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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Kit Knightly is co-editor of OffGuardian. The Guardian banned him from commenting. Twice. He used to write for fun, but now he's forced to out of a near-permanent sense of outrage.

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Admin
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We’re closing this thread as it is becoming very hard to navigate due to the current restrictions on our comment software. We may open further open forums in the future.

Matt
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Matt

A few apologies in order:
Thank you to Eleanor Strauss for pointing out that the image is doctored. I agree that it might be, because I can’t find it elsewhere. However, there are many photos showing a very small crater under the module. These are on the NASA website. I should have checked more carefully, sorry about that.
To Admin:
You’re right that I said that, but it was by mistake. I was responding to others who were saying there was no blast crater, so I said the direct opposite of their argument instead of specifically saying what I myself think, which is that there was a blast crater, which was very small, as is evident from the photos, and the fact that it was not disturbed even more is due to the reasons I’ve listed in my other posts. I’m sorry for any confusion I may have caused.
I hope that clears everything up.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Other images that show a clear interaction between engine exhaust and the surface of the Moon (assuming of course that it is the surface of the Moon):comment imagecomment image

Norman Pilon
Reader

In relation to the last image, see this video, by Philip Webb, that I posted way down below, between 1 minute 24 seconds and 2 minutes 45 seconds:
https://support.google.com/youtube/?p=report_playback
As I mentioned to Binra (slightly edited, here):
Speaking only to the “blast crater” issue: people who argue that there should be “craters” of greater dimensions than obvious in the photographic evidence need to argue, if their arguments are to be based on “evidence” and not merely a priori belief, why the lunar surface disturbances at the alleged Apollo sites should be greater than they were.
This means understanding something about how rocket engines work in a vacuum, and in particular, the exhaust profiles of the specific rocket engines of the LEMs; furthermore, they would have to explain “why” the lunar regolith at the landing sites should have been excavated to the (as yet unspecified) degree that they believe it should have been, that is to say, they would have to know something about the compaction of that regolith and thereby, in principle, be able to provide a quantifiable analysis of why the kinetic energy imparted to the lunar regolith at the landing sites “should” have resulted in a greater degree of excavation than was allegedly photographed.
How can you argue for a “blast crater” when, in effect, you have no data on how resistant to a specifically quantified jet exhaust a specific area on the surface of the Moon may have been?
Thus to believe that “blast craters” should have been more apparent than they were in the alleged photographic record is a data-free belief.
The extent of the empirical evidence that we do have is: a) that some excavation did in “fact” take place and in principle is quantifiable (though as yet unquantified); and b) that some surface disturbance is what you should expect from a LEM landing on a layer of regolith, i.e., a layer of unconsolidated rocky material covering or potentially covering bedrock.
A “blast crater?” Maybe and maybe not in a circumstance where a Moon landing would be a reality.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Arrgh! The link to video:

Norman Pilon
Reader

The image is not doctored. The link to it at the NASA site is:
comment imagecomment image

Matt
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Matt

Huh, looks like you’re right – thanks for that! The crater looked too big to be real, and I didn’t spend enough time checking if NASA hosted the image, so I assumed it was doctored. I take back my previous apology – the image I posted was not doctored ;]
This should debunk any claims of there being no crater. As for why it isn’t bigger, I’ve gone through that in prior posts, so hopefully StAug (and others) will stop believing that this was a hoax.
The debate looks settled to me. Well done to everyone who contributed!

Norman Pilon
Reader

Actually, I’m not sure about the big depression in the foreground. It may have pre-dated the landing. But if you look beyond it, to the area under the nozzle or engine bell, you can see that the surface was swept by the engine exhaust.

flaxgirl
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And whaddya know? No obvious blast crater from the 2013 unmanned Chinese Chang’e 3 lunar module landing. Question to those who deny or doubt the Apollo moon landings: if you compare footage and photos of the Chang’e 3 mission with those of the Apollo mission do you find any anomalies?
Then again, was Chang’e 3 also a hoax? (OK, I’m mocking here Moriarty. I think I’m allowed a tiny mocking, don’t you?)
Moon Hoax Theory dead – killed by rabbit! (Jade Rabbit was the name given to the rover – Yutu in Chinese)

Norman Pilon
Reader

Nice!

Admin
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@Matt – thanks for the apology.
Frankly this thread is probably past all hope of being cleared up. Very few of us can follow the science debate or hope to grasp how much sense any of the contending claims make. There are over 200 comments on here as it is – maybe people should think very carefully about whether what they say is going to add anything useful before posting further additions?
This isn’t aimed at anyone in particular, just a general suggestion.

Matt
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Matt

Since it was my posts about the moon landings in response to StAug that probably kicked off this whole thing, I just want to say that I think the Open Thread format is great for slightly off-topic discussion. I mean, normally, when do 200 comments get posted here over a few days? And just on one page? This format has greatly increased engagement.
Maybe have a weekly OT like this, so everyone can move on to the next one and the ones who want to continue with their discussions can keep talking in the old one? That way, fresh topics can be introduced in a clean thread and old ones discussed to death in an old thread.
Just my 2c.

Admin
Reader

We are thinking of making the Open Forums a regular feature, but it’s extra work for us of course, and our small team is already quite stretched

binra
Reader

But in this format it could be a way to bury a few i their own echo chamber. How many trawl through and stay abreast of this page – perhaps mostly those who post. The internet can seem public – and technically at any time be revealed public, while at the same time burying communication that has a willingness for fresh or greater perspectives.
I wonder if when another theme or tangent breaks into one of your article comments – and has a sense of life in it – that you discern the nature of that conversation and give it a place to breath. The Apollo program hoaxed or true has tended to be the personal investment of the most of this page – but a number of others posted topics were drowned out.
What you do is of course up to you – but what you have, is current and historical articles that allow free commenting – with often interesting comments. If I was against your freedom to persist in that I would encourage you to get entangled – and extend that entanglement to the degrading of what you have and share.
When is conserving wise – and when is progression a real gain? Nothing new then!

candideschmyles
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If you imply that there has been science presented in regard to the moon landing nonsense being debated I would have to disagree based on what little of it I read. I couldnt bare to continue for long as all comentary showed no scientific literacy at all.

Admin
Reader

Let’s not seed a debate about the nature of the debate!
And please people from all sides who feel offended at the suggestion you lack scientific literacy – do the strong thing and avoid angry rejoinders if you can.

flaxgirl
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I’m happy to admit to no great scientific understanding, however, I think I have superior reasoning and logic and with the benefit of others’ much greater scientific understanding I can apply that logic effectively. This discussion has been great for providing ideas and evidence for my planned 10-point Occam’s Razor exercise similar to the ones on the conspiracies I do think are real … that no one, so far, has remotely debunked, or even attempted to, despite a financial reward offered, except for Mick West from metabunk.org who, currently, is lamely giving it a go … but getting nowhere. I know I’ve posted the link already several times and risk being accused of advertising myself but in case you haven’t seen it and are interested: http://occamsrazorterrorevents.weebly.com

Matt
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Matt

This is even more absurd than RussiaGate:
“Russian senators worry the West is making Manchurian candidates of Russian youths”
https://meduza.io/en/news/2017/11/29/russian-senators-worry-the-west-is-making-manchurian-candidates-of-russian-youths

Matt
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Matt

From Meduza:
“The Moscow District Attorney’s Office has stated in a letter to Alexey Navalny that border guards from the Federal Security Service were in possession of the surveillance footage showing Navalny and his wife leaving Sheremetyevo airport that was published on the tabloid Life, confirming suspicions that federal agents shared the video with the pro-Kremlin media outlet. Life claimed that the video showing Navalny and his wife at Sheremetyevo airport was submitted by a “citizen correspondent.” Navalny has accused the Interior Ministry and Federal Security Service of repeatedly leaking intelligence about his private life to pro-Kremlin media outlets.”

binra
Reader

Open Thread Feedback
BTW – the open thread would have perhaps worked better as a themed thread.
So as a spillover from the last – it could have been an Open Moon thread.
You might also add a forum as a spillover or extension point. The OG page is not very conducive to navigate – and responding via email notification does not take me to that part of the conversation – but to a box at the bottom of the page.

Admin
Reader

We get such a large volume of comments that it would be hard for any nested framework to remain totally coherent for long. Though we are looking at ways to improve our system. Yes, a forum probably would get a reasonable amount of traffic, but managing it would be a lot of work. We are barely coping with the workload as it is. But, if we are ever in a position to devote more time or have more admins to spread the work we could consider it.

