The Terrorists Among US10| The IO Echo Chamber Scott Shane Joel Harding

At the beginning of October, I was contacted by the New York Times, @ScottShaneNYT for an interview about US President Donald Trump. The biggest pressing question he had revolved around how (not if) I’m guiding US foreign policy and advising President Donald Trump on Ukraine and the deep-state war in the US from Donbass. Try reading that over your first sip of coffee. Exactly.

Welcome to the new IO. They keep setting up an elegant chessboard just to play a middling game of checkers.

Information Operations (IO) in action are defined by “What would we do? Disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, corrupt, usurp or destroy the information. The information, please don’t forget, is the ultimate objective of cyber. That will directly impact the decision-making process of the adversary’s leader who is the ultimate target.” – Joel Harding

Continue reading

Posted in democracy, Democrats, fascism, Politics / World News, progressivism, propaganda, Russiagate, Trump | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Video: Abiy Ahmed: 2019 Peace Laureate

Posted in General | Leave a comment

The Nobel Committee Is Doing Better

The committee that awards the Nobel Peace Prize was right not to give the prize to Greta Thunberg, who deserves the highest prizes available, but not one created to fund the work of abolishing war and militaries. That cause ought to be central to the work of protecting the climate, but it is not. The question of why no young person working to abolish war is given access to television networks ought to be raised.

The vision that Bertha von Suttner and Alfred Nobel had for the peace prize — the promotion of fraternity between nations, the advancement of disarmament and arms control and the holding and promotion of peace congresses — has not yet been fully grasped by the committee, but it is making progress.

Abiy Ahmed has worked for peace in his and neighboring countries, ending a war and establishing structures aimed at maintaining a just and sustainable peace. His peace efforts have included environmental protection.

But is he an activist in need of funding? Or is the committee intent on continuing its practice of recognizing politicians rather than activists? Is it sensible to award only one side of a peace agreement? The committee acknowledges in its statement that two sides were involved. Is it appropriate for the committee to state, as it does, that it intends the prize to encourage further work for peace? Perhaps it is, even if it reminds people of prizes like Barack Obama’s that were never retroactively earned. There are also prizes like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s that were indeed retroactively earned.

Last year’s award went to activists opposing one sort of atrocity. The year before, the award went to an organization seeking to eliminate nuclear weapons (and whose work was opposed by Western governments). But three years ago, the committee gave the prize to a militarist president who had made up one half of a peace settlement in Colombia that has not worked out well.

The committee used to recognize more than one side of an agreement: 1996 East Timor, 1994 Middle East, 1993 South Africa. At some point possibly the decision was made to pick only one side. In this year’s case perhaps it is more justified than in 2016.

The 2015 prize to Tunisians was a bit off topic. The 2014 prize for education was wildly off topic. The 2013 prize to another disarmament group made some sense. But the 2012 prize to the European Union gave money for disarmament to an entity that could have raised more simply by purchasing fewer weapons — an entity now developing plans for a new military. From there on back through the years, it gets worse.

Recent years have seen moderate improvement, in terms of adherence to the legal requirements of Nobel’s will. Nobel Peace Prize Watch recommended that the prize go to any of a long list of worthy recipients, including activists working to uphold Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, peace activist Bruce Kent, publisher Julian Assange, and whistleblower turned activist and author Daniel Ellsberg.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

America 2019: Even the Wealthy Are Poorer in Everything That Matters

A good friend related a story that goes directly to the heart of what’s broken in our way of life. My friend went to a reunion in Silicon Valley attended by the most successful cohort in America: super-smart, highly educated people in their mid-40s who have achieved the highest levels of professional accomplishment and built enormous financial wealth, with net worths not just in the millions but in many cases in the tens of millions of dollars.

These are people at the apex of the American economy and society, those who did everything right, worked hard and grasped the brass ring of conventional success.

