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*edit, May 22, 2017 – “This world’s leaders, comprised of smart, educated, worldly and informed people (and some within this crowd are much dumber than others, which is beside the point) who very publicly (not honestly) commit the worst crimes (selling weapons to IS and Saudi Arabia and literally helping monsters like those to create hell on earth).” That sentence needs to be the same minus the “who” and the last set of parentheses. I was probably going to make this sentence longer, but decided to chop it up and missed the “who,” which renders the sentence grammatically strange.
A healthy national sovereignty can only be relatively good. It can only be temporary, even without the existence of the wild beast of corporatocracy.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Thomas Fazi follows:
========== == =
The last year has seen the Right and extreme Right capitalise on the dissatisfaction and despair fostered by neoliberalism – and usher in a ‘post-neoliberal order’. Their success is based on championing and monopolising the idea of national sovereignty, but only of a certain kind. The Left has accepted their discourse that national sovereignty goes hand in hand with exclusivist and right-wing ideas, rather than attempting to reclaim it as vehicle for change.
= == ==========
I will not give this blog post my usual ‘disappeared’ treatment, although, in plain English, the post ‘has’ disappeared. Off Guardian’s website has issues. I could just email them with my post, but, as I’m blogging about Thomas Fazi’s article anyway… Also, They have enough to deal with. My online (disappeared, so far), typo-corrected response to the above linked-to article follows:
Well, That there’s not a Left nor a Right isn’t the only idea that writers can’t make their minds up about I see. Neoliberalism is alive and well say some (I think most, still) and that it is dead say others.
I’m not an economist, but I don’t think I’m stupid.
If the core of neoliberalism is inequality, and if neoliberalism (having nothing to do with Liberal philosophy or Liberal Parties) is about corporations (not nation states) having more freedom at the people’s expense, primarily via free trade agreements (which aren’t going away just because they might be done differently; state to state rather than sweepingly with multiple states signing on all at once), then why would the Right (which is evil) jettison that? Good is now bad? This world’s leaders, comprised of smart, educated, worldly and informed people (and some within this crowd are much dumber than others, which is beside the point) who very publicly (not honestly) commit the worst crimes (selling weapons to IS and Saudi Arabia and literally helping monsters like those to create hell on earth). Then regular people without a solid moral foundation look on and notice all of that, concluding that “Those people know right from wrong and there they are doing evil like champs. I guess good must just sometimes be bad.” I go with Jesus, who said that you cannot slave for God and Riches. He also said that if the light that is in you, is in fact darkness, then how great that darkness is. But it’s a free universe. Go with whoever you want. If your saviour is imperfect, and getting more imperfect all the time (Donald Trump), humankind, Well I guess we’ll just have to see how that turns out.
I think it’s worth noting what Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin say about neoliberalism in their book “The Making Of Global Capitalism.” Consider:
“The American state has played an exceptional role in the creation of a fully global capitalism and in coordinating its management, as well as restructuring other states to these ends. Although there has also been a certain renewed fashionability of the term “empire” to designate the United States, the imperial practices of the American state are usually presented as accompanied by economic decline and explained in terms of fending off challenges from rival states. The reality, however, is that it was the immense strength of US capitalism which made globalization possible, and what continued to make the American state distinctive was its vital role in managing and superintending capitalism on a worldwide plane.” -page 2
Indeed, even targets of US aggression look to the US to “superintend” the money system which they operate within, which is problematic – for them.
“The mechanisms of neoliberalism – understood in terms of the expansion and deepening of markets and competitive pressures – may have been economic, but neoliberalism was essentially a political response to the democratic gains that had previously been achieved by working classes and which had become, from capital’s perspective, barriers to accumulation. It was only on the most stylized and superficial reading that the state could be seen to have withdrawn. Neoliberal practices did not entail institutional retreat so much as capitalist expansion and consolidation of the networks of institutional linkages to an already globalizing capitalism.” -page 15
“Anti systemic?” Does Thomas Fazi mean anti-establishment? Does the author really believe that the corporatocracy is dead, that the global capitalist system designed and created (mostly) by the US post World War 2, whose existence uncle Sam’s favored (now; it’s always changing) states benefit from (by not being targets for regime change and strategic rule-breaking via sanctions and tricks), even though their 99 percenters (Chile, Russia) don’t benefit, has been shut down? Why is it that countries like Venezuela and Haiti cannot stay free despite having the luck (and good sense of enough citizens, with and without power) of finding people’s champions (Chavez, Aristide) who will lead them away from the Washington Consensus (of one, in some ways), which means neoliberalism (http://bit.ly/2qAVz3g)? It’s precisely because 1. they are not ‘outside’ the US designed and dominated capitalist system and 2. uncle Sam will break the rules in order to win once he’s targetted a nation. If Russia was truly outside of the corporatocracy, What would sanctions mean? And it’s not just economics and finance. Hugo Chavez, for example (exactly as was the case for Mohammad Mossadeq), allowed the private (rightwing) media in his country all the freedom in the world – which they abused. They happily aided and abetted uncle Sam and foreign, US-based investors, who were trying to undermine ‘dictator’ Chavez with all kinds of lies, propaganda and demonization. Which is ironic, since rightwing leaders everywhere are attacking alternative media, labelling it as fake news that can undermine national security, thus demonstrating that media can indeed channel national security-threatening fake news. Of course, The state and its media allies have the power to impose its definition of ‘national security’, or anything else, on the nation.
“It became increasingly clear that the project of European integration had little or nothing do with a more progressive variety of capitalism that would challenge the American empire, but was rather part and parcel of the ongoing integration of Europe itself into global capitalism under the aegis of the American empire.” – Leo Panitch and Sam Gindin, page 203 of “The Making Of Global Capitalism.” That’s the same Leo Panitch who insisted that Alexis Tsipras did ‘not’ betray the Greek people. Which just goes to show that very educated and smart people can say really dumb things.
