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“Is free-speech really worth all this hassle?” – Gaby Hinsliff

by Kit
I’ve never written a response to a Gaby Hinsliff column before. I’ve never felt the need. In much the same way that I’ve never written an online review of sliced bread or an essay about cardboard. It’s…there, I suppose, and it does a job, but it’s hardly worth getting excited about.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. Mahatma Gandhi

The Manchester bombing was “let happen” by MI5 because of the Conservative party’s disastrous dip in the polls. That was the theory tweeted by Rufus Hound, a comedian. As theories go, and it is still just a theory at this early stage, it’s not at all outlandish. History is full of precedents of power structures making people believe they are under threat in order to secure their position. As Hound succinctly put it, #Reichstagfire.

The bombing, whether real or staged or allowed to happen or planned by MI5, will allow May to talk about strength and stability some more, allow the Tory’s to attack Corbyn on the grounds of being “soft on terrorism”, and distract everyone from the conservative plans to sell everything in the country that isn’t nailed down, arrest anyone that isn’t a member of a golf club, and levy hefty taxes on bedsits, old-age and despair.

If you find yourself reading this and thinking, “Well, I guess that’s possible,” I have some bad news for you: You are a dangerous, delusional moron.

At least, according to Gaby Hinsliff.

Mr Hound posited a theory, one with which Ms Hinsliff disagrees. In a rational world what would follow is a balanced exchange of ideas. Rhetoric, debate, discourse. These are the tools that make a society great, right?

Instead we get roughly 2000 words of insults, innuendo and fallacy. Her defence of Theresa May’s morality is a wondrous example of double-think:

This isn’t just silliness crowned with ill-judged Nazi references. It’s using a public platform to baselessly suggest that loved ones could be alive today had the Tories not been desperate to win an election. Before eventually apologising and deleting the exchange, Hound explained that “I struggle believing our establishment is incapable of great evil” – as if one comedian’s struggle with his own addled beliefs was reason enough to allege complicity in mass murder.

Clearly facts are too burdensome to carry when storming uphill to capture moral high ground, because Hinsliff seems to forget: May’s “complicity” in mass murder does not need to be “alleged”. It is an historical fact.

As an MP, May supported the 2003 invasion of Iraq.The final count on the number of dead Iraqi children as a result of that war is still unclear, however most reasonable estimates put it somewhere north of 22. Likewise Libyan children. And Afghan children. And Syrian children. In fact, Theresa May has actually never once voted AGAINST military intervention of any kind.

Theresa May is absolutely FINE with blowing up children, and has never given us any reason think she sees our children as more precious than their children. That Hinsliff can so easily, comfortably, make that distinction says more about her own mind than anything else.

Even if you buy into the (vaguely racist) assumed distinction between children born in Baghdad and children born in Manchester, any defence of May’s morality – or the morality of the conservative party as a whole – begins and ends with their domestic policies. People have died after being deemed “fit for work”. Old, sick, disabled, injured people are denied care and security, while £350 billion pounds is spent on a machine for setting the world on fire.

Any argument based on the assumed morality of power structures is illogical, an example of what they call the Divine Fallacy or the argument to incredulity. An argument based on the morality of this Tory government? That is nothing short of absurd.

Her vaguely directed bile would carry more weight (maybe) if she could at least demonstrate she had even the slightest idea what she was talking about:

Social media is littered with amateur “truthers” who once watched a YouTube video about Noam Chomsky’s theory of false flags, and now see conspiracies lurking under every bed.

I’m not sure what a “professional” truther would be, aren’t all people naturally inclined to want to know the truth? That said, even the most cursory of google searches would have taught her that Noam Chomsky’s “theory of false flags” is that “they don’t really happen and even if they do who cares”.

I realise that, as a journalist, Ms Hinsliff is imbued with a natural contempt for the truth, and I understand that writing a column without researching your ideas is much, much easier, but it’s hardly right she should flaunt it. At least a passing a veneer of competence would make the Guardian’s (increasingly desperate) pleas for money so much more effective.

Bizarrely, she is so incredibly bad at making her argument, she accidentally makes the opposite case:

It’s not unreasonable to think an election fought in the shadow of a terrorist threat could help the traditional party of law and order, and the state did collude with paramilitaries in Northern Ireland; besides, the government’s emergency Cobra committee meets in secret, so can anyone outside the room really know what happened?

This paragraph is just delightfully odd, it seems to be heading towards a “BUT” that never arrives. Hinsliff lays out all the (perfectly reasonable) logic behind suspecting government involvement, and then just leaves an ellipsis on the end, hoping we can come to the “right” conclusions all on our own.

