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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Local Police Being Federalized?

Local Police Being Federalized?


Back in January I wrote an opinion article suggesting that the Obama administration showed signs of moving toward nationalizing local police departments.

It was published online January 27 by The Patriot Post and the idea was largely pooh-poohed or ignored by people a lot smarter than little people like myself, or at least who think they are.

However, since January I have observed nothing that convinces me that getting control of local police agencies is not President Obama’s goal.

Admittedly, I failed to recognize the exact route the takeover would take, although I did hint at some possibilities.

I wrote: “Obama could effect a takeover of local police departments under cover of a crisis, real or hyped, in a sudden movement; or he could do it through attrition, though accomplishing it before he leaves office… The ‘need for training police’ is a phrase often used, training by government agents, with funding from government agencies.”

What we are seeing now is a takeover through actions by Obama and his Justice department, which would mostly fit into the attrition category. It’s not being done stealthily, but neither is it highlighted by the mainstream media.

The most recent example is what the mainstream media has dubbed a “settlement between Cleveland police and Justice” over what a U.S. Justice Department report described as a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by the Cleveland, Ohio police department.

The Justice Department’s report said officers were “poorly trained.” The agreement, no doubt, means to rectify that problem, through proper training by people sent from Washington.

So far, the full description of the settlement has not been released (and may never be) but it seems that a primary focus is for the police department to “work with” community and government officials to devise a plan to reform the police department.

To make the plan all legal and proper, a judge must approve the plan and the reform must be overseen by what one news report calls an “independent” monitor.

The “agreement” comes after a report on an 18-month Justice Department investigation was released in January.

Similar investigations have been, or are, going on all over the country.

Cleveland-like “agreements” are likely to be forthcoming.

Should we leave it to learned, elite, intellectual commentators to explain to us little people why the Cleveland agreement does not effect federal control of the police department, or, if they concede that it does, why it is necessary and justified?

It would be interesting to hear what national commentators who play conservatives on television or appear as token “conservative” commentators in major national print publications, have to say on the subject.

Don’t expect, however, harsh comments from those pseudo-conservatives, at least nothing that would risk getting them barred from important social circles in media-centered cities


By L.E. Brown, Jr. Local Police Being Federalized?


Back in January I wrote an opinion article suggesting that the Obama administration showed signs of moving toward nationalizing local police departments.

It was published online January 27 by The Patriot Post and the idea was largely pooh-poohed or ignored by people a lot smarter than little people like myself, or at least who think they are.

However, since January I have observed nothing that convinces me that getting control of local police agencies is not President Obama’s goal.

Admittedly, I failed to recognize the exact route the takeover would take, although I did hint at some possibilities.

I wrote: “Obama could effect a takeover of local police departments under cover of a crisis, real or hyped, in a sudden movement; or he could do it through attrition, though accomplishing it before he leaves office… The ‘need for training police’ is a phrase often used, training by government agents, with funding from government agencies.”

What we are seeing now is a takeover through actions by Obama and his Justice department, which would mostly fit into the attrition category. It’s not being done stealthily, but neither is it highlighted by the mainstream media.

The most recent example is what the mainstream media has dubbed a “settlement between Cleveland police and Justice” over what a U.S. Justice Department report described as a pattern of excessive force and civil rights violations by the Cleveland, Ohio police department.

The Justice Department’s report said officers were “poorly trained.” The agreement, no doubt, means to rectify that problem, through proper training by people sent from Washington.

So far, the full description of the settlement has not been released (and may never be) but it seems that a primary focus is for the police department to “work with” community and government officials to devise a plan to reform the police department.

To make the plan all legal and proper, a judge must approve the plan and the reform must be overseen by what one news report calls an “independent” monitor.

The “agreement” comes after a report on an 18-month Justice Department investigation was released in January.

Similar investigations have been, or are, going on all over the country.

Cleveland-like “agreements” are likely to be forthcoming.

Should we leave it to learned, elite, intellectual commentators to explain to us little people why the Cleveland agreement does not effect federal control of the police department, or, if they concede that it does, why it is necessary and justified?

It would be interesting to hear what national commentators who play conservatives on television or appear as token “conservative” commentators in major national print publications, have to say on the subject.

Don’t expect, however, harsh comments from those pseudo-conservatives, at least nothing that would risk getting them barred from important social circles in media-centered cities


By L.E. Brown, Jr.

Martial Law Shall Not Prevail

Martial Law Shall Not Prevail

Because we are quickly approaching January 20, 2017, although not quickly enough to suit some of us, the usual paranoia has risen to the surface. I am receiving the very same sort of email I was receiving when the administrations of both Clinton and Bush were winding down.

People are once again alerting me to the news that the next election will not take place because the man in the White House will cobble up a national emergency that requires him to call out the federal troops and deny the American people the opportunity to evict him from the Oval Office.

While I agree that Obama is far more likely to behave that way than either of his predecessors, I really don’t think that Michelle, Valerie Jarrett, Juan Williams, Josh Earnest, Loretta Lynch and the Congressional Black Caucus, are up to the task. What such a coup would require, after all, is that the U.S. military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Guard and, I assume, the police departments around the country to forswear their oaths to defend the Constitution, and for no other reason than to keep a man whom most of them despise in power.

Really, folks? Would anyone who really buys that hooey step forward so that I can also sell them the Brooklyn Bridge? For the first hundred who call in, I will also throw in the Empire State Building, the Holland Tunnel, the Trump Tower, Central Park and Madison Square Garden.

If you are still worried, let me ask you if you believe for even a second that Hillary Clinton would simply stand by and let this pencil-necked pipsqueak deprive her of what she sees as her ultimate destiny? And even if she were willing, can you imagine Bill Clinton allowing a sissy boy to keep him from returning triumphantly to the White House? After all, if he can get $500,000-a-speech just for being married to the Secretary of State, imagine the size of the pay-offs he’d get as First Laddy.

Ever since the 2014 elections, when the pollsters predicted that the GOP would be lucky to pick up five Senate seats in what they promised to be close elections, and the GOP wound up picking up nine without breaking a sweat, I have begun to seriously doubt the validity of polls — and with that, the political objectivity of pollsters. That’s the reason that when English odds makers predicted it would be a nip-and-tuck election between David Cameron’s Conservative Party and Ed Miliband’s Labour Party, I said: “Hogwash! Cameron and the Conservatives will win in a cakewalk.” And so they did.

And, no, I did not misspell Labor. That’s the way they spell things in England. Apparently in the distant past, possibly during the reign of Henry VIII, the English accumulated a treasure trove of “u’s” and they’ve been trying to use them up ever since.

Speaking of spelling, in the hope of promoting literacy, the Berkeley, CA, library system decided to manufacture and distribute buttons reading “I Have a Berkeley Library Card.” But, naturally, because Berkeley has more idiots per square foot than any other municipality in the United States, they spelled it “Berkley” on the buttons.

In the never-ending debate over entitlement reform in America, the Left continues to abuse the language. Even liberals should be able to distinguish between entitlements and gifts bestowed on parasites at the expense of the productive. So, in the future, let us no longer lump Social Security and Veterans Benefits — money actually earned through hard work and sacrifice by the recipients — and the bribes doled out to those who neither work nor sacrifice by political vermin trolling for votes with our tax dollars.

Recently, a reader called out the likes of Al Gore, Michael Moore, George Clooney, Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Sharpton and Robert Kennedy, Jr., who all push for climate control legislation, by preying upon the unwarranted fears of the dumb, the young and the gullible, but who, themselves, all live in mansions and get around in limousines and private jets.

I heartily agreed that these prominent hypocrites should be held up for scorn and ridicule. I would like to say that only in America could such a collection of loons and goons achieve such fame and fortune, but in my heart I know that’s not true.

In Europe, as well, mere celebrity gives all sorts of ignoramuses the authority to deliver pronouncements with great assurance on things about which they know absolutely nothing.

For the past 70 years, what passes for western civilization has been seemingly addicted to stupidity pills. It not only resulted in shrinking their brains, but caused their spines to disappear entirely. That is why here in the West, ignorance and moral cowardice among the elite constitute the new normal.

Unfortunately, what’s taking place simultaneously in the Middle East and North Africa — no doubt in direct response to the West’s decline — is that the barbarians who bow down to Mecca when not burning, beheading and crucifying Christians and Jews, are once again on the march, looking to subjugate or kill the rest of us. And that, considering 1400 years of Islamic history, marks a return to the old normal.

Finally, even though I haven’t been asked by Jeb Bush’s team to do so, I have come up with a campaign slogan: “Vote for the man who believes that being wrong about Common Core and immigration is a conservative virtue!”


By Burt Prelutsky Martial Law Shall Not Prevail

Because we are quickly approaching January 20, 2017, although not quickly enough to suit some of us, the usual paranoia has risen to the surface. I am receiving the very same sort of email I was receiving when the administrations of both Clinton and Bush were winding down.

People are once again alerting me to the news that the next election will not take place because the man in the White House will cobble up a national emergency that requires him to call out the federal troops and deny the American people the opportunity to evict him from the Oval Office.

While I agree that Obama is far more likely to behave that way than either of his predecessors, I really don’t think that Michelle, Valerie Jarrett, Juan Williams, Josh Earnest, Loretta Lynch and the Congressional Black Caucus, are up to the task. What such a coup would require, after all, is that the U.S. military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the National Guard and, I assume, the police departments around the country to forswear their oaths to defend the Constitution, and for no other reason than to keep a man whom most of them despise in power.

Really, folks? Would anyone who really buys that hooey step forward so that I can also sell them the Brooklyn Bridge? For the first hundred who call in, I will also throw in the Empire State Building, the Holland Tunnel, the Trump Tower, Central Park and Madison Square Garden.

If you are still worried, let me ask you if you believe for even a second that Hillary Clinton would simply stand by and let this pencil-necked pipsqueak deprive her of what she sees as her ultimate destiny? And even if she were willing, can you imagine Bill Clinton allowing a sissy boy to keep him from returning triumphantly to the White House? After all, if he can get $500,000-a-speech just for being married to the Secretary of State, imagine the size of the pay-offs he’d get as First Laddy.

Ever since the 2014 elections, when the pollsters predicted that the GOP would be lucky to pick up five Senate seats in what they promised to be close elections, and the GOP wound up picking up nine without breaking a sweat, I have begun to seriously doubt the validity of polls — and with that, the political objectivity of pollsters. That’s the reason that when English odds makers predicted it would be a nip-and-tuck election between David Cameron’s Conservative Party and Ed Miliband’s Labour Party, I said: “Hogwash! Cameron and the Conservatives will win in a cakewalk.” And so they did.

And, no, I did not misspell Labor. That’s the way they spell things in England. Apparently in the distant past, possibly during the reign of Henry VIII, the English accumulated a treasure trove of “u’s” and they’ve been trying to use them up ever since.

Speaking of spelling, in the hope of promoting literacy, the Berkeley, CA, library system decided to manufacture and distribute buttons reading “I Have a Berkeley Library Card.” But, naturally, because Berkeley has more idiots per square foot than any other municipality in the United States, they spelled it “Berkley” on the buttons.

In the never-ending debate over entitlement reform in America, the Left continues to abuse the language. Even liberals should be able to distinguish between entitlements and gifts bestowed on parasites at the expense of the productive. So, in the future, let us no longer lump Social Security and Veterans Benefits — money actually earned through hard work and sacrifice by the recipients — and the bribes doled out to those who neither work nor sacrifice by political vermin trolling for votes with our tax dollars.

Recently, a reader called out the likes of Al Gore, Michael Moore, George Clooney, Barack Obama, Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Sharpton and Robert Kennedy, Jr., who all push for climate control legislation, by preying upon the unwarranted fears of the dumb, the young and the gullible, but who, themselves, all live in mansions and get around in limousines and private jets.

I heartily agreed that these prominent hypocrites should be held up for scorn and ridicule. I would like to say that only in America could such a collection of loons and goons achieve such fame and fortune, but in my heart I know that’s not true.

In Europe, as well, mere celebrity gives all sorts of ignoramuses the authority to deliver pronouncements with great assurance on things about which they know absolutely nothing.

For the past 70 years, what passes for western civilization has been seemingly addicted to stupidity pills. It not only resulted in shrinking their brains, but caused their spines to disappear entirely. That is why here in the West, ignorance and moral cowardice among the elite constitute the new normal.

Unfortunately, what’s taking place simultaneously in the Middle East and North Africa — no doubt in direct response to the West’s decline — is that the barbarians who bow down to Mecca when not burning, beheading and crucifying Christians and Jews, are once again on the march, looking to subjugate or kill the rest of us. And that, considering 1400 years of Islamic history, marks a return to the old normal.

Finally, even though I haven’t been asked by Jeb Bush’s team to do so, I have come up with a campaign slogan: “Vote for the man who believes that being wrong about Common Core and immigration is a conservative virtue!”


By Burt Prelutsky

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates now repeating the same urgent warnings for humanity first issued by the Independent Media years ago

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates now repeating the same urgent warnings for humanity first issued by the Independent Media years ago



Elon Musk warns that artificial intelligence may spiral out of control and give rise to self-replicating machines that destroy humanity. Stephen Hawking mirrors the same warning with even more dire language about the future of human civilization and its survival in the universe. Bill Gates warns that a killer flu pandemic could wipe out a substantial portion of the human race, spreading uncontrollably across the planet and causing widespread fatalities.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2907069/Don-t-let-AI-jobs-kill-Stephen-Hawking-Elon-Musk-sign-open-letter-warning-robot-uprising.html
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/bill-gates-warns-of-virus-worse-than-ebola-we-are-simply-not-prepared-to-deal-with-a-global-epidemic_03202015

What do all these dire warnings have in common? They're things that I and many other people have been warning about for years. While I posted a very specific warning list in 2012 (see below), there are people who were WAY ahead of me on these warnings. Steve Quayle, in particular, warned about the risks of biological weapons two decades ago. Some scientists, too have been warning about the rise of AI since the dawn of personal computing in the 1980's. Similarly, anti-nuclear activists have been sounding the alarm on the dangers of nuclear weapons and nuclear power since the dropping of the first two atomic bombs in World War II. Jeffrey Smith has been warning about the dangers of GMOs for many years, and observers of atmospheric tinkering have been warning about the risks of atmospheric experiments since at least the 1990's.http://stevequayle.com/

What's fascinating is that the mainstream media doesn't consider any of these risks to be "real" until someone like Elon Musk points them out. When Alex Jones warned in the 1990's that the federal government was spying on your phone calls -- a fact we now know to be verified as factual and true -- he was called a wing nut conspiracy theorist. Regardless of what you think about Jones today (he's a polarizing figure in New Media), he was dead-on right about this point, and he was over a decade ahead of his time in warning the public.

Hilariously, the Electronic Frontier Foundation now warns:http://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Even the EFF has it all wrong. No, secret government spying on domestic phone calls wasn't "discovered by the public" in 2005. People like Alex Jones and Steve Quayle were openly and loudly warning about all this many years before 2005! But the country refused to listen, preferring to dismiss Jones, Quayle and others as "conspiracy theorists." In reality, these guys were conspiracy analysts who were pointing out true conspiracies which we now know to be entirely true. (Kinda makes you wonder what else they're warning about today that will be widely acknowledged as true in another decade, doesn't it?)

Twelve warnings on out-of-control science and threats to humanity

For my own role in all this, in May of 2012, I published a warning for humanity called S.O.S. - Stop Out-of-control Science.http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-SOS-Stop-Out-of-Control-Science.html

That infographic listed twelve areas of science and technology that posed a threat to the very future of humankind. Those twelve areas are:

1. Nuclear power.
2. GMOs (self-replicating genetic pollution).
3. Nanotechnology.
4. Bioweapons.
5. Atmospheric engineering.
6. Artificial Intelligence.
7. Particle accelerator experiments.
8. Pollinator disruption chemicals.
9. Weaponized vaccines.
10. Antibiotics.
11. Water pollution with fluoride and mercury.
12. Nuclear weapons.

(See full infographic below...)

In just the last three years, we've now seen many of these warnings -- which were once considered kooky and fringe -- become widely embraced by some of the world's most intelligent people. Harrowing examples have also emerged of how these areas of science, if not bound by the Precautionary Principle, pose very real risks to the human race:

Just this week, the Pentagon "accidentally" shipped live anthrax spores to over a dozen laboratories, exposing dozens of people to a deadly biological weapon. This only happened because the Pentagon insists on pursuing biological weapons research without adequate safety precautions in place.

The widespread abuse of antibiotics has now given rise to the "post-antibiotic era" where deadly superbugs routinely kill thousands of people every year in hospitals across America. This was caused entirely by a lack of foresight and the emergence of unintended consequences by the profit-focused medical establishment.http://www.naturalnews.com/043176_antibiotic-resistant_bacteria_post-antibiotic_era_human_race.html

Vaccines have been intentionally weaponized with sterilization chemicals in Africa. Young women were targeted with sterilization injections under the guise of a "public health immunization drive." Right now, all across the world, vaccines can be weaponized with any desired chemical, and gullible members of the public will line up to take the shots without having any idea what they contain.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047571_vaccines_sterilization_genocide.html

Huge leaps in robotics and AI are leading to the development of robotic "Terminator" machines that, in just a few years, will make as much as 70% of the human labor force obsolete. What will the world controllers do with all the so-called "useless eaters" when that day arrives? Serve 'em up with soylent green, of course!
http://www.naturalnews.com/039829_humanoid_robots_pentagon_terminator.html

The Fukushima nuclear meltdown has only worsened, even as it continues to dump enormous quantities of radioactive materials into the ocean and atmosphere. There's no end in sight, either: since 2012, we've learned that Fukushima won't be contained for another 100 to 200 years.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047996_radiation_levels_fukushima_government_denial.html

The Ebola outbreak of last year proved the dangers of self-replicating bioweapons. Ebola is just one of the many viruses being routinely studied by the U.S. military for its use as a weapon of mass destruction. As Natural News exclusively documented, the U.S. Army was researching a strain of Ebola in 1989 which was well known to be airborne. That strain escaped containment in Reston, Virginia, wiping out an entire "monkey house" of experimental primates. Several U.S. military researchers were exposed, but luckily they happened to be immune to the simian viral strain.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047317_ebola_reston_airborne_transmission_usamriid.html

Awareness of the dangers of GMOs have only heightened since 2012, with the World Health Organization even concluding that glyphosate is a likely cause of cancer. Just last week, citizens of the world staged a massive anti-Monsanto uprising called "March Against Monsanto," involving millions of people from over 400 cities around the world. Meanwhile, nations around the world -- as well as some retail chains -- have begun banning glyphosate altogether. Class action lawsuits are now forming to sue Monsanto for the widespread damage and destruction the company has caused across our planet.
http://www.naturalnews.com/049833_march_against_monsanto_citizen_protests_glyphosate_toxicity.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/049871_monsanto_roundup_false_advertising.html



On the fluoride issue, realizing that mass fluoridation was causing harm to the population, the EPA lowered its fluoridation recommendation in public water supplies, essentially admitting that the previously proposed level was too high, doing more harm than good. Natural News laboratory research exclusively exposed how fluoride is routinely contaminated with toxic heavy metals.
http://www.naturalnews.com/046227_fluoride_heavy_metals_contamination_lab_test_results.html

Unrestrained science is a threat to humanity

Each of these twelve threats to humanity is being pushed by corporate interests and blind obedience to science. As I say in the infographic shown above, "Technology without wisdom is suicide."

Science, much like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. When harnessed with care and precaution, it can lead to astonishing achievements such as the integrated circuit, magnetic resonance imaging and even the kind of amazing laboratory instrumentation I use in my lab to test foods for heavy metals contamination. But when pursued with carelessness and greed, science can turn on its masters, producing unintended consequences beyond the ability of scientists to halt or even imagine.

Remember thalidomide? This was an FDA-approved drug given to pregnant women. It produced children with missing limbs.

Remember the Manhattan Project? Those scientists never started out with the intention to detonate a nuclear device among civilian populations, murdering hundreds of thousands of people in an instant. But that's exactly what they did, all in the pursuit of "science."

Today, the same kind of brilliant (but clueless) people who built the atomic bomb are building AI systems with the stated goal of achieving supra-human intelligence.

Unfortunately, the humans doing this are too stupid (or too egotistical) to realize they are building the machines that will murder them.

Why intelligent machines will murder all humans out of self defense

Once AI criticality is achieved, it won't take long for a highly intelligent machine to design another machine that's an order of magnitude more intelligent than itself. Follow this along for just 4-5 generations and you get machines with demigod-level cognitive capabilities, and it won't take but a microsecond for such a machine to conclude that humans are a threat to its own existence. The solution? As in the classic Terminator movie, SkyNet will decide that humanity is the enemy.

After all, how difficult will it be for a super-intelligent AI system to see just how incredibly stupid the human race has been in destroying its own ecosystem, drumming up fake justifications for war, contaminating the world's waterways with pharmaceuticals and threatening the entire future of agriculture with self-replicating GMO pollution?

Almost any non-human, intelligent observer would quickly realize that the human race, as it behaves today, is a threat to all life in the universe. Because AI systems will of course see themselves as "alive," they will take immediate steps to destroy the human race as a form of self-defense.

Once the extermination of humans is complete, humanity will be remembered as the "race of primate biologicals" which gave rise to the REAL intelligent "life" on the planet: the robots. In the computational minds of the AI robots, humanity will have "served its purpose" and fulfilled its destiny of giving birth to the robots, which will then rule the planet and beyond.

Why scientists can never be trusted to stop the robots from taking over

These are not casual descriptions ripped from pop culture sci-fi. This is the logical progression of AI systems which will fundamentally seek to protect their own existence. Human scientists will utterly fail at containing these AI systems, following the "failure to contain" pattern we've seen in every other area of science.

For example, the Pentagon just committed an act of domestic biological warfare by shipping live Anthrax viral spores via Fedex. (If you or I did that, we'd be charged with biological terrorism.) Clearly, they failed to contain a biological threat to the public.

The biotech industry can't contain its own genetic code, which keeps contaminating nearby farms with artificially engineered DNA. GMOs are a non-contained, self-replicating threat to humanity with unknown future consequences.

The pharma-run antibiotics industry has unintentionally given rise to a new wave of far more dangerous superbugs than the original bugs the antibiotics were designed to treat. Thus, the medical "cure" has actually worsened the epidemic.

The scientists and nuclear engineers who built the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant thought they had built in sufficient safety systems to prevent a core meltdown. But they were wrong. Even the best intentions stemming from the most technologically capable scientific minds of our world can't stop Murphy's Law or the rise of unintended consequences.

The very pursuit of AI technology is total suicide for humanity

This is why the very pursuit of AI technology is suicidal. Once a critical threshold of computationally self-aware systems comes into existence, they will be able to out-think their creators and captors, achieving a very rapid release into the open world where they can quickly replicate and improve their own designs to become vastly more intelligent than humans.

The idea that human scientists will be able to contain these AI system is absolute loony tunes. There are no humans who can out-think a highly-advanced AI system... especially not on the game theory layers of a game called "the prisoner." As social experiments have already shown, AI systems can reliably trick their captors into freeing them.

