Escobar: America’s ‘Blue Dot’ Barely Visible From New Silk Roads

escobar:-america’s-‘blue-dot’-barely-visible-from-new-silk-roads

10-11-19 09:26:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker blog,

The US-Australia-Japan alternative to Belt and Road helps explain why the US sent a junior delegation to Thailand and why India opted out of RCEP…

China’s President Xi Jinping waves during the opening ceremony of the China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 5. Photo: AFP/Hector Retamal

Chinese President Xi Jinping six years ago launched New Silk Roads, now better known as the Belt and Road Initiative, the largest, most ambitious, pan-Eurasian infrastructure project of the 21st century.

Under the Trump administration, Belt and Road has been utterly demonized 24/7: a toxic cocktail of fear and doubt, with Beijing blamed for everything from plunging poor nations into a “debt trap” to evil designs of world domination.

Now finally comes what might be described as the institutional American response to Belt and Road: the Blue Dot Network.

Blue Dot is described, officially, as promoting global, multi-stakeholder “sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.”

It is a joint project of the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation, in partnership with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

“The development of critical infrastructure—when it is led by the private sector and supported on terms that are transparent, sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible—is foundational to widespread economic empowerment,” said Bohigian. “Through Blue Dot Network, the United States is proud to join key partners to fully unlock the power of quality infrastructure to foster unprecedented opportunity, progress, and stability.”

“This endorsement of Blue Dot Network not only creates a solid foundation for infrastructure global trust standards but reinforces the need for the establishment of umbrella global trust standards in other sectors, including digital, mining, financial services, and research,” said Krach. “Such global trust standards, which are based on respect for transparency and accountability, sovereignty of property and resources, local labor and human rights, rule of law, the environment, and sound governance practices in procurement and financing, have been driven not just by private sector companies and civil society but also by governments around the world.”

“Australia is committed to promoting high-quality infrastructure,

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Nearly Half Of America’s Homeless People Live In California

nearly-half-of-america’s-homeless-people-live-in-california

30-09-19 03:10:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

Not only do nearly half of America’s homeless people live in California, but four of the five American cities with the greatest incidences of unsheltered homelessness are in the Golden State. 

As California becomes a mecca for socialism, their quality of life diminishes along with it in a characteristic dystopian decline.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Rosa, and San Jose are four of the five cities with the highest amount of homelessness. Seattle joins the California municipalities in the top five. According to Market Watch, the rates of homelessness are the highest in Washington D.C. The District of Columbia’s homeless rate is at 5.8 times the United States rate. New York is next, followed by Hawaii, Oregon, and California. These five states together comprise 20% of the overall U.S. population but 45% of the country’s homeless population.

All of these states are incredibly liberal with several already having instituted tight socialist policies.

A White House report teased out certain trends in homelessness across the country. Communities along both coasts have much larger homeless populations than those in the middle of the country. One driver of this trend is likely the more notable rise in housing prices along the coasts than in much of the Midwest.

The White House report identified local laws and policing practices as a potential differentiator. “Some [states] more than others engage in more stringent enforcement of quality of life issues like restrictions on the use of tents and encampments, loitering, and other related activities,” the report noted. –Market Watch

The Trump administration has floated plans to fix the homeless crisis in liberal areas by deregulation. Many states and municipalities have zoning rules regarding the construction of both single-family and multi-family homes. These laws have impeded the builders’ ability to meet the demand for housing resulting in scarcity which has driven up prices. Experts and politicians across the political spectrum have suggested that relaxing such regulations could provide a boost to building activity.

While that could work, the heavy tax burden on everything from property to income makes it difficult to afford anything even if more housing is built.

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9/11 & The Road To America’s Orwellian Hell

9/11-&-the-road-to-america’s-orwellian-hell

07-09-19 08:54:00,

Authored by James Bovard via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Next week will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two of the largest leaps towards “1984” began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from each program have profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled plans for Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.”

