Archive for the ‘Autonomy’ Category

The Positivity of Objectivity and the Time of Transition

By Bernhard Guenther

The Positivity of Objectivity and the Time of Transition

“Some people seem to mistake objectivity for negativity and wishful thinking for positivity. Most of what people see as negative or positive are their subjective projections and opinions that don’t really reflect the world as it is. Without Truth and Objectivity there won’t be a change for the “better”, nor a raise in consciousness, within and without.”

Every once in a while I get a message or comment on facebook from someone asking me why I have such a “negative” view of the world, referring to some of the posts and articles I put up on my wall. He or she then goes on telling me that I should “lighten” up, be more “positive”, focus on “love” and the good things life has to offer, because we create what we “see”. I usually respond back by asking, what is so negative about posting information that exposes the lies we’re being fed and told, be it about 9/11, Zionism, the genocide in Gaza, or the fact that many people in places of high power (political, corporate, religious or even in science and media) are psychopaths with no conscience who couldn’t care less about your or the earth’s well-being?

This is not being negative, but simply showing the situation as it is. Anyone who is willing to do a bit of reading and research without being attached to a conditioned world view can see this. Moreover, these topics and how they affect us and the world at large won’t go away by ignoring them or by focusing on more “pleasant” aspects of our reality. Actually by ignoring them, one is doing more harm to the world and feeding entropy as one is putting oneself in a subjective tunnel vision of wishful thinking instead of becoming more objectively aware and seeing the world as it IS, not as we like it or assume it to be. As I wrote in another article: a “shift in consciousness” and “awakening” implies a higher state of awareness, which means to become more aware of it all, which implies again to see the world and oneself more objectively, without blinders on. This doesn’t happen by itself, but requires sincere effort and work to separate truth from lies, within and without.

Read more


Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution?


By Gavin Marshall

Are We Witnessing the Start of a Global Revolution

In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr., said in his famous speech “Beyond Vietnam”:

I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a “thing-oriented” society to a “person-oriented” society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.

An uprising in Tunisia led to the overthrow of the country’s 23-year long dictatorship of President Ben Ali. A new ‘transitional’ government was formed, but the protests continued demanding a totally new government without the relics of the previous tyranny. Protests in Algeria have continued for weeks, as rage mounts against rising food prices, corruption and state oppression. Protests in Jordan forced the King to call on the military to surround cities with tanks and set up checkpoints. Tens of thousands of protesters marched on Cairo demanding an end to the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak. Thousands of activists, opposition leaders and students rallied in the capitol of Yemen against the corrupt dictatorship of President Saleh, in power since 1978. Saleh has been, with U.S. military assistance, attempting to crush a rebel movement in the north and a massive secessionist movement growing in the south, called the “Southern Movement.” Protests in Bolivia against rising food prices forced the populist government of Evo Morales to backtrack on plans to cut subsidies. Chile erupted in protests as demonstrators railed against rising fuel prices. Anti-government demonstrations broke out in Albania, resulting in the deaths of several protesters.

It seems as if the world is entering the beginnings of a new revolutionary era: the era of the ‘Global Political Awakening.’ While this ‘awakening’ is materializing in different regions, different nations and under different circumstances, it is being largely influenced by global conditions. The global domination by the major Western powers, principally the United States, over the past 65 years, and more broadly, centuries, is reaching a turning point. The people of the world are restless, resentful, and enraged. Change, it seems, is in the air. As the above quotes from Brzezinski indicate, this development on the world scene is the most radical and potentially dangerous threat to global power structures and empire. It is not a threat simply to the nations in which the protests arise or seek change, but perhaps to a greater degree, it is a threat to the imperial Western powers, international institutions, multinational corporations and banks that prop up, arm, support and profit from these oppressive regimes around the world. Thus, America and the West are faced with a monumental strategic challenge: what can be done to stem the Global Political Awakening? Zbigniew Brzezinski is one of the chief architects of American foreign policy, and arguably one of the intellectual pioneers of the system of globalization. Thus, his warnings about the ‘Global Political Awakening’ are directly in reference to its nature as a threat to the prevailing global hierarchy. As such, we must view the ‘Awakening’ as the greatest hope for humanity. Certainly, there will be mainy failures, problems, and regressions; but the ‘Awakening’ has begun, it is underway, and it cannot be so easily co-opted or controlled as many might assume.

[Read essay]

Retribution for a World Lost in Screens

September 27, 2010 Leave a comment

By Chris Hedges

Retrubution for a World Lost in Screens

Nemesis was the Greek goddess of retribution. She exacted divine punishment on arrogant mortals who believed they could defy the gods, turn themselves into objects of worship and build ruthless systems of power to control the world around them. The price of such hubris was almost always death.

Nemesis, related to the Greek word némein, means “to give what is due.” Our nemesis fast approaches. We will get what we are due. The staggering myopia of our corrupt political and economic elite, which plunder the nation’s wealth for financial speculation and endless war, the mass retreat of citizens into virtual hallucinations, the collapsing edifices around us, which include the ecosystem that sustains life, are ignored for a giddy self-worship. We stare into electronic screens just as Narcissus, besotted with his own reflection, stared into a pool of water until he wasted away and died.

We believe that because we have the capacity to wage war we have the right to wage war. We believe that money, rather than manufactured products and goods, is real. We believe in the myth of inevitable human moral and material progress. We believe that no matter how much damage we do to the Earth or our society, science and technology will save us. And as temperatures on the planet steadily rise, as droughts devastate cropland, as the bleaching of coral reefs threatens to wipe out 25 percent of all marine species, as countries such as Pakistan and Bangladesh succumb to severe flooding, as we poison our food, air and water, as we refuse to confront our addiction to fossil fuels and coal, as we dismantle our manufacturing base and plunge tens of millions of Americans into a permanent and desperate underclass, we flick on a screen and are entranced.

We confuse the electronic image, a reflection back to us of ourselves, with the divine. We gawk at “reality” television, which of course is contrived reality, reveling in being the viewer and the viewed. True reality is obliterated from our consciousness. It is the electronic image that informs and defines us. It is the image that gives us our identity. It is the image that tells us what is attainable in the vast cult of the self, what we should desire, what we should seek to become and who we are. It is the image that tricks us into thinking we have become powerful—as the popularity of video games built around the themes of violence and war illustrates—while we have become enslaved and impoverished by the corporate state. The electronic image leads us back to the worship of ourselves. It is idolatry. Reality is replaced with electronic mechanisms for preening self-presentation—the core of social networking sites such as Facebook—and the illusion of self-fulfillment and self-empowerment. And in a world unmoored from the real, from human limitations and human potential, we inevitably embrace superstition and magic. This is what the worship of images is about. We retreat into a dark and irrational fear born out of a cavernous ignorance of the real. We enter an age of technological barbarism.