Matt
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Matt

On the basis of all my posts debunking moon landing hoaxers, and the evidnece posted by Norman, it should be extremely obvious that the moon landings were very real events and not hoaxes at all.
I find that moon landing hoaxers simply don’t have a very scientifically rigorous mind. This causes them to easily become confused or make very simple assumptions/mistakes.
But most of the time, it comes down to a lack of knowledge.
I covered numerous topics in my posts, including how the cameras worked, how the automated camera left behind tilted, radiation levels, particle physics, how the rover managed to fit in the space ships, probability theory, damage from pebbles in space, sound in a vacuum, etc.

MoriartysLeftSock
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MoriartysLeftSock

The problem is the absence of evidence that would be conclusive. All the evidence adduced to show we went to the Moon is capable of also being explained by other means. What we lack is the evidence that simply could not have been produced by fakery or in near-earth orbit etc.
What evidence would have put the question beyond doubt?
Well, let’s start with good photos of the stars. No, I don’t mean the red herring about the absence of stars in the extant Apollo images. They are well explained by the shutter speeds needed for exposure on the Moon surface. But why no pictures of the stars themselves?
With no atmosphere to obstruct the view it should have been possible to get excellent images of distant systems. Think Hubble but even better. Such images would be impossible to fake without exposing the fake to later discovery. So they would be pretty much proof positive that we got to the Moon. And it would have been a rare opportunity to advance our knowledge of deep space. Yet none of the missions made any effort to capture any such images. No good telescopes, no specialist cameras. If I am honest I find it hard to understand why. Was a Moon buggy really a better option?
I do not say this means we didn’t go to the Moon, but the absence of this kind of hard data explains the ongoing doubts and questions.
And it is way too simplistic to say no one with a science background has ever doubted the Moon landings. Young Jarrah White is doing post-grad studies in astro-physics. Bill Kaysing was an engineer. In private there are a few physicists and engineers who – half in joke, half seriously – speculate about this topic. Again, I’m not saying this means they are correct, I am just trying to present a factually accurate picture of the situation.

flaxgirl
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“All the evidence adduced to show we went to the Moon is capable of also being explained by other means.”
Disagree. There are so many claims about stuff being “fakeable” and yet we see no evidence of this fakability. No one has replicated these so-called fakable phenomena. My thesis is that there is actually no reason in the first place to make a claim of “fake”. There is simply no good reason. All “fake” claims can be easily debunked. If we see no actual fakery then why should fakery be given any real consideration – it’s like considering fire as cause of collapse of WTC-7. – there was never any good reason to consider it – it was all made up. And I don’t agree we can explain things with alternatives. We cannot explain a decade of development of the technology to get there; while it might involve a lot of fussing to try to replicate astronauts bouncing on the moon it should be child’s play to simulate their conversations but no one’s done it, have they? And we simply do not have any “showstopper” reason to say it couldn’t have been done. So if we don’t have any showstopper reason to say those amazing men got there, then why wouldn’t they have got there?

MoriartysLeftSock
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MoriartysLeftSock

With the greatest of respect this particular question is not a matter of opinion. It just happens to be true that all the data produced by Apollo is capable of being explained by other means. As I keep saying, this does not mean we didn’t go to the Moon. After all, if we did it’s very likely that proving it would not be a focus of attention at the time. But it still is a fact that hard, solid, irrefutable proof is lacking.

All “fake” claims can be easily debunked.

No, they can’t. And if they could I for one would not be having this conversation. The main problem with the “anti-hoax” sites is they try to oversell their case and thus end up looking more questionable and fuelling the hoax theory. They would be better off being honest and admitting the inability to prove that Apollo happened. A failure of proof isn’t fatal. It doesn’t automatically mean we didn’t go to the Moon. But covering up the lack of proof with bluster and waffle and – sometimes – fake or overreaching science claims, only makes the situation worse.
If we are to look at this dispassionately we have to be sceptical of all sides. Jay Windley is not offering simple truth, he is as aggressively selling an opinion as is the guy who wrote “Wagging the Moon Doggie.” Both are full of errors and over-confident claims, because both assert proof where none exists.

flaxgirl
Reader

So what claims cannot be debunked, Moriarty? We’ve established now, haven’t we, that the lunar module does produce a very slight crater … and that fact is so very compelling for the moon landings actually taking place, isn’t it? That barely perceptible crater which matches exactly what would be expected in moon conditions. Really, would they fake such a thing? Why on earth would you fake something that is so hard to see?
It’s like the flag waving in the wind. No doubt, aerodynamic experts would be able to point out exactly how the flag cannot be waving from wind but is waving due to the astronauts moving the flagpole in moon conditions … and thus this supposed landing debunking only provides evidence so much more the other way.
You have to consider that some hoax debunking, at least, does not just debunk, it actually provides greater weight to the proof to the landing side of the argument.
And really how do you get just the surface lit with a black sky? My “moon hoaxer” sister said that no one has mentioned this before (although perhaps it has been mentioned) as if that somehow means this difficult-to-explain fact does not carry any weight. It seems that hoax debunkers focus on the perfectly good reasons explaining why we don’t see stars in the sky. But what about the fact that there is black sky in daytime on the moon? How can the moon hoaxers explain that in a “faked on earth” context?

binra
Reader

Everyone’s gone to the Moon…!
The way these ‘issues’ polarize is a matter of personal investment in being right – which means making the opposing view wrong. This indicated deeper investments than the subject matter.
The ‘did we really go to the Moon?’ or ‘is any of the Moon/NASA information a psyop?’ – could be a disinfo ‘leaked’ or propagated so as to generate a ‘crazy’ off-media that can see and say anything and be ignored.
This sort of thing operates a very effective defence by which the official narrative can increasingly disregard what anyone else knows or says about anything – because the messengers are ‘identified’ as idiots, fraudsters, quacks or extremists.
Whereas language posits entities such as NASA – or the CIA or USA Government – the actuality is to coin a biblical term ‘legion’ or split into innumerable compartments.
Regardless the Moon missions facts or fictions – what they served/serves is itself a subject.
Even if all of it actually occurred as presented – it may not be the whole story. Why it stopped? Why ‘going to the Moon’ is back on the agenda?
I believe Plato’s Cave operates our sense of a slave world – and that the mind is the technology of its own deceit. I also see that our technology is an outer representation of inner purpose or intent.
The post WW2 era is characterized by mind control at a much wider level than nations. The new world order was generated by a coordination of an effective control over all institutional influence.
I live my own right to not act on something as true if anything about its context or delivery or intent triggers a sense of dissonance in me. Such that I don’t override this dissonance but stay open and curious and vigilant.
Looking for trouble can find it everywhere – as a narrative identity fulfilment under a sense of denial/deprivation.
Protecting a bubble can manage not to see anything that would break the ‘reality’ of its established narrative identity fulfilment.
Both of these work the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum of a polarized exclusion zone. For quarrel engages attention such that none is free to notice what otherwise would stand obvious. And the development of the human ‘consciousness’ has been the splitting of the mind via such device.

flaxgirl
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I meant, “So if we don’t have any showstopper reason to say those amazing men DIDN’t GET there …”

Matt
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Matt

Technically, anything can be called fake by moon hoaxers, even if it could not have been faked. Even the example you cite could have been “faked.” What if NASA passed off images of stars taken by unmanned probes as having been taken by the Apollo astroanuts? As you can see, it is impossible to satisfy the moon hoaxer. There is something else motivating them, other than disproving that the moon landings are real…
Another issue with your example: the cameras used by the Apollo astronauts were wholly incapable of imaging stars. They were made for a different purpose. Hubble has enormous lenses, with a 2.4 meter mirror used. There was no need for NASA to build such a massive camera to be brought to the moon. And back then, camera technology simply was not good enough to take high resolution shots of the stars. There was no interest in imaging the stars from the moon. The main mission was to visit the moon, collect some stuff, and come back. Their priorities were not geared towards an extremely expensive, experimental, large camera being hauled to the moon.
Regarding Mr. White, he is simply someone who finds extremely minute inconsistencies in something, many of which aren’t even wrong, which he then uses to “prove’ the moon landings were faked. Like that one video where he confused the dates newspapers reported the landings, mistakenly saying that they reported on the images being beamed back 30 minutes before any images were actually sent. Instead of this method, there should be obvious holes to point out, not extremely minor things that are easily confused.

MoriartysLeftSock
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MoriartysLeftSock

What if NASA passed off images of stars taken by unmanned probes as having been taken by the Apollo astroanuts?

Any images taken by unmanned probes would be very hard to pass off as having been taken on the surface of the Moon, for obvious reasons. The constellations would not line up and any competent astronomer would be able to see that easily. Trying to fake up an image of the night sky to correspond with what it would look like from the surface of the Moon would be massively difficult, if not impossible. There would be elements we would be unaware of and could not possibly duplicate, and the photos would be shown as clearly bogus as soon as any actual images were taken from the Moon’s surface, if not before.
I doubt anyone would disagree that images of the stars taken from the Moon’s surface would have been proof positive that we got there. Which is why it is deeply frustrating that none were taken. Ever.

Another issue with your example: the cameras used by the Apollo astronauts were wholly incapable of imaging stars. They were made for a different purpose.

Yes. I know. I said as much in the comment you are replying to.

Hubble has enormous lenses, with a 2.4 meter mirror used. There was no need for NASA to build such a massive camera to be brought to the moon.

You wouldn’t need to take a Hubble replica with you! A reasonably compact camera/telescope would do the job very well. If they could fit a damn Moon buggy in the LEM they could fit a decent camera. So, why the hell didn’t they? You can bet the astronomers wanted an answer to that, in private if not in public.

And back then, camera technology simply was not good enough to take high resolution shots of the stars.

What nonsense is this? We had the technology to take decent pictures of the stars from earth, and taking decent pictures of the stars from the Moon would be easier, not more difficult. Imagine what would have been revealed, without the concealing blanket of our atmosphere and light pollution!
Lastly I want to emphasise, I think it’s very important to avoid confrontational and polarised arguments on this topic. I am not claiming and would never claim we did not go to the Moon. But neither am I able to confidently believe, on a personal level, that we did. I have dedicated many years of free time study to this question. and I am interested in sharing and discussing the data, but not in shouting at one another from extreme and unjustified positions.
With that caveat I am happy to discuss with anyone

Matt
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Matt

“Any images taken by unmanned probes would be very hard to pass off as having been taken on the surface of the Moon, for obvious reasons. The constellations would not line up and any competent astronomer would be able to see that easily”
I meant images taken by rovers, that landed on the moon. NASA could have sent a rover to the moon to take photos. How would you distinguish those from the photos taken by astronauts?
“You wouldn’t need to take a Hubble replica with you! A reasonably compact camera/telescope would do the job very well. If they could fit a damn Moon buggy in the LEM they could fit a decent camera. So, why the hell didn’t they? You can bet the astronomers wanted an answer to that, in private if not in public.”
They’d have to bring entirely different cameras to capture photos of the stars. The main purpose was for the cameras to image the astronauts, so as I said, it was not a priority. The cameras were indeed large.
“What nonsense is this? We had the technology to take decent pictures of the stars from earth, and taking decent pictures of the stars from the Moon would be easier, not more difficult.”
In the 1960s? Not very clear images. It wouldn’t have brought satisfactory results. And if you admit we could take images of the stars from Earth then, then it only proves that this means NASA would not have bothered wasting space and time replicating an activity that could be done on Earth.

MoriartysLeftSock
Reader
MoriartysLeftSock

I meant images taken by rovers

Well that would present its own formidable problems of automation wouldn’t it.

They’d have to bring entirely different cameras to capture photos of the stars.

Yes, they would, but so what? If there was room for a moon buggy there was room for a camera that could photograph stars.

The main purpose was for the cameras to image the astronauts

That is the official explanation, but it makes absolutely no sense at all. From a scientific point of view those images of Aldrin on the Moon’s surface are largely worthless. Why on earth would they be a priority over photographing the night sky as it had never been seen by human eyes before? As I said, it is incredible to me, and to others, that NASA never undertook to do this relatively simple thing on any of the Apollo missions. By all means snap the astronauts for the cover of Time and Life, but don’t simply ignore the starscape that is right there!

The cameras were indeed large.

The Hasselblad wasn’t large at all, even in its casing. But even a large camera would have been no larger than the damn silly moon buggy, which was clearly very little more than a publicity stunt of dubious value. NASA missed, not only a chance to prove the Apollo astronauts were definitely on the Moon, but an absolutely unique opportunity to advance our knowledge of the solar system and beyond.
I have never been able to come up with a good reason why they would do this.

Matt
Reader
Matt

“Well that would present its own formidable problems of automation wouldn’t it.”
You mea having a rover capture images on the moon? This was certainly not impossible and the Soviets later were able to send a rover to the moon and fly back to Earth, with space rocks in tow. Compared to that, sending a rover to capture some images of the stars from the moon’s surface and beaming them wirelessly back to Earth is much easier.
“Yes, they would, but so what? If there was room for a moon buggy there was room for a camera that could photograph stars.”
This was a decision made by NASA. Think about it: imagine if NASA had done what you recommend, went to the moon and didn’t take images of the astronauts, but just of some stars. If you think the hoaxers are crazy now, imagine what they’d be like without any images of the astronauts jumping around? Multiple cameras would have to be packed, with one kind being able to image the stars and the other imaging the astronauts. It’s too much stuff.
“NASA missed, not only a chance to prove the Apollo astronauts were definitely on the Moon, but an absolutely unique opportunity to advance our knowledge of the solar system and beyond.”
Even if we had images of the stars from the moon, it would not be nearly enough to satisfy the hoaxers. And what scientific knowledge was lost by not photographing the stars from the moon? NASA thinks ahead – they knew they’d be launching rovers, probes, and telescopes to space in the coming years. No need to do too much in one mission.

binra
Reader

You are calling those who do not accept the official presentation, ‘hoaxers’.
Lumping all sorts of people under one derogatory reversal.
When you throw it about – it sticks to you.
May all your blessings return one hundredfold!

MoriartysLeftSock
Reader
MoriartysLeftSock

Think about it: imagine if NASA had done what you recommend, went to the moon and didn’t take images of the astronauts, but just of some stars.

Why not just take images of both? Take the Hasselblad and snap Aldrin standing around, but then take a great telescope and camera instead of the damnable Moon buggy and take photos of the night sky such as have still never been seen by human eye?
Why not?
Beats me.

Admin
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Can you try to use the “blockquote” html to define your quotes? We ask people to do that if possible, and as a computer science major you must know how to do that kind of basic coding.

Norman Pilon
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I’ll join in when I have the time, but it may be later in the week.
In the meantime, just so you don’t miss it (as I’ve also posted it below for someone else), an interesting series of rebuttals by one Phil Webb of what to me are by Jarrah White many obvious misinterpretations and misreading of sources:

flaxgirl
Reader

Being very knowledgeable is definitely a very big bonus, Matt, but even from a common sense point of view the moon hoax theory is not so hard to debunk. To me, it’s a bit like the collapse of WTC-7 on 9/11. There was never any good reason to suspect fire as cause in the first place and the evidence of controlled demolition is overwhelming. All the reasons to suspect the moon landings were a hoax are easily debunked and there is simply no compelling evidence of fakery. I mean, come on. If it rests on seeming wires in one or two videos, that’s absurd. It’s not so relevant whether or not the footage could be faked, as it does not actually look faked and there is very weighty evidence that moon hoaxers do not address. A whole decade of documentation of the engineering obstacles overcome? Hours of conversation between astronauts, etc? They have no explanation for this. All the evidence needs to be explained and the moon hoaxers simply cannot do it.

tutisicecream
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COMMENTS OPENED IN ERROR
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/dec/03/bbc-syria-al-nusra-foreign-office
Is the Guardian’s euphemism for closing comment which clearly are going the wrong way. Have a look here for the latest example.
If you want to know in detail what this whole scandal of the UK Government miss-spending hundreds of millions of pounds of Tax Payers money to support IS affiliates in Syria is about read this excellent report by Vanessa Beeley
http://21stcenturywire.com/2017/12/02/white-helmets-local-councils-uk-fco-financing-terrorism-syria-taxpayer-funds/

Admin
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Thanks for that. A BBC journalist is trying to do a bit of slightly real journalism and must be “backlashed” into submission it seems. When the comments demur they have to be immediately closed.

rtj1211
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rtj1211

Daily Mail has become the Church:
Pope Martin Samuel, Chief Sports Writer of the UK’s Daily Mail (owner is a non-dom hereditary peer named in the Panama Papers) and a few of his Cardinals are currently on a spiritual retreat in Australia, travelling the country on expenses reporting on the purity of Ashes cricket….
Cricket and purity from gambling vice: sell that one in Mumbai…..guest speaker MS Dhoni, film evidence Cricket World Cup Final down under……
Whilst in the pulpit, fire and brimstone is being preached about the unspeakable evil in Moscow, the fallen son Lineker having been seduced by the women of Lucifer (whose recruitment drive found fallen sinners the world over), who have fixed all sport for ten years (whilst Serena Williams has won everything and Sharapova barely anything).
The reformed alcoholic is of course the most fervent anti-drink campaigner.
Perhaps the experience of London 2012 panged Pope Martin’s conscience. Everyone ganged up on Britain there after all. And in Rio it was even worse…..
Pew dwellers are not allowed to challenge pontifical edicts.
So I rapidly excommunicated myself and started blabbing to HOC and here…..

