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Thread: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Caitlin Johnstone has the sanest perspective and least loyalty to any faction of Empire of any contemporary political writer, in my opinion. She tells the truth, so that blows all the mainstream 'journalists' out of the water, and she is more on the pulse of the world stage than any alternative journalist I know of.

    Caitlin has declared that her words may be shared freely, even entire articles at a time, and has even said that she doesn't care if she gets attributed (though I always will.) Those who wish to financially support her can also follow on to her Patreon page and donate, but even those who do not donate are welcomed by Caitlin to read and quote her words. With her generous permission, I'm starting this thread to add an extremely bright mind, an anti-war, pro-peace, anti-neoliberal, anti-neoconservative, anti-Empire voice to Avalon. She will knee-jerk some political partisans here, and I would advise them to go deeper and see the underlying truth in her words. This is not a thread about Caitlin Johnstone; this is a thread about Caitlin Johnstone's words.


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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Source: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03...we-were-right/

    The Mueller Report Is In. They Were Wrong. We Were Right.

    "The Robert Mueller investigation which monopolized political discourse for two years has finally concluded, and his anxiously awaited report has been submitted to Attorney General William Barr. The results are in and the debate is over: those advancing the conspiracy theory that the Kremlin has infiltrated the highest levels of the US government were wrong, and those of us voicing skepticism of this were right.

    The contents of the report are still secret, but CNN’s Justice Department reporter Laura Jarrett has told us all we need to know, tweeting, “Special Counsel Mueller is not recommending ANY further indictments am told.” On top of that, William Barr said in a letter to congressional leaders that there has been no obstruction of Mueller’s investigation by Justice Department officials.

    So that’s it, then. A completely unhindered investigation has failed to convict a single American of any kind of conspiracy with the Russian government, and no further indictments are coming. The political/media class which sold rank-and-file Americans on the lie that the Mueller investigation was going to bring down this presidency were liars and frauds, and none of the goalpost-moving that I am sure is already beginning to happen will change that.

    ...(more)..."



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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Source: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03...by-russiagate/

    The Illusory Truth Effect: How Millions Were Duped By Russiagate

    "“Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy”, read the front page headline of Sunday’s New York Times. Bit by bit, mainstream American consciousness is slowly coming to terms with the death of the thrilling conspiracy theory that the highest levels of the US government had been infiltrated by the Kremlin, and with the stark reality that the mass media and the Democratic Party spent the last two and-a-half years monopolizing public attention with a narrative which never had any underlying truth to it.

    There are still holdouts, of course. Many people invested a tremendous amount of hope, credibility, and egoic currency in the belief that Robert Mueller was going to arrest high-ranking Trump administration officials and members of Trump’s own family, leading seedy characters to “flip” on the president in their own self-interest and thereby providing evidence that will lead to impeachment. Some insist that Attorney General William Barr is holding back key elements of the Mueller report, a claim which is premised on the absurd belief that Mueller would allow Barr to lie about the results of the investigation without speaking up publicly. Others are still holding out hope that other investigations by other legal authorities will turn up some Russian shenanigans that Mueller could not, ignoring Mueller’s sweeping subpoena powers and unrivaled investigative authority. But they’re coming around.

    The question still remains, though: what the hell happened? How did a fact-free conspiracy theory come to gain so much traction among mainstream Americans? How were millions of people persuaded to invest hope in a narrative that anyone objectively analyzing the facts knew to be completely false?

    The answer is that they were told that the Russiagate narrative was legitimate over and over again by politicians and mass media pundits, and, because of a peculiar phenomenon in the nature of human cognition, this repetition made it seem true.

    ...(more)..."


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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Source: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03...e-tried-works/

    Your Plans For Revolution Don’t Work. Nothing We’ve Tried Works.

    "All the old ideas for uprooting the status quo have failed. I point this out not to depress people, but to persuade them to stop twisting on locked doorknobs. The old ideas don’t work, so we need new ones.

    The political process has failed. Capitalism has failed. Socialism has failed. Libertarianism has failed. Marx has failed. Populism has failed. Anarchism has failed. I say this not because of any glaring flaws in any of those ideas (in theory any of them could potentially work in an alternate universe), but because we are hurtling towards extinction in the fairly near future, and none of them have saved us.

    “But Caitlin!” you may object. “My particular favorite ideology would have saved us long ago if only everyone had gotten on board with it!”

    Okay. But they didn’t. And now we’re on the brink of armageddon. That means it has failed. It doesn’t work.

    We are well on our way to extinction via climate collapse or nuclear holocaust, and even if we miss those by some miracle we are headed toward an artificial intelligence-led tech dystopia in which our consciousness is permanently enslaved by a propaganda network that is far too advanced for there to be any hope of escaping into truth.

    We are witnessing a mass extinction the likes of which we haven’t seen since the end of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago, with some 200 species going extinct forever every single day. The very ecosystemic context in which we evolved is vanishing underneath us. More than half the world’s wildlife has vanished in forty years, and the worldwide insect population has plummeted by as much as 90 percent. Fertile soil is vanishing, and so are forests. The oceans are choking to death, 90 percent of global fish stocks are either fully fished or overfished, the seas are full of microplastics, and phytoplankton, an indispensable foundation of earth’s food chain, have been killed off by 40 percent since 1950. Science keeps pouring in showing that global warming is occurring faster than previously predicted, and there are self-reinforcing warming effects called “feedback loops” which, once set off, can continue warming the atmosphere further and further regardless of human behavior, causing more feedback loops.

    Our ecosystem is very fragile and rapidly fading, and the difference between the ability to survive without it and our current scientific capability is the difference between flying and jumping. Which won’t matter if one of the many small, unpredictable moving parts in the steadily escalating new cold war with Russia results in a nuclear weapon being deployed as a result of misunderstanding or miscommunication and sparking off the annihilation of every organism on earth, as nearly happened during the last cold war on more than one occasion.

    This is where the status quo has gotten us. All attempts to overthrow it have failed. The time is up, and the results are in.

    ...(more)..."


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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Source: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/03...propagandized/

    People Will Never, Ever Rebel As Long As They’re Successfully Propagandized


    "Our predicament is simple to describe.

    Since the dawn of civilization, powerful individuals have controlled the stories people tell themselves about who they are, who’s in charge, how a good citizen behaves, what groups should be loved, what groups should be hated, and what’s really going on in the world. When you study what we call history, you’re mostly just reading the ancient proto-propaganda of whatever kingdom happened to win the last war during that period of time. When you study what we call religion, you’re mostly reading stories that were advanced by ancient governments explaining why the people should be meek, forgiving taxpayers instead of rising up and killing their wealthy exploiters.

    This continues to this day. We fill our children’s heads with lies about how the world works, how the government works, how the media works, and, on a deeper level, how their own consciousness works, and the entire process is shaped to funnel power toward the people who control our stories. The modern schooling system was largely formed by John D Rockefeller, widely considered the wealthiest person in modern history, in order to create generations of docile gear-turners for the industrial plutocratic machine. Modern schooling is essentially mainstream media in a building; it promotes authorized narratives day in and day out to ensure that children will have a reaction of cognitive dissonance and rejection when confronted with information which contradicts those narratives.

    This funnels the populace seamlessly into the narrative control matrix of adulthood, where childhood indoctrination into mainstream narratives lubricates the way for continual programming of credulous minds with mass media propaganda. All the print, TV and online media they are presented with supports the status quo-supporting agendas of the same plutocratic class that John D Rockefeller dominated all those years ago. This ensures that no matter how bad things get, no matter how severely our spirits are crushed by end-stage metastatic neoliberalism, no matter how many stupid, pointless wars we’re duped into, no matter how much further we are drawn along the path toward extinction via climate chaos or nuclear war, we will never revolt to overthrow our rulers.

    That’s three paragraphs. Our predicament is simple to describe and easy to understand. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to solve.

    ...(more)...


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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Trump Supporters Are Hurting Assange With Their 4-D Chess Talk

    At a time when everyone should be out in the streets shaking the earth and protesting the Trump administration’s prosecution of Julian Assange for exposing US war crimes, those who continue to support this president have one message and one message only when it comes to the WikiLeaks founder: Don’t do anything. Relax, wait and see, trust Trump, and don’t do anything. Trump is about to save Assange, and save us all. Do nothing.

    Who do you guys think this strategy benefits, exactly?
    These are all people who say they support Assange and WikiLeaks, who say they support free speech and oppose the deep state, and yet what they are doing today hurts Assange and helps the unelected power establishment known as the deep state just as much as the hysterical Russiavape dupes who are overtly smearing Assange today.