To those entranced by images, the world is a vast stage on which they are called to enact their dreams. It is a world of constant action, stimulation and personal advancement. It is a world of thrills and momentary ecstasy. It is a world of ceaseless movement. It makes a fetish of competition. It is a world where commercial products and electronic images serve as a pseudo-therapy that caters to feelings of alienation, inadequacy and powerlessness. We may be locked in dead-end jobs, have no meaningful relationships and be confused about our identities, but we can blast our way to power holding a little control panel while looking for hours at a screen. We can ridicule the poor, the ignorant and the weak all day long on trash-talk shows and reality television shows. We are skillfully made to feel that we have a personal relationship, a false communion, with the famous—look at the outpouring of grief at the death of Princess Diana or Michael Jackson. We have never met those we adore. We know only their manufactured image. They appear to us on screens. They are not, at least to us, real people. And yet we worship and seek to emulate them.

In this state of cultural illusion any description of actual reality, because it does not consist of the happy talk that pollutes the airwaves from National Public Radio to Oprah, is dismissed as “negative” or “pessimistic.” The beleaguered Jeremiahs who momentarily stumble into our consciousness and in a desperate frenzy seek to warn us of our impending self-destruction are derided because they do not lay out easy formulas that permit us to drift back into fantasy. We tell ourselves they are overreacting. If reality is a bummer, and if there are no easy solutions, we don’t want to hear about it. The facts of economic and environmental collapse, now incontrovertible, cannot be discussed unless they are turned into joking banter or come accompanied with a neat, pleasing solution, the kind we are fed at the conclusion of the movies, electronic games, talk shows and sitcoms, the kind that dulls our minds into passive and empty receptacles. We have been conditioned by electronic hallucinations to expect happy talk. We demand it.

We confuse this happy talk with hope. But hope is not about a belief in progress. Hope is about protecting simple human decency and demanding justice. Hope is the belief, not necessarily grounded in the tangible, that those whose greed, stupidity and complacency have allowed us to be driven over a cliff shall one day be brought down. Hope is about existing in a perpetual state of rebellion, a constant antagonism to all centers of power. The great moral voices, George Orwell and Albert Camus being perhaps two of the finest examples, describe in moving detail the human suffering we ignore or excuse. They understand that the greatest instrument for moral good is the imagination. The ability to perceive the pain and suffering of another, to feel, as King Lear says, what wretches feel, is a more powerful social corrective than the shelves of turgid religious and philosophical treatises on human will. Those who change the world for the better, who offer us hope, have the capacity to make us step outside of ourselves and feel empathy.

A print-based culture, as writer Neil Postman pointed out, demands rationality. The sequential, propositional character of the written word fosters what Walter Ong calls the “analytic management of knowledge.” But our brave new world of images dispenses with these attributes because the images do not require them to be understood. Communication in the image-based culture is not about knowledge. It is about the corporate manipulation of emotions, something logic, order, nuance and context protect us against. Thinking, in short, is forbidden. Entertainment and spectacle have become the aim of all human endeavors, including politics, which is how Stephen Colbert, playing his television character, can be permitted to testify before the House Judiciary Committee. Campaigns are built around the manufactured personal narratives of candidates, who function as political celebrities, rather than policies or ideas. News reports have become soap operas and mini-dramas revolving around the latest celebrity scandal.
Colleges and universities, which view students as customers and suck obscene tuition payments and loans out of them with the tantalizing promise of high-paying corporate jobs, have transformed themselves into resorts and theme parks. In this new system of education almost no one fails. Students become “brothers” or “sisters” in the atavistic, tribal embrace of eating clubs, fraternities or sororities. School spirit and school branding is paramount. Campus security keeps these isolated enclaves of privilege secure. And 90,000-seat football stadiums, along with their millionaire coaches, dominate the campus. It is moral leprosy.

The role of knowledge and art, as the ancient Greeks understood, is to create ekstasis, which means standing outside one’s self to give our individual life and struggle meaning and perspective. The role of art and scholarship is to transform us as individuals, not entertain us as a group. It is to nurture this capacity for understanding and empathy. Art and scholarship allow us to see the underlying structures and assumptions used to manipulate and control us. And this is why art, like intellectual endeavor, is feared by the corporate elite as subversive. This is why corporations have used their money to deform universities into vocational schools that spit out blinkered and illiterate systems managers. This is why the humanities are withering away.

The vast stage of entertainment that envelops our culture is intended to impart the opposite of ekstasis. Mass entertainment plays to the basest and crudest instincts of the crowd. It conditions us to have the same aspirations and desires. It forces us to speak in the same dead clichés and slogans. It homogenizes human experience. It wallows in a cloying nostalgia and sentimentalism that foster historical amnesia. It turns the Other into a cartoon or a stereotype. It prohibits empathy because it prohibits understanding. It denies human singularity and uniqueness. It assures us that we all have within us the ability, talent or luck to become famous and rich. It forms us into a lowing and compliant herd. We have been conditioned to believe—defying all the great moral and philosophical writers from Socrates to Orwell—that the aim of life is not to understand but to be entertained. If we do not shake ourselves awake from our electronic hallucinations and defy the elites who are ruining the country and trashing the planet we will experience the awful and deadly retribution of the gods.

The Adversary

By Jon Bourn
Editor of Jericho Rendezvous Blog

The Adversary

If you thought you were going to have a debate to solve your problems, you would want to have that debate with the dumbest most ignorant being on the planet, one that has no defense. This way you’d win right? That’s the game that is being played, and you my friend are the instrument.

Satan is so stupid that he can’t even count, he just eats and he needs you to help him.

After thousands of years his reign has become supreme, and he is finalizing his plans for the big show down. After the battle, Satan’s reign will be no where on Earth. We will be left wondering ‘What Happened’.

You may wonder, who is Satan? This will be easy, just replace the word Satan with the word money and you’ll be home free. Satan is born into the life of every baby as soon as they are born. Satan will be with you for your entire life, and if you do not obey Satan, you will literally die.

Satan has all your children as his whim. He has your mother. He has your father. He has everyone you know. This does not make Satan ok, it tells us that his reign is now, and that you are not only his slave, but it is you and I and everyone else that makes his day possible.

A world without Satan is not beyond our thinking or beyond our capability.

In fact, it is quite possible. However, to remove Satan and finally be saved as they coin it, Satan will have to go away, and those who are his puppets will not let go of Satan so easily. They would rather see everyone on Earth die first, then they will let Satan go because they know his power is a complete farce. As long as they can have more than others, your death will continue as scheduled. Some of the affects of his reign are obvious, and they are beginning to surface more readily in the news.

