in a long time. It's one of the ironies of the so-called information age that a lot of the best, most reliable information comes from "amateurs" like you, Riverdaughter and the crew at Sky Dancing. If there's a point to telling the truth, there's a point to writing.

I read and then passed your post on to everyone I knew.

What Amanpour revealed was and is devastating to those that for years have used Bin Laden as this Nation's Boogie man!

This country is so jacked up. Instead of "DEMANDING" a full investigation with "REAL" consequences for all, our media and the sheep that "believe" every word that they hear on the stupid tube, concentrate on "American Idol" or Bristol Palin's chin job.

Thanks for "Pulling my coat tail" to this story Joe!
Joseph, just to say how much I appreciate you--I don't know how you do all that you do, but I hope you never stop doing it. Your site is my first stop every day--I can't tell you how much I missed you during those months when you were too busy to post and would be devastated should you stop again.
"Perception management" here sort of what one would have to study, in my view ->

(Poster not afiliated to any of this in any way)
Please don't stop writing, JC. I read your column though I don't comment regularly [Google has permanently fouled my membership ID]. I come here for a dose of reason in an atmosphere of craziness. The sites offering that are fewer everyday. And Btw, I read your recent Osama/CIA columns and agree that the information is important and sobering.

I'd hate to think another reliable information and analysis resource might fade away.

Please continue. Every voice of reason is critical in an Age of Disinformation and Mass Paranoia.
This is a big time for those finishing school and their families.

So it may be timing.

Also, sometimes people read and just don't have anything to add.
Well, I do enjoy your April 1 posts, as you have nearly fooled me a couple times. However, I found the the Amanpour post far more important and worth reading. I didn't comment because I didn't think it required comment. I would have simply agreed with you. I admit, I have been a cynic most of my adult life, politics in the USA having a tendency to do that to ration, clear thinking humans (though I don't claim to be either of those things much of the time). I just wish there were more people like you out there, writing and researching.
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