Mexican demonstrators splash presidential palace red in protest over murder of women – by Daina Beth Solomon, Josue Gonzalezby (Reuters) 14 Feb 2020

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Demonstrators daubed the words “femicide state” in blood-red on Mexico’s presidential palace on Friday, before marching in heavy rain to the offices of newspaper La Prensa to protest against the recent publication of a gruesome image of a murder victim.

Mexico 14 Feb 2020
A demonstrator hits the door of the National Palace during a protest against gender-based violence in downtown of Mexico City, Mexico, February 14, 2020. REUTERS/Andres Martinez Casares

The Valentine’s Day demonstration, led by women, was sparked by the killing of 25-year-old Ingrid Escamilla in Mexico City and the publication of graphic photos of her mutilated corpse in newspapers.

The protesters, numbering at least 200 and comprised mostly of women, burned vehicles belonging to La Prensa and briefly clashed with security forces who prevented them from entering the newspaper’s offices.

Chanting “not one more murder” and carrying signs saying “we demand responsible journalism,” “Ingrid we are all you” and “sexism kills,” the demonstrators demanded justice.

An average of 10 women a day are killed in Mexico. Last year marked a new overall homicide record, official data shows.

 

Erik Francisco Robledo, 46, (R) has been arrested in the murder of Ingrid Escamilla Vargas, 25.

The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women, said on Twitter that it condemned the killing of Escamilla.

“We demand comprehensive actions to eliminate violence against women and girls. We demand full access to justice and non-revictimization for all. Ingrid is not an isolated case,” UN Women said.

Lilia Florencio Guerrero, whose daughter was violently killed in 2017, called on President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who was inside the palace during the protests, to do more to stop violence

“It’s not just Ingrid. There are thousands of femicides,” said Guerrero. “It fills us with anger and rage.”

One protester spray-painted “INGRID” in big pink letters on a door of the presidential palace. Many participants noted that Escamilla’s was only the latest in a wave of brutal murders of women.

Others protesters painted slogans including “they are killing us” on the building’s walls and fired bright flames from cans of flammable spray-paint.

Inside the stately palace, where Lopez Obrador lives with his family, the president attempted to reassure the activists during his morning news conference.

“I’m not burying my head in the sand … The government I represent will always take care of ensuring the safety of women,” he said, without giving details of new plans.

Protesters also admonished the newspapers that published photos of Escamilla’s corpse, chanting, “The press is complicit.”

La Prensa, which ran the image on its cover, defended its record of reporting on crime and murder, subjects that it said the government prefers to keep quiet. The paper said it was open to discussion on adjusting its standards beyond legal requirements.

“We understand today that it hasn’t been sufficient, and we’ve entered a process of deeper review,” the paper said in a front-page statement on Friday.

 

A 22-year-old student dressed in black, with a mask covering her face and carrying a can of spray paint, said the protests after Escamilla’s death seemed to have had an affect.

La Prensa, she said, had caved to “pressure from feminists.”

Another newspaper, Pasala, had filled nearly its entire tabloid cover with the photo of Escamilla’s corpse, under the Valentine’s Day-themed headline: “It was cupid’s fault.” The cover sparked anger not only at the gory display, but also the jocular tone over a crime for which Escamilla’s domestic partner has been arrested.

Pasala editors did not respond to requests for comment.

 

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https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-mexico-violence-gender/mexican-demonstrators-splash-presidential-palace-red-in-protest-over-murder-of-women-idUKKBN2082B7

Bernie Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm – by C.J. Hopkins • 10 Feb 2020

America just can’t catch a break. After three long years of brutal oppression under Donald Trump’s Russia-backed Nazi Reich, it turns out the only Democratic candidate with a chance of unseating him in November and rescuing the world from the Putin-Nazis is a 78-year-old bloodthirsty Commie with a Khmer Rouge-like army of kill-crazy followers.

Yes, I’m afraid the rumors are true. Apparently, elements of Jeremy Corbyn’s recently-disbanded Nazi Death Cult have regrouped in the United States, formed an alliance with Bernie Sanders fanatics, and together this Mega-Commie Kill Swarm is roaming the Internet with complete impunity, sadistically mass-murdering Sanders critics and defenseless differently-abled persons with vulgar language and vicious poo-memes.

The corporate media are doing their best to alert Americans to the imminent threat. CNN broadcast a special report explaining how Sanders’ “army of supporters” are “bullying” and “frightening” his critics into silence. An “outspoken Elizabeth Warren supporter whose daughter with Downs syndrome is recovering from cancer” was verbally-abused to within an inch of her life. An “activist dying of ALS” was instructed to go “f___” himself. The Working Families Party was subjected to a series of inappropriate adjectives. The Party’s leader, an African American and a personal friend of Bernie Sanders, was taunted with a racist Tweet, which Sanders took to Twitter and condemned, but by that time it was much too late. His Commie Kill Swarm was beyond his control; they started tweeting memes comparing Elizabeth Warren to a snake and Pete Buttigieg to a rat, and otherwise terrorizing the American public.

Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin spoke to several other “victims” of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s tweets who are recovering from their Internet traumas in undisclosed secure locations and so insisted on remaining anonymous. According to Griffin, these emotionally-traumatized victims are so emotionally traumatized by what they experienced on the Internet that they wouldn’t even let him describe the traumatic “circumstances” surrounding their “attacks.”

