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Be Your Own Revolution

Be Your Own Revolution

I made the mistake of involving myself in a sectarian Twitter spat when I was halfway through my morning coffee today and I instantly felt like an idiot.

People from the Left Twitter faction I’d offended rushed in to push back against the offense I’d caused them, and within minutes I felt it: the all-too familiar sensation of inspiration and creativity draining away from my body. Tension, coldness and defensiveness where previously there was playfulness and the crackling sensation of an exciting new day in which anything was possible.

If you’re active online, you’ve probably experienced this too. The days when you’re involved in sectarian bickering are the days when you are at your least creative, your least inspired, and your least effective at fighting against the machine. At best the drama gives your ego a tickle (as social media platforms are designed to do), after which you feel a bit yuck. The longer you engage in it, the lower the probability that you will produce something creative and inspired that day.

As a general rule, you may find that it works best to reject cliques and factions altogether. When you “belong” to any group you feel compelled to defend it, and to move with it wherever it goes even if that’s not where you feel like the energy is. You get invested in wanting the collective to move in a certain direction, and you get frustrated when it just wants to focus on silly nonsense and sectarian feuds.

So my advice to you here, which you of course can take or leave, is to just blast off on your own and fight your own revolution in your own way.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What News Outlet Doesn’t Deny Reality?

What News Outlet Doesn’t Deny Reality?

ZeroHedge, the successful bad boy financial news reporting site, is shifting to a subscription model.

I might subscribe if ZeroHedge knew what the fuck was going on in the world, but they’re as much in denial about human overshoot as the mainstream news outlets.

Granted, ZeroHedge is at least willing to report on the daily insanities of our monetary and financial systems, which everyone else conveniently ignores, and I do value some of their observations, but they assume some evil cabal of elites is plotting to enrich themselves, rather than understanding that we’ve hit limits to growth caused by non-renewable energy depletion (and soon other non-negotiable constraints like climate change), and central banks are desperately printing money and using every slight of hand they can think of to extend and pretend a little longer our system that requires growth not to collapse.

Basically ZeroHedge doesn’t have a clue, and they make a living by feeding the conspiracy hungry crowd that congregates there. Not only do they not make the world a better place, they foment social unrest to make it a worse place.

So no, I won’t be subscribing.

Where can you go for intelligent apolitical reality based news?

It’s very hard to find.

Nobody important talks about what matters, and I guess they wouldn’t be important if they did, because most people don’t want to know the truth.

It’s 24/7 tribal fluff and denial everywhere.

And they’ll say no one saw it coming.

A pox on them all.

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/introducing-zerohedge-premium

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

MSM Promotes Yet Another CIA Press Release As News

MSM Promotes Yet Another CIA Press Release As News

The Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published yet another anonymously sourced CIA press release disguised as a news report which just so happens to facilitate longstanding CIA foreign policy.

In an article titled “Secret CIA assessment: Putin ‘probably directing’ influence operation to denigrate Biden“, WaPo’s virulent neoconservative war pig Josh Rogin describes what was told to him by unnamed sources about the contents of a “secret” CIA document which alleges that Vladimir Putin is “probably” overseeing an interference operation in America’s presidential election.

True to form, at no point does WaPo follow standard journalistic protocol and disclose its blatant financial conflict of interest with the CIA when promoting an unproven CIA narrative which happens to serve the consent-manufacturing agendas of the CIA for its new cold war with Russia.

And somehow in our crazy, propaganda-addled society, this is accepted as “news”.

The CIA has had a hard-on for the collapse of the Russian Federation for many years, and preventing the rise of another multipolar world at all cost has been an open agenda of US imperialism since the fall of the Soviet Union. Indeed it is clear that the escalations we’ve been watching unfold against Russia were in fact planned well in advance of 2016, and it is only by propaganda narratives like this one that consent has been manufactured for a new cold war which imperils the life of every organism on this planet.

There is no excuse for a prominent news outlet publishing a CIA press release disguised as news in facilitation of these CIA agendas. It is still more inexcusable to merely publish anonymous assertions about the contents of that CIA press release.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

The News Churn Memory Hole: How The MSM Lies Even When Telling The Truth

“This goofy ass Trump letter is gonna get more outraged coverage than the bombshell report on the entire Afghanistan war being a lie and frankly I don’t know if I can handle that right now,” popular Youtube commentator Kyle Kulinski tweeted today.

The post was just one of the many observations that Kulinski tosses into the Twitterverse every day, presented in his typical casual, offhand way without any self-significance. But if you actually pause and think about what he’s saying here, how true it is and what it says about the mass media institutions which people rely upon to form their worldviews, it’s actually a damning indictment of our entire society.

It is a fact that far more news media energy is going into one trivial aspect of an impeachment agenda that will with absolute certainty fail to remove Trump from office than there is for the known fact that the US government fought to suppress indisputable proof that American officials have been consistently lying about an 18-year military occupation which continues to this day. This fact should, by itself, be sufficient to completely discredit the mainstream press. This one tiny piece of information, that there’s vastly more buzz about an irrelevant impeachment sideshow than there is over the Afghanistan Papers, should in and of itself cause everyone to regard the entire establishment media complex with the same amount of respect as it gives the Flat Earth Society.


This last week teaches us that temporarily freezing and then unfreezing future military aid to one of our many far-flung client states is huge national emergency but the government systematically lying about every aspect of the longest war in US history is a forgettable non-issue


…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fake News? How About No News?

Fake News? How About No News?

Trump gets flak for characterizing the mainstream press as purveyors of Fake News. But what about no news at all?

Isn’t lack of coverage even worse than biased coverage?

Well, how much news have you heard or read about the gilets jaunes – or “yellow vest” – protests in France? CNN hasn’t got anything on its main page today (Jan. 9). Neither did NBC or CBS. Lots of the usual – endless – carpet-chewing coverage of Trump, though. And also of such important stories as “Want to Pay off Your Mortgage? Try Frugal Minimalism.”

You might think France, a major western European country, coming unglued – and on the verge of its government outright banning “unauthorized” criticism of its actions – might at least be  . . .  well,  news.

Instead, nothing.

Which is very interesting, given what the yellow vests are protesting. This being chiefly the purposely punitive taxes on fuel – diesel especially – imposed by the French President, Emmanuel Macron. In the name of “climate change” – but really in the name of squeezing average Frenchmen (and women) out of their cars. These taxes – already extortionate and brutally regressive – were on track to increase the cost of a gallon of fuel to more than $7.

This brought the French not to their knees – but to the streets. The yellow vests – which are reflective jackets every French motorist is required by law to keep in their vehicle, to be worn in the event of an emergency – were donned for a different kind of emergency.

And Macron buckled. The tax hike has been rescinded. But did you read about it?

Probably not – unless you went out of your way to look for it. Mainstream press coverage of this effective protest has been as scanty as its coverage of the reason for the yellow vest protests – which by the way continue, notwithstanding Macron’s retreat.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Power Trendlines

Power Trendlines

Market action is heavily dominated by algorithmic trading and programs. Nothing new about that and it’s a reality of the market environment. In December algos were blamed for the steep sell-off, nobody is blaming them during the massive bounce off of the December lows. Funny that.

Irony aside knowing where these algos live and where they change direction is a critical edge to decipher in today’s markets. One of the key tools we use to keep a tap on them are trend lines and in this brief video (recorded January 8) I highlight some of the fascinating ping pong action we’ve come to observe and respect in markets.

Note: News cycles and events may be triggers, but trend lines often give you a destination and potential key turning points of support and resistance. And finding these ahead of time can provide a significant edge.

