Saturday, March 31, 2018

How U.S. Foreign Intervention Created Our Domestic Surveillance State - By Christopher Coyne and Abigail Hall

A militaristic foreign policy has real effects on domestic institutions and poses a genuine threat to domestic liberties.

The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal continues to be front-page news. According to current reports, Cambridge Analytica obtained private Facebook data, which it used to send pro-Trump material to targeted Facebook users. These reports have met outrage in Washington DC. The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation, and U.S. senators have called for Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook CEO, to testify in front of Congress.
Calls by Congress for increased oversight to prevent private companies from surveilling people are extremely ironic given that they recently renewed a section of the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which allows for the warrantless surveillance of Americans. Issues regarding the appropriate use of government surveillance are also at the center of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration.
These headlines provide an excellent opportunity to consider the history of the U.S. government’s surveillance state, which matters for people across the world whose liberties are at stake as government power expands.
Surveillance Origins: To Squash Dissent
The origins of the present-day surveillance state can be traced back to the U.S. government’s military occupation of the Philippines in the late 1890s. Under the leadership of Ralph Van Deman, who would earn the informal honorific of “father of U.S. military intelligence,” the U.S. occupiers established a state-of-the-art surveillance apparatus to squash dissent by those who resisted U.S. efforts.
After his time abroad, Van Deman returned home and, drawing upon his experiences abroad, worked tirelessly to establish similar surveillance infrastructure at home. In May 1917, the Military Intelligence Sec­tion (MIS) was formed, with Van Deman at the helm.
Over the following decades, the U.S. surveillance state continued to expand and reorganize, resulting in the founding of the National Security Agency (NSA) in 1952. This coincided with an unprecedented expansion in the scope of government surveillance of the daily lives and activities of American persons. The prevalence of unconstrained government surveil­lance is evident in the four main concurrent operations undertaken at that time: Project SHAMROCK and Project MINARET, both operated by the NSA; COINTELPRO, implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investiga­tion; and Operation CHAOS, which fell under the purview of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
These programs monitored all foreign telegraphs passing through the United States and surveilled individuals the FBI deemed “subversive,” which included civil rights leaders and anti-war protestors, among many others. This included not just indirect monitoring, but also infiltrating private organizations and illegal burglary in the name of protecting against “domestic dissent.”
Attempts at Restraint Turn Into License for More
The success of Van Deman’s vision and influence emerged in the 1970s, when the scale and scope of the national surveillance state, and the American government’s abuse of the power derived from controlling that machinery, were publicly revealed due to the reporting of Seymour Hersh. The subsequent investigation by the Church Committee revealed the extent of the abuses by U.S. intelligence operations, noting that “virtually every element of our society has been subjected to excessive government-ordered intelligence inquiries.” The committee’s findings made clear that the unchecked surveillance apparatus had unleashed an unconstrained leviathan that undermined the liberty of the American people.
In response to the committee’s findings, Congress passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which was intended to oversee and place judicial constraints on the government’s surveillance activities. The act created the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). However, as the revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013 made clear, these reforms were ineffective, with the members of the security state acting with few if any real constraints on their behavior.
It is crucial to understand the origins of the U.S. surveillance state both as an important historical episode, but also because it highlights a broader point: a militaristic foreign policy has real effects on domestic institutions and poses a genuine threat to domestic liberties. Many Americans believe overseas interventions by the U.S. government protect domestic liberties and promote freedom.
In our book, “Tyranny Comes Home,” we argue that this view is incomplete, if not entirely mistaken. When a society adopts the values of an aggres­sive empire, it runs the risk of adopting imperial characteristics at home.
Let’s Discuss the Boomerang Effect
To explain why, we develop a theory of the “boomerang effect” to un­derstand the process through which intervention abroad increases the scope of government power at home and erodes citizens’ liberties. Preparing for and engaging in foreign intervention provides a test­ing ground for intervening governments to experiment with new forms of social control over distant populations. Under certain conditions, these innovations in social control are then imported back to the intervening country, expanding the scope of domestic gov­ernment activities.
The result is that the intervening government becomes more effective at controlling not only foreign populations but the domes­tic population as well. Under this scenario, preparing and executing foreign intervention changes domestic political institutions and the re­lationship between citizen and government. Domestic freedom from others’ in­terference and coercion is eroded or lost altogether as the state gains power over citizens.
The thriving U.S. surveillance state clearly illustrates the logic of the boo­merang effect. The centralized apparatus of social control that the U.S. government first developed in the Philippines in the late nineteenth cen­tury has boomeranged to the United States, where it is flourishing more than a century later. As we discuss in “Tyranny Comes Home,” the boomerang effect also offers important insights into other cases, including the militarization of police, the domestic use of drones, and torture in U.S. prisons. Ongoing foreign military interventions with no end in sight will certainly lead to increased government power at home in the future.
Members of the U.S. government often use the rhetoric of freedom and virtue to legitimize intervention. This supposed commitment to higher ide­als is indicated by the names assigned to the government’s actions, such as “Operation Just Cause,” “Operation Enduring Freedom,” “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” “Operation Valiant Guardian,” and “Operation Falcon Freedom.” Despite this lofty rhetoric, the pernicious boomerang effect continues to operate: preparing for and carrying out intervention abroad undermines freedom at home.
It is crucial for Americans to realize this unseen and overlooked cost of a militarist foreign policy before it is too late and their liberties are forever lost.
Christopher J. Coyne is associate professor of economics at George Mason University. He is the author of multiple books, including "Doing Bad by Doing Good" and "After War," and co-author of "Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism." Abigail R. Hall is assistant professor of economics at the University of Tampa and co-author of "Tyranny Comes Home."