    To be clear, not everyone who voted for Trump is doing this; many are aggressively opposing this administration’s prosecution of Assange and vocally withdrawing all support for him. But the ones who are engaged in the behavior I’m describing are all helping to kill the loud and aggressive opposition to Assange’s imprisonment which is so desperately needed right now, and they’re helping everyone they claim to oppose. The pussyhat-wearing Assange haters and the MAGA hat-wearing Assange lovers are on the same side on this issue, mindlessly working toward the exact same agenda: the permanent imprisonment of a truth-telling journalist
    Every time President Trump advances a longstanding evil agenda of America’s permanent government, I see my social media notifications swarmed with Trump supporters telling me that it is actually a good thing, because it’s secretly a brilliant strategic chess move that the 45th president is taking against the deep state.

    When I say that this happens every time, I’m not being hyperbolic to make a point. I mean it happens every single time, without a single, solitary exception, always. It happens with such clockwork reliability that I preemptively addressed it in the article I wrote when Julian Assange was arrested, saying, “I am going to have a zero tolerance policy for QAnon cultists who try to tell me that this is actually 5-D chess by Trump to overthrow the Deep State. Stay out of my comments, stay out of my social media notifications, stay the hell away from me, and please rethink your worldview.”

    I said this because I knew it was coming, and indeed it did. All sorts of theories have been concocted since Assange’s arrest which people cite as proof that Trump is actually protecting Assange with his administration’s indictment and extradition request, instead of working to imprison a journalist for exposing US war crimes, which is actually what’s happening.

    They tell me that Trump is bringing Assange to America for trial because he can only pardon him after he’s been convicted. This is false. A US president can pardon anyone at any time of any crime against the United States, without their having been convicted and without their even having been charged. After leaving office Richard Nixon was issued a full presidential pardon by Gerald Ford for “all offenses against the United States which he, Richard Nixon, has committed or may have committed or taken part in during the period from January 20, 1969 through August 9,1974.” Nixon had never been charged with anything. If Trump were going to pardon Assange he could have done it at any time since taking office, instead of issuing a warrant for his arrest in December 2017 and executing it on Thursday after a series of international legal manipulations. A pardon is not in the plans.

    Another common belief I keep encountering is that Trump is bringing Assange to America to get him to testify about his source for the 2016 Democratic Party emails in exchange for a pardon, thereby revealing the truth about Russiagate’s origins and bringing down Clinton and Obama. This is false. Everyone who knows anything about Assange (including the Trump administration) knows that he will never, ever reveal a source under any circumstances whatsoever. It would be a cardinal journalistic sin, a violation of every promise WikiLeaks has ever made, and a betrayal of his entire life’s work. More importantly, imprisoning a journalist and threatening him with a heavy sentence to coerce him into giving up information against his will is evil. If you believe your president is doing that, the last thing you should be doing is cheering for him.

    But that isn’t what Trump is doing. Trump is pursuing the imprisonment of a journalist for exposing US war crimes, so that he can scare off future leak publishers and set a legal precedent for their prosecution.

    I’ve been engaging people in debates on this subject online so I can understand their arguments well enough to address them, and what I’ve learned is that they don’t really have any. Those who believe Trump is actually secretly helping Assange and helping the American people by prosecuting a journalist have no basis for their belief other than pure faith that Trump is good, therefore anything he does must be good. It’s the exact mirror image of Russiagate hysterics, and it benefits the exact same corrupt establishment.

    The mental contortions that people are doing to avoid the cognitive dissonance between their support for Assange and their support for Trump is truly something to behold. For the last 24 hours QAnon adherents have been telling me that Assange holding a Gore Vidal book when arrested is an undeniable signal that he’s in coordination with the Trump campaign to bring down the Deep State, and that I’m crazy for being unable to see that. Turns out it was actually a book that Assange wanted to read while he was waiting to be processed at the courthouse, which makes sense since Vidal’s “History of the National Security State” covers a subject that Assange has devoted his entire life to.

    QAnon is such a brilliant propaganda construct. With some cryptic posts on an anonymous message board, whoever is behind that psyop has succeeded in manipulating a vocal and impassioned sector of Trump’s base into applauding every single step he’s taken in advancing the dystopian agendas of his predecessors as a brilliant 4-D chess move against the establishment. I’ve been told that his bombing of Syria actually took out an Iranian nuclear base, that he’s helping to free the Venezuelan people without harming anyone, that he’s fighting the deep state in Iran, that his dangerous escalations against Russia are just a show because he and Putin are working together (a comical overlap with the Russiagate crowd), and last year they were telling me that Assange isn’t in the embassy at all because Trump had already covertly rescued and pardoned him. There are people who honestly believe that there is a revolution against the establishment underway which is being led by a plucky alliance between the President of the United States, the Prime Minister of Israel, and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. It’s that bad.

    QAnon followers make up a minority of Trump’s base, but the insanity of the QAnon psyop bleeds into the greater MAGA crowd and helps normalize the kind of thinking which leads people to conclude that a blatant prosecution of a journalist for telling the truth about the US political construct is actually a strategic maneuver against the establishment. The enthusiastic promotion of this narrative has an undeniable and pernicious chilling effect on opposition to Assange’s wrongful imprisonment, which should be an issue upon which the right and the true left agree.

    I’ve never pushed away Trump supporters because I believe isolating into ideological echo chambers makes the left impotent and stupid, and many of them have followed me since I started this gig because they agree with some of what I’ve got to say. I don’t know how many MAGA people I still have in my readership after all the stuff I’ve been writing about their president, but those of you who are still out there, please, for the love of God help get this idea out there. This is a time where everyone who supports WikiLeaks should be flooring the gas pedal, and all the “Don’t do anything, trust the plan, wait and see” rhetoric is keeping one foot on the brakes.

    Assange should have been pardoned already, long ago, if not by Obama then by Trump. There is no excuse whatsoever for this not to have happened already, let alone for Assange to be behind bars at the behest of this administration. Stop saying “wait and see”. We’ve already seen. The time to protest is now. Get your foot off the brakes, and aggressively demand that your president cease doing what he is doing. Make this an election issue. Trump can’t afford to lose his base, but if you keep saying “wait and see” the narrative manipulators will keep moving back the line you’d sworn you’ll never let him cross until before you know it you’ve got another four years of another Bushbama while Assange remains locked in a cage.

    Don’t let them do this to you. Use your power now.

    .

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    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    New post on Caitlin Johnstone


    How You Can Be 100% Certain That QAnon Is Bull****

    by Caitlin Johnstone President Trump has yet again advanced an evil longstanding agenda of America's depraved intelligence and defense agencies, so as usual the QAnon cult is out in force telling everyone not to worry because this is all part of the plan. Ever since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was slammed by Trump's Justice Department with a mountain of espionage charges carrying a possible sentence of 175 years in prison, QAnon acolytes have been showing up in my social media mentions with screenshots of a new post from the mysterious 8chan anon assuring us all that Assange is actually being protected by Trump.
    The post reads in the typical QAnon cryptic word salad style that its adherents often annoyingly imitate when normal people try to engage them in an adult conversation:
    "Under protection.
    Threat is real.
    Key to DNC 'source' 'hack' '187'.
    Q"

    I find this subject very tedious, and my regular readers aren't generally the types to fall for this sort of toxic propaganda construct, but I'm putting this information out there anyway as a public service since many people are being deluded by it.
    If you're one of those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the QAnon phenomenon, in October of 2017 odd posts began appearing on the anonymous message board 4chan, which is wildly popular with trolls, incels and racists. Those posts ceased appearing on 4chan and moved to a related site, 8chan, where they continue appearing to this day. The poster purports to have insider knowledge of a secret, silent and invisible war that President Trump has been waging against the Deep State with the help of the US military and various "white hats" within the US government, and shares snippets about this war with 8chan users in extremely vague and garbled posts.
    Here are three reasons you can be absolutely, 100 percent certain that it's bull****:
    1. It always, always, always excuses Trump's facilitation of evil deep state agendas.