Yet when the meeting broke into small groups and individuals were asked to speak briefly about their lives, more than a few people teared up and began weeping. My friend was struck by the disconnect between their tremendous success and their personal misery–of failed marriages, of being trapped in their jobs, in feeling their sacrifices weren’t worth it and in sensing the shallowness of their success and the poverty of their inner lives.

Not every super-successful person was miserable, of course; some had shifted gears to lower-paid work they found more fulfilling and others still loved their careers. But what was near-universal was the desire to get the heck out of Silicon Valley and leave its pressure-cooker lifestyle in the dust.

It takes a great deal of honesty and inner strength to admit in public that conventional success hasn’t delivered the glorious fulfillment and happiness we’re scripted to expect.

Ours is a culture of forced optimism. The scripts of forced optimism are repeated daily in endless loops: the “fix” for misery is gratitude (hence everyone interviewed after a “win” must express gratitude and humility) and a menu of self-help tricks: mindfulness, better management of our productivity, etc., in a near-infinite profusion of “5 things you can do to improve your life” lists that gush out of America’s prodigious self-help industry.

All of this is intended to obscure the reality that even the wealthy are poorer in everything that really matters. We measure “wealth” in financial terms, but as the super-successful and super-wealthy discover, financial wealth doesn’t translate into well-being, fulfilling relationships, agency, health or the other forms of intangible capital that make up “real wealth.”

I’ve just completed a book that explores these topics in depth: Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power and A.I. in a Traumatized World.

The book also examines the constantly hyped faith that technology will inevitably make us all richer, the implicit premise being that every technological advance is automatically making our lives better in every way, every day.

A corollary of this forced technology optimism is that robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) will inevitably generate trillions of dollars in profits that will enable us all to 1) quit working because robots will do all our work and 2) draw a substantial monthly “dividend” from this endless gusher of tech-generated profits.

Nice, except every one of these assumptions is demonstrably baseless. AI might enrich the few who own the platforms and monopolies, but even that is unlikely, given that these technologies are rapidly being commoditized.

These are difficult dynamics to understand, but if we want to become wealthier in meaningful ways (including sustainable financial wealth), we have to understand these concepts at the deepest level. If it was possible to explain these complex realities in a 200-word list of 5 easy tips, I would, but alas, it took 38,000 words just to manage a modestly comprehensive overview.

As all the costs we don’t even measure pile up, we’re all getting poorer whether we are able to admit it or not. A society / economy that’s fragmenting and failing is not making us all richer, despite the signaling device of a rising stock market and gamed statistics (unemployment at a 50-year low, etc.).

This book is also the result of my personal journey through burnout, a topic I discussed earlier this year in Burnout Nation. The price we’re paying to keep our heads above water steepens while the pay-off is dropping off a cliff. While we’re constantly told to focus on the rising value of our stocks and homes (if we have any meaningful equity in either one, which many do not), our well-being, health, social mobility, agency, trust in institutions, non-financial capital and security are all declining.

Burnout forces us to re-assess costs, sacrifices and pay-offs in a wrenching reckoning that can no longer be put off. The recession that is slowly but surely unfolding will increase the stress on many of us, and force all sorts of personal reckonings on people who have spent years avoiding just such a reckoning.

My goal in writing this book was to help everyone going through a personal reckoning understand the impoverishment meted out by our broken socio-economic system, an impoverishment that may be invisible even as we sense it weighing more heavily on us every day.

How do we turn around this decline in everything that matters? The first step is to recognize and measure all forms of capital, tangible and intangible alike, and make a personal balance sheet of all the forms of capital we own or have access to, and prioritize which ones are the most important to us.

There’s much more in the book. Please take a look at the first section for free (PDF). There’s a 15% discount on both the digital and print editions through the month of October.

A note of thanks to those who buy the book: As an independent writer, book sales are a substantial part of my livelihood. I receive no funding from any trust fund, university, philanthro-capitalist foundation, think-tank, shadowy C.I.A. front, media giant or government agency.

Posted in General | Tagged | Leave a comment

Will the Clintons Destroy the Democratic Party?

