Welcome to the Matrix: Enslaved by Technology and the Internet of Things

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By John W. Whitehead

Source: The Rutherford Institute

“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me.’” ― Philip K. Dick

If ever Americans sell their birthright, it will be for the promise of expediency and comfort delivered by way of blazingly fast Internet, cell phone signals that never drop a call, thermostats that keep us at the perfect temperature without our having to raise a finger, and entertainment that can be simultaneously streamed to our TVs, tablets and cell phones.

Likewise, if ever we find ourselves in bondage, we will have only ourselves to blame for having forged the chains through our own lassitude, laziness and abject reliance on internet-connected gadgets and gizmos that render us wholly irrelevant.

Indeed, while most of us are consumed with our selfies and trying to keep up with what our so-called friends are posting on Facebook, the megacorporation Google has been busily partnering with the National Security Agency (NSA), the Pentagon, and other governmental agencies to develop a new “human” species, so to speak.

In other words, Google—a neural network that approximates a global brain—is fusing with the human mind in a phenomenon that is called “singularity,” and they’ve hired transhumanist scientist Ray Kurzweil to do just that. Google will know the answer to your question before you have asked it, Kurzweil said. “It will have read every email you will ever have written, every document, every idle thought you’ve ever tapped into a search-engine box. It will know you better than your intimate partner does. Better, perhaps, than even yourself.”

But here’s the catch: the NSA and all other government agencies will also know you better than yourself. As William Binney, one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA said, “The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control.”

Science fiction, thus, has become fact.

We’re fast approaching Philip K. Dick’s vision of the future as depicted in the film Minority Report. There, police agencies apprehend criminals before they can commit a crime, driverless cars populate the highways, and a person’s biometrics are constantly scanned and used to track their movements, target them for advertising, and keep them under perpetual surveillance.

Cue the dawning of the Age of the Internet of Things, in which internet-connected “things” will monitor your home, your health and your habits in order to keep your pantry stocked, your utilities regulated and your life under control and relatively worry-free.

The key word here, however, is control.

In the not-too-distant future, “just about every device you have — and even products like chairs, that you don’t normally expect to see technology in — will be connected and talking to each other.”

By 2018, it is estimated there will be 112 million wearable devices such as smartwatches, keeping users connected it real time to their phones, emails, text messages and the Internet. By 2020, there will be 152 million cars connected to the Internet and 100 million Internet-connected bulbs and lamps. By 2022, there will be 1.1 billion smart meters installed in homes, reporting real-time usage to utility companies and other interested parties.

This “connected” industry—estimated to add more than $14 trillion to the economy by 2020—is about to be the next big thing in terms of societal transformations, right up there with the Industrial Revolution, a watershed moment in technology and culture.

Between driverless cars that completely lacking a steering wheel, accelerator, or brake pedal, and smart pills embedded with computer chips, sensors, cameras and robots, we are poised to outpace the imaginations of science fiction writers such as Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov. By the way, there is no such thing as a driverless car. Someone or something will be driving, but it won’t be you.

The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is a glittering showcase for such Internet-connected techno gadgets as smart light bulbs that discourage burglars by making your house look occupied, smart thermostats that regulate the temperature of your home based on your activities, and smart doorbells that let you see who is at your front door without leaving the comfort of your couch.

Nest, Google’s $3 billion acquisition, has been at the forefront of the “connected” industry, with such technologically savvy conveniences as a smart lock that tells your thermostat who is home, what temperatures they like, and when your home is unoccupied; a home phone service system that interacts with your connected devices to “learn when you come and go” and alert you if your kids don’t come home; and a sleep system that will monitor when you fall asleep, when you wake up, and keep the house noises and temperature in a sleep-conducive state.

The aim of these internet-connected devices, as Nest proclaims, is to make “your house a more thoughtful and conscious home.” For example, your car can signal ahead that you’re on your way home, while Hue lights can flash on and off to get your attention if Nest Protect senses something’s wrong. Your coffeemaker, relying on data from fitness and sleep sensors, will brew a stronger pot of coffee for you if you’ve had a restless night.

It’s not just our homes that are being reordered and reimagined in this connected age: it’s our workplaces, our health systems, our government and our very bodies that are being plugged into a matrix over which we have no real control.

Moreover, given the speed and trajectory at which these technologies are developing, it won’t be long before these devices are operating entirely independent of their human creators, which poses a whole new set of worries. As technology expert Nicholas Carr notes, “As soon as you allow robots, or software programs, to act freely in the world, they’re going to run up against ethically fraught situations and face hard choices that can’t be resolved through statistical models. That will be true of self-driving cars, self-flying drones, and battlefield robots, just as it’s already true, on a lesser scale, with automated vacuum cleaners and lawnmowers.”

