Archive for the ‘“THE SWAMP”’ Tag


John Chuckman



“The Trust Project: Big Media and Silicon Valley’s Weaponized Algorithms Silence Dissent

“Given the Trust Project’s rich-get-richer impact on the online news landscape, it is not surprising to find that it is funded by a confluence of tech oligarchs and powerful forces with a clear stake in controlling the flow of news.’


Thanks, another solid piece from Whitney Webb.

Of course, America’s big hi-tech media companies and corporate press are not in the nasty business of misrepresenting what is true simply out of their convictions, although they are able to stage a rather impressive piece of mass theater with each of them having speaking parts claiming heroically otherwise.

Multi-billionaire companies and people are very little concerned with philosophical questions such as, “what is truth?” or with fundamental matters such as scrupulous honesty.

Oh, yes, they are much concerned over the appearance of honesty, the appearance of concern for truth, but that is another matter entirely.

Otherwise, they simply would not be billionaires. Becoming exceedingly wealthy requires a steady focus on very different matters. There are no high rates of financial return for honesty or principle.

I don’t see why anyone would doubt that, especially in light of America’s present extremely aggressive efforts to bend the entire planet to its will – in the Middle East, in Russia, in China, in South America, and in Europe.

Threats, illegal sanctions, wars, coups, proxy armies, lies, and a high general level of hostility and arrogance all play a role, day-in and day-out. America simply insists on applying American law to the entire planet, ignoring the laws of other nations and the laws of international organizations. Which, of course, in the end, comes down to gaining an immense benefit for America’s corporations and its power establishment.

America’s foreign policy now intimately serves its establishment in securing economic advantages through force and concessions, advantages the establishment seems unable to secure through traditional product excellence and fair competition. American foreign policy today has little to do with diplomacy.

After all, what is “the American power establishment” but a collection of America’s wealthy corporations and individuals, supported by a compliant Congress and such intimidating and powerful agencies as the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA?

That combination of power is something many people struggle to find proper language to describe, using terms such as the Dark State, the unelected secret government, or even “the swamp.” Millions instinctively understand that something real is at work influencing events, though they may not have a good name or definition for it.

In the end, it comes down to America’s plutocracy supported by powerful agencies supplied by a completely accommodating national government.

Despite centuries of intellectual ferment and struggle and reform and revolution in the West around human rights, freedoms, and democracy, we remain pretty much ruled by wealth, just as people in 18th century, pre-revolutionary France were.

The centuries of struggle have produced an elaborate stage play of democracy, not the actual thing. Oh, there have been gains, such as it no longer being acceptable for a nobleman’s carriage to run down a peasant in its way on the road or for a nobleman to rape a peasant’s daughter, claiming Droit du seigneur. The gains are about civility and behavior, not about governing.

 Money’s dominating politics, with the only serious source for that money being the wealthy, tells you who still calls the shots. The situation is identical for both political parties in America, and it is no different in Western Europe.

We really have no record of our corporate press ever deeply concerning itself over journalistic integrity. Lip service, yes, of course. But experience over time demonstrates the opposite in its normal practices.

There is clear self-interest in all the new schemes to certify “what is true and what is not” in the press and media, and the only truth about those schemes is that what ordinary people and philosophers mean by “truth” has nothing to do with any of it.

It’s sad how such schemes so readily gain a solid foothold in American society, gain a kind of ersatz reality, much as with Russophobia, which has been just another tactic in the power establishment’s efforts to secure global supremacy.

Please notice the complete contradiction between all the earnest stuff about truth and the quiet acquiescence in persecuting Julian Assange or Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden, people who gave us indisputable and great truths.

I have a personal theory as to why that is so, one I think with a good deal of substance.

It involves the role and influence of Puritanism in American history, which is extensive, going back at least to “the Pilgrim Fathers.” Now, those were people who always ferociously believed that they had the truth, and to the total exclusion of all others. They were also people who very much believed that wealth and material success were signs of God’s approval and special blessing.

Note the very terms used today, as “The Trust Project” or “News Guard” or “Election Guard” are dead giveaways of Twenty-First Century Puritanism.

Readers might enjoy this:


Posted June 8, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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John Chuckman


“As Merkel’s Star Fades, This Is What Is Really Happening Behind the Scenes”


Response to a comment which said: “A simple solution for the EU would be to not follow the US into illegal wars, support of terrorists and proxy wars then they wouldn’t be in this mess and for those politicians who were involved in destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria…”

That really goes to the heart of the matter.

America today pushes aggressive and destructive policies everywhere.

Europe’s leaders just quietly go along, often joining in with varying degrees of token participation to buy American good-will. This really gives America the freedom to describe its aggression as multi-national in character, as the work either of NATO or of such ad hoc constructs as “the coalition of the willing,” rather than as what it truly is, just plain American imperialism.

Europe is left, so to speak, holding the bag, for all the ensuing consequences. This happened with so-called “international terror attacks,” which are just blow-back from America’s Neocon Wars. It has now also happened with floods of refugees nearly destabilizing the continent, the refugees being entirely a product of American bombing and support for rag-tag mercenaries like those operating in Syria.

