Real Democracy in the Belly of the Beast

by John Judge
1 September 2001

John Judge composed this e-mail 10 days before the so-called New Pearl Harbor of September 11. He was always thinking of decentralization as the cornerstone of a genuine unified post-industrial civilization. The original letter in full is here. It begins with the following, laying out the framework that is then followed by 20 crucial steps as he saw things then:

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said there are three pillars that hold up the current system of domestic oppression: poverty, racism and militarism. In order to have real democracy, economic justice, peace and a unified society, we have to both envision our own liberation in our time and take back our history, power and moral integrity.

The reason Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. King were both loved and hated, both followed and murdered had to do with their use of "satygraha" or truth force and "ahimsa" or nonviolent harmlessness. These powerful tools moved them outside the control game that has secured privilege for a few over millenia. These systems of privilege, which are the real, deep violence of society, cannot be challenged or defeated using their own violent methods. Nor can they be changed by substituting a new elite in the seat of power, or by reforming them.

As I see it, the crucial steps that must be taken now to stop the current trend to global corporatization, fascism and genocide/ecocide/ethnocide include the following, here in the belly of the beast:

After the 20 steps he describes additional elements to establish a real democracy citing some of Thomas Jefferson thinking, framed 250 years ago. In 2002 and 2005, in different talks John gave, he expanded what he touches upon concerning Jefferson and the later 18th century mind-set described in his 1 September 2001 mail message:

from 2005:

But in order to build that world you have to have the imagination to understand not only what your enemy is and what form it takes—of this global fascism and these international relations and the economic relation that capitalism forces all of us into with each other and how that could be broken; how you pull back aspects of human community that have been stolen from you and then sold back to you in their most distorted form by this system.

But you also have to have the imagination to see what a real democracy would look like. I would submit to you that the democracy envisioned by Thomas Jefferson was not adequate in his mind for the following generation and he said it himself. He said there will probably have to be a revolution in this country every 20 years to make sure that power doesn’t aggregate again in the hands of the few.

from 2002:

Well it’s been over 200 folks and nobody has been re-envisioning that liberation, re-envisioning what their democracy is, what kind of world they live in. And now we have the technology to actually create a world that takes human value into account and gives people back the thing at the bottom that’s stolen from them and that really, I think, it’s the source of all the violence in the world: which is the whole idea of social privilege however it plays itself out, along race, along gender, along caste, or on class.

Privilege is the first and most basic violence asserted in a society. It kills the human spirit. It creates the rage that leads to all the other violence, historically. So if you end that privilege, if you restore justice, then you restore hope. And you know that from a family argument. I don’t have to go to an international argument with you. You don’t resolve it by fighting back, you don’t get even with somebody. All that does is create a feud and it makes the violence cycle into yet another generation. The Paris attack bombings were done in part by young kids whose parents had been murdered by the French and the Algerian freedom fighting wars from 20 years before.

If you get a veteran honest enough to talk about their war experience they will tell you the dirty secret is that they take the dead with them. I learned that from the Vietnam vets. Violence is no resolution to an issue....

from 2005:

[Jefferson] said he wouldn’t expect his children to wear a threadbare coat that he owned just because he liked to wear it. He said if he built a fort around them to protect them from a threat and the threat went away he wouldn’t force them to live in the fort any longer. He said that even if he planted a tree so they could have fruit to eat and they didn’t like the fruit he wouldn’t force them to eat it. These are his metaphors for—he knew that his imagination only stretched so far and that then every subsequent generation would have to imagine and realize its own freedom, it’s own sense of democracy.

The other thing Jefferson realized, and Washington as well, is that parties, political parties are inimical to democracy. Jefferson said that in any given society you can only have two parties no matter what they call themselves. Those who want to take power from the people and put it in the hands of the few, he called the aristocrats. Those who want to do the reverse and put power in the hands of the people he called the democrats. But he said if you build a democratic government machinery and you build a constitution that’s actually democratic and a social contract that’s democratic, you don’t need a democratic party. Washington, when he left office, said that policies belong to the people as a whole and that parties put those decisions back in the hands of a few.

When you lived in the 1700s your only method of communication and travel was either a horse or a boat. When the meeting you had to go to was going to be two days away by horse, the whole community couldn’t go so you picked a representative to go; smaller community, maybe not too far fallen from the tree; probably picked the guy you wanted around the least and sent him off for two weeks to listen and be your representative and then bring back the report.

We’re in the 21st century. We don’t rely on a horse and a boat. We have mass communication. It’s a common wealth. You’ll say, The corporations own the media. They don’t own the media. They monopolize the licenses. The licenses are issued on the basis of it being a common wealth and they’re issued by the public to the broadcasters. They own some of the broadcasting equipment. That hardly seems insurmountable. But it is still a common wealth that belongs to all of us and it’s our public media so we should take back sufficient time to raise issues with each other and debate them in an open way and then everyone participate in the decision-making power that we should have. Because that’s a power that belongs to all of us.

We know by now—don’t we?—that any representative that we would put in our stead can be blackmailed or bullied or bulleted or bribed. It’s not so hard to control four or five hundred people. It’s a little harder when the decisions rest in the hands of us all. And it can be done in a fair way, it can be done in open way. You also have to break open the common wealth of the educational system here so that people get real information.

See government..... Jefferson said given a choice between a government without a newspaper and a newspaper without a government he would always choose the latter. Because he understood that the flow of information is more central to democratic process than the machinery you set up to carry it out. But that’s all that is—is machinery that you set up to carry out your vision of democracy. And if it ain’t working then you dismantle it and you put some machinery together that makes it happen in the right way.

And, I mean, I don’t vote for representatives. I have two buttons. One says: If Voting Worked It Would Be Illegal. And the other says: Don’t Vote It Only Encourages Them. I would gladly vote for referenda but not the kind of referenda they have out—and in issues they have in many of the places out here because those are rigged so that only the rich can get enough signatures to get over the hump. But if you made voting registration automatic, if you made it very simple to put something on the ballot and then maybe chose what were the most popular ones for each month and ran them, then you could debate them and you could choose by them. But there’s no reason not to be making those decisions—especially when they affect lots of people—and no reason not to be making them on a decentralized level. Not all on some kind of a national or state level but a decentralized level that thinks globally and acts locally but also does the reverse: that when it acts globally it thinks locally. And you can put those two things together.

Then if you’re going to pay taxes—and there are alternatives of alternate money and not having a money or a tax system and all that—but if you’re going to pay taxes, we have a bumper sticker in DC that says Taxation Without Representation because we don’t even have a voting representative. We have Eleanor Holmes Norton who can go and sit on a committee but she can’t vote. My version of representation with taxes is not Eleanor Holmes Norton voting for me because she doesn’t represent me. I doubt I could represent anyone else in the room here much less all of you. Why would I want to try? I can represent myself perfectly well. As can you.

If your response to this is, Yeah but people are too stupid. Jefferson thought of that too. He said the only safe repository for power is in the hands of the people. He said if you think them unable to exercise their discretion in a wholesome fashion—that means you think they’re idiots—he said the solution is not to take the power from them and put it in the hands of an elite. The solution is to inform their discretion; that you have to trust rationality, you have to trust communication, and the ability that we can educate each other and ourselves about things. (from 2002: Jefferson said, There are those who say that men are not capable of governing themselves. His response to that was, Are they then capable of governing others?) Does it mean we’d never be wrong? No. But I would tell you we will fix a mistake sooner than this system will fix a mistake and we won’t vote for things that are obviously not in our own self-interest on a broader scale. Will there be differences? Of course there will be. But breaking through some of those other things would make it possible.

But if I was going to pay tax to the federal government I think that I would want the last page of the Tax Form to be an allocation form. Now that would be taxation with representation. Because I would directly allocate the tax that I paid. And I even want to just send a three-part carbon out to everybody that pays taxes in my community and show them a brochure with a pie: here’s where your money’s currently being spent. Here’s your blank pie. Fill it in. Put one in with your tax form—doesn’t have any legal weight but tell them how you’d like the money to go. Send one to your representative or put it in the drawer. And send one back to me. I’ll take the results. I’ll put them into a people’s tax pie. I’ll go to the voting record and put up the representatives tax pie. I can guarantee you they won’t be the same pie. And then I’ll ask the representative to come out and explain who it is that they’re representing.

Now it’s very simple but it plants that seed. You’ve got Bush running around saying, It’s your money. It’s your money. And I said, Yes it is my money and I want to allocate it. I don’t want the chump change back that’s left for social services after you overfund the Pentagon and the CIA. I want to spend the money myself. Okay? And it’s a process.

I’m not saying these are magical solutions. But if you don’t start thinking of a different way to invent democracy this late then we are going to go on the nightmare path. And if you don’t understand that your loyalty belongs to the human race and not to a flag, not to a country that’s supposedly under attack from some mystical force that’s out there that you can’t even identify—I mean, these terrorists, the way they’re presented to us, it’s as if they dropped in from outer space. All you know about them is that they hate you and they want to kill you. You can’t negotiate with them. You can’t talk to them. You can’t understand them. All you can do is kill them. And you got to kill every last one except, you never know.... It’s like the pod people, you know, maybe it’s spread to somebody else and then you got to start killing them. And how long is it before you start fingering each other? Well, I think you’re one of them.

It’s just dead end. It’s the 21st century. We know what war does. And now the weapons that make it happen are so bad that the planet is not going to survive. If we don’t make war obsolete, we’re going to make ourselves obsolete....

I do these things because I’m hoping that a little bit of humor, a little bit of perspective, it’ll open up something for you that you’ll look at the paradigm in a different way. In fact I wanted to write a memoir, and thinking about a title of a memoir would be Brother Can You Paradigm? Because if you can’t paradigm you’re in trouble. It’s not that everything they’re telling you is a lie. But the focus, the lens, they’ve got is a little skewered so that you don’t see it straight when you look at it.

conclusion from 2002:

If violent response to terrorism, which is as they say asymmetrical warfare—it means a smaller weaker group, a certain party of people that use violence and then they’re backed by other people who feel a long string of abuses—if you respond violently to that—Israel and Palestine is a pretty good example that that’s not the way to resolve the matter or Israel would be one of the safest countries in the world.

It’s obvious to anybody that thinks about it that you have to go the other direction. That the way you end what you’re calling terrorism is to restore justice, is to restore hope and then the sanction and the support for violence in those communities diminishes and it goes away. Because instead you have the sort of natural, civil and community structure that all of us would have were it not for the fact that we live under the demands of capital and its accumulation. We live under a situation that mis-educates and under-educates us. A situation where it’s hard for us to find out what the truth is about our society or our world. And a situation that values us the same way that miners in the 1930s were told that when the mine begins to collapse you push the mules out first because it costs money to replace a mule.

That’s the position we’re in in relation to the people that hold the wealth in this world. We are expendable and they’re going to escalate that expendability. The choice and the power is there. But the choice to recognize that power, and take responsibility for it, and make this into a world where all of us can live, sits right here.

conclusion from 2005:

... If we approach our belief systems as religions then we’re going to put people out in the street and away from us. But if we approach it as respect between two people and let’s see if we can’t get to the truth; in my lectures people come up afterwards and say, Gee, you talked about this and my uncle did that. The little piece of a woman at the picnic table.

If we told the stories of our own families, the whole system would break. They do what they’re doing because they are deathly afraid of us. They need for us to be in denial. They need for us to try to protect the little bit of privilege we have over somebody else rather than sharing. They need us to keep the needle in our arm, the television on, the consumer mentality going; keep quiet, consume and die; and they’re afraid of us. And they need us to feel that we are powerless.

But we are the least powerless people on the planet. And there might be a way for the whole rest of the world to stand up to this juggernaut but it wouldn’t be easy. But where the potential is to stand up for it is right here, among us. And the moral responsibility to stand up to it is right here because it’s being done in our name and it’s being done each day. And we can build another world. We can invent another world. We can include each other. We can build community. We don’t have to be afraid of each other. But we have to tell the truth. And once we tell the truth to ourselves and to others, once we pull the needle out of our arm and say I’m not playing anymore, that’s it. Game’s over.