Let’s start by stipulating my bias: I would cheer the collapse of both self-serving, venal political parties, which have stood by for decades as the rich have become immeasurably richer and the politically powerful few have disempowered the many. The transparent “populist” bleatings of both parties–“we serve the people!”–sound increasingly like stale, pathetically disconnected from reality Soviet-era propaganda.

Let’s say I’m a relatively disinterested observer other than my fervent wish that both corrupt, self-serving parties slide into the dustbin of history, the sooner the better.

The Republicans were hijacked by Donald Trump and given a binary choice: accept Trump as their candidate and have a chance of winning, or reject him and guarantee losing. After surveying the wreckage left by the Bush dynasty and Romney’s loss, the Repubs swallowed their distrust and distaste for The Donald and chose winning over losing–the easily predictable choice for all politicos.

The Democrats chose to enact a Greek tragedy featuring off-the-charts hubris. Despite Hillary’s private email server, the Clinton Foundation’s shameless shakedowns for millions of dollars in “contributions” (the polite word for influence peddling), and her delight in mocking those who chose not to vote for her as “deplorables,” the Democrats were supremely confident that the Clinton dynasty would sweep them to an easy and overwhelming victory.

As the Greek dramatists understood, hubris doesn’t just invite disaster, it welcomes disaster. The Democrats were then handed a binary choice: either cast the Clintons adrift with a few provisions and a hearty cheer and move on, or set the course of the Party for the next four years to the Clintons’ Ahab-like obsession: we wuz robbed, and the terrible error of history (Hillary losing the 2016 election) would have to be corrected regardless of the cost.

To aid their mono-maniacal campaign, the Democrats partnered with the most anti-Democratic and corrupting force in America, the alphabet agencies of Imperial Pretensions, the CIA et al., who are institutionally bound to view the citizenry’s right to choose its government and its government’s policies with utter disdain: we rule the Empire, and democracy is only acceptable as long as it rubber-stamps our rule.

This aligned perfectly with the Clinton dynasty’s view, and so the unending campaign to unseat The Donald was launched.

For better or worse, this unholy alliance put the Democratic Party’s legitimacy on the gambling table. The Democratic Party, whether it accepts or understands this reality or not, has devolved to an absurdist cable-channel devoted exclusively to unseating The Donald, regardless of the cost and regardless of the sacrifices required to pursue what is increasingly a quixotically misguided venture.

Wittingly or unwittingly, every institution allied with the Democrats has also put its legitimacy on the gaming table, the most important of which is the mainstream media, including the quasi-public Propaganda Broadcast Service (PBS). The corporate media and PBS have been reduced to late-night TV programming, selling the same flimsy gadgets with the same tired pitch: “But wait–there’s more!”

All of which leads us to the question: will the Clintons destroy the Democratic Party, or perhaps even more saliently: have the Clintons already sealed the fate of the Democratic Party?

We won’t know the voters’ judgment until November 2020, but judging by campaign contributions, the delegitimizing ill-will being generated by the Party’s transparent suppression of Tulsi Gabbard, its Ahab-like obsession with impeachment and its bad-karma reliance on the FBI and CIA’s most treacherous operatives, the Party’s leadership might not hold a winning hand.

History is full of ironies, and perhaps it will suit the irony gods for The Donald to take down the Republican Party and the Clinton dynasty to destroy the Democratic Party.

Pathfinding our Destiny: Preventing the Final Fall of Our Democratic Republic ($6.95 ebook, $12 print, $13.08 audiobook): Read the first section for free in PDF format.

My new mystery The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake is a ridiculously affordable $1.29 (Kindle) or $8.95 (print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)

My book Money and Work Unchained is now $6.95 for the Kindle ebook and $15 for the print edition. Read the first section for free in PDF format.

If you found value in this content, please join me in seeking solutions by becoming a $1/month patron of my work via patreon.com. New benefit for subscribers/patrons: a monthly Q&A where I respond to your questions/topics.

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment