Youtopia is dedicated to the proposition that our…
Thomas Jefferson: “We in America do not have government by the majority—we have government by the majority who participate…. All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
It’s time to force the issue. It’s time to force the corporate-serving media to allow real public debates in prime time. (See Part 1 here) And just so there is no confusion, the current series of democratic primary debates are not what I had in mind. Once again the mendacious television media take turns hosting the debates, they also provide the questions and determine the amount of time for answers and the smug, officious hosts do not allow for true courtroom-style objections, retorts or controversial issues not cleared by the network. The January 2020 house and senate hearings on the impeachment of Donald Trump is another example of how NOT to have a debate. The members were not allowed to challenge other members during their time with the microphone—lame. Why hide information? Rhetorical question, I realize, better question is why does the public let their “representative” politicians hide information?
So how do we “FORCE” them, you ask? We humiliate them. We humiliate the media by constantly confronting their roving reporters, the network anchors, the correspondents, the pundits, the special guests, the show’s producers, the local and national network owners in public, why are you guys not covering crucial news stories? This can only be possible by people who are in the know, who bother to educate themselves on deeper levels, who know how to do research and whose passion for social justice fuels their ire. Of course this strategy involves no violence or even rudeness, just persistence and good timing. The activist citizen(s) needs to be very knowledgeable about the topics of which they are going to challenge the media. A smidgeon of courage doesn’t hurt.
James Madison: “A well-instructed people alone can be permanently a free people.”
The further we fall into dystopia the more we hear people calling for a revolution or talking nonsense about how we are plunging into a second civil war. My thoughts and responses are always the same: what exactly, who exactly are we supposed to be revolting against? Of course most woke people have learned long ago that the oligarchs like nothing more than to see working-class conservatives and liberals at each other’s throats. The obvious flaw in following this ruse is that most conservatives and liberals are debt slaves that do real work, which is the only thing that actually adds value to money, and cooperate to get their jobs done. They sit in the same traffic jams while the well-paid pundits and network bosses fly overhead in private jets.
The right wing mouthpieces who urge their listeners to hate liberals are surrounded in their studios with other right
wing zealots so they spend the day preaching to the choir and feeling very comfortable and heroic. The same applies to liberal pundits who in a more subtle way urge their listeners to disavow right wing ideology, but stop short of being too critical of the very top level plutocratic rulers and the corporate sponsors both left and right media empires seduce. Their hubris comes from the comfort of their ivory towers and knowing they don’t have to go out into the world and work side-by-side with conservatives, or even real progressives for that matter. Since I like to know what’s going on and thus feel the need to hear both sides I can honestly say the right haters are more direct, the left haters are more articulate and nuanced. It’s battle axe vs. katana.
Which is why we need to force debates on public airwaves so everyone can listen to qualified people argue out the issues without qualms—without CFR approval. The obvious question is, what makes someone “qualified?” This shouldn’t be that hard to solve, the main thing is we can’t let the host media network be the ones who decided who is qualified or not or we will be in the same place as we already are in now, with faux debates led by corporate-vetted pundits and correspondents. Anyone should qualify as long as the person is knowledgeable on the subject and is skilled at argumentation, that they should feel passionate about the topic goes without saying.
The televised debates must include a venue for immediate real-time, on-line comments so that everyone and the program directors can see how other people are receiving and reacting to the points and counterpoints. This would also be the place where the commenters and program directors can learn about other future topics and debaters. There should be a program ombudsman so people can air their protestations and grievances. The program directors, moderators and ombudsman should be subject to non-confidence recall. The debaters need not have a university degree, but be able to demonstrate knowledge of the subject, be able to articulate this knowledge and should be well versed in the art of argumentation.
The first example I can give comes fresh from February 14, 2020 viewing of Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO. Maybe he was a rabble rouser at the beginning with Politically Incorrect, a thorn in the side of the establishment at one time, but life has been too good for too long for MR. Maher as he has clearly become something of an elitist, a haughty, superior, often chastising his audience for not laughing at the right moments. Maher is passing himself off as an erudite, well-informed liberal, and I guess if Hillary Clinton is a liberal then Maher is too. A true progressive he is not.