And the proof of Sanders’ Commie Kill Swarm’s atrocities isn’t just anecdotal. No, Griffin also spoke to Ben Decker, “CEO” of something called “Memetica” (which appears to be Ben’s Twitter account), whose “Facebook analysis” conclusively proves that Sanders has a lot of online supporters, more than all the other candidates, which creates “the potential for greater harm.” This type of online “bullying-at-scale,” according to Ben, is just … well, “crazy.”

Of course, CNN is not the only corporate media outlet on the case. In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses (which Sanders would go on to attempt to steal from Buttigieg by winning thousands more votes), a spate of dire warnings were issued. According to The Washington Post,Sanders supporters have weaponized Facebook and are terrorizing people with “angry memes.” The New York Times reported thatBernie Sanders and His Internet Army have forced progressives who refuse to back him into hiring private security details to protect them from “death threats” and off-color jokes. Daily Beast warned of “Toxic Bernie Bros.” NBC likened them to MAGA supporters, who everyone knows are Russia-loving Nazis. SNL writers went even further, painting Sanders as the darling of 4chan … and these are just a few examples.

But by far the most bombastic display of unbridled Sanders-Commie-Kill-Swarm-Panic was MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who totally lost it after the last debate and started sputtering about “socialists” staging public mass-executions in Central Park. Matthews is apparently firmly convinced that Sanders, if he wins the election, plans to dress up like Fidel Castro, march Matthews and his cronies out onto the Great Lawn, and go full-bore Daenerys Targaryen on them. He sat there, trembling, on national television, eyes afire with paranoia, jabbering about the godless “Reds” like a scene from Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove that got cut because it was too over-the-top.

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Seriously, though, I doubt he has much to worry about. Regardless of who wins the election this year, the supranational corporatocracy that essentially owns the U.S. government is not about to let Bernie Sanders implement the same basic social programs that most capitalist countries throughout world have provided to their people for decades. Jesus, just imagine the freedomless horror if Americans could go to university, and, you know, maybe raise a child or two, without spending the rest of their lives in debt! Think of the suffering that would inflict on the banks, and insurance companies, and military contractors, not to mention the pharmaceutical industry. God help America, should it go down that road! The next thing you know there’d be high-speed trains, subsidized art, and un-chlorinated chicken … there’s no telling where the nightmare would end.

Look, I don’t normally get invested in the quadrennial Simulation of Democracy, but I’m kind of pulling for Bernie this time. I don’t believe he has a chance, but if he somehow managed to outfox the Democrats and win the nomination this summer, it would be fun to watch as the corporate media and the rest of the neoliberal Resistance react to a Sanders vs. Trump election.

Not that either Sanders or Trump, the men themselves, are a threat to the empire (as we have witnessed over the course of the last three years). But we’re in the middle of a War on Populism, which the global corporatocracy needs to win if it is going to continue to relentlessly destabilize, privatize, and restructure everything, as it has been doing since the end of the Cold War. Sanders and Trump are just symbols, of course, lightning rods for “populist” anger … but they are symbols the empire needs to destroy in order to reestablish “normality.”

The neoliberal Resistance’s ham-fisted efforts to prevent a Bernie Sanders nomination are desperate attempts to avoid a scenario where they are forced to ensure Donald Trump’s reelection, which, make no mistake, they will do if they have to. (Jonathan Chait has already whipped up some boilerplate to be used in that effort.) They did it to Corbyn, and they will do it to Sanders, but it is likely to get extremely awkward, pretending to reluctantly support him (because the alternative will be a man they’ve spent the last three years accusing of being a Russian spy and literally Hitler) while simultaneously painting him as a genocidal commie terrorist whose supporters are a bunch of white supremacist, billionaire-butchering neo-Maoists.

Thus the “Sanders Swarm” hysteria, and the Iowa caucuses “technical difficulties,” and whatever other propaganda and dirty tricks the Resistance has planned to prevent a Sanders nomination, so they can lose to Trump with a non-populist candidate and play “Resistance” for another four years.

So, unless you relish the thought of that, or the thought of watching a humiliated Bernie obsequiously shuffle around the country campaigning for Buttigieg, like he did for Clinton, please do what you can to get him nominated, so we can enjoy a Pol Pot vs. Hitler election.

Do it for purely entertainment purposes. It is mostly just a show, after all.#

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C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing and Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. His dystopian novel, Zone 23, is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant. Volume I of his Consent Factory Essays is published by Consent Factory Publishing, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amalgamated Content, Inc. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org.

Pro-Imperialist Neo-McCarthyite Witchhunters Hypocritically Mourn the Death of Kirk Douglas – by Matthew Ehret – 10 Feb 2020

Hollywood film legend Kirk Douglas’ passing on February 5th at the age of 103 has resulted in a sickening level of hypocrisy from the leftist mainstream media outlets. These outlets have written countless homages and memorials honoring the life of the man who “used his star power and influence in the late 1950s to help break the Hollywood blacklist” as CNN reported on February 6. Similar eulogies have followed this line from MSNBC, the NY Times, Washington Post, as well as many Hollywood celebrities.

 

Kirk Douglad and Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful
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What makes this so sickening is not that these memorials are untrue, but rather that it is these same MSM/Hollywood forces that are the heirs to the fascist McCarthyite machine which Kirk Douglas and his close network of collaborators fought so courageously against during their lives.

