Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Welcome to Week One of True Propagandada

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

Welcome back to Propagandada!!!  

So I noticed that I didn’t post anything in 2014 or 2016, and only twice in 2013 and once in 2015.  I’ve been busy with taking care of my Mom and social media gets more attention than this blog so I let Propaganda languish.  But look out folks, it’s 2017.  Mom is still here, though not sure for how long.  She enters Year 4 since her affliction has made her completely unable to care for herself.  This isn’t going to be about that however.  

The world has been spun around on it’s heels in the past week since Donald Trump was inaugurated as the United States of America’s 45th President.  The amount of propagandada material generated just in one week has sparked what can only be called a rebirth for this site.  Maybe a redesign is in order…

The first week of the Trump Presidency has been a total shitshow.  From obsessing over Inauguration attendance, a lying press secretary spouting “alternative facts”, executive orders that outraged many, to the largest Women’s Rights March ever and as I write, 1000s of people protesting in many of the country’s international airports over an order banning travel from 7 Middle Eastern countries.  And on top of all this, the coup de grace, or maybe the coup d’etat, an announcement yesterday that the US Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff were removed from the list of permanent attendees in the President’s National Security Council and replaced with Trump advisor Steve Bannon.  Oh yeah, did I mention the falling out between the Administration and Mexico over the Wall that will never get built because we can’t afford it?  Or the resignation of the top four senior officials in the State Department rather than serve under Rex Tillerson?  Or that Jeffrey Sessions might actually get approved to be our next AG? And what did Trump and Putin really talk about?  And he says during a interview on ABC that torture works? and that there was voter fraud that cost him the popular vote?  and that they wanna strike down the ACA asap???  Plus there’s more that I missed I’m sure.

People are saying on the tv to give Trump a chance, he’s just getting started… but he’s the equivalent of a bull in a glass shop.  He doesn’t seem to understand that he can start a war with just a tweet though that might be just what he wants to do.

Popular Twitter hashtags of the week tell the story in 140 characters or less: #SpicerFacts #StopPresidentBannon #NotNormal #AltFacts #RogueNASA #AltNatParkSer #MuslimBan #NoBanNoWall 

It’s almost all too much to believe that these are some of the events which have happened in here in the USofA this past week.  If the administration wasn’t trying to capitalize so much on people’s fears it might be funny.  Some of it is so surreal it is funny.  There is definitely a Dada element to Trump’s performance, and the propaganda meters are vibrating off the scales.  The events of the past week have sparked many artists and activists into action.  Alternative facts are popping up everywhere we look!  More later… in the meantime, some humor below and here.

Why SOPA is a Bad Idea

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

Clay Shirky explains SOPA and PIPA in plain terms and what might happen if they pass

File under: No F*ck#ing Sh#t

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Study Shows That Austerity Leads to Violence And Instability

(article borrowed from Washington’s Blog, which is now my new favorite blog because, in answer to the question “Who are We?”, they answer, in part, that “I am post-partisan: I don’t think either the Republican or Democratic parties represent the interests of the people as opposed to the big banks, major corporations, and the military-industrial complex”  and that “my background is less important than the fact that I provide links to document everything I say, so you can check its accuracy for yourself.”  I can appreciate that! – Brian )

A study this month by economists Hans-Joachim Voth and Jacopo Ponticelli shows that – from 1919 to the present – austerity has increased the risk of violence and instability:

Does fiscal consolidation lead to social unrest? From the end of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1930s to anti-government demonstrations in Greece in 2010-11, austerity has tended to go hand in hand with politically motivated violence and social instability. In this paper, we assemble cross-country evidence for the period 1919 to the present, and examine the extent to which societies become unstable after budget cuts. The results show a clear positive correlation between fiscal retrenchment and instability. We test if the relationship simply reflects economic downturns, and conclude that this is not the key factor. We also analyse interactions with various economic and political variables. While autocracies and democracies show a broadly similar responses to budget cuts, countries with more constraints on the executive are less likely to see unrest as a result of austerity measures.

As CNN notes:

Studying instances of austerity and unrest in Europe between 1919 to 2009, Ponticelli and Voth conclude that there is a “clear link between the magnitude of expenditure cutbacks and increases in social unrest. With every additional percentage point of GDP in spending cuts, the risk of unrest increases.”

“Expenditure cuts carry a significant risk of increasing the frequency of riots, anti-government demonstrations, general strikes, political assassinations, and attempts at revolutionary overthrow of the established order. While these are low probability events in normal years, they become much more common as austerity measures are implemented.”

Prominent Institutions, Economists and Politicians Have Warned For Years That Bad Economic Policy Would Lead To Unrest

Many prominent institutions, economists and politicians have been warning about this issue.

The relation between austerity and riots is so clear that former IMF chief economist and Noble prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz coined a phrase to describe what happens after the International Monetary Fund demands austerity in return for loans to indebted countries: “The IMF Riot”.

Forbes reported in February:

Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, co-author of a best-selling book on financial crises, “This Time It’s Different,” told Forbes today in an exclusive interview, that the high unemployment rate and high levels of debt in the U.S. will sooner or later trigger serious “social unrest from the income disparities in the U.S.”

The Obama administration has “no clue,” he told me what do about this terrible disparity in the economy that is bound to erupt sooner or later, he feels.

“I don’t understand why people don’t wake up to the crisis they are creating,” he said to me just minutes after appearing at a Council on Foreign Relations round-table on “Currency Wars.”

As I warned in February 2009 and again in December of that year:

Numerous high-level officials and experts warn that the economic crisis could lead to unrest world-wide – even in developed countries:

  • Today, Moody’s warned that future tax rises and spending cuts could trigger social unrest in a range of countries from the developing to the developed world, that in the coming years, evidence of social unrest and public tension may become just as important signs of whether a country will be able to adapt as traditional economic metrics, that a fiscal crisis remains a possibility for a leading economy, and that 2010 would be a “tumultuous year for sovereign debt issuers”.
  • The U.S. Army War College warned in 2008 November warned in a monograph [click on Policypointers’ pdf link to see the report] titled “Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development” of crash-induced unrest:

    The military must be prepared, the document warned, for a “violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States,” which could be provoked by “unforeseen economic collapse,” “purposeful domestic resistance,” “pervasive public health emergencies” or “loss of functioning political and legal order.” The “widespread civil violence,” the document said, “would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.” “An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,” it went on. “Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance,” the document read.

  • Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair said:

    “The global economic crisis … already looms as the most serious one in decades, if not in centuries … Economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they are prolonged for a one- or two-year period,” said Blair. “And instability can loosen the fragile hold that many developing countries have on law and order, which can spill out in dangerous ways into the international community.”***

    “Statistical modeling shows that economic crises increase the risk of regime-threatening instability if they persist over a one-to-two-year period.”***

    “The crisis has been ongoing for over a year, and economists are divided over whether and when we could hit bottom. Some even fear that the recession could further deepen and reach the level of the Great Depression. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”

    Blair made it clear that – while unrest was currently only happening in Europe – he was worried this could happen within the United States.

    [See also this].

  • Former national security director Zbigniew Brzezinski warned “there’s going to be growing conflict between the classes and if people are unemployed and really hurting, hell, there could be even riots.”
  • The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff warned the the financial crisis is the highest national security concern for the U.S., and warned that the fallout from the crisis could lead to of “greater instability”.

Others warning of crash-induced unrest include:

CNN’s Jack Cafferty notes that a number of voices are saying that – if our economy continues to deteriorate (which it very well might) – we are likely headed for violence, and civil unrest is a growing certainty.

Watch the must-see CNN viewer comments on this issue:

People Are Furious Worldwide

Newsweek wrote in May:

Reality is beginning to break through. Gas and grocery prices are on the rise, home values are down, and vast majorities think the country is on the wrong track. The result is sadness and frustration, but also an inchoate rage more profound than the sign-waving political fury documented during the elections last fall.


In search of the earthly toll of this outrage, NEWSWEEK conducted a poll of 600 people, finding vastly more unquiet minds than not. Three out of four people believe the economy is stagnant or getting worse. One in three is uneasy about getting married, starting a family, or being able to buy a home. Most say their relationships have been damaged by economic woes or, perhaps more accurately, the dread and nervousness that accompany them.

Could these emotions escalate into revolt?

As the Newsweek article points out, people are furious that the Wall Street fatcats have gotten even richer, while Americans are suffering rampant unemployment:

Corporate earnings have soared to an all-time high. Wall Street is gaudy and confident again. But the heyday hasn’t come for millions of Americans. Unemployment hovers near 9 percent, and the only jobs that truly abound, according to Labor Department data, come with name tags, hairnets, and funny hats (rather than high wages, great benefits, and long-term security). The American Dream is about having the means to build a better life for the next generation. But as President Obama acknowledged at a town-hall meeting in May, “a lot of folks aren’t feeling that [possibility] anymore.”

Former American senator (and consummate insider) Chris Dodd said in 2008:

If it turns out that [the banks] are hoarding, you’ll have a revolution on your hands. People will be so livid and furious that their tax money is going to line their pockets instead of doing the right thing. There will be hell to pay.

Of course, the big banks are hoarding, and refusing to lend to Main Street. In fact, they admitted back in 2008 that they would. And the same is playing out globally.By way of background, America – like most nations around the world – decided to bail out their big banks instead of taking the necessary steps to stabilize their economies (see this, this and this). As such, they all transferred massive debts (from fraudulent and stupid gambling activities) from the balance sheets of the banks to the balance sheets of the country.

The nations have then run their printing presses nonstop in an effort to inflate their way out of their debt crises, even though that effort is doomed to failure from the get-go, and only helps the wealthy.

Quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve is causing food prices to skyrocket worldwide (and see this, this and this), without doing anything to help anyone but the wealthiest. And every country in the world that can print money – i.e. which is not locked into a multi-country currency agreement like the Euro – has been printing massive quantities of money. See these charts.

Unemployment is soaring globally – especially among youth.

And the sense of outrage at the injustice of the rich getting richer while the poor get poorer is also a growing global trend.

Countries worldwide told their people that bailout out the giant banks was necessary to save the economy. But they haven’t delivered, and the “Main Streets” of the world have suffered.

Matt Stoller – former Congressman Grayson’s chief legislative aide – writes:

To see what happens when a social contract falls apart, look at the massive rioting in London.Middle-class incomes are down radically in the U.S. since 2007, as much as 15 percent according to new Internal Revenue Service data. Home equity is still falling. If cherished entitlement programs are also savaged by the politicians who destroyed our life savings, citizens might begin to question whether this whole constitutional democracy thing is worth it.

Strange and ominous political eddies are already emerging. Congressional disapproval is higher than 80 percent. This could turn ugly — as it has before in U.S. history. While we’ve airbrushed the legacy of political violence out of U.S. history, it’s there. Labor conducted gun battles with Pinkerton private military forces in the late 19th century. Strikes often turned deadly in the 1930s. If there are serious defense cuts, the prospect of hundreds of thousands of war-weary former soldiers thrown into a terrible economy is not, shall we say, a recipe for social stability.

British rioters, Israel protesters and people worldwide are lashing out at the runaway inequality and austerity measures.

Unfortunately, that means that the unrest will likely continue …

Indeed, these pictures from Israeli protests on Rothschild Boulevard last week show that people worldwide are getting sick and tired of the wealthiest acting like despotic kings:

A guillotine on Rotschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv, sending a message to Israel's tycoons, August 10, 2011.

Pictures courtesy of Ynet and Haaretz.

If the whole Wikileaks ordeal isn’t Propagandada, what is?

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

So much is going on with this whole Wikileaks thing this week that I feel the need to share some links that might connect the dots a little bit.  I don’t claim to really know what’s going on with all of the controversy, but I think that the fact the next batch of leaks that Wikileaks is going to release has something to do with a major bank could be what fuels the wrath that media and various governments are displaying publicly against the whistleblowing site.  Everyone knows who ultimately pulls all the strings, right? (hint: banks and bankers) Interpol is out to get Julian Assange for rape charges in Sweden, yet it seems to be public knowledge on how to contact him in England.  Today he even did a live interactive web interview with folks who had questions to ask.

Anyone that remembers the film “Silkwood” (starring Cher and Meryl Streep) can also figure out how well-liked whistleblowers are in the United States of Corporate America.

The fact that some of the leaks uncover, among other things, the news that the US is writing laws for Spain to pass, or that the CIA is giving US diplomats to the UN spying duties, and that the US military is threatening legal action against any soldiers bold enough to read the news about any of the new leaks and US Federal workers in general (guess they won’t be visiting my site now either.  I’ll never qualify for a job with the Dept. of State anyway, not after registering a domain called…).  All of it taken together adds up to prove a statement made earlier today – “If it weren’t for the web, we’d be the most isolated, lied-to, nation in the world.”

So I guess it isn’t a surprise Julian Assange is Time Magazine’s coverboy next week.

Time Magazine, Dec. 12, 2010

Time Magazine, Dec. 12, 2010

Politicians are jumping on the bandwagon of course…

“What we need is more WikiLeaks about the Federal Reserve,” said Texas Congressman Ron Paul.  At the very same time was booting Wikileaks off their servers, Massachusetts Connecticut former Democratic, now Independent, Senator Joe Lieberman was calling for all US businesses to cease doing business with the whistleblowing website.  Lieberman is also now sponsoring a bill in the Senate aimed at killing sites such as Wikileaks.

Meanwhile, less than a day after the domain was killed by the US government, countless mirror sites are springing up all over the world.

If you’ve read down to here, by far the best analysis that I’ve yet come across today goes deep into the philosophy behind the actions of Assange and Wikileaks was this:

“To destroy this invisible government”

The least surprising thing about the whole matter is that the the media in the US more intent on talking about how bad it is that Wikileaks exists than on the major issues uncovered by the leaked documents.

I Want You


Assessing Toxic Impacts

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

I guess my guess a few posts back about the dispersants BP uses on their oil spill was pretty spot on. I would suggest we all stop eating fish that might spend any of their lifecycle visiting the Gulf of Mexico for the rest of our lifecycle.

Unless you want to shorten your own lifecycle that is.

No more sushi for you!

Image taken June 19th, 2010

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

download 10 megabyte image from NASA website and pass it around.

NASA image

taken June 19, 2010

The following text is quoted from

On Saturday, June 19, 2010, oil spread northeast from the leaking Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil appears as a maze of silvery-gray ribbons in this photo-like image from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

The location of the leaking well is marked with a white dot. North of the well, a spot of black may be smoke; reports from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that oil and gas continue to be captured and burned as part of the emergency response efforts.

The large image provided above is at MODIS’ maximum spatial resolution (level of detail). Twice-daily images of the Gulf of Mexico are available from the MODIS Rapid Response Team in additional resolutions and formats, including a georeferenced version that can be used in Google Earth.

More images of this event in Natural Hazards

Beyond Prosecution?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Here’s a few of the slew of new rebranding ideas for the 2010 BP advertising campaign that can be found here on Flickr.

<rant> This whole oil spill in the Gulf makes me sick to think about.  The use of a dispersant that is illegal in Europe to make the oil hide below the surface so they can hide the scope of the crime being committed while at the same time breaking it down so that fish and birds can absorb it into their gills and mouths is even more incomprehensible.  Guess BP had a surplus of some nasty chemicals they needed an excuse to dump, eh?  Totally unacceptable.  </rant>

A Calculated Risk

Wednesday, December 30th, 2009

This puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Odds of being a terrorism victim on a flight

Odds of being a terrorism victim on a flight

The Truth about Bottled Water

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Presented by Online Education
The Facts About Bottled Water

Harmonic Dissidents Magazine

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

The Premiere Issue of Harmonics Dissidents Magazine is now available on the web. Please visit the site and check it out!