by Brad Warbiany
Goldbugs have long-believed that central banks try to manipulate the price of gold, i.e. dumping gold onto the market at certain times to keep the price down, then slowly re-acquiring it after the spike passes, etc. But in an era where the goldbugs are predicting $2000/oz and higher (I’ve seen predictions of $5000/oz), I don’t think the central banks have enough gold in their vaults to blunt that rise — and even worse, if they made a concerted effort to dump it, that very signal would push prices through the roof. Even worse, it’s a prisoner’s dilemma. The central banks are helped if they all dump the gold, but if one goes rogue and starts buying it all up, it ruins the plan for all of them.
So no, the central banks can’t just dump their gold onto the market. Yet they have serious fears that the public senses the inflationary forces in the world and are looking for a hedge. And they REALLY don’t want the gold price to spike and fuel those fears.
So what if they created a scare in the gold market about purity? Instead of giving people trust in their own currencies, what if they tried to impugn trust in the ability to buy real gold?
The initial discovery was something like four gold bars, which the Hong Kong bankers drilled invasively to test the contents. Reminds me of drilling the earth and measuring how many grams of gold per tonne. The HK bankers hoped to have 99% gold yield in their drill program for the resident bars. They found something like 1% instead and 99% tungsten. By the way, tungsten sells for less than $70 per ton, which makes its swaps for gold to be 60x more profitable than silver bar swaps. Another handy usage for the Gold/Silver ratio in calculations. The hunt was on. Now not a single assayer on the planet is available, as all are tied up. They have been commissioned to test the gold bars shipped from the United States of Fraudulent Banker America in their own bullion vaults. They use basic methods of four drill holes with direct assay of shavings, but also less invasive methods like electro-magnetic waves to examine the metal lattice structure. When highest level methods are needed, they turn to mass spectrometry. NOW ALMOST NO GOLD BARS WILL LEAVE THE LONDON OR NEW YORK METALS EXCHANGES WITHOUT SOME AUTHENTICATION, AS DISTRUST IS WIDESPREAD.
Think, for a second, what a diabolical scheme this would be, if perpetrated by central banks.
In a move they can blame on simple counterfeiters (trying to pass off the tungsten as if it were gold at a huge profit), they can paralyze the entire gold market in a fear that if you buy gold, it won’t be real. They can try to destroy demand for gold in such a way that — if undiscovered — would never be traced to them. All this while keeping all their gold safely in their vaults and devaluing their fiat currencies.
Now, I’m not going to up and claim that such a scheme is being perpetrated. But would you put it past the central bankers, a group of people desperate to keep faith in their own fiat currencies — since faith is the only thing that backs them?
WTF??? Did Alicia Keys Make The SIGN OF THE ILLUMINATI Last Night????
Hard to imagine with financial markets still buoyant and newspapers full of tales of bonus greed, but there is still the possibility that captialism will end. At least there is according to prestigious investment consultants Watson Wyatt in their latest study called “Extreme Risks“.
The firm listed the demise of the system of private ownership as one of 15 threats to investors and the global economy that probably won’t happen but which it reckons are worth worrying about anyway. The idea behind the report is that such things as climate change, the break up of the euro zone and war are always worth being included in an investment risk management process.
As for the future of capitalism:
In our view, the most likely scenario is moving along from one end of a spectrum where market is king (minimum regulation) towards the other end, where we could see more onerous regulations and government intervention in, and control of, the economy. The extreme risk, however, is the demise of the capitalist system and the end of the market as the primary means of resource allocation.
And the impact:
The economy would be likely to run a higher risk of failure and economic growth would be sluggish in the long run due to lower productivity. Centrally controlled economies tend to be characterised by shortages, which are inherently inflationary. Private investment activities would collapse or even be terminated. The end of capitalism is simply the ultimate extreme risk. The economy is likely to be associated with extreme uncertainty and a large amount of wealth destruction during the transition period.
Watson Wyatt does try to give its free market clients some hope, suggesting that buying gold may be one way to hedge against the propect of capitalism’s demise. But it admitted that in such a circumstance investors would probably be more concerned about the return of their investments rather that the return on them.
(Illustration called The Communist Party, from Threadless)by Richard Freeman
This article appears in the July 11, 2003 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Wall Street Journal editor emeritus Robert Bartley, only three weeks after his angry editorial attack on Lyndon LaRouche for exposing the "Straussian" fascist cabal in Washington, has used his Journal column to propose Synarchist measures for the economic collapse—a single, global central bank and a single world currency.
Thus Bartley, coming from a secret meeting of international bankers and financiers in Siena, Italy, let out exactly what Presidential candidate LaRouche had just warned of—a plan to create an "economic Sept. 11" with a collapse of U.S. credit and the dollar, allowing them to then impose emergency rule of international finance (see EIR, June 13). In his warning, LaRouche put his finger on what many had begun to suspect, that the colossal incompetence of especially the U.S. government and Federal Reserve, in rapidly worsening the pace of economic collapse, may reveal an underlying intent among central bank circles. Bartley's announcement is virtually a "Synarchists' answer to LaRouche" on that point.
Bartley's call for the creation of a one-world single currency, to be issued by a powerful "supranational central bank," created at the same time, appeared on June 30 in the Wall Street Journal, where Bartley was an editor for 15 years. This would be underpinned, he wrote, by a British 19th-Century-type gold standard. Bartley's raving attack on LaRouche had been published on June 9, seeking to discredit the Presidential candidate's campaign pamphlet, The Children of Satan, of which nearly 1 million copies are circulating. It exposes the Synarchist network around Vice President Dick Cheney, which has taken control of the White House on behalf of a policy of perpetual global warfare, and the common allegiance of that network to the ideas of German emigré fascist philosopher Leo Strauss.
In that tirade, Bartley proclaimed himself a long-time promoter of the Straussian war-hawks. In his June 30 proposal, he promotes the Synarchist financier crowd closely linked to Cheneys Straussians, which wants a supranational central bank imposed in an economic emergency or "end-game."
An 'Interest-Rate Trap,' Then Deflation
The connection Bartley and the Journal have exposed is lawful, as the breakdown of the world economic-financial system is accelerating. On June 25, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, led by Chairman Alan Greenspan, lowered the Federal funds rate by one-quarter percent, to 1%—its lowest level since 1958. The objective of bringing interest rates down to near zero, is to accelerate the huge central bank money-printing binge to unprecedented levels, in an attempt to prop up the remaining international financial bubbles, especially the real estate asset bubble in the United States. This money-printing approach will further a Weimar-style hyperinflationary upsurge. Then it is likely, as LaRouche warned in early June, that Greenspan would suddenly reverse course and jack interest rates up, pulling the plug on an "interest-rate trap" which would set off deflation and bankrupt millions of investors.
Speaking before some 400 people at a June 29 campaign event in Queens, LaRouche explained the dire consequences of this one-two punch: "There are a group of financier interests, who ... using their agent Alan Greenspan, have a certain plan for your financial future. What they've now done, is drop the Federal [funds] rate toward as close to zero as they can get; and they're about to drop it further. The reason for this dropping of the ... rate, is to try to sucker money into financial markets, by saying, 'the markets are going up, therefore, please suckers, come invest your money in this wonderful future, which is being created by Alan Greenspan.'
"What will happen? In a short period ahead, this financial bubble will collapse. Bankruptcy will spread. Alan Greenspan will run the discount rate up to, maybe, between 7% and 8%, and all the suckers will be wiped out. Mortgage owners will be wiped out; businesses will be wiped out; pensions will be wiped out; insurance plans will be wiped out, and so forth. This is the kind of people we are dealing with ... who want world war. And these are the people who own, and are using, a group of people who are Synarchists, who are called in this country, 'neo-conservatives.' "
Springing this trap would cause a financial train wreck, and deflation, in which environment the financial oligarchy could create an institution like the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), but even stronger. In the 1930s Depression crisis, the BIS was created to apply genocidal austerity and helped bring to power and extend the rule of the universal Synarchist-fascist movement, including Adolf Hitler's dictatorship in Germany.
Robert Mundell and Siena Bank
Bartley's June 30 op-ed described the proceedings of a conference entitled, "Does the Global Economy Need a Global Currency?" which had just been held at a 15th-Century castle near Siena, owned by the conference's sponsor, Robert Mundell. Mundell, who has been a mentor of Bartley's for decades, is a leading spokesman for the older elements of the international financier oligarchy, grouped around the Mont Pelerin Society, but also other institutions (more on him below). Bartley reported that one participant at this small, but strategic gathering, was former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, who openly voiced his support for a one-world currency. Starting in 1979, Volcker applied a policy of "controlled disintegration of the economy," that devastated the U.S. economy.
Other important participants, presently known of, were former Argentine Finance Minister Domingo Cavallo, notorious for destroying that country's economy; Steven Hanke, who abrogates national sovereignty by setting up currency boards; and former Israeli Central Bank head Jacob Frenkel.
Bartley described Mundell's policy, which dominated the conference, and which requires a strong central bank to control financial flows and a world currency. Bartley asserts, "If the euro can replace the franc, mark, and lira, why can't a new world currency merge the dollar, euro, and yen?" Such a new world currency, he avers, could be called the "dey" (short for "dollar, euro, yen"). "This suggests success for the grandest reform of all, a supranational central bank."
What makes this plan even more dangerous, is that Mundell favors linking currencies, in this case a new world currency, to a 19th-Century British gold standard. That standard is harshly deflationary: It sends economies into a downward spiral, and makes societies defenseless against moves toward supranational dictatorial rule.
Robert Mundell's prominence in this venture, playing the ventriloquist role of Edgar Bergen to Robert Bartley's wooden dummy Charley McCarthy, is an indisputable marker that a very nasty operation is afoot, emanating from the bowels of the financial oligarchy. Though the average man in the street knows nothing about Mundell, EIR has watched his career very closely. There is a lizard-like slitheriness to it, as he has carries out sensitive missions for the oldest, dirtiest branches of that oligarchy.
Born in 1932 in Canada, Mundell did his graduate work at the London School of Economics in the 1950s, where, he told a reporter, his ideas were shaped by Lord Lionel Robbins. A key figure in the City of London banking establishment, Robbins and his colleague Friedrich Von Hayek were leading lights in the oligarchy's Mont Pelerin Society, which was founded in 1947, meets secretly, and provides much of the economic policy for the neo-conservatives and fascist Synarchists. After a stint as chief international economist at the International Monetary Fund, Mundell was steered, during the 1960s, to the "Siena Group," which is controlled by the Monte dei Paschi Bank of Siena. This, created in 1472, is the world's oldest continuously functioning bank. Monte dei Paschi is apparently a policy control point for the old and also dirty-money financier networks—what are sometimes called fondi. Mundell was so impressed with Siena, that in 1969, he bought the five-story castle once owned by Pandolfo Petrucci, who ruled Siena from 1487-1512.
After working with Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago, Mundell moved to Columbia University in 1974. There he concocted the entire "supply-side economics" fraud, which he taught to Robert Bartley, Jude Wanniski, Art Laffer, and former Rep. Jack Kemp (R-N.Y.), all of whom then peddled it to the Reagan Administration, with disastrous results. As a paid consultant to the European Monetary Authority, Mundell also spent several decades in pushing his version of the euro currency. In an article in the July/August 1990 edition of the Italian journal Revista di Politica Economica, Mundell called for the creation of a world central bank. Certifying that he is completely insane, in 1999, the oligarchy had him awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.
Mounting evidence points to the fact that the world financial system is on its last legs. In the June 30 issue of a leading German daily, Die Welt, Swiss fund manager Marc Faber warned that central bankers are engaged in "extreme monetary expansion, in particular in the U.S. and Japan," which is courting calamity. In its June 30 annual report, the BIS itself warned about the increasing dangers of highly leveraged, risky financial instruments, such as derivatives, which, it said, "are increasingly traded" among large financial institutions. Trading among "large players" could "move markets in ways that could affect the cost and availability of needed hedging. In this way, idiosyncratic shocks could conceivably turn systemic," said the BIS report.
Freddie Mac, one of the dominant lending institutions in the U.S. housing bubble, is a major case of where shocks "could turn systemic." In a similar vein, the insurance industry in several of the world's leading nations, is in dire straits. On June 25, the German Insurance Association (GDV), after meeting in Frankfurt, declined to bail out Mannheimer Versicherung, a medium-sized insurer, which had lost massively on the stock markets during the recent three years. This is the association's first large bankruptcy in 50 years. Some of the larger insurers in the GDV are experiencing significant difficulties themselves, and do not want to use up funds saving smaller companies.
The pace of the financial system's disintegration is registering with many bankers. In attacking LaRouche in the June 9 Journal, Bartley was defending the Cheney-led network and policy currently controlling the Bush Administration. More directly, he was attacking LaRouche's alternative, his New Bretton Woods policy for bankruptcy reorganization, and rebuilding the world economy. Bartley's controllers' policy is diametrically opposed.
Here's the Global Currency NWO promoter:
WATCH / READ FULL REPORT:
LAMB: Which economist, you know, in the Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan group do you respect the most?
SHELTON: The greatest economist, the one for whom I have the most respect, is Robert Mundell.
LAMB: Where is he? Is he alive? Is he …
SHELTON: He is a professor at Columbia. He won the Nobel Prize in 1999. He is the father of supply-side economics. He also has a magnificent castle in Siena, Italy, with his wife, Valerie, and their young son.
And every year – and I believe he’s done this since 1971, since the dollar went off of gold – he has a fantastic gathering of economists from all over the world, talking about how can we ever get back to a stable, international monetary system. And he has people like Paul Volcker in attendance. I’ve met many central bankers and leaders of government there.
And so, he’s very much involved still in the future of the international monetary system. He’s been consistent intellectually.
And he’s very interested in China these days. He sees China as coming on board, just as he supplied the intellectual groundwork for the creation of the euro, the European money. And he now sees we could have some kind of a linkage between the euro, the dollar and whatever China comes up with, some kind of a yuan that’s convertible and a stable currency.
airing Sunday nights at 8pm & 11pm ET
November 22, 2009
Judy Shelton -
Economist and Wall Street Journal Contributor
Uncorrected transcript provided by Morningside Partners.
C-SPAN uses its best efforts to provide accurate transcripts of its programs, but it can not be held liable for mistakes such as omitted words, punctuation, spelling, mistakes that change meaning, etc.
C-SPAN/Q&A Host: Brian Lamb November 4, 2009 3:25 p.m. EST
BRIAN LAMB, HOST, Q&A: Judy Shelton, the last time you were in this studio was April – around April the 9th, 1989 – 20 years ago.
I have not seen you anywhere since then. What have you been doing for the last 20 years?
JUDY SHELTON, ECONOMIST AND AUTHOR, ”MONEY MELTDOWN: RESTORING ORDER TO THE GLOBAL CURRENCY SYSTEM” AND ”THE COMING SOVIET CRASH”: I guess I’m a hermit. I’ve still been thinking about all the things we probably talked about back then. And I think even back then, I was mostly interested in issues like international monetary reform. I was probably working only on the Soviet Union, which turned into a special case of an economy gone bad.
But my husband and I live on a farm, effectively, just the right distance from Washington, about an hour and 10 minutes. And so, I like to dabble in the intellectual and the political and the academic. But I would say, my personality is to just hide away in my little office with my computer, and I’m not a big socialite type.
LAMB: We’re going to show some of the past interview that we did. But before we do that, let’s go through just some of the basics.
Where were you born?
SHELTON: Los Angeles.
LAMB: Where did you go to school?
SHELTON: In the Valley – so I’m really kind of the classic valley girl, for sure – a suburb of Los Angeles, San Fernando Valley.
LAMB: What kind of a family was it?
SHELTON: Great. Great family. I have a great family. Five kids. Mom, very traditional, wonderful. Stayed at home, took care of five kids. I don’t think I ever fully appreciated then what a huge job that is.
I thought it was kind of glamorous that my dad was a businessman and went out the door with a briefcase. So, I think I probably aspired more that route.
LAMB: And then you – I know you got a Ph.D. from the University of Utah. What year was that?
LAMB: Back off of that. Where did you get your undergraduate degree?
SHELTON: I went two years to UCLA. Then I became Miss Independent, left home. Went to Portland State University, which I quickly found out when you’re paying for your college yourself, and you just go where you can afford, and I started working. And probably, that’s when I got serious.
It was the first time I took an economics course. From then on I was a very serious student.
I was offered a job at Paine Webber. That took me to Salt Lake City. I met my husband there. I continued and received my Ph.D. in finance, wrote a paper that some very kindly professor decided was good enough to submit on my behalf to a competition. It won as best doctoral student paper.
I ended up getting a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford at the Hoover Institution.
LAMB: What did you do there?
SHELTON: I worked for a gentleman named Martin Anderson. He had just come from the Reagan administration. He gave me interesting projects without a lot of supervision, which was perfect for me.
He had me researching international debt and finance statistics. And one of the most invaluable things I learned right away is, probe and find out where those numbers come from.
Is a country providing it? Is anyone overseeing it? How honest are the numbers?
LAMB: You were at Hoover for how long?
SHELTON: Ten years.
LAMB: Lived there right in Palo Alto area?
SHELTON: No. No, not really, not really. I ended up getting a fellowship to examine, in particular, Soviet statistics. I was looking at the world. But the ones that came up as the most interesting numbers were on the Soviet Union.
Gorbachev had just come into power in 1985. The United States and the West were suddenly making loans to the Soviet Union. New numbers were coming out about how much they were borrowing from the West. And I proposed to do a very boring, very dry study of the impact of Western capital on the Soviet economy.
But as I was doing that, I started thinking, why is it that defense spending is costing U.S. taxpayers so much money, and then we’re turning around with our NATO partners and making loans to this Soviet economy, and supplying goods that they might otherwise have to divert their own resources to making, instead of building nuclear weapons, against which we were paying a bundle to defend ourselves?
So, it all became sort of a policy issue. And so, I ended up – this paper turned into a book with a very sensationalist title, called ”The Coming Soviet Crash,” that said, on paper, this country is going bankrupt. And then there were implications from that that even got me involved in defense issues. So, it got interesting.
LAMB: I remember seeing you give a speech on this network back in ’89. And then we were doing the book show, and we asked you to come. And we visited for one hour. And I want to show the audience and you …
SHELTON: Oh, no.
WATCH / READ FULL REPORT:
LAMB: Which economist, you know, in the Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan group do you respect the most?
SHELTON: The greatest economist, the one for whom I have the most respect, is Robert Mundell.
LAMB: Where is he? Is he alive? Is he …
Silvia Federici’s brilliant Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body, and Primitive Accumulation, tells the dark saga of the Witch Hunt that consumed
Who Were the Witches?
Parents who have put a pointed hat on their young son or daughter before Trick-or-Treating might never pause to contemplate this question, seeing witches as just another cartoonish Halloween icon like Frankenstein’s monster or Dracula. But deep within our Halloween rituals lie a hidden history that can tell us important truths about our world. In this book, Silvia Federici takes us back in time to show how the mysterious figure of the witch is key to understanding the creation of capitalism, the profit-motivated economic system that now reigns over the entire planet.
During the 15th – 17th centuries the fear of witches was ever-present in
Caliban and the Witch underscores that the persecution of witches was not just some error of ignorant peasants, but in fact the deliberate policy of Church and State, the very ruling class of society. To put this in perspective, today witchcraft would be a far-fetched cause for alarm, but the fear of hidden terrorists who could strike at any moment because they “hate our freedom” is widespread. Not surprising, since politicians and the media have been drilling this frightening message into people’s heads for years, even though terrorism is a much less likely cause of death than, say, lack of health care. And just as the panic over terrorism has enabled today’s powers-that-be to attempt to remake the Middle East, this book makes the case that the powers-that-were of Medieval Europe exploited or invented the fear of witches to remake European society towards a social paradigm that met their interests.
Interestingly, a major component of both of these crusades was the use of so-called “shock and awe” tactics to astound the population with “spectacular displays of force,” which help to soften up resistance to drastic or unpopular reforms. In the case of the Witch Hunt, shock therapy was applied through the witch burnings – spectacles of such stupefying violence that they apparently paralyzed whole villages and regions into accepting fundamental restructuring of medieval society. Federici describes a typical witch burning as, “an important public event, which all the members of the community had to attend, including the children of the witches, especially their daughters who, in some cases, would be whipped in front of the stake on which they could see their mother burning alive.”
The book argues that these gruesome executions not only punished “witches” but graphically demonstrated the repercussions for any kind of disobedience to the clergy or nobility. In particular, the witch burnings were meant to terrify women into accepting “a new patriarchal order where women’s bodies, their labor, their sexual and reproductive powers were placed under the control of the state and transformed into economic resources.”
Federici puts forward that up until the 16th century, though living in a sexist society, European women retained significant economic independence from men that they typically do not under capitalism, where gender roles are more distinguished. She goes on, “If we also take into account that in medieval society collective relations prevailed over familial ones, and most of the tasks that female serfs performed (washing, spinning, harvesting, and tending to animals on the commons) were done in cooperation with other women, we then realize… [this] was a source of power and protection for women. It was the basis for an intense female sociality and solidarity that enabled women to stand up to men.” But the Witch Hunt initiated a period where women were forced to become what she calls “servants of the male work force” – excluded from receiving a wage, they were confined to the unpaid labor of raising children, caring for the elderly and sick, nurturing their husbands or partners, and maintaining the home. In Federici’s words, this was the “housewifization of women,” the reduction to a second-class status where women became totally dependent on the income of men.
Federici goes on to show how female sexuality, which was seen as a source of women’s potential power over men, became an object of suspicion and came under sharp attack by the authorities. The assault manifested in new laws that took away women’s control over the reproductive process, such as the banning of birth control measures, the replacement of midwives with male doctors, and the outlawing of abortion and infanticide. Federici calls this an attempt to turn the female body into “a machine for the reproduction of labor,” such that women’s only purpose in life was supposedly to produce children. But we also learn that this was just one component of a broader move by Church and State to ban all forms of sexuality that were considered “non-productive.” For example, “homosexuality, sex between young and old, sex between people of different classes, anal coitus, coitus from behind, nudity, and dances. Also proscribed was the public, collective sexuality that had prevailed in the Middle Ages, as in the Spring festivals of pagan origins that, in the 16th-century, were still celebrated all over
Capitalism - Born in Flames
What separates Caliban and the Witch from other works exploring the “witch” phenomenon is that this book puts the persecution of witches into the context of the development of capitalism. For Silvia Federici, it’s no accident that “the witch-hunt occurred simultaneously with the colonization and extermination of the populations of the
Thankfully for the reader, who may not be very familiar with the history of this era, Federici outlines these events in clear and accessible language. She focuses on the Land Enclosures in particular because their significance has been largely lost in time. Many of us will not remember that during
The Enclosures were a process by which this land was taken away – closed off by the State and typically handed over to entrepreneurs to pursue a profit in sheep or cow herding, or large-scale agriculture. Instead of being used for subsistence as it had been, the land’s bounty was sold off to fledgling national and international markets. A new class of profit-motivated landowners emerged, known as “gentry,” but the underside of this development was the trauma experienced by the evicted peasants. In the author’s words, “As soon as they lost access to land, all workers were plunged into a dependence unknown in medieval times, as their landless condition gave employers the power to cut their pay and lengthen the working-day.” For Federici, then, the chief creation of the Enclosures was a property-less, landless working class, a “proletariat” who were left with little option but to work for a wage in order to survive; wage labor being one of the defining features of capitalism.
Cut off from their traditional soil, many communities scattered across the countryside to find new homesteads. But the State countered with the so-called “Bloody Laws”, which made it legal to capture wandering “vagabonds” and force them to work for a wage, or put them to death. Federici tells the result: “What followed was the absolute impoverishment of the European working class… Evidence is the change that occurred in the workers’ diets. Meat disappeared from their tables, except for a few scraps of lard, and so did beer and wine, salt and olive oil.” Although European workers typically labored for longer hours under their new capitalist employers, living standards were reduced sharply throughout the 16th century, and it wasn’t until the middle of the 19th century that earnings returned to the level they had been before the Enclosures.
According to Federici, the witch hunts played a key role in facilitating this process by driving a sexist wedge into the working class that “undermined class solidarity,” making it more difficult for communities to resist displacement. And while women were faced with the threat of horrific torture and death if they did not conform to new submissive gender roles, men were in effect bribed with the promise of obedient wives and new access to women’s bodies. The author cites that “Another aspect of the divisive sexual politics to diffuse workers’ protest was the institutionalization of prostitution, implemented through the opening of municipal brothels soon proliferating throughout
The witch trials were the final assault, which all but obliterated the integrity of peasant communities by fostering mutual suspicion and fear. Amidst deteriorating conditions, neighbors were encouraged to turn against one another, so that any insult or annoyance became grounds for an accusation of witchcraft. As the terror spread, a new era was forged in the flames of the witch burnings. Surveying the damage, Federici concludes that “the persecution of the witches, in
A Forgotten Revolution
Federici maintains that it didn’t have to turn out this way. “Capitalism was not the only possible response to the crisis of feudal power. Throughout
Caliban and the Witch's most inspiring chapters make visible an enormous continent-wide series of poor people’s movements that nearly toppled Church and State at the end of the Middle Ages. These peasant movements of the 13th – 16th centuries were often labeled “heretical” for challenging the religious power of the
The so-called “heretics” often “denounced social hierarchies, private property and the accumulation of wealth, and disseminated among the people a new, revolutionary conception of society that, for the first time in the Middle Ages, redefined every aspect of daily life (work, property, sexual reproduction, and the position of women), posing the question of emancipation in truly universal terms.” Silvia Federici shows us how the heretical movements took many forms, from the vegetarian and anti-war Cathars of southern France to the communistic and anti-nobility Taborites of Bohemia, but were united in the call for the elimination of social inequality. Many put forth the argument that it was anti-Christian for the clergy and nobility to live in opulence while so many suffered from lack of adequate food, housing or medical attention.
Another common thread weaving the European peasant movements together was the leadership of women. Federici describes that, “[Heretical women] had the same rights as men, and could enjoy a social life and mobility that nowhere else was available to them in the Middle Ages… Not surprisingly, women are present in the history of heresy as in no other aspect of medieval life.” Some heretical sects, like the Cathars, discouraged marriage and emphasized birth control – advocating a sexual liberation which directly challenged the Church’s moral authority.
The gender politics of peasant movements proved to be a strength, and they attracted a wide following that undercut the power of a feudal system which was already in crisis. Federici explains how the movements became increasingly revolutionary as they grew in size. “In the course of this process, the political horizon and the organizational dimensions of the peasant and artisan struggle broadened. Entire regions revolted, forming assemblies and recruiting armies. At times, the peasants organized in bands, attacking the castles of the lords, and destroying the archives where the written marks of their servitude were kept.” In the 1420s and 1430s, the Taborites fought to liberate all of
The author documents that the initial reaction by elites was to institute the “Holy Inquisition,” a brutal campaign of state repression that included torturing and even burning heretics to death. But as time went on, ruling class strategy shifted from targeting heretics in general to specifically targeting female community leaders. The Inquisition morphed into the Witch Hunt. Soon, simple meetings of peasant women were stigmatized as possible “Sabbats,” where women were supposedly seduced by the devil to become witches, but as Federici clarifies, it was the rebellious politics and non-conforming gender relations of such gatherings which were demonized. Strong, defiant women were murdered by the tens of thousands, and along with them the Witch Hunt also destroyed “a whole world of female practices, collective relations, and systems of knowledge that had been the foundation of women’s power in pre-capitalist
For elite European nobles and clergy, the Witch Hunt succeeded in stifling a working class revolution that had increasingly threatened their rule. Even more, Federici puts forward that the Witch Hunt facilitated the rise of a new, capitalist social paradigm – based on large-scale economic production for profit and the displacement of peasants from their lands into the burgeoning urban workforce. In time, this capitalist system would dominate all of Europe and be dispersed through conquistadors’ “guns, germs and steel” to every corner of the globe, destroying countless ancient civilizations and cultures in the process. Federici’s analysis is that, “Capitalism was the counter-revolution that destroyed the possibilities that had emerged from the anti-feudal struggle – possibilities which, if realized, might have spared us the immense destruction of lives and the environment that has marked the advance of capitalist relations worldwide.” How might things be different if the forgotten revolution had won?
Rediscovering the Magic of Truth-Telling
Caliban and the Witch is a book that challenges many important myths about the world we live in. First and foremost among these is the widely-held belief that capitalism, though perhaps flawed in its current form, started out as a “progressive” development that liberated workers and improved the conditions of women, people of color and other oppressed groups. Federici has done impressive work to take us back to the very foundations of the capitalist system in late-medieval
It’s been said that we can measure a society by how it treats women. This book provides compelling documentation to suggest that capitalism is and has always been a male dominated system, which reduces opportunities and security for women as well as marginalizing those who don’t fit within narrow gender boundaries. In particular, it uses the story of the Witch Hunt to illuminate the inner workings of capitalism to show the restraining, silencing, and demonizing of female sexual power built into it.
Responding to our question that started this essay, Federici writes, “The witch was not only the midwife, the woman who avoided maternity, or the beggar who eked out a living by stealing some wood or butter from her neighbors. She was also the loose, promiscuous woman – the prostitute or adulteress, and generally, the woman who exercised her sexuality outside the bonds of marriage and procreation… The witch was also the rebel woman who talked back, argued, swore, and did not cry under torture.” In other words, the witches were those women who in one way or another resisted the establishment of an unjust social order – the mechanical exploitation of capitalism. The witches represented a whole world that
Alex Knight is an organizer and writer in
2 – “Shock and Awe”, Wikipedia. Online at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shock_and_awe. Accessed
3 – This “shock therapy” strategy is examined in detailed case studies by Naomi Klein in the excellent The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. Metropolitan Books 2007. For example she offers that the US-led devastation of
4 – for more on the Witch Hunt’s effect on the male domination of reproduction and medicine, see Barbara Ehrenreich’s Witches, Midwives and Nurses: A History of Women Healers, The Feminist Press at CUNY 1972, pamphlet.
5 – “The high point of wages was immediately preceding the ‘long’ sixteenth century [roughly 1450], and the low point was at its end [roughly 1650]. The drop during the sixteenth century was immense.” Wallerstein, Immanuel. The Modern World-System. Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century.
6 – see Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, W.W. Norton Press 2005. Jared Diamond’s study of the rise of
7 – for a brilliant collection of insights into the many ways female sexuality is still under attack, see Friedman, Jaclyn & Jessica Valenti. Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape. Seal Press 2008. My review of this book can also be found here: http://endofcapitalism.com/2009/05/17/review-of-yes-means-yes-visions-of-female-sexual-power-and-a-world-without-rape/
8 – Democracy Now!
Here's his full speech:
We live in no ordinary times.
• A year into dealing with the greatest economic challenge for generations - the first global financial recession.
• A few weeks before the most important climate change decisions in human history.
• A few months ahead of nuclear negotiations that could for the first time genuinely bind the world to cooperate and not proliferate.
• And we meet just as America and NATO are making vital choices about how to continue and win the fight against global terrorism.
These are the four great issues of our time, and what they have in common is that, global in nature, they require global solutions. None can be answered by one country or one continent in isolation.
What they demand of us is a shared vision, and the creation of new and effective global institutions with the mandate and the authority to make that vision real.
And the great questions of the day call not for hard power or soft power but the power of people working together. Because none too can be resolved by national politicians pronouncing from on high while failing to listen to the citizens they serve; but only by great social movements which create the conditions for common action around the world.
So tonight I want to talk about the problems we face. But, much more than that, I want to talk about why I am an unremitting optimist, about Britain's future and the world's and about why I believe this generation, if we make the right choices, can create an unprecedented century of progress.
Tonight I want to talk about:
• How together we can forge and then legislate for the first time a truly global climate change agreement to save our planet from catastrophic climate change
• How together –by tough and practical multilateralism – we can shape global rules for prosperity to ensure that never again will a wave of economic crisis sweeping across the world threaten millions with unemployment and poverty
•How together, we can with a new non proliferation treaty, contain and then banish the risk of the development of nuclear weapons
•And how together, we can agree a strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan as a 43-nation coalition in Afghanistan, together with Pakistan and other countries in the region and elsewhere including a stronger counter-insurgency strategy to deny the terrorists and extremists the space and freedom to threaten the safety and security of the innocents they target in our streets and thousands of miles away.
Some may regard these challenges as beyond the reach of a world which has for so long cast international affairs as competition between national interests rather than the coordination of common interests.
But the events we have witnessed have taught us that there are great causes – causes worth fighting for – even when people say the odds are too great, that the hill is too steep. Events we have witnessed in just half a generation, events previously only imagined and apparently impossible, yet so swiftly realised: the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the cold war, the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid.
All these teach us that we should use the word 'impossible' with greater care; and we learn that what was yesterday's dream and today's impossibility can become tomorrow's reality.
And I believe that there is no other country – by its history, values and global reach – better placed to shape a safer and more secure world. Ours is an open, free trading democratic nation. For centuries internationalist in its instincts and actions; committed to persuasion whenever possible, to force only when necessary; and most of all to a belief in liberty, fairness and responsibility.
And it is these values, these moral imperatives, that equip us for a role that encompasses diplomacy, conciliation, firmness and yes, where necessary, armed intervention.
And in leading the debate and doing so in the light of our ideals Britain brings the influence that comes from being right at the heart of great international institutions and alliances – the EU, NATO, the UN, the Commonwealth, the G8 and G20. That unique position is an awesome privilege and a great responsibility and no-one, whether narrow nationalist or instinctive isolationist, should consider themselves patriots if they would sacrifice or diminish our influence.
In the nineteenth century Palmerston talked of a British national interest best served by the strength of those permanent interests but not by permanent allies. In a very different century, I see our national interest best served in a new way, by the strength of our permanent values and interests - and by our strong alliances.
Of course there are those who believe that multilateral co-operation and the defence of our national interests are mutually incompatible; and that a strong partnership with Europe weakens our capacity to pursue our national goals. This view has always been short-sighted. Indeed, in a world where the historic challenges we face are so profoundly global, this view has never been more dangerous and threatening to the security and prosperity of our country. To equate the national interest with a flight to unilateralism when so many challenges can be met only by collective actions is to condemn our nation to marginalisation, irrelevance and failure.
Can anyone today seriously believe we can tackle the recession better without the European Union and the G20? Does anyone now seriously believe we can protect ourselves from international terrorism on our own, in a fortress Britain, without America, NATO, the European Union, and our coalition allies?
Does anyone still believe that we can defeat climate change without international action across the European Union, without the nations of our commonwealth from Africa to Australasia, without challenging the United Nations?
Even to advocate a measure of withdrawal from international cooperation immediately weakens our trade, our economy and our influence.
So let me set out how, by leading in global co-operation in the coming months, we can shape the world of the future.
First climate change. In just three weeks time countries will gather at the UN conference in Copenhagen to forge a new international agreement to combat global warming. And let us be clear what such an agreement must involve. Britain is prepared to lead the way proposing a financial plan to ensure all countries can cut carbon emissions. And this should form part of a comprehensive agreement based on politically binding commitments of all countries, which can be implemented immediately and which can act as the basis for an internationally legally binding treaty as soon as possible. The agreement must contain the full range of commitments required: on emissions reductions by both developed and developing countries, on finance and on verification.
We need the same degree of international co-operation to return the world economy to a secure prosperity and to address the global plague of poverty. And we have already seen what international co-operation can do -with the restructuring of the banks, and the co-ordination of a fiscal stimulus. The world has acted together to stop a recession becoming a depression. And I believe that while we are only half way through dealing with the causes of the crisis, we also have reason to be confident, because in the next two decades, the world economy will double in size, creating twice as many opportunities for business, for jobs, for exports. And as this new economy moves forward, I want Britain to be right at its centre-making the most of the unprecedented opportunities.
Were we to retreat now from international co-operation and the commitments each country has made to revive and sustain our economies that would not just put the global recovery at risk but put at risk British jobs, British growth, British prosperity for years and even generations to come. The equation here is clear – trade abroad means jobs at home.
There are no Britain-only, Europe only, or us. Only ways to manage a global financial system. A new contract of trust is needed between banks and the societies they serve across the world. And whether it insurance fees, resolution funds, contingent capital arrangements or a global financial levy measures that can only be implemented at a global level, common sense suggests we must agree internationally how we will mitigate the risks to the economy from financial failure and redress the balance of risk and reward between the public and the financial sector.
And we will never walk away from our global role in the campaign against poverty and injustice. We do not give up hope of a Burma unchained or of a Zimbabwe liberated. And we will continue to work to ensure that every child in the world has schooling and that we reduce the shocking levels of avoidable infant and maternal mortality. The world will not for long endure half prosperous and half poor. Poverty violates conscience even as it invites conflict.
And five months from now we will meet in Washington to confront another source of potential conflict – the proliferation of nuclear weapons and nuclear nations. Britain must continue to lead the renewal of a grand global bargain between nuclear weapon and non-nuclear weapon states. A fair and balanced deal in which non nuclear weapons states must accept clear responsibilities to end proliferation by renouncing nuclear weapons in return for the right to access civil nuclear power; and in which nuclear armed nations must accept the responsibility to work together on a credible roadmap to nuclear disarmament towards a world without nuclear weapons.
Never again should any nation be able to deceive the international community, and conceal with impunity its pursuit of proliferation. We face critical test cases in Iran and North Korea, with attention focused most recently on Iran. In September the truth about their secret facility at Qom was revealed. And on 1 October we again offered Tehran engagement and negotiation. Over the last six weeks that offer has been comprehensively rejected. So it is now not only right but necessary for the world to apply concerted pressure to the Iranian regime. President Obama set an end of the year deadline for Iran to react. If Iran does not reconsider, then the United Nations, the EU and individual countries must impose tougher sanctions.
The greatest immediate threat to our national security, the greatest current risk to British lives, is that of international terrorism. We know that from New York, Bali, Baghdad, Madrid, Mumbai, Peshawar and Rawalpindi to London, men and women – Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, of every faith and none – have been victims of international terrorism. I will never compromise when it comes to the safety and security of the British people. We have trebled our domestic security budget, doubled our security service staff, and increased by over two thirds the numbers of police dealing day to day with terrorism in the UK, and will always do what is necessary.
And I know from my four visits to Afghanistan in the last 15 months that our armed forces understand our security priority and share that commitment. Let me say that the courage, skill and professionalism of our forces serving there are truly inspiring. In some of the hardest conditions, they have enhanced their already peerless reputation as the finest in the world. And we pay tribute to each and everyone of them this evening.
Tonight I want to explain in more detail the relation between the work of our armed forces in Afghanistan and the domestic terrorist threat; to remind people that despite our successes against al Qaeda they and their associates still have active plans to commit terrorist atrocities in the United Kingdom; and to make it clear why it is only by standing up to this terrorist threat at its source that we can properly defend our shores.
Tonight I can report that, methodically and patiently, we are disrupting and disabling the existing leadership of al Qaeda. Since January 2008 seven of the top dozen figures in al Qaeda have been killed, depleting its reserve of experienced leaders and sapping its morale. More has been planned and enacted with greater success in this one year to disable al Qaeda than in any year since the original invasion in 2001. Today 28,000 Pakistan security forces are inside South Waziristan again narrowing the scope for al Qaeda to operate. And our security services report to me that there is now an opportunity to inflict significant and long-lasting damage to al Qaeda.
We understand the reality of the danger and the nature of the consequences if we do not succeed. We will never forget the fatal al Qaeda led attacks in London on 7 July 2005, the unsuccessful al Qaeda-inspired attacks two weeks later, and the al Qaeda-sanctioned plot to capture and behead a British soldier in the midlands in January 2007.
Some plots remain under investigation and so for obvious reasons I cannot elaborate. On others I can. In 2007, five individuals were found guilty of what we now know was an al Qaeda inspired conspiracy to cause explosions with possible plans to target shopping centres or clubs in London and the south east. And in total since 2001, nearly 200 persons have been convicted of terrorist or terrorist-related offences – almost half of those convicted pleaded guilty. And day by day we are continuing to track a large number of suspicious individuals and potential plots. Make no mistake, al Qaeda has an extensive recruitment network across Africa, the middle east, western Europe and in the UK. And we know that there are still several hundred foreign fighters based in the Fata area of Pakistan and travelling to training camps to learn bomb making and weapons skills.
It is because of the nature of the threat, and because around three quarters of the most serious plots the security services are now tracking in Britain have links to Pakistan, that it does not make sense to confine our defence against terrorism solely to actions inside the UK. Al Qaeda rely on a permissive environment in the tribal areas of Pakistan and, if they can re-establish one, in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda has links to the Afghan and Pakistan Taleban. We must deny terrorists the room to operate which the Taleban regime allowed the 9/11 attackers. So that is why I say the Afghan campaign is being prosecuted not from choice, but out of necessity.
So vigilance in defence of national security will never be sacrificed to expediency. Necessary resolution will never succumb to appeasement. The greater international good will never be subordinated to the mood of the passing moment. That is why 43 governments around the world now understand the importance of defeating al Qaeda and of preventing them ever again being able to flourish in Afghanistan. America with 60,000 and Britain with 9,000 are the largest troop contributors, but the rest of the international coalition has increased its numbers from 16,000 in January 2007 to over 27,000 today and I am confident that they will be prepared to do more.
But this coalition does not intend to become an occupying army: it is building the capacity of Afghanistan to deal themselves with terrorism and violent extremism, what we mean by 'Afghanisation'. Today the army has published its new counter-insurgency doctrine. Partnering the Afghan army and police is fraught with danger, as we have seen in recent weeks; and building up local level afghan governance in areas which have not known the rule of law for decades if at all, is daunting. But as I have emphasised in recent weeks, we have not chosen this path of Afghanisation because it is a safer or easier option, but because it is the right strategy.
Following the inauguration this week of President Karzai, I have urged him to set out the contract between the new government and its people, including early action on corruption. And I welcome today's announcement that the new government in Afghanistan will dedicate the next five years to fighting corruption. I have pledged full UK support in this effort.
The international community will meet to agree plans for the support we will provide to Afghanistan during this next phase. I have offered London as a venue in the New Year. I want that conference to chart a comprehensive political framework within which the military strategy can be accomplished. A strong political framework should embrace internal political reform to ensure representative government that works for all Afghan citizens, at the national level in Kabul and in the provinces and districts. It should identify a process for transferring district by district to full Afghan control and if at all possible set a timetable for transferring districts starting in 2010.
For it is only when the Afghans are themselves able to defend the security of their people and deny the territory of Afghanistan as a base for terrorists that our strategy of Afghanisation will have succeeded and our troops can come home.
So tonight I want to leave you with a clear summary of Britain's case, and that of the coalition as a whole. We are in Afghanistan because we judge that if the Taleban regained power al Qaeda and other terrorist groups would once more have an environment in which they could operate. We are there because action in Afghanistan is not an alternative to action in Pakistan, but an inseparable support to it. As I have shown, the world has succeeded in closing down much of the space in which al Qaeda can operate, and we must not allow this process to be reversed by retreat or irresolution.
Usually, only in retrospect do people see dramatic sets of events as turning points: but I believe that historians will look back on the sheer scope, speed and scale of the global change that perhaps no peacetime generation has ever before experienced and conclude that faced with climate change, world wide economic collapse, terror and the nuclear threat – and surrounded by new means of global communications that allow people to connect across frontiers – we took the first steps towards a truly global society.
In meeting each of the four challenges I have talked about tonight, Britain's future is a future shared with our international partners. So we in Britain who are serious, we have a crucial responsibility to seize this moment.
I believe that Britain can inspire the world; I believe that Britain can challenge the world; but most importantly of all I believe that Britain can and must play its full part in changing the world. And to do so we must have confidence in our distinctive strengths: our global values, global alliances and global actions; because with conviction in our values and confidence in our alliances, Britain can lead in the construction of a new global order.
We must never be less than resolute in fighting for British interests because, as you in this room know better than anyone, Britain has nothing to fear in the world's marketplace of ideals and ideas; nor from the world's most destructive ideologies. At every point in our history where we have looked outwards, we have become stronger. And now, more than ever, there is no future in what was once called 'splendid isolation'.
When Britain is bold, when Britain is engaged, when Britain is confident and outward-looking, we have shown time and again that Britain has a power and an energy that far exceeds the limits of our geography, our population, and our means. And that is why I say our foreign policy must be hard-headed, patriotic and internationalist: a foreign policy that recognises and exploits Britain's unique strengths and defends Britain's national interests strongly not by retreating into isolation, but by advancing in international co-operation.
So we will stand with countries that share our values and vision. We will engage with those who disagree with us but who are ready for dialogue. And we will isolate those who are motivated by the will to destroy the structures and principles on which a just global society must depend.
As a nation we have every reason to be optimistic about our prospects: confident in our alliances, faithful to our values and determined as progressive pioneers to shape the world to come. Britain can be and Great Britain must be in the vanguard of a new progressive force for change, architect of a new world that honours our hopes and defeats our fears – a new world that can become a truly global society.
This year, too, we have seen the appearance of attacks on “right-wing extremism” and potential “home grown terrorism” courtesy first of the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) — which released a list of terrorist-watch groups that included military veterans, political constitutionalists, and other "right-wing" political elements — and then the Department of Homeland Security itself, which was behind the creation of the MIAC watch list. Also mentioned in regard to subversive elements were both “third party” presidential candidates, Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, as well as a sitting Congressman and former Republican Party presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas). The MIAC report, widely distributed over the Internet, was quickly withdrawn under the implied threat of a federal lawsuit. On November 16, the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith released the latest of these broadsides against anyone perceived as being "right-wing" under the title “Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies.” This latest report speaks of the “anti-government anger” of the Tea Parties, cites disruptions at recent town-hall meetings, and cites a resurgent militia movement. It does not distinguish people who may truly be anti-government, such as some in the militia movement, from those people who push for constitutionally limited government, which would surely include most Tea Partiers and town-hall meeting attendees. Following a brief Introduction describing 2009 as a “year of growing animosity,” the report divides into two parts. The first part deals with “anger in the mainstream.” The second takes on “anger on the fringes.” Part One isolates three “conspiracy theories” it alleges have slipped from the fringes into the mainstream. One has to do with a supposed impending declaration of martial law that would involve gun confiscation and the forced relocation of political dissidents to prison camps akin to those of Nazi Germany, presumably planned and carried out by federal entities such as FEMA. Another involves the allegations of the so-called “birthers” that President Barack Obama was really born in Kenya and so is not a legitimate occupant of the White House. A third holds that the healthcare reform movement is a government power grab over the healthcare industry that would incorporate “death panels.” The ADL expresses concern that all three have slipped into the mainstream. The report singles out talk-show host and author Glenn Beck. According to the press release, Beck “along with many of his guests have made a habit of demonizing the Obama administration and promoting conspiracy theories about it.” It also singles out Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who shouted “You lie!” to Obama himself during a speech to Congress in September. Part Two explores “anger on the fringes,” singling out Alex Jones, the “conspiracy king.” Jones has allegedly created a “radio- and Internet-based conspiracy-oriented media empire” devoted to promoting the idea that “malevolent globalists” are creating a “new world order.” Jones, of course, did not invent this phrase, which has been used on more than one occasion by both George Bushes and also by the globalists themselves (David Rockefeller, Sr. and Henry Kissinger would be two examples). British author and Fabian socialist H.G. Wells, moreover, published a book back in the 1930s entitled The New World Order, one of the earliest usages of the phrase. Among the “fringe” groups the ADL report sets out to expose is Oath Keepers, created in March within the law-enforcement community, including both active and retired police officers, as a means of encouraging our men and women in uniform to adhere to the Constitution. This implies a refusal to carry out superiors' orders that clearly violate the U.S. Constitution. In the hands of the ADL this makes Oath Keepers an “anti-government group … [whose] members refuse to obey hypothetical ‘orders’ from the government … that speak more to their own paranoid and conspiratorial beliefs than to any realistic government action.” The ADL is concerned that some “anti-government activists may … act on [conspiracy theories] as if they were true.” The example used is of a training exercise by the Iowa National Guard, allegedly misinterpreted by “conspiracy theorists” as evidence of planned gun confiscation at some point in the future. The report is actually quite short. The various sections offering accounts such as those above are limited to one rather brief paragraph. There is little or no in-depth analysis. There is only one mention of the Constitution. As with the MIAC and Homeland Security reports before it, there is no mention of known terror threats from angry Muslims such as Nidal Malik Hasan, the man who opened fire on his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood on November 9 in the worst such attack ever on a U.S military facility. Nor is there any discussion of how our open borders serve as an easy means by which those who mean Americans genuine harm are able to enter the United States illegally. Finally, there is not a word about what the key targets among many Tea Partiers and town hall attendees who have listened closely to Ron Paul (R-Texas): the Federal Reserve and the practice of creating money out of thin air to bail out big banks and other endeavors deemed "too big to fail." As with anything the Southern Poverty Law Center puts out, the fact that this report has Anti-Defamation League on the masthead will doubtless gain this brief report far more readers than its content actually merits.The fact that such reports exist, though, might be taken as a good sign: word is getting out; it is gaining an audience of increasing size; and those with real power are feeling threatened.
This year, too, we have seen the appearance of attacks on “right-wing extremism” and potential “home grown terrorism” courtesy first of the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) — which released a list of terrorist-watch groups that included military veterans, political constitutionalists, and other "right-wing" political elements — and then the Department of Homeland Security itself, which was behind the creation of the MIAC watch list.
Also mentioned in regard to subversive elements were both “third party” presidential candidates, Bob Barr of the Libertarian Party and Chuck Baldwin of the Constitution Party, as well as a sitting Congressman and former Republican Party presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-Texas). The MIAC report, widely distributed over the Internet, was quickly withdrawn under the implied threat of a federal lawsuit.
On November 16, the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'rith released the latest of these broadsides against anyone perceived as being "right-wing" under the title “Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies.”
This latest report speaks of the “anti-government anger” of the Tea Parties, cites disruptions at recent town-hall meetings, and cites a resurgent militia movement. It does not distinguish people who may truly be anti-government, such as some in the militia movement, from those people who push for constitutionally limited government, which would surely include most Tea Partiers and town-hall meeting attendees.
Following a brief Introduction describing 2009 as a “year of growing animosity,” the report divides into two parts. The first part deals with “anger in the mainstream.” The second takes on “anger on the fringes.”
Part One isolates three “conspiracy theories” it alleges have slipped from the fringes into the mainstream. One has to do with a supposed impending declaration of martial law that would involve gun confiscation and the forced relocation of political dissidents to prison camps akin to those of Nazi Germany, presumably planned and carried out by federal entities such as FEMA. Another involves the allegations of the so-called “birthers” that President Barack Obama was really born in Kenya and so is not a legitimate occupant of the White House. A third holds that the healthcare reform movement is a government power grab over the healthcare industry that would incorporate “death panels.” The ADL expresses concern that all three have slipped into the mainstream. The report singles out talk-show host and author Glenn Beck. According to the press release, Beck “along with many of his guests have made a habit of demonizing the Obama administration and promoting conspiracy theories about it.” It also singles out Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who shouted “You lie!” to Obama himself during a speech to Congress in September.
Part Two explores “anger on the fringes,” singling out Alex Jones, the “conspiracy king.” Jones has allegedly created a “radio- and Internet-based conspiracy-oriented media empire” devoted to promoting the idea that “malevolent globalists” are creating a “new world order.” Jones, of course, did not invent this phrase, which has been used on more than one occasion by both George Bushes and also by the globalists themselves (David Rockefeller, Sr. and Henry Kissinger would be two examples). British author and Fabian socialist H.G. Wells, moreover, published a book back in the 1930s entitled The New World Order, one of the earliest usages of the phrase.
Among the “fringe” groups the ADL report sets out to expose is Oath Keepers, created in March within the law-enforcement community, including both active and retired police officers, as a means of encouraging our men and women in uniform to adhere to the Constitution. This implies a refusal to carry out superiors' orders that clearly violate the U.S. Constitution. In the hands of the ADL this makes Oath Keepers an “anti-government group … [whose] members refuse to obey hypothetical ‘orders’ from the government … that speak more to their own paranoid and conspiratorial beliefs than to any realistic government action.”
The ADL is concerned that some “anti-government activists may … act on [conspiracy theories] as if they were true.” The example used is of a training exercise by the Iowa National Guard, allegedly misinterpreted by “conspiracy theorists” as evidence of planned gun confiscation at some point in the future.
The report is actually quite short. The various sections offering accounts such as those above are limited to one rather brief paragraph. There is little or no in-depth analysis. There is only one mention of the Constitution. As with the MIAC and Homeland Security reports before it, there is no mention of known terror threats from angry Muslims such as Nidal Malik Hasan, the man who opened fire on his fellow soldiers at Ft. Hood on November 9 in the worst such attack ever on a U.S military facility. Nor is there any discussion of how our open borders serve as an easy means by which those who mean Americans genuine harm are able to enter the United States illegally. Finally, there is not a word about what the key targets among many Tea Partiers and town hall attendees who have listened closely to Ron Paul (R-Texas): the Federal Reserve and the practice of creating money out of thin air to bail out big banks and other endeavors deemed "too big to fail."
As with anything the Southern Poverty Law Center puts out, the fact that this report has Anti-Defamation League on the masthead will doubtless gain this brief report far more readers than its content actually merits.The fact that such reports exist, though, might be taken as a good sign: word is getting out; it is gaining an audience of increasing size; and those with real power are feeling threatened.
By Rev. Ted Pike
November 24, 2009
Are Millions of Anti-Obama Protestors "Conspirators?"
The Anti-Defamation League likes to describe itself as a "civil liberties" watchdog group that is ever alert to warn of dangerous "conspiracy theories," particularly those that are anti-semitic.
While deploring the conspiracy theories of others, ADL has produced a 27-page special report entitled "Rage Grows in America: Anti-Government Conspiracies," -- a conspiracy theory of its own! It charges that a number of right wing media leaders are conspiring to lie and distort facts in order to incite tens of millions of Americans against Pres. Obama. ADL further alleges that those who receive such disinformation, such as tea party and town hall protesters, are also part of the conspiracy. Trampling truth, ADL says, they follow conspiracy theories that "imagine government plots." Ignoring reality, ADL says these millions of lesser conspirators will repeat almost anything necessary to "destroy" their opponents and bring down Obama.
ADL: "Since the election of Barak Obama as president, a current of anti-government hostility has swept across the United States, creating a climate of fervor and activism with manifestations ranging from incivility in public forums to acts of intimidation and violence…Some of these assertions are motivated by prejudice, but more common is an intense strain of anti-government mistrust and anger, colored by a streak of paranoia and belief in conspiracies…Ultimately, this anti-government anger, if it continues to grow in intensity and scope, may result in an increase in anti-government extremists and the potential for a rise in violent anti-government acts."
In reality, Obama has outrageously gone out of his way to offend the values and commonsense of heartland America by promoting a big-spending, socialist, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion, pro-hate law agenda. Obama's far-left arrogance and excesses and a Democrat Congress which ignores the wishes of their constituents are the real cause of mounting opposition.
Here, from top to bottom, are those whom ADL contends are either architects or accomplices of conspiracies motivated by malice and paranoia, which could plunge America into hate-motivated violence.
ADL says, "The most important mainstream media figure who has repeatedly helped to stoke the fires of anti-government anger is right wing media host Glenn Beck, who has a TV show on FOX News and a popular syndicated radio show…Beck and his guests have made a habit of demonizing Pres. Obama and promoting conspiracy theories about his administration." "…Beck's key role as a 'fear-monger-in-chief,' [involves] using constant laments such as 'I fear for my country,' to create a sense of anxiety about and hostility towards the government in his audience." Regarding the September 12, 2009 Populist rally in Washington, D.C., ADL says Beck "promoted the event. The anger and rage that had been expressed at town hall meetings a few weeks earlier and at Tea Parties across the country became even uglier."
Joseph Farah and WorldNetDaily
"WorldNetDaily (WND), published by Joseph Farah," ADL contends, "is an online newspaper with a far-right wing, political outlook that often blurs the distinction between fact and opinion, or even fact and fiction. The publication has spearheaded efforts to convince the public that Obama does not have a legitimate birth certificate." ADL says, "One of the main reporters for WND, Jerome Corsi, has been a major promoter of the "birther" conspiracy theory..." that Obama was born outside the US.
ADL says Farah took part in the strongly anti-Obama "How to Take Back America" conference in St. Louis, September 25-26. It was heavily promoted by WND and regular columnist and anti-Obama syndicated talk show host Janet Porter.
ADL describes in detail how, "Two attorneys, Philip Berg, of Pennsylvania, and Orly Taitz, of California, have been particularly active in spreading the 'birther' argument, as has…WND." Filing lawsuits demanding certainty about Obama's citizenship, ADL says, are "Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake, 2008 presidential and vice-presidential candidates respectively for the fringe American Independent party."
ADL calls Alex Jones "the Conspiracy King." It says, "If, in mainstream America, Glenn Beck may be the radio talk show host most involved stirring up anti-government hostility and anger, his counterpart on the extreme fringe is Alex Jones…He has…collaborated with celebrity truthers such as actor Charlie Sheen and far right icon Ron Paul, a US Representative from Texas [who] has often been a guest on his show." In March 2008, media figure Lou Dobbs was a guest on Jones' show.
"After the election of Obama, Jones began to develop ties to mainstream conservative media outlets such as FOX News Network." Yet ADL asserts Jones fulfills exactly what it predicts right-wing, anti-Obama hysteria will ultimately lead to: ADL says the April murder in Pittsburgh of three policeman by young Richard Poplawski was under the influence of "Jones and other conspiracy theorists."
ADL: "As these conspiracy theories become more popular, they are starting to cross over from the fringes into more "mainstream" venues. On August 14, 2009, for example, right-wing radio talk show host Michael Savage, whose listeners are estimated to number over eight million, proclaimed on his Savage Nation that the government would declare martial law. "Martial law," he announced, "will be declared in this country over a pretext. I think the likelihood is very high that the gang that has taken over this country will declare…a pretext…the equivalent of the Reichstag fire [an event that helped the Nazis take over the German government]…to put in a form of martial law."
Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Twitter
ADL complains that these internet giants are making possible "viral" proliferation of grassroots American rage and conspiracy theories by providing them an uncensored forum.
Tea Party protests
ADL says, "Some conservative media outlets, such as the FOX New Network, have also played a role in promoting tea parties." "At these events, and later sequels, anti-government sentiments and conspiracy theories proliferated, with a common theme being that somehow Obama had 'stolen' the country from Americans."
Town hall meetings
Town hall meetings, which ADL calls "disruptions," are described as the rude, unnecessary interruption of political and social progress, particularly healthcare reform, during this past summer. ADL especially objects to frequent imagery comparing Obama and the Democrat proposal of taxpayer-funded abortions to Nazism. "The widespread use of Holocaust and Nazi analogies and comparisons, which still continue, goes well beyond legitimate or even exaggerated criticism of the Obama administration and its policies." "In these Nazi analogies, Obama and his supporters are being cast as opponents to be destroyed rather than fellow citizens with whom dialogue, debate, and compromise are possible. The ready use of such propaganda is symptomatic of the radicalization of some segments of the American populace, and contributes to a self-perpetuating cycle of radicalization, in which even more extreme ideas seem plausible and acceptable."
ADL describes immigration protesters as "xenophobes" -- persons afflicted with an irrational fear of foreigners and those who are different. It is also a movement, ADL claims, which is manipulative. "…continuing its exploitation of hot-button issues to gain a greater following, the anti-immigrant movement is increasingly appropriating anti-government language and events."
ADL may particularly resent ALIPAC, the immigration watchdog group which, this spring, alerted the nation to ADL/Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) attempts in their MIAC document to bias Missouri State Police against a wide spectrum of Christian/conservative and patriotic groups, labeling them potential terrorist threats. ADL says of ALIPAC leader William Gheen that he "has a history of using the tea party movement to serve his own purposes."
What Can We Do?
The Anti-Defamation League is the most powerful, anti-Christian, pro-homosexual, pro-abortion attack group in America. Yet because ADL, like its sister attack group SPLC, is entirely staffed by far left Jews, Christian watchdog groups, such as WorldNetDaily, virtually never criticize it.
This must change. In 2005, on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Orthodox rabbi Daniel Lapin warned tens of millions of Christians worldwide that ADL “is in relentless attack on evangelical Christianity.” He has repeatedly urged both Christian and Jewish leaders to stand up to ADL, which he correctly asserts does not represent the thinking or aspirations of all Jews. At the time of Lapin’s warning, he even included on his Toward Tradition website a toll-free number that anyone could call if threatened or smeared by ADL. As an Orthodox rabbi, Lapin claimed he was perfectly equipped to do battle with ADL – shielded from its inevitable smear, “anti-Semite!” Yet no Jewish, evangelical or Catholic leader has rallied behind him.
Christian/conservative leaders must recognize that ADL, if further protected from criticism, will only mount even more vicious anti-Christian assaults. In 1939, British diplomats Chamberlain and Asquith hoped that if Western powers remained silent and inoffensive Hitler could be contained. In reality, like a tiger, Hitler could smell their fear. Their appeasement only emboldened him to become more aggressive.
The same will happen if millions of Obama protesters remain silent before ADL's recent attack upon them. Like Hitler's 1939 "war games" in Spain, ADL is now testing the religious and political right to see if it will publicly resist ADL's agenda of bringing persecution to them. Persecution is the whole purpose behind ADL-orchestrated hate crimes laws worldwide. After Pres. Obama's signing of the federal hate law last month, ADL boldly took credit not only for "spearheading" its passage over the past 12 years but also for convincing 45 U.S. states and the District of Columbia to pass some version of its "model hate crime law." (ADL Hails Long Overdue Enactment of Hate Crime Law, October 28, 2009.)
Will conservative leaders even mention ADL's attack on them this week? Since ADL was founded in 1913, none has had the courage to publicly criticize it.
If they did so now, it would be remarkably out of character.
© 2009 Rev. Ted Pike - All Rights Reserved
He has ordered FEMA to set up concentration camps across the country for when he declares martial law.
His health care plan is the same plan Hitler used to exterminate the Jews. Oh, and the cap and trade energy legislation also has something to do with the Nazis.
And by the way, Obama is a racist with a deep-seated hatred of white people who was not actually born in the United States.
These are just some of the right wing conspiracy theories that have made their way into the mainstream media since Obama was elected and, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the scare tactics are getting scary. A pre-eminent civil rights group since 1913, the ADL issued a report last week raising the alarm that the paranoid conspiracy theories could spread to violence.
It also points to the pointman in spreading the hate - Glenn Beck of Fox News.
The Anti-Defamation League report said Beck has become "fearmonger in chief."
The report said Beck has become worse than his right-wing compatriots on the airwaves, such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh
"Though a number of media figures and commentators have taken part, the media personality who has played the most active role has been radio and television host Glenn Beck, who along with many of his guests have made a habit of demonizing the Obama administration and promoting conspiracy theories about it," the report states.
"Beck has acted as a 'fearmonger-in-chief,' raising anxiety about and distrust towards the government."
The conspiracy theories are fueling a resurgence in the militia movements, anger in civic gatherings, such as town hall meetings, and raising the potential for violence.
"In the year since we marked the historic election of the nation's first African-American president we have seen a tremendous amount of anger and hostility," said Abraham Foxman, ADL national director.
"There is a toxic atmosphere of rage in America being witnessed at many levels, and it raises fundamental questions for our society."
Strange bedfellows U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester, is one of the most liberal members of Congress. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, is one of the most conservative.
Yet this week, the two men joined Rep. Walter Jones, R-S.C., and Rep. Steven Kagen, D-Wis., in an hour-long, bi-partisan condemnation of the war in Afghanistan on the floor of the House. In after-hours speeches called special orders, they demanded an exit strategy from Obama.
"Why are we there?" McGovern asked about Afghanistan. "Al Qaeda is in Pakistan. Why are we there? This is a quagmire."
Paul said the Afghan government is corrupt, and increasing the number of U.S. troops in the country will turn the population against us.
"If we are in their country, killing them, we are going to create more terrorists," he said...
In 2005, on Trinity Broadcasting Network, Orthodox rabbi Daniel Lapin warned tens of millions of Christians worldwide that ADL "is in relentless attack on evangelical Christianity."
Lizard found inside chicken egg
If we ever needed a visual that eggs can be contaminated on the inside as well as on the outer shell, we've got it. Here's a gecko that took a real bad turn up the back side of a hen and spent its final days swishing around in egg white.
"Dr Peter Beaumont, 60, was cooking Thai fishcakes for dinner when he stumbled across the lizard in Darwin.
"I was cracking the eggs into a pan when I noticed one of them was all cloudy," he said.
"I looked at the shell and saw a tiny gecko.''
Dr Beaumont told our sister paper the Northern Territory News the lizard didn't get into the shell after he had discarded it because the reptile was embedded between the inner shell and the egg's membrane.
He said the gecko could have crawled into the chicken to feast on an embryo - and got stuck. The egg, which he bought at a normal supermarket, then formed around the lizard.
"If you open up a dead chook, you sometimes see the partly-formed eggs,'' he said. "The gecko could have been looking for a feed and got trapped.''
He also believes the discovery - a possible world-first - may help solve a food poisoning puzzle.
Dr Beaumont said eggs sometimes contained salmonella, a potentially fatal food poisoning often carried by other lizards.
"Maybe this happens all the time,'' he said. "Maybe geckos regularly crawl inside chickens for a feed.
"And this one was unlucky enough to get stuck in an egg.''
It Only Gets Worse From Here
This email exchange shows how the global warming regime has with full acknowledgement and intent, simply "made up" data to support their scam. As the title says --- this is only the beginning. I expect a congressional investigation will be called, and I would think criminal charges may be filed.
This scam has all the markings of Watergate, Iran/Contra, 9-11=Terrorists=Iraq, 2000 Election, 2004 Election, and Wall Streets repackaged derivatives and swaps. It was all a lie then, and it is all a lie now -------
From: Keith Briffa email@example.com
To: Malcolm Hughes firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Re: IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE
Date: Fri, 02 Oct 2009 17:28:22 +0100
I understood that the chronology was published and so thought to compare our RCS version with it if we could produce it in time. We are being accused of not using that chronology in the Science paper- so then asked Anders for it. I am having to start thinking about the Yamal crap (Yamal Peninsula, tree rings and subfossil wood which shows the falsehoods of global warming).
Sorry if you thought I was doing anything without your knowledge - TO BE HONEST ALSO - I actually was not really aware that the data you were producing and that used by Sidorova were one and the same. I assume that we are allowed to use the chronology as published - are we?
Keith: At 16:50 02/10/2009, you wrote:
Dear Keith - I'm really reticent to raise something else, but must. What's going on? 21st September I got an email from Tom (Melvin) that contained the following para, among other more general discussion: "Keith has been complained at by Climate Audit for cherry picking and not using your long Indigirka River data set. Not used because we did not have the data. Please, could we have the data? We will make proper acknowledgement/co-authorship if we use the data."
I replied pretty much straight away thus: "Hi Tom - please find the Esper article in question attached. The so-called Indigirka River data set is not yet available because it has not been published. I am currently working on that with Russian colleagues, and was indeed in Switzerland the week before last to work with one of them on specifically this."
So far, no direct response to this email from Tom (Melvin). This morning I get an email from Anders Moberg, telling me that you had asked him for the "Indigirka data". I've waited a couple of hours before writing this email so as to try to be constructive. To be sure that you understand what that dataset is and is not, please read the attached 2006 Moberg corrigendum. Once again, the actual data are unpublished, in spite of having been discussed in the Russian literature by Siderova et al. A large proportion of the raw data are not yet in the public domain, and so you would not be able to critically evaluate the chronology as a possible climate proxy. Why can that not be said - adequate metadata not available, please see Moberg corrigendum?
By the way, a 600-year reconstruction is available (Hughes et al 1999, also attached), and all those raw data are at the ITRDB. As you know, it is my intention to be friendly, cooperative and open, but I'm determined to get some scientific value from all the years of work I've invested in the Yakutia work, and in cooperation with Russia in general. Releasing these data now would be too much.
Cheers, Malcolm --
Malcolm K Hughes Regents' Professor Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research The University of Arizona 105 W Stadium Tucson, AZ 85721 USA tel: +1-520-621-6470 fax: +1-520-621-8229 email@example.com http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/people/8 -- Professor Keith Briffa, Climatic Research Unit University of East Anglia Norwich, NR4 7TJ, U.K. Phone: +44-1603-593909Fax: +44-1603-507784 http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa
Malcolm K Hughes: http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/people/8
Keith Trenberth: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/briffa/
Tom Melvin: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/people/melvin/
This exchange of emails (which includes James Hansen) shows the global warming regime has actually applied pressure, manipulation, and corruption against news agencies to keep in lock-step with their agenda. Yes, evidenced from the emails below show the BBC has fallen prey to political pressure involved in propagating a scam.
From: Kevin Trenberth firstname.lastname@example.org To: Michael Mann email@example.com Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600 Cc: Stephen H Schneider firstname.lastname@example.org, Myles Allen email@example.com, peter stott firstname.lastname@example.org, "Philip D. Jones" email@example.com, Benjamin Santer firstname.lastname@example.org, Tom Wigley email@example.com, Thomas R Karl Thomas.R.Karl@noaa.gov, Gavin Schmidt firstname.lastname@example.org, James Hansen email@example.com, Michael Oppenheimer omichael@Princeton.EDU
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low. This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather). Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth's global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability,1,19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate. That said there is a LOT of nonsense about the PDO (Pacific Decadal Oscillation). People like CPC (Climate Prediction Center) are tracking PDO on a monthly basis but it is highly correlated with ENSO. Most of what they are seeing is the change in ENSO not real PDO. It surely isn't decadal. The PDO is already reversing with the switch to El Nino. The PDO index became positive in September for first time since Sept 2007. Click Here
Michael Mann wrote: extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. Its particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black's beat at BBC (and he does a great job). From what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office. We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what's up here? Mike (Mann)
On Oct 12, 2009, at 2:32 AM, Stephen H Schneider wrote:
Any of you want to explain decadal natural variability and signal to noise and sampling errors to this new "IPCC Lead Author" from the BBC? As we enter an El Nino year and as soon, as the sunspots get over their temporary--presumed--vacation worth a few tenths of a Watt per meter squared reduced forcing, there will likely be another dramatic upward spike like 1992-2000. I heard someone--Mike Schlesinger maybe??--was willing to bet alot of money on it happening in next 5 years??
Meanwhile the past 10 years of global mean temperature trend stasis still saw what, 9 of the warmest in reconstructed 1000 year record and Greenland and the sea ice of the North in big retreat?? Some of you observational folks probably do need to straighten this out as my student suggests below. Such "fun"
Stephen H. Schneider
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Professor, Department of Biology and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment - Mailing address: Yang & Yamazaki Environment & Energy Building - MC 4205 473 Via Ortega Ph: 650 725 9978 F: 650 725 4387 Websites: climatechange.net patientfromhell.org
----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "Narasimha D. Rao" firstname.lastname@example.org
To: "Stephen H Schneider" email@example.com
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 10:25:53 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: BBC U-turn on climate
You may be aware of this already. Paul Hudson, BBC's reporter on climate change, on Friday wrote that there's been no warming since 1998, and that pacific oscillations will force cooling for the next 20-30 years. It is not outrageously biased in presentation as are other skeptics' views. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8299079.stm
BBC has significant influence on public opinion outside the US. Do you think this merits an op-ed response in the BBC from a scientist?
Narasimha ------------------------------- PhD Candidate, Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) Stanford University Tel: 415-812-7560
Michael E. Mann Professor - Director, Earth System Science Center (ESSC) Department of Meteorology Phone: (814) 863-4075 503 Walker Building FAX: (814) 865-3663 The Pennsylvania State University email: firstname.lastname@example.org University Park, PA 16802-5013
"Dire Predictions" book site: http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/news/DirePredictions/index.html--
Kevin E. Trenberth e-mail: email@example.com Climate Analysis Section, www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/trenbert.html NCAR P. O. Box 3000, (303) 497 1318Boulder, CO 80307 (303) 497 1333 (fax) Street address: 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305
Oh yes, there is more ---- lots more. Stay Tuned .....................
November 24 2009 | 73,746 views
Sharyl Attkisson is a CBS News correspondent and investigative reporter. She’s covered Capitol Hill since February 2006 and has been a Washington-based correspondent there since January 1995. She was also part of the CBS news team that received the Edward Murrow Award in 2005 for overall excellence. Additionally, she received an Outstanding Investigative Journalism Emmy in 2002 for a series on the Red Cross.
In case you didn't realize it, Sharyl Attkisson is the investigative reporter behind the groundbreaking CBS News study that found H1N1 flu cases are NOT as prevalent as feared.
In fact, they’re barely on the radar screen.How did this startling information come about, and why is the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) painting a different picture entirely? I spoke directly with Sharyl Attkisson to find out.
Getting Started on the Swine Flu Trail
The first video is an amazing interview I did with Sharyl about ten days ago and what the bulk of this article is based on.
The second video is brand new and was done at noon yesterday in which I was videoed in the CBS studio in downtown Chicago. Sharyl was gracious enough to invite me to be on with Dr. Bernadine Healy, the former director of the NIH. We both were in agreement about the swine flu and opposed to the stance the CDC is taking, but we had different views on mammograms.
Please also watch the second interview as it is very entertaining.
Ms. Attkisson says:
“The reason I looked into this is a couple of months ago, I got tips from three or four different segments of public healthcare, with folks telling me the CDC has recommended that they go ahead and stop testing for and counting swine flu cases.
Each different entity that contacted me was concerned, thinking that this should not be happening. They really felt that it was necessary for the swine flu to continue to be tracked in some details. So I went about trying to find out why this decision was made and what the ramifications would be.
… I started by contacting the CDC and the HHS and asking some basic questions. I felt like I pretty much got stonewalled with some of the information I really needed to get at, especially what I needed from the states data, and information on the rationale behind this decision to stop counting and testing for swine flu.”
Because the CDC did not initially respond to Attkisson’s requests, she contacted all 50 states directly, asking for their statistics on state lab-confirmed H1N1 prior to the halt of individual testing and counting in July. She also asked states, one by one, to help explain the rationale behind the CDC’s decision to stop tracking H1N1 cases.
“One of my good sources within the government said to me that they’re either trying to, in his opinion, over-represent the swine flu numbers or under-represent by not counting them anymore. He said, “You need to find out which it is.” And so to find out which it might be, I really wanted to see the data that the CDC had at the time it made the decision to quit counting the cases.”
What Her Investigative Report Reveals
If you listen to most media outlets and even to government agencies, you get the impression that virtually every person who has visited their physician with flu-like symptoms in recent months has H1N1, with no testing necessary because, after all, there's an epidemic.
We are all being led to believe that every case diagnosed as “swine flu” or even as “flu-like illness” is, in fact, swine flu.
But Attkisson’s investigation revealed a very different picture right from her first contact with individual states. She explains:
“Across the country, state by state, they were testing [for H1N1] until CDC told them not to bother. They were testing, in general, the cases most likely to be believed to have been swine flu based on a doctor’s diagnosis of symptoms and risk factors such as travel to Mexico.
These special cases were going to state labs for absolute confirmation with the best test -- not the so-called “rapid testing,” but the real confirmation test.
Of those presumed likely swine flu cases out of approximately every hundred of what was tested, only a small fraction were actually swine flu. In every instance, perhaps the biggest number of cases that were swine flu was something like 30%. The smallest number was something like 2% or 3%.
Maybe there’s one state where it was just 1%.
The point is, of the vast majority of the presumed swine flu cases recognized by trained physicians, the vast majority were not flu at all. They weren’t swine flu or regular flu; they were some other sort of upper respiratory infection.”
And here is the clincher that it seems the CDC just doesn’t want the American public to know …
“The CDC explained that one of the reasons they quit counting was because of all the flu that’s out there, most are swine flu. Well, that’s true. Most of the flu that was out there was indeed swine flu, but they failed to say that most of the suspected flu was nothing at all. And I think that’s the caveat the public just didn’t know,” Attkisson explains.
She gives even more striking examples of the numbers the investigative report revealed. For instance:
- In Florida, 83 percent of specimens that were presumed to be swine flu were negative for all flu when tested!
- In California, 86 percent of suspected H1N1 specimens were not swine flu or any flu; only 2 percent were confirmed swine flu.
- In Alaska, 93 percent of suspected swine flu specimens were negative for all flu types; only 1 percent was H1N1 flu.
Freedom of Information and Getting the Truth Out
It is not easy for journalists to access this type of information, and they often have to wait weeks, months or even years for information from the CDC and the FDA -- information that is readily available and supposed to be clearly public.
Attkisson expands on the difficulties she faced in trying to get simple data regarding swine flu cases in the United States:
“They [CDC’s public affairs] quit communicating with me when I pressed on why I couldn’t get certain information. They just wouldn’t answer my emails anymore. So I had to file a Freedom of Information request, which is usually my last choice because I know I was going into a deep black hole many times and I’ll never get an answer.
But in this case, I got an interesting response on October 19 from the CDC when I had asked for some simple, public documents that would have been easy for them to obtain too quickly.
Journalists are allowed to ask for expedited processing of their Freedom of Information request because, for obvious reasons, they’re working on a story that may have public impact or be of public interest. The agencies are not supposed to use the Freedom of Information Law to obstruct or delay the release of this information.
This may be the first time I was denied that expedited processing from Freedom of Information that we’re entitled to as members of the press; a letter from HHS or Health and Human Services (the CDC is under HHS) said to me that one of the reasons they’re denying my expedited processing is because this is not a matter of “widespread and exceptional media or public interest.”
In other words, the CDC doesn’t think these questions about swine flu prevalence and these other things that we’ve been asking are, at least in their opinion in this letter, not a matter of widespread and exceptional media or public interest.”
Yet, while the CDC expressed that questions about swine flu prevalence were not a matter of widespread media or public interest, the President had declared the swine flu a national public health emergency!
The inconsistencies at the CDC are nearly incomprehensible.
The Ramifications of the Swine Flu Policy
According to Attkisson’s CBS News study, when you come down with chills, fever, cough, runny nose, malaise and all those other "flu-like" symptoms, the illness is likely caused by influenza at most 17 percent of the time and as little as 3 percent! The other 83 to 97 percent of the time it's caused by other viruses or bacteria.
So remember that not every illness that appears to be the flu actually is the flu. In fact, most of the time it's not.
Curiously, the CDC still advises those who were told they had 2009 H1N1 (and therefore should be immune to getting it again) to get vaccinated unless they had lab confirmation.
But because very few people have actually had a lab-confirmed case of H1N1 (and in most cases those people told they had swine flu probably did not), this means nearly everyone is still being advised to get the swine flu vaccine.
Attkisson has been one of the few to speak out against this flawed system and point out the serious ramifications that come when a public health agency is secretive about their health data.
“From a public and journalistic standpoint, I believe the mistake comes when you don’t fully disclose to the public as you go and discover the mistakes. Try to disclose and fix things that come up.
Everybody understands that there isn’t a perfect system, but I think you need to be upfront with them, explain what you’re doing, and explain what you’re discovering. If you’ve made a mistake or you feel like you need to correct something, say that, too, but don’t just try to keep information from the public.”
I couldn’t agree more, and Attkisson’s CBS News report has stood out like a bright light of truth among all the clouds of misinformation.
If you’d like to learn more about the report and its findings, you can read all the details in the past article CBS Reveals that Swine Flu Cases Seriously Overestimated.
Cue the Aerosmith soundtrack; a plan to send a manned space mission to land on an asteroid is gaining traction within both NASA and the aerospace industry as experts look to bridge the feasibility gap between lunar missions and an eventual rendezvous with Mars. Of course, no party is ruling out the possibility of an Armageddon-esque trip to a Near Earth Object (NEO) on a harmful trajectory, should the need arise in the future.
While neither NASA or the White House has signed off on -- or even offered funding to study -- such a mission, briefing charts put together by Lockheed Martin, maker of the space agency's next-gen passenger spacecraft, detail how a mission might work. It's not as far-fetched, or far away, as one might think, with a mission to an NEO possible in a 2020-2025 time frame.
Once there, scientists could gather compositions samples of the rock and set up other scientific equipment that could be left behind on the NEO. That information would be extremely valuable to science, not to mention give scientists the upper hand should a worrisome rock ever come hurtling directly toward earth.
Right now it's only an idea on a briefing board, but both NASA and aerospace industry wonks feel like the mission is not only feasible, but could offer invaluable experience as a stepping stone between current low earth orbit excursions and forays deeper into space.
Did we mention there will be jetpacks?