Hollywood and the CIA Today

In recent decades, barring a few exceptions, Hollywood (just like much of the mainstream media) has become a branch of the CIA and broader military industrial complex. While fake news agencies as CNN spin false facts to the intellects of mushy-minded Americans, Hollywood prepares the fertile soil for those false seeds to grow by shaping the hearts and imagination in their victims through the important hypnotic power of storytelling. Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, Red Sparrow, and Bitter Harvest are just a few of the most popular propaganda films which portray Russians as the nefarious villains of the earth and heroically elevate the CIA to patriotic heights.

Kirk Douglas and Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947)
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Hacked emails from Sony pictures published on WikiLeaks provided a smoking gun when it was revealed that the Obama administration had courted Hollywood execs to the task of promoting films to “counter Russian narratives” and all of this in the midst of a renewed Cold War terror which has led to attacks on Chinese scholars in America and an attempted coup against a sitting U.S. President.

YET, just as Hollywood can serve as a force of great evil, Kirk Douglas and his small network of collaborators demonstrated that it could equally serve as a force of great good. This is because films exhibiting a spirit of honesty and courage can bypass the gatekeepers of intellect and strike at the inner being of the audience rendering a people, under certain circumstances better patriots of their nation and citizens of the world.

This brings us to the important question of “what truly made Kirk Douglas and his small but influential network of collaborators so important during such a dark period of World history during the peak of the Cold War?”

Arthur Kennedy, Kirk Douglas and Paul Stewart in Champion (1949)
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Ending the Blacklist: Douglas and Trumbo

The above quote from a CNN memorial cited Douglas’s efforts to end the Hollywood Blacklist. For those who are not aware, the blacklist was the name given to the “untouchables” of Hollywood. Those writers, directors and producers who courageously refused to cooperate with the fascist hearings of the House on Un-American Activities run under the dictatorial leadership of Senator Joseph McCarthy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover. By the end of the hearings, hundreds of careers were destroyed and examples were made of ten leading writers led by the great Dalton Trumbo – who were not only given prison sentences for defending the US Constitution, but who became un-hirable for years after their release. Not only this, but anyone caught employing them were threatened with similar penalties.

Kirk Douglas in Ace in the Hole (1951)
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In spite of that grim reality many of them continued to work under pseudonyms with Trumbo even winning two uncredited academy awards during the 1950s (Roman Holiday and the Brave One).

During this dark period, a network of brave film makers formed who worked very closely together for 20 years which centered around Trumbo, Kirk Douglas, David Miller, John Frankenheimer, Stanley Kramer, Burt Lancaster and producer Edward Lewis. Many of the films produced by these men not only carried stories which shook the foundations of the newly reorganized deep state, but also strove to awaken the moral sensibilities of Americans whose complacency had permitted the creation of a new Pax Americana abroad, and racist police state within.

Kirk Douglas in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)

 

Kirk Douglas responded to this early on by forming his own studio called Bryna Productions which created the antiwar classic Paths of Glory (1957) and Spartacus (1960).

Paths of Glory told the true story of the unjust execution of several French soldiers who refused to obey a suicide mission during WW1 and provided a strong statement against irrational wars but also arbitrary political power run amok.

Set in 72 BC, Spartacus told the true story of a Thracian slave who led a two year freedom struggle against Rome and spoke directly to the civil rights movement in America and fight against imperialism more broadly.

Kirk Douglas in Lonely Are the Brave (1962)
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What gave Spartacus its strategic potency to end the Blacklist was due to the fact that it was written by the leading untouchable “commie-lover” of America… Dalton Trumbo.

Kirk Douglas and Woody Strode in Spartacus (1960)
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Kirk Douglas’ last minute decision to use Trumbo’s real name was more of a risk than most people realize, and in later years, Douglas described this period:

“The choices were hard. The consequences were painful and very real. During the blacklist, I had friends who went into exile when no one would hire them; actors who committed suicide in despair … I was threatened that using a Blacklisted writer for Spartacus – my friend Dalton Trumbo – would mark me as a ‘Commie-lover’ and end my career. There are times when one has to stand up for principle. I am so proud of my fellow actors who use their public influence to speak out against injustice. At 98 years old, I have learned one lesson from history: It very often repeats itself. I hope that Trumbo, a fine film, will remind all of us that the Blacklist was a terrible time in our country, but that we must learn from it so that it will never happen again.”

When the newly-elected president John Kennedy and his brother Robert crossed anti-Communist picket lines to first attend the film, and then endorsed it loudly, the foundations of the Blacklist were destroyed and the edifice of 15 years of terror came crashing down.

Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960)
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Kennedy’s Murder and Trumbo’s Revenge

Kennedy’s death in 1963 sent America into a spiral of despair, drugs and insanity. Films like Frankenheimber’s Manchurian Candidate (1962), and 7 Days in May (1964) attempted to shed light on the deep state takeover of America but it was too late. During the 1960s, Douglas, Ed Lewis, Trumbo and Frankenheimber continued to work closely together on films like Lonely are the Brave, Town Without Pity, The Fixer, Last Sunset, Seconds, The Train, Devil’s Disciple, Johnny Got His Gun, The Horsemen, and more. Sadly, the cultural rot had set in too deeply and nothing came as close to the artistry of the dense 1957-1964 period of creative resistance.

Paths of Glory (1957)
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One little known film stands out quite a bit however, and since so little is known of this small masterpiece, a word must be said now.