Vox Popoli: She should have read SJWAL (DaConservative conundrum)

ML is not exactly surprised by David Hogg's rejection of Laura Ingraham's apology:
David Hogg is predictably still calling for boycotts of Ingraham's advertisers, calling her apology inadequate. It's a shame she didn't read your book.

At this point I can safely state, without any sense of exaggeration or modesty, that if you have anything to do with the media or politics and you do not read SJWAL, you will fully merit the treatment that you're going to get from SJWs sooner or later. Conservative commentators continue to demonstrate that they never learn anything from the various defenestrations that preceded their own, as they insist on demonstrating every single time one of them comes in for targeted public criticism.

Laura Ingraham rightly made fun of David "Totally Not a Crisis Actor" Hogg because he's been getting rejected from various universities, then promptly backed down and apologized when the media's little darling affected to have gotten his feelings hurt. As you can imagine, her apology completely resolved the situation, because SJWs always refrain from taking advantage of an apologetic conservative rolling over and showing his yellow belly.
Advertisers – including TripAdvisor, Nestle, Wayfair and Hulu – are dumping Laura Ingraham after she slammed Parkland survivor

TripAdvisor will pull its advertisements from right-wing television host Laura Ingraham's Fox News program.

In a tweet, Ingraham mocked a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February that left 17 students and adults dead. The survivor-turned-activist, David Hogg, responded on Twitter by calling on his followers to contact Ingraham's top advertisers. Ingraham later tweeted her apologies "for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland."

Any student should be proud of a 4.2 GPA —incl. @DavidHogg111.  On reflection, in the spirit of Holy Week, I apologize for any upset or hurt my tweet caused him or any of the brave victims of Parkland. For the record, I believe my show was the first to feature David immediately after that horrific shooting and even noted how "poised" he was given the tragedy. As always, he’s welcome to return to the show anytime for a productive discussion. 

What a brave opinion leader! The complete spinelessness and stupidity demonstrated by the hapless Ingraham aside, this episode demonstrates how fragile the Right is when it relies upon the Left's infrastructure. Even a not-very-bright high school student can effectively take down a major conservative media figure with nothing more than a well-targeted tweet.

But there is a more important point here than the obvious question of "what part of 'never apologize' did you fail to understand?" If you live by advertising from converged corporations, then you can safely expect them to cut you off the moment someone complains that you are violating the current Narrative.

Ingraham's cringing self-implosion demonstrates why it is so terminally short-sighted for conservatives to insist on continually maximizing their short-term interests in exposure over their long-term interests in a solid non-converged infrastructure. This is why I wouldn't accept a television show on Fox News or CNN even if one was offered to me on a silver platter, as while such a show would be of significant benefit in the short term, it would vastly increase my fragility, whereas continuing to build up Infogalactic, Voxiversity, and other platforms will likely prove more beneficial to me and many others in the long run.

I have no sympathy for the talking heads who are shut down by their advertisers or the self-published authors who are shut down by Amazon. These are known risks and they cannot come as a surprise to anyone who has been conscious for the last four years. While you're not necessarily part of the problem if you're not helping build alternative platforms, you also are not part of the solution, and can't expect much in the way of support or sympathy if you find yourself being deplatformed in the future.

The problem of leftism (and what to do about it) - by Dr. Joel McDurmon (When will Christians face reality?)