Maher is obviously trying to appeal to the oligarchs he rubs elbows with or smokes weed with. I have no problem with his pot smoking, it’s common, but his ranting about Trump borders on paranoia. His weekly guests make up a who’s who of the exact mainstream media and public figures who represent the oligarchy. Maher also brags about donating a million dollars to Barak Obama and then again to Hillary Clinton (see video below). His point that billionaires mainly donate to republicans is accurate, but Maher needs to understand that his centrist liberal party is not center, it’s as pro war and pro globalist as the right.
One has only to see there are many globalist billionaires donating to candidate Pete Buttigieg, not to mention that former republican, and George W. Bush supporter, Michael Bloomberg is a multi-billionaire trying to buy the democratic nomination and succeeding. Democratic candidate Tom Steyer is a billionaire, and Maher not long ago suggested that billionaire Opra Winfrey should run. Buying your way to the throne is exactly what the founders were hoping would not be inflicted upon future generations.
Benjamin Franklin: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
A couple other things that he said that make me wish I could debate Maher in public: one, after Trump’s surprising win over his gal Hillary, Maher saw fit to come on his show and chastise progressives for not caving into the coronation of Queen Hillary soon enough. He thinks the die-hard Bernie Sanders voters would automatically vote blue no matter who. He blamed Bernie, Bernie’s fans and Russia for Hillary’s embarrassing loss and did not lay blame where it belonged, at Hillary Clinton for running an inept campaign, at the feet of the democratic leadership for undermining an obviously decent man who most likely would have defeated Donald Trump. President Sanders will need tremendous help from all of us in order to realize his benevolent dream for all of us.
To advocate that Vladimir Putin and Russia had more to do with interfering with our election than the democratic leadership is ludicrous. Maher might have missed the part of the debates where Hillary said, if elected, she would give orders to enforce a no fly zone over Syria. Clue in Maher, progressives and many conservatives want peace, no exceptions and we will always vote against war mongers and Goldman Sachs sycophants, ALWAYS.
It should be of no surprise that HBO (Real Time with Bill Maher) is owned by Warner Media a giant conglomerate owned by AT&T which has partnered with the NSA to spy on Americans. So let’s review: the huge mega media conglomerate Time Warner was bought by AT&T for $108.7 billion in June 2018. The new media conglomerate Warner Media owns HBO, among many other media icons, and AT&T bought Direct TV in 2014 for $48.5 billion. My wife and I watch Bill Maher’s show Real Time on HBO, which is on Direct TV aka, Warner Media, aka AT&T aka NSA. Nice job Bill, get in line behind Rush Limbaugh for your presidential medal of freedom. No wonder his guests are regularly sourced from Washington Post, New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, with an eclectic mix of venal politicians just liberal enough to fool some of his studio and television audiences—sometimes.
Bill Maher really showed his elitist leanings when on several occasions, being so paranoid about Trump he said a “recession” would be a good thing because the only thing upholding Trump’s continued support was the “strong” economy. We can discuss strong for whom, Wall St. or working class another time. But think about Maher’s statement, that Americans need a recession if that’s what it takes to get rid of Trump! If that’s not elitist and sociopathic then Donald Trump’s gold filigree apartment palace is not gauche.
So in a truly free country that actually allows and encourages real debate I would publicly challenge Bill Maher. In the debate I would ask him: how much money do you make annually? How much are you worth now? Is your house or houses paid for? Tell us how a recession would hurt you in any visceral way, and if so how? I would ask him if he had any idea how many people lost their homes to banks during the last recession, how many people lost their savings, how many families were broken up in divorce due to the financial stress? He, in turn, can ask me about my financial portfolio and I will be glad to answer just as soon as I figure out what that means.