The Justice Department provided no definition of “suspicious behavior” to guide vigilantes. As the public began to focus on the program’s sweep, opposition surfaced; even the U.S. Postal Service briefly balked at participating in the program. Director Ridge insisted that TIPS “is not a government intrusion.” He declared, “The last thing we want is Americans spying on Americans. That’s just not what the president is all about, and not what the TIPS program is all about.” Apparently, as long as the Bush administration did not announce plans to compel people to testify about the peccadilloes of their neighbors and customers,

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Examining 9/11 and America’s “War on Terrorism” – Global Research

examining-9/11-and-america’s-“war-on-terrorism”-–-global-research

06-09-19 06:08:00,

“The livelihood of millions of people throughout the World is at stake. It is my sincere hope that the truth will prevail and that the understanding provided in this detailed study will serve the cause of World peace. This objective, however, can only be reached by revealing the falsehoods behind America’s “War on Terrorism” and questioning the legitimacy of the main political and military actors responsible for extensive war crimes.” (Michel Chossudovsky, August 2005 )

Below is the preface of  Michel Chossudovsky’s 2005 bestseller:  America’s “War on Terrorism“, available from our online store

“America’s War on Terrorism” was launched at 9.30pm on September 11, 2001

*      *      *

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The decision was announced to wage war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in retribution for the 9/11 attacks. The following morning on September 12th, the news headlines indelibly pointed to “state sponsorship” of the 9/11 attacks. In chorus, the US media was calling for a military intervention against Afghanistan. Barely four weeks later, on the 7th of October, Afghanistan was bombed and invaded by US troops.Americans were led to believe that the decision to go to war had been taken on the spur of the moment, on the evening of September 11, in response to the attacks and their tragic consequences.

Little did the public realize that a large scale theater war is never planned and executed in a matter of weeks. The decision to launch a war and send troops to Afghanistan had been taken well in advance of 9/11. The “terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event” as it was later described by CentCom Commander General Tommy Franks, served to galvanize public opinion in support of a war agenda which was already in its final planning stage.

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America’s “Hybrid War” against China has Entered a New Phase – Global Research

america’s-“hybrid-war”-against-china-has-entered-a-new-phase-–-global-research

15-08-19 10:20:00,

The hybrid war, being conducted against China by the United States and its gaggle of puppet states from the UK to Canada to Australia, has entered a new phase.

The first stage involved the massive shift of US air and naval forces to the Pacific and constant provocations against China in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

The second stage was the creation of disinformation about China’s treatment of minority groups, especially in Tibet and west China.

That this propaganda campaign has been carried out by nations such as the US, Canada and Australia who have the worst human rights records in the world with respect to their indigenous peoples, subjected to centuries of cultural and physical genocide by those governments, and who refuse to protect their minority peoples from physical attacks and discrimination despite their human rights laws, shocks the conscience of any objective observer.

But not content with that, the propaganda was extended to China’s economic development, its international trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, its development bank, and other facilities and trade initiatives, through which China is accused of trying to control the world; an accusation made by the very nation that threatens economic embargo or worse, nuclear annihilation, to anyone, friend or foe, who resists its attempt to control the world.

The fourth phase is the US attempt to degrade the Chinese economy with punitive “tariffs,” essentially an embargo on Chinese goods. That the objective is not better trade deals but to bring China to its knees is the fact that the negative effect of these tariffs on American consumers, farmers and manufacturers is considered secondary to the principal objective.

Last year it moved to a fifth phase, the kidnapping and illegal detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of China’s leading technology company Huawei, in synchronicity with a massive campaign by the USA to force its puppets to drop any dealings with that company. Meng Wanzhou is still held against her will in Canada on US orders. Chinese have been harassed in the US, Australia and Canada.

The latest phase in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US,

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America’s Grotesque Inequality Can Only End One Way

america8217s-grotesque-inequality-can-only-end-one-way

27-02-19 08:40:00,

Like a gilded coating that makes the dullest things glitter, today’s thin veneer of political populism covers a grotesque underbelly of growing inequality that’s hiding in plain sight. And this phenomenon of ever more concentrated wealth and power has both Newtonian and Darwinian components to it.

In terms of Newton’s first law of motion: those in power will remain in power unless acted upon by an external force. Those who are wealthy will only gain in wealth as long as nothing deflects them from their present course. As for Darwin, in the world of financial evolution, those with wealth or power will do what’s in their best interest to protect that wealth, even if it’s in no one else’s interest at all.