Living in the lost world as explained by Chris Hedges leaves the working people, and the majority of the population scratching their heads wondering why we even have a government in the first place. Academic discipline is transmuted into an anonymous propaganda as far as the eye can see. Chris highlights on the Real News Network how Satan digs in deep into the lifeblood of our globally adverse bound society.

Satan can’t get enough, he wants it all. He makes you think that if you obey his command, that things will only ‘get better’, and the life he has will keep you warm at night. Satan has a vast empire of conglomerations and option packages to keep you busy thinking he is not in charge. Step by step, he moves closer to his goal and that goal is to make you suffer ‘sucker’ because you were as ignorant as he is and those who love him the most are now getting paid off according to his plan. Those who represent Satan will by no means cut back on the promotion and branding of Satan, the master of the universe, that which heals all surface wounds, the true god of trust in America. On the contrary, we see what Satan has done not only to America, but to the world.

His power is relentless, it care for no life, only death, the key to his success. His mission is also vague but simple, its main ingredient is suffering in all forms of oppression, this is his food.

Earth is transformed into property, food is unnecessary, Satan has no use for it, and it will be phased out over time. Although, many who are possessed by Satan are not fully aware of this, those who are will make considerations for slavery to process their Satan blessed food substances. As Satan expands his empire, his presence will continue to creep into the psyches of those who have access to his power, they themselves will become his puppets. Our leaders are possessed by Satan and what he has to offer as a god, they act like they care about you while behind closed doors they laugh and giggle at how ignorant you have become. The facts be that they have learned how to caress Satan and keep him hard for their desires, and to send out chills of domination.

Satan must continually possess all that life has to offer. The art of caring is a crime, no one must be cared for unless Satan is fed first. If someone is starving to death, “kill them”, Satan replies. If you have no water, “Then die”, Satan blurts while sipping on his wine. These are just a handful of some the comparisons that exemplify our current demise. His greatest art is that of the enemy, because this is his name. It isn’t rocket science, all wars are started by Satan, and all your enemies are actually just people who truly have no link to Satan whatsoever, as Satan is a complete abstraction. His only power is in getting you to count him.

Imagine a world without him, it is worth the ride. Everything in the world would be free. Of course, everything in the world we have is already needed or people would not be making it right? People do not want to sit around the house all day watching TV, mostly, but seriously, what would everyone do? They would keep doing what they are doing now to some extent.

Corporations who elected people as labor would have to be nice, as everyone would be hiring, or if too many workers showed up, some could go elsewhere and be elected. Government would be built into the system, not a full-blown outside organization that provided no real benefit. It would all have to go and be rewired into citizenship. If we can spend just a little time thinking about it, you will immediately see that all the so-called impossibles become possible. It would immediately destroy the enemy and if the entire world agreed, Satan would die in one day, and bartering would begin.

Here are a few of the ideas that have kept me up at night and are only designed to get you thinking about living in a Satan free world. We start with the basics.

No one would be allowed to use Satan.

Satan’s aparthied would be banned for life.

All forms of Satan would be destroyed.

Anyone caught with Satan would be fined education.

All weapons would be destroyed.

Killing would for the better part stop, although fights would still need to be dealt with appropriately.

Knifes, and stabbing devices would be restricted by residence, and caretakers.

Countries would be forced to localize their freedoms.

The security apparatus would be diverted to all the paraphernalia that is materially made, and that of transportation to monitor safety, distribution flow, and availability. Instead of wiring ourselves for Satan, we wire him instead, and knowing his power flows as greed.

The drug wars would end as individual monitoring evolves.

Everyone would have to work, unless they are crippled, or over 50. At 50, everyone in the world would retire, or work as caregivers if they wish.

Everyone would be allowed to have a decent home, there are plenty of vacant ones that could be saved in America, but also understanding that the current environment is in need of much reform based on transportation excess, which is an unwise planetary alignment. People need people more than they need a home. The closer people are, the closer they will be also understanding that having space is a sacred practice. Those without homes will have them built for free.

Electricity will be free, although massive reform is needed to sustain life and prevent disease.

Food and water will be free to all. Obviously, people will not stop growing food, but their reasons for growing it will change, and be more in line with citizen rule.

Countries refusing to go free will be boycotted both in travel and goods.

They will have to be sealed off if necessary. However, their visiting citizens may remain and lose their citizenship’s in those countries.

All other countries will immediately set up bartering plans, although no other type of trade will be allowed forcing those countries which are too dependent on others to enforce their sustainability or relocate to a better Earth zone through free approval.

There would be no war, ever!

All of our perceived enemies would be in celebration and looking forward to peaceful times finally arriving.

To get those who hold out on weapons, free wide-screen TV’s can be handed out to anyone bringing them in for melting. (Just an idea)

Also to get people to relinquish their ultimate Satan’s, food caregivers would have to record data on all people, not to harass, but to track individuals until all forms of weapons have been confiscated. Manufacturing facilities would have to be destroyed worldwide. This would take much coordination, but its premise is no more difficult than let’s say, economics.

The truth however would be much more difficult, and it is Satan that is the problem. Over time, Satan’s power will gradually diminish and allow the world to continue to destroy his power, eventually destroying all traces.

This is like anything else, you have to work at it and promote it.

There would be no banks. These are just dens for Satan. Financial terrorism would end.

No credit cards. Everyone has credit.

No PR firms or advertising other than free.

There would be so much that was free, we might even begin to realize that all that we really want is each other, and we would begin to settle down, and have that Earth seance we’ve been waiting for.

I get excited about learning how to do things that I never had the opportunity to do and could get free lessons, for instance, Washington would have to go. So we get some truckers to wheel up some Cats to Washington, and we can give free lessons on removing garbage from the environment.

There would be no congress.

There would be no president.

There would be no house of representatives.

There would be no supreme court.

There would be only caregivers, and of course academic organizers.

Peace makers would be necessary.

There would be no prisons, only health facilities and healers.

There would be no way to kill another except for those chances that are woven into the daily routine which would be monitored by peace makers.

Peacemakers will answer to caregivers.

Caregivers will answer to academic organizers.

Academic organizers will answer to Peacemakers.

If this doesn’t work, try something similar.

Imagine a world that was truly focused on education and learning.

All churches would be turned into libraries and the promotion of truth and stories of Satan’s power from long ago.

No one in the world would have to suffer.

No one would have to be locked up, well, maybe, for a little while.

Religions would finally see the light and finally know who had been their enemy for so long.

