Obama is supporting people like this dude.
Fourth Turnings build and build like the dome in a volcano. Then they erupt in a fiery blast. The pressure continues to build. When it blows, the world will not resemble what exists today.
Obama is supporting people like this dude.
Fourth Turnings build and build like the dome in a volcano. Then they erupt in a fiery blast. The pressure continues to build. When it blows, the world will not resemble what exists today.
Obama warned the elected government of the Ukraine to back off on defending itself against revolutionaries in the streets. Russia begs to differ with Nobel Peace Prize winning Obama. The red line has been crossed this morning. Your move Mr. Obama. I predict another speech and then he’ll play some basketball in the White House gym, put out a press release about the tremendous success of Obamacare, and do an interview with a liberal shrew on MSNBC about another executive order to force all businesses to raise the minimum wage to $10.12 per hour. He did a study and the the extra 2 cents will save the world and create 1 million new jobs.
Does this Fourth Turning seem to be calming down or heating up?
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/27/2014 07:01 -0500
All those clips we showed in the past few days of Russian forces amassing in the Crimean (such as this one)? Well, turns out they were all predictive of what has just happened in the Crimean region parliament at Simferopol, where around 120 pro-Russian Gunmen occupied the parliament building and raised the Russian flag. The scene was the site of Wednesday’s scuffles between Tatar groups and pro-Russian supporters. As Euronews reports, local Tatar leader Refat Chubarov posted that the buildings have been occupied by men in uniforms bearing “no recognisable insignia.” Kyiv says it would regard any movements by Russian military in Crimea outside Moscow’s Black Sea Base in Sevastopol as an act of aggression. Following the fall of President Viktor Yanukovych divisions in Ukraine have come to the fore. All this happens as Russian troops in the area are building up and at the same time as Russia put fighter jets on combat alert, according to Interfax.
The Russian flag flies atop the parliament building:
Euronews clarifies that the 120 men that seized Crimea parliament “have enough weapons to defend [the buildings] for a month” according an MP quoted by Interfax agency. Former Crimean Prime Minister and UDAR MP Serhiy Kunitsyn said to the agency that he spent all the night in contact with the armed group, “These professionally trained people are armed. They brought weapons – automatic weapons, grenade launchers, and machine guns,” he said, while speaking from the Ukraine parliament on Thursday.
According to Bloomberg, the group is allowing deputies to enter the legislature in the city of Simferopol for a possible vote on the status of Crimea, home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet, the Center of Journalist Research said. Ukraine prosecutors began a terrorism probe. .
“Provocateurs are on the march,” Acting Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on his Facebook Inc. page as police cordoned off the block around parliament. “It’s time for cool heads, the consolidation of healthy forces and precise actions.”
At the same time Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry summoned Russia’s acting envoy in Kiev for immediate consultations.
“I am appealing to the military leadership of the Russian Black Sea fleet,” said Olexander Turchinov, acting president since the removal of Viktor Yanukovich last week. “Any military movements, the more so if they are with weapons, beyond the boundaries of this territory (the base) will be seen by us as military aggression
There were mixed signals from Moscow, which put fighter jets along its western borders on combat alert, but earlier said it would take part in discussions on an International Monetary Fund (IMF) financial package for Ukraine. Ukraine has said it needs $35 billion over the next two years to stave off bankruptcy. The fear of military escalation prompted expressions of concern from the West, with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen urging Russia not to do anything that would “escalate tension or create misunderstanding”.
Polish foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski called the seizure of government buildings in the Crimea a “very dangerous game”. “This is a drastic step, and I’m warning those who did this and those who allowed them to do this, because this is how regional conflicts begin,” he told a news conference.
It was not immediately known who was occupying the buildings in the regional capital Simferopol and they issued no demands, but witnesses said they spoke Russian and appeared to be ethnic Russian separatists.
Interfax news agency quoted a witness as saying there were about 60 people inside and they had many weapons. It said no one had been hurt when the buildings were seized in the early hours by Russian speakers in uniforms that did not carry identification markings.
“We were building barricades in the night to protect parliament. Then this young Russian guy came up with a pistol … we all lay down, some more ran up, there was some shooting and around 50 went in through the window,” Leonid Khazanov, an ethnic Russian, told Reuters. “They’re still there … Then the police came, they seemed scared. I asked them (the armed men) what they wanted, and they said ‘To make our own decisions, not to have Kiev telling us what to do’,” said Khazanov.
About 100 police were gathered in front of the parliament building, and a similar number of people carrying Russian flags later marched up to the building chanting “Russia, Russia” and holding a sign calling for a Crimean referendum. One of them, Alexei, 30, said: “We have our own constitution, Crimea is autonomous. The government in Kiev are fascists, and what they’re doing is illegal … We need to show our support for the guys inside (parliament). Power should be ours.”a
As a reminder, so far Putin has been silent on his views about the sovereignty of the Crimean region which is host to the critical Russian Sevastopol naval base. Russian President Vladimir Putin has ignored calls by some ethnic Russians in Crimea to reclaim the territory handed to then Soviet Ukraine by Soviet Communist leader Nikita Khrushchev in 1954. The United States says any Russian military action would be a grave mistake. But Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Moscow would defend the rights of its compatriots and react without compromise to any violation of those rights.
Russian Lenta, citing the Crimean information agency, reports that the Crimean deputees have begun a referendum on the status of the Crimean autonomy, which is not quite a secession. Yet.
Elsewhere, Ukraine’s deposed president, who as we reported first some time ago had fled to Russia, reappeared, as expected in Russia, and claimed legitimacy to his post saying the Ukraine’s “mob” actions were illegal . From Reuters:
Ukraine’s Viktor Yanukovich said on Thursday he was still the legitimate president of his country and that people in its southeastern and southern regions would never accept the “lawlessness” brought by leaders chosen by a mob. Russian news agencies quoted a statement by Yanukovich as saying he had asked Moscow to guarantee his personal safety.
The statement could not be independently verified and it was not clear where Yanukovich was, although some media groups have suggested he is in Moscow after fleeing Ukraine, where he was toppled by opposition forces at the weekend.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman said he had no information and could not comment on the statement.
“I, Viktor Fedorovich Yanukovich appeal to the people of Ukraine. As before I still consider myself to be the lawful head of the Ukrainian state, chosen freely by the will of the Ukrainian people,” he was quoted as saying.
“Now it is becoming clear that the people in southeastern Ukraine and in Crimea do not accept the power vacuum and complete lawlessness in the country, when the heads of ministries are appointed by the mob.”
“On the streets of many cities of our country there is an orgy of extremism,” he said, adding that he and his closest aides had been threatened physically.
“I have to ask the Russian authorities to provide me with personal safety from the actions of extremists.”
Russian television showed what it said was a copy of the statement.
Interfax news agency quoted a source in the authorities as saying Moscow would ensure Yanukovich’s safety on the Russian territory.
“In connection with the appeal by president Yanukovich for his personal security to be guaranteed, I report that the request has been granted on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the source was quoted as saying.
And just to make sure tensions reach a fever pitch, Interfax reported a few hours ago that Russian fighter jets along the Western Border were put on high alert:
The crews of fighter jets deployed in Russia’s Western Military Districts have been placed on high alert as part of surprise combat drills ordered by Russian President and Supreme Commander-in-Chief Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said.
“Our fighter jets are constantly patrolling the airspace over border districts,” the ministry said in a press release, seen by Interfax-AVN on Thursday. “As soon as they were put on high alert, aviation units of the Western Military District redeployed to their operative air fields,” it said.
At the moment, “the district’s bombers are tackling combat training tasks targeting an imaginary adversary at aviation training ranges,” the ministry said.
Not surprisingly, the Ukraine economy, already in critical condition, is shutting down and the Hryvnia is imploding: Ukraine’s currency weakened 10.3 percent to 11.2 per dollar at 12:21 p.m. in Kiev, the lowest level since it was introduced in 1996, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The central bank imposed capital controls this month to stem its decline.
1st Amendment, 4th Amendment, Aldous Huxley, American Idol, Big Brother, Brave New World, Burning platform, Charles Hugh Smith, Congress, Constitution, David Stockman, Deep State, DHS, Diane Feinstein, Dick Cheney, Dollar Collapse, Edward Bernays, Edward Snowden, Eye of Sauron, Facebook, Financial Sense, Fourth Turning, Gestapo, Google, iGadgets, James Clapper, Jim Kunstler, Kate Upton, Kim & Kanye, McAfee, Michael Snyder, Microsoft, Mike Lofgren, Minyanville, Mordor, Norton, NSA, Obama, Orwell, Peter King, Proles, Propaganda, Ron Paul, Salma Hayak, Seeking Alpha, Stuck, Surveillance State, Symantec, Twitter, Upton Sinclair, V for Vendetta, Verizon, Wall Street Journal, Zero Hedge
“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
I find the quote above by Edward Bernays to be a perfect synopsis for everything that has come to pass over the last century. The world has become increasingly controlled by an invisible government of greedy Wall Street bankers, shadowy billionaires, immoral big business, crooked politicians, and the military industrial complex, with mammoth media conglomerates, purposefully using propaganda to manipulate and mold the minds of the masses in order to exert power and control over our lives. He wrote those words in 1928, when the only available forms of manipulation were newspapers and radio. Bernays would be ecstatic and delighted with the implements available today used by our corporate fascist state controllers as they deliver the electronic messaging guiding the public mind.
He never dreamed of television, the internet, social media, and the ability of corporations like Google, in full cooperation with the government, to censor the truth, while feeding misinformation and state sanctioned propaganda to the masses in such an efficient and effective mode. Compelling the masses to worship at the altar of technology, while idolizing the evil men running our largest banks and corporations, has been a prodigious success for the shadowy ruling power and their mass media propaganda agents. Mike Lofgren, former congressional insider and author of The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted, describes these mysterious perfidious men as the Deep State:
Yes, there is another government concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, a hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.
My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.”
All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched.
Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. – Mike Lofgren, Anatomy of the Deep State
The techno-narcissistic American public has been manipulated into falsely believing their iGadgets, Facebook, Twitter, and thousands of Apps have made them smarter, freer and safer. As Goethe proclaimed, the majority of willfully ignorant Americans are hopelessly enslaved, while falsely believing they are free. Our controllers, through relentless propaganda and misinformation pounded into our brains by the government controlled education system and unrelenting messaging by their mass media co-conspirators, have molded the minds and opinions of the vast majority into believing government and mega-corporations are beneficial and indispensable to their well-being.
The overwhelming majority have been conditioned like rats to believe anything their keepers feed them. In order to keep society running smoothly, with little dissent, thought, opposition or questioning, the Deep State utilizes all the tools at its disposal to manipulate, influence, coerce, bully and bribe the populace into passive submission. They’ve trained us to love our servitude. The Inner Party sees this as essential to their continued control, power and enrichment, while keeping the Proles impoverished, ignorant, fearful and distracted with bread and circuses.
The key weapon in their arsenal of obedience is technology and the mega-corporations that control the flow of information disseminated to the hypnotized mindless masses. The United States has devolved into a society where a few powerful unelected unaccountable men, controlling the levers of government, education, finance, and media are able to formulate the opinions, tastes, beliefs, and fears of the masses through the effective and subtle use of technology. They have tenaciously and unflinchingly fashioned a technology addiction among the masses in order to keep them distracted, entertained and uninterested in thinking, gaining knowledge, or comprehending their roles and responsibilities as citizens in a purportedly democratic republic.
The mass media, along with their corporate compatriots – Microsoft, Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Yahoo, Facebook and Google, gather vast amounts of data, emails, phone calls, texts, internet searches, spending habits, credit information, passwords, videos and private personal information from an agreeable, gullible and trusting populace. Americans have a seemingly infinite capacity for blindly counting on the government and the corporatocracy to use this data in an honorable and ethical manner. But, as Edward Snowden has revealed, the corporate fascist state is collecting every shred of data on every American in a systematic and thorough way. We have voluntarily surrendered our privacy, liberties, and freedoms to mega-corporations like Google and their techno-brethren, who then willingly collaborate with Big Brother NSA and allow unfettered access to this private information.
The U.S. Constitution along with the First and Fourth Amendments are meaningless to these deceitful entities. Our freedoms have dissipated at the same rate we have adopted the technological “innovations” of Facebook, Twitter, and Google. We are being monitored, scrutinized, tracked and controlled by the technology we have exuberantly purchased from the mega-corporations stripping us of our freedom. Technological “progress” has actually resulted in a colossal regression in freedom, liberty, independence, choice, and intelligent questioning of authority. We having willingly submitted to the google shackles of tyranny in exchange for being entertained and amused by Angry Birds, Words with Friends, facebooking, texting, tweeting, posting selfies and statuses, and linking in.
“Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” – Aldous Huxley – Ends and Means
David versus the Nameless, Faceless Goliath Robot
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” – Upton Sinclair – I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
My enlightening encounter with the nameless, faceless $52 billion “non-evil doing” behemoth entity known as Google, over the last month, has clarified my understanding of how the invisible governing body of the Deep State uses the power of the all-mighty dollar to suppress dissent and obscure the truth. My inconsequential libertarian minded blog that attracts 15,000 visitors per day has been up and running for the last five years. I started my own blog because I didn’t want to deal with ongoing censorship of my articles by Wall Street sellout blogs such as Seeking Alpha, Minyanville, and Financial Sense.
Their salary/living depended upon them not publishing articles critical of Wall Street and the government. My intention has never been to make a living from my blog. Any donations or incidental advertising revenue allowed me to upgrade my server capacity to handle more visitors. I’m certainly not averse to making money, but the sole purpose of my blog has been to try and open people’s eyes to Wall Street criminality, political corruption, media propaganda, and the perilous financial state of our country. Therefore, I was pleasantly surprised when Google approved my website for ads in December.
I will admit my site has been essentially an un-moderated free for all going back to the very beginning in 2009. I do not believe in censorship or false civility. I attempt to induce anger and outrage with every article and post. These are desperate times and anger is the appropriate reaction. The country is on a burning platform of unsustainable policies and practices which threaten the future of our society. I’m pissed off and I want others to be just as pissed off. The regular commenters are intelligent, critical, opinionated, and not afraid to unload with both barrels on fellow regulars or newbies. The language is often strong and the posting of pictures and images adds to the frat house like atmosphere. Regular contributors include doctors, farmers, engineers, business owners, accountants, teachers, waitresses, students, homemakers, soldiers, spies, and retirees. The wild-west nature of the site is not a secret to anyone who has ventured a peek. I assume Google did a review of the site before approving it for their Adsense program.
I started running Google ads on my site in early December. My site operated as it always had. The $30 per day in ad revenue was welcome, as it helped defray my server and security expenses. I experience a surge in visitors whenever I publish an article that gets picked up by fellow truth telling alternative media websites like Zero Hedge, 321 Gold, Washington’s Blog, Jesse’s Cafe Americain, Steve Quayle, Monty Pelerin, Doug Ross, Market Oracle, Dollar Collapse, TF Metals and several others. I published an article called The Retail Death Rattle on January 20 which obliterated the false government and mainstream media recovery storyline and skewered the delusional incompetent CEOs of mega-retailers. It struck a nerve as it generated the highest visitor count in history for my site. It was even picked up by Wall Street Journal owned Marketwatch. My articles are highly critical of Wall Street, the Federal Reserve, corrupt Washington politicians and the feckless captured legacy media, but they usually fly under the radar of the ruling class. On January 22 Google disabled my ads for “policy violations”. This is the vague non-specific description provided by the non-human policing bot:
It’s important for a site displaying AdSense to offer significant value to the user by providing unique and relevant content, and not to place ads on auto-generated pages or pages with little to no original content. This may include, but is not limited to:
· copying portions of text content from other sources
· websites dedicated to embedded videos from other hosts
· websites with gibberish content that makes no sense or seems auto-generated
· templated or pre-generated websites that provide duplicate content to users.
Google ads may not be placed on pages with adult or mature content. This includes, but is not limited to, pages with images or videos containing:
· Strategically covered nudity
· Sheer or see-through clothing
· Lewd or provocative poses
· Close-ups of breasts, buttocks, or crotches
Over the last five years I have received exactly ZERO complaints from other websites or authors about re-posting their articles, with full attribution and links, on my website. No one can accuse my site of not having unique and relevant content. I have permission to post articles from Zero Hedge, Charles Hugh Smith, Michael Snyder, Jim Kunstler, David Stockman, John Mauldin, Doug Casey, Paul Rosenberg, Fred Reed and dozens of other brilliant truthful journalists detailing our societal decay. Was there some Kate Upton bikini Gifs and provocative Salma Hayak pictures scattered within the 200,000 comments made on the site in the last five years? Guilty as charged. It seems Google reviewers can’t see the hypocrisy of running ads to meet young bikini clad Asian girls, while disabling ads because there are a few bikini pictures on the website. I suspected my article had drawn the Eye of Sauron in my direction and this was the response.
Speaking truth to power during these perilous times has repercussions. But I decided to make a good faith effort to follow their rules.
I had made almost 15,000 posts over the last five years. Over the next week I scanned the site and archived posts that included articles from mainstream media websites, along with a hundred or so bikini pictures. You never deal with a human being when attempting to satisfy the Google Gestapo. Identical canned appeal denial responses are issued from Google Central with no clarification or effort to help you understand their reasoning.
Thank you for providing us with additional information about your site. However, after thoroughly reviewing theburningplatform.com and taking your feedback into consideration, we’re unable to re-enable ad serving to your site at this time, as your site appears to still be in violation.
When making changes, please note that the URL mentioned in your policy notification may be just one example and that the same violations may exist on other pages of your website. Appropriate changes must be made across your entire website before ad serving can be enabled on your site again.
If you’d like to have your site reconsidered for participation in the AdSense program, please review our program policies and make any necessary changes to your webpages.
We appreciate your cooperation.
The Google AdSense Team
There must have been some miscommunication within the Google Gestapo, as the ads were re-enabled after one week and my third appeal. A newbie, who didn’t get the memo, must have mistakenly activated my ads. Regular commenters and contributors were confused by what they could and couldn’t post on the site, as was I. The iron fist of the Google Stasi came down once again within a week, with the identical policy violation notice. I made the assumption that since the site was declared in compliance as of January 29, I only had to address anything posted since that date.
I had purged the site of any and all risqué pictures, so I knew that wasn’t a real issue. I thoroughly reviewed every post made since January 29 and archived or edited them to leave no doubt I was meeting Google’s vague guidelines. I continued to have my appeals rejected. I then went back a year and archived hundreds of other posts. By the fourth appeal rejection, I realized I would never meet their standard because it wasn’t really about violating Google content policies. It was my libertarian, anti-government, anti-Wall Street, anti-Mega-Corporation, anti-Surveillance State views that were the real issue. They were attempting to make me “not understand” or write about the creeping corporate fascist paradigm overtaking the country by making my Google salary dependent on “not understanding”.
Once I understood this truth, I was set free to provoke and prod the nameless, faceless Google entity and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt their true purpose. Their appeal form allows 1,000 characters for your response. Along with the actions I had taken, I began to question the integrity of the Google apparatchik “reviewer”, as it was clear the site was not in violation. I had archived over a thousand posts and tens of thousands of comments. I challenged the man behind the Google curtain to provide me with proof the site was still in violation. I must have struck a nerve, as out of the blue I received a new violation notice.
Violent or disturbing content
AdSense publishers are not permitted to place Google ads on pages with violent or disturbing content, including sites with gory text or images.
Now this was funny. My site focuses on the financial, political, and social decay of our country. It in no way advocates or promotes violence. It has no graphic images or gory videos. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of revolutions occurring in Venezuela, Ukraine, and Syria from being seen by citizens of the world, their credibility is zero. If Google is attempting to suppress videos of police brutality against citizens or the police state locking down an entire city while violating the Fourth Amendment, they prove themselves to be nothing more than a fascist propaganda tool of the State. This violation notice was laughable, but I decided to call their bluff one last time. I spent three days and archived 14,000 out of the 15,000 posts ever made on my site. All that remained were my main articles, published on dozens of other sites with Google ads active, and original content produced by myself or other approved contributors. There was no violent content, scraped content, or sexual content on my website.
My ninth and final appeal was denied. I then proceeded to write an FU Google post on my website and inform my readers and contributors they were unshackled from the Google Evil Empire of Censorship. I’m in the process of restoring all of the posts I had archived. Some might argue that Google is just exercising their rights under our free market capitalism system. I would argue free market capitalism does not exist today. The unholy alliance of big banks, big corporations, big military and big media has created a state run by the few for the benefit of the few. They use their control of the purse strings to manipulate minds, crush dissent, and censor through bullying and bribery.
Once I mentally liberated myself from their financial control, I was able to see their game. They essentially wanted me to purge the site of every anti-establishment example of free speech and First Amendment rights I had ever written, in order to kneel before the altar of $$$ in the Church of Google. Google would be perfectly fine if I converted my website into a chat-fest where I discussed the details of the upcoming Kim and Kanye wedding, pondered deep issues regarding the benefits of gay marriage, conducted polls on who The Bachelor will choose to be his betrothed this season, mused about what Hollywood stars will wear at the Academy Awards, and debated who will win the fourteenth season of American Idol. The Google money would flow freely as I contributed to the dumbing down and sedation of the masses. I have chosen not be a Judas that sells out my readers and the American public for 30 pieces of fiat to the Google Pharisees and the American corporate fascist surveillance empire.
This was not the first time the Deep State attempted to silence my anarchistic viewpoint. On June 5 Edward Snowden, American hero and patriot, released the first of thousands of documents detailing the traitorous actions of the NSA, Obama, Congress, the Judicial branch, and the corporate media. Snowden revealed the government, in cooperation with Google, Verizon, Facebook and a myriad of other technology/media companies, was collecting metadata and conducting mass surveillance of every American in violation of the Fourth Amendment, a clearly illegal form of search and seizure.
On June 19 I penned an article titled Who Are the Real Traitors? In the article I declared Obama, James Clapper, Dick Cheney, Diane Feinstein, Peter King and a plethora of other politicians, faux journalists, and talking media heads as the real traitors of the American people. The article achieved wide distribution through my usual channels and must have again drawn attention in Mordor on the Potomac. Two days later anyone with McAfee or Norton security were receiving false warnings about a malicious virus on my site. Long time readers in the military informed me the site was now blocked by the Department of Defense as a dangerous website. Other long-time readers informed me their corporations were now blocking access to the site. The site was inundated by denial of service attacks. It slowed to a crawl and was virtually inaccessible. I’m sure it was just a coincidence.
I was forced to switch server companies and hire an anti-hacking company to protect the site, thereby increasing my cost to run the site by a factor of 10. Even though the companies I hired confirmed there were no malicious viruses on the site, Norton continued to scare Internet Explorer users from reading my site for the next eight months. How the $8 billion Symantec (owns Norton) entity could rationalize this false warning on only $80 billion Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, seems suspicious to me. The warning would not appear if you accessed the site with Mozilla Firefox, even if you employed Norton security. Norton makes it virtually impossible to appeal their false danger rating. I’m sure thousands of people were scared away from my website by these unaccountable corporate entities, working on behalf of the all-powerful state. Lofgren’s Deep State or Bernays’ Invisible Government hate the truth. They despise anyone who attempts to open the eyes of the public to their deception, criminality, and propaganda.
Google has become a tool and partner of the Deep State. Enrichment of the state within the state is their sole purpose. Google’s Don’t Be Evil motto, originated when they were a fledgling company in 2000, has become a farce as they have descended into the netherworld as the information police for the ruling despots. They are now a humungous corporation with near monopoly control over the flow of information, searches, emails, and internet advertising. They know more about you and your habits than you do. They attempt to control freedom of speech at the point of a wire transfer. Fall into line or no advertising blood money for you. Not only do they suppress viewpoints through advertising revenue bullying, they manipulate their search engine results to hide the truth from the masses. Google search engines filter, block and bury blog posts that contain content or information it deems incompatible with the message of its corporate fascist co-conspirators. Its oppressive corporate practices on behalf of its evil partners are an abridgment of the freedom of speech, perversion of the truth, and active attempt to mold the minds of the masses.
One of the most intelligent and cleverest contributors to my website, Nick (aka Stucky), summed up the evil entity known as Google in this pointed comment on my website:
There is an Entity out there who knows every search you ever made.
The Entity knows all about your emails, the content and address.
The Entity knows what you buy online and how often.
The Entity is developing software to predict what you will buy next.
The Entity can now even watch you, and know where you are, and what you are doing.
The Entity even knows your habits.
The Entity has enormous resources and stacks of cash.
The Entity shares your information with Lesser Entities … and also The Big Evil Entity that rules us all.
The Entity makes the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, and their ilk look like Lightweight Chumps.
The Entity hates you. You are just a means to an end.
The Entity is building a Profile all about you.
The Entity will soon know you better than you know yourself.
Welcome to Google, the most evil Entity on the planet.
As a society we have fallen asleep at the wheel. We’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into complacency, distracted by minutia, mesmerized by technology, turned into consumers by corporations, pacified by financial gurus and Ivy League economists, and fearful of our own shadows. Surveillance, censorship and propaganda are the tools of the oppressive state. Free speech and truthful revelations about the Deep State are a danger in the eyes of our oppressors. Words retain power and can change the hearts and minds of a tyrannized citizenry willing to listen. V’s speech to London in the movie V for Vendetta, with slight modification, captures the essence of how Google fits into the evil matrix we inhabit today.
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 who are 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 government and their banking/corporate patrons. They promised you order. They promised you peace. And all they demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent.
I choose not to silently and obediently consent to the will of the Deep State. Google will not silence me. We are in the midst of a Fourth Turning and I will try to do my small part in sweeping away the existing social order and trying to replace it with a system that honors and follows the U.S. Constitution. In Part 2 of this expose of evil, I’ll provide further proof of Google’s hypocrisy, censorship, and willing participation in spying on the American people. I’m beginning to understand the major conflict which will drive this Fourth Turning – The People vs The Corporate Fascist State.
WARNING: The National Security Agency is recording and storing this communication as part of its unlawful spying program on all Americans … and people worldwide. The people who created the NSA spying program say this communication – and any responses – can and will be used against the American people at any time in the future should unelected bureaucrats within the government decide to persecute us for political reasons. Private information in digital communications is being shared between Google, Facebook, Verizon and the government. It will be used against you when it suits their purposes.
Posted on 18th February 2014 by Punk in Drublic in Politics
After reading The Fourth Turning, I found myself looking at things more in terms of cause and effect, less in terms of party politics. Each party’s claims to be more ethical and virtuous than the other ring hollow in light of decades of dysfunction. The fourth turning destroys the rotten and decayed system and establishes new foundations for government and society. The lesson to be learned is that of letting go of the institutions and beliefs that are holding us back and embracing what will propel us forward. This is the time to challenge and test our belief systems, to find our true priorities.
Is Hillary a Gray Champion?
Well, here we are, deep into the fourth turning, a process that has taken nearly eighty years to unfold. When the next presidential election rolls around, we will be nearly a decade into the crisis. By all accounts, things are bad. More than likely, they will get worse before they get better. In their book, authors Strauss and Howe give us something to look for during these dark times. They offer up a sliver of hope: The rise of the Gray Champion. These ”ancient, priest warrior” figures appear at the depths of the crisis, just when the world seems ready to fall apart, “delivering their fiery sermons” to a society that is finally ready to listen. It’s these elder prophets who will call upon their peers for sacrifice and their offspring for action, who will provide the strength not only to endure but prosper.
But that’s just a story. We need real men and women in Washington who can affect real change. Sadly, politicians today offer little hope and even less inspiration. With approval ratings being the lowest in history, for good reason, it doesn’t seem likely that our leaders will get their act together to inspire anything from anyone. Yet the Fourth Turning prophecy tells us it will not be this way forever. Real people will step out from the fog of rhetoric to become the true leaders of our time. Who are they? Let’s take a look at one of today’s prominent political figures through the lens of the generational cycles and archetypes laid out in The Fourth Turning.
Hillary Clinton, who was born in October of 1947, is a first wave boomer. Her childhood occurred solidly in the new American high of the 50′s and 60′s, and her coming of age young adult years occurred at the height of the consciousness revolution and culture wars. This, combined with her GI parents, conservative and religious, gave her a solid and stable family and the belief in the ability of government to govern that is missing in today’s society. The foundation of the Boomer Prophet was laid. This will be the experience that Hillary and others in her generation will spend a lifetime trying to recreate for everyone.
She regularly communicated with her family minister while growing up and as a teenager she was quite politically active. Big surprise, right? Did you know she was a young republican in college? Yup. She described herself as “a mind conservative and a heart liberal”. Hillary’s college years reveal this dual mindedness, already an activist for a variety of issues and gaining confidence in her moral and ethical positions. By graduation, a career in politics was in the works. This is a classic tale of a young Prophet on a spiritual quest, testing the waters of ideology and discovering the pulpit. The civil rights movement saw the policy tweaking boomers in action, to successful ends. These Prophets were morally right and had incorporated this sense of justice into the system. But there is no end to injustice– there is always another cause. Hillary would be busy.
After marrying Bill and moving to Arkansas she began to take an interest in child rights, health and well being that would continue far into the future. Among other initiatives, she co-founded The Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, chaired the Rural Health Advisory Committee and the Arkansas Education Committee. This is all pretty much straight out of the Prophet’s playbook. The importance of family, the rights and safety of children, the focus on health. These are the priorities of the civic minded Boomer Prophet during the Unraveling. Remember when, contrary to the independent woman themes of earlier decades, Hillary remained married after an affair. Throwing the Awakening era mindset through a loop.
During her long political career as FLOTUS, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary has continued to work towards the goals of helping and empowering children and women. She went on to help create the Adoption and Safe Families Act, The Foster Care Independence Act and was outspoken on issues regarding abuse against women all over the world. This is the Boomer Prophet in action. Faced with endless injustice and a declining strength of government institutions to address them, the answer has always been the same. Expand the safety net. Expand the role of government. Expand the bureaucracy. Increase obligations. Compassion without true structural reforms only served to overburden the dysfunctional system, as chaos turned to rot and fraud, the stage for the Fourth Turning was set. Now it is too late to prevent the pain of reform, compassion must take on new meaning.
Her connection to the church was maintained and strengthened through exploration of varying faiths, leading to a philosophy that wished “to remold society by redefining what it means to be a human being in the twentieth century, moving into a new millennium”. She really does want to change the world. Right on schedule. She strongly supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at the beginning of the last decade, as a chance to further her personal goals of empowering women and children. Not WMDs. Not 9/11. Hillary supported the wars in the middle east to help people, that is, to “spread democracy”. She wanted to go to war because it was “right”. Sound anything like these “priest warriors”, such as Lincoln and FDR, whose “righteous” calls for blood and sacrifice will bring about the new High?
So, we can see by her upbringing and policies that Hillary Clinton has been walking the path of the boomer Prophet almost as if it was written for her. She is a controversial figure because of this, always embodying the cycle of turnings for her generation. Her leadership qualities are unquestionable, no one can deny that. She has firm spiritual beliefs and a strong sense of ethics and justice. She is willing to fight to preserve and spread those beliefs. But will she be a Gray Champion? What does her personality tell us?
The Myers Briggs Personality Indicator is a well known test that is used by psychologists, fortune 500 companies, universities and government agencies as well. A quick Google search finds that Hillary is an ESTJ, known as a “supervisor”. That stands for Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Judging. According to the test, these types of people are steadfast civic minded individuals, detail oriented and methodical. ESTJ’s are very often organized, self confident and aggressive leaders who follow their own standards to the letter. This personality is likely to preserve the status quo, rather than make large sweeping changes, such as staying in a marriage after a spouse is caught cheating. This might sound counter-intuitive to her possible role as a Gray Champion but I think it speaks more about when she would be most effective. Given the opportunity to maintain the status quo, Hillary will attempt to do so. That said, ESTJ’s are not ones to stick to a losing strategy once it is identified as such.
What we see is a very strong personality who plots her own course, who will not be turned away from it and will demand that others follow, generally with a high degree of success. All of this is sounding very much like the Grey Champion’s “combining the leader and the saint” to represent and fulfill society’s new found desire for authority. Under the right circumstances I believe she has the brains, personality type and the leadership skills do the job: To craft a new safety net, to forge new institutions, to make new alliances and confidently hand a stronger, healthier nation down to the children she has so long cared for. When the bloated and broken system fails, Hillary Clinton stands out among Washington bureaucrats as having the skills and ability to pick up the pieces. However, she must go through her own final transformation to that of an elder prophet before doing so.
As an influential politician Hillary Clinton has had a hand in bringing about the crisis we face. She will have to make her peace with that. The Boomer Prophet generation is the axis around which the current cycle of turnings rotates, bringing the nation to where it is today. Like all of our Prophet leaders Hillary shares the burden of blame along with the responsibility to repair. The lessons of the fourth turning will be hard or maybe even impossible for her to accept personally. Should she fail to do so, I think it would be disastrous for society if she rose to the power of president. The old way of thinking– the tactics and policy tweaking of the last cycle– won’t solve our problems. For her to continue them would mean ruin. But if she is wise and heeds the changing of the seasons, her ability and desire to lead just might be able to bring about Strauss and Howe’s “great transformation”, to combine that mind conservative and heart liberal that first drove her to politics.
The Fourth turning is upon us; there is no escaping its effects. It will bring about the change our nation so desperately needs, though it won’t be pleasant. We all know the nature of the crisis we face. Our society simply cannot afford the “welfare and warfare” government we have promised ourselves, that Hillary promised. Many paths lie ahead, leading to many versions of the next cycle of turnings, some darker than others. We will need our Gray Champions to step to the forefront, to “lead humanity toward a great transformation”. Is Hillary Clinton that leader? Will she join the ranks of other Gray Champions in history? Or will she stand in the way of one who does?
Time will tell.
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In mid-January of this year I wrote my annual prediction article for 2013 – Apparitions in the Fog. It is again time to assess my inability to predict the future any better than a dart throwing monkey. As usual, sticking to facts was a mistake in a world fueled by misinformation, propaganda, delusion and wishful thinking. I was far too pessimistic about the near term implications of debt, civic decay and global disorder. Those in power have successfully held off the unavoidable collapse which will be brought about by their ravenous unbridled greed, and blatant disregard for the rule of law, the U.S. Constitution and rights and liberties of the American people. The day to day minutia, pointless drivel of our techno-narcissistic selfie showbiz society, and artificially created issues (gay marriage, Zimmerman-Martin, Baby North West, Duck Dynasty) designed to distract the public from thinking, are worthless trivialities in the broad landscape of human history.
The course of human history is determined by recurring cyclical themes based upon human frailties that have been perpetual through centuries of antiquity. The immense day to day noise of an inter-connected techno-world awash in inconsequentialities and manipulated by men of evil intent is designed to divert the attention of the masses from the criminal activities of those in power. It has always been so. There have always been arrogant, ambitious, greedy, power hungry, deceitful men, willing to take advantage of a fearful, lazy, ignorant, selfish, easily manipulated populace. The rhythms of history are unaffected by predictions of “experts” who are paid to spin yarns in order to sustain the status quo. There is no avoiding the consequences of actions taken and not taken over the last eighty years. We are in the midst of a twenty year period of Crisis that was launched in September 2008 with the worldwide financial collapse, created by the Federal Reserve, their Wall Street owners, their bought off Washington politicians, and their media and academic propaganda machines.
I still stand by the final paragraph of my 2013 missive, and despite the fact the establishment has been able to fend off the final collapse of their man made credit boom for longer than I anticipated, they have only insured a far worse outcome when the bubble bursts:
“So now I’m on the record for 2013 and I can be scorned and ridiculed for being such a pessimist when December rolls around and our Ponzi scheme economy hasn’t collapsed. There is no disputing the facts. The economic situation is deteriorating for the average American, the mood of the country is darkening, and the world is awash in debt and turmoil. Every country is attempting to print their way to renewed prosperity. No one wins a race to the bottom. The oligarchs have chosen a path of currency debasement, propping up insolvent banks, propaganda and impoverishing the masses as their preferred course. They attempt to keep the masses distracted with political theater, gun control vitriol, reality TV and iGadgets. What can be said about a society where 10% of the population follows Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga on Twitter and where 50% think the National Debt is a monument in Washington D.C. The country is controlled by evil sycophants, intellectually dishonest toadies and blood sucking leeches. Their lies and deception have held sway for the last four years, but they have only delayed the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. They will not reverse course and believe their intellectual superiority will allow them to retain their control after the collapse.”
The core elements of this Crisis have been visible since Strauss & Howe wrote The Fourth Turning in 1997. All the major events that transpire during this Crisis will be driven by one or more of these core elements – Debt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder.
“In retrospect, the spark might seem as ominous as a financial crash, as ordinary as a national election, or as trivial as a Tea Party. The catalyst will unfold according to a basic Crisis dynamic that underlies all of these scenarios: An initial spark will trigger a chain reaction of unyielding responses and further emergencies. The core elements of these scenarios (debt, civic decay, global disorder) will matter more than the details, which the catalyst will juxtapose and connect in some unknowable way. If foreign societies are also entering a Fourth Turning, this could accelerate the chain reaction. At home and abroad, these events will reflect the tearing of the civic fabric at points of extreme vulnerability – problem areas where America will have neglected, denied, or delayed needed action.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
My 2013 predictions were framed by these core elements. After re-reading my article for the first time in eleven months I’ve concluded it is lucky I don’t charge for investment predictions. Many of my prognostications were in the ballpark, but I have continually underestimated the ability of central bankers and their Wall Street co-conspirators to use the $2.8 billion per day of QE to artificially elevate the stock market to bubble level proportions once again. If I wasn’t such a trusting soul, I might conclude the .1% financial elite, who run this country, created QEternity to benefit themselves, their .1% corporate CEO accomplices and the corrupt government apparatchiks who shield their flagrant criminality from the righteous hand of justice.
Even a highly educated Ivy League economist might grasp the fact that Ben Bernanke’s QEternity and ZIRP, sold to the unsuspecting masses as desperate measures during a crisis that could have brought the system down, have been kept in place for five years as a means to drive stock prices and home prices higher. The emergency was over by 2010, according to government reported data. The current monetary policy of the Federal Reserve would have been viewed as outrageous, reckless, and incomprehensible in 2007. It is truly a credit to the ruling elite and their media propaganda arm that they have been able to convince a majority of Americans their brazen felonious disregard for the wellbeing of the 99% is necessary to sustain the .1% way of life. Those palaces in the Hamptons aren’t going to pay for themselves without those $100 billion of annual bonuses.
