Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Police Are Rioting.... Reflections on Pittsburgh

David Rovics

If any elements of the corporate media have been paying any attention
to what's been happening on the streets of Pittsburgh over the past
few days I haven't noticed, so I thought I'd write my own account.

There is a popular assumption asserted ad nauseum by our leaders in
government, by our school text books and by our mainstream media
that although many other countries don't have freedom of speech and
freedom of assembly such as Iran or China we do, and it's what
makes us so great. Anybody who has spent much time trying to exercise
their First Amendment rights in the US now or at any other time since
1776 knows first-hand that the First Amendment looks good on paper
but has little to do with reality.

Dissent has never really been tolerated in the USA. As we've seen in
recent election cycles even just voting for a Democratic presidential
candidate and having your vote count can be quite a challenge as
anyone who has not had their head in sand knows, Bush lost both
elections and yet kept his office fraudulently twice. But for those
who want to exercise their rights beyond the government-approved
methods that is, their right to vote for one of two parties, their
right to bribe politicians ( lobby ) if they have enough money, or
their right to write a letter to the editor in the local
Murdoch-owned rag, if it hasn't closed shop yet the situation is
far worse.

Let's go back in history for a minute. After the victory of the
colonies over Britain in the Revolutionary War, the much-heralded US
Constitution included no rights for citizens other than the rights of
the landed gentry to run the show. This changed as a direct result of
a years-long rebellion of the citizens of western Massachusetts that
came to be known as Shays' Rebellion. Shays' Rebellion scared the
pants off the powers-that-be and they did what the powers-that-be do
and have always done all over the world passed some reforms in
order to avert a situation where the rich would lose more than just
western Massachusetts. They passed the Bill of Rights.

Fast forward more than a century. Ostensibly this great democracy had
had the Bill of Rights enshrined in law for quite a long time now. Yet
in 1914 a supporter of labor unionism could not make a soapbox speech
on a sidewalk in this country without being beaten and arrested by
police for the crime of disturbing the peace, blocking the sidewalk
or whatever other nonsense the cops made up at the time.

If you read the mainstream media of the day you would be likely to
imagine that these labor agitators trying to give speeches on the
sidewalks of Seattle or Los Angeles were madmen bent on the
destruction of civilization. Yet it is as a direct result of these
brave fighters that we have things like Social Security, a minimum
wage, workplace safety laws, and other reforms that led, at least
until the Reagan Revolution, to this country having a thriving
middle class (the lofty term we use when we're referring to working
class people who can afford to go to college and buy a house).

Reforms are won due to these struggles proof over and over that
democracy is, more than anything, in the streets. Yet the fundamental
aspect of these social movements that have shaped our society these
social movements that have at least sometimes and to some degree
ultimately been praised by the ruling clique and their institutions,
such as the Civil Rights movement freedom of speech and assembly,
remain a criminal offense.

Fast forward another century to Pittsburgh, 2009. For those who may
have thought that the criminalization of dissent was to be a hallmark
of the Bush years, think again. Dissent was a criminal offense before
Bush, and it quite evidently still is today.

I was born in 1967, so I can't comment first-hand on things that
happened far from the suburbs where I grew up as a kid, but I can
tell you unequivocally from direct experience that I have witnessed
police riots before, during, and since the Bush years. Most recently,
last Friday in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (If you want to read about
previous police riots I have witnessed go to


In a nutshell, here's how it went down. I drove to Pittsburgh from a
gig in Allentown the night before, all the while listening to BBC,
NPR, CNN, etc. on my satellite radio. Naturally, the coming G20 talks
in Pittsburgh were in the news. The most powerful people in the world,
the leaders of the world's richest nations, were meeting in Pittsburgh
to decide the fate of the planet, to decide how to deal with the
economic crisis, the climate crisis, and other crises caused by
industrial capitalism gone mad, crises which affect each and every
one of us intimately, crises about which many of us naturally want to
do something crises about which we would at least like to voice our

Notably absent from the news coverage is anything about the lawsuits
that the ACLU had to file in order to force the local authorities to
allow any demonstrations or marches to happen at all. Permits applied
for months ago by state senators, peace groups, women's groups and
others were only granted in the past couple weeks. Many other permits
were never granted. It doesn't say anything about applying for a
permit in the First Amendment, and in many other more democratic
countries than ours no permit is required for citizens to assemble.
In many European countries where I have spent a lot of time, if
citizens choose to have an assembly in the streets the role of the
police is to escort the march in order to divert traffic and keep
things safe, and no permit is required. But not in the US not in
Philadelphia or Los Angeles in 2000, not in Miami in 2003, not in
Denver or St. Paul in 2008 and not in Pittsburgh last week.

While various progressive organizations were trying hard to work with
the intransigent authorities, other groups took the sensible (but in
the US dangerous) position that this is supposed to be a democracy
and we should not need to apply for a permit so that the authorities
could tell us where and when we could and could not protest.

The first nonpermitted march that I heard about was Thursday
afternoon. I should mention that I heard about it, but only with a
certain amount of difficulty, because I and many other people I
talked to in Pittsburgh were having strange problems with our cell
phones, problems which started in whatever states we came from and
continued in Pittsburgh right up until yesterday. People I talked to
friends and fellow engaged members of society such as Cindy
Sheehan, Joshua White, Sarah Wellington and others reported the
same phenomenae. Every time one of us would receive a call we
couldn't hear the callers, though we could hear our own voices
echoing back to us. When we'd call back it usually would work then.
Coincidence? Sure, maybe.

Reports I heard over the phone on Thursday from people I talked to
were in between bouts of catching breath and running from the police.
Reports on the local media (the only mainstream media doing any
serious coverage of the protests, as usual, mainly because they were
intimately connected to the traffic reports) said the police were
restrained (what else are they supposed to be?) until the march
reached a certain point, at which time it was declared to be an
unlawful assembly and the crowd was dispersed. How? There was no

Usually and outrageously enough whether in North America, Europe
or other places I've been, if there's a meeting of the global elite
happening you are not allowed in unless you're part of the gang or
you're a lobbyist or a (officially-sanctioned) journalist. Usually a
perimeter is formed by the police, Secret Service, FBI, and whichever
other intelligence agencies are there, that you can't cross. This
was also the case in Pittsburgh, but like Miami in 2003, St. Paul in
2008, and other occasions in recent years, the authorities were not
just being on the defensive and maintaining a perimeter around the
meetings. They were on the offensive.

If this happened in Iran or China it would be called martial law
but here in America we never have martial law, apparently, even when
the military and the police are jointly patrolling the streets with
armored vehicles and weapons of all descriptions and attacking people
for the crime of being on the streets. Any gathering other than the
permitted march (which was a great, festive march involving many
thousands of participants from all walks of life, albeit with a
ridiculously large, armored and menacing police escort ) was
declared an unlawful assembly and then attacked. I saw it myself on
Thursday night and then again, much worse, on Friday night.

And what kind of unlawful assembly are we talking about? Hundreds of
students and other folks, a few of whom may have broken a window or
two at some point during the evening in the course of being pursued
by violence-prone riot police, who were ultimately gathering on the
grass on the campus of the university in the Oakland district of
Pittsburgh. They had no weapons, they were unarmed, mostly youth,
mostly college students from various parts of the country, along with
perhaps an equal group of local college students, most of whom were
just curious and didn't even have anything to do with the protests
many of whom in fact were just wondering what there is to protest
about! They soon found out one thing to protest about police
brutality and active suppression of our Constitutional rights.

I have no doubt that the Pittsburgh police (and cops present from, of
all places, Miami as well as other cities) will in the end have
radicalized many local students who had previously been apolitical,
and for this I applaud them.

On Friday night I went to a free concert a local community radio
station was hosting on the campus. It ended around 8 pm. Over the
course of the next two hours there were more and more riot cops
arriving. Why? Because they knew what I knew that a few hundred
young folks were planning on gathering on the green at 10 pm, many of
whom came by bicycle, after having engaged in a criminal, nonpermitted
mass bike ride around the city. Around 9:30 I had to leave to go to a
different neighborhood, and I returned in my rental car around 11 pm
along with Cindy, Joshua and Sarah.