Ten years after Kennedy’s murder, Trumbo, Edward Lewis, David Miller, Mark Lane and Garry Horrowitz created a film which could be called “Trumbo’s last stand”. This film was called Executive Action (1973) and starred Kirk Douglas’ longtime collaborator Burt Lancaster as a leading coordinator of the plot to assassinate President John F. Kennedy. Edward Lewis, who had also produced Spartacus with Douglas earlier, spearheaded this film which tells the story of a cabal of oligarchs who arrange the murder of John Kennedy using three teams of professional mercenaries (former CIA men fired after the Bay of Pigs fiasco). This incredibly well-researched storyline infused fiction with powerful facts and was based upon the work of Mark Lane – a close friend of the Kennedys, NY State Attorney, and civil rights activist (the only legislator to be arrested as a Freedom rider fighting segregation).

During a powerful dialogue between James Farrington (Lancaster) and the leader of the cabal Robert Foster (played by Robert Ryan), the gauntlet is dropped, as the true reason is given for the need to Kennedy in chilling detail: Global Depopulation.

Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster in Seven Days in May (1964)

 

Here Farrington is told by Foster:

“The real problem is this James. In two decades there will be seven billion human beings on this planet. Most of them brown, yellow or black. All of them hungry. All of them determined to love. They’ll swarm out of their breeding grounds into Europe and North America… Hence, Vietnam. An all-out effort there will give us control of south Asia for decades to come. And with proper planning, we can reduce the population to 550 million by the end of the century. I know… I’ve seen the data.”

James: “We sound rather like Gods reading the Doomsday book don’t we?”

Foster: “Well, someone has to do it. Not only will the nations affected be better off. But the techniques developed there can be used to reduce our own excess population: blacks, Puerto Ricans, Mexican Americans, poverty prone whites, and so forth”.

Although the film was pulled from most American theaters, it still stands as one of the most direct and chilling refutations of the lone-gunman narrative and is also the only film this author is aware of which showcases the deeper neo-Malthusian agenda underlying the murder of Kennedy which feared the optimistic vision he had threatened to create as outlined in my previous paper “Remembering JFK’s Vision for the Future that Should Have Been”.

The oligarchs attempting to play God in today’s world, just as their predecessors who oversaw JFK’s murder know that hunger, war and disease are not the natural state of humanity, but simply means of checking population growth.

It is worth keeping in mind that those same media and Hollywood outlets mourning Douglas’ passing are the perpetrators of this Malthusian legacy, and are deathly afraid of a renewal of JFK’s legacy under a revived space program to establish permanent human colonies on the Moon and Mars as well as establish cooperative relations with Russia and China which provides humanity its last, best chance to end the oligarchy’s pandemic of wars, disease and hunger forever.

The author can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com. This originally appeared on the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Strange Case of Lyndon LaRouche – The Man Who Knew Too Much – Dodged Assassination for 50 Years – Died Age 96

Lyndon LaRouche

After almost fifty years of publicly announcing that he was a target of assassination plans Lyndon LaRouche died at the age of 96. With his organizations he arranged to have plenty of security and apparently kept all the various forces with international agents trying to kill Lyndon LaRouche at bay.

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Lyndon LaRouche was a smart man who knew how to read source material on certain subjects and quickly come up with an overarching picture. In his youth he was draw to Left Wing organizations with formal organizational structures and dues paying members who were supposed to learn the party’s ideas and outlook and campaign on the streets and in print for those ideas.

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When LaRouche was young the best way for Leftist organizations to reach out to workers and others who might be interested in socialist ideas and organizing a workers party was a party newspaper. The journal would be a weekly or biweekly or monthly, or even ‘occasional’ publication. Members of the group were supposed to help sell or distribute free the newspaper.

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Lyndon LaRouche 22

Activists would go to factory gates before work, to subway stops were there might be crowds, to parks or other public places. Lyndon LaRouche was on the street explaining what the organization thought about topics of the day. LaRouche was a quick study, got the elementary Marxist ideas, and was an effective and confident speaker one-on-one, or in groups. He was sure of himself and attracted people who liked a self-assured intelligent leader.

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He moved from one Leftist group to another in the 1960’s until he decided to set up his own group – The National Caucaus of Labor Committees. The implication of the name was that the group had a Leftwing orientation to the working class and wanted to be in labor unions as a separate caucaus advocating a better way for workers to organize to win socialism. LaRouche had learned how to run a disiplined ideologically oriented group.

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Members where recruited mostly during meetings with clipboard campaigners distributing literature on the street. People where brought to meetings and talked to individually and sounded out about what they thought about things. People who agreed with the ideas of Lyndon LaRouche where encouraged to join the group and campaign on the street and re-orient their lives around the organization that was going to spread LaRouche ideas.

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The organization learned how to accept people’s credit cards on street sales and at bus stations and airports in the 1970’s and was reported to target older people for ‘subscriptions’ that they then inflated the cost of seeming to hope the victim would not notice extra fraudulent charges or even charges for extra publications they did not realize they were subscribing to.

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Ex-members spoke of a cult-like atmosphere in the group with a complete focus on LaRouche as some kind of genius savior of humanity who had arrived at this point in history to change things for the better and help us all understand what was going on. The group organized around a newspaper and publications learned how to gather information, send out reporters and investigators, organize information into some understandable order, and present it to the public as a set of political ideas. Perhaps learning from his Leftwing youth LaRouche understood the use of remaining anonymous.

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Lyndon LaRouche was known as Lynn Marcus when he was a leftwing party member. This tradition carried on with the LaRouche organizations as ‘reporters’ conntacted people by phone and in person and lied and said they were reporters from other main stream media outlets.

