Wednesday 20th of February 2019

nothing but the truth...

the truth

There’s a good deal of discussion, both in mainstream and in alt media, of how/why the Arkady Babchenko event unfolded in the ludicrous way it has.

The Ukrainian government narrative is (currently) claiming the SBU faked AB’s death in order to entrap some real (Russian) assassins who really wanted him dead, and it was all part of a cunning plan. They’re light on detail about exactly how taking pics of Bab pretending to be dead helped with the general effort, but maybe they’ll fill in all those blanks soon.

Others, including RFE, are telling us the very bad fake death pic was released on a Facebook page with ties to Washington.

But beyond the Byzantine imbroglio, I think there’s another question no one is asking. –

What if Arkady hadn’t turned up, looking sheepish at that presser?

What if he hadn’t turned up ever? What if he’d decided he couldn’t face the humiliation, or what if his SBU handlers decided it might be better if he just continued to be dead and skipped off the map somewhere with a few hundred grand and nice new ID.

What then?

We need to never forget that while Arkady was busy hiding in his closet (or whatever he did for the hours he was supposed to be dead), his demise was the reality for all of us. Sold to us, not just with narrative consistency, but with apparent hard evidence and circumstantial confirmation.

There was the blood-soaked “corpse” photo...

A very very familiar roll-out we have all seen many times was taking shape. There were predictable articles, by predictable people, saying predictable things. By next month Luke Harding would have had a new book out called something like “Death in Broad Daylight: how the Kremlin silenced Arkady Babchenko.” Its cover would feature Babchenko’s completely fake murder pic with a target superimposed and a semi-opaque red halftone background of Putin’s face. It would be on the NYT bestseller list for the next two years and make Luke another little fortune.

There would soon be an “Arkady Babchenko” street in Washington. A “posthumous” Pulitzer would have been his within a year or two. Arkady Babchenko memorial plaques would spawn like tribbles. Navalny and his twenty-seven supporters would carry those tragically misty and sepia pics of our boy (which miraculously appeared within hours of his “death”) on all their “rallies”. By 2019 Katherine Bigelow would have made the movie (based on Luke’s book), and it would be a dead cert at the 2020 Oscars.

But it would have been no more true that it is now, would it? It would simply be an undiscovered lie. A mesh of words, woven thick by repetition, giving shape to an absence – of evidence, of investigation, of everything.

If he hadn’t turned up alive, Arkady dead would have become the thing most people called “truth.” Like “United 93”, and similar collective myths, the legend of his martyrdom would have taken on all the trappings of solid reality. No one – none of us – would think to question it. And anyone who did would be dismissed as a lunatic.

The most important and abiding point about the non-death of Arkady Babchenko, beyond all the spin and damage control and narrative-boosting we are inevitably going to see over the next days and weeks, is that, at its deepest level, consensual reality is a fragile thing that can very easily have nothing to do with truth or fact or actual reality. The point is that the people who are paid to fact check official narratives didn’t do it, and would never have done it. They were simply sold a line and bought it, uninterrogated, uninvestigated, unwrapped.

And this is what they do every day. With every item of “news” they lay before us.

Look at the illusion of depth and veracity they gave this lie, simply by reporting it. See how easily they were fooled and went on to fool us. See how little it occurred to any of us, even those who make a habit of interrogating narratives, to ask whether or not it really happened.

Think about how easily that basic question was trampled and crushed into oblivion. How effortlessly a few public statements and a very very questionable pic became the collective “truth” for all of us. Look at how the debate was already being positioned. How the issue was going to be “who did it?” not “was it even done?”

The real problem this highlights is not just that the derogation of journalistic duty to fact-check and second-source is now the norm. We already know this. It’s been too apparent for too long.

The real problem is that this derogation helps to create the reality we all live in. Even those of us who deplore it. If for whatever reason Arkady had sloped off to Hawaii in a bad wig, today we would all be debating who may have killed him. Unwittingly hostage to a flimsy lie.

This is an uncomfortable truth we need to recognise. Because it’s often the questions that seem most unnecessary, absurd, offensive, even insane that actually most need to be asked.

We are already being dissuaded from learning this most valuable lesson. The journos who were so recently burned are already backstopping against it. They aren’t focusing on why the lie happened, they are focusing on how “the enemy” (the Russians, the alt-media, the whole evil circus of “other”) are “exploiting” it. How they will now have an “excuse” to suggest any future such deaths might also be fake.

The drive is to make it ridiculous to learn from experience or to cite precedence. We are already being persuaded only idiots would think future deaths might be fake based on the fact past deaths were fake.

No matter how much data there might be for fakery we must never accept it as a legitimate possibility. No matter how many Doumas may happen, no matter how many Babchenkos come back from the dead, no matter how many incidents of fakery are outed, or “explained” in unsatisfactory terms, we must never learn from experience. We can discuss why the victims of the latest atrocity died, but not the possibility they might not have died at all?

Is this really good enough? I don’t think so.

Next time we are flooded with the apparently shocking narrative of violent death, how many of us will be brave or crazy enough to dare to ask – “did this death even happen?”?


Read at:

how "the Kremlin" silenced Arkady Babchenko...

KIEV (Sputnik) - A district court in Kiev authorized on Thursday the arrest for two months of Borys Herman, a suspected organizer of the alleged plot to murder Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko.

On Tuesday, it was reported on Ukrainian social media that Babchenko, who moved to Ukraine in 2017, was shot dead in the stairwell of his apartment building, information which was later confirmed by the Ukrainian authorities.

However, on Wednesday, the journalist appeared at a press conference hosted by SBU chief Vasyl Hrytsak, who said that earlier reports about the murder were part of an operation to thwart a real assassination plot targeting Babchenko.

Herman, an owner of a weapons-manufacturing firm, was detained in Kiev on Wednesday. Prosecutors demanded his arrest for 60 days.


"To satisfy the [prosecutors'] petition… to apply to suspect Herman the measure of restraint in the form of arrest without bail," Judge Victoria Svitlitskaya announced the court decision.

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the fact that Babchenko was alive "the best news," adding that the SBU operation was clearly being used for the purposes of propaganda. Reporters Without Borders Secretary General Christophe Deloire, in turn, condemned the operation of the Ukrainian authorities, arguing that it was used as means of information warfare.

Read more:


See also:

the great investigator...



It's the story of the century: The US President and his connections to Russia.

In a Four Corners special series, award winning investigative reporter Sarah Ferguson follows the spies and the money trail from Washington, to London, to Moscow.
In this three-part series, Four Corners delivers a riveting account of the allegations and evidence from the characters central to the drama that has gripped the world.

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I hope Sarah Ferguson can do better than Mueller...

So far the great investagor Mueller has found NOTHING...

Ah yes... He's found Ukrainian connections, a few tax evaders and that:

Obama had ordered spying on the Trump's team.


alive "and well" in kiev...

Arkady Babchenko, the Russian national reported to have been murdered in the Ukrainian capital has appeared at a press briefing in Kiev alive and well. Sputnik spoke to journalist Olly Richardson about the ramifications this could have for Ukraine.

Sputnik: What do you make of the fiasco with the journalist staged death?

Olly Richardson: The current state of affairs in Ukraine, this is now normal. The country itself is collapsing, it’s lost its statehood, and it’s lost its economy, everything it inherited from the Soviet Union. There is no real law enforcement in the country, yesterday’s stunt with this faked murder is due to the situation the President finds himself in. Next year, there are the elections and he himself has in mind that he needs to improve his approval rating which according to the latest polls, he is in seventh place and he has the highest disapproval rating as people in Ukraine are not happy with him.


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the crime of unreality...


The point is, we human beings, as collectors and disseminators of “reality” will never know if it’s true or not. None of us. Despite the most simplistic kinds of “presstitute” memes, the journos who wrote the piece don’t know any more than we do how real it is. The Mayor’s office doesn’t know. Even the compilers of statistics don’t know, unless they were on the streets personally documenting every case of moped criminality in the greater London area in the past two years. 