In the conclusion of John’s 1 September letter he invites those he was connecting with to communicate with him and like-minded souls he was working with on this endeavor:

There are many brilliant people and communities thinking about, practicing and expanding these ideas and actions that are the answer to the current global dilemma. If you are inspired, if you wish to share your vision of them, if you want to learn more, please contact us.

P.S.   See Michael Schuman's book Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age (1998) for a review of decentralized alternatives that I have been promoting for 40 years now - JJ

In 2002, Michael Schuman gave a talk at the Schumacher Center for a New Economics on Going Local: New Opportunities for Community Economies. The complete presentation is available as a transcript and is as relevant and illuminating today as it was then.


50 Reasons - Postscript 1968

Len Osanic is to be commended. He has produced a concise and incisive summation of the elementary facts involving the 1968 state killings by our US military-intelligence system and its supporting civilian oligarchs of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. As Jim Douglass observes in King and the Cross, “The truth of the assassination of Martin Luther King is one issue on which the system will never retreat, any more than it would retreat from its lies on the interrelated assassinations of Malcolm X and the Kennedys.” It is through champions like Len Osanic and countless others supporting the creative evolution of the human project that we will take back our stolen history as well as our power and our moral integrity.

50 Reasons - Postscript 1968
by Len Osanic
BlackOpRadio.com, Apr-May 2018

Episode 1 - Who Was Martin Luther King? (11:44)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g5duA9nvzc&feature=youtu.be
Black Op Radio continues to investigate the 1960s political assassinations in America on the occasion of their 50th anniversary. Martin Luther King was a remarkable source of inspiration and an articulate radical voice speaking for our better natures. Black Op Radio has hosted numerous shows over the years featuring discussion of Dr. King's life and legacy. This video program features: Judge Joe Brown, Jim DiEugenio, David Ratcliffe, William Pepper
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com
ratical.org
williampepper.com

Episode 2 - Ambush at the Lorraine Motel (9:04)
https://youtu.be/B8XrnIZLPjM
Martin King's unscheduled return to Memphis in April 1968 coincided with a number of covert activities which served to reduce his personal security. This episode features excerpts from Black Op Radio appearances by Jim DiEugenio, James Douglass, William Pepper, Judge Joe Brown, and David Ratcliffe.
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com
https://ratical.org/ratville/JFK/index.html#MLK

Episode 3 - Who Was James Earl Ray? (11:01)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpajV8whlFo
Martin King's convicted assassin was a career criminal, but not previously a murderer. He claimed he did not shoot King, rather was framed by a man who had served as his handler for the preceding year. The evidence against him was never convincing. This episode features excerpts from Black Op Radio appearances by William Pepper, James Douglass, Jim DiEugenio, Larry Hancock, Judge Joe Brown, and David Ratcliffe.

Episode 4 - MLK: Trial and Coverup (9:49)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuNHxXCO11A
Attempts at a new judicial hearing into Martin King's assassination were thwarted or compromised, forcing the King family to use a civil trial as a means to get all the information on record. Featured speakers, from the Black Op Radio archives, are: David Ratcliffe, William Pepper, Jim DiEugenio, James Douglass, and Judge Joe Brown.
http://www.thekingcenter.org/civil-case-king-family-versus-jowers
kennedysandking.com ratical.org

Episode 5 - Who Was Robert Kennedy? (8:39)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQGSEeK28Kw
Robert Kennedy did not have plans to run for President in 1968, but fast moving events put him in such position. It is now known that, had they both lived, Martin King would have endorsed RFK and a powerful nexus in support of peace and the well-being of all peoples almost certainly would have captured the White House. This episode features excerpts of Black Op Radio appearances from Lisa Pease, William Pepper, and Jim DiEugenio.
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com

Episode 6 - Ambush at the Ambassador Hotel (10:19)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnFihDSA27Y
The shooting of Robert Kennedy appeared an open and shut case: the witnesses clearly identified Sirhan Sirhan as the man who approached while firing a gun. The forensic evidence, however, told another story. This program features appearances from Black Op Radio by Paul Schrade, Scott Enyart, Lisa Pease, and Jim DiEugenio.
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com

Episode 7 - Who Was Sirhan Sirhan? (11:17)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8Uwn-9TmEc
Sirhan Sirhan, the man convicted for the shooting of Robert Kennedy, has no memory of the event. His strange demeanor at the Ambassador Hotel seems to have been abetted by two companions, who were seen fleeing shortly after the shooting. This episode features excerpts from Black Op Radio appearances by Lisa Pease and Jim DiEugenio.
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com

Episode 8 - TRIAL and COVERUP: The RFK Assassination (11:54)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg-wysdDH2k&t=50s
Sirhan Sirhan went on trial in 1969, some eight months after the assassination. He ended up facing the death penalty, even as his experienced legal team knew the forensic evidence said otherwise. Distinguished forensic pathologist Dr Cyril Wecht discussed this issue with Black Op Radio.

Episode 9 - The Legacy of the Assassinations of the 1960s (16:12)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg-wysdDH2k&t=50s
Four slayings of prominent political figures in less than five years in America. This episode examines later historical consequences in terms of what was prevented from happening as well as what did happen. Featuring Black Op Radio contributors Jim DiEugenio, Lisa Pease, Larry Hancock, Cyril Wecht, William Pepper, David Ratcliffe, and James Douglass.
See/read Taking Back Our History - Key Element of The Big Picture an annotated transcript of Episode 9.
blackopradio.com
kennedysandking.com
ratical.org


The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction - Artificial Intelligence

This is the beginning of an annotated transcript of Part One of Eight in a radio program mini-series by TUC (Time of Useful Consciousness) Radio focusing on the accelerating danger and likelihood of Artificial Intelligence and the Risk of Nuclear War.


The Dynamics of Possible Nuclear Extinction
Artificial Intelligence
by Maria Gilardin
TUC Radio Podcast Part One of Eight
15 April 2015

Broadcast quality mp3 of the 30 minute program is here: http://tucradio.org/DynamicOfExtinctionONE.mp3 (20.8 MB)

TUC aka Time of Useful Consciousness is an aeronautical term. The time between the onset of oxygen deficiency and the loss of consciousness, the brief moments in which a pilot may save the plane.

The anti nuclear campaigner and physician Dr. Helen Caldicott organized a two day symposium in February 2015. She had an international panel of leading experts in disarmament, political science, existential risk, anthropology, medicine, nuclear weapons, and artificial intelligence. MIT professor Noam Chomsky spoke on nuclear weapons as, “A Pathology That Could Yield to Catastrophe if Not Cured.” His presence—or absence at public events—usually makes a huge difference. Media, such as Democracy Now, came for his talk but did not stay for the other 20 plus speakers. It appears that the topic was just too scary for many.

What they missed was a huge offering of information and related questions on Artificial Intelligence and the Risk of Accidental Nuclear War, on recently proven facts about a global nuclear winter that can be caused by the unleashing of just a few nuclear weapons, the expanding Militarization of Space, the Power and Pathology of the US Military Industrial Complex, privatization of the US Nuclear Weapons Labs, nuclear war crimes in the Marshall Islands, as well as two of the vibrant movements to abolish nuclear weapons, a divestment effort under the title Don’t Bank on the Bomb as well as ICAN, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

Efforts to abolish nuclear weapons and war began before the atom bombs were even built. A few of the scientists who went on to work on the Manhattan project recognized the unheard of explosive potential of atomic weapons and the risks of spreading radiation. In a TUC Radio program about the first nuclear chain reaction the historian Iain Boal mentioned Leo Szilard who witnessed the experiment by Enrico Fermi in an abandoned racquet court in Chicago on December second, 1942. Iain Boal:

Leo Szilard was on that balcony that day. It was very, very cold and they could see their breath. And they were standing there with a bottle of Chianti. And it was Szilard who in 1933 in London, as he walked across Southampton Road and the world cracked open, had been the first to consider at that moment how it might be possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction and liberate energy on an industrial scale and to make a bomb. And he stayed behind on the racquets court. There was crowd there, he said later, and then Fermi and I stayed there alone. I shook hands with Fermi and I said I thought this day would go down as a black day in the history of mankind.

Leo Szilard later said that when he crossed Southampton Road in 1933 he suddenly knew in a flash of recognition that by his invention universal death might come into the world. The Hungarian American physicist was the first to conceive of the nuclear chain reaction and he patented the idea of a nuclear reactor along with Enrico Fermi.

Szilard participated in the Manhattan Project, but tried by all means available to him to convince US President Truman not to use atomic weapons on Japan. Szilard urged US policy-makers to demonstrate the power of these weapons to leaders of the world by exploding an atomic device in an uninhabited area.

READ/LISTEN TO COMPLETE PROGRAM


The Truth of The Children of Vietnam: A Way of Liberation

How Will We Challenge Militarism, Racism, and Extreme Materialism?

war is not healthy for children and other living things“The Children of Vietnam” provides an instance of truth force that is needed now more than ever to counter the fragmentation and doublethink being amplified by the demands of capital and its accumulation. Because, tragically and horrifically, what the United States caused to happen in Vietnam has not stopped. It continues to this day, magnified on a global scale within numerous theatres of U.S. military and covert operations including in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Yemen.

WAR IS TERRORISM

In denouncing the U.S. war in Vietnam at Riverside Church in 1967 Martin King posed the question on behalf of Vietnamese peasants: “What do they think as we test out our latest weapons on them, just as the Germans tested out new medicine and new tortures in the concentration camps of Europe?” And this was a war that ended up being broadcast on nightly news television in the United States as it became evermore hellish in its results. Said King at Riverside, “When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” His voice, love, compassion, and intelligence are as searingly relevant right now, half a century later, as in 1967.

This is an exposition of the photographic essay by William Pepper about the children of Vietnam that Martin King first saw on January l4, l967. Initially, while he hadn’t had a chance to read the text, it was the photographs that stopped him. As Bernard Lee who was present at the time said, “Martin had known about the [Vietnam] war before then, of course, and had spoken out against it. But it was then that he decided to commit himself to oppose it.” Pepper’s essay contains the most powerful creative energy on earth: truth force. It is as relevant 50 years later as it was in 1967. Martin King steadfastly exhorted all to confront and grapple with the triple prong sickness—lurking within the U.S. body politic from its inception—of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism. These evils require us to respond with life-giving intelligence, to change course away from the nightmare path we are pursuing, and towards, in Coretta King’s words, “a more excellent way, a more effective way, a creative rather than a destructive way.” All of us in the United States are the ones best positioned to challenge the destructiveness of the three prong sickness destroying our civilization and the Earth and change direction towards affirming life in all its variations and sacredness. We have choices and power here that the majority of humanity do not enjoy. The choice and the power resides within us. And the choice to recognize that power, and take responsibility for it to make this into a world where all of us can live together in peace and fellowship   s i t s   r i g h t   h e r e.

READ COMPLETE ESSAY


the heart of the matter: Why President Kennedy Was Assassinated

22 November 2017

Portrait of John F. Kennedy (1967) by Jamie Wyeth

55 years ago today the world had just made it through its closest brush to date of nuclear annihilation and extinction of all Life on Earth with the peaceful resolution to the Cuban Missile Crisis.

With all the bread and circuses being dished up concerning the current release dump of withheld government files on the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, it is exceedingly relevant to highlight a nonpareil exposition of this seminal event of our post-World War II world for those who want to understand what happened on November 22, 1963.

READ COMPLETE TEXT


Michael Hudson on Junk Economics and Debt Cancellation

“How a society defines economic terms
and relationships will determine who controls it.”

Michael HudsonI wanted to see how the economy worked [so in the 1960s] I went to work for banks on Wall Street as a statistician. I became Chase Manhattan’s balance of payments economist. I wanted to find out what is the deficit stemming from? The entire balance of payments deficit in the 1960s when I was working there came from the military spending abroad. So I found out it was really the Vietnam War and allied military spending.

I’ve been spending much of my effort for the last 30 years trying to see how the ancient near east and classical antiquity and medieval Europe all solved their debt crises, basically writing a history of debt crisis showing that every economy has had to cancel the debt. So you could say all my work in economics since the 1960s, more than 50 years, is spent on seeing how society handles its debt crisis.

The industrial economy in America is essentially being emptied out in order to pay the stockowners and about 75 percent of stocks are owned by the richest 5 percent of the population. So if you look at who owns the stock, it’s not the working class, it’s not the middle class, it’s the super rich. The super rich are saying, We’re willing to use all the corporate income to run it down. Basically, the 5 percent have decided that industrial capitalism is over and it’s time to take the money and run. And you take the money and run by just paying out all the income, just to yourselves, leaving the corporation an empty shell.

That’s how the Chicago Boys introduced free markets into Chile after 1974 when Pinochet took over from Allende. It’s the neoliberal model. It’s what happened in Russia after the neoliberals convinced Russia to go along. It’s what’s happening in Greece when you’re just emptying out the economy to pay the bond holders. It’s economic shrinkage. The trick is to get the middle class and the working class to think the stock market is them when the stock market isn’t themselves at all. It’s the five percent.

Greece is the future of where America is going now under the policies of Clinton and Obama and Trump. Either you’re going to have barbarism or you’re going to have a renovation of the economy which means the debt write-down, anti-monopoly legislation, and prosecution of crooks.


Now, it is clear the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes ... It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible.... If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration ...

—George Orwell, “Politics and the English Language” (1946)


The Orwell quote above opens the Introduction of Michael Hudson’s new book, J Is For Junk Economics: A Guide to Reality in an Age of Deception, an A-to-Z guide that lays out how the world economy actually operates with more than 400 concise entries, several essays, and a full topic index. Expanding on Killing The Host: How Financial Parasites And Debt Destroy The Global Economy (2015), Prof. Hudson’s new book covers contemporary terms that are misleading or poorly understood as well as many important concepts that have been abandoned – many on purpose – from the long history of political economy.

Two key concepts are rent theory and debt, which explain how Unearned Income and the Financial Sector impoverish governments and populations the world over as power and riches flow upward into the hands of the few. These additional essays provide background for key points and explore today’s uncertain political and economic environment:

The major issues that guide healthy economies were known to the Ancients and were expanded upon by the classical economists of the 18th and 19th centuries, including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, E. Peshine Smith, Simon Patten, Karl Marx, Thorstein Veblen, and others of many political stripes whose aim was to leave the brutal legacy of feudalism behind. Their ideas and principles are brought back into the spotlight here. This book deconstructs today’s “value-free,” inverted and deceptive economics that favor the wealthy, providing subsequent generations the opportunity to create a successful economy with proper checks and balances benefiting all.

Killing the Host [2015] is a more popular version of The Bubble and Beyond [2012]. It shows that when the financial sector takes over, it’s very much like a parasite in nature. People think of parasites simply as taking the life blood of the host and draining the energy. But in order to do that, the parasite has to have an enzyme to take over the host’s brain. They take over the brain and convince the host that the free luncher is actually part of the host’s own body, and even its baby to be protected. That’s what the financial sector has done.

Classical economics was all about separating the rent-extracting sectors—landlords, monopolies, and finance—from the rest of the economy. That was unearned income. It wasn’t necessary. The whole idea of classical economics from Quesnay’s Tableau Economique all the way through Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill was to look at the finance sector, the landlord sector and monopolies as unnecessary. You’re going to get rid of them. You’re going to tax away the land’s rent or else nationalize the land. And you are going to have public enterprises as basic infrastructure so that they couldn’t be monopolized.

Transcript:
Michael Hudson on Junk Economics, Debt Cancellation, and Emptying Out Economies
Interviewed by Paul Sliker and Dante Dallavalle
Democracy at Work, April 3, 2017

The following excerpts are from the complete transcript at:
https://ratical.org/ratville/MichaelHudson-JunkEcon.html

[0:05:47]
Why did you choose to begin your introduction [to J Is For Junk Economics] with George Orwell and Confucius, particularly your reference to our need to “rectify our definitions of crucial economic terminology.” How does this relate to the theme of your overall book?

When I wrote it, I didn’t realize that the very month it came out, George Orwell’s 1984 was going to be on the bestseller list. And that’s because of his concept of doublethink. A vocabulary that you use shapes how you think about the economy around you. And it shapes how you think about politics. Doublethink, using words to mean the opposite of what they really mean, is a tool of deception. It’s a tool that persuades people to act against their interest....

[0:16:17]
... Explain the evolution of the term “free market” as a way of introducing what Junk Economics and the book is all about.
That’s the perfect example of doublethink—using a word to be the opposite. For Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill and all the classical economists of the 19th century, their idea of a free market meant the free market from economic rent. To free it from the landlords. To free it from the monopolists and to free markets from the banks so that you’d really have, in effect, Say’s Law, you’d really have what people earned would be earned by producing goods and services not from just adding empty prices on. Not from property claims, not from credit. The idea was that everybody would earn what they produce and that would be a fair economy.

But after 1890, you had the rentier [pronounced ron’tee-ā] class—the rent recipients, the landlords, and the monopolists, and the banks—all fight back and for them a free market was one free for them from the government. Free from government regulation. Free to charge monopoly rent. Free for landlords to shift the taxes off themselves onto the economy and make the working class and the middle class pay. And to make sure that the bankers could continue to indulge in fraud and reckless lending and all get bailed out. So the idea of freedom and of the free market has been turned into the exact opposite: to un-freedom and neofeudalism.

Neofeudalism: Much as warlords seized land in the Norman Conquest and levied rent on subject populations (starting with the Domesday Book, the great land census of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror), so today’s financialized mode of warfare uses debt leverage and foreclosure to pry away land, natural resources and economic infrastructure. The commons are privatized by bondholders and bankers, gaining control of government and shifting taxes onto labor and small-scale industry. Household accounts, corporate balance sheets and public budgets are earmarked increasingly to pay real estate rent, monopoly rent, interest and financial fees, and to bear the taxes shifted off rentier wealth. The rentier oligarchy makes itself into a hereditary aristocracy lording it over the population at large from gated communities that are the modem counterpart to medieval castles with their moats and parapets.

J Is For Junk Economics, p. 167

[0:27:59]
It’s reminiscent of what the Romania Dictator Ceaușescu did when his daughter got engaged to a mathematician who Ceaușescu didn’t like. So what did Ceaușescu do? He closed every economics department in Romania so that the daughter would be marrying somebody without a job. That’s the kind of thing that [shows how] the mainstream economists are totalitarian.

What the University of Chicago people realized is their definition of free market, which is one that I didn’t give before: they realized, You can’t have a free market in Chile, for instance, if you’re not willing to kill every one who disagrees with you. The first thing the Chicago Boys did in Chile, after assassinating the labor leaders, assassinating and having the assassination program of land reformers, they closed every economics department in Chile except for the Catholic University that taught Chicago School of Economics. Unless you have totalitarian censorship you cannot have the free market of the form that the mainstream economists talk about. Free only for the 1 percent and unfreedom for the 99 percent.

Chicago Boys: After the Kissinger-Pinochet 1973 military coup in Chile, University of Chicago economists were brought in to give away public enterprises to the junta’s supporters. To silence criticism of Chile’s privatization of social security, to let corporate owners loot pension plans, to end public subsidies and to break labor union power, they shut down every economics department in Chile except that of the Catholic University where the Chicago School had gained control. (See Labor Capitalism, Privatization and Washington Consensus).These anti-government ideologues recognized that their brand of “free markets” and giveaway of the public sector required that no economic alternative be permitted or even discussed, but could only be imposed at gunpoint with totalitarian political control. Their neoliberal version of “free markets” is akin to medieval conquerors appropriating the land and basic infrastructure by force of arms. The aim is to privatize economic rent, and weaken the power of communities by rolling back democracy. This is typically done by establishing client oligarchies and economic dukedoms.

J Is For Junk Economics, p. 53

You can only have Junk Economics if you censor and block any discussion of how the economy is actually working. That’s why the Washington Post came out with the junk news list of sites. The junk news sites that they cite are things like counterpunch, nakedcapitalism, Paul Craig Roberts—all the sites that I write on. You have to go to what the fakers call junk news to get reality and if you to the mainstream you get junk economics and junk news. You can’t have more Orwellian doublethink than that....

... [Please discuss] the historical significance of the clean slate....

[0:49:10]
Take the case of what’s happening in Greece right now: perfect example. Crooked banks were helped by the Greek government falsifying its statistics by hiring Goldman Sachs to give fake numbers and convince other banks in France, Germany, and elsewhere, to buy bonds. The problem was, by 2010, 2012, it’s obvious that Greece couldn’t pay the debt. The IMF said, We insist that you do pay the debt and it’s worth pushing you into the worst depression—Greece now is in a worse situation than the Great Depression was in in the 1930s. They’re cutting back pensions, they’re forcing huge emigration. (You’re having the same thing in Latvia.) If you don’t cut back the debts that have grown so exponentially—the miracle of compound interest—that they can’t be paid, then you’re going to absolutely devastate the Greek economy.

The IMF and the mainstream economics says, Devestation is actually good because the economy is so bankrupt that we’ll have to privatize it and privatization is what we want. Privatization means you’re going to sell the land, the ports, the railroads; the electric utilities have already been sold to German investors. Everything that the Greek economy owned is now being sold off to foreigners largely on credit because it can’t pay the debt. It’s like a family that falls further and further behind, loses the home, runs into debt, ends up homeless and is destroyed by having taken on too much debt.

That’s how entire economies are being run today by the IMF and the World Bank and by mainstream economics that says it’s unthinkable to write down debts. So I’ve written a number of books about the whole history of debt cancellation. Adam Smith said that no government has ever paid its debt, although some have pretended to, and the IMF and modern economists say, Maybe we can show that Adam Smith was wrong. Maybe we can show that governments can pay the debts even at the price of impoverishing the economy and making the U.S. economy look like Greece. Greece is the future of where America is going now under the policies of Clinton and Obama and Trump.

From February through July 2015 James K. Galbraith was advisor to the Greek Minister of Finance, Yanis Varoufakis. In the Introduction of J Is For Junk Economics, Michael Hudson writes, “Nowhere is the Doublethink vocabulary more blatant than in the financial conquest of Greece by the Eurozone ‘troika’ – the European Central Bank, European Commission and IMF.” When Galbraith was asked whether “the institutions (the IMF, the EC and the ECB) will have to rescue Greece indefinitely” he answered:

There is no “rescue” going on here. There is no “rescue,” there is no “bailout,” there is no “reform” going on. I really need to insist on this, because these words creep into our discourse. They are placed there by the creditors in order for unwary people to use them, but there is nothing of the kind taking place. What is going on is a seizure of the assets owned by the Greek state, by Greek businesses and by Greek households. There is no sense that this has anything to do with the recovery of the Greek economy or with the welfare of the Greek people. On the contrary, the policy is utterly indifferent to those considerations.

—James Galbraith and Luis Martíin, The Poisoned Chalice, Open Democracy, 1 Sep 2015

Greece is the future of where America is going now under the policies of Clinton and Obama and Trump.

... You were one of the few economists to accurately predict the 2008 financial crash. [see: “The New Road To Serfdom: An illustrated guide to the coming real estate collapse” (Harper’s, May 2006, pp. 39-46] [Do you now have] predictions for the both the America and global economy? ...

[0:52:14]
For the American economy it’s a slow crash until people fight back. Until people think that there’s an alternative. Until they think, It doesn’t have to be this way, the economy is going to shrink and shrink and shrink and there are going to be more and more empty stores for rent on the big street. Wages will go down and people are going to have to borrow more and more on their credit cards just to get by, spend less and less eating out at restaurants, less and less on goods and services. And it will just shrink until there is a pushback. And the same thing in Europe....

You’re having the world outside the United States shrink more and more except for countries that are withdrawing from the neoliberal orbit: China, Russia, The Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Basically Eurasia is the only part of the world that’s withdrawing from all of this which is why the neocons wanted to back Hillary so much to try to force them—to de-stabilize them and try to overthrow their governments and make them as neoliberal as Greece or the United States or Europe.

... What can people do ... what we do, who feel helpless and powerless and want to achieve economic democracy? Would one example be to nationalize the banks or create some sort of political movement to nationalize the banks?

[0:55:40]
Here’s the problem: once the financial managers have emptied out corporations, there’s nothing they’d rather do than turn these big corporations over to the workers. Because they’ll say, Okay, you operate a broke steel company or you operate the broke auto company and see what you can do—as long as they leave the debts in place. But as long as the existing corporate economy—as long as the car companies and the industrial companies and the manufacturing firms and the farms are all left as deeply in debt as they are, it doesn’t matter who owns them or what they can do as long as they have to repay the debt. So you do need a public option.

Back in 2008 when Citibank was broke, imagine what would have happened if the government would have said, Ok Citibank’s broke. We’re taking it over. We’re not paying the bond holders and the stock holders because they invested in a criminogenic organization. But we’re going to operate this as a public bank. So now that Citibank is a public bank, and Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, and the other banks that have paid tens of billions of dollars for fraud, now that they’re public banks, they can issue credit cards at cost; at 2 percent interest—what they borrow. They won’t make loans for corporate takeovers. They’ll make loans to actually help companies grow. You need a public option for this and you need public banking for this because the existing financial model is extractive, not productive.

What would be the basis for public banking? One way of getting away from the payday loans that people have is use the Post Offices as the germs of banks. When I worked on Wall Street, 3 percent of American bank deposits were in the Post Office for banks which is why the banks wanted to drive them under. Maybe 15 or 20 percent were in savings banks and savings and loans. They were mutual savings banks. They don’t exist anymore. They were looted by the commercial banks taking them over.

In order to change the ownership structure and the function of industry, you need a financial system that actually promotes industry. All of this is what Saint-Simon in France wrote about 200 years ago in the 1810s, 1820s. That was a basis for Saint-Simonian socialist reform, for French socialist reform. Marx accepted this later. He admired Saint-Simon. You had German banks in the late 19th century following this new public banking model with a unity between government, banks, and industry.

Everybody expected that this would become the basis for worker owned for socialist industrialization. World War I changed all of that and you had a retrogression and that’s what both Killing The Host and J Is For Junk Economics are really all about, to describe how history was turned into a detour, into a financial detour that’s leading to neoliberalism and to neofeudalism making the kind of world that you want to see—an economy run for the producers—impossible.

... Do you think the solution is then for there to be some sort of political movement essentially focused on changing the financial system? Is that our only way out of this? Does it have to come from the grass roots?

[0:59:07]
It has to be a political movement. And that requires meaning breaking up the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party now is the party of Wall Street and the neocons. You have to have some political party that’s going to work. If you’re a third party, as Ralph Nader found out, the media are just going to ignore you and you’re not going to have much effort. You have to say, What party can you take over? The Tea Party people tried to take over the Republicans and you see where they are. They are way out-voted by the Koch brothers and Donald Trump has just surrendered to Paul Ryan in the budget. Really the most demagogic, doublethink, Orwellian party is the Democratic Party and you’ve got to take it away from Wall Street. You’ve got to get rid of Hillary Clinton and her gang forever.

That requires a fight. If the fight means that the Bernie supporters and the socialists are expelled from the Democratic Party then you want to leave the remaining Wall Street as only the 1 percent. They’ll have the donors but they won’t have any voters at all and the Party that’s expelled, the Socialist Party, in effect, is going to become the Democratic Party, the real democratic party. And you’ve got to have a political fight. Without a political movement you’re not going to be able to achieve any change in the economic system.


COLD WAR: THE NEXT GENERATION - Antidote to Endless War Spawned by September 11: the Full Exercise of Our Imagination and Intelligence

The following is inspired by and dedicated to John Judge, a most uncommon common man who devoted his life and energies to urging this nation live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all and to caring for the Earth and all its kin. John lived his life, and gave everything he had, to honor and serve Life’s needs.

The protracted war envisioned by some in the White House, under the rubric of ending terrorism and “eradicating evil” will destabilize not only the oil-rich Arabic world, but potentially the various states of the former Soviet Union. These counties are similarly rich with the sort of resources and well-educated labor that the globalization agenda demands. It will also change economic relations here in the United States, throwing us back into the permanent war economy of the Cold War years, and a severe economic slump.

—John Judge, “A New War or a New World?,” 23 Sep 2001

I do these things because I’m hoping that a little bit of humor, a little bit of perspective, it’ll open up something for you that you’ll look at the paradigm in a different way. In fact I wanted to write a memoir, and thinking about a title of a memoir would be Brother Can You Paradigm? Because if you can’t paradigm you’re in trouble. It’s not that everything they’re telling you is a lie. But the focus, the lens, they’ve got is a little skewered so that you don’t see it straight when you look at it.

—John Judge, “What the 9/11 Commission Didn’t Report,” 21 Feb 2005

This is an invitation to explore the unknown possibilities of existence through the process of exercising our imagination and intelligence to visualize what an actual democracy would look like today. Not the centuries-old representative form fashioned in the 1700s where the only method of communication and travel was either a horse or a boat. In the present era of mass communication, participatory democracy is both feasible and of critical necessity if the human project is to survive, making it possible to mend the sacred hoop of Life’s creation to truly meet the needs of the seventh generation yet unborn.

In a letter earlier this year, author and researcher Graeme MacQueen wrote about the process he explored in writing “Beyond Their Wildest Dreams...” (see below). His motivation was “to understand how people come to know the world and how we can open up closed minds.” He explained some of this as his “imagination approach” in the following:

I adopted the word [imagination] from German philosopher Gunther Anders, whose little article, “Thesis for the Atomic Age” (published in 1962) had a big effect on me over the years as a peace and environmental activist. Anders said that in the nuclear age we are doomed if we don’t have imagination. He said,

The basic dilemma of our age is that “We are smaller than ourselves,” incapable of mentally realizing the realities which we ourselves have produced. Therefore we might call ourselves “inverted Utopians”: while ordinary Utopians are unable to actually produce what they are able to visualize, we are unable to visualize what we are actually producing.

He also said that escapists of today do not hide in imagination, they hide in the ivory tower of perception, because the senses are “senselessly narrow.” So, he was giving a power to this word “imagination” that we don’t normally give it. “Imagination” is what we give ourselves to when we have the courage to face the world, to actually visualize what is going on. It is, he says, part of the courage to be afraid.

The following (at <ratical.org>) was composed to invite [re-]exploration of what has now entered the beginning of its SEVENTEEN YEAR: truly a global war of terror produced and executed by the United States. The rest of this invitation is at: <https://ratical.org/ratitorsCorner/10.05.17.html>.

Marking 16 Years of the US Global War Of Terror

Guy Debord: In 1967, in a book entitled The Society of the Spectacle, I showed what the modern spectacle was already in essence: the autocratic reign of the market economy, which had acceded to an irresponsible sovereignty, and the totality of new techniques of government that accompanied this reign....
Spectacular domination’s first priority was to eradicate historical knowledge in general; beginning with just about all rational information and commentary on the most recent past.... With the destruction of history, contemporary events themselves retreat into a remote and fabulous realm of unverifiable stories, uncheckable statistics, unlikely explanations and untenable reasoning....
All experts serve the state and the media and only in that way do they achieve their status. Every expert follows his master, for all former possibilities for independence have been gradually reduced to nil by present society’s mode of organization. The most useful expert, of course, is the one who can lie. With their different motives, those who need experts are falsifiers and fools. Whenever individuals lose the capacity to see things for themselves, the expert is there to offer an absolute reassurance....

Such a perfect democracy constructs its own inconceivable foe, terrorism. Its wish is to be judged by its enemies rather than by its results. The story of terrorism is written by the state and it is therefore highly instructive. The spectators must certainly never know everything about terrorism, but they must always know enough to convince them that, compared with terrorism, everything else must be acceptable, or in any case more rational and democratic.

COLD WAR: THE NEXT GENERATION

“It is a sobering thought that better evidence is required to prosecute a shoplifter than is needed to commence a world war.”

Anthony Scrivener QC, The Times, 5 Oct 2001

“It is different than the Gulf War was, in the sense that it may never end. At least, not in our lifetime.”

Dick Cheney, 21 Oct 2001

 

Legend has it the Cold War was closed out in 1991. 10 years later, its Next Generation spawn was inaugurated. 16+ years into this war that will not end “in our lifetime”, it is our moral responsibility to reveal its covert and overt roots and, in doing so, end it given that it is being done in our name every single day.

“Your loyalty belongs to the human race and not to a flag, not to a country that’s supposedly under attack from some mystical force that’s out there that you can’t even identify—I mean, these terrorists, the way they’re presented to us, it’s as if they dropped in from outer space. All you know about them is that they hate you and they want to kill you. You can’t negotiate with them. You can’t talk to them. You can’t understand them. All you can do is kill them. And you got to kill every last one except, you never know.... It’s like the pod people, you know, maybe it’s spread to somebody else and then you’ve got to start killing them.”

John Judge, 21 Feb 2005
Ed Curtin:
Graeme MacQueen:
John Judge:
Antidote to September 11 – Exercising Our Imagination:


John Judge was an unparalleled historian of the US National Security State.
An exemplar earthling, his loyalty was to the human race, not to a flag or a country.

June 10, 2017: 54 Years Ago Today A President Called for the End of the Cold War

On June 10, 1963, the 35th President of the United States addressed the graduating class at American University in Washington D.C. on the “the most important topic on earth: peace.” During his aborted term in office President Kennedy changed from the Cold Warrior of the 1960 election campaign to a man turning, to a peacemaker. As Jim Douglass writes in “The Assassinations of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy in the Light of the Fourth Gospel”:

John F. Kennedy was raised from the death of wealth, power, and privilege. The son of a millionaire ambassador, he was born, raised, and educated to rule the system. When he was elected President, Kennedy’s heritage of power corresponded to his position as head of the greatest national security state in history. But Kennedy, like Lazarus, was raised from the death of that system. In spite of all odds, he became a peacemaker and, thus, a traitor to the system.

It was especially in the confrontations with the military during the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis that Kennedy was raised from death to life. He resisted, at great risk to himself, the deadly pressures of the military to escalate those Cold War battles. He was then inspired to go on to further peacemaking initiatives: the American University address, the test-ban treaty, the back-door opening to Cuba, and his decision to withdraw from Vietnam.

Why? What raised Kennedy from the dead? Why did John Kennedy choose life in the midst of death and by continuing to choose life thus condemn himself to death? I have puzzled over that question while studying the various biographies of Kennedy. May I suggest one source of grace for his resurrection as a peacemaker? In reading his story, one is struck by his devotion to his children. There is no mistaking the depth of love he had for Caroline and John, and the overwhelming pain he and Jacqueline experienced at the death of their son Patrick. Robert Kennedy in his book Thirteen Days has described how his brother saw the Cuban Missile Crisis in terms of the future of his children and all children. (“The thought that disturbed him the most, and that made the prospect of war much more fearful than it would otherwise have been, was the specter of the death of the children of this country and all the world—the young people who had no role, who had no say, who knew nothing even of the confrontation, but whose lives would be snuffed out like everyone else’s. They would never have a chance to make a decision, to vote in an election, to run for office, to lead a revolution, to determine their own destinies.” Robert F. Kennedy, Thirteen Days: A Memoir of the Cuban Missile Crisis, p. 106) I believe John Kennedy was at least partially raised from the dead of the national security state by the life of his children. The heroic peacemaking of his final months, with his acceptance of its likely cost in his own death, was, I suspect, partly a result of the universal life he saw in and through them. I think he believed profoundly the words that he gave in his American University address as his foundation for rejecting the Cold War: “Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

Concerning Jim Douglass’ landmark book, JFK and the Unspeakable - Why He Died and Why It Matters, Marty Schotz has observed: “What Jim did was to resurrect the JFK in each of us, and thus to set before us the task of carrying on the work he was doing. Jim was able to do this because he saw and was able to render JFK’s story as a gospel tale.”

More than a half century later, President Kennedy's American University address remains an essential signpost pointing the way to the future we must go if the human project is to continue supporting the exquisite eons of Life exploring itself on Earth for the seventh generation yet unborn and beyond.

The film, audio recording, and text transcript are available here: <https://ratical.org/JFK061063.html>. An excerpt follows -- the entire address is highly recommended. One point of note. The key to peace-making is recognizing the humanity of the enemy. In the following excerpt JFK acknowledged the staggering suffering of the Russia people in WWII: “At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory, including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland – a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.” No U.S. president before or since has recognized the humanity of a so-called enemy. The work of a past president -- to be peacemakers -- is before each and every one of us. No one can ever take that away from us.

Some say that it is useless to speak of peace or world law or world disarmament – and that it will be useless until the leaders of the Soviet Union adopt a more enlightened attitude. I hope they do. I believe we can help them do it. But I also believe that we must re-examine our own attitudes – as individuals and as a Nation – for our attitude is as essential as theirs. And every graduate of this school, every thoughtful citizen who despairs of war and wishes to bring peace, should begin by looking inward – by examining his own attitude towards the possibilities of peace, towards the Soviet Union, towards the course of the Cold War and towards freedom and peace here at home.

First: examine our attitude towards peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it is unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable – that mankind is doomed – that we are gripped by forces we cannot control.

We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made – therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man‘s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable – and we believe they can do it again.

I am not referring to the absolute, infinite concept of universal peace and good will of which some fantasies and fanatics dream. I do not deny the value of hopes and dreams but we merely invite discouragement and incredulity by making that our only and immediate goal.

Let us focus instead on a more practical, more attainable peace – based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions – on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements which are in the interest of all concerned. There is no single, simple key to this peace – no grand or magic formula to be adopted by one or two powers. Genuine peace must be the product of many nations, the sum of many acts. It must be dynamic, not static, changing to meet the challenge of each new generation. For peace is a process – a way of solving problems.

With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor – it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement. And history teaches us that enmities between nations, as between individuals, do not last forever. However fixed our likes and dislikes may seem, the tide of time and events will often bring surprising changes in the relations between nations and neighbors.

So let us persevere. Peace need not be impracticable, and war need not be inevitable. By defining our goal more clearly, by making it seem more manageable and less remote, we can help all people to see it, to draw hope from it, and to move irresistibly towards it.

And Second: Let us re-examine our attitude toward the Soviet Union. It is discouraging to think that their leaders may actually believe what their propagandists write. It is discouraging to read a recent authoritative Soviet text on Military Strategy and find, on page after page, wholly baseless and incredible claims – such as the allegation that “American imperialist circles are preparing to unleash different types of war . . . that there is a very real threat of a preventative war being unleashed by American imperialists against the Soviet Union” . . . [and that] the political aims” – and I quote – “of the American imperialists are to enslave economically and politically the European and other capitalist countries . . . [and] to achieve world domination . . . by means of aggressive war.”

Truly, as it was written long ago: “The wicked flee when no man pursueth.” Yet it is sad to read these Soviet statements – to realize the extent of the gulf between us. But it is also a warning – a warning to the American people not to fall into the same trap as the Soviets, not to see only a distorted and desperate view of the other side, not to see conflict as inevitable, accommodation as impossible, and communication as nothing more than an exchange of threats.

No government or social system is so evil that its people must be considered as lacking in virtue. As Americans, we find communism profoundly repugnant as a negation of personal freedom and dignity. But we can still hail the Russian people for their many achievements – in science and space, in economic and industrial growth, in culture, in acts of courage.

Among the many traits the peoples of our two countries have in common, none is stronger than our mutual abhorrence of war. Almost unique among the major world powers, we have never been at war with each other. And no nation in the history of battle ever suffered more than the Soviet Union in the Second World War. At least 20 million lost their lives. Countless millions of homes and families were burned or sacked. A third of the nation’s territory, including two thirds of its industrial base, was turned into a wasteland – a loss equivalent to the destruction of this country east of Chicago.

Today, should total war ever break out again – no matter how – our two countries will be the primary target. It is an ironic but accurate fact that the two strongest powers are the two in the most danger of devastation. All we have built, all we have worked for, would be destroyed in the first 24 hours. And even in the Cold War, which brings burdens and dangers to so many countries, including this Nation’s closest allies – our two countries bear the heaviest burdens. For we are both devoting massive sums of money to weapons that could be better devoted to combat ignorance, poverty, and disease. We are both caught up in a vicious and dangerous cycle with suspicion on one side breeding suspicion on the other, and new weapons begetting counter-weapons.

In short, both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race. Agreements to this end are in the interests of the Soviet Union as well as ours – and even the most hostile nations can be relied upon to accept and keep those treaty obligations, and only those treaty obligations, which are in their own interest.

So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s futures. And we are all mortal.


Judge For Yourself - Researcher John Judge’s Book Is Now Available

Press Release - Hidden History Center for immediate Distribution

John Judge, the cofounder of the Coalition on Political Assassinations
(COPA), once again has his brilliant research work available in print.


Say Something Real Press - May 22, 2017 JUDGE FOR YOURSELF is the title of a new collection of the work of John Judge, the well-known political researcher and activist. Featuring a foreword by Kenn Thomas (The Octopus) and an introduction by David Ratcliffe (Understanding Special Operations), the book compiles some of Judge's best-known essays and interviews. A researcher and activist who studied the Kennedy assassination alongside researchers like Mae Brussell and Penn Jones, Judge was the head of COPA and the founder of the Museum of Hidden History and the Hidden History Center.

The book tackles not only JFK but dozens of other topics in hidden history, including the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan, the real story of what happened with Jim Jones, and his take on what the term “UFO” really refers to! Astonishing and prescient, this is the book you need to make sense of our time. The volume was edited by Dissenting Views author Joseph E. Green and is being distributed via Say Something Real Press LLC.

Table of Contents
  • Unidentified Fascist Observatories (1989)
  • Reagan-Bitburg-Nazi SS (The Germans Made Me Do It) (1984)
  • Tied Up in Nazis (1989)
  • The Fourth Reich (1989)
  • MOVE and the Militarization of the Police (1985)
  • Contragate and the Invisible Government (1987)
  • Poolside with John Judge (1990)
  • Museum of Hidden History Interview (2012)
  • Good Americans (1983)
  • The Black Hole of Guyana (1985)
  • Mae is Alive in Our Hearts (1989)

Excerpt from “MOVE and the Militarization of the Police”, pp. 164-66:

Racism and Black Genocide

The central role of racism, and the broader purpose of the systematic deprivation and destruction of people of color in this country are evident in the MOVE attack for those who will look. Not only would the incident not have happened in a white neighborhood, but also it could not have happened to white children without a much greater response in the community. MOVE was considered “strange” by both the Black community and the white progressives, so they were shunned. Immediate support was not forthcoming in either incident, although the Quakers did offer them rural land to relocate.

The left is rarely concerned with domestic intervention, even in such glaring examples as this. What we would see immediately as an example of fascism abroad, or as genocidal in the Third World, we see as an “isolated incident” or an “aberration” here at home. But as James Baldwin said, “If they come for you in the night, they will come for me in the morning.” The system looks for this response, but such silence is consent. Are we saying that groups like MOVE are fair game? Do we buy the cover story while 900 Blacks die at Jonestown, or a whole neighborhood burns here? They are bringing it home. Was it “murder suicide” in Jonestown? Was it an “entry device” in Philadelphia? These were both military escalations by special police squads and intelligence agencies. They were Black genocide operations, and they are not isolated, nor things of the past. They will expand in relation to our indifference.

As wealth concentrates into fewer and fewer hands, and the technology creates capital surplus that is eaten up by war production instead of used for human needs, the population itself serves no purpose for those who run the society. Their labor, at some point, is superfluous, and these poor, mostly women, children and elderly, and people of color, become the modern-day “useless eaters” that were rounded up and exterminated during the Nazi’s Third Reich for the same reasons. The racial and class bias of the society involved determines the targets. Those on welfare, the chronically unemployed, the homeless, the institutionalized, the disenfranchised and powerless are the victims to be both blamed and eliminated. These are the people who constitute the “Third World” inside America. They fill its courts and prisons, its military and combat positions, its psychiatric hospitals and “homes.” To those who run this country, they are expendable. If we ignore the attacks on unpopular groups like MOVE, then we cannot be held blameless when they escalate to more of us. This is how fascism works, targeting the vulnerable and isolated first. The first victims of the Holocaust were psychiatric inmates, by the tens of thousands. Few stood up for them or their rights.

We have already had martial law in this country; we already maintain concentration camps and have used them against Native Americans and Japanese, and more currently against immigrants; we know what genocide is, having “discovered” an occupied country; we began mass sterilization in the United States in the 1920’s, long before Nazi psychiatrists implemented its use there, and we sterilized the same people; our technology of death is more advanced now, we do not pick the body up and put it in the ovens, we drop the ovens from the sky in the form of napalm and white phosphorus, weapons used in Vietnam and Central America.

If the countries of the world where we have staged coups, assassinated popular leaders, propped up fascist dictatorships, manipulated elections, stolen natural resources and exploited or killed laborers could take us tomorrow into the World Court, would the testimony be so different than that of the Nuremberg Trials? I think, in fact, it would be worse. If Aryan Germans wanted to turn their heads and avert their eyes during the Nazi years, they could live well and comfortably: Not all were terrorized by fascism, only the victims. They, too, plundered the wealth, the art, the culture, and the produce of the world community into a few hands. Berlin represented the most advanced technology and cultural expression of the times.

As one study title says, “They Thought They Were Free.” So do we. We ask ourselves, how could the Germans have let it happen? Perhaps, if we can look at the truth of America today, we know.

Purchase link: <http://isbn.nu/0998889806> Use isbn.nu for all your book purchases – usually the lowest priced sellers beat murdazon.

Hidden History Center | A Gateway for Truth

hiddenhistorycenter.org

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False Mystery 2017 Digital Edition Release

 

Released on the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, this an expanded 2017 digital edition.

MAY 29, 2017 - rat haus reality press, ratical.org (PDF format) — Released today: a greatly expanded digital edition of the book John Kelin first created in 1999. This archival treasury contains the essays by Philadelphia lawyer Vincent J. Salandria from 1964 into 2016 presenting his evolving understanding of the assassination of President Kennedy. Beginning with authoring the first critical analysis of the contradictions between the Warren Report and the 26 volumes of Hearings and Exhibits, showing in extensive detail how the conclusions did not match the evidence the government published, Salandria went on to study the crux of the matter: the why of the assassination.

The complete book—in triplicate—is available via a number of easy-to-remember URLS, any of which will take you there:


John Judge, Leading Change: A Transformational, Quiet Servant Leader

John Judge Was Born 69 Years Ago Today

14 December 2016

John Judge was born 69 years ago today and died all too soon of complications from a stroke in April 2014. In June 2014, I posthumously accepted John’s invitation to join the board of the Museum of Hidden History, a 501(c)(3) non-profit he established in Washington D.C. in April 2012. The current project focus of the Museum is the Hidden History Center located in York, Pennsylvania, and on the web at <hiddenhistorycenter.org>.

The Museum honors John today with this announcement of an extended hypertext presentation of John Judge, Leading Change: A Transformational, Quiet Servant Leader. This is a case study written by former Congresswoman and 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney in 2012 as part of her PhD leadership studies program. As Ms. McKinney describes some of the scope explored in this remarkable paper:

I decided that because of the brilliance and the dedication of this gentleman, that in my own PhD leadership studies I would write a paper on him and the type of leadership that he demonstrates. . . . John Judge is perhaps one of the most important unknown historians of our generation. . . . I chose to research the story of John Judge because he startled me into not one, not two, but many, disorienting dilemmas. I became so fascinated with John that I wanted to pierce deep down inside his world. . . . There is a piece of each one of us, including me, inside this very special man. Imagine if we could flip the switch and have a little of John inside each and every one of us. And while I might not agree with John on every issue, I say that if we had even just a few more John Judges in this country, not only our country, but also our world, would be a vastly different and much-improved place. . . . In this paper, I give the floor to John and the other participants [Cyril Wecht, M.D., J.D., Peter Dale Scott, Ph.D., Tamara Carter, Joe Green, Michael Nurko]. I give them the opportunity to be heard in full context.

John was a fount of inspiration and illumination like no one else I have ever met. His grasp of the historical context of events, amplified by profoundly expansive critical thinking faculties and an encyclopedic memory, and seasoned with a beguiling, ironic, and farcical sense of humor, caused me to ponder and evaluate deeper implications and understanding of how our political, economic, social, and religious systems of authority operate. He is quoted at length in this case study. A few excerpts follow in the hopes they may incite you to explore more of this uncommon work:

In Zen, the master teaches the students to focus on the activities and ideas conveyed and to take them seriously. Able to discern the matrix of assumptions that control the consciousness of students, they ask a question and pose a puzzle, a koan, that cannot be answered without breaking out of those assumptions. But since the master has asked it, neither can the question be ignored or dismissed. This is done because, when one breaks out of one paradigm, one matrix, they may just jump into another, or they may transcend them and reach satori or realized consciousness that goes beyond the tunnels of perception and assumption to hold several paradigms at once.

For me, from a perspective of political analysis and social change, the contradictions raised by the best evidence in these historical events are the koan that can be thrown in to disrupt the assumptions and distortions of the official deceptions and allow not only a counter-narrative of events and causes, but possibly open the minds of others to the point that they can pose their own puzzles against the realities they have been taught or accepted blindly.

Finally, these assassinations are profoundly anti-democratic acts. We cannot act responsibly if we cannot know our own history and its implications. The past is prologue.

I found these assassinations to be Rosetta stones whose close inspection and study revealed the whole and made history comprehensible instead of confusing and disempowering.

If we want to live in a democracy we must be informed. Uninformed citizens making decisions is farce, Madison said. Jefferson knew that information flow is more central to democracy than the mechanisms by which popular will is carried out. He said he would always choose a newspaper without a government rather than the opposite. If we want to understand our present or envision our future, we must be able to be clear about our past. The burial of our history since WWII by the National Security State makes this difficult if not impossible.

For all these reasons, I work for transparency, the accurate reconstruction of historical events and assassinations, and the engaged involvement in citizens to work for the claims of justice and of history itself in understanding the truth about these events. . . .

Current U.S. policy condones and is institutionalizing the capability and legality of political assassinations of declared political enemies, with or without trial or appeal to innocence, here or abroad, and done remotely by drones or more directly by covert operations based on intelligence rather than criminal evidence, and including American citizens. New laws are being proposed and enacted that will create a Battle Zone inside NORTHCOM, making the US a military operations zone, and empowering the military to override state National Guard units, local police and others to make arrests without warrant, and to imprison without trial or habeas corpus rights of appeal, for indefinite periods those suspected of harboring or aiding A1 Qaeda, and to conduct military tribunals rather than civilian trials in considering their conviction and execution. These laws would end the long established principle of Posse Comitatus, and the separation of military and police function in a democratic society, as well as overriding habeas corpus rights that date back to the Magna Carta. . . .

In the 20th century, assassinations have served to allow the rise of political factions or economic groups, to control governments abroad led by popular leaders, assisted the plans of those hoping to overthrow tyranny or install it, to destroy the leadership and cohesion of grass roots movements for social change, and to frighten and disorient societies moving toward real democracy. Hundreds, if not thousands of political assassinations of elected officials, political organizers, witnesses to crimes and activists have marked and changed the direction of our national and global history in the decades leading up to and since WWII. . . .

In 1968, the double assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy shattered hope and exposed the violent underpinnings of the corruption in American military and police organizations. I held a sign in front of the Kennedy Student Union at the University of Dayton the day after King was killed, “The King of Love Is Dead”. I actually felt strongly that Robert Kennedy would be shot that night in Los Angeles and tried unsuccessfully many times to reach the Ambassador Hotel to warn someone. Ironically, it was the hired security surrounding him that participated in his murder.

I began to collect a body of literature and government reports on these murders and others, like the assassination of Malcolm X and other activists and civil rights members. It led me back to the history of WWII and the role played by Nazi war criminals in establishing the post-war intelligence networks in Europe and the United States and the beginnings of the Cold War and the rise of the permanent war economy.

In 1972, the day after the Watergate break-in, I saw the five names of those arrested on site and they all were known to me because they had been part of the Bay of Pigs and the history of the assassination of President Kennedy.

One of them had testified to the Warren Commission. I asked my mother, still living in DC, to clip the Washington Post and Evening Star if she saw any articles about the arrest. A few weeks later, the Realist magazine carried the first issue of Mae Brussell’s Conspiracy Newsletter with an article titled ‘Why Was Martha Mitchell Kidnapped?’, breaking down the entire structure of the Watergate break-in, going all the way up to the White House, and another on the ties of Nazis to the rise of Richard Nixon. I contacted Mae immediately because I had been working on some of the same leads and history. . . .

Whatever intelligence I have I credit to my mother, who rose to a position as the highest paid woman employee at the Pentagon over the 30 years she worked there, and who had a security clearance five levels above Top Secret.

I began to question political pronouncements from an early age, and social norms as well. I remember a bitter fight at age 10 or so with my parents who wanted me to dress up for a party because people would not like me otherwise. I said that if people liked me for my clothes I did not want those people to like me. As I mentioned, I refused to get under my desk for an atomic air raid drill and was sent to the principal’s office. I was horrified that adults could have such a weapon or use it, and then even more frightened when they offered me no protection at all against it in the drill.

My parents were frightened by Senator Joe McCarthy and his anti-communist crusade, fearing that innuendo or rumor would get them fired. President Eisenhower’s lies about the U-2 and spying shocked me into realizing that not only our enemies did bad things or lied to cover them up.

Here’s to a most uncommon common man whose life and energies were devoted to urging this nation live up to its highest calling of genuine liberty and equal justice for all life on Earth and to caring for the Earth and all its kin. John lived his life, and gave everything he had, to honor and serve Life’s needs.

READ COMPLETE CASE STUDY


Shafts Of Light Cutting Into the Darkness: The Montreal Declaration & UN Resolution L.41

October 28, 2016

Fukushima Units 3 and 4, March 24, 2011
Fukushima Dai-ichi Melted Down Reactor Units 3 and 4, Mar 24, 2011 (click for hi-res)

Something richly Life-affirming occurred this past August. Expressed in the Montreal Declaration for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, its two opening paragraphs provide the context:

As citizens of this planet inspired by the Second Thematic World Social Forum for a Nuclear-Fission-Free World, conducted in Montreal from August 8 to August 12, 2016, we are collectively calling for a mobilization of civil society around the world to bring about the elimination of all nuclear weapons, to put an end to the continued mass-production of all high-level nuclear wastes by phasing out all nuclear reactors, and to bring to a halt all uranium mining worldwide.

This call goes out to fellow citizens of all countries worldwide who see the need, whether as an individual or as a member of an organization, for a nuclear-fission-free world. We are committed to building a global network of citizens of the world who will work together, using the internet and social media to overcome isolation, to provide mutual support and to coordinate the launching of joint actions for a world free of nuclear fission technology, whether civilian or military.

The hyperlink-rich Declaration, along with ongoing News and Developments, is available on <ratical.org>. The list of endorsers continues to grow.

Beyond the Montreal Declaration, significant momentum is occurring in the movement to stigmatize and ban nuclear weapons—the only remaining Weapon of Mass Destruction as compared with biological weapons, chemical weapons, land mines, and cluster munitions—that is not yet banned by international law outlawing their use.

Hiroshima Panorama #4
360 degree view span        (click for hi-res)        Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

In an address to the nation on July 26, 1963, President Kennedy began by saying:

Good evening, my fellow citizens:

I speak to you tonight in a spirit of hope. Eighteen years ago the advent of nuclear weapons changed the course of the world as well as the war. Since that time, all mankind has been struggling to escape from the darkening prospect of mass destruction on earth. In an age when both sides have come to possess enough nuclear power to destroy the human race several times over, the world of communism and the world of free choice have been caught up in a vicious circle of conflicting ideology and interest. Each increase of tension has produced an increase of arms; each increase of arms has produced an increase of tension.

In these years, the United States and the Soviet Union have frequently communicated suspicion and warnings to each other, but very rarely hope. Our representatives have met at the summit and at the brink; they have met in Washington and in Moscow; in Geneva and at the United Nations. But too often these meetings have produced only darkness, discord, or disillusion.

Yesterday a shaft of light cut into the darkness. Negotiations were concluded in Moscow on a treaty to ban all nuclear tests in the atmosphere, in outer space, and under water. For the first time, an agreement has been reached on bringing the forces of nuclear destruction under international control – a goal first sought in 1946 when Bernard Baruch presented a comprehensive control plan to the United Nations.

Previously, on June 10, 1963, in his address to the graduating class at American University, President Kennedy proposed nothing less than an end to the Cold War. The speech was, and still is, way ahead of its time. Two moments in the address are especially noteworthy. The first place when applause occurred that caused JFK to pause and repeat 5 words was, in the film, at 22:03: “Chairman Khrushchev, Prime Minister Macmillan, and I have agreed that high-level discussions will shortly begin in Moscow looking towards early agreement on a comprehensive test ban treaty. Our hope must be tempered – Our hopes must be tempered with the caution of history...” and again, at 22:37: “the United States does not propose to conduct nuclear tests in the atmosphere so long as other states do not do so. We will not – We will not be the first to resume.” President Kennedy risked everything in his limited time to end the cold war and move away from the brink of nuclear annihilation. That work for us today revolves around ending the “global war on terror” and eliminating nuclear weapons — as well as nuclear power and uranium mining—the necessary ingredient for both weapons and power.

Yesterday, on October 27, 2016, a new shaft of light cut into the darkness. The First Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted resolution L.41 to convene negotiations in 2017 on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”. The voting result was 123 nations in favour, 38 against, with 16 abstentions. 57 nations co-sponsored the resolution:

Angola, Austria, Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Chile, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Fiji, Guatemala, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Indonesia, Ireland, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Malaysia, Malawi, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mexico, Namibia, Nauru, New Zealand, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia.

These developments provide inspiration and energetic motivation to join with other people, where you live and across the globe, to support, advocate, and educate on behalf of negotiations in 2017 to establish a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading to their total elimination. As described by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), Resolution L.41:

acts on a recommendation made in August by a UN open-ended working group on nuclear disarmament in Geneva. More than 100 nations participated in the working group, with an overwhelming majority expressing their support for the prohibition of nuclear weapons as a first step towards elimination.

The resolution sets up a negotiating conference to be held over 20 days (from 27 to 31 March 2017 and from 15 June to 7 July 2017), at the UN in New York. All UN member states, along with international organizations and members of civil society, will be invited to participate. The negotiations could continue beyond these dates.

A treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons would close the “legal gap” in the existing regime governing nuclear weapons, as recognized by the Humanitarian Pledge. It is an anomaly that these are the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law in a comprehensive and universal manner.

As Dr. Gordon Edwards, President of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility explains in a letter he wrote today,

Of course, the nuclear-weapons states hope to boycott these negotiations, and the members of NATO—a military alliance that espouses nuclear weapons as “essential” for its security—will also want to shun the proceedings. But there is a catch. Under the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) these states are all legally obligated to undertake negotiations of exactly this nature. They can boycott the negotiations, but in doing so they will be in clear violation of their existing treaty obligations....

Common sense tells us that the nuclear-armed countries are not going to submit easily to such legalistic considerations, but the upcoming negotiations will put them on the defensive in the court of public opinion. With examples such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of the apartheid regime in South Africa and the dissolution of the Soviet Empire in mind, no one should dismiss the power of mobilized public opinion—especially when it is in concert with legal and political pressures, all of them focused on the same goal: a legally-binding commitment to ban all nuclear weapons from the Earth.

The UN resolution passed yesterday, and the negotiations to begin next year, will not by themselves bring about the elimination of nuclear weapons, but the mobilization of people of good will world-wide may be enough to seal the deal. One thing is for sure. We will never know unless we try.

READ COMPLETE TEXT WITH REFERENCES


Don’t Hope For Obama Or Fear Of Trump–Snowden On US Elections And Surveillance

SNOWDEN LIVE, produced by startpage.com
RT, 10 Nov, 2016
<https://www.rt.com/usa/366364-edward-snowden-election-speech/>

Edward Snowden © Brendan McDermid / Reuters

The world’s most famous whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has addressed the public on the US election result urging people to think beyond a single person or a single election and take their future into their own hands.

“We can not hope for an Obama and we can not fear a Donald Trump; rather we should build it ourselves,” Snowden said about creating positive social change.

Snowden, an NSA contractor fled the US in 2013 after he leaked classified documents from the National Security Agency (NSA), revealing details about its global surveillance programmes. He has been granted temporary residency in Russia.

E.S. begins at 2:55 in; MP3 recording (1:00:02, 57+MB)

The NSA whistleblower was speaking from Moscow, Thursday, in a livestream hosted by private search engine StartPage in Amsterdam.

Snowden declined to get into a discussion regarding Trump’s election victory specifically and the impact it may have on the NSA, insisting he tries not to “look at this as a question of single election or a single government”.

He reminded the audience that President Obama did not fulfill promises he made in relation to ending mass surveillance or closing Guantanamo Bay in order to highlight the broader point that “we should be cautious of putting too much hope or fear in one person”.

“President Obama campaigned on a platform of ending mass surveillance, ending torture and we all put a lot of hope in him because of this. We thought because the right person got into office everything would change.”

He went on to discuss the fabric of communications and how it is being used to disempower the very communities it was intended to empower.

“We have to think for ourselves what if we start weaving this fabric in a different way...what if every communication is protected by default.. instead we make this fabric work for the whole world.

“I think this election reminds us that that capability is within our reach today.”


Phil Zimmerman (on right), the inventor of Pretty Good Privacy (PGP)

The whistleblower admitted he followed the election closely but insisted it was bigger than him, “while I obviously care what happens to me this is not about me, this is about us,” he said.

Snowden insisted that it is the people that must force the change, “We can not hope for an Obama and we can not fear a Donald Trump, rather we should build it ourselves.”

Returning to the subject of Trump later in the discussion Snowden said “It’s not that people think Trump is the greatest person in the US, its just they didn’t prefer the other option.”

He said it shouldn’t be a mere question of two candidates. “A vote will never be enough,” he said urging people to think more about what happens after the election.

When asked by an audience member what more can people do he suggested supporting organizations that fight to protect civil rights.

Snowden insisted the personal uncertainties created by the new US commander in chief and his apparent closer relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin didn’t worry him.

READ MORE: Moscow has no legal, moral reasons to extradite Snowden – Russia envoy to US

“They said Russia is not a country that extradites human rights offenders,” he said but admitted it was still a possibility however not one he loses sleep over.

“If I was worried about safety I would still be in Hawaii. I never expected to make it out of Hawaii. I’m comfortable with the choice I made.”

He continued that he was proud of his actions and no matter what happens “if there’s a drone strike that’s something that won’t change.”

“As long as we live in accordance with our values we won’t have to worry about what happens tomorrow because today for me it’s enough,” he continued.

The NSA whistleblower said while he hopes to someday return to the US what he won’t do is stand up and serve as a deterrent to scare people.

The interview focused largely on privacy concerns and the ongoing issue of mass surveillance.

Snowden emphasized the effectiveness of targeted surveillance over mass surveillance pointing to the Boston Marathon as an example where terrorism was not stopped despite it happening during the height of mass surveillance and the US receiving a tip off from Foreign Intelligence agencies.

Mass surveillance fails “because when you collect everything you understand nothing - you get drowned in so much information you can’t find what’s relevant.”

He claimed the traditional method of following tip offs and the obtaining a warrant to carry out surveillance is the most effective. “Targeted surveillance does not destroy the rights of everyone else in society.”

“Based on the information provided to the [Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight] Board, including classified briefings and documentation, we have not identified a single instance involving a threat to the United States in which the program made a concrete difference in the outcome of a counterterrorism investigation.”
Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under
Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations
of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, 23 Jan 2014

The conversation ended on a positive note with Snowden reminding people he gets great enjoyment out of what he does and felt optimistic about the future despite the present uncertain times.

“Despite the challenges and statements by president elect, this is a nation that will strive to get better...this is a dark moment in our history but it’s not the end.”

A campaign is underway to secure Snowden a presidential pardon before Obama leaves office in January 2017.


From startpage.com:
What does privacy mean to you?

Snowden Live was an exclusive post-election livestream Q&A with Edward Snowden on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The world’s most famous whistleblower addressed many topics, including the future of privacy under newly elected US President Donald Trump.
amp;

Snowden became world famous after he handed journalists classified documents detailing the global espionage activities of the United States National Security Agency (NSA). His exposure of covert government surveillance put privacy firmly on the map, but also put him at great risk. Snowden was forced to flee the US in 2013 to avoid arrest and currently resides in Russia, where he has been given asylum.

Following are just some of the highlights of the historic Q&A that was broadcast from the Pathé Tuschinski in Amsterdam where Snowden was patched in to our live theater audience via satellite transmission from Moscow. More will follow soon.

Press Coverage

Here are just a few of the dozens of stories written by the press about the Snowden event. We will be adding more. While we don’t have the rights to archive the full Snowden event yet, you will find excellent photos and video in some of these articles.

Stay tuned. More to come.


Randy Benson’s film The Searchers Sees Through the Eyes of JFK Researchers

by Joseph E. Green
September 30, 2016

The Searchers

Randolph Benson’s documentary film The Searchers debuts at the Texas Theater in Dallas this November. The film explores the unique subculture of JFK researchers from the standpoint of an outsider—Benson teaches at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University—who found himself, over time, becoming an insider.Benson’s work has appeared on the Bravo Network and Canal Plus—France, and his film Man and Dog received several awards, including a Gold Medal from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Student Academy Awards. I talked to him about the process of making his new film.

 

So who are the searchers of the title?

Who are they? The searchers are average citizens—normal people, curious people—who realized there was more to the [JFK assassination] story and information not covered by the media. The media wasn’t doing their job so they took it upon themselves to ask the unasked questions. Most of the first generation critics [those who started right after the assassination] started and never let it go. In a nutshell, they were normal people who have become marginalized—a lot of which was intentional by the CIA. They created the term “conspiracy theorist.”[1] That term instantly became an intellectual scarlet letter.

And your film focuses on these first generation critics?

Not necessarily. The narrative thread is John Judge, who was generation 1.5. But I do cover the history of the subculture of the research community. The first generation was critical to tell the story and explain why anyone would commit any amount of their lives to this subject. There is that question—and it is a question for anyone doing anything—is why bother? They could have done anything. It was because they had questions that weren’t being answered. Because people from both generations helped reveal everything from the crimes of Vietnam and the crimes of Watergate, which led to the Church Commission, which revealed how our media was being controlled by intelligence agencies and had institutional protection.[2]

The broader world of how things work, rather than a limited conspiracy in this one case.

I don’t necessary feel that conspiracy is a holistic term. What we’re really talking about is an institutional analysis. The really good researchers felt the same way, John Judge especially. Institutions, as I have learned, do not exist without natural protections. The intelligence community and the media are the same.

How long have you been working on this film? How did it start?

I’m going to answer this...in a kind of long way, so bear with me. From the time I was a child it was just assumed in my house that the assassination was done by elements in this country. I felt bad because my father was a fighter in the Cold War stationed on the East-West German border. Anything happens within 15 minutes, he was in the air. Bay of Pigs, the attempts on [Charles] De Gaulle, any major movement of any Iron Curtain country, he was in the air. He found out Kennedy was assassinated at dinner in the officers club. He wasn’t scrambled. For my father - he was in World War II, Korea—when protocol at that level is not followed there is a meaning to it.

[My father] was the patriot of patriots. “Yeah, they killed that bastard,” was his attitude. So when Oliver Stone’s JFK came out it piqued my interest again. I thought it was a really good drama and it had information—I mean, I didn’t know there had been a trial.

Now the films I like to make—the stories that draw me in—are about people who have been marginalized. People who do things that have to be done but no one pays attention to. My personal question was who is uncovering this information? So in 2001, it reached a point that this is a film I want to make. Why are they doing what they’re doing and why isn’t the media doing it? It seems like it should be their job.

I looked online and the only online presence at that time was JFK Lancer. So that November, I flew down to Dallas, no camera, just to see what was up. I learned there were two communities—there were researchers who were scholars...and there were those who lived up to the conventional wisdom—the classic “conspiracy theorist.” The scholars were doing good important work and revealing documents not just about Kennedy, but a whole part of American history that I had no idea existed.

Someone at Lancer told me about COPA [the Coalition on Political Assassinations] and by the summer of 2002 I realized what I had to do. So I drove to Washington, D.C. to meet John Judge and film him at American University, where he honored JFK’s famous speech there. I shot the first frame of film on June 10, 2002. I thought at that time it would be a well-researched, short thirty-minute film. I would spend a couple years on it. But after spending a year looking at the footage and reading everything I could get my hands on pro and con, I just realized that I had no idea what I was taking about. If I were going to make a film like this, I would have to learn and meet as many researchers as I could. Spend the time. Documentary filmmaking is always about story, character, and access.

Early on I realized this would not be a two-year project. Now, fourteen years later I feel like the film is done. The story that I am telling is told as well as it can be told.

Who is the audience for this story?

I’m asked all the time who my audience is. I have a card above my edit station that reminds me every day, who is my audience? And the answer is me, before I started this project. I was intellectually curious, considered myself well-informed, but had no idea about how so much about my country—and the world—truly works and how our institutions work.

That person represents a huge part of our population that can affect change. I came from a middle-class family and never wanted for anything. Always knew I would go to college. But no one I went to college with would have believed everything I’ve learned. Hopefully people seeing the film will help them reconsider and start a dialogue.

For many years now you’ve been going to conferences and interacting with researchers. Have you found them to be nutballs?

Conspiracy theorists are not nutballs. Over the years, I met maybe three or four people who fit that description. The rest are doctors and lawyers and academics, the majority of whom are just normal successful people who were curious. The really respected researchers are as far from that stereotype as you can possibly be. Dr. Gary Aguilar is one of the most respected surgical ophthalmologists in the country. I have this great sequence in the film, all in one continuous shot, which starts with him seeing someone in his office and he asks if we can walk and talk into the elevator. We go down and walk out into San Francisco General Hospital and there is a young professional woman eagerly waiting on Dr. Aguilar. She shakes his hand and he walks into a conference room with a bunch of doctors who stand up and the applause is deafening. He proceeds to give a presentation on a new surgical technique for surgery that he had perfected. That one shot sums it all up for me.

You almost have to be that good to retain your respect if you’re going to write about this sort of thing. Dr. Cyril Wecht is another example, someone who is the absolute top of his field in forensic pathology—the building is named after him at Duquesne University, and Albert Brooks just played him in the new Will Smith movie. He is the professional expert on CNN when things happen, the OJ trial, JonBenet Ramsey, etc., and yet he’s had this double life as probably the most visible figure on the medical aspects of the JFK case. If he wasn’t the pinnacle in his field, he would be easier to discredit. Instead, from what I can see the media basically pretend that part of his biography doesn’t exist.

He has been able to pursue the science of the conspiracy to kill JFK and still remain the most respected doctor in his field in the world. If anyone needs an analysis with anything to do with forensic pathology, he’s the guy. Not just the media—other experts bring him in for a second set of eyes. He is involved in almost every single prominent case in the world. Every profession, every walk of life, there’s a certain amount of hyperbole—he’s the best of all time, the greatest, etc. I was skeptical when I first saw him referred to as America’s most respected pathologist. But I found out, it’s true.

Did you happen to interview Edward J. Epstein? Was he ever on the table?

I mention him in my film as a very important early researcher. Interviewees in the film do mention that he took a shift in his views on the assassination.

There are so many people I would have loved to have interviewed. After photography had ended, I had 60 hours of interviews. In the credits I mention as many of the respected researchers—Ray Marcus, Epstein—as I could. I was able to interview [Praise from a Future Generation author] John Kelin about some of the first generation—to give them proper treatment and tribute that they deserve. Every time I would interview people, I would get new names.

So did the CIA kill Kennedy?

Sometimes I find myself looking at old interviews I did with John Judge...he broke down the intelligence agencies in such an interesting way. People think, it’s the CIA and I guess there are other things, NSA and maybe military intelligence. But John in detail would describe all 13 major intelligence organizations working in the United States and the CIA is the smallest. The military intelligence of the Coast Guard is bigger and has more money than the CIA. The black budget is enormous. So when people say the CIA killed Kennedy, I find it interesting that it stops there. What people tend not to know is that’s just one of 13 intelligence agencies—that we know of—and sure if you want to say they killed him, that’s fine, but put it as one-thirteenth.

Its so limiting to say the CIA killed him.[3] The assassination is the ultimate onion where you have the real story on the inside. The HSCA [the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the last official investigation of the assassination] said that there was a conspiracy, but also that other people might have been involved, but we can’t guarantee they were working together.

Which is the most ridiculous conclusion possible.

As John said, it was Shoot Kennedy Day in the knoll.

The onion just keeps getting peeled back and the CIA-did-it is just another level of the onion peeling, which all goes back to the Joint Chiefs. I think John’s analysis is dead on. It’s so astute because in the end he understood human nature on a visceral level. What makes people human. I don’t think he would have been as good a researcher if he hadn’t been a peace activist. He was a conscientious objector in Vietnam who, in one of his defining acts, helped Vietnam veterans return home. He was in the middle of the winter soldier movement to get them the help they deserved and get them back into civilian life. All his research was approached in human terms. In the film, he appears passionate, divisive, brilliant, and antagonistic at times, but in the end he sums it up by saying by working together, we can change the world. That’s the final message of my movie and it’s Johns final message. Together we can change the world.

You’ve had quite a journey.

My personal path through research mirrored the direction of the average researcher. I’m sitting here in 2016, and since I started even thinking about making the film...I had a long-term relationship end. I had to put my dog down that I had for 10 years. I quit my first job and went to art school, met my future wife there, and made a little film that won a bunch of awards. Successes and failures. Buried my parents, got married, had two kids, lost two more dogs and here I am. Just my experience, the life experience making this film, mirrors the researchers. The first generation never expected to be doing this for 50 years, but they looked up and here they were. And they’re still working on the case. Because it matters.

And John Judge played a role in getting documents released into the public record after Oliver Stone’s film. Can you talk about this a little bit?

JFK was being made. John was one of a group of researchers who really pressed Stone to put a title slide at the end stating that all of the documents were to be released in 2035. A whole other generation. People read that and got furious and there was a groundswell of pressure to release the files. If you have nothing to hide, release the files. Partly because of that small group, Congress passed the JFK Records Act which convened the Assassination Records Review Board (ARRB) which declassified documents having to do with assassination as well as the JFK presidency. Which is important because it shows and unearths this hidden history. Started in 1992 and wrapped up in 1998. When they finished, they had declassified six million documents, so much material they had to build a second national archive in College Park, Maryland. The information revealed has rewritten the history of the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and so much of the machinations behind how decisions are made at that level. The entire history of the Vietnam War was rewritten; the Cold War revealed. And I do present a number of documents in the film. It is the fruits of the researcher’s labor.

Because of these documents we now know JFK had committed to pull out of Vietnam.[4] We know that there were plans submitted to the President to create national tragedies to force us to get into a war with Cuba.[5] There were in these documents real plans to use nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Not tactical nukes, but bombs dwarfing Hiroshima. We were so close to destroying the world—much closer than we thought. We know this because of the researchers. Why didn’t anyone ever cover the strange details of the Reagan assassination? Well, actually John did.

Also in 1998, think about all these documents being released. Why didn’t we know? I was intensely curious; I paid attention to the news. Why didn’t I know? That may have been a precipitating event to making me commit a big portion of my life to making this film. I was pissed off that I didn’t know.

How do I know now? Because of dedicated individuals who chose to do the job our Fourth Estate should have been doing.

In addition to the showings at the Lancer Conference and the Texas Theatre this November, The Searchers will also be available on DVD.

Yes, starting with a boxed set which includes the film, as well as almost 34 hours of never before seen interviews with Mark Lane, Dr. Gary Aguilar, Josiah Thompson, Dr. Cyril Wecht, Jim Marrs, Jim DiEugenio, Lisa Pease, Walt Brown, Rex Bradford, James Fetzer, Debra Conway, and Adele Edison. You will be able to buy it at the website as boxed set and then I will start making the festival rounds. Starting at European film festivals and markets. There will also be a stand alone DVD for those who just want the film itself.

Trailer for The Searchers

References

  1. See CIA Document #1035-960, “Countering Criticism of the Warren Report,” April 1, 1967. See Also: “The Term ‘Conspiracy Theory’ – an Invention of the CIA,” by Rev. Douglas Wilson, member of the Core Group, Project Unspeakable. []
  2. See “ The CIA and the Media: 50 Facts the World Needs to Know, by James F. Tracy, Global Research, December 15, 2015. See Also: “THE CIA AND THE MEDIA, How Americas Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up,” by Carl Bernstein, Rolling Stone, October 20, 1977. ]
  3. A comparison John Judge made between the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and the CIA and how much more cloaked and obscure the former was and is compared to the latter is helpful. This cloaking dynamic is a tacit indicator of it’s significance. In a 2004 film, John observed that,

    “80% of the intelligence budget is controlled by the Pentagon, not by the CIA and the intelligence agencies on that side. And I’ve always said that the DIA was the real thing to look at because you can get 600 books on the CIA. I challenge you to get 2 or 3 on the DIA. There’s only 2 on the NSA and they’re both written by Bamford, the same fellow. [For] ONI I’ve found five, and believe me I look at books. And that’s the oldest and the largest intelligence agency, it started with British Naval Intelligence, ONI. And it’s very hard to find out anything about them, even at the level of the War Colleges and those things. And yet they control the base of the budget.

    “What Prouty and other histories tell us is that the CIA is essentially a think tank. It comes up with plots, it may penetrate or get information on, or manipulate, groups, but in the end, when they want to carry out a special operation, they have to find a liaison to the military intelligence because the military intelligence has the equipment and the tools in order to actually effect any large scale special operation, even an assassination.” ]

  4. On 11 October 1963 JFK issued National Security Action Memorandum 263 ordering withdrawal of 1,000 troops from Vietnam by end of 1963 and the bulk of American Personnel out by end of 1965. []
  5. Friendly Fire,” a 1 May 2001 ABCNEWS.com article, describes how the plans defined in OPERATION NORTHWOODS “were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba’s . . . Fidel Castro.” The article observed that “Ironically, the documents came to light . . . in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy. As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK’s release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public’s access to government records related to the assassination.” []

53 Years Ago - Review of JFK and the Unspeakable using The Karma of Untruthfulness

by David Ratcliffe
22 November 2016

Today marks the 53rd circle Earth has spun around the Sun since the world experienced the extra-constitutional firing of our 35th President.

This is to share an incisive review of Jim Douglass' book, JFK and the Unspeakable, Why He Died and Why It Matters by John Schuchardt, published last April in The Present Age (based in Basel, Switzerland)

John presents a fascinating exploration of Jim's book with that of Rudolf Steiner's The Karma of Untruthfulness (Volume 1). The beginning provides more context of this remarkable review:

James W. Douglass’ JFK and the Unspeakable: Why he Died and Why it Matters[2] is the conclusive research into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas 22 November 1963, the most pivotal assassination in world history since Archduke Ferdinand’s assassination in Sarajevo, 28 June 1914. In 1914-1918 unprecedented millions would die. In consequence of Kennedy’s assassination, the Cold War would continue, millions would be killed in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and the nuclear peril to life on earth would continue.

In Douglass’ title “the unspeakable,” students of anthroposophy will recognize the supersensible forces of evil. In a series of 13 lectures in December 1916[3] Rudolf Steiner provided the spiritual scientific knowledge that empowers an unbiased individual to achieve revelations of truth to which many remain blind.

James Douglass’ goal during 12 years of concentrated research and writing was not “to solve the assassination.” Rather, he saw movements of powerful spiritual forces, as he discovered the beginning transformation of John F. Kennedy and his confrontation with evil. Douglass knows that this story of transformation and the power of truth has the potential to overcome the illusions, secrecy, propaganda, and destructive poisons of endless GWOT (Global War on Terror).

... there is a force more powerful than war.... That is why it is so hopeful for us to confront the unspeakable and to tell the transforming story of a man of courage, President John F. Kennedy. It is a story ultimately not of death but of life—all our lives. In the end it is not so much a story of one man as it is a story of peacemaking when the chips are down. That story is our story, our story of hope.”[4]

. . .The Karma of Untruthfullness, Volume 1The research of James W. Douglass is, in my estimation, the greatest contribution to spiritual scientific research of 20th Century world history since The Karma of Untruthfulness. It is a revelatory look into current destructive forces seeming to control us by “external mechanisms”.[7] The genius of Douglass’ research is built both on the spiritual foundation of Thomas Merton and upon Douglass’ own life of faith as an activist and leading theologian of the nuclear age. Providing encyclopedic knowledge, documented with 100 pages of endnotes, Douglass never leaves the reader lost nor does he himself wander into speculation or theory. Rather, Douglass brings us to the security of truth. We follow how Kennedy’s turn towards peace and disarmament, after the near holocaust of the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 16 to 28 1962, led to his assassination.

Near the end we are reminded of a vital key to address what concerns us, our lives, and the world we belong to.

James Douglass’ book makes powerfully evident the thinking of the National Security elite, which is not only dead thinking, abstract logic, disconnected from living realities, but a thinking that has “untruth” at its foundation. Thomas Merton pointed out that “Truth is not a sentimental luxury but as essential to life as air and water.” The Prologue to the Gospel of Saint John says that God is truth. Gandhi said, “Truth is God.” James W. Douglass’ monumental historical research has dispelled a force of untruth that has held U.S. Americans and the world hostage for more than 50 years; spiritually seen, it is, in fact, an exorcism. Truth is the moral force more powerful that untruth.

As we continue to live out our days, here on the journey, it is helpful to be reminded of such Life-supporting and Life-serving awareness, especially when it appears that the chips are down. May we all continually awaken to and be renewed by recognition of our participation in and partaking of life at this unique time of Koyaanisqatsi.

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