    I don't generally use the term "deep state" anymore, mainly because its proper meaning has been distorted by right-wingers and Qultists to mean basically "Democrats and Never-Trumpers", and by mainstream liberals to mean something like "a right-wing conspiracy theory about a secretive cabal of Jews who rule the world". But originally the term simply referred to a concept used for political analysis to describe the undeniable fact that plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies tend to form relationships with each other in a way that persists amid the comings and goings of the official elected government.
    This alliance has certain agendas that it has consistently pushed for, many of them involving the advancement of wars which financially benefit the plutocrats and which secure geostrategic dominance for the intelligence/defence agencies. Trump has been advancing these longstanding agendas with his administration's regime change interventionism against Iran and Venezuela, world-threatening new cold war escalations against Russia, military expansionism, continuing and expanding of all of Bushbama's warmongering and Orwellian surveillance programs, the campaign to destroy WikiLeaks and imprison Julian Assange for life, and many other actions which benefit the agenda of global hegemony and the profit margins of war plutocrats.
    Every single time Trump advances one of these depraved agendas and I speak out against it, I begin getting angry social media responses from QAnon cultists telling me to calm down and relax, that this is all part of the plan, and that Trump is actually doing the exact opposite of what he appears to be doing. And when I say "every single time", I mean exactly that, without a single, solitary exception.
    QAnon cultists do this every single time because they have been propagandized into doing so, both by the 8chan anon they follow and by the herd mentality of the community that it has fostered. They begin with the baseless premise that Trump is a righteous warrior against corruption, conclude that everything he does must therefore be a righteous maneuver against Deep State corruption, then apply their hive mind to coming up with reasons to believe this. Then they show up in my mentions telling me I'm crazy for believing Trump is doing the things that he is very plainly and obviously doing.
    I've lost count of amount of #MAGA & #QAnon bots in last 48hrs who think Assange indictment/extradition is secret 5D chess move by #Trump to prove 2016 DNC emails were leak. Besides fact it's already proved(Binney,VIPS) it shows we're dealing w/#Cult that's stripped all agency.
    — Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) May 25, 2019
    There must be some kind of Q anon dm group where they just decide who to spam because my mentions look like one flew over the cuckoos nest
    — Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) May 24, 2019
    You don't need to take my word for this. As of this writing right now you can go to the Twitter search bar and type in the words "Assange" and "QAnon" and you'll get a bunch of posts explaining that Assange is "under protection", and that imprisoning a longtime target of the CIA and the Pentagon is actually a devastating blow to the Deep State. You can continue to repeat this exact same experiment every single time Trump advances a disgusting warmongering deep state agenda, and every single time you'll get the exact same results.
    This to me is reason enough to be absolutely certain that QAnon and the credulous cult which has sprouted up around it is crap. US presidents are reliably corrupt warmongers and CIA cronies, so the current president acting like one is not surprising or extraordinary. Trying to justify a US president doing the sort of thing that all US presidents always do as a total deviation from the norm for US presidents would be a ridiculous thing to do even one time. Doing it every single time is fully discrediting.
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you could maybe be excused if you mistook it for a rabbit after one quick glance, but continuing to stare directly at a duck and saying "Yeah that's definitely a rabbit, look at the long ears" over an extended period of time would mean you're a bull****ter.
    2. They always, always, always refuse to prove the validity of their position.
    Thinking of writing an article about #Qanon, which I personally believe is an establishment psyop designed to lull the antiwar right into complacency at a time of escalating war agendas. I have an open mind though; show me your very best link or screenshot showing that Q is real.
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) April 15, 2018
    A year ago I tweeted out that I was thinking of writing an article about QAnon and asked its adherents for their very best links/screenshots proving its legitimacy. Go ahead and have a read of the kinds of responses I got by clicking this hyperlink if you're curious. No one came remotely close to providing anything like the evidence I'd asked for, with most responses falling along the lines of "You kind of have to just immerse yourself in it over an extended period of time and marinate in it until you believe," which is the same sort of response you'll get if you ask a religious proselytizer to prove the legitimacy of their religion.
    This is completely different from standard conspiracy theories. If you ask a 9/11 truther to prove the legitimacy of their position, they'll instantly be able to produce clear and concise videos and articles for you, and if they've actually done their homework they'll be able to regale you with information about physics, forensics, architecture, chemistry, and plot holes in the official narrative. If you ask someone who's got theories about the JFK assassination you'll get a comparable amount of lucidity. Ask a QAnon cultist for the same level of intellectual transparency and you'll get a bunch of mealy-mouthed gibberish which will quickly turn into accusations that you are lazy for refusing to do your own research if you keep pressing.
    This is because there is no actual, tangible factual basis for the belief system which has sprouted up around QAnon. It begins, just like any other religion, as a premise of faith, and then the adherents to that faith pool their intellectual resources into the task of finding reasons to legitimize that premise. They begin with the premise that Trump is a good and noble savior who is uprooting the source of all of America's problems with strategic maneuvers which are so brilliant that they look like the exact opposite of what they are, then they let confirmation bias and other cognitive biases do the rest of the work for them.
    Qanon is a skilled propagandist so naturally people respond to Q's Pavlovian tactics.
    Q is a pusher.
    Partisans are irrational, they think with emotions and behave like a herd.
    At the behavior's core is biology not ideology & all good propagandists since Bernays understand this. pic.twitter.com/oslq9ysI3j

    — JG Bennet (@FakeLeftSucks) May 25, 2019
    Again, you don't need to take my word for this; you can repeat this experiment for yourself. Whenever you encounter a QAnon adherent, either by chance or by seeking them out deliberately, simply ask them to prove the legitimacy of their position. You might get links to sources which attempt to prove that QAnon is connected to the Trump administration (as though that would somehow counter the idea that it's a pro-Trump propaganda construct), you might get links to the mountain of cryptic word salads that QAnon has posted and told to comb through them yourself, but you won't ever get anything resembling an attempt to clearly prove that QAnon is the thing that it purports to be. If you keep pushing you'll encounter nothing but anger as you run into a wall of cognitive dissonance.
    This proves that QAnon is not even a proper conspiracy theory, as we've come to understand that term. Conspiracy theories, per definition, consist of some sort of concrete theory. QAnon, like Russiagate, consists of nothing other than something that people desperately want to believe and then seek out excuses which allow them to feel comfortable believing it. This makes it far more akin to a religion or a cult than a conspiracy theory.
    If QAnon were legitimate, it would be easy for its followers to demonstrate that legitimacy in a clear and simple way. They never can.
    3. It's made many bogus claims and inaccurate predictions.
    "A non-comprehensive timeline of Q's failed predictions and mistakes and a list of tactics he uses to hook and drag followers." #QAnon #WWG1WGAhttps://t.co/uPGQ35wMBX
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) May 25, 2019
    I'm putting this one last instead of first because the appeal of QAnon has very little to do with facts and evidence; if you show these to a Q cultist they'll typically just say "Oh Q didn't really mean that" or "That one wasn't the real Q" or even "Disinformation is necessary" (a John Bolton doctrine which QAnon itself has proclaimed on multiple occasions), but for anyone who's kind of on the fence about the whole thing you should be aware that the QAnon phenomenon has been rife with demonstrable inaccuracies. Personally I prefer to focus on the behaviors of the QAnon cultists themselves, since they're the ones interpreting the cryptic word salads and circulating those interpretations online. They behave as cheerleaders for their government's most depraved agendas; it doesn't really matter what they are being told to believe to get them to behave that way.
    This recent Reddit post on r/conspiracy breaks down many of the bogus claims, inaccurate predictions and deceitful manipulations that the QAnon construct has made since its inception. They include claiming in October 2017 that Hillary Clinton had been arrested and to expect mass rioting in response, posting and then deleting a fake Podesta email, posting multiple photoshopped images as though they were real, posting a bogus photo suggesting that the operator of the account was on Airforce One, and posting bogus "codes" that are demonstrably nothing other than gibberish.
    I don't claim to know everything about this QAnon thing or who exactly is behind it, but these three points I just outlined in my opinion kill all doubt that it's not what it purports to be. For anyone looking at them with intellectual honesty rather than the same way a creationist or cult member might look at something which challenges their faith, anyway.
    It is not good that a vocal and enthusiastic part of Trump's largely anti-interventionist, pro-WikiLeaks base has been propagandized into consistently stumping for longtime agendas of the CIA and the Pentagon. Someone's benefiting from this, and it isn't you.
    ________________________


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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words


    Thirty-Two Tips For Navigating A Society That Is Full Of Propaganda And Manipulation

    by Caitlin Johnstone

    For as long as there has been human language, humans have been using it to manipulate one another. The fact that it is possible to skillfully weave a collection of symbolic mouth noises together in such a way as to extract favors, concessions, votes and consent from other humans has made manipulation so common that it now pervades our society from top to bottom, from personal relationships between two people to international relationships between government agencies and the public.
    This has made it very difficult to figure out what's going on, both in our lives and in the world. Here are thirty-two suggestions for navigating this complex manipulation-laden landscape, whether it be for navigating the manipulations you may encounter in your small-scale personal interactions, or the large-scale manipulations which impact the entire world:
    1 - Understand the fact that humans are storytelling animals, and that whoever controls the stories controls the humans. Mental narrative dominates human consciousness; thought is essentially one continuous, churning monologue about the self and what it reckons is going on in its world, and that monologue is composed entirely of mental stories. These stories can and will be manipulated, on an individual scale by people we encounter and on a mass scale by skillful propagandists. We base our actions on our mental assessments of what's going on in the world, and those mental assessments can be manipulated by narrative control.
    Society Is Made Of Narrative. Realizing This Is Awakening From The Matrix.
    This is the clearest I've been able to sum it all up so far.https://t.co/JqbZMKn7ov
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) August 22, 2018
    2 - Be humble and open enough to know that you can be fooled. Your cognitive wiring is susceptible the same hacks as everyone else, and manipulators of all sorts are always looking to exploit those vulnerabilities. It's not shameful to be deceived, it's shameful to deceive people. Don't let shame and cognitive dissonance keep you compartmentalized away from considering the possibility that you've been duped in some way.
    3 - Watch people's behavior and ignore the stories they tell about their behavior. This applies to people in your life, to politicians, and to governments. Narratives can be easily manipulated and distorted in many different ways, while behavior itself, when examined with as much objectivity as possible, cannot be. Pay attention to behavior in this way and eventually you'll start noticing a large gap between what some people's actions say and what their words say. Those people are the manipulators. Distrust them.
    4 - Be suspicious of people who keep telling you what they are and how they are, because they're trying to manipulate your narrative about them. Be doubly suspicious of people who keep telling you what you are and how you are, because they're trying to manipulate your narrative about you.
    5 - Learn to see how trust and sympathy are used by manipulators to trick people into subscribing to their narratives about what's going on. Every manipulator uses trust and/or sympathy as a primer for their manipulations, because if you don't have trust or sympathy for them, you're not going to mentally subscribe to their stories. This is true of mass media outlets, it's true of State Department press releases which implore you to have sympathy for the people of Nation X, and it's true of family members and coworkers. Once you've spotted a manipulator, your task is to kill off all of your sympathy for them and your trust in them, no matter how hard they start playing the victim to suck you back in.
    6 - Be suspicious of anyone who refuses to articulate themselves clearly. Word salading is a tactic notoriously used by abusive narcissists, because it keeps the victim confused and unable to figure out what's going on. If they can't get a clear handle on what the manipulative abuser is saying, they can't form their own solid position in relation to it, and the abuser knows this. Insist on lucid communication, and if it's refused to you, remove trust and sympathy. Apply this to people in your life, to government officials, and to 8chan propaganda constructs.
    Happy #EarthDay This is a 10 minute read but worth your time. https://t.co/yTKPC5A1qn
    — Matthew Inman (@Oatmeal) April 22, 2019
    7 - Familiarize yourself with cognitive biases, the glitches in human cognition which cause us to perceive things in a way that is not rational. Pay special attention to confirmation bias, the backfire effect, and the illusory truth effect. Humans have an annoying tendency to seek out cognitive ease in their information-gathering and avoid cognitive dissonance, rather than seeking out what's true regardless of whether it brings us cognitive ease or dissonance. This means we tend to choose what we believe based on whether believing it is psychologically comfortable, rather than whether it's solidly backed by facts and evidence. This is a weakness in our cognitive wiring, and manipulators can and do exploit it constantly. And, again, be humble enough to know that this means you.
    8 - Trust your own understanding above anyone else's. It might not be perfect, but it's a damn sight better than letting your understanding be controlled by narrative managers and dopey partisan groupthink, or by literally anyone else in a narrative landscape that is saturated with propaganda and manipulation. You won't get everything right, but betting on your own understanding is the very safest bet on the table. It can be intimidating to stand alone and sort out the true from the false by yourself on an instance-by-instance basis, but the alternative is giving someone else authority over your understanding of the world. Abdicating your responsibility to come to a clear understanding of what's going on in your world is a shameful, cowardly thing to do. Be brave enough to insist that you are right until such time as you yourself come to your own understanding that you were wrong.
    9 - Understand that propaganda is the single most overlooked and under-appreciated aspect of our society. Everyone's constantly talking about what's wrong with the world, but hardly any of those discussions are centered around the fact that the public been manipulated into supporting the creation and continuation of those problems by mass media propaganda. The fact that powerful people are constantly manipulating the way we think, act and vote should be at the forefront of everyone's awareness, not relegated to occasional discussions in fringe circles.
    10 - Respect the fact that the science of modern propaganda has been in research and development for over a century. Think of all the military advancements that have been made in the last century to get an idea of how sophisticated this science must now be. They are far, far ahead of us in terms of research and understanding of the methods of manipulating the human psyche toward ends which benefit the powerful. If you ever doubt that the narrative managers could be advanced and cunning enough to pull off a given manipulation, you can lay that particular doubt to rest. Don't underestimate them.