Why One Should Distrust the News

Why One Should Distrust the News

Why One Should Distrust the News

An article by the BBC on “The world’s most nutritious foods” ranks the healthfulness of foods on the basis of an article at the supposedly scientific PLOSone journal, titled “Uncovering the Nutritional Landscape of Food”. That study is based on a dataset that entirely ignores antioxidant-content of foods. Antioxidant-content has come to be recognized during recent decades as constituting perhaps the most important factor in nutrition. It’s probably even more important than vitamin-content and than mineral-content and than protein, carbohydrate, and fat content. So, the basis upon which the article’s ranking was done is the factors that were known about, in 1950, to be important, but that are now known to be far less determinative of a person’s health and longevity than are foods’ anti-oxidant contents. Neither the article nor its underlying dataset even so much as just mentions “oxidant” anywhere. The authors of the BBC and PLOSone articles and of the underlying dataset were apparently entirely ignorant of the findings in nutritional research during the past 60+ years — findings about antioxidants, which have transformed our understanding of nutrition. (Furthermore, there were many other important methodological flaws producing that PLOSone ranking, not only its ignoring antioxidants.)

This is not unusual.

(Incidentally, “ORAC Values: Antioxidant Values of Foods & Beverages” is a ranking of foods on the basis of antioxidant-contents, as measured by ORAC; and this is likely a far more accurate indicator of the relative healthfulness of foods than is the ridiculous BBC-PLOSone ranking — but far fewer people are being exposed to it.)

Here’s another example of the untrustworthiness of news-media and of other allegedly nonfiction presentations, even in many ‘scientific’ journals — but this one will be an example from what has become overwhelmingly the world’s leading encyclopedia: Wikipedia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Selling Fear and Amusement: News as Entertainment

Selling Fear and Amusement: News as Entertainment

The news media have contributed to our deteriorating—but entertaining—political situation. Mr. Trump is President partly because he is entertaining. My research on TV news shows that the promotion of the politics of fear is a byproduct of entertaining and sensationalized reports to build audience ratings. Contemporary news practices have increasingly been wedded to new information technologies that provide visuals and images, particularly portable cameras and smart phones. The entertainment format of much of U.S. TV news promotes the use of video or other visuals that are dramatic, conflictual, and emotional. Screen images dominate broadcast news as well social media. Investigations of news coverage of numerous local, national, and international news reports reveal how our current “news code” operates. Basically, TV tells time with visuals. Although the intent may be to use visuals to tell a story about something, the logic in use amounts to telling a story about the visual at hand. Events that are more likely to satisfy these format criteria are more likely to be broadcast.

Our work over the last 4 decades also demonstrates that politicians and others who provide visual events and dramatic performances are more likely to receive news coverage. We have documented the profound effects this format-driven media coverage has had on social institutions ranging from sports, news, politics, education, and religion.

Contemporary news practices continue this trend. Indeed, even the prestigious evening network newscasts have adopted this approach, especially as social media have provided seemingly ubiquitous videos of a wide array of events, many of which are posted on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. As newscasts seek higher ratings, it should not be surprising that they have adjusted their selection of news items to include visually interesting bits that have already been viewed—or gone viral—on the internet and social media.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Trump Derangement International

Diego Velázquez The Spinners 1655-60

 

Dirk Kurbjuweit, deputy editor-in-chief of Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine for the past 4 years, unwittingly put his foot a mile deep in his mouth this week when he reacted to a letter written by US Ambassador to Berlin Richard Grenell. His reaction presents perhaps the most perfect example of the downfall of news, journalism, the media in general, that we’ve seen so far. Most perfect among very stiff competition.

After Der Spiegel itself this week ‘outed’ its award-winning star reporter, Claas Relotius, as someone who had made up many of his lauded articles from scratch, Grenell suggested the magazine, and especially its editorial staff, shouldn’t think they can get away with putting all the blame on just this one guy. He tweeted:

We value policy criticism. We love a free press. But @Spiegel literally fabricated stories saying people (Americans) were racist & xenophobic. They made up events, details, & lies – and no editor checked the stories. Every real journalist should be outraged by this.

And he wrote a letter to Der Spiegel, albeit addressed at the ‘wrong’ editor, Steffen Klussman, who won’t be in the post until after Jan. 1:

The recent revelations of completely fabricated stories, completely fictional people and fraudulent details in Spiegel over the last seven years are very troubling to the US Embassy. These fake news stories largely focused on US policies and certain segments of the American people. It is clear we were targeted by institutional bias and we are troubled by the atmosphere that encouraged this recklessness.

