PAYCHECKS, PERCEPTION, PROPAGANDA & POWER

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Posted on 23rd January 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” - Upton Sinclair

 

I began to write this article in early December. I had just written a piece that attempted to scrutinize how the American public could stand idly by while heavily armed mercenary thugs viciously crushed the Occupy encampments across the country in a Department of Homeland Security coordinated attack at the behest of the ruling oligarchy.  Comfortably Numb made a case that the political and economic systems of the United States have been captured by a few evil men and they use their wealth and power to control the message hammered into the psyches of an apathetic, distracted, vincibly ignorant public. I started to tackle the question of why Americans could stand by as the new Greatest Generation was being abandoned, derided, scorned, beaten, tear gassed, and arrested for having the courage and audacity to stand up to a powerful corrupt unholy alliance between Wall Street psychopaths, corporate fascist barbarians, and Washington DC power hungry jackals. But I became overwhelmed with a feeling of disillusionment and hopelessness and was unable to write anything for about a month. I found myself questioning whether it was worth fighting such a powerful foe after seeing how easily they crushed the opposition put forth by OWS. After a month I decided I am not one to love my servitude.

Most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” Huxley’s Brave New World

I owe it to my three sons to keep fighting the good fight. They deserve a future. Day by day we draw ever closer to a showdown with the traitors who have sold this country into debt slavery. I don’t dream of revolution, but my eyes are wide open and I see it coming. I had been trying to wrap my head around what happened with the Occupy Movement since the Department of Homeland Security coordinated destruction of most of the encampments around the country in November. The corporate mainstream media immediately moved onto more pressing issues like the Kim Kardashian divorce and Jessica Simpson’s weight gain. The American public has been instructed by the media the Occupy story is history, just like the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Egyptian revolution. In a society consumed by reality TV Occupy Wall Street was just another show. The credulous American populace dutifully turned their attention to Black Friday and whipping out one of their 15 credit cards to purchase remote control pillows, 3D 72 inch HDTVs, a see through tank top from the Snooki line of slutware, or thousands of other ludicrous Chinese crap churned out by slave labor in factories built to support the “efficiency” efforts of U.S. conglomerates.

Without a constant irritating presence in the heart of NYC and other large cities, the Occupy Movement appears to have lost steam. I’ve been trying to figure out how and why this happened. The issues that motivated the protests have not gone away. The despicable MF Global crime, committed by a hall of shame member of the .01% – Jon Corzine – has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt the Wall Street/Washington DC criminal conspiracy is alive and well. Unless you have been sitting in line at a Wal-Mart for the last two months to get a $3 waffle-maker, you saw young people across the country tear gassed, shot with rubber bullets, maced, bludgeoned, and brutalized by the paid thugs of the ruling oligarchy on a daily basis. The outrage at the continued looting by the psychopathic Wall Street aristocracy and the horrific police brutality against young people exercising their Constitutional right to free speech and assembly should have ignited widespread anger and mass protest. Instead the reaction has been silence, scorn and smug satisfaction with the government response.

Paychecks & Perceptions

There are a plethora of rationales for the apathy and lack of critical thinking overwhelming our society as we plunge into the depths of a looming economic calamity. They include economic self interest, the power of propaganda to condition the masses, fear of opposing authority, and the perception of a reality that allows you to sleep at night. The Upton Sinclair quote above hit home for me a few weeks ago and explains much of the disdain for the Occupy movement. I was in a high level meeting at my University and during the course of the meeting the Occupy Movement was brought up. A senior executive made a derogatory comment about Occupy and then laughed. I smiled and bit my tongue. In retrospect it shouldn’t have surprised me. I work at one of the top business schools in the world. The person who made the comment has spent his entire life educating students who end up with jobs at Wall Street financial institutions and with America’s largest corporations. It is a natural response for someone whose whole life is reliant upon the existing financial system to psychologically overlook the obvious criminality of the Wall Street fat cats and corporate executives who validate his entire existence and life’s work. He chooses to not understand the message of these protestors because to truthfully comprehend their message would nullify his thirty years of academic efforts. My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was also based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.

It appears older generations have a considerably more negative view of young people protesting the capture of our political and economic system than younger generations. This also makes sense because they have the most to lose and cannot visualize a society other than the one they have created. To acknowledge the validity of the Occupy Movement and the justice of their positions would be to admit their own guilt in the creation of a society that has allowed a chosen few to enrich themselves at the expense of the many. The Baby Boom Generation has been living a lie their entire adulthood. It is true that prior generations created the welfare/warfare state we have today, but the Boomers have had the reins of power for the last two decades in Congress and chose to not only ignore the fact the entitlement promises made by previous administrations could not be fulfilled. They even made further promises in the trillions to their fellow Boomers. Instead of making a budgetary choice between guns and butter, the Boomers chose guns, butter, education, universal healthcare, the right to own a home, the right to a 72 inch HDTV, and zero percent financing on their Cadillac Escalade from government motors. The consequences of these choices are a $15.2 trillion National Debt growing at a rate of $3.7 billion per day and unfunded entitlement liabilities totaling in excess of $100 trillion.

I had the pleasure of meeting Neil Howe, co-author of The Fourth Turning and fourteen other books, in early December. His ground breaking work with William Strauss on generational theory has proven to be uncannily accurate, as their 1997 assessment of what dynamics would drive the course of history over the coming decades have materialized exactly as they presumed. We had a fascinating two hour discussion about various topics impacting the world today and I found that we were in agreement on just about everything, except for the Occupy protests. Neil Howe is an expert on interpreting how generations react to events. I expected him to be impressed by the courage and fortitude of the Millenials leading this protest against Wall Street gluttony and audacious criminality. This is the new GI Generation and I anticipated him perceiving these protests as a prelude to greater feats ahead by this generation. Instead he described them as naive adolescents being led down a phony path by anarchist Boomers. As an example he referenced the fact that many of the protestors were wearing Guy Fawkes masks, the most famous anarchist in history. He found this distasteful and dangerous. My interpretation of the Guy Fawkes masks was more in line with the movie V For Vendetta and the theme of a corrupt evil government keeping the public living in perpetual fear.

“Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn’t there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who’s to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you’re looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn’t be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.” V For Vendetta

Neil Howe’s impression of the movie centered on the terroristic aspects of blowing up Parliament, not on the symbolism of citizens rising up and casting off the yoke of a malevolent oligarchy that has used propaganda, fear and intimidation to manipulate and control the population. Howe is a Baby Boomer and I’m Generation X. We are each viewing the Occupy Movement through the prism of our life experiences and perceptions about the intentions of these protestors. The existing social, economic, and political structure is dominated by Boomers. Neil Howe views the Occupy Movement as a threat to the system he believes in and supports. As a cynical Xer with no allegiance to a corrupt government, a crony capitalist economic system or a greedy self centered society, I see these young revolutionaries as our last great hope.

 

Neil Howe runs a very successful consulting firm whose clients include Fortune 500 corporations, including Wall Street financial firms. His annual income and net worth is dependent upon the existing corporate dynamic. When your living depends upon not understanding the real reason young people are protesting corporate malfeasance, fraud and corruption, your mind can ignore observable facts and visible truths. Anything can be rationalized when putting food on the table requires you to ignore obvious truths and understandable facts.

Propaganda & Power

“The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” – Edward Bernays, Propaganda, 1928 

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I was shocked when I came across the above quote a few months ago. Bernays had it figured out 84 years ago before mass media, television, or spin doctors. His vision of a society manipulated by a small number of governing elite who believe they know better than the masses has come to fruition. True republican equality as defined by the founders in the Constitution is considered quaint and a belief of the trusting and naïve masses by the wealthy elite. Manipulation of the masses through a relentless never ending barrage of propaganda disguised as news and unremitting false advertising is designed to control and herd the cattle into the slaughterhouse. We are given the illusion of free choice, when in reality the choices are being made for us by a chosen few who think they know what is best. These puppeteers controlling the strings inhabit the financial, government and corporate halls of power. Their purpose is not to benefit society and its citizens but to protect their wealth and influence, using any means at their disposal. Propaganda to control the minds of a willfully uninformed public has been their most potent weapon.

Source: Mike Kreiger

Most people have never heard the name Edward Bernays. That is the way public relations specialists (manipulators of the truth) like it. They operate in the shadows, subtly influencing public opinion through what Bernays arrogantly referred to as the sinister method of “engineering of consent”. The Governing Elite have no time for messy processes like true capitalism or non-manipulated free elections. The objective for Bernays and his ilk has always been to provide corrupt government power brokers, shadowy bankers and corporate media kingpins with potent psychological instruments of social persuasion and mind control. Edward Bernays is considered the “father of public relations”, and he was the nephew of Sigmund Freud. He pioneered media manipulation techniques.

He understood the weaknesses of the human mind and developed methods and processes for taking advantage of that weakness.

“The average citizen is the world’s most efficient censor. His own mind is the greatest barrier between him and the facts. His own ‘logic proof compartments,’ his own absolutism are the obstacles which prevent him from seeing in terms of experience and thought rather than in terms of group reaction.”Bernays, Crystallizing Public Opinion

Bernays got his big break during the administration of Woodrow Wilson, the outset of the American interventionist empire bankrolled by an inflation creating Federal Reserve and a tax and spend Congress.  During WWI, Edward began work for the Committee on Public Information, the immense propaganda machine ordered by Woodrow Wilson to sway the American public towards a war he campaigned to keep us out of. He became so instrumental he was invited to accompany Wilson to the Paris peace conference. His claims to fame afterward included:

  • Creating a false storyline of communists in Guatemala on behalf of his client United Fruit Company, resulting in a CIA led military coup which ushered in a brutal dictatorship resulting in the dislocation, torture and death of thousands.
  • He was responsible for breaking the taboo of women smoking in public while working for American Tobacco Company.

His biggest claim to fame was inspiring the most reviled propagandist in history. Bernays’ techniques were so effective that Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, made copious use of Bernays’ book, “Propaganda” throughout the Holocaust, often crediting Bernays. That was quite a feather in Bernays’ cap. The German people were gradually indoctrinated by their government through propaganda into consenting and supporting the most horrific crimes in history as described by Milton Mayer in his book, They Thought They Were Free – The Germans, 1933-45:

“This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

“To live in this process is absolutely not to be able to notice it—please try to believe me—unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us had ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, ‘regretted,’ that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle, what all these ‘little measures’ that no ‘patriotic German’ could resent must someday lead to, one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.”

Bernays was a master of using psychological techniques to mask the motives of his clients, as part of a calculated strategy aimed at keeping the public unaware of the forces that were working to mold their psyches. Bernays died in 1995, but his techniques have been taken to a new level as our government, media and financial elite use any means at their disposal to keep the masses sedated and content while they are fleeced and herded towards the slaughterhouse. The Big Lie perpetrated upon the masses is the fallacy of America being a democratic society. The anti-democratic and treacherous corporate public relations Madison Avenue maggots manage and manipulate the opinions of the many in order to make sure a true democratic system doesn’t threaten the privileges and supremacy of the governing elite.

I wonder if it was coincidental the creation of the Federal Reserve, implementation of the personal income tax, and virtually non-stop war coincided with the rise of an industry designed to manipulate and control the thoughts and opinions of an easily influenced and willfully unaware populace. Most people want to be led and told what to believe. Critical thinking and taking personal responsibility for your life and your society requires hard work, sacrifice, honesty, and self restraint. Simply believing storylines supplied by authority figures and media pundits allow the masses to continue living lives of debt delusion and hope, occasionally stirred into a frenzy of fear and loathing towards the foreign bogeyman of the moment, chosen by the governing elite. Bernays and his disciples understood this dynamic and have been able to utilize corporate mass media and the human weakness of trusting in the judgments of authority figures to control and manage the vast swath of America without them knowing it.

“If we understand the mechanism and motives of the group mind, it is now possible to control and regiment the masses according to our will without them knowing it.” – Edward Bernays

The propaganda techniques employed to manipulate the masses seemed less abhorrent when they centered upon just consumer products. Convincing women they would look like a gorgeous model if they used a company’s cosmetics or convincing a man he’d be admired by his neighbors if he drove a certain car was small potatoes. In the last few decades the misinformation and outright lies fed to the American public by oligarchy of governing elite has become more manifest and repugnant. The list of abuses is virtually endless.

  • The American public has been lured into debt by the incessant unrelenting lifestyle marketing messages spewed from our TVs 24/7. From the introduction of the show Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous in the early 1980s, wealth, materialism, and consumerism became the motivating force in America. Consumption accounted for only 63% of GDP in 1980, with capital investment accounting for 17%. Today, consumption accounts for 71% of GDP and capital investment only 12%. Keeping up with the Kardashians is the mantra of our times.
  • The utter failure of our government controlled educational system in teaching our children how to think critically or question the validity of government created data has allowed the elite to paper over the fact the average American worker has not had any real income gains in at least four decades. The insidious nature of Federal Reserve created inflation (up 600% since 1970) is incomprehensible to a public that finds math boring and not essential in their lives.

 

  • Once the manipulators convinced the masses they needed a 4,000 sq ft McMansion, two brand new stylish cars, four big screen HDTVs, three computers, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, a Rolex, Armani suits, an in-ground pool, an ATV, and house at the shore, there was only one thing left to do – loan them the money to live the faux American dream. GDP has grown 525% since 1980. Personal consumption expenditures have grown 600% since 1980. Consumer debt outstanding has grown 700% since 1980. And total household debt outstanding has grown 800% since 1980. It seems the purveyors of debt on Wall Street have been the only beneficiaries of the apparition of an American dream sold to a willingly duped American populace.

 

  • The dream of home ownership was used by politicians of both parties to further their agendas, egged on by the Wall Street elite and the National Association of Realtors – two of the largest contributors to politicians. As politicians tried to outdo themselves creating programs to get poor people into homes, Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan urged the masses to use creative new adjustable rate mortgage products. With a wink and nod from Greenspan and no fear of any regulation whatsoever, the Wall Street elite created liar loans, negative amortization loans, subprime loans, Alt-A loans and a myriad of other products to induce fraud in the housing market. Appraisers did their part by overstating the values of homes and Wall Street colluded with the rating agencies to package the toxic mortgages and sell them to clueless dupes around the globe with a AAA rating stamped on them. At the absolute peak in 2005, with prices two standard deviations above the long term average, Ben Bernanke declared the housing market strong and the NAR proclaimed it the best time to buy. As the coup de grace, Wall Street urged home owners to unlock that equity in their homes and borrow $3 trillion to spend on gadgets, home upgrades, automobiles, facelifts, new boobs, and exotic vacations. The greatest mass fraud in history was complete. And not one person has gone to jail.
  • Not only have the governing elite lured the masses into debt slavery, but they’ve convinced them to love their slavery. The governing elite have done a fantastic job of using their media mouthpieces to deflect criticism away from their pillaging and looting of the national wealth. They’ve successfully persuaded the slaves the extreme income inequality is beneficial to the country because the 1% are the job creators and have earned their way to the top through our free market capitalism system. Convincing the middle class to blame the poor for their three decade decline is a tribute to the effectiveness of their propaganda crusade. Jesse gives accolades to the father of propaganda as the moneyed interests have won:

“The moneyed interests have done quite a successful PR job in refocusing the national discussion on priorities involving social issues, and the reform of the support systems for the weak, the unfortunate, and the elderly. Turning one group against another, and objectifying your intended victims through slogans and stereotypes, has always been an effective method of bending the herd to your will. Score one for Edward Bernays.”

 

  • The Social Security System is an example of propaganda and misinformation on a grand scale. A modest (1% tax) insurance program designed to help widows and orphans during the Great Depression, which should have been treated much like term life insurance, morphed into a massive retirement plan at the behest of politicians over the last eight decades. The voters shockingly voted for more benefits. Millions are now totally dependent upon the monthly pittance they receive, as the promise of a Social Security pension deterred them from saving for their old age. Politicians perpetuated lies about the funds being protected in a lockbox. The truth is the politicians raided the lockbox and took every dime to spend on wars of choice, aid to dictators, paying off their corporate masters, and leaving only IOUs. They have promised $17.5 trillion more than they can payout. It could be made viable with a gradual rise in the retirement age and a simple means test that would eliminate payouts to those who do not need it. Instead politicians use it as a means to control their constituents and obscure the simple truths. Americans choose to remain ignorant of the facts based on their perceptions of a false reality.

 

  • Another storyline propagated by politicians of a liberal bent is that Medicare is a successful Federal government program. Only someone from the governing elite would declare a program that is $90 trillion underfunded, racked by fraud and abuse totaling almost $100 billion per year, despised by doctors across the land for its insane bureaucracy, and allows corporate insurance, drug and hospital conglomerates to dictate the costs, a success. The entire government run sickcare industry is a scam designed to enrich the corporations that contribute to the campaigns of the politicians writing the rules and regulations. The pricing mechanism between doctor and patient is broken, with neither having any say in the decisions.
  • With the unleashing of a torrent of inflation during the 1970s the governing elite needed to resort to obfuscation and manipulation of inflation figures to create the illusion of price stability and positive GDP, while screwing seniors citizens out of their Social Security benefits and convincing the middle class their annual 3% wage increases were getting them ahead in life. Inflation has been systematically understated by 5% to 7% annually since 1980.

 

  • The government drones at the BLS do the dirty work for their masters by reporting unemployment of 8.6% when the real level exceeds 20%, Great Depression levels. The corporate media just does the bidding of the corporate fascist state by unflinchingly reporting the bogus figures. Reporting the truth would be detrimental to the political and financial elites, so propaganda is rationalized as being beneficial to the country. The sheep just keep grazing as their shepherds herd them toward the slaughterhouse.

 

  • By conducting focus groups and testing words, master manipulators like Frank Lutz have been able to convince the masses to support repeal of the estate tax even though it does not affect 99.7% of American taxpayers. By renaming it a Death Tax, the public was convinced that this horrible abuse of the tax code should be repealed. The 0.3% with the ability and means to manipulate public opinion, won again.
  • The tax code and the propaganda campaign being waged by the richest .01% to obscure the truth and misinform the masses is the most barefaced attempt of the elite to retain their wealth and power. Their corporate media legions pound home the storyline of 50% of Americans not paying their fair share because they pay no Federal income tax. It sure sounds like these weasels must be doing something dishonest to avoid paying Federal taxes. What is not mentioned by the media mouthpieces is 50% of Americans make less than $25,000 per year. What is also conveniently forgotten is these people pay payroll taxes, local income taxes, state income taxes, real estate taxes, sales taxes, tolls and a multitude of other taxes, fees and charges to their utility, cable, and phone providers. In the real world, the total effective tax rate for someone making $50,000 per year exceeds the total effective tax rates of Mitt Romney, Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett.

 

  •  The IRS tax code did not grow to 75,000 pages because the middle class and the poor used their undue influence to convince politicians in Washington DC to insert credits, loopholes and deductions for mega-corporations and the wealthy elite into the code. Only those with wealth, power and influence are allowed to “sway” legislation in Congress. This is called crony capitalist democracy. The current propaganda coming from the GOP candidates is our poor mega-corporations that outsourced millions of American jobs to Asia are overburdened by the 35% corporate tax rate, despite the fact they actually pay an effective rate of 18% and many multi-billion dollar conglomerates pay nothing. The truth is not important or relevant to those running the show in this country.

  • The most damaging and far reaching use of propaganda, misinformation and outright scare tactics by the financial and political elites was during the financial meltdown during September and October of 2008. The American public was whipped into a frenzy of fear by the protectors of Wall Street – Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke – in order to funnel trillions of taxpayer funds to the Wall Street cartel that created the crisis in the first place. The governing elite declared the economic system would fail unless Wall Street was bailed out. When some courageous Congress members balked at passing TARP, the masters of the universe crashed the stock market with their super computer trading machines. The hysterical pundits on CNBC and the other corporate media outlets shrieked that our way of life would surely die if the banks were not saved. TARP was passed and Wall Street bankers rejoiced by paying themselves billions in bonuses. The truth not revealed to the masses was that the failure of a few reckless ravenously greedy Wall Street banks would not have destroyed our economic system. It would have destroyed the wealth of psychotic bankers like Blankfiein, Dimon, Pandit and a slew of other criminals on Wall Street. Wealthy stockholders and bondholders would have been wiped out. Bank depositors would not have lost a dime. The irresponsible risk junky bankers would have seen their banks liquidated. Bad debts would have been written off. The remaining good assets would have been sold to prudent banks. But instead, the ethically and financially bankrupt were saved by their corporate fascist partners in crime at the expense of the confused and disoriented American citizens. Saving bankers had been successfully marketed to the sheep as being on par with saving the nation. Chalk another one up for Bernays and his brethren.
  • After Bush and his banker cronies successfully fleeced trillions from taxpayers and handed it to bankrupt bankers, Obama and his minions continued the con on the middle class. With the help of Pelosi and Reid he was able to dispense $800 billion of payoffs to various contributors, constituents and special interests while calling it a job creating stimulus plan. When it became clear to even the ignorant masses that no jobs were being created, the governing elite channeled their best Edward Bernays and invented the term “jobs saved”. The beauty of this concept was the impossibility of ever verifying the figures spouted by the paid shills disguised as expert economists. Billions more were funneled to the housing industry and auto industry as paybacks for their contributions in the form of homebuyer tax schemes and Cash for Clunker scams. The bill for these complete failures was passed onto future generations as the National Debt soared from $10.6 trillion to $15.2 trillion in just three years of Obama rule.
  • The latest fraud being perpetrated on the American public is the lie about energy independence touted by GOP candidates for president. Rather than leveling with the people and explaining the facts of peak cheap oil to them honestly, the governing elite prefer slogans, half-truths and fantasy projections. The left touts solar, ethanol and other green energy fantasies, while the right peddles drilling, fracking, and fake estimates of supplies. Both are lying. All the cheap easy to access oil in the world has been found. The oil being discovered and accessed today is harder to reach, more expensive to produce and requires producers to expend almost one barrel of oil to produce a new barrel of oil. The easy to access oil is being depleted at the same rate that new hard to access oil is being brought on line. Meanwhile, demand grows across the globe. Our far flung suburban sprawl society teeters on the edge of an abyss and the governing elite pretend all is well.

The above list of abuses committed by the ruling oligarchy pales in comparison to the totalitarian like measures that have been executed since September 11,2001. With the country cowering in fear, the governing elite passed an Orwellian like 350 page bill that changed this country forever. The USA PATRIOT Act, which changed the relationship between our government and its citizens forever, was supposedly written, introduced, debated and passed in the space of 30 days in October 2001. I wonder which public relations firm came up with the Orwellian acronym?  Uniting (and) Strengthening America (by) Providing Appropriate Tools Required (to) Intercept (and) Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. The purpose of naming this bill was to imply that anyone who was against allowing our government to spy, monitor or place under surveillance anyone our government chooses would make you unpatriotic. The American people chose implied safety and security over true freedom and liberty by their deafening silence. The governing elite used fear and propaganda to achieve their goal of more domination over our lives.

Drunk with their new found power, the political elite decided to change the world by using their spin machine to create visions of mushroom clouds over U.S. cities in the minds of a gullible public to craft a believable storyline for the invasion of Iraq. A willingly pliant press corp. spread the misinformation about weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda connections to fashion a convincing plot for pre-emptive war on a sovereign country that did not threaten our country. Who benefitted from war with Iraq? The military industrial complex reaped billions in profits and the Wall Street banks bankrolled the invasion with more debt. It only destroyed the lives of thousands of low income American soldiers, killed 100,000 Iraqi peasants, drove the price of oil from $25 a barrel to $100 a barrel, and will ultimately cost American taxpayers $4 trillion. And the great thing about passage of the Patriot Act and invasion of Iraq was the bipartisan cooperation pushing us ever closer to an authoritarian state.

The erroneous notion that Americans have a choice between two political parties that offer distinct and clear opposing policies addressing the major issues facing our country is still perpetuated by politicians and the corporate media. It is untrue, as we have seen the Obama administration employ the same repressive methods instituted by the Bush administration. Military spending rises. Wars of choice proliferate and grow. Obamacare is virtually identical to a plan created by the leading GOP presidential nominee. Further restrictions, regulations and laws are put forth to keep the masses controlled, sedated and fearful. The governing elite and their propagators of misinformation are again formulating a false storyline to convince the easily fooled ignorant public that a sovereign country 7,500 miles from our shores is actually a threat to their lives. While our government has already committed acts of war against Iran (sanctions, assassinations, cyber warfare, and using drones to spy), the public is being worked into a bloodthirsty frenzy of nationalism. Bipartisanship worked so well with Iraq. How could it possibly go wrong with Iran?                      

In the last six months cracks have begun appearing in the fascist façade masquerading as a democratic republic. The rise of the Occupy Movement, increasing pain and discontent among the middle class, a small but vocal irate minority utilizing the internet to organize, inform and spread knowledge, and the growing support among the liberty minded for Ron Paul’s candidacy are the opening salvos in a coming revolution. The volleys being traded between the forces of the American aristocratic elite and the leading forces of this revolution are only the opening shots on par with Bunker Hill. The oligarchs have won the initial skirmishes with the Occupy Movement through their control of superior mercenary fire power and ability to falsify the message and nature of the protestors. The corporate mass media propaganda machine convinced an apathetic, non critical thinking public the protestors were nothing but dirty, lazy, college students looking for government handouts organized and led by George Soros. Journalist Robert Fisk reveals the true nature of the protests and rage:

“And that is the true parallel in the West. The protest movements are indeed against Big Business – a perfectly justified cause – and against “governments”. What they have really divined, however, albeit a bit late in the day, is that they have for decades bought into a fraudulent democracy: they dutifully vote for political parties – which then hand their democratic mandate and people’s power to the banks and the derivative traders and the rating agencies, all three backed up by the slovenly and dishonest coterie of “experts” from America’s top universities and “think tanks”, who maintain the fiction that this is a crisis of globalization rather than a massive financial con trick foisted on the voters.

The banks and the rating agencies have become the dictators of the West. Like the Mubaraks and Ben Alis, the banks believed – and still believe – they are owners of their countries. The elections which give them power have – through the gutlessness and collusion of governments – become as false as the polls to which the Arabs were forced to troop decade after decade to anoint their own national property owners. Goldman Sachs and the Royal Bank of Scotland became the Mubaraks and Ben Alis of the US and the UK, each gobbling up the people’s wealth in bogus rewards and bonuses for their vicious bosses on a scale infinitely more rapacious than their greedy Arab dictator-brothers could imagine.” – Robert Fisk, Bankers are the Dictators of the West

The mounting desperation of the oligarchs is palpable. They have circled the wagons as one of their leaders – Jon Corzine – was caught stealing $1.2 billion directly from the accounts of his customers after making reckless bets that went wrong and bankrupted his firm. The Department of Homeland Security coordinated brutality unleashed upon peaceful protestors in cities across America opened the eyes of more people to the approach of an increasingly oppressive state. The media lapdogs have come out in force with an organized smear campaign designed to derail the presidential campaign of Ron Paul, the only candidate talking about real change and a real downsizing of the American empire. Ron Paul’s platform of liberty, freedom, non-interventionism, sound money, and a government not controlled by bankers and corporate interests is anathema to the ruling elite of both parties. A vote for one of the hand selected candidates offered by the moneyed interests is simply a vote for the special interest status quo. As our economic system becomes more saturated with debt by the day a tipping point approaches.

Obama’s signing of the NDAA, overwhelmingly supported by politicians of both parties, now gives the ruling class the ability to track down and imprison indefinitely any American citizen they consider a threat to their power, without charges. The only remaining thorn in their side is the internet. The internet has allowed critical thinkers to share information, organize resistance to the oligarchs, create communities of like-minded citizens, and allow individuals the opportunity to turn the tables and perform surveillance on the state. The state does not like an unfettered internet because it allows citizens to find the non-manipulated truth and undermines their mainstream media propaganda machine. Young people are less able to be manipulated. The introduction of abominable legislation like SOPA and PIPA are a blatant attempt by the governing elite to crush dissent by locking down the internet and eliminating sites that question their version of reality.

Humans are a flawed species. Our minds are easily manipulated. We don’t like pain. We prefer instant gratification. We are susceptible to mass delusion. We will often choose hope over critical thought. Those with higher IQs will regularly attempt to take advantage of those with lower IQs. Fear and greed are the two motivations used by the minority in power to control and manipulate the majority. The American people have been led astray by a small group of powerful men. We were herded through a door in the wall of perception that promised an American dream of material goods, entitlements and pleasure with no obligations or responsibility to future generations. There is only one choice that can save this country from ruin. Each individual must make a choice to either to continue supporting the manipulative, corrupt status quo or coming back through the Door in the Wall.

 

“The man who comes back through the Door in the Wall will never be quite the same as the man who went out. He will be wiser but less sure, happier but less self-satisfied, humbler in acknowledging his ignorance yet better equipped to understand the relationship of words to things, of systematic reasoning to the unfathomable mystery which it tries, forever vainly, to comprehend” – Aldous Huxley

168 Comments
  1. Muck About says:

    On first read, I can’t see anything that isn’t dead on, accurate and depressing.

    On second read, I can’t see any hope either.

    Rather a Magnum Opus for TBP, I think.

    MA

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 65 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 4:15 pm

  2. bluestem says:

    Outstanding article, Jim, especially the last 2 paragraphs. John

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 46 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:22 pm

  3. howard in nyc says:

    wonderful, admin. just wonderful.

    you’ll like kuntsler’s essay today; touches on some of your themes. also, a bill moyers interview with david stockman should be posted/linked here. i will package it up and send it in shortly. mish cited it today.

    Crony Capitalism and the Entitled Class of Wall Street Financiers; Bill Moyers Interviews David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/01/crony-capitalism-and-entitled-class-of.html

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 23 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 4:30 pm

  4. ragman says:

    Admin: welcome back! I had TBP withdrawal this morning and it wasn’t fun. Good Article.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:30 pm

  5. Pirate Jo says:

    As to the hostility directed toward the OWS movement, my brother has the attitude that they are a bunch of disrespectful, unwashed young punks who should know better than to disobey the police.

    I asked, if they wanted to arrest someone, why a couple of cops couldn’t simply lift a protestor, one cop per arm, and carry them over to the squad car to be handcuffed and taken away to jail. In the famous pepper spray incident, there were more cops present than protesters. Why was it necessary to pepper spray those kids when a simple lift and carry would do?

    My brother’s response: “Eventually everyone loses their patience.”

    He is only 40, and I had no idea he held the Gestapo in such high esteem. I would suggest that if you have no respect for people’s right to free speech and no patience, perhaps law enforcement is not the right career path for you.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 4:35 pm

  6. AWD says:

    The word is getting out. No TBP meant trolling other sites, none of which have the personality and personalities of TBP. Another great article. You would be a best-selling author if books were used for anything other than coasters these days.

    democrats-demotivational-poster-1246373741.jpg

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 41 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:40 pm

  7. Anon says:

    Can some one please tell me if in fact the bailout money has been paid back or not? And it it was, how?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:58 pm

  8. Anon says:

    as a reader of your site, can you start using the “more” option so that I can scroll down and see new articles posted quickly? Really, its your site but as a courtesy how about using the wordpress option (assuming this is a wordpress site) to segment the top story into a manageable preview so I don’t have to scroll through 10-20 screens worth of text to read the latest postings.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 13

    23rd January 2012 at 5:00 pm

  9. Yojimbo says:

    Kudos. In gratitude to your hard work, I’ll buy the next round for everyone – of .223 Remington, that is.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 5:00 pm

  10. Administrator says:

    Anon

    The latest 15 posts are listed on the right side of the page under Latest Posts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 5:03 pm

  11. Colma Rising says:

    Admin –

    Another outstanding article. As Homer Simpson would say, “Your ideas are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.” Keep up the great work!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 5:49 pm

  12. Axel says:

    Hmm. When TBP was down for maintenance recently, the thought stuck in the back of my mind that it really wasn’t…maintenance. And I wondered, just for a moment, if Jim had finally pissed off the wrong people (or right people) just enough for them to take action.

    I still wonder if that might not happen in the future.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:13 pm

  13. LLPOH says:

    Admin – another fine job! Great research in there. I do not know where you found those quotes – if you read the original source material, then, man did you ever do some deep digging.

    But it wouldn’t be like me not to quibble over a detail , would it? That is the source of our best battle – fight not over the meat but rather over a discarded bit of tendon.

    You said above: “In the real world, the total effective tax rate for someone making $50,000 per year exceeds the total effective tax rates of Mitt Romney, Lloyd Blankfein and Warren Buffett.”

    I am not privvy to their tax returns, but that statement is true if they receive their money via capital gains. If they receive their money via dividends, then their effective tax rate is actually 45%, give or take a smidgen, given dividends are taxed previously at 35%, which is significantly higher than the highest marginal rate.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 6:26 pm

  14. Kill Bill says:

    Dont sweat it Jim. The changes will take time. Often longer than we live. In this I gather comfort.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:53 pm

  15. Mikey says:

    The old world, the world of promise and rewards through hard work has been destroyed. That is, of course, assuming that it ever existed in the first place.

    Those who study cultures refert to a thing called a “myth” – not to be confused with stories concerning gods and heroes, demons and angels. In this concecpt, a “myth” is a belief in a thing, a belief in a single ascpect of that particular culture that is so widely held and so deeply rooted in the collective sub-concious of the members of that culture that it pervades every level of thought. While at some time, that myth may have had an aspect of truth, it has now been so deeply ingrained into that culture that it cannot be doubted by that culture, yet you’ll find no proof that the myth is actually true. One example from the Australian (and to a similar degree, the USA’s) culture is that “Investing in Real Estate is always safe”, and its parrallel myths “Investing in Real Estate is good”, “Homes never lose value”. I’ve chosen these three myths as examples because they are both self-supporting, and their disconnection with financial realities are obvious to most readers of TBP.

    The facts are irrelevant to the myth. Perversely, belief in a myth is stronger when the evidence against that myth is strongest. The true power of a myth is that it is at the forefront of the minds of most members of that society that don’t make a concious choice to disbelive it. To use one of the three “Real Estate” examples above, I’m certain that most of you have had or heard conversations between others about just how “good” buying Real Estate is and how “prices always go up” and “Rent money is dead money” and other such vignettes. I also suspect that more than some of you have also been involved with heated argument about this – probably also with very smart people who should know better, and who have trouble believing you, even when you show them numbers that can’t be argued with. I’m willing to bet that even in Detroit where house prices are so bad that they’re not even worth buying to bulldoze and turn into farmland *still* hold those myths sacred, deep inside their minds.

    I know I’ve had those arguments with my friends. I also know that I’ve done the maths and yet still there is that part of me that speaks out very, very quietly but insistently saying “you know you really should buy a house. You’re wasting all this time and money renting”. I find the only way I can truely silence it is to go through the maths yet again – and that only works for a short while.

    How does this work?

    There are many references written by people more dedicated in this field than me, ranging from Beaudrillard, through to Michel Foucault, and onwards.

    The short version is to assume that everything you see, everything you hear, and everything you do can be read as a “text”. If you read a “text” each and every meaning you can provide to that “text” is correct, it is accurate, and it is valid. There is no “yes but that’s not what he/she meant” — it doesn’t matter. Texts show cultural biases. They show what myths exist in that culture and how those myths are applied. They show how people are thinking and most importantly what they are NOT thinking about.

    Want an example? Grab a newspaper and go to one of the pages on the right hand side near the front – page three is the best. This is because editors know that with English, readers focus on the right hand pages, and read from top left to bottom right.

    How long are the articles?
    what ones are dismissive?
    What ones are accusative?
    Think about the choice of words used. Words have power. Watch how emotionally laden words are used to colour biases. Words like “attacked”, “Fought”, “winning”, “defeat” are used. Emotions are used to manipulate thought. Emotions are used to create an “us vs them” duality with no grey. “Us” of course are the “good guys” – why? well because “we’re always the good guys” – proof is not required.
    I’ve noticed in the US in particular, look at the ethnic breakdown of descriptions of people and photos – at the very careful use in ads to make sure that there is pretty close to an even number of white/yellow/brown/black faces and male/female. Why is there a *need* to push this?

    Every myth requires constant reinforcement or else it will die. Myths are fed by memes – or ideas that spread from one text to another via people.

    So what does this mean and why are you wasting your time writing this Mikey?

    Just as you can see that Ron Paul is being demonised by the MSM, most people refuse to accept that his claim is valid. Not because it’s true or false, but because the MSM (which is the only media that matters as it has the most bodies watching it uncritically) has successfully built a myth saying that “Ron Paul is unelectable and thus you’re ‘wasting’ your vote if you vote for him.”

    It also means that you, I, and everyone else here reading this will not be able to change anything.

    You’ll only have a chance in hell if you own a major media outlet – and no, the net doesn’t count.

    The myth is that the protesters are “nutters” and deserve what they get.

    Look at Pirate Jo’s comment above – I’m certain each and every one of you have similar tales – whether it’s about who to vote for, or Real Estate, or Investments, or Banks, or that the US could never, never, never become a police state because it’s the “Land of the Free”. Or that those silly brown towel-headed terrorists “hate America” (and all terrorists are silly brown towel heads — the very carfully non-racial USA is very racist in its choice of enemies — this shows yet again that the non-racial myth of the USA is very racist, myths feeding other myths).

    Try and stand back from the world and watch it critically. Try to see and to map the ebbs and flows of influence. Notice how just before a big, highly public international event images change in newspapers and billboards. I don’t mean Christmas/New Year etc, but before a major policy change. Like in the USA when governments and industries wanted to create a ‘fence’ to stop poor Mexicans from fleeing to a place even working as slaves they had a better life than when there were free in Mexico, the hispanic faces began vanishing from the otherwise perfectly ethnically mixed billboards. Or, if they appeared at all, they were either in ‘servant’ grade roles – janitor, gardener, driver (not chauffer – that’s an old, white or grey haired white man or occasionally black man role); or low-grade criminal roles – thug, mugger, rapist, bag-snatcher, occasional murderer – on TV. Even the recipies shown on TV Cooking shows changed!

    It was the reinforcement of a meme, or the creation of one.

    Please note, I’m not saying this is part of a great big conspiracy. I hold as sacrosanct the truism “Never subscribe to conspiracy that which can be blamed on stupidity, self interest, or greed”.

    I *AM* saying that given a large enough group of people and they move as a herd. The patterns of that herd can be observed if you remember to stand outside it. It also means that if you try and stand in the path of that herd you’ll be crushed.

    You only have two choices with a herd. Be outside it, tame it, and steer it (and even then you’ll only have imperfect controls), or get the hell out of its way.

    Do you want to be safe?

    Then get out.

    Get out now.

    Move everything out of the US and out of countries that have a history of bending over and doing what the US wants and spread it across multiple sovereign domains. Spread your funds across many countries. I have gold slowly building up in Perth and in Singapore. My cash sits in Mongolia (earning 10.8% pa). I’m building up an internet business based in Fiji. Currently I live in Australia but I’m working on getting out and picking up at least one other passport.

    oh, and never, never lie to a government. Nothing will get you into more hurt, faster, than lieing to a government. Not telling them when you don’t have to is one thing, but lieing is another.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 7:28 pm

  16. Mikey says:

    ahem — I had no idea I’d written such a rant.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 7:29 pm

  17. Pirate Jo says:

    Mikey, how strong are your ties to the city/area where you live? Are your family and friends close by? How is the employment situation there? Are you happy (or at least content) in your job, and do you think your risk of losing your job is high or low? Those are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself when the rent vs. buy question pops up in your mind.

    Also, the math, as you point out. When I bought a place, the mortgage payment was a little bit less than the rent I had been paying.

    And for me, the whole point of buying was that before long I could pay the blasted thing off and not have that big monthly payment anymore. I bought a place that cost a lot less than what the banks said I could afford (yet I am still satisfied with it) and the property taxes and condo dues together are less than $300 a month. You can’t find anything cheaper than that around here unless you live in a trailer and pay lot rent.

    And of course THAT assumes that you are bothered by the monthly payment. I wanted to free up that cash flow, and yes, I also realized that the old myth that “the stock market will always return 10%” is pure nonsense. As Admin pointed out a few days ago, the S&P 500 is exactly where it was 13 years ago. So that is a zero percent rate of return, and my mortgage was costing me 5.375%. So it was yet another reinforcement to paying off my mortgage.

    The main benefit for me was that it allowed me to pursue a career in contract work, with its fluctuating pay and lack of company-paid benefits. Of course now I have accepted a full-time position with the company I did my last two contracts with, although that was not my goal. But either way – having a paid-for place to live is awesome. I *never* assumed I’d be making a house payment for 30 years. I assumed ten, and it turned out to be six.

    But yes, if I ever wanted to leave this city/state, I’d have to sell the blasted thing. If I was in my 20′s and still considering a move elsewhere, I’d NEVER buy.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 7:43 pm

  18. PAYCHECKS, PERCEPTION, #PROPAGANDA & POWER « The Burning Platform | Commodities, Resource and Freedom | Scoop.it says:

    [...] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } http://www.theburningplatform.com – Today, 12:45 [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 7:45 pm

  19. Mary Malone says:

    Wow – another beautifully written piece that tells the story of corrupt influences that permeate our country and our minds. Thank you Jim.

    Bernays was a piece of work and very few people are familiar with all of his accomplishments. Your explanation of Bernays elitist theory and how its used to sell products, shape public opinion sheds light on mass media’s role in the sorry tale.

    When I was young, I often wondered how the German people could sanction atrocities against their Jewish neighbors. Surely, there were some good people in the country who knew what Hitler was doing was evil?

    But today, I understand.

    Bernays tactics are as successful today as they were in 1933-1945.

    But if enough people read your article, maybe this will lead to the end of Bernays tactics and the elites demise.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 7:45 pm

  20. luna_man says:

    Worth all 10min., read time!…Ready for more!

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:01 pm

  21. LLPOH says:

    luna man – you have to savor this stuff like a fine wine, not gulp it down like cheap beer. Admin is good, but he doesn’t spit this stuff out in bulk lots. If you want bulk, go read Krugman – but then you have to understand that bullshit takes a lot less time to write.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 8:10 pm

  22. Mikey says:

    @Pirate Jo

    I just used the example of Real Estate as it’s a myth that is very common. Most home buyers don’t do the maths and consider it in the same way that a business owner does – they just see it as “something that you do”. This indicates that they are following the myth rather than reality.

    You didn’t. You did the maths and ignored the myth – that’s why you now own the place clear.

    The point of my poorly presented argument/rant was that the myth dominates the math. The meme is more powerful that logic as it’s based on emotions and emotions are easier to manipulate than reason.

    Reason takes time. It’s hard. It involves challenging beliefs and places the burden of proof on any argument, on one side or another.

    Emotions though are relatively easy to manipulate. It requires flashing lights, thumping music, and cheering. It just requires taking happy memories and things linked with happy memories and overlaying that ontop of whatever you want to be associated with a positive feeling. Alternatively, take sad or angry memories and overlay them with thatever you want to have a negative feeling. This is basic neurolinguistic programming – and it’s depressingly easy to do.

    We are herd animals. Get a big enough group of people feeling one emotion, then almost everyone else in close proximity to that group will also begin to feel that emotion.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:20 pm

  23. Working man's chest surgeon says:

    Well written and well argued.

    I am moved to pose a question that caused a significant amount of consternation over at TF Metals Report:

    What is TBP’s position on 9/11 being an inside job?

    It seems that with so much truth being written, Mr. Quinn came right up to but not over the line of declaring that the US Government engineered 9/11 so as to put their agenda in motion.

    This has particular importance today, as we see an almost literal replay of the Pacific c 1940-41. Iran is being goaded into war just as Japan was. One can certainly argue about whether this is justified or not; it seems undeniable that it is happening.

    And I think it is important to come to grips with the truth about 9/11. Because history repeats. And I suspect we will see a similar dramatic false flag to light the fuse for conflict with Iran, which will serve as a perfect distraction for whatever TPTB’s agenda is for handling the economic collapse.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 13

    23rd January 2012 at 8:30 pm

  24. LLPOH says:

    WMCS – you have come right up to but not over the line of declaring yourself a 9/11 conspiracy theory nutjob.

    Please be more clear – what is your position on 9/11 being an inside job? You are beating around the bush. Come on, out with it. We need some light entertainment, and kicking you pillar to post would be the start of much merriment.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 17

    23rd January 2012 at 8:42 pm

  25. WestcliffeJeff says:

    Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
    What did you dream?
    It’s alright we told you what to dream.
    You dreamed of a big star,
    He played a mean guitar,
    He always ate in the Steak Bar.
    He loved to drive in his Jaguar.
    So welcome to the Machine.

    –Pink Floyd, Welcome to the Machine

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 8:55 pm

  26. Working man's chest surgeon says:

    LLPOH:

    So let me get this straight. You will ascribe to everything written in the post, but bringing up the question of 9/11 makes me a conspiracy nut job?

    Cognitive dissonance.

    Of course there are many entirely reasonable questions to be asked about our governments involvement in 9/11. To disparage someone who asks such questions is ridiculous, ESPECIALLY on a forum which discusses the type of contrarian non- mainstream ideas regularly discussed on this forum.

    “kicking your pillar to the post” for “merriment”…. That’s just asinine.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 10

    23rd January 2012 at 8:56 pm

  27. Pirate Jo says:

    Mikey, I’ve found that the hardest part about embracing reason is that everyone around you thinks you’re nuts. You don’t join many clubs that way.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:57 pm

  28. Administrator says:

    Working Man’s chest surgeon

    I’ve been running this site for three years and my views on 9/11 are well known.

    I believe the neo-cons used the attack to their advantage in passing the Patriot Act and invading Iraq.

    I do not believe the U.S. government was involved in the attacks other than proving their total incompetence in connecting the dots.

    There have been many long humorous threads addressing this subject matter.

    Here’s some from September 2010:

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=5748

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=5809

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=5745

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 9:01 pm

  29. Mikey says:

    @Pirate Jo

    I know exactly what you mean. Been there, done that, bought a t-shirt (from Threadless).

