So, I wake up, start the day by turning on a radio, and find myself beginning the day with people lying to me. There are better ways to start the day, I would think. In this case, it was, not coming as a surprise, more lying from politicians about the Ukraine situation passed along as “news”, a running narrative that, over the past year, has joined other themes, such as lying about “the economy”, including banking and finance and the trading shuffle games of Wall Street, and lying about our situation in energy resources and use, and generally lying about just about anything that matters, it seems.
Now, apparently there’s a new fuss and stink arising over some story about NBC News anchor Brian Williams and how he fudged some story about experiences in Iraq. Somehow, there just isn’t the same attention given to the cooperation of the US news media years ago in selling a gigantic bag of lies to the American public to wind up support for the project of sending the US military off to a place thousands of miles away to invade another country.
It’s not a trivial point to question what a continuous, ceaseless stream of this does to the general psyche of a nation.
I’ve already written about the recent commemoration of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Auschwitz. Whenever I think about that whole ugly saga of history, I always ponder just how easily it all happened. People can easily make smug righteous statements about it, with the benefit of distance of place and time and perfect hindsight, and never really face what might have been if they had been there, Germans living in that time.
The history of that time and place can’t be considered without running into the game played by Hitler and his propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, the idea of the Big Lie, hammering repeatedly on a lie that’s not subtle, that’s so large, so explicit, so dramatic, that people start to think it must be true, because they keep hearing it, and it would be so outrageous a lie that they think, well, it must be true, they couldn’t get away with something so blatant if it were not true!
It seems to me that people don’t just look back at the saga of Nazi Germany and think “oh, we never would have gone along with that!“, but, along with this, maybe a few too many people foolishly think that the Big Lie would never work on them. It turns out it’s working every day, and the results and repercussions might not turn out so great.
A new bit of news noise was about Vice President Joseph Biden running his mouth in Europe, with virtually everything I saw quoted in text as coming out of his face being some kind of red herring or straw man deception, a stream of falsehood and distortion. A feature sound-bite-headline-whatzit was Biden saying Russia must not be allowed to redraw the borders of Europe, which is one of the endless repeated memes pumped out by Washington, despite no credible indication I’ve ever seen that the Russians intend any such thing.
On the NBC News webpage with the Biden story, there’s a heading on the page, proclaiming the page as the following: “Ongoing coverage of the confrontation between Russia, Vladimir Putin and the West over Russia’s aggression in Crimea and Ukraine.“. Right at the top, before anybody even starts reading anything presented there, people have the whole thing poisoned and biased by presenting the whole thing with a false premise for context.
The Big Lie is a daily presentation, endlessly repeated.
Even more amazing, President Obama, after all the months of bullshit coming from Washington, including from his own mouth, actually went on national television and admitted the role of the US government in the coup d’etat in Ukraine.
There’s a transcript of the whole thing-
Engineering the overthrow of an elected government in another nation is now apparently “brokering a deal to transition power”. How’s that for a euphemism?
John Kerry was quoted in that NBC News article as saying the Russians know what is needed for peace in Ukraine. I’m sure they do, as it’s very obvious. The one single simple thing needed is for the junta government that took over in Kiev to stop attacking the Ukrainians in the east who resisted the coup that overthrew what had been a legitimate elected government, replaced by a gang including a large contingent of characters who have evidently been very explicit and outspoken for a long time about literally exterminating all of the Russian-Ukrainian culture in Ukraine, particularly the east, where it is apparently the main population.
That’s it. It really is that simple. It has nothing to do with the Russians, really, who have only become involved to the extent they’ve been dragged into it, and who are still amazingly reserved and restrained about the whole mess, all things considered.
Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry are both keeping up the constant flow of the official narrative of Washington about the situation, pushing reality aside and pumping up a scripted fiction that, unfortunately, even tragically, appears to work well on anybody not paying enough attention to know the severe clash between that and the actual reality. I find myself regularly trying my best to briefly summarize at least the general picture of what has actually been happening, in the hope of maybe serving up an antidote to the continuous Big Lie, but I’m just a peasant, not Washington officialdom or a supposed “news source”, even though part of this has been including a large supply of actual news sources where people practice something like journalism honestly.
The whole thing has the stench of pure bullshit much like the campaign to sell us a bag of lies from the neocon gang in Washington to get people to support sending the US military to go invade Iraq in 2003.
Instead of recognizing this as what it is, now people are all distracted and dazzled by a “scandal” story, about a TV news talking head not being exactly truthful about some incident and what did or did not happen, and completely ignoring all the problems over years, on a major scale, of reality distortion and transmission of relentless lying about major events and situations of deadly consequence.
All this melds together with the reflections on Auschwitz, and Nazi Germany in general, the horror show over roughly 1930 to 1945 (and really for years after, Europe trying to recover and heal), thinking about perspective and changing over time. As I’ve said, it’s easy for people now to look back with distance and perfect hindsight, and make proclamations about events of the time. How will people in the future look back on us, and view us, having been completely fooled by a collection of pure fiction from people with mad ambitions of world domination, and then, after that was all revealed as what it was, being fooled again by the same kind of thing barely a decade later?
Thinking about all this nudges me into different thoughts about views across time, that is, what people in the past might have thought if offered a glimpse of the future. Specifically, what would they generally think of us, now, given what they had already laid out as clues for us. In this past week, I’ve read a few online notes that address the recent death of a man named William Catton, significant to people as the author of a book called “Overshoot”, a book I’ve never read, but read and cited as a major influence by people I regard with respect as solid sources of insight and information, a quality that’s being more obscured by aggressive liars and people who simply seem to have no idea what they’re talking about.
Recent decades have had various people telling us all what we have to watch out for and think about, what could be considered reasonably predictable, at least in general. That includes the simple idea that we can’t keep stripping the planet like locusts, while turning the place into a toxic waste dump, while the population grows and grows. (It’s worth noting that during my lifetime so far, as a fifty-something man, the estimated human population of the Earth has doubled.)
We were told the simple obvious reality that we’re on a finite planet, including a kind of long term bank of energy sources in the form of hydrocarbon deposits that captured the energy of ancient sunlight, and those are not going to be replaced by the same natural processes that created them, at least not in any kind of timeframe that’s really relevant. More to the point, starting with the studies of former oil business geophysicist M.K. Hubbert, it became apparent that when it came to petroleum, it wasn’t an issue of “when will the oil be all gone?”, the big problematic issue was when we started running into limitations and diminishing returns, reaching peak and then declines, diminishing returns, in oil discovery rates and oil extraction rates, AKA “peak oil” in shorthand form.
Former President Dwight Eisenhower, in his last broadcast speech to the American public, warned us about what he called “the military-industrial complex” and the dangers of effectively destroying our own country (and maybe taking the world with us) by squandering the wealth and resources of the nation in militarism in some twisted notion of “national security”.
It was as if all of these things were ignored, or, in many cases, regarded lightly as something that, sure, might be some kind of issue, but not now, that would be something for future people to deal with, not our problem, so never mind. Except now, in many things, we are those “future people”.