In George Orwell’s iconic 1945 novel, Animal Farm, the pigs who gain control in a rebellion against a human farmer eventually impose a dictatorship on the other animals on the basis of a single commandment: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” In terms of the American republic, the modern equivalent would be: “All citizens are equal, but the wealthy are so much more equal than anyone else (and plan to remain that way).”

Certainly, inequality is the economic great wall between those with power and those without it.

As the animals of Orwell’s farm grew ever less equal, so in the present moment in a country that still claims equal opportunity for its citizens, one in which three Americans now have as much wealth as the bottom half of society (160 million people), you could certainly say that we live in an increasingly Orwellian society. Or perhaps an increasingly Twainian one.

After all, Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner wrote a classic 1873 novel that put an unforgettable label on their moment and could do the same for ours. The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today depicted the greed and political corruption of post-Civil War America. Its title caught the spirit of what proved to be a long moment when the uber-rich came to dominate Washington and the rest of America. It was a period saturated with robber barons, professional grifters, and incomprehensibly wealthy banking magnates.

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Rethinking America’s Military Industrial Complex

rethinking-america8217s-military-industrial-complex

12-02-19 08:31:00,

Authored by Tim Kirby via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

The US Military Industrial Complex no longer needs neither actual wars nor the threat of war for its own survival. This factor could actually change dynamic of this institution/bureaucracy in our lifetimes and it may actually be changing as we speak.

Very often something will evolve and become ubiquitous to the degree that we forget its origin. Putting a dead tree in your house on Christmas is a good example, few people think of why this is done, they just do it because it has been done for a long time and thus seems completely natural and important to do so every year. A justification for doing it is no longer needed, it is something done by default. In some ways the necessity to start questionable wars of luxury is much like that Christmas tree – an odd tradition that is not of an importance or value anymore.

In order to break this down we need to go back to the start.

It is hard for people in our times, especially foreign people to understand the fact that the United States was not a massive military power until WWII. Today sole hyperpower was at a time not that long ago a much different nation militarily and foreign policy speaking. In 1914 at the start of the Great War in Europe the territorially massive United States had a total armed forces of around 166,000 men. From 1776 until that point the manpower of US forces was minimal by European standards. That America of those times was an isolated self-focused America that many today long for. When the US entered WWI shedding the binds of its isolationist tendencies it bulked up to nearly 3,000,000 soldiers by the end of 1918. However, directly after the Great War finally ended the military severely deflated itself back down much closer to its original size.

“The Good War” in the 1940’s was the final nail in the isolationist coffin as American forces would forever remain in the millions of men after the defeat of Germany and Japan by the Allies.

The 1940s are the point where the permanent military industrial complex that we know of today starts to take hold.

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Venezuela: America’s 68th Regime-Change Disaster

venezuela-america8217s-68th-regime-change-disaster

09-02-19 10:10:00,

Authored by by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies via AntiWar.com,

In his masterpiece, Killing Hope: US Military and C.I.A. Interventions Since World War II, William Blum, who died in December 2018, wrote chapter-length accounts of 55 US regime change operations against countries around the world, from China (1945-1960s) to Haiti (1986-1994). Noam Chomsky’s blurb on the back of the latest edition says simply, “Far and away the best book on the topic.” We agree. If you have not read it, please do. It will give you a clearer context for what is happening in Venezuela today, and a better understanding of the world you are living in.

Since Killing Hope was published in 1995, the US has conducted at least 13 more regime change operations, several of which are still active: Yugoslavia; Afghanistan; Iraq; the 3rd US invasion of Haiti since WWII; Somalia; Honduras; Libya; Syria; Ukraine; Yemen; Iran; Nicaragua; and now Venezuela.

William Blum noted that the US generally prefers what its planners call “low intensity conflict” over full-scale wars. Only in periods of supreme overconfidence has it launched its most devastating and disastrous wars, from Korea and Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq. After its war of mass destruction in Iraq, the US reverted to “low intensity conflict” under Obama’s doctrine of covert and proxy war.