Do you think the 170% increase in the S&P 500 has been accidently correlated with the quadrupling of the Federal Reserve balance sheet or has Bernanke just done the bidding of his puppet masters? Considering the .1% billionaire clique owns the vast majority of stock in this corporate fascist paradise, is it really a surprise the trickle down canard would be the solution of choice from these sociopathic scoundrels? Of course QE and ZIRP have impacted the 80% who own virtually no stocks in a slightly different manner. Do you think the 100% increase in gasoline prices since 2009 was caused by Bernanke’s QEternity?
Do you think the 8% decline in real median household income since 2008 was caused by Bernanke’s QE and ZIRP policies?
Do you think the $10.8 trillion stolen from grandmothers and risk adverse savers was caused by Bernanke’s ZIRP?
Was the $860 billion increase in real GDP (5.8% over five years) worth the $8 trillion increase in the National Debt and $3 trillion increase in the Federal Reserve balance sheet? Was it moral, courageous and honorable of the Wall Street plantation owners to syphon the remaining wealth of the dying middle class peasants and leaving the millennial generation and future generations bound in chains of unfunded debt to the tune of $200 trillion?
My assessment regarding unpredictable events lurking in the fog was borne out by what happened that NO ONE predicted, including: the first resignation of a pope in six hundred years, the military coup of a democratically elected president of Egypt – supported by the democratically elected U.S. president, the rise of an alternative currency – bitcoin, the bankruptcy of one of the largest cities in the U.S. – Detroit, a minor terrorist attack in Boston that freaked out the entire country and revealed the Nazi-like un-Constitutional tactics that will be used by the police state as this Crisis deepens, and revelations by a brilliant young patriot named Edward Snowden proving that the U.S. has been turned into an Orwellian surveillance state as every electronic communication of every American is being monitored and recorded. The Democrats and Republicans played their parts in this theater of the absurd. They proved to be two faces of the same Party as neither faction questions the droning of innocent people around the globe, mass spying on citizens, Wall Street criminality, trillion dollar deficits, a rogue Federal Reserve, or out of control unsustainable government spending.
My predictions for 2013 were divided into the three categories driving this Fourth Turning Crisis – Debt, Civic Decay, and Global Disorder. Let’s assess my inaccuracy.
The government shutdown reality TV show proved to be the usual Washington D.C. kabuki theater. They gave a shutdown and no one noticed. It had zero impact on the economy. More people came to the realization that government does nothing except spend our money and push us around. The debt ceiling was raised, the sequester faux “cuts” were reversed and $20 billion of spending will be cut sometime in the distant future. Washington snakes are entirely predictable. I nailed this prediction.
The National Debt increased by ONLY $964 billion in the last fiscal year, even though the government stopped counting in May. The temporary sequester cuts, the expiration of the 2% payroll tax cut, the fake Fannie & Freddie paybacks to the U.S. Treasury based upon mark to fantasy accounting, and the automatic expiration of stimulus spending combined to keep the real deficit from reaching $1 trillion for the fifth straight year. Debt to GDP was 104%, before our beloved government drones decided to “adjust” GDP upwards by $500 billion based upon a new and improved formula, like Tide detergent. I missed this prediction by a smidgeon.
The Federal Reserve balance sheet stands at $4.075 trillion today. Ben is very predictable, and of course “transparent”. This was an easy one.
Consumer debt outstanding currently stands at $3.076 trillion despite the fact that credit card debt has been virtually flat. The Federal government has continued to dole out billions in loans to University of Phoenix wannabes and to the subprime urban entitlement armies who deserve to drive an Escalade despite having no job, no assets and a sub 650 credit score, through government owned Ally Financial. It helps drive business when you don’t care about being repaid. Student loan delinquency rates are at an all-time high, as there are no jobs for graduates with tens of thousands in debt. Auto loan delinquencies have begun to rise despite the fact we are supposedly in a strongly recovering economy. The slowdown in debt issuance has not happened, as the Federal government is in complete control of the non-revolving loan segment. My prediction has proven to be accurate.
Bakken production has reached 867,000 barrels per day as more and more wells have been drilled to offset the steep depletion rates of the existing wells. The average price per barrel has been $104, despite the frantic propaganda campaign about imminent American energy independence. Tell that to the average Joe filling their tank and paying the highest December gas price in history. My prediction was too pessimistic, but the Bakken miracle will be revealed as an over-hyped Wall Street scam in 2014.
Existing home sales peaked in the middle of 2013 and have been in decline as mortgage rates have jumped from 3.25% to 4.5% since February. New home sales remain stagnant, near record low levels. The median sales price for existing home sales peaked at $214,000 in June and has fallen for five consecutive months by a total of 8%. First time home buyers account for a record low of 28% of purchases, while investors account for a record high level of purchasers. Mortgage delinquencies fell for most of the year, but the chickens are beginning to come home to roost as delinquent mortgage loans rose from 6.28% in October to 6.45% in November. Rent increases slowed to below 3% as Blackrock and the other Wall Street shysters flood the market with their foreclosure rental properties. My housing prediction was accurate.
And now we get to the prediction that makes me happy I don’t charge people for investment advice. Facts don’t matter in world of QE for the psychopathic titans of Wall Street and misery for the indebted peasants of Main Street. The government data drones, Ivy League educated Wall Street economists, and the obedient corporate media propaganda apparatus declare that GDP has grown by 2% over the last four quarters and we are not in a recession. If you believe their bogus inflation calculation then just ignore the collapsing retail sales, stagnant real wages, and rising gap between the uber-rich and the rest of us. Using a true measure of inflation reveals an economy in recession since 2004. Whose version matches the reality on the ground?
Corporate profits have leveled off at record highs as mark to fantasy accounting fraud, condoned and encouraged by the Federal Reserve, along with loan loss reserve depletion and $5 billion of risk free profits from parking deposits at the Fed have created a one-time peak. The record level of negative earnings warnings is the proverbial bell ringing at the top.
I only missed my stock market prediction by 50%, as the 30% rise was somewhat better than my 20% decline prediction. Bernanke’s QEternity, Wall Street’s high frequency trading supercomputers, record levels of margin debt, a dash of delusion, and a helping of clueless dupes have taken the stock market to another bubble high. My prediction makes me look like an idiot today. I’m OK with that, since I know facts and reality always prevail in the long-run. As John Hussman sagely points out, today’s idiot will be tomorrow’s beacon of truth:
“The problem with bubbles is that they force one to decide whether to look like an idiot before the peak, or an idiot after the peak. There’s no calling the top, and most of the signals that have been most historically useful for that purpose have been blazing red since late-2011. My impression remains that the downside risks for the market have been deferred, not eliminated, and that they will be worse for the wait.”
Abenomics has done nothing for the average Japanese citizen, but it has done wonders for the ruling class who own all the stocks. Abe has implemented monetary policies that make Bernanke get a hard on. Japanese economic growth remains mired at 1.1%, wages remain stagnant, and their debt to GDP ratio remains above 230%, but at least he has driven their currency down 20% versus the USD and crushed the common person with 9% energy inflation. None of this matters, because the .1% have benefitted from a 56% increase in the Japanese stock market. My prediction was wrong. The windshield is further down the road, but it is approaching at 100 mph.
This was another complete miss on my part. Economic conditions have not improved in Europe. Unemployment remains at record levels. EU GDP is barely above 0%. Debt levels continue to rise. Central bank bond buying has propped up this teetering edifice of ineptitude and interest rates in Spain, Italy and France have fallen to ridiculously low levels of 4%, considering they are completely insolvent with no possibility for escape. The disintegration of the EU will have to wait for another day.
Obama and his gun grabbing sycophants attempted to use the Newtown massacre as the lever to overturn the 2nd Amendment. The liberal media went into full shriek mode, but the citizens again prevailed and no Federal legislation restricting the 2nd Amendment passed. Gun sales in 2013 will set an all-time record. With the Orwellian surveillance state growing by the day, arming yourself is the rational thing to do. I nailed this prediction.
The little people are experiencing a recession. The little people bore the brunt of the 2% payroll tax increase. The little people are bearing the burden of the Obamacare insurance premium increases. The number of employed Americans has increased by 1 million in the last year, a whole .4% of the working age population. The number of Americans who have willingly left the labor force in the last year because their lives are so fulfilled totaled 2.5 million, leaving the labor participation rate at a 35 year low. The anger among the former middle class is simmering below the surface, as Bernanke’s policies further impoverish the multitudes. Mass protests have not materialized but the Washington Navy yard shooting, dental hygenist murdered by DC police for ramming a White House barrier, and self- immolation of veteran John Constantino on the National Mall were all individual acts of desperation against the establishment.
The number of people on food stamps appears to have peaked just below 48 million, as the expiration of stimulus spending will probably keep the program from reaching 50 million. As of November there were 10.98 million people in the SSDI program. The top eight Wall Street banks have set aside a modest $91 billion for 2013 bonuses. The cost of providing food stamps for 48 million Americans totaled $76 billion. CNBC is thrilled with the record level of bonuses for the noble Wall Street capitalists, while scorning the lazy laid-off middle class workers whose jobs were shipped to China by the corporations whose profits are at all-time highs and stock price soars. Isn’t crony capitalism grand?
The drought conditions in the U.S. Midwest have been relieved. Ethanol prices have been flat. Beef prices have risen by 10% since May due to the drought impact from 2012, but overall food price increases have been moderate. The misery index (unemployment rate + inflation rate) has supposedly fallen, based on government manipulated data. I whiffed on this prediction.
There have been no assassination attempts on those responsible for our downward financial spiral. The anger has been turned inward as suicides have increased by 30% due to the unbearable economic circumstances brought on by the illegal financial machinations of the Wall Street criminal banks. Obama and Dick Cheney must be thrilled that more military personnel died by suicide in 2013 than on the battlefield. Mission Accomplished. The retribution dealt to bankers and politicians will come after the next collapse. For now, my prediction was premature.
Holder and the U.S. government remain fully captured by Wall Street. The states have proven to be toothless in their efforts to enforce the law against Wall Street. The continuing revelations of Wall Street fraud and billions in fines paid by JP Morgan and the other Too Big To Trust banks have been glossed over by the captured mainstream media. As long as EBT cards, Visas and Mastercards continue to function, there will be no outrage from the techno-narcissistic, debt addicted, math challenged, wilfully ignorant masses. Another wishful thinking wrong prediction on my part.
Using a still optimistic discount rate of 5%, the unfunded pension liability of states and municipalities totals $3 trillion. The taxpayers don’t have enough cheese left for the government rats to steal. The crisis deepens by the second. State and municipal budgets require larger pension payments every year. The tax base is stagnant or declining. States must balance their budgets. They will continue to cut existing workers to pay the legacy costs until they all experience their Detroit moment. With the Detroit bankruptcy, I’ll take credit for getting this prediction right.
With the revelations of Federal government spying, military training exercises in cities across the country, the blatant disregard for the 4th Amendment during the shutdown of Boston, and un-Constitutional mandates of Obamacare, there has been a tremendous increase in chatter about secession. A google search gets over 200,000 hits in the last year. The divide between red states and blue states has never been wider.
If anything I dramatically underestimated the lengths to which the United States government would go in their illegal surveillance of the American people and foreign leaders. Edward Snowden exposed the grandest government criminal conspiracy in history as the world found out the NSA, with the full knowledge of the president and Congress, has been conspiring with major communications and internet companies to monitor and record every electronic communication on earth, in clear violation of the 4th Amendment. Government apparatchiks like James Clapper have blatantly lied to Congress about their spying activities. The lawlessness with which the government is now operating has led to anarchist computer hackers conducting cyber-attacks on government and corporate networks. The recent hacking of the Target credit card system will have devastating implications to their already waning business. I’ll take credit for an accurate prediction on this one.
The Japanese/Chinese dispute over the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands has blown hot and cold throughout the year. In the past month the vitriol has grown intense. China has scrambled fighter jets over the disputed islands. The recent visit of Abe to a World War II shrine honoring war criminals has enraged the Chinese. Trade between the countries has declined. An aircraft has not been shot down, but an American warship almost collided with a Chinese warship near the islands, since our empire must stick their nose into every worldwide dispute. We are one miscalculation away from a shooting war. It hasn’t happened yet, so my prediction was wrong.
The number of worker protests over low pay and working conditions in China doubled over the previous year, but censorship of reporting has kept these facts under wraps. In a dictatorship, the crackdown on these protests goes unreported. The fraudulent economic data issued by the government has been proven false by independent analysts. The Chinese stock market has fallen 14%, reflecting the true economic situation. The Chinese property bubble is in the process of popping. China will never officially report a hard landing. China is the most corrupt nation on earth and is rotting from the inside, like their vacant malls and cities. China’s economy is like an Asiana Airlines Boeing 777 coming in for a landing at SF International.
Violent protests flared in Greece and Spain throughout the year. They did not spread to Italy and France. The central bankers and the puppet politicians have been able to contain the EU’s debt insolvency through the issuance of more debt. What a great plan. The grand finale has been delayed into 2014. Greece remains on life support and still in the EU. The EU remains in recession, but the depression has been postponed for the time being. This prediction was a dud.
Iran was experiencing hyperinflationary conditions early in the year, but since the election of the new president the economy has stabilized. Iran has conducted cyber-attacks against Saudi Arabian gas companies and the U.S. Navy during 2013. Israel and Saudi Arabia have failed in their efforts to lure Iran into a shooting war. Obama has opened dialogue with the new president to the chagrin of Israel. War has been put off and the negative economic impacts of surging oil prices have been forestalled. I missed on this prediction.
Assad has proven to be much tougher than anyone expected. The trumped up charges of gassing rebel forces, created by the Saudis who want a gas pipeline through Syria, was not enough to convince the American people to allow our president to invade another sovereign country. Putin and Russia won this battle. America’s stature in the eyes of the world was reduced further. America continues to support Al Qaeda rebels in Syria, while fighting them in Afghanistan. The hypocrisy is palpable. Another miss.
The first democratically elected president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, was overthrown in a military coup as the country has descended into a civil war between the military forces and Islamic forces. It should be noted that the U.S. supported the overthrow of a democratically elected leader. Libya is a failed state with Islamic factions vying for power and on the verge of a 2nd civil war. Oil production has collapsed. I’ll take credit for an accurate prediction on this one.
Mexican oil production fell for the ninth consecutive year in 2013. It has fallen 25% since 2004 to the lowest level since 1995. Energy exports still slightly outweigh imports, but the trend is irreversible. Mexico is under siege by the drug cartels. The violence increases by the day. After declining from 2007 through 2009, illegal immigration from Mexico has been on the rise. Troops have not been stationed on the border as Obama and his liberal army encourages illegal immigration in their desire for an increase in Democratic voters. This prediction was mostly correct.
China and Iran have been utilizing cyber-attacks on the U.S. military and government agencies as a response to NSA spying and U.S. sabotaging of Iranian nuclear facilities. Experts are issuing warnings regarding the susceptibility of U.S. nuclear facilities to cyber-attack. If a serious breach has occurred, the U.S. government wouldn’t be publicizing it. Again, this prediction was accurate.
I achieved about a 50% accuracy rate on my 2013 predictions. These minor distractions are meaningless in the broad spectrum of history and the inevitability of the current Fourth Turning sweeping away the existing social order in a whirlwind of chaos, violence, financial collapse and ultimately a decisive war. The exact timing and exact events which will precipitate the demise of the establishment are unknowable with any precision, but there is no escape from the inexorable march of history. While most people get lost in the minutia of day to day existence and supposed Ivy League thought leaders are consumed with their own reputations and wealth, apparent stability will morph into terrifying volatility in an instant. The normalcy bias being practiced by an entire country will be shattered in a reality storm of consequences. The Crisis will continue to be driven by the ever growing debt levels, civic decay caused by government overreach, and global disorder driven by resource shortages and religious zealotry. The ultimate outcome is unpredictable, but the choices we make will matter. History is about to fling us towards a vast chaos.
“The seasons of time offer no guarantees. For modern societies, no less than for all forms of life, transformative change is discontinuous. For what seems an eternity, history goes nowhere – and then it suddenly flings us forward across some vast chaos that defies any mortal effort to plan our way there. The Fourth Turning will try our souls – and the saecular rhythm tells us that much will depend on how we face up to that trial. The saeculum does not reveal whether the story will have a happy ending, but it does tell us how and when our choices will make a difference.” – Strauss & Howe - The Fourth Turning
Bernanke, Bernays, Catching Fire, Crisis, debt, defiance, Dick Cheney, District 12, Edward Snowden, Federal Reserve, Fourth Turning, Hope, Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen, Mockingjay, NSA, NYPD, Obama, OWS, Poverty, President Snow, Propaganda, rebellion, Revolution, Robert Heinlein, Ron Paul, Slavery, Steinbeck, Strauss & Howe, Surveillance State, Suzanne Collins, Tolkien, Traitor, wealth inequality
In the 1st installment of this article – May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor – The Reaping, I addressed how wealth inequality created by men rigging the system and utilizing media propaganda ultimately leads to rebellion. In Part 2, I will show how hope and defiance can ignite the flame of liberty in the minds of men. Edward Snowden has ignited that flame.
A Lot of Hope is Dangerous
President Snow: Seneca… why do you think we have a winner?
Seneca Crane: [frowns] What do you mean?
President Snow: I mean, why do we have a winner? I mean, if we just wanted to intimidate the districts, why not round up twenty-four at random and execute them all at once? It would be a lot faster. [Seneca just stares, confused]
President Snow: Hope.
Seneca Crane: Hope?
President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous. Spark is fine, as long as it’s contained.
Seneca Crane: So…?
President Snow: So, contain it.
President Snow and his chief propagandist, Seneca Crane, have a discussion that could be taking place between president Obama and chairman Bernanke today. Hope is a funny thing. If the ruling class removes all hope, then the masses begin to feel they have nothing to lose and revolution becomes a foregone conclusion. For the elites of Panem, hope is used as a method of control. President Snow understood the danger of allowing the downtrodden multitudes too much hope. The Hunger Games allows one child to survive out of 24. The districts are forced to remember the iron grip of the Capitol every year, while rooting for an unlikely hollow victory of one child surviving.
The parents of children in the districts hope their children aren’t chosen. They hope they’ll scrounge up enough food to survive another day. They hope they don’t get killed in a mine explosion. They hope the peacekeepers don’t break down their doors and imprison them for illegal hunting. They hope they can endure another week. Snow knows that as long as they have only a faint hope to maintain their subsistence level lifestyle, they are unlikely to rebel. Seeing a sixteen year old girl openly defying the Capitol and awakening a spirit of humanity and courage in the subjugated masses is a huge threat to the ruling class.
Katniss Everdeen ignited the flash of hope in the districts when she befriended a young girl from District 11 named Rue. The contestants are supposed to kill each other, but Katniss protects the young girl. When Rue is killed, Katniss decorates her body with flowers as a means of memorializing Rue, which the television audience in the districts views as defying the Capitol. As she walks away from Rue’s memorial and back into the fight, she turns to the cameras and gives a three finger salute. The three fingered salute of District 12, a gesture rarely used, means thanks, admiration, and good-bye to a loved one. Her message to the people watching is they have a common enemy. They don’t have to fight each other because a tyrannical government commands them to do so. Once the beaten down and subjugated masses began to understand the other districts were not the true enemy, the flame of liberty was kindled.
Katniss had experienced an act of kindness and mercy earlier in the novel when she had reached the end of her rope and had failed to scavenge any food for her helpless mother and sister after her father’s death in a mine explosion. Her thoughts were dark and dire.
“I couldn’t go home. Because at home was my mother with her dead eyes and my little sister, with her hollow cheeks and cracked lips. I couldn’t walk into that room with the smoky fire from the damp branches I had scavenged at the edge of the woods after the coal had run out, my hands empty of any hope.”
In the world of District 12 bread signifies hope. Food symbolizes hope as freedom from hunger. When Peeta sees Katniss and her anguish, he shows compassion for her. He purposely burns some bread from his parents’ bakery and throws the bread to Katniss, who is huddled outside in the rain. Later on, as Katniss thinks about the meaning of this interaction with Peeta, she says,
“To this day, I can never shake the connection between this boy, Peeta Mellark, and the bread that gave me hope.”
One of the key undercurrents of the Hunger Game trilogy is what happens in a world where all hope seems to be lost. Through small acts of kindness, like providing a few loaves of bread or honoring a departed contestant, hope can be sparked, and a spark can turn into a flame, a “girl on fire.” In this way, Katniss comes to embody the hope of a better future, a liberated and free Panem. When an authoritarian regime can no longer keep the populace sedated with bread and circuses, they turn to oppression and force.
With 47 million people wallowing in poverty and real median household income lower than it was in 1999 a pallor of hopelessness has descended upon our land. Banking and corporate interests have captured the economic, financial and political systems to such an extent the people no longer have any say in how this country is governed. The people are given a choice of flavors in what passes for elections by the corporate interests that choose the candidates. Once a politician attains office and does what they are instructed by the financial interests that fund their campaigns, they become rich and powerful. This is why 90% of incumbents are re-elected despite Congress having a 12% approval rating in polls.
The last 13 years has confirmed the country is run by one party, as the Republican figurehead rolled out new trillion dollar entitlement programs, fought undeclared wars, created an Orwellian organization to spy on Americans, and drove deficits to staggering levels. Now the current Democrat figurehead has rolled out a disastrous new trillion dollar entitlement program, continues to fight undeclared wars, drones innocent people in foreign countries, secretly collects data on every American, and has driven deficits to epic heights.
The Crisis began in 2008 with the Wall Street created worldwide financial implosion, spurred by the greatest control fraud in history. The bankers and politicians have implemented “solutions” that have further enriched the kleptocratic parasite class, while impoverishing savers, seniors, and the working middle class who played by the rules. The temperament of the country has continued to darken and societal trust is imploding, just as Strauss & Howe predicted in 2007.
“As the Crisis catalyzes, these fears will rush to the surface, jagged and exposed. Distrustful of some things, individuals will feel that their survival requires them to distrust more things. This behavior could cascade into a sudden downward spiral, an implosion of societal trust.” - The Fourth Turning
When a tyrannical privileged class has taken their greed and avarice too far, reaped the remaining spoils of a declining empire and the exploited hordes begin to grow restless, the oligarchs will always utilize their mercenaries to retain control and keep the multitudes cowering and fearful. Even though the financial elite have been harvesting the riches of our bountiful land for decades, it only started to become apparent to a few aware critical thinkers in the late 1990’s. It is no coincidence the War on Terror has been used as an excuse to pass the Patriot Act, unleash the NSA to gather every piece of electronic data generated by all American citizens, militarize local law enforcement agencies, conduct military “training exercises” in major cities, roll out drones to monitor the activities of the people, subject citizens to degrading body searches in airports and train stations, install surveillance cameras throughout the land to monitor our every move, use Bernaysian propaganda techniques and create fake terrorist plots to keep the masses trembling and terrified.
The ruling class leeches lost their blood sucking grip on the financial markets in 2000 and again in 2008. As the common people have lost their trust in the financial and political leaders and their propaganda techniques wear thin, truncheons, guns and a vast treasure trove of weapons and surveillance equipment are being prepared for use against the people.
The Party put forth an unknown hope and change teleprompter flim-flam man in 2008 in a last ditch attempt to sooth the masses and allow the fat cats to continue feasting, with the periodic purging in the vomitorium when their gullets were stuffed. The proof of a single ruling party has never been clearer, as a supposedly liberal populist democrat has fallen into line and followed the orders of the Financial Industrial Complex, Military Industrial Complex, and Sickcare Industrial Complex by not prosecuting one criminal banker, letting Wall Street write the 800 page Dodd Frank bill, ramping up our wars in the Middle East while spending more on Defense than Bush, and gladly allowing the insurance and drug industry to write the 1,000 page Obamacare abortion of a law. At the same time he has taken the Orwellian surveillance state to levels that would have been considered criminal and impeachable in 1990. The two heads of the ruling party play their parts to keep the masses distracted, believing voting actually matters, while fighting the wrong enemy.
The parallels between the Hunger Games novels and our current situation are innumerable. But the dehumanization of a society is the most significant analogy between the dystopian culture of Panem and the greed and materialism of our late stage declining empire. It will not be war, plague or famine that sets the stage for our collapse. A moral sickness has engulfed the soul of our civilization, spread by the dark forces of wickedness occupying the throne of power on Wall Street, Washington DC, and in the boardrooms of mega-corporations across the land.
“It neither kills outright nor inflicts apparent physical harm, yet the extent of its destructive toll is already greater than that of any war, plague, famine, or natural calamity on record — and its potential damage to the quality of human life and the fabric of civilized society is beyond calculation. For that reason this sickness of the soul might well be called the ‘Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse’. Its more conventional name, of course, is dehumanization.” – Ashley Montagu
The financial elite have used the power of mass media propaganda and jurisdiction over the public educational system to turn accountable thinking citizens into irresponsible irrational consumers. The ultra-rich men, constituting the invisible government described by Edward Bernanys, have used their control of the currency and monetary system to create a plantation society of enslaved debtors who have been trained like monkeys to consume when they are not facebooking, twittering or twerking. This dehumanization is in full display on Thanksgiving/Black Friday as the corporate fascists stir the masses into a frenzied materialistic orgy of pandemonium for cheap electronics produced by slaves in China, doing jobs formerly performed by Americans. Corporate profits have reached all-time record highs as the Ivy League MBA CEOs have used global wage arbitrage to de-Americanize their work force, convinced the lowly wilfully ignorant American serfs to spend money they no longer have on crap they certainly don’t need, and paid themselves billions in bonuses for successfully destroying the former middle class by the book.