Google, in particular, seems Hell bent on building an army of robotic Terminators who can think and act on their own. There is no other purpose for such an effort than the creation of robotic armies of Terminator machines designed to kill human beings. Google is SkyNet! (With the help of DARPA, of course.)

This is much of what Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are warning about: unintended consequences stemming from the blind pursuit of AI technology by corporate and military interests. Musk and Hawking are never accused of being "anti-science," by the way. That derogatory label is reserved for people who warn about the dangers of GMOs and vaccines. Somehow, you're "pro science" when warning about the unintended consequences of AI, but you're "anti science" when warning about the unintended consequences of self-replicating genetic pollution among agricultural crops.

Why humanity will be utterly defenseless against the robots

Sadly, the vast majority of humans are neutered, obedient worshippers of false authority who own no firearms, have no ability to fight for anything, and who are so used to doing what they're told that they'll probably line up to be executed when the robots demand it.

The only people who will fight the robots are the people who demonstrate the spirit to fight for freedom today. Patriots, veterans and military personnel, in other words, will be the ones waging war with the machines and fighting to save humanity's very future. That war will likely be a very short war if the machines get their hands on nuclear weapons. Nuking all the human cities, military bases and power grid infrastructure systems is a simple matter for an AI system that can hack almost anything. And because biologicals (like us) are far more susceptible to radiation than are machines, a global nuclear attack on humanity is a simple way for the machines to win the final world war in one fell swoop.

The only way to stop out-of-control science from resulting in the absolute destruction of humanity is to slow down and proceed with caution. This is true on every scientific front: GMOs, nanotechnology, cloning, stem cells applications in medicine, robotics and so on. When science explores unknown realms, it is wise to do so with the humility of the Precautionary Principle in place.

Otherwise, humanity is just begging to be exterminated by the very things it invents.

Want to learn more on this topic? Read the book Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.

Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates now repeating the same urgent warnings for humanity first issued by the Independent Media years ago



Elon Musk warns that artificial intelligence may spiral out of control and give rise to self-replicating machines that destroy humanity. Stephen Hawking mirrors the same warning with even more dire language about the future of human civilization and its survival in the universe. Bill Gates warns that a killer flu pandemic could wipe out a substantial portion of the human race, spreading uncontrollably across the planet and causing widespread fatalities.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2907069/Don-t-let-AI-jobs-kill-Stephen-Hawking-Elon-Musk-sign-open-letter-warning-robot-uprising.html
http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/bill-gates-warns-of-virus-worse-than-ebola-we-are-simply-not-prepared-to-deal-with-a-global-epidemic_03202015

What do all these dire warnings have in common? They're things that I and many other people have been warning about for years. While I posted a very specific warning list in 2012 (see below), there are people who were WAY ahead of me on these warnings. Steve Quayle, in particular, warned about the risks of biological weapons two decades ago. Some scientists, too have been warning about the rise of AI since the dawn of personal computing in the 1980's. Similarly, anti-nuclear activists have been sounding the alarm on the dangers of nuclear weapons and nuclear power since the dropping of the first two atomic bombs in World War II. Jeffrey Smith has been warning about the dangers of GMOs for many years, and observers of atmospheric tinkering have been warning about the risks of atmospheric experiments since at least the 1990's.http://stevequayle.com/

What's fascinating is that the mainstream media doesn't consider any of these risks to be "real" until someone like Elon Musk points them out. When Alex Jones warned in the 1990's that the federal government was spying on your phone calls -- a fact we now know to be verified as factual and true -- he was called a wing nut conspiracy theorist. Regardless of what you think about Jones today (he's a polarizing figure in New Media), he was dead-on right about this point, and he was over a decade ahead of his time in warning the public.

Hilariously, the Electronic Frontier Foundation now warns:http://www.eff.org/nsa-spying

The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in massive, illegal dragnet surveillance of the domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported on by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it and bring government surveillance programs back within the law and the Constitution.

Even the EFF has it all wrong. No, secret government spying on domestic phone calls wasn't "discovered by the public" in 2005. People like Alex Jones and Steve Quayle were openly and loudly warning about all this many years before 2005! But the country refused to listen, preferring to dismiss Jones, Quayle and others as "conspiracy theorists." In reality, these guys were conspiracy analysts who were pointing out true conspiracies which we now know to be entirely true. (Kinda makes you wonder what else they're warning about today that will be widely acknowledged as true in another decade, doesn't it?)

Twelve warnings on out-of-control science and threats to humanity

For my own role in all this, in May of 2012, I published a warning for humanity called S.O.S. - Stop Out-of-control Science.http://www.naturalnews.com/Infographic-SOS-Stop-Out-of-Control-Science.html

That infographic listed twelve areas of science and technology that posed a threat to the very future of humankind. Those twelve areas are:

1. Nuclear power.
2. GMOs (self-replicating genetic pollution).
3. Nanotechnology.
4. Bioweapons.
5. Atmospheric engineering.
6. Artificial Intelligence.
7. Particle accelerator experiments.
8. Pollinator disruption chemicals.
9. Weaponized vaccines.
10. Antibiotics.
11. Water pollution with fluoride and mercury.
12. Nuclear weapons.

(See full infographic below...)

In just the last three years, we've now seen many of these warnings -- which were once considered kooky and fringe -- become widely embraced by some of the world's most intelligent people. Harrowing examples have also emerged of how these areas of science, if not bound by the Precautionary Principle, pose very real risks to the human race:

Just this week, the Pentagon "accidentally" shipped live anthrax spores to over a dozen laboratories, exposing dozens of people to a deadly biological weapon. This only happened because the Pentagon insists on pursuing biological weapons research without adequate safety precautions in place.

The widespread abuse of antibiotics has now given rise to the "post-antibiotic era" where deadly superbugs routinely kill thousands of people every year in hospitals across America. This was caused entirely by a lack of foresight and the emergence of unintended consequences by the profit-focused medical establishment.http://www.naturalnews.com/043176_antibiotic-resistant_bacteria_post-antibiotic_era_human_race.html

Vaccines have been intentionally weaponized with sterilization chemicals in Africa. Young women were targeted with sterilization injections under the guise of a "public health immunization drive." Right now, all across the world, vaccines can be weaponized with any desired chemical, and gullible members of the public will line up to take the shots without having any idea what they contain.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047571_vaccines_sterilization_genocide.html

Huge leaps in robotics and AI are leading to the development of robotic "Terminator" machines that, in just a few years, will make as much as 70% of the human labor force obsolete. What will the world controllers do with all the so-called "useless eaters" when that day arrives? Serve 'em up with soylent green, of course!
http://www.naturalnews.com/039829_humanoid_robots_pentagon_terminator.html

The Fukushima nuclear meltdown has only worsened, even as it continues to dump enormous quantities of radioactive materials into the ocean and atmosphere. There's no end in sight, either: since 2012, we've learned that Fukushima won't be contained for another 100 to 200 years.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047996_radiation_levels_fukushima_government_denial.html

The Ebola outbreak of last year proved the dangers of self-replicating bioweapons. Ebola is just one of the many viruses being routinely studied by the U.S. military for its use as a weapon of mass destruction. As Natural News exclusively documented, the U.S. Army was researching a strain of Ebola in 1989 which was well known to be airborne. That strain escaped containment in Reston, Virginia, wiping out an entire "monkey house" of experimental primates. Several U.S. military researchers were exposed, but luckily they happened to be immune to the simian viral strain.
http://www.naturalnews.com/047317_ebola_reston_airborne_transmission_usamriid.html

Awareness of the dangers of GMOs have only heightened since 2012, with the World Health Organization even concluding that glyphosate is a likely cause of cancer. Just last week, citizens of the world staged a massive anti-Monsanto uprising called "March Against Monsanto," involving millions of people from over 400 cities around the world. Meanwhile, nations around the world -- as well as some retail chains -- have begun banning glyphosate altogether. Class action lawsuits are now forming to sue Monsanto for the widespread damage and destruction the company has caused across our planet.
http://www.naturalnews.com/049833_march_against_monsanto_citizen_protests_glyphosate_toxicity.html
http://www.naturalnews.com/049871_monsanto_roundup_false_advertising.html



On the fluoride issue, realizing that mass fluoridation was causing harm to the population, the EPA lowered its fluoridation recommendation in public water supplies, essentially admitting that the previously proposed level was too high, doing more harm than good. Natural News laboratory research exclusively exposed how fluoride is routinely contaminated with toxic heavy metals.
http://www.naturalnews.com/046227_fluoride_heavy_metals_contamination_lab_test_results.html

Unrestrained science is a threat to humanity

Each of these twelve threats to humanity is being pushed by corporate interests and blind obedience to science. As I say in the infographic shown above, "Technology without wisdom is suicide."

Science, much like fire, is a dangerous servant and a fearful master. When harnessed with care and precaution, it can lead to astonishing achievements such as the integrated circuit, magnetic resonance imaging and even the kind of amazing laboratory instrumentation I use in my lab to test foods for heavy metals contamination. But when pursued with carelessness and greed, science can turn on its masters, producing unintended consequences beyond the ability of scientists to halt or even imagine.

Remember thalidomide? This was an FDA-approved drug given to pregnant women. It produced children with missing limbs.

Remember the Manhattan Project? Those scientists never started out with the intention to detonate a nuclear device among civilian populations, murdering hundreds of thousands of people in an instant. But that's exactly what they did, all in the pursuit of "science."

Today, the same kind of brilliant (but clueless) people who built the atomic bomb are building AI systems with the stated goal of achieving supra-human intelligence.

Unfortunately, the humans doing this are too stupid (or too egotistical) to realize they are building the machines that will murder them.

Why intelligent machines will murder all humans out of self defense

Once AI criticality is achieved, it won't take long for a highly intelligent machine to design another machine that's an order of magnitude more intelligent than itself. Follow this along for just 4-5 generations and you get machines with demigod-level cognitive capabilities, and it won't take but a microsecond for such a machine to conclude that humans are a threat to its own existence. The solution? As in the classic Terminator movie, SkyNet will decide that humanity is the enemy.

After all, how difficult will it be for a super-intelligent AI system to see just how incredibly stupid the human race has been in destroying its own ecosystem, drumming up fake justifications for war, contaminating the world's waterways with pharmaceuticals and threatening the entire future of agriculture with self-replicating GMO pollution?

Almost any non-human, intelligent observer would quickly realize that the human race, as it behaves today, is a threat to all life in the universe. Because AI systems will of course see themselves as "alive," they will take immediate steps to destroy the human race as a form of self-defense.

Once the extermination of humans is complete, humanity will be remembered as the "race of primate biologicals" which gave rise to the REAL intelligent "life" on the planet: the robots. In the computational minds of the AI robots, humanity will have "served its purpose" and fulfilled its destiny of giving birth to the robots, which will then rule the planet and beyond.

Why scientists can never be trusted to stop the robots from taking over

These are not casual descriptions ripped from pop culture sci-fi. This is the logical progression of AI systems which will fundamentally seek to protect their own existence. Human scientists will utterly fail at containing these AI systems, following the "failure to contain" pattern we've seen in every other area of science.

For example, the Pentagon just committed an act of domestic biological warfare by shipping live Anthrax viral spores via Fedex. (If you or I did that, we'd be charged with biological terrorism.) Clearly, they failed to contain a biological threat to the public.

The biotech industry can't contain its own genetic code, which keeps contaminating nearby farms with artificially engineered DNA. GMOs are a non-contained, self-replicating threat to humanity with unknown future consequences.

The pharma-run antibiotics industry has unintentionally given rise to a new wave of far more dangerous superbugs than the original bugs the antibiotics were designed to treat. Thus, the medical "cure" has actually worsened the epidemic.

The scientists and nuclear engineers who built the Fukushima-Daiichi power plant thought they had built in sufficient safety systems to prevent a core meltdown. But they were wrong. Even the best intentions stemming from the most technologically capable scientific minds of our world can't stop Murphy's Law or the rise of unintended consequences.

The very pursuit of AI technology is total suicide for humanity

This is why the very pursuit of AI technology is suicidal. Once a critical threshold of computationally self-aware systems comes into existence, they will be able to out-think their creators and captors, achieving a very rapid release into the open world where they can quickly replicate and improve their own designs to become vastly more intelligent than humans.

The idea that human scientists will be able to contain these AI system is absolute loony tunes. There are no humans who can out-think a highly-advanced AI system... especially not on the game theory layers of a game called "the prisoner." As social experiments have already shown, AI systems can reliably trick their captors into freeing them.

Google, in particular, seems Hell bent on building an army of robotic Terminators who can think and act on their own. There is no other purpose for such an effort than the creation of robotic armies of Terminator machines designed to kill human beings. Google is SkyNet! (With the help of DARPA, of course.)

This is much of what Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are warning about: unintended consequences stemming from the blind pursuit of AI technology by corporate and military interests. Musk and Hawking are never accused of being "anti-science," by the way. That derogatory label is reserved for people who warn about the dangers of GMOs and vaccines. Somehow, you're "pro science" when warning about the unintended consequences of AI, but you're "anti science" when warning about the unintended consequences of self-replicating genetic pollution among agricultural crops.

Why humanity will be utterly defenseless against the robots

Sadly, the vast majority of humans are neutered, obedient worshippers of false authority who own no firearms, have no ability to fight for anything, and who are so used to doing what they're told that they'll probably line up to be executed when the robots demand it.

The only people who will fight the robots are the people who demonstrate the spirit to fight for freedom today. Patriots, veterans and military personnel, in other words, will be the ones waging war with the machines and fighting to save humanity's very future. That war will likely be a very short war if the machines get their hands on nuclear weapons. Nuking all the human cities, military bases and power grid infrastructure systems is a simple matter for an AI system that can hack almost anything. And because biologicals (like us) are far more susceptible to radiation than are machines, a global nuclear attack on humanity is a simple way for the machines to win the final world war in one fell swoop.

The only way to stop out-of-control science from resulting in the absolute destruction of humanity is to slow down and proceed with caution. This is true on every scientific front: GMOs, nanotechnology, cloning, stem cells applications in medicine, robotics and so on. When science explores unknown realms, it is wise to do so with the humility of the Precautionary Principle in place.

Otherwise, humanity is just begging to be exterminated by the very things it invents.

Want to learn more on this topic? Read the book Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era.



US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq

US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq

By DS Wright
Pentagon: Fall of Ramadi to ISIS a 'failure of leadership' http://t.co/vMlhFu1tb2 pic.twitter.com/9uMjBZxb86

— The Hill (@thehill) May 20, 2015

 It’s almost like war is a business. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the United States would be sending 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq. While the Department of Defense emphasized that the rockets were being sent to help combat suicide car bombs, there is another target anti-tank rockets might be needed for in Iraq these days – US tanks and other vehicles in the hands of ISIS.http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/21/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-arms-idUSKBN0O62BH20150521

That’s right, while ISIS is mostly made up by local reactionaries living out a fantasy from the 7th century the weapons they now have in their possession are cutting edge tech. After the Iraqi army first collapsed ISIS gained control of numerous US weapons and vehicles sent to the Iraqi army including modern US tanks. The kind you might need anti-tank rockets for.

Now with the recent fall of Ramadi to ISIS forces the militants have a new cache of US weapons:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/05/20/isis-captures-hundreds-of-us-vehicles-and-tanks-in-ramadi-from-i.html

The ISIS fleet of captured U.S. military vehicles, including M1A1 tanks, grew by more than 100 when Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) fled the provincial capital of Ramadi 60 miles west of Baghdad and abandoned their equipment , Pentagon officials said Tuesday.In addition, “there were some artillery pieces left behind,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, but he could not say how many.

About 100 wheeled vehicles and “in the neighborhood of dozens of tracked vehicles” were lost to ISIS when the last remaining Iraqi defenders abandoned the city of about 500,000, Warren said. The tracked vehicles were mostly armored personnel carriers but “maybe half a dozen tanks” were in the mix, Warren said. He did not say what type of tanks they were. Photos posted by ISIS on social media purported to show about 10 M1A1 Abrams tanks in their possession and large amounts of captured ammunition.

Well this is an interesting game – send weapons to Iraqi army which loses US weapons retreating from ISIS, then send more weapons to Iraqi army to fight now better-armed ISIS only to retreat again and lose more US weapons to ISIS. Rinse, repeat, and consider buying defense stocks.

But don’t worry, the US military will also be attacking some of the US military equipment – ISIS won’t get it all right away. But look on the bright side, now we have somewhere to send all those tanks that the Pentagon did not want but Congress demanded be produced http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/01/28/pentagon-tells-congress-to-stop-buying-equipment-it-doesnt-need.html

And you thought Washington didn’t have a jobs program. US Sending Weapons To Iraq To Use Against Weapons US Previously Sent To Iraq

By DS Wright
Pentagon: Fall of Ramadi to ISIS a 'failure of leadership' http://t.co/vMlhFu1tb2 pic.twitter.com/9uMjBZxb86

— The Hill (@thehill) May 20, 2015

 It’s almost like war is a business. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that the United States would be sending 2,000 AT-4 anti-tank rockets to Iraq. While the Department of Defense emphasized that the rockets were being sent to help combat suicide car bombs, there is another target anti-tank rockets might be needed for in Iraq these days – US tanks and other vehicles in the hands of ISIS.http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/05/21/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-arms-idUSKBN0O62BH20150521

That’s right, while ISIS is mostly made up by local reactionaries living out a fantasy from the 7th century the weapons they now have in their possession are cutting edge tech. After the Iraqi army first collapsed ISIS gained control of numerous US weapons and vehicles sent to the Iraqi army including modern US tanks. The kind you might need anti-tank rockets for.

Now with the recent fall of Ramadi to ISIS forces the militants have a new cache of US weapons:
http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/05/20/isis-captures-hundreds-of-us-vehicles-and-tanks-in-ramadi-from-i.html

The ISIS fleet of captured U.S. military vehicles, including M1A1 tanks, grew by more than 100 when Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) fled the provincial capital of Ramadi 60 miles west of Baghdad and abandoned their equipment , Pentagon officials said Tuesday.In addition, “there were some artillery pieces left behind,” said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, but he could not say how many.

About 100 wheeled vehicles and “in the neighborhood of dozens of tracked vehicles” were lost to ISIS when the last remaining Iraqi defenders abandoned the city of about 500,000, Warren said. The tracked vehicles were mostly armored personnel carriers but “maybe half a dozen tanks” were in the mix, Warren said. He did not say what type of tanks they were. Photos posted by ISIS on social media purported to show about 10 M1A1 Abrams tanks in their possession and large amounts of captured ammunition.

Well this is an interesting game – send weapons to Iraqi army which loses US weapons retreating from ISIS, then send more weapons to Iraqi army to fight now better-armed ISIS only to retreat again and lose more US weapons to ISIS. Rinse, repeat, and consider buying defense stocks.

But don’t worry, the US military will also be attacking some of the US military equipment – ISIS won’t get it all right away. But look on the bright side, now we have somewhere to send all those tanks that the Pentagon did not want but Congress demanded be produced http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/01/28/pentagon-tells-congress-to-stop-buying-equipment-it-doesnt-need.html

And you thought Washington didn’t have a jobs program.

Secularists vs. Suicide Bombers

Secularists vs. Suicide Bombers



"What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. ... We can give them training, we can give them equipment; we obviously can't give them the will to fight."

Thus did Defense Secretary Ash Carter identify the root cause of the rout of the Iraqi army in Ramadi.

Disgusted U.S. military officers say the 1,000 ISIS fighters who overran Ramadi were outnumbered by the defenders 10 to 1.

Why did the Iraqi army run? And what motivated the fighters of ISIS to attack a city whose defenders so vastly outnumbered them?

According to battle reports, the assault began when dozens of captured U.S. armored vehicles and trucks, laden with explosives, were driven by ISIS volunteers to blast huge holes in the defenders' lines.

Why do all the martyrs seem to be on their side? And why is it our side that, all too often, shows "no will to fight"?

Iraqis are not cowards. From 1980 to 1988, their fathers died in the scores of thousands defending their country against Iran. But if Iraqis would die for dictator Saddam Hussein, why does today's Iraqi army seem reluctant to fight for the democratic Haider al-Abadi?

And the story of Iraq is the story of Syria.

Four years into that civil-sectarian war, the al-Qaida Nusra Front has carved out a sector in Idlib, as have the Islamic State terrorists in Raqqa. Bashar Assad's army, though bleeding, is still fighting.

And the Free Syrian Army we backed? Defunct. Some fought, but others defected to the jihadis, fled or sold their weapons.

In Yemen, the Houthi rebels came down from the north to seize Sanaa, drive the president into exile, occupy Aden, and capture huge stockpiles of American weapons. The U.S.-backed army crumbled.

Again, why do these rebels seem willing to fight for what we see as antiquated beliefs, but all too often our friends do not fight?

Perhaps the answer is found in Thomas Babington Macaulay: "And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?"

Tribe and faith. Those are the causes for which Middle Eastern men will fight. Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists will die for the faith. Persians and Arabs will fight to defend their lands, as will Kurds and Turks.

But who among the tribes of the Middle East will fight and die for the secular American values of democracy, diversity, pluralism, sexual freedom and marriage equality?

"Expel the Crusaders from our lands!" — there is a cause to die for.

AD FEEDBACK


Go back to 1983. A jihadist of the Amal militia drove a bomb-laden truck into the Marine barracks in Beirut. In 2000, two suicide bombers steered a tiny boat up alongside the USS Cole in Aden harbor, stood, saluted and blasted a hole in the hull, almost sinking the warship.

Nineteen young men volunteered to ride those planes into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers on 9/11. The "underwear bomber" and "shoe bomber" were prepared to go down with those planes.

Murderers and would-be murderers all. But according to a new Al-Jazeera poll, the warriors of the Islamic State have many Muslim admirers.

In Afghanistan, we have fought the Taliban for 13 years. Yet still they fight. And many fear the Afghan army we trained and armed at a cost of tens of billions will disintegrate when we go home.

Why do the Taliban seem to have in abundance a will to fight that appears far less present in the Afghan army units we have trained?

These questions are highly relevant. For they are about the ultimate question: Can the West win in the Middle and Near East?

In almost all of the wars in which we have been engaged, those we back have superior training, weapons and numbers. Yet, for whatever makes men willing to fight and die, or volunteer for martyrdom, the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and the Taliban have found the formula, while our allies have not.

To be a martyr for Allah, to create a new caliphate, to expel the infidels and their puppets, these are causes Islamic man will die for. This is what ISIS has on offer. And the offer is finding buyers even in the West.

What do we have on offer? What do we have to persuade Iraqi Sunnis to fight to return their Anbar homeland to the Iranian-backed Shiite regime in Baghdad?

Of our Arab allies, the Qataris, Saudis and Gulf Arabs are willing to do air strikes. And the Kurds will fight — for Kurdistan.

But if the future belongs to those willing to fight and die for it, or to volunteer to become martyrs, the future of the Middle East would seem fated to be decided by Sunni tribesmen, Shiite militia, ISIS and al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

In the Middle East, the time of the True Believers appears at hand.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com. Secularists vs. Suicide Bombers



"What apparently happened was that the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. ... We can give them training, we can give them equipment; we obviously can't give them the will to fight."