If the police had made announcements for everyone to disperse (as I'm
sure they had at some point) we were too late for that. What we
arrived in the midst of was a police riot. We parked on the street in
front of the campus and walked on the sidewalk on the campus. Within
seconds we saw a young man on a bicycle, a student at that very
university, being violently tackled by two riot cops, thrown down to
the ground with the police on top of him. All of the police all of
the time were dressed in black armor head to toe, many of them
driving armored vehicles. Earlier in the evening Cindy and Joshua and
I were hanging around one of the armored vehicles while Cindy harassed
the cops and soldiers strutting around there, telling them her son
died in Iraq because he didn't have an armored vehicle like this one.
(They studiously ignored her, of course.)

The young man with the two cops on top of him and his bicycle cried
for help, perhaps not realizing that there wasn't much anyone could
do other than take his name, which he was too freaked out to
pronounce in a way that anybody could understand. Within seconds we
found ourselves running from a group of cops, along with a bunch of
young folks who had their hands in the air, hoping vainly that this
might deter the police from attacking them. It didn't. Off the
campus, a block away, police were running in groups in different
directions, penning people in, throwing them to the ground, hitting
them with clubs, handcuffing them and arresting them.

The four of us (an affinity group I suppose) got separated. Sarah and
I were running and were about to be boxed in by police coming in
different directions. After I was myself clubbed in the back by a cop
with his truncheon, we ducked into the front of the lobby of the
Holiday Inn and started talking with guests, other protesters, and
various students who had also gone there because they were quite
naturally afraid to be on the streets. Fifty feet away in either
direction the police were assaulting and arresting people,
individually and in small groups, picking them off the sidewalks.

Cindy and Joshua had ended up running in a different direction,
through clouds of tear gas. They ducked around a corner just in time
to watch dozens of young people, running away, being shot
methodically with rubber-coated steel bullets in the back. One friend
of mine there from Minneapolis said he saw someone who had ten welts
on his back from being shot ten times. On both Thursday and Friday
nights the authorities used their fancy new LRAD weapons, a
sound-based weapon that causes people to flee because it hurts their
eardrums so badly. (At future demos, look out for the
noise-cancelling headphones accompanying the goggles...)

At every turn you could hear the sound of shocked students who had
never seen or heard about this sort of thing happening, who were
struggling to come to terms with what they were experiencing. They're
just attacking anybody on or near the campus, they're not
differentiating between us and the protesters! Some of them seemed to
think that it might be OK to club protesters as long as you don't club
the students, others had concluded that attacking people for hanging
out on the grass was over the top regardless. (This is not an easy
thing for a sorority girl from a wealthy suburb to come to terms
with, so I was duly impressed at hearing these heretofore clueless
youth having such epiphanies.) What was particularly entertaining was
the first-hand realization that the local students could not
themselves differentiate between their fellow students and the
other ones who had come from out of town. How could they? It is, in
fact, completely impossible to tell the difference between a college
student from Pittsburgh and one from Toledo, even if they do have
very different politics...

Eventually, by 1 am or so, Cindy and Joshua were able to move without
being fired on, and they joined Sarah and I in the comfort of the
patio at the Holiday Inn. The people who worked at the Inn, at least
some of them, were trying to keep protesters out. The thing was,
though, that if you could afford to buy a drink you were no longer a
protester, but a guest of the bar, which is what we were. A little
while before Cindy and Joshua arrived a convoy of limousines and
other fancy cars pulled up in front of the hotel, and then security
locked the doors. You could still go in or out, though, just not
without security opening the doors for you.

We continued going in and out of the bar, passing by none other than
Kevin Rudd, the Prime Minister of Australia, and his entourage, who
were all staying that night in the Holiday Inn (of all relatively
downscale places to stay!) and watching some big Australian rugby
match on TV. In our confusion at having just escaped the riot police
only to find ourselves ten feet away from the Australian Prime
Minister, Cindy, Joshua, Sarah and I were all at a complete loss as
far as what we should say to the guy. We all talked a lot about what
we could say, but by the time we were getting close to coming up with
a plan he had gone to bed.

The next day, Saturday, I joined a couple dozen friends and
acquaintances outside the county jail where people had spent the
night, waiting to get out on bond. Most folks got out on bond, others
were (and perhaps still are) being held on a higher bond, waiting for
friends and relatives and comrades to come up with the money. Talking
to people just out of jail I heard more horror stories. One man,
Gabriel, told of being kept outside between 2 and 6 am in the rain,
and then being held in a cell where he was handcuffed to a chair
along with another man, not able to stand or lay down, for 13 hours.