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In 1973, during the time of wide protests against the Vietnam War and other social problems, the LaRouche organization decided to eliminate other Leftwing opponents with “Operation Mop Up.” The LaRouche-ites targeted Communist Party USA public meetings showing up with a dozen people to shout and throw chairs and push people to disrupt what they considered false leftists. The main group organizing mass anti-war protests the Socialist Workers Party was also a focus of the LaRouche-ites physical intimidation.

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After that time rather than becoming the dominant force on the Left as LaRouche had promised the LaRouche-ites seemed to go to the Right. The publications began to read like something from a John Birch Society screed against the Jewish bankers backing the Queen of England and the City of London. The LaRouche investigative team seemed to be cranking out Right Wing propaganda and attacked the positive attention of at least a few Republicans around the Ronald Reagan administration. Apparently some wealthy Right Wingers would pay to have the creepy looking LaRouche come to their company and spout his delusional gobbledy-gook theories and felt they were being let in on a secret worth knowing.

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In the news paper business they use to say ‘facts are expensive, opinions are cheap.’ So, perhaps LaRouche and his minions actually developed some way to get useful information that others would pay for. One can go to labor union picket lines or public demonstrations and take pictures of people in the crowd that some people would like to have access to. Reporters can attend public meetings and make pertinent reports of what was said to interested parties.

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So perhaps LaRouche had useful information services to sell. He was making a lot of money somehow. When running for president in 1976 LaRouche sued to be on one of the major networks. When he won in court the network said he must pay in cash. In a matter of hours the LaRouche people brought a brown paper bag with $250,000 in cash. Someone was paying a lot for the subscriptions to LaRouche publications.

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Did LaRouche have useful information? He predicted economic crashes just about every two years. Like a broken clock, he was bound to be right sometimes. But, he was wrong a lot.

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He died at 96. Yet he claimed to be perpetually in fear of his life from shadowy enemies who had picked him out of all the people of the world for death because of his unique insights and threat to powerful forces holding back humanity. But, despite all the enemies trying to get LaRouche he live to be older than most of humanity. Does that just prove he was a messiah?

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LaRouche’s death was announced on the website of one of his organizations. He died on February 12, 2019, at age 96. Neither the place nor cause of his death was specified.

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The New York Times had an obituary:

Lyndon LaRouche, Cult Figure Who Ran for President 8 Times, Dies at 96

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Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. speaking at a news conference in Trenton in 1984 in advance of the New Jersey primary as he sought the Democratic presidential nomination. It was one of his eight campaigns for the White House as a fringe candidate.

By Richard Severo

 

 

Lyndon LaRouche, the quixotic, apocalyptic leader of a cultlike political organization who ran for president eight times, once from a prison cell, died on Tuesday. He was 96.

His death was announced on the website of his organization, La Rouche/Pac. The statement did not specify a cause or say where he died.

Defining what Mr. LaRouche stood for was no easy task. He began his political career on the far left and ended it on the far right. He said he admired Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan and loathed Hitler, the composer Richard Wagner and other anti-Semites, though he himself made anti-Semitic statements.

He was fascinated with physics and mathematics, particularly geometry, but called concerns about climate change “a scientific fraud.”

He condemned modern music as a tool of invidious conspiracies — he saw rock as a particularly British one — and found universal organizing principles in the music of Bach, Beethoven and Mozart.

Some called him a case study in paranoia and bigotry, his mild demeanor notwithstanding. One biographer, Dennis King, in “Lyndon LaRouche and the New American Fascism” (1989), maintained that Mr. LaRouche and his followers were a danger to democratic institutions.

Mr. LaRouche denigrated a panoply of ethnic groups and organized religions. He railed against the “Eastern Establishment” and environmentalists, who he said were trying to wipe out the human race. Queen Elizabeth II of England was plotting to have him killed, he said. Jews had surreptitiously founded the Ku Klux Klan, he said. He described Native Americans as “lower beasts.”

Even so, Mr. LaRouche was able to develop alliances with farmers, the Nation of Islam, teamsters, abortion opponents and Klan adherents. Acolytes kept Mr. LaRouche’s political machine going by peddling his tracts and magazines in airports, and by persuading relatives and friends to donate large sums to help him fight his designated enemies.

He operated through a dizzying array of front groups, among them the National Democratic Policy Committee, through which he received millions of dollars in federal matching money in his recurring presidential campaigns. His forces also sponsored candidates at the state and local levels, including for school board seats.

His movement attracted national attention, especially in 1986, when two LaRouche followers, Mark Fairchild and Janice Hart, unexpectedly won the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor and secretary of state, respectively, in Illinois.

Adlai E. Stevenson III, the Democratic candidate for governor of Illinois that year, was appalled. He denounced the LaRouche group as “neo-Nazis” and refused to run with Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hart, organizing a third-party bid instead. He, as well as the LaRouche supporters, lost to James R. Thompson, the Republican incumbent.

Some voters said they had voted for Mr. Fairchild and Ms. Hart because they had been endorsed by Mr. LaRouche’s National Democratic Policy Committee, which they thought was affiliated with the mainstream Democratic Party.

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Matt Guice, center, a field organizer for Mr. LaRouche’s political action commitee, distributed fliers in Manhattan in 2013. By the mid-1970s, the LaRouche organization had 37 offices in North America and 26 in Europe and Latin America.