In uncle Sam’s world, namely the only world we have, you can’t be free (or neutral, as any number of leaders, like Mossadeq and Tito found out the hard way). You can resist, but you won’t see the world’s champion of democracy wish you well and leave you alone to make your own path. That’s not what the CIA and the NED and it’s tentacles do. That’s not what democracy means to those monsters. Democracy means that when the powerful (like conventional mobsters) don’t like what you’re doing, they will do something – anything – about it until you are no longer doing it. In the case of uncle Sam and his agents, the CIA and NED et al, that means funding the opposition to the people’s champion. That then develops into a foundation for coups. Just ask Dilma Rousseff. What would Venezuela’s godless, rightwing opposition want elections for when uncle Sam will just hand Venezuela over to them in a coup, eventually? That’s what’s coming, or the US wouldn’t be preparing for it (demonizing the people’s champion, spreading propaganda and lies to undermine the Venezuelan state etc).
“Capitalism’s response” probably should be “capitalists’ response.” There’s the overall situation and then there’s details. Capitalism – which is state capitalism; There’s no actual existing pure capitalism outside of farmers’ markets in your local parks etc – has obviously undergone some changes (finance capital has displaced industrial manufacturing capital) and, as a matter of fact, so can neoliberalism. Changes are one thing. Elimination is another.
“threatening a meltdown of the global economy” What does that mean to the mafia capitalists within the gangster corporatocracy? Those ones simply break rules to get their way. If they want a system which works for them, to remain, then they will strategically break whatever rules (written and unwritten) they need to break in order to maintain it. Their insurance policy? As (the much maligned, by the Left and Right) Chomsky points out, it is to have the people bail them out when they are criminally reckless and get themselves, and us, into trouble. And that happens whether the people agree to it or not. Does the author really believe that Trump (and his ‘words’) is an honest response to the unrestricted freedom of abusive banksters and Wall Street and unpatriotic CEOs? One of his first acts after convincing dumb people that his words meant something good, was to do exactly the same kind of deal with Carrier (in which Carrier succeeded in extorting the US government for a handful of jobs and no actual commitment to care about Americans – http://bit.ly/2q5MrzY), as any of his predecessors would have done. And then to pretend that he didn’t. It’s up to people, including Trump’s uncaring supporters, to care enough to notice.
“neo-nationalist”? Fascism is on the rise, or I should say, is intensifying, everywhere. No question. As I read more history, I find it astonishing how the smashed state of Nazi Germany didn’t at all result in the obliteration of nazism. I’m reading Ervand Abrahamian’s “The Coup – 1953, And The Roots Of Modern US-Iranian Relations” at present. And lo and behold, Iran had (has?) its nazis (who the West used to destablize Mossadeq, just as they use nazis everywhere to do the same), and there’s connections back to the German nazi state. Having said that, I think it would be a mistake to conclude that the corporatocracy’s managers, by which I mean thinkers, would like to get rid of the nation state. It’s a useful concept, like Camelot (saint JFK, to use Hersh’s language). If the people have elections and leaders who purport to represent them, then they can be bamboozled into thinking that they have democracy and can, even without systemic change, change things for the better via elections etc.. Note that others (not amateur bloggers like myself) are pointing out that various plans (by the US, which will not seriously be opposed by its allies) for the mideast include shattering Iraq into three areas, Sunni, Shia and Kurdish, as well as the division of Syria and even, eventually the shattering of other Arab states like Egypt. The idea is not to get rid of nation states, but to make them weak – partly by pitting different groups against each other – and no threat to US interests. The idea of Greater Israel envisions such ‘nation-building’ among Israel’s neighbors, so that its power – as it continues to abuse Palestinians jailed on their rapidly vanishing land – can’t be challenged. But a nation state is a nation state, big or small, weak or strong. Indeed, Small, weak states with fascist dictators who will keep the people in check while mafia capitalists (like those who comprise the Egyptian military/government) do destructive, exploitative business as usual are ideal.
“Since 2011, world trade has grown significantly less rapidly than global GDP, and has now begun to shrink even as the global economy grows, albeit sluggishly. World financial flows are down sixty per cent since the pre-crash peak.” I’m sure that’s true. But, again, it all works according to economic rules and cause and effect and so on, none of which matters when gangsters run things. Things can break, according to the economic definition of ‘break’, let us say. But that doesn’t matter to mafia capitalists who make the system ‘work’ anyway (the insurance policy of big banks, namely the little guy and ‘his’ government, for example). What are you going to do about them? If you need real democracy and real freedom, including democracy and freedom in the electoral marketplace, but can’t have it because the gangsters who have captured governments and all that goes with them, including electoral systems, won’t let you have it, then how will you get that back? To get back democracy and freedom you need democracy and freedom, and, in this world, you can’t have it.
This is where Chris Hedges, and others, are right. The people also have to strategically rule-break and disengage, as Chomsky-basher James Corbett has advised (http://bit.ly/2q2XMSv). You must resist, non violently. You must rebel. I personally don’t think that that’s enough, but then again I don’t believe that I’m my own savior. Which doesn’t mean that I think Hedges and Corbett are entirely wrong. Civil disobedience, together with whistleblowing, are indispensable. But the indispensable tool that those ones would use to accomplish their (non violent) fightback are not off the corporatocracy’s radar. The people are losing the internet as I type. Trump’s FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is going full steam ahead with plans to kill of net neutrality while other leaders, like Theresa May, plan to impose a hearty censorship online (http://ind.pn/2q34Ey7). This is the real, not abstract, world.