While Spiegel’s anti-American narratives have expanded over the last years, the anti-American bias at the magazine has exploded since the election of President Trump. We are concerned that these narratives are pushed by Spiegel’s senior leadership and reporters are responding to what the leadership wants.

This is where Dirk Kurbjuweit’s foot enters his mouth, stage left, and starts its long journey down:

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

What the New York Times Has in Common with the National Enquirer

What the New York Times Has in Common with the National Enquirer

The National Enquirer is in the news rather than reporting it—not for printing that Elvis is alive and well, but for its alleged role as “a dirty-tricks shop for Donald J. Trump in 2016,” as The New York Times put it in an article that described the supermarket tabloid as “the most powerful print publication in America.” The Enquirer served as a propaganda rag for The Donald, first targeting Ted Cruz during the primaries and then amplifying anti-Hillary conspiracy theories like “PizzaGate,” the ridiculous stories that candidate Clinton was sleeping with Huma Abedin and that she had hired a “hitman” to murder people who annoyed her.

It paid $150,000 for the story of a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with our current president—so they could bury it. (They call this a “catch-and-kill” deal.)

Even for the pond-scum standards of the National Enquirer, this is super sleazy. Mainstream media outlets like the Times are pointing out how gross and yucky the Enquirer is and they’re right to do so.

What these august guardians of the Fourth Estate are not as eager to talk about is how, when it comes to a little-known law with a massive effect on libel and defamation law, respectable print institutions like the New York Times are on the same side as such exemplars of yellow journalism as the National Enquirer.

Twenty-eight states—including many of the most populous—have “anti-SLAPP” laws ostensibly designed to protect newspapers, radio and television outlets from being sued for libel or defamation.

Their real purpose is to allow the media to get away with murder.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Perils of Banning “Fake News”

The Perils of Banning “Fake News”

When the printing press was invented in the mid-1400s, Europe faced radical and unprecedented changes. Ultimately revolutionizing the circulation of information, the printing press dislodged the monopoly of information and ideas. As Gutenberg reformed the printing system around 1440, the technology quickly expanded. According to some accounts, there were approximately 110 printers in Europe around 1480. As technology diffused throughout Europe, more than 270 cities had active printers by the end of the 15th century.

By reducing the cost of production, revolutionary ideas were easily distributed across Europe. For dissidents and scholars all over Europe, the printing press was an instrument to disseminate progressive ideas, criticizing authority and advocating freedom of expression.

Encountered with challenging and subversive ideas, governments and religious authorities began to enforce strict censorship. In order to silence criticism, political and religious dissidents were brutally prosecuted in summary procedures all across Europe. Brutal methods were employed, and numerous people accused of heresy were burned ruthlessly at the stake.

As with the printing press, computers and smartphones have enabled people to disperse ideas all over the world. Social media and new platforms of public deliberation have rendered traditional gatekeepers like news editors redundant. In addition, the digital age has fostered the so-called “bots”—automated accounts that allow people to spread fake news.

During the 2016 US presidential election, the role of fake news attracted spectacular attention. The predicament of fake news was fiercely discussed, and afterward analyses have shown 50,000 Russia-linked bots tweeted about the election. Moreover, evidence has revealed that more than 100,000 dollars were spent on Facebook ads by a company with ties to the Kremlin, thus adding further potency to the allegations of Russian interference.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Seriously Crazy Idea: Trump Proposes US State-Run News Agency

Trump is blasting CNN again today. OK, but his alleged “solution” is seriously crazy.

Here are some counter-Tweets that I agree with:


oat on Twitter


Claude Robichaux on Twitter

Wow. All the “news” Trump wants you to hear and nothing more. This is truly crazy.

Having a state run news agency does not prove greatness. It proves the opposite.

The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

The BBC Has Legal Protection to Spread Fake News: the Curious Case of ISIS, Andrew Neil and Jeremy Corbyn

Photo Source Edwardx | CC BY 2.0

The BBC spreads fake news. We all know that. From the uncritical parroting of the British government’s Iraqi weapons of mass destruction claims to the unchallenged lies spouted by war-mongering politicians, that Libya’s dictator (who was armed and trained by Britain, incidentally) was going to commit a “bloody massacre” in Libya’s Benghazi region. (A postwar British government report confirmed that the “ethnic cleansing” claim was based on what they cautiously called poor intelligence. The cruel irony is that after the BBC helped whip up support for the invasion, it reported on a real ethnic cleansing of black Libyans committed by the Islamist terrorists organized by the US and Britain to topple Gaddafi.)