Matt
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Matt

Some of my comments appear to be stuck in moderation. I would greatly appreciate it if my comments were no longer moderated, as I have been using the same email address as Admin asked me, although I have no control over my I.P. address.

rtj1211
Reader
rtj1211

You may find security services malware on your machine. It is part of the harassment……

Admin
Reader

this – ironically -is the only comment of yours awaiting moderation. And – before you ask – no comments of yours have been removed.

Matt
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Matt

Ah, you’re right. I didn’t see my below comment. Sorry about that.
But it seems that my comments are only put on moderation when I post from home – any reason for that?

Admin
Reader

No idea at all why that would be the case.

Admin
Reader

Re. the ongoing Apollo discussion. Here is a PDF of James Van Allen’s 1959 article about his discovery of the radiation belts that now bear his name.Thanks to MLS:
https://offgraun.files.wordpress.com/2017/12/vanallen_march1959.pdf

mohandeer
Reader

I found this and decided to share it. Mainly because I don’t actually understand the significance of it’s impact. (I just know there will be one).
http://galacticconnection.com/russia-to-launch-independent-internet-for-brics-nations-report/

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

The DNS or domain name servers are a core function to the internet in translating letters.com into actual numbered machine addresses. ( Just like an automatic telephone directory. Last I heard, this is still under US control. So yoursites.com can (be) stop(ped from) working if there is a DNS fault. Setting up a BRICS alternative DNS under Russian overview is part of the ongoing cascade of consequences arising from non-cooperation – but it could also be simply part of the shift to a different ‘world order’ or different host under the active playing out of conflict. After all, the rats that sink the ship are hardly going to stay on it…
A less conspirational way of seeing world events is the art of ‘managing’ an inevitable breakdown.
The proxy US hegemony can be seen as the mad gunman to be ‘talked down’. Those who attend such a need cannot afford to indulge their own reactivity. I have some sense of Putin taking – or being energetically obliged to take – such a response. There is a difference between survival reflect assigned to thinking – and the desire to embrace life.

mohandeer
Reader

Thanks Binra, you have confirmed my own thinking, now it’s a case of wait and see…..who else wants to join their club.
Susan

Matt
Reader
Matt

As a Computer Science major, you’ll forgive me if I point out a few misunderstandings.
First of all, the U.S. does not control all of the DNS root servers. In fact, there are more than 13 physical servers in existence. Each server has backups across the world, and many of the physical servers are located in Europe and elsewhere:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ee/Root-current.svg
From Wikipedia:
“The DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee is an ICANN committee. However, the root zone is controlled by the United States Department of Commerce who must approve all changes to the root zone file requested by ICANN. ICANN’s bylaws assign authority over the operation of the root name servers of the Domain Name System to the DNS Root Server System Advisory Committee.”
So, even though the U.S. has to approve requests by ICANN, it can not unilaterally just turn off a root server.
There is one more, extremely important detail: root servers are rarely ever accessed, since most of the DNS information is cached in hundreds of thousands of smaller-level DNS servers in the world. As an example, in the early 2000s, a DDoS attack cripplied 9/13 of the world’s DNS root servers. But due to all the caching, this had no noticeable impact on the internet.
Considering it was the U.S. that created most of the founding technology used here, and considering that the U.S., despite its flaws, does not censor websites like China or Russia (to a limited extent Russia does censor), it is only fitting that it control the root zones. If each country starts using its own root servers, that country can easily censor ALL traffic from the outside world. This is effectively what North Korea is doing, albeit, in a different manner. The internet as we know it would no longer be globally connected. It would be a bunch of isolated, disjoint networks.
And this is precisely what countries like Russia and China want. Do not fall for this “U.S. hegemony” meme. Under “U.S. hegemony”, the internet has remained extremely open, fair, and transparent. If China can create the Great Firewall without havng access to a root server, believe me, you won’t be praising BRICS when they do get access to custom DNS root servers.
Just me 2c.

mohandeer
Reader

“…..the internet has remained extremely open, fair, and transparent…..”
?
If the US could manipulate it as it does through Google etc, it would censor and make unavailable, access to whichever part they chose. They could allow hackers to access a country’s Stock Exchange, they could shut down certain sites or the whole damn thing if they themselves were no longer the ruling elite.
They are no longer the ruling elite and they can see it coming. Washington’s influence is seriously under threat from those dastardly Russians and Chinese and the US is churlish and spiteful enough to cause any mischief rather than lose that hegemony. When (not if) the US loses it’s ability to control the world in the fashion it so chooses, it would be totally naive to imagine the internet would remain “extremely open”, certainly not “fair” and in no way “transparent”. Those nations most at threat from US aggression (anyone who does not toe the line) would be best served if they developed an alternative to the US controlled internet. There is nothing open, fair or transparent in an internet that can be manipulated by closing doors, unfair and veiled means to exclude non US vassals. Please refrain from attacking other countries lest you wish to engage in an exchange of US criminal activity, the list would be exhaustive.
The plain truth is, the US thought the internet would give them the upper hand in their quest for global hegemony but it got away from them and they are struggling to get it under their control – but that will not stop them from trying, better to get ahead of the game than become the victim of such treachery. US propaganda, using the internet as it’s main tool, is unrivaled and could not be matched by a concerted effort from any combination of countries except it’s closest allies, which makes the internet a double edged sword. It is essential to mitigate some of it’s most distasteful aspects – the sooner, the better.

Matt
Reader
Matt

“If the US could manipulate it as it does through Google etc, it would censor and make unavailable, access to whichever part they chose.”
Google is a private corporation, not the internet itself. Google has nothing to do with root DNS servers. Nor has Google ever censored a website, despite false statements by those with little technological knowledge. On the contrary, China and Russia have openly blocked websites en-masse from their countries. The U.S.. has never done this, nor does it have an equivalent to China’s 50 cent army. I follow censorship news in China from China Digital Times. They even sometimes get access to high-level censorship instructions.
“When (not if) the US loses it’s ability to control the world in the fashion it so chooses, it would be totally naive to imagine the internet would remain “extremely open”, certainly not “fair” and in no way “transparent”.”
The U.S. has already lost its hegemony and nothing has happened to the internet. On the other hand, the ascendant powers, China and Russia, have in fact cracked down on the internet. So it’s the opposite of what you say: the declining power is responsible for a fair and free internet, while the ascendant powers are censoring it. Who invented the TOR network, allowing people in countries like China to access the uncensored internet? The Pentagon, in concert with American universities. I thus see great irony in your statements.
“There is nothing open, fair or transparent in an internet that can be manipulated by closing doors, unfair and veiled means to exclude non US vassals.”
I don’t understand this statement. The U.S. has never closed doors of the internet to non-U.S. allies.
“Please refrain from attacking other countries lest you wish to engage in an exchange of US criminal activity, the list would be exhaustive.”
I never “attacked” any country. You should refrain from attacking the U.S. by gaslighting the country.
“The plain truth is, the US thought the internet would give them the upper hand in their quest for global hegemony but it got away from them and they are struggling to get it under their control.”
The internet is a threat to countries like China, hence the mass censorship. And the lack of censorship in the U.S. tells us that it certainly isn’t the U.S. who is afraid of the free flow of information.

candideschmyles
Reader

I suggest you read “When Wikileaks met Google”. There you will find both Eric and Wendy Schmidt proven beyond all reasonable doubt to receive their orders from the CIA. As ever your disingenuous alliegence to the prevailing hegemony, that is in no way diminished as you state, is an exercise in hilarity!

Matt
Reader
Matt

I have read that, multiple times in fact. It was a good read and Assange is clearly an excellent writer. But nowhere did I ever get the impression upon reading it that “Eric and Wendy Schmidt [are] proven beyond all reasonable doubt to receive their orders from the CIA.”

Admin
Reader

Isn’t Google’s “de-ranking” of certain Russian websites a form of censorship? And it’s use of unnamed “quality-asessors” to measure the value and rankability of websites could also be seen that way. You can see why it might appear that way?
And surely one reason why the US supports the “free flow of information” is that the majority of major news outlets in the West very faithfully sell only those versions of events that comply with US ideals and ambitions. You won’t find inconvenient facts or opinions flowing all that freely through the NYT, WaPO, Times or Guardian.

Matt
Reader
Matt

That is not censorship. Censorship is when a government blocks websites at the ISP level or beyond. A corporation, that is voluntarily used by people as a search engine, and that deranks websites that post fringe news, is not engaging in censorship.
“And it’s use of unnamed “quality-asessors” to measure the value and rankability of websites could also be seen that way.”
Google has no such thing when it comes its ranking system – that is done by an algorithm.
Is this the same as Chinese-style censorship, with full blocks on websites, automatic censoring and replacement of certain words no matter whether they’re sent by SMS, email, chat, etc, and imprisonment for accessing these blocked websites? It’s nothing – not even close to bring censorship.
“And surely one reason why the US supports the “free flow of information” is that the majority of major news outlets in the West very faithfully sell only those versions of events that comply with US ideals and ambitions.”
I don’t understand the logic here. Does anyone force Americans to read NYT, WaPO, Times or Guardian? Nope. If an American doesn’t want to read them, they they don’t have to and can simply access their favourite website, whether that be some far-right neo-nazi website, or an anti-imperialist blog. Your reasoning, that the U.S. supports the free flow of information, because most media outlets are pro-government (assuming that’s true, because American media outlets are much more critical towards their government than, say, Chinese media outlets) makes no sense, since the same free flow of information allows people to not rely on the MSM. This is very confusing to me, because I always thought censorship was used to make sure people only read select websites, not freedom of information!
It should be clear now that anyone who thinks BRICS, with its members having some of the world’s worse internet freedom, is going to ensure the internet remains free and transparent, more so than the U.S. has allowed, is simply displaying base anti-Americanism. And that is a very bad thing. I for one am critical of the American government, but forever grateful for its engineering work to create the backbone of a transparent and information exchange medium. I’m glad the Chinese or Soviets didn’t get their versions popularized.

Admin
Reader

That is not censorship. Censorship is when a government blocks websites at the ISP level or beyond. A corporation, that is voluntarily used by people as a search engine, and that deranks websites that post fringe news, is not engaging in censorship.

LOL, thanks. So, if we define “censorship” in as absurdly narrow a way as possible then we can seriously claim there isn’t any censorship!
Hilarious.

Matt
Reader
Matt

That is not what I am claiming at all, and you are taking my claims out of context.
I was talking about the U.S. government vs BRICS regarding the internet, which you replied to by discussing Google. I made it very clear that for all the work Google does on its algorithm, it is not even remotely comparable to what China does. That was my main point.
Regarding censorship, my definition is not “absurdly narrow”. It is quite simple: can you access RT and Sputnik articles in America, without needing proxies or VPNs? Yes or no? If the answer is yes, it means the U.S. government is not censoring those websites. If Google deranks those websites, then that does not stop anyone from visiting RT/Spuntik manually, or by using any other search engine. Google is a corporation, and you don’t have to use their products. So zero censorship here.
You are grasping at straws to make the U.S. look bad when it comes to internet freedom, hence the same old examples of Google. It’s a weak example, since it doesn’t involve censorship, no blocking of websites, and is not even the same as what China does.
Remember the original topic before creating a strawman: is the U.S. better for internet freedom or BRICS? The answer should be clear, even to the most die-hard anti-American who creates false equivalencies between Google de-ranking RT and China arresting people for accessing blocked webpages, blocked in the millions.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

Aldous Huxley’s prescient or conditioning comments come to mind of the developing of systems of control that seem to be freedom, and operate a manipulated reality via technological and biological means.
The nature if open dictatorship is out front. The nature of mind-capture uses the example of the former as a foil against which to seem ‘free’, and an enemy against which to sacrifice freedoms so as not to succumb.
Different ways of organizing or effecting ‘power’ operate around the world.
I no longer see nations as operating their own sovereign will (if ever they did – though we generally saw it portrayed in such terms).
I see that effective control, is not hands on micromanagement or even a majority stake – but the capacity to exert decisive influence in key moments to align outcomes that further and protect a private agenda – under ‘plausible deniability’.

mohandeer
Reader

@Binra:”I see that effective control, is not hands on micromanagement or even a majority stake – but the capacity to exert decisive influence in key moments to align outcomes that further and protect a private agenda – under ‘plausible deniability’…..”
Oh well done. Aldous was not wrong, but your last paragraph was a winner.

passerby
Reader
passerby

Backup DNS servers if the root servers cannot be reached . Basically that the Russian internet will keep on running, even if it is no longer connected to the rest of the Internet.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

passerby – not so much backup DNS – there is already backup DNS.
And the connections – of wires, optics, satellite etc are the physical infrastructure – which re-routes where any connectivity remains operable. The DNS is the maintenance and propagation of assigning (machine) number addresses to (human) word based domain names. Like any function serving wholeness, it can be usurped by separate interest to generate a false matrix under which systemic bias operates as ‘normal’.

mohandeer
Reader

Presumably only someone with direct physical access to the main server controller can hack it. Sounds like a plan.

Aleksandar
Reader
Aleksandar

Recently, two stories about ex-Yugoslavia Civil War and ICTY were breaking news and cover stories in last few weeks – sentencing gen. Ratko Mladić, and sentencing Croat 6, when one of them, Prljic took poison. The Guardian, among others Westerner MSM, covered these stories quite biased, one-side and with a lot of manipulation about facts.
Main fact that have “eluded” every text or report covering these stories failed to mention (elephant in the room) that FOR MURDER OF 30.000 BOSNIAN SERBS NOBODY WAS PRISONED! Out of 100.000 “bosnian victims”, some 60.000 were Bosnian muslims, 30.000 Bosnian Serbs, and the rest was Croats and others (including jihadists from Afganistan, Pakistan, S. Arabia).
Yet, noone has been found guilty and sentenced for longterm prison time for murdering Bosnian Serb civilians.
In my mind, this is a BREAKING NEWS!!!!

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

The BIG FIVE multinational cartels must be exposed.
Often and loudly.
Arms, Animal Agriculture, Pharma, Oil and Media.
When they say ‘Jump’ governments leap.
They piss in each other’s pockets and are utterly devoid of ethics.
They are the masters of this Universe and they should be hounded from it.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

Big Ag is not simply ‘animal Ag’. The setting up of the conditions in which corporate ego runs unchecked is in law.
Big Gov – is simply surrender of responsibility (sovereign will) to global contractual law.
The Big Ed denies a true history in which never has there been a time when some witness of exposure of the lie was not given.
As I see it, fear operates in place of sovereign will (awakened responsibility) until and unless it is replaced by a true act of freedom – in which you know yourself truly in the sharing or living and being – rather than the mind-capture of fear of pain, loss, chaos etc – driving the imposition of ‘law’ – whether that be tilted to holding some sense of order or attacking the enemy ‘seen in’ the old order.
A key element here is the fear, distrust and hatred of our own nature and its suppression, subversion and replacement by systems of management and control.
The often intensely held UNwillingness to look within – or recognize responsibility for one’s OWN part, is the predilection to accept ways of seeing and believing that relieve one of such responsibility.
No one can be forced to accept their true will, while they are intent on fearing, hating and denying it.
If enough people generate enough hate in a set of ideas, it becomes the charged basis for others to use it for their own agenda. Therefore the cycle propagates itself. If you are becoming aware of the false, why not release the (allegiance to the) false to be curious and new in the (re) discovery of the true?
Hate and fear are fuel for an ‘alien’ or anti-human (parasitic) idea – when given out in the terms of their symptom-reaction. The parasite runs the thinking. Therefore expose the parasitic thinking to your own freedom NOT to use it. Likewise feel the hatred fully – while not using it – so as to uncover what is really going on. I don’t think it helps to ‘lead’ the witness – you have to live your own life and uncover truth in terms you recognize. Uncovering that a false condition operates is one step in a larger process.
Of course I could have said “you and whose army?” (to hound out the bad guys). But what I have said is that an army is already supplying the basis for the lie to pass off as true – by acting as if its is true and reinforcing the lie instead op opening the curiosity.

BigB
Reader
BigB

As a thought: they say we are post “peak QE” and we are tapering toward market normalisation – although the BOJ, ECB, and recently the PCOB are still pumping $$$$ billions per day into the global economy – what happens when that taper hits zero? [Scheduled for March-April 2019 to coincide with …??? No, seriously …it is on course to be on or around March 29th 2019 – you can’t make this stuff up.]
http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/10/21/ECB%20purchases%20martin.jpg
They are running out of options (negative NIRP interest rates, cashless society, asset confiscation {which the ECB have just legislated for…}) If they don’t forgive or restructure the debt (Keen and Hudson’s modern debt jubilee) – their own (BIS central banksters) Ponzi scheme will collapse. And they will blame us (household indebtedness too high, productivity too low); Brexit and the Russians!!!

Paul Carline
Reader
Paul Carline

Great work being done in the USA by people campaigning for the truth about vaccines – including the proven and admitted link between MMR and autism, thus vindicating Andrew Wakefield. First there was TTAV (The Truth About Vaccines – a 7-part series; may be available on YouTube). Currently running is a superb follow-up called Vaccines Revealed. Each episode is available for 24 hours and the whole series can also be purchased. Part 2 is still available this evening. Try http://www.vaccinesrevealed.com for a link.
Other excellent series are: TTAC (The Truth About Cancer) and The Sacred Plant (on the remarkable medicinal properties of the cannabis plant and its extracts – primarily the non-psychoactive ones such as CBD, which is legal in the UK). Many stories of cures and/or ameliorations of serious conditions. Many US states have legal dispensaries. There should be a campaign in the UK to follow suit.

Arrby
Reader

Big Pharma doesn’t like Andrew Wakfield, to put it mildly. Big Pharma has successfully campaigned to kill informed consent. Those who argue for it, in relation to vaccinations, are now seen as barbarians and dangerous. (My blog post about it, on A Yappy Trade Barrier, is titled “Destroying Consent.”)

mohandeer
Reader

When the controversy about the MMR vaccine and it’s links to autism were aired, then PM Tony Blair was urging parents to have their children receive the MMR vaccine. He went quiet for a while when a reporter asked him if he had had his own children vaccinated by this controversial vaccine and Blair refused to answer(which of course meant that he had not put his own children at risk). At least someone had managed to silence his lying mouth on one subject. He dared not appear again giving the same advice because he knew people would ask the same question and if he lied he would be found out. People called him a liar anyway, once they realized the truth about his own choice for his kids.
Cameron I believe has a son who has autism and it is likely that he had his children vaccinated using the disputed MMR vaccine, but I don’t know that for sure. Most parents do not have a choice.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

I don’t see that ‘like’ comes into it. Wakefield crossed a line in publishing a paper in which correlations between MMR vaccines autism invited further study,and was made an extreme example of. How many doctors want to risk being ‘Wakefielded’? The Vaccine ‘industry’ is a trojan horse. If it was just for profit it wouldn’t be quite so disturbing. Mandatory vaccines for all are being rolled into law (internationally), either directly or via such coercive tactics as no school access, no job, or children taken away. In nations without a voice vaccine agenda operates under ‘Aid’ and philanthropy.
The presumption that this has transparency, accountability and oversight in scientific, political or legal terms is misguided.
The underlying IDEA is of sacrificing the individual to the ‘greater good’ as defined by corrupt or fake (corporate) science – a technocracy of ‘experts’. The practice in this band of the spectrum is toxic, ineffective in terms of stated purpose and undermining of actual (natural) immunity. It works backwards.
“Everything is backwards”.
Like all such issues, one has to cross a line to honestly re-evaluate what is going on here. To do so in ‘private’ is to open the mind of dogma to question and risk personal transformation – because you cannot un-know what you discover and recognize to be true – including the use of lies, coercion and smear to assert upon and close down communication. The nature of suppressed medical history, under corporate PR. The eliciting of fear and ‘selling’ of ‘protection’ such as to weaponise a mother’s protective instinct for her child on behalf of undermining their immunity – and bonding the parents and children to the pharmaceutical parent.
So with all such mind-captured agenda, its defence – with an extreme emotional attachment, comes from those who have accepted the dogma into their own belief – and whose disturbance at the possibility they are helping to harm, react as if being personally held culpable, negligent, uncaring and betraying their own children.
‘Experts’ do not have to be literal priests to interject between the heart and mind. The role can be enacted in any ‘specialized’ field given jurisdiction over life – such that living communication within relationships of trust are sacrificed to a system of control. Presented in terms that are designed to be difficult to challenge. Such that if you challenge the vaccine assertion (for the vaccine lobby does not open a conversation except to invalidate and demolish its challenger), you will be associated with risking the lives of millions.
The good news is that the fake news – no longer reacted from – opens a freedom in which to uncover the nature of energy, and communication, and relationship within our own living psycho-biology. But the model of control and the model of sickness are of the same false predicate – and re-learning to read the feedback instead of reacting from conditioning, is a shift from sleepwalking under illusions that ‘betray’ to being truly present with what is going on here – so as to both feel the nature of a communication as well as evaluate its worth or meaninglessness to who we know ourselves to be.
The attempt and intent to coerce or moral guilt others to compliance is not an extension of a true witness. If something is ‘good’ it does not require force to induce adoption and compliance.
Freedom to choose must include freedom to consider the nature of the choice being made; its basis and its outcomes. This is freedom of communication and information. The anti-life movement is the fear of life movement – that see control over others as a personal sense of protected power and privilege and WANTS or needs to believe their role is necessary and just and defends it as their life. But a role cannot function without support of reinforcement from the same fear of life predicate.
Our science, has yet to ‘wake’ to its own fear-agenda. The define, predict and control movement, is not native to living being, and is a tool or psychic device that and segregates or splits off from life to systematize and manipulate, exploit and enslave it – yet experiences subjection to its own unrecognized and unowned intent.

Neil
Reader
Neil

Are you fed up with the media? Well this is what we do about it | @NafeezAhmed
https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/welcome-to-the-media-revolution-5555da359506
#EmpireOfPsychopathy #EmpiresDecline
#FFS YES!

Neil
Reader
Neil

A topic which threatens to burst once again onto ‘the scene’…
Prof. Richard Werner – Banking Industry Exposed & Solutions Presented

Neo-Pelagius
Reader
Neo-Pelagius

I still like Trump after the Britain First retweets. I think I might even make excuses for him in the case of a nuclear war.
Do I need an attitude adjustment?

binra
Reader

He makes a great cartoon character – who writes his script?

Canuckshevsky
Reader
Canuckshevsky

For an amusing little story ….
Alberta Conservative MLA Ron Orr is worried that legalizing marijuana could send Canada down a slippery slope into communism.
Communist Party of Canada (on Facebook)
“We’ve been found out.
Did Ron Orr come across details of our secret plan in the crayon scribblings Rob Anders left behind at Sunday school?”
See http://pressprogress.ca/alberta-conservative-mla-legalizing-marijuana-could-lead-to-a-communist-revolution-in-canada/

Norman Pilon
Reader

I honestly didn’t see that coming. Almost fell out of my chair!
“Alberta Conservative MLA Ron Orr is worried that legalizing marijuana could send Canada down a slippery slope into . . . communism.”
And this is simply genius:
“Their whole society was so broken down and debilitated by [the smoke of opium] that it contributed to the Chinese Cultural Revolution under the communists, the execution of thousands of people, dealers were executed, fields were plowed under and planted with real food and I, for one, am not really willing to go down this road. The human tragedy of what’s going to happen with this has yet to be revealed. Yes, opium smoking, like marijuana, was a fashionable refined pastime especially among the young – but I’ll tell you something, it doesn’t lead to the good life. It’s an escape.” What is in bold is my emphasis.
I actually know people like Ron. More than a few. To be fair, some are old and have had strokes.

Arrby
Reader

“…I, for one, am not really willing to go down this road…” unless it’s Afghanistan.
http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/176350/tomgram%3A_alfred_w._mccoy%2C_washington%27s_drug_of_choice_in_the_war_on_terror/

Arrby
Reader

Alfred McCoy is knowledgeable about torture and drugs, but there’s some things about him that make me wonder. He seems altogether to willing to depend on sources like the New York Times for his info. And in the article I link to above, he almost seems to think that USAID is up to good sometimes. It isn’t. Ever.

mohandeer
Reader

I would say that Mr. Orr has had more than a stroke, that couldn’t account for his debilitated drivel, bot too much smack or meth would do it.

Norman Pilon
Reader

SMoke!

mohandeer
Reader

Hahaha, trust you to put this together, I hadn’t spotted it. Good one, lots of smiles.

Karin
Reader
Karin

Mine is a question:
Is there anyone out there who could write the article or essay that does away with the many myths about the economy and goes right to its bottom – the fact that the ‘economy’ is based on debt and that these debts are ever increasing because the have to be repaid with compound interest to private banks?
I would really like to know why the government borrows from private banks against interest. Could not a state-owned or partly state owned bank give the government a 0% interest loan as investment vehicle for the ‘real economy’; maybe against security and without costing the tax payer a penny? And if not why not? Please, someone explain this to me.

binra
Reader

I felt to write into this – but I knew I could not answer your request in its own terms because what we call money is itself mythical in its depending on invested shared belief. The word ‘shared’ is the emphasis in that sentence.
So read or ignore what follows as you choose – but these are my current reflections on ‘the economy and interest accruing debt-money’.
I like myths about the economy – such as that of King Midas. Value is not intrinsic – even to gold. You cant eat it. Context determines meaning – but a falsely framed context creates a false currency of meanings.
(I don’t use the term ‘myth’ for falsehood – because myths carry information that used to be the way cultures (our Ancestors) transmitted multi layered wisdom through the generations to those who grew into receptivity for it.
Wisdom now largely usurped by very clever layers (and lawyers) of complexity and obfuscation. But it remains up to your where you listen or give attention… if you are aware you have a choice.
We make a legal contract between a giver (lender) and a receiver (borrower) where the gift must be repaid and interest accrues to the debt. The financial institution has legal title to the certificate of debt which also exists as a transferable financial asset and revenue stream, subject to the borrower’s ability to pay or assets to forfeit under legal demand to pay.
The borrower has the money as currency in cash or account credit by which to pay for goods or service (contracts). Without the interest, debt and ‘money’ cancel out. But with interest, the debt works a shift of power to the financial institution. Many complex trick play this basic ruse. The power is in the contract that is then enforceable in law.
The moneylender in the Template – in my opinion – is the bias inserted such as to allow the ‘priesthood/leadership to use the law to work against us – such as the Federal Reserve Act giving up national sovereignty to an unaudited and unaccountable privately owned company. There is a good reason that those of spiritually alive purpose to call for vigilance. the ‘deceiver’ offers a contract of a willing self-deceit by which the capacity to think, and choose is framed or captured by the terms accepted and acted upon as true.
The true economy is being sucked up and left toxic by the false. A currency of lies operated in place of ‘connected thinking’.
To your point, if any politician or government moves to break from the web of contractual instruments – they will face an array of force that cannot be beaten in its own terms. And certainly not without the strong support of the people and even then there is no guarantee of coming through. ‘Economics’ is a facet of weaponized global and granular (state) control – among a broad spectrum dominance). Global technocracy steps in as a replacement for ‘failed human cultural endeavour’. What is not much seen is that it has been framed and set up to fail. Wars are not set up and set off to be ‘won’, sicknesses are not sought to be cured, but reinforced under illusion of ‘health care’ that is sickness care or debt-management. Power by deceit uses the mind against itself. Nor can the mind disentangle itself from its own contractual predicates. It has to yield ‘thinking’ so as to open the capacity to observe the framing or nature of such ‘thinking’ and withdraw allegiance from false currency. As you open in receipt to a true foundation, you experience living from a wholeness of being instead of a contractual obligation. In this sense you are one who ‘has’ to give instead of one who ‘has not’ but ‘gives’ only to ‘get’.
So indeed the saying is:
‘To (he) who has – more shall be given, but to (he) who has not, more shall be taken away – even that which they have’.
But I don’t equate this saying with material goods or money as such – but with a life and self and society founded in lack – such that lack goes forth and multiplies lack!
What you appreciate (give energy and attention to) appreciates.
So from my view, the foundation is corrupt and nothing good comes of it. But I see this is not a technical problem., but is a matter of what we accept and act as true of ourself in relation to our world. A falsely based sense of self inflation not only must ‘bust’, but will become a prodigal wasteland of misery and lackeydom under the will of that which seeks power over.
The art of deceit is to make a complex financial instrument seem to be a simple matter. Money seems on surface ‘neutral’ and all the entanglements and power structures that it operates, seem to do with other very complicated matters that require expert ‘technocratic’ elites.
The economy can be called ‘meeting our true needs’ rather than the cultivation and propagation of false or substitute needs that feed an equally false appetite for power – because such power runs on fear of loss.
Fear of loss is the contractual balance to the attempt to ‘get for yourself alone’. Who can see this will cancel their debts – or ‘release as they would be released’.
Speaking to the foundations is not speaking directly about the means of exchange or ‘money’. But a true discernment is needed to align with our true need, and the fear of loss (and attempt to manipulate for private gain), both work against allowing a fundamental self-honesty – by reacting from the belief that manipulative fear – power or war – is the only ‘truth’ beneath all illusions.

tutisicecream
Reader

Karin, there is a good over view and analysis just published on Prof. Michael Hudson’s web site. It might not answer your question directly but it indicates the way the whole financial system is rigged historically and how it continues today.
Well worth a read. Written as the introduction to his book being published in German, “Super Imperialism”
http://michael-hudson.com/2017/11/germanys-choice/

David Penn
Reader
David Penn

Brilliant question! Wish I knew the answer, but I don’t, sorry. It’s simple, vitally important, necessary to know to understand basic macro-economics. However, very few of know the answer, when all of us should. Question is, why don’t we know? Is there an “emperor-with-no-clothes” going on here?

Darren
Reader
Darren

First of all I am not entirely qualified to answer this 100% correctly!
Yet, I have found modern monetary theory as an excellent way to understand how the monetary system works. If you are on Facebook, I highly recommend the group..intro to mmt , they are very nice to those who aren’t experts!
First thing about it is to know all money is debt, or an iou.
As the world & the economy gets bigger the amount of debt will rise, as it only reflects the liquidity within the economy.
Money is created by a mouse stroke on a spreadsheet when someone takes out a loan or when the govt borrows .
Private banks charge interest to cover defaults on their liabilities.
Govts offer interest on their bonds as a savings account for it’s citizens & pension funds etc (though recently it is needing more foreign purchases & the BoE is even buying it’s own bonds)
Yes, we could create our own currency interest free, we give it value by our desire for it (smaller economies & developing countries may well struggle on this one if they can’t buy imports with their currency)..yet there are many corporations & oligarchs that would oppose this, maybe we would need some democracy bombing into us if we chose this method!
Regarding the ‘there is always more debt in the system than currency due to interest on loans not being created when the loan is made, so therefore another loan has to be made to cover the previous interest on the loan ‘ argument, it is generally assumed that the organisation acquiring the interest is using the interest within the economy so the amount of liquidity is increasing.
There is a desert island example of this which you may be able to find on Positive Money site.
The problem with this example is there are no stocks or shares to buy on a desert island!
There are many ways to look at this & many of the memes are usually lacking in detail even if they do have the gist of it.
While mmt does normalize the explanation of monetary creation procedures it doesn’t necessarily go into who is abusing the system, why they are & how they are getting away with it, they leave that to the conspiracists 😉

Harry Stotle
Reader
Harry Stotle

Great question which links to one of my own pet hates, the use of techno-babble, especially when talking about the economy.
I assume the endless obfuscation, or absence of readily understood, or consistently applied measures is a political device required to divert attention away from a single, simple, and self-evident economic reality; namely the fact a tiny number of people control a vastly dispproportionate % of a country’s assets.
Of course people understand such abuses when it comes to a corrupt gangster like Robert Mugabe but fail to see similar dynamics when it comes to Wall Street, or our financial institutions – as I say opaque terminology is just one of the techniques employed by the corporate and banking world to shroud their activites behind a veil of self serving secrecy.

Paul Carline
Reader
Paul Carline

Or why not a publicly owned bank – like a giant credit union? There are massive amounts of money in private savings which are currently earning very little and yet being used for purposes which the savers do not necessarily agree with. Some of that might be released by people of conscience who would be content to earn a modest interest in exchange for assurances that the money would be invested in ethical businesses and not loaned to anyone pursuing unethical purposes.
Maybe unrealistic to think of this working at the national level … but at the council and local levels it might be feasible.
Too idealistic?

Jen
Reader
Jen

Dear Paul,
The lawyer Ellen Brown writes a blog called The Web of Debt where she has posted articles on the Bank of North Dakota, a state-owned bank that she often cites as an example of a public bank that other US states could use as a model to set up their own banks.
https://ellenbrown.com/tag/bank-of-north-dakota/

Jerry Alatalo
Reader

Karin / Paul, The easy to understand difference between privately-owned central banks like the Federal Reserve, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, European Central Bank, etc, and public-owned central banks is simply that the former (current) are under the power and control of .01% of the population and the latter (certainly doable, after overcoming the opposition put up by the .01% possessing the immeasurable “money power”) of the 99.9%.
Transference of the money power from the small group now exercising it to the vast majority of humanity for the benefit of all is among the most important challenges civilization faces, for meeting that challenge makes living conditions on Earth – the human condition – greatly improved, and in all likelihood brings an effective end to wars of aggression. Monetary reform is not a complex issue for people to understand, although, because of social conditioning, many avoid the issue because of erroneous perceptions that the subject is already settled, the current monetary system is the only one available, and best left to economists, bankers, politicians, etc. and other so-called “experts”.
Awareness of monetary reform is growing and reason for optimism, thanks wholly to the supreme communication tool called the internet, revealing one more of many reasons for fighting intensely efforts to end net neutrality.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Jerry: I agree – but let’s not be naive, it’s not that simple? Governments could and should create sovereign money debt free – and spend it into the productive economy on infrastructure, manufacturing, job creation, SMEs, etc. …without building up the national debt – but they don’t …they are in collusion with the 0.01% …and we are wedded to the neoliberal ideology that wealth creators (0.01% of them!) create the wealth that “trickles down” or “raises all boats at once”. The system is deliberately rigged to preserve and inflate the assets of of the property and capital owning ‘elite’. The mechanism they (the central bankers) use is to target inflation – to keep it between 0 and 3%. By keeping costs, commodities, and wages low (or falling – i.e. deflationary) – increases the real value of debts. [Source: Ann Pettifor.] This transfers our wealth to theirs: a process David Harvey has coined the term “accumulation by dispossession” to describe. THIS IS QUITE DELIBERATE, AND BY DESIGN. The ongoing $40tn QE scam amounts to THE BIGGEST WEALTH TRANSFERENCE IN HISTORY. We have literally been robbed of our future – by design.
Yet none of this is why I say it is not that easy. It is the mass psychological aspect. The population of the OECD countries are wedded to the dream of wealth. They even believe the austerity lies because they believe that they can have prosperity tomorrow if they tighten their belts today. And the rising discontent with the current system believe they can have prosperity tomorrow if they tweak the system – even with the central banks still at the helm.
[Money, even if created as debt, can be used productively by stimulating a real productive economy – then capital investment will pay for itself in time. But you’d still need to regulate the financialisation (fraudulent gambling) aspect. And forgive the unpayable debt.]
But even if we somehow get an inveigled populace to get rid of the central banks – there is the environmental aspect,. That demands that we slow down. Our obsession with wealth runs deeper than the current or future financial system. How do we convince ourselve to make do with less: and prosper in more meaningful ways (life, love, and the peaceful pursuit of happiness)? That is the question.

Norman Pilon
Reader

Agree on all points.
You write and you ask:
“But even if we somehow get an inveigled populace to get rid of the central banks – there is the environmental aspect,. That demands that we slow down. Our obsession with wealth runs deeper than the current or future financial system. How do we convince ourselve to make do with less: and prosper in more meaningful ways (life, love, and the peaceful pursuit of happiness)? That is the question.”
And that is the crux of the issue, and one that those who read Marx completely fail to grasp despite it being front and center in Marx’s critique of capital.
As long as the Law of Value remains the principle that orders the production and distribution of goods and services — that is to say, “capital,” the production for market exchange, of “commodities,” and by implication, for profit, or at the very least, production and distribution based on accounting in terms of “costs,” so that managing production and distribution is as an imperative an exercise in “breaking even” — the ability to democratically and rationally decide what we, as a society, will produce to satisfy concrete needs with the concrete resources that we collectively hold in our hands will remain an impossibility.
I would “cut and paste” a piece that I wrote (that I’m writing) that elaborates in a bit more detail what I can only obliquely hint at in this comment — since I think our thinking rests on slightly divergent assumptions — but it would take up too much space in this thread.
So if I may, BigB, a link to what is really a series of notes in progress: HERE.

binra
Reader

A qualitative shift and alignment is called for – not a quantitative limitation imposed upon an unchanged ‘business model’. Much (most?) of what is considered economic activity contributing to ‘growth’ or GDP is negative in real terms. It the Economy (that is) Stupid!.
Perhaps all authoritarianism operates on the willingness to give our own away.
On a short youtube about addiction it revisited the rat experiment – where (a rat) can self-generate ‘pleasure’ ( If I recall via sucking opiates). The original was A rat in a small cage. The revision set up a much larger relational environment and the ‘substitute’ connection faded.
I don’t like the term psychology – because it presumes to stand outside and judge what one is also participant in. So I say that there are psychic-emotional patterns or ‘conditioning’ that are both fed (manipulated), and fed upon by a negative agenda. Such that this negative agenda is ‘normalised’ and even rationalised as (fallen and redefined) ‘human nature’ where ‘market forces’ ‘balance out’ in systems of exchange of goods and services – as if the market itself is not an expression of the believed and perceived needs and wants – constrained by inducing of gluts and scarcities.

Big B
Reader
Big B

Interesting thoughts Norm. The Law of Value has been completely subverted by a cancerous and cannibalistic system masquerading as capitalism. For instance: what do the child forced at gunpoint to mine the coltan; and the assembly worker forced by economic necessity …get as a percentage of the market (commodity) value of the finished iPhone X …(next to) zero?
The ‘value’ of the item is almost exclusively in Apple’s intellectual property rights, protected by patent …it’s an extreme form of oppression and exploitative theft … the ‘labour value’ is stolen and replaced by a form of rent extraction. If the commodity were hypothetically ‘fair trade’ – and every element of the supply chain (including the environment) was given ‘value’ and adequately compensated – the item would be beyond a luxury good that could not afford to be mass produced …making one off items would nullify any economies of scale …production would cease …as would the economy as a whole. And that is without a rentier class drawing off the wealth.
High end modern goods are beyond the ability for a craftsman to just wonder into nature and gather the necessary resources that you can give value to by turning into a chair, for instance. They require rare materials from all over the globe that need to be transported – usually to several locations; the components are then transported for final assembly; then the commodities are transported to the market destination …it’s an incredibly wasteful, energy and resource hungry process …and ultimately incalculable (in real terms they cost the earth!) as to what the real ‘value’ is – and where that value lies. In rent? Without (state ‘violence’ enforced) copyright: beyond the raw materials, manufacture, transport and labour – the real value of the ‘information’ (software) that allows the production of the phone is infinitely reproducible and so would tend toward zero value …so where does the real value lie??? Not in my pocket, for sure!!!

binra
Reader

I read this:
“…The Law of Value has been completely subverted by a cancerous and cannibalistic system masquerading as capitalism. For instance: what do the child forced at gunpoint to mine the coltan; and the assembly worker forced by economic necessity …get as a percentage of the market (commodity) value of the finished iPhone X …(next to) zero?”.
What struck me in that paragraph was that the value of Human Being had been completely replaced by some sense of monetary stake in a transaction – and blamed on “a cancerous and cannibalistic system masquerading as capitalism”.
I would shift this statement and suggest ‘a cancerous and cannibalistic thought system masquerading as normal’.
What is the ‘Law of Value’?. I ask myself – though perhaps you have some idea what this capitalized Law is?
What you value you will invest in, and what you invest (identify) in you will protect and defend as your self, and so see all else in terms of such a self. If what you value is false, then you take energy and attention from what is worthy, and grow the culture of competing illusions at expense of true fulfilment or even true needs voiced or hear – let alone met.
I believe we operate out unconsciously, (under a sense of denial), as a sense of seeking self-justification.
But beneath this denial, as a spontaneous innocence of being, is the movement within being that is living.
Sacrifice to appease feared power is the nature of a ‘fallen world’. Fallen in the sense that an embracing perspective has collapsed down to a subjected and subjective private sense of getting its own life at expense of others, and therefore withholding and withdrawing value from all that lives, to get a substitute ‘life’ upon the denial of life in others.
What we do to others is what we do to ourself. The reason that the commandment to ‘Love God wholly, and love another as your self’, was given great value, was because these three are one and cannot be separated…except in a substitution of a fantasy gratification running as a reversal of a rogue ‘will’ – that ‘sees itself’ in everything.
One cannot put back together what never was broken asunder, but one can release the investment in blind support of ‘all the kings horses and all the kings men’ so as to become ever more conscious of the ‘false flag’.
The belief one is threatened can bring the same result whether true or not – when we blindly react as if it is.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Binra: I was critiquing Marx’s Labour Theory of Value with Norm. So in this instance, I’m not sure what relevance your comments have toward an abstract concept??? But you are right in a way: the process of preserving and increasing profits leads to the universal alienation and exploitation we are living now.

Binra (@onemindinmany)
Reader

Email notifications come in randomly and the OG page is chaotic to navigate – so I belatedly realized this “LAW’ is part of Marx’s thought, and not yours. I don’t see ‘Capital’ as a sentient being – though I see sacrifice to its god. But I have an unfinished post to Norman and don’t want to have two many plates spinning at once..
all the best. B