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Breaking Free From The Captured Media

Why the mainstream press is freaking out
Friday, December 9, 2016, 8:55 PM

In its panicky rush to demonize the independent media via baseless accusations of "fake news," the mainstream press has sunk to spewing "fake news" of its own.

Here's The Washington Post's criminally false "fake news" article in case you missed it: Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say.

So-called "fake news" was perfectly acceptable to the mainstream media when it was the exclusive purview of the central state. The infamous Gulf of Tonkin Incident in August 1964 that was used to justify a massive escalation of the heretofore limited war in Vietnam was heavily promoted by the mainstream media of the day.

Within hours of the incident, Navy commanders had notified the Pentagon that the entire incident was very likely illusory, a "fog of war" error.

Decades later, the mainstream media swallowed the Executive Branch's "weapons of mass destruction" justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq as well. Even more egregiously, the mainstream media parroted the central bank/state's narrative about the Global Financial Meltdown of 2008, missing the systemic fraud and embezzlement at the heart of America's financial system.

Why is the mainstream media freaking out right now? The MSM had bet all its diminishing chips of credibility on Hillary Clinton winning the Presidency. Leading newspapers such as The New York Times ceaselessly undermined Bernie Sander's campaign in favor of Hillary Clinton, a bias visible throughout the mainstream media. (When Bernie won a primary by a substantial margin, the smallish NYT headline would read something like "Sanders edges Clinton." When Clinton won a primary by a slim margin, the NYT would declare in large typeface "Clinton regains momentum." Do you see the not-so-subtle bias?)

The same was true regarding Donald Trump. Of the 100 largest newspapers in the nation, not one came out in favor of him -- a one-sided media bias that is unprecedented in recent U.S. history.

The MSM has awakened to the reality that the monopoly they once held on a captive audience has eroded to the point of ineffectiveness.

  • In 1964, the media could easily convince the American people that the Vietnam misadventure was "necessary."
  • The media could still sell the American people that the Iraq misadventure was also "necessary" in 2002.
  • In 2016, the media went "all-out" to sell the inevitability and rightness of a Hillary Clinton presidency. What should have been a slam dunk ended up in defeat.

The fundamental dynamic here is the transition from a captive audience in thrall to a handful of media corporations to a radically democratized media. In 1964, Americans had essential zero alternatives to the three TV networks and the mainstream magazines and newspapers.

A few hardy souls subscribed to newsletters from muckrakers such as I.F. Stone, but independent journals and journalists were marginalized.

Any journal that published investigative journalism that called the dominant narratives into question (for example, Ramparts magazine in the late 1960s and early 1970s) attracted the ire of the C.I.A. and the central state's other organs of security/repression.

If you don't know anything about this, I recommend reading Site Behind Washington Post’s McCarthyite Blacklist Appears To Be Linked to Ukrainian Fascists and CIA Spies (nakedcapitalism.com).

Increasingly, the media is becoming more of a Wild West than the homogenized, centralized media with a captive audience. With the advent of digital publishing, a lot more voices can be heard. But it takes effort to find them, and separate the wheat from the chaff. As I explain in my short video (1:21 minutes) recorded for Max Keiser, Comments on being on the "Russian propaganda" List, democracy implicitly imposes a responsibility on the citizenry to sort out who benefits from whatever narrative is being pushed.

Simply put, democracy requires citizens to be skeptical and street-smart. Chumps who can't figure out when they're being played will lose their democracy.

The mainstream media is attempting to demonize the independent media by lumping us in with "fake news" click-bait farms and "conspiracy" theorists. Notice what this says about the MSM's view of its viewers/listeners/readers:

"You are mindless sheep who are easily led astray, you are incapable of sorting wheat from chaff and so you should only listen to your betters--us."

The MSM's frenzied obsession with "fake news" (but not its own "fake news") is the gravest possible insult to the American people. The MSM is implicitly declaring that the American people are incapable of grasping the difference between click-bait headlines such as "What dangerous secret did Obama tell Trump?" or "You won't believe how these child actors have aged" and actual journalism.

Some people believe the moon landings were faked, and the rest of us have been duped. An entire cottage industry has emerged to provide evidence of the faked landings. Look, this is a democracy. People are free to believe whatever they want, or whatever seems persuasive to them. Lumping everyone outside the six corporate media behemoths into the same pot as click-bait farms won't work.

Just to refresh your memory: LIBOR rate rigging was dismissed as a wacky conspiracy, until it was shown to be true. Rigging of the silver market was a "conspiracy theory" dismissed as the equivalent of flat-earthers -- until it was shown to be true.

No wonder Americans' Trust in Mass Media Sinks to New Low (Gallup)

The mainstream media is apoplectic that their captive audience of inmates is now exposed to a cacophony of alternative narratives and opinions. In the good old days, the MSM's blanket promotion of Hillary Clinton's candidacy would have yielded a landslide victory for their chosen candidate.

For the first time in American history, the entire weight of the corporate mainstream media failed to persuade the citizenry.

With advertising revenues sliding along with the citizens' trust, the MSM is flailing about in a self-destructive fit of hubris: This makes no sense! There must be an external reason for our failure, because it can't be anything we did!

Wake up, Big Corporate Media. The enemy that's destroying your power and income is your own hubris. You can't put the Internet genie back in the bottle. Your reporting and narratives are now in open competition with a thousand other narratives, many of which (such as those of this site) are based on readily available data published by government agencies such as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the I.R.S., US Census Bureau and the St. Louis Federal Reserve.

For example my analysis Endangered Species: The Self-Employed Middle Class relies on Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and I.R.S. data. Similarly, my analysis on Why We Keep Getting Poorer: High-Cost Housing is based on data drawn from the US Census Bureau.

In a democracy, trust must be earned. It cannot be imposed. The days of captive audiences are over. The monopoly on "news" and propaganda has been broken for good.

In Part 2: The Future Of Truth, we explore what this new media landscape means for seekers of truth going forward. How can you improve your ability to identify trustworthy information in the current landscape of controlled mass media & wildly fragmented alternative voices?

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

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42 Comments

Rodster's picture
Rodster
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 22 2016
Posts: 2
I Unplugged From The MSM

It's been about 10 years since I unplugged from the MSM. It was right around the time of the 2008 Financial Collapse when they were trying to sell the so-called "Great Recession" to the global public. When in reality the world entered a Global Depression, which is probably why the World's Central Banks are doing their best to kill deflation before it gets out of control.

Isn't it funny how General Motors and Chrysler made it thru the 1929 Great Depression but needed to be bailed out by the "Great Recession". ;)

Now all my news I get from the alternative media which includes this site, James Corbett, USAWatchdog.com, Geoengineeringwatch.org, Zero Hedge and others.

aggrivated's picture
aggrivated
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 431
Sneaky bankers

Another site I follow pointed out that St Loius FRED chart for the adjusted monetary base shows the dollar in a slow deflationary process over the last few years. So all this talk about tightening the dollar is smoke and mirrors unless the FED is so anti Trump that they want to cause a recession/depression on his watch. Sneaky, sneaky.

Dini's picture
Dini
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Posts: 4
Winners and Losers

It is true that mainstream media support of weak candidates has often succeeded in getting them elected. It is also true that the major metropolitan newspapers and older TV networks were heavily one-sided in their support of Ms. Clinton. But that is not the same as saying that Mr. Trump lacked significant media support.

During the campaign period I noticed that in many places where a TV runs continuously while customers wait, such as doctors offices, auto service shops, restaurants, etc, the choices were pretty evenly split between CNN and Fox News. While CNN was heavily biased in favor of Clinton, Fox pundits were generally supportive of Trump. Love 'em or hate 'em, maybe what really happened here is that Fox has become a much more important source and a counter to the MSM.

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 601
This reality is soo depressing

Quite a while back, I started to sample non US news sources to get news not readily available in the US, as well as reports with a different bias.  The idea is if, I read news on a particular topic from US, Europe and Eastern news sources, hopefully the individual biases will cancel themselves out.

The situation in the US brings this qoute to mind:

Quote:

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

I think we failed to keep it.

climber99's picture
climber99
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Posts: 154
The largest "fake news" story

The largest "fake news" story was run by the msm in 2003. The story of the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq in order to persuade people to support enforced regime change in Iraq was shown to have been totally fabricated, with devastating results that are still being felt to this day. The msm has never recovered in my view. When they tried it again with their Assad chemical attack fake news, enough British people were skeptical for the British parliament to vote down direct military intervention in Syria. Without Britain's support, the US also backed down. People in the West have wised up to the fact that the msm is just the propaganda arm of the government when it comes to geopolitics and is no different to the state run media in Russia, China etc.

When the elites realise that they have lost control of the narrative they will either get rid of the independent media, not possible in this internet age, or try to get rid of any pretense of democracy. It's up to all of us, not to let either happen.

SeniorD's picture
SeniorD
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Posts: 33
MSM is owned by the 1% who now own US

The ultra wealthy won the Election and insured that Bernie did not !

LesPhelps's picture
LesPhelps
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Posts: 601
Deleted

\

Uncletommy's picture
Uncletommy
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Posts: 281
Beware; Longiloquence!

"The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable!"  -  James A. Garfield

locksmithuk's picture
locksmithuk
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
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Posts: 98
Blip in MSM credibility

Charles, any idea why our faith in the MSM took a hiding in 2004, and then recovered quickly? (your chart). I remember 2004 being relatively quiet, with most of us sharing cocktails among one another on the back verandah & singing Kumbayah (proverbially speaking).

I'm wondering if the blip in media credibility was due to Abu Ghraib, with a severe setback to our trust in the "authorities". If so then the media may have suffered by association.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
More media lies (Syria)

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
Rough for MSM going forward

Quote:
"Nobody believes a liar - even when they are telling the truth."

                - Excerpt from "The boy who cried wolf"

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
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Posts: 4907
More Propaganda and Fake News

Look, I am a real fan of Amazon's services, but Jeff Bezos is beginning to worry me.  

First his WaPo runs with the dangerously inflammatory and inaccurate "Russian Dupes" fake news theme and then only grudgingly prints a half-assed retraction of sorts which was really more of a clarification ("hey, probably we'd run the article slightly differently if we could do it over again, but we'd still do it").

Now Bezo's company is pimping one of its original series with a large Times Square billboard.  The series is a "what if" plot asking how America would have been if we'd lost the war against Hitler's Germany.

Take one quick peek at that billboard and you cannot help but guffaw at the rank anti-Trump propaganda on display.

Look, I know that Bezos is still unhappy about the election and all, as are many others, but I do think this level of moral demonization is dangerously over the top.

Disagree all you want, but make your points openly and with careful dialog.  

This underhanded psychological manipulation is really unflattering and seems unhinged even. After all, what would be the desired effect of subtly undermining Trump by associating him with Hitler...or Russia?  

To get people to turn against him and withhold support?  Okay, then what?  What does that buy you?

Because whatever you gain by that route seems to be substantially less important or useful than the danger that comes along for the ride, which is a morally divided populace...aka the seeds of actual rebellion and civil war.

He's playing with fire is what I'm saying, and I wonder if that's actually appreciated?  

nickbert's picture
nickbert
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Posts: 1188
Another reason to be concerned about Bezos and Amazon

An interesting bit of information that has largely flown under the radar for the past 2 years....

--------------------

How the CIA Partnered With Amazon and Changed Intelligence

http://www.defenseone.com/technology/2014/07/how-cia-partnered-amazon-an...

The intelligence community is about to get the equivalent of an adrenaline shot to the chest. This summer, a $600 million computing cloud developed by Amazon Web Services for the Central Intelligence Agency over the past year will begin servicing all 17 agencies that make up the intelligence community. If the technology plays out as officials envision, it will usher in a new era of cooperation and coordination, allowing agencies to share information and services much more easily and avoid the kind of intelligence gaps that preceded the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

For the first time, agencies within the IC will be able to order a variety of on-demand computing and analytic services from the CIA and National Security Agency. What’s more, they’ll only pay for what they use.

Intelligence community loves its new Amazon cloud

http://fortune.com/2015/06/29/intelligence-community-loves-its-new-amazo...

U.S. intelligence agencies moving from legacy systems to new cloud computing infrastructure built by Amazon AMZN -0.02% Web Services are pretty happy about it thus far, according to a report in NextGov.

Speaking at an AWS-sponsored conference Friday, Alex Voultepsis, chief of the National Security Agency’s Engineering and Planning Office said the new cloud is helping agencies “stuck in heritage systems” start moving to the new C2S cloud, according to the report. C2S is shorthand for the commercial cloud services contract that resulted in the new cloud which started going live last August

-----------------------

For the record, I don't actually condemn the notion of Amazon Web Services for offering this service, because from what little I know the intelligence community as a whole badly needed to revamp their approach and use of IT services (as to whether Amazon is the most competent vendor and whether this particular cloud services approach is best, I can't really say).  But I do have concerns with such a very large company growing to be a critical player in that field, when it just also happens to be heavily invested in mass media, AND is rather heavily involved in politics.  Has the stench of an empire being formed.

KugsCheese's picture
KugsCheese
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Posts: 1265
The Nail In The Coffin

For me the MSM died when Obama became POTUS, policies stayed the same and some more, but MSM criticism stopped!  Then I knew it was ALL B.S.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
Fake News Compilation

thc0655's picture
thc0655
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
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Posts: 1265
Philadelphia media and culture facilitate proTrump hoaxes

and anti Trump vandalism.

http://fmshooter.com/philadelphia-trumps-win-pro-trump-hoaxes-anti-trump-vandalism-going-unpunished/

Which all makes you wonder; in a city with so many anti-Trump protests, and with violence so commonplace, wouldn’t most of the vandalism and graffiti come from anti-Trump protesters, and not pro-Trump supporters who are likely scared to even be on the streets at all?

Apparently not, because the night after Trump’s election, when protesters were out in force, it was alleged that a pro-Trump supporter sprayed racist and pro-Trump graffiti all over the city.  The NY Daily News, a paper known to cover hoax pro-Trump attacks as reality, commented on the incident, stating the following:

Donald Trump’s unexpected rise to the presidency coincided with the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht — and Nazis in Philadelphia appeared to revel in the fact as police there discovered the President-elect’s name spray-painted alongside swastikas on a storefront window Wednesday morning.

And, as Metro Philadelphia covered, reporter Alexis Sachdev and Philadelphia residents were convinced the graffiti came from a Trump supporter, despite their notation of the obvious fact that Trump supporters spray painting the streets of Philadelphia would likely face assault and injury for doing so.

“To feel comfortable doing this means that you think that you have some sort of entitlement or sayso to this neighborhood,” Palladino, a South Philly resident said.

“This s— happens in South Philly, whoever the f— this is, they’re gonna get their teeth knocked out,” she added.