It’s less that we are being intentionally deceived and more that the system itself has lost its grasp on what is real, and doesn’t much care. Real is now nothing more or less than what someone says it is. The right someone in the right place at the right time. Maybe in pursuit of an agenda. Maybe just because it’s easier or cheaper. Maybe because they really think it’s true. It doesn’t matter. No one ends up knowing the difference. 

The point is our ancient concept of consensus reality isn’t working any more, and probably hasn’t been for longer than we are comfortable contemplating. Can we even tell the moment it began to diverge from veridical reality, let alone see how far its path has now diverged? All we know is our histories are assemblies of anecdote taken on trust. Few to none of us were there when the events allegedly happened. If we go back further than ninety years none of us were even alive to hear about them third or fourth hand. Everything beyond our own first awareness is an assembly of communal trust. An act of faith in our own human narrative.

Our culture is still basically the neolithic one of collective understanding, but lost in cognitive trauma. Collective experience has moulded us to be what we are. We owe it everything. Without it we are nothing. Yet collective experience is blatantly not telling us the truth any more. Guy Fawkes was likely a patsy set up by Robert Cecil. The Gulf of Tonkin was a lie. The “gas attack” at Douma didn’t happen. Babchenko wasn’t dead.


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Read from top.

"independent" propaganda...

There are some weird outlets of news and twisted "western" propaganda that claim their journalistic independence a bit too loudly. Such is RadioEurope:


"Our Mission, Journalism, and Editorial Independence


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 20 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established. We provide what many people cannot get locally: uncensored news, responsible discussion, and open debate.

RFE/RL is registered with the IRS as a private, nonprofit Sec. 501(c)3 corporation, and is funded by a grant from the U.S. Congress through the Broadcasting Board of Governors as a private grantee. RFE/RL's editorial independence is protected by U.S. law.


Read our mission statement and journalistic principles"


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Let's say from the onset that not a single news outlet in the world is "independent". Second the "private grantee" should come forward and name himself/herself. Is it Soros, the Koch Brothers, Hillary Clinton or the Shell oil group?


But some other news outlet place the spotlight on the slanted news of this RadioEurope.



"Germany calling, Germany calling, Germany calling." During the Second World War, those words meant only one thing - that William Joyce was on the radio and spewing his unique brand of anti-British bile. 

Known as "Lord Haw Haw," the American-born Joyce tried to convince the British public, in a sneering and sarcastic tone, that resistance to the Nazi military machine was futile and defeat was inevitable. From Berlin, he blasted out crude agitprop about the weakness of Britain, and its leaders, and the superiority of the German system. 

Nowadays, a few hundred kilometers down the road in Prague, there's an heir to "Lord Haw Haw's" crown of thorns. The dubious honor belongs to Brian Whitmore of the American state-broadcaster RFE/RL, who sits in front of a wall mounted image of Moscow's Kremlin, five days a week, and tells the world how awful the country is. The video blog, known as the "Daily Vertical" is such a laugh that I've been keeping an occasional eye on it since its host became embroiled in a public spat with the noted journalist Ben Aris. 


Just to see when it will finally scrape the bottom of the barrel. 

All along, I've failed to understand who the content is actually aimed at. If it were meant to influence Russians, you'd imagine it would be broadcast in their language because fluent English speakers comprise a tiny percentage of the population here. Thus, the only explanation appears to be that it's designed to influence journalists and pundits who cover Russian affairs for Western outlets. 


A New Nadir 

While it's easy to laugh at the "Daily Vertical" and its accompanying "Power Vertical" podcasts, it's probably naive to dismiss them outright. That's because you'd imagine the US government's Broadcasting Board of Governors wouldn't continue to bankroll the enterprise if they didn't believe it was having some sort of effect on discourse. 

However, this week the "Daily Vertical" hit a new low and it's not sufficient to merely giggle along anymore. Whitmore, in his trademark meditation pose, sternly faced his autocue and announced: "Eight years ago today, the Putin doctrine was born. Eight years ago today, the Kremlin learned what it could get away with in its neighborhood. Eight years ago today, Moscow proved it could pretty much flout international rules and norms with impunity. Eight years ago today, Russia invaded Georgia." 

Except it didn't, and Whitmore's statement is complete male cow excrement. In actual fact, the verdict of the independent EU fact-finding mission charged with establishing the causes of the conflict were simple: "Georgia started it." 

As Der Spiegel reported at the time, ""It was Georgia which triggered off the war when it attacked (South Ossetian capital) Tskhinvali" said Heidi Tagliavini, the mission head, in a statement." Incidentally, the man who the EU fingered as being responsible for the conflict, Georgia's then President, Mikhail Saakashvili, is now the governor of Ukraine's Odessa region. Today, despite his proven track record of turning wine into water, he continues to be celebrated by the Anglophone Western press because of his pro-American leanings. 

A False Comparison 

Across the media, many folk try to draw an equivalence between RT and RFE/RL, seeing as both are funded by their respective governments. Yet, there is a major difference. While RT frequently invites guests who disagree with its positions, RFE/RL does not and this is hugely significant. Also, you simply cannot compare a network which has just been nominated for another International Emmy Award (as RT has this week) with an organization which produces the kind of shoddy journalism that RFE/RL is famous for. 

Off the top of my head, I recall that in recent years some people extremely hostile to Russia have been asked to appear on RT. They include RFE/RL's own Michael Weiss (who now doubles as a lobbyist at NATO's Atlantic Council appendage), Bild Zeitung editor Julian Reichelt and the young American neocon Jamie Kirchick. By contrast, RFE/RL does not appear to allow dissenting voices at all. Whitmore's "Power Vertical" podcasts are a case in point here. They are invariably "nod-fests" where the participants have nothing good to say about Russia. 

Censorship at RFE/RL extends further than that. In 2014, the outlet fired the - famously anti-Putin - Russian journalist Andrei Babitsky for apparently taking "an incorrect position on Crimea" and trying to report on war crimes committed by pro-Kiev forces in the Ukrainian war. 

Whitmore's "vertical" nonsense is symptomatic of the rot at RFE/RL. 


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drinking your blood...

War criminals, politicians, bankers, media controllers, and heads of state will be meeting in secret this week at the Bilderberg Group to discuss policy on how to bend the world to their desires. 

The world's ruling elite will meet in secret this week. No press will be allowed in, no one will be interviewed about it, and Bilderberg will barely register as a blip within the mainstream media's radar. As the media hypes the mostly symbolic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, bankers, politicians, military leaders, and information controllers will be discussing their plans for the world behind closed doors and with zero transparency. 

The 66th annual Bilderberg Meeting, which has been held in locations around the world throughout the years, kicks off on Thursday in Turin, Italy and is set to end on Sunday. Despite a prestigious guest list of around 130 attendees - who will arguably have more of a global influence than any elected officials - the meeting will escape any scrutiny in the mainstream media. 

The reason this meeting of the global elite manages to remain free from any mainstream media coverage is no accident. This group of elite power brokers owns the media, they own the politicians, and, arguably, they own the world. 

In attendance to this year's meeting are war criminals like Henry Kissinger, who will discuss matters ranging from Russia to Free Trade to the "post truth" world. Below is the list of twelve topics up for discussion at the meeting. 

  1. Populism in Europe
  2. The inequality challenge
  3. The future of work
  4. Artificial intelligence
  5. The US before midterms
  6. Free trade
  7. US world leadership
  8. Russia
  9. Quantum computing
  10. Saudi Arabia and Iran
  11. The "post-truth" world
  12. Current events

Nothing highlights the insidious nature of such an event quite like having Kissinger - who can't even travel to certain countries without being arrested for war crimes - on the same list of attendees with US politicians and members of the mainstream media. And all of it is happening in secret. 

In a book titled 'Henry Kissinger, Hillary Clinton's Tutor in War and Peace,' Greg Grandin lays out just how corrupt this friend of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton actually is: 

"Let's consider some of Kissinger's achievements during his tenure as Richard Nixon's top foreign policy-maker. He (1) prolonged the Vietnam War for five pointless years; (2) illegally bombed Cambodia and Laos; (3) goaded Nixon to wiretap staffers and journalists; (4) bore responsibility for three genocides in Cambodia, East Timor, and Bangladesh; (5) urged Nixon to go after Daniel Ellsberg for having released the Pentagon Papers, which set off a chain of events that brought down the Nixon White House; (6) pumped up Pakistan's ISI, and encouraged it to use political Islam to destabilize Afghanistan; (7) began the U.S.'s arms-for-petrodollars dependency with Saudi Arabia and pre-revolutionary Iran; (8) accelerated needless civil wars in southern Africa that, in the name of supporting white supremacy, left millions dead; (9) supported coups and death squads throughout Latin America; and (10) ingratiated himself with the first-generation neocons, such as Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, who would take American militarism to its next calamitous level." 

As the Telegraph points out, Bilderberg invites figures from politics, industry, finance, academia and the media. Two thirds of the invitees are from Europe, with the rest from North America; a third of the people on the guest list work in politics and government. This year, 131 participants from 23 countries have confirmed their attendance so far. 


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meanwhile as media jealousy runs the media...

No one will ever be able to accuse Lord Rothermere of acting too hastily. His decision to put the Daily Mail’s warhorse of an editor, Paul Dacre, out to grass has been an extraordinary example of procrastination. He should have handed the job to Geordie Greig five years ago, when he was just a year into his editorship of the Mail on Sunday and champing at the bit.

If the Europhile Rothermere had not dithered, it is possible to imagine there would have been a different outcome in the EU referendum. Greig, a passionate Remainer, a Tory with a streak of liberalism and imbued with an establishment ethos, would never have campaigned for Brexit, and certainly not with Dacre’s fanaticism.

We may never know why Rothermere, aka Jonathan Harold Esmond Vere Harmsworth, the fourth viscount in his line, waited so long. What we do know is that his vacillation allowed Dacre too great a licence, for far too long, to pursue a relentless reactionary agenda of chauvinism, xenophobia, misogyny and racism, not to mention the bullying of several people in public life along with his own staff.


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Hello, hello... Roy Greenslade is a bit hypocritical here... The Guardian is also full of pseudo-rubbish on many issues. To say the least the question of Brexit should never have been put to the people, but when it came, the people responded DEMOCRATICALLY.  Many people influenced the vote but that is democracy. Blaming the "Russians" or Paul Dacre is crap. Often, the media, such as The Guardian ot the NYT, let us know of the "clever voters" who are able to discern between the forest and the trees... But when they pick the "other than the media-chosen tree" they are chastised as dumb or "influenced" by the devil. Get a life Roy Greenslade...

porkies, whoppers, and all is a fringin' lie...

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 was determinative. Facial expressions evidence.

The mass media, those paragons of truth-telling, entertained their audiences for a few weeks by marching out their puerile pundits to tell audiences who of the two primary actors was more believable, while the politicians, not willing to allow their media accomplices to outdo them in truthfulness, donned their masks and performed their usual public service of moral outrage and did the same in their unbiased ways.

There was no child to yell and tell the world that all the king’s sycophants, like the king, were naked – naked liars whose jobs depended on disinformation and deceptions meant to amuse an entertainment-besotted and bored public hungry for a bit of truth in a society drowning in agitprop and propaganda. A public watching the wrong show.

The words the real Frank Serpico, the honest and brave cop, not the actor, Al Pacino, who played him in the movie Serpico, come to my mind. He told me that when he was lying in a pool of his own blood on the night of February 3, 1971, having been shot in the face in a set-up carried out by fellow cops, he heard a voice that said, “It’s all a lie.”
“It’s all a lie.”

Those words sum up the spectacle that is American society today. And while lies are nothing new – didn’t Aletheia, the Greek goddess of truth, flee into the wilderness just last week and say to a wandering searcher, “Among the people of old, lies were found among only a few, but now they have spread throughout all of human society”? – we are living in a time of unprecedented technological media mind manipulation difficult to penetrate.

Harold Pinter called it “a tapestry of lies” in which facts don’t matter. What happened never happened; what never happened, happened. It’s all about believability in the national media’s hypnotic show, whose purpose Russell Baker described 25 years ago as being to “provide a manageably small cast for a national sitcom, or soap opera, or docudrama, making it easy for media people to persuade themselves they are covering the news while mostly just entertaining us.”

I know something about believability. When I was a young teenager I appeared on a famous game show called “To Tell the Truth.” Of course I lied, since lying was the name of the game then, as now. I was not who I said I was. When I walked out in front of millions of television viewers and the celebrities who would question my veracity, I knew (although I was an impostor and not the real Robert McGee – son of a U.S. Senator, by the way) how to put on a face to fool the faces that would scrutinize my smallest expressions for any sign of feigning.

Although these celebrities knew the game well, I beat them at the believability game, I am sorry to say. My demeanor or mien (facial expression) was in sync with my words, an ability to act that I didn’t know I had. I was an all-American boy – a student at an elite Jesuit boys’ prep school, the captain of the basketball team, my father (Edward) a lawyer – learning the national pastime of seemingly being “perfectly honest” as I lied. And it worked, and the $250 that I won – I almost said earned – set me on a path that led to a fork in the road that I took. When I picked this fork up, it hissed and tried to bite me with its poisonous forked tongue. So I quickly threw it down. It was then I realized that my thirty pieces of silver ($250) were a betrayal that would haunt me forever if I didn’t try to become a genuine actor.

Soon I would come to realize that my Jesuit schooling was preparing me to be “a man for all seasons.” It had nothing to do with beer and girls. It was all about becoming a member of the ruling class. In other words, a man with a forked tongue who could speak out of both sides of his mouth to suit the occasion. Learning this skill would lead me to the social heights where I could smoothly move among Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, elites and regular people, defense attorneys and prosecutors, actors and audiences, alleged victims and alleged victimizers, etc. Nothing would be foreign to me, except myself, for I could become a perfect hypocrite, a double-man, my own doppelganger without a shadow.

I could become another judge-penitent like Albert Camus’ Jean-Baptiste Clamence in his novel, The Fall, and take up a double profession, become double-faced and rich in the process. Perhaps I could join the CIA and “sincerely” follow its motto:

And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”(John 8:32)

I could become a professor with nothing to profess but my innocence. I could become a psychologist and specialize in lie detector tests. I could learn how to lie while sincerely telling the truth while hooked up to one. I could be confused and act confused and not know the difference.

I could denounce torture while justifying it. I could pretend impartiality while being partial. I could claim independence while playing the puppet. I could remember to forget and forget to remember and remember that I forgot the details of what I remembered.

And no matter how I acted or what I did I could always remain a “nice guy.”

I could even say with Clamence that I am 100% innocent, my case is exceptional, as I played the parts of victim and victimizer; could say:

As I told you, it’s a matter of dodging judgment. Since it is hard to dodge it, tricky to get one’s nature simultaneously admired and excused, they [we] all strive to be rich. Why? Did you ever ask yourself? For power, of course. But especially because wealth shields from immediate judgment, takes you out of the subway crowd to enclose you in a chromium-platted automobile, isolates you in huge protected lawns, Pullmans, first-class cabins. Wealth, cher ami, is not quite acquittal, but reprieve, and that’s always worth taking.

I could become such a celebrated actor that I could make you believe my believability when I put on a tearful face or a devastated face or a confused face or an angry face. I could confess my vulnerability and make you my ally, and I could plead with you in a halting way to sympathize with how I was victimized so long ago or yesterday. But even if you didn’t believe me, I could feel justified in knowing that I was playing my part in ShowTime in America, keeping you amused, and doing my part to advance the interests of those who accepted me for the role. And I could always deny that I had been selected, and could always maintain I entered center stage of my own volition because I wished to fulfill my civic duty to see justice done.

But I promise, like Clamence, I would never reveal who stole the painting of “The Just Judges” that I keep hidden in my cupboard. Some things must remain hidden. After all, who wants to know the truth?

But I digress. I’ll be quiet, and stop with the what-could-have-beens. The show must go on. We both know that. It is what is. I look forward to reading what will no doubt be a best-selling and most truthful exposé of the Kavanaugh/Blasey Ford Show. I imagine contracts have been signed, and the mini-series shouldn’t be far behind.

In the meantime, I would like to leave you laughing with a quote that has been disturbing me since I first read it after writing it:

Until we see through the charade of social life and realize the masked performers are not just the politicians and celebrities, not only the professional actors and the corporate media performers, but us, we won’t grasp the problem. Lying is the leading cause of living death in the United States. We live in a society built of lies; lying and dishonesty are the norm. They are built into the fabric of all our institutions, into our psyches. In America, there’s no business but show business, and we are sham actors, amusing ourselves to death while we spread death and destruction in our war theaters all around the world. Theaters in which the tragic plays we direct hold no interest for us. We prefer our Idiots’ Delight.

“It’s All a Lie.” Maybe that should be the title of the next show.


Edward Curtin teaches sociology at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. His writing on varied topics has appeared widely over many years. He writes as a public intellectual for the general public, not as a specialist for a narrow readership. He believes a non-committal sociology is an impossibility and therefore sees all his work as an effort to enhance human freedom through understanding. His website is



vanitas vanitatum, & omnia vanitas...

Read from top. Cartoon circa 2001 — Gus Leoniksy.


See also : 

"The Age of Deceit"

pretend truth...

If you’re one of the millions of human beings who, despite a preponderance of evidence to the contrary, still believe there is such a thing as “the truth,” you might not want to read this essay. Seriously, it can be extremely upsetting when you discover that there is no “truth” … or rather, that what we’re all conditioned to regard as “truth” from the time we are children is just the product of a technology of power, and not an empirical state of being. Humans, upon first encountering this fact, have been known to freak completely out and start jabbering about the “Word of God,” or “the immutable laws of quantum physics,” and run around burning other people at the stake or locking them up and injecting them with Thorazine. I don’t want to be responsible for anything like that, so consider this your trigger warning.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s take a look at how “truth” is manufactured. It’s actually not that complicated. See, the “truth” is … well, it’s a story, essentially. It’s whatever story we are telling ourselves at any given point in history (“we” being the majority of people, those conforming to the rules of whatever system wields enough power to dictate the story it wants everyone to be telling themselves). Everyone understands this intuitively, but the majority of people pretend they don’t in order to be able to get by in the system, which punishes anyone who does not conform to its rules, or who contradicts its story. So, basically, to manufacture the truth, all you really need is (a) a story, and (b) enough power to coerce a majority of people in your society to pretend to believe it.

I’ll return to this point a little later. First, let’s look at a concrete example of our system manufacturing “truth.” I’m going to use The Guardian‘s most recent blatantly fabricated article (“Manafort held secret talks with Assange in Ecuadorian embassy”) as an example, but I could just as well have chosen any of a host of other fabricated stories disseminated by “respectable” outlets over the course of the last two years.

The “Russian Propaganda Peddlers” story. The “Russia Might Have Poisoned Hillary Clinton” story. The “Russians Hacked the Vermont Power Grid” story. The “Golden Showers Russian Pee-Tape” story. The “Novichok Assassins” story. The “Bana Alabed Speaks Out” story. The “Trump’s Secret Russian Server” story. The “Labour Anti-Semitism Crisis” story. The “Russians Orchestrated Brexit” story. The “Russia is Going to Hack the Midterms” story. The “Twitter Bots” story. And the list goes on.

I’m not going to debunk the Guardian article here. It has been debunked by better debunkers than I (e.g., Jonathan CookCraig MurrayGlenn Greenwald, Moon of Alabama, and many others). [ed. including us]

The short version is, The Guardian‘s Luke Harding, a shameless hack who will affix his name to any propaganda an intelligence agency feeds him, alleged that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, secretly met with Julian Assange (and unnamed “Russians”) on numerous occasions from 2013 to 2016, presumably to conspire to collude to brainwash Americans into not voting for Clinton. Harding’s earth-shaking allegations, which The Guardian prominently featured and flogged, were based on … well, absolutely nothing, except the usual anonymous “intelligence sources.” After actual journalists pointed this out, The Guardian quietly revised the piece (employing the subjunctive mood rather liberally), buried it in the back pages of its website, and otherwise pretended like they had never published it.


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Read from top. Cartoon at top, Gus Leonisky (circa 2001)