The Party has utilized the cudgel of Federal Reserve created inflation to fleece the math challenged masses for the last 100 years. The modern day financial mad scientists use inflation, consumerism, debt, and media propaganda to keep the rats in their grand experiment running faster and faster around the maze, seeking an ever dwindling hunk of cheese. The rats are trapped in this experiment and have not the time, energy, resolve or enough cheese to escape. The rats will never breakout and their progeny are born into the maze, also with no hope of getting out alive. The mad scientists periodically reorient the maze, adjust the stimuli to elicit new behavior, and increase or decrease the rewards as they deem appropriate. Through their control of the financial, political and media centers, the ruling class not only manipulates society, they convince the rats they are really free and not confined in a maze, with no possibility of escape. The ruling class has succeeded in capturing the system to such an extent that they are syphoning off the income of the nation at a rate only seen prior to the Great Depression.
The real median household income of the bottom 90% is lower than it was in 1968, as inflation has destroyed the purchasing power of the proletariat. While wages have stagnated due to mega-corporations off-shoring American jobs for the sake of quarterly profits and stock price performance, the price of middle class essentials like food, energy, shelter, tuition and medical care have skyrocketed. The demented American nobility have disregarded centuries of history with regards to inequality borne of corruption and unfettered greed. When mild deflation reigns, as it did for most of the 19th century, goods and trade are plentiful, prosperity is ample and broadly spread to the working classes. When banker created inflation causes prices to rise, trade plummets, living standards deteriorate, and extreme wealth inequality accelerates. Once poverty reaches a tipping point, unrest and discontent lead to revolution and rebellion.
It is not a coincidence the rebellion in the Hunger Games begins in the two poorest districts. District 12 is inhabited by mostly white people in the Appalachia region of the former United States. District 11 is inhabited by mostly black people in the Southern region of the former United States. The symbolism of black people picking crops and being publicly whipped if they steal any of the food for their own survival is reflective of the plantation economy we have today. Miners getting killed in mine explosions due to unsafe conditions are reflective of the corporate greed that permeates our culture. The masters of this human tragedy attempt to keep the plebs in one district angry and mistrustful of the plebs in the other districts so they don’t focus on the real enemy. It has worked for decades, but as the workers see their lots in life descend to bare subsistence levels they have nothing to lose by resisting and rebelling. The privileged ruling plutocrats have the power to lessen the burden on the slaves, diminishing the chances of revolution, but in their sociopathic gluttonous hunger for ever more riches and supremacy they seal their fate of ultimate destruction, as John Kenneth Galbraith aptly described.
“People of privilege will always risk their complete destruction rather than surrender any material part of their advantage.”
A simple act of human kindness by a young girl is what ignited a rebellion in Panem. The power of hope and courage, once unleashed, can overwhelm the wickedness of evil men. But, those men will not be defeated without an epic struggle requiring much sacrifice, suffering, death and destruction. Katniss did not realize the impact she had until on her victory tour when during her speech an old man gives her the three finger salute, leading the crowd to follow his lead and defy the peacekeepers. She had inspired the oppressed to resist their bondage.
In the most disturbing scene of the movie, the old man is grabbed by the police thugs, dragged to the podium and shot in the head, while the other thugs beat and pummel the crowd into submission. Shades of the OWS beatings by the NYPD are clear.
This is how an Orwellian surveillance state reacts to the discontent caused by the appalling treatment of their subjects. Every district is kept under the thumb of the ironically named peacekeepers. They enforce the dictatorial mandates of the Capitol at the point of a gun and threats of imprisonment, or public beatings. The technologically advanced Capitol uses surveillance cameras and spy aircraft to monitor the districts and enforce their dictates. Since the passage of the paradoxically named Patriot Act, the American surveillance state has been perfected to a level that would impress Orwell.
With the NSA gathering every piece of electronic data generated by every citizen, surveillance cameras monitoring our every movement in major cities, spy drones patrolling the skies, fascists attempting to disarm the public, and police state thugs roaming the countryside enforcing the dictates of the oligarchy, we’ve descended into authoritarian rule. The Constitution is no longer a valid document. The President is free to send boys to their death in foreign countries without the approval of Congress. He is free to ignore laws and use executive orders to implement his agenda. Any doubt regarding whether we are still free was obliterated by the police state crushing of the OWS protests and more recently the door to door illegal searches conducted by heavily armed American “peacekeeper” thugs in Watertown, Massachusetts searching for a wounded 17 year old kid.
The courageous actions of Katniss in the Hunger Games ignited a rebellion and the ultimate demise of President Snow and his evil empire. Edward Snowden’s audaciously brilliant take down of the NSA and Obama’s growing surveillance empire has awakened a slumbering public and hopefully kindled the flame of freedom in enough patriots to instigate the revolution which will drive the next stage of this Fourth Turning.
“The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule. If there is a war, it is likely to be one of maximum risk and effort – in other words, a total war. Every Fourth Turning has registered an upward ratchet in the technology of destruction, and in mankind’s willingness to use it.” – Strauss & Howe -The Fourth Turning
Defiance – Catching Fire
“At some point, you have to stop running and turn around and face whoever wants you dead. The hard thing is finding the courage to do it.” – Katniss Everdeen – Catching Fire
“The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.” – Edward Snowden
Now we get to the most important theme of the Hunger Games trilogy and a theme that will drive the regeneracy stage of this Fourth Turning – Defiance. There can be no change unless someone has the courage to make a stand. Generational archetypes will need to play their assigned roles, just as they did in the Hunger Games novels. The Boomers should be seeking a new vision of a better future; Gen-X should be seeking realism and implementable solutions; and the Millennials should be seeking the power to change the course of a terribly misguided country.
It will not take a majority to prevail during this Fourth Turning, just an inspired courageous minority willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Suzanne Collins may not have meant to place her characters into their proper generational roles, but they played their parts as would be expected during a Crisis. Plutarch Heavensbee, a 50 something Prophet Generation visionary, is the leader of the rebellion who exploits the power and courage of Katniss Everdeen, from the Hero Generation, to inspire and lead the rebellion. Haymitch Abernathy, the 40 year old drunk from the Nomad Generation, is the brains behind the plan to spur rebellion and defeat the Capitol. He made it his purpose in life to protect and support the young heroes who were required to do the heavy lifting during the Crisis.
The theme of defiance and its ability to undermine an evil, yet fragile, authoritarian regime is portrayed through the symbol of the mockingjay in the novels. The mockingjay is a surveillance state blunder, accidently fashioned by the hubristic Capitol. After the first rebellion, the Capitol left the jabberjays, a bird they created to spy on the districts and relay whole conversations to the Capitol, in the wilderness to die off. Instead, the jabberjays mated with mockingbirds and a species called the mockingjay was born. The mockingjay was a signal of weakness in the armor of the Capitol.Mockingjays had the talent of being able to relay any song or tune they hear to any species. Katniss’ father used to love to sing songs in the woods while hunting and loved to hear the mockingjays repeat his tune back to him. Katniss and Rue used the mockingjays to communicate during the Games. Mockingjays were a hardy resilient species that could survive in the harshest of environments.
The mockingjay becomes a symbol of defiance, rebellion and hope among the districts. Before the Games, a friend of Katniss’ from school gave her a gold mockingjay pin as a token from home. The television audience sees the pin on Katniss’ clothes during the Games. After the Games, the symbolism of the mockingjay becomes a rallying point for the subjugated masses in the districts. As the rebellion gathers steam, the rebelling districts use the mockingjay symbol as a primary method of communication. The rebels bake the bird symbol into breads, crackers, and other things that could easily be eaten or hidden quickly. The mockingjay becomes sign of resistance, a sign of uprising, and a sign of hope. The brush fires of rebellion are glimpsed by Katniss during the victory tour and celebration before the 75th anniversary Games. Plutarch Heavensbee, supposedly a high level Capitol apparatchik, attempted to win Katniss’ trust by showing her his watch, which viewed in the right position you could see the symbol of the rebellion – the mockingjay.
The defiance of a young girl versus the façade of an all-powerful state, through her humanity, the mockingjay symbol, and the willingness to eat poison berries as the ultimate act of rebellion against the rulers of the game, is the defining motif of our time.
“The bird, the pin, the song, the berries, the watch, the cracker, the dress that burst into flames. I am the mockingjay. The one that survived despite the Capitol’s plans. The symbol of the rebellion.” – Katniss Everdeen – Catching Fire
What is not immediately apparent to the vassals of a totalitarian regime is the internal rot, infighting among the lieutenants, and superficial level of support among the citizenry. A government racked by corruption, dependent upon financial gimmickry and massive levels of debt to give the appearance of solvency, only able to preserve domination through brutal police state thug tactics, monitoring its subjects with intrusive surveillance machines, and led by sociopathic paranoid egomaniacal men, is sickly and rotting on the inside. President Snow spitting up blood throughout the novels is symbolic of this disease. Like a gigantic 224 year old oak tree that appears imposing, robust and indestructible, but has been decaying within, a strategically placed lightning strike or sudden gust of wind is capable of toppling the once mighty tree.
Sometimes all it takes is for one person of good conscience, with the courage to accept the consequences of revealing the truth, to strike down the mighty oak and ignite brush fires of freedom in the minds of men. Edward Snowden is that person.
“I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building. I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under. Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.” – Edward Snowden
In the Hunger Games trilogy Katniss Everdeen created a problem for President Snow when she pulled out the poisonous berries and foiled the game being orchestrated by the cruel sovereigns of Panem. She refused to be a pawn in their game. She had the courageousness of spirit to illustrate to the suppressed citizens in the locked down prison-like districts that she was not owned and enslaved by the state. She was a human being who deserved to be treated with respect, not like an animal or a specimen in their malicious man made game.
“I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can’t own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I.” – Katniss Everdeen – The Hunger Games
Edward Snowden has created a problem for President Obama, his surveillance state apparatus, and the banking cabal that pull the strings in this empire of consumerism, by revealing the dirty secrets of a paranoid tyrannical ruling party. We are late in the game and pleading ignorance regarding how technology is being used by evil men for evil purposes is inexcusable. Snowden refused to remain a pawn in the NSA game and decided his fellow citizens needed to be warned about the dangers of an omniscient, secretive, malevolent state whose powers were unchecked and whose motives were geared towards oppression and coercion. He was a brilliant young cog within the government machinery, making good money, with a bright future if he conformed and obeyed, but he chose to be free. A free man can’t be bought, controlled or conquered. Edward Snowden decided someone needed to make a stand and that someone was him.
“Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”- Robert Heinlein
The explosive disclosures of government criminality, mass spying, cover-ups, lying to Congress by government apparatchiks, and conclusive evidence of a surveillance state completely out of control confirmed another truth for those not captured by the red/blue party propaganda. Snowden was declared a traitor by Obama, Romney, Schumer, McCain, Pelosi, Boehner, Reid, McConnell, Feinstein, Rove, and of course, the blood thirsty, hate spewing, dark-lord of the neo-cons – Dick Cheney. The immediate and united venomous response from the slimy politician snakes should have removed all doubt there is really one ruling party and the rest of us are nothing but pawns in their game. We live in a corporate fascist warfare/welfare surveillance state run by ultra-wealthy unelected men with evil intentions.
“We’ve slipped away from a true republic. Now we’re slipping into a fascist system where it’s a combination of government, big business and authoritarian rule, and the suppression of the individual rights of each and every American citizen. When it comes to any significant differences on foreign policy, economic intervention, the Federal Reserve, a strong executive branch, a welfarism mixed with corporatism, both parties are very much alike. The major arguments in hotly contested presidential races are mostly for public consumption to convince the people they actually have a choice.” – Ron Paul
Snowden’s response to the murdering thug Cheney calling him a traitor makes me proud to call him a hero and a patriot, on par with George Washington, Samuel Adams, and Thomas Paine.
“Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give to an American.” – Edward Snowden
Obama and the Party are continuously being made fools of by a 30 year old Millennial, as he periodically releases information damaging to the government’s surveillance efforts on the American people and foreign leaders. Each revelation further erodes the trust people and countries once had in the moral leadership of the United States. Snowden is our mockingjay, a creature the NSA never intended to create. The predator drone happy Obama would like nothing better than to have Snowden eliminated, but he is faced with the same dilemma as President Snow in the fictional world of Panem, captured in this dialogue:
President Snow: I have a problem, Miss Everdeen. A problem that began the moment you pulled out those poisonous berries in the arena. If a girl from District Twelve of all places can defy the Capitol and walk away unharmed, what is to stop them from doing the same?
Katniss Everdeen: It must be very fragile, if a handful of berries can bring it down.