Maher is an elitist, not yet a plutocrat, but a servant to oligarchy. Whether he started out as one or not, whether he is right-on most of the time and even funny often times or not. He seems to be reflecting the positions of his HBO bosses more and more these days. My wife and I will continue to watch his show–on the NSA channel.
The real crimes of the media is that the most crucial issues we face, and the events that cause the most problems and grief are often given short shrift while non-essential topics are encouraged and debated ad nauseam. Anthropocentric global warming is probably the biggest issue facing humanity today and will surely become even more critical each and every day. Despite the obvious natural disasters and colossal weather extremes we see and feel each day there is still no agreement as to what is causing the earth to behave so irascibly.
One would think we should be able to rely on science to explain what is happening and what measure we should take to remediate the causes of catastrophic fires, extreme temperature fluctuations, flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, drought, tornadoes, and otherwise miserable, inclement weather. The fact of the matter is we do have plenty of science and scientists who do say they know what is causing it and do know how to mitigate the deleterious domino effects, but there are far too many people who distrust the science, distrust the scientists. They offer up their own scientists with their own convincing science to counter the claims of anthropocentric global warming. Here is the result of a query to Wikipedia: how many of the world’s scientist believe in anthropogenic global warming.
Surveys of scientists’ views on climate change– with a focus on human-caused or anthropogenic global warming (AGW) – have been undertaken since the 1990s. A 2016 paper (which was co-authored by Naomi Oreskes, Peter Doran, William Anderegg, Bart Verheggen, Ed Maibach, J. Stuart Carlton and John Cook, and which was based on a half a dozen independent studies by the authors) concluded that “the finding of 97% consensus [that humans are causing recent global warming] in published climate research is robust and consistent with other surveys of climate scientists and peer-reviewed studies.”
So if 97 percent believe in AGW, then that leaves three percent not believing it. The trouble is those three percent and those who wish to believe them are sure they are right, are sure global warming is a democratic or globalist conspiracy and are very vociferous. That’s fine, let’s debate it in public with the most qualified scientists. Global warming is the perfect candidate for the very first prime time debate of something that truly matters.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am not qualified to engage in such a debate, but from my laymen’s mind I can add this: Since it is true there are around seven billion people on this planet, and, by varying degrees, are extracting cold, sequestered carbon-based oil, gas and coal and turning that material into energy producing heat and toxic by-products; if it is not causing global warming, what exactly is the effect of this transformation of inert cold carbon to heat, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and other by-products? You would have to be daft to say it has NO effect, so the question is what effect is it having?
The follow up question I would ask is do you think 97 percent of the world’s scientists are engaged in a global conspiracy against capitalism? Once again for the purpose of this article, no one has to agree with anthropogenic global warming, but considering the viability of our planet is at stake, everyone should want to hear real debates with qualified people on this subject, courtroom-type debates where objections and counterpoints can immediately be offered. Of course visual and audio aids are welcome in the Arena.
Another topic that needs vigorous public debate is religion, and I plan on dedicating an entire blog post to that subject later. For now obvious topics can revolve around the three Abrahamic religions, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Each of these is subject to its own internecine differences. For instance the oldest, Judaism, contains the Torah, the Talmud and Kabbala, adherents are Semites, Ashkenazis, Orthodox, Zionists, etc. Christians have many sects, but the best debates we never hear would include the Gnostic scriptures that the early bishop Irenaeus campaigned to stomp out, and the non-trinity belief of Arianism, a belief that God was God and Jesus was Jesus viewpoint that Pagan ruler Constantine would not allow to be heard at the “First Ecumenical Council” in Nicaea, in modern day Turkey on May 20, 325. In fact this shows just how old is the attempt by rulers to eliminate debate. Islam has two major sects, Shi’a and Sunni, neither of which I am qualified to talk about, which is why I would love to hear qualified people debate all religions. As for Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and various other religions, the more we know the more enlightened we become. And what religious debate would be fair without letting atheists have their say.
My interest in religion centers on the fact all or nearly all indigenous peoples were/are spiritual and believe in a universal spirit that is manifest in nature. I lean along these beliefs and would ask the institutionalized religions, those who zealously claim God chose their clan, to only look up at the night sky and ponder the expanse of God’s unbounded universe, consider the incalculable expanse of our Milky Way galaxy and factor in there are hundreds of billions of galaxies that we know of, and even possible parallel universes, and then try to convince anyone the God of all the universe came to our little world exclusively and declared anyone, any tribe, any institution as THE CHOSEN ones, the only ones qualified to speak on God’s behalf–with authority. This is childish, myopic, narcissistic thinking. Just look up at night and see for yourself.
Arian Conflict with Orthodox Doctrine
Arianism, named for the priest Arius of Alexandria, rejected church teachings that Christ was truly God, i.e. a rejection of the Trinity. Arius taught that only “The Father” is true God and that Christ, the “Logos” had a beginning but was the first and most perfect of all beings. He took his teachings, in part, from Colossians, in which Paul refers to Christ as, “the first born of all creation.”
Before moving on to other crucial topics that desperately need debating in the very public arena, lets use sports contests as an analogy many of us can understand. The reason we just had a Super Bowl was to determine if the Kansas City Chiefs or San Francisco 49rs were the best NFL team. Imagine if we just let pundits from both teams spout their statistics and make bold claims that their team was undeniably the best but that they never had to actually face each other. The physical contests in sports we are allowed to have is in contrast to the intellectual contests we are not allowed to.
Imagine if Muhamad Ali and Joe Frazier never had to actually fight, if they only had to show their speed and power against a punching bag? Imagine if that’s how a boxing match was decided?
Sticking with the sports metaphor just a moment longer, ESPN has an actual debate show called First Take, the star of the show is Stephen A. Smith, his counterpart is Max Kellerman, the host is Molly Qerim. This is not just another sports show, it’s a debate show where the two mentioned almost always take opposite sides and vociferously go at each other. These fellows are skilled at the art of argumentation, both have a command of the vocabulary and neither likes to back down. Thankfully Ms. Qerim knows how to reign her boys in.
The irony is these are real debates, about real people doing real things, trying their hardest to win their games, but the importance of winning a game is relatively minimal compared to the consequences of getting information that leads to war wrong, for instance. Who is the greatest ever at putting a ball through a net is really not that important in the bigger scheme of things. Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl, wonderful for all involved, fans, etc., but that doesn’t change the climate for the better, doesn’t reduce corruption, doesn’t stop racism, bigotry and social injustice. Patrick Mahomes Super Bowl MVP is slated to make $40 million a year. I love watching him, he’s a natural. Yet I’m not sure society has is values straight when someone can make $40 million a year because it just so damn important to put that ball across that line painted on the grass, or drop a round ball through a net when the people teaching our children are lucky to make $40 thousand a year.
I’m not ragging on sports despite all that. Watching sports on rainy days beats the hell out of watching the political pundits on the various networks spew nonsense unchallenged. The athletes, coaches and supporting casts including the debaters get paid what the fans are willing to pay and it’s a lot. The problem is the major networks encourage endless debates on sports while not allowing any real debate on critical issues, for instance whenever the oligarchy wants to convince the people we need to invade yet another country or pay $800 billion a year for the war machine, instead of real debates on war we get faux debates by an eclectic assortment of corporate loyal pundits setting the stage for bi-partisan political agreement. This is how the duopoly works, one side opposes the other side so often, so acrimoniously that when both parties see fit to agree on something, most often war, then it looks legitimate and the rules of conformity state clearly, when both parties agree to war, the public must agree also.
In the second paragraph I suggested the best method of forcing real debates is to humiliate the media rabble and here’s how. Pick a subject you are very knowledgeable about that is extremely important to you, to all of us, it goes without saying it will be highly controversial and potentially damaging to a particular plutocrat or group of oligarchs or they wouldn’t be afraid to discuss it along with all the other inane topics they beat to death. When you have one or more “sensitive” topics in your ammo belt, challenge the “journalist” of your choice as to why they have not reported it, or why not accurately?