Critics of Mr. LaRouche said he had used that committee to deceive people abroad as well. In 1982, he managed to arrange a meeting with President José López Portillo of Mexico, evidently because Mexican officials thought Mr. LaRouche represented the Democratic Party.

“I’m as American as apple pie,” Mr. LaRouche once said.

Whatever he was, he received thousands of votes in his campaigns for president. In 1980, he outpolled Gov. Jerry Brown of California by a thousand votes in the Democratic presidential primary in Connecticut. In 1986, the candidates fielded by his National Democratic Policy Committee received 20 to 40 percent of the vote in local elections in California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche Jr. was born on Sept. 8, 1922, in Rochester, N.H., to Lyndon and Jesse (Weir) LaRouche. He grew up in the Quaker tradition. His father was a traveling salesman for the United States Shoe Machinery Corporation, and his mother once ran a Quaker meeting in Boston’s Back Bay.

His was not a happy childhood. Boys would pick on him, he said, but he refused to fight them, which only brought more disapprobation.

It got no better after the family moved to Lynn, Mass. He regarded himself there as an outcast and had few friends in high school. He was not an “ugly duckling,” he said, “but a nasty duckling.”

When World War II began, Mr. LaRouche declared himself a conscientious objector, citing his pacifist Quaker upbringing. But toward the end of the war he enlisted in the Army, despite his mother’s objections.

After the war, he enrolled in Northeastern University in Boston but “resigned,” he said, because the university was not challenging his superior intellect. He said he had been able to become the century’s leading economist without formal college study.

He married Janice Neuberger in the early 1950s and had a son, Daniel, by her in 1956. The marriage failed, and he never talked publicly about his son and his former wife in his later years.

Mr. LaRouche’s political roots were Marxist. From 1948 to 1963, he was active in the Socialist Workers Party, a Trotskyite group.

His own group surfaced during the student unrest at Columbia University in the late 1960s as a faction of the left-wing Students for a Democratic Society. It evolved into the National Caucus of Labor Committees, an organization largely made up of young upper-middle-class people who espoused Mr. LaRouche’s Marxist views.

He first ran for president in 1976 as the candidate of the left-wing United States Labor Party, now defunct.

By then, though, his politics had already begun moving to the right. And after spending much time in West Germany, he returned with right-wing, anti-Semitic views. Many of his followers made the shift with him.

George Johnson, the author of “Architects of Fear: Conspiracy Theories and Paranoia in American Politics” (1983), wrote that Mr. LaRouche had developed a conspiracy theory that stretched back to the beginnings of civilization.

Archive

 

Amy Orben: ‘To talk about smartphones affecting the brain’ is not science – We need studies and documentation, not anecdotes – by Andrew Anthony (Guardian) 1 Feb 2020

The psychologist talks about the widespread fear that smartphones are harmful to our wellbeing – and the difficulty of proving it.

amy orben seated at a long dining table at emmanuel college cambridge
Amy Orben: ‘It is time to promote data sharing by more than just telling companies they should do it.’

Amy Orben is a research fellow at Emmanuel College and the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit at the University of Cambridge. She works in the field of experimental psychology and her speciality is analysing large-scale datasets to determine how social media and the use of digital technology affect the wellbeing of teenagers. Her latest paper, co-written with Prof Andrew Przybylski, looks at teenage sleep and technology engagement.

In recent years there has been a great deal of speculation about the possible harmful effects of digital technology, particularly smartphones, on mental health, the ability to concentrate, and sleep patterns. Is there any sound evidence to support these concerns?
In relation to how much societal debate and coverage these questions get, there is very little evidence for these concerns, and even less high-quality, robust and transparent evidence. I think that lack of high-quality evidence makes the question really difficult to answer.

You have written of the “low quality of measurement available in current data sources”, because it relies on adolescent self-reporting, so does that mean the concerns might be valid, just that it’s impossible at the moment to access the evidence?
We always have concerns about new technology as a society and that’s completely natural, and therefore we need to respect that people are concerned. But we’re at a stage where, although there’s very little evidence, these concerns are driving policy change and political debate. There’s still so little high-quality data about what we as a society and our children are actually doing with technology, across the wide range of technologies we use on a daily basis.

You’ve noted that such data won’t be forthcoming until Google, Facebook and the large gaming companies share the information they have on their servers. What’s your hunch about what would be found if they did do that?
If that data was shared, it would be a massive step forward in what we know about technology. Getting that sort of data in an open, ethical way will allow us to do a lot more than any sort of research funding or money thrown at this problem would allow us to do. I think what we will find is that technology is incredibly diverse. We use it in many different ways, with many different motivations, and we use it to access a huge amount of different content. We’ll find that certain uses affect certain people in a negative way. Just like we’ll find that certain uses affect certain people in a positive way.

Do you believe these companies should be legally compelled to share this data?
I think it is time to promote data sharing by more than just telling companies they should do it. The direct collaboration with researchers hasn’t worked, because we as researchers are puny in comparison with these tech giants. I don’t think the companies should just hand over all their data but yes, a more centralised and mandated system for data sharing is necessary.

In the absence of that data, is it significant that many leading Silicon Valley figures make a point of restricting their own children’s social media and smartphone use?
I think the coverage about certain Silicon Valley bosses and their children can be quite misleading because they are a very privileged and elite subsection of society. I don’t think it reflects normal society and we should take a more diverse view to parenting. It also doesn’t reflect the whole of Silicon Valley either. There is a great proportion that don’t restrict tech use.

People talk about screentime affecting mental health. But presumably there’s a difference between, say, doing research on a smartphone for homework and studying your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend’s Instagram feed?
A hundred per cent. I think we cannot say this enough. We regularly over-generalise social media and technology’s effects, and that’s because those technologies are new. We often see them as one thing, but for the users themselves they represent probably as many different uses as there are users. Different technology uses have different effects. And on the Instagram platform, for example, different content will have different effects. What’s more the same content could have very different effects on different people or on the same person in different time frames.

Obviously empirical evidence and anecdotal observation are different things. But does it matter that children – and adults – appear much less able to complete tasks like reading a book without constant reference to smartphones?
It is common now for people to complain about how much of a role smartphones play in their lives. Because scientific evidence does take longer to accrue, especially when the data is unavailable, I can see that in the next couple of years we will get a better understanding of how it is affecting us, for example in relation to our attention spans. But at the moment you’re living in a dichotomous world as an academic. In everyday life there’s a huge amount of concern about technology and in the scientific sphere we’re really just at the very beginning of understanding this, which makes working in this area quite difficult at times.

You’ve criticised the Royal College of Psychiatrists international congress in London last year for fostering the idea that social media was “depleting our neurotransmitter deposits”, without any evidence to support the claim. Aren’t psychiatrists scientists – ie medically trained doctors? Why would they promote ideas without evidence?
I think there’s a huge amount of fear in this area. You just have to Google smartphone addiction and you’d be convinced that it is a thing, even though it is not a psychiatrically recognised disorder. To talk about smartphones affecting the brain is a really slippery slope because there haven’t been a lot of brain-specific studies done. There is a widespread belief that smartphones cause a dopamine kick and dopamine kicks lead to addiction. Well, anything I do that is pleasurable will give me a dopamine kick, because it’s a signal for pleasure. I could be talking to my friends or eating a pizza. So even if smartphones do that, it’s circular reasoning.

Psychologist Jean Twenge has argued that smartphone use is related to a rise in teenage suicide and depression in America. She cites research that shows limiting social media decreases loneliness and depression. Is there any substance to this?
Jean Twenge and I have had a lot of disagreement on this. If you review the studies that have asked people to refrain from social media use, the results are really mixed. The first thing is that these studies struggle to get the participants to actually implement this ban, so they’re not perfect studies. But what we find is that some show a decrease in cortisol levels, so not being on social media decreases your stress biomarkers. But the same study also shows that people’s life satisfaction decreases as well. So you can pick and choose, but if you look at the field as a whole, the story is really complicated.

It’s been noted that young people today represent one of the most educated, least violent, and most socially connected generations the world has seen. Do you have any thoughts on what might be driving their increased anxiety and depression?
My thoughts boil down to the simple statement that it’s complicated. What we’re seeing at the moment is society looking for the one thing that’s causing this so-called mental health crisis, and technology is a really easy thing to point at. Social media have only been around for the last decade and their use has accelerated. And when politicians single out social media, they’re not blaming parents or policies like austerity or cuts in mental health services, so it gives them an easy scapegoat. But if we truly want to understand what makes adolescents feel the way they do, it will be a complex network of factors, of which social media will be one small part.

How much do you use your smartphone? And does it ever give you cause for concern?
I’ve used smartphones and social media since I was a teenager. And it’s a key part of my professional life and also my life as a whole: I need it to navigate a city, arrange train travel and contact my friends. Sometimes I overuse it. We’ve just come out of Christmas and on Christmas Day I do eat the additional mince pie that I shouldn’t, although I know that’s not good for me. Sometimes I use social media to escape from a problem, and I know it’s not good for me, but like with the mince pies, I try to self-regulate. I think the diet metaphor is really good for me to understand my own technology use.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/feb/01/amy-orben-psychology-smartphones-affecting-brain-social-media-teenagers-mental-health?utm_source=pocket-newtab

The Many Faces of Bernie Derangement Syndrome – by Nicky Reid – 31 Jan 2020

Sanders B

 

It’s getting pretty damn near impossible, even for a vengeful anarcho-cynic like myself, to deny that the system clearly despises Bernie Sanders. Both the DNC and their moronic B-team in the so called mainstream media seem to be downright apoplectic over the fact that the grizzled old buzzard is leading the presidential pack in all the ways that count. Not that you’d ever know it by watching the news. Based on the coverage, you would think Bernie was trailing behind the Yang Gang in the polls. Even at the debates, they avoid his perpetually pontificating old ass like the drunk chick at a wedding party, while they softball grounder after grounder to poll-fucked centrist losers like Amy Klobuchar.

Sanders Toilet Paper

CNN’s January surprise, a totally toothless collection of anonymous accusations about a single hypothetical sexist comment made years ago to progressive rival and pathological opportunist, Elizabeth Warren, is just further proof of this prejudice. The sheer absurdity of the idea that Bernie just randomly went all Archie Bunker all over Warren’s ass and everyone, including her, just happens to remember the event just in time for the last debates before the Iowa Caucus, is downright dumbfounding.

The only thing more bugfuck nuts in my mind is the fact that any suite-and-tie wearing member of the status quo actually considers this asshole a threat. He’s a fucking poseur and he’s their best hope for taking back the White House. Clintonism has officially become a mental illness. Call it Bernie Derangement Syndrome and call those TERF’s at the DSM.