If the mighty American empire can be embarrassed by a sole young patriot, proving to the world they are in decline financially, morally, and militarily, it must be very fragile. Snowden’s revelations did not immediately spark rebellion, but an attitude of defiance is gaining traction, as the mood in the country darkens like the sky before a blizzard whose full fury will strike with a vengeance lasting for several years. Since our entry into this Fourth Turning in 2008 there have been sparks of rebellion (OWS & the original Tea Party movement) but they were immediately subverted, discredited and crushed by the Party and their propaganda media machines. The attitude of defiance can be seen in the rise of Bitcoin, citizens buying physical gold and silver despite the Federal Reserve/Wall Street efforts to discredit it, the efforts of hackers like Anonymous to disrupt the corporate fascist state, the tireless efforts of websites like Zero Hedge, Washington’s Blog, Charles Hugh Smith, and Mike Krieger to uncover the truth, and the relentless pursuit of liberty and freedom by Ron Paul and his army of patriots. It is time for more leaders and heroes to step up and act.
“I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act. I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.” – Edward Snowden
Despite the monetary manipulations of the Federal Reserve arm of the Party, supported by the propaganda efforts of the corporate media arm of the Party, the extreme level of criminally induced wealth inequality will ultimately result in a second far worse financial crash that will topple this teetering edifice of corruption. The violent stage of this Crisis will then erupt.
“But as the Crisis mood congeals, people will come to the jarring realization that they have grown helplessly dependent on a teetering edifice of anonymous transactions and paper guarantees. Many Americans won’t know where their savings are, who their employer is, what their pension is, or how their government works. The era will have left the financial world arbitraged and tentacled: Debtors won’t know who holds their notes, homeowners who owns their mortgages, and shareholders who runs their equities – and vice versa.” – The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe
The first American Fourth Turning was a rebellion against a foreign empire. The second American Fourth Turning was an internal rebellion that killed 700,000 young men. The third American Fourth Turning resulted in a foreign conflict that resulted in the deaths of 65 million people. Do these once every 80 year turnings alternate between external and internal conflict? If so, we are on the verge of events that will tear the fabric of this nation apart. The debt, civic decay, and heinousness of those in power will lead to the disintegration of our existing social order and sheer chaos, as forces battle for the soul of the nation. What it is replaced by is unknown at this time. It could be something far worse, or it could be a rekindling of our nation’s founding heritage of liberty, freedom and civic duty.
Linear thinking old timers are likely to scoff at the notion that some trilogy of novels for teenagers could capture the mood of the time in a way that explains how the people of this country will respond to the current worsening Crisis. I’m sure the works of Steinbeck and Tolkien were scoffed at during the last Fourth Turning. History is cyclical and we’ve returned to a time where leaders step forward to lead and brave heroes step forward to fight. The future of the country hangs in the balance.
“The original American patriots were those individuals brave enough to resist with force the oppressive power of King George. I accept the definition of patriotism as that effort to resist oppressive state power. The true patriot is motivated by a sense of responsibility and out of self-interest for himself, his family, and the future of his country to resist government abuse of power. He rejects the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state.” – Ron Paul
Do you reject the notion that patriotism means obedience to the state? Know your enemy.
Catching Fire, civil war, Crisis, Decline, Edward Snowden, Empire, Federal Reserve, Fourth Turning, George Washington, Grapes of Wrath, Hunger Games, Huxley, inequality, Jamie Dimon, Jon Corzine, Katniss Everdeen, Lady Gaga, Lord of the Rings, Millennials, mood, Neil Postman, NSA, oligarchs, Orwell's 1984, Poverty, President Snow, Rome, ruling class, Samuel Adams, Steinbeck, Strauss & Howe, Suzanne Collins, Tolkien, TV, Wall Street, wealth
“Human history seems logical in afterthought but a mystery in forethought. In every prior Fourth Turning, the catalyst was foreseeable but the climax was not.” - The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997
We are five years into the Crisis that will not resolve itself until sometime in the 2020’s. No one can predict the specific events that will fundamentally change history over the next decade, but the catalysts of debt, civic decay and global disorder were evident sixteen years ago when Strauss and Howe wrote their prophetic generational history. The volcanic eruption occurred in 2008 when the worldwide financial system blew and the molten lava continues to spew forth and flow along the Federal Reserve created channels, protecting the corrupt establishment while incinerating senior citizens, the working middle class and Millennials. Deep within the volcano the pressure is building again as the mood of the country darkens. It will blow again and the economic, social, political and military distress will catalyze into a catastrophic emergency that will tear the fabric of the country asunder. The existing social order will be swept away and replaced by a new paradigm which could be better or far worse.
“Imagine some national (and probably global) volcanic eruption, initially flowing along channels of distress that were created during the Unraveling era and further widened by the catalyst. Trying to foresee where the eruption will go once it bursts free of the channels is like trying to predict the exact fault line of an earthquake. All you know in advance is something about the molten ingredients of the climax, which could include the following:
The Fourth Turning – Strauss & Howe – 1997
Linear thinkers are incapable or unwilling to understand that history is cyclical, primarily driven by national mood changes and the interaction of generations entering different stages in their 80 year life cycle. We’ve seen this story before, but those who lived through the last Fourth Turning have mostly died out, and our techno-narcissistic populace has absolutely no interest in understanding history beyond last night’s episode of Duck Dynasty. The mood of the country during a Turning is often captured in literature and/or film produced during that period.
The last Fourth Turning encompassed the period from the Great Crash in 1929 through the Great Depression and World War II, ending in 1946 with a new world order. Four novels written during this Crisis captured the dystopian nature of the time, reflecting the fear, pain, anger, brutality, and courageousness of the common man during that perilous period. Huxley’s Brave New World (1932), Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath (1939), Orwell’s 1984 (written during WWII), and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy (written from 1937 through 1949) are masterpieces of literature which captured the aura of the times in which they were penned. Only one of the novels was brought to film during the Crisis, with John Ford’s brilliant Grapes of Wrath screen adaptation capturing the suffering and desperation of common folk during the Great Depression.
Most of what passes for literature and film these days is nothing more than glorified commercials or corporate created twaddle designed for narcissistic, mindless, teenage girls. Many will dismiss Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and the film adaptations as nothing more than run of the mill teenager nonsense. They are making a huge mistake. Decades from now, if we make the right choices during this Fourth Turning, The Hunger Games will be viewed as the novels and films that captured the darkening, rebellious mood of the Crisis. It is not a coincidence the first novel was published in September 2008. The worldwide financial meltdown initiated by the Wall Street financial elite and their paid for cronies in the nation’s capital, occurred in September 2008 and marked the commencement of this Fourth Turning. Collins has brilliantly created a dystopian nightmare that combines the shallowness and superficiality of our reality TV culture with our never ending wars of choice and rise of our surveillance state, while blending the decadence and debauchery of the declining Roman Empire. She also unwittingly places her characters in their proper generational roles during a Fourth Turning Crisis.
Collins was a military brat who was fortunate enough to have a father that taught her the truth about historical events, not the propaganda taught in our public schools today.
“He was career Air Force, a military specialist, a historian, and a doctor of political science. When I was a kid, he was gone for a year in Viet Nam. It was very important to him that we understood about certain aspects of life. So, it wasn’t enough to visit a battlefield, we needed to know why the battle occurred, how it played out, and the consequences. Fortunately, he had a gift for presenting history as a fascinating story. He also seemed to have a good sense of exactly how much a child could handle, which is quite a bit.”
She learned lessons about war, poverty, oppression, and the brutality and corruption of the ruling classes. Her knowledge of history, the visual images of reality shows and the Iraq War displayed on TV created the idea for her Hunger Games trilogy.
“I was channel surfing between reality TV programming and actual war coverage when Katniss’ story came to me. One night I’m sitting there flipping around and on one channel there’s a group of young people competing for, I don’t know, money maybe? And on the next, there’s a group of young people fighting an actual war. And I was tired, and the lines began to blur in this very unsettling way, and I thought of this story.”
The central storyline of The Hunger Games is there are twelve districts subservient to the Capitol in the totalitarian nation of Panem. The country consists of the affluent Capitol, located in the Rocky Mountains, and twelve desperately poor districts ruled by the Capitol. The Capitol is lavishly opulent and technologically advanced, but the twelve districts are in varying states of poverty. As punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol wherein twelve of the districts were defeated and the thirteenth purportedly destroyed, one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts, between the ages of twelve and eighteen, are selected by lottery to compete in the “Hunger Games” on an annual basis.
The Games are a televised spectacle, with the participants, called “tributes”, being forced to fight to the death in a treacherous outdoor arena. It’s a combination of American Idol, Survivor, and Middle Eastern warfare. The victorious tribute and his or her home district are then remunerated with extra food and supplies. The objective of the Hunger Games is to provide superficial reality TV entertainment for the vacuous small-minded masses in the Capitol and serve as a constant reminder to the Districts of the Capitol’s supremacy and supposed omnipotence. The Capitol ruling with an iron fist over its 13 Districts is clearly founded upon the British Empire running roughshod over the 13 American colonies and harvesting resources and taxes to maintain their wealth, power and control. Collins utilizes her knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman history and merging it with our degraded shallow TV culture to meld a dystopian nightmare of brutality, child murder, voyeuristic sadism, and a fragile, rotting empire.
“A significant influence would have to be the Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur. The myth tells how in punishment for past deeds, Athens periodically had to send seven youths and seven maidens to Crete, where they were thrown in the Labyrinth and devoured by the monstrous Minotaur. Even as a kid, I could appreciate how ruthless this was. Crete was sending a very clear message: “Mess with us and we’ll do something worse than kill you. We’ll kill your children.” And the thing is, it was allowed; the parents sat by powerless to stop it. Theseus, who was the son of the king, volunteered to go. I guess in her own way, Katniss is a futuristic Theseus.
In keeping with the classical roots, I send my tributes into an updated version of the Roman gladiator games, which entails a ruthless government forcing people to fight to the death as popular entertainment. The world of Panem, particularly the Capitol, is loaded with Roman references. Panem itself comes from the expression “Panem et Circenses” which translates into ‘Bread and Circuses’.” – Suzanne Collins
Any similarities between propaganda posters in Panem and propaganda in America are purely coincidental, I’m sure.
“At least once every human should have to run for his life, to teach him that milk does not come from supermarkets, that safety does not come from policemen, that ‘news’ is not something that happens to other people. He might learn how his ancestors lived and that he himself is no different–in the crunch his life depends on his agility, alertness, and personal resourcefulness.” - Robert Heinlein
“War, terrible war. Widows, orphans, a motherless child. This was the uprising that rocked our land. Thirteen districts rebelled against the country that fed them, loved them, protected them. Brother turned on brother until nothing remained. And then came the peace, hard fought, sorely won. A people rose up from the ashes and a new era was born. But freedom has a cost. When the traitors were defeated, we swore as a nation we would never know this treason again. And so it was decreed, that each year, the various districts of Panem would offer up in tribute, one young man and woman, to fight to the death in a pageant of honor, courage and sacrifice. The lone victor, bathed in riches, would serve as a reminder of our generosity and our forgiveness. This is how we remember our past. This is how we safeguard our future.” – President Snow – Hunger Games
A major theme in the novels is the tremendous wealth inequality between the Capitol and most of the districts. District 12, the home of Katniss Everdeen the protagonist, is the most desperately poor. District 12 is located in the Appalachian region of the former USA. They are tasked with providing the Capitol resources obtained from dangerous mines. The population lives a bleak existence in poverty and squalor, with starvation always looming like an apparition of death. The districts are essentially slave plantations to be pillaged for whatever the dictatorial Capitol demands. The districts exist to harvest resources, such as fish, coal, lumber, crops, and gems, all sent to fulfill their quotas. Many districts, such as 12 and 11, don’t have enough coal to power their own district or enough food to feed their citizens. Districts 1, 2 and 4 are closer and more allied with the Capitol, resulting in them receiving more support, better food, consumer goods, and military protection. The wealth inequality between the ruling class and the working class in the districts is the primary cause of discontent and increasing rebelliousness.
The parallels with our corporate fascist surveillance state are unmistakable. The wealth and power in our country is concentrated in the hands of ruling elite who primarily reside in the nation’s capital of Washington D.C. and the financial capital of New York City. The top 1% control 42% of the nation’s financial wealth, while the bottom 80% control less than 5% of the financial wealth.
Table 1: Income, net worth, and financial worth in the U.S. by percentile, in 2010 dollars
Wealth or income class
Mean household income
Mean household net worth
Mean household financial (non-home) wealth
Top 1 percent
Top 20 percent
Bottom 40 percent
From Wolff (2012); only mean figures are available, not medians. Note that income and wealth are separate measures; so, for example, the top 1% of income-earners is not exactly the same group of people as the top 1% of wealth-holders, although there is considerable overlap.
The concentration of wealth in the hands of the few if achieved through superior work ethic and/or intellectual advantage would not cause discontent among the masses. Henry Ford, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were admired for creating businesses and employing people. They earned their wealth. Today, it has become clear to all critical thinking people that a small cabal of super-rich men constituting an invisible ruling class have captured our financial and political system. They are the .1% who run the Wall Street banks, control the Federal Reserve, buy off the politicians of both parties, and pay lobbyists to write the laws and tax regulations. They use their ill-gotten wealth to maintain the status quo and further pillage the wealth of the working class through financial market manipulation, man-made inflation and outright theft. As 47 million Americans depend upon food stamps and other welfare programs to get by and real unemployment exceeds 20%, the wealth inequality in the nation has reached levels only seen in 1929, prior to the Great Crash outset of the last Fourth Turning. The mounting anger and discontent among the former working middle class is palatable. Those at the top of the food chain have rigged the system and get richer by the day. They bribe the lower classes with welfare benefits, taken from the working middle class, in an effort to stave off riots in the streets.
Rentier capitalism, the economic practice of parasitic monopolization of access to physical, financial, and intellectual property, has replaced free market capitalism, with the rentier class generating billions of illicit financialization profits while contributing nothing to society. We’ve become a modern day Panem, an imperialistic state thriving on the slave labor of other countries and inflicting our bastardized form of democracy at the point of Tomahawk missiles. In order to survive, Katniss defiantly and illegally hunts outside the District 12 fence perimeter and the famished citizens openly defy the law with their black market trading at the Hob. Desperate times lead to desperate measures.
When people despair, laws designed to maintain the status quo are deemed inconsequential by the peasants. You can see this happening in our society today. Welfare fraud among the lower classes is rampant. Bartering and working under the table for cash to avoid the crushing tax burden is growing. The rise of bitcoin as an alternative currency and the growing popularity of having possession of physical gold and silver is a reaction to the banker/politician fiat currency debt scheme to impoverish the masses. When the people see the bankers (Jamie Dimon) and former politicians (Jon Corzine) breaking laws with impunity, they feel no obligation to obey laws designed to keep them under the thumb of the ruling class. The fallacy of all men being created equal, with the American dream achievable for everyone, is still propagated by the government media propaganda mouthpieces. You’d have to be asleep to believe it.
In reality the ultra-rich have captured the system and have stacked the deck in their favor. This theme is captured in the Hunger Games during the reaping process, which is supposed to be random, with rich and poor equally likely to get chosen. In reality, the poor are much more likely than the rich to be reaped as tributes. In exchange for extra rations of food and oil necessary to keep from starving or freezing to death, called tesserae, those children eligible for the Hunger Games can enter their names into the reaping additional times. Most children of poor families have to take tesserae to survive, so the children of poor families have more entries in the reaping than children of wealthy families who need no tesserae. The odds are never in their favor. The current version of the Hunger Games for our youth is loading them up with government peddled student loan debt, with no jobs available when they graduate, leaving them enslaved in unpayable debt.
The rich who do become tributes from the more prosperous districts have an additional advantage, because they are often trained to take part in the Games and volunteer to do so. They are bigger, stronger, well fed and groomed to win. The poor tributes face certain death. The fact is you can only push people so far before they fight back. The arrogance and hubris of the rich governing class leads them to disregard the misery of the lowly peasants, while they intensify their pillaging and burning of the countryside. Eventually a spark ignites a revolutionary spirit and unleashes a torrent of violence and retribution. History is ripe with instances of the downtrodden masses rising up and throwing off the yoke of authoritarian despots. Fourth Turnings are when the existing social order is swept away in an avalanche of violence and bloodshed.
“What must it be like, I wonder, to live in a world where food appears at the press of a button? How would I spend the hours I now commit to combing the woods for sustenance if it were so easy to come by? What do they do all day, these people in the Capitol, besides decorating their bodies and waiting around for a new shipment of tributes to roll in and die for their entertainment?” – Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Games
The name of the nation – Panem, derives from the Latin phrase panem et circenses, which translates into ‘bread and circuses’. The idiom is meant to describe entertainment used to distract public attention from the corruption and vices of the governing class. By the government providing basic food and ample entertainment, the citizens voluntarily sacrifice liberties and rights for safety, security, and sustenance. The debauched occupants of the Capitol are the wealthiest and most decadent of all Panem, and the city’s affluence is fueled by the compulsory labor of the districts. The degenerates of the Capitol are known for their “creative” outfits, outrageous hair and ridiculous sense of fashion, even to the extent of dying the color of their own skin, or having whiskers implanted. Food and amusement are major drivers of the Hunger Games plot. The impoverished citizens, particularly in Districts 12 and 11 are on the verge of starvation, while the Capitol has food in abundance and throws lavish parties with extravagant and copious quantities of cuisine.
The superficial decadent upper class in the Capitol embraced overindulgence to such an extreme they purposely drank a concoction which would force them to throw up, so they could consume more. The analogy to the Roman vomitoriums during the depraved final days of their declining empire is distinct. Today in America, 47 million lower class Americans are reliant upon food stamps to be fed, while the majority are left to ingest processed poison packaged as food by mega-corporations and relentlessly marketed on television to a dumbed down populace. The ultra-rich dine on caviar and champagne in their penthouse suites, mansions in the Hamptons, or make reservations at restaurants not available to the 99.9%.
Appearances are extremely important in the post-apocalyptic pretentious world of the Hunger Games. Style and ostentatious fashion are everything to the affluent citizens of the plutocratic Capitol. It is natural to tattoo and dye their bodies’ in bright colors, as well as undergo plastic surgery to improve their looks. Some people of the Capitol have gems implanted in their skin, as well as talons. Capitol residents regularly wear wigs in a multitude of shocking colors. The degradation of our society can be seen in the worship of Hollywood created stars and pop singers freaks like Lady Gaga. The filthy rich deform their bodies with plastic surgery to change their natural appearance. By mutilating their bodies with surgery and tattoos, the media glorified fashionistas set the tone for a cultural decay. The lower classes can’t afford expensive plastic surgery, so they cover themselves in hideous tattoos in a pathetic attempt at individuality, when they are just conforming like lemmings to what they are told is trendy. The vain and narcissistic are too ignorant to realize their worship of celebrity and purchase of the latest fashions in clothes and jewelry are the sheep-like behavior of conformists.
The voyeuristic exploitation of children is taken to an extreme in The Hunger Games with their terror, suffering and slaughter televised for the enjoyment of a blood thirsty public. Murder as mass entertainment in a reality TV game show format illustrates a truly depraved culture. The American TV culture turns news, tragedy, childhood and war into morbid reality TV entertainment. The news, as reported by the corporate legacy media, is nothing more than propaganda generated by the establishment to support their continued control over the financial and governmental levers. It is designed to distract, misinform and obscure the truth. What the news cameras show is not reality and facades are more consequential than the truth – a Wag the Dog world. Virtually half of prime time TV is a staged voyeuristic display of moronic triviality, requiring no thought and providing a form of passive sedation for low IQ imbeciles. The sexual exploitation of children in shows such as Toddlers & Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo is considered normal in a thoroughly abnormal society. Television is nothing but show business and we are amusing ourselves to death, as revealed by Neil Postman.
“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.” – Neil Postman – Amusing Ourselves to Death
The Hunger Games are televised and discussed incessantly in Panem’s media, just as the pointless Iraq War and faux War on Terror are ceaselessly analyzed, evaluated and hyped by talking heads with bleached teeth, like the smarmy Caesar Flickerman in the Hunger Games movie. The Roman gladiatorial games and the televised “Shock & Awe” of obliterating the city of Baghdad with thousands of cruise missiles are both forms of barbaric entertainment, with the poor sacrificed on the altar of entertainment. The ruling class have successfully dehumanized our culture and turned real people into commodities to be manipulated, used and even killed for profit. Their value becomes determined by how much entertainment they provide, and as such they lose their identities as people. Reality television is a form of objectification. The world has become a stage for our Contollers, their stage managers on Madison Avenue and the mainstream media.
“Television is our culture’s principal mode of knowing about itself. Therefore — and this is the critical point — how television stages the world becomes the model for how the world is properly to be staged. It is not merely that on the television screen entertainment is the metaphor for all discourse. It is that off the screen the same metaphor prevails.” ― Neil Postman – Amusing Ourselves to Death
We’ve spent the last five decades learning to love our oppression, adoring our technology, glorying in our distaste for reading books, and wilfully embracing our ignorance. Huxley’s vision of a population, passively sleep walking through lives of self- absorption, triviality, drug induced gratification, materialism and irrelevance has come to pass. Only in the last two decades has Orwell’s darker vision of oppression, fear, surveillance, hate and intimidation begun to be implemented by the ruling class. We’ve become a people controlled by pleasure and pain, utilized in varying degrees by those in power. Stay tuned for our modern day Hunger Games after this commercial for your very own Duck Dynasty Chia Pet.
In Part 2 of this article – May the Odds Ever Be in Your Favor – Hope & Defiance, I’ll address how Edward Snowden is our mockingjay who has ignited a fire that will lead to revolution and the next phase of this Fourth Turning.
Star Parker is a little too religious and a little too neo-con for my tastes, but she is a bright woman with mostly sound principles. I’ve pretty much given up on both major political parties. I don’t plan to vote again, because it is a farce. There are variations in policies between the parties, but they both want more control, more spending and more war. Would I prefer Cruz and Carson over Clinton and whatever liberal douchebag she chooses as VP? Yes I would. I would prefer a Paul/Carson ticket and would cast aside my ambivalence and probably join the campaign. With more takers than makers in this country, I see Cruz or Paul winning in 2016 as highly unlikely. It is possible, especially if Obamacare continues to implode and the multiple stock, bond, and real estate bubbles all pop.
Strong visionary leaders always appear during Fourth Turnings. I think Star is right in ignoring polls and liberal media blathering. Leaders lead. They don’t follow. The answer certainly isn’t Fat Boy Christie. He is establishment right down to his lap-band. Who will rise up and rally the nation? Time will tell.
Star Parker | Nov 04, 2013
The presidential election of 2016 will be a defining moment for the nation and for the Republican Party.
Not so for the Democratic Party. There’s no controversy among Democrats about what America should be and what their party is about. Big government, welfare state socialism, and secular humanism.
The only question about who the Democratic presidential candidate will be is which welfare state socialist, secular humanist they will nominate.
The picture for Republicans is more complex and this makes Democrats happy. They see Republican Party intraparty dissension as division and weakness which, in their view, can only help Democrats.
Key issues divide Republicans both about principles – what is America about? – and political strategy – what are the best tactics for electing candidates and advancing the party agenda?
So let me say who I see as the Republican “dream team” ticket for 2016 – Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson.
Yes, I can hear Democrats saying “Oh yes, I hope Star is right. This will guarantee another four years of our big government socialism. These Tea Party whackos could never win.”
And I can hear the Republican “establishment” saying basically the same thing (any chance these folks have more in common with Democrats than they do with real conservatives?).
Both political parties are being hammered now in the polls, but Republicans more than Democrats. And among Republicans, the Tea Party is really being hammered.
So how can I seriously say that a real conservative, Tea Party ticket is both the answer for the Republican Party and the country?
First, starting out by looking at polls is exactly the formula for political failure.
Apple co-founder and famed technology entrepreneur Steve Jobs is widely quoted for his disdain for market research. Jobs’ point was that leaders and entrepreneurs don’t start by asking people what they want and trying to give it to them. Visionaries see what the problems are that need to be solved and they deliver solutions that customers are not aware of or never dreamed of.
Political leadership is no different than business leadership in this regard. Polls reflect yesterday. Leadership reflects tomorrow.
What is the relevant information we should be looking at today?
We should be looking at the ongoing dismal performance of the American economy and we should be looking at the ongoing dismal state and breakdown of the American family.
The polling data we should look at are the data showing the deep dissatisfaction Americans feel about the state of the country, its direction, and the uniformly low trust that Americans feel toward their government and political leaders.
It’s time for Americans to have a real choice. We know what the Democratic Party is going to put on the table for them.
A Cruz Carson ticket would give Americans a clear, no-nonsense and honest alternative. Two Americans who are really committed to what America is about and what made it great. Traditional values, limited government, free markets, and a strong national allegiance and defense.
And, of course, given the sweeping demographic changes of the country, it can’t hurt to hear this from two self-made Americans – one of Spanish-speaking roots (Cruz’s father immigrated from Castro’s Cuba) and one African American raised in a ghetto in Detroit.
Both are living examples that personal success is not about government programs but about taking personal responsibility for one’s life. That freedom is about creating and serving not about claiming and taking. And neither have interest in political game playing.
Ironically, the Tea Party was born when Obamacare came to life. Now, as the Obamacare disaster unfolds before us, Americans are starting to understand what the Tea Party saw then.
We shouldn’t be trying to drag the Tea Party back into the amorphous masses. We need the Tea Party out front to lead.
I don’t see a more powerful team to do this than Cruz Carson.
“We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.” — Louis T. McFadden