    11 - Understand that western mass media propaganda rarely consists of full, outright lies. At most, such outlets will credulously publish the things that are told to them by government agencies which lie all the time. More often, the deception comes in the form of distortions, half-truths, and omissions. Pay more attention to discrepancies in things that are covered versus things that aren't, and to what they're not saying.
    12 - Put effort into developing a good news-sense, a sense for what's newsworthy and what's not. This takes time and practice, but it lets you see which newsworthy stories are going unreported by the mass media and which non-stories are being overblown to shape an establishment-friendly narrative. When you've got that nailed down, you'll notice "Why are they acting like this is a news story?" and "Why is nobody reporting this??" stories all the time.
    13 - Be patient and compassionate with yourself when it comes to developing your narrative navigating skills. Like literally any skill set, you'll suck at it for a while. If you learn you've been wrong about something, just take in the new information, adjust appropriately, and keep plugging away. Don't expect to have mastered this thing before you've had time to master it. Like anything else, if you put in the hours you'll get good at it.
    14 - Find reliable news reporters who have a good sense for navigating the narrative matrix, and keep track of them to orient yourself and stay on top of what's going on. Use individual reporters, not outlets; no outlet is 100 percent solid, but some reporters are pretty close on some specific subjects. Click this hyperlink for an article on one way to do build a customized and reliable news stream. Click this hyperlink for a list of all my favorite news reporters on Twitter right now.
    How To Make A Solid, Customized News Stream That Isn’t Manipulated By Silicon Valley
    "It can be hard to find a supply of information about what’s going on in the world that isn’t being manipulated by power."#MediaLiteracy #revolution #propagandahttps://t.co/xRyBtDJx2Y
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) October 4, 2018
    15 - Don't let paranoia be your primary or only tool for navigating the narrative matrix. Some people's only means of understanding the world is to become intensely suspicious of everything and everyone, which is about as useful as a compass which tells you that every direction is north. Spend time in conspiracy and media criticism circles and you'll run into many such people. Rejecting everything as false leaves you with nothing as true. Find positive tools for learning what's true.
    16 - Hold your worldview loosely enough that you can change it at any time in the light of new information, but not so loosely that it can be slapped out of your head by someone telling you what to think in a confident, authoritative tone. As Carl Sagan once said, "It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."
    17 - Speaking of confident, authoritative tones, be suspicious of confident, authoritative tones. It's amazing how much traction people can get with a narrative just by posturing as though they know that what they're saying is true, whether they're an MSNBC pundit or a popular conspiracy Youtuber. So many people are just plain faking it, because it works. You run into this all the time in debates on online political forums; people come at you with a supremely confident posture, but if you push them to present their knowledge on the subject and the strength of their arguments, there's not actually anything there. They're just accustomed to people assuming they know what they're talking about and leaving their claims unchallenged, and it completely throws them off when someone doesn't buy their feigned confidence schtick.
    18 - Be aware that sociopaths exist. There are people who, to varying degrees, do not care what happens to others, and these are the types of people who will use manipulation to get their way whenever it serves them. If you don't care about truth or other people beyond the extent to which you can use them, then there's no disincentive to manipulating.
    19 - Be aware of projection, and be aware of the fact that it cuts both ways: unhealthy people tend to project their wickedness onto others, while healthy people tend to project their goodness. Don't let your goodness trick you into thinking there aren't monsters who will deceive and manipulate you, and don't let sociopaths project their own sinister motives onto you by telling you how rotten you are. This mixes a lot of good people up, especially in their personal lives. Not everyone is good, and not everyone is truthful. See this clearly.
    20 - Be suspicious of those who excessively advocate civility, rules and politeness. Manipulators thrive on rules and civility, because they know how to manipulate them. Someone who's willing to color outside the lines and get angry at someone noxious even when they're acting within the rules makes a manipulator very uncomfortable. Often times those telling you to calm down and behave yourself when you are rightfully upset are manipulators who have a vested interest in getting you to adhere to the rules set they've learned to operate within.
    How To Wake Up
    "I’ve been putting off writing this article all year, but readers keep asking for it, and since I’ve been writing about mass enlightenment a lot lately I figure I might as well slip it in now."#enlightenment #spiritualityhttps://t.co/gmxHh267LX
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) September 1, 2018
    21 - Meditation, mindfulness, self-inquiry and other practices are powerful tools which can help you understand your own inner processes, which in turn helps you understand how manipulators can manipulate you, and how they manipulate others. Just be sure that you are using them for this purpose, not for escapism as most "spiritual" types do. You're trying to become fully aware of what makes you tick mentally, emotionally and energetically; you're not trying to become some vapid spiritual bliss bunny. The goal isn't to feel better, the goal is to get better at feeling. Better at consciously experiencing your own inner world.
    22 - Be relentlessly honest with yourself about your own inner narratives and the various ways you engage in manipulation. You can't navigate your way through the narrative control matrix if you aren't clear on your own role in it. Look inside and consciously take an inventory.
    23 - Understand that truth doesn't generally move in a way that is pleasing to the ego, i.e. in a way Hollywood scripts are written to appeal to. Any narrative that points to a Hollywood ending where the bad guy gets karate kicked into lava and the hero gets the girl is manufactured. Russiagate and QAnon are both perfect examples of an egoically pleasing narrative with the promise of a Hollywood ending, either by Trump and his cohorts being dragged off in chains or by the "white hats" overcoming the Deep State and throwing all the Democrats and Never-Trumpers in prison for pedophilia. Ain't gonna happen, folks.
    24 - Try to view the world with fresh eyes rather than with your tired old grown-up eyes which have taught you to see all this as normal. Hold an image in your mind of what a perfectly healthy and harmonious world would look like; the sharp contrast between this image and the world we have now allows you see through the campaign of the propagandists to normalize things like war, poverty, ecocide, and impotent electoral systems which keep seeing the same government behavior regardless of who people vote for. None of this is normal.
    25 - Know that the truth has no political party, and neither do the social engineers. All political parties are used to manipulate the masses in various ways, and nuggets of truth can and do emerge from any of them. Thinking along partisan lines is guaranteed to give you a distorted view. Ignore the imaginary lines between the parties. You may be certain that your rulers do.
    26 - Remain always aware of this simple dynamic: the people who become billionaires are generally the ones who are sociopathic enough to do whatever it takes to get ahead. This class has been able to buy up near-total narrative control via media ownership/influence, corporate lobbying, think tank funding, and campaign finance, and are thus able to manipulate the public into consenting to agendas which benefit nobody but plutocrats and their lackeys. This explains pretty much every major problem that we are facing right now.
    The Legal Narrative Funnel That’s Being Used To Extradite Assange
    How warped interpretations of technicalities in Ecuadorian, British and American law allow for a journalist to be imprisoned for telling the truth while keeping the illusion of democracy.https://t.co/OaBVDeuyax
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) April 13, 2019
    27 - Understand that nations are pure narrative constructs; they only exist to the extent that people agree to pretend that they do. The narrative managers know this, and they exploit the fact that most of us don't. Take Julian Assange, perfect example: he was pried out of the embassy and imprisoned by an extremely obvious collaboration between the US, UK, Sweden, Ecuador, and Australia, yet they each pretended that they were acting as separate, sovereign nations completely independently of one another. Sweden pretended it was deeply concerned about rape allegations, the UK pretended it was deeply concerned about a bail violation, Ecuador pretended it was deeply concerned about skateboarding and embassy cat hygiene, the US pretended it was deeply concerned about the particulars of the way Assange helped Chelsea Manning cover her tracks, Australia pretended it was too deeply concerned about honoring the sovereign affairs of these other countries to intervene on behalf of its citizen, and it all converged in a way that just so happened to look exactly the same as imprisoning a journalist for publishing facts. You see this same dynamic constantly, whether it's with military interventions, trade deals, or narrative-shaping campaigns against non-aligned governments.
    28 - Understand that war is the glue which holds the US-centralized empire together. Without the carrot of military/economic alliance and the stick of military/economic violence, the US-centralized empire would cease to exist. This is why war propaganda is constant and sometimes so forced that glaring plot holes become exposed; it's so important that they need to force it through, even if they can't get the narrative matrix around it constructed just right. If they ceased manufacturing consent for the empire's relentless warmongering, people would lose all trust in government and media institutions, and those institutions would lose the ability to propagandize the public effectively. Without the ability to propagandize the public effectively, our rulers cannot rule.
    29 - Remember that when it comes to foreign policy, the neocons are always wrong. They've been so remarkably consistent in this for so long that whenever there's a question about any narrative involving hostilities between the US-centralized power alliance and any other nation, you can just look at what Bill Kristol, Max Boot and John Bolton are saying about it and believe the exact opposite. They're actually a very helpful navigation tool in this way.
    30 - Notice how the manipulators like to split the population in two and then get them arguing over how they should serve the establishment. Arguing over whether it's better to vote Democrat or Republican, arguing over whether it's better to increase hostilities with Iran and Venezuela or with Syria and Russia, over whether you should support the US president or the FBI, arguing over how internet censorship should happen and whom should be censored rather than if censorship should happen in the first place. The longer they can keep us arguing over the best way to lick the imperial boot, the longer they keep us from talking about whether we want to lick it at all.
    31 - Watch out for appeals to emotion. It's much easier to manipulate someone by appealing to their feely bits rather than their capacity for rational analysis, which is why any time they want to manufacture support for military interventionism you see pictures of dead children on news screens everywhere rather than a logical argument for the advantages of using military violence based on a thorough presentation of facts and evidence. You see the same strategy used in the guilt trips they lay on third-party voters; it's all emotional hyperbole that crumbles under any fact-based analysis, but they use it because it works. They go after your heart strings to circumvent your head.
    32 - Pay attention to how much propaganda goes into maintaining the propaganda machine itself. This is done this because propaganda is just that central to the maintenance of dominant power structures. Much effort is spent building trust in establishment narrative management outlets while sowing distrust in sources of dissent. You'll see entire propaganda campaigns built around accomplishing solely this.


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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Article
    July 6, 2019
    author: Caitlin Johnstone
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    US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience






    In an excellent new essay titled “We’re Not the Good Guys — Why Is American Aggression Missing in Action?“, Tom Engelhardt criticizes the way western media outlets consistently describe the behavior of disobedient nations like Iran as “aggressions”, but never use that label for the (generally antecedent and far more egregious) aggressions of the United States.

    “When it comes to Washington’s never-ending war on terror, I think I can say with reasonable confidence that, in the past, the present, and the future, the one phrase you’re not likely to find in such media coverage will be ‘American aggression,'” Engelhardt writes. He then asks a very fair question:
    “So here’s the strange thing, on a planet on which, in 2017, U.S. Special Operations forces deployed to 149 countries, or approximately 75% of all nations; on which the U.S. has perhaps 800 military garrisons outside its own territory; on which the U.S. Navy patrols most of its oceans and seas; on which U.S. unmanned aerial drones conduct assassination strikes across a surprising range of countries; and on which the U.S. has been fighting wars, as well as more minor conflicts, for years on end from Afghanistan to Libya, Syria to Yemen, Iraq to Niger in a century in which it chose to launch full-scale invasions of two countries (Afghanistan and Iraq), is it truly reasonable never to identify the U.S. as an ‘aggressor’ anywhere?”
    In other words, does it really make sense for any nation to be able to take over the world and then look up with Bambi-eyed innocence saying “I was attacked! Completely out of the blue!” whenever any government pushes back on this? If you ask the empire’s narrative makers, the answer is a resounding yes.
    The U.S. has military forces in over a hundred countries. So why won't the mainstream media call us an aggressor? https://t.co/8jFs4QSyqV
    — The Nation (@thenation) July 5, 2019
    This important discrepancy is as close as we’ll ever get to an honest admission from the political/media class that they consider empire-building and endless war to be normal, and any opposition to it freakish. All nations are meant to submit to America’s use of military and economic force upon them, and if they don’t, that’s “aggression”. The official position of the political/media class is that the US is a normal nation with the same rights and status as any other, but the unofficial position is that this is an empire, and nations will either obey or be destroyed.

    It’s a machine with the same values as Napoleon or Hitler or Genghis Khan or any other imperialist conqueror from ages past; the only difference is that it pretends not to be the thing that it is. The US markets itself as an upholder of rules-based liberal democratic values, even though it consistently flouts international law, wages imperialist wars of aggression, imprisons journalists, crushes dissent and uses propaganda just as much as any totalitarian regime. The only difference is that it does so in a way that enables its supporters to pretend that that’s not what’s actually happening.

    Forget the “war on terror”. If US foreign policy were honest it would unite all its war propaganda sloganeering under a single banner: the War on Disobedience.

    After the end of the first cold war there was much celebration. At long last! The USSR was no longer a threat, so America could finally stop pouring its resources into the nuclear arms race and finally just relax and start acting like a normal country in the world. But it didn’t take long after the Berlin Wall fell for the neoconservatives to find their way into key points of influence and steer US foreign policy into the agenda of ensuring that America never again risks losing its status as the world’s only superpower. Which necessarily meant expanding the use of military and economic force to a level never previously seen.

    So now you’ve got this weird dynamic where the US is constantly working to make sure that no other countries surpass it and gain the ability to treat America the way America treats other countries. That’s all US military and economic agendas in a nutshell right now.

    The nation that poses the greatest threat to US hegemony is of course China. Most of the US war machine’s aggressions right now are ultimately built around securing resource control and geostrategic dominance to prevent China from surpassing it without attacking China itself. Any time you see the US ramping up hostilities toward a given nation, just do a search for that nation’s name plus China (or plus “Belt and Road Initiative“), and you’ll usually find a strong connection.

    So the USSR was simply replaced with China, and the nuclear arms race was simply replaced with greatly increased global military expansionism. The plutocrat-owned media and the plutocrat-owned political class have fallen right in line with this and normalized the idea of US imperialism around the world. The cold war never ended, it just shifted its narrative and focus. Neoconservatism never went away, it just went mainstream.
    U.S. Foreign Policy for Dummies: pic.twitter.com/jRZh0lSW5f
    — John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 6, 2019
    But the thing about neocons and the rest of the increasingly indistinguishable proponents of American imperialism is that their underlying thesis is actually fundamentally correct: the US empire does depend on endless war in order to maintain its dominance over other nations. America doesn’t have the leverage to stay on top using economic prowess alone; it requires both the carrot of US military backing and the stick of US military aggressions. War is the only adhesive holding the US-centralized empire together, and the more its economic dominance slips away in the face of China’s economic rise, the more ham-fisted and desperate its warmongering is necessarily going to get.

    This is completely unsustainable, especially in a world where the other major nuclear weapons force, Russia, is on China’s side of the new cold war dynamic. We’ve all now found ourselves trapped on a planet made of limited resources with two major alliances trying to out-consume and out-resource control each other, while hurtling toward a major military confrontation between nuclear superpowers. This puts us on a direct trajectory toward either nuclear annihilation or ecosystemic collapse in the near term. This means the argument that America needs to maintain its dominance at all cost is no longer a viable one, since that cost will almost certainly be everything in the world.

    So we’ve all got some important questions to ask ourselves, haven’t we? Do we desire to stay in the familiar US-controlled world order at the price of omnicide and ecocide, or do we wish to roll the dice and bet on humanity instead? Do we wish to stay the course because it preserves a status quo that is all we’ve ever known, or do we take a leap of faith on the possibility that we can de-escalate all geopolitical enmity and move into collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem?

    This choice right here is why I write so much about mankind’s need to transcend its old conditioning patterns and move into something wildly unprecedented. Our current fear-based mentality makes a populism-driven leap of faith into transcendence impossible and ensures that we remain on an oligarch-driven trajectory toward extinction. I firmly believe that we have the freedom to either pass or fail this test, but we don’t have the freedom not to take it. We’ll transcend our old conditioning patterns which we inherited from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in a wildly different world from the one we’ve created, or we will perish. It’s an A or B choice, but the choice is ours.
    -------
    Source: https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/07...-disobedience/


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  19. Link to Post #10
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words


    Opposing War Is The Best Approach To Revolution

    by Caitlin Johnstone

    One of the most common labels people use to describe what I do is some variation of "anti-war journalist" or "anti-imperialist blogger", and I'm always a tiny bit surprised when I see it. Not because I disagree with it; opposition to US-centralized warmongering probably constitutes a majority of my content, so it's a reasonable description. I've just never explicitly had opposing war in mind when doing what I do. It's been the main byproduct of my journey here, but it's never been my objective.

    I got started on this gig making Facebook posts in Bernie Sanders groups after noticing that the US mass media were actively sabotaging his 2016 primary race. My goal at the time was the same as it is now: to help jailbreak Americans, and thus the rest of the world, from the nearly invisible power structures which are oppressing us all and driving us toward extinction. When I first started writing about the 2016 presidential campaign I didn't focus nearly as much on US foreign policy as I do now.

    The shift toward emphasis on US-led warmongering wasn't something I planned, it was just the natural consequence of my staring, day after day, at the puzzle of how to free humanity from its chains. I didn't understand the mechanics of empire all that well when I started out, so I meticulously studied the behavior of government and media structures and watched for opportunities to expose glitches in the narrative matrix so I could highlight them for my readers. As I got better at noticing these glitches, I found that the opportunities to go "Look! See? They're lying to you!" most often presented themselves around the issues of war and imperialism.


    This is because it turns out that endless war is an absolutely essential component of the globe-spanning alliance between oligarchs and government agencies which is sometimes referred to as the "deep state". Exerting more and more control over world affairs is how the largest power structures on earth continue to expand their power, and this is impossible to do without using the carrot of US military/economic alliance and the stick of US military/economic punishment. US economic control isn't hegemonic enough on its own to overcome the influence of growing economic powers like China, so the threat of military violence is absolutely essential for maintaining the power alliance. It's the glue that holds the entire empire together.
    US Foreign Policy Is A War On Disobedience
    "So now you’ve got this weird dynamic where the US is constantly working to make sure that no other countries surpass it and gain the ability to treat America the way America treats other countries."https://t.co/AVJoxuLOSq
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) July 6, 2019
    So endless war is a 100 percent indispensable element in preserving existing power structures. The US-centralized empire cannot exist without it. The trouble for the empire, however, is that it can't just come out and tell the public "Yeah we need to destroy everyone who opposes our resource control agendas and dominance in key geostrategic regions, so we'll be forcibly eliminating this noncompliant government on Thursday." The public would never go for it, because that's a plainly sociopathic values system which we are taught since school age that our society evolved beyond many generations ago. People would lose trust in all government institutions, and revolution would quickly foment as a result.

    For this reason, propaganda is necessary. Because America is where the empire has centralized most of its military firepower and billionaires, Americans are the most propagandized people on earth. There are thousands of people whose whole entire job is to convince Americans that it is good and desirable to keep trillions of dollars in military hardware moving around the planet and killing complete strangers who pose no threat to any American.


    The challenge for the propagandists is that this is plainly bat **** crazy. It's an assignment that is both absolutely necessary and extremely difficult. When the entire world order depends on convincing millions of people that something transparently insane and ridiculous is perfectly sane and rational, you're naturally going to have difficulty smoothing over all the plot holes in the narratives you're selling. That's why you're always seeing glaring discrepancies in the narratives used to promote US foreign policy agendas. In retrospect I've pretty much built my career on highlighting these discrepancies.


    The primary role US-led warmongering plays in maintaining existing power structures, which I first started to notice during the 2016 Democratic primaries, is on even clearer display during the 2020 Democratic primaries. You see candidates like Bernie Sanders being frowned upon by hardline centrists for promoting domestic policies which would hurt the profit margins of the oligarchs, but overall he's being treated as a legitimate candidate and receiving reluctant coverage on mainstream media networks. Then you look at the treatment of a candidate like Tulsi Gabbard, who is campaigning on a major overhaul of US foreign policy, and she's treated as a raving lunatic and a traitor.

    "Challenging domestic policy status quo in Washington can be controversial and subject you to some attacks. But those who dissent from DC's foreign policy addiction to imperialism, militarism and support for repression are those who are always most smeared and maligned," Glenn Greenwald tweeted a while back.
    Challenging domestic policy status quo in Washington can be controversial and subject you to some attacks. But those who dissent from DC's foreign policy addiction to imperialism, militarism & support for repression are those who are always most smeared and maligned: https://t.co/JYTJo9vXdq
    — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 14, 2019
    You can get away with promoting things like universal healthcare or student debt forgiveness with only moderate pushback from the establishment, but wanting to scale back the forever war will quickly see you branded a Russian asset or an antisemite and canceled. The empire won't even tolerate you interfering with their narratives, let alone getting elected. Your voice will be targeted with an aggressive smear campaign until they make sure that hardly anyone is listening to what you have to say.

    The fact that we're so strictly forbidden from pursuing this line of attack is a clear sign that warmongering is the weakest point in the empire's armor. It's the most essential component of the oppression machine, and its narratives are the weakest and most plot hole-riddled. If you're interested in taking down the oligarchic machine which keeps ordinary people poor, sick and stupid, then attacking war propaganda is the most useful expenditure of energy.


    American leftists and progressives have not been great at this; even those who identify as "anti-imperialist" tend to mostly stay focused on domestic issues. This is perfectly understandable, since Americans are the victims of the empire's soul-crushing neoliberal exploitation and it is therefore the thing that is staring them in the face most often.


    But the drivers of empire do not fear a push for domestic policy reform nearly as much as they fear a push for foreign policy reform. They know that the plebs can be kept poor and stupid enough to pose no threat to the oligarchs controlling all the money (and therefore all the power) by simply manipulating the system and herding everyone into controlled political opposition groups who will end up telling them "Ohh, sorry, we couldn't get the congressional votes. Those damn Republicans!" A large public demand to end warmongering would be a much tougher challenge to manipulate around.
    The Forever War Is So Normalized That Opposing It Is “Isolationism”
    "Under our current Orwellian doublespeak paradigm where forever war is the new normal, the opposite of war is no longer peace, but isolationism." #war #peace #TulsiGabbardhttps://t.co/dLbW6O2bRV
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) June 29, 2019
    It's actually the same agenda anyway; the plutocratic class, which is incentivized to keep everyone else poor in a system wherein money equals power and power is relative, is the driving force behind both neoliberal exploitation and the forever war, and if you can end either of these things you will end the whole empire. It just happens that warmongering is the far easier and far more efficacious line of attack.

    There are plenty of moral arguments against imperialism, but you don't even need to enter into morality to see that it's smart to make opposing war your foremost priority. The kingdom of the bastards who are grinding us all down and trying to make us poorer, sicker and stupider so we can't muster the chutzpah to toss them out on their asses is fed by an umbilical cord of endless war, and we have the power to cut that cord by opposing war and attacking war propaganda together.


    Change that, and we change everything. Ordinary humans can finally begin to make the world their own, guided not by sociopathic oligarchs but by an enlightened self-interest which realizes that the only way we can continue to survive is if we learn to collaborate with each other and with our ecosystem for the common good. This is all I've ever been pushing toward here. Deep down, it's all any of us want.

    __________________________


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  21. Link to Post #11
    United States Avalon Member Dennis Leahy's Avatar
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Top Assange Defense Account Deleted By Twitter

    by Caitlin Johnstone

    One of the biggest Twitter accounts dedicated to circulating information and advocacy for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, @Unity4J, has been completely removed from the site. The operators of the account report that they have been given no reason for its removal by Twitter staff, and have received no response to their appeals.


    Any Assange supporter active on Twitter will be familiar with the Unity4J account, which originated to help boost the wildly successful Unity4J online vigils in which well-known Assange defenders would appear to speak out against his persecution. As of this writing, the account has been gone for a day and a half.

    "About 8:45am CST on Thursday July 11, one of our Unity4J Twitter team members went to retweet on the account and noticed that the account was no longer accessible," reports pro-Assange activist Christy Dopf, one of the operators of the account. "When each of us also attempted to access the account we all received the same message 'Account Suspended'. Twitter did not send us a reason or violation for the suspension. So an appeal was submitted. We did receive correspondence that Twitter got our request and the case is currently open. Unfortunately we do not have a timeline on how long this could take."
    I’m back on Twitter after the outage but @unity4J is still suspended - we did not receive an email or a reason for the suspension. Appeal process started. #FreeAssange #Unity4J pic.twitter.com/a14DqZaoGt
    Christy Dopf (@ChristyMKD84) July 11, 2019
    Speaking for myself as a vocal Assange supporter on Twitter, I can say that I've been following the @Unity4J account closely since its earliest days and I've never once seen it post anything other than highly professional-looking advocacy for Julian Assange. I've certainly never seen it post anything that could be construed as abusive, misleading, or otherwise in violation of any of Twitter's posted rules.

    This account's deletion is just the latest in a long string of apparently biased actions against WikiLeaks and Assange by the immensely influential social media platform. That bias was made abundantly clear with Twitter's ridiculous refusal to verify Assange while he was posting from his own account despite his undeniably being a significant public figure, and despite the fact that Twitter was well aware that the account was authentic. The platform has been receiving consistent complaints among Assange supporters of using shadow bans to marginalize their voices, as well as unfair posting locks and restrictions.

    "It seems that Assange supporters have been targeted for suspension over the last few days and weeks, including the suspension of individuals (Yon Solitary, Monique Jolie) as well as accounts like Unity4J," Unity4J co-founder Elizabeth Lea Vos told me today. "All of these suspensions are unacceptable, but I find the Unity4J suspension especially egregious because it was an amplifier of events across the board, not only actions run by Unity4J. It never broke the twitter rules and it was an activist account supporting a journalist who's been silenced or 'disappeared,' so this suspension is an extension of that suppression. Assange asked us to become his voice, and platforms like Twitter appear to be actively working against the possibility of that effort."
    The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom & freedom of speech, has been suspended.@Unity4J - suspended for defending a hero.#Unity4J
    — Lee Camp [Redacted] (@LeeCamp) July 12, 2019
    Pro-Assange activists have been speaking out against @Unity4J's removal.

    "The main Twitter account defending Julian Assange, and therefore press freedom and freedom of speech, has been suspended," tweeted comedian and Redacted Tonight host Lee Camp. "@Unity4J - suspended for defending a hero."

    "HELP!! Twitter suspended @Unity4J The global #FreeAssange supporters account!" tweeted Assange's mother Christine Assange. "Its a central point for updates, interviews and actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE! Please demand @TwitterSupport and @Jack re-instate it. Many thanks #Unity4J"

    "I have no doubt that @Unity4J's twitter account was suspended because it was a hub of useful information on solidarity events and actions in support of Assange, WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and more. Horrendous censorship to suspend the account, @TwitterSupport," tweeted Elizabeth Lea Vos.

    "If @Unity4J is not restored, it is proof that Twitter would have sided against the Free Mandela movement, and every other mass liberation movement of a 'terrorist' turned Nobel nominee," tweeted Unity4J co-founder Suzie Dawson.

    Many other Assange supporters have been flagging the attention of the Twitter Support account and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey objecting to the unjust silencing of a perfectly legitimate activist account, to no avail thus far.
    HELP!! @Twitter suspended @Unity4J
    The global #FreeAssange supporters account!
    Its a central point for updates, interviews & actions re my son politically persecuted journalist JULIAN ASSANGE!
    Please demand @TwitterSupport & @Jack re-instate it.
    Many thanks #Unity4J
    — Mrs Christine Assange (@AssangeMrs) July 11, 2019
    The censorship of political speech on online media platforms is a large and growing problem. Twitter has been better about this than the far more sycophantic Facebook and Google, but the discrimination against anti-establishment political speech is undeniable at this point. I myself was removed from the platform last year just for saying the world would be better off without warmongering US Senator John McCain in it, and was only restored after protests from high-profile Twitter users.

    In a corporatist system of government, in which there is no meaningful separation of corporate power and state power, corporate censorship is state censorship. With giant Silicon Valley corporations aligning themselves with shady state-funded propagandistic think tanks like the Atlantic Council, being admonished on the Senate floor that they must help quash political rebellion, and being targeted for narrative control influence by the US military, there's vanishingly little difference between what's happening more and more to political speech with these tech giants and what happens in overtly totalitarian governments. The only difference is the stories people choose to tell themselves about it.

    The time to speak up about this silencing is now. Your voice is next.


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  23. Link to Post #12
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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words

    Essential Reading

    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)
    New post on Caitlin Johnstone


    How You Can Be 100% Certain That QAnon Is Bull****

    by Caitlin Johnstone President Trump has yet again advanced an evil longstanding agenda of America's depraved intelligence and defense agencies, so as usual the QAnon cult is out in force telling everyone not to worry because this is all part of the plan. Ever since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was slammed by Trump's Justice Department with a mountain of espionage charges carrying a possible sentence of 175 years in prison, QAnon acolytes have been showing up in my social media mentions with screenshots of a new post from the mysterious 8chan anon assuring us all that Assange is actually being protected by Trump.
    The post reads in the typical QAnon cryptic word salad style that its adherents often annoyingly imitate when normal people try to engage them in an adult conversation:
    "Under protection.
    Threat is real.
    Key to DNC 'source' 'hack' '187'.
    Q"

    I find this subject very tedious, and my regular readers aren't generally the types to fall for this sort of toxic propaganda construct, but I'm putting this information out there anyway as a public service since many people are being deluded by it.
    If you're one of those fortunate enough to be unfamiliar with the QAnon phenomenon, in October of 2017 odd posts began appearing on the anonymous message board 4chan, which is wildly popular with trolls, incels and racists. Those posts ceased appearing on 4chan and moved to a related site, 8chan, where they continue appearing to this day. The poster purports to have insider knowledge of a secret, silent and invisible war that President Trump has been waging against the Deep State with the help of the US military and various "white hats" within the US government, and shares snippets about this war with 8chan users in extremely vague and garbled posts.
    Here are three reasons you can be absolutely, 100 percent certain that it's bull****:
    1. It always, always, always excuses Trump's facilitation of evil deep state agendas.


