I’ll spare you any Arnold impersonations, as The Terminator impersonation is perennially the material of hack comedians. On the contrary, the Terminator series is one of the more profound examples of predictive programming, establishing memes and implanting preparatory ideas comparable to The Matrix. While The Matrix is the classic conspiracy-genre trope for “awakening” to the fraud of the system as a whole, the Terminator series is far more ominous and serious in its foreboding message. Foreboding, because the real shadow government plan is to erect Skynet in reality, and serious because the establishment’s entire paradigm is that of depopulation. Mix the two together, and you get Terminator. Thus, I have been of the opinion for a few years now that the reason for the erection of A.I., while full of esoteric undertones, is pragmatically about erecting a control grid impervious to human error which will then function as a global human deletion grid.
Numerous studies have clearly outlined the health and environmental dangers that are associated with pesticides, more specifically, agricultural pesticides. They’ve been linked to cancer, birth defects, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, kidney failure and many more.
It’s remarkable how we continue to spray these all over our food. In the past decade alone, scientists from all over the world have conducted studies that now link them with autism. Keep in mind, autism is a very large spectrum, some of it may be evolution, and in many other cases, neurodevelopment is largely hampered due to the factors mentioned in this article (and more). Here is one of the (out of what could be many) reasons why:
Pesticides Increase Risk By 2/3
A study coming out of the University of California, Davis, determined that pregnant women who live in close proximity to land and farms where chemical pesticides are/were applied experience a two-thirds increased risk of having a child with autism spectrum disorder or some other developmental disorder.
The study examined associations between pesticides, including organophosphates (a main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide) that were applied during the participants’ pregnancies and a later diagnosis of autism or developmental delay in their children.
The study was published this summer, online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.(1) It concluded that proximity to organophosphates alone at some point during gestation was associated with a 60% increased risk for ASD.
Over the past couple of years, I had the unpleasant experience of having bloodwork done to confirm that I am gluten intolerant, only to have it come back and say, “Nope, you’re just crazy.”
The same thing happened to my good friend Melissa Melton, who was terribly ill before she cut wheat out of her life.
It’s happened to scores of other people, who pass the test for the anti-gliadin antibodies but still know that their health issues directly correlate with what they eat.
Now we may know why.
The tests were right. I’m not gluten intolerant. I’m poison intolerant.
(NaturalNews) It isn’t a lack of food that is the driving force behind world hunger, but rather a lack of effective food distribution. An estimated 1.43 billion tons of food go to waste every single year around the world, according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates, which is enough to feed some 3.48 billion people in need.
During a recent UN forum, fixing this out-of-control problem was a primary topic of discussion. Entitled “Feeding the World: Food, Agriculture and Environment,” the gathering, which took place in Naples, Italy, focused on ways to reign in the waste problem and develop new ways of conserving the food that we already have.
“We need a transformative change in our food and agricultural policies to have sustainability,” explained Ren Wang, Assistant Director-General of FAO’s Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department.
More food is being produced now compared to 60 years ago, and the overall percentage of people who are considered undernourished has dropped from 18.7 percent two decades ago to about 11.3 percent today. But the sheer volume of food that ends up in dumpsters and landfills is shockingly high, and more can be done to save it.
(NaturalNews) It seems as though, with each day that passes, yet another health and environmental hazard is identified as being linked to hydraulic fracking, the process of injecting more than 200 chemicals at high pressure into the ground, shattering rock and releasing one America’s most valued resources, natural gas.
Hydraulic fracking continues to be proven more dangerous than scientists imagined, with the latest research unmasking unthinkable health effects in residents living near a fracking site.
Only through observation have scientists begun to learn exactly which chemicals are being injected at high pressures into the earth, as the industry believes proprietary rights trump the public’s right to know about which chemicals make up fracking mixtures.
Scientists have observed eight poisonous chemicals near fracking wells in Arkansas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wyoming, all of which have exceeded the federal recommended limit. Benzene, a known carcinogen, as well as formaldehyde, were the most common. Hydrogen sulfide, responsible for a range of health effects including death, was also found.
The day after the island of Maui passed a moratorium on GMO crops, Monsanto announced it was suing them to override the will of the people.
Last Tuesday, the voters on the Hawaiian island of Maui passed a moratorium on genetically engineered crops. The very next day, Monsanto announced plans to sue Maui to block the law from going into effect.
