Wednesday 28th of September 2022

of conspiratorial sheep...

shawn   In Shawn the Sheep, kids (and adults) often learn about conspiracies… Thus conspiracies must exist (don’t they?). For example, when the farmer’s glasses are badly scratched and then broken, Shawn and the other sheep know the farmer does not see them “having a good time”.



The big sheep, Shirley, eats the veggie patch, the others play about and Shawn lays about in a folding chair, sipping a mocktail, enjoying the sun. All good. But Bitzer, the dog, sees them all doing things “they should not be doing” and notices the farmer needs new glasses. As Bitzer organises an “Urgent Delivery” (title of the episode) from the online optician, Shawn and the flock CONSPIRE to make sure the delivery does not happen. If this isn’t a conspiracy, what is? At this stage, it’s all in good fun as it is a conspiracy “by the people against the establishment", but…

In our Covid19 world, are we at the mercy of the pigs being conspiratorially naughty as usual, or are we blamed for the damage when the cat raids the fridge? Are we falling victim to the actions of the other more-equal-animals or are we going to notice something leading us to turn the table on the “conspirators”?… At which level of our own psychopathy, will we abandon our own moral decency? We know that, “under orders”, 95 per cent of people will commit atrocious acts. We also know that many of us will commit similar atrocious acts should we have been conditioned to deem that the others, making an error, deserve to be punished. How do we grade the various levels of punishment? 

Conspiracies are not new. Modern conspiracies are very well constructed and make use of our psychological need to believe (to know). One of the most blatant recent conspiracy was the “Saddam has weapons of mass destruction” lie that was used to go to war and destroy Iraq under false pretences. Was this a “conspiracy” some people may ask. The answer is simple: YES. Was this large conspiracy part of a greater conspiracy? The simple answer is YES. 

How can we believe fake evidence?

So how much do we know, how much should we know, where do we find the information to find we have been deceived? Are some people “organised” in a conspiracy to deceive us? Why would they deceive us? Who are “these” people? How do we find out? Are some of the people who perpetuate the conspiracies, not the instigators of the conspiracies, but only gullible enough to believe that they are promoting erroneous information in “good faith”?

Where do we, the populace, the plebs, the sheep, get our information from? Apart from car accident and squashed dogs by a bus, most of information is structured to come from our education which make us accept “news” as an important social communicative interaction. News is mostly a fluid construct between government and media. Often the media will be the voice for the government, though some investigations by journalists will expose the government having not been genuine in its actions. Here, we are shown that Sports Rorts did happen... but some of the fudge details and the guilt of government are missing from the investigations, thus we’re only 90 per cent sure of a “conspiracy” to favour one side of the political class. Is this beyond reasonable doubt? Is this morally wrong? or is this part of the “normal” political games?

How did the governments of the US, the UK Australia manage to convince the media, usually savvy (I know, the media is in the pocket of various government factions and NEVER IS INDEPENDENT), to swallow what was obviously a crock about Saddam, and do it for so long? How was the "Saddam has weapons of mass destruction” conspiracy constructed by the said governments? This is where we enter the world that we sometimes see on television-series about spies, counter agents and advisors… except what happens in reality is much darker — and based on long established lines of crooked ideals, rather that episodic stories. Though many politicians enter politics “for the good of the people”, politics are structured as not to be too virtuous in the kitchen so to speak. There has been hardly any moral compass into democratic politics, except mangle the truth in order to keep the sheep in fear of the dog. This is why Assange is still in prison. He has exposed the REAL truth. For many years, this has been activated under the fear of god, but as Enlightenment came and went, this fear “had to be replaced by the love from god” and this sentiment did not always keep the sheep on the virtuous grass. Fear could be the greatest survival motivator in the animal world. Where is danger coming from? Well we know: often, in the human species, we invent the danger in order to justify our actions. We preempt the caper as well.

By now, we have long gone away from having fun with the farmer’s glasses. We are in the twilight of all of psychopathies, at personal level and at entire society’s levels. Kings only stayed kings, by invoking divine rule, by finding out the plots against them and making sure the plotters get hanged. This has been our history, whether in England or China. The English kings and queens were ruthless bastards. same with the Chinese emperors. 

Then came de-mo-cra-cy…

We would be naive to believe that the game of control by deceit, by force and by ruling psychopathy have been extinguished because of the “people’s system” to sustain a society. Yep. No. We have ideals, maintained prejudices and long established dark corners. It’s a matter of proportion, not so much amongst the populace, but amongst the political class under the influence of the various levels of deception from government organisations — such as the CIA, the NSA, the Pentagon, etc that will do shit under a pseudo-moral umbrella — and of course influences from lobbyists. Sometimes the lobbyists and the advisors (or the politicians themselves) are the one person. The power start to reside into the hand of a few powerful persons who can manipulate information and instil fear, while the politicians can be “persuaded” to accept “donations”. The rules for such are so flimsy, that at this stage ALL politicians are corrupt. And when politicians are corrupt, conspiracies will flourish, though they still exist even if pollies are incorruptible.

At what stage do we, the populace, realise that we are swindled and DO WE CARE, as long as we’re fed, lodged and can watch TV as we wish? Do we know that whatever we do, we are still counted, spied upon and sold items according to our secret desires? 

Now. Was the Covid19 episode:

A rehearsal for the full monty to come?

An accident?

A planned event that has fizzled, because the virus isn’t really virulent enough?

Was our response planned to:

Protect humanity from losing its pants?

Profit a few people as the response develops?

made by governments in fear of being booted out?

Proportionally graded to appear to be effective?

Part of the conspiracy?

What would have been the purpose of such conspiracy?

How many purposes (or accepted side-effects) of such a conspiracy?