    That said, you do meet a more interesting class of people that way, and you do find yourself better off in the long run.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:07 pm

  30. Administrator says:

    Here’s a 9/11 thread with 157 comments. Might be one of the funniest ever, with a guest appearance by DP.

    http://www.theburningplatform.com/?p=9142

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:08 pm

  31. Scrappy says:

    Here is a great video that really shows part of what we are up against perception wise.

    https://www.youtube.com/user/Aadinaadam#p/a/f/0/VbvgOFxp-hk

    Don’t always believe what you see, read, hear…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:09 pm

  32. Working man's chest surgeon says:

    Admin:

    I apologize for not being familiar w your views. I am relatively new to viewing your blog.

    Thank you for informing me in a professional manner.

    To be candid, I am somewhat disappointed to see that someone who so clearly “connects the dots” in so many other areas apparently does not connect the dots on the fundamental event shaping our current society. In my judgement, there are simply too many unanswered questions; clearly, you have already covered this ground.

    Oh well. No one is perfect.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 14

    23rd January 2012 at 9:17 pm

  33. The Claymobile says:

    Admin., 2 questions. #1. You state that poor mega-corporations pay an effective tax rate of 18% instead of the often quoted 35% and that many multi-billion dollar conglomerates pay nothing. Could you explain to this dumb old truck driver how they do that? Question #2. If you could be King over America and do anything that you wanted, what would you do to bring back good paying/good benefit jobs to the dying blue collar middle class?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:18 pm

  34. Administrator says:

    The Claymobile

    The top corporate tax rate is 35% but the corporations have used their influence and power to write tax loopholes, credits and deductions into the law so they never have to pay anywhere near the top rate.

    If I were King, I’d let failures fail. Bankrupt banks and companies should be liquidated. Interest rates should be allowed to rise to their market rate. That would encourage saving over consumption.

    Savings leads to capital investment.

    Our standard of living would surely drop since we have been living above our means for decades. Wages would probably fall, making local manufacturing more likely.

    There is no easy answer or painless solution. That opportunity passsed two decades ago. We’ve lived a lie since 1980.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:30 pm

  35. Administrator says:

    WMCS

    I certainly agree that no one is perfect.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:32 pm

  36. LLPOH says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 22

    23rd January 2012 at 9:36 pm

  37. The Claymobile says:

    Thanks for answering my questions.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:37 pm

  38. howard in nyc says:

    mikey~

    great rant. the mythos perspective is one i had not considered, (i’ve long been a bernays/propaganda man, and that perspective overlaps, but is distinctly different).

    wish i had read that joseph cambell book, or watched the bill moyers interviews. i gotta check that out, and give this idea some more thought. thanks.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 9:41 pm

  39. LLPOH says:

    Admin – I just went through that last link you posted – and am laughing so hard I am crying. Some of it was too funny. Reading that I gotta say I miss Smokey’s stuff, for sure. Come back, Smokey – let’s flame some more truthers!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

    23rd January 2012 at 9:44 pm

  40. Working man's chest surgeon says:

    LLPOH:

    Obviously you do not recognize that your posts say far more about you than might desire.

    You are not worth the effort of discussion, bc you do not come to the discussion in good faith. Your language is extremist.

    Is there an “ignore user” function on this blog??

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 8

    23rd January 2012 at 10:06 pm

  41. LLPOH says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 28

    23rd January 2012 at 10:17 pm

  42. bluestem says:

    WMCS, read and “savor” a few more day’s of comments before rushing to write those off who may differ in an opinion. The more one reads the wider the view and the better the perspective. I have been reading here a while, and yes, some folks are FOS, others are pretty insightful. It’s a shame you haven’t read much of Smokey’s comments from the past. Some off the wall and “colorful.” Others, very revealing and rich. Be patient, be patient. Rome did not fall in a day, neither will the USA. John

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 10:20 pm

  43. LLPOH says:

    BTW – no ignore user function. Admin has promised a middle finger button any day now, though. I can hardly wait.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 16

    23rd January 2012 at 10:21 pm

  44. LLPOH says:

    Bluestem – you are a kind and wise soul, and I hope he takes your good advice. I do not think the good surgeon is that smart, but we will see.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 15

    23rd January 2012 at 10:23 pm

  45. Mikey says:

    @Howard

    Both Cultural Studies and Propaganda/Advertising examine the same topic, but from two different directions.

    One observes and watches for patterns and then analyses them. The other seeks to manipulate and so guide. Both are valuable skills. Want a quick, humerous primer? http://www.cracked.com/article_19646_5-creepy-forms-mind-control-youre-exposed-to-daily.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:28 pm

  46. howard in nyc says:

    thanks. i had come across that article somewhere. funny to find a serious topic in cracked.com

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:31 pm

  47. Golden Tool says:

    9/11 thread is epic and now bookmarked.

    Nice.

    “Do unto others.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 10:39 pm

  48. SSS says:

    Admin said in his tour de force article: “I was in a high level meeting at my University and during the course of the meeting the Occupy Movement was brought up. A senior executive made a derogatory comment about Occupy and then laughed. I smiled and bit my tongue. ……. I work at one of the top business schools in the world. The person who made the comment has spent his entire life educating students who end up with jobs at Wall Street financial institutions and with America’s largest corporations. It is a natural response ……. to not understand the message of these protestors because to .. comprehend their message would nullify his thirty years of academic efforts. My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.”

    Pick your time and place, Jim. OWS is neither.

    You will know the time and place when it comes, because it will tell you loudly ….. “Now.” You will abide no more and act.

    And you will pay dearly. But you will win.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 12:25 am

  49. Tim Thomas Skips White House Meeting says:

    [...] priceless!  Kudos to Mr. Thomas for providing the American public with a real state of the union address. Tweet This [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 5:39 am

  50. Welshman says:

    SSS,

    Nicely put, we will all know at TBP, as the OWS is just the first life boat drill.

    Admin.,

    Good write as usual. Yes Mr. Quinn you will know, just not the depth or severity.

    Chest Surgeon,

    Glad to see you on TBP, be careful of the 9-11 theories. Try to keep both your feet on the ground and not get in the deep water over your head. It can drown your thought processes.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 8:05 am

  51. Mary Malone says:

    @WMCS I agree with your point that there are major holes in the official 911 story.

    Even people who served on the panel and wrote the report – are calling for further investigation.

    I smell a rat too – but just can’t make the leap (not saying you have either) that the Feds orchestrated the attacks. I just can’t wrap my mind around that concept. I think there are plenty of evil people in Big Gov, but refuse to believe that good people within the system would have allowed an evil plot like this to unfold.

    The biggest reason that I don’t believe it was an “inside job” was the fact that Big Gov is just not competent enough to pull this scheme off. I think 911 truthers give the government way too much credit.

    Being shot down and called a loon is a Saul Alinksy/Bernays tactic tho.

    No harm in asking the questions…

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:22 am

  52. Gold Werewolf says:

    This ties in very nicely with Codevello’s Ruling Elite essay. Well done!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:36 am

  53. Edward Ulysses Cate says:

    This was a commentary I well-understood, as I’ve been down this road, too. Like the line in a play, “tried for three years, seemed like thirty,” with my own web site. The conclusion I’ve come to is just two things: (1) Folks truly don’t understand the word “sociopath” as applied to the financial world; and (2) without a REAL House of Representatives, nothing will change. Folks must understand that if they’re not (represented) at the table, they’ll continue to be on the menu.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:43 am

  54. Morpheous says:

    This loads slow, well worth it. Side by side columns; The Republic vs THE CORPORATION http://www.usavsus.info/

    Government run schools have but one objective, to dumb down critical analytical thinking, and lie about our true history. If you really want to understand what is going on, it is worse than you thought.
    Who is running America? http://www.barefootsworld.net/usfraud.html

    HOW I CLOBBERED EVERY BUREAUCRATIC CASH-CONFISCATORY AGENCY KNOWN TO MAN … a Spiritual Economics Book on $$$ and Remembering Who You Are by: Mary Elizabeth: Croft
    http://www.bing.com/search?q=mary+elizabeth%3B+croft&form=MSNH14&x=94&y=21
    The solution/remedy is really too simple for a complicated mind to except.
    Why do you let the government define who you are? Define yourself and declare it.

    Copy and paste this, spread this around, the truth is a powerful disinfectant for the rot and stench in gov’t.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:50 am

  55. working man's chest surgeon says:

    Nice to see upon return this AM that there are in fact some reasonable people on this forum. LLPOH derided me last night and pointed to the thumbsup/down ratios on my posts. Seems they have reversed overnight.

    Particularly, @Mary Malone, I thank you for your gracious reply.

    I too have many questions about the 9/11 official story; i dont think it is crazy to have the same questions many members of the Commision have/had. To hear over the top remarks from the likes of LLPOH was initially quite frustrating. But I guess every forum has its windbags. In my experience, people who are afraid of mere questions rarely have anything substantive to add in a search for the truth.

    And I am continually amazed that people will have no problem questioning the reliability of government statistics, or the workings of the Fed, or accepting the concept of manipulation of precious metals prices, or accepting that a government would go to war for oil, yet viscerally reject the possibility that all is not quite right with the official 9/11 story. As i said, this appears to be a mojor cognitive dissonance.

    Mr. Quinn’s “opus” is a magnificant contribution, as are any of the hundreds of posts archived on this blog. Sites like this give me hope that all is not lost just yet.

    But clearly TPTB recognize this, hence the drive for SOPA/PIPA. Dead for now, but not forever. We must be vigilant. The Internet is really our last refuge.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 10:32 am

  56. working man's chest surgeon says:

    Interesting comment on the Flase Flag Alert thread which seems relevant here:

    Captain Stabbing says:

    So believe that the USGovt would risk 1700 sailors on a Nuke ship to start a war with Iran, but not 3000 in two towers to start a war with Afghan, Pak and Iraq?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    23rd January 2012 at 10:35 am

  57. The Real Colma Rising says:

    Excellent, Admin…. Your delving into the meat of apathy and the marrow of being self-silenced for comfort is absolutely dead on.

    The psychology and sociology behind it is amazing.

    I feel silenced for grades in school often. I dare not get too mouthy at work. So it goes. It isn’t the time or place, as SSS noted…. we are better off in choosing our own time.

    Another example of a “paycheck” is the feeling one gets when they suppose they have it all figured out. A great example is a 9-11 truther somehow tying a real discussion in with that old bone. A Benays tactic, to boot…. remove attention from the meat of the discussion with nuggets of rot.

    Amazing how it works. It had a major hand in sinking Paul in ’07-’08.

    Folks don’t even realize how it affects them.

    Again, a great read.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 11:20 am

  58. platoplubius says:

    Excellent Jim!

    Well worth the wait!

    The Bernays quotes are superb! If only 50% of Americans actually knew who this guy was, perhaps their thought processes might be a bit different! It seems as though CIA DIRECTOR 1981-1987, William Casey read Bernays’ book, Propaganda, too!

    “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” — William Casey, CIA Director

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 1:10 pm

  59. James says:

    I pondered that NDAA a bit and just off the top of my head thought of these points. PLEASE add your thoughts.
    (1) Police Officers will be shot because they pull over a car for a traffic offense, and the occupant, fearing INDEFINITE DETENTION, comes out shooting.
    (2) Police Officers will respond by having to turn every traffic stop into a multi-car armored STAGE SHOW.
    (3) Police Officers will over react and shoot innocent Citizens.
    (4) Police Officers will be shunned and ostracized. Ambushes of police will occur.
    (5) Turnabout — People will “spot” where Federal Families live. When some Citizen “disappears”,
    a Federal Family member may well “disappear” in retaliation.
    (6) Someone’s Family member disappears, they go lay along the road with a deer rifle until the first COP drives by ………..
    (7) People stage “accidents” and when the government workers show up …. They become HOSTAGES.
    (8) Government work areas will become ‘free fire zones”. How will anyone work with bullets flying around?
    (9) America will devolve into chaos and collapse. Police will not be able to maintain order.
    (10) CALTROPS dropped through holes in car floors, or tossed off bridges, turn “rush hour” into nightmares.
    (11) Are they DELIBERATELY TEARING America apart????????????????
    Is this NDAA designed to provoke violence and end all vestiges of “Land of the FREE”?????

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 1:40 pm

  60. llpoh says:

    WMCS – truthers are an active lot. Sanity will get you nowhere around here so might as well enjoy the fights when they happen. I do not tend to debate conspiracy thheories – it just encourages nutjobs.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

    23rd January 2012 at 1:43 pm

  61. Lois says:

    “My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.”

    Perhaps by his own words above, Admin has revealed why he steers clear of the 911 truth movement. To enter that fray has ended more than one career. Also, I believe that there are many who have previously sought long and hard for the truth of what really happened that day, who have since moved on to attempting to shed light upon the reality facing us all today. To question the official story of 911 is too easily used as another perfect propaganda tool, gleefully grasped by the MSM, to discredit all of an individual’s work by labeling him/her a “conspiracy theorist” nut job. Such an obvious ploy, but it has continued to be effective for over ten years.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 1:49 pm

  62. Coyote says:

    “WIKISPOOKS.COM 9/11.” All Americans must read, print, post, and forward. Satan’s ratz have gone too far.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 1:52 pm

  63. Stucky says:

    Much discussion about Bernays.

    I’ve posted this often before. Doing so again for any newbies.

    “The Century of Self” —- a long but excellent 4 part series on Edmund Bernays.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 1:58 pm

  64. Stucky says:

    I have in front of me todays copy of the New York Post. On page 14 is this little article;

    “OWS gives up on Zuccotti”

    “The occupation of Zuccotti Park is officially over. Occupy Wall Street has dropped its challenge to a ruling barring it from camping out there, The Post has learned. New York Supreme Court Justice Michael Stallman was told last Friday that the protestors were voluntarily withdrawing their suit against the city and the park’s owner, Brookfield Properties.”
    .
    .
    On the other hand that great and beneficial philanthropist, George Soros, is as Doomy & Gloomy as anyone out there. He believes OWS will grow and that there will be riots in the streets in 2012.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/22/george-soros-on-the-coming-u-s-class-war.print.html

    One can only hope.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:08 pm

  65. Stucky says:

    Jim said, —> “If I were King, I’d let failures fail. Bankrupt banks and companies should be liquidated.”

    Just like Iceland!!! Just found this .. old story, but recent article. Damn, I’m really starting to like Icelanders. I’d consider moving there but they don’t have any Barnes & Noble bookstores. And they don’t speak English.

    Wish we had the balls to tell banks/gov/evil fuckers to go stick it up their asses.

    ========================================================================

    Iceland Declares Independence from International Banks

    By Bill Wilson –

    Iceland is free. And it will remain so, so long as her people wish to remain autonomous of the foreign domination of her would-be masters — in this case, international bankers.

    On April 9, the fiercely independent people of island-nation defeated a referendum that would have bailed out the UK and the Netherlands who had covered the deposits of British and Dutch investors who had lost funds in Icesave bank in 2008.

    At the time of the bank’s failure, Iceland refused to cover the losses. But the UK and Netherlands nonetheless have demanded that Iceland repay them for the “loan” as a condition for admission into the European Union.

    In response, the Icelandic people have told Europe to go pound sand. The final vote was 103,207 to 69,462, or 58.9 percent to 39.7 percent. “Taxpayers should not be responsible for paying the debts of a private institution,” said Sigriur Andersen, a spokeswoman for the Advice group that opposed the bailout.

    A similar referendum in 2009 on the issue, although with harsher terms, found 93.2 percent of the Icelandic electorate rejecting a proposal to guarantee the deposits of foreign investors who had funds in the Icelandic bank. The referendum was invoked when President Olafur Ragnur Grimmson vetoed legislation the Althingi, Iceland’s parliament, had passed to pay back the British and Dutch.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Iceland would have had to pay £2.35 billion to the UK, and €1.32 billion to the Netherlands by 2046 at a 3 percent interest rate. Its rejection for the second time by Iceland is a testament to its people, who feel they should bear no responsibility for the losses of foreigners endured in the financial crisis.

    That opposition to bailouts led to Iceland’s decision to allow the bank to fail in 2008. Not that the taxpayers there could have afforded to. As noted by Bloomberg News, at the time the crisis hit in 2008, “the banks had debts equal to 10 times Iceland’s $12 billion GDP.”

    “These were private banks and we didn’t pump money into them in order to keep them going; the state did not shoulder the responsibility of the failed private banks,” Iceland President Olafur Grimsson told Bloomberg Television.

    The voters’ rejection came despite threats to isolate Iceland from funding in international financial institutions. Iceland’s national debt has already been downgraded by credit rating agencies, and now those same agencies have promised to do so once again as punishment for defying the will of international bankers.

    This is just the latest in the long drama since 2008 of global institutions refusing to take losses in the financial crisis. Threats of a global economic depression and claims of being “too big to fail” have equated to a loaded gun to the heads of representative governments in the U.S. and Europe. Iceland is of particular interest because it did not bail out its banks like Ireland did, or foreign ones like the U.S. did.

    If that fervor catches on amongst taxpayers worldwide, as it has in Iceland and with the tea party movement in America, the banks would have something to fear; that is, the inability to draw from limitless amounts of funding from gullible government officials and central banks. It appears that the root cause is government guarantees, whether explicit or implicit, on risk-taking by the banks.

    Ultimately, such guarantees are not necessary to maintain full employment or even prop up an economy with growth, they are simply designed to allow these international institutions to overleverage and increase their profit margins in good times — and to avoid catastrophic losses in bad times.

    The lesson here is instructive across the pond, but it is a chilling one. If the U.S. — or any sovereign for that matter — attempts to restructure their debts, or to force private investors to take a haircut on their own foolish gambles, these international institutions have promised the equivalent of economic war in response. However, the alternative is for representative governments to sacrifice their independence to a cadre of faceless bankers who share no allegiance to any nation.

    It is the conflict that has already defined the beginning of the 21st Century. The question is whether free peoples will choose to remain free, as Iceland has, or to submit.

    http://netrightdaily.com/2011/04/iceland-declares-independence-from-international-banks/#ixzz1kIn6fmVA

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:19 pm

  66. Thinker says:

    It would be a shame if this turned into a “truther” discussion. No matter if the government planned it or not, what matters is the reaction to the attacks. The country had leadership in place — not just Bush/Cheney, but throughout Congress, the Pentagon and State Dept — that had plans already drawn up for tightening the screws on Americans and for attacking foreign countries. Come on, we all know they have plans sitting on shelves for every eventuality; a terrorist attack on America was certainly one of them, given the number that occurred overseas in the past few decades.

    TPTB simply implemented those plans once it occurred. Talk about propaganda — Bush told Americans to “go shopping” in response to the attacks. Normalcy bias if we’ve ever seen it. And most Americans complied, putting little flags on their cars and going about their daily lives like before.

    What matters most is what we do moving forward. How do we wake people up, get them to see what’s going on, and actively fight it? Yelling and screaming about how 9/11 was an inside job isn’t going to do that because, frankly, it didn’t impact most people enough for them to care. It wasn’t the catalyst for this Crisis; we know that from the public’s response.

    Jim makes many points in this superlative piece about what is going on, today. These are things that impact every American, that everyone feels personally. This is what we need to bring to light, to the extent that we can fight TPTB.

    You see, Bernays techniques work both ways. And we have a tool today unlike any they dreamt of back then: the Internet. We can make things go viral, wake people up, get people involved, communicate with one another directly instead of having the message shaped for us. Let’s get on with that, instead of recanting past history that no one can go back and change.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:19 pm

  67. Stucky says:

    Mikey — wish I could give you 100 thumbs up on your “myth” post. Good stuff.

    Hey guys … regarding the 9-11 posts. Is that what Jim’s magnificent thread is about?? I didn’t think so. I think it does a dishonor to Jim’s magnus opus to veer off course into that no-win argument.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 6

    23rd January 2012 at 2:23 pm

  68. Stucky says:

    “I owe it to my three sons to keep fighting the good fight.” —– Admin

    That’s the most awesome sentence in your thread.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:34 pm

  69. Colma Rising says:

    Thinker, Her Stuch:

    I agree. The discussion was switched to the meaningless immediately. Let’s turn it back.

    The reactions of the masses can be directed upon the anticipation of behavior. The more specific, the less likely the anticipated response will unfold. It seems to lay in the fluidity of the anticipator.

    As seen with the media response to the TP and OWS alike: Suprise, followed by assesment and ridicule, lies, switchback to other positions, omission, re-assesment, response, concentration on the arbitrary, confirmation of the arbitrary…. Personally, I saw more vividly the absolute work it took to discredit either manifestation of subconcious angst.

    Make no mistake… it isn’t a lack of political will that keeps the average person apathetic…. it is the sheer volume of political will put in place to keep the situation as it is that does so.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 2:58 pm

  70. Colma Rising says:

    Stuchenmeister:

    I understand that Icelandic is among the most difficult to learn.

    And it’s fucking cold.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 3:02 pm

  71. AWD says:

    The brain-dead conspiracy nutjobs are like fleas on the carcass of the body of the U.S. If they used their energy in support of something valid, like OWS and “fight back America” they might be saved from the hell inside their brains. Alas, they even have to ruin this article with bullshit. Jimbo’s penalty for allowing freedom, the freedom for any idiot to post here. Freedom comes with a cost, something the American people don’t understand; they think it’s free and an entitlement, so they don’t even see that it’s been taken away.

    I’ll post this data again, because it encourages me that most people in the country ARE NOT satisfied with the government, ethics and morals, and the economy. It offers some hope that something can be done at some point, if the right message comes along. And their in lies the problem, getting the right message out. This article is the right message, and it is getting out, but Admin don’t own a T.V. channel or station.

    We need a screenplay and a movie, a Michael Moore or Morgan Spurlock work (even though MM is fat slob socialist lefty POS). Admin, get to work on the screenplay. I’ll do the crumbling ethics and morality vis-a-vis obesity, the subsidies gravy train, the healthcare scam, autos, and the rest. The Burning Platform Presents….

    Take a look at this and get some hope:

    gallup%20SOTU%201.gif

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 3:16 pm

  72. llpoh says:

    Stuck/Colma – good points re the truther statements. Both of you are aware that you simply cannot herd the TBP cats in any direction, and the more you try the more they scatter. Get serious. You will only inflame the situation more.

    I was most impressed by let the failures fail. As it was. As it should be. To do otherwise promotes and rewards incompetence. And we end up where we are now.

    Supporting any undeserving entity ends in tears. The weak then flourish and the strong do not.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 3:17 pm

  73. FRED FLINTSTONE says:

    Fighting on The Burning Platform is a lot like the Special Olympics… Even if you win you are still retarded! While I respect other viewpoints, I have not seen much evidence of anyone being swayed regardless of how compelling a logical argument with which they are presented.

    Admin: Thanks for removing the malware from your site.

    AWD: More Iceland babes, less fat people!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    23rd January 2012 at 3:30 pm

  74. llpoh says:

    AWD – nice post re nutjob conspiracy theorists. You do have some redeeming qualities.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 3:30 pm

  75. Administrator says:

    Thinker

    AudienceClapping.gif

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 3:30 pm

  76. Administrator says:

    Fred

    “Fighting on The Burning Platform is a lot like the Special Olympics… Even if you win you are still retarded!”

    TBP Hall of Fame quote

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 3:32 pm

  77. llpoh says:

    Fred – that’s why in fights it is best to put logic away and bring out the flamethrower.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

    23rd January 2012 at 3:34 pm

  78. DaveL says:

    “The American public has been instructed by the media the Occupy story is history, just like the BP oil spill, the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and the Egyptian revolution. In a society consumed by reality TV Occupy Wall Street was just another show. The credulous American populace dutifully turned their attention to Black Friday and whipping out one of their 15 credit cards to purchase remote control pillows, 3D 72 inch HDTVs, a see through tank top from the Snooki line of slutware, or thousands of other ludicrous Chinese crap churned out by slave labor in factories built to support the “efficiency” efforts of U.S. conglomerates.”

    Does your majority rule still apply if the majority wants to be as you describe here?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 3:38 pm

  79. Thinker says:

    Stucky, that George Soros piece is good. I have to admit, I absolutely detest that man, but everything he’s saying is just what Jim said (with supporting data) here. Here’s the full piece, for anyone who doesn’t want to click through to find it.

    Soros Warns of ‘Riots,‘ ’Brutal’ Clampdowns & Possible Total Economic Collapse

    George Soros is no stranger to Blaze readers. The billionaire currency speculator and philanthropist has long been in the news, especially since the fateful day in 1992 when he helped crash England’s economy. In fact, since that day, he has been commonly referred to as “the man who broke the bank of England.”

    Soros is shrewd, he has a keen eye for investments, and he knows how to play the markets. Therefore, when he makes a prediction, it might be safe to say it’s worth a listen. After all, his predictions (among other things) have made him the multi-billionaire he is today.

    So you might want to pay attention to a recent story from The Daily Beast that claims George Soros is nervous about the future of the global economy and that he warns of dark things to come.

    “At times like these, survival is the most important thing,” Soros said.

    As he sees it, the world faces one of the most dangerous periods of modern history—a period of “evil,” writes the Beasts’ John Arlidge. “Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America [Soros] predicts riots in the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties [emphases added]. The global economic system could even collapse altogether.”

    And to add a little color, Aldridge notes Soros says it all while “peering through his owlish glasses and brushing wisps of gray hair off his forehead.”

    “I am not here to cheer you up. The situation is about as serious and difficult as I’ve experienced in my career,” Soros told Newsweek. “We are facing an extremely difficult time, comparable in many ways to the 1930s, the Great Depression. We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world, which threatens to put us in a decade of more stagnation, or worse. The best-case scenario is a deflationary environment. The worst-case scenario is a collapse of the financial system.”

    As mentioned in the above, and as The Daily Beast points out, Soros’ warning is probably based on his natural market instincts as well as personal experience.

    “I did survive a personally much more threatening situation, so it is emotional, as well as rational,” Soros said in reference to his personal experiences with both Nazi and Communist occupations.

    “The collapse of the Soviet system was a pretty extraordinary event, and we are currently experiencing something similar in the developed world, without fully realizing what’s happening,” Soros said.

    “Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret,” Soros said. “The tragedy of our current situation is the unintended consequence of imperfect understanding. A lot of the evil in the world is actually not intentional. A lot of people in the financial system did a lot of damage without intending to.”

    Wait a minute. Soros believes that the economic meltdown was the result of not just poor investments but honest-to-God “evil”?

    “That’s correct,” Soros affirmed.

    Soros continued in this vein, each prediction getting darker and grimmer than the last.

    He believes that the EU must be held together because “if you have a disorderly collapse of the euro, you have the danger of a revival of the political conflicts that have torn Europe apart over the centuries—an extreme form of nationalism, which manifests itself in xenophobia, the exclusion of foreigners and ethnic groups.”

    “In Hitler’s time, that was focused on the Jews,” Soros said. “Today, you have that with the Gypsies, the Roma, which is a small minority, and also, of course, Muslim immigrants.”

    It is “now more likely than not” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Soros said. For this, he blames the EUs’ leadership and believes that eurozone leaders only know how to “do enough to calm the situation, not to solve the problem.”

    Soros then went on to talk about how the Occupy Wall Street movement has added to the ever-changing dynamics in the world economy. Debt, Wall Street and capitalism have been put under intense scrutiny and people are becoming increasingly angry.

    As this anger intensifies, will the inevitable result be a spontaneous eruption of violence and riots?

    “Yes, yes, yes,” Soros says, almost “gleefully.”

    However, according to Soros, worse than the riots and violence will be the government reaction.

    “It will be an excuse for cracking down and using strong-arm tactics to maintain law and order, which, carried to an extreme, could bring about a repressive political system, a society where individual liberty is much more constrained, which would be a break with the tradition of the United States,” Soros said.

    Perhaps because he sees such a dark future for the West, Soros has staked his “hopes” for the global economy in Middle East and the “democracies” that are springing up over there.

    “While the developed world is in a deep crisis, the future for the developing world is very positive,” Soros said. “The aspiration of people for an open society is very inspiring. You have people in Africa lining up for many hours when they are given an opportunity to vote. Dictators have been overthrown. It is very encouraging for freedom and growth.”

    Soros insists the key to avoiding cataclysm in 2012 is not to let the crises of 2011 go to waste, writes John Arlidge.

    “In the crisis period, the impossible becomes possible,” Soros said. “The European Union could regain its luster. I’m hopeful that the United States, as a political entity, will pass a very severe test and actually strengthen the institution.”

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    23rd January 2012 at 4:05 pm

  80. DaveL says:

    Administrator says:

    “My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was also based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.”

    And yet you condemn the majority of Americans for being in the same boat?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

    23rd January 2012 at 4:36 pm

  81. AKAnon says:

    I am loathe to consider leaving Alaska, but Iceland would be at the top of my exit strategies. I am down with the cold, the babes, the attitude & the Viking ancestry. I would vote for a dude named Olafur Ragnur Grimmson for US POTUS on his name alone, w/o even knowing his politics (sorry RP). I could learn Icelandic if I had to. And I already know the words to “The Immigrant Song”.

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    23rd January 2012 at 4:44 pm

  82. AKAnon says:

    Oh yeah, great article, Admin.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:44 pm

  83. Stucky says:

    I think it would take me 20 years to learn Icelandic. jeezus, I mean check out the video below. If I could manipulate my tongue to make those sounds I’d probably still be married.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 5:12 pm

  84. Administrator says:

    “When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.”

    Thomas Paine

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    23rd January 2012 at 5:13 pm

  85. Hangman says:

    Yes Jim this is the best essay you’ve written. You bring together all the predominant themes. It’s something I’ve understood for some time now but never had the time or inclination to give it voice. It’s the reason I can no longer tolerate the elders in my family and am not on speaking terns. The ideas in the essay are completely outside the realm of understanding of any of the elders (or boomers) in my family. I am an Xer that at times feels somewhat isolated. Other times absolutely liberated.

    When we reach the tipping point it is a good bet more US (?citizens) will be clients of the state than not. This is the point we approach right now. It should be noted, and as I know from my own family history, Nazi Germany was yes fascist, but the party was called (I believe) the National Socialist Democratic party. It, like all Socialist governments provided care for citizens from cradle to grave. Every one was a client of the state more or less. Of course the economic infrastructure was pure fascist corporatism.

    Every boomer, every elder, all the people that vote are clients and therefore support the state. I am a private small businessperson – I am doomed; unless I get with the program. Regretful, would like to move out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:02 pm

  86. Colma Rising says:

    Hangman:

    BBES

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 6:25 pm

  87. Gareth says:

    http://dont-tread-on.me/?p=12788

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:32 pm

  88. Marc says:

    This is your best article ever. I really like Huxley’s quote about the man who comes back through the Door in the Wall. Most people are unable or unwilling to make the journey (to seriously question and think) and that is a big part of the problem. We are are indeed a flawed species in that regard. Luckily, a good number of people with high IQs are not psychopaths and do not desire political control over others or we would probably have gone extinct long ago.