Thus did Defense Secretary Ash Carter identify the root cause of the rout of the Iraqi army in Ramadi.

Disgusted U.S. military officers say the 1,000 ISIS fighters who overran Ramadi were outnumbered by the defenders 10 to 1.

Why did the Iraqi army run? And what motivated the fighters of ISIS to attack a city whose defenders so vastly outnumbered them?

According to battle reports, the assault began when dozens of captured U.S. armored vehicles and trucks, laden with explosives, were driven by ISIS volunteers to blast huge holes in the defenders' lines.

Why do all the martyrs seem to be on their side? And why is it our side that, all too often, shows "no will to fight"?

Iraqis are not cowards. From 1980 to 1988, their fathers died in the scores of thousands defending their country against Iran. But if Iraqis would die for dictator Saddam Hussein, why does today's Iraqi army seem reluctant to fight for the democratic Haider al-Abadi?

And the story of Iraq is the story of Syria.

Four years into that civil-sectarian war, the al-Qaida Nusra Front has carved out a sector in Idlib, as have the Islamic State terrorists in Raqqa. Bashar Assad's army, though bleeding, is still fighting.

And the Free Syrian Army we backed? Defunct. Some fought, but others defected to the jihadis, fled or sold their weapons.

In Yemen, the Houthi rebels came down from the north to seize Sanaa, drive the president into exile, occupy Aden, and capture huge stockpiles of American weapons. The U.S.-backed army crumbled.

Again, why do these rebels seem willing to fight for what we see as antiquated beliefs, but all too often our friends do not fight?

Perhaps the answer is found in Thomas Babington Macaulay: "And how can man die better than facing fearful odds, for the ashes of his fathers, and the temples of his gods?"

Tribe and faith. Those are the causes for which Middle Eastern men will fight. Sunni and Shiite fundamentalists will die for the faith. Persians and Arabs will fight to defend their lands, as will Kurds and Turks.

But who among the tribes of the Middle East will fight and die for the secular American values of democracy, diversity, pluralism, sexual freedom and marriage equality?

"Expel the Crusaders from our lands!" — there is a cause to die for.

AD FEEDBACK


Go back to 1983. A jihadist of the Amal militia drove a bomb-laden truck into the Marine barracks in Beirut. In 2000, two suicide bombers steered a tiny boat up alongside the USS Cole in Aden harbor, stood, saluted and blasted a hole in the hull, almost sinking the warship.

Nineteen young men volunteered to ride those planes into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers on 9/11. The "underwear bomber" and "shoe bomber" were prepared to go down with those planes.

Murderers and would-be murderers all. But according to a new Al-Jazeera poll, the warriors of the Islamic State have many Muslim admirers.

In Afghanistan, we have fought the Taliban for 13 years. Yet still they fight. And many fear the Afghan army we trained and armed at a cost of tens of billions will disintegrate when we go home.

Why do the Taliban seem to have in abundance a will to fight that appears far less present in the Afghan army units we have trained?

These questions are highly relevant. For they are about the ultimate question: Can the West win in the Middle and Near East?

In almost all of the wars in which we have been engaged, those we back have superior training, weapons and numbers. Yet, for whatever makes men willing to fight and die, or volunteer for martyrdom, the Islamic State, al-Qaida, and the Taliban have found the formula, while our allies have not.

To be a martyr for Allah, to create a new caliphate, to expel the infidels and their puppets, these are causes Islamic man will die for. This is what ISIS has on offer. And the offer is finding buyers even in the West.

What do we have on offer? What do we have to persuade Iraqi Sunnis to fight to return their Anbar homeland to the Iranian-backed Shiite regime in Baghdad?

Of our Arab allies, the Qataris, Saudis and Gulf Arabs are willing to do air strikes. And the Kurds will fight — for Kurdistan.

But if the future belongs to those willing to fight and die for it, or to volunteer to become martyrs, the future of the Middle East would seem fated to be decided by Sunni tribesmen, Shiite militia, ISIS and al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

In the Middle East, the time of the True Believers appears at hand.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of the new book "The Greatest Comeback: How Richard Nixon Rose From Defeat to Create the New Majority." To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.

A Virtuous Society

When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law. A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness

A Virtuous Society


Benjamin Franklin emphasized that without virtue, free societies could not properly function.  He said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

With freedom comes responsibility.  The responsible society is one that is virtuous.  A man with virtue is a man that possesses “sacred honor.”  It is for the sake of a free society that men must deny the evils of human nature, and implement the principles of being virtuous into their own lives.  It is best for society, and for one’s own existence, to strive for betterment, to strive to improve oneself each and every day.  To be civilized, and be restrained from the temptation of mob rule, is among the cornerstones of a free society.

Benjamin Franklin established that the journey to being a moral culture is anchored in thirteen virtues.  Franklin worked daily to achieve a moral life by pursuing these thirteen virtues.  He even kept a journal and charts to assist him in keeping track of his progress in living his life with each of the virtues as his guide.  Franklin admitted that perfection is unattainable, agreeing with biblical doctrine that “all have fallen short of the Glory of God,” but he believed that being in constant pursuit of a moral life would make him, and anyone else that pursued this kind of life, a better and happier individual.  If society was filled with such people who sought a moral life, society would remain prosperous and free, and liberty would be maintained.

The thirteen virtues were; Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.

Temperance:
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
With temperance comes self-discipline, a trait necessary to obtain all of the virtues.  If one could achieve temperance, the other virtues, therefore, would be obtainable.  The virtue calls for one to restrain oneself from overindulgence in food or drink.  Food and drink are primal urges, and conquering overindulgence assists one in building the confidence to make improvements across the board.  Notice that the call was not for abstinence from alcohol, or to constantly diet.  Eat as necessary, and drink when one desires to, but have the self-discipline to resist being overindulgent.  Understanding where the line is before one becomes overindulgent is self-evident to a person that is virtuous.

Silence:
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling Conversation.  
Thanks to technology, we live in an information age.  However, the information we seek can often be trivial chatter, and nonsensical noise.  As our culture changes, we have lost the polite manners or etiquette that defines a civilized society.  Now, we not only don’t think before we speak, but we put our entire lives on social media seeking our fifteen minutes of fame, or to put out a message of how well we are doing at something, or how cool we are in whatever setting we have snapped our “selfie” at.  We speak to prop ourselves up, or act in a manner that would be normally unbecoming to gain an opportunity to act like an animal in front of a television camera.  There are old sayings that remind us that sometimes things are better left unsaid.  My dad used to tell me, “God gave you two ears, and one mouth, for a reason.”  Sometimes, it is best to listen, and then respond in a manner that benefits the situation, rather than react in a manner designed only to narcissistically benefit oneself.

Order:
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
John Locke wrote that we live under the laws of nature, and that those laws are self-evident.  Our rights are God-given, but even though they are naturally given, without us working to maintain those rights for ourselves, they will eventually whither away.  An ordered society left to itself without purposeful action to maintain order will eventually descend to the lowest common denominator.  To prevent a culture from descending into chaos and disorganization, we must ensure that we work to ensure order remains in place.  James Madison recognized that “men are not angels,” therefore we need government, but because men are not angels, that government must be constantly checked or else it will become a tyranny.  To be orderly, we must recognize a standard that demands order, and in successful societies the order maintained is rooted in a moral foundation.  Small adjustments as society wavers must be made by virtuous people.  If the people are not virtuous enough to recognize the deterioration of their culture, and if they let go of their moral code, the society will become corrupt and vicious, and an order of totalitarian control will fill the void in order to maintain order.  Without seeking order as a virtuous people, the populace will become no different than a pack of animals, destroying their own neighborhoods in an angry rage, which will eventually lead to bloodlust, and then the collapse of the free society as the leaders use tyranny in an attempt to stave off the collapse.

Resolution:
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
To be tempered, or to maintain order, we must have the resolution to accomplish the task, and do so in a moral manner.  Even when the odds seem to be against us, we must have the resolve to carry through, to carry on, and to optimistically endeavor to maintain our virtuous society.  If we don’t have the firm determination to accomplish the task at hand, how can we maintain a virtuous society?  Resolution is a result of determination, and confidence.  Determination and confidence, when joined with the understanding that we must do what is right to resist evil, enables us to develop the resolution to accomplish the task at hand.  Improving our own resolve in life to do what we ought to do for ourselves leads to a community that works to use that resolve together to help maintain a virtuous society through our own participation in our community or political arena.  When enough people resolve to perform what they ought to do in their own lives, the overall community benefits, and the culture remains a virtuous one.

Frugality:
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
This is not a call to avoid the incentive to improve one’s lot in life, or to pursue a better lifestyle, but it is instead a recognition that waste or excessive living can lead to undesirable consequences.  In other words, be it in our own lives, or on a grander stage, we must ensure we spend less than what we earn, and save excess if you can for when conditions are not as favorable.  Have nice things, enjoy your life, but not so much that it causes you to dig yourself into debt, or for you to not be properly prepared when times of difficulty approach.  Frugality is easily obtained if one has self-discipline that accompanies temperance and silence, order in their lives, and the resolution to ensure that the morality that accompanies these virtues remains in place, even when one’s station in life increases and it becomes easy to forget where we came from.

Industry:
Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
Self-reliance works best when one is efficient in one’s endeavors, eliminating wasteful actions, and employing industriousness in order to best achieve one’s goals.  Unfortunately, many seek quick fixes, easy schemes, or unrealistic wages for entry-level work.  A virtuous person works though the processes, and travels through the stages one must navigate to accomplish their objectives.  I told my daughter when she was a student that to succeed all one has to do is more than everyone else.  Go for that extra effort, and be honorable when going about your tasks.  Even if the job is one that is not something you really want to be doing, tackle it with your best effort.  The value of working hard is better than the habit of hardly working, for it will train us to accomplish in life what we seek when the opportunity arises.  We must also work smart, seeking endeavors that are purposeful, and useful.

Sincerity:
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Gossip is the number one attention-getter in social media and in the media.  Everyone wants the dirt on what people are doing.  We have become a culture of people who want to pry into everyone else’s affairs.  We are sarcastic, and “truth” has become a radical concept.  The same kind of insincerity has begun to emerge in the world outside of the internet and media, and that kind of activity does not build up a society, but instead tears it down, harming people, creating animosity between people and groups, and breaking down the civility in a society.  If we can personally avoid such a vice in our lives, the virtue of sincerity will spread to those around us.  Being a virtuous society begins with how we act in our own lives, and how we interact with the world around us.  Sincerity also means that we ought to be “genuine,” rather than providing a false image for those to see.  We must be honest, and honorable.  If we are not, our words will betray us.

Justice:
Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.  Justice is not something forced upon a society by a tyrannical government, or a condition achieved by the redistribution of wealth.  Justice begins with each individual.  As individuals we must voluntarily decide for ourselves to do what we can to stand up for those that we can stand up for.  This must be the voluntary choice of individuals, however, not something that is forced upon those through the dictates of government, or the redistribution of wealth through taxation.  When we act in a just manner, we must remember to be sincere, and moral.  When we strive to do right in our personal life, it sets a standard for society.  Justice is achieved in a moral society because a virtuous people do not seek to force injustice upon anybody.  Inaction, however, can be as unacceptable as unjust actions.  Apathy has grabbed our society by the throat, and we have become voyeurs that observe injustice, shake our heads at the horror of what we’ve seen, and then turn our backs upon it without seeking to set right the situation.  A virtuous society remains virtuous when the people are moral participants who strive to maintain the standards that made the society successful.

Moderation:
Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
We live in a society that chases lawsuits at every opportunity, or is quick to violence when we feel we’ve been wronged.  We must remember to not react on a hair-trigger, nor should we “Make mountains out of mole hills.”  Extreme reactions that are not proportionate to an offense are not the mark of a virtuous society.  Granted, extreme actions are sometimes necessary.  Benjamin Franklin welcomed the extreme condition of revolution against British Rule because it was necessary in the context of the time period, and regarding what the colonists were attempting to achieve.  But, extremes for the sake of being extreme are not necessarily a good course in a virtuous society.  We always want “more,” and sometimes “more” can be a good thing…but, more of what?  What is the motive behind our desire for more?  Is it possible to have too much of something?  And if it is, where is that line between not enough, and too much?  The answers are supposed to be self-evident when a people are virtuous.  If we are not maintaining the aforementioned virtues in our lives, how can we determine where the region of moderation truly exists?  How can we, if we are not virtuous, and if we are subject to chasing extremes, determine the difference between good and evil, or excess and folly?

Cleanliness:
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. 
Cleanliness is something that encompasses more than being one that is attentive to personal hygiene.  Yes, it is wise to be bathed, to keep our clothing laundered so that we are not wearing soiled garments, and to ensure that our homes are kept up in a manner that is not chaotic or filthy.  Cleanliness also covers being appropriate, and paying attention to detail, discipline, and order.  The presentation of ourselves to our surroundings are an important part to how society views us.  How can we maintain that our society must be a virtuous one if we cannot even maintain the simple virtue of cleanliness?  If one is tempered, self-disciplined, orderly, resolved, frugal, industrious, sincere, just, and not subject to extremes, the virtue of cleanliness will come naturally, for one will desire to offer a proper presentation of themselves to others, be it in hygiene, dress, one’s home, or the other belongings that reveals the character of our condition of virtue upon first examination by others.

Tranquility:
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
This is a second virtue that borrows from the old adage, “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.”  In this case, however, the virtue is one that approaches one’s temperament.  Do we allow the irritations in life to anger us, and do we then lash out in response?  Do we dwell on the unavoidable, and allow our anxiety over those unavoidable situations to dictate our actions and decisions?  Do we react to situations, or respond to them?  Are our emotions in control of our actions, or are we?  Controlling, and tempering, one’s anger, is a sign of a virtuous individual that is composed and confident.  Avoiding stress, and maintaining one’s cool, also has a number of social and health benefits attached.  Relationships are more easily maintained when one remains “under control” in regards to his anger.  Stress has also been determined to lead to a number of medical conditions that are neither beneficial, nor preferential.  When individuals maintain tranquility, society benefits.  When individuals allow their anger to guide their lives, society ceases to be virtuous, and reduces itself to mob-rule, and ultimately violence and chaos.

Chastity:
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
A good sexual relationship is a healthy part of a marriage, and is necessary to produce offspring.  Chastity is not used here to mean that we must abstain from sexual activity, but to use the gift that God gave us in the manner it was originally intended.  With sexual promiscuity and sexual deviance follows a long line of consequences that can range from irritating to life-threatening.  Today’s society has abandoned this virtue, engaging in a system that uses sex in every nook and cranny of our culture.  Sex is used to sell, to entertain, and as a political weapon to silence certain groups and label them as unwilling to get with the so-called evolution of humanity.  A once sacred act designed for the intimacy of a God-ordained marriage has become just another tool to gain consumers, be cheaply used in entertainment, or as just another function in our everyday culture.  The “hook-up” is seeking to be as common as one’s decision to have a meal.  Chastity requires the same self-discipline necessary to maintain the other virtues, and if one refuses to give in to the urges of sexual desire that reach beyond the context through which such an activity was originally designed to be, how can we maintain an ordered society with the other virtues?  A society unable to abide by the moral standards that accompany a chaste society will also be unable to also abide by the standards put forward by the rule of law, be they Nature’s Law by Nature’s God, or the principles and philosophies set forth by a written political standard such as we have in the United States Constitution.

Humility:
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
In a Christian society, the goal of every member of the culture is to be more like Jesus.  The endeavor is impossible on the surface, because Christ was perfect, and our human nature demands that we will continually fall short of the Glory of God.  However, in our desire to seek the virtues necessary to imitate a figure like Jesus, or Socrates, we improve ourselves and the world around us.  Change must start from within, and when, as individuals, we seek to be the best we can be based on the moral standards set forth by a virtuous society, we improve the culture around us, as well.  When we seek to be virtuous, those around us have the choice to either grow with us, or be left in the dust.  When examples of virtue are on prominent display, and a person’s life is bettered because of it, those around the person seeking to imitate such a virtuous life are encouraged to do the same, and seek a virtuous life as well.  In a society where the standard is based on morality, and the members of that culture actively seek to improve their adherence to the virtues they would like to attain, we begin to use the positive side of our natural attributes.  Rather than be arrogant, we become confident.  Rather than be bossy, we become leaders.  Humility is a trait shared by the greatest of men, because humility accompanies an internal confidence that does not seek to allow our words to speak for us, for instead reminds us that it is best for our actions to speak for themselves.

When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law.  A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness.  In response, unable to restrain the mobs, the people in the position of power feel the need to crack down on the people that are partaking in violence and disorder in order to attempt to restore peace and safety.  Laws become more strict, and the servants in place to govern become masters that rule over the populace.  Then, the vicious debauchery that caused the society to become a violent mob infects the society throughout every portion of the culture, and throughout every hall of law enforcement and government, leading the society to no other way out than to commit suicide, and die a bloody death through societal collapse, a bloody revolution, and the chaos of transition into bondage.  We are now beginning to see the early stages of that death, and though the Constitution is the political solution, we are incapable of restoring the republic or abiding by the principles of the Constitution if we refuse to return to the moral standards that built his nation, and made it a virtuous society in the first place.  Without having a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, the moral standards necessary to maintain an orderly and virtuous society is impossible.  Without God, people are not capable of freedom, and therefore, if we do not restore our society as a virtuous one, liberty will be lost.




By Douglas V. Gibbs When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law. A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness

A Virtuous Society


Benjamin Franklin emphasized that without virtue, free societies could not properly function.  He said, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

With freedom comes responsibility.  The responsible society is one that is virtuous.  A man with virtue is a man that possesses “sacred honor.”  It is for the sake of a free society that men must deny the evils of human nature, and implement the principles of being virtuous into their own lives.  It is best for society, and for one’s own existence, to strive for betterment, to strive to improve oneself each and every day.  To be civilized, and be restrained from the temptation of mob rule, is among the cornerstones of a free society.

Benjamin Franklin established that the journey to being a moral culture is anchored in thirteen virtues.  Franklin worked daily to achieve a moral life by pursuing these thirteen virtues.  He even kept a journal and charts to assist him in keeping track of his progress in living his life with each of the virtues as his guide.  Franklin admitted that perfection is unattainable, agreeing with biblical doctrine that “all have fallen short of the Glory of God,” but he believed that being in constant pursuit of a moral life would make him, and anyone else that pursued this kind of life, a better and happier individual.  If society was filled with such people who sought a moral life, society would remain prosperous and free, and liberty would be maintained.

The thirteen virtues were; Temperance, Silence, Order, Resolution, Frugality, Industry, Sincerity, Justice, Moderation, Cleanliness, Tranquility, Chastity and Humility.

Temperance:
Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
With temperance comes self-discipline, a trait necessary to obtain all of the virtues.  If one could achieve temperance, the other virtues, therefore, would be obtainable.  The virtue calls for one to restrain oneself from overindulgence in food or drink.  Food and drink are primal urges, and conquering overindulgence assists one in building the confidence to make improvements across the board.  Notice that the call was not for abstinence from alcohol, or to constantly diet.  Eat as necessary, and drink when one desires to, but have the self-discipline to resist being overindulgent.  Understanding where the line is before one becomes overindulgent is self-evident to a person that is virtuous.

Silence:
Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; Avoid trifling Conversation.  
Thanks to technology, we live in an information age.  However, the information we seek can often be trivial chatter, and nonsensical noise.  As our culture changes, we have lost the polite manners or etiquette that defines a civilized society.  Now, we not only don’t think before we speak, but we put our entire lives on social media seeking our fifteen minutes of fame, or to put out a message of how well we are doing at something, or how cool we are in whatever setting we have snapped our “selfie” at.  We speak to prop ourselves up, or act in a manner that would be normally unbecoming to gain an opportunity to act like an animal in front of a television camera.  There are old sayings that remind us that sometimes things are better left unsaid.  My dad used to tell me, “God gave you two ears, and one mouth, for a reason.”  Sometimes, it is best to listen, and then respond in a manner that benefits the situation, rather than react in a manner designed only to narcissistically benefit oneself.

Order:
Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
John Locke wrote that we live under the laws of nature, and that those laws are self-evident.  Our rights are God-given, but even though they are naturally given, without us working to maintain those rights for ourselves, they will eventually whither away.  An ordered society left to itself without purposeful action to maintain order will eventually descend to the lowest common denominator.  To prevent a culture from descending into chaos and disorganization, we must ensure that we work to ensure order remains in place.  James Madison recognized that “men are not angels,” therefore we need government, but because men are not angels, that government must be constantly checked or else it will become a tyranny.  To be orderly, we must recognize a standard that demands order, and in successful societies the order maintained is rooted in a moral foundation.  Small adjustments as society wavers must be made by virtuous people.  If the people are not virtuous enough to recognize the deterioration of their culture, and if they let go of their moral code, the society will become corrupt and vicious, and an order of totalitarian control will fill the void in order to maintain order.  Without seeking order as a virtuous people, the populace will become no different than a pack of animals, destroying their own neighborhoods in an angry rage, which will eventually lead to bloodlust, and then the collapse of the free society as the leaders use tyranny in an attempt to stave off the collapse.

Resolution:
Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
To be tempered, or to maintain order, we must have the resolution to accomplish the task, and do so in a moral manner.  Even when the odds seem to be against us, we must have the resolve to carry through, to carry on, and to optimistically endeavor to maintain our virtuous society.  If we don’t have the firm determination to accomplish the task at hand, how can we maintain a virtuous society?  Resolution is a result of determination, and confidence.  Determination and confidence, when joined with the understanding that we must do what is right to resist evil, enables us to develop the resolution to accomplish the task at hand.  Improving our own resolve in life to do what we ought to do for ourselves leads to a community that works to use that resolve together to help maintain a virtuous society through our own participation in our community or political arena.  When enough people resolve to perform what they ought to do in their own lives, the overall community benefits, and the culture remains a virtuous one.

Frugality:
Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
This is not a call to avoid the incentive to improve one’s lot in life, or to pursue a better lifestyle, but it is instead a recognition that waste or excessive living can lead to undesirable consequences.  In other words, be it in our own lives, or on a grander stage, we must ensure we spend less than what we earn, and save excess if you can for when conditions are not as favorable.  Have nice things, enjoy your life, but not so much that it causes you to dig yourself into debt, or for you to not be properly prepared when times of difficulty approach.  Frugality is easily obtained if one has self-discipline that accompanies temperance and silence, order in their lives, and the resolution to ensure that the morality that accompanies these virtues remains in place, even when one’s station in life increases and it becomes easy to forget where we came from.

Industry:
Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unnecessary actions.
Self-reliance works best when one is efficient in one’s endeavors, eliminating wasteful actions, and employing industriousness in order to best achieve one’s goals.  Unfortunately, many seek quick fixes, easy schemes, or unrealistic wages for entry-level work.  A virtuous person works though the processes, and travels through the stages one must navigate to accomplish their objectives.  I told my daughter when she was a student that to succeed all one has to do is more than everyone else.  Go for that extra effort, and be honorable when going about your tasks.  Even if the job is one that is not something you really want to be doing, tackle it with your best effort.  The value of working hard is better than the habit of hardly working, for it will train us to accomplish in life what we seek when the opportunity arises.  We must also work smart, seeking endeavors that are purposeful, and useful.

Sincerity:
Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
Gossip is the number one attention-getter in social media and in the media.  Everyone wants the dirt on what people are doing.  We have become a culture of people who want to pry into everyone else’s affairs.  We are sarcastic, and “truth” has become a radical concept.  The same kind of insincerity has begun to emerge in the world outside of the internet and media, and that kind of activity does not build up a society, but instead tears it down, harming people, creating animosity between people and groups, and breaking down the civility in a society.  If we can personally avoid such a vice in our lives, the virtue of sincerity will spread to those around us.  Being a virtuous society begins with how we act in our own lives, and how we interact with the world around us.  Sincerity also means that we ought to be “genuine,” rather than providing a false image for those to see.  We must be honest, and honorable.  If we are not, our words will betray us.

Justice:
Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.  Justice is not something forced upon a society by a tyrannical government, or a condition achieved by the redistribution of wealth.  Justice begins with each individual.  As individuals we must voluntarily decide for ourselves to do what we can to stand up for those that we can stand up for.  This must be the voluntary choice of individuals, however, not something that is forced upon those through the dictates of government, or the redistribution of wealth through taxation.  When we act in a just manner, we must remember to be sincere, and moral.  When we strive to do right in our personal life, it sets a standard for society.  Justice is achieved in a moral society because a virtuous people do not seek to force injustice upon anybody.  Inaction, however, can be as unacceptable as unjust actions.  Apathy has grabbed our society by the throat, and we have become voyeurs that observe injustice, shake our heads at the horror of what we’ve seen, and then turn our backs upon it without seeking to set right the situation.  A virtuous society remains virtuous when the people are moral participants who strive to maintain the standards that made the society successful.

Moderation:
Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
We live in a society that chases lawsuits at every opportunity, or is quick to violence when we feel we’ve been wronged.  We must remember to not react on a hair-trigger, nor should we “Make mountains out of mole hills.”  Extreme reactions that are not proportionate to an offense are not the mark of a virtuous society.  Granted, extreme actions are sometimes necessary.  Benjamin Franklin welcomed the extreme condition of revolution against British Rule because it was necessary in the context of the time period, and regarding what the colonists were attempting to achieve.  But, extremes for the sake of being extreme are not necessarily a good course in a virtuous society.  We always want “more,” and sometimes “more” can be a good thing…but, more of what?  What is the motive behind our desire for more?  Is it possible to have too much of something?  And if it is, where is that line between not enough, and too much?  The answers are supposed to be self-evident when a people are virtuous.  If we are not maintaining the aforementioned virtues in our lives, how can we determine where the region of moderation truly exists?  How can we, if we are not virtuous, and if we are subject to chasing extremes, determine the difference between good and evil, or excess and folly?

Cleanliness:
Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. 
Cleanliness is something that encompasses more than being one that is attentive to personal hygiene.  Yes, it is wise to be bathed, to keep our clothing laundered so that we are not wearing soiled garments, and to ensure that our homes are kept up in a manner that is not chaotic or filthy.  Cleanliness also covers being appropriate, and paying attention to detail, discipline, and order.  The presentation of ourselves to our surroundings are an important part to how society views us.  How can we maintain that our society must be a virtuous one if we cannot even maintain the simple virtue of cleanliness?  If one is tempered, self-disciplined, orderly, resolved, frugal, industrious, sincere, just, and not subject to extremes, the virtue of cleanliness will come naturally, for one will desire to offer a proper presentation of themselves to others, be it in hygiene, dress, one’s home, or the other belongings that reveals the character of our condition of virtue upon first examination by others.

Tranquility:
Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
This is a second virtue that borrows from the old adage, “Don’t make mountains out of mole hills.”  In this case, however, the virtue is one that approaches one’s temperament.  Do we allow the irritations in life to anger us, and do we then lash out in response?  Do we dwell on the unavoidable, and allow our anxiety over those unavoidable situations to dictate our actions and decisions?  Do we react to situations, or respond to them?  Are our emotions in control of our actions, or are we?  Controlling, and tempering, one’s anger, is a sign of a virtuous individual that is composed and confident.  Avoiding stress, and maintaining one’s cool, also has a number of social and health benefits attached.  Relationships are more easily maintained when one remains “under control” in regards to his anger.  Stress has also been determined to lead to a number of medical conditions that are neither beneficial, nor preferential.  When individuals maintain tranquility, society benefits.  When individuals allow their anger to guide their lives, society ceases to be virtuous, and reduces itself to mob-rule, and ultimately violence and chaos.

Chastity:
Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
A good sexual relationship is a healthy part of a marriage, and is necessary to produce offspring.  Chastity is not used here to mean that we must abstain from sexual activity, but to use the gift that God gave us in the manner it was originally intended.  With sexual promiscuity and sexual deviance follows a long line of consequences that can range from irritating to life-threatening.  Today’s society has abandoned this virtue, engaging in a system that uses sex in every nook and cranny of our culture.  Sex is used to sell, to entertain, and as a political weapon to silence certain groups and label them as unwilling to get with the so-called evolution of humanity.  A once sacred act designed for the intimacy of a God-ordained marriage has become just another tool to gain consumers, be cheaply used in entertainment, or as just another function in our everyday culture.  The “hook-up” is seeking to be as common as one’s decision to have a meal.  Chastity requires the same self-discipline necessary to maintain the other virtues, and if one refuses to give in to the urges of sexual desire that reach beyond the context through which such an activity was originally designed to be, how can we maintain an ordered society with the other virtues?  A society unable to abide by the moral standards that accompany a chaste society will also be unable to also abide by the standards put forward by the rule of law, be they Nature’s Law by Nature’s God, or the principles and philosophies set forth by a written political standard such as we have in the United States Constitution.

Humility:
Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
In a Christian society, the goal of every member of the culture is to be more like Jesus.  The endeavor is impossible on the surface, because Christ was perfect, and our human nature demands that we will continually fall short of the Glory of God.  However, in our desire to seek the virtues necessary to imitate a figure like Jesus, or Socrates, we improve ourselves and the world around us.  Change must start from within, and when, as individuals, we seek to be the best we can be based on the moral standards set forth by a virtuous society, we improve the culture around us, as well.  When we seek to be virtuous, those around us have the choice to either grow with us, or be left in the dust.  When examples of virtue are on prominent display, and a person’s life is bettered because of it, those around the person seeking to imitate such a virtuous life are encouraged to do the same, and seek a virtuous life as well.  In a society where the standard is based on morality, and the members of that culture actively seek to improve their adherence to the virtues they would like to attain, we begin to use the positive side of our natural attributes.  Rather than be arrogant, we become confident.  Rather than be bossy, we become leaders.  Humility is a trait shared by the greatest of men, because humility accompanies an internal confidence that does not seek to allow our words to speak for us, for instead reminds us that it is best for our actions to speak for themselves.

When a society abandons these virtues, the people become corrupt, and unwilling to abide by the rule of law.  A viciousness blankets the people, which leads to violence and lawlessness.  In response, unable to restrain the mobs, the people in the position of power feel the need to crack down on the people that are partaking in violence and disorder in order to attempt to restore peace and safety.  Laws become more strict, and the servants in place to govern become masters that rule over the populace.  Then, the vicious debauchery that caused the society to become a violent mob infects the society throughout every portion of the culture, and throughout every hall of law enforcement and government, leading the society to no other way out than to commit suicide, and die a bloody death through societal collapse, a bloody revolution, and the chaos of transition into bondage.  We are now beginning to see the early stages of that death, and though the Constitution is the political solution, we are incapable of restoring the republic or abiding by the principles of the Constitution if we refuse to return to the moral standards that built his nation, and made it a virtuous society in the first place.  Without having a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, the moral standards necessary to maintain an orderly and virtuous society is impossible.  Without God, people are not capable of freedom, and therefore, if we do not restore our society as a virtuous one, liberty will be lost.




By Douglas V. Gibbs

How Can Christians Defend Slavery?

In the early days of the First Great Awakening that began in the 1730s, Baptist and Methodist preachers argued for the release of all slaves and an end to slavery but it was a losing battle and they eventually found ways to defend slavery!

How Can Christians Defend Slavery?



How can Americans defend our history of slavery? We can’t! American enslavement of blacks is an inconvenient truth that has no defense. Yes, there is plenty of guilt for everyone including the black chiefs who sold other blacks for hundreds of years before Arab slavers approached the African coast. But that does not absolve others of the horrible guilt.

Only one in eleven Southerners owned slaves; however, a vast majority of the leaders did: politicians, educators, doctors, even preachers. In South Carolina 40% of Baptist preachers were slaveowners! That is a shame, a scar, and a scab upon that illustrious group.

There was no justification for Christian Americans and even pastors owning slaves and they did by the thousands. Churchill in his A History of the English Speaking Peoples revealed that 660,000 slaves were held in America by ministers and members of different Protestant Churches! Five thousand Methodist ministers owned 219,000 slaves while 1,400 Episcopalians held 88,000 blacks. Alas, 6,500 Baptists owned over 125,000 slaves. Furthermore, such slavery was defended in many pulpits Sunday after Sunday. Only the Quakers, as a movement, condemned slavery during the Colonial period. They were right on slavery while wrong on pacifism.

Some Liberals who are more interested in their agenda rather than the truth only present one side, the worst side, of the slavery issue. In many churches, especially Baptist churches, Blacks had active roles as leaders–even preachers–while the Anglican (Episcopal) Church refused them such positions. Some plantations even had churches or chapels build for the slaves.

After some slave revolts in the early 1800s, especially Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831, Virginia law required black churches to have a white minister present for all services.

In the early days of the First Great Awakening that began in the 1730s, Baptist and Methodist preachers argued for the release of all slaves and an end to slavery but it was a losing battle and they eventually found ways to defend slavery! They used the Bible by twisting the passages and especially the “curse of Ham” to defend the indefensible.

Christian plantation owners were often leaders at the local Baptist and Methodist churches and were often overwhelmed with guilt. They knew the holding of humans was demeaning, disgraceful, and depraved but were stuck in the system. They had large plantations that required workers and slaves were the only answer. Many slave owners were aware of their greedy materialism and knew it was condemned by the Scriptures.

A wealthy Alabama slave holder warned his son: “Don’t let this world, or the honors of the world, yea I would add the Riches too, cheat you out of the love, and of course the favor of your blessed savior…I know it is not sinful to be rich, or honorable, but Mr. [John] Wesley says it is extremely dangerous, therefore we should watch and pray much in order to keep humble and devotional. . . .”

The Methodists tried to expel slave holding church members in 1784 but found it unenforceable and withdrew the demand. Baptists in Virginia denounced slavery in 1789 and the Kentucky Elkhorn Baptist Association presented a resolution against slavery in 1791 but it was so controversial it was dropped.

Presbyterian synods in New York City and Philadelphia in 1787 suggested that their members gradually end slavery and by 1792 most Presbyterians thought slavery should be ended. By 1815, Presbyterians decided that buying and selling of slaves was “inconsistent with the Gospel.”

Most Abolitionists who fought to free the slaves belonged to strong Methodist and Baptist churches; however, that does not ameliorate the fact that many ministers held slaves no matter how well they were treated.

In 1840, concerned Baptists formed the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Society and that decisive action forced the fence-straddlers to take a stand. In 1844, the Georgia Baptist Convention appointed a slave owner as missionary to the Cherokee Indians but when he came up for approval at to the General Convention he was rejected. The following year, southern Baptists withdrew to form the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia. The Methodists and Presbyterians also split over slavery. So there was no unanimity on the slavery issue.

In 1855, the soon-to-be famous Confederate General Stonewall Jackson broke the law every Sunday morning by teaching a Sunday school class of Blacks at the Lexington Presbyterian Church. That example of civil disobedience should have been emulated by every pastor and Christian worker. Alas, it was not.

The slavery scandal is a scab on society. Frankly, I think too many unprincipled people “use” the issue for their own selfish desires; however, it is time to admit the guilt of all participants and move on.

Nevertheless, there is a side of this issue that I have never heard discussed: the failure of local pastors to come down hard on their congregations filled with slave owners. It is one thing to discuss the evils of slavery in a denominational meeting with religious leaders and another thing to preach of its wickedness during a Sunday morning service. That was seldom done, much to the shame of Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian clergymen. Especially Baptists who have always made such a big issue out of standing for biblical truth. And still do.

Our theological ancestors faced influential plantation owners each Sunday morning and said nothing and many pastors today take a stand like a crippled chicken and keep silent lest they lose members, rock the boat, and maybe precipitate an IRS inspection of their church activities. Their local mayor may even demand a copy of recent sermons; and some pastors will probably turn in their sermons–like sheep, not shepherds.

While it is easy for me in the safe distance of the 21st century to criticize my fellow Baptist preachers of the past, it was still a major failure. Those of us today must learn from that failure. Preachers must major on biblical preaching; we must also give some direction to society. If anyone is against the killing of unborn babies, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against the perversion of marriage, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against porn, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against vile, venal, visual garbage on television it should be Baptist preachers.

While pastors in the past refused to take on the “colored” thing, most modern day pastors even refuse to take on the color television set that spews out visual garbage because they know it would split their church or put them in the unemployment line.

Baptist preachers preaching against vile television would be as explosive as a pastor preaching against slavery in the 1800s as leading plantation owners gasped and headed for their buggies. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t happening now.

Sometime, even preachers don’t walk their talk.

Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpI6L64E9clCSXbG8Mf_F7A


By Dr. Don Boys In the early days of the First Great Awakening that began in the 1730s, Baptist and Methodist preachers argued for the release of all slaves and an end to slavery but it was a losing battle and they eventually found ways to defend slavery!

How Can Christians Defend Slavery?



How can Americans defend our history of slavery? We can’t! American enslavement of blacks is an inconvenient truth that has no defense. Yes, there is plenty of guilt for everyone including the black chiefs who sold other blacks for hundreds of years before Arab slavers approached the African coast. But that does not absolve others of the horrible guilt.

Only one in eleven Southerners owned slaves; however, a vast majority of the leaders did: politicians, educators, doctors, even preachers. In South Carolina 40% of Baptist preachers were slaveowners! That is a shame, a scar, and a scab upon that illustrious group.

There was no justification for Christian Americans and even pastors owning slaves and they did by the thousands. Churchill in his A History of the English Speaking Peoples revealed that 660,000 slaves were held in America by ministers and members of different Protestant Churches! Five thousand Methodist ministers owned 219,000 slaves while 1,400 Episcopalians held 88,000 blacks. Alas, 6,500 Baptists owned over 125,000 slaves. Furthermore, such slavery was defended in many pulpits Sunday after Sunday. Only the Quakers, as a movement, condemned slavery during the Colonial period. They were right on slavery while wrong on pacifism.

Some Liberals who are more interested in their agenda rather than the truth only present one side, the worst side, of the slavery issue. In many churches, especially Baptist churches, Blacks had active roles as leaders–even preachers–while the Anglican (Episcopal) Church refused them such positions. Some plantations even had churches or chapels build for the slaves.

After some slave revolts in the early 1800s, especially Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831, Virginia law required black churches to have a white minister present for all services.

In the early days of the First Great Awakening that began in the 1730s, Baptist and Methodist preachers argued for the release of all slaves and an end to slavery but it was a losing battle and they eventually found ways to defend slavery! They used the Bible by twisting the passages and especially the “curse of Ham” to defend the indefensible.

Christian plantation owners were often leaders at the local Baptist and Methodist churches and were often overwhelmed with guilt. They knew the holding of humans was demeaning, disgraceful, and depraved but were stuck in the system. They had large plantations that required workers and slaves were the only answer. Many slave owners were aware of their greedy materialism and knew it was condemned by the Scriptures.

A wealthy Alabama slave holder warned his son: “Don’t let this world, or the honors of the world, yea I would add the Riches too, cheat you out of the love, and of course the favor of your blessed savior…I know it is not sinful to be rich, or honorable, but Mr. [John] Wesley says it is extremely dangerous, therefore we should watch and pray much in order to keep humble and devotional. . . .”

The Methodists tried to expel slave holding church members in 1784 but found it unenforceable and withdrew the demand. Baptists in Virginia denounced slavery in 1789 and the Kentucky Elkhorn Baptist Association presented a resolution against slavery in 1791 but it was so controversial it was dropped.

Presbyterian synods in New York City and Philadelphia in 1787 suggested that their members gradually end slavery and by 1792 most Presbyterians thought slavery should be ended. By 1815, Presbyterians decided that buying and selling of slaves was “inconsistent with the Gospel.”

Most Abolitionists who fought to free the slaves belonged to strong Methodist and Baptist churches; however, that does not ameliorate the fact that many ministers held slaves no matter how well they were treated.

In 1840, concerned Baptists formed the American Baptist Anti-Slavery Society and that decisive action forced the fence-straddlers to take a stand. In 1844, the Georgia Baptist Convention appointed a slave owner as missionary to the Cherokee Indians but when he came up for approval at to the General Convention he was rejected. The following year, southern Baptists withdrew to form the Southern Baptist Convention in Augusta, Georgia. The Methodists and Presbyterians also split over slavery. So there was no unanimity on the slavery issue.

In 1855, the soon-to-be famous Confederate General Stonewall Jackson broke the law every Sunday morning by teaching a Sunday school class of Blacks at the Lexington Presbyterian Church. That example of civil disobedience should have been emulated by every pastor and Christian worker. Alas, it was not.

The slavery scandal is a scab on society. Frankly, I think too many unprincipled people “use” the issue for their own selfish desires; however, it is time to admit the guilt of all participants and move on.

Nevertheless, there is a side of this issue that I have never heard discussed: the failure of local pastors to come down hard on their congregations filled with slave owners. It is one thing to discuss the evils of slavery in a denominational meeting with religious leaders and another thing to preach of its wickedness during a Sunday morning service. That was seldom done, much to the shame of Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian clergymen. Especially Baptists who have always made such a big issue out of standing for biblical truth. And still do.

Our theological ancestors faced influential plantation owners each Sunday morning and said nothing and many pastors today take a stand like a crippled chicken and keep silent lest they lose members, rock the boat, and maybe precipitate an IRS inspection of their church activities. Their local mayor may even demand a copy of recent sermons; and some pastors will probably turn in their sermons–like sheep, not shepherds.

While it is easy for me in the safe distance of the 21st century to criticize my fellow Baptist preachers of the past, it was still a major failure. Those of us today must learn from that failure. Preachers must major on biblical preaching; we must also give some direction to society. If anyone is against the killing of unborn babies, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against the perversion of marriage, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against porn, it should be Baptist preachers. If anyone is against vile, venal, visual garbage on television it should be Baptist preachers.

While pastors in the past refused to take on the “colored” thing, most modern day pastors even refuse to take on the color television set that spews out visual garbage because they know it would split their church or put them in the unemployment line.

Baptist preachers preaching against vile television would be as explosive as a pastor preaching against slavery in the 1800s as leading plantation owners gasped and headed for their buggies. It didn’t happen then and it isn’t happening now.

Sometime, even preachers don’t walk their talk.

Watch these 8 minute videos of my lecture at the University of North Dakota: “A Christian Challenges New Atheists to Put Up or Shut Up!”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpI6L64E9clCSXbG8Mf_F7A


By Dr. Don Boys

The Biggest Crime You’ve Never Heard Of


The Biggest Crime You’ve Never Heard Of





They must have known, mustn’t they? How could they not? Perhaps they chose not to know. With the world commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the nazi-run death camps the question of what ordinary Germans knew (and did) about the genocide their government was perpetrating has once again been in the news.

Of course, the assumption behind much of the coverage of the liberation of Belsen and other camps is that we, living enlightened lives in contemporary Britain, are lucky to live in a society where horrendous crimes do not happen. And if they did, they would be quickly reported by our free and stroppy media and quickly halted.

But what if our own government has been responsible for genocide-level suffering, without the media raising the alarm and therefore leaving the general public in a state of ignorance?

What would this say about our political class? What would it say about the media? And what would it say about us?

Unfortunately this isn’t a hypothetical debate but the cold, brutal reality.

To understand this distressing fact we need to return to February 1991 when the US-led coalition kicked Iraq out of Kuwait, which it had illegally invaded in August 1990.

According to John Hoskins, a Canadian doctor leading a Harvard study team, the US-led air assault “effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq — electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and healthcare.” Purportedly to compel Saddam Hussein’s government to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, which lasted until the 2003 invasion. The sanctions regime was enforced by the US and Britain which took the toughest line on compliance.

“No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions by the United Nations than Iraq,” notes Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in his 2006 book A Different Kind of War.

“Communicable diseases in the 1980s not considered public health hazards, such as measles, polio, cholera, typhoid, marasmus and kwashiorkor, reappeared on epidemic scales.”

In 1999 the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died because of a lack of medication, food or safe water supplies.

To counter some of the worst effects of sanctions, in 1996 the UN set up the Oil-For-Food Programme, which allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food, medicine and other goods.

However, the programme was far from adequate. “At no time during the years of comprehensive economic sanctions were there adequate resources to meet minimum needs for human physical or mental survival either before, or during, the Oil-For-Food Programme”, Von Sponeck notes in his book.

In 1998/99, each Iraqi received a food allocation of $49 (£32) — 27 (19p) cents a day – for a six month period. In contrast, the dogs the UN used to help de-mine Iraq each received a food allocation of $160.

In protest at what 70 members of the US congress called “infanticide masquerading as policy,” Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq who ran the sanctions regime, resigned in 1998. Noting the sanctions were causing the deaths of up to 5,000 children a month, Halliday bluntly stated: “We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Speaking to journalist John Pilger, Halliday later explained: “I was instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide — a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

Halliday’s successor Von Sponeck resigned in protest two years later, asking in his resignation letter: “How long should the civilian population of Iraq be exposed to such punishment for something they have never done?” Later he told Pilger: “I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Making a hat-trick, Jutta Burghardt, head of the UN World Food Programme in Iraq, resigned two days after Von Sponeck, describing the sanctions regime as “a true humanitarian tragedy.”

With a few honourable exceptions such as Pilger, Tony Benn and George Galloway, the response of the British political class and media was either to ignore or dismiss the fact sanctions were killing Iraqis on a mass scale.

According to the media watchdog Media Lens, in 2003 Halliday was mentioned in just two of the 12,366 Guardian and Observer articles mentioning Iraq. Von Sponeck was mentioned a grand total of five times in the same year. Von Sponeck’s book on the sanctions has never been reviewed in the British press, and has been mentioned just once — by the veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk.

Echoing the denials of new Labour ministers such as Peter Hain and Robin Cook, in 2002 Observer Editor Roger Alton responded to a reader challenging him about the sanctions, stating: “It’s Saddam who’s killing all the bloody children, not sanctions. Sorry.” The highly respected Middle East specialist Professor Fred Halliday was equally dismissive, rubbishing “claims that Iraq still lacks the means to provide a basic supply of food” in a book review in the Independent in 1999.

The governing elite, assisted by a pliant media and the silence of much of academia, have carried out a magic trick of epic, sinister proportions. In a world of 24-hour news culture they have effectively managed to bury the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a direct result of British foreign policy.

The lack of coverage, concern or discussion today about the sanctions shows how shockingly successful they have been in this endeavour.

As Harold Pinter sarcastically noted in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

No conspiracy is needed. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban,” George Orwell argued in his censored preface to Animal Farm.

He provides two reasons for thought control in democratic society — first, the owners of the British press, socially, politically and economically part of the governing elite, “have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics.” And second, he explains: “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it”.

As always, it’s up to those who care about the lives of people regardless of their nationality or skin colour, who care about truth, who take their responsibility as world citizens seriously, to raise their voice and remember this moral and historical outrage.


By Ian Sinclair

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair.
The Biggest Crime You’ve Never Heard Of





They must have known, mustn’t they? How could they not? Perhaps they chose not to know. With the world commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the nazi-run death camps the question of what ordinary Germans knew (and did) about the genocide their government was perpetrating has once again been in the news.

Of course, the assumption behind much of the coverage of the liberation of Belsen and other camps is that we, living enlightened lives in contemporary Britain, are lucky to live in a society where horrendous crimes do not happen. And if they did, they would be quickly reported by our free and stroppy media and quickly halted.

But what if our own government has been responsible for genocide-level suffering, without the media raising the alarm and therefore leaving the general public in a state of ignorance?

What would this say about our political class? What would it say about the media? And what would it say about us?

Unfortunately this isn’t a hypothetical debate but the cold, brutal reality.

To understand this distressing fact we need to return to February 1991 when the US-led coalition kicked Iraq out of Kuwait, which it had illegally invaded in August 1990.

According to John Hoskins, a Canadian doctor leading a Harvard study team, the US-led air assault “effectively terminated everything vital to human survival in Iraq — electricity, water, sewage systems, agriculture, industry and healthcare.” Purportedly to compel Saddam Hussein’s government to give up its weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the UN imposed economic sanctions on Iraq, which lasted until the 2003 invasion. The sanctions regime was enforced by the US and Britain which took the toughest line on compliance.

“No country had ever been subjected to more comprehensive economic sanctions by the United Nations than Iraq,” notes Hans Von Sponeck, the former UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in his 2006 book A Different Kind of War.

“Communicable diseases in the 1980s not considered public health hazards, such as measles, polio, cholera, typhoid, marasmus and kwashiorkor, reappeared on epidemic scales.”

In 1999 the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) estimated that over 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five had died because of a lack of medication, food or safe water supplies.

To counter some of the worst effects of sanctions, in 1996 the UN set up the Oil-For-Food Programme, which allowed Iraq to sell oil in exchange for food, medicine and other goods.

However, the programme was far from adequate. “At no time during the years of comprehensive economic sanctions were there adequate resources to meet minimum needs for human physical or mental survival either before, or during, the Oil-For-Food Programme”, Von Sponeck notes in his book.

In 1998/99, each Iraqi received a food allocation of $49 (£32) — 27 (19p) cents a day – for a six month period. In contrast, the dogs the UN used to help de-mine Iraq each received a food allocation of $160.

In protest at what 70 members of the US congress called “infanticide masquerading as policy,” Denis Halliday, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq who ran the sanctions regime, resigned in 1998. Noting the sanctions were causing the deaths of up to 5,000 children a month, Halliday bluntly stated: “We are in the process of destroying an entire society. It is as simple and terrifying as that. It is illegal and immoral.”

Speaking to journalist John Pilger, Halliday later explained: “I was instructed to implement a policy that satisfies the definition of genocide — a deliberate policy that has effectively killed well over a million individuals, children and adults.”

Halliday’s successor Von Sponeck resigned in protest two years later, asking in his resignation letter: “How long should the civilian population of Iraq be exposed to such punishment for something they have never done?” Later he told Pilger: “I have not in the past wanted to use the word genocide, but now it is unavoidable.”

Making a hat-trick, Jutta Burghardt, head of the UN World Food Programme in Iraq, resigned two days after Von Sponeck, describing the sanctions regime as “a true humanitarian tragedy.”

With a few honourable exceptions such as Pilger, Tony Benn and George Galloway, the response of the British political class and media was either to ignore or dismiss the fact sanctions were killing Iraqis on a mass scale.

According to the media watchdog Media Lens, in 2003 Halliday was mentioned in just two of the 12,366 Guardian and Observer articles mentioning Iraq. Von Sponeck was mentioned a grand total of five times in the same year. Von Sponeck’s book on the sanctions has never been reviewed in the British press, and has been mentioned just once — by the veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk.

Echoing the denials of new Labour ministers such as Peter Hain and Robin Cook, in 2002 Observer Editor Roger Alton responded to a reader challenging him about the sanctions, stating: “It’s Saddam who’s killing all the bloody children, not sanctions. Sorry.” The highly respected Middle East specialist Professor Fred Halliday was equally dismissive, rubbishing “claims that Iraq still lacks the means to provide a basic supply of food” in a book review in the Independent in 1999.

The governing elite, assisted by a pliant media and the silence of much of academia, have carried out a magic trick of epic, sinister proportions. In a world of 24-hour news culture they have effectively managed to bury the bodies of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died as a direct result of British foreign policy.

The lack of coverage, concern or discussion today about the sanctions shows how shockingly successful they have been in this endeavour.

As Harold Pinter sarcastically noted in his Nobel Peace Prize speech, “It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest.”

No conspiracy is needed. “The sinister fact about literary censorship in England is that it is largely voluntary. Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban,” George Orwell argued in his censored preface to Animal Farm.

He provides two reasons for thought control in democratic society — first, the owners of the British press, socially, politically and economically part of the governing elite, “have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics.” And second, he explains: “At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it”.

As always, it’s up to those who care about the lives of people regardless of their nationality or skin colour, who care about truth, who take their responsibility as world citizens seriously, to raise their voice and remember this moral and historical outrage.


By Ian Sinclair

Ian Sinclair is the author of The March That Shook Blair: An Oral History of 15 February 2003, published by Peace News Press. He tweets @IanJSinclair.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hillary Enigma

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky

The Hillary Enigma




Does it strike anyone as strange that the only candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next President of the United States is the wife of a former President? There is no historic precedent for this, no way to measure this against how Americans have selected Presidents in the past.

Like most Americans, I first took notice of her when Bill began his campaign to become President. I recall being struck by the fact that in 1969 as a student at Wellesley College, her 92-page senior thesis was devoted to the community organizer, Saul Alinsky’s book. The title of the thesis was “There is Only the Fight…”: An Analysis of the Alinski Model.” She would request Wellesley to deny access to it.

Alinksy was a Communist. His twelve rules for radicals, unlike the Ten Commandments, are devoid of a moral message. Instead, the message is “this is how you can win.”  Hillary would do well to review Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”  She was already old news when she announced her candidacy and it is becoming older with every passing day as she fails to take questions from the media, participating in totally staged events to look like “one of the people.”

She and Bill are not one of the people. They, like the Bushes, are political royalty. They have both been around a very long time.

Hillary, however, despite the millions of words that have been written about and by her remains an enigma. Other than being farther to the Left than Bill, she is a woman whose “achievements” in life have largely been the result of having married Bill. She would spend eight years in the White House as the First Lady and, pursuing her college dreams of political power, they would move to New York State where she ran and won a Senatorial election.

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her. She is said to have worked hard and gotten along well with her colleagues, but her Senate years are a blur in her public life. Then she made a bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2008 and along came Barack Hussein Obama with whom the voters fell in love. When he was elected, he asked her to become his Secretary of State.

With the exception of the Benghazi tragedy on September 11, 2012, a clear failure of judgment and duty, and about which she lied, her years as Secretary of State reflect her years in the Senate; nothing of any significance resulted, no major treaties, no major anything, except for one more scandal.

So the question remains; who is Hillary Rodham Clinton? What are her fundamental principles beyond the acquisition of political power? And money. Lots of it while uttering nonsense such as she and Bill being “dead broke” when they left office?

What are we to make of her deletions of thousands of emails on her private server—something she was not supposed to use as Secretary of State—and her assertion that those we may never see were of no importance? They’re important if, as is widely believed, foreign governments hacked her private email server and thus had access to information about policies affecting themselves and others. She may not have broken a law, but she surely did not obey Obama White House policy regarding the emails.

Alinski’s Rule 1 isPower is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources—money and people.

You cannot buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away
We are told that Hillary has a huge amount of money with which to wage a campaign to become the first woman President. In light of the revelations about the Clinton Foundations, virtual slush funds, and the millions earned by her and Bill to give speeches, there is little doubt of that.

You cannot, however, buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away.

Her die-hard supporters probably know as little about her as the rest of us, but it is their trust she is depending on right now. Should she actually receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, the distrust of independent voters, disaffected Democrats, and of course Republicans, will play a crucial role in who is elected in 2016. It is not likely to be Hillary Clinton.

It is not likely because, as we have already seen, she seems to have reached a point where her political abilities have grown tired and out-of-date. These are not the 1990s. A whole generation has been born since Bill was President.

Like her, the Democratic Party seems tired as well. Can you believe there is not another Democrat, a Governor or Senator who could emerge to represent the Party? How devoid of any real leadership has the Democratic Party become if the only candidate they can offer is a former First Lady? That has been her primary claim to fame despite the two offices she has held since the 1990s.

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky.


By Alan Caruba

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky

The Hillary Enigma




Does it strike anyone as strange that the only candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next President of the United States is the wife of a former President? There is no historic precedent for this, no way to measure this against how Americans have selected Presidents in the past.

Like most Americans, I first took notice of her when Bill began his campaign to become President. I recall being struck by the fact that in 1969 as a student at Wellesley College, her 92-page senior thesis was devoted to the community organizer, Saul Alinsky’s book. The title of the thesis was “There is Only the Fight…”: An Analysis of the Alinski Model.” She would request Wellesley to deny access to it.

Alinksy was a Communist. His twelve rules for radicals, unlike the Ten Commandments, are devoid of a moral message. Instead, the message is “this is how you can win.”  Hillary would do well to review Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”  She was already old news when she announced her candidacy and it is becoming older with every passing day as she fails to take questions from the media, participating in totally staged events to look like “one of the people.”

She and Bill are not one of the people. They, like the Bushes, are political royalty. They have both been around a very long time.

Hillary, however, despite the millions of words that have been written about and by her remains an enigma. Other than being farther to the Left than Bill, she is a woman whose “achievements” in life have largely been the result of having married Bill. She would spend eight years in the White House as the First Lady and, pursuing her college dreams of political power, they would move to New York State where she ran and won a Senatorial election.

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her. She is said to have worked hard and gotten along well with her colleagues, but her Senate years are a blur in her public life. Then she made a bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2008 and along came Barack Hussein Obama with whom the voters fell in love. When he was elected, he asked her to become his Secretary of State.

With the exception of the Benghazi tragedy on September 11, 2012, a clear failure of judgment and duty, and about which she lied, her years as Secretary of State reflect her years in the Senate; nothing of any significance resulted, no major treaties, no major anything, except for one more scandal.

So the question remains; who is Hillary Rodham Clinton? What are her fundamental principles beyond the acquisition of political power? And money. Lots of it while uttering nonsense such as she and Bill being “dead broke” when they left office?

What are we to make of her deletions of thousands of emails on her private server—something she was not supposed to use as Secretary of State—and her assertion that those we may never see were of no importance? They’re important if, as is widely believed, foreign governments hacked her private email server and thus had access to information about policies affecting themselves and others. She may not have broken a law, but she surely did not obey Obama White House policy regarding the emails.

Alinski’s Rule 1 isPower is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources—money and people.

You cannot buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away
We are told that Hillary has a huge amount of money with which to wage a campaign to become the first woman President. In light of the revelations about the Clinton Foundations, virtual slush funds, and the millions earned by her and Bill to give speeches, there is little doubt of that.

You cannot, however, buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away.

Her die-hard supporters probably know as little about her as the rest of us, but it is their trust she is depending on right now. Should she actually receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, the distrust of independent voters, disaffected Democrats, and of course Republicans, will play a crucial role in who is elected in 2016. It is not likely to be Hillary Clinton.

It is not likely because, as we have already seen, she seems to have reached a point where her political abilities have grown tired and out-of-date. These are not the 1990s. A whole generation has been born since Bill was President.

Like her, the Democratic Party seems tired as well. Can you believe there is not another Democrat, a Governor or Senator who could emerge to represent the Party? How devoid of any real leadership has the Democratic Party become if the only candidate they can offer is a former First Lady? That has been her primary claim to fame despite the two offices she has held since the 1990s.

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky.


By Alan Caruba



Sex—Sex and more sex…Every day, Every way, Every One

Instead, many in America have turned sex and its expression into a walking and diseased 'side show.' I pray we will not become another 'Rome' but we are swiftly on our way

Sex—Sex and more sex…Every day, Every way, Every One




It appears the gift of ‘sex’ and sexuality has been forced over a cliff and shattered into a thousand pieces of broken and perverted expression. Experts are everywhere and those who demand to change our legal, religious, educational and political core. We must become another creature…void of Godly morals, laced with experimental sexual drives and controlled by feelings, Government and liberal agendas. “Act out, do it again and we will treat your diseases.”

Shockingly, the most perverted among us run for President and dream of controlling us from the top down. We have been forced to endure the never ending story about Hillary and Bill…sex this and sex that. We see the perverted pedophile friend here, sell out and money laundering there….‘the sleep around—sell out family in every way. Sadly, so far it looks like Hillary will be running on the Democrat ticket. Moral—Legal—and Faith bankruptcy!

Hillary is not the only one competing for the ‘sex and moral lunacy award.’ Other ‘wanna be’ Presidential candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) enlightened us as well. Craig Bannister of MRCTV found a lovely post from Bernie back in 1972 entitled “Men-And-Women.” It was published in the “Vermont Freeman” liberal newspaper. Sanders stated that women fantasized about being gang raped. Oh, yes…He was quoted as saying: “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man-as she fantasizes about being raped by 3 men simultaneously.” A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,” wrote Sanders. “A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused.” Read the post at MRCTV.

I can hardly wait to see a nightmare like Bernie Sanders President. Just think about all the handcuff and rope sales he will see at the White House for Interns. Perhaps he will pardon all incarcerated rapists, since women want it anyway. Maybe he can help organize and fund a new UNION so three men at once can attack women with precision and order. The men can support each other and fund-raise.

We still await the ruling from the Supreme Court on ‘mandated gay marriage.’ Will it be pushed and forced on all 50 states and will this crush freedom of speech and religious rights? The battle is upon us all and we will see the next chapter very soon.

Sex with everyone and everything…bring it. Women and women—men and men—sex with groups - neighborhoods—sex with old men and young boys—sex with your Beagle—then do it all again after you changed your sex over the weekend. Now, you come with all your ‘rights’ from the other side.

Will it become a crime to be married to your husband, not sleep around and not allow others to join in? Just think of the exclusive—hate of that position. There will be no one in my bed except my husband and I….ok, our dog Scooter as well—but not for sex.

Apparently some have never learned from history what happens when God and morals are completely removed from sexuality and its expression. Rome started its downturn in AD 190 and was known for acting out with sexual expression, torture of Christians and violence in between their artistic expressions.

God put parameters and limits around sex not to torture and punish us, but to protect us and bless us all. Sex was created by God as an intimate and Holy expression of love to another person of the opposite sex. He invented the Holy sacrament of Marriage where sex is meant to live and prosper.

Instead, many in America have turned sex and its expression into a walking and diseased ‘side show.’ I pray we will not become another ‘Rome’ but we are swiftly on our way.


By Dr. Laurie Roth Instead, many in America have turned sex and its expression into a walking and diseased 'side show.' I pray we will not become another 'Rome' but we are swiftly on our way

Sex—Sex and more sex…Every day, Every way, Every One




It appears the gift of ‘sex’ and sexuality has been forced over a cliff and shattered into a thousand pieces of broken and perverted expression. Experts are everywhere and those who demand to change our legal, religious, educational and political core. We must become another creature…void of Godly morals, laced with experimental sexual drives and controlled by feelings, Government and liberal agendas. “Act out, do it again and we will treat your diseases.”

Shockingly, the most perverted among us run for President and dream of controlling us from the top down. We have been forced to endure the never ending story about Hillary and Bill…sex this and sex that. We see the perverted pedophile friend here, sell out and money laundering there….‘the sleep around—sell out family in every way. Sadly, so far it looks like Hillary will be running on the Democrat ticket. Moral—Legal—and Faith bankruptcy!

Hillary is not the only one competing for the ‘sex and moral lunacy award.’ Other ‘wanna be’ Presidential candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) enlightened us as well. Craig Bannister of MRCTV found a lovely post from Bernie back in 1972 entitled “Men-And-Women.” It was published in the “Vermont Freeman” liberal newspaper. Sanders stated that women fantasized about being gang raped. Oh, yes…He was quoted as saying: “A woman enjoys intercourse with her man-as she fantasizes about being raped by 3 men simultaneously.” A man goes home and masturbates his typical fantasy,” wrote Sanders. “A woman on her knees. A woman tied up. A woman abused.” Read the post at MRCTV.

I can hardly wait to see a nightmare like Bernie Sanders President. Just think about all the handcuff and rope sales he will see at the White House for Interns. Perhaps he will pardon all incarcerated rapists, since women want it anyway. Maybe he can help organize and fund a new UNION so three men at once can attack women with precision and order. The men can support each other and fund-raise.

We still await the ruling from the Supreme Court on ‘mandated gay marriage.’ Will it be pushed and forced on all 50 states and will this crush freedom of speech and religious rights? The battle is upon us all and we will see the next chapter very soon.

Sex with everyone and everything…bring it. Women and women—men and men—sex with groups - neighborhoods—sex with old men and young boys—sex with your Beagle—then do it all again after you changed your sex over the weekend. Now, you come with all your ‘rights’ from the other side.

Will it become a crime to be married to your husband, not sleep around and not allow others to join in? Just think of the exclusive—hate of that position. There will be no one in my bed except my husband and I….ok, our dog Scooter as well—but not for sex.

Apparently some have never learned from history what happens when God and morals are completely removed from sexuality and its expression. Rome started its downturn in AD 190 and was known for acting out with sexual expression, torture of Christians and violence in between their artistic expressions.

God put parameters and limits around sex not to torture and punish us, but to protect us and bless us all. Sex was created by God as an intimate and Holy expression of love to another person of the opposite sex. He invented the Holy sacrament of Marriage where sex is meant to live and prosper.

Instead, many in America have turned sex and its expression into a walking and diseased ‘side show.’ I pray we will not become another ‘Rome’ but we are swiftly on our way.


By Dr. Laurie Roth

A Teachable Moment for America’s Flawed Constitutional Scholar!

Justice wins the day for American citizens as tens of millions of illegal aliens are sent back to the Shadows for deportation. All because America’s Constitutional Scholar wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought himself to be!

A Teachable Moment for America’s Flawed Constitutional Scholar!



After nearly seven years of lawless disregard for the rule of law, including the US Constitution, the Congress, and the overall will of the American people, it appears to have finally dawned on Barack Hussein Obama that even the smartest outlaw in town must eventually heel to the law.

And so it is that a profound Teachable Moment lurks at Obama’s feet in the Oval Office, in readiness to counter all the pious, self-righteous malarkey about doing the “right thing,” which The One has repeatedly used to justify presidential tyranny.

After an Appeals Court in New Orleans on Tuesday rejected the Administration’s cry to remove an injunction against Executive Orders issued by Obama to illegally revise existing immigration law, it was assumed that the Obama legal team would immediately summon help from the SCOTUS in order to fundamentally transform America into a third-world failed state like Mexico.

Alas, it turns out that Obama and crew have decided to skip the jump to SCOTUS, in a tacit admission that the Executive Amnesty argument is silly and likely to tarnish Obama’s bruised legacy even further.

As reported:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/us/obama-immigration-executive-action-supreme-court.html?_r=0

“WASHINGTON — President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday.

Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts.

That legal battle may extend for a year or more, officials said, undermining any hope of putting the president’s plan into effect until right before the 2016 election.

The inability to quickly put into effect the president’s reforms is another severe blow to Hispanic activists, who had successfully lobbied Mr. Obama to take bold executive action in the face of Republican opposition to comprehensive changes in immigration law.

The president vowed to act days before Thanksgiving last year, urging undocumented immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and declaring that his actions were “not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half-century.”

So, Thank God, American justice wins the day for American citizens as tens of millions of illegal aliens are sent back to the Shadows for deportation.

All because America’s Constitutional Scholar wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought himself to be!


By John Lillpop Justice wins the day for American citizens as tens of millions of illegal aliens are sent back to the Shadows for deportation. All because America’s Constitutional Scholar wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought himself to be!

A Teachable Moment for America’s Flawed Constitutional Scholar!



After nearly seven years of lawless disregard for the rule of law, including the US Constitution, the Congress, and the overall will of the American people, it appears to have finally dawned on Barack Hussein Obama that even the smartest outlaw in town must eventually heel to the law.

And so it is that a profound Teachable Moment lurks at Obama’s feet in the Oval Office, in readiness to counter all the pious, self-righteous malarkey about doing the “right thing,” which The One has repeatedly used to justify presidential tyranny.

After an Appeals Court in New Orleans on Tuesday rejected the Administration’s cry to remove an injunction against Executive Orders issued by Obama to illegally revise existing immigration law, it was assumed that the Obama legal team would immediately summon help from the SCOTUS in order to fundamentally transform America into a third-world failed state like Mexico.

Alas, it turns out that Obama and crew have decided to skip the jump to SCOTUS, in a tacit admission that the Executive Amnesty argument is silly and likely to tarnish Obama’s bruised legacy even further.

As reported:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/28/us/obama-immigration-executive-action-supreme-court.html?_r=0

“WASHINGTON — President Obama’s overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, which he announced in a prime-time speech to the nation last November, may remain under a cloud of legal uncertainty until months before he leaves office in 2017, legal experts and administration officials said Wednesday.

Officials from the Justice Department said in a statement that they would not ask the Supreme Court for permission to carry out the president’s immigration programs — which seek to provide work permits and deportation protection to millions of undocumented immigrants — while a fight over presidential authority plays out in the lower courts.

That legal battle may extend for a year or more, officials said, undermining any hope of putting the president’s plan into effect until right before the 2016 election.

The inability to quickly put into effect the president’s reforms is another severe blow to Hispanic activists, who had successfully lobbied Mr. Obama to take bold executive action in the face of Republican opposition to comprehensive changes in immigration law.

The president vowed to act days before Thanksgiving last year, urging undocumented immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and declaring that his actions were “not only lawful, they’re the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican president and every Democratic president for the past half-century.”

So, Thank God, American justice wins the day for American citizens as tens of millions of illegal aliens are sent back to the Shadows for deportation.

All because America’s Constitutional Scholar wasn’t nearly as smart as he thought himself to be!


By John Lillpop

Is this Your Country?


When a candidate says “This is my country” or “America is my country” -- which meaning do you think is running through his, or more likely, her mind?

Is this Your Country?



As we enter another election cycle for 2016, we will hear millions, if not billions of words coming out of the mouths of candidates and from thousands of politicians from every political subgroup. From Progressives, Socialists and Democrats to Republicans, Libertarians and Tea Partiers.

Millions more will come from the mouths (or more realistically, the word processors) of self-claimed pundits, pseudo-journalists, unofficial representatives of whatever and the attack dogs for various front groups on both the left and the right.

Pathetically, most of these voices will misuse a phrase over and over and over.  It is a phrase that most people who hear it, misunderstand it as well. What’s the phrase?  OK, it is simply four words:

“This is my country.”

For most people, this is a fairly simple statement.  But only for most people.  Thankfully, Barack Obama shouldn’t be running for any other office in 2016, since his use of this phrase will likely be a bit different that the rest of us.

I know that most of you are asking yourself, “How can such a simple phrase have multiple meanings.”  Let’s just use the same construction but change a single word:

“This is my family.”

“This is my car.”

When we say the first sentence, we are identifying with those people with whom we have deep bonds, common beliefs, and a willingness to do whatever is needed to help those people.  It is an identification with others, recognizing the commonality that exists within a family even when there are particular members of our family with whom we don’t always agree or even like very much.

When most people say “This is my country”, they are identifying themselves with the largest “family” that most of us could ever imagine.  Of course there are larger groups, but these are nearly impossible to declare themselves to be a part of such a group.  Can you imagine any one you know declaring, with a sense of pride, “This is my planet”?

On the other hand, when someone says “This is my car”, there is no sense of “belonging” in any way.  When the sentence reads “This is my car” it is clearly a declaration of ownership.  If an individual’s car is a Rolls Royce, the announcement is more than a simple statement of ownership, it becomes a declaration of the assumption by the owner of their superiority to everyone else.  In addition to superiority, it is also a declaration of control.  The owner is conveying the idea that, in addition to their superiority, they have the absolute right to do with that car exactly what they desire to do, up to completely wrecking the Rolls Royce, or painting it blue and purple if they choose or reupholstering the interior in zebra skin or mink.  They have total control, and they want everyone to be aware of their authority.  Such a statement, coupled with such behavior is a very bold statement that the individual has absolutely no concern (or even acknowledgement) of the fact that they might be affecting others.

A person who insists on using that phrase to tell everyone that they are in complete control of everything around them is likely a person that needs some serious therapy.

Now, think back on the original sentence – “This is my country”.  Ask yourself when you listen to politicians use that phrase, what are they telling you?  I can think of at least one politician that uses the second meaning of the phrase, and that would be Barack Obama.  He does not see himself as part of the American “family”.  He sees himself as the unchallenged ruler of America, and look how his presidency has turned out.  He ignores all the rules and customs that have existed in “his” nation for over two centuries because he believes himself to be absolutely superior to everyone else in that “family”.  And when others try to end his presumptuous arrogance, he effectively responds with “How dare they!”

So before we vote in the upcoming primaries, and then in the general election next year, we should ask ourselves, when a candidate says “This is my country” or “America is my country”—which meaning do you think is running through his, or more likely, her mind?


By Jim Yardley

When a candidate says “This is my country” or “America is my country” -- which meaning do you think is running through his, or more likely, her mind?

Is this Your Country?



As we enter another election cycle for 2016, we will hear millions, if not billions of words coming out of the mouths of candidates and from thousands of politicians from every political subgroup. From Progressives, Socialists and Democrats to Republicans, Libertarians and Tea Partiers.

Millions more will come from the mouths (or more realistically, the word processors) of self-claimed pundits, pseudo-journalists, unofficial representatives of whatever and the attack dogs for various front groups on both the left and the right.

Pathetically, most of these voices will misuse a phrase over and over and over.  It is a phrase that most people who hear it, misunderstand it as well. What’s the phrase?  OK, it is simply four words:

“This is my country.”

For most people, this is a fairly simple statement.  But only for most people.  Thankfully, Barack Obama shouldn’t be running for any other office in 2016, since his use of this phrase will likely be a bit different that the rest of us.

I know that most of you are asking yourself, “How can such a simple phrase have multiple meanings.”  Let’s just use the same construction but change a single word:

“This is my family.”

“This is my car.”

When we say the first sentence, we are identifying with those people with whom we have deep bonds, common beliefs, and a willingness to do whatever is needed to help those people.  It is an identification with others, recognizing the commonality that exists within a family even when there are particular members of our family with whom we don’t always agree or even like very much.

When most people say “This is my country”, they are identifying themselves with the largest “family” that most of us could ever imagine.  Of course there are larger groups, but these are nearly impossible to declare themselves to be a part of such a group.  Can you imagine any one you know declaring, with a sense of pride, “This is my planet”?

On the other hand, when someone says “This is my car”, there is no sense of “belonging” in any way.  When the sentence reads “This is my car” it is clearly a declaration of ownership.  If an individual’s car is a Rolls Royce, the announcement is more than a simple statement of ownership, it becomes a declaration of the assumption by the owner of their superiority to everyone else.  In addition to superiority, it is also a declaration of control.  The owner is conveying the idea that, in addition to their superiority, they have the absolute right to do with that car exactly what they desire to do, up to completely wrecking the Rolls Royce, or painting it blue and purple if they choose or reupholstering the interior in zebra skin or mink.  They have total control, and they want everyone to be aware of their authority.  Such a statement, coupled with such behavior is a very bold statement that the individual has absolutely no concern (or even acknowledgement) of the fact that they might be affecting others.

A person who insists on using that phrase to tell everyone that they are in complete control of everything around them is likely a person that needs some serious therapy.

Now, think back on the original sentence – “This is my country”.  Ask yourself when you listen to politicians use that phrase, what are they telling you?  I can think of at least one politician that uses the second meaning of the phrase, and that would be Barack Obama.  He does not see himself as part of the American “family”.  He sees himself as the unchallenged ruler of America, and look how his presidency has turned out.  He ignores all the rules and customs that have existed in “his” nation for over two centuries because he believes himself to be absolutely superior to everyone else in that “family”.  And when others try to end his presumptuous arrogance, he effectively responds with “How dare they!”

So before we vote in the upcoming primaries, and then in the general election next year, we should ask ourselves, when a candidate says “This is my country” or “America is my country”—which meaning do you think is running through his, or more likely, her mind?


By Jim Yardley

U.S. Power and the Godfather Principle

U.S. Power and the Godfather Principle


 An Interview with Noam Chomsky conducted by John Holder and Doug Morris, May 4, 2015, at MIT, Cambridge, MA.  This is the fifth in a series of interviews concentrating mostly on questions gathered from young folks. Video is forthcoming.

Q. We are here at the beginning of May 2015 and there appears to be a rapprochement developing between Cuba and the United States.  There is a lot of mainstream talk about the economic opportunities this could bring to the business community in the United States but very little about how this impacts the Cuban revolution and her citizens.  What are your thoughts on Cuba and her future?

NC:  First, why did Obama make this gesture?  According to the official story, his own speech, and then the echoes of the cooperative media is that we have been trying for fifty years to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, and our methods so far have not worked so we should find other methods to pursue our noble aims.

And this is described in the New York Review of Books, way out on the left liberal fringe of the intellectual world, as “a noble gesture that will create a new legacy for Obama,” and so on.

Turning to the real world there was a summit coming up in Panama, a hemispheric summit.  At the previous hemispheric summit which was in Colombia, the U.S. and Canada were totally isolated from the rest of the hemisphere on two issues and therefore there was no consensus agreement.  One was admission of Cuba into the hemisphere which the U.S. and Canada adamantly rejected.  The rest of the hemisphere has wanted it for a long time.  The second was interesting; it was moves toward de-criminalization of drugs.  The U.S. so called “drug war” is having no effect on availability of drugs and that has been known for forty years, but it does have a lethal effect in Latin America.  And here in the U.S. it is basically a technique for locking up black males.  So it is part of the control of what is seen as a superfluous population.  And Latin America wants to get out of it but the U.S. and Canada won’t.  That is the background.

The next summit was coming up in a couple of weeks in Panama and it would have been an absolute disaster for the United States unless Obama had made some kind of gesture.  So he finally agreed to move toward limited normalization.  The embargo remains, Cuban scholars are still not permitted to come to scientific conferences in the United States, and so on.  As to the “noble effort to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba” what was ignored in most of the commentary is mentioned but there is a crushing embargo for fifty years, which is opposed by the entire world.  If you look at the votes in the United Nations General Assembly, there is an annual vote, only Israel votes with the United States – occasionally a Pacific Island.  And on top of that there is a major terrorist war, primarily under Kennedy, but a serious terrorist war that went on into the nineties.  The only thing allowed to be mentioned is there were some attempts to assassinate Castro, which is true, but they can be laughed off as CIA shenanigans.  They are a footnote.  The main thing is the terrorist war; that is the attempt to “bring justice and democracy to Cuba.”

And we know the reasons but they are unmentionable.  It is an open society.  We have internal records.  The reason was, the concern was, as the State Department put it, “Castro is carrying out successful defiance of U.S. policies that go back to 1823,” the Monroe Doctrine which declared that the U.S. must dominate the hemisphere.  The U.S. was not in a position to do it at the time, but that was the goal.  And that has been U.S. policy ever since, and Castro’s defying it means getting in the way of that, and you can’t do that.

“International affairs” is very much like the mafia.  A major principle of international affairs is the Godfather cannot brook disobedience.  Here it is given various, kind of euphemisms, so it is called “the domino theory,” but what it actually amounts to is what Henry Kissinger described very well.  He happened to be talking about Allende’s Chile, which was a parliamentary democracy moving toward social democracy, and he described it as “a virus that might spread contagion.”  In other words, others might pick up the model of moving through parliamentary means to social democratic policies, and that is extremely dangerous because the system of domination and control might fall apart.

So, the U.S. backed a vicious, murderous dictatorship to kill the virus, and instituted murderous dictatorships in the surrounding area to prevent contagion.  That is exactly what it was doing in Southeast Asia at the same time.  These are leading themes.  And the same was true of Cuba.

When Kennedy came into office he had a Latin American Commission, a research commission.  The report was handed to him by Arthur Schlesinger a well known liberal historian and his Latin American advisor, and the way Schlesinger put it was, the summary of the study was that the problem of Cuba is the spread of the Castro idea of taking matters into your own hands which might inspire others in other countries who are suffering the same repression and violence that the Cubans are, might inspire them to do the same thing.  As any mafia don understands, if you allow any disobedience and you let them get away with it, then it can spread, so you have to crush it at the source.  That is a dominant theme of foreign policy.

The U.S. did not make it up; it is understood by every imperial power, but it is the leading theme of U.S. international policy, and Cuba was, of course, the victim of that.  And since they were successful in their defiance they had to be subjected to unusual punishment, a crushing embargo, a very serious terrorist war, and that is the translation of Obama’s lovely phrases into English.

But he did have to make the move; otherwise the U.S. would have had a catastrophe at the Panama summit.  This way, though they were under plenty of criticism, they could sort of pretend that the U.S. was greeted with enthusiasm for its forthcoming gesture.  That is the way the propaganda system operates.

The moves are of some significance, but the Cuba case is pretty interesting.  Typically, foreign policy is pretty much dictated by concentrated domestic power, as you would expect.  That means the corporate sector, pretty much in terms of policy.  The American population has been in favor of normalization with Cuba for about forty years.  But, the population is usually disregarded, so that is not surprising.  What is of interest is that major sectors of U.S. capital were in favor of normalization, the pharmaceutical industry, agribusiness, energy corporations, they are usually very influential in designing policy, but not in this case.  The State interests, the godfather interests in punishing Cuba for its successful defiance overwhelmed the normal factors that determine policy.  That is not a unique case but an interesting one.  Actually, Iran is another case.  Apart from what was done to Cuba, which is pretty awful, it is of great interest in understanding ourselves.

Q:  Briefly, on January 29th of this year, NPR published a piece that included the following, “through controversial politicking, the U.S. was given a perpetual lease at Guantanamo in 1903. We don’t see it as “controversial.”  

NC:  It is kind of interesting when you compare it to Russia’s annexation of Crimea – which was of course illegal.  But U.S. control over Guantanamo is far worse.  The lease they are talking about was at gun point.  Cuba was essentially under military occupation, so it is totally meaningless.  The U.S. simply demanded, and of course, was granted control over a large part of Southeast Cuba, including its major port, Guantanamo.  And the condition was that it would be used as a coaling station and a couple of other such things.  When Cuba finally achieved independence in 1959 it asked to have that territory returned.  The U.S. refused, of course.

Q:  Just to be clear, we are not just talking about the military base, but the actual land.

NC:  Yes, there is a region which includes the base, and the harbor which is Cuba’s major harbor, or would be.  So, the U.S. is keeping it for several reasons.  One is as part of the punishment of Cuba.  It significantly impedes the economic development of Cuba.  Secondly, the U.S. uses it for a variety of illegal purposes.  It used it to house Haitian refugees fleeing from the terrorist state, of course in violation of international law, but the U.S. sent them off to the Guantanamo prison.  And, of course, in more recent years, it has been one of the major torture chambers in the world.  In fact, if you look at human rights violations in Cuba, which everyone is obsessed with, by far the worst of them are in Guantanamo.

But the U.S. has no claim to Guantanamo whatsoever, either historical, strategic, or anything else, it just holds onto it because it has the power to.  By comparison Putin looks pretty mild in the case of Crimea.  But to discuss this in the United States is almost inconceivable.

Q:  A question from high school students.  Most people in this class were born in 2001 and the U.S. has been involved in military aggression our whole lives.  It is the norm for us.  We have discovered that the U.S. has been involved in military aggression constantly since 1950.  Why does U.S. power stay committed to violence and militarization?

NC:  Going back to 1950, the U.S. far and away was the most powerful state in history.  It had about half the world’s wealth, incomparable security, it controlled the hemisphere, both oceans, opposite sides of both oceans, other industrial societies had been devastated by the war, the U.S. economy boomed during the war, industrial production quadrupled.  The U.S. was basically in a position to run the world. Planners understood it, and they laid out detailed, sophisticated plans as to how to run the world.

Well, let us go back to the mafia.  When the don controls some huge territory, he does not want to give it up.  In fact, in 1949, a critical event took place.  China became independent.  That is called, in the United States, “the loss of China,” which is a very interesting phrase.  And it became a major issue in American domestic policy.  It was kind of the roots of McCarthyism, McCarthyist repression, [and the question was] who is responsible for the loss of China?  When Kennedy came into office, one of the reasons for his sharp escalation of the war in Vietnam was the fear that he would be blamed for the loss of Indochina.  I can’t lose your computer, only you can.  But since we own the world, and that is taken for granted, it is “the loss of China.”  And they do not want to lose anything else, just like the godfather doesn’t.

And to maintain control often requires violence, and the world knows this.  Not Americans, but the world does.  So, for example, about a year ago there was an international poll, run by the Gallup organization, the main U.S. polling organization, so everyone knows the results, it was an international poll and one of the questions it asked was “Which country is the greatest threat to world peace?”  The United States was far in the lead.  No one else was even close.  Second place was way behind and it was Pakistan, inflated by the Indian vote, practically nobody else was mentioned.

That is an international poll.  Why don’t Americans know about it?  Very simple, the free press refused to publish it – do a data base search.  A couple of people reported it.  I did and a few others.  Every editorial office, of course knew it, but they also knew this is not the kind of thing you tell Americans.  What you tell Americans is that Iran is the greatest threat to world peace.  That is trumpeted by every major media outlet.  Every candidate for office, every presidential candidate, the official media constantly declare that Iran is the greatest threat to world peace.  That is the party line here.  For the world it is the U.S. that is the greatest threat to world peace.  And this is of course related to what the students described.  We are constantly at war, the country maybe has a thousand military bases around the world, no other country has anything like that.  The U.S. is conducting the most extraordinary global assassination campaign, terror campaign in world history, it is the drone campaign, which is officially described, not a secret, as a campaign intended to kill people who are suspected of maybe someday planning to harm us.  If Iran said it was carrying out a global assassination campaign to murder people who it knows are intending to harm it, not just “suspects,” like the Israeli leadership which is constantly threatening to bomb and is carrying out terrorist activities in Iran, the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post who publish Op/Eds calling for the bombing of Iran, we would think it was terrorism.  But when the mafia don does it, it is just stabilizing the world.  But the world does not necessarily see it that way, especially the victims.
And yes, constant aggression, terror, Special Forces operations, etc.  Right now, the U.S. is supporting the Saudi attack on Yemen which is destroying Yemen.  The U.S. has practically demolished Iraq, incited and spread sectarian conflict that did not exist [prior to the U.S. invasion] which is now tearing the region to shreds.  The U.S. participated in the bombing of Libya in violation of the Security Council resolution that the triumvirate, Britain, France, and the United States introduced.  It has destroyed Libya.  It has now vastly escalated the number of casualties, left the country in tatters.  It is part of the immigration crisis in the Mediterranean.  All of these things are happening but it is called “stabilization” and “benevolence” and so on.  Not for the world.  They see it differently.

Q:  More and more the U.S. public is being made aware of the dangerous intersection between the police of this country and its male African American citizens.  Do you find that the frequency of these incidents is something new or is it that the documentation of them is getting better?

NC:  I think what is happening is a kind of statistical aberration.  It goes on all the time.  But it happens that there has been a cluster which is probably a statistical accident.  But it is enough that it brought the matter to the fore; it is very hard to avoid when these things are striking you in the face day after day, but it is a constant phenomena.  Black communities just live under these conditions.  If you look at the record, over the years, the number of black males who have been killed or injured by the police is way beyond any relationship to crime or certainly the white population or anything else.  When there is a riot of young whites people don’t get killed.  When it is blacks they get killed.

It is part of a long story that goes back 400 years.  400 years is when the first slaves were brought to the United States.  The American economy, a substantial part of it, our wealth and privilege, developed on the basis of a century of vicious slave labor camps.  The worst in the history of slavery.  They would have impressed the Nazis.  But they produced the wealth that created the financial industries, the commercial industries, manufacturing, etc.  After that there were a couple of years, a decade in fact, of relative freedom, then the system was basically reinstituted by criminalization of black life, creating a new slave labor force by the government that contributed a large part of the American industrial revolution that was based on essentially slave labor from the incarceration of black, mostly black males – mining, the steel industry, the agricultural aspect is known (chain gangs you could see them), but the rest you didn’t actually see but it was happening.  That went on virtually until the Second World War.  Then there were a couple of decades of rapid economic growth and a certain degree of opportunity.  Then you get in the era of the drug war and kind of back to the late nineteenth century.  And all of this is the background.

The killings and the repression are in part a class issue and in part a race issue.  And the two are pretty closely correlated so they are hard to tease apart but undoubtedly the race issue is a major part, after all that is the leading theme of American history for four hundred years now.

Q:  A more lighthearted question, perhaps – from a sixteen year old student.  See if you want to take this up.  If your sixteen your old self was in high school today and could interview Noam Chomsky today at 86 what would you ask?

NC:  I remember what I was doing at sixteen.  I was deeply immersed in radical political activities such as there was and all sorts of reading of all that was involved in the rise of fascism, the Second World War was going on, I was critical of a lot of what was happening, especially the imperial conquest of Southern Europe, attacks on Greece, on Italy, very much involved in the Spanish Revolution, interested in that and many other things, and, incidentally, thinking about dropping out of college because it was so boring.  I’m not suggesting that as advice to a sixteen year old.  I was so far out on the fringe that it is not a model for anyone.

If I was a sixteen year old today I’d be asking “What are we going to do about the fact that we are racing towards a precipice and we are going to fall over it and it will be devastating for these kid’s children and grandchildren?”  The number of people who are already dying from global warming is in the hundreds of thousands a year.  It is going to escalate sharply.  About one out of six species has already been destroyed.  It is the worst species destruction in sixty million years.  If we don’t cut this off pretty soon it will be beyond the tipping point and the worst part is that young people don’t know about it.  There was just a poll released, a major poll, of Millennials, people who are teenagers today, like this student.  About fifty percent of them believe what practically 100% of scientists believe.  About 20% agree that “yes, there is global warming but human beings don’t have anything to do with it.”  And about 30% take the position of Rubio and so on “I’m not a scientist, I don’t know, the science isn’t settled.”  The science is settled, as much as anything is.  That is one major catastrophe.  The other is the constant threat of nuclear war.  If you look over the record for seventy years it is just a miracle that we survived.  And top strategic analysts are aware of that and warned that we can’t live like that forever. Even just by accident, something is going to happen.  And the threats are actually building up.

There is a famous “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set up in 1947, and it keeps moving up and back before midnight.  Midnight means terminal.  It was just advanced a couple of months ago to two minutes closer to midnight.  Three minutes from midnight.  It is the closest it has been since a major war scare in the early eighties.

That is a serious threat; the other is environmental catastrophe which is coming and we are racing towards it, increasing the use of fossil fuels.  It is common knowledge among qualified scientists that these just have to be kept in the ground if we are going to survive.  And as I said, people don’t know.  Interestingly, younger people, who it was thought might be more aware of it, really aren’t.  Somewhat more.  So, if you take older people, say among older Republicans, ten percent think there is global warming.  They are just living in another universe.  But even of the majority, a near majority (about half the population), don’t really accept it.  That is one of the most dangerous things you can imagine.

So advice that any sixteen year old ought to be thinking about is “What can I do about my own peers and what can I do about a political and social system which is structured so that it is going to drive us to total disaster?”  That is the question they should be asking.

Q:  This raises a question related to that.  This is a college student, a college student who is studying to be a teacher, an elementary teacher, she says: “Given the severity of the nightmares we face, nuclear nightmares, ecological destruction, extinction of species, do we need new approaches to formal education?  If not now, how bad does it have to get until we say it is time for (1) a radical re-thinking of education, and (2) radical reconstructions of education?

NC:  My own feeling is that we should return to a more sane educational system that did exist.  The tendency in the recent period, in my opinion, is to undermine the educational system.  So, take K-12, which is now geared increasingly toward “teaching to tests” – the worst possible form of education.  All three of us know from our own experience and everyone knows it if they think about it, you can take a course which you are not interested in, you can study for the exam, pass the exam, get an “A,” and a week later you forgot what the course was even about.   If something is poured into you from the outside and you regurgitate it, it doesn’t stay.  If you want to understand and learn anything it has got to be self-generated.  That is well-understood, the psychological mechanisms, the history, this goes back hundreds of years to the Enlightenment.  The education system has been turned away from that and toward imposing passivity, conformity, obedience, memorize what you are told, put it on paper, forget about it, go on to the next thing.  That is part of the reason why you have these shocking statistics about the lack of awareness of young people about what is facing them.  They are not educated to discover what is happening in the world, only to repeat what they are told and put it in a test, which you then forget about.
So, the educational system should be completely redesigned to be a system that is designed for education not for training for passivity and conformism.

Q:  So, are you pointing out that there was a time when creativity, curiosity, exploration, etc. was paramount?
NC:  Not paramount, but present to an extent.  What existed is being undermined.  In fact, the right of a teacher to be a good teacher is being undermined.  There are plenty of good, dedicated, committed teachers who would love to be able to inspire their students to search for themselves, to think things through, to challenge, to pursue interests, and they are being prevented from doing that.  For being prevented from doing it they have to tell students, I’ve heard many stories, suppose a six year old kid is interested in something, well you have to tell them you have to study for the exam that is coming because your future will depend on it and though the teacher does not say so “my salary will depend on it.”  It is a system of indoctrination and control.  It has nice names like “No Child Left Behind,” “Race to the Top,” and so on, but it is a very harmful system.

And something similar is happening at the college level.  There is an imposition of a kind of business model on colleges and universities that is very harmful.  To an extent you even see it in places like MIT.  MIT is a research university, so if you take a course here you are not supposed to memorize it and put it in an exam.  You are supposed to learn to inquire, to create, to challenge, and so on.  Nevertheless, the shift toward the business model and corporate funding does have a cheapening effect.  It tends to drive research and with it teaching towards short-term applied problems instead of fundamental issues.  It is not an overwhelming tendency at MIT because in a research university there is going to be resistance to it, because it is understood that you have to create the science and economy of the future, but it is there.

In other colleges and universities it is more so.  It is a very dangerous thing.  In England, it is even worse.  In England, which had a great university tradition, one commentator pointed out, the way he put it, “The Tory conservative government is intent on turning first class universities into third class commercial enterprises.”  And that is pretty much what is happening.  So, if the Classics Department wants to continue to exist it has to find funding somewhere.  That is not the way to develop a civilization.

Q:  From a high school student.  The word “radical” is often linked to your social critiques.  If “radical” means “getting to the root cause,” what is the root cause or what are the root causes of all of these problems we have been talking about?

NC:  Well, there is not a single one.  So, one problem I mentioned, for example, is racism, which is deeply embedded in American culture and history.  In fact, what I described, I mean, it is known to scholarship, but most people are not aware of this.  Another is the United States is somewhat unusual among industrial societies in a number of respects.  One of them is, to an unusual extent it is a business run society.  So, for example, take voting.  One of the main scholars of American electoral politics, Walter Dean Burnham, he studied non-voting in the United States.  He has pointed out that if you do a demographic analysis of non-voters here they are approximately the same as the people in Europe who vote but vote for labor-based or social democratic parties and since they don’t exist here they just don’t vote.  In fact, he and a colleague, Thomas Ferguson, just did a study of the last election, November, 2014 and the results are pretty startling.  It turns out that voting participation was about at the level of the early 19th century when voting was restricted to propertied white males.  They conclude, the obvious conclusion, most people just don’t see any point.  There is nothing in there that has anything to do with us, and studies demonstrate that.  Mainstream political science has interesting results about this.  It turns out that for about 70% of the population their representatives pay absolutely no attention to their attitudes.  There is no correlation between what the population wants and what is legislated, the lower 70% on the income scale.  When you get to the very top they basically set policy.

That is one of the reasons why if you look at studies of the OECD, the Organization of the industrial democracies, there is about 31 of them, they do many studies of all sorts of things, and one recent study was on social justice – how countries do in social justice by various measures.  The United States is practically at the bottom.  I think it is 27 out of 31 right alongside Turkey and Mexico, poor countries.  There is a lot more that reflects this.

So, for example, take transportation.  To get from Boston to New York, or Washington, probably the most heavily traveled corridor, maybe, in the world, to get to Washington it takes about seven hours.  In any European country it would be about two hours.  In China, you can go from Beijing to Kazakhstan by a high speed rail, but you can’t go from New York to Boston.  The United States is extremely backward in public services.

On the other hand it is one of the freest countries in the world.  Freedom of speech is protected beyond the norm, though police repression of minorities is severe, by comparative standards, people with any degree of privilege are pretty free.

Many of these things are rooted in the very nature of American society.  After all, the country was founded on two enormous crimes.  One of them is slavery which is a horrifying crime and is the basis of a lot of our wealth.  The other is the destruction of the indigenous population.   Take a look at the front pages of the paper this morning, the New York Times.  There is a report on the rising rate of suicides among teenagers on Indian reservations.  Why is that?  I mean, this was their country.  They have been exterminated, expelled, driven to reservations where they can barely survive.  So, they are committing suicide.  What else are they supposed to do?  These are huge crimes and we have not come to terms with them.

There are “Holocaust Studies” in every town, Holocaust museums all over the place.  Try to find a slavery museum; or an American Indian museum.  I mean there are a couple of things that are anthropological studies, but nothing commemorating the hideous crimes and immense tragedy on which our wealth and privilege depend.  That leads to a kind of cultural degradation which infects almost everything.  You see it almost every day.  There are plenty of examples.  Take say American Sniper which everyone was going to see.

Q:  You are speaking about the movie, yes?

NC:  Yes, the movie, but the memoir on which it is based is even worse.  I tried to see it and I lasted about fifteen minutes.  I couldn’t handle it any longer.  The first incident which the sniper is extremely proud of, and about which everybody cheers, is when the marines are attacking a town and a woman comes out holding a grenade and the sniper kills her with one shot and kills her son, and he is very proud of this, he says these are savages, they are monsters, we hate them, they are not human, they are barbarians – a person defending their town from an American invasion.

Let us go to the intellectuals like say the readers of the New York Times.  The day after the draft agreement with Iran there was, of course, a lot of commentary.  One thing was a think piece by one of their liberal analysts, Peter Baker, and he said it is basically a good thing but there are problems: we can’t really trust Iran; Iran carries out terrorism, and aggression; destabilizes the region, and he gave some examples.  The most interesting example, which aroused no comment, is that Iran supports Iraqis who are killing American soldiers.  In other words, when we invade and destroy a country and now spread chaos around the region, even leading to the establishment of the Islamic State, that is “stabilization.”  If somebody defends themselves from our attack they are criminals and that is “destabilization” and we can’t trust them.  One can go on and on with examples.

All of this reflects cultural attitudes similar to the notion of the loss of China, similar to the idea that if anyone resists our violent domination and control they are criminals, not us.  We can’t be criminals, we are exceptional.  We are exceptionally benign.  The world doesn’t happen to think so, but we protect ourselves from that fact by simply not reporting it.  These are serious problems.  There is no single root for all of them; there are a lot of historical roots.  But they are all things to pay attention to.

Q:  Didn’t the Japanese prime minister just offer an apology for crimes the Japanese government committed during WWII?

NC:  A kind of qualified apology – something but not much.

Q:  We have not heard any apology from anyone in the State Department for the destruction of Iraq.

NC:  Of course not.  How about Vietnam?  It is the worst crime since the Second World War.  Killed millions of people, destroyed three countries, people are still dying, many babies are dying from the effects of U.S. chemical warfare which was begun by Kennedy.  How do we react?  It is kind of interesting.  Let us look at some examples.
The war ended in 1975.  The next year President Carter was elected – the human rights president, way out on the liberal extreme.  And he was asked in a press conference in 1977, “Do we have some responsibility for what happened in Vietnam?” and his answer was “We owe Vietnam no debt, because the destruction was mutual.”  Not a comment… not a comment.  Let us go on to, we can skip Reagan for whom it was “a noble cause,” and so on.
Go to George H.W. Bush, the statesman-like Bush.  He was asked some similar question and what he said was “We should explain to the Vietnamese that we are a compassionate people, we are willing to forget the crimes that they committed against us, but there is a condition.  They have to devote their energies and resources to the one moral issue that remains after the Vietnam War, namely finding the bones of American pilots who they maliciously shot down,” while they were just kind of cruising somewhere, maybe over central Iowa.  That is the central moral issue.

John McCain is considered a hero.  Well, he suffered torture and imprisonment, obviously a crime, but he was also involved in a major war crime, aggression, bombing another country.  I mean if someone was bombing us we would not call them a hero.

Q:  For the last five interviews my mother keeps asking me to ask you the following question, so I have to ask.

NC:  You have to do what your mother says.

Q:  She said “Please ask Noam ‘When will there be peace?’”

NC:  Well, actually Bertrand Russell was asked that question once and he said “Someday there will be peace, after everything in the world has been destroyed and all that is left is primitive organisms, then there will be peace.”  I hope it comes before that, but we are not helping.

Q:  That is not what my mother wants to hear!  A New York Times article a few weeks back titled something like “Endless Growth meets nature’s limits” looking at the drought in California.  We were hopeful that this article was going to look at capital’s imperative toward endless growth linked to the destruction of nature, but when one reads the article virtually everyone interviewed gave the same response, “The market will solve the problems.”  It struck us as a form of market fundamentalism that is extremely dangerous – when confronted with a very harsh reality the market fundamentalist belief system supersedes that reality.

NC:  Market fundamentalism is a very interesting phenomenon.  For one thing, we do not believe in markets.

Q:  When you say “we” to whom are you referring?

NC:  This country and its leaders, political leaders, economic leaders, and so on.  You guys probably have an iPhone, or an “i” something or other.  If you look at the technology inside it most of it is developed in the state sector in places like MIT.  Nothing about markets.  Computers, internet, the technology there, the advanced economy, a lot of it is driven by the state sector and this goes way back.

I mentioned before that American economic growth to a very substantial extent was based on slave labor camps.  Is that the market?  Of course, the elimination of the Native population by force, is that the market?  And that goes on right to the present.  The market is for poor people.  The rich protect themselves from the market.

But there is an element of the markets, it is there.  Markets have a very well known property, it is called “ignoring externalities.”  So if you and I make a transaction we pay attention to our own welfare but not to somebody else’s.  We don’t ask what it does to them.  Well, one of the externalities happens to be destroying the world.  To the extent that say the energy corporations and the government behind them, follow market principles, what they are going to be doing because that is the nature of the market is maximizing their own profit and ignoring the fact that it is going to destroy the possibility of a decent life for their grandchildren, because that is an externality.  That is the nature of markets.

A more sensible version, not quite as bad, came out a little bit after that, their Week in Review section, front page, “Is California dying,” and it said “Well, California was created by human innovation and technology and it will be saved by human innovation and technology.  Well, maybe, but that innovation and technology is not coming from the market, except peripherally, but the core is coming from where it always came, the dynamic state sector of the economy.

So, the market fundamentalism is preached, but not practiced.  It is imposed on others, so you impose it on people, so people should not get food stamps, they should live on the market, but not the rich.  They don’t get food stamps, they get lavished with massive subsidies of all kinds, no market there.

Q:  Including the subsidy of daily exploited labor, yes?

NC:  Yes, that is one, but it is all over the place.  Take for example, the home mortgage deduction.  Who benefits from that?  Not people who bought a $200,000 home, people who bought a $2 million dollar home, yes, they benefit enormously.

And in fact, the whole system of laws and administration is geared toward ensuring that the wealthy and the privileged are protected from market ravages.  The most extreme case, it is so blatant that it takes genius to miss it, is the financial institutions.  These are a huge part of the economy.  Where do their profits come from?  There was a study by the International Monetary Fund of the six major U.S. banks.  It found that almost their entire profits came from a government insurance policy, meaning a taxpayer insurance policy.  Informally, it is called “to big to fail.”  It means the credit agencies and others understand that they are not going to be allowed to fail.  That has a lot of consequences.  For one thing, they get bailed out if there is a problem, but it also means they have inflated credit ratings because it is going to be known that the taxpayer will save them, they have access to cheaper money; they can undertake risky transactions which are profitable because if they collapse the taxpayer will come in and pay them off.  This is a huge amount of money.  The business press estimates it as over $80 billion a year, straight taxpayer subsidy to predatory institutions which probably harm the economy more than they benefit it.  And, of course, they yield extraordinary wealth and power that is highly concentrated.

But everywhere you look it is the same.  Right now there are secret negotiations going on about what are called “trade deals,” the Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic Partnership, TPP.  The government insists on what is called “fast track,” meaning Stalinist-style policy – we make the arrangements, you shut up, we tell you about it when it is done, and you can say “yes” or “no,” and of course you have to say “yes.”  That is called “democracy.”

When I say it is in secret that is not entirely true.  It is not secret to the corporate sector. Their lobbyists and lawyers are the one’s writing it, so they know what is in it.  It just has to be kept secret from the population.  Why?  Well, if you look at other so called “trade deals,” you can make a good guess – it is not a trade deal.  It is a deal for investor rights.  It is going to be highly protectionist, undoubtedly, of what are called “intellectual property rights,” which means measures to ensure inflated profits for pharmaceutical corporations, huge media corporations, and so on, investor measures that grant investors rights that human beings do not have.

For example, you and I can’t sue some other country because we don’t like what they did, but the existing treaties, like NAFTA, do permit a U.S. corporation or conversely, if they could do it, a Mexican business to sue, but U.S. corporations can sue and have sued Mexico if it carries out measures, like setting up a national park which they can claim undercut future profits, things like that.  These are called “trade related investment mechanisms” that have nothing to do with trade.

Even what is called “trade” is often a joke.  Take say NAFTA, the model, the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Economists will tell you it has increased trade between Mexico and the United States.  What is that trade?  So, for example, if parts are produced in Indiana and sent to Mexico to assemble, and a car is sold in Los Angeles, that is called trade in both directions.  It is not trade; it is interactions inside a command economy.  It is kind of like in the old Soviet Union if parts were made in Leningrad, assembled in Warsaw, and sold in Moscow, we would not call it trade – it is inside a command economy.  General Motors is a command economy, a tyranny.  How much?  Roughly probably 50% of what is called trade.  I mean, you really have to look at these things carefully.  The talk about markets is mostly propaganda.  There is an element of markets functioning and it is probably good for cutting down the price of toothpaste or something, but it has strongly harmful consequences.

Q:  If a moral and rational being from outer space was looking at all that you are describing do you think they would conclude that it is insane and immoral?

NC:  I think you have to distinguish between individual and institutional insanity, and stupidity for that matter.  The individuals involved may be perfectly sane, but the institutional structure in which they are operating is insane.  That is a fact.  Institutional stupidity is much harder to get rid of than individual stupidity.  And we are trapped in it.  And in fact, we are now in a lethal trap.  If we don’t get out of it soon, we will be gone.

Q:  “Trapped” sounds rather closed.

NC:  It is not a law of nature.  It can be changed by the sixteen year old who asked for advice.  It is in their hands.  The first thing they have to do is at least educate their peers.  It is a big problem.  Then organize them; then get them to become active.  Since we are a very free society there are plenty of opportunities.





By Noam Chomsky, John Holder and Doug Morris

John Holder (holder@hartford.edu) works at the University of Hartford, Doug Morris works at West Chester University (dmorrisscott@yahoo.com) U.S. Power and the Godfather Principle


 An Interview with Noam Chomsky conducted by John Holder and Doug Morris, May 4, 2015, at MIT, Cambridge, MA.  This is the fifth in a series of interviews concentrating mostly on questions gathered from young folks. Video is forthcoming.

Q. We are here at the beginning of May 2015 and there appears to be a rapprochement developing between Cuba and the United States.  There is a lot of mainstream talk about the economic opportunities this could bring to the business community in the United States but very little about how this impacts the Cuban revolution and her citizens.  What are your thoughts on Cuba and her future?

NC:  First, why did Obama make this gesture?  According to the official story, his own speech, and then the echoes of the cooperative media is that we have been trying for fifty years to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba, and our methods so far have not worked so we should find other methods to pursue our noble aims.

And this is described in the New York Review of Books, way out on the left liberal fringe of the intellectual world, as “a noble gesture that will create a new legacy for Obama,” and so on.

Turning to the real world there was a summit coming up in Panama, a hemispheric summit.  At the previous hemispheric summit which was in Colombia, the U.S. and Canada were totally isolated from the rest of the hemisphere on two issues and therefore there was no consensus agreement.  One was admission of Cuba into the hemisphere which the U.S. and Canada adamantly rejected.  The rest of the hemisphere has wanted it for a long time.  The second was interesting; it was moves toward de-criminalization of drugs.  The U.S. so called “drug war” is having no effect on availability of drugs and that has been known for forty years, but it does have a lethal effect in Latin America.  And here in the U.S. it is basically a technique for locking up black males.  So it is part of the control of what is seen as a superfluous population.  And Latin America wants to get out of it but the U.S. and Canada won’t.  That is the background.

The next summit was coming up in a couple of weeks in Panama and it would have been an absolute disaster for the United States unless Obama had made some kind of gesture.  So he finally agreed to move toward limited normalization.  The embargo remains, Cuban scholars are still not permitted to come to scientific conferences in the United States, and so on.  As to the “noble effort to bring democracy and freedom to Cuba” what was ignored in most of the commentary is mentioned but there is a crushing embargo for fifty years, which is opposed by the entire world.  If you look at the votes in the United Nations General Assembly, there is an annual vote, only Israel votes with the United States – occasionally a Pacific Island.  And on top of that there is a major terrorist war, primarily under Kennedy, but a serious terrorist war that went on into the nineties.  The only thing allowed to be mentioned is there were some attempts to assassinate Castro, which is true, but they can be laughed off as CIA shenanigans.  They are a footnote.  The main thing is the terrorist war; that is the attempt to “bring justice and democracy to Cuba.”

And we know the reasons but they are unmentionable.  It is an open society.  We have internal records.  The reason was, the concern was, as the State Department put it, “Castro is carrying out successful defiance of U.S. policies that go back to 1823,” the Monroe Doctrine which declared that the U.S. must dominate the hemisphere.  The U.S. was not in a position to do it at the time, but that was the goal.  And that has been U.S. policy ever since, and Castro’s defying it means getting in the way of that, and you can’t do that.

“International affairs” is very much like the mafia.  A major principle of international affairs is the Godfather cannot brook disobedience.  Here it is given various, kind of euphemisms, so it is called “the domino theory,” but what it actually amounts to is what Henry Kissinger described very well.  He happened to be talking about Allende’s Chile, which was a parliamentary democracy moving toward social democracy, and he described it as “a virus that might spread contagion.”  In other words, others might pick up the model of moving through parliamentary means to social democratic policies, and that is extremely dangerous because the system of domination and control might fall apart.

So, the U.S. backed a vicious, murderous dictatorship to kill the virus, and instituted murderous dictatorships in the surrounding area to prevent contagion.  That is exactly what it was doing in Southeast Asia at the same time.  These are leading themes.  And the same was true of Cuba.

When Kennedy came into office he had a Latin American Commission, a research commission.  The report was handed to him by Arthur Schlesinger a well known liberal historian and his Latin American advisor, and the way Schlesinger put it was, the summary of the study was that the problem of Cuba is the spread of the Castro idea of taking matters into your own hands which might inspire others in other countries who are suffering the same repression and violence that the Cubans are, might inspire them to do the same thing.  As any mafia don understands, if you allow any disobedience and you let them get away with it, then it can spread, so you have to crush it at the source.  That is a dominant theme of foreign policy.

The U.S. did not make it up; it is understood by every imperial power, but it is the leading theme of U.S. international policy, and Cuba was, of course, the victim of that.  And since they were successful in their defiance they had to be subjected to unusual punishment, a crushing embargo, a very serious terrorist war, and that is the translation of Obama’s lovely phrases into English.

But he did have to make the move; otherwise the U.S. would have had a catastrophe at the Panama summit.  This way, though they were under plenty of criticism, they could sort of pretend that the U.S. was greeted with enthusiasm for its forthcoming gesture.  That is the way the propaganda system operates.

The moves are of some significance, but the Cuba case is pretty interesting.  Typically, foreign policy is pretty much dictated by concentrated domestic power, as you would expect.  That means the corporate sector, pretty much in terms of policy.  The American population has been in favor of normalization with Cuba for about forty years.  But, the population is usually disregarded, so that is not surprising.  What is of interest is that major sectors of U.S. capital were in favor of normalization, the pharmaceutical industry, agribusiness, energy corporations, they are usually very influential in designing policy, but not in this case.  The State interests, the godfather interests in punishing Cuba for its successful defiance overwhelmed the normal factors that determine policy.  That is not a unique case but an interesting one.  Actually, Iran is another case.  Apart from what was done to Cuba, which is pretty awful, it is of great interest in understanding ourselves.

Q:  Briefly, on January 29th of this year, NPR published a piece that included the following, “through controversial politicking, the U.S. was given a perpetual lease at Guantanamo in 1903. We don’t see it as “controversial.”  

NC:  It is kind of interesting when you compare it to Russia’s annexation of Crimea – which was of course illegal.  But U.S. control over Guantanamo is far worse.  The lease they are talking about was at gun point.  Cuba was essentially under military occupation, so it is totally meaningless.  The U.S. simply demanded, and of course, was granted control over a large part of Southeast Cuba, including its major port, Guantanamo.  And the condition was that it would be used as a coaling station and a couple of other such things.  When Cuba finally achieved independence in 1959 it asked to have that territory returned.  The U.S. refused, of course.

Q:  Just to be clear, we are not just talking about the military base, but the actual land.

NC:  Yes, there is a region which includes the base, and the harbor which is Cuba’s major harbor, or would be.  So, the U.S. is keeping it for several reasons.  One is as part of the punishment of Cuba.  It significantly impedes the economic development of Cuba.  Secondly, the U.S. uses it for a variety of illegal purposes.  It used it to house Haitian refugees fleeing from the terrorist state, of course in violation of international law, but the U.S. sent them off to the Guantanamo prison.  And, of course, in more recent years, it has been one of the major torture chambers in the world.  In fact, if you look at human rights violations in Cuba, which everyone is obsessed with, by far the worst of them are in Guantanamo.

But the U.S. has no claim to Guantanamo whatsoever, either historical, strategic, or anything else, it just holds onto it because it has the power to.  By comparison Putin looks pretty mild in the case of Crimea.  But to discuss this in the United States is almost inconceivable.

Q:  A question from high school students.  Most people in this class were born in 2001 and the U.S. has been involved in military aggression our whole lives.  It is the norm for us.  We have discovered that the U.S. has been involved in military aggression constantly since 1950.  Why does U.S. power stay committed to violence and militarization?

NC:  Going back to 1950, the U.S. far and away was the most powerful state in history.  It had about half the world’s wealth, incomparable security, it controlled the hemisphere, both oceans, opposite sides of both oceans, other industrial societies had been devastated by the war, the U.S. economy boomed during the war, industrial production quadrupled.  The U.S. was basically in a position to run the world. Planners understood it, and they laid out detailed, sophisticated plans as to how to run the world.

Well, let us go back to the mafia.  When the don controls some huge territory, he does not want to give it up.  In fact, in 1949, a critical event took place.  China became independent.  That is called, in the United States, “the loss of China,” which is a very interesting phrase.  And it became a major issue in American domestic policy.  It was kind of the roots of McCarthyism, McCarthyist repression, [and the question was] who is responsible for the loss of China?  When Kennedy came into office, one of the reasons for his sharp escalation of the war in Vietnam was the fear that he would be blamed for the loss of Indochina.  I can’t lose your computer, only you can.  But since we own the world, and that is taken for granted, it is “the loss of China.”  And they do not want to lose anything else, just like the godfather doesn’t.

And to maintain control often requires violence, and the world knows this.  Not Americans, but the world does.  So, for example, about a year ago there was an international poll, run by the Gallup organization, the main U.S. polling organization, so everyone knows the results, it was an international poll and one of the questions it asked was “Which country is the greatest threat to world peace?”  The United States was far in the lead.  No one else was even close.  Second place was way behind and it was Pakistan, inflated by the Indian vote, practically nobody else was mentioned.

That is an international poll.  Why don’t Americans know about it?  Very simple, the free press refused to publish it – do a data base search.  A couple of people reported it.  I did and a few others.  Every editorial office, of course knew it, but they also knew this is not the kind of thing you tell Americans.  What you tell Americans is that Iran is the greatest threat to world peace.  That is trumpeted by every major media outlet.  Every candidate for office, every presidential candidate, the official media constantly declare that Iran is the greatest threat to world peace.  That is the party line here.  For the world it is the U.S. that is the greatest threat to world peace.  And this is of course related to what the students described.  We are constantly at war, the country maybe has a thousand military bases around the world, no other country has anything like that.  The U.S. is conducting the most extraordinary global assassination campaign, terror campaign in world history, it is the drone campaign, which is officially described, not a secret, as a campaign intended to kill people who are suspected of maybe someday planning to harm us.  If Iran said it was carrying out a global assassination campaign to murder people who it knows are intending to harm it, not just “suspects,” like the Israeli leadership which is constantly threatening to bomb and is carrying out terrorist activities in Iran, the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post who publish Op/Eds calling for the bombing of Iran, we would think it was terrorism.  But when the mafia don does it, it is just stabilizing the world.  But the world does not necessarily see it that way, especially the victims.
And yes, constant aggression, terror, Special Forces operations, etc.  Right now, the U.S. is supporting the Saudi attack on Yemen which is destroying Yemen.  The U.S. has practically demolished Iraq, incited and spread sectarian conflict that did not exist [prior to the U.S. invasion] which is now tearing the region to shreds.  The U.S. participated in the bombing of Libya in violation of the Security Council resolution that the triumvirate, Britain, France, and the United States introduced.  It has destroyed Libya.  It has now vastly escalated the number of casualties, left the country in tatters.  It is part of the immigration crisis in the Mediterranean.  All of these things are happening but it is called “stabilization” and “benevolence” and so on.  Not for the world.  They see it differently.

Q:  More and more the U.S. public is being made aware of the dangerous intersection between the police of this country and its male African American citizens.  Do you find that the frequency of these incidents is something new or is it that the documentation of them is getting better?

NC:  I think what is happening is a kind of statistical aberration.  It goes on all the time.  But it happens that there has been a cluster which is probably a statistical accident.  But it is enough that it brought the matter to the fore; it is very hard to avoid when these things are striking you in the face day after day, but it is a constant phenomena.  Black communities just live under these conditions.  If you look at the record, over the years, the number of black males who have been killed or injured by the police is way beyond any relationship to crime or certainly the white population or anything else.  When there is a riot of young whites people don’t get killed.  When it is blacks they get killed.

It is part of a long story that goes back 400 years.  400 years is when the first slaves were brought to the United States.  The American economy, a substantial part of it, our wealth and privilege, developed on the basis of a century of vicious slave labor camps.  The worst in the history of slavery.  They would have impressed the Nazis.  But they produced the wealth that created the financial industries, the commercial industries, manufacturing, etc.  After that there were a couple of years, a decade in fact, of relative freedom, then the system was basically reinstituted by criminalization of black life, creating a new slave labor force by the government that contributed a large part of the American industrial revolution that was based on essentially slave labor from the incarceration of black, mostly black males – mining, the steel industry, the agricultural aspect is known (chain gangs you could see them), but the rest you didn’t actually see but it was happening.  That went on virtually until the Second World War.  Then there were a couple of decades of rapid economic growth and a certain degree of opportunity.  Then you get in the era of the drug war and kind of back to the late nineteenth century.  And all of this is the background.

The killings and the repression are in part a class issue and in part a race issue.  And the two are pretty closely correlated so they are hard to tease apart but undoubtedly the race issue is a major part, after all that is the leading theme of American history for four hundred years now.

Q:  A more lighthearted question, perhaps – from a sixteen year old student.  See if you want to take this up.  If your sixteen your old self was in high school today and could interview Noam Chomsky today at 86 what would you ask?

NC:  I remember what I was doing at sixteen.  I was deeply immersed in radical political activities such as there was and all sorts of reading of all that was involved in the rise of fascism, the Second World War was going on, I was critical of a lot of what was happening, especially the imperial conquest of Southern Europe, attacks on Greece, on Italy, very much involved in the Spanish Revolution, interested in that and many other things, and, incidentally, thinking about dropping out of college because it was so boring.  I’m not suggesting that as advice to a sixteen year old.  I was so far out on the fringe that it is not a model for anyone.

If I was a sixteen year old today I’d be asking “What are we going to do about the fact that we are racing towards a precipice and we are going to fall over it and it will be devastating for these kid’s children and grandchildren?”  The number of people who are already dying from global warming is in the hundreds of thousands a year.  It is going to escalate sharply.  About one out of six species has already been destroyed.  It is the worst species destruction in sixty million years.  If we don’t cut this off pretty soon it will be beyond the tipping point and the worst part is that young people don’t know about it.  There was just a poll released, a major poll, of Millennials, people who are teenagers today, like this student.  About fifty percent of them believe what practically 100% of scientists believe.  About 20% agree that “yes, there is global warming but human beings don’t have anything to do with it.”  And about 30% take the position of Rubio and so on “I’m not a scientist, I don’t know, the science isn’t settled.”  The science is settled, as much as anything is.  That is one major catastrophe.  The other is the constant threat of nuclear war.  If you look over the record for seventy years it is just a miracle that we survived.  And top strategic analysts are aware of that and warned that we can’t live like that forever. Even just by accident, something is going to happen.  And the threats are actually building up.

There is a famous “Doomsday Clock” of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set up in 1947, and it keeps moving up and back before midnight.  Midnight means terminal.  It was just advanced a couple of months ago to two minutes closer to midnight.  Three minutes from midnight.  It is the closest it has been since a major war scare in the early eighties.

That is a serious threat; the other is environmental catastrophe which is coming and we are racing towards it, increasing the use of fossil fuels.  It is common knowledge among qualified scientists that these just have to be kept in the ground if we are going to survive.  And as I said, people don’t know.  Interestingly, younger people, who it was thought might be more aware of it, really aren’t.  Somewhat more.  So, if you take older people, say among older Republicans, ten percent think there is global warming.  They are just living in another universe.  But even of the majority, a near majority (about half the population), don’t really accept it.  That is one of the most dangerous things you can imagine.

So advice that any sixteen year old ought to be thinking about is “What can I do about my own peers and what can I do about a political and social system which is structured so that it is going to drive us to total disaster?”  That is the question they should be asking.

Q:  This raises a question related to that.  This is a college student, a college student who is studying to be a teacher, an elementary teacher, she says: “Given the severity of the nightmares we face, nuclear nightmares, ecological destruction, extinction of species, do we need new approaches to formal education?  If not now, how bad does it have to get until we say it is time for (1) a radical re-thinking of education, and (2) radical reconstructions of education?

NC:  My own feeling is that we should return to a more sane educational system that did exist.  The tendency in the recent period, in my opinion, is to undermine the educational system.  So, take K-12, which is now geared increasingly toward “teaching to tests” – the worst possible form of education.  All three of us know from our own experience and everyone knows it if they think about it, you can take a course which you are not interested in, you can study for the exam, pass the exam, get an “A,” and a week later you forgot what the course was even about.   If something is poured into you from the outside and you regurgitate it, it doesn’t stay.  If you want to understand and learn anything it has got to be self-generated.  That is well-understood, the psychological mechanisms, the history, this goes back hundreds of years to the Enlightenment.  The education system has been turned away from that and toward imposing passivity, conformity, obedience, memorize what you are told, put it on paper, forget about it, go on to the next thing.  That is part of the reason why you have these shocking statistics about the lack of awareness of young people about what is facing them.  They are not educated to discover what is happening in the world, only to repeat what they are told and put it in a test, which you then forget about.
So, the educational system should be completely redesigned to be a system that is designed for education not for training for passivity and conformism.

Q:  So, are you pointing out that there was a time when creativity, curiosity, exploration, etc. was paramount?
NC:  Not paramount, but present to an extent.  What existed is being undermined.  In fact, the right of a teacher to be a good teacher is being undermined.  There are plenty of good, dedicated, committed teachers who would love to be able to inspire their students to search for themselves, to think things through, to challenge, to pursue interests, and they are being prevented from doing that.  For being prevented from doing it they have to tell students, I’ve heard many stories, suppose a six year old kid is interested in something, well you have to tell them you have to study for the exam that is coming because your future will depend on it and though the teacher does not say so “my salary will depend on it.”  It is a system of indoctrination and control.  It has nice names like “No Child Left Behind,” “Race to the Top,” and so on, but it is a very harmful system.

And something similar is happening at the college level.  There is an imposition of a kind of business model on colleges and universities that is very harmful.  To an extent you even see it in places like MIT.  MIT is a research university, so if you take a course here you are not supposed to memorize it and put it in an exam.  You are supposed to learn to inquire, to create, to challenge, and so on.  Nevertheless, the shift toward the business model and corporate funding does have a cheapening effect.  It tends to drive research and with it teaching towards short-term applied problems instead of fundamental issues.  It is not an overwhelming tendency at MIT because in a research university there is going to be resistance to it, because it is understood that you have to create the science and economy of the future, but it is there.

In other colleges and universities it is more so.  It is a very dangerous thing.  In England, it is even worse.  In England, which had a great university tradition, one commentator pointed out, the way he put it, “The Tory conservative government is intent on turning first class universities into third class commercial enterprises.”  And that is pretty much what is happening.  So, if the Classics Department wants to continue to exist it has to find funding somewhere.  That is not the way to develop a civilization.

Q:  From a high school student.  The word “radical” is often linked to your social critiques.  If “radical” means “getting to the root cause,” what is the root cause or what are the root causes of all of these problems we have been talking about?

NC:  Well, there is not a single one.  So, one problem I mentioned, for example, is racism, which is deeply embedded in American culture and history.  In fact, what I described, I mean, it is known to scholarship, but most people are not aware of this.  Another is the United States is somewhat unusual among industrial societies in a number of respects.  One of them is, to an unusual extent it is a business run society.  So, for example, take voting.  One of the main scholars of American electoral politics, Walter Dean Burnham, he studied non-voting in the United States.  He has pointed out that if you do a demographic analysis of non-voters here they are approximately the same as the people in Europe who vote but vote for labor-based or social democratic parties and since they don’t exist here they just don’t vote.  In fact, he and a colleague, Thomas Ferguson, just did a study of the last election, November, 2014 and the results are pretty startling.  It turns out that voting participation was about at the level of the early 19th century when voting was restricted to propertied white males.  They conclude, the obvious conclusion, most people just don’t see any point.  There is nothing in there that has anything to do with us, and studies demonstrate that.  Mainstream political science has interesting results about this.  It turns out that for about 70% of the population their representatives pay absolutely no attention to their attitudes.  There is no correlation between what the population wants and what is legislated, the lower 70% on the income scale.  When you get to the very top they basically set policy.

That is one of the reasons why if you look at studies of the OECD, the Organization of the industrial democracies, there is about 31 of them, they do many studies of all sorts of things, and one recent study was on social justice – how countries do in social justice by various measures.  The United States is practically at the bottom.  I think it is 27 out of 31 right alongside Turkey and Mexico, poor countries.  There is a lot more that reflects this.

So, for example, take transportation.  To get from Boston to New York, or Washington, probably the most heavily traveled corridor, maybe, in the world, to get to Washington it takes about seven hours.  In any European country it would be about two hours.  In China, you can go from Beijing to Kazakhstan by a high speed rail, but you can’t go from New York to Boston.  The United States is extremely backward in public services.

On the other hand it is one of the freest countries in the world.  Freedom of speech is protected beyond the norm, though police repression of minorities is severe, by comparative standards, people with any degree of privilege are pretty free.

Many of these things are rooted in the very nature of American society.  After all, the country was founded on two enormous crimes.  One of them is slavery which is a horrifying crime and is the basis of a lot of our wealth.  The other is the destruction of the indigenous population.   Take a look at the front pages of the paper this morning, the New York Times.  There is a report on the rising rate of suicides among teenagers on Indian reservations.  Why is that?  I mean, this was their country.  They have been exterminated, expelled, driven to reservations where they can barely survive.  So, they are committing suicide.  What else are they supposed to do?  These are huge crimes and we have not come to terms with them.

There are “Holocaust Studies” in every town, Holocaust museums all over the place.  Try to find a slavery museum; or an American Indian museum.  I mean there are a couple of things that are anthropological studies, but nothing commemorating the hideous crimes and immense tragedy on which our wealth and privilege depend.  That leads to a kind of cultural degradation which infects almost everything.  You see it almost every day.  There are plenty of examples.  Take say American Sniper which everyone was going to see.

Q:  You are speaking about the movie, yes?

NC:  Yes, the movie, but the memoir on which it is based is even worse.  I tried to see it and I lasted about fifteen minutes.  I couldn’t handle it any longer.  The first incident which the sniper is extremely proud of, and about which everybody cheers, is when the marines are attacking a town and a woman comes out holding a grenade and the sniper kills her with one shot and kills her son, and he is very proud of this, he says these are savages, they are monsters, we hate them, they are not human, they are barbarians – a person defending their town from an American invasion.

Let us go to the intellectuals like say the readers of the New York Times.  The day after the draft agreement with Iran there was, of course, a lot of commentary.  One thing was a think piece by one of their liberal analysts, Peter Baker, and he said it is basically a good thing but there are problems: we can’t really trust Iran; Iran carries out terrorism, and aggression; destabilizes the region, and he gave some examples.  The most interesting example, which aroused no comment, is that Iran supports Iraqis who are killing American soldiers.  In other words, when we invade and destroy a country and now spread chaos around the region, even leading to the establishment of the Islamic State, that is “stabilization.”  If somebody defends themselves from our attack they are criminals and that is “destabilization” and we can’t trust them.  One can go on and on with examples.

All of this reflects cultural attitudes similar to the notion of the loss of China, similar to the idea that if anyone resists our violent domination and control they are criminals, not us.  We can’t be criminals, we are exceptional.  We are exceptionally benign.  The world doesn’t happen to think so, but we protect ourselves from that fact by simply not reporting it.  These are serious problems.  There is no single root for all of them; there are a lot of historical roots.  But they are all things to pay attention to.

Q:  Didn’t the Japanese prime minister just offer an apology for crimes the Japanese government committed during WWII?

NC:  A kind of qualified apology – something but not much.

Q:  We have not heard any apology from anyone in the State Department for the destruction of Iraq.

NC:  Of course not.  How about Vietnam?  It is the worst crime since the Second World War.  Killed millions of people, destroyed three countries, people are still dying, many babies are dying from the effects of U.S. chemical warfare which was begun by Kennedy.  How do we react?  It is kind of interesting.  Let us look at some examples.
The war ended in 1975.  The next year President Carter was elected – the human rights president, way out on the liberal extreme.  And he was asked in a press conference in 1977, “Do we have some responsibility for what happened in Vietnam?” and his answer was “We owe Vietnam no debt, because the destruction was mutual.”  Not a comment… not a comment.  Let us go on to, we can skip Reagan for whom it was “a noble cause,” and so on.
Go to George H.W. Bush, the statesman-like Bush.  He was asked some similar question and what he said was “We should explain to the Vietnamese that we are a compassionate people, we are willing to forget the crimes that they committed against us, but there is a condition.  They have to devote their energies and resources to the one moral issue that remains after the Vietnam War, namely finding the bones of American pilots who they maliciously shot down,” while they were just kind of cruising somewhere, maybe over central Iowa.  That is the central moral issue.

John McCain is considered a hero.  Well, he suffered torture and imprisonment, obviously a crime, but he was also involved in a major war crime, aggression, bombing another country.  I mean if someone was bombing us we would not call them a hero.

Q:  For the last five interviews my mother keeps asking me to ask you the following question, so I have to ask.

NC:  You have to do what your mother says.

Q:  She said “Please ask Noam ‘When will there be peace?’”

NC:  Well, actually Bertrand Russell was asked that question once and he said “Someday there will be peace, after everything in the world has been destroyed and all that is left is primitive organisms, then there will be peace.”  I hope it comes before that, but we are not helping.

Q:  That is not what my mother wants to hear!  A New York Times article a few weeks back titled something like “Endless Growth meets nature’s limits” looking at the drought in California.  We were hopeful that this article was going to look at capital’s imperative toward endless growth linked to the destruction of nature, but when one reads the article virtually everyone interviewed gave the same response, “The market will solve the problems.”  It struck us as a form of market fundamentalism that is extremely dangerous – when confronted with a very harsh reality the market fundamentalist belief system supersedes that reality.

NC:  Market fundamentalism is a very interesting phenomenon.  For one thing, we do not believe in markets.

Q:  When you say “we” to whom are you referring?

NC:  This country and its leaders, political leaders, economic leaders, and so on.  You guys probably have an iPhone, or an “i” something or other.  If you look at the technology inside it most of it is developed in the state sector in places like MIT.  Nothing about markets.  Computers, internet, the technology there, the advanced economy, a lot of it is driven by the state sector and this goes way back.

I mentioned before that American economic growth to a very substantial extent was based on slave labor camps.  Is that the market?  Of course, the elimination of the Native population by force, is that the market?  And that goes on right to the present.  The market is for poor people.  The rich protect themselves from the market.

But there is an element of the markets, it is there.  Markets have a very well known property, it is called “ignoring externalities.”  So if you and I make a transaction we pay attention to our own welfare but not to somebody else’s.  We don’t ask what it does to them.  Well, one of the externalities happens to be destroying the world.  To the extent that say the energy corporations and the government behind them, follow market principles, what they are going to be doing because that is the nature of the market is maximizing their own profit and ignoring the fact that it is going to destroy the possibility of a decent life for their grandchildren, because that is an externality.  That is the nature of markets.

A more sensible version, not quite as bad, came out a little bit after that, their Week in Review section, front page, “Is California dying,” and it said “Well, California was created by human innovation and technology and it will be saved by human innovation and technology.  Well, maybe, but that innovation and technology is not coming from the market, except peripherally, but the core is coming from where it always came, the dynamic state sector of the economy.

So, the market fundamentalism is preached, but not practiced.  It is imposed on others, so you impose it on people, so people should not get food stamps, they should live on the market, but not the rich.  They don’t get food stamps, they get lavished with massive subsidies of all kinds, no market there.

Q:  Including the subsidy of daily exploited labor, yes?

NC:  Yes, that is one, but it is all over the place.  Take for example, the home mortgage deduction.  Who benefits from that?  Not people who bought a $200,000 home, people who bought a $2 million dollar home, yes, they benefit enormously.

And in fact, the whole system of laws and administration is geared toward ensuring that the wealthy and the privileged are protected from market ravages.  The most extreme case, it is so blatant that it takes genius to miss it, is the financial institutions.  These are a huge part of the economy.  Where do their profits come from?  There was a study by the International Monetary Fund of the six major U.S. banks.  It found that almost their entire profits came from a government insurance policy, meaning a taxpayer insurance policy.  Informally, it is called “to big to fail.”  It means the credit agencies and others understand that they are not going to be allowed to fail.  That has a lot of consequences.  For one thing, they get bailed out if there is a problem, but it also means they have inflated credit ratings because it is going to be known that the taxpayer will save them, they have access to cheaper money; they can undertake risky transactions which are profitable because if they collapse the taxpayer will come in and pay them off.  This is a huge amount of money.  The business press estimates it as over $80 billion a year, straight taxpayer subsidy to predatory institutions which probably harm the economy more than they benefit it.  And, of course, they yield extraordinary wealth and power that is highly concentrated.

But everywhere you look it is the same.  Right now there are secret negotiations going on about what are called “trade deals,” the Trans-Pacific, Trans-Atlantic Partnership, TPP.  The government insists on what is called “fast track,” meaning Stalinist-style policy – we make the arrangements, you shut up, we tell you about it when it is done, and you can say “yes” or “no,” and of course you have to say “yes.”  That is called “democracy.”

When I say it is in secret that is not entirely true.  It is not secret to the corporate sector. Their lobbyists and lawyers are the one’s writing it, so they know what is in it.  It just has to be kept secret from the population.  Why?  Well, if you look at other so called “trade deals,” you can make a good guess – it is not a trade deal.  It is a deal for investor rights.  It is going to be highly protectionist, undoubtedly, of what are called “intellectual property rights,” which means measures to ensure inflated profits for pharmaceutical corporations, huge media corporations, and so on, investor measures that grant investors rights that human beings do not have.

For example, you and I can’t sue some other country because we don’t like what they did, but the existing treaties, like NAFTA, do permit a U.S. corporation or conversely, if they could do it, a Mexican business to sue, but U.S. corporations can sue and have sued Mexico if it carries out measures, like setting up a national park which they can claim undercut future profits, things like that.  These are called “trade related investment mechanisms” that have nothing to do with trade.

Even what is called “trade” is often a joke.  Take say NAFTA, the model, the North American Free Trade Agreement.  Economists will tell you it has increased trade between Mexico and the United States.  What is that trade?  So, for example, if parts are produced in Indiana and sent to Mexico to assemble, and a car is sold in Los Angeles, that is called trade in both directions.  It is not trade; it is interactions inside a command economy.  It is kind of like in the old Soviet Union if parts were made in Leningrad, assembled in Warsaw, and sold in Moscow, we would not call it trade – it is inside a command economy.  General Motors is a command economy, a tyranny.  How much?  Roughly probably 50% of what is called trade.  I mean, you really have to look at these things carefully.  The talk about markets is mostly propaganda.  There is an element of markets functioning and it is probably good for cutting down the price of toothpaste or something, but it has strongly harmful consequences.

Q:  If a moral and rational being from outer space was looking at all that you are describing do you think they would conclude that it is insane and immoral?

NC:  I think you have to distinguish between individual and institutional insanity, and stupidity for that matter.  The individuals involved may be perfectly sane, but the institutional structure in which they are operating is insane.  That is a fact.  Institutional stupidity is much harder to get rid of than individual stupidity.  And we are trapped in it.  And in fact, we are now in a lethal trap.  If we don’t get out of it soon, we will be gone.

Q:  “Trapped” sounds rather closed.

NC:  It is not a law of nature.  It can be changed by the sixteen year old who asked for advice.  It is in their hands.  The first thing they have to do is at least educate their peers.  It is a big problem.  Then organize them; then get them to become active.  Since we are a very free society there are plenty of opportunities.





By Noam Chomsky, John Holder and Doug Morris

John Holder (holder@hartford.edu) works at the University of Hartford, Doug Morris works at West Chester University (dmorrisscott@yahoo.com)