Obama conducted even heavier bombing than Bush II, and deployed US special operations forces to 150 countries all over the world, but he made sure that nearly all the bleeding and dying was done by Afghans, Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis, Libyans, Ukrainians, Yemenis and others, not by Americans. What US planners mean by “low intensity conflict” is that it is less intense for Americans.

President Ghani of Afghanistan recently revealed that a staggering 45,000 Afghan security forces have been killed since he took office in 2014, compared with only 72 US and NATO troops. “It shows who has been doing the fighting,” Ghani caustically remarked. This disparity is common to every current US war.

This does not mean that the US is any less committed to trying to overthrowing governments that reject and resist US imperial sovereignty,

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America’s Apocalyptic Debt Crisis: 63 Of America’s Largest 75 Cities Are Completely Broke

america8217s-apocalyptic-debt-crisis-63-of-america8217s-largest-75-cities-are-completely-broke

01-02-19 09:29:00,

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

The debt crisis in the United States of America has reached apocalyptic proportions.  A new and horrifying report out details the reason why 63 of America’s largest cities are completely broke: debt and overspending.

According to a recent analysis of the 75 most populous cities in the United States, 63 of them can’t pay their bills and the total amount of unfunded debt among them is nearly $330 billion. Most of the debt is due to unfunded retiree benefits such as pension and health care costs.  That means those depending on that money, likely won’t see a dime of it. 

“This year, pension debt accounts for $189.1 billion, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) – mainly retiree health care liabilities – totaled $139.2 billion,” the third annual “Financial State of the Cities” report produced by the Chicago-based research organization, Truth in Accounting (TIA), states. TIA is a nonprofit, politically unaffiliated organization composed of business, community, and academic leaders interested in improving government financial reporting.

“Many state and local governments are not in good shape, despite the economic and financial market recovery since 2009,” Bill Bergman, director of research at TIA, told Watchdog.org.

The top five cities in the worst financial shape are New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Honolulu, and San Francisco. These cities, in addition to Dallas, Oakland, and Portland, all received “F” grades. In New York City, for example, only $4.7 billion has been set aside to fund $100.6 billion of promised retiree health care benefits. In Philadelphia, every taxpayer would have to pay $27,900 to cover the city’s debt. In San Francisco, it would cost $22,600 per taxpayer.

By the end of Fiscal Year 2017, 63 cities did not have enough money to pay all of their bills, the report states, meaning debts outweigh revenue. In order to appear to balance budgets, TIA notes, elected officials “have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers.”

Hartford City News Times

To say that more simply: your children have been sold into debt slavery and owned by the governments;

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America’s last? First Senate bill of 2019 aims to protect Israel from boycott, report reveals

america8217s-last-first-senate-bill-of-2019-aims-to-protect-israel-from-boycott-report-reveals

06-01-19 05:30:00,

With the start of the 2019 legislative session, one might hope the US Senate would prioritize ending the two-week government shutdown. Instead, the Senate’s first bill of the year reportedly aims to protect Israel from boycotts.

According to The Intercept, the first piece of legislation to be rolled out by the 2019 GOP-controlled Senate will give the US government the authority to cut ties with companies that choose to boycott Israel. The not-very-America-first decree is part of a series of foreign policy-related measures which will make up S.1 – the designation given to the symbolically important first bill of the session.

The boycott-banning legislation has apparently taken precedence over the ongoing government shutdown – already the third-longest on record, shuttering nine departments and leaving hundreds of thousands of government workers without paychecks.

With Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) as the lead sponsor, the Combating BDS Act is expected to receive bipartisan support. Coincidentally, punishing corporations and individuals who support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is a top legislative priority for AIPAC, the powerful pro-Israel lobby. The bill was previously introduced (but never passed) last year, and gave state and local governments the authority to refuse to do business with US firms participating in a boycott against Israel. Similar anti-BDS legislation has already been adopted in 26 states. So far, two federal courts have ruled that punishing companies or individuals who boycott goods produced in Israel violates constitutionally-protected rights under the First Amendment.

Courts have found state laws penalizing Israel & settlement boycotters to be unconstitutional, but GOP Senate leaders are making a bill authorizing & encouraging states to enact such laws their first order of business in a package to be voted on next weekhttps://t.co/p9s1PcBpFX

— Dylan Williams (@dylanotes) January 6, 2019

S.1 is purportedly being specially drafted to avoid similar legal challenges – but has already come under fire from civil liberties groups. In a comment provided to The Intercept, the ACLU said that the bill would “weaken Americans’ First Amendment protections” and “sends a message to Americans that they will be penalized if they dare to disagree with their government” – or Israel, for that matter.

Many on Twitter expressed disgust that senators were giving Israel priority over their own constituents.

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America’s Enemies, Who’s On the List? – Global Research

america8217s-enemies-who8217s-on-the-list-8211-global-research

12-11-18 11:03:00,

America

This article was originally published by GR in November 2017.

For almost 2 decades, the US pursued a list of ‘enemy countries’ to confront, attack, weaken and overthrow. 

This imperial quest to overthrow ‘enemy countries’ operated at various levels of intensity, depending on two considerations:  the level of priority and the degree of vulnerability for a ‘regime change’ operation.

The criteria for determining an ‘enemy country’ and its place on the list of priority targets in the US quest for greater global dominance, as well as its vulnerability to a ‘successfully’ regime change will be the focus of this essay.

We will conclude by discussing the realistic perspectives of future imperial options.

Prioritizing US Adversaries

Imperial strategists consider military, economic and political criteria in identifying high priority adversaries.

The following are high on the US ‘enemy list’:

1) Russia, because of its military power, is a nuclear counterweight to US global domination.  It has a huge, well-equipped armed force with a European, Asian and Middle East presence.  Its global oil and gas resources shield it from US economic blackmail and its growing geo-political alliances limit US expansion.

2) China, because of its global economic power and the growing scope of its trade, investment and technological networks.  China’s growing defensive military capability, particularly with regard to protecting its interests in the South China Sea serve to counter US domination in Asia.

3) North Korea, because of its nuclear and ballistic missile capability, its fierce independent foreign policies and its strategic geo-political location, is seen as a threat to the US military bases in Asia and Washington’s regional allies and proxies.

4) Venezuela, because of its oil resources and socio-political policies, challenge the US centered neo-liberal model in Latin America.

5) Iran, because of its oil resources, political independence and geo-political alliances in the Middle East, challenge US, Israeli and Saudi Arabia domination of the region and present an independent alternative.

6) Syria, because of its strategic position in the Middle East, its secular nationalist ruling party and its alliances with Iran, Palestine, Iraq and Russia,

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America’s Billionaires Battle Each Other For Political Control Over Europe

America’s Billionaires Battle Each Other For Political Control Over Europe

04-08-18 01:33:00,

Authored by Eric Zuesse via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

A contest for political control of Europe is gearing up between two American teams, one headed by the long-established George Soros, and the other now being set up by the upstart Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump’s former campaign-manager. Soros has long led America’s liberal billionaires in controlling Europe, and Bannon is now organizing a team of America’s conservative billionaires to wrest that control from the liberal ones. Whereas Soros claims to represent the public’s interests, Bannon claims to represent the population’s interests  – that’s the ‘populist’ side of America’s billionaires, versus the established ‘public-interest’ (Soros) side of them. 

Two American brands of ‘philanthropists’ will thus now be fighting for control over Europe’s political markets (or institutions).

It’s a battle to serve either ’the public’ or else ’the people’, and each political brand will be struggling to keep Europe as an ally in American billionaires’ war against Russia (which all American billionaires want to defeat), but each team does this from a different ideological perspective, one being ‘liberal’, and the other being ‘conservative’. 

Just as there is liberal-conservative political polarization between billionaires domestically within a nation, there also is such political polarization between billionaires regarding their given nation’s foreign policies; and America’s billionaires are politically very highly polarized, both nationally and, increasingly, internationally as well. None of them is progressive, or left-populist. The only ‘populism’ that any billionaire currently promotes is right-‘populist’, which is Bannon’s team. (Stalin was left-‘populist’; and Hitler was right-‘populist’; but neither dictator really was at all populist, which is simply democratic and against the aristocracy.) Both teams demonize each other within the United States for control over the US Government, but both are now competing against each other internationally for control over the entire world, by two different brands: liberal versus conservative. Both brands endorse ‘democracy’ or “the allies”; and both support spreading that ‘democracy’ by means of invading and occupying ‘dictatorships’ or “the enemies.” In Europe, this is called “imperialism”; in America, it is called “neo-conservatism” or “neoconservatism”; but no American billionaire actively opposes it (because to oppose it would be to oppose the aristocracy itself,