America takes no responsibility for the consequences of its rampages, especially the huge, years-long one through the Middle East. Of course, the consequences of all that bombing and destruction include millions of desperate refugees. But officials in Washington just brutally ignore the problem.

America’s general public has been conditioned, by politicians and by the commercial press which always supports America’s ugly campaigns abroad, to treat the refugees with sarcasm and contempt. Desperate migrants are spoken of in the best tradition of Senator Joseph McCarthy and his phantom “communists,” a delusional concept which that closet-drunk used to destroy many innocent lives.

Donald Trump perfectly embodies attitudes of a fair part of the American public about refugees, and that fact provides the driving engine of his political support.

America, in fact, has never taken responsibility for the horrors it creates in its imperial wars. It left Vietnam literally as a hell on earth, giving it no help or aid after all those years of destruction – carpet bombing, napalm, Agent Orange, land mines, cluster bombs, and armies of night-crawling assassins. The plight of today’s refugees in the Middle East results directly from the same American national trait of not taking responsibility.

The refugees, which should bring tears to the eyes, are ignored, and they are even laughed at, as are those who do try to help them, such as Merkel, ignored, despite being the direct result of America’s horrific violence.

Merkel, seeing what America had created, was only trying to show some humanity with her now much-despised refugee policy. She may also have felt twinges of guilt about not having stood up to America’s savage policies in the first place.

There was also the consideration that Germany, being an advanced country, simply does not replace its own population anymore. This situation is true for all advanced countries. Economists refer to it as having passed through Demographic Transition.

Populations will inevitably decline in all such countries without migration. All advanced countries are destined to more resemble the early United States or Canada as countries of immigrants, rather than continuing as they are used to thinking of themselves, countries of long-fixed identity and language and culture. I’m sure Merkel understands this.

But an almost uncontrolled, sudden flow of migrants is not really welcomed anywhere. And, in this case, great differences in religion and appearance and customs only fueled resentments and prejudices and hatreds, the very stuff burning and smoldering in Trump’s United States.

So, while I think Merkel had humane and decent intentions – informed also by an understanding of Germany’s, and Western Europe’s, changing population-age structures – her policy was an unavoidable failure owing to the problem’s suddenness and huge size. And it now serves to help the political ambitions of Europe’s own right-wing extremists resembling Trump.

One can only hope that reflecting back on this experience may help Europe’s leaders to begin standing up to some of America’s irrational, unfair demands, such as isolating Iran for no good reason or trying to tell Europe where it should buy its natural gas. These are simply the demands of a bully, and the bully needs to be told.

You know, there was a very telling change, not widely publicized, in the official mission statement of the Pentagon recently. The central purpose of the US military went, with the stroke of a pen, from “deter war,” something with which anyone might agree, to “sustain American influence abroad,” something which reflects almost no other country’s interests.

Of course, that’s exactly what we’ve been experiencing anyway with all the American aggression across a dozen lands, but now it is a stated public purpose. No more pretense. It’s imperialism.

America’s establishment, recognizing its relative decline in the world’s economy since its fortunate glory days after WWII when all competitors and potential competitors were flattened, now is going to use its considerable remaining power simply to muscle its way to every possible future advantage. It’s a business model with which the mafia is long familiar: you give us a piece of the action, or we’ll burn your business down.

Trump’s bull-headed, shameless approach to relationships of every description – in trade, in treaties and agreements, in international organizations, in alliances – seems almost custom-designed to suit the establishment’s need, which is the reason I laugh at all the claims that he heroically fights the establishment, or “the swamp,” as he likes to put it in comic-book terms.

It is already rather late in the day, but Europe’s leaders must try standing up to this challenge. Europe is one of the few political entities in the world capable of resistance, along with China and Russia and, hopefully, India. If Europe is to have any future beyond being an American order-taker and a polite debating society, it must act, although it is now in such disarray – stemming from its past failure to resist American policies such as those creating the refugees – it is not clear whether it still has the capacity.

If it does still have the capacity, the difference will come from that essential, but often elusive, concept, leadership. We get no change without it.

We are entering a “brave new world,” a very dark one, quite different in its form to that Shakespeare’s phrase was intended to describe, a world in which a powerful pretender to high principles acts, in fact, with almost no principles.

Europe’s leaders need to wake up to the new reality. It’s too easy to drift on in old familiar terms about America, as though Jimmy Stewart’s sincerity and sentiments still represented it. They do not. Russia, as you can see in the statements of Putin and Lavrov, is keenly aware. China’s Xi very much is, too, as you can see in his recent proposal to Germany’s leader to combine efforts between Europe and China.

The brave new world we face is one where the bravery of America is on the level of Trump’s getting out of Vietnam service in 1968 with the pathetic excuse of “heel spurs,” an excuse which came from a man playing on the college basketball team, a man now ready to drop bombs or tear-up treaties anywhere. An American bomb now drops somewhere every twelve minutes.

Posted July 7, 2018 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized

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