How can we find out without being labelled “conspiracy theorists"?

Will we ever know the truth? Or is the truth, what the governments have decided shall be the truth, under whatever influences, local and international?

The end of the Shawn the Sheep “Urgent Delivery” episode is telling. The delivery person, a strong woman, manages to deliver the parcel, despite the mob's effort. As Bitzer is about to give the farmer his new glasses, the farmer slaps Bitzer in congratulation. Bitzer looses the glasses that become scratched and broken like his former pair. The farmer takes the delivery electronic record pad and answers it as if it was a telephone… Are our government as inept and stupid as the farmer? Or do they smartly cultivate conspiracies against our own?

Was there a conspiracy from the clergy to hide the fact that some priests were sexually molesting children? Was the police aware (especially in Newcastle, NSW) and did not alert the authorities — leaving the bishops to deal with such problems? Was George Pell part of the conspiracy of silence or is Cannon Law a crookery, by allowing secrecy and the shifting of offenders from parish to parish? We all know the answer to these questions: conspiracies did exist to conceal the truth.

And we could be in the same boat in regard to Covid19... Actually, when looking at the greater picture, we are in the same boat...

Welcome to governments conspiratorial global bullshit...

An old grumpy man...

psychological warfare...

Governments have used psychological warfare throughout history to manipulate public opinion, gain political advantage, and generate profits. Western governments have engaged in such tactics in the war on terrorism as well as in its predecessor, the war on communism. In both cases, state-sponsored terrorism and propaganda were used to distort the public’s perception of the threats, leading to increased governmental control of society and huge financial benefits for corporations. It appears that the same kinds of effects are being seen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the features and outcomes seen in the war on terrorism and the war on communism are evident in this new “war on death.” Therefore, it’s reasonable to wonder if the extreme response to COVID-19, and its associated virus SARS-COV-2, could be another psychological operation against the public. Considering facts about the disease and the disproportionate response emphasizes the possibility.

If COVID-19 has been co-opted for manipulation of the public, through hyping the threat and pushing exploitive solutions, who is behind it and who benefits?

Let’s first review what features and outcomes the “coronavirus scare’ shares in common with the “red scare” that drove the perceived threat of communism and the “Muslim scare” behind the perceived threat of terrorism. Here are a dozen characteristics that these perceived threats share.

  1. Fear-based and globally directed
  2. Media saturation with bias toward fear
  3. Data manipulation and propaganda
  4. Censorship of opposing views
  5. Intelligence agency control of information
  6. Preceded by exercises mimicking the threat
  7. Series of claims made that are later proven false
  8. Response threatens democracy
  9. Large increase in wealth and power for a few; increase in social inequality
  10. Increased government control of the public and reduced individual freedoms
  11. Response kills far more than the original threat
  12. Evidence for manufactured events (see below)

There are also differences between the COVID-19 pandemic response and the “wars” on communism and terrorism. One difference is that, for the virus, agencies dedicated to public health have taken the lead. Although the central characters that hyped the communism threat and the terrorism threat were sometimes the same people, they tended to represent military, diplomatic, or intelligence agencies.

The primary actors driving the coronavirus lockdowns and associated control mechanisms are political leaders. However, the directives being acted upon come from the World Health Organization (WHO), an agency of the United Nations ostensibly responsible for international public health. Others controlling the coronavirus scare are national health agencies, most notably the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

Are these agencies acting solely in the interest of public health?


The common impression is that the entire matter began in reaction to events in China but even that is not clear. For example, the virus is said to have originated in the city of Wuhan and the first, limited, lockdown occurred in that area from January to March. China has since said that it warned the WHO about the virus during the first week of January. However, it is known that U.S. intelligence agencies were aware of the potential outbreak even before that, in November 2019. A Chinese spokesman later suggested that the U.S. military might have brought the virus to Wuhan during the military games held there in October.

The first instance of an entire country being locked down for the coronavirus was in Italy. This occurred on March 9th based on advice from the Italian government’s coronavirus adviser Walter Ricciardi, who said, “The situation risks going out of control and these measures are necessary to keep the spread at bay.” Ricciardi, a WHO committee member, later admitted that Italy had inflated the death counts from the virus, stating, “The way in which we code deaths in our country is very generous in the sense that all the people who die in hospitals with the coronavirus are deemed to be dying of the coronavirus.”

Many have noted the inordinate influence of billionaire Bill Gates on the activities and direction of the WHO. As of 2017, this influence was seen as troubling, with health advocates fearing that, “because the Gates Foundation’s money comes from investments in big business, it could serve as a Trojan horse for corporate interests to undermine WHO’s role in setting standards and shaping health policies.”

Gates has been called a ruthless schemer by his Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and Allen is not alone in that assessment. Despite engaging in a costly “public charm offensive,” Gates is seen by many as a predatory and monopolistic opportunist hiding behind a false front of philanthropy. With regard to the coronavirus scare and Gates’ stated goal of vaccinating the entire world population, however, people should be most concerned that he has worked diligently on mechanisms of population control.

Of course, no one person controls the world yet so who is supposed to be running WHO, apart from Bill Gates? The face of the WHO is Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the director-general of the organization. Tedros has a poor history of ethics in leadership, with many accusations having been made against him including that he covered-up epidemics in the past.

Alarms about Tedros began to go off immediately after his appointment in 2017, when he named Robert Mugabe, the former dictator of Zimbabwe, as a goodwill ambassador to the WHO. Mugabe’s rule over Zimbabwe was dominated by “murder, bloodshed, torture, persecution of political opponents, intimidation and vote-rigging on a grand scale.” This appointment indicated that Tedros’ judgment of goodwill was dubious at best.