For instance, just as the robotic vacuum, Roomba, “makes no distinction between a dust bunny and an insect,” weaponized drones—poised to take to the skies en masse this year—will be incapable of distinguishing between a fleeing criminal and someone merely jogging down a street. For that matter, how do you defend yourself against a robotic cop—such as the Atlas android being developed by the Pentagon—that has been programmed to respond to any perceived threat with violence?

Unfortunately, in our race to the future, we have failed to consider what such dependence on technology might mean for our humanity, not to mention our freedoms.

Ingestible or implantable chips are a good example of how unprepared we are, morally and otherwise, to navigate this uncharted terrain. Hailed as revolutionary for their ability to access, analyze and manipulate your body from the inside, these smart pills can remind you to take your medication, search for cancer, and even send an alert to your doctor warning of an impending heart attack.

Sure, the technology could save lives, but is that all we need to know? Have we done our due diligence in asking all the questions that need to be asked before unleashing such awesome technology on an unsuspecting populace?

For example, asks Washington Post reporter Ariana Eunjung Cha:

What kind of warnings should users receive about the risks of implanting chip technology inside a body, for instance? How will patients be assured that the technology won’t be used to compel them to take medications they don’t really want to take? Could law enforcement obtain data that would reveal which individuals abuse drugs or sell them on the black market? Could what started as a voluntary experiment be turned into a compulsory government identification program that could erode civil liberties?

Let me put it another way. If you were shocked by Edward Snowden’s revelations about how NSA agents have used surveillance to spy on Americans’ phone calls, emails and text messages, can you imagine what unscrupulous government agents could do with access to your internet-connected car, home and medications? Imagine what a SWAT team could do with the ability to access, monitor and control your internet-connected home—locking you in, turning off the lights, activating alarms, etc.

Thus far, the public response to concerns about government surveillance has amounted to a collective shrug. After all, who cares if the government can track your whereabouts on your GPS-enabled device so long as it helps you find the fastest route from Point A to Point B? Who cares if the NSA is listening in on your phone calls and downloading your emails so long as you can get your phone calls and emails on the go and get lightning fast Internet on the fly? Who cares if the government can monitor your activities in your home by tapping into your internet-connected devices—thermostat, water, lights—so long as you can control those things with the flick of a finger, whether you’re across the house or across the country?

As for those still reeling from a year of police shootings of unarmed citizens, SWAT team raids, and community uprisings, the menace of government surveillance can’t begin to compare to bullet-riddled bodies, devastated survivors and traumatized children. However, both approaches are just as lethal to our freedoms if left unchecked.

Control is the key here. As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, total control over every aspect of our lives, right down to our inner thoughts, is the objective of any totalitarian regime.

George Orwell understood this. His masterpiece, 1984, portrays a global society of total control in which people are not allowed to have thoughts that in any way disagree with the corporate state. There is no personal freedom, and advanced technology has become the driving force behind a surveillance-driven society. Snitches and cameras are everywhere. And people are subject to the Thought Police, who deal with anyone guilty of thought crimes. The government, or “Party,” is headed by Big Brother, who appears on posters everywhere with the words: “Big Brother is watching you.”

Make no mistake: the Internet of Things is just Big Brother in a more appealing disguise.

Even so, I’m not suggesting we all become Luddites. However, we need to be aware of how quickly a helpful device that makes our lives easier can become a harmful weapon that enslaves us.

This was the underlying lesson of The Matrix, the Wachowski brothers’ futuristic thriller about human beings enslaved by autonomous technological beings that call the shots. As Morpheus, one of the characters in The Matrix, explains:

The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.

“What truth?” asks Neo.

Morpheus leans in closer to Neo: “That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison for your mind.”

 

Posted in consciousness, culture, police state, Science, Social Control, society, surveillance state, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corporate Monopoly Themes in ROBOCOP

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An interesting analysis of the corporate themes in Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop (note: original video was removed by author but will be available on Rob Ager films & articles volume 7 at his site. This shorter version is still up at the moment):

The creator of the video, Rob Ager, has a number of equally intriguing film dissections on his YouTube channel and website for other genre classics such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, The Matrix, Starship Troopers and Alien.

Bonus Clip: Ager’s first impressions of Mad Max 4: Fury Road

Posted in Art, Corporate Crime, culture, Film, media, society, Video | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two for Tuesday

Elvis Costello

Heaven 17

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The Difference Between the Death Star and the Pentagon

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By Carey Wedler

Source: The Anti-Media

The Imperial Death Star from Star Wars and the Pentagon have much in common. It is not difficult to observe the similarities between the two behemoth structures and what they represent-especially in recent years.

For one, both used to be part of representative republics and both represent the military wings of the empires in power. In 2007, Alternet reported that the U.S. had 737 bases, 38 of which were “major,” and that

“…perhaps the optimum number of major citadels and fortresses for an imperialist aspiring to dominate the world is somewhere between thirty-five and forty.”

The desire of the military’s operatives to exert control over regions all over the world parallels the desire of the Emperor and Vader to rule the galaxy.

Another similarity is the desire of both the Death Star’s leaders and those at the Pentagon to weed out dissent. One of the main objectives of the dark side’s adherents is to find the rebels and eliminate them.

Though the Pentagon hasn’t quite started assassinating political dissidents (or entire planets, though Hiroshima and Nagasaki are an earthly comparison to Alderaan), it has made its views crystal clear: protesters are a form of terrorist and anyone deemed associated with terrorism may be denied his or her rights.

Still another commonality between the two ministries of war and destruction is the level of decadence afforded to the galactic and American agencies. The Death Star was a moon-sized, laser-clad behemoth for the Dark Side. The Pentagon employs 23,000 people in a floor space three times the size of the Empire state building and spawns doomsday technology. In both societies, the resources devoted to violence far outweigh those dedicated to promoting peace or the well-being of humanity (or alienhood).

It is easy to compare the Death Star and the Pentagon as manifestations of evil that seek power and rule by force. But there exists at least one stark difference:

In the Washington Post this week, it was revealed that the Pentagon is looking for someone to fill its “Yoda” position.

The job ad for “Director of the Office of Net Assessment” currently reads:

“The Director’s primary function is to develop assessments that compare the standings, trends and future prospects of U.S. military capability and military potential with that of other countries.”

The job was founded and held by longtime analyst Andrew W. Marshall, who recently retired. Because of his wisdom and knowledge throughout the years, he came to be known as “Yoda.”

And therein lies the difference between the rulers of the Death Star and the rulers of the Pentagon: at least Darth Vader, the emperor and their cohorts knew they were evil.

Vader repeatedly spoke of the powers of the Dark Side, of the great benefit of crossing over into evil. In the Empire Strikes Back, he tempted Luke to join the dark side to rule the galaxy with him:

“Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny, join me and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”

He iterated the slavery of being on the dark side in Return of the Jedi:

“You don’t know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master.”

Considering the empire practices what is called the “dark side” of the force, its members knew exactly what they signed up for.

But to a clearly significant portion of employees at the Pentagon, the irony is lost. It has gone over their heads that working for the world’s biggest, arguably most vicious military, is not working on the side of morality, peace, or freedom.

By calling a man who works for the Pentagon “Yoda”-a virtuous practitioner of the force- it is clear that many who work for the Pentagon believe they are working for a “force” of good. It’s scary. It’s scarier that the Pentagon likely has employees who know of its evil and yet continue to work there.

May all Pentagon employees recognize its evil, quit their jobs at the American Death Star, and work to promote the true meaning of the “force” (the same goes for soldiers of governments around the world). As the real Yoda said:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

This is exactly how violent governments keep their people and foot soldiers under control and realizing this is the first step to achieving freedom and peace.

 

 

 

Posted in anti-war, Corruption, culture, Empire, Geopolitics, military spending, society, State Crime, war, wasted taxpayer dollars | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rollerball Amerika 2015

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By Philip A. Farruggio

Source: World News Trust

You must see or revisit Norman Jewison’s 1975 film Rollerball, starring James Caan as superstar player Jonathan E.

In it, we see a world no longer made up of countries, but of corporations that control every bit of life for the people. There are no longer wars, just a complacent populace who “go along to get along.”

A very select few are chosen by the corporations to become executives, giving them elite status. It seems everyone loves the violent sport Rollerball, which is like our current NFL football on steroids.

Jonathan E. is their Michael Jordan or Lebron James superplayer who is revered worldwide, even by the fans of opposing teams. He has everything a man could wish to have: a fine sprawling ranch, with servants and horses, and gorgeous female companions chosen for him by the Energy corporation that rules Houston and the surrounding areas.

Yet, even someone as popular and valued as he must sacrifice, such as when the corporation took away his wife and gave her to an executive. There is a scene in the film, when the highest corporation board decides they want Jonathan E. to retire due to the fear that his popularity has become too great. A man like that becomes too influential, thus too dangerous to control.

They send his ex wife, whom he still pines for, to visit him at his ranch and get him to agree to retire without any complications. They go for a walk and he expresses reservations about doing this. He tells her of his newfound epiphany about their society.

He knows now that the corporations long ago offered them all the choice between freedom and comfort… and the masses chose the latter. Her brief answer becomes the gist of the whole film: “Comfort IS freedom.”

And that is what we have here in 21st Century Amerika for many of our fellow citizens. The “Good German” lives on.

To study Nazi Germany in the early 40s allows us to see how the German public, to a great degree, was either apathetic or voluntarily blind as to what their regime was doing. Kristallnact was not an event that went unseen or even unheard about by multitudes of German citizens.

When the Wehrmacht invaded Russia along with the SS death squads, word did leak out through many soldiers of what had transpired. Even the most heinous of all crimes committed by the Nazis, the death camps AKA Concentration Camps, was not totally kept from the populace as many revisionists have always alleged. When tons of human hair and millions of personal effects were shipped back to companies in Germany, surely word got out.

We can, and we should forgive, the many Germans who did care about the terrible wrongs of their government at that time. Why? Well, it was a police state and dissent was stomped out rather brutally. Not everyone can be as heroic as Sophie Scholl and her brother and friends, to risk being tortured and finally beheaded.

Yet, there is this terrible pain that gnaws at this writer. That being the pain of realizing how many out there just do NOT give a shit unless it is happening to one of their own!

The late and great New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison, who Oliver Stone centered his fine film JFK on, understood so much more than many of his peers in the 1960s. Years after his defeat in the case against Clay Shaw and others for the assassination of JFK, Garrison wrote this:

What worries me deeply is that we in America are in great danger of slowly evolving into a proto-fascist state. It will be a different kind of fascist state from the one of the Germans; theirs grew out of depression and promised bread and work, while ours is based on power and on the inability to put human goals and human conscience above the dictates of the state. It’s origins can be traced to the tremendous war machine we’ve built since 1945, the ‘Military Industrial Complex’ that Eisenhower vainly warned us against, which now dominates every aspect of our lives… In a very real and terrifying sense, our government IS the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a ‘debating society.'”

Cassius had said it most succinctly: “The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but in our selves.”

(Philip A. Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a freelance columnist (found on Nation of Change Blog, Truthout.org, TheSleuthJournal.com, Worldnewstrust.com, The Intrepid Report, The Peoples Voice, Information Clearing house, Dandelion Salad, Activist Post, Dissident Voice and many other sites worldwide). Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at PAF1222@bellsouth.net)

Posted in Art, conditioning, culture, Film, History, police state, Social Control, society | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Matrix Is Real and How It Will Change All Of Our Lives

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By Paul Craig Roberts

Source: King World News

Americans are the most manipulated people in history. Since 2008, the economy has been manipulated for the benefit of a few oversized banks “too big to fail.” US foreign policy has been manipulated to serve the hegemonic agenda of a handful of neoconservatives. These manipulations have undercut the consumer basis of the US economy and have pushed the American people into a conflict situation with Russia and China.

Lies, US Economic Collapse And Nuclear War

US economic collapse and nuclear war are the two most likely outcomes of Washington’s manipulations of the American people. Time and again, the American public has fallen for transparent lies and orchestrated events. 2015 is a decisive year. Will a credulous people cast off their gullibility, or will they be swept away by economic collapse and war?

There are reasons to believe that the government’s manipulations have overreached and are crossing the point of believability, even on the part of credulous Americans. Let’s review some of these manipulations — first, economic, and then foreign policy.

Unemployment Number Is Meaningless

On January 9, the US government told Americans that the unemployment rate had fallen to a comforting 5.6 percent, an indication that the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing was successful in restoring the US economy. A 5.6 percent rate of unemployment suggests that Americans have a reasonable chance of finding a job. Yet we know there are millions of discouraged workers who have given up looking for a job.

The explanation of this paradox is that the 5.6 percent unemployment rate (U.3) does not include unemployed people who have not looked for a job in the previous four weeks. These unemployed are called “discouraged workers.” If they have been discouraged for less than one year, they are counted in a seldom-reported measure of unemployment (U.6). This rate stands at 11.2 percent, twice as high as the unemployment rate stressed by government and financial media.

The 11.2 percent rate is an official measure, but it is not publicized because it indicates a dismal employment outlook 5.5 years after the 2008 recession was declared over, in June 2009. What kind of recovery is it when the unemployment rate remains at 11.2 percent years after the recession has officially ended?

The Great Lie Exposed

The story worsens. The 11.2 percent rate does not include the millions of unemployed long-term discouraged workers (those discouraged for more than one year). Prior to 1994, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics counted the long-term discouraged as unemployed, and the government of Canada still does. John Williams (shadowstats.com) continues to include the long-term discouraged. When the long- term discouraged are added to the U.6 measure, the rate of unemployment again doubles, to 23 percent.

In other words, the actual unemployment rate is actually four times higher than the comforting figure released January 9.

Inflation Rate Also Falls Victim

The government engages in similar deception with the inflation rate. If the price of an item in the index rises, a lower-priced item is substituted, thus eliminating inflation by substitution. Inflation also is eliminated by redefining a price rise as a quality improvement.

By undercounting inflation, the government reports price increases as real economic growth, denies cost-of-living increases to Social Security recipients, and justifies paying savers negative real interest rates. These manipulations provide banks with free money, thus boosting bank profits while encouraging the stock market with “good news.”

Americans who search for jobs without success know other Americans in the same situation. As time passes, they learn from experience that the unemployment rate cannot be low and falling when jobs are harder to find. People who shop for food and pay utility bills know inflation is far higher than the government reports. Experience and the passage of time make the government’s numbers less and less believable.

Global Financial Markets Manipulated

The financial markets also are manipulated. To protect the dollar from declining in value due to its overproduction, the Federal Reserve’s bullion bank agents drive down the price of gold and silver by dumping uncovered shorts in the futures market. Since 2011, we have had the extraordinary situation in which the prices of gold and silver have been driven down despite strong demand and constraints on supply — a result that can be achieved only by manipulation in the futures market.

The dollar’s value also is manipulated by foreign central banks in cooperation with Washington. The Japanese and European central banks print yen and euros to protect the dollar’s exchange value. If all major currencies also are being printed, the dollar cannot decline.

The government’s Plunge Protection Team can prevent major stock-market corrections by stepping in and purchasing S&P futures, thus preventing the market’s overvaluation from bursting the bubble.

These manipulations are apparent to experienced investors. Sooner or later, attentive Americans will realize that the government’s deceit is not limited to the marketplace, but extends into foreign policy.

Fooled Over And Over Into War

Ever since the Clinton regime’s demonizations of Yugoslavia and Serbia, Americans have been deceived into supporting expensive wars and foreign-policy positions that are not in their interest. Washington’s demonizations of the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad, Iran and of Muslims generally have resulted in 14 years of wars in which seven or eight countries have been invaded, bombed and attacked with drones. Increasingly, people at home and abroad understand these wars and bombings are based on lies and deceptions.

The destruction of countries and the massive human hurt happened because the US government lied and deceived.

There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Assad did not use chemical weapons in Syria. Gaddafi did not issue Viagra to his troops to assist in the rape of Libyan women. Iran does not have a nuclear- weapons program.

Millions of Muslims have been killed, maimed and dislocated by these wars, and tens of thousands of American soldiers have been killed and physically or psychologically maimed. The destruction of countries and the massive human hurt happened because the US government lied and deceived.

The most extraordinary aspect of the Charlie Hebdo event is that the French cartoonists are being championed in the name of free speech. Yet the Anglo-American world does not have free speech. Free speech, if it involves criticism or exposure of the government, is being redefined as “domestic extremism.” Criticism of Washington now implies that the critic is hostile to the public, a possible extremist who must be deterred before he inflicts harm on innocents. As Glenn Greenwald noted, try satirizing Israelis in the manner that Charlie Hebdo satirized Muslims, and you will find out how little free speech there is. http://bit.ly/1xYF93V Free speech is used to demonize Washington’s hand-picked enemies. That’s about as far as it goes.

Washington Demonizing Russia

As 2014 drew to a close, Washington was at work demonizing Russia and its president. Russia no more invaded Ukraine than Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. But despite years of experience with the government’s foreign-policy lies, polls show that more than 60 percent of the US population has fallen for Washington’s demonization of Russia.

We now have two decades of evidence that Washington uses demonization as a prelude to war. Russia and China, recognizing Washington’s intent to destabilize, have formed a strategic alliance. War with Russia and China would not be like war with Iraq and Libya, or drone attacks on Yemen and Pakistan. Unlike Saddam Hussein and Iran, Russia and China do have weapons of mass destruction — plenty of them.

Whereas Americans are not subject to any meaningful retaliation from Washington’s wars against Muslims, Washington’s aggressive warlike policy toward Russia and China, ringing both countries with military bases while demonizing both with false charges, threatens the life of every American and every person on earth. A threat of this magnitude could pull Americans out of their insouciance and force them to confront the government over its dangerous manipulations of public opinion.

Governments successful with their deceptions end up overreaching. The Charlie Hebdo affair possibly is an overreach. The Paris shootings have many characteristics of a false-flag operation. The attack on the cartoonists’ office was a disciplined professional attack associated with special forces; yet the suspects later corralled and killed seemed bumbling and unprofessional. It is like they were two different sets of people.

Is This Really The Official Story?

Muslim terrorists are usually prepared to die in the attack; yet the two professionals who hit Charlie Hebdo so hard escaped. Their identities were established by the unprofessional and unlikely act of leaving their identification in the getaway car. This reminds me of the undamaged passport miraculously found among the ruins of the two World Trade Center towers. The incriminating passport was the only undamaged item in the entire ruins and was the basis for identifying the 9/11 alleged hijackers.

It is a plausible inference that the ID left in the getaway car was the ID of one of the two brothers later killed by police, from whom we will never hear anything, and not the ID of the professionals who attacked Charlie Hebdo. An important fact that supports this inference is the report that the third suspect in the attack, Hamyd Mourad, the alleged driver of the getaway car, when seeing his name circulating on social media as a suspect, realized the danger he was in and quickly turned himself in to police for protection against being murdered by security forces as a terrorist.

Hamyd Mourad says he has an ironclad alibi. If so, this makes him the despoiler of a false-flag attack. If that is the case, he is likely to be coerced or tortured into some sort of confession to support the official story. http://bit.ly/1Aai8pJ

Mainstream Media Clueless

The American and European media have ignored this important story. I googled Hamyd Mourad and all I found (January 12) was the main US and European media reporting that the third suspect had turned himself in. The news was reported in a fashion that gave credence to the accusation that the suspect who turned himself in was part of the attack. Not a single US mainstream media source reported that the alleged suspect turned himself in because he had an ironclad alibi. The list of sources that reported Mourad’s turning himself in to police report in a way that can be read as confirmation of his guilt.

Some merely reported it in a headline with no coverage in the report. The list of those I googled includes:

• The Washington Post (January 7, by Griff Witte and Anthony Faiola)

• Die Welt (Germany), “One suspect has turned himself in to police in connection with Wednesday’s massacre at the offices of Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo”

• ABC News (January 7), “Youngest suspect in Charlie Hebdo Attack turns himself in”

• CNN (January 8), “Citing sources, the Agence France Presse news agency reported that an 18-year- old suspect in the attack had surrendered to police.”

High-Ranking Police Official Suddenly Commits Suicide?

Another puzzle in the official story that remains unreported, according to my 6 p.m. Google search on January 12, is the alleged suicide of a high-ranking member of the French Judicial Police who had a lead role in the Charlie Hebdo investigation. For unknown reasons, a police official involved in the most important investigation of a lifetime decided to kill himself in his police office in the middle of the night while writing his report on his investigation. The alternative media reports it: http://bit.ly/1xc8W1W So did the UK Telegraph. But no suspicion is seen in the police official’s death, and as far as the US “presstitute” media is concerned, it did not happen. There are no reports, domestic or foreign, at the time of writing, about his death and whether his report has disappeared.

Media Cloaks The Lies And Crimes Of Government

As Gerald Celente has pointed out for years and as Patrick L. Smith writes in CounterPunch (Vol. 21, No. 10, 2014), the media serve as presstitutes. The media justify withholding information from the public on the basis of patriotism. Patriotism requires the media to support the government, not the truth. Patrick Smith quotes former New York Times editor Jill Abramson, who says in defense of the New York Times misleading the American people: “Journalists are Americans, too. I consider myself to be a patriot.” Of course, journalists lie to us because their careers are controlled by government and corporations dependent on government. Patriotism has little to do with it, but it serves as a cover. Patriotism is like “national security,” a cloak for the lies and crimes of government.

Life In The Matrix

Here we have it. The media lie to us because they are patriots. We believe the lies because we are patriots. More likely, the fact of the matter might be that both the media and the people are morally and spiritually corrupt.

In other words, we willfully live in The Matrix and are our own worst enemy.

Posted in black ops, Corruption, culture, divide and conquer, Economics, Empire, False Flag, Financial Crisis, Geopolitics, History, police state, propaganda, Psy-ops, Social Control, society, State Crime, war, war on terror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Saturday Matinee: The Brother From Another Planet

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“The Brother From Another Planet” (1984) is a thinly veiled sci-fi race allegory from writer/director/editor/actor John Sayles. Joe Morton plays “the Brother” a mute alien slave who crash lands near Harlem while trying to evade his alien oppressors. The Brother looks similar to a human black man but has three toes and telekinetic abilities. The aliens in pursuit are similar in appearance to white government agents (one of whom is played by John Sayles). Though dated and low budget, the film is recommended for its great lead performance from Joe Morton and an intelligently humorous script.

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Malcolm X Was Right About America

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(Editors note: Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the passing of Malcolm X. The venerated activist would surely have approved of Hedges’ radical appraisal of his philosophy and principles.)

By Chris Hedges

Source: Axis of Logic

Malcolm X, unlike Martin Luther King Jr., did not believe America had a conscience. For him there was no great tension between the lofty ideals of the nation—which he said were a sham—and the failure to deliver justice to blacks. He, perhaps better than King, understood the inner workings of empire. He had no hope that those who managed empire would ever get in touch with their better selves to build a country free of exploitation and injustice. He argued that from the arrival of the first slave ship to the appearance of our vast archipelago of prisons and our squalid, urban internal colonies where the poor are trapped and abused, the American empire was unrelentingly hostile to those Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth.” This, Malcolm knew, would not change until the empire was destroyed.

“It is impossible for capitalism to survive, primarily because the system of capitalism needs some blood to suck,” Malcolm said. “Capitalism used to be like an eagle, but now it’s more like a vulture. It used to be strong enough to go and suck anybody’s blood whether they were strong or not. But now it has become more cowardly, like the vulture, and it can only suck the blood of the helpless. As the nations of the world free themselves, then capitalism has less victims, less to suck, and it becomes weaker and weaker. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before it will collapse completely.”

King was able to achieve a legal victory through the civil rights movement, portrayed in the new film “Selma.” But he failed to bring about economic justice and thwart the rapacious appetite of the war machine that he was acutely aware was responsible for empire’s abuse of the oppressed at home and abroad. And 50 years after Malcolm X was assassinated in the Audubon Ballroom in Harlem by hit men from the Nation of Islam, it is clear that he, not King, was right. We are the nation Malcolm knew us to be. Human beings can be redeemed. Empires cannot. Our refusal to face the truth about empire, our refusal to defy the multitudinous crimes and atrocities of empire, has brought about the nightmare Malcolm predicted. And as the Digital Age and our post-literate society implant a terrifying historical amnesia, these crimes are erased as swiftly as they are committed.

“Sometimes, I have dared to dream … that one day, history may even say that my voice—which disturbed the white man’s smugness, and his arrogance, and his complacency—that my voice helped to save America from a grave, possibly even fatal catastrophe,” Malcolm wrote.

The integration of elites of color, including Barack Obama, into the upper echelons of institutional and political structures has done nothing to blunt the predatory nature of empire. Identity and gender politics—we are about to be sold a woman president in the form of Hillary Clinton—have fostered, as Malcolm understood, fraud and theft by Wall Street, the evisceration of our civil liberties, the misery of an underclass in which half of all public school children live in poverty, the expansion of our imperial wars and the deep and perhaps fatal exploitation of the ecosystem. And until we heed Malcolm X, until we grapple with the truth about the self-destruction that lies at the heart of empire, the victims, at home and abroad, will mount. Malcolm, like James Baldwin, understood that only by facing the truth about who we are as members of an imperial power can people of color, along with whites, be liberated. This truth is bitter and painful. It requires an acknowledgment of our capacity for evil, injustice and exploitation, and it demands repentance. But we cling like giddy children to the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. We refuse to grow up. And because of these lies, perpetrated across the cultural and political spectrum, liberation has not taken place. Empire devours us all.

“We’re anti-evil, anti-oppression, anti-lynching,” Malcolm said. “You can’t be anti- those things unless you’re also anti- the oppressor and the lyncher. You can’t be anti-slavery and pro-slavemaster; you can’t be anti-crime and pro-criminal. In fact, Mr. Muhammad teaches that if the present generation of whites would study their own race in the light of true history, they would be anti-white themselves.”

Malcolm once said that, had he been a middle-class black who was encouraged to go to law school, rather than a poor child in a detention home who dropped out of school at 15, “I would today probably be among some city’s professional black bourgeoisie, sipping cocktails and palming myself off as a community spokesman for and leader of the suffering black masses, while my primary concern would be to grab a few more crumbs from the groaning board of the two-faced whites with whom they’re begging to ‘integrate.’ ”

Malcolm’s family, struggling and poor, was callously ripped apart by state agencies in a pattern that remains unchanged. The courts, substandard schooling, roach-filled apartments, fear, humiliation, despair, poverty, greedy bankers, abusive employers, police, jails and probation officers did their work then as they do it now. Malcolm saw racial integration as a politically sterile game, one played by a black middle class anxious to sell its soul as an enabler of empire and capitalism. “The man who tosses worms in the river,” Malcolm said, “isn’t necessarily a friend of the fish. All the fish who take him for a friend, who think the worm’s got no hook on it, usually end up in the frying pan.” He related to the apocalyptic battles in the Book of Revelation where the persecuted rise up in revolt against the wicked.

“Martin [Luther King Jr.] doesn’t have the revolutionary fire that Malcolm had until the very end of his life,” Cornel West says in his book with Christa Buschendorf, “Black Prophetic Fire.” “And by revolutionary fire I mean understanding the system under which we live, the capitalist system, the imperial tentacles, the American empire, the disregard for life, the willingness to violate law, be it international law or domestic law. Malcolm understood that from very early on, and it hit Martin so hard that he does become a revolutionary in his own moral way later in his short life, whereas Malcolm had the revolutionary fire so early in his life.”

There are three great books on Malcolm X: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley,” “The Death and Life of Malcolm X” by Peter Goldman and “Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare” by James H. Cone.

On Friday I met Goldman—who as a reporter for a St. Louis newspaper and later for Newsweek knew and covered Malcolm—in a New York City cafe. Goldman was part of a tiny circle of white reporters Malcolm respected, including Charles Silberman of Fortune and M.S. “Mike” Handler of The New York Times, who Malcolm once said had “none of the usual prejudices or sentimentalities about black people.”

Goldman and his wife, Helen Dudar, who also was a reporter, first met Malcolm in 1962 at the Shabazz Frosti Kreem, a Black Muslim luncheonette in St. Louis’ north-side ghetto. At that meeting Malcolm poured some cream into his coffee. “Coffee is the only thing I liked integrated,” he commented. He went on: “The average Negro doesn’t even let another Negro know what he thinks, he’s so mistrusting. He’s an acrobat. He had to be to survive in this civilization. But by me being a Muslim, I’m black first—my sympathies are black, my allegiance is black, my whole objectives are black. By me being a Muslim, I’m not interested in being American, because America has never been interested in me.”

He told Goldman and Dudar: “We don’t hate. The white man has a guilt complex—he knows he’s done wrong. He knows that if he had undergone at our hands what we have undergone at his, he would hate us.” When Goldman told Malcolm he believed in a single society in which race did not matter Malcolm said sharply: “You’re dealing in fantasy. You’ve got to deal in facts.”

Goldman remembered, “He was the messenger who brought us the bad news, and nobody wanted to hear it.” Despite the “bad news” at that first meeting, Goldman would go on to have several more interviews with him, interviews that often lasted two or three hours. The writer now credits Malcolm for his “re-education.”

Goldman was struck from the beginning by Malcolm’s unfailing courtesy, his dazzling smile, his moral probity, his courage and, surprisingly, his gentleness. Goldman mentions the day that psychologist and writer Kenneth B. Clark and his wife escorted a group of high school students, most of them white, to meet Malcolm. They arrived to find him surrounded by reporters. Mrs. Clark, feeling that meeting with reporters was probably more important, told Malcolm the teenagers would wait. “The important thing is these kids,” Malcolm said to the Clarks as he called the students forward. “He didn’t see a difference between white kids and kids,” Kenneth Clark is quoted as saying in Goldman’s book.

James Baldwin too wrote of Malcolm’s deep sensitivity. He and Malcolm were on a radio program in 1961 with a young civil rights activist who had just returned from the South. “If you are an American citizen,” Baldwin remembered Malcolm asking the young man, “why have you got to fight for your rights as a citizen? To be a citizen means that you have the rights of a citizen. If you haven’t got the rights of a citizen, then you’re not a citizen.” “It’s not as simple as that,” the young man answered. “Why not?” Malcolm asked.

During the exchange, Baldwin wrote, “Malcolm understood that child and talked to him as though he was talking to a younger brother, and with that same watchful attention. What most struck me was that he was not at all trying to proselytize the child: he was trying to make him think. … I will never forget Malcolm and that child facing each other, and Malcolm’s extraordinary gentleness. And that’s the truth about Malcolm: he was one of the gentlest people I have ever met.”

“One of Malcolm’s many lines that I liked was ‘I am the man you think you are,’ ” Goldman said. “What he meant by that was if you hit me I would hit you back. But over the period of my acquaintance with him I came to believe it also meant if you respect me I will respect you back.”

Cone amplifies this point in “Martin & Malcolm & America”:

Malcolm X is the best medicine against genocide. He showed us by example and prophetic preaching that one does not have to stay in the mud. We can wake up; we can stand up; and we can take that long walk toward freedom. Freedom is first and foremost an inner recognition of self-respect, a knowledge that one was not put on this earth to be a nobody. Using drugs and killing each other are the worst forms of nobodyness. Our forefathers fought against great odds (slavery, lynching, and segregation), but they did not self-destruct. Some died fighting, and others, inspired by their example, kept moving toward the promised land of freedom, singing ‘we ain’t gonna let nobody turn us around.’ African-Americans can do the same today. We can fight for our dignity and self-respect. To be proud to be black does not mean being against white people, unless whites are against respecting the humanity of blacks. Malcolm was not against whites; he was for blacks and against their exploitation.

Goldman lamented the loss of voices such as Malcolm’s, voices steeped in an understanding of our historical and cultural truths and endowed with the courage to speak these truths in public.

“We don’t read anymore,” Goldman said. “We don’t learn anymore. History is disappearing. People talk about living in the moment as if it is a virtue. It is a horrible vice. Between the twitterverse and the 24-hour cable news cycle our history keeps disappearing. History is something boring that you had to endure in high school and then you are rid of it. Then you go to college and study finance, accounting, business management or computer science. There are damn few liberal arts majors left. And this has erased our history. The larger figure in the ’60s was, of course, King. But what the huge majority of Americans know about King is [only] that he made a speech where he said ‘I have a dream’ and that his name is attached to a day off.”

Malcolm, like King, understood the cost of being a prophet. The two men daily faced down this cost.

Malcolm, as Goldman writes, met with the reporter Claude Lewis not long before his Feb. 21, 1965, murder. He had already experienced several attempts on his life.

“This is an era of hypocrisy,” he told Lewis. “When white folks pretend that they want Negroes to be free, and Negroes pretend to white folks that they really believe that white folks want ’em to be free, it’s an era of hypocrisy, brother. You fool me and I fool you. You pretend that you’re my brother, and I pretend that I really believe you believe you’re my brother.”

He told Lewis he would never reach old age. “If you read, you’ll find that very few people who think like I think live long enough to get old. When I say by any means necessary, I mean it with all my heart, my mind and my soul. A black man should give his life to be free, and he should also be able, be willing to take the life of those who want to take his. When you really think like that, you don’t live long.”

Lewis asked him how he wanted to be remembered. “Sincere,” Malcolm said. “In whatever I did or do. Even if I made mistakes, they were made in sincerity. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong in sincerity. I think that the best thing that a person can be is sincere.”

“The price of freedom,” Malcolm said shortly before he was killed, “is death.”

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