For instance, the most horrific, violent and geopolitically changing event in our time was the attacks of September 11, 2001. Three thousand died unthinkable, ghastly deaths instantly, at least that many continue to die from the toxic air which billowed up in south Manhattan, some 6,000 US troops have been brutally killed in Afghanistan and Iraq as a result of 9/11. More service men and women than that have taken their own lives, it’s still averaging 20 suicides everyday! Perhaps more than 500,000 Iraqi’s, Afghans, Pakistanis have been slaughtered, driven from their homes. The refugee crisis from those war-savaged Middle Eastern countries has spawned anti-immigration and anti Muslim feelings throughout Europe and the U.S. The wars and suffering have spread far and wide, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Turkey. Our taxpayer dollars needed for infrastructure at home are used to build military bases (some 800 bases worldwide +/-) and create more weapons of mass destruction. Yet, this event like no other in history, except maybe the Kennedy assassination, has not been debated as it should have been, as it still needs to be.
As providence would have it, just recently February 18, 2020, Donald Trump pardoned Bernard Kerik, the NYC police commissioner–Rudy Giuliani’s 9/11 partner in crime–is the one who’s police allegedly found a passport from one of the hijackers Satam al-Suqami in the smoldering rubble. There is no way in hell a passport could survive the crash and be found conveniently in the rubble. The media needs to explain this a little better, especially with Kerik’s pending release by Trump. While we’re at it, Trump’s ghoulish lawyer Rudy Giuliani is on video stating the towers were going to fall, this is particularly interesting because no steel framed building has ever suffered such a collapse before or after despite much worse fires. Also, worse, if he knew it was coming down why didn’t he, as Mayor of NYC, warn everybody he could? It’s not too late to ask these questions. If you’re up on this, the NIST said the planes didn’t cause the buildings to fall, they claimed the jet fuel fires caused the office furniture to weaken the steel.
Listen closely at 1:50
I am not trying to turn this into a 9/11 truther platform, but it’s been 19 years since that tragic event and in that time there has been an overwhelming abundance of incriminating evidence compiled, documented, reviewed, discussed and catalogued by scientists, engineers, architects and layman alike. There are peer reviewed scientific studies, mountains of physical evidence and eye-witness testimony by first responders in real time. There are scores of books to read and videos to review. Ask yourself if you were aware Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III were on the board of directors for Securacom/Stratesec, a Kuwaiti owned security agency with contracts at WTC, Dulles and United Airlines? When you realize you didn’t know that but should have known that, then find a way to ask that question to your plutocrat media pundit–and congressional corporate representative.
Ask them if they knew about this bizarre connection and if they say they didn’t then you can ask them why they didn’t when it is relatively well documented information? If they claim they did know about it ask why their network didn’t think it was important to tell Americans that the president’s brother was part of the security for the WTC center, even after massive doubts were raised by Scholars for 9/11 Truth, Architects and Engineers, hundreds of other organizations. Why would a news organization broadcast so much inane garbage daily and decide to leave this extremely important information out?
Ask the media why they chose not to mention George Herbert Walker Bush was with the Bin Laden brothers at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in D.C. the day before 9/11, or in other words, the same day Donald Rumsfeld announced the Pentagon could not track or account for $2.3 Trillion dollars. The video below just scratches the surface of the information the mainstream media either were too inept to find out, or made an executive decision to not show the public and to not allow debates on this crucial information. Please have the courage to watch these and do some research. This is your chance to catch up and learn just how corrupt the oligarchy has always been. More about Giuliani and Kerik in this video.
