Author: Edward Curtin

A Conspiracy Theorist Confesses to his Petty Crimes

I am not referring to the conspiracy theories of George W. Bush, Colin Powell, Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump and other such luminaries concerning events such as the attack of September 11, 2011, weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the ongoing war on terror, Julian Assange’s alleged ties to Russia, etc. These people’s conspiracy theories have nothing to do with petty crime, for their handiwork is grand indeed. They are big people. In any case, I don’t know what small stuff they might be up to when not killing so many people all around the world.

The Fascinating Spell Cast by Weasels

Edward Curtin Ah, mon cher, for anyone who is alone, without God and without a master, the weight of days is dreadful. Hence one must choose a master, God being out of style.” Albert Camus, The Fall To be fascinated by another person who holds or symbolizes power is very common. It is often accompanied by a frisson of sexual excitement, whether repressed or acknowledged, explicitly or implicitly projected. Masters need slaves and slaves need their masters. The chief, the big man, the fascinating woman, the glamorous celebrity, the rich mogul, the powerful politician, while all standard vintage people without their accoutrements of prestigious (magical) power, magnetically attract many people wishing to surrender passively to the perceived superior power of what Carl Jung called the “mana-personality.” However, such supernatural power or aura is in the eyes of the beholder, who wishes to be hypnotized and to fulfill his secret wish to be will-less. As Dostoevsky has written, “Man is tormented by no greater anxiety than to find someone quickly to whom he can hand over …

Counterpunch Shadowboxes and Loses

Edward Curtin In a fair boxing match, opponents enter the ring with similarly padded gloves and battle under the bright lights for the world to see. There are, of course, cases where one fighter cheats, as in the infamous case in 1983 when Luis Resto wore weakly padded gloves and hand wraps hardened with plaster to make them rock solid. His opponent, Billy Collins, an up-and-coming boxer from Tennessee with a 14-0 record, was permanently and very seriously injured in the fight at Madison Square Garden. His eyes were battered shut and his vision damaged. He never fought again and died depressed the following year at age twenty-two. In the fight for truth in the public arena, similar subterfuges occur. To battle honestly in the open forum, to argue to and fro squarely, is often prevented in advance by eliminating an opponent’s voice from the debate. This is the typical method used by the corporate mass media that stack the deck with sycophants and refuse dissidents a place to voice their ideas. Then there is …

No More Bullshit: Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill

Edward Curtin Growing up Irish-Catholic in the Bronx in the 1960s, I was an avid reader of the powerful columns of Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill in the New York newspapers. These guys were extraordinary wordsmiths. They would grab you by the collar and drag you into the places and faces of those they wrote about. Passion infused their reports. They were never boring. They made you laugh and cry as they transported you into the lives of real people. You knew they had actually gone out into the streets of the city and talked to people. All kinds of people: poor, rich, black, white, Puerto Rican, high-rollers, low-lifes, politicians, athletes, mobsters – they ran the gamut. You could sense they loved their work, that it enlivened them as it enlivened you the reader. Their words sung and crackled and breathed across the page. They left you always wanting more, wondering sometimes how true it all was, so captivating was their storytelling abilities. They cut through abstractions to connect individuals to major events such as …

The CIA Then and Now: Old Wine in New Bottles

The Nazis had a name for their propaganda and mind-control operations: weltanschauungskrieg – “world view warfare.” As good students, they had learned many tricks of the trade from their American teachers, including Sigmund Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays, who had honed his propagandistic skills for the United States during World War I and had subsequently started the public relations industry in New York City, an industry whose raison d’ȇtre from the start was to serve the interests of the elites in manipulating the public mind.

We Need a Martin Luther King Day of Truth

As Martin Luther King’s birthday is celebrated with a national holiday, his death day disappears down the memory hole. Across the country – in response to the King Holiday and Service Act passed by Congress and signed by Bill Clinton in 1994 – people will be encouraged to make the day one of service. Such service does not include King’s commitment to protest a decadent system of racial and economic injustice or non-violently resist the U.S. warfare state that he called “the greatest purveyor of violence on earth.”

A Gentrified Little Town Goes to Pot

Edward Curtin In my little town/ I grew up believing/God keeps his eye on us all.” Simon and Garfunkel, My Little Town Hello my old friends Paul and Art, I’m just sitting here chilling out in the silent darkness of a late night spinning some discs and thinking your song is great but even great songs age as do we all and so I want to tell you that as a NYC born and bred boy like you guys who moved out to the country some years ago that in my little town many young people grew up not believing that God keeps his eye on us all because they grew up not believing in God, and even many of their parents, baby-boomer believers in hands-off parenting and meditation and yoga weekends didn’t keep an eye on them, not at all, since the parents thought of themselves as super cool and so the kids were allowed to fend for themselves in a most culturally liberal life-style way, and then, when the kids got confused and …

What Are We Working For “At Eternity’s Gate”?

Ever since I was a young boy, I have wondered why people do the kinds of work they do. I sensed early on that the economic system was a labyrinthine trap devised to imprison people in work they hated but needed for survival. It seemed like common sense to a child when you simply looked and listened to the adults around you. Karl Marx wasn’t necessary for understanding the nature of alienated labor; hearing adults declaim “Thank God It’s Friday” spoke volumes.

A Spiritual Special Ops Team’s Christmas Gift

It was snowing hard in the days before Christmas in 1972 as I sat at my writing desk looking out the back window toward the woods that were filling up with snow. I felt trapped by the heavy snow that made the roads impassable, but even more so by the contemplation of the barbaric “Christmas Bombing” of North Vietnam carried out by Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and their associated war criminals. I was filled with despair and imagined the snow turning red with blood.

Sometimes A Pair of Pants Can Give You Vertigo

It is a dastardly habit no sane person should inflict on oneself. To rise from one’s night dreams and step into a litany of hyperbolic headlines shouting doom and gloom at every turn is to inject oneself with a poisonous drug before the sap of life has a chance to rise in one’s veins and one’s imagination might give birth to new possibilities.

Phil Ochs and the Crucifixion of President John F. Kennedy

Edward Curtin They say they can’t believe it, it’s a sacrilegious shame Now, who would want to hurt such a hero of the game? But you know I predicted it; I knew he had to fall How did it happen? I hope his suffering was small. Tell me every detail, I’ve got to know it all, And do you have a picture of the pain?” Phil Ochs, The Crucifixion You are aware of only one unrest; Oh, never learn to know the other! Two souls, alas, are dwelling in my breast, And one is striving to forsake its brother.” Goethe, Faust President John Kennedy was assassinated by the U.S. national-security state, led by the C.I.A., on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. That is a fact beyond dispute, except for those who wish to engage in pseudo-debates to deny the obvious. I prefer not to, since there is nothing to debate. But there is everything to mourn, even after fifty-five years, first of course for the man himself, then for those who have suffered and …

Spooks and the Masked Media

There are innocent and guilty actors populating the American stage. Unlike the naïve children who joyously revel in the costumes they don for Halloween, unaware as they are of the death fears they exorcise, the corporate mainstream media wear their masks year-round, while they consciously abet the United States government, its intelligence agencies, and its allies in exercising their God-given right to inflict death on people around the world, including many innocent children.

The Apocalypse Not Now

Edward Curtin It was balmy and breezy by the bench where I sat outside a public library east of Atlanta, Georgia, brooding about the state of the world. It seemed like the end times, and I had just attended a fire and brimstone sermon, not perused the mainstream and alternative press. I had just spent a few hours on the internet, noting so many articles that announced that the world as we know it was coming to an end, or maybe just the world. The American Empire was collapsing, the U.S.A. was a failed state, climate change would soon destroy the world if nuclear war didn’t do it first, etc. Many of these articles were predicting that soon the elites who run the U.S. would be getting their comeuppance because of hubris and overreach and, like the Roman Empire, the die had been cast and disaster was on the horizon. Such prognostications were appearing in publications that covered the political spectrum. All of it was fear-inducing, notwithstanding one’s political beliefs. Left, right, and center had …

Showtime in America: Idiots’ Delight – A Quasi Review

Edward Curtin The making of a journalist: no ideas and the ability to express them.” Karl Kraus, Half-Truths & One-and-a-Half Truths Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.” Mark Twain All cats die. Socrates is dead. Socrates is a cat.” Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros If believability is your gauge for discerning truth, you are living in a fantasy world. But that is the reality of life in the United States today. This is the land of make-believe in which actors and audiences are engaged in a vast folie à deux full of sound and fury signifying a nothingness that passes for intelligence. Assertions made convincingly enough are the new facts for a population hypnotized by a stage-managed reality show. The recently closed Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford Show that mercifully had a short run at the National Comedic Congressional Theater is the latest case in point. The believability of the actors was said to be the key issue. In other words, who seemed to be telling the truth. Demeanor …

The Suppression of Truth in the Land of Lies: An Oxymoron

Edward Curtin If you are interested in reading the definitive book that demolishes the official lies about the attacks of September 11, 2001 – 9/11 Unmasked: An International Review Panel Investigation by David Ray Griffin and Elizabeth Woodworth – then Amazon has a great deal for you. While they conveniently do not offer new copies of this book that was published on September 11th, having reported it “out of print” and currently “out of stock,” after never having had it in stock, they allegedly offer 3 used paperback copies from other sellers for sale prices that are quite affordable: $917.04, $1060.20, and $1,500. If that 4 or 20 cents would bring you over budget, I would be glad to provide either amount. Don’t these sound like great deals for a book that proves that the justification for the “war on terror” and the slaughter of millions of people is one of the biggest propaganda operations in modern history? It’s always good to know you have a friend who can conveniently provide you with access to …