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    23rd January 2012 at 7:14 pm

  89. not convinced says:

    give me a fking break.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

    23rd January 2012 at 7:25 pm

  90. Administrator says:

    not convinced – Representing the ignorant masses point of view.

    Thanks for playing.

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    23rd January 2012 at 7:29 pm

  91. Colma Rising says:

    What sort of lowly troll would thumbs-down my “Big Banks Eat Shit” post?!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

    23rd January 2012 at 7:49 pm

  92. not convinced says:

    turn on the tv; read the paper. the ignorant masses point of view (as you call it) is “everything sucks; we are beyond hope/repair.”

    everything sucks? sure it does. but in the history of mankind, when has it not? in the roman times? in the dark ages? in the middle ages? in the great wars? in the turbulent 60s, the inflation 70s?

    so we have to pay the piper for the relatively leisurely 90s, and everyone thinks the world is irrevocably broken?

    no things are not great. but are they that different from the 90s? it’s amazing to me how perspectives change when the facts have not.

    this is still a country that rewards its innovators. you can become a billionaire by finding a company like apple or microsoft. when in time and where else can this happen?
    so again, give me a fking break.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

    23rd January 2012 at 7:49 pm

  93. Jackson says:

    “My non-response to the comment about the Occupy Movement was also based upon self-interest and reliance on a paycheck to make a living. I had learned my lesson the hard way during a previous career stop.”

    Administrator, In this high organized and regimented society, those with the information and ability to speak out, voluntarily censor themselves. From what they’ve seen and read, they know the elite will undermine their careers and they’re fearful the backlash will extend to their children. Besides like the OWS critics and others unmentionable on this site, people know they’re feckless and their causes are forlorn. Only a few bold bloggers are willing to risk speaking out… but not about everything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 7:57 pm

  94. Administrator says:

    Amazing how ignorant some people can be. Believing that the economic situation today is the same as the 1990′s proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that not convinced is a graduate of our fine public education system.

    I know thinking is hard, but maybe you should try it sometime.

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    23rd January 2012 at 8:25 pm

  95. Administrator says:

    Look who commented on ZH. The mangy cur is itching to come back.

    Tue, 01/24/2012 – 19:44 | 2094663 Smokey1
    Vote up!0
    Vote down!-2

    Neil Howe for POTUS 2012

    RPES

    OWSES

    AESAD

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 8:27 pm

  96. Colma Rising says:

    I could go for Neil Howe for POTUS if and only if he admits that rap music is indeed a true American innovation that propelled lame 60′s music to great heights through sampling.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 8:38 pm

  97. Colma Rising says:

    An AESAD to boot!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:46 pm

  98. Administrator says:

    Colma

    What is AESAD?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:48 pm

  99. Novista says:

    not convinced: “how perspectives change when the facts have not.”

    What facts are those, Mistuh Entrepreneur? Would you care to deconstruct one or more topics in the fine article and show the flaws — or do we just assume confirmation bias on your part?

    Maybe you are asserting, for instance, that “everything sucks” applied to the entire history of the Roman empire. Perhaps you assume another Steve Jobs could come along today, start in a garage and end up high on the hawg. Apparently you see no difference of the facts from 1976 — any business owner these days would say facts have changed, times have changed. We have more than one here.

    “Tomorrow will be like today” is a fallacy of linear thinking that Strauss & Howe demolished. You appear to have embraced linear thinking since the “fact have not changed” … sad.

    At least you stayed on topic, unlike SIFs.

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    23rd January 2012 at 9:15 pm

  100. Colma Rising says:

    What Smokey said: “AESAD”…

    Mad Smokey. Bad bad Smokey.

    My money’s on his being back by month’s end.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:26 pm

  101. Colma Rising says:

    Novista:

    Perfect response.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:29 pm

  102. Administrator says:

    Here’s how Bernays helped the CIA and a corporation overthrow a government:

    Bernays liked to cultivate an image as a supporter of feminism and other liberating ideas, but his work on behalf of the United Fruit Company had consequences just as evil and terrifying as if he’d worked directly for the Nazis. The Father of Spin sheds new and important light on the extent to which the Bernays’ propaganda campaign for the United Fruit Company (today’s United Brands) led directly to the CIA’s overthrow of the elected government of Guatemala.

    The term “banana republic” actually originated in reference to United Fruit’s domination of corrupt governments in Guatemala and other Central American countries. The company brutally exploited virtual slave labor in order to produce cheap bananas for the lucrative U.S. market. When a mildly reformist Guatemala government attempted to reign in the company’s power, Bernays whipped up media and political sentiment against it in the commie-crazed 1950s.

    “Articles began appearing in the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Atlantic Monthly, Time, Newsweek, the New Leader, and other publications all discussing the growing influence of Guatemala’s Communists,” Tye writes. “The fact that liberal journals like the Nation were also coming around was especially satisfying to Bernays, who believed that winning the liberals over was essential. . . . At the same time, plans were under way to mail to American Legion posts and auxiliaries 300,000 copies of a brochure entitled ‘Communism in Guatemala — 22 Facts.’”

    His efforts led directly to a brutal military coup. Tye writes that Bernays “remained a key source of information for the press, especially the liberal press, right through the takeover. In fact, as the invasion was commencing on June 18, his personal papers indicate he was giving the ‘first news anyone received on the situation’ to the Associate Press, United Press, the International News Service, and the New York Times, with contacts intensifying over the next several days.”

    The result, tragically, has meant decades of tyranny under a Guatemalan government whose brutality rivaled the Nazis as it condemned hundreds of thousands of people (mostly members of the country’s impoverished Maya Indian majority) to dislocation, torture and death.

    Bernays relished and apparently never regretted his work for United Fruit, for which he was reportedly paid $100,000 a year, a huge fee in the early 1950s. Tye writes that Bernays’ papers “make clear how the United States viewed its Latin neighbors as ripe for economic exploitation and political manipulation — and how the propaganda war Bernays waged in Guatemala set the pattern for future U.S.-led campaigns in Cuba and, much later, Vietnam.”

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    23rd January 2012 at 9:31 pm

  103. Thunderbird says:

    It is the responsibility of the present young generation to take the reigns of power and create their present/future. The boomers facilitated the present system and although it seems to be under the influence of a corrupt elect, it is really a system running on automatic needing some direction into the new reality. The generative power that used to be in past thought is gone. This system needs a new generative power to get it going again. But where is this thought to come from? It has to come from zealous young people with some history of the past and a burning human passion to see a future of harmony between all people. Faith is that quality that builds imagination into reality. We can no longer group with the fear of “what ifs”? We have to change our perceptions of each other. And life is not about money only. Maybe this is the real difference between the 1% and the 99%? The 1% is about money and the 99% is about living! LOL!

    So what the 1% has done is put the other 99% of us in a box because of their own fear. LOL!

    People today are more educated in more ways than one; or the educational systems wants them to be. People cannot and will not accept going backwards. Government needs to listen to the people and develop a way to change obsolete laws, statutes, rules & regulations that no longer serve the people; nor are desired by the people. This way is by going back to the constitution; the founding document of our government and consequently the evolution of our culture. This is founded on a rock; our open and free thought; and freedom to debate.

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    23rd January 2012 at 9:36 pm

  104. Administrator says:

    ‘A’ better not stand for Administrator.

    I’ll have to thrash that cur.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:37 pm

  105. Avalon says:

    It better not stand for Avalon.

    Or i will have to thrash that cur. ;)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:40 pm

  106. Colma Rising says:

    6292266390_f6fbcc4e3a_z-3.jpg

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:47 pm

  107. llpoh says:

    Hard to duck ton of napalm – anything in the vicinity gets scorched.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:02 pm

  108. Colma Rising says:

    Some fun until the avatar’s gone from recent memory.

    That Bernays shit is sinister.

    The things we’d do for some cheap, clandestine bananas.

    I can’t talk much. If the coffee supply were hindered, I’d demand a full-scale invasion.

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    23rd January 2012 at 10:04 pm

  109. Paychecks,Perception,Propaganda and Power | Ontoliberty says:

    [...] Read the whole thing.It’s long,but worth your time. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:15 pm

  110. ajintx says:

    Oservations: All Boomers are not to blame for the state of affairs, in fact most of them are also victims of the oligarchy; I find the generational thesis to be too simplistic to be fully explanatory., For instance, Mr. Howe is a member o the elite, so of course he spouts elitist rhetoric, he just happens to be a Boomer. President Reagan was not a Boomer, but he ended up supporting movements putting the screws to the Boomers. There were many screaming for cautions or different tactics every time the elites foisted a new bad piece of legislation the last 40 years. These outcomes are part of a long term plan. Grover Norquist is as much to blame as anyone in Congress; his goal has always been to reuce the fedeal budget to end Social Security and all other social spending. Exactly how do you expect this to play out when people had a large percenatge of their wages taken over their entire working life, only to be told, sorry, you must fend for yourself now in your old age, we changed our minds. Many times Democratic Boomers in Congress tried to get the patches in place, only to be constantly rebuffed. I blame the Obama administration for not getting more ambitious legislation while they held the executive and both houses. But you see, the plan was never to make the system work, just to hasten it’s demise.
    For the folks above who were areguing about 9-11 being an inside job, please see the website of Architects and Engineers for 9-11 Truth. Very detailed, interesting and informative videos onsite.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 13

    23rd January 2012 at 2:38 am

  111. Michael O'Leary talking about pilots - Page 5 - PPRuNe Forums says:

    [...] Instead of reading a stupid interview with MOL, people would be better off reading this: Paychecks, Perception, Propaganda & Power. I know it's a lot of reading, especially for today's generation who want instant gratification, [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:18 am

  112. Roberthorse says:

    Outstanding article which the phrase “The sheep just keep grazing as their shepherds herd them toward the slaughterhouse.” seems to sum up. I’ve been wondering for years why the majority Americans just seem blind and stand by and let morally corrupt things happen in front of their eyes as they do….looks like a case of ‘folie a deux’ that’s speeding up as I write under the management of Obama. Good luck Ron Paul…you’ll need it !

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:10 am

  113. Novista says:

    ajintx

    I refer you to Flemming v. Nestor for another opinion on Social Security.

    As for your finding of elitist Howe, born with a silver spoon in his mouth … generational thesis is simplistic, eh? I bet all the others working in that field live in dread of your thesis.

    When you present it, I hope you’ve learned to use paragraphing.

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    23rd January 2012 at 6:16 am

  114. farang says:

    A good read. Encouraging that it actually gets more optimistic as it progresses…if you perceive it correctly.

    I disagree that younger folks are harder to manipulate. Sheep come in all age groups.

    But it begins with a kind of despair……an impatience that we all didn’t go out and confront the paid goons of the .01%. All I can say is Sun Tzu, baby. It’s an Art. And the American Tiger is still napping…..and that ain’t the MIC.

    As this article concludes, correctly: The Tipping Point approaches….and the speed of which it happens will be shocking and severe.

    I find, invariably, that which cannot be sustain…will not be sustained. Collapses. No one knows when, no one knows where….BOOM, it falls.

    I guess I’d conclude by stating no last suggestion: when you have them down….kick them. Don’t let up, show no mercy. They show us none.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 10:19 am

  115. farang says:

    Seems to me that my paycheck, starting in 1982 or 1983, withheld a *tad more* than 1% for Social Security(FICA)…..like @ 20% of my after-tax pay.

    Seems to me that I not only paid as employee, but also matched it for my workers, sometimes up to 15 of them.

    So I see a bit of obtuseness in this labeling of Social Security as a harmful Entitlement: I thought I was paying for my own retirement and those of my workers….because I could not afford to pay into a pension plan, and still win projects to keep us employed.

    That’s the reality, and to blame those that now can’t go back and, evidently to please this author, mount armed insurrection against Reagan and all his successors, is a foolish and misguided tactic.

    We need solutions we all can rally around…and although I do not agree with many many of his policies…I will support Ron Paul’s campaign, if he decides to run as Independent after Adelson buys Newt the nomination.

    Rallying point…..sorry we all couldn’t join the fray of OWS….some us us aren’t in the US anymore, and some of us had families that like to eat, sleep in their own bed, that sort of mundane stuff.

    But I do believe, seriously, that when the Tipping point arrives…you’ll be amazed at how many GOOD people live in America…and we’ll all pull through.

    But, it won’t seem that way at the start….Perception Managers will be feverishly working to subvert our coming together. But, America, like the former slaves of the USSR, will wise up to their tactics….and that may be the start of the new beginning.

    Hope and Change…..will come…after we unseat the criminals from their thrones.

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    23rd January 2012 at 10:33 am

  116. working man's chest surgeon says:

    Thinker said (in a post very well regarde by this blog community):

    It would be a shame if this turned into a “truther” discussion. No matter if the government planned it or not, what matters is the reaction to the attacks. The country had leadership in place — not just Bush/Cheney, but throughout Congress, the Pentagon and State Dept — that had plans already drawn up for tightening the screws on Americans and for attacking foreign countries. Come on, we all know they have plans sitting on shelves for every eventuality; a terrorist attack on America was certainly one of them, given the number that occurred overseas in the past few decades.

    TPTB simply implemented those plans once it occurred. Talk about propaganda — Bush told Americans to “go shopping” in response to the attacks. Normalcy bias if we’ve ever seen it. And most Americans complied, putting little flags on their cars and going about their daily lives like before.

    What matters most is what we do moving forward. How do we wake people up, get them to see what’s going on, and actively fight it? Yelling and screaming about how 9/11 was an inside job isn’t going to do that because, frankly, it didn’t impact most people enough for them to care.
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………

    I suppose I am probably the target of this last bit as I was the first to bring a discussion of 9/11 onto this thread.

    I felt a discussion of 9/11 is at least tangentially relevant for the following reason — past is prologue. It is truly frustrating that a mere question evoked such a visceral negative reaction. To me, that says volumes about the extent to which we have all been conditioned.

    If we cannot come to grips with the basic criminality of what happened on 9/11, there is little hope that we will be able to defend against the criminality yet to come. This is same frustration I feel about the inability of our governing structure to hold Wall Street acountable for their criminal acts.

    I really have no interest in relitigating 9/11 other than to point out that we failed as a society to adequately investigate that crime and prevent the response. Ironically, it is precisely because there was not a tranparent accounting of that event that there is a vacuum into which “nutjobs” can contribute their hypotheses.

    SO HOW DO ACT GOING FORWARD??

    I FIRMLY BELEIVE THE NEXT BATTELGROUND IS OVER CONTROL OF THE INTERNET.

    Please take the time to check out this video which concerns the second generation of SOPA/PIPA, namley ACTA.

    It is clear that TPTB recognize that the best method of control in the 21st century is no longer control of money as much as it is control over flow of ideas. The ability of citizens who can think critically to join together is enabled by the Internet, principally on sites such as this one. Mr. Quinn’s latest “opus” was linked on Zero Hedge; he aquired a number of new readers (such as myself) after he was featured on Turd’s blog. The Internet power is clearly is ability to synergize efforts and spread “virally”.

    It is precisely this type of capability that puts real fear into the hearts of the elites. It exposes their manipulation of our financial system (Ted Butler’s exposition of the silver manipulation); it allows us to galvanize a movement to get SOPA/PIPA scrapped.