Conflicts would be more easily solved, as more options would exist. Remember, Satan was stupid, so we’ll just use all the options he once had for ourselves.

Those in their castles will probably kill themselves and make our jobs much easier in removing their dead bodies.

You see, they won’t have any reason to be here.

This is how you kill Satan without lifting a finger.

All we have to do is set a date and tell the world. The constitution allows it. Then, the paperwork will be distributed to all organizations in preparation for the final date of transformation where all armies are automatically reverted to new authorization and to confiscate all traces of Satan on the entire planet, paper and minted anomalies to be burned and melted or stored for various manufacturing needs that correlate new commands.

Of course, everyone will immediately be notified of the free law.

The biggest change will be the Internet. Google will not be as needed, goodbye Google. We will only need social networks and academic writing hives where people can learn and find out about other learning venues where networks provides information about where to find free food, water, clothing, and support materials from other bee hives around the world. The Internet will open as a galaxy with stars drenched in the Milky Way.

I also envision based on the current environment that the world would abound in those of Shamanism and those who spend all their time caring for others. This world would break all bounds before it, and would meet god.

A signal would be sent out across the galaxy that Earth was finally free.

What’s the difference between this world and the one we live in now?

S a t a n.

The adversary.

Just think about how much he has screwed up your life and how much effort you have put into him while he pulls your strings.

All those who presently abuse the system would automatically receive their due, instantly.

Pharmaceutical companies would immediately have to prove everything beyond a shadow of any doubt and used only in emergencies to save a life from near death.

Preventing accidents would be a top job, above CEO, which would no longer exist other than citizen management.

Those that were heavily dependent on Satan would vanish in a cloud.

We might have to get used to going without for awhile, but Inter-Galactic would be free and we could spend our time learning and helping others find things to share.

Postal service would be principally Galactic, except for Trans-line rail service stop points.

There would be no taxes. You should already know this by now.

The Republicans have wanted to get rid of government for years.

The Democrats have wanted to get rid of the Republicans for years.

The idea of a free world is so good, I could write ideas forever.

Art and Music would EXPLODE. And, it would all be free.

It may seem odd, but biblical text defines Satan quite clearly in Revelation Chapter Six when referring to the Black horse, and a perceived scale of balance that he has inherited, and when he offers to trade his wears in verse Six. The only ingredient missing in this horror show is you.

Today, information takes on his presence, and soon he will want to mark you for that presence in the new Satan security apparatus. When this is completed, there will be no escape from him. While we are blinded by Google, he will move in for the kill, which is happening now. The paperwork trail is being set to his pulse. Eventually, all information will be his, and you will be a part of Satan forever, from birth, to death. In forcing engines to the hives, the beast is devoured.

Since Satan is stupid, he requires others to assimilate him, and these information handlers are there to collect for him so that he can grow.

Since all data is instantly dead, he is upset and wants to reach out so to speak. Satan will only grow more powerful until we all die, or a majority die and a few are left to forget him, as he is only in your mind.

All of our hate is his food, and we hate because he requests it.

I will leave the reader to ponder the possibilities and to ask a serious question to our hearts. Why haven’t we grown up?

Wikileaks – The Real Stuff – A Response To Israel Shamir

By Joe Quinn

Wikileaks – The Real Stuff – A Response To Israel Shamir

Israel Shamir recently published his opinion on the Wikileaks exposé and in the process took issue with those who had dismissed the leaks as a distraction. While I wasn’t named by Shamir as one of the dissenters, I had waxed skeptical in a recent editorial on the topic.

I sent the following letter to Shamir:

Dear Shamir,

You title your last missive Wikileaks – The Real Stuff, yet you fail to point to anything “real” or valuable in the Wikileaks documents. Can you point to any detail, either within the documents or within those documents that have been published by the mainstream media that was not already publicly available?

Alternatively, can you point to some evidence that the release of the documents has in some way effected a sea-change in the general public opinion of the US misadventure in Afghanistan? I ask this because, such is the hype surrounding the release of the documents, I think we are all justified in expecting ‘big things’ as a result.

I don’t doubt that the coverage of the Wikileaks documents by the mainstream media has lent extra weight to the long-established truth (as purveyed most notably by the alternative news sites) that civilians are being murdered in Afghanistan, but the precise number of dead is all important, as is where to lay the blame.

Do you really think the Wikileaks documents and the mainstream media reporting on them serve up a dish of raw Truth to the public? Or is it possible that it has been cooked to some extent?

The UK Guardian newspaper has taken the lead in the dissemination of the Wikileaks documents. Take a look at this article, if you have not already done so. It is the main story that appeared in the Guardian announcing the documents, and consider the bullet-pointed summation at the beginning:

  • Hundreds of civilians killed by coalition troops
  • Covert unit hunts leaders for ‘kill or capture’
  • Steep rise in Taliban bomb attacks on NATO

Were you shocked, Shamir? “Hundreds” killed by coalition troops! The true figure is over 30,000 Afghan civilians killed as a result of the US invasion.

How many average US or European citizens do you think will be shocked by the claim that a “covert unit hunts” those evil ‘Tailban’ leaders? Is this meant to be a shocking exposé?

And what are we to make of the “steep rise in Taliban attacks on NATO”? Is this meant to elicit a “poor NATO” response from readers?

But I admit, some people are strong-willed, and read further than the bullet points of an article, and at least get to the end of the first paragraph where, in the case of the Guardian exposé, the public is treated to a further data point:

“NATO commanders fear neighbouring Pakistan and Iran are fuelling the insurgency.”

Do you find that interesting Shamir? Suspicious even? Is it possible that a reasonable person could make a tenuous link between the hint that Iran is involved in the increased attacks on US troops in Afghanistan and the incessant sabre-rattling from both the US and Israel over a threatened attack on Iran?

But we could read on a little further and learn that: “the Taliban have caused growing carnage with a massive escalation of their roadside bombing campaign, which has killed more than 2,000 civilians to date.” So we understand that the ‘Taliban’ are to blame for the vast majority of civilian deaths, while “coalition forces” are responsible for “at least 195 civilians killed […] and 174 wounded, in total”

Thanks to the documents and the Guardian then, we now know that the ‘Taliban’ are the real aggressors in Afghanistan. It was much the same with Iraq after all. While not everyone knows that well over 1 million Iraqis have been killed in the last 7 years, most people know that ‘civil war’ is to blame. As a result, everyone also understands that, when the white devils invade a Middle Eastern or S.E. Asian country, local military strategy stipulates that the best way for the host nation’s population to defeat the invader is to wage war on each other. Those Arabs and Asians must be a bit crazy, eh? But hey, it makes sense to the Western mind!