    I don't generally use the term "deep state" anymore, mainly because its proper meaning has been distorted by right-wingers and Qultists to mean basically "Democrats and Never-Trumpers", and by mainstream liberals to mean something like "a right-wing conspiracy theory about a secretive cabal of Jews who rule the world". But originally the term simply referred to a concept used for political analysis to describe the undeniable fact that plutocrats and intelligence/defense agencies tend to form relationships with each other in a way that persists amid the comings and goings of the official elected government.
    This alliance has certain agendas that it has consistently pushed for, many of them involving the advancement of wars which financially benefit the plutocrats and which secure geostrategic dominance for the intelligence/defence agencies. Trump has been advancing these longstanding agendas with his administration's regime change interventionism against Iran and Venezuela, world-threatening new cold war escalations against Russia, military expansionism, continuing and expanding of all of Bushbama's warmongering and Orwellian surveillance programs, the campaign to destroy WikiLeaks and imprison Julian Assange for life, and many other actions which benefit the agenda of global hegemony and the profit margins of war plutocrats.
    Every single time Trump advances one of these depraved agendas and I speak out against it, I begin getting angry social media responses from QAnon cultists telling me to calm down and relax, that this is all part of the plan, and that Trump is actually doing the exact opposite of what he appears to be doing. And when I say "every single time", I mean exactly that, without a single, solitary exception.
    QAnon cultists do this every single time because they have been propagandized into doing so, both by the 8chan anon they follow and by the herd mentality of the community that it has fostered. They begin with the baseless premise that Trump is a righteous warrior against corruption, conclude that everything he does must therefore be a righteous maneuver against Deep State corruption, then apply their hive mind to coming up with reasons to believe this. Then they show up in my mentions telling me I'm crazy for believing Trump is doing the things that he is very plainly and obviously doing.
    I've lost count of amount of #MAGA & #QAnon bots in last 48hrs who think Assange indictment/extradition is secret 5D chess move by #Trump to prove 2016 DNC emails were leak. Besides fact it's already proved(Binney,VIPS) it shows we're dealing w/#Cult that's stripped all agency.
    — Patrick Henningsen (@21WIRE) May 25, 2019
    There must be some kind of Q anon dm group where they just decide who to spam because my mentions look like one flew over the cuckoos nest
    — Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) May 24, 2019
    You don't need to take my word for this. As of this writing right now you can go to the Twitter search bar and type in the words "Assange" and "QAnon" and you'll get a bunch of posts explaining that Assange is "under protection", and that imprisoning a longtime target of the CIA and the Pentagon is actually a devastating blow to the Deep State. You can continue to repeat this exact same experiment every single time Trump advances a disgusting warmongering deep state agenda, and every single time you'll get the exact same results.
    This to me is reason enough to be absolutely certain that QAnon and the credulous cult which has sprouted up around it is crap. US presidents are reliably corrupt warmongers and CIA cronies, so the current president acting like one is not surprising or extraordinary. Trying to justify a US president doing the sort of thing that all US presidents always do as a total deviation from the norm for US presidents would be a ridiculous thing to do even one time. Doing it every single time is fully discrediting.
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you could maybe be excused if you mistook it for a rabbit after one quick glance, but continuing to stare directly at a duck and saying "Yeah that's definitely a rabbit, look at the long ears" over an extended period of time would mean you're a bull****ter.
    2. They always, always, always refuse to prove the validity of their position.
    Thinking of writing an article about #Qanon, which I personally believe is an establishment psyop designed to lull the antiwar right into complacency at a time of escalating war agendas. I have an open mind though; show me your very best link or screenshot showing that Q is real.
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) April 15, 2018
    A year ago I tweeted out that I was thinking of writing an article about QAnon and asked its adherents for their very best links/screenshots proving its legitimacy. Go ahead and have a read of the kinds of responses I got by clicking this hyperlink if you're curious. No one came remotely close to providing anything like the evidence I'd asked for, with most responses falling along the lines of "You kind of have to just immerse yourself in it over an extended period of time and marinate in it until you believe," which is the same sort of response you'll get if you ask a religious proselytizer to prove the legitimacy of their religion.
    This is completely different from standard conspiracy theories. If you ask a 9/11 truther to prove the legitimacy of their position, they'll instantly be able to produce clear and concise videos and articles for you, and if they've actually done their homework they'll be able to regale you with information about physics, forensics, architecture, chemistry, and plot holes in the official narrative. If you ask someone who's got theories about the JFK assassination you'll get a comparable amount of lucidity. Ask a QAnon cultist for the same level of intellectual transparency and you'll get a bunch of mealy-mouthed gibberish which will quickly turn into accusations that you are lazy for refusing to do your own research if you keep pressing.
    This is because there is no actual, tangible factual basis for the belief system which has sprouted up around QAnon. It begins, just like any other religion, as a premise of faith, and then the adherents to that faith pool their intellectual resources into the task of finding reasons to legitimize that premise. They begin with the premise that Trump is a good and noble savior who is uprooting the source of all of America's problems with strategic maneuvers which are so brilliant that they look like the exact opposite of what they are, then they let confirmation bias and other cognitive biases do the rest of the work for them.
    Qanon is a skilled propagandist so naturally people respond to Q's Pavlovian tactics.
    Q is a pusher.
    Partisans are irrational, they think with emotions and behave like a herd.
    At the behavior's core is biology not ideology & all good propagandists since Bernays understand this. pic.twitter.com/oslq9ysI3j

    — JG Bennet (@FakeLeftSucks) May 25, 2019
    Again, you don't need to take my word for this; you can repeat this experiment for yourself. Whenever you encounter a QAnon adherent, either by chance or by seeking them out deliberately, simply ask them to prove the legitimacy of their position. You might get links to sources which attempt to prove that QAnon is connected to the Trump administration (as though that would somehow counter the idea that it's a pro-Trump propaganda construct), you might get links to the mountain of cryptic word salads that QAnon has posted and told to comb through them yourself, but you won't ever get anything resembling an attempt to clearly prove that QAnon is the thing that it purports to be. If you keep pushing you'll encounter nothing but anger as you run into a wall of cognitive dissonance.
    This proves that QAnon is not even a proper conspiracy theory, as we've come to understand that term. Conspiracy theories, per definition, consist of some sort of concrete theory. QAnon, like Russiagate, consists of nothing other than something that people desperately want to believe and then seek out excuses which allow them to feel comfortable believing it. This makes it far more akin to a religion or a cult than a conspiracy theory.
    If QAnon were legitimate, it would be easy for its followers to demonstrate that legitimacy in a clear and simple way. They never can.
    3. It's made many bogus claims and inaccurate predictions.
    "A non-comprehensive timeline of Q's failed predictions and mistakes and a list of tactics he uses to hook and drag followers." #QAnon #WWG1WGAhttps://t.co/uPGQ35wMBX
    — Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) May 25, 2019
    I'm putting this one last instead of first because the appeal of QAnon has very little to do with facts and evidence; if you show these to a Q cultist they'll typically just say "Oh Q didn't really mean that" or "That one wasn't the real Q" or even "Disinformation is necessary" (a John Bolton doctrine which QAnon itself has proclaimed on multiple occasions), but for anyone who's kind of on the fence about the whole thing you should be aware that the QAnon phenomenon has been rife with demonstrable inaccuracies. Personally I prefer to focus on the behaviors of the QAnon cultists themselves, since they're the ones interpreting the cryptic word salads and circulating those interpretations online. They behave as cheerleaders for their government's most depraved agendas; it doesn't really matter what they are being told to believe to get them to behave that way.
    This recent Reddit post on r/conspiracy breaks down many of the bogus claims, inaccurate predictions and deceitful manipulations that the QAnon construct has made since its inception. They include claiming in October 2017 that Hillary Clinton had been arrested and to expect mass rioting in response, posting and then deleting a fake Podesta email, posting multiple photoshopped images as though they were real, posting a bogus photo suggesting that the operator of the account was on Airforce One, and posting bogus "codes" that are demonstrably nothing other than gibberish.
    I don't claim to know everything about this QAnon thing or who exactly is behind it, but these three points I just outlined in my opinion kill all doubt that it's not what it purports to be. For anyone looking at them with intellectual honesty rather than the same way a creationist or cult member might look at something which challenges their faith, anyway.
    It is not good that a vocal and enthusiastic part of Trump's largely anti-interventionist, pro-WikiLeaks base has been propagandized into consistently stumping for longtime agendas of the CIA and the Pentagon. Someone's benefiting from this, and it isn't you.
    ________________________

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    Default Re: The thread of Caitlin Johnstone's words


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