    They recognize they need to crush that ability.

    Please check out this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmQN93NqqDM&feature=player_embedded#!

    Some good articles:

    http://www.thedailyaztec.com/2012/01/acta-has-same-dangers-as-pipa-and-sopa/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Counterfeiting_Trade_Agreement

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

    23rd January 2012 at 11:23 am

  117. Administrator says:

    Submitted by Charles Hugh Smith from Of Two Minds

    What Have We Learned In the Past 13 Years?

    We have learned nothing since 1999 except the Central State and Central Bank will intervene in the market to bend price and risk to serve the Status Quo.

    If we learn nothing, then we deserve to lose. This is not a popular concept in America at this point in its history, when monumental errors are denied, excused, rationalized or quickly absolved by those who committed them.

    As a small-fry investor, when I veer away from my discipline and system, I predictably lose money. As I sift the ashes of the trade, I always remind myself: if I learn nothing from my studies and experience, then I deserve to lose.

    What exactly has America learned since January 1, 1999, 13 years that included two stupendous financial/credit bubbles, two hot wars and an explosion in public and private debt? If we examine the policy changes and institutional changes since the 2008 global financial meltdown, then we have to conclude that we’ve learned a very few things:

    1. We’ve learned that the way to “repair” the catastrophic damage of a financial bubble bursting is to inflate another financial bubble in another asset class.

    2. Systemic incentives will be put in place for everyone to speculate in the new bubble, with two important caveats: the Financial and Political Elites will get to play the game with moral hazard, i.e. their gains will be private and their losses socialized, and second, these Elites will not be governed by the rule of law; blatant systemic fraud and embezzlement will be ignored or forgiven.

    In other words, some are more equal than others when it comes to the founding precept “everyone is equal before the law.”

    3. The Central Bank (the private Federal Reserve in the U.S.) will sacrifice purchasing power to lower interest rates and flood the economy with liquidity, i.e. nearly-free money for Power Elite speculation and leverage to inflate the new asset/credit bubble.

    4. The Central State will address all post-bubble problems by borrowing and squandering trillions of dollars to prop up the Status Quo and transfer Financial Elite losses to the public/taxpayers.

    5. These “solutions” are part of a broader strategy of “problem-solving” that can be summarized as “doing more of the same.” If doing more of the same doesn’t work, then do even more of the same until you resolve the “problem” by bending the market to your will.

    6. To create the perception that the Power Elites have actually solved the structural issues rather than just paper them over, then minor “reforms” will be passed that tweak the parameters of the Status Quo without actually changing the power structure: who owns most of the national wealth and income stream, and who controls the political process that diverts an increasing share of the national income stream to State fiefdoms and corporate cartels.

    We can find an analogy to these “lessons learned” in a spoiled teenager who refuses to study and is failing but discovers that cheating can “save the day” with much less effort than actually learning. We as a nation have learned how to cheat, and now we think that learning how to cheat and create the perception that we’ve actually learned something can be substituted for making the necessary sacrifices to actually learn something.

    When the cheating controls the marketplace to prop up asset prices and mask systemic risk, then we are in effect giving ourselves “straight As” even though we have torn up the test, i.e. how our policies work in a transparent, open marketplace.

    Thirteen years of cheating have created a dangerous confidence that we can keep cheating by controlling the market forever. The problem for the Central State and Central Bank is that socializing the market via cloaked intervention is qualitatively no different than direct command-economy control as practiced by the former Soviet Union: the real market cannot be destroyed, it can only be pushed underground.

    This is why the black market flourishes in command economies.

    In the U.S., the market has been manipulated and suppressed but there is no black-market outlet for reality. As a result, the market will reassert itself in the one market that is allowed, overpowering the State and Central Bank manipulation.

    What we have learned in the past 13 years is the market can be suppressed and controlled forever by a dominant State and Central Bank. But markets cannot be suppressed forever, any more than risk can be eradicated, and so that lesson will have to be unlearned.

    The spoiled teen can get through high school by cheating, but eventually he/she will have to navigate reality without the benefit of having learned anything except how to cheat.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 11:36 am

  118. Richard J Mullany says:

    I am so happy that you have begun to write again this year. Excellent article. It is very helpful to think about all these matters after a brilliant writer has spun them into gold. Don’t quit.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:28 pm

  119. Pirate Jo says:

    Re Social Security: “Exactly how do you expect this to play out when people had a large percenatge of their wages taken over their entire working life, only to be told, sorry, you must fend for yourself now in your old age, we changed our minds.”

    I don’t expect that to happen. It is politically impossible. Instead, we will have runaway currency devaluation. Either way, the old folks will be screwed and will have to fend for themselves in their old age.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:52 pm

  120. Anonymous says:

    The Door in The Wall was a short story by H. G. Wells (e.g. http://www.online-literature.com/wellshg/5/). I expect Huxley was riffing on its title.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 4:28 pm

  121. Administrator says:

    Someone on Zero Hedge said my use of the quote from Huxley was inappropriate because he was actually describing an LSD trip.

    I told him it was absolutely appropriate because the American public has been on an LSD trip since 1980 and it’s time to come back through the door to reality.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 4:35 pm

  122. Seth Fox says:

    Just a quick thought on 911… We will never know the truth, so there is no sense in bringing it up in every context of everything that is wrong and on every post about any topic. I think everyone on this Board is well aware that our nation took a very fast and steady path to destruction post 911, if it was an inside job or not is irrelevant to the point of where we are today….It happened. Do we want the truth…of course, should we demand truth…of course…will we get truth…probably never. Who shot JFK ? What happens at Area 51 ? What’s in Fort Knox ? How did they build the Pyramids ? The point being is that the problems we face can be fixed, over time, with dilligence regardless as to what “really” happened. I believe this is why Ron Paul stays away from it, it is a Lose-Lose situation.

    Now, would I love someday for someone to blow the whistle and give us the “straight dope” hell yes, but there have been numerous documentaries made on the topic, millions of web sites, bloggers et al banging that drum for years now. For every point made an opposite point is made…it is a mad circle of information and dis-information. The only people who know what happened on that day are either dead, or will never talk…Even if they write a “tell all” biography and publish it upon their death, there will be those that believe and those that don’t. (see JFK)

    Admin…AMAZING ARTICLE, probably my favorite over the past few years. Would have liked more info regarding your conversation with Howe regarding OWS…that was quite a shocker…did he acknowledge your points or dismiss them ? Am I to believe that Howe is nothing but a corporate patsy now ??

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 4:48 pm

  123. Administrator says:

    Seth

    I talked with Howe for two hours and we spent maybe 5 minutes on OWS.

    He isn’t a corporate patsy. He is running a business to make a living. As I said, we all act in our own self interest and will convince ourselves of things to match that self interest.

    There is no perfect human being.

    The Fourth Turning doesn’t tell us how we should be. It just lays out what has been and what might be.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 5:05 pm

  124. Seth Fox says:

    Admin: “As I said, we all act in our own self interest and will convince ourselves of things to match that self interest.” Point very well taken :)

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:24 pm

  125. Thinker says:

    Seth, you can read Admin’s full notes from his discussion with Howe here. Most of us would have killed to have been there.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:05 pm

  126. Novista says:

    farang: “So I see a bit of obtuseness in this labeling of Social Security as a harmful Entitlement: I thought I was paying for my own retirement and those of my workers….”

    You thought 1936 style.

    THE 1936 ssa pamphlet:
    http://www.ssa.gov/history/ssn/ssb36.html

    (At the top of the page:
    ” This is an archival or historical document and may not reflect current policies or procedures” )
    How droll.

    An overview:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/oct/27/social-securitys-problems-past-present-and-future/

    Even one of FDR’s advisers said it was a Ponzi scheme. No matter what they said in 1936, they conveniently did not explicate how the early retirees from 1940 on would be paid “what they saved for themselves” since they had not been in the system long enough — thus the first people paying in were paying for those who came before. Exhibit A:

    “The first monthly payment was issued on January 31, 1940 to Ida May Fuller of Ludlow, Vermont. In 1937, 1938 and 1939 she paid a total of $24.75 into the Social Security System. Her first check was for $22.54. After her second check, Fuller already had received more than she contributed over the three-year period. She lived to be 100 and collected a total of $22,888.92.”

    Admin often quotes “widows and orphans” and I don’t see that in the 1936 pamphlet — ,aybe it was part of a different set of lies ‘taught’ later. I, however, have a connection with that year.

    Never mind looting the alleged lock box later on.

    Flemming v. Nestor (1960) the Supremes declared “entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right”.

    Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Arthur Sherwood Flemming’s brief:

    “The contribution exacted under the Social Security plan is a true tax. It is not comparable to a premium promising the payment of an annuity commencing at a designated age.”

    Got that? A true tax.

    Obviously, Tweedledum wrote the government playbook.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:46 pm

  127. Desiato says:

    Awesome article!

    And you should know that even though I’m a Baby Boomer, I have always viewe the OWS guys with the Guy Fawkes masks the same way you do – in the tradition of V for Vendetta.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 12:02 pm

  128. Jiggerjuice says:

    Nice linear progression of articles.

    2011: 52 inch tvs
    2012: 72 inch 3DTVs!!!

    American consumerism knows no bounds. I used to pat myself on the back knowing I had at least cleared the 52 inch hurdle, and now it appears I’m behind for the New Year.

    20 inches too short, am I right gentlemen?

    At any rate, my Panny plasma has a 100,000 hour half-life. 24/7/365 would take 7 years to get to half brightness. I run the thing at 66% brightness and use it perhaps… 4 hours a day, max? It’s pretty much the last tv I have to buy in my life.

    Until all my kid’s friends start making fun of our “150 pounder” vs their 3 mm thick, 2 lb wall-sized screen sheets.

    Which is to say, fuck it, pretty soon our contact lenses will have GUIs that blast color right into our retinas, and changing the color of the sky is an app for our contact lens screens.

    “Sky: Aurora, Green.”
    “Grass: On fire, blue”
    “Walls: Melting, wood texture”
    “All women: 34DD, size 0″

    “APPLY” – boom.

    etc.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 1:03 pm

  129. Woodrow Wilson says:

    Interesting that you work at an educational institution, isn’t it a conflict of interest against your own views?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 1:45 pm

  130. Administrator says:

    Woodrow Wilson(worst President in U.S. History)

    What exactly is in conflict? I’m a human being with my own views. What does that have in conflict with working for an educational institution. Make your point.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 2:18 pm

  131. Woodrow Wilson says:

    “What exactly is in conflict?” -

    Specifically, you work in a field that is basically subsidized, at no risk to your institution, by the government. Unless students that attend your school can pay their own way without borrowing a dime, or on scholarship, they have to borrow by means of student loans. Hence, the ever increasing rise in educational costs, which as I’m sure you’re aware, are exponential. Is the education your students receiving that much better? Or, is it the “supply & demand” dynamic at no risk?

    Even more so, as you work for a top business school, which is even more ironic, as graduates as you claim go onto Wall Street, which if the end up at an IB firm, is completely destructive and doesn’t create anything. No?

    Of course your views are sovereign to you, and free to have them as such. I just find them to have a touch of irony based on a profession that employs you at the expense of some of the things you claim to detest.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 7

    23rd January 2012 at 3:01 pm

  132. Administrator says:

    Woodrow

    You don’t know much about my university. We receive nothing from the government. Your ignorance seems to have no bounds. Our acceptance rate is 9%. The demand to get in our school is off the charts.We could charge twice as much and still fill our classes.

    You are confusing the for profit public diploma mills with one of the finest universities on the planet. This is not The University of Phoenix with 150,000 students using Federal government loans and getting worthless degrees.

    Our MBA class totals 825. The financial aid paid directly by my school to those needing aid is substantial. We run a hugely profitable executive education program within the school to subsidize our losses on research and the undergraduate program.

    It is ironic that I work for a business school and write articles about how the business world should operate? I don’t get the irony. Our graduates end up all around the world. Some may do great things. Some may do terrible things. We educated them in the latest concepts in business. How they conduct themselves after they leave here has nothing to do with me.

    I detest criminality, crony capitalism, fraud, corrupt politicians and people who act like they are superior.

    With an alias like Woodrow Wilson, you must be some ultra-liberal Paul Krugman worshipper who thinks if the government just spends another trillion all will be well. I’m guessing you’re a big Keynesian fan. Don’t forget to vote for that reformer Obama. He really put Wall Street in their place.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 3:17 pm

  133. Woodrow Wilson says:

    “You don’t know much about my university” –

    If you’re Top 3 business, you’re Wharton, Harvard or Standford, no confusion there. In either case, maybe your specific division doesn’t receive subsidies directly, but all three schools do in one form or another, thereby indirectly benefiting you, hence my original argument. You can play the shell game all you want, but in the end your school still receives monies from the government.

    “The demand to get in our school is off the charts” -

    I indirectly made that point already, thanks for emphasizing it.

    “I detest criminality, crony capitalism, fraud, corrupt politicians and people who act like they are superior.” -

    Yet you admit you remained silent when a colleague poked fun at “Occupy”. While your reasoning is sound not to voice your opinion (a paycheck), does it not trouble you that you couldn’t stand your ground on the principles you write about here? Your fear of the consequences were stronger than your resolve, which would have required you to ACT. Which makes perfect sense in your case, because like most, in the end it’s all just academic.

    “With an alias like Woodrow Wilson, you must be some ultra-liberal Paul Krugman worshipper” -

    The name is in jest (but I think you knew that already).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

    23rd January 2012 at 3:57 pm

  134. Stucky says:

    @Woodrow Wilson

    You seem to know an aweful lot about Admin and his motives. Did you take a Mind Reading course at a top university?

    Whatever, your scripture mediation for the day is as follows, from the Gospel of Mathhew, chapta 7, verse 5. Amen.

    “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:05 pm

  135. Administrator says:

    Woodrow

    My specific division is the business school. WE RECEIVE NOTHING FROM THE GOVERNMENT. We are capitalists. We attempt to make more than we spend and save the difference for a rainy day. How the fuck do you run a business? Your knowledge of educational institutions is sorely lacking. I suggest you do some research before opening your trap and revealing your ignorance.

    I support the Occupy Movement and the other person does not. That is fair. It’s a free country. Should I have resigned on the spot, you pompous asshole? I’m against abortion. If someone else in my office is for abortion should I start an argument and show my resolve.

    I love you holier than thou assholes who act like their shit doesn’t stink.

    What the fuck do you do for a living? I’ll assess your worth and I’ll give you some fucking advice.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:09 pm

  136. Woodrow Wilson says:

    I’ve dealt with arrogant academic bomb throwers like yourself before.

    Your as bad as the politicians that you condemn. You believe your credentials are you sword and shield that falsely gives you the comfort that you and your ilk are above reproach, while feeding into your readers psyche and siding with their sense of their reality. While you spew some of your rhetoric, you hope to incite a few, maybe with an end result of some twisted vision of your own utopia, while at the same time, remaining at arms length as to not be blamed.

    Your like the rest, just another shit stirrer that can’t or won’t put their money where their mouth is. I’ll read your posts (which I only found through Zero Hedge) and chuckle. Why? Because just like politicians who use rhetorical nonsense, you’re no different, just another ACADEMIC full of shit, and would probably shit themselves should things ever truly go bad.

    No? Then like the others of your kind I’ve encountered, put your fucking money where your mouth is you coward fuck and let The People decide how full of shit you really are.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

    23rd January 2012 at 6:37 pm

  137. Administrator says:

    Woodrow

    Your research abilities are beyond reproach. I’m not a fucking academic you fuckwad. I’ve never taught a fucking class in my life. You should know arrogance, since you ooze it from your pores.

    But I can tell a dunce when I see one. And you sir are a topnotch dumbfuck.

    You act like you know a lot of shit, but you’re an ignorant blowhard.

    You presume to know a lot of shit, but every time you say something it is so fucking wrong, it reveals you to be a nitwit who doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up.

    I’ve come across your type on Zero Hedge. Spouting off to show how fucking smart you are. You’ve made about five different arguments on this thread and you haven’t gotten one thing right yet.

    I notice you didn’t reveal your profession. Don’t be embarrassed. Fry cook at McDonalds is a noble profession. But remember. You’re on a 2nd written warning for burning the fries. One more fuck up and it’s back to pickle plopper.

    On the Zero Hedge scale you actually make David Pierre appear intelligent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

    23rd January 2012 at 6:52 pm

  138. Stucky says:

    It appears to me that Woodrow Wilson is not taking his meditation verse seriously.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:56 pm

  139. Administrator says:

    Stuck

    He is too ignorant to realize I’m letting him off easy.

    I hope he doesn’t get me mad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 7:00 pm

  140. worker says:

    Good artical with much truth but I have to say to some degree, ‘fuck you’. I am a ‘boomer’ at 65 years old and have never asked for anything, always looked toward ‘conserviate principals’ and never/ever asked anything from my government other that what was written in the Constitiution.
    I did work for some very monied people at one point and saw ‘government in action’ and am disgusted with our current state of affairs. Time for a reset – violent if necessary but time, I believe to clean house. Do not ever ‘lump’ everyone into the same catagory for the sake of breverty – you do youself a diservice.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

    23rd January 2012 at 8:59 pm

  141. Administrator says:

    worker

    Go fuck yourself. You Boomers destroyed the world. Accept responsibility for your actions.

    Only a Boomer could read that article and take it as an indictment of his entire generation. Christ you Boomers are thin skinned and paranoid.

    The only dis-service I’ve done is to read your worthless screed.

    BBESAD

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

    23rd January 2012 at 9:11 pm

  142. Colma Rising says:

    Woodrow Wilson:

    You are such a fucking sham… your whole premise is that of a sophomoric mongoloid with the delivery worthy of consideration in kindergarten.

    You are lucky I’m inspired by Her Stuchenmeister’s benevolent manner and suggestion to you, lest you receive an internet beat-down you would never forget.

    As for you, Worker, I hope you realized that your response is typical… and a fount of comedy. This was an extremely mellow post directed at your shallow generation, but even the smallest of barbs at your guilt-swollen Boomer heart burst it.

    Read the book, then re-read the article. If you still take it personally, please don the dunce cap and stand in the Boomer Corner with the thousands of other narcissistic morons who can’t take a sip from the bitter cup of generational assessment on this wonderful blog.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 9:56 pm

  143. Weekend Reading – Saving Money: Better Late Than Never Edition | Darwin's Money says:

    [...] The Burning Platform – Paychecks, Propoganda and Power [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:53 pm

  144. Novista says:

    Woodrow Wilson

    ‘Your’ is a possessive when you really want You’re, that is to say, You are. Contractions are such a bother, aren’t they?

    And, you know, The People have decided, which is why We like it here.

    worker … kid … Silents like myself wonder why your lot always take general criticism so personally.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:09 am

  145. SSS says:

    Admin challenged me, in another thread in a much later article, to comment on Edward Bernays’ so-called engineering of the propaganda which resulted in a CIA-led coup to successfully overthrow the Guatemalan government led by Jacobo Arbenz. To wit, according to Admin in his article, Bernays “created a false storyline of communists in Guatemala on behalf of his client United Fruit Company, resulting in a CIA led military coup which ushered in a brutal dictatorship resulting in the dislocation, torture and death of thousands.”

    Well, bull. Bernays didn’t create jackshit which had any leverage in the U.S. administration of Dwight Eisenhower pulling the trigger on Arbenz. Arbenz himself had already created the stage for his demise, starting with a massive land “reform” (read seizure) program which confiscated over a million acres of land from the wealthy to be redistributed to campesinos.

    Get yourself out of your 21st Century mindset, Admin. It was 1954, for Christ’s sake. Goddamn, the Soviet Union had already forcibly seized eastern Europe post WWII, created the Iron Curtain and Berlin Airlift in 1948, supported a brutal dictator in North Korea who started the Korean War in 1950, and so on. Oh, had the Soviets already tested a nuclear weapon by 1954. Yes!!!

    And now, according to your brilliant analysis of history, a Guatemalan left-wing dictator and admirer of Lenin and Stalin was suddenly demonized by the master of American propaganda, Edward Bernays and his client United Fruit Company. And this led to his overthrow. Total, utter bullshit.

    WTF were you thinking, Admin? Here’s some Wiki stuff after Arbenz left Guatemala.

    Árbenz initially stayed in Mexico, then he and his family moved to Switzerland. The Swiss government would not allow him to stay unless he gave up his Guatemalan citizenship. Refusing to do so, Árbenz moved to Paris, and then to Prague. Czechoslovak officials were uncomfortable with his stay, unsure if he would demand the government to repay him for the poor quality of former arms from the Second World War that they had sold him in 1954. After only three months, he moved again, this time to Moscow. He tried several times to return to Latin America, and was finally allowed to move to Uruguay in 1957.

    In 1960, after the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro asked Árbenz to come to Cuba, a suggestion that Arbenz readily agreed to. In 1965, his eldest and favorite daughter, a fashion model named Arabella, committed suicide, shooting herself in front of her boyfriend, the Matador Jaime Bravo, in Bogotá, Colombia. Árbenz was devastated by her death. He was allowed to return to Mexico to bury his daughter and eventually was allowed to stay. On 27 January 1971, Árbenz died in his bathroom, either from drowning or scalding.

    Off to a party. Manana.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 7:31 pm

  146. Novista says:

    Golly, Arbernz moved around more than Ahasver!

    Pablo Neruda has an interesting song from the era.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:30 pm

  147. Colma Rising says:

    SSS:

    Bullshit. Albanz died in a Mexican bathroom suffocating from fumes emanating from a mysterious pair of boots placed therein.

    They were in the mortem photos and even entered as evidence by Federales, but disappeared from the locker… another mystery.

    Fess up, SSS, those were YOUR boots…. you can’t hide behind wiki pages on this one, Primo.

    Off to a party as well….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 8:35 pm

  148. Neil Howe probably didn’t like Fight Club either « muses of the moment says:

    [...] Click here for a very interesting post by Burning Platform. [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 11:32 pm

  149. ssgconway says:

    “Show me where a man gets his cornpone and I’ll show you where he gets his opinions.”
    -Mark Twain

    That quote is the first one that came to mind as I read this fine and thought-provoking piece. I also recalled a book, “Phillip Dru, Administrator,” that Wilson’s alter ego, Col. House, is supposed to have ghost-written. Bernays had company in fashioning the tools of our bondage. House and other Progressives of the era were right there with him.

    While he was somewhat misguided about how to address the problem (a discussion on bimetallism would require a thread of its’ own), William Jennings Bryan sensed what the bankers were doing when he gave his ‘Cross of Gold’ speech in 1896. One speech can launch a movement. His did:

    http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5354

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 1:33 pm

  150. SSS says:

    Where’s that cur Admin? Nothing but the sound of crickets in reply to my response above to his challenge to me. Come out from underneath that rock you crawled under and take your medicine, Admin. I was kind enough not to even mention the McCarthy Hearings in 1954, and the fact that Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had just been recently executed for passing atomic secrets to a Soviet spy ring operating in the U.S.

    This is an epic beatdown the likes of which Admin has never suffered. I think I know why he hasn’t replied. He can’t!!!! Here’s a recent photo of Admin after the thrashing I just gave him.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS2khKxhcmV3Wko8NYDTljkNjzbwUitH20Z8lhLPRbLamKCe8FOBg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 5:19 pm

  151. SSS says:

    Come on out and play, Admin. You don’t want your TBP colleagues to think you look like this, do you?

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQBeUaGUWyMuK78ZBqlTHq1nvYNFeoReSfbyMs8PbM_beq-GtcvAg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 5:39 pm

  152. Administrator says:

    SSS

    I responded in a brand new thread. I can see why you are so proud of your fine employer. It only resulted in the deaths of 200,000 poor peasants. That is pretty low compared to most of your coups.

    I’ve just provided my usual response to your drivel.

    kicknuts.jpg

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:16 pm

  153. Admin says:

    SSS, no need to come out and play. Your copy and paste article is so full of holes even a retarded monkey could poke holes in it. Youe pro-CIA stance is bullshit to the n-th degree. I feel no need to continue to beat your mangy cur ass. I leave it up to the brilliant readers on TBP, and you’re not one of them, to educate your sorry ass.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    23rd January 2012 at 6:17 pm

  154. Administrator says:

    Admin Doppleganger/Stuck

    If you’re going to pretend to be me, you need to use the word fuck at least three times and not make dumbass spelling errors.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 6:46 pm

  155. Stucky says:

    Goddammit. Quit blowing my cover!!! You could never be a spook … traitor. Now I know why you hate the CIA.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:17 pm

  156. Muck About says:

    It took me so long to get to the bottom of this thread that I drank two glasses of tea and damn near pissed my britches laughing as well. Be advised, one read of a thread this long is all I can handle so I’ll be elsewhere from now on.

    Still a killer of a post, Admin…

    MA

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 12:13 pm

  157. PAYCHECKS, PERCEPTION, PROPAGANDA & POWER | Davos World Economic Forum – For Bloggers, Davos WEF 2012 for Economic Bloggers says:

    [...] A super piece from Jim Quinn of the Burning Platform.  [...]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:37 pm

  158. michaelj007 says:

    Admin- I’m only on the 2nd paragraph of the Paychecks & Perceptions… Goddamn you’re one of my favorite writers! Why do I- a 30 yo male- have such a parallel perception to friggin boomer?!?! I just don’t get it.
    BTW- I know what you mean about biting your tongue with senior execs. Back in 09′ I was sitting at a very nice country club in NJ having lunch with a Senior Exec from one of BlackRock’s REIT funds. We were there to evaluate their CRE portfolio backed by my company’s $500M line of credit… We were talking about some of their larger assets that just fucking tanked when he chuckled and said “ha ha! man… we lost so much money on that deal too. ha ha ha.” I was just happy to still have a job and this asshole was chucklin’ about the millions he lost. I got up from the table at the first opportunity and walked it off… I wanted to front kick him in the face, collapse the bridge of his nose with an elbow and say “ha ha! man…. I really broke ur fucking nose. OOPS!”

    btw- no comments from Cynical yet?!?!? lemme get his ass on here.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 9:55 pm

  159. michaelj007 says:

    Oops! Xer… that explains it a little better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:38 pm

  160. Kill Bill says:

    I can read your minds and i am the shockwave afore you.

    I jest. Shirley.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:43 pm

  161. Kill Bill says:

    Hell is empty. Well, unless you want to go there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    23rd January 2012 at 10:56 pm

  162. michaelj007 says:

    Great piece Admin! However, I disagree with the surface of your perspective dismissing Iran as a threat. Iran has the ability to threaten our leaders and their fuct up interests, and therefore they ARE an indirect threat to you and I of course, because they have the ability to influence and affect the world supply, delivery and price of oil. They 100% ARE a threat b/c unlike the Saudi’s, UAE, or Alaskans, or Mexicans, or Brazilians, the leaders of Iran openly disagree, dislike and antagonize our leaders… and rightfully so to a certain extent. So while a nation like the DPRK has Nukes, a sizeable yet poorly equipped military, and a powerless citizenry that also have rulers who dislike us much much more than the Iranian rulers- the North Koreans ain’t got no mutha fuckin oil therefore they are not a credible threat.
    Sorry, but I started reading “Resource Wars”… my God Klare was so fucking on point in his predictions it is scary! Have you read/heard about this book?

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    23rd January 2012 at 12:03 am

  163. Administrator says:

    michaelj007

    I haven’t read Resource Wars.

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    23rd January 2012 at 7:47 am

  164. TimothyJ says:

    There is SO MUCH of the current situation (especially on the right-wing republican side of things) that can be explained and predicted by Altmeyer’s work on authoritarianism. He called it years ago, and his predictions keep racking up accuracy points:

    http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Right_Wing_Authoritarianism

    http://www.dkosopedia.com/wiki/RWA–rightwing_authoritarianism

    The bad news is that it seems to be neurologically or biochemically hard-wired–about 25% of the population exhibits these traits, a number that seems to be constant over time and locale. But it DOES explain the 25% who still believe that Iraq caused 9/11, or that Obama is a Muslim (or the antichrist, or Kenyan…), or that Gingrich is a friggin genius.

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    23rd January 2012 at 2:46 pm

  165. michaelj007 says:

    @Admin: Resource Wars- From the oil fields of Saudi Arabia to the Nile delta, from the shipping lanes of the South China Sea to pipelines of Central Asia, Resource Wars looks at the growing impact of resource scarcity on the military policies of nations. International security expert Michael T. Klare argues that in the early decades of the new millenium, wars will be fought not over ideology, but over dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, have given way to a global scramble for oil, natural gas, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as a primary objective, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those areas where competition for essential materials overlaps with long-standing territorial and religious disputes. In this clarifying view, the recent explosive conflict between the United States and Islamic extremists stands revealed as the predictable consequence of consumer nations seeking to protect the vital resources they depend on. A much-needed assessment of a changed world, Resource Wars is a compelling look at warfare in an era of rampant globalization and intense economic competition.

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    23rd January 2012 at 10:12 pm

  166. Tuesday Morning Links | Iacono Research says:

    [...] the bus – Peter Brandt Gingrich, The Gold Standard, And The Florida Primary – Forbes Paychecks, perception, propaganda & power – TBP I’m worse off than my parents – CNN/Money Private Inequity – [...]

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    23rd January 2012 at 8:42 am

  167. Connor says:

    We of Gen-X have an important task to complete before we depart this world: we need to save the best of Western Civilization. The Boomer generation politicians have wrecked and screwed up so much, in so many ways, that it’s going to take a long time and some hard work to retain the best of our culture. For this effort, Gen-X and the Millennials need to lead the way.

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    23rd January 2012 at 10:36 pm

  168. Paychecks, Perception, Propaganda & Power | Mediaroots says:

    [...] The Burning Platform — The erroneous notion that Americans have a choice between two political parties that offer distinct and clear opposing policies addressing the major issues facing our country is still perpetuated by politicians and the corporate media. It is untrue, as we have seen the Obama administration employ the same repressive methods instituted by the Bush administration. Military spending rises. Wars of choice proliferate and grow. Obamacare is virtually identical to a plan created by the leading GOP presidential nominee. Further restrictions, regulations and laws are put forth to keep the masses controlled, sedated and fearful. The governing elite and their propagators of misinformation are again formulating a false storyline to convince the easily fooled ignorant public that a sovereign country 7,500 miles from our shores is actually a threat to their lives. While our government has already committed acts of war against Iran (sanctions, assassinations, cyber warfare, and using drones to spy), the public is being worked into a bloodthirsty frenzy of nationalism. Bipartisanship worked so well with Iraq. How could it possibly go wrong with Iran?                       [...]

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    23rd January 2012 at 2:18 am

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