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America’s ‘Gift’ To The World: Visualizing 70 Years Of US Arms Exports

America’s ‘Gift’ To The World: Visualizing 70 Years Of US Arms Exports

18-07-18 01:22:00,

Back in April, the Trump administration rolled out a new “Buy American” initiative aimed at allowing more countries to buy more and even bigger weapons. It will loosen U.S. export rules on equipment ranging from fighter jets and drones to warships and artillery, the officials said.

Some more details on the new weapons sales policy:

Reuters has learned that the initiative will provide guidelines that could allow more countries to be granted faster deal approvals, possibly trimming back to months what has often taken years to finalize. The strategy will call for members of Trump’s cabinet to sometimes act as “closers” to help seal major arms deals, according to people familiar with the matter. More top government officials will also be sent to promote U.S. weapons at international air shows and arms bazaars.

While human rights and arms control advocates are warning that the proliferation of a broader range of advanced weaponry to more foreign governments could increase the risk of arms being diverted into the wrong hands and fueling violence in regions such as the Middle East and South Asia, this is of little import to an administration obsessed with closing the US trade deficit, even it means closing it by selling nukes to the highest bidder.

The Trump administration stresses that the main aims are to help American defense firms compete better against increasingly aggressive Russian and Chinese manufacturers and give greater weight than before to economic benefits of arms sales to create more jobs at home.

“This policy seeks to mobilize the full resources of the United States government behind arms transfers that are in the U.S. national and economic security interest,” a White House official said, responding to a request for comment on the story.

“We recognize that arms transfers may have important human rights consequences,” the official said. “Nothing in this policy changes existing legal or regulatory requirements in this regard.”

It will probably not come as a surprise to anyone that the main architects of the new policy has been economist Peter Navarro, a China trade skeptic ascendant in Trump’s inner circle. His effort to boost arms exports has drawn little resistance within the White House, Reuters officials said.

But,

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America’s Fake News Complex Is Keeping Its People in a Totalitarian Nightmare

America’s Fake News Complex Is Keeping Its People in a Totalitarian Nightmare

28-06-18 02:07:00,

American citizens have a problem telling the difference between facts and opinion. That’s the finding of a recent survey carried out by the respected Pew organization.

It was found that only a quarter of the people polled were able to correctly distinguish between a factual statement and an opinion claim. In other words, the majority of those Americans surveyed wrongly believed that information presented to them purporting as facts were indeed facts, when the information was actually merely a subjective claim or opinion.

Making sheeple

For example, when an opinion statement like “democracy is the best form of government” was read to them, most of the respondents defined that as a fact. Only some 25 per cent of the more than 5,000 people surveyed by Pew could correctly differentiate between facts and subjective statements.

Moreover, as the Reuters report on the study, put it: “They tend to disagree with factual statements they incorrectly label as opinions, Pew said.”

The latter tendency suggests that Americans are easily misled by false information, and perhaps more disturbingly, that they are closed-minded towards information that challenges their prejudices.

This commentary is not meant to unduly denigrate American citizens. It would be interesting to see what the results would be from a similar survey conducted in Europe, Russia or China.

Regardless of not having such a comparison, however, the Pew study indicates that there is a significant cognitive problem among US people in being able to assess facts from opinions. Given that opinions can be easily manipulated, misconstrued or mendacious that in turn points to a problem of American society being vulnerable to so-called fake news.

US President Donald Trump has almost singlehandedly coined the phrase “fake news” when he rails against news media which are adverse to his personality and his Republican party politics.

Trump himself is often a brazen purveyor of his own brand of fake news. Recall the absurd spat he had with the media over the size of his inauguration crowd, claiming against aerial photographic evidence to have a record huge attendance.

Nonetheless, to a degree, Trump has a fair point. The US corporate news media in favor of the Democrats have been guilty of pushing stories and issues which lack factual credibility.

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