The equivalent of a defense attorney, at a murder trial, beginning his final statement to the jury with:

“Yes, obviously, my client had every reason in the world to want the victim dead, and yes, he has undeniably killed people before. And, true, he can’t account for his whereabouts on the night in question.”

…and then just sitting down without another word.

Apparently, when Hinsliff writes about “reversing the burden of proof”, she means she’s going to start proving herself wrong and saving everybody else the trouble. Very considerate of her.

“But where is all this going?”, you might ask. What, indeed, is her point?

Like mushrooms, conspiracy theories grow in the dark. But mushrooms also need manure, which is where social media comes in.

There it is. Beneath all the rambling about Diana, and the Moon Landings, and Noah Pozner, what we have here is yet another attack on the internet, and the ability of people who lack the “journalistic and regulatory processes” of the mainstream media to say things with which Ms Hinsliff (and her colleagues) are paid to disagree.

The internet’s magical power – that by expanding social circles to millions worldwide it allows the like-minded to find each other, however esoteric their interests – is also its sickness. There is no belief so repellent that it cannot find an echo somewhere online, and feel normalised….Paedophiles are emboldened to learn just how many others secretly fantasise about sex with children, leading one another on to ever more violent obscenities.

This not-so-subtle concomitance of paedohilia and anti-establishment political ideals aside, this is at last an honest expression of a justly held fear. The internet is a threat – as an open network of person-to-person communication, it really sticks in the media’s collective craw. As such, it is blamed and bad mouthed at every corner.

That’s not to say that Rufus Hound was right or wrong. I’m not writing in defence of conspiracy theories per se. Maybe every conspiracy theory is wrong. Maybe Oswald was guilty as hell and physics stopped working on 9/11. Or maybe John Lennon is still alive and Stanley Kubrick directed the moon landings. It’s immaterial. This goes beyond that. This is about free speech, and the right to be wrong.

Unless we stand up for each other’s right to hold, and express opinions – even wrong opinions – then no opinions will ever be safe. Because when they clamp-down on the internet, it won’t be truth that decides what stays and what goes, but political convenience, and unless we defend all of it, none of it is safe.

In the past few months the internet’s lack of regulation has been blamed for Clinton’s loss of the election, for Russia’s “spreading influence” and for the proliferation of “fake news”.

In the past week alone, the Guardian have been running articles on Facebook’s lack of moderation. How they promote child abuse, misogyny and holocaust denial. Already Theresa May has called on tech companies to “do more” to combat online extremism.

They blame it for paedophilia, terrorism, sexism, racism. Drugs are dealt, threats are issued, abuse hurled. The internet is a playground, as David Thorne said, but apparently it’s one of those rusty, graffiti-ridden playgrounds where nice kids shouldn’t go. Tear it down. Pave it over.

Cure society’s ills by making it smaller, more isolated and much, much easier to control.

Maybe I’m just getting middle-aged. But there are weeks when [arguing with conspiracy theorists] seems an inordinately high price to pay for a convenient means of swapping gossip and cat videos.

Isn’t free speech difficult? Isn’t it all just so much hassle? Wouldn’t it be SO much easier if we could just stomp it all out? Yes, obviously, fewer cat videos would be a shame, but think of the benefits – a nice safe world, full of nice safe pre-approved thoughts. That sounds nice, doesn’t it?

This sentence does more than give us a fleeting glimpse at the author’s complete lack of imagination, it shows…again…where the establishment’s crosshairs are trained. And it’s on us. At OffGuardian and the hundreds of sites like us. At the minor celebrities tweeting reasonable (but forbidden) thoughts to groups of followers “more than double the circulation of a national broadsheet newspaper”. We’re all talking to each to other now, bypassing the established and approved lines of communication.

And it’s causing no end of trouble.


49 Comments

  1. Its incredible – Hinsliff is now claiming young people don’t like free speech!
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/millennials-wary-free-speech-who-can-blame-them#comments

    She doesn’t say in so in so many words but her latest pro-censorship ouvre strongly implies its the Hinsliffs of this world (or those who share her censorious outlook) who should determine, amongst other things, internet content, or who can or can’t speak at universities.

    Needless to say mods are furiously deleting anybody fooiish enough to deviate from the Guardians well beaten path toward full blown group think.

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  2. rtj1211 says

    The aim is to target the young, who are still credulous, malleable and have not yet seen real life contradict media propaganda. The media accepts they have lost the 25-50 age group to the internet, but by 2050, they think they can have re-established totalitarian control, largely through brainwashing at school, control of key search engines and control of major news outlets.

    The next iteration will be local people spreading local words about local sites, bypassing search engines completely. It will be slower, more decentralised and will cost totalitarians far more to subdue. But try to subdue it, they undoubtedly will….

    The most important lesson any child should learn is this: ‘ambition is all about agreeing to spy on your fellow citizens, turn a blind eye to your masters’ indiscretions, evil etc and ruthlessly enforcing the Establishment line’. Then you ask them whether all the good things in life are compatible with that.

    Maybe the answer is a generation of children with sufficient self-respect to have contempt for Establishment coercion?

    Then ask whether the Establishment needs poverty to produce enough deluded egotists to refill the Establishment pipsqueak vacancies??

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  3. Laurence James Howell says

    Having established beyond reasonable doubt, that the various false flags starting with 911,7/7, Sandy Hook, Boston Bombing, Madrid, London, Paris et al are, in reality, moves on the grand chess board to enable world domination by the elite paedophiles that infest politics on behalf of the moneychangers.

    Writing truthful articles draws out the obvious and not so obvious players who would denigrate freedom of expression in the interests of ever more security taking away our rights by hoax events. To deny this truth puts the future of mankind in the gutter.

    The gemantria effect is well explained by Zachary K Hubbard on YouTube whilst the Kabalistic Freemasonic masters of the financial universe creep about in the shadows, pulling the strings of the power elite via the Illuminati and sex blackmail.

    As Voltaire once said ” To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise. ” Try criticising Israel for the inhumane and criminal treatment of the Palestinians or UK Judges who would prefer that the Human Rights Act 1998 did not exist.

    Without freedom of expression we have nothing, which is why the wheedling slime balls that pass for journalists these days want you to agree to give that right away. We have a British Constitution which is built on the Oath of Office of the Queen and the Judges who swear to the People not the faux UK Constitution which seeks to destroy our freedoms through the use of ACTS and STATUTES which only solicitors understand.

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  4. Seamus Padraig says

    Another ringer from Kit! Keep up the good work.

    This not-so-subtle concomitance of paedohilia and anti-establishment political ideals aside, this is at last an honest expression of a justly held fear.

    What’s really odd–and a bit scary–in this case is how totally paedophile our establishment is becoming: think of all the movers-and-shakers who associated with Jimmy Savile in England, or with Marc Dutroux in Belgium. And then there are the Pizzagate degenerates in America (still a forbidden subject in the MSM). What is it with paedophiles and power? Is this some kind gang initiation ceremony? A tool for blackmailing politicians and businessmen into line? Or is there actually some kind of super-secretive Satanic cult of Molloch in charge of the West? What gives? You know as well as I do, if this were the Catholic Church, the MSM would be all over the story. But friends of Bill? Faggedaboutit!

    In the past few months the internet’s lack of regulation has been blamed for Clinton’s loss of the election, for Russia’s “spreading influence” and for the proliferation of “fake news”.

    I love the part about Russian influence. I mean, think about it: the US has the 5 or 6 largest media-conglomerates on earth, plus Hollywood, plus the most widely spoken language in the world. And Russia? They have exactly one television station with global reach, a handful of websites and a language that hardly anybody outside of Eurasia even knows. And yet, somehow they’re actually beating the NATO media on its own turf! That’s a pretty spectacular achievement, when you think about it. And I’m not being facetious here. It just shows you the strength of their message … and it also shows you that Washington’s credibility is completely shot.

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  5. Sylvie! In my opinion (this is only a guess, obviously), they needed “panic” footage so someone probably started yelling “bomb”… which would certainly work with a bunch of teens, eh? Other scenes of blurry footage show people leaving the arena at a leisurely, post-concert pace (and, yeah: playing with the balloons like they’re beach balls) so I don’t think any kind of panic had hit those people until after most of them were already gone. There are even clips of an announcer with a very chill voice reminding people that there was no need to push too hard to leave the building quickly… presumably this was before the supposed Event. By staging the Event outside of the arena, they really did themselves a favor, because it would be rather difficult to convince anyone that anything dramatic had happened there, with all those cameras at hand! They’ve certainly learned a lot about pulling these off… bringing in a huge pop star for the verisimilitude of it all clearly worked (and maybe Bataclan was a test run; they started with a cult rock-pop act… who, by the way, may well be complicit… who knows?). The more (usually corny narrative) details they add to these, the easier they are to parse… and they seem to have learned to trim the fat, sadly. The golden age of the early 2010s (aka BHO’s reign) is over! Which is why it’s a good idea to go back to all those older events and did, dig, dig.

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  6. michaelk says

    The Guardian’s scribes are all for ‘free speech’ as long as people are willing to be ‘advised’ ‘led’ and willing to follow the Guardian’s line. Question, criticize or challenge that moral leadership role, and one is in trouble.

    The scribes seem obsessed with occupying the virtuous, moral, high-ground on almost everything. They no longer want to merely describe the world and events, but tell their readers how to interpret the world ‘properly.’ If the Guardian’s world view conflicts or is the opposite of what actually happening, the Guardian ignores it and stick stubbornly to their dogmas, regardless.

    For example, the latest opinion poles show Labour catching up on the Tories and drastically reducing their lead. This doesn’t fit with the Guardian’s view that Labour under the leadership of Corbyn stands a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning or even surviving; so, they ignore it and pretend it isn’t happening, because in their view it cannot happen, even though it is happening. The Guardian’s leader scribes seem stunned that their views are wrong and substantially to the right of their own readership and the wider electorate and public.

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  7. Gabby is just another well-paid mouthpiece for the NWO crowd who want to shepherd us back to only watching CNN/FOX/MSNBC, then spending time viewing Lady Ga Ga or Miley Cyrus videos or gabbing about the latest Kardashian feud or blabbering up some sports contest.

    Like Bush the Deranged told Americans after 9/11, don’t worry, we’ll take care of things, you just go out and SHOP.

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  8. flybow says

    I’ve always said that there is no such thing as terrorism. All terrorism is state Sponsored/ orchestrated in one way or another. Either by agents of the state doing the things themselves, actually shooting peope or blowing them up. Cambodia,Iraq. Planting bombs, and blaming the locals. The list is a long one.
    They aso infiltrate, and direct “terrorist” groups. Both the loyalist and rebublican paramitlitaries were so heavily infiltrated, they were essentially run by MI5/MI6. The Red army faction (baader mienhof) was also heavily infiltrated. I could go on, but look for yourself. Webster Tarpley’s book synthetic terror is worth a look.
    The ploy by hinsliff is an old one. They coined the term conspiracy theory to discredit people like Mark Lane, Who was quick to see that the Warren commission report was fiction.
    Nowadays whenever peoople put forward alternnative views on these “events”, the term is always used to shut the debate down, and people are dragged into arguments about their mental health, and away from the point.
    Standard GCHQ or other troll ploy.

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    • chrisb says

      Quite the silliest claim I’ve read for a while … “All terrorism is state Sponsored”. Is there really no terrorism in failed states like Somalia in the 90s or Lebanon during the Civil War? Did the rise of paramilitary and guerrilla armies not occur in Colombia because of the weakness of the state? Is the Mafia, an organisation that developed in order to oppose the new state of Italy, a terrorist organisation?

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      • Ballrog says

        I guess he should have said “most terrorism is state sponsored” or rather state induced. You should really read about the history of Somalia and how the Soviet Union and USA fucked up that country. After gaining independence nobody envisioned the most homogeneous country in Africa to become a failed state shit-hole. And do you really believe US had nothing to do with Colombia?? Come on! I will give you half a point for the Italian Mafia but the Italian state was always corrupt as hell and has plenty of skeletons in it’s closet. Some power structures/Institutions are, after all, better than others.

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      • I think he means that ‘All terrorism is sponsored by some state somewhere’. Not necessarily the state that it is perpetrated in. In Columbia, who was financing, weaponising, assisting the params and guerillas. You don’t have to agree with it but it isn’t completely silly. This whole article is the right to say things. You have an equal right to disbelieve them

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  9. Dead World Walking says

    The WWW has become the 1%’s Frankenstein monster.
    We all know how that story ended.
    The 1% crave ABSOLUTE power.
    We all know how that ends too.

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  10. “That’s not to say that Rufus Hound was right or wrong. I’m not writing in defence of conspiracy theories per se. Maybe every conspiracy theory is wrong. Maybe Oswald was guilty as hell and physics stopped working on 9/11. Or maybe John Lennon is still alive and Stanley Kubrick directed the moon landings. It’s immaterial. This goes beyond that. This is about free speech, and the right to be wrong.”

    Yes, true (and wink noted), but there’s something to be said for nailing one’s colors to the mast and dispensing with the bet-hedging equivocations that the Sort-of-Conspiracy-Theory-Minded-Left uses in polite society. How about advocating for the right to be right? How about we stop being cowed by the anticipated titters of the conservative and the bamboozled and we lay our cards on the table and target a little more than Guardian censorship in the process? Let’s make a Bold Declaration that we won’t be cowed by some Guardian Reader’s sense of The Plausible.

    But, first, we need to know what we’re talking about.

    When I entered these Manchester Event debates at the OffG (three days ago?) I assumed that everyone was essentially (even deeply) conversant with the History of stage-managed Crises starting, at least, since 2001. It dawned on me, finally, late this afternoon, that that isn’t the case. These assassinations and hoaxes and psyops are amazing opportunities in which The Invisible State makes itself vivid and detailed and hyper-real (and therefore vulnerable) for days and weeks at a time. But people don’t study these things; they don’t seem to consider them, in aggregate, to be a subject worthy of serious study. The approach seems to be: an Event happens, click to your default Conspiracy Opinion Site: recycle the factoids opinions gleaned there… but without integrating a sense of the History of such events. When you know the History you can develop your own opinions, even before MSM starts handing them out to you.

    So, re: Manchester: I took the trouble to post a clip from the Giffords Psyop, to contexualize the Manchester Psyop, and I was met with one commenter’s confusion.

    Should I really need to explain it? It’s History; part of the History of the mindsets and strategies that gave rise to Manchester.

    When the Gabby Giffords thing happened, I spent an initial day being puzzled by it… until one, then two, then several anomalies jumped out at me. I suddenly realized what I was seeing and I went through every bit of material I could find; I spent months on it. The bastards running the Psyop were so cocky that one of the “victims” had even been running a blog, starting several years before the event, in which she’d posted “premonitions” of gun violence months before she and Giffords were “shot”! My, that’s arrogant.

    This victim was a Cornell alumna (from the almost-literal “mind control experiments” dept of the university), just as Giffords was, and ended up in Tucson around the same time the medical center that eventually treated Giffords was being built. And there was so much more (the Federal Judge who was very probably assassinated under the event’s cover; the 9-year-old victim, who never existed, who was “born on 9/11”; the Astronaut Twins, et al)…

    Anyone who had studied and understood the Gabby Giffords event was ready for Sandy Hook (I spent exactly two days believing children had actually died, on that one)… which was another bonanza of Psyop-Overreach. The interlocking narratives and social-engineering goals on Sandy Hook were/are mind-boggling. From gun control to Pharmaceutical themes to New Age religion and Globalist UN subtexts. And anyone who spent weeks and months studying Sandy Hook was totally ready for Boston, “Malala”… all of it. By the time “Manchester” happens, more than 15 years after 9/11, the only people who don’t grasp its essence after two or three days of the story very predictably spooling out have simply not been paying attention for 15 years.

    People know very few details of the blatant anomalies, twists and side-stories of even the biggest of these events… from the Giffords, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Boston and Christopher Dornan stories as well. Remember the D.C. Sniper? Do you remember any bizarre details (report or implied) from that case? Do you remember the Wellstone, Carnahan or Leo Ryan assassinations? If not, why not? There are people reading this who know 50 times more about Karl Marx (or so they think: laugh) than they do about the death of Leo Ryan, though Congressman Ryan was machine-gunned when many of us were in High School (1978), yet Karl died peacefully in a bourgeois chair long ago, before Freddie Nietzsche even went nuts.

    There are people reading this who know more about Socrates than the life and death of Allard K. Lowenstein. Why? Read this: “Over a decade later, in 1980, Lowenstein was shot in New York City by Sweeney, now mentally ill and convinced that Lowenstein was plotting against him. Sweeney then calmly waited for the police to arrive and arrest him.” Sound familiar?

    I have a friend, an academic with a doctorate, who teaches at the University level. He considers himself a Lefty but I chide him: “You can quote that Irwin Corey-esque, Nazi windbag Heidegger, but you’ve never once given a talk on Mark Lombardi or Gary Webb, not even in private! But Lombardi is your subject! That’s our era! It’s all happening now! From 1910-until-2017 is all one big Now! Why are you spending most of your time talking about the 19th century?”

    All of these things which we know little or nothing about comprise our Radical Non-Normative Much-Closer-to-the-Truth History. We should know it. It’s absolutely pertinent and as richly documented (often in negative, but no dissident in the USSR would have had any trouble reading clearly between any of those lines) as any Mainstream resource. It all demands study. Have we become such passive (and obedient) consumers of Propaganda that we can’t see an opportunity to rumble these bastards when they practically hand the opportunities to us on a silver platter?

    We cannot keep reverting to a state of Gobsmacked, Candide-like Innocence every single time TFIC decide to pull the chain. The average TV-benumbed consumer has an excuse but shouldn’t we know better?

    “In dictatorships…. We believe nothing of what we read in the newspapers and nothing of what we watch on television, because we know it’s propaganda and lies. Unlike you in the West. We’ve learned to look behind the propaganda and to read between the lines and, unlike you, we know that the real truth is always subversive.”

    —-Zdener Urbanek, dissident Czech novelist

    PS Apologies to readers who already know the History better than I do.

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    • Frank says

      ”When I entered these Manchester Event debates at the OffG (three days ago?) I assumed that everyone was essentially (even deeply) conversant with the History of stage-managed Crises starting, at least, since 2001.”