So here’s how humiliating the media oligarchs could work, one or more, preferably many more citizens chase down a media representative and ask them these questions, make sure you do your research first, there’s years worth, but ask them why they didn’t think it was newsworthy that George W. Bush’s dad was sitting with the brothers of Osama Bin Laden as members of the military industrial war-is-profit investor corporation, Carlyle Group, while Bush’s brother Marvin and his cousin Wirt, were or had just prior to the attack, provided security for the very same buildings that were attacked, and most assuredly fell at free fall rate, something physically impossible without the resistance of the steel being artificially removed. If you’ve watched the videos linked you will see it is so.
So you ask these very important questions and if they say they don’t know what you’re talking about you can produce a mountain of evidence to bury them with and then ask them what kind of a journalist, working for what kind of media empire would not have researched every aspect of this brutal slaughter that launched never ending wars and has so far cost taxpayers $5.9 Trillion. Their credibility as a news source would evaporate. If they claimed they knew but didn’t think it was important, or that their findings proved the stories false, then you challenge them to debate this and you counter with the evidence. If they have nothing to hide they would welcome the debate if nothing else as a chance to settle the matter once and for all. They won’t allow a debate, they don’t dare, unless we force them.
I can tie this refusal to engage in debate about 9/11 on a local level. Seattle’s Dori Monson, a right wing radio talk show host on KIRO radio, a CBS News affiliate, decided he was going to put a stop to this 9/11 truther nonsense once and for all. He invited a debunker, probably from Popular Mechanics. This establishment magazine’s attempt to debunk 9/11 truth is itself completely debunked. It was far too long ago so I can’t be sure of the person Monson chose to set us all straight, but I got involved because I was sending research material on the background of the history of the Caspian Sea pipeline project, known as Centgas, to a local Washington University professor and member of Scholars for 9/11 Truth. Again, this was a decade and a half ago so can’t remember his name and wouldn’t reveal it without his permission anyway. To Monson’s credit he wanted his truth gladiator to debate the local Scholar for 9/11 Truth; his guest was under the assumption he was going to come on Monson’s show and be free to spew his propaganda unchallenged. I anticipated this show more than ever because 9/11 was going to finally be debated on radio, and I had a small part to play in preparing the Scholar for 9/11 Truth. Lo and Behold, when the so-called debunker found out he was going to have to actually debate someone who knew the subject he opted out. This cowardly act by his guest angered Dori Monson and rightfully so, he had been crowing all week how his guest was going to set everybody straight and end the nonsense from the conspiracy theorists.
Whether you think this 9/11 truth is real or an unfounded conspiracy theory, you should at least not be afraid to hear the experts debate it in a public forum on prime time, Ali, vs. Frazier. Just the smattering of evidence I’ve presented here should be enough to inspire one to dig deeper. We will all come away knowing a lot more. Ask yourself why very few people have never even heard about the third building that collapsed at free fall that day, a skyscraper that wasn’t hit by a jet liner. And ask yourself if Osama Bin Laden took credit for the attack, why didn’t he crow about taking down the Jewish named “Solomon Building” by collateral damage? Was this an oversight on his part, did he also not know it fell?
World Trade Center No. 7, aka, the Solomon Building is considered THE SMOKING GUN of 9/11 and that’s why you’ve never heard of it.
If you are one of those who say “someone would have said something,” they did, right at the time, and this video is but one of many of the first responders talking about other bombs going off. Do your research like all good citizens should and find the multitudes of eyewitness accounts of controlled demolition.
The point of bringing all this up is many, many people are realizing we are living in a collapsing civilization where the rule of law has become the rule of money. The media exists in its present form, not to inform, but to entangle us in confusion and disunion. The left vs. right is artificially inflamed in order to take attention away from the oligarchs and to ensure one or the other of their vetted oligarch-approved, CFR, sanctioned candidates is always in power. The only thing we have is to force debate, the only way to force debate is to use whatever leverage we have, the greatest leverage we have is the truth about what happened on 9/11, it’s time we forced the oligarchs to debate it.
The media likes to call us “consumers.” Remember, we are Citizens in a Society, first, not consumers in an economy. We all have to believe what we know and what we do matters.