Palladino blamed the hateful graffiti on Trump, the “monster that’s now our president.”

Another young woman, Amy Schiowitz, struggled to hold back tears.

“This is a f–ing hate crime,” she said, adding that she expects City Hall to respond. “This is not the type of city we want to live in.”

So, who was the “pro-Trump” supporter look like, that sprayed Nazi, pro-Trump, and anti-black graffiti all over Philadelphia?  He was finally arrested almost two weeks after the attack, though it took the police another two weeks to release his photo.  Notably, the SUV he defaced belonged to his ex-girlfriend.

Not exactly how you would picture a Nazi supporter who hates black people, is it?  Also, how is this a hate crime, when the hoax itself could have easily been all a ruse to get away with vandalism in a domestic dispute?  Chalk the whole incident up to yet another hoax crime against Trump supporters, falsely reported, instigated and perpetrated by the mainstream media.

At least they (finally) caught the person responsible, and he will face charges for his crimes, unlike the mainstream media, who will still continue to push false stories of Trump attacks.  But what about all those who sprayed anti-Trump graffiti all over Philadelphia, that also cost time and money to remove?

There's more.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1325
Another Fake Racism Pro-Trump Hoax

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-12-21/black-man-arrested-vote-trump-a...

Same kind of story.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
Ok Class...

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 3943
AWS

So as a user of AWS (Amazon Web Services), I have to say, it really is the coolest thing ever.

If I want to spin up a server pretty much anywhere in the world, I can - it takes me about ten minutes (mainly because I'm not very good at it - if I had a template already set up, it would probably be two or three minutes) and presto I have as small or as large a server as I want.

If they aren't using something like AWS, they are idiots.  It is just too well done.

You too can play with AWS if you like.  Anyone can just sign up, and they can have a "t2 micro" server, sited anywhere in the world, free for a year.  Although its a "micro" server, it is actually a reasonably beefy box.  You just get allocated about 10% of the total CPU-minutes of that server per day and when you run low, your jobs just slow way down.

https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/instance-types/

Sorry for the digression, and to sound like a commercial, but AWS really is pretty nifty.

David Phillips's picture
David Phillips
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2009
Posts: 126
Far Right Austian leader meets with Flynn in Trump tower

http://www.businessinsider.com/michael-flynn-putin-trump-austria-far-rig...

David Phillips's picture
David Phillips
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2009
Posts: 126
Alexander Dugin on the murder of the Russian ambassador

https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/12/23/the-murder-of-the-r...

David Phillips's picture
David Phillips
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2009
Posts: 126
David Phillips's picture
David Phillips
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Oct 29 2009
Posts: 126
Dugin: Atlanticist Network of influence in Putin's Russia

https://4threvolutionarywar.wordpress.com/2016/12/14/the-atlanticist-net...

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
Dudgiknow that a 3rd tower fell on 9/11?

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
Another perspective on Turkey dinner

Some interesting food for thought.

Michael_Rudmin's picture
Michael_Rudmin
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Posts: 688
T2H, I heavily disagree this was a false flag.

All this really happened. Your take on a false flag seems to be that they are actors. There is no need for actors if it really happens.

Look at what went on the the Polonium murder of Litvanenko. He was supporting the claims of Boris B. that --not that the terrorist attacks didn't happen, not that the Russian secret service did it, but that they pushed for it and allowed it to happen. No crisis actors needed.

In the same way, if these events were false flags or not, no crisis actors are needed. I think you falsely assume that they must be there.

As for whether this was arranged in Turkey or not, I have no idea. I'm NOT GOING to have any idea. Neither are you. Nature of the beast, and all that.

Accept the reality that you aren't going to know, that you aren't going to be able to tell, and you'll quit wasting valuable psychological energy on it.

Just sayin'.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
Crisis actors yes or no

Still stinks to high heaven.

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
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Posts: 800
Pollution

Mainstream media pushes the bias of their controllers. Alternative media is currently degenerating into a rumour mill that is overly reliant on opinion and light on original reporting. How many people with blogs hit the streets and do actual interviews outside of their echo chambers?  

Just because mainstream is completely unreliable doesn't automagically make alternative media, right or left, worthy. There is pollution there. 

HughK's picture
HughK
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Joined: Mar 6 2012
Posts: 759
Chris, are you being ironic or just very inconsistent?

Hi Chris,

I have taken a step back from commenting at PP due to some things about the site that bring it further away from its mission statement, of "creating a world worth inheriting,"

specifically:

1. Rank inconsistency regarding your comment moderation.  (I have brought this up, with specific examples, in the past, and am happy to repeat those same examples if you would like me to.)

2.  A significant amount of "air time" on politics and geopolitics by you specifically and less of a focus on your brilliant core message of the three E's and constructive responses, in spite of the fact that you have made some glaring errors in political/geopolitical analysis (e.g. the Brexit outcome, believing fake tweets, misidentifying Janukovitch's political alliances, characterizing Utah state senator Ken Ivory's call to give Utah control of low-EROI shales of Utah as a type of federalism, instead of the legislative facet of a corporate grab promoted by ALEC).

This is in spite of the fact that the geopolitical talk is, for the most part, impractical, unproductive and divisive. Whereas I have seen you rightly espouse the benefits of being practical, productive, and consistent in different ways.

This comment about Jeff Bezos's media is a good example of how clumsily you wade into politics.  The right compared Obama to Hitler repeatedly, and also, if I'm not mistaken, to Stalin.  Below are some examples, from Glenn Beck, with whom you are now doing interviews, as I understand it.  

In other words, someone that you are working with has done the almost the exact same thing that you claim Bezos is doing, and which you have described as:

"a level of moral demonization [that] is dangerously over the top."

Here and here are links to Beck indirectly comparing Obama to Hitler or, in this case, a generic unhinged dictator.  These comparisons are even more direct than the one you are wringing your hands about.  

If Bezos' program is so dangerous, than why have you not only remained silent about very similar instances, and have even gone so far as to have recently chosen to work with one of the corporate media's masters of division and propaganda, Glenn Beck?  

In other words, why is it that you remain silent when Beck plays with fire but that "worries you" when Bezos does it?

While I continue to hold your work on the three E's in very high regard, and still share it, I don't understand how you expect to be taken seriously in the realms of politics and geopolitics when you make significant numbers of avoidable errors as well as simply choose to take sides and be divisive in your own way, as you did in this case.*

And, just for the record, my position has been, and continues to be, that just about all national politics and geopolitics is hopelessly FuBar, and that PP will truly live up to its mission statement when it turns away from these divisive topics.  

BTW, students and I made a hugel in the school garden this year that actually worked (sort of...I still have a lot to learn).  I'd love to hear more about your garden and less about your often inconsistent take on politics. I realize that's probably not going to be the direction you choose, but your mission statement will not even be approached, much less achieved by continuing to wallow in the swamp of politics and corporate media.

Hugh

*If you can accuse Bezos of taking sides simply by airing a show about fascism, it is perfectly legitimate to point to the times when you have called out some parts of the corporate media while choosing to work with other parts, such as Beck and Russia Today.  

Indeed, you yourself have repeatedly reminded your readers of the existence of white nationalist, fascist-leaning elements of the Maidan government in Ukraine while never mentioning the fact that threads of this type of fascism also exists in Russia.  Any real geopolitical analyst of the Russia-Ukraine tension is aware of this, yet you do not mention the existence of fascist and anti-semitic groups in Russia that are supportive of Putin (example link here).  I work with both Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh students and I have seen various instances of open anti-semitism by members of all three countries.  Just focusing on Ukrainian anti-semitism is an example of your biased analysis, the very thing you claim to be qualified to warn us against.

cmartenson wrote:

Look, I am a real fan of Amazon's services, but Jeff Bezos is beginning to worry me.  

First his WaPo runs with the dangerously inflammatory and inaccurate "Russian Dupes" fake news theme and then only grudgingly prints a half-assed retraction of sorts which was really more of a clarification ("hey, probably we'd run the article slightly differently if we could do it over again, but we'd still do it").

Now Bezo's company is pimping one of its original series with a large Times Square billboard.  The series is a "what if" plot asking how America would have been if we'd lost the war against Hitler's Germany.

Take one quick peek at that billboard and you cannot help but guffaw at the rank anti-Trump propaganda on display.

Look, I know that Bezos is still unhappy about the election and all, as are many others, but I do think this level of moral demonization is dangerously over the top.

Disagree all you want, but make your points openly and with careful dialog.  

This underhanded psychological manipulation is really unflattering and seems unhinged even. After all, what would be the desired effect of subtly undermining Trump by associating him with Hitler...or Russia?  

To get people to turn against him and withhold support?  Okay, then what?  What does that buy you?

Because whatever you gain by that route seems to be substantially less important or useful than the danger that comes along for the ride, which is a morally divided populace...aka the seeds of actual rebellion and civil war.

He's playing with fire is what I'm saying, and I wonder if that's actually appreciated?  

reflector's picture
reflector
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Posts: 210
hugh

interesting comment hugh, thanks for posting.

i will second the part of your comment where you mention that political talk is unhelpful and unproductive, and i'd like to see peakprosperity remain focused on the 3Es and away from political nonsense.

however, i think chris was right to take bezos to task for his being an instrument of the deep state. this isn't a political position. we should be aware that bezos is bought and paid for, with a juicy $600 million CIA contract. the man knows what side his bread is buttered on.

and there's nothing wrong with chris doing an interview with beck to spread the peakprosperity message to beck's not insubstantial audience. it shouldn't be interpreted as condoning beck or all of his beliefs.

or do you take the divisive position that one should only speak to people with whom one agrees 100%?

and there may well be room for criticism of beck, i'm not familiar with him, but the time that you reach out to him and his audience, is probably not the best time to put forth such criticism, that is counter-productive.

Time2help's picture
Time2help
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Posts: 2400
Some truth here

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
Some more truth here

mememonkey's picture
mememonkey
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 1 2009
Posts: 201
Hugh was that question sarcastisc? or just disingenuous?

HughK wrote:

Hi Chris,

I have taken a step back from commenting at PP due to some things about the site that bring it further away from its mission statement, of "creating a world worth inheriting,"

specifically:

1. Rank inconsistency regarding your comment moderation.  (I have brought this up, with specific examples, in the past, and am happy to repeat those same examples if you would like me to.)

2.  A significant amount of "air time" on politics and geopolitics by you specifically and less of a focus on your brilliant core message of the three E's and constructive responses, in spite of the fact that you have made some glaring errors in political/geopolitical analysis (e.g. the Brexit outcome, believing fake tweets, misidentifying Janukovitch's political alliances, characterizing Utah state senator Ken Ivory's call to give Utah control of low-EROI shales of Utah as a type of federalism, instead of the legislative facet of a corporate grab promoted by ALEC).

This is in spite of the fact that the geopolitical talk is, for the most part, impractical, unproductive and divisive. Whereas I have seen you rightly espouse the benefits of being practical, productive, and consistent in different ways.

This comment about Jeff Bezos's media is a good example of how clumsily you wade into politics.  The right compared Obama to Hitler repeatedly, and also, if I'm not mistaken, to Stalin.  Below are some examples, from Glenn Beck, with whom you are now doing interviews, as I understand it.  

In other words, someone that you are working with has done the almost the exact same thing that you claim Bezos is doing, and which you have described as:

"a level of moral demonization [that] is dangerously over the top."

Here and here are links to Beck indirectly comparing Obama to Hitler or, in this case, a generic unhinged dictator.  These comparisons are even more direct than the one you are wringing your hands about.  

If Bezos' program is so dangerous, than why have you not only remained silent about very similar instances, and have even gone so far as to have recently chosen to work with one of the corporate media's masters of division and propaganda, Glenn Beck?  

In other words, why is it that you remain silent when Beck plays with fire but that "worries you" when Bezos does it?

While I continue to hold your work on the three E's in very high regard, and still share it, I don't understand how you expect to be taken seriously in the realms of politics and geopolitics when you make significant numbers of avoidable errors as well as simply choose to take sides and be divisive in your own way, as you did in this case.*

And, just for the record, my position has been, and continues to be, that just about all national politics and geopolitics is hopelessly FuBar, and that PP will truly live up to its mission statement when it turns away from these divisive topics.  

BTW, students and I made a hugel in the school garden this year that actually worked (sort of...I still have a lot to learn).  I'd love to hear more about your garden and less about your often inconsistent take on politics. I realize that's probably not going to be the direction you choose, but your mission statement will not even be approached, much less achieved by continuing to wallow in the swamp of politics and corporate media.

Hugh

*If you can accuse Bezos of taking sides simply by airing a show about fascism, it is perfectly legitimate to point to the times when you have called out some parts of the corporate media while choosing to work with other parts, such as Beck and Russia Today.  

Indeed, you yourself have repeatedly reminded your readers of the existence of white nationalist, fascist-leaning elements of the Maidan government in Ukraine while never mentioning the fact that threads of this type of fascism also exists in Russia.  Any real geopolitical analyst of the Russia-Ukraine tension is aware of this, yet you do not mention the existence of fascist and anti-semitic groups in Russia that are supportive of Putin (example link here).  I work with both Russian, Ukrainian, and Kazakh students and I have seen various instances of open anti-semitism by members of all three countries.  Just focusing on Ukrainian anti-semitism is an example of your biased analysis, the very thing you claim to be qualified to warn us against.

cmartenson wrote:

Look, I am a real fan of Amazon's services, but Jeff Bezos is beginning to worry me.  

First his WaPo runs with the dangerously inflammatory and inaccurate "Russian Dupes" fake news theme and then only grudgingly prints a half-assed retraction of sorts which was really more of a clarification ("hey, probably we'd run the article slightly differently if we could do it over again, but we'd still do it").

Now Bezo's company is pimping one of its original series with a large Times Square billboard.  The series is a "what if" plot asking how America would have been if we'd lost the war against Hitler's Germany.

Take one quick peek at that billboard and you cannot help but guffaw at the rank anti-Trump propaganda on display.

Look, I know that Bezos is still unhappy about the election and all, as are many others, but I do think this level of moral demonization is dangerously over the top.

Disagree all you want, but make your points openly and with careful dialog.  

This underhanded psychological manipulation is really unflattering and seems unhinged even. After all, what would be the desired effect of subtly undermining Trump by associating him with Hitler...or Russia?  

To get people to turn against him and withhold support?  Okay, then what?  What does that buy you?

Because whatever you gain by that route seems to be substantially less important or useful than the danger that comes along for the ride, which is a morally divided populace...aka the seeds of actual rebellion and civil war.

He's playing with fire is what I'm saying, and I wonder if that's actually appreciated?  

Hugh,

Since you claim to place a high value on accuracy.  You should be more careful to accurately represent Chris' statements. He did not " accuse Bezos of taking sides simply by airing a show about fascism"  as you put it,he correctly noted the Bezo's owned WA PO role in the divisive Russian Dupes propaganda campaign then noted the over the top propaganda, inclusion of the T for Trump logo in the billboard artwork for the show on a Nazis ' in America.  He called out the association with Trump to Hitler,  not the airing of the show, (a Phillip K Dick novel adaptation in it's second season btw.)

Your challenge to Chris regarding calling  "out some parts of the corporate media while choosing to work with other parts, such as Beck and Russia Today"  is misdirection based on false equivalence.

The equivalent question to ask is,  given the opportunity,  would Chris work with Jeff Bezo's Washington Post to reach their readership with the PP message?   I suspect the answer is yes. 

There is not enough digital ink or time to call out every instance of Godwins law  in the media or malfeasance in governments and societies.  that doesn't delegitimize calling it out when it is topical and relevant to a discussion at hand. 

Your insistence on equally weighting the presence of fascist elements in the Russian society( which Putin's government has disavowed and  prosecuted) with Chris' earlier  analysis of the active role of similar elements in the  US supported Ukraine coup is not only falsely equivalent but irrelevant. 

Indeed Chris didn't mention that those same elements exist in the US or just about every country on earth either. That doesn't change the fact that the US government / Obama  was on the side of the fascists in that situation and Putin was on the side of the persecuted and Russia's legitimate regional and historical self interest.

Your critique of Chris' Geopolitical analysis, is to my mind just a petty assertion of your own political leanings and biases rubbed raw when Chris's take on world events doesn't coincide with your world view or interpretation of events. 

Your scolding Chris to censor himself and abstain from Geopolitical analysis  on his own web site is  as nonsensical as the justifications you cite in support of your argument.   I will give you marks for consistency though, as it is congruent with your previous attempts to censor discussion here and I'm not surprised to see you return from your commenting hiatus only to pick this same bone.

Geopolitical analysis and discussion of  governmental media  and political machinations are integral to how we will experience the effects of the  three E's indeed to how they will be manifested and distributed in our society.

I value Chris' analysis in this regard and welcome discussion and intelligent debate on those topics. I give him high marks for doing this in as  non partisan (left right) approach as possible.

mememonkey

cmartenson's picture
cmartenson
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 7 2007
Posts: 4907
Mea Culpa

Thank you Hugh for once again expressing the many ways in which you feel slighted and emotionally wrought over the content decisions of this site.

May I once again apologize for not delivering precisely the content you prefer and in the exact order?

Clearly you deserve to have things exactly your way at all times and I should know that by now, and my failure to respond to your many long missives of discontent is a clear mark that I am being stubbornly obstinate and purposely not taking your emotional needs into account.  

I shall also apologize for not having thought Brexit would pass, which is a true mark of analytical shame, me being practically the only person who thought it would not pass in the entire world.  Clearly if one cannot predict everything geopolitical with 100% accuracy, one should entirely refrain.  

Finally, the fact that I continue to trust my own experience and insights and track record over those of a teacher from an elite, foreign high school who only occasionally drops by to passionately and wordily criticize me must be truly vexing and troubling to you.  It is indeed an upsetting mystery that I promise to look into.

In the meantime, may I leave people with this...you may, of course, form your own opinions.

sand_puppy's picture
sand_puppy
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2011
Posts: 1325
Value Chris' Geopolitical Analysis

I very much value what Chris and his entire group of guests has to say about geopolitics.  To me, his thinking is incisive and centered in a broad global context in ways that others are not.  Many are simply brilliant and explained with great clarity. 

Same with the writing of DaveF, Dave Collum, CHS and Adam.  Along with many regular and guest posters.

I do understand that not everyone will agree with everything.  That is just the way it is and is 100% fine.

People who disagree should feel welcomed to not read an item.  Or to read and bring other information to the discussion.  Or to add to the discussion as more information becomes available and evolves over time.

What doesn't work are criticisms against the person.  Hugh's post above is an attack on the person.

  • You are unfair (and I have saved examples that prove it)
  • you have made mistakes in the past (and I have saved examples of this too)
  • you are divisive,
  • you are illogical,
  • you have given interviews with people I disagree with (therefore I can fault YOU for THEIR words)
  • you may only talk about the issues that I approve of.  I wish to control the content of your writing.

Guilt by association:

  • Adolf Hitler liked puppies.
  • You like puppies.
  • Therefore you are just like Adolf Hitler and I am so angry with YOU for what HE has done!
Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
Hey Hugh - Question for you

As a bit of a nautical buff, I've always been interested in better understanding the events surrounding the attack on the USS Liberty (AGTR 5). 

Curious as to any thoughts you might have on this topic?

USS Liberty Veterans Association wrote:
IN JUNE 1967 jet aircraft and motor torpedo boats of the Defense Forces of the State of Israel brutally assaulted the American naval intelligence-gathering ship, USS Liberty, while in international waters off the coast of the Sinai Peninsula in the Mediterranean Sea. The attack was preceded by more than six hours of intense lowlevel surveillance by Israeli photo reconnaissance aircraft, which buzzed the ship as low as 200 feet directly overhead. The carefully orchestrated assault that followed was initiated by high performance jet aircraft. This was followed by slower and more maneuverable jets carrying napalm, and was finally turned over to lethal torpedo boats, which blasted a forty-foot hole in the ship's side. The attack lasted more than two hours, deliberately killing 34 Americans and wounding at least 171 others. Over 821 rocket, cannon and machine gun holes were inflicted. When the Liberty stubbornly remained afloat despite her damage, Israeli forces machine-gunned her life rafts, firefighters, stretcher bearers, and sent troops carrying helicopters to finish the job, no survivors were to be taken.

USS Liberty Veterans Association

Yoxa's picture
Yoxa
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 21 2011
Posts: 225
I don't have time to say much ...

... but I can't let a few things go by:

Quote:
 and I have saved examples that prove it

On my planet it's perfectly reasonable if someone has examples to illustrate a concern they're expressing. In fact, I'd take their concern more seriously precisely because of the examples.

Quote:
slighted and emotionally wrought over the content decisions of this site.
Sigh ... that isn't exactly a shining example of learning from someone else's perspective.
----------
Hanging around PP is like panning for gold in a Yukon river: there are valuable nuggets to be found but ya gotta be able to process the sludge.
Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
And now back to your regularly scheduled Fake News

Luke Moffat's picture
Luke Moffat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 25 2014
Posts: 271
Connections

For me, Peak Prosperity is about making connections. Were the 3 E's acting upon us in isolation then it may be possible to run a site solely dedicated to their respective disciplines. The problem is that life isn't that tidy, these items cannot be contained in neat, little boxes, they crossover. In fact, entire systems are organised around the principle of resource distribution in the forms of either capitalism, socialism, feudalism, tribalism or theological lines. Take the medium of exchange as an example - the entire concept of monetary creation is a political question - i.e. who has the right to do it?

One of my favourite quotes from my favourite philosopher;

A state? What is that? Well! open now your ears to me, for now I will speak to you about the death of peoples. 
State is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it lies; and this lie slips from its mouth: "I, the state, am the people." 
It is a lie! It was creators who created peoples, and hung a faith and a love over them: thus they served life. 
Destroyers are they who lay snares for the many, and call it state: they hang a sword and a hundred cravings over them. 
Where there are still peoples, the state is not understood, and is hated as the evil eye, and as sin against laws and customs. 
This sign I give to you: every people speaks its own language of good and evil, which its neighbor does not understand. It has created its own language of laws and customs. 
But the state lies in all the tongues of good and evil; and whatever it says it lies; and whatever it has it has stolen. 
Everything in it is false; it bites with stolen teeth, and bites often. It is false down to its bowels. 

If people are narrowing their perspective regarding the 3 E's perhaps it would serve as a challenge for them to run a competing website without reference to any type of state or privatised mechanism. Take something as simple as water. Who gets to distribute it? The state or private organisations? Who regulates the price? The market or regulatory committees? These are all real questions that require real solutions. You'd soon realise the impossibility of what you are asking.

All the best,

Luke

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2400
Something as simple as water

Luke Moffat wrote:

Take something as simple as water. Who gets to distribute it? The state or private organisations? Who regulates the price? The market or regulatory committees? These are all real questions that require real solutions. You'd soon realise the impossibility of what you are asking.

Luke Moffat's picture
Luke Moffat
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 25 2014
Posts: 271
Third Alternative?

Indeed, T2H

It could even be something as simple as those who depend and work the supply decide upon the means of distribution. Possibly as a 'third alternative', i.e. local ownership. Plus those dumping waste in it would hold themselves accountable for the quality of the water based purely on the fact that it would be they who drink from it. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that our economy is a dissipative system - that is, it's almost like 'fire and forget'. Produce waste, dump it somewhere not on your doorstep, go make some more waste.

All the best,

Luke

davefairtex's picture
davefairtex
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 3 2008
Posts: 3943
to whom is the debt owed?

This question used to confuse me: its the Krugman thesis - "we owe the debt to ourselves, so it doesn't matter."

This is accurate if you lump everyone into one pile.  But zoom in.  Who owns the debt?  Who gets those interest payments?  Poor people?  Middle class?  No.  These are the people who owe the debt.

Largely, its the rich - and the pension plans - who own the debt.  The rest of us owe it.

CHS had a nice graphic on this - perhaps he could be persuaded to cough it up.

So next time you hear Krugman talking about "we owe the debt to ourselves", ask yourself, are you a member of the group "we", or are you a member of the group "ourselves"?

Those who are in "we" are in debt slavery to "ourselves."

And just from the standpoint of "ability to consume", the more debt "we" owe, the less discretionary income "we" will have.  Add to that the steady reduction of the wage percentage of GDP over the last 15 years, as well as a declining employment-participation ration, and you've got increasing debt burden, and a rapidly declining effective income.

But that's just for the unfortunates in the "we" group.  The "ourselves" gang are doing great.

And this guy won a Nobel.

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