      Go back nearly 100 years and the record would be more accurate. On 7 May 1915, the US passenger Liner – Lusitania – was headed from New York to Liverpool in England. The ship was torpedoed – by a German U-boat off the coast of Ireland. She sank in 18 minutes 1198 passengers were lost and 761 were rescued. This stirred up the anti-German furore in the United States which at that time was not one of the belligerent powers and ultimately contributed to America’s entry into WW1. It later transpired that the ship was carrying war materiel to the UK, so that the Germans could, with some plausibility, claim that Lusitania was a legitimate target.

      During the Vietnam War, it was alleged that some North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked US Warships in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 1964. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but eventually became very controversial with widespread claims that either one or both incidents were false, and possibly deliberately so. This was another false flag attack, but at the time the US President LBJ obtained a green light from Congress, ‘The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution’ to start bombing North Vietnam and involve the US more deeply into the Vietnam war.

      Since that time the pattern has been repeated with the fabled WDM in Iraq, and more recently Assad’s alleged chemical attacks on Syrian civilians. The American public must be manipulated to support the war by these tactics. This is a tried and tested method of psychological warfare and will continue to be the manufactured casus beli in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, that one got to me too.
          As it happens he autographed a coke cup for me when I was 12 years old. Little did I know who he really was.

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  11. johnschoneboom says

    Thanks Kit, well said. It really is the extremely tiresome cliché that just refuses to look in its own hackneyed mirror. The same tired old prima facie dismissals of conspiracy theory, followed by the obligatory acknowledgement of real conspiracies, followed undeterred by contemptuous laughter. The exact same formula since Hofstadter, usually with none of his nuance.

    Sometimes the only medicine is a little Baudrillard:

    “Say: This is real, the world is real, the real exists (I have met it) — no one laughs. Say: This is a simulacrum, you are merely a simulacrum, this war is a simulacrum — everyone bursts out laughing. With forced, condescending laughter, or uncontrollable mirth, as though at a childish joke or an obscene proposition. Everything to do with the simulacrum is taboo or obscene, as is everything related to sex or death. Yet it is much rather reality and obviousness which are obscene. It is the truth we should laugh at. You can imagine a culture where everyone laughs spontaneously when someone says: ‘This is true’, ‘This is real’. ” (From The Perfect Crime)

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Admin: a mere stylistic point of minor refinement, to make this masterpiece of delectable mordancy absolutely perfect, this one bit only might deserve a moment of your attention: “– then no opinions will never be safe.” This message should self-destruct after you’ve read it. I do apologize for my impertinence. But if free speech is what ‘we’ are all about, on that matter, that really is my opinion . . . 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • johnschoneboom says

      You lousy little nitpicker! (Oh, and erm, towards the end, there’s “And its at us” while we’re at it, should be it’s, “it is”, sorry…then it achieves the perfection to which it so nearly already attains…)

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw that, too, but thought I’d overlook it, limiting myself to the more egregious of the two errors of style (one of which was claimed to be a ‘typos’), so as not to come across as being too much of a nitpicker. My hope was that I would prompt a second proofreading that would quietly catch that, too.

        Alas, it wasn’t to be, and it was left to you, Johnschoneboom, to complete the humiliation. Surely the piece does now touch the event horizon of its final and irrevocable perfection?

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      • Admin says

        Kit’s head is going to explode. He finds it hard to forgive his own typos.

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  13. Willem says

    I am trying to post a comment for days now, but somehow it doesn’t work. So I sent a mail to OffG but am afraid that editors can’t be reached there either (no automatic reply that you received an email).

    This probably also doesn’t work….

    Anyway, this is my last try.

    My post can be erased if you received my mail.

    Like

    • Willem says

      This worked!

      Very strange that I can’t post the other comment here.

      It only has one link in it….

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    • We did get your email. I have no idea why your comment wasn’t published. I can publish it for you. But honestly the situation is getting beyond ridiculous. We’ve had over 150 comments go through today. The ones that don’t seem to be totally arbitrary.

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      • Willem says

        Thanks for the reply.
        It is not a big deal that it wasn’t published. I will wait for another opportunity. Hopefully more luck next time!

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      • While it could simply be a glitch in the code – it is worth considering that some kind of interference is operating to degrade the conversation? Youtube replies require manual attribution now and though only a little extra hurdle – it is the politics of nudge – or making defaults that frame or engineer the reaction.
        In Firefox I find short replies usually go through and show up immediately. Longer posts often -don’t – but if I try then to send via a different browser I get a ‘duplicate comment – looks like you’ve already said that’ – however I never go backwards (to see whether they in fact show up next day etc) and my expectation is that the system is losing or effectively blocking/denying a significant percentage of posts.

        Because I am often responding in the text box – I shift into communication focus and by the time I ‘post comment’ I then in an energetic sense ‘release’ from a total focus and easily forget the peculiarities of OffG’s commenting system – whatever its causes. Shifting browser can help – and as FFox is walling out most of its 3rd party add-ons (inc text box entry save/reclaim) I shall switch and see if I get better results – and perhaps discipline myself to compose off-page in a text or WP app.
        Alternatives for OffG could include a forum or maybe Disqus – which seems to work ok.
        Underneath this is the weakness of the Internet. Who owns and has control over the infrastructures of physical hardware and coding software upon which we make ‘communities of free speech’?

        Consciousness recoils and contracts from perceived and believed threat. In larger terms we experience the denial of communication in terms of both giving and receiving. This is the foundation from which everything else follows. If an image, model or idea is invested with consciousness – then we have its ‘power’ while enslaved or subjected to its distorting filters and exclusions. Freedom to give witness that is true of who you are is never without consequence – and nor is giving false witness in order to avoid feared consequence, and nor is giving false witness in order to undermine or subdue a perceived rival or enemy by means of deceit.

        Power struggle focuses on winning, or on claiming the right to set the rights, as if this will put Humpty together again – when it is symptomatic of a breakdown in communication of a distance and disconnection in perception. If you read that again you will see a pattern; namely that the mind DOES the thing it accuses the other of (openly or as subliminal suspicion and distrust).
        And committing to this with emotional intensity, generates an equal and opposite reaction in which for a time – under various resulting beliefs and definitions – winning and losing seem overwhelmingly real – and truth utterly forgot – and usurped by beliefs of masking assertion.

        True communication is of – and witnesses to – an equality of being. Not of outer appearances – but of worth extended and received. Who needs to puts another down for personal inflation is reacting to a masked sense of self-diminishment or ‘attack’ to the thought system they are identifying from. But underneath all such masking – it is our own belief and investment in the self-diminishment or ‘attack’ that generates the core of our experience.

        “How could you behave in a way that I would never tolerate in myself!” – is also meeting our own self-hatreds or fears in another. Which we do ALL the time. Any situation with another is a here and now event of unique opportunity to give and receive truly – and by the qualities of the exchange, ‘Know Thyself’. But the replay of the past runs as a programmed replacement for presence – such that the future can never be unfolded whole – but only in fragments of broken dreams – and all the King’s men’s attempt to restore order – operate the ‘Herod’ principle of aborting or crucifying the rising of the Light – because wholeness of being is of a Prior Light than manufactured thought given emotional investment. However thinking may seem weak and ephemeral – if you staked your life on it – you will give it all the protection life deserves.

        True witness invites and reminds us all of where the Life Is. It doesn’t seek to determine truth so much as NOT interfere with its unfolding as our individual and relational appreciation. Once we ‘interfere’ with the belief-reaction of another or different truth – we become like the ‘government’ that cannot release ‘control’ but only creates disorders the require ever more ‘control’. The experience of such struggle is felt and suffered real enough – but its basis is a deceit. Questioning our perception and experience is the result of a different order or quality of experience. For the prior wholeness of being is an intimacy or directness of being that cannot be but lived – and that is a double negative. Life cannot be encapsulated in image and concept and rule AND be truly Alive.

        Acting out the fantasy of control is what we came here (focus here) to participate in or we wouldn’t be doing it now – yet from the illusion of control can arise the recognition of true balance of intent and desire within the movement of being – and this is perhaps most easily illustrated by the example of singing or making music. It isn’t a matter of technical rules that have been reverse engineered from living insight and used to push something out. Make me an instrument of Thy Peace – can simply mean a desire to recognise and embody wholeness of being. Not an idol or ideal or social correctness as to what you should be.

        Opening to the movement is like sex – we can recoil and freeze, we can over react and lose our sense of connection. Its all the same learning – once releasing the programmed mind of war and plunder – masked in societal ‘permissions’ or momentary compartmentalised self-justifications – where the left hand knoweth not what its agencies are up to.

        Conditions of insanity grow a thirst for a true sanity – or wholeness of being – but only as willingness accepts and aligns in. Our own generated conflict, meaninglessness and pain can and does become a motivator to question more deeply and more honestly than we have before.
        Living who you are is not a hassle. Maintaining the pretence you are as you are not is the burden. “But the stage is set, the exit’s barred and the makeup wont come off”. But who told you you were lacking?

        Like

  14. paulcarline says

    She’s wrong. There’s a veritable army of very professional “truthers” out there – many of them with academic credentials. Not that such are needed to separate truth from official fiction in most cases. Anyone with an open mind and a genuine desire for the truth will need no more than 30 minutes (and often much less, if the key facts are laid out) to convince themselves that the official stories of 9/11 and 7/7 (to take just two high-profile examples) are lies. The problem is that people like Hinsliff have neither. What they do have is an unswerving loyalty to the establishment – and their paymasters.

    Like

    • sabelmouse says

      maybe trying to comment on the guardian which is rarely possible on serious subjects and even if, highly fraught.

      Like

      • aaronmicalowe says

        I used to take the Guardian comments seriously. One day I sarcastically joked that I had been banned when I hadn’t and got banned. The only person in history of Graun to get banned for pretending to be banned.

        In the following months since being freed from Grauns nonsense I’ve discovered several things. I have a lot more freedom and more time to be free, and I’ve realised that nothing anyone writes will change anyone’s views anyway. This is just the lie we sell to ourselves every time we attempt to express something.

        So, why lament something that damaged free speech? Graun is a waste of time anyway.

        Like

        • Great comment. Freedom is a quality to meet in. If the environment changes – the ways and forms of expression adapt according to how those changes are interpreted.
          The idea of impacting change is attractive to the fearful and powerless – and self-inflated and fantasist.
          I hold that the nature of communication is a synchronicity – or resonance that aligns naturally. No one can tell another what they do not already know or are not in the unfolding willingness to learn or open to.
          Investing in the ‘dark’ arts of deceit operates a negative alignment of synchronicity – that works and anti-agenda as if to get something for a private gain. When “everything is backwards” – it’s harvest time – which I see as being brought to a true choice – in place of the false framed ‘choices’ set by any kind of deceit agenda – and I do see that we all have investment in some degree or another in not wanting to accept what does not support who we think we are or what we think the world is or should be.
          As you learned that Graun was a waste of time for you anyway – by living some kind of relationship there – you refute your statement – for that was well learned. Stepping stones serve the timing of their bringing us to where we are now – which is a conscious appreciation of giving time to something worthy of our appreciation – and if not – why not?

          Like

  15. Boo Radley says

    Kit, You took the words right out of my mouth.

    Rufus Hound will pay dearly for being famous and saying what many around the country is thinking. I doubt we will ever see him on the TV again.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. captain Swing says

    Hinsliff tends to write opaque, stumbling prose at the best of times. I don’t read her much at all these days. I’ve taken my own action with the MSM.

    For a start, I don’t read any articles at the Guardian (or anywhere else for that matter) that don’t allow comments. Often, the comments on an article contain more original thought and insight than most of the articles themselves. Some days there is little to read at all, for which I’m thankful. All those safe spaces, all those clunky efforts to control the narrative (You Tell Us/ Readers’ Letters etc) simply don’t work if you don’t read the narrative.

    As for TV News, I don’t watch it. In fact, I don’t have a TV licence any more. And that’s a recent decision in direct response to the bias and hypocrisy of the MSM.

    Liked by 1 person

    • passerby says

      News sites go through three stages:
      At first you read the articles, and skip the comments.
      Then there comes a time when you skip the articles and read only the comments.
      Finally, you stop reading the site and go elsewhere.

      Like

      • can anyone recommend other sites that are as lucid and intelligent as this site to go ‘elsewhere’ to? I have lots of political sites but I like a bit of critical analysis.

        Like

        • You have the Internet and you have desire, and so you have your own journey of resonance and recognition of value.
          I see a skim of MSM on various aggregate sites and read the code – that is I read the nature of the narrative control as part of reading the signs of the times – and finding meanings within my own honesty and willingness regardless the manner or nature of the various presentation and packaging.
          So I recommend cultivating discernment – because any site I might include in my purvey of news and comment is within my discernment. All have different biases and focus. Attention is more than a vote – it is an active investment. Critical is often taken to mean Hegelian or adversarial and argumentative – but it can be a willingness to question our own presumptions and linguistic currency usage as a true discernment. I hold that ‘it takes one to know one’ – so in this sense we are never relating directly to the world – but always through the filter of our mind.
          You might appreciate the Corbett Report. You may appreciate some of what is on https://www.wanttoknow.info – as two resource rich examples that lean to a more embracing sense of humanity in my view. But then again you may not – and that is perhaps why what you are looking for is already within you in principle if not in specific details.
          Suppressed or hidden history/narrative control of our times is a big factor in what you can and cannot ‘see’ or allow yourself to find. In a worldly sense there are truths too horrifying to want to know and the mind recoils before it even becomes conscious of evasion – or becomes set in reaction as a result of exposure. Narrative control is not just what THEY do – it is something we all have as part of protecting who we currently define and accept ourselves to be – perhaps with a little ‘help’ from media influence and news-drip? So indeed be vigilant as to what you give acceptance to by reacting from as if true.

          Like

    • George says

      It’s interesting that the Hinsliff article doesn’t permit comments. It almost looks as if they had given up in advance.

      Like

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