“…right-wing forces have been much more effective than left-wing or progressive forces at tapping into the legitimate grievances of the masses disenfranchised, marginalised, impoverished, and dispossessed by the forty-year-long neoliberal class war waged from above…” That might be mis-characterizing things. I think one needs to say why rightwing forces have reached those who they’ve reached. Rightwingers are bullies. It’s always hard to challenge them. Also, The people are not automatically righteous because they are lied to and victimized by exploiters and demagogues. Even though societies have been designed to make people stupid, especially via consumerism in richer countries, the people still have some responsibility here. Caring means knowing. People don’t have to give in to the pressures and inducements entirely. They can, if they care and wish to, think (actively, not passively) about the state they are in and the messages they are being bombarded with by the state and its media allies. But, mostly, they don’t. People don’t spend as much as a minute thinking, actively, about important things in a week. The bread and circuses (with the bread component diminishing in influence) approach of elites is working. But that’s not altogether because their manipulations are so effective. It’s also because people themselves have not cared enough. Everyone, victim and victimizer, is trying to win in the godless game of ‘riches for the strongest’ in which there ‘has to be’ losers. People need to wake up and see that the problem is this neoliberal/neoconservative paradigm of ‘riches for the strongest’. That game is the problem. We need a new game in which there are no losers. Of course, How would we deal with those who disagree with that?
Obviously, I don’t agree with the idea of nation states that attempt to disappear the Creator, who, in fact, is the only one who can deal with root problems, like beastly individuals, sickness, old age and death.
I myself have argued that Brexit, for example, is the kind of shock that Naomi Klein wrote about in her book, “The Shock Doctrine,” which shocks usually benefit the Right. I allude to it in another post on my blog titled “I’ve Got All These Books Lying Around.” In that post I refer to Naomi’s discussion of Milton Friedman et al’s approach to nation-building. From page 166 of “The Shock Doctrine,” the following:
It was in 1982 that Milton Friedman wrote the highly influential passage that best summarizes the shock doctrine: “Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes politically inevitable.” It was to become a kind of mantra for his movement in the new democratic era. Allan Meltzer elaborated on the philosophy: “Ideas are alternatives waiting on a crisis to serve as the catalyst of change. Friedman’s model of influence was to legitimize ideas, to make them bearable, and worth trying when the opportunity comes.”
With the Civil Rights movement and the New Deal policies of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and students actually learning things in schools and feeling free, to a degree, to criticize society’s movers and shakers, elites in the US (and elsewhere) became alarmed. Their unease with developing democracy was reflected in the Trilateralists’ document titled “The “Crisis Of Democracy” and in the “Powell Memorandum.” In other words, in the US, you had a rise of democracy among the people, partly because of the educational system, which had not yet been tamed. The flip side of that ‘problem’ is that you didn’t have a democratic society or leaders, in government or in the private sector, which Klein is referring to when she writes about “the new democratic era.” Which gets to the crux of the matter. We are looking at how fascism rises. It rises ‘naturally’, via self-modified individuals who decide that getting and keeping power, however they might accomplish that, is the highest value humans can possess. And it rises in response to the outbreak of democracy, which comes from those who, while not perfect, haven’t modified themselves into monsters who believe (never fully) in inequality and violence and deception, as neoconservatives and neoliberals do. This is where shocks come in. Imperfect societies, which come from imperfect humans and that’s that, can lead to discontent and rebelliousness. So along come the self-modified believers in inequality who now pose, a la Jeffrey Sachs, as saviours who will completely remove the old, broken system and replace it with one that works for everyone. Of course they lie. And when the people trust them, not fully cognizant of their self-modified nature, that then leads to a situation where the new leaders remove the old system, replacing it with the exploitative system that they’ve been waiting around to impose. The thing is, As bad as that old, democratic system is, it was built with at least some input from citizens and was to an extent democratic. The new system will be less democratic, for that’s how elites want it. And they will give the people bread and circuses enough to allow them, if they are willing (which they’ve been) to fool themselves into thinking that they’ve gained democracy when in fact they’ve lost it.
Holly Sklar wrote:
Domestic stability and international stability were closely linked under the umbrella of the welfare/warfare state. Policy makers and presidents like John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson stepped up efforts to fight the worldwide “war on communism” (read “war for capitalism”) alongside the domestic “war on poverty”-with the support of liberals, big labor, and big business. (“Cold War liberalism” is the name given to the dominant ideology of the postwar period.) Corporations reaped lush profits from domestic military production and rapidly expanded out into the empire which U.S. foreign aid remodeled and U.S. guns protected. Stability at home was maintained with varying doses of butter (expanding social welfare programs in the context of a prosperous economy) and political repression (McCarthy era of the 1950s; FBI and CIA counter-intelligence programs to disrupt and destroy progressive movements in the 1960s and 70s; systematic police brutality against Chicano/as, Blacks, Native Americans, and Puerto Ricans.
Note that the Third World Traveler website’s search feature is no longer useful. I typed in “Trilateralists” was met with no returns, although that word should have brought up Holly’s above entry, and others. And try finding a contact for those who look after the site. It’s appalling really.
So I agree with Thomas Fazi about the need for the Left to be as quick as the Right in taking advantages of shocks, which they haven’t been. But that doesn’t mean that what he discusses can’t be… discussed.
*edit, May 14, 2017 – I should have made it clear that my religious concern about blood was in connection with my concern that perhaps a vaccine might contain blood or a blood component. I don’t know whether any vaccines do.
Regarding the video, below, I know nothing about The Deen show. I never saw it before. It looks like Eddie Deen belongs to some religious organization. I am not even interested. I’m only interested in this particular show, in which Deen speaks with Dr Toni Bark about vaccines. In looking for Eddie Deen’s name, in order to get the full name and the spelling right, I did a quick Google search and found a website that offers a bit of info. It was the About page of The Deen Show website. Eddie Deen is on a crusade to help people see the true face of Islam.
My online response to the above linked-to YouTube video, which I highly recommend, follows:
I see what Dr. Bark is saying about religion having no place in medicine, but I have to respectfully disagree with her. I ‘am’ religious. God, whose name is Jehovah (however you want to pronounce it, because there’s debate about it), has told us to not eat blood. Why do you eat? You eat in order to stay alive, physically. (So, Like the fruit in the garden of Eden, the blood is symbolic [symbolizing life]. The fruit in the garden of Eden symbolized independence from the Source of life.