On the Guardian’s interactive war-logs page, we are treated to a cornucopia of videos and flash pages, all very pleasing to eye but none providing any more substance than that written in black and white print. The emphasis on Iran and Pakistan as the real problem is hard to miss. In an editorial entitled: Afghanistan war logs: the unvarnished picture, we are informed that:

“In these documents, Iran’s and Pakistan’s intelligence agencies run riot. Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is linked to some of the war’s most notorious commanders. The ISI is alleged to have sent 1,000 motorbikes to the warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani for suicide attacks in Khost and Logar provinces”

Are you getting the picture yet?

Under “latest news” in the ‘War logs’ section, the Guardian reports what you mention in your defence of Wikileaks, that Reporters Without Borders has accused WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange of “incredible irresponsibility” over the leaked documents.

The accusation is inane and baseless, as you note, but I am more interested in how this attack on Assange (and indirectly on The Guardian for publishing the documents), serves to convince an increasingly disgruntled public that these documents, and the Guardian’s analysis of them, are the ‘real deal’. Are we really at last seeing a little honest-to-god mainstream journalism?

I have sifted through the 92,000 documents, and based on the details therein, I agree with the Guardian’s analysis of their overall message – Iran and Pakistan and the ‘Taliban’ are evil and responsible for most of the deaths in Afghanistan. For sure, US troops are trigger happy at times, but who can blame them? War is hell after all! And to be honest, who can blame them for going after the bad guys…”dead or alive!”

Do you agree with this assessment of the root causes of the problems facing Afghanistan and the Afghan people today? More importantly, is the general public now more convinced that this perspective is an accurate one because it comes from the ‘secret documents’ of Whistle blowers?

Yesterday, for a while, Assange was accused of ‘rape and molestation’ by the Swedish public prosecutor. Assange was in Sweden last week. Within a few hours the charges were dropped however. Interestingly, Wikileaks is in the process of moving its operations to Sweden. Would you believe me if I suggested that the rape allegation was possibly a case of ‘reverse psychology’? That someone, somewhere, with considerable influence, flirted with the idea of accusing Assange in order to lend credence to the idea that ‘they’ are out to get him and thereby set in stone his and Wikileaks’ image as true champions of the people? Or do you demand that our world be more prosaic, and that the wayward son a Saudi royal really was the mastermind behind the incredibly complex 9/11 attacks?

I am not, however, totally convinced that we are dealing with some grand conspiracy involving Reporters Without Borders, the CIA, the White House, the Pentagon and the Guardian, etc. mainly because a conspiracy is not necessary. If we simply take the US National Security State apparatus, the US military command structure, the illegal invasion and occupation of a sovereign S.E. Asian state, throw in some for-profit newspapers and a well-meaning, somewhat naive and impressionable 29-year old hacker, and a public starving for something real but who must be kept on a diet of half-truths and hollow hopes, we have all the ingredients we need for a controversial issue. The result can look like a conspiracy, when in fact it is just another day’s news in the mixtus orbis that is 2010 planet earth – that is to say, the unfiltered Truth is seldom seen, and increasingly, in these increasingly desperate times, when it does chance to poke its head above the parapet, it very often treads on the toes of those emotionally invested in the idea that there can be any real positive change in our world without the conscious, active participation of all, or at least a majority.


Joe Quinn

Shamir responded to my letter:

Dear Joe, probably we’ll have to work hard to achieve ‘sea-change’ you and I wish to have. Wikileaks is just one of the tools, not a magic wand. Did they deliver some impressive news? Yes. The US pays in cash to Iraqi and Afghani media for positive coverage. For journalists this is important news. They released hundreds of names of the US agents. The hit squad is not to be pooh-poohed, either. It was never published in the US, only in the UK and Germany. Wikileaks Afghan stuff is raw data, it has to be processed to become acceptable. The bias, as I’ve said, is that of newspapers that process, but you can also process the stuff if you are willing. Julian Assange is definitely not 29-year old somewhat naïve hacker – he is 39 and quite astute. And your question about Osama, I presume is facile – my view was expressed on September 12, 2001 in the piece called Orient Express

I respect Israel Shamir and his significant efforts in service to the truth, but his myopia over the Wikileaks documents and his response to my comments is a little depressing. The release of names of US agents (informers) in Afghanistan is not news because it tells us something we already knew: that the US military uses informers in Afghanistan. Of what value to the anti-war movement is the additional detail of their names? The ‘Taliban’, on the other hand, have apparently shown great interest. So who is that a score for? You and me, Wikileaks, The Taliban, or the US military?

Shamir’s suggestion to “process” the raw data is equally unhelpful. We have processed it. It tells us that Iran and Pakistan are the bad guys and the US is killing civilians in Afghanistan, but not as many as the Taliban. I can read than on CNN.

The news of ‘hit squads’ is old news. 7 years ago the Guardian informed us that not only were US ‘hit squads’ operating in Iraq, but that they were being trained by the Israelis! And in any case, is the idea that ‘hit squads’ are being used to track down the evil ‘Taliban’ in Afghanistan more appalling than the fact, splashed across American broadsheets earlier this year, that Obama signed a bill authorizing the assassination of an American citizen by the CIA??

That the US pays the Iraqi and Afghan media for positive coverage is not only old news, it’s only half the story. Has Shamir forgotten the Lincoln Group and the precocious Christian Bailey? In 2005 the Lincoln group won (read: was awarded) a $100 Million contract to essentially control the entire Iraqi media via its own ‘Iraqi’ publications and the monopolization of the Iraqi advertising industry on an ongoing basis. All of these details have been carried in the mainstream press, yet they have done nothing to stop the bogus endless ‘war on terrorism’. Why then are we being encouraged to expect that the Wikileaks documents, which convey the same information, will fare any better?

I can only conclude that Shamir hasn’t been keeping up with the news, because all, and I mean ALL of the important information in the Wikileaks documents has been available from outlets like the Washington Post, etc. for many years. So I’m faced with a dilemma; either I go to the Washington Post from now on for all the Pentagon’s dirty secrets, or I don’t believe the hype around the Wikileaks documents.

Is there really a problem though with Wikileaks repeating information that is already in the public domain? Surely it can only serve to back up the already existing evidence? Well, the problem is the way in which Wikileaks is being promoted as the place to go to find the real, super-secret, inside deal on the machinations of the cabal of war-mongers and their foot-soldiers. To date, I have seen nothing to justify this image of Wikileaks, and as a result, I think any person with a decent awareness of the extent of the control and manipulation that is being directed at the global population should handle Wikileaks with caution and refrain from embracing it as some kind of people’s champion. I can only speak for, but our readers have come to expect that, when we publish on any given topic, we have done our duty to uncover as much of the truth as possible, that we are not short-changing them or allowing idealistic emotion-based beliefs of how we would like things to be to get in the way.

As I wrote in my first analysis of the Wikileaks documents, the core issue is this:

“Every now and then, the people who make it their priority to keep their fingers on the pulse of public sentiment vis a vis the increasingly flagrant crimes of public officials, deem it necessary to introduce a faux people’s hero. Someone who, apparently, has the balls and the gall to ‘stick it to the man’ and be the voice of the silent majority. The goal, and the effect, is to provide a vessel to suck up all that latent and growing public anger and outrage that is presumed to exist and disperse it in much the same way that Corexit was used to disperse the oil industry’s mess in the Gulf of Mexico.”

Related stories:

August 13, 2010: The Latency Phase – Full Blown Zionazi Psychopaths Portray “enemy” infants as proto-terrorists

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn

© AP / Dima Gavrysh

August 1, 2010: By Chris Hedges

Why the Feds Fear Thinkers Like Howard Zinn

Today I will teach my final American history class of the semester to prison inmates. We have spent five weeks reading Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States.” The class is taught in a small room in the basement of the prison. I pass through a metal detector, am patted down by a guard and walk through three pairs of iron gates to get to my students. We have covered Spain’s genocide of the native inhabitants in the Caribbean and the Americas, the war for independence in the United States and the disgraceful slaughter of Native Americans. We have examined slavery, the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the occupations of Cuba and the Philippines, the New Deal, two world wars and the legacy of racism, capitalist exploitation and imperialism that continue to infect American society.

We have looked at these issues, as Zinn did, through the eyes of Native Americans, immigrants, slaves, women, union leaders, persecuted socialists, anarchists and communists, abolitionists, anti-war activists, civil rights leaders and the poor. As I was reading out loud a passage by Sojourner Truth, Chief Joseph, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B Du Bois, Randolph Bourne, Malcolm X or Martin Luther King, I have heard students mutter “Damn” or “We been lied to.”

The power of Zinn’s scholarship—which I have watched over the past few weeks open the eyes of young, mostly African-Americans to their own history and the structures that perpetuate misery for the poor and gluttony and privilege for the elite—explains why the FBI, which released its 423-page file on Zinn on July 30, saw him as a threat.

Zinn, who died in January at the age of 87, did not advocate violence or support the overthrow of the government, something he told FBI interrogators on several occasions. He was rather an example of how genuine intellectual thought is always subversive. It always challenges prevailing assumptions as well as political and economic structures. It is based on a fierce moral autonomy and personal courage and it is uniformly branded by the power elite as “political.” Zinn was a threat not because he was a violent revolutionary or a communist but because he was fearless and told the truth.

The cold, dead pages of the FBI file stretch from 1948 to 1974. At one point five agents are assigned to follow Zinn. Agents make repeated phone calls to employers, colleagues and landlords seeking information. The FBI, although Zinn is never suspected of carrying out a crime, eventually labels Zinn a high security risk. J. Edgar Hoover, who took a personal interest in Zinn’s activities, on Jan. 10, 1964, drew up a memo to include Zinn “in Reserve Index, Section A,” a classification that permitted agents to immediately arrest and detain Zinn if there was a national emergency. Muslim activists, from Dr. Sami Al-Arian to Fahad Hashmi, can tell you that nothing has changed.

The file exposes the absurdity, waste and pettiness of our national security state. And it seems to indicate that our security agencies prefer to hire those with mediocre or stunted intelligence, dubious morality and little common sense. Take for example this gem of a letter, complete with misspellings, mailed by an informant to then FBI Director Hoover about something Zinn wrote.

“While I was visiting my dentist in Michigan City, Indiana,” the informant wrote. “This pamphlet was left in my car, and I am mailing it to you, I know is a DOVE call, and not a HOCK call. We have had a number of ethnic groups move into our area in the last few years. We are in a war! And it doesn’t look like this pamphlet will help our Government objectives.”

Or how about the meeting between an agent and someone identified as Doris Zinn. Doris Zinn, who the agent says is Zinn’s sister, is interviewed “under a suitable pretext.” She admits that her brother is “employed at the American Labor Party Headquarters in Brooklyn.” That is all the useful information that is reported. The fact that Zinn did not have a sister gives a window into the quality of the investigations and the caliber of the agents who carried them out.

FBI agents in November 1953 wrote up an account of a clumsy attempt to recruit Zinn as an informant, an attempt in which they admitted that Zinn “would not volunteer information” and that “additional interviews with ZINN would not turn him from his current attitude.” A year later, after another interrogation, an agent wrote that Zinn “concluded the interview by stating he would not under any circumstances testify or furnish information concerning the political opinions of others.”

While Zinn steadfastly refused to cooperate in the anti-communist witch hunts in the 1950s, principals and college administrators were busy purging classrooms of those who, like Zinn, exhibited intellectual and moral independence. The widespread dismissals of professors, elementary and high school teachers and public employees—especially social workers whose unions had advocated on behalf of their clients—were carried out quietly. The names of suspected “Reds” were handed to administrators and school officials under the FBI’s “Responsibilities Program.” It was up to the institutions, nearly all of which complied, to see that those singled out lost their jobs. There rarely were hearings. The victims did not see any purported evidence. They were usually abruptly terminated. Those on the blacklist were effectively locked out of their professions. The historian Ellen Schrecker estimates that between 10,000 and 12,000 people were blackballed through this process.

The FBI spent years following Zinn, and carefully cutting out newspaper articles about their suspect, to amass the inane and the banal. One of Zinn’s neighbors, Mrs. Matthew Grell, on Feb. 22, 1952, told agents that she considered Zinn and another neighbor, Mrs. Julius Scheiman, “to be either communists or communist sympathizers” because, the agents wrote, Grell “had observed copies of the Daily Workers in Mrs. Scheiman’s apartment and noted that Mrs. Scheiman was a good friend of Howard Zinn.”

The FBI, which describes Zinn as a former member of the Communist Party, something Zinn repeatedly denied, appears to have picked up its surveillance when Zinn, who was teaching at Spelman, a historically black women’s college, became involved in the civil rights movement. Zinn served on the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He took his students out of the classroom to march for civil rights. Spelman’s president was not pleased.

“I was fired for insubordination,” Zinn recalled. “Which happened to be true.”

Zinn in 1962 decried “the clear violations by local police of Constitutional rights” of blacks and noted that “the FBI has not made a single arrest on behalf of Negro citizens.” The agent who reported Zinn’s words added that Zinn’s position was “slanted and biased.” Zinn in 1970 was a featured speaker at a rally for the release of the Black Panther leader Bobby Seal held in front of the Boston police headquarters. “It is about time we had a demonstration at the police station,” Zinn is reported as telling the crowd by an informant who apparently worked with him at Boston University. “Police in every nation are a blight and the United States is no exception.”

“America has been a police state for a long time,” Zinn went on. “I believe that policemen should not have guns. I believe they should be disarmed. Policemen with guns are a danger to the community and themselves.”

Agents muse in the file about how to help their unnamed university source mount a campaign to have Zinn fired from his job as a professor of history at Boston University.

“[Redacted] indicated [Redacted] intends to call a meeting of the BU Board of Directors in an effort to have ZINN removed from BU. Boston proposes under captioned program with Bureau permission to furnish [Redacted] with public source data regarding ZINN’s numerous anti-war activities, including his trip to Hanoi, 1/31/68, in an effort to back [Redacted’s] efforts for his removal.”

Zinn and the radical Catholic priest Daniel Berrigan had traveled together to North Vietnam in January 1968 to bring home three prisoners of war. The trip was closely monitored by the FBI. Hoover sent a coded teletype to the president, the secretary of state, the director of the CIA, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of the Army, the Department of the Air Force and the White House situation room about the trip. And later, after Berrigan was imprisoned for destroying draft records, Zinn repeatedly championed the priest’s defense in public rallies, some of which the FBI noted were sparsely attended. The FBI monitored Zinn as he traveled to the Danbury Federal Prison in Connecticut to visit Berrigan and his brother Philip.

“Mass murders occur, which is what war is,” Zinn, who was a bombardier in World War II, said in 1972, according to the file, “because people are split and don’t think … when the government does not serve the people, then it doesn’t deserve to be obeyed. … To be patriotic, you may have to be against your government.”

Zinn testified at the trial of Daniel Ellsberg, who gave a copy of the Pentagon Papers to Zinn and Noam Chomsky. The two academics edited the secret documents on the Vietnam War, sections of which had appeared in The New York Times, into the four volumes that were published in 1971.

“During the Pentagon Papers jury trial, Zinn stated that the ‘war in Vietnam was a war which involved special interests, and not the defense of the United States,’ ” his FBI file reads.

By the end of the file one walks away with a profound respect for Zinn and a deep distaste for the buffoonish goons in the FBI who followed and monitored him. There is no reason, with the massive expansion of our internal security apparatus, to think that things have improved. There are today 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies working on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States, The Washington Post reported in an investigation by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin. These agencies employ an estimated 854,000 people, all of whom hold top-secret security clearances, the Post found. And in Washington, D.C., and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together, the paper reported, they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings—about 17 million square feet.

We are amassing unprecedented volumes of secret files, and carrying out extensive surveillance and harassment, as stupid and useless as those that were directed against Zinn. And a few decades from now maybe we will be able to examine the work of the latest generation of dimwitted investigators who have been unleashed upon us in secret by the tens of thousands. Did any of the agents who followed Zinn ever realize how they wasted their time? Do those following us around comprehend how manipulated they are? Do they understand that their primary purpose, as it was with Zinn, is not to prevent terrorism but discredit and destroy social movements as well as protect the elite from those who would expose them?

Zinn’s book is revered in my cramped classroom. It is revered because these men intimately know racism, manipulation, poverty, abuse and the lies peddled by the powerful. Zinn recorded their voices and the voices of their ancestors. They respect him for this. Zinn knew that if we do not listen to the stories of those without power, those who suffer discrimination and abuse, those who struggle for justice, we are left parroting the manufactured myths that serve the interests of the privileged. Zinn set out to write history, not myth. And he knew that when these myths implode it is the beginning of hope.

“If you were a Native American,” one of my students asked recently, “what would have been the difference between Columbus and Hitler?”


1 HR Video- August 3, 1992: Peg Luksik: Who Controls Our Children ? (Public Education Dumb Down Kids)

Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

By Chris Hedges

Obama’s Health Care Bill Is Enough to Make You Sick

A close reading of the new health care legislation, which will conveniently take effect in 2014 after the next presidential election, is deeply depressing. The legislation not only mocks the lofty promises made by President Barack Obama, exposing most as lies, but sadly reconfirms that our nation is hostage to unchecked corporate greed and abuse. The simple truth, that single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans would dramatically reduce costs and save lives, that the for-profit health care system is the problem and must be destroyed, is censored out of the public debate by a media that relies on these corporations as major advertisers and sponsors, as well as a morally bankrupt Democratic Party that is as bought off by corporations as the Republicans.

The 2,000-page piece of legislation, according to figures compiled by Physicians for a National Health Plan (PNHP), will leave at least 23 million people without insurance, a figure that translates into an estimated 23,000 unnecessary deaths a year among people who cannot afford care. It will permit prices to climb so that many of us will soon be paying close to 10 percent of our annual income to buy commercial health insurance, although this coverage will only pay for about 70 percent of our medical expenses. Those who become seriously ill, lose their incomes and cannot pay skyrocketing premiums will be denied coverage. And at least $447 billion in taxpayer subsidies will now be handed to insurance firms. We will be forced by law to buy their defective products. There is no check in the new legislation to halt rising health care costs. The elderly can be charged three times the rates provided to the young. Companies with predominantly female work forces can be charged higher gender-based rates. The dizzying array of technical loopholes in the bill—written in by armies of insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists—means that these companies, which profit off human sickness, suffering and death, can continue their grim game of trading away human life for money.

“They named this legislation the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and as the tradition of this nation goes, any words they put into the name of a piece of legislation means the opposite,” said single-payer activist Dr. Margaret Flowers when I heard her and Helen Redmond dissect the legislation in Chicago at the Socialism 2010 Conference last month. “It neither protects patients nor leads to affordable care.”

“This legislation moves us further in the direction of the commodification of health care,” Flowers went on. “It requires people to purchase health insurance. It takes public dollars to subsidize the purchase of that private insurance. It not only forces people to purchase this private product, but uses public dollars and gives them directly to these corporations. In return, there are no caps on premiums. Insurance companies can continue to raise premiums. We estimate that because they are required to cover people with pre-existing conditions, although we will see if this happens, they will argue that they will have to raise premiums.”

The legislation included a few tiny improvements that have been used as bait to sell it to the public. The bill promises, for example, to expand community health centers and increase access to primary-care doctors. It allows children to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26. It will include those with pre-existing conditions in insurance plans, although Flowers warns that many technicalities and loopholes make it easy for insurance companies to drop patients. Most of the more than 30 million people currently without insurance, and the 45,000 who die each year because they lack medical care, essentially remain left out in the cold, and things will not get better for the rest of us.