Biden Toilet Paper

In case you missed it, I’ve never liked Bernie Sanders. It’s not the pie in the sky welfare spending or the tiresome FDR (founding father of the modern American concentration camp) worship. I could begrudgingly live with all that. But it’s the simple fact that the motherfucker, a self-proclaimed Eugene Debs loving leftist, just isn’t antiwar. It’s the one issue I vote on as an anti-imperialist syndicalist vehemently apposed to any mockery of “democracy” that doesn’t begin and end on the factory floor.

Oh sure, Bernie says all the right shit and voted No on a couple bloodbaths, but when push comes to shove, he’ll vote for any atrocity sanctioned by the Democratic Party, whether it’s starving half a million children to death in Iraq under Clinton or sending half of Africa to hell through the black hole of that rapist’s wife’s Libyan no-fly-zone. And this is largely what defines Bernie’s absolute lack of character. In spite of his populist pleasing Independent pedigree, like all social democrats, Bernie is a creature of the party. The party, the party, the party, all else falls beneath the godlike benevolence of the party, including the peasants, fuck, especially the peasants. If the party wants a war, the party gets a war. If the party deems it necessary, they’ll feed the war-shy proletariat to the Freikorps dogs like puppy-chow, and Bernie will loosen the leashes.

Trump Toilet Paper

This is what makes the powers-at-be’s Bernie Derangement Syndrome so goddamn vexing to me. This is the limp-wristed prick who stood silent with that goofy Chucky Cheese grin and his hands in his pockets while Hillary the Barbarian pegged his young supporters out of one rigged primary after another. The bitch cheated on him worse than Bill at a Weight Watchers convention, and he still fucking endorsed her. What is so damn scary about a devoted pussy who has never once taken a serious stand against his ungrateful party? Are the so-called centrists really so greedy for the crown that they’d rather lose with Biden than win with Bernie? Or is their something bigger to this electoral mental illness?

I think the only quasi-logical answer to this question lies among the riving young throngs of America’s other electoral class inflicted with BDS, my longtime frenemies, the Sandernistas. Young, intelligent, yet almost stupidly loyal, these kids follow Bernie like battered Pitbulls trailing Michael Vick. No matter how many times that old bastard sets them up to get fucked in the rape-cage, they follow, limping and bleeding, they follow. But unlike their duplicitous master, these kids are the real fucking deal. Much like the unsung better half of Trump’s deplorables, this set is sick to death of the very wars their sensei condones and commits. And unlike Miyagi, Daniel-son likes to kick ass.

AOC

This was proven to be fantastically true when a few diehard Sandernistas actually managed to crash congress. AOC may have learned to play good dog to that million dollar plastic surgery disaster, Nancy Pelosi, but the Muslim half of the Squad has proven to be an epic migraine headache for warmongers on both sides of the aisle. And what’s even scarier than the veiled scourge of little Ilhan the Great, is Bernie’s former DNC rep, Tulsi Gabbard, who has actually launched a legitimately revolutionary campaign, I believe in a semi-successful Kamikaze mission designed to push Bernie into a more consistent antiwar direction. This madness simply can’t stand. The children of the revolution are out of control. So their dickless leader has to go, by hook or by crook.

Pelosi

The saddest thing about the many faces of Bernie Derangement Syndrome is that it exposes the very flaws that keep a legitimately dangerous movement from achieving the kind of revolution they so clearly crave. Much like their parents in the new America First movement, these kids wanna burn Babylon to the ground for its sins, but they’re just too goddamned shackled by the learned helplessness of statist hegemony to realize that they don’t need a deflateable cult of personality to achieve this. Like much of America in these all-or-nothing days, it takes me back to that ultimate allegory for post-imperial nihilism, Breaking Bad. I just want to slap these sweet babies and tell them, You are the danger, children! It is you, not your surrogate Walter White’s who are the ones who knock. Stop being little Pinkmans and burn this meth lab of an empire to the ground with Heisenberg in it. Sometimes I feel like a genderfuck Mike Ehrmantraut. No more half measures, dearest motherfuckers. We need a real revolution, not another empty handed charade.

H Clinton

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Nicky Reid is an agoraphobic anarcho-genderqueer gonzo blogger from Central Pennsylvania and assistant editor for Attack the System. You can find her online at Exile in Happy Valley.

Millions Drop Dead As Brexit Finalized

UNITED KINGDOM—As Brexit was finalized today, millions of Britons instantly dropped dead.

“Upon returning to the dystopian nightmare of self-determination and not being ruled by an elite group of unelected bureaucrats, millions died on the spot,” said an NHS spokesperson. According to official reports, millions gathered to scream at the sky but instantly died instead. “It is as though millions of voices suddenly cried out at once but were suddenly silenced.”

“They simply… lost the will to live,” he added somberly. “You might say they died of a broken heart.”

Remain voters said they tried to warn Brexit supporters that this would happen, but they didn’t listen. “We were very clear that everyone would die in the event of leaving the EU, and look what happened,” said London citizen Gaylord Mumfordshire III as he lay on his death bed. “EU… forever!” Mumfordshire III then breathed his last. There’s actually a cure for death by Brexit that could have saved him, but he was on an NHS wait list.

The surviving UK subjects aren’t sure what they’re going to do, though some said they’re going to go to Disneyland now that they’re not limited to that fake, knock-off European Disneyland.

Many had thought that die-hard Remainers would simply hold their breath, or more reasonably simply move to the EU and keep their EU citizenship and passport. They could have simply sung the European anthem of the Ode to Joy. But, no…

EU in the mud