The commandment to not eat blood is also a test of one’s loyalty to the Creator. You show your faith in the God who can, through his Son, resurrect loyal followers after death. If you think that your life is in your hands, solely, and that once you die physically you die completely forever, fine. But if you believe, fully, upon God and his plan of salvation for imperfect humankind, then the appropriate response to God’s commandment concerning the eating of blood is to abstain from it. That’s not a Jehovah’s Witness teaching. That’s not a Catholic teaching. That’s not a Protestant teaching. Etc.. That’s from God and something that Christian elders confirmed is binding upon Christians, as recorded at Acts chapter 15. If you don’t believe in an actual creator God, then fine. But if you do…
That would be my first concern about vaccines. Then there’s what big business, mainly Big Pharma, has done to something that may very well be a positive innovation in health care. Mercury is toxic. No amount of mercury is safe. So, If the industry is using mercury in vaccines (included in thimerosol, if I’m spelling that right), then that’s a problem. Also, I’ve listened to Robert Kennedy and Robert De Niro and Dr Wakefield. What they say is worth thinking about. We all ‘know’ how mafia capitalists operate. The model is: ‘dominate, dictate and take’. (Big Pharma is behind the propaganda assault on the principle of informed consent.) The motto is: ‘Take what you get, whether you like it or not, and even if it hurts you’ Remember silicon breast implants (which someone told me are coming back, incredibly!)? What do capitalists (of the mainstream variety, namely those who like free trade deals so that they can COST CUT) do? They cost cut and, sometimes, cut corners and skip quality control. And when they are big biz, they donate to politicians who will in turn allow them to monopolize, tax evade, avoid regulation… you name it. I can tell you this much; Big Pharma is pleased to (others’) death that it can enlist politicians in it’s propaganda campaign ‘against’ informed consent. Talk about a captured market!
And so, You have capitalists pushing vaccines, through health care providers, that are risky because they are bundled and because weak regulations mean information about vaccines doesn’t have to be shared with the public who is told that they are criminal if they don’t get their kids vaccinated. The bundling (to save costs) of multiple types of vaccines is risky. And not necessary. I was alerted to a lot of this craziness by an article, by Prof. James F. Tracey (http://bit.ly/2q8KN48), I read in a local paper here in Toronto. I have since then listened to YouTube vids of people who know more a lot about this stuff and I am convinced that the public health isn’t as important to the chest pounding politicians, and their media allies, as Big Pharma’s health. As always.
trailer for the documentary Vaxxed, directed by Andrew Wakefield and produced by Del Bigtree:
“Big Pharma’s agenda: Assault on informed consent” by Professor James F. Tracey
An excerpt from the above linked-to (March 3, 2015) article follows:
Major US news media have presented a grossly distorted and misleading interpretation of vaccines and their relationship to public health since early January. These journalistic organs have suggested the recent measles outbreak in the Western US has been a crisis of monumental proportions.
This flagrant and cynical sensationalism has become a foundation for intense advocacy on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporate and regulatory cartel targeting patient informed consent—a founding principal of modern medical practice and personal freedom. Keeping in mind the close to 300 vaccine products now in the pharmaceutical industry’s pipeline, closer analysis of “measles outbreak” press coverage suggests a conscious effort by corporate news media to virtually banish such notions and practices from the public mind. A news media dependent on over $1 billion in advertising dollars from big pharma must almost by necessity indulge their clients’ broader agenda.
*edit, May 9, 2017 – I added a link to my unfinished JFK project. I will also add in a image. And I may touch this up a bit more going forward.
My YouTube comments in response to James Corbett’s anti-Chomsky video follow:
I could just keeping commenting, but there’s too much baloney to respond to. This represents a big fail on James’s part.
JFK fundamentally changed the course of US politics?!! That’s crazy talk in my opinion.
Chomsky disagrees with James and James disagrees with Chomsky on what JFK thought of the CIA. I know that folks who want to buttress a certain narrative would like to establish as fact that JFK hated the CIA, but it is worth reviewing what Chomsky himself says about that. I’d have to do some digging in order to give you a link or a quote, but I’ve read the passages and remember their thrust clearly.
You needn’t guess about Peter Dale Scott. I read Peter’s book. Chomsky’s letter to me included: “Peter Dale Scott is a personal friend, and has done some interesting work. He certainly knows the details that might somehow relate to the Kennedy assassination very fully, but he presents no convincing case, in my opinion (and in fact hardly pretends to)…”
JFK didn’t want withdrawal without military victory. Apparently (and this I get from Hersh, not Chomsky), JFK did want to pull out the troops, but not until his re-election in ’64 and, according to Chomsky, not without military victory (although Chomsky notes that it wasn’t exactly military victory that the US wanted, but the destruction of Vietnam and the example of independence it set for other Asian countries). Part of the problem here, as far as I can tell, was that the doctrinal system had worked marvelously and millions of Americans would not support US troops fleeing from communists with their tails between their legs. As for principle, JFK didn’t do anything, including sacrificing American lives, that he didn’t think would help his re-election prospects, which Seymour Hersh (who, at other times, seems to lack the courage of his convictions) reports in his book “The Dark Side Of Camelot.” https://youtu.be/sBJuFaEL1JQ
There was no evidence that there was a conspiracy to assassinate JFK ‘for the reason that he was going in a different direction, policy-wise from others, like Johnson’? There’s a bit of a difference.
“no premises” to evaluate?!! Come on James! He wrote an entire book explaining his position. Sheesh!
I don’t care how many exaggerated expressions you use in talking about Chomsky’s view on JFK. I still agree with Chomsky. And there’s enough history – not mythology, which there is even more of – about JFK for anyone to know that, as Chomsky has said, there was no difference policy-wise or in any other way between JFK and Johnson or any of the rabid anti-communists of that era. Chomsky’s book, titled “Rethinking Camelot,” free to read online, about it: http://bit.ly/2pW4NoP. But it’s interesting how, with this subject, and with the subject of 9/11, Chomsky discourages others (by his example) from investigating. I don’t understand that. Chomsky tells people to pay attention – but not always. I can only speculate. James speculates eagerly… and comes to conclusions. I’m not prepared to follow him where he goes on Chomsky however. If Chomsky’s concern is to not get lost in a rabbit hole and if he’s trying to discourage others from doing that, then I have some sympathy, although I would say that if that’s his concern, then he should both state it clearly and state clearly that he has no problem with others looking into those subjects.
Readers: Corbett hammers on the idea of Chomsky worshippers. I’m not going to automatically agree with all that Chomsky’s critics say about Chomsky anymore than I’m going to automatically agree with all that Chomsky says. I worship God, period. I don’t agree with Chomsky on God, for starters. But he was respectful toward me, and other religionists, when he wrote me to respond to my letter to him, which covered many subjects. I don’t agree with Chomsky about Putin and Syria and that’s mainly a disagreement about his (big) failure to either know and say what’s going on there or to rely on others, who are up to no good, to inform him. I can understand it if he’s slowing down on research and relying on assistants and others. But I can’t afford assistants (or anything much) and that doesn’t lead me to not see what’s going on in Syria. True, It takes some work and an investment in time, which is harder to do when you’ve already got a full time, permanent (and poorly paid) job. But it can be done. I do note that Chomsky is keeping bad company. Perhaps he’s been friends of Amy Goodman for a long time. Okay. But does he have to betray his principles and victims of imperialism in Syria in order to stay friends with Amy, who thinks (actively if not passively) the White Helmets are just peachy? If he was up to speed on Syria (which might require a rethink of the ‘evil’ of the internet), and he cared about friends like Amy, then he could correct her. And he could do it publicly, which could accomplish so much.
I believe that Chomsky said he was okay with the Federal Reserve ‘while we have a capitalist system’ which I also heard him say it would be “good” to lose. So, He doesn’t ‘absolutely’ support the Federal Reserve system. Furthermore, What he says about deficts, debts and spending seemed reasonable to me. It’s what I’ve always known.
‘Building up your capital’? Don’t do good work?
Since I’ve been thinking about gatekeepers, with James’s definition I’ve now come across two definitions different than my own. I guess the universe can accommodate two or three definitions of gatekeeper. I don’t know, yet, why it couldn’t. Petra Liverani’s Off Guardian article, “Analysis Of The Sophistry Of Noam Chomsky” was that author’s attempt to smear Chomsky more than anything. She’s entitled to her opinion of the man, and her opinion of what a gatekeeper is, but reading her article and pondering her definition, I came to the conclusion that she failed, on her own terms, to make her case. Her definition includes the idea that a gatekeeper keeps certain views out of circulation. I take the position that one can’t accuse Chomsky of being censorious. No one is a more vigorous champion of free speech than Chomsky. That fact is not hard to know. ‘If’ Petra’s position is that Chomsky intimidates into silence those who might present a view that he disagrees with, then that is quite a different thing from actually hindering those views. It’s not Chomsky’s fault if others, with views he disagrees with, are intimidated by him into keeping silent.
James definition really goes narrow. He says that you have to be influential and highly placed in order to be a gatekeeper. I’m still watching the video, so I’ll know more fully what his definition is. But for now, I must say that that’s not my definition.
According to my definition, a gatekeeper can be appointed, or self-appointed (and if self-appointed, not necessarily conscious of their gatekeeper role). He (or…) can be anyone. He can be smart, stupid, homeless or rich, Left or Right. Gatekeepers don’t just seek to block messages they want blocked (in service to power). They hinder, in all ways, ranging between small and serious, those whose views they want blocked.
As my top, and last, YouTube comment notes, I stopped commenting before I had finished the entire YouTube video. I felt that I couldn’t just post a string of comments longer than the 14 I did (15 if you include the question I asked about my disappeared comments). I didn’t come across anything in the video after making my final comment that changed my mind about anything I had said in my comments (nine which I thought had been disappeared when I exited the website and then returned, but which then appeared after I clicked on ‘newest’). I would only say that James’s comments about the Federal Reserve question asked by an audience member and not answered by Chomsky seemed fair. The subject material is beyond my ability to fully grasp and so I will have to include myself among those in the audience who James notes didn’t catch the fact that Chomsky’s long answer to the question about whether the people should have the power enjoyed by the Federal Reserve to print money was not really answered. That doesn’t mean that I disagree with what Chomsky did say, but I’ll take James’s word for it that the question wasn’t properly answered.
I was quite tired when I typed up the draft for this post. I went to bed for a few hours and then returned to it upon waking. I then read more of the numerous, mostly rabid, comments about Chomsky by other viewers. I was listening to Corbett’s video again while doing so. Corbett repeatedly returns to passages of Chomsky’s that he wants us to interpret to mean that Chomsky is not interested in evidence that JFK was assassinated by a group of conspirators. But if you pay attention to Corbett’s own quotes, they support Chomsky’s position more than Corbett’s.
And Corbett tries to distract us from the central message of Chomsky, in “Rethinking Camelot,” with statements about Chomsky having done his work so early. That’s rather like a frame. It’s a ‘Look there!’ ploy. Corbett’s audience needn’t examine the evidence Chomsky provides because all of it was done when some documents that Chomsky could have had access to if he had written later, weren’t available to him. Talk about dismissing evidence! And then there’s Corbett’s statement, which he hopes his audience will apply to his straw man about Chomsky denying a conspiracy (rather than Chomsky’s denying that there’s no evidence for such a conspiracy being rooted in purported policy changes of JFK) that Chomsky has not given anyone any premises to analyze. (Chomsky could have spared a few words of criticism for the bogus Warren Commission report. I do see bias in that.) Meanwhile there’s Chomsky’s book, “Rethinking Camelot”!!! Corbett is, actually, complaining that Chomsky isn’t trying to prove what James wants him to prove, which is another thing altogether. That’s simply not fair. So, If you apply Corbett’s accusation about missing premises to Corbett’s misrepresentation of Chomsky’s focus, then you can make sense of it and agree. And if James thinks that ‘he’ has made the case that JFK was different from the scum around him and that his policy direction was different than the anti communist crowd around him, then boy is he delusional!
Chomsky writes, on pages 36 & 37 of “Rethinking Camelot,” which he intended to be a chapter in his other book, “Year 501 – The Conquest Continues,” the following:
Given the strong reactions that these issues have raised, perhaps it is worthwhile to make clear just what is and is not under consideration in what follows. This discussion addresses the question of the assassination only at the policy level: is there any reason to believe that JFK broke from the general pattern and intended to withdraw US forces from Vietnam even if that would lead to “impairment of the war effort” and undermine the “fundamental objective of victory”? Ancillary questions arise concerning further beliefs about impending policy changes. These questions are addressed below.
Also Corbett gives short shrift to Chomsky’s examination of JFK’s vow (purported?) to smash the CIA to bits. Had he any sense of fairness, he would have told his audience to examine Chomsky’s reasons for viewing animosity of the CIA toward JFK, as a reason to include them in any group plotting to assassinate him, as fantasy, which of course doesn’t mean that they weren’t involved in a plot to kill Kennedy. But, Let the man speak. Right? From pages 144 & 145 of “Rethinking Camelot,” the following:
Another common belief is that JFK was so incensed over the failure of the CIA at the Bay of Pigs that he vowed to smash it to bits, sowing the seeds for right-wing hatreds. Again, there are problems. As historians of the Agency have pointed out, it was Lyndon Johnson who treated the CIA “with contempt,” while JFK’s distress over the Bay of Pigs “in no way undermined his firm faith in the principle of covert operations, and the CIA’s mission to carry them out.” JFK promised to “redouble his efforts” and to “improve” covert operations. He fired the CIA’s harshest critic (Chester Bowles) and appointed as Director the respected John McCone, who “revitalized the intelligence process,” though persistent failures kept the Agency from returning to the “golden age.” Nevertheless, the CIA was “reestablished…in White House favor” and became a “significant voice in policy making” under Kennedy, particularly in 1963, “as covert actions multiplied in Cuba, Laos, Vietnam and Africa” (including new instructions in June 1963 to increase covert operations against Castro). Under JFK, the CIA Director became “a principal participant in the administration, on a par with the Secretary of State or of Defense.” The enthusiasm of the Kennedy brothers for counterinsurgency and covert operations is, of course, notorious.
Roger Hilsman, Director of State Department Intelligence under Kennedy, writes of the efforts of the Administration to streamline intelligence operations and make them more “effective and appropriate,” overcoming the incompetence of recent operations so that later ones would better serve US interests. The intent is well illustrated by Hilsman’s discussion of CIA Director Allen Dulles’s defense of the successful overthrow of the governments of Iran (Mossadegh) and Guatemala (Arbenz). “Dulles is fundamentally right,” Hilsman states. If the Communists remain “antagonistic” and use subversion, then we have a right “to protect and defend ourselves” – by overthrowing a conservative parliamentary regime or a reformist democratic capitalist government and imposing a murderous terror state.
Furthermore, as Robert Spears pointed out, those most incensed by JFK’s efforts to improve the efficiency of the CIA after the Bay of Pigs fiasco were not right-wing jingoists, but the “Bold Easterners,” a group not unlike the “action intellectuals” of the New Frontier. The “decline in the reputation and standing of the CIA” paralleled the “decline in the abundance and power of the Ivy Leaguers.” LBJ reduced their role in the decision-making process, and Nixon “consciously sought to exclude the CIA from power” because of his contempt for the “Ivy League liberals” who still dominated the Agency, he felt. The Nixon years were “the nadir for the CIA.”
Johnson and Nixon, then, should have been the targets for CIA resentment and plots, not JFK. There seems to be little promise here.
Corbett’s disingenuous reference (at 36:03 in the YouTube video) to JFK’s criminal father is shameful. With “And while JFK, I absolutely do not dispute came from a very shady background…” line, he implies that JFK was a great guy. I’m going to hazard a guess here. I would say that James Corbett has read Seymour Hersh’s “The Dark Side Of Camelot.” If he has, then he knows quite well what a slime ball the venereal disease-ridden JFK was. How many women did he give his disease to?, because there was a steady stream of them. Which means that James Corbett has sold his soul. You can’t tell these kinds of big lies without doing so. Note Chomsky’s reference to the Kennedy brothers’ love of counterinsurgency and covert ops. That means terrorism. This is a bad as Star Wars’s screwy scripts. Darth Vader can slaughter children and planets and his worshippers just want him back. “We forgive you terrorist and killer of children. Return to us!” JFK would sacrifice, without remorse, the lives of others, American and non American, to further his own ambitions. Here’s a clip of Hersh answering an audience member at Politics & Prose Bookstore, who asked him whether he though JFK was a good president:
If there is anyone who I would have wanted to take a close, critical look at Noam Chomsky, it was James Corbett. Well, He has done so and what a fail! It’s a free universe. I had no idea that James was infected with Camelotism. He’s clever enough to make some effort to shield himself from that accusation by acknowledging that Chomsky’s a smart guy and he’s had a big impact on politics and people’s consciousness. But he can’t hide his disease from those who are, ahem, paying attention. With this show, James Corbett has placed himself in the company of other fake friends of the people, like the Toronto Star, which Chomsky commented on when I wrote to him about Peter Dale Scott and other things. Consider:
=== === =
“Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful letter. I’m sorry, but not too surprised, to hear that you don’t get many responses, or at least useful ones…
On JFK, my own views might surprise you. I don’t find evidence for a conspiracy very convincing, and as for high-level conspiracy that might have any significant policy implications, the evidence is powerfully against it. In fact, it’s rare that historical evidence converges so on such a conclusion. I’ve explained my reasons in a recent book, Rethinking Camelot (South End/ Black Rose in Montreal), which I’ll bet was not one of the 2000 books reviewed in the Star, which you mentioned. Peter Dale Scott is a personal friend, and has done some interesting work. He certainly knows the details that might somehow relate to the Kennedy assassination very fully, but he presents no convincing case, in my opinion (and in fact hardly pretends to), and on the matter of Vietnam, he is just wildly wrong, so much so that he cannot even comprehend detailed factual analyses that depart from his premises (there’s a section in his book on me that illustrates that dramatically; I’ve rarely seen such extraordinary misreading and misunderstanding, even on trivial matters, completely without malice incidentally.)
= === ===
Interestingly, At one point in the video Corbett is quoting Chomsky saying something similar to what he says in the above quote ABOUT VIETNAM. In the video, he attributes the same kind of statement, by Chomsky, to the idea of a conspiracy to assassinate JFK. Hmmm.
See my previous post, “Gatekeepers.”
See my collection of excerpts titled “John F Kennedy And Robert F Kennedy Were Terrorists.”
An excerpt from the above linked-to article by Tracey Mitchell follows:
This rise in donations in the U.S. after the election is cause for some hope in the face of an alarming neo-fascist government, but it is in contrast to a more disconcerting trend in Canada.
Does Tracey refer to donations to the fascist Democratic Party? Does she want donors who think that the Democratic Party is the solution to the Republican Party and The New Democratic Party and Liberal Party is the solution to the Conservative Party? Then she, and those who she’s aligned with, are a problem, in my view.
“New McCarthyism: 39% of Democrats name Russia biggest threat” by Eric Zuesse. I am not a fan of (explicitly) anti-Christian Eric Zuesse. But his non religious writings are fairly decent.
“May Day Protests As Much About Democrats as GOP and Trump” – The Real News Network. “Since the 1990s, Washington, DC has been a sanctuary city for immigrants. Now, Republicans want to dismantle that protection status in cities across the United States and Democrats are doing little to stop them and in some cases are working with them.”
“Temporary Truce in a Democratic Party Civil War: The Sanders & Perez Unity Tour” – The Real News Network
In regard to the above linked-to Real News show, I have no idea why it was titled Unity Tour. It’s stunning how there is neither unity within the American “Democratic Party” nor any hint that that’s on the horizon. But worse than that, Sanders is supposed to be the cure for the Tom Perez Democrats, but he’s a big faker himself and he has misled Americans, and others, about what socialism is!
My online response to the top of post linked-to article follows:
We can’t have neo-fascist orgs now Can we?
Briarpatch, or a gatekeeper within Briarpatch, disappeared my first comment here. That would be a first for a smallish Canadian progressive org that I’ve long supported. But I’m getting used to it. In the deepening, spreading darkness, betrayal is everywhere.
This is an awful commenting feature Briarpatch. Do you like it?
“…fundraisers and other spokespeople for some Canadian organizations say they are hearing from donors that they are relieved by the change in government and feel less urgency to give now that Harper is no longer in office.” As I said in my first, disappeared, comment, If Canadians were pleased about putting a pretty face on Harperism, they don’t deserve to be rewarded for that.
“We heard directly from people, ‘you defeated Harper, now you’re done!’” says Lyndsay Poaps, executive director of Leadnow, a national campaign and advocacy organization focused on justice, sustainability, and equity. “We set ourselves up as a third-party agenda and once [Harper] was gone, people were ready to move on. In order to get people informed and excited about it, you had to get people focused on defeating him, but there are ramifications [to] that,” she added.
“Jamian Logue, director of development for the Council of Canadians, a social action organization that has seen many political ups and downs in its 30 -plus years, says his organization is encountering “a starkly different fundraising environment” in the post-Harper era relative to the 10 years of Harper rule.” Perhaps. I also think that as progressives see time pass, they become more attuned to the fakery that resides on the Left. Maybe it’s not always fakery. But often enough, it is. I don’t expect progressive orgs to be perfect, but when I look for signs that imperfection is all I’m seeing, for example when I learn that the Council of Canadians embraced war criminal (Noam Chomsky, Yves Engler) Lester Pearson, thus helping to perpetuate a harmful myth, Does it still? Was there a mea culpa? I think I’m being reasonable here. What’s the Council’s position on war criminal Pearson today?
In the long run, as I said in my disappeared comment, you get the reputation you give yourself. Disappearing comments of progressives and/or bloggers who challenge you to uphold progressive values and positions hastens the day that that bad rep is established, even if, in the short term, you hide your waywardness.
Donations? Does a progressive org want donations enough to sacrifice progressives who call out their waywardness, displayed by their acceptance of closet imperialists, fakers, etc? I got tired of Common Dreams carrying articles by destroyers like Jeffrey Sachs and CIA asset Graham Fuller and they banned me for pointing out their waywardness. Except that I blog and have a category on my blog called “Disappeared,” which this comment that I’m typing now is about to go into.
Even the CBC has banned me. But those gutless slime didn’t call it a ban. When I tried to comment on Syria, the (for a long time) compromised CBC (or a gatekeeper within, but that gatekeeper would have been acting in harmony with the fascist CBC – See my blog “A Yappy Trade Barrier”) returned a message that it couldn’t accept my username, which it tossed out after I changed my username 3 times!
Readers: How do you know who to support (donations or not)? That can only be done with time. I’m not sure that donating just in order to accomplish a specific aim, once, is principled. Perhaps it’s understandable.
Click on the ‘CBC’ tag in my blog’s tag cloud for other posts by me about the compromised CBC.
My post to Barbara’s blog in response to the above linked-to article has been in ‘awaiting moderation’ for some days now. I call that disappeared. If it appears, I’ll re-categorize my post. But I’m not going to check every day forever.
An excerpt from the above blog post by Barbara McKenzie follows:
After I and others wrote about Mahmoud Halyaf who, having been born without arms, lost his legs to a terrorist mine, I was approached by someone from the Global Media Department of a US university department, who wanted to be put in touch with the family – perhaps they could help him. I spoke to his doctor, Nabil Antaki, who wanted to know more details , as medical staff were unwilling to allow the boy to be exploited. After conveying this back to the inquirer, no more was heard.
Dr Antaki’s attitude stands in sharp contrast to the corporate media, and to regime-change seeking NGOs such as Amnesty, who see children first and foremost as objects to be used and manipulated. A primary example is Omran Daqneesh, the boy on the orange chair, who was coldbloodedly chosen to be the face of a media campaign highlighting the trauma of war on children solely because he was little, chubby and cute, not because he had actually suffered any trauma. Fortunately for Omran his fame is still largely confined to that one photoshoot…
Practically all the people seven-year old Bana chose to follow, apart from a handful of world leaders, were representatives of the mainstream media and/or anti-Syrian activists.
Apart from the undisguised sophistication of the operation, there were other glaring discrepancies. The tweets were first supposed to be Bana’s own, but the videos showed that Bana did not know a word of English when the project started. The eventual explanation that she was actually a front for her terrorist-supporting family (that would be all right, apparently) still did not wash. The tweeter was clearly a native English speaker, while interviews with her mother Fatemah (real name Maram) revealed that she certainly was not…
Given that UNICEF in the person of Justin Forsyth, along with various celebrities, is prepared to condone both the fraud and the abuse of Bana Alabed, , it is no surprise that the media have closed eyes and ears to any discrepancies in the saga.
The truth about Bana, and the impossibility that she should have anything to do with the account run in her name, must be inescapable to anyone who has actually met her. Correspondents from organs of the media, however, such as CNN (A day with Bana, the Syrian girl who gave a voice to Aleppo, 8 February), and the Financial Times Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, the ‘face of Aleppo’, 10 March, give no indication that the paucity of Bana’s spoken English contradicts the fluency of her tweeting.
My (typo corrected) online response to the very thorough, detailed and welcome blog post by Barbara McKenzie follows:
Thanks for your thorough reportage. As it gets harder, in some ways, for caring, principled people to simply state the truth about the corporatocracy’s war of terror on the people, because so many have joined it and so many others are taken in by the propaganda pushing it, those who continue to speak truth about, and to, power are able to persist precisely because they are principled. That’s what principled means. It doesn’t mean superhuman, or perfect, or brave (nor does it exclude it), or super smart. It means ‘right’. And that’s important.
I’m a Christian myself, but I have zero use for Christendom. In the Bible book of Revelation, in chapter 11, we read about the nations’ wrath which God responds to with his own (which we don’t know much about since his principles are not those of the violent beast of corporatocracy):
“But the nations became wrathful, and your own wrath came, and the appointed time came for the dead to be judged [because they were sleeping a special deep sleep called death] and to reward your slaves the prophets and the holy ones and those fearing your name, the small and the great, and to bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” (The bolding is mine.)
What is the nature of that ruin? It is primarily mental and spiritual. (Some, like Chris Hedges (who is awesome, but trapped in Christendom), refer to moral and intellectual ruin. That’s fine too. From a state of mental and spiritual ruin, you get ideas and policies that lead to literal ruin. Politicians, belonging to captured governments and in cahoots with powerful, capitalist, special interests have foisted neoliberal mafia capitalism on humankind that has resulted in pollution and global warming, with the result that without the intervention of God, humankind is now facing extinction.
Jesus gave his followers a remarkable prophecy (which is confusing in some respects but not by any means senseless; Matthew chapter 24; Mark chapter 13; Luke 21:5-36) about signs that his followers should look for that would indicate when the end of the world would come. In Matthew’s version of the prophecy for the end of this system of things, he tells us “For just as the days of Noah were, so the presence of the Son of man will be. For as they were in those days before the Flood, eating and drinking, men marrying and women being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and they took no note until the Flood came and swept them all away, so the presence of the Son of man will be.” (The italics are mine.) The things Jesus lists there are not said to be evil. They aren’t. Where the evil comes in is with those ones ‘taking no note’ of what Jehovah’s prophet Noah was telling them. They didn’t care. They didn’t care about God’s standards. That’s clear from other accounts of the time of Noah, when Nephilim existed (Genesis chapter6). The world of humankind of that time was violent. As it is now, Most of its inhabitants pursued a philosophy of ‘riches for the strongest’. That paradigm, or operating principle, is nothing that comes from God. With ‘riches for the strongest or mightiest’, There ‘has to be’ losers. As for the flood, That was coming regardless. No one had to perish in it because no one had to turn away from the Source of life and his standards. Innocents who did perish in the flood, did not perish completely. They’ve been sleeping their special deep sleep of death and await resurrection and the opportunity (We all get ‘one’ real opportunity) to declare for or against the Sovereign Jehovah. And he will force no one to live. But he will allow no one, in the new world to come, to deprive others of life – in any fashion.
Once these celebs, who are already tainted by their association, knowingly or not, with Hollywood/CIA/Pentagon, choose to jump on the ‘Bana Alabed as victim’ bandwagon, a huge propaganda operation designed to get the general population to support bloody regime change in Syria (with many ‘real’ young victims to follow), Will they show some humility afterward when they are forced to deal with the fact they have acted in the service of evil? I guess the answer is “no,” if they don’t in fact possess such humility.