Recent Death of Gavin MacFadyen

October 25, 2016

Gavin MacFadyen, one of the founders of Wikileaks, and an investigative journalist for decades, just died at the age of 76.  First, a post about his death.

Next, a post about Eric Braverman, a former Clinton Foundation CEO ( who suddenly quit after only a year and a half on the job), who is seeking political asylum in Russia, probably afraid for his life.  Some think this decision is linked to the death of the Wikileaks founder.

There are also websites saying this is NOT true.  Who knows?  Do your own due diligence.

New Site: Israeli News Live

I just discovered this news site a few days ago, so my ability to vouch for it is still pretty limited.

But from what I can tell — from the topics they cover and the sources they use — I am impressed that they should be considered seriously.  If you carefully check their stance, I think you will agree.

But as always, do your own due diligence.

And get back to me here with any observations, if you care to.  Thanks.

“Two Spies Report” on Donald Trump

I here post a link to an important and insightful study of what we might call “the Trump phenomenon.”

By way of introduction and explanation, the author is Dr. Michael Bennett, known as “Doctor Future” to a large audience of radio and internet followers. He is my long-time close friend (and boon companion of road trips that have taken our mutual investigations to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Washington DC). He is also a follower and contributor to this website and my other website, Sycamore Three.

For about four years he has been researching the issues surrounding so-called “holy wars” past and present, and is producing several books on the subject. I have had the privilege of reading the rough drafts of several of these books and I have learned much. His documentation is very thorough.

He occasionally takes time away from his book-writing to post on his website, and this is his latest. I urge you to read his post and the comments that follow — it enlarges our understanding of what is going on and what may be at stake in this election and its aftermath.

Your comments here, or at Dr. Bennett’s website, are always most welcome.

The War Media vs. Trump

There exists, in reality, a world-girdling, electric-signal-driven Media Establishment (I capitalize it as a proper noun because of its institutional characteristics) that has existed ever since the telegraph and the telephone and the lithograph (printed picture) were first invented and became widely used during the 19th Century. At that time, the primary vehicles of rapid communication were the daily newspaper, and the weekly or monthly magazine, fed by the wire services used by the press.

In the 20th Century, the capabilities of this Media Establishment were enhanced and extended by the development of the motion picture, the radio, and television. In these later days, the primary vehicles of communication were national and international broadcasting networks, and newsreels and other Hollywood offerings, fed by teams of reporters, commenters, artists, and producers.

Throughout the twentieth century, the Media Establishment has been mostly known through its stars of stage and screen, and its commentators. The news was passed down to us through the trusted voices and images of Huntley-Brinkley, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, and others like them. Most people, understandably enough, did not concern themselves with who owned the cameras, and who wrote the scripts.

But the history of the entire 20th century has shown that the Media Establishment has had a pronounced pro-war bias. ( Past generations — our great grandparents, and others — saw the sensationalized claims and counter-claims in the press that pushed whole nations toward wars. And some of them doubted the truth of those claims.  But what could they do, really? )  Of course the Spanish-American War, World War I, and World War II were the most obviously propagandized (they were all “good” wars in their day, saving democracy, saving civilization, and so forth); but the formula worked so well that it was re-used for every “post-War” war that came along, from Korea and Vietnam to Kuwait and Kosovo.

And what was — is — that Media Narrative Formula?  That formula is to create and maintain a flexible, plausible narrative that can and will be readily swallowed by the People:

A. Locate the suitable enemy du jour. Begin a process of marginalizing him. Claim the moral high ground.  He is not like us. He cannot be trusted. ( We, of course, can always be trusted. )

B. Demonize him: Visualize the danger, imagine the horror:  He throws babies out of hospital incubators onto the floor!  Use scare words like genocide, existential threat, and worse than Hitler.  He hates us for our freedoms.

C.   Scapegoat him.  If he can be eradicated, our problems will be solved and there will be a Much Better Day.

D. Once the war is underway, stifle all discussion and dissent.  There is No Other Way.  To doubt the rightness of the war-narrative is traitorous, treasonous, seditious.  War must be bi-partisan, yea, it must rise to a pure non-partisanship.  Dissenters should be locked up.  Whistle-blowers should be shot.  Our leaders are all wise.  Our officers are all noble.  We must do as we are told.  We must be willing to make great sacrifices for the Cause. We don’t negotiate with terrorists.  We just need to take over their economy.

This Narrative Formula has proved pretty successful, all the way up to the present.  It is the formula that was in play when Donald Trump began to campaign.  And the War Media has applied this formula not once but twice within the past months:

#1.Syrian Civil War

A.  The Enemy du Jour is “the Assad Regime” in Syria.

B.  Bashir Assad is the Demon.

C. If we can “wipe out” Assad, things will be much better.

D.  Nations like Russia, or Iran, or Turkey, who have different ideas, are Wrong.  And if they stand in our way, well, that’s Too Bad for Them.

#2. Dealing with Donald Trump.

The Narrative Situation: We have a noble war under way to bring Democracy to the Middle East. Now that we have succeeded so well in Afghanistan and Iraq, we want to bring the same blessings to Syria.  We had pretty well stifled discussion and dissent by our “cultivation,” shall we say, of both parties in Congress, until Donald Trump challenged the Narrative by challenging the buy-in of the Congressional Republicans.

The Current Problem:  There were two enemies of the Establishment Narrative that needed removal.  The first (and arguably most dangerous) was  Bernie Sanders.  But he has been taken care of.  For Now.  We Hope. That leaves Donald Trump as the Scapegoat, Demon, and Enemy du Jour.

So here is the current bi-party line:

  1.  Donald Trump has challenged the War Narrative. He has even mentioned negotiations with Vladimir Putin  ( Sin !  Treason !)  But that doesn’t seem to be quite enough to do the trick, so  . . .
  2. Donald Trump said something that Demeans Sacred Womanhood! ( Oh, Mortal Sin !  Oh Treachery Most Foul ! )
  3.  Away with him !

Yes, I remain a Christian with strong libertarian leanings and an abiding admiration for Ron Paul.


I Like Donald Trump

I like Donald Trump, and in a day or two,  I plan to post some of the (to me, solid) personal reasons why I like him and support him.

But for now, I’ll just say that in addition to those solid personal reasons, I also like him for the people he attracts who like him and are willing to say so.  They are a smart and brave bunch.

And I also like him for the mere detractors, and the outright enemies he attracts.  I like to see what the detractors don’t like about him, and evaluate it for myself.  It reminds me that Free Speech is a good thing — enlightening, often.  And I like to see who his enemies are.  More revealing than surprising:  for them to show their true colors after years, sometimes decades, of posing . . . well, we live in interesting times.

Oh, and I like him for his sense of humor.  ( !! )  He’s the first funny presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.  Of course he’s sarcastic, of course he’s ironical, of course he’s outrageous.  Of course he’s coarse.  And our political climate and our (very coarse) American culture richly deserves every bit of it.  (But more on that next time.)

And on that point — sense of humor — I will observe that revolutionaries and incipient dictators are rarely (if ever) funny.  And funny people are rately (if ever) dictators.

Go for it, Donald.