Maui is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth — but it’s being turned into one giant, open-air biological experiment by the rampant use of GMO crops and pesticides. Monsanto and its allies spent more than $8 million to convince voters to defeat the GMO moratorium and still lost. So now they’re sending an army of lawyers to overturn the will of the people.
Monsanto, Dow, BASF, and other huge biotech companies have flocked to Hawaii because the climate allows them to plant and grow seeds that they can sell all over the world.
Today, nearly 10 percent of all Hawaii’s farmland is owned by just five biotech firms, including Monsanto. That’s why Maui voters have been asking their elected officials to do something about GMOs and the heavy pesticides that go with them. But the politicians, most of them funded by Monsanto, have ignored the people. So earlier this year, they took matters into their own hands, collecting thousands of petition signatures to force the issue to be put before voters directly as a citizen referendum. And last Tuesday, the voters spoke: no GMOs on Maui.
Whatever you think about GMO crops and pesticides, it’s just wrong for a corporation to use legal action to intimidate the public and override the democratic process. That’s why it’s so important we stand up, and stand together, whenever Monsanto tries to use these dirty tactics.
Monsanto strikes back after Maui voters support GMO moratorium, ABC KITV4 Hawaii, November 5, 2014
“You sound like a conspiracy theorist.”
RESPONSE: “Conspiracy Theorist? Now tell me the truth, where did you hear that term…on TV? (Laugh.) …So let me get this straight. Are you saying that men in high positions of power are not capable of criminal activity and telling lies to the general public? Are you really that naive?” (Laugh as you say this.)
.“I’m not saying that governments don’t lie, but a conspiracy like that would have to involve 100′s of people. You can’t hide something like that.”
RESPONSE: “You’re absolutely right. I agree with you 100%. It is impossible to totally cover up a conspiracy so massive. That’s why I know about it! What you must understand is that they don’t have to cover it up totally. Even a bucket that has a few leaks can still do the job of carrying water from here to there! They only need to fool 80% of the public, which isn’t hard to do when you control the major networks and newspapers. The 10-20% that do figure it out (and the fewer still who will dare to speak their minds about it) can be very easily marginalized with the propaganda label “conspiracy theorist.” The 80% + never take us critical thinkers seriously because they want to be part of the majority. This is known as groupthink. (*Note: When saying “conspiracy theorist”, always hold your two hands up as you make sarcastic quote marks with your fingers.)
.(The Ridicule Trick) “That’s ridiculous (as he rolls his eyes). Do you really believe that nonsense?”
RESPONSE: “Can I ask you an honest question?” (Wait for “yes”) Do you consider yourself an open minded, critical thinking person – yes or no? (Wait for “yes”) Then how can you possibly ridicule an opinion when you haven’t even done 10 minutes of research into the matter? That’s kind of ignorant don’t you think?” (Wait for response.)
“Not everything that happens in the world is a conspiracy!”
RESPONSE: “Not everything is a conspiracy, but nor is NOTHING a conspiracy either. Wouldn’t you agree that we should evaluate each case independently and with an open mind?” (Wait for response.)
.“Governments are so incompetant that they can’t even deliver the mail on time or balance a budget. They couldn’t conspire their way out of a paper bag!”.
RESPONSE: “Don’t confuse your incompetant, dim witted Congressman or Senator with the shadow government. The dark covert elements who stage these events are very skilled at carrying out, and concealing, their plots. Take for example the Manhattan Project. Hundreds of the world’s top scientists were holed up in a desert for months as they worked on the Atomic Bomb. More than 100,000 people, each sworn to silence, worked on the project in 3 secret cities. A test bomb was even detonated in the the desert and not one word was said about it! This conspiracy was so secretive, that when FDR died and Vice President Truman became President, FDR’s advisors had to inform him of the Project’s existence! So you see, the shadowy intelligence element of the government is VERY capable!”
(The Unresolved Detail Trick) “If this is a conspiracy then explain to me how they managed to do x, y, and z?”
RESPONSE: “I don’t have every missing piece of this puzzle. But I have enough pieces to KNOW that the government-media version is false! Imagine if I gave you a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle, and told you that the image is of a beach in Hawaii. But after snapping 30 pieces together, you notice polar bears, snow capped mountains, and men covered in furs. Although there are still 70 missing pieces, you already have enough to KNOW that the image is NOT that of a beach in Hawaii. It’s the same with solving conspiracies. I may not have all of the details, but I have laid out enough pieces to know that the official story is a lie. Does that make sense to you? (Wait for response.)
“So what? just because “x” happened, or “y” said this, it doesn’t mean it’s a conspiracy. You’re taking a few coincidences and making a conspiracy out of it. “
RESPONSE: “If it were just one or two coincidences, I would agree with you. But when you have a series of 10,15, 20 different anomolies, the law of statistics PROVES that they can’t all be just “coincidence”. For example, if we’re playing dice, and I roll a “7″ to win. That doesn’t mean that my dice are rigged. It’s just a 1 in 6 coincidence. But if I roll a “7″, eight times in a row, then that’s a 1 in 150,000 “coincidence”. You would have to be a fool not to question the integrity of those dice! You do understand probabilities don’t you? (Wait for response.)
(The Isolated Piece of Evidence Trick) “Other than citing some historical events, you still haven’t shown me one piece of evidence that this was a conspiracy. Tell me just one thing that most proves a conspiracy.”
RESPONSE: “That’s a trick question! If I tell you “just one thing”, you’ll just climb on your high horse and dismiss it as a “coincidence”. What I want to show you is TWENTY THINGS! But you’re too closed minded to consider the case in its totality! You won’t even watch a You Tube video let alone read the case! I sure hope you never get selected to serve on a jury! You want everything boiled down to a simplistic media sound byte. Unless you will commit to a few hours of study, I’m wasting my time with you. Why are you so afraid to study this? (Wait for a response.)
“If this were true, the media would be all over it! It would be on the front page of every newspaper in America.”
RESPONSE: “The media, the government, the International bankers, Hollywood, and academia are all part of the same incestuous complex. The media is part of the conspiracy, so why would you expect them to tell you the truth?” (Wait for response.)
“You wouldn’t be able to corrupt so many people. Every reporter and politician would have to be “in on it” in order to cover it up.”
RESPONSE: “The corruption doesn’t come from the outside-in. It comes from the top-down. If the ownership of a major media organization decides that a certain story is to be spiked, or if another story is to be hyped, then the rest of the organization follows. If a low level reporter decides to defy his bosses, he will lose his job and be blacklisted. Remember Helen Thomas? After 50 years as a White House Correspondent, she was dumped like a hot potato for publicly criticizing Israel. The same fearful top-down control works in government and academia as well.
“This is crazy. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.”
RESPONSE: “You don’t believe it? Or You don’t WANT to believe it? There’s a big difference between the two. The human mind is filled with complexes, one of which is the desire to shield itself from unpleasant truths. You’re afraid that if you look into this, you might see that it’s true. And you’re especially afraid that if you come to agree with me, you too will then become marginalized as a “conspiracy theorist.” It is FEAR that is causing you to close your mind and act like a sheep. Grow a pair and stop being so closed minded!“
“Conspiracy theories appeal to uneducated people because they provide simplistic answers to complex events.”
RESPONSE: “Exactly the OPPOSITE is true! The evaluation of conspiracy theories not only requires much time and study, but also applied logic and critical thinking. Did you know that Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Bobby Fischer all believed in the “one-world conspiracy theory”? Were those men stupid? No, it is intellectually lazy people like you who choose to swallow and parrot whatever simplistic narrative that the TV feeds you. Do you ever question anything that the TV feeds you?” (Wait for response.)
“Conspiracy theories appeal to people because they are comforting.”
RESPONSE: “Exactly the OPPOSITE is true. It is far more comforting to believe that certain tragic events happen exactly as the TV says, than to believe in monstrous internal plots beyond our control. Do you actually think that I enjoy believing that such evil exists? You think I like being ridiculed by simple minded family members and friends? Take it from me, the life of a “conspiracy theorist” can actually be quite stressful at times!”
“Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”
RESPONSE: “I don’t believe everything that’s on the Internet. But apparently you believe everything that’s on the Idiot Box! I only believe those things which are verifiable, and consistent with my own sense of reasoning and logic. The beauty of the Internet is that, unlike the TV that you worship so much, all sides of an issue are presented on the Internet. It allows a critical thinker to figure out what the true story is. The TV doesn’t give you that option. Do you really believe that the media presents the whole story? Are you that naive? (laugh) Remember the fairy tale of the ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq? The media shoved that lie down our throats. So why do you trust the media so blindly and not the Internet?”
(Wait for response.)
“Some conspiracy theorists still believe Elvis is still alive.”
RESPONSE: “So, according to your twisted logic, because some theories are false, therefore ALL theories are false? I’m astonished that you could make such a stupid and offensive anology! Is that the best you got?” (Wait for response.)
“You don’t have any respect or compassion for the family members of the dead.”
RESPONSE: “I am honoring the dead by pursuing the truth as to who killed them! If someone in your family was killed, wouldn’t you want to know who the true culprit was?” (Wait for response.)
By Neil Clark
November 15, 2014
The continuing attacks on Vladimir Putin and Russia by members of the western political, military and journalistic elite tell us one thing – the Russian President is doing a good job both for the people of his country and in the international arena.
For it is a rule which invariably holds true – if the Western elites praise the leader of a foreign country it means he is doing something which is good for those elites and bad for his country. If he’s demonized, as Putin is, it’s the other way round.
The latest attack has come from Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The US Army general said that Russia was “pushing on the limits of international order.” Dempsey talked of the need to “deter Russian aggression against our NATO allies” – and said that Russia had “kind of lit a fire of nationalism.”
“Once you light that fire, it’s not controllable,” the General said. “I am worried about Europe.” It’s worth reflecting on Dempsey’s words as they provide a classic example of what psychologists call ‘projection’. The US General was accusing Russia of what his own country has been guilty of.
‘Pushing on the limits of international order’? Was it Russia which launched an illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 – claiming the country possessed WMDs which threatened the world? Was it Russia which led the illegal bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999? The US hasn’t just pushed the ‘limits of international order’ it has been the number one international law breaker over the past twenty years.
‘Russian aggression against our NATO allies’? Not one NATO country has been attacked by Russia – or threatened with attack. The aggression has been from the US against Russian allies. Over the last twenty or so years we have seen the US target a series of countries which had friendly links to Russia, including Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. It’s the US and its NATO allies who clearly need to be deterred, not Russia.
Russia has ‘kind of lit a fire of nationalism’? Well, it was the US and their EU allies who did this in Yugoslavia in the 1990s – sponsoring separatists in order to break up the country – and it was the US and its EU allies who have been sponsoring and supporting extreme nationalists (some would say fascists and neo-Nazis) in Ukraine. Dempsey says he is worried about Europe, but it’s Russia which has cause to be worried about the US and Europe. Just take a look at the map on how NATO, since the fall of communism in Eastern Europe twenty-five years ago – has expanded eastwards, despite promises made by the west that NATO would not expand. When figures from the Western elite talk of ‘Russian aggression’ what they really mean is that Russia is checking Western aggression. When Putin is compared to Hitler – it is because he is standing in the way of the real heirs of Adolf Hitler, the war lobby in the West, who like the mustachioed one, have an insatiable appetite for attacking and threatening to attack independent sovereign states. By any objective assessment, it’s the Western elites – and in particular the neocon faction within that elite – who are the biggest dangers to world peace, not Putin. Look at the havoc their policy of endless war, whether waged directly or through terrorist proxies, has caused in Iraq, Libya and Syria.
These serial warmongers are particularly angry that Russian foreign policy has thwarted their plans for ‘regime change’ in Syria, a key strategic objective. They’re also angry that Putin clamped down on oligarchs whose role was to help Western plutocrats get control of Russia’s natural resources. Back in 2000, when he was first elected President, Western elites hoped that Putin would continue the path set by his predecessor Boris Yeltsin, a man whose rule was disastrous for ordinary Russians, who saw their living standards plummet and the value of their life savings destroyed, but very good for the Western elites. Yeltsin privatized vast swathes of the economy and acquiesced while NATO destroyed Yugoslavia. Yeltsin was bad news for Russia – but he was hailed as a great ‘democrat’ by the West – and eulogized on his death – which tells us everything we need to know about who benefited most from his rule.
Putin himself had no great desire to fall out with the West when he became President – quite the contrary. He was the first international leader to offer his condolences to President George W. Bush after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York. “In the name of Russia, I want to say to the American people – we are with you,” he said. Putin co-operated with West over Afghanistan and the so-called ‘war on terror’. “Russia will continue to provide intelligence information we have collected on the infrastructure, location and training of international terrorists,” he declared. A CNN article on how 9/11 was a ‘turning point’ for Putin makes interesting reading today.
It shows how much Putin was willing to co-operate with the US and gives lie to the assertion that it was he who provoked the ‘new’ Cold War. The truth is that it was the aggressive neocon faction within the Western elite which did that. They’ve been calling for sanctions on Russia for over a decade now – way before Russia’s non-existent ‘invasion’ of Ukraine. The current ‘cold war’ against Russia can be traced back to 2003. Rebuilding the economy and improving living standards for ordinary Russians inevitably meant action being taken against certain oligarchs who had made vast fortunes in the Yeltsin years. These oligarchs, such as Boris Berezovksy and Mikhail Khodorkovsky had some powerful supporters, in the West. As I detailed in an article for the New Statesman in November 2003 – influential neocons in Washington who had links to Russian oligarchs, used the arrest of Khodorkovsky for fraud and tax evasion to push for a hardening of US policy towards Moscow.
“The arrest of one man has sent us a signal that our well-intentioned Russian policy has failed. We must now recognize that there has been a massive suppression of human rights and the imposition of a de facto Cold War-type administration in Moscow” wrote Bruce P. Jackson of the Project on Transitional Democracies and the Project for the New American Century’
Jackson called for sanctions to be imposed on Russia by Congress. Sounds familiar? In 2003, Putin also angered hawks in Washington by opposing the war against Iraq – not only that he openly ridiculed the claims about Iraq’s WMDs. “Earlier this year, Russia’s stubborn holding of its line on Iraq infuriated the neoconservatives and increased their determination to work towards regime change at the next presidential elections in 2004 and to accelerate their plans to secure Russia’s energy resources”, I wrote in the New Statesman. The neocon propaganda stepped up again with the mysterious death of M16 agent Alexander Litvinenko, in London in late 2006. Inevitably the death was blamed on Moscow – despite the absence of proof. As I highlighted in the Guardian in an article entitled ‘In Bed with Russophobes,
The incident was used in their campaign against Putin’s national revival. “These rightwing hawks are gunning for Putin not because of concern for human rights but because an independent Russia stands in the way of their plans for global hegemony,” I wrote, adding that “those on the center-left who have joined the current wave of Putin-bashing ought to consider whose cause they are serving.” In 2008, Putin, now firmly established as a NeoCon hate figure, angered the endless war lobby still further by standing up to aggression by the US client state of Georgia against the people of South Ossetia. The importance of what happened in Georgia in 2008 cannot be understated. It was as Seumas Milne notes in his book The Revenge of History “one of two events in 2008 which signalled the end of the New World Order of unchallenged US global and economic power” ( the other was the banking crash).“The former Soviet Republic (Georgia) was a particular favorite of Washington’s neoconservatives” says Milne. “Its forces, armed and trained by the US and Israel, made up the third-largest contingent in the occupation of Iraq…..The short-lived Russian-Georgian conflict marked an international turning point….. Russia had called a halt to a relentless process of US expansion.”
The newly-elected US President Barack Obama promised a ‘reset’ of relations with Russia, but with the neocons still in town and peddling their anti-Putin and anti-Russian propaganda there was never any hope of that succeeding. The current wave of Russophobia can be linked to events in the Middle East- and Russia’s refusal to back ‘regime change’ in Syria. They desperately wanted Bashar al-Assad removed- so as to break the alliance between Syria, Hezbollah and Iran, but Russia has got in the way. Ukraine was where the neocons thought they would get their revenge. The US sponsored regime change in Kiev, an enterprise in which the State Department’s Victoria Nuland the wife of the Project for a New American Century co-founder Robert Kagan played a prominent role, finally enabled the hawks to get what they been dreaming of for over ten years – the sanctioning of Russia. The ‘get tough with Russia’ stance they’ve long been calling for has finally become the official policy of the US and leading EU countries. The demonization of President Putin in the West has become ‘mainstream’. The neocon plan is for the Russian economy to be weakened by sanctions, which they hope will lead to a reduction in support for Putin and make it easier for them to destabilize the country and bring about a ‘regime change’ in Moscow. They want a compliant stooge in the Kremlin who will surrender all of Russia’s natural resources, and allow them to get rid of President Assad and the Baathists in Syria – an essential prerequisite before any attack on Iran. At the moment one man is getting in the way of those war plans.
To repeat: “those on the centre-left who have joined the current wave of Putin-bashing ought to consider whose cause they are serving.”
Because Putin is not the problem – it’s the people attacking him who are.
By Ellen Finnigan
November 11, 2014
On November 21, Mockingjay: Part I will be released in theaters. This will be the third of four films based on Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy. In anticipation I have re-watched the first two films, The Hunger Games (2012) and Catching Fire (2013), and reread the books. Collins has said that with these stories she wanted to educate children about the “realities of war.” The realities she seems to be concerned with are not only the realities of fighting in a war, but also the realities of living in a country at war. What Collins is teaching American children is very important: that a government of the few can dominate a populace of the many using not only the brute force of a police state but also the more subtle, insidious, and hypnotic power of mass media. It is a valuable lesson for us all.
In case you haven’t heard, the trilogy is set in a future America called Panem after the Latin “panem et circenses” or “bread and circuses.” Divided into twelve Districts, most of the country is impoverished, except for the Capitol. Each year, one boy and one girl from each District are chosen by lottery and sent to fight to the death. They are called “Tributes.” The Games provide live, reality-television-style entertainment for the masses and yield exactly one “Victor,” who becomes an instant celebrity. The Hunger Games are touted as a pseudo-religious festival that brings everyone together in a ritual of punishment and atonement necessary to maintain unity and peace. Everyone must participate in the Hunger Games – as a Tribute or as a spectator — to maintain the illusion of unity. But how do you get an entire country to watch something so horrific on television day after day, to pay attention to the spectacle let alone support it?
Well, the Capitol threatens to nuke any District that rebels, and the people take that threat seriously. On the day of the lottery, citizens let their children be “herded into roped off areas like cattle.” The Hunger Games are a demonstration of power that terrorizes the people and instills fear. But the secondary purpose of the Hunger Games is to distract and mollify the population, especially those in the Capitol, with “circuses.” Part of the job of the Head Gamemaker is, with the help of talking heads in the media, to invent and disseminate storylines that will drum up interest in and enthusiasm for the Games and keep the people titillated, using each child’s unique personality and background to create “characters” of interest. The narratives they concoct create sympathy for the Tributes among the viewing audience. Lesson about war: Give citizens someone to root for in war, and they will be less likely to root against the State or against the wars themselves. Make sure they can’t see the forest for the trees, or the circus for the act.
It is not hard to see a few parallels at work here in our own society as convenient feel good narratives and soldier pseudo celebrities emerge with regularity in the War on Terror. Remember Jessica Lynch? Pat Tillman? Chris Kyle? Just like we have Internet articles titled “Where Are They Now?” about child celebrities or one-hit-wonders from the 80s, we have “Where Are They Now’s?” about War on Terror celebrities. The American government now uses the most sophisticated techniques of advertising, public relations, storytelling, and Hunger Games-style celebrity making, harnessing the full power of the mass media (print, television, radio, and film) to shape and mold the public consciousness, to influence our attitudes and beliefs about war, and to propagate American “wars” by keeping us enthralled and distracted with titillating stories. This is not difficult to do in a society in which six companies own 90% of the media, reduced from 50 in 1983. But before I come back to the here and now, let me tell you a little bit more about the plot. (I won’t include anything about Mockingjay that you couldn’t learn from watching the trailer.)
In the first book, our fifteen-year-old protagonist Katniss Everdeen wins the Hunger Games in more ways than one: Through cunning and compassion rather than outright resistance, she manages to undermine the Capitol. She emerges as a Victor and a symbol of potential revolution in Panem. Victors have to play their roles long after the Games are over, though, or else. They are forced to go on publicity tours, be spokespeople for the Capitol, and mentor new Tributes from their District. In exchange they get to live in wealth and luxury for the rest of their lives. In the sequel Catching Fire, Katniss is on tour, smiling, waving, and trying her best to convince everyone that she is not a dissident, for fear her beloveds will get killed. She stands in front of the people of each District and robotically recites the lines written for her on cue cards, but the people aren’t buying it. The people are restless and looking to her for hope. They yell from the crowd, “Tell us what you really think!” The police are cracking down. People are getting publicly executed for showing even the smallest signs of solidarity with her. She just wants the tour to be over and to go home, so nobody else will get hurt, but her mentor reminds her that the game never ends. Every year the Capitol will trot her around like a show pony. “Your job now,” he says, “is to be a distraction, to make people forget what the real problems are.” Resigned to her fate as a puppet of the Capitol, she decides to get engaged to her friend Peeta, even though she is not in love with him, in a desperate attempt to keep up appearances.
Despite Katniss’ best efforts to play nice, President Snow knows she is a threat. He sends her back to the Hunger Games in hopes she will die. In the third book and upcoming film, Katniss has been broken free from the Games by a group of rebels, many of them her friends (she was unaware of the conspiracy), and they are hoping she will agree to lead the resistance. The rebels have somehow managed to take control of the airwaves, and like the Hunger Games, the revolution, too, will be televised. She finds she is still a celebrity, with a hair and make-up team, her own designer, and a costume. She is still being given cue cards. Cameras follow her into the battlefield. There are discussions about who should and should not appear with her on camera. How are they going to “cast” her friend Gale? Should he be her new lover or her cousin? What would play best with the audience? The rebels, like the Capitol, seem more interested in telling stories than in disseminating information. Image is everything. Truth is optional. The storyline that developed while she was in the Hunger Games: She must do nothing to contradict it. Why? Because the viewing audience is emotionally invested in it. In their constant concern with emotional appeal, the rebel “coverage” smacks of propaganda. Katniss wants to do what she can to help the people, but she is conflicted because she knows she is being used. She decides to embrace the role of “The Mockingjay” anyway in hopes she can use her power of celebrity for good. In a moment of genuine passion, after seeing the Capitol engage in a particularly horrific act of war, she curses President Snow and threatens him through the camera. Then somebody shouts, “That’s a wrap!”
People found the premise of The Hunger Games to be so offensive and obscene because it blurred something as serious as war with something as frivolous as entertainment, but in America, the lines between war, entertainment, and propaganda are increasingly hard to draw. They practically don’t exist. There was a BBC documentary exposing the rescue of Jessica Lynch as a PR stunt. A local eye witness described the incident as follows:
“Like a film of Hollywood they cry ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and shout ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and with guns with blanks, without bullets. Blanks and the sounds of explosions…They make a show for the American attack for the hospital. Action movies like Sylvester Stallone or Jackie Chan, with jumping and shouting, breaking the door, with the photos, with the photos.”
Who doesn’t love a good “Rescue the Young Blonde P.O.W.” story to kick off a war? Lynch became America’s sweetheart, a real life Disney princess. She doesn’t remember a thing about her “rescue” (convenient) but that didn’t stop her from getting a seven figure book deal to tell her story, which became a bestseller.
Growing up in the 80s, I was exposed to films like Born on the Fourth of July, Full Metal Jacket, and Platoon. They were the scary movies of my childhood, far scarier than Nightmare on Elm Street or The Hunger Games. The Pentagon didn’t like how its activities were being reflected in our culture, so rather than cleaning up their act, they polished up their image by collaborating with the makers of a movie called Top Gun (“How Top Gun Made America Love War”, The Washington Post, August 26, 2011). Add an awesome soundtrack, and suddenly the military was cool again.
Germans Abandon Major News Sites in Anger Over Slanted Russia Coverage Triggered by reader disaffection, internet traffic has collapsed for half a dozen major German media websites
What’s going on in the German media is huge. It is one of the most popular subjects on our site. The US and UK media have been hugely biased in their coverage of Russia, but German media has been far, far, worse, to the point which strains credulity.
Now it turns out that part of the reason is CIA fiddling with German media outlets. Coming on the heels of the Snowden revelations, this has Germans seriously ticked-off. Here’s the latest revelation from our correspondent in Germany.
They call it the Ulfkotte-effect. And it’s beginning to resemble an avalanche.
Since the publication of Udo Ulfkotte’s “Gekaufte Journalisten“ in September – now a #1 Amazon bestseller, in which he charges that the CIA regularly bribes top German journalists, himself included, – German readers’ disaffection towards their mainstream media appears to have crossed a point of no return.
Granted, sales of newspapers and magazines have fallen everywhere, not just in Germany. But this is different. This is a boycott that is affecting web traffic. Germans are steering clear of mainstream media websites.
Many Germans have not been too shy to announce their intention on social networks. Some have uploaded videos calling for a boycott on YouTube. Others have created groups calling for the same on Facebook.
The other visible result of reader disaffection has been that throughout September the number of unique visitors to six major German newspapers and magazines was falling steadily.