A letter from a group of American doctors that same year described why Tedros has become known as “Dr. Cover Up.” They wrote, “Your silence about what is clearly a massive cholera epidemic in Sudan daily becomes more reprehensible. The inevitable history that will be written of this cholera epidemic will surely cast you in an unforgiving light.” They added that Tedros was “fully complicit in the terrible suffering and dying that continues to spread in East Africa.”

Problems at WHO didn’t start with Tedros, however. After the H1N1 pandemic of 2009, evidence came to light that the WHO had exaggerated the danger and had spread fear and confusion rather than helpful information. It was later learned that “Italy, Germany, France and the U.K. made secret agreements with pharmaceutical companies” that “obliged the countries to buy vaccinations only if the WHO raised the pandemic to a level 6.” The WHO then proceeded to change its guidelines for defining a pandemic in order to accommodate those contracts, thereby increasing the public’s fear despite the fact that the pandemic never became a serious threat.

Although WHO has been praised for its work to reduce some illnesses like polio, it has also been found that drugs and vaccines recommended by WHO have been “found to be harmful and without significant clinical effect.”

A comprehensive view suggests that the WHO is more of a corporate interest agency than an organization committed to preserving public health. That’s not surprising due to the fact that 80% of WHO’s funding comes from “voluntary contributions” provided by private donors including pharmaceutical companies and industry groups like Bill Gates’ Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). And since the worldwide response to COVID-19 has been directed and coordinated by an organization that works on behalf of multi-national corporations that stand to benefit, the idea that the coronavirus scare could be a psychological operation seems plausible.



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isolation for the oldies...

Challenging the widespread belief that the worldwide anti-coronavirus lockdown has helped in slowing down the disease spread, Stanford Professor Michael Levitt said that it’s actually made very little difference.

Speaking to RT’s Going Underground, Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Levitt said that there was no reason to doubt China’s official coronavirus figures, since its statistics are corresponding with the dynamics observed elsewhere.

“What happened in China outside of Hubei is exactly the same dynamics of the curve as what happened in New Zealand,” Levitt stated. “If China is forging statistics, they must have a time machine. And if they have the time machine, they would’ve beaten us in any competition anyway.”

The lockdown measures that have been implemented across many countries worldwide were actually not that effective, the scientist believes. The vast majority of the disease transmissions actually occurred before the lockdowns went into force – and in many countries the people were not that eager to abide by the rules, making the restrictions even more useless. Levitt believes that the best strategy for the government would have been focusing on protecting the elderly population and let others move freely.


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CNBC: "I think we're looking at a V-shaped recovery in the stock market, and that has almost nothing to do with a V-shaped recovery in the economy," the "Mad Money" host said.

The coronavirus pandemic and corresponding lockdown made way for “one of the greatest wealth transfers in history,” CNBC’s Jim Cramer said Thursday.


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Who knows... Jim loony Cramer could be right...

non-reporting of the real news...



by Arthur Bloom


The most effective kind of propaganda is by omission. Walter Duranty didn’t cook up accounts from smiling Ukrainian farmers, he simply said there was no evidence for a famine, much like the media tells us today that there is no evidence antifa has a role in the current protest-adjacent violence. It is much harder to do this today than it was back then—there are photographs and video that show they have been—which is the proximate cause for greater media concern about conspiracy theories and disinformation.

For all the hyperventilating over the admittedly creepy 2008 article about “cognitive infiltration,” by Cass Sunstein and Adrian Vermeule, it was a serious attempt to deal with the problem of an informational center being lost in American public life, at a time when the problem was not nearly as bad as it is today. It proposed a number of strategies to reduce the credibility of conspiracy theorists, including seeding them with false information. Whether such strategies have been employed, perhaps with QAnon, which has a remarkable ability to absorb all other conspiracy theories that came before it, is up to the reader’s speculation.

Books will one day be written about the many failures of the media during the Trump presidency, but much of the Russiagate narrative-shaping was related to the broader problem of decentralization and declining authority of establishment media. One of the more egregious examples is the Washington Post’s report that relied upon a blacklist created by an anonymous group, PropOrNot, that found more than 200 sites carried water for the Russians in some way, and not all on the right either. In fact, if the Bush administration had commissioned a list of news sources that were carrying water for Saddam Hussein in 2006, it would have looked almost the same as the PropOrNot list, except here it was, recast as an effort to defend democratic integrity. On the list was Naked Capitalism,, and Truthdig.

This should have been a bigger scandal, very good evidence that the war on disinformation was not that but a campaign against officially unapproved information. But virtually nobody except Glenn Greenwald objected. There is some evidence that this style of blacklisting went even further, into the architecture of search engines. My reporting on Google search last year found that one of the “fringe domain” blacklists included Robert Parry’s Consortium News. In other words, if Google had been around in the 1980s, Parry’s exposes on Iran-Contra would have been excluded from Google News results.

The criteria for inclusion on any of these lists are much more amorphous than a more traditional one: taking money from a foreign power. As of this week, we now have a figure for how much the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal have taken from China Daily, a state-run newspaper, since 2016. It’s $4.6 million, and $6 million, respectively. This is more than an order of magnitude greater than the amount Russia is thought to have spent on Facebook advertising prior to the 2016 election.

There are other specific Russiagate disgraces one would be remiss to overlook, like star reporter Natasha Bertrand, who was hired at MSNBC after several appearances in which she repeatedly defended the accuracy of the Steele Dossier, which itself was likely tainted by Russian disinformation. The newspaper that published the Pentagon Papers defended the outing of a source to the FBI. How David Ignatius, considered America’s top reporter on the intelligence community, can show his face in public after he was allegedly told by James Clapper to “take the kill shot on Flynn,” and then two days later doing just that, is disturbing (Clapper’s spokesman disputes this account, but Ignatius has not). The scoop, that Flynn, the incoming national security advisor had spoken to the Russian ambassador, is in no way suspicious, but for weeks was treated as if Flynn was making contact with his handler.

What Russiagate amounts to, as Matt Taibbi among others have written, is the use of federal investigative resources to criminalize or persecute dissenters from the foreign policy line of what we here at TAC call the Blob, in the same way that the PropOrNot list amounts to an attempt to suppress unapproved sources of news.

Many of the same figures involved in prolonging the Russiagate hysteria were also big cheerleaders for the Bush and Obama wars. Before Russiagate, there was the Pentagon military analysts scandal, in which it was revealed that dozens of media commentators on military affairs were doing so without disclosing their connections to the Pentagon or defense contractors. It implicated Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton’s drug war czar, who is now an MSNBC contributor who helped to provide color for the narrative of General Flynn’s decline, suggesting he was mentally ill after he had initially been supportive of him getting the job.

In a certain sense, Trump provides journalists who have disturbingly cozy relationships with powerful people a way of looking like they are holding the powerful accountable, without alienating any of their previous friends. Trump is in fact one of the weakest executives in presidential history, partly because of the massive resistance to him in the federal workforce, but also because his White House seems powerless to actually do anything about that. That people actually think the dark cloud of fascism has descended upon the land when Trump can’t even figure out how to work those levers of power just shows how obsessed with symbolic matters—“representation,” they call it—our politics has become.

The subsequent failures of the American information landscape have only served to reinforce this dynamic. Both the self-inflicted economic catastrophe of the coronavirus shutdowns, and the recent civil unrest, will serve to concentrate wealth away from the hated red-state bourgeoise and into the hands of the oligarchs in blue states, including Jeff Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post. This bears repeating: COVID and the protests will lead to a large transfer of wealth from a reliably Republican demographic—small business owners—to one that is at best split, which is why you saw Jamie Dimon kneeling in front of a bank vault this week.

Intent is difficult to disentangle in the best of circumstances. The contrast between news networks ominously reporting on Florida beachgoers a month ago now cheering on mass gatherings in large cities may not in fact be due to the fact that the large consortiums that own the networks stand to benefit financially from the continued shutdown of the country. They may sincerely believe, along with public health officials, that balancing the risks of institutional racism and getting COVID-19 is worth discussing in relation to protests, but balancing the same risks when it comes to going to church or burying a family member is not. Or it may just be studied naivety, like the kind exhibited a few weeks ago when the whole New York media scene rushed to the defense of the New Yorker‘s Jia Tolentino, who played the victim after people on social media revealed that her family was involved in what certainly appears to be an exploitative immigration scam.

The rise of the first-person essay and subjectivity in journalism may turn out to be a perfectly congenial development for the powerful people in America; Tolentino is great at writing about herself. For one thing, this is a lot cheaper than reporting; it probably isn’t a coincidence that this development has coincided with a huge decline in newsroom budgets. But at the same time blaming this on economics feels like it misses the point, because there are many people who are convinced this trend is good. 

But the way it intersects with official corruption has me rather nervous. To give one example, it seems clear that #MeToo degenerated after the Kavanaugh hearings and Biden’s nomination. And given the apparent loyalties of someone like David Ignatius, he isn’t going to be the one to unravel the intelligence connections involved in the great sexual violence story of our generation, the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. So we are left with the Netflix version, slotted right into the typical narrative, in which the Epstein story looks fundamentally the same as most other stories of sexual coercion, involving a powerful man and less powerful woman, only with an exceptionally powerful man. And yet there are so many indications it was not typical.

So it is today with George Floyd as well. It seems like there are perfectly reasonable questions to be asked about the acquaintance between him and Derek Chauvin, and the fact that the rather shady bar they both worked at conveniently burned down. But by now most of the media is now highly invested in not seeing anything other than a statistic, another incident in a long history of police brutality, and the search for facts has been replaced by narratives. This is a shame, because it is perfectly possible to think that police have a history of poor treatment toward black people and there might be corruption involved in the George Floyd case, which is something Ben Crump, the lawyer for Floyd’s family, seems to suggest in his interview on Face the Nation this weekend.

Two incidents in the last week, the freakout among young New York Times staffers over their publication of an op-ed by Senator Tom Cotton that has now led to the resignation of the editorial page editor, and the report by Cockburn that Andrew Sullivan has been barred from writing about the protests by New York magazine, are a good indication that all of this is going to get worse. As for the class of people who actually own these media properties, they will probably find that building a padded room for woke staffers, in the form of whatever HR and “safety”-related demands they’re making, will suit their interests just fine.



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Porkie inc


on political transparency .....


hurting himself rather...


From CJ Hopkins


So, the GloboCap-Resistance Minneapolis Putsch appears to have not gone exactly to plan. Once again, Trump failed to go full-Hitler, despite their best efforts to goad him into doing so. They gave it quite a good shot, however. It was more or less a textbook regime-change op, or “color revolution,” or whatever you call it. All the essential pieces were in place.

All they needed Trump to do was declare himself dictator and impose martial law, so the generals could step in and remove him from office.

Unfortunately for the Resistance, Trump didn’t do that. Instead, he did what he usually does, which is make a total ass of himself on international television. Which…OK, was cringeworthy, but didn’t quite provide the GloboCap gang with the pretext they needed to perp-walk him out of the Oval Office. Which, needless to say, was incredibly frustrating. 

After four long years of propaganda foreplay, there we were, finally at the moment of truth, and Adolf goes and loses his erection.

This guy is the worst literal Hitler ever.

Still, as far as regime-change ops go, and given that this one was a domestic operation, so trickier than the usual foreign version, I’d give the Resistance a B+ for effort.

Now, before my “conspiracy theorist” readers get too excited about where I’m going with this column…no, this was not a “fake” uprising. There was an authentic uprising at the center of it. There’s always an authentic uprising at the center of every regime-change op, or at least the type that GloboCap has been carrying out and attempting recently. Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, the Ukraine, Bolivia, Venezuela; these things go pretty much by the numbers.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how that works.

First, you need your civil unrest, large-scale protests, rioting, looting, indiscriminate violence, and so on. Any number of “trigger events” will be sufficient to get this going. Once it is, you can grow it and focus it. 

A lot of this unrest needs to be authentic, so it’s best to conduct an overwhelming multi-year propaganda campaign to delegitimize and demonize your target as some sort of treasonous Hitlerian monster who’s responsible for every major problem in the country. 

That way, no matter which trigger event gets things going, it will be his fault.

You will want your local government officials to allow this civil unrest to go on until it reaches the point where rioters and looters are rampaging through the hearts of cities, raiding both high-end corporate chain stores and local mom-and-pop-type businesses, and brutally assaulting their defenseless proprietors. 

This does not mean that these local officials have to restrain or stand down their cops. On the contrary, you want them to unleash their cops, on the protesters, rioters, and TV reporters (during their “live” reports, if possible), and just generally beat the living crap out of everyone. 

The goal is to generate as much hatred as possible against the regime you are trying to change, and to pressure your designated Hitler-target into losing his patience and overreacting, so you want things to get extremely ugly.

Then, you unleash the power of the media to whip folks up into a mindless frenzy of rage against your designated Hitler. You have your “respectable” pundits publish articles calling for his removal from office. You get the military (and former military) to start making noise about how your Hitler is out of control and on the brink of fascism. 

Then you wait for your Hitler to overreact and attempt to call in the military and impose some form of martial law, at which point you can safely depose him, and pretend that democracy has won the day.

The media is essential here, because you need to convince the majority of the public (i.e., not just the people protesting and rioting) that things have gotten so out of control, and your imaginary Hitler has gotten so dangerous, that a military coup is the best solution.

What you’re looking for are headlines like these:

  • “We are teetering on a dictatorship” — CNN
  • “‘Words of a dictator’: Trump’s threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism” — The Guardian
  • “Donald Trump is Trying to Start a Race War” — Rolling Stone
  • “Remove Trump Now” — Slate
  • “The Trump Presidency is Over.” — The Guardian
  • “Trump Must Be Removed” — The Washington Post

Also, while the media are doing their thing, you want to get any former members of the intelligence community (or the secret police) to issue public statements like this:

There should be no place in American society, much less in our government, for the depravity being demonstrated daily by Donald Trump. Members of his Cabinet who enable such behavior are betraying their oath of office by supporting an increasingly desperate despot.”
John Brennan, former CIA director

Then you bring the politicians and the military in. This kind of language will usually do it:

The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens. I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault.”
Senator Ron Wyden

These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator.”
Senator Kamala Harris

‘There is a thin line between the military’s tolerance for questionable partisan moves over the past three years and the point where these become intolerable,” a retired general said.”
The New York Times

We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution […] We can unite without [Trump], drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
General James “Mad Dog” Mattis, former Secretary of Defense

Once the generals have started in growling, you get the media to hype that, hard. Headlines like these will get people’s attention:

  • “Revolt of the Generals” — The Washington Post
  • “The Officers’ Revolt” — Slate
  • “President Donald Trump is facing an unprecedented revolt from the elite corps of ex-military leaders and presidents…” — CNN
  • “The US president’s desire to act the strongman poses urgent questions that America’s generals, voters and allies must all answer” — The Guardian Editorial Board

If you can, it is always a really nice touch if you can drum up…oh, let’s say 280 former national security officials who are really concerned about the state of democracy and “the misuse of the military for political purposes,” and get them to spontaneously call each other up and decide to write a letter together accusing your Hitler of “dividing Americans,” which the media can then disseminate, widely.



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See also: the third US revolution...

a conspiracy of one... with the other groupers...

This is a story where things aren't always as they seem.

It begins in the evening of Saturday August 6, 1949. The normally vibrant city of Sydney is shrouded in gloom. A bitter coal strike has led to power cuts.

At Circular Quay, a man named William Dobson boards the Manly Ferry. But the young trade unionist will never make it home to the beachside suburb.

Fifteen minutes into the voyage, Dobson is attacked by three men. They beat him, then tip him over the side into the icy waters of Sydney Harbour.

Fortunately for Dobson, he's a strong swimmer. He staggers ashore at Nielsen Park, finds a public telephone and calls the police.

When they arrive, Dobson makes a stunning allegation. He's the victim, he says, of a communist assassination plot.

According to Emeritus Professor Phillip Deery, a historian who has studied the 'Ferry Plot' in forensic detail, Dobson tells police that his assailants had also "stolen his briefcase, containing secret communist party documents, and a trade union contact list".

But Dobson is most agitated about the safety of a fellow trade unionist named Pat Cain.

Cain is returning that night by car from the Hunter Valley, where he's just given a speech to the striking mineworkers. Dobson says he fears communists will try to intercept Cain's car.

Police take Dobson to St Vincent's Hospital and a team of detectives is dispatched to track down Cain.

Cain is already safely at home, but he has some disturbing news. He's just received a menacing anonymous phone call.

A muffled voice told Cain: "Mr Dobson has been found in the harbour. They pushed him off a ferry to drown him. They're after you too, take precautions."

The life and times of William Dobson

Born in Moonee Ponds, Dobson was a working class Catholic. After school he travelled overseas and forged a career in journalism, mainly in Asia.

He was an accredited war correspondent and worked for Time Magazine. He even scripted the Far East edition of the famous newsreel The March of Time.

Soon after returning to Australia in early 1949, Dobson dedicated himself to the anti-communist cause.

He joined the Industrial Group of the Federated Clerk's Union, which was fighting the communists for control of the union. The Industrial Groups had been set up by the ALP for just this purpose.

Unfortunately for the Groupers, as they were known, the communists maintained their control of the Clerks by winning the 1949 union elections.

August 1949 was an intense time in the history of the Cold War. The Berlin Airlift had only recently ended. There were communist insurgencies in Indonesia and Malaya. The Chinese Revolution was underway.

In Australia, the communist-led coal strike was one of the most bitter disputes in Australian history.

"The strike became a contest between the Communist Party and the Labor Party for the leadership of the working-class movement," Professor Deery says.

"The Chifley Labor Government … deemed it a communist conspiracy."

Given the times, it's not surprising that Dobson's watery ordeal was a media sensation.

"Man Bashed, Thrown into Harbour by Reds," screamed The Sun's front page the next day.

It was a great story, but there was just one problem: none of it was true.

"After that night on the Manly Ferry, the police interrogated [Dobson] further, and they suspected something a little fishy," Professor Deery explains.

"And under sustained questioning, he admits that the ferry incident was concocted."

Dobson had simply caught the bus to Nielsen Park and walked fully clothed into the water. The whole thing was a hoax.

As Dobson admitted later: "I'd tried to discredit the comms, but it backfired."

Betrayed by a traitor within

Though he never dived off anything, in typical Australian style, Dobson soon acquired a nickname. He was now 'Diver Dobson'.

His fellow Groupers were not happy with his shenanigans. At a hastily convened press conference, Dobson took full responsibility for the hoax.

He left Sydney, his reputation in tatters.

A few days later, a visitor slipped quietly into Sydney's Trades Hall building, and left a package outside the door of Tribune, the Communist Party's newspaper.

Inside the package was a private diary — handwritten by Dobson.

An anonymous Grouper, appalled by Dobson's hoax, had betrayed him.

Over the next several weeks the Tribune published a series of stories based on the diary. Professor Deery says they even had the handwriting authenticated by an expert.

"These articles detailed some quite sensational claims," Professor Deery says.

Among them, allegations that the ALP Industrial Groups "had close connections with the security services … close connections with the Liberal Party, with employer groups and organisations, and with the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church".

Tribune's circulation soared. It was a major PR victory for the Communist Party, which had just been defeated in the coal strike after Chifley famously sent in the army to work the open cut mines.

There was just one problem. It was as big a hoax as the original Ferry Plot.

The treacherous Grouper was Dobson himself.

Diver on the run

In the wake of the Ferry Plot, Dobson had been charged by police with being a public nuisance. Abandoned by his fellow Groupers, he went on the run.

To finance his life as a fugitive, Diver had rung up his former communist enemies and offered to do a deal. He would produce the fake diary in return for cash.

The communists readily agreed. They set him up in a safe house, where he scribbled away for two days under their supervision. Then he headed north with his 40 pieces of silver.

We know all this because of Professor Deery's meticulous research.

Decades later he interviewed two senior communists — Jack Hughes and Laurie Aarons — who both confirmed the story of Dobson's duplicity.

The testimony of Hughes and Aarons is supported by another, unexpected source: the files of the Commonwealth Investigation Service (CIS), which was the precursor to ASIO.

In these CIS documents, which are stored at the National Archives, Professor Deery discovered an intriguing piece of information.

"A Detective Neenan of the CIS was running a highly placed informant within the Communist Party and that informant confirmed — amongst other things — that Dobson had met with Jack Hughes."

The real life and times of William Dobson

The authorities soon mounted a nationwide search for the errant Diver.

In early September he was tracked down in a guest house on Magnetic Island in Far North Queensland, where he'd booked in under a false name.

On October 25, 1949, Dobson was found guilty of affecting a public nuisance and placed on a good behaviour bond for three years.

But there are several more twists in this already sinuous story.

At the time, the only people who seemed to know the truth about the Ferry Plot were the security services. It seems the CIS didn't just have informants within the Communist Party.

"Detective Neenan also had an informant in the Industrial Groups and it was that informant who reported that the Manly ferry incident was concocted [by a cabal of Groupers]," Professor Deery says.

"The plans were drawn up by Dobson in cahoots, in connivance, with some senior Industrial Groupers in the days before."

Remember Pat Cain, the Grouper who took the menacing phone call? He was in on it too.

The CIS knew all about Diver's real life in Asia, as well. At least a year before the Ferry Plot unravelled, another CIS detective named Alfred Wilks had written a damning security report on Dobson's overseas adventures.

Diver never worked in Asia for Time Magazine. Never wrote The March of Time newsreel. Was never a proper journalist.

As an Australian diplomat based in China told Wilks: "One of the amazing features of this lad's hectic life over the last two years is that he apparently achieved the impossible — lived in good style everywhere and mixed in expensive company without an income and without money. The best that can be said of this youth is that he is an imposter and a fraud."

"Those security files detail scores of instances of his fraudulent activity in China and elsewhere," Professor Deery says.

"They detailed him impersonating people, theft through deception, passing himself off as a war correspondent — which enabled him to travel on RAAF and RAF planes — and a whole range of … con man activities".

In the end it was also Wilks who exposed the Ferry Plot as a hoax.

On the day after Dobson's dip in the harbour, the detective told the NSW police to take anything the young man said with a very large pinch of salt. Armed with this advice, they returned to interview Diver with renewed vigour.

Did the Ferry Plot teach Diver Dobson a lesson? Unfortunately, no.

He was jailed in the 1950s for theft. In the early 1960s he established a bogus research organisation in Canberra which was the subject of a major fraud investigation. In the late 1960s, this irrepressible grifter taught Industrial Relations at Melbourne University — until it was discovered that his MA was a fake.

And what does the Ferry Plot tell us about the Cold War and the Australia labour movement during the late 1940s?

"It tells us that the contest for power and ideology was contested fiercely, bitterly and without prisoners taken," Professor Deery says.

"It shows the lengths to which both the Labor Party and the Communist Party went to try and score propaganda points over the other."

When it comes down to it, both sides were happy to make use of a man like Diver Dobson.

Trickster, charlatan, conman extraordinaire, and — for a short time at least — anti-communist Industrial Grouper, William Thomas 'Diver' Dobson died in Melbourne in the late 1990s.

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testing the tests...

On the 27th of June OffGuardian published an article by Torsten Engelbrecht and Konstantin Demeter titled “COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless”, on July 7th Politifact published a “fact check” response to this article, without contacting either OffGuardian or the authors for comment. Below is the author’s response, an email to which no member of the PolitiFact team has yet responded.

Dear Angie Drobnic Holan, Daniel Funke & Aaron Sharockman

My name is Torsten Engelbrecht and I am journalist in Hamburg, Germany. On July 7, you claim in a piece that my OffGuardian article “COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless” (co-authored by Konstantin Demeter) is “inaccurate.” 

Unfortunately, your piece is unsubstantiated from start to finish. This is a very serious issue, not least because Facebook has flagged our article as false news. To clarify this issue please answer the following questions (at least in short):

1. You claim that our assertion that “The existence of SARS-CoV-2 RNA is based on faith, not fact” is “inaccurate.” To compare the DNA of the alleged father and the child one must ensure that the DNAs are extracted from the bodies of the alleged father and the child. This entails forensic precautions to identify two separate individuals prior to obtaining their blood or other tissue samples for analysis. The same standard applies to the identification of virus particle RNA and proteins. 

When cells, cellular debris and particles are mixed in a culture, the only way of determining which RNA and proteins are viral is by separation of the particles from all the non-viral material. In a paternity suit the genome can be obtained from a single “particle” (father/child). 

However, since the viral genome cannot be procured from a single particle, one must obtain it from a large mass of identical, that is, purified particles. Or at least material that does not contain extraneous RNA. This is an extremely simple concept readily understood even by the layman. 

That is to say, if there is no evidence for purification (as we outline in our OffGuardian article), how is it possible to claim that the RNA obtained is a viral genome? 

How can such RNA be widely used for the diagnosis of infection with a new virus? And then, how can the PCR test be “eminently suitable for viral detection”?

2. You claim that our “article is inaccurate” because “polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are among the most common and reliable ways to test for the coronavirus.” 

Do you really want to say that “common” is proof for accuracy?

As outlined in our article, so-called SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests are meaningless because…

  • … there is no proof that they are “calibrated” with a sequence coming from the genome of a new pathogenic virus, because such virus has never been purified.
  • … they do not have a valid gold standard to compare them with.
  • … in April the WHO changed the algorithm, recommending that from then on a test can be regarded as “positive” even if just the E-gene assay gives a “positive” result; but according to Corman et al. (who developed the assay) propably reacts positive to all Asian viruses (see point 3.3 as well)*
  • … many tests have a Cq well above (up to 45) of what is regarded as reliable in the MIQE guidelines.

In which ways are these statements wrong?

3. To back your claim you are citing a fact sheet of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying “the test is ‘designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens, for example nasal or oral swabs.'”

Why should a statement of the CDC be evidence that anything is factually correct? Do you have complete faith in what the CDC says?

In our article we cite instruction manuals of RT-PCR tests which say exactly the opposite, among them the “CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel” file in which it says: 

Detection of viral RNA may not indicate the presence of infectious virus or that 2019-nCoV is the causative agent for clinical symptoms.”

Does that not contradict what you claim?

Why does the CDC test, as well as all others, have a “Research Use Only” approval if they supposedly are so reliable?

As we also mention in our article, on April 4 2020 the WHO officially advised that all tests using the E-gene assay (which usually is one of two or three assays used in many tests) should be regarded as positive even if just the E-gene assay resulted positive. 

But how can one draw that conclusion when one considers alone that the E-gene assay likely detects all Asian viruses, as stated in Corman et al., for example?

4. As outlined in our article: 

Another essential problem is that many PCR tests have a ‘cycle quantification’ (Cq) value of over 35, and some, including the ‘Drosten PCR test’, even have a Cq of 45… The inventor himself, Kary Mullis… stated: ‘If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.’… In a recent podcast interview [Stepehn. A.] Bustin points out that… a Cq in the 20s to 30s should be aimed at and there is concern regarding the reliability of the results for any Cq over 35.” 

So how can so-called SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests be “not scientifically meaningless,” as you claim, if they have a Cg of over 35 or even 45?

5. You claim that our assertion that inventor of the PCR test, Kary Mullis, “regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection” is “false.” And to back this claim you write: 

In a fact-check, Reuters rated that claim false — the source is a 1996 article about HIV/AIDS. It does not say PCR tests are ineffective for detecting viruses.”

How can a so-called “fact-check” by Reuters based on a 1996 article as source show that our assertion about Mullis is false when the source of the mentioned statement in our article is not the source your quoted Reuters piece is based on (which is the 2020 article “The Corona Simulation Machine: Why the Inventor of The ‘Corona Test’ Would Have Warned Us Not To Use It To Detect A Virus” written by Celia Farber)?

We write that Kary Mullis “regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection,” while you claim that the Reuters piece on which your claim is based on “does not say PCR tests are ineffective for detecting viruses.” 

But “to detect a viral infection” and “to detect viruses” are not the same thing.

This also shows how imprecise your reasoning is. You don’t seem to know that to detect a viral infection, you need to find millions and millions of viral particles, not just one or a few viruses or fragments of them. 

And the Reuters piece you are referring to states very well and clearly what we write, that Mullis said that “the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection” because in the Reuters article it says [emphasis added]: 

PCR is intended to identify substances qualitatively, but by its very nature is unsuited for estimating numbers. Although there is a common misimpression that the viral load tests actually count the number of viruses in the blood, these tests cannot detect free, infectious viruses at all.”

So why is it not correct to state that Kary Mullis “regarded the PCR as inappropriate to detect a viral infection”?

Against this background we also state in our article that the term “viral load” is deception” and also that the experiment “to prove beyond any doubt that the PCR can measure how much a person is ‘burdened’ with a disease-causing virus…has not yet happened.” 

Do you know of any such solid experiment?

6. You claim that we lay “out several (inaccurate) theories about PCR tests. None of them prove that the tests are ‘scientifically meaningless.'” But in fact, we lay out technical facts.

Which “inaccurate theories” are you referring to?

7. You claim that our assertion that “There are no distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19” is “inaccurate.”

Which are the distinctive specific symptoms for COVID-19 that has never been observed in another known disease?

8. You claim that in our OffGuardian article we make 

several…inaccurate claims…including:… Between 22% and 77% ‘of the ‘positive’ tests are false ‘positives.’ Currently, about 92% of tests in the United States produce negative results.”

In contrast to your claim, we never stated that “Between 22% and 77% ‘of the ‘positive’ tests are false ‘positives.'” Instead, we just cited two hypothetical scenarios presented in the orthodox publication Ärztezeitung. 

Would you rate their article as “Pants on Fire” as well?

If yes, what exactly is wrong with the calculation of the Positive Predictive Value with the different scenarios presented by the Ärztezeitung?

One scenario outlined in the Ärztezeitung using a prevalence of 20% is most probably higher than the prevalence of what is called SARS-CoV-2 in the general population. Hence, presuming a specificity of 95%, a false positive rate of 22% would be more than realistic. Don’t you think so?

Why are you are confusing the “positive rate” with the “positive predictive value”, i.e. inversely the percentage of the false positives among all the positive results, the latter being 8% in your source?

9. In our OffGuardian article we write: 

Moreover, among other factors that can alter the result, before starting with the actual PCR, in case you are looking for presumed RNA viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the RNA must be converted to complementary DNA (cDNA) with the enzyme Reverse Transcriptase… But this transformation process is “widely recognized as inefficient and variable, as Jessica Schwaber from the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine in Toronto and two research colleagues pointed out in a 2019 paper. Stephen A. Bustin acknowledges problems with PCR in a comparable way.”

Doesn’t this alone seriously undermine the validity of the tests?

10. As an argument for the fact that our article in which we outline that COVID19 PCR tests are scientifically meaningless is incorrect, you also state that “Health care providers have also used them for detecting viruses like HIV.” 

But in fact, the PCR test is not sufficient to detect an HIV infection, so why should it be good enough to detect a SARS-CoV-2 infection?

11. You claim the “OffGuardian has a track record of publishing conspiracy theories.”

Are you not aware of the fact that the term “conspiracy theory” has been introduced by the CIA in 1967 with the sole purpose of discrediting politically unpopular views?

Why do you use this term which is nothing else than an ad hominem reasoning instead of focussing on what is factualy right or wrong?

12. You write, “There are three main coronavirus tests: diagnostic, antibody and antigen. Diagnostic tests, also known as PCR tests,…” This is not correct.

Didn’t you know that any test to determine the cause of a disease is a “diagnostic test”–and that PCR tests are also called “molecular tests” (and that to say that “diagnostic tests are also known as PCR tests” is not correct)?

13. At the very beginning of your article you write “Bloggers stated on June 27, 2020 in an article.” 

How do you get round naming us “bloggers”?

I am first of all a journalist, and my co-author Konstantin has never acted as blogger. And this term “blogger” has not been mentioned in the brief curriculum vitae on our OffGuardian article, either!

[NB. This question was added in a follow-up email sent a few days later – ed.]

… please allow me to add another question:

14.How can you deliver unbiased results if you are financed by major corporations such as Facebook or the The E.W. Scripps Company (see here) and if even the Poynter Institute which acquired you in 2018 cannot, with all the will in the world, be described as unaffected by major capital interests (see here)?

I am looking forward to receiving your answers.

Best wishes,
Torsten Engelbrecht

This e-mail was originally sent on the 23rd of July, with a follow up on the 28th. Since then, neither OffGuardian nor the author have received any reply.


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You have a sore throat, you might have COVID-19, so you have a test, and when the results come back you will know if you have it -right?  Well it is not quite that simple and doctors have to interpret test results in the light of information about the test and the patient. 

There is no such thing as a perfect test- one which correctly answers the question being asked 100% of the time.  Many factors come into play, not all of them are obvious.  The analytical accuracy and precision of pathology tests are typically very good.  If you do the same test multiple times on the same sample you will generally get the same answer. So why isn’t their diagnostic accuracy the same?

Let’s take the test being used to diagnose COVID-19 in Australia at the moment.  It looks for the virus RNA in a sample taken from the nose or the back of the throat.    The coronavirus is made up of a genetic material called RNA. The test has to have a certain minimum amount of RNA present to record a positive result.  You could tweak the test to find lower levels of virus RNA but in doing so you will increase the likelihood of the test giving a positive result even if there was no RNA in the sample...


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