But what if the BBC had legal protection to tell and spread lies? As I document in my book Real Fake News, the answer to a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that, as an arts, literature, and news organization, the BBC has no legal obligation to give its audience any information about its sources. Often, journalists cannot and should not name their sources, for obvious reasons; the main one being that no one will tell them anything in confidence ever again. However, when general claims that contradict the customary understanding of things are made, and without supporting evidence, it’s only fair to ask where the person making the claim obtained their information.

ISLAMIC STATE IN IRAQ BEFORE 2003? GET OUTTA HERE!

During an interview with the antiwar leader of the British Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, BBC presenter Andrew Neil claimed that ISIS existed in Iraq beforethe 2003 invasion by the US and Britain. Corbyn stated, in gentle terms, that US-British foreign policy had smashed up Iraq and Libya.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

How George W. Bush Corrupted America’s ‘News’-Reporting

In order to understand today’s demonization of Vladimir Putin, one must go back to US President George W. Bush’s propaganda for “regime-change in Iraq” and demonization of Saddam Hussein at that time. The US regime now has come to recognize that with Putin’s high approval-ratings from the Russian public, the US aristocracy’s dream of fomenting Putin’s ouster by Russia’s voters will not work; and, so, all foreign leaders who cooperated with Russia, such as Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, Viktor Yanukovych, and Bashar al-Assad, were first targeted by the US regime for “regime-change,” so as to isolate Russia and soften it up for the demanded US-takeover (‘democracy’, ‘free market’, etc., which Russia actually now already has, at least as much as America does); and, then, since that hasn’t yet worked, came the US aristocracy’s campaign to ‘protect The West’ by NATO troops and weapons surrounding Russia and forcing regime-change in Russia. It has escalated now to the point where World War III is more likely than ever it was during the Cold War.

Regime-change in Russia will thus either occur by the democratic vote of the Russian public at some distant time and produce a Russian Government that’s likely to be against the US regime in every possible way (which the current Russian Government is not), or else it will require a US-and-allied invasion of Russia, and that would destroy the world (but the US aristocracy want it anyway).

However, America’s aristocracy (or as they call it when referring to the same thing in low-income countries, “oligarchs”) — basically just its billionaires — are very impatient; they want to control the entire planet during their own lifetimes, and care little (if at all) about what will happen to the planet after they’re gone.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed by All the Terrible Events Going On In the World

What to Do When You’re Overwhelmed by All the Terrible Events Going On In the World

Looking at the news lately is bound to hit you right in the feelings. It’s almost impossible not to be overwhelmed by it all.

There are so many terrible things happening. Massacres in places of worship. Thousands of people heading to the US all at once, demanding to be let in. Bombs being sent through the mail. A heated election cycle that is only a glimpse of the coming presidential election. One horrific crime after another.

And at the foundation of everything is hatred.

The venomous things that people are saying to one another all in support or rejection of these dreadful occurrences are the most dangerous part of it all.

If you’re a peace-loving person who just wants to get along with his or her fellow American, all of this stuff can be enough to make you want to crawl under the nearest rock, preferably a rock without Wi-Fi or a cell signal.

When you spend your days engrossed in the news

Sometimes I get emails from people who wonder how I can write about the things I do and still remain upbeat.

I’ve been working in the alternative news industry since 2011. There have been days at I time I was glued to my laptop covering manhunts, constitutional insults, or scenes of horror. It would be a lie (not to mention rather unhinged) to say that I was unmoved by it all.

Sometimes I ended the day with such awful scenes playing through my head that my night was filled with restless nightmares replaying all that I had learned. Sometimes the last thing I wanted to do the next morning when it was time to start work was switch on that laptop and see the most recent gruesome act of hatred humans had perpetrated on one another.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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