There is a fact that needs to get across to everyone. If we can succeed in this, it will liberate everyone spiritually, psychologically, and in large part even physically and politically.
I am about to say something that will strike most Christians and conservatives as strange, even objectionable, at first. You will see, however, that it is merely counterintuitive. The fact to get across is this:
The left is a huge problem, but it is not really the problem.
To put it even more enigmatically, the left is the problem, but the left is not the problem.
To put it in the more seemingly objectionable way, the left is not the problem, period.
To explain, let’s be clear: “the left” is, in fact, the problem in that it embodies the worldview of the society of Satan. It results in the attempt to erect the humanistic state on the ruins of Christian civilization in every area of life—family, church, state, education, money, markets, banking, military, police, public services, insurance, medical, business, infrastructure, property, etc. Everything.
So far, we are talking about a worldview and the party (“the left,” so to speak) that embodies that worldview in general.
The great problem, however, we have got to realize, is not the party so much as the worldview. This is not because the party and its adherents are not wrong, devious, and destructive—murderous, even. It is because the worldview that drives them is the source of it all, and because that worldview is not confined within the ranks of that party. Let us be absolutely frank, clear, and painfully honest: this worldview is the greatest problem of all, and it is so mainly because Christians and conservatives far too often partake of it.
If that statement provokes any significant level of denial from you, then I humbly submit that you have not truly understood the depths of the devious worldview of which we speak, nor the broad scope of it. It is too easy to see ourselves in contrast with “the left” where it is easy—transgender bathrooms, forcing Christian bakers to “bake the cake,” the deadly socialism of Stalin, Mao, and Lenin, etc.
What we overlook are the areas in which we ourselves already practice the basic principles and values of that very worldview: government education, government contracts, subsidized businesses, a strong centralized executive-administrative, central banks, fiat money, a standing army, etc.
The problem here is not the left. The problem here is everyone who says they hate the left nevertheless acting like the left. The problem is the devious worldview of leftism among the ranks of Christians and conservatives.
The problem is not the left. The problem is the us acting like leftists. In fact, in some cases, it is us not only acting like the left, but defending the principles of leftism as we do. Our side has grown so dependent—spiritually, psychologically, materially and financially—upon acting like leftists that we defend its principles and institutions with the same ardor and passion we would our most fundamental religious doctrines—the resurrection of Christ and the inspiration of Scripture, for example.
Take, for now, just the issue of government education alone.
Christians defend the public school system, or at the very least refuse to call it what it is: socialism. The government schools are, by any measure by which you can measure them, the most socialistic institutions in our society. They are socialism, root and branch.
Most Christians have no idea that such a government-run education system was one of the key “planks” in Marx’s Communist Manifesto. We’re not talking about the content of the education here; we’re talking about having a government-funded education system period. When Marx published that idea, only a tiny handful of radicals in the northeast accepted such a view. There was hardly a public school anywhere in the U.S. The vast majority were private and home schooled, and yet we educated our children as well as anyone—and in many ways, far better than today.
But if you float the idea among Christians today that public education is unbiblical and should be avoided in principle by Christians, you had better duck immediately. You will be treated like a radical, fringe conspiracy theorist, a revolutionary, a schismatic, a troublemaker—indeed, un-American! It’s not that the nature of the socialistic education system has changed, or that the principles of the Bible have changed. It is that Christians and conservatives have grown dependent upon the system, deeply, and they are just as invested in it emotionally as they are materially. The initial call to repentance and change almost always meets resistance for these very reasons. Few are the Zaccheuses in life who happily make immediate changes that hurt them socially and financially.
Telling Christians and conservatives that they have accepted socialism and are behaving like socialists in this area—any area—usually strikes them as a deep offense. But it is true.
The truth, however, is that if every Christian and conservative immediately pulled out of government schools, the system would collapse almost overnight. If we pulled out and adamantly opposed the funding of it, it would without question collapse immediately. In this area, socialism would have no hold over us and be no threat to us.
And that brings us back to our point: the left is not our problem. We ourselves are the problem, in every area where we act like leftists. And we do. A lot.
I wrote about this a few years back in Restoring America:
The problem ultimately is as much personal as it is political. The local and state levels are microcosms of the more extended plundering that goes on in Washington, D.C., but local gov­ernments themselves are a reflection of the lusts and corrup­tion that local individuals choose to allow. Local governments often suffer under corrupt officials who doggedly pursue more money—more grants from state and Federal governments. But often local citizens either agree with taking, taxing, and bor­rowing, or they are oblivious or apathetic to it.
So here’s the hard truth: if you agree with the appropria­tions (even if “only at the local level”), then you’re complicit in a corrupt system that stretches from your heart all the way to Washington. Don’t talk about freedom and fiscal respon­sibility when you make multi-million dollar exceptions for yourself, your business, your industry, your union, your police and fire, or your local schools. Obama’s not the problem; you’re the problem. Until you address this problem in your own heart, you have no moral authority to criticize people for doing essentially the same thing you do (albeit on a larger scale and way over your head). (Restoring America One County at a Time, 100–101)
I like and even love a lot of what I hear from sources like crtv, Matt Kibbe, and others. But they don’t go all the way, and that is the very problem itself. We can decry “socialism” all day long, and probably make a good deal of money frightening people with pictures and tales of Stalin, the trail of dead bodies in socialism’s wake, and warnings that the progressive want to take away our guns. But it will produce nothing more than the gain of a few celebrity producers and talking heads if we do not swing the axe at the root of our own socialism; and we cannot swing the axe at the root if w will not be honest about where the root really is.
You cannot escape Marx while practicing the teachings of Marx. You cannot stop 1984’s “boot stamping on a human face—forever” when it’s also your boot on the face of your neighbors. You cannot shelter socialism at the foundations of your society and then pretend to fear the results to which socialism leads.
Get out of the government schools, completely. Fight to privatize the institutions, and free mankind to choose. Help other local Christians and conservatives use their wealth voluntarily to create charitable schools and trade schools for the truly impoverished and needy. Create private networks of help, business, education, self- and home defense, arbitration, etc. Don’t just condemn the left where it’s easy; sanctify yourself where it is both easy and difficult. Free yourself from your own dependence on government and socialistic institutions. Then start or join an effort to replace those institutions with alternatives of liberty and charity, and work to get the government out of all places it does not belong completely, for good, forever.
We want to abolish all socialism. But we can only do so if we are truly honest about how deep socialism runs and how much we are intertwined with it, and then get really honest about rooting it out.

Friday, March 30, 2018

What Happened to the West? - The Saker

Frankly, I am awed, amazed and even embarrassed.  I was born in Switzerland, lived most of my life there, I also visited most of Europe, and I lived in the USA for over 20 years.  Yet in my worst nightmares I could not have imagined the West sinking as low as it does now.  I mean, yes, I know about the false flags, the corruption, the colonial wars, the NATO lies, the abject subservience of East Europeans, etc.  I wrote about all that many times.  But imperfect as they were, and that is putting it mildly, I remember Helmut Schmidt, Maggie Thatcher, Reagan, Mitterrand, even Chirac!  And I remember what the Canard Enchaîné used to be, or even the BBC.  During the Cold War the West was hardly a knight in white shining armor, but still – rule of law did matter, as did at least some degree of critical thinking.
I am now deeply embarrassed for the West.  And very, very afraid.
All I see today is a submissive herd lead by true, bona fide, psychopaths (in a clinical sense of the word)
And that is not the worst thing.
The worst thing is the deafening silence, the way everybody just looks away, pretends like “ain’t my business” or, worse, actually takes all this grotesque spectacle seriously.  What the fuck is wrong with you people?!  Have you all been turned into zombies?!  WAKE UP!!!!!!!
Let me carefully measure my words here and tell you the blunt truth.
Since the Neocon coup against Trump the West is now on exactly the same course as Nazi Germany was in, roughly, the mid 1930s.
Oh sure, the ideology is different, the designated scapegoat also.  But the mindset is *exactly* the same.
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Same causes produce the same effects.  But this time around, there are weapons on both sides which make the Dresden Holocaust looks like a minor spark.
So now we have this touching display of “western solidarity” not with UK or the British people, but with the City of London.  Now ain’t that touching?!
Let me ask you this: what has been the central feature of Britain’s policies towards Europe, oh, let’s say since the Middle-Ages?
That’s right: starting wars in Europe.
And this time around you think it’s different?
Does: “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior” somehow not apply to the UK?!
Let me also tell you this: when Napoleon and Hitler attacked Russia she was undergoing deep crises and was objectively weak (really! research it for yourself!).  In both cases Russian society was deeply torn by internal contradictions and the time for attack as ideal.
Not today.
So I ask this simple question: do you really want to go to war against a fully united nuclear Russia?
You think that this is hyperbole?
Think again.
The truth is that the situation today is infinitely worse than the Cuban missile crisis. First, during the Cuban missile crisis there were rational people on both side.  Today there is NOT ONE SINGLE RATIONAL PERSON LEFT IN A POSITION OF POWER IN THE USA.  Not ONE!  Second, during the Cuban missile crisis all the new was reporting on was the crisis, the entire planet felt like we were standing at the edge of the abyss.
Today nobody seems to be aware that we are about to go to war, possibly a thermonuclear war, where casualties will be counted in the hundreds of millions.
All because of what?
Because the people of the West have accepted, or don’t even know, that they are ruled by an ugly gang of ignorant, arrogant psychopaths.
At the very least this situation shows this:
Representative democracy does not work.
The rule of law only applies to the weak and poor.
Western values have now been reduced to a sad joke.
Capitalism needs war and a world hegemony to survive.
The AngloZionist Empire is about to collapse, the only open question is how and at what cost.
Right now they are expelling Russian diplomats en masse and they are feeling very strong and manly. Polish and Ukrainian politicians are undergoing a truly historical surge in courage and self-confidence! (hiding, as they do, behind Anglo firepower)
The truth is that this is only the tip of a much bigger iceberg.  In reality, crucial expert-level consultations, which are so vitally important between nuclear superpowers, have all but stopped a long time ago.  We are down to top level telephone calls.  That kind of stuff happens when two sides are about to go to war.  For many months now Russia and NATO have made preparations for war in Europe.  And Russia is ready.  NATO sure ain’t!  Oh, they have the numbers and they think they are strong.  The truth is that these NATO midgets have no idea of what is about to hit them, when the Russians go to war these NATO statelets won’t even understand what is happening to them.  Very rapidly the real action will be left to the USA and Russia.  Thus any conflict will go nuclear very fast.  And, for the first time in history, the USA will be hit very, very hard, not only in Europe, the Middle-East or Asia, but also on the continental US.
I was born in a Russian military family and I studied Russian and Soviet military affairs all my life. I can absolutely promise you this, please don’t doubt it for one second: Russia will not back down and, if cornered, she will wipe out your entire civilization. The Russians really don’t want war, they fear it (as they should!) and they will do everything to avoid it.  But if attacked then expect a response of absolutely devastating violence.  Don’t take it from me, take it from Putin who clearly said so himself and who, at least on that issue, is supported by about 95% of the population.  From the Eastern Crusades to the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, enough is enough, and the Russians will not take one more western attack, especially not one backed by nuclear firepower.  Again, please ponder Putin’s words very, very carefully: “what need would we have a world if there is no Russia?
All that for what?  The USA and Russia have NO objective reasons to do anything but to collaborate (the Russians are absolutely baffled the fact the leaders of the USA seem to be completely oblivious to this simple fact).  Okay, the City of London does have a lot of reasons to want Russia gone and silent. As Gavin Williamson, the little soy-boy in charge of UK “defense”, so elegantly put it, Russia should “go away and shut up”.  Right.  Let me tell you – it ain’t happening!  Britannia will be turned into a heap of radioactive ashes long before Russian goes away or shuts up.  That is simply a fact.
What baffles me is this: do American leaders really want to lose their country in behalf of a small nasty clique of arrogant British pompous asses who think that they still are an Empire?  Did you even take a look at Boris Johnson, Theresa May and Gavin Williamson?  Are you really ready to die in defense of the interest of these degenerates?!
I don’t get it and nobody in Russia does.
Yeah, I know, all they did is expel some diplomats.  And the Russians will do the same.  So what?  But that’s missing the point!
You can get 200,000 antigun (sigh, rolleyes) protesters in DC but NOBODY AT ALL ABOUT NUCLEAR WAR?!
What is wrong with you people?!
What happened to the West where I was born in in 1963?
My God, is this really the end of it all?
Am I the only one who sees this slow-motion train-wreck taking us all over the precipice?
If you can, please give a reason to still hope.
Right now I don’t see many.
The Saker
PS: yes, I know. The rules of the blog prohibit CAPS as this is considered shouting.  Okay, but this time around I AM TRYING TO SHOUT!  So, for this one time only, feel free to use caps if you want.  The world badly needs some shouting right now, even virtual shouting.
All the original content published on this blog is licensed by Saker Analytics, LLC under the Creative Commons CC-BY-SA 4.0 International license (

K-12: Illiterate New World - By Bruce Deitrick Price

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World appeared in 1932.  Everyone at that time was dazzled by the technocratic skills of the Ford Motor Company, able to turn out identical cars by the millions on highly efficient assembly lines.  In Huxley's novel, the calendar counts years A.F. – After Ford – and God's new name is Ford.
The zeitgeist was obsessed with control.  Ideologues liked the possibility of more precise social engineering.  Communists in particular were focused on planned societies and central economies, with super-smart experts sitting around a table and deciding what every citizen could do and could not do.  Psychiatrists likeIvan Pavlov wanted to show how drastically you could manipulate cognition and personality.
Aldous Huxley devised a single beautiful image for capturing all of these hopes and fears: a hi-tech assembly line where infants were manufactured to specification.  In particular, oxygen levels were adjusted to create babies of very low, low, medium, and very high intelligence.  This image, this metaphor, was stunning in its concreteness.  A huge industrial operation, all clean and shiny, all stainless steel and glass, did what nobody had thought of doing before: control human intelligence in embryo.
It turns out there is an activity in the real world, in real society, that is exactly parallel.  That was the creation of readers to order.  By the simple device of depriving some children of certain key information, they were stunted, no longer able to become professors, more or less predestined for low-level jobs.
As Huxley in the year 1931 was doing the final edit on his book, this country's Education Establishment built a new sort of assembly line for producing flawed children.  Instead of withholding oxygen, this factory withheld the alphabet.  Parents were told that the ABCs are not essential and could be ignored.  As one famous expert announced dogmatically, "[c]urrent practice in the teaching of reading does not require knowledge of letters."  Really?
Instead of the alphabet (twenty-six fairly simple objects that can be memorized in a month or two), children in this new factory were told to focus on complete words.  Instead of memorizing B, for example, you had to memorize BEACH.  Just five letters, but a hugely complex design – and there were more than 200,000 of them.  Parents were told their children could routinely memorize these visual designs with "automaticity."  That's like instant recall.  The child was supposed to know hundreds and then thousands of these designs with perfect accuracy.  In reality, virtually no child could do this, except the few with photographic memories.  So in practice, the factory created millions of non-readers and weak readers.
In this ruthless new factory, the obsession with power and control was the same as in Huxley's factory.  Humans would be conditioned and engineered to be what the controllers wanted.  This creepy, highly invasive scheme was a brilliant "success," once it's understood that the new goal was limited literacy.  Anyway, that was the predictable result.  Reading levels dropped from 1931 onward.  Several decades later, the country had tens of millions of functional illiterates. T hose are people who memorize several hundred sight-words with good accuracy, and probably hundreds more with medium or low accuracy.  Reading as traditionally understood – a skill both easy and fun – was extinct for a great percentage of the population.  What this bold new factory was creating was damaged readers, like the embryos that didn't get enough oxygen.
This scheme was wildly improbable from the first day.  What sort of unconscionable people would dare to perpetrate it?  That the citizenry could accept it was improbable.  How many semi-literate people would the society tolerate?  That so-called "experts" could put this scheme over on the public remains unlikely to this day.  It's probably not doable unless the Education Establishment has the support of certain unions, certain government agencies, certain foundations, certain universities, and much of the media.  There is a big silence.  How will the public learn the truth if the controllers make sure it's well hidden?  (Check the archives of the New York Times.  You will not find insight into why sight-words can be considered a dubious development.)
Hardly 20 years after the introduction of this brave new illiteracy, the situation was already so bad that Rudolf Flesch felt compelled to write a book explaining what had happened to the country (Why Johnny Can't Read, 1955).  Many millions of Americans felt compelled to read the book.  Almost everyone knew that something had gone horribly wrong.  It continues to go wrong today.
In Brave New World, the controllers are always smugly pleased with their factory.  The same sort of people seem to be controlling K-12 education for the past century.
Bruce Deitrick Price's new book is Saving K-12.  He deconstructs educational theories and methods on  Support his work on Patreon.

You Know The U.S. is Losing, We’re Willing to Talk | Gold Goats 'n Guns - TOM LUONGO

How do you know when a politician is lying?
Their lips move and words come out.
How do you know when the United States is at a disadvantage in a geopolitical quagmire?
Our diplomats and Presidents want to ‘open up talks.’
Multiple times in the past four years the U.S. has used negotiating ceasefires in Syria and Ukraine to rearm and regroup those we’re backing or get our opposition (the Syrian Arab Army, the Russians) to let their guard down and then attack within 24 hours.
We’ve used the U.N. Security Council as a bludgeon to brazenly lie about on the ground facts in Syria to attempt to save our pet jihadists in places like Aleppo and now eastern Ghouta.
And in each of these instances the Russian counterparts have documented the U.S.’s mendacity, patiently building up an international file of such incidents for future use.  As I’ve pointed out so many times, the Russians rightly feel we are “Not Agreement Capable” either from a short-term or long-term perspective.
Winning Looks like Losing
So, why do I think the U.S. is in a losing position right now, despite the pronouncements from President Trump and his most ardent supporters that he’s winning on everything?
Because on the two most important issues of 2018, Korean denuclearization and strategic arms control, Trump is ready to sit down and talk.  And we have not been willing to do that on either of these issues at the Head of State level for most of this century, if not longer.
I wrote recently that the Neoconservative cabal in D.C. is in its final push for war with Russia.  The catalyst, for me, was President Putin’s state of the union address on March 1st where he unveiled new weapons that conjured up images from the finale of Dr. Strangelove.
I said, and still believe …
The neocons are cornered.  All of their major pushes to destroy Russia and Iran and control central Asia are collapsing.  The EU is fast approaching a political crisis.  The U.K. is still a loyal subject but the White House has a cancer at its center, Donald Trump. The window has nearly closed on regime change in Russia.  In effect, it’s now or never.
And the clock started the moment Putin unveiled these weapons.  It’s not that the military and intelligence services in the U.S. didn’t know about these systems.  They did.
The embarrassing part is that for fifteen years (or more) the neocons, through their mouthpieces like John Bolton, have argued that war with Iran and Russia was the right course of action precisely because it was winnable at minimal cost to the U.S.
They peddled the lie that the Russians couldn’t defend themselves against us while our military commanders, especially one James Mattis, argued otherwise and from a position of knowledge, not ideological fervor.
In Korea it is the Koreans themselves that are pushing for reunification.  The election of President Moon Jae-in is a testament to that. And the rapidity with which the situation has gone from full throated U.S. push for war and regime change to, “Hey, let’s talk about this,” has been stunning.
It means that some underlying fact has changed which precludes the U.S. from taking the neocon approach of further encirclement and destabilization of Russia and China.
Trump is now willing, against the advice of his inner council, to talk with Vladimir Putin about arms control.  Why?  The Russians have weapons that we cannot and will not be able to counter for a decade, if not longer.
We may have or will soon have weapon systems of parallel aggressive capabilities, but counter systems, like missile defense and electronic warfare, no.  In fact, the Russians are most likely ahead of us in both of those areas as well.
So, now that the neocon push for war has been outed as the worst kind of malicious fever dream the only thing left to do is push this moment to its crisis point and trap Trump and Putin in a stand-off that most likely ends in tears.
MOAR Escalation!
Remember, not two weeks ago U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley failed to advance a total ceasefire in eastern Ghouta to save our ISIS/Al-Qaeda pet Salafist head-choppers there before they were wiped out.  The resolution went nowhere because you can only go to that well so many times before it doesn’t work anymore.
The hysteria surrounding the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal is being used cynically to force Europe back into the fold of the U.S.’s ambitions to destroy Russia.
Every time Haley goes to the security council with another worthless ceasefire she is building the case for Russia’s removal from the U.N. Security Council. Or, at least, that’s the thinking.  But, if that happens, then the U.N. is finished.
Meanwhile, as I pointed out earlier, the Russians keep making the case that it is the U.S. that negotiates in bad faith, treats allies like lepers and abuses its status to push for ends orthogonal to their interests.
And that brings me to Germany and the Nordstream 2 pipeline, Russia’s next weapon in its war with the U.S.  U.S. lawmakers are apoplectic that this pipeline is getting built.  Just this morning Germany issued the permits to allow its construction over the most strenuous objections from the U.S.
More sanctions are being threatened, assets frozen.  More pressure will be placed on Denmark to not issue the permit.  But Nordstream can be re-routed around Danish waters if need be for a small cost.  So, with Germany’s permit Nordstream 2 is, for all practical intents, a go.
Lastly, China’s yuan-denominated oil futures contract (which is convertible to gold, FYI) began trading on Sunday evening and the initial volume was impressive to say the least.  With China becoming the world’s largest importer of oil and the need for an oil futures benchmark in something other than light sweet crude, the challenge posed by this contract to the pricing of oil to the current petrodollar system is real.
And this will play into any and all trade negotiations between Trump and Jinping over the next year.  The goal of this contract is not only to remove unnecessary friction from oil pricing but also to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to un-peg the Riyal from the U.S. dollar and accept Yuan as payment for the significant amount of oil they sell China.
You will know in the next few months just how much this new weapon is forcing change by how willing the U.S. is willing to cut deals on trade.
We’re approaching the crescendo of Trump’s ‘Crazy Ivan’ ploy to exert maximum leverage in a number of areas including foreign policy and trade.  I believe the neoconservatives are worried he will not cut acceptable deals in the end, because they know his hand is poor.
Therefore, the big bluff he’s trying to execute will be called.  This is why they are pushing for war so badly.  And this is why he’s willing to go along with them, they are handing him leverage that he understands.
Unfortunately, Putin doesn’t bluff.  And for a bully like Trump, losing is not an option.  Lying our way into war is a time-honored U.S. Presidential tradition.  Is this time different?  The world hopes so.

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Strange Things Happen to European Countries Resisting George Soros’ Assault - By Alex Gorka

Strange things happen in East and Central Europe that get little mention from media outlets.  Two heads of state, the PMs of Slovenia and Slovakia, resigned almost simultaneously. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico was a victim of the scandal over the murder of Jan Kuciak, a journalist who was investigating government corruption.  The PM had to step down amid mass street protests.

Mr. Fico was known for his support of a stronger Visegrad Group. He opposed Brussels on many issues. It’s worth noting that he called for lifting sanctions and improving relations with Moscow. The PM was adamant that Russia was a reliable energy partner.  Is it a coincidence that he was forced to resign amid the anti-Russia campaign triggered by the Skripal case and other obviously concocted stories used as false pretexts for incessant attacks on Moscow? Wasn’t he a threat to the so-called unity of the EU against Russia? He definitely was.

The PM did not hide the fact that his decision was made under great pressure. The ouster was engineered by outside forces, including philanthropist billionaire George Soros. For instance, Slovak President Andrej Kiska had a private meeting with the billionaire in September, 2017. It was a one-on-one conversation. No Slovak diplomat was present there.
According to Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák, “George Soros is a man who has had a major influence on the development in Eastern and Central Europe and beyond. That is a fact that cannot be questioned.” PM Viktor Orbán had this say about the event: “George Soros and his network are making use of every possible opportunity to overthrow governments that are resisting immigration.”

Slovenian PM Miro Cerar was attacked by Soros for his opposition to the EU policy on immigration. George Soros did not hide the fact that he was an ardent opponent of Miro Cerar’s stance. “It is an obligation for Europe to receive migrants,” the US financier lectured Europeans.  Now the PM has to go, after the results of a referendum on a key economic project were annulled by the top court and the media attacks on his stance regarding asylum seekers intensified. With Cerar no longer at the helm, the opposition movement to Brussels’s dictatorship has been weakened.

Who’s next? Probably Hungary, which has become a target for Soros’s attacks.  The American billionaire has invested more than $400 million into his native country since 1989.  He has also announced his intention to influence the Hungarian election campaign and has employed 2,000 people for that purpose. The government wants its “Stop Soros” bills to become laws.  No doubt Hungary will come under attack for opposing the financier’s network.

Brussels will raise a hue and cry, criticizing the “undemocratic regime” ruling the country. The next parliamentary elections in Hungary will be held on April 8, 2018. It’ll be a tough fight to preserve independence while fending off attempts to impose US pressure through Soros-backed NGOs and educational institutions.
Soros’s activities are also being resisted in the Czech Republic. Czech President Milos Zeman has accused the groups affiliated with Soros of meddling in his nation’s internal affairs. The financier is urging the EU to lean on Poland and compel it to “preserve the rule of law.”

Macedonia, is also resisting the billionaire-inspired subversive activities that have an eye toward regime change. The “Soros network” has great influence on the European Parliament and other institutions. The scandalous list of Soros’s allies includes 226 MEPs out of 751.  Every third member — just think about that! If that isn’t corruption then what is? The lawmakers being swayed from abroad dance to Soros’s tune. They do what they are told, which includes whipping up anti-Russia hysteria.
Moscow has its own history of dealing with the Soros network. In 2015, George Soros’s Open Society Institute was kicked out of that country as an “undesirable organization” that was established to boost US influence.

It would be really naïve to think that Soros acts on his own. It’s an open secret that the US government flagrantly meddles in other countries’ internal affairs using the billionaire as a vehicle. Europe is an American competitor that needs to be weakened. USAID and the Soros network often team up in pursuit of common objectives.  In March 2017, six US senators signed a letter asking the State Department to look into government funding of Soros-backed organizations. But those efforts went nowhere, Foggy Bottom is always on Soros’s side, whatever it is.

Many European countries are engaged in a fierce battle to protect their independence. The financier’s “empire” is chomping at the bit to conquer Europe by means of bribes and subversive NGOs.  These countries and Russia are resisting the same threat. Perhaps that’s why the sanctions against Russia are so unpopular among many East European politicians.

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