“We are still a nation full of health care hostages,” Redmond said. “We live in fear of losing our health care. Millions of people have lost their health care. We fear bankruptcy. The inability to pay medical bills is the No. 1 cause of bankruptcy. We fear not being able to afford medications. Millions of people skip medications. They skip these medications to the detriment of their health. We are not free. And we won’t be free until health care is a human right, until health care is not tied to a job, because we still have an employment-based system, and until health care has nothing to do with immigration status. We don’t care if you are documented or undocumented. It should not matter what your health care status is, if you have a disease or you don’t. It should not matter how much money you have or don’t, because many of our programs are based on income eligibility rules. Until we abolish the private, for-profit health insurance industry in this county we are not free. Until we take the profit motive out of health care we cannot live in the way we want to live. This legislation doesn’t do any of that. It doesn’t change those basic facts of our health care system.”

Redmond held up a syringe.

“I take a medication that costs $1,700 every single month,” she said. “I inject this medication. It costs $425 a week for 50 milligrams of medication. I would do almost anything to get this medication because without it I don’t have much of a life. The pharmaceutical industry knows this. They price these drugs accordingly to the level of desperation that people feel. Billy Tauzin, the former CEO of [the trade organization of] Big Pharma, negotiated a secret deal with President Obama to extend the patents of biologics, this new revolutionary class of drugs, for 12 years. And Obama also promised in this deal that he would not negotiate drug prices for Medicare.”

Obama’s numerous betrayals—from his failure to implement serious environmental reform at Copenhagen, to his expansion of the current wars, to his refusal to create jobs for our desperate class of unemployed and underemployed, to his gutting of public education, to his callous disregard for the rights of workers and funneling of trillions in taxpayer money to banks—is a shameful list. Passing universal, single-payer nonprofit health care for all Americans might have delivered to Obama, who may well be a one-term president, at least one worthwhile achievement. Single-payer nonprofit health care has widespread popular support, with nearly two-thirds of the public behind it. It is backed by 59 percent of doctors. And it would have helped roll back, at least a bit, the corporate assault on the citizenry.

Medical bills lead to 62 percent of personal bankruptcies, and nearly 80 percent of these people had insurance. The U.S. spends twice as much as other industrialized nations on health care, $8,160 per capita. Private insurance bureaucracy and paperwork consume 31 percent of every health care dollar. Streamlining payment through a single nonprofit payer would save more than $400 billion per year—enough, PNHP estimates, to provide comprehensive, high-quality coverage for all Americans.

Candidate Obama promised to protect women’s rights under Roe. v. Wade, something this legislation does not do. He told voters he would create a public option and then refused to consider it. The health care reform bill, to quote a statement released by PNHP, has instead “saddled Americans with an expensive package of onerous individual mandates, new taxes on workers’ health plans, countless sweetheart deals with the insurers and Big Pharma, and a perpetuation of the fragmented, dysfunctional, and unsustainable system that is taking such a heavy toll on our health and economy today.”

“Obama said he was going to have everybody at the table,” Redmond said, “but that was a lie. Our voice was not allowed to be there. There was a blackout on our movement. We did not get media attention. We did actions all over the country but we could not get coverage. We had the ‘Mad as Hell Doctors’ go across the country in a caravan, and they had rallies and meetings. If that had been a bunch of AMA Republican doctors, Cooper Anderson would have been on the caravan reporting live. NPR would have done a series. Instead, they did not get much coverage. And neither did the sit-ins and arrests at insurance companies, although we have never seen that level of activity. They turned us into a fringe movement, although poll after poll shows that the majority of people want some kind of single-payer system.”

Our for-profit health system is driven by insurance companies whose goal is to avoid covering the elderly and the sick. These groups, most in need of medical care, diminish profits. Medicare, paid for by the government, removes responsibility for many of the old. Medicaid, also paid for by the government, removes the poor people, who have a greater tendency to have chronic health problems. Hefty premiums, which those who are seriously ill and lose their jobs often cannot pay, remove the very sick. If you are healthy and employed, which means you are less likely to need expensive or complex treatment, the insurance companies swoop down like birds of prey. These corporations need to control our perceptions of health care. Patients must be viewed as consumers. Doctors, identified as “health care providers,” must be seen as salespeople.

Insurance companies, which will soon be able to use billions in taxpayer dollars to bolster their lobbying efforts and campaign contributions, know that single-payer nonprofit insurance means their extinction. And they will employ considerable resources to make sure single-payer nonprofit coverage is denied to the public. They correctly see this as a battle for their lives. And if human beings have to die so they can survive, they are willing to make us pay this price.

The for-profit health care industry, along with the Democratic Party, consciously set out to confuse the public debate. It created Health Care for America NOW! in 2008 and provided it with tens of millions of dollars to supposedly build a public campaign for a public option. But the organization had no intention of permitting a public option. The organization was, as Dr. Flowers said, “a very clever way to distract members of the single-payer movement and co-op some of them. They told them that the public option would become single payer, that it was a back door to single payer, although there was no evidence that was true.”

Physicians for a National Health Plan attempted to fight back. It worked with a number of organizations under a coalition called the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care. The group, which included the National Nurse’s Union and Health Care Now, sought meetings with members of Congress. Flowers and other advocates asked Congress members to include them in committee debates about the health care bill. But when the first debate on the health care reform took place in the Senate Finance Committee, chaired by Sen. Max Baucus, a politician who gets over 80 percent of his campaign contributions from outside his home state of Montana, they were locked out. Baucus invited 41 people to testify. None backed single payer.

The Leadership Conference, which represents more than 20 million people, again requested that one of their members testify. Baucus again refused. When the second committee meeting took place, Flowers and seven other activists stood one by one in the room and asked why the voices of the patients and the health care providers were not being heard. The eight were arrested and removed from the committee hearing.

Single-payer advocates were eventually heard on a few of the House and Senate committees. But the hearings were a charade, part of Washington’s cynical political theater. It was the insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists who were in charge. They dominated the public debate. They wrote the legislation. They determined who received lavish campaign contributions and who did not. And they won.

“We are talking about life and death, about the difference between living your life and dying,” Redmond said. “And once again it came down to the Democratic Party trumping the needs of the people.”


Blog Editor: You can make the insurance companies feel massive pain by learning how to defeat them, and in many cases fire your doctor for your own good. You will have to be willing to learn the truth that has been kept from you. Start with a simple one step plan. This link provides a library of data and answers with contact information.

%d bloggers like this: