Category Archives: Culture

Have You Noticed That The Crazy People Are Starting To Take Over Our Society? by Michael Snyder

Replacing “Are Starting To Take” with “Have Taken” in the title is more accurate. From Michael Snyder at themostimportantnews.com:

It is getting scary out there. In order for society to function properly, we need to be able to assume that most people are going to behave rationally. And when I was growing up, it was generally safe to make that assumption. But now things have completely changed. No matter how hard one may try, there is simply no avoiding the hordes of crazy people that seem to be taking over our society. It is almost as if millions of us never learned the basic rules for how civilized people should treat one another. Sometimes this manifests in behavior that is simply rude, other times it manifests in behavior that is actually dangerous, and if you are really unlucky you will personally encounter someone that has fully embraced depravity on a level that most of us never even want to think about.

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They Live, We Sleep: Beware the Growing Evil in Our Midst, by John W. Whitehead

A filmmaker got it right over thirty years ago: the reality underneath is far different from what we see on the surface of our lives. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“You see them on the street. You watch them on TV. You might even vote for one this fall. You think they’re people just like you. You’re wrong. Dead wrong.” — They Live

We’re living in two worlds, you and I.

There’s the world we see (or are made to see) and then there’s the one we sense (and occasionally catch a glimpse of), the latter of which is a far cry from the propaganda-driven reality manufactured by the government and its corporate sponsors, including the media.

Indeed, what most Americans perceive as life in America—privileged, progressive and free—is a far cry from reality, where economic inequality is growing, real agendas and real power are buried beneath layers of Orwellian doublespeak and corporate obfuscation, and “freedom,” such that it is, is meted out in small, legalistic doses by militarized police armed to the teeth.

All is not as it seems.

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US Troops Staying in Syria to ‘Keep the Oil’ Have Already Killed Hundreds, by Ben Norton

The US is essentially stealing Syria’s oil. From Ben Norton at consortiumnews.com:

Hundreds of American soldiers are remaining in Syria, not to ensure to safety of any group of people, but to occupy the country’s oil reserves and block the Syrian government from revenue needed for reconstruction, reports Ben Norton.

U.S.  President Donald Trump has reassured supporters that he is “bringing soldiers home” from the “endless” war in Syria. But that is simply not the case.

While Trump has ordered a partial withdrawal of the approximately 1,000 American troops on Syrian territory — who have been enforcing an illegal military occupation under international law — U.S. officials and the president himself have admitted that some will be staying. And they will remain on Syrian soil not to ensure to safety of any group of people, but rather to maintain control over oil and gas fields.

The U.S. military has already killed hundreds of Syrians, and possibly even some Russians, precisely in order to hold on to these Syrian fossil fuel reserves.

Washington’s obsession with toppling the Syrian government refuses to die. The United States remains committed to preventing Damascus from retaking its own oil, as well as its wheat-producing breadbasket region, in order to starve the government of revenue and prevent it from funding reconstruction efforts.

The Washington Post noted in 2018 that the U.S. and its Kurdish allies were militarily occupying a massive “30 percent slice of Syria, which is probably where 90 percent of the pre-war oil production took place.”

Now, for the first time, Trump has openly confirmed the imperialist ulterior motives behind maintaining a US military presence in Syria.

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Bad Law Keeps People Poor, by John Stossel

It’s amazing how few people ever ascribe pervasive poverty to bad laws, which produce bad governments and corruption. From John Stossel at townhall.com:

Why does most of Africa stay poor while other parts of the world prosper?

People blame things like climate, the history of colonialism, racism, etc.

But I say Senegalese businesswoman Magatte Wade gives the right explanation: too many rules.

“Once you hire someone, good luck getting rid of them for any reason,” Wade complains. Her government must approve every firing.

“Then the tax code is so complicated… worth at least two or three truckloads of paper.”

Wade started a lip balm company. Some of her ingredients are not made in Senegal, so she imports them. To “protect” Senegalese manufacturers, the government makes importing ingredients expensive.

“Some have a 70% import tariff on them!” she says.

President Donald Trump now threatens similar taxes on imports from China. In Africa, people sometimes escape such taxes by paying bribes. We hear a lot about African corruption.

“People complain about corruption as if corruption is a root problem,” says Wade. “I say no. Corruption is a natural consequence of stupid, senseless, idiot laws.”

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All along the watchtower: The follies of history, by Pepe Escobar

The US wants to bring China to heel; there’s no way China is going to allow that to happen. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:

All along the watchtower: The follies of history

Bayon temple, Angkor World Heritage site in Siem Reap, northern Cambodia. File pic by Bruno Morandi, Robert Harding Heritage / AFP
The ultimate American imperial dream is to engineer a Chinese vassal state

There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief

Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word

-Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower (immortalized by Jimi Hendrix)

Nothing beats the beguiling, stony smiles at the Bayon temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap to plunge us back into history’s vortex, re-imagining how empires, in their endless pursuit of power, rise and fall, usually because they eventually get the very war they had sought to avoid.

The Bayon was built as a state temple at the end of the 12th century by the undisputed superstar of Khmer empires, Jayavarman VII. Its magical narrative reliefs convey a mix of history and mythology while depicting daily life in Khmer society.

We still don’t know today the identity of the faces shown on the temple’s giant stone carvings. They could be a representation of Brahma, or of Jayavarman himself – a practicing Buddhist. What we do know is that the glorious Khmer empire – incomparable in art and architecture, and even benign in the sense that the mandate for power was based on the king’s relationship with the gods, started to fade after the 15th century, dismembered by war against the Thai and later the Vietnamese.

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The Yin and the Yang of It, by James Howard Kunstler

Hysteria has become a goal in and of itself. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

The New York Times staffers wanted to change the paper’s longstanding motto, All the News That’s Fit to Print, to something more cutting edge, more of-the-moment, more congenial with the crypto-gnostic social justice impetus to change human nature in order to make the world a better place.

My personal suggestion was All the News That’s Fit to Print for Angry, Hysterical Women and Their Intersectional Allies, since The New York Times is now an advocacy rag, but the staff choice apparently is The Truth is Worth It — or perhaps The Times paid some Madison Avenue logo engineers for that.

And one is prompted to ask: worth what, exactly? If “truth” actually amounts to “lived experience,” as The Times insists, then truth can be whatever you say it is — the bedrock ethos of all tyrannical political movements. To me, The Truth is Worth It sounds suspiciously like The Ends Justify the Means, and anyone following the so-called Resistance the past three years may have noticed that’s exactly how it operates.

For instance, Resistance team captain Elizabeth Warren referred the other day to the 2014 “murder” of Michael Brown in Ferguson Missouri “by a white policeman.” Of course, Ms. Warren was speaking her “truth.” Now, it happens that the US Department of Justice under Eric Holder (this was the Obama administration) determined that it was not murder, as did an inquiry by the State of Missouri — rather that Mr. Brown was shot after attacking officer Darren Wilson in his police car and attempting to grab his gun.

Did Senator Warren not believe former attorney general Holder? Was there some other authoritative opinion she was referencing? Or was she just making shit up on-the-fly to juice an audience? Could she have had any other purpose than to provoke racial animus? Is that what this country needs? More tension between blacks and whites? More reason for suspicion and hatred? Is that where you want leadership to lead you?

Senator Warren’s remark pretty obviously demonstrates the Resistance’s tenuous relationship with reality. Her rival, Sen. Kamala Harris tweeted out substantially the same thing last Friday. Do they actually believe what they are saying, or is it simply a tactical move because it’s worth it to stir up racial animosity if you want to become president? The media gave both of them a pass on that ploy.

A few weeks ago, podcaster Dave Rubin had “spiritual teacher” Eckhart Tolle on for a chat, and Mr. Tolle made the surprising remark that the current sorrows of the world were due to an excess of yin and not enough yang, meaning, he went on to explain, too much of the female principle in operation and not enough of the male principle. This crack made Dave Rubin blink a few times, especially coming from the most serene celebrity on the planet, a fellow far less excitable than the Dalai Lama, and a demigod to the yoga pants and Chai tea crowd. Too much yin! He said that? Really?

Mr. Tolle is onto something. Just take, for instance, a recent column by The New York Times’s op-ed writer Gail Collins: How to Torture Trump. Could she have put it more plainly? Does she not sound like a woman who has gotten advice from an unscrupulous divorce lawyer (excuse the redundancy)? In fact, the USA is looking like a really bad marriage. The yin of America is stuck in an hysterical rage at the yang. Cis-men whose lived experience includes marriage may be familiar with this stratagem. The prudent men often opt to not engage with the hysteria, which almost invariably amps up the hysteria.

The aim of the national matrimonial hysteria is to make sure that whatever conflict is at issue remains unresolved. The melodrama goes on for its own sake. It’s fun living on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That is exactly why the US political scene is so disordered and distressed. That is why the Democratic Party can’t find any credible male candidates. And that is how come the country happened to elect an imperturbable Golden Golem of Greatness.

 

America’s Late-stage Decadence, by Doug Casey

America is an empire in decline. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

America's Decadence

International Man: Economically, politically, and socially, the United States seems to be headed down a path that’s not only inconsistent with the founding principles of the country but accelerating quickly toward boundless decay.

The word “decadence” is often associated with the fall of the Roman Empire, which became morally corrupt—its people lazy, wasteful, and lacking discipline. Many observers have pointed out the US is similarly becoming decedent. How do you see it?

Doug Casey: There’s no question about it; the culture in the US is changing. Where to start? It’s a book-length subject. One thing that absolutely amazes me is that the term “cultural appropriation” has become a buzzword for a lot of people today. The concept is actually completely insane.

It’s bizarre—perverse, really—that the people doing the most whining about cultural appropriation by Americans don’t actually have worthwhile cultures themselves. The fact of the matter is that the only culture in the history of the world that amounts to anything is that of Western civilization. The West has given all of humanity concepts like freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of the press, free markets, individualism, science, and rationality. In addition, the West has created almost all of the world’s great music, literature, architecture, and philosophy

People trying to make cultural appropriation on the part of Americans into a scandal are basically scam artists and race hustlers. I’m talking about blacks who are outraged about white women wearing African earrings. Or Hispanics picketing a couple of white girls who set up a taco stand after visiting Mexico.

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