I left Pittsburgh in the late afternoon from the jail, heading
towards New England to continue this northeastern concert tour. In
Connecticut this morning I got a call from Cindy Sheehan, who had
just gone to the Emergency Room because she was having trouble
breathing. People around her the night before had been vomiting
profusely as a result of the tear gas. Having suffered injury in the
past from getting gassed in Quebec City, I knew exactly why she was
in the ER.

There will be lawsuits, and the lawsuits will be won. People like
Cindy and Gabriel might make a bit of money from their suffering at
the hands of the authorities. Not to worry, though the authorities
have a multi-million dollar slush fund to deal with these lawsuits.
They expect them, and they don't care. This is democracy in the USA.
It's always been like this, under Democrats or Republicans. If you
doubt me, it's quite simply because you don't know your history.

Protest, however, matters. The end of slavery, the banning of child
labor, the fact that most working class people live to be past 30
these days, is all a direct result of protest of democracy
happening in the streets. Marches, strikes, rebellions, and all
manner of other extra-parliamentary activities. The authorities are
well aware that democracy in the streets, no matter what they say
that's why dissent is criminalized. Because as soon as we are allowed
to have a taste of our own power, everything can change. It has, and
it will again, but the powers-that-be will continue to do what they
do best try hard to make sure we don't know how powerful we are.
They require the consent of the governed, the consent of those
students in Pittsburgh, and they have now lost it, at least for many
of those who were in Oakland last Friday night. They would have lost
it a lot more if they had done mass arrests or used live ammunition,
which is why they didn't do that.

We don't have freedom of speech or assembly and we never have, but it
is through all kinds of unlawful assemblies, from Shays' Rebellion
to the Civil Rights movement, that change happens. So here's to the
next Pittsburgh, wherever it may be. I hope to see you there, on the
streets, where our fate truly lies.

http://www.davidrovics.com <../../../../>







Saturday, September 26, 2009

[LivRiv] Going out with a bang -- Friday report back from the g20

Source: LivRiv @yahoo groups. Rebecca Sang

Starhawk usually reports on Protests but because of prior commitments she was not able to be in Pittsburgh. Rebecca Sang took over and did an extrememly good job and painted a great Word Picture of what went on for those of us at home.
Her reporting style and skill through her writing really comes out in her posts.
Thank You So Much for putting your life on the line in defense of our Freedom. Charley
(At the end of Rebecca's report are some great links of a Slide Show and a You Tube Video.)

Rebecca Sang:
This is her Report from the Last Day of the Marches on Friday.

This whole week I¹ve been wondering, on and off again, about why I¹m here.
Today I finally found out the reason.

We left around 11AM for a unpermitted feeder march hosted by the CMU kids
about climate change. We¹d been hoping to do our theater piece downtown
earlier that morning, as a sort of distraction action for a banner drop, but
as many things are here, things did not go as planned. Flexibility. That¹s
one trait that you either have, or cultivate, as an activist. No banner
drop, no theater piece, but no worries. We decided to pack all of our props
into our backpacks and bring them with, just in case.

The Climate Change march was perfect ‹ there was a host of kids with
marching drums there, keeping the beat and enlivening the energy, and for
the nine zillionth time I found myself wishing desperately that I had
brought a lighter drum. Jason and I did bring a drum, but we kept it in the
tent, because its deceptively heavy for its small size. In fact, after all
of the running around in the streets from the police yesterday, we¹d
lightened our packs considerably for today. We didn¹t expect too much
trouble, even with the less-than-legal marches that we were doing here and
there, but even so it seemed like a good idea.

So, the kids kept beat with the drums while other students dressed up in
hazmat suits with signs that read things like ³Climate Change, FAIL² and
³There is no Planet B² on their chests and backs. I brought the canary in
his cage out again, and many of us dressed up in our finest banner-capes
that read things like ³community,² ³change,² ³power,² and ³grow² set against
brightly colored backdrops. Infused with this kind of creative, bright,
quirky energy, we set off from the campus towards downtown, where the larger
permitted march was to begin.

Although the Climate Change march held a much different energy than the
Black Bloc march the day before, it soon showed that it, too, had claws ‹
like the claws of some sort of brightly colored rainforest-living bird of
prey, stretching its wings as it clambered through the neighborhoods of
Pittsburgh. We started on the sidewalk, took one lane of traffic, then a
second, and eventually the whole street. This, of course, brought the cops.
They spent some time zooming up and down the farthest left lane of traffic
to clear it in their cars and vans, sirens going off, but other than that
seemed content to let us go where we were going. And so, we did. We
swelled through the poor neighborhood, where our chants were met with
enthusiasm and warnings (or blessings, depending on how you look at it),
³Don¹t let them stomp you!² We swelled up into downtown past the University
of Pittsburgh, where the cops had used tear-gas on the students the night
before in order to clear out the dark courtyards, and called for them to
join us. ³It¹s our future, it¹s your future, come out, come out.² ³Off the
sidewalks and into the streets! Off the sidewalks and into the streets!²
Most of them stared at us with confused, or even excited, looks on their
faces, but did not step off the curb.

No matter. We kept going, grooving to the drum beats, holding our ground
with our three lanes (which, even though one lane was open, pretty
effectively stopped traffic. Most of the drivers seemed good-natured enough
about it, although more than one expressed their angry frustration with loud
voices and lewd hand gestures). It felt so freeing, to be marching without
lines of riot cops everywhere, to take the streets with our voices and feet,
to truly manifest the ideal of freedom of expression in a menagerie of
creative ways. And that creativity, that abundance of diverse voices, grew
exponentially once we reached the rest of the march. It was astounding.
There were all kinds of people there: labor union people wearing hard-hats
and t-shirts; Code Pink ladies with their cute fuchsia dresses and gray
hair; a whole host of Tibetans with flags and traditional garb; hula hoopers
for peace; a motley group with a huge white dove puppet; you name it, it was
there. I saw quite a few signs about universal health care, specifically
single-payer health care, as well as ones about climate change, jobs, and
economic class issues. Seeds of Peace came, too, renewed and ready to serve
the thousands ‹ literally thousands ‹ of protestors who had come. It¹s hard
to say how many people were there, but most of the estimates that I heard
were about 8,000.

Once we stepped off, we filled the streets for blocks and blocks. At the
front of the march was a group (I never found out who they were) carrying
flags for hundreds of countries, all fluttering in the breeze that
occasionally graced us with relief from the hot humid day. Behind us was
the Black Bloc, huge and intense and powerful in a way that I¹ve never seen
them before ‹ all consolidated like that, I felt like I finally understood
them in a way I never have before. Their energy is proud and strong and
direct, like a lion shaking its main, uncowed. Sometimes they would shout
things like ³Basta aqui capitalista,² a short chant that gathered power very
quickly; other times, the traditional ³Who¹s streets? Our streets!²; or,
amusingly whenever the cops were around, ³You¹re sexy, you¹re cute, take off
your riot suit!²

As we made our way further into the downtown district, the police presence
doubled, tripled, quadrupled. I thought I¹d seen lots of police before, but
I have never seen anything like this. Obama recently ended the summit with
a speech that commended how ³tranquil² this meeting was, but with 6,000
armed police officers, one can only imagine that would be the case. One
fellow on the news said that the last time Pittsburgh had as many
on-the-ground troops present was when the President sent in the national
guard to suppress the Homestead Revolt in the late 1800¹s. They were four
and five rows thick down every block, armored heavily with rubber bullets,
pepper spray, tear gas, rifles, dogs, sound cannons, batons, the works.
Every bank had a line of national guard out in front of it, and as we
approached a new intersection we would encounter SWAT humvees, tanks, the
black LRAT vehicles with their sound cannons, platoons of bike cops and
mounted cops. Even saying this cannot convey to you what it was like ‹ how
can I possibly convey what 6,000 fully armed, armored police officers is
like? It feels like marching through a tunnel of hot, bubbling, bristling
imminent danger. Nah, too abstract. It feels like your insides are being
pressed in from the energy of it, as if the walls were closing in on you.
Nah. I guess its not something you can really get from reading about it.
Maybe some of these pictures
ogallery/) will help. At any rate, it was way more police than one would
have imagined for a permitted march, or really for anything short of an
invasion of extra-terrestrial beings.

At one point a couple of us decided it was time for a yummy espresso break,
and went off from the mid-point rally in seek of it. The only thing open
downtown ‹ quite literally, the only thing open in the most bustling part of
the city, in spite of whatever economic woes the g20 was there to address ‹
was a Dunken Donuts. This, in and of itself, is a sad sad thing.
Nonetheless, that¹s the way it was, so I was forced to put my inner
coffee-snob aside and just do it. On the way there, we saw a group of cops
motivating towards one part of the street, and decided to go take a look.
Coming towards us, solid and proud but in a totally different way than our
masked companions, marched a band of protestors from Africa. There were
about 20 of them, coming very intentionally and illegally up the street,
another feeder march for the big permitted march. Like the student feeder
march, the police were leaving them alone ‹ but in a much more potentially
volatile area, nearer to the convention center, and near all the centers of
finance that the powers that be were so determined to protect. I watched
them with quiet awe as they chanted and walked up towards us, some wrapped
in traditional garb, others holding flags. They chanted first in a language
I didn¹t understand, then in English, demanding attention for human rights
abuses. All the while, the police simply watched, even though I knew they
very much didn¹t want them to go up the street they were on ‹ I overheard
one say to another, ³If these people meet up with those other guys, the shit
is going to hit the fan.² Even so, they didn¹t do anything. The Africans
had a purpose and strength that was palpable. In that moment, I saw what
Civil Disobedience is at its best, at its heart. I saw the kind of power
that I hope that I can cultivate in myself, that I dream of for the Pagan
Cluster and the movement as a whole. It¹s the kind of power that cannot be
touched by violence, and so does not have to resort to it. It is as intense
as the weapons the police carry and the conditioned hardness of their hearts
and humanity.

We rejoined the big march (as did the Africans) and marched across the
river, coming as close to the Convention Center on the bridge as we would be
at any time before or after the G20 meetings. Looking out over the railing
at the glass-walled building, I realized that although we were still quite
far I was actually in eyeshot of some of the most influential, powerful
people in the world, and that they were right over there, making decisions
that would effect billions of people and animals and other beings. Somehow,
with all of the protests and planning and processing, I had forgotten that
was happening ‹ not that it ever truly went away, but it stopped meaning
anything emotionally to me. Standing on that bridge, looking out across the
water and to that fortress, I felt it for the first and only time. Those
people have the power to change things so that we either sink or swim, I
thought. There they are, using that power, totally sequestered and removed
from all of us. Even though my day had been wonderful and very meaningful,
and that I knew good work was happening, I couldn¹t say that what we¹d been
doing had been very meaningful to those people in that building, those
people who can enact legislation and policies that will keep our world from
tipping into ecological collapse or that can make healthcare available to
everyone. I was struck in that moment, stung into stillness, curiosity,
frustration, awe. I wanted to tap into my deep magic, to do something that
would make a difference energetically and carry to them. I said a prayer,
but couldn¹t think of anything beyond that. And then the march moved on,
and the moment was over.

I¹ve been thinking a lot about power today, seeing it manifest strongly in
many different ways: the creativity and quirkiness of the student march, the
uncowed rebellion of the black bloc kids, the violence and ugliness of the
police, the collected, unwavering purpose of the Africans, the communal of
the permitted march, and the piercing intensity of those at the G20. I¹m
not sure what it all means just yet, but I can feel how its impacted me and
helped me to question my own innate connection to power and the tribal power
of those I¹m running with right now. There¹s still a lot to be done with
all of this, to be unpacked and understood. But some of that will have to
wait for tomorrow. Tonight, I¹m interested in experiencing the power of
connection and love ‹ it¹s the last night we¹ll be here, because tomorrow
we¹re heading back home.

Lotsa love,

Some Excellent links: Slide Show: http://www.pittsburghlive.com/images/video/multimedia_slideshow.php?res=hi&v=4031&1=1
The Best You Tube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=av60cwSfYcE&feature=player_profilepage
Luke Rudowski, wearechange: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGEa759EHzw

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Why Propaganda Trumps Truth

By Paul Craig Roberts

An article in the journal, Sociological Inquiry, ["There Must Be a Reason": Osama, Saddam, and Inferred Justification, Vol. 79, No. 2. (2009), pp. 142-162. [PDF] casts light on the effectiveness of propaganda. Researchers examined why big lies succeed where little lies fail. Governments can get away with mass deceptions, but politicians cannot get away with sexual affairs.

The researchers explain why so many Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11, years after it has become obvious that Iraq had nothing to do with the event. Americans developed elaborate rationalizations based on Bush administration propaganda that alleged Iraqi involvement and became deeply attached to their beliefs. Their emotional involvement became wrapped up in their personal identity and sense of morality. They looked for information that supported their beliefs and avoided information that challenged them, regardless of the facts of the matter.

In Mein Kampf, Hitler explained the believability of the Big Lie as compared to the small lie: "In the simplicity of their minds, people more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have such impudence. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and continue to think that there may be some other explanation."

What the sociologists and Hitler are telling us is that by the time facts become clear, people are emotionally wedded to the beliefs planted by the propaganda and find it a wrenching experience to free themselves. It is more comfortable, instead, to denounce the truth-tellers than the liars whom the truth-tellers expose.

The psychology of belief retention even when those beliefs are wrong is a pillar of social cohesion and stability. It explains why, once change is effected, even revolutionary governments become conservative. The downside of belief retention is its prevention of the recognition of facts. Belief retention in the Soviet Union made the system unable to adjust to economic reality, and the Soviet Union collapsed. Today in the United States millions find it easier to chant "USA, USA, USA" than to accept facts that indicate the need for change.

The staying power of the Big Lie is the barrier through which the 9/11 Truth Movement is finding it difficult to break. The assertion that the 9/11 Truth Movement consists of conspiracy theorists and crackpots is obviously untrue. The leaders of the movement are highly qualified professionals, such as demolition experts, physicists, structural architects, engineers, pilots, and former high officials in the government. Unlike their critics parroting the government’s line, they know what they are talking about.

Here is a link to a presentation by the architect, Richard Gage, to a Canadian university audience: The video of the presentation is two hours long and seems to have been edited to shorten it down to two hours. Gage is low-key, but not a dazzling personality or a very articulate presenter. Perhaps that is because he is speaking to a university audience and takes for granted their familiarity with terms and concepts.

Those who believe the official 9/11 story and dismiss skeptics as kooks can test the validity of the sociologists’ findings and Hitler’s observation by watching the video and experiencing their reaction to evidence that challenges their beliefs. Are you able to watch the presentation without scoffing at someone who knows far more about it than you do? What is your response when you find that you cannot defend your beliefs against the evidence presented? Scoff some more? Become enraged?

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that few people have the education to follow the technical and scientific aspects. The side that they believe tells them one thing; the side that they don’t believe tells them another. Most Americans have no basis to judge the relative merits of the arguments.

For example, consider the case of the Lockerbie bomber. One piece of "evidence" that was used to convict Magrahi was a piece of circuit board from a device that allegedly contained the Semtex that exploded the airliner. None of the people, who have very firm beliefs in Magrahi’s and Libya’s guilt and in the offense of the Scottish authorities in releasing Magrahi on allegedly humanitarian grounds, know that circuit boards of those days have very low combustion temperatures and go up in flames easily. Semtex produces very high temperatures. There would be nothing whatsoever left of a device that contained Semtex. It is obvious to an expert that the piece of circuit board was planted after the event.

I have asked on several occasions and have never had an answer, which does not mean that there isn’t one, how millions of pieces of unburnt, uncharred paper can be floating over lower Manhattan from the destruction of the WTC towers when the official explanation of the destruction is fires so hot and evenly distributed that they caused the massive steel structures to weaken and fail simultaneously so that the buildings fell in free fall time just as they would if they had been brought down by controlled demolition.

What is the explanation of fires so hot that steel fails but paper does not combust?

People don’t even notice the contradictions. Recently, an international team of scientists, who studied for 18 months dust samples produced by the twin towers’ destruction collected from three separate sources, reported their finding of nano-thermite in the dust. The US government had scientists dependent on the US government to debunk the finding on the grounds that the authenticity of custody of the samples could not be verified. In other words, someone had tampered with the samples and added the nano-thermite. This is all it took to discredit the finding, despite the obvious fact that access to thermite is strictly controlled and NO ONE except the US military and possibly Israel has access to nano-thermite.

The physicist, Steven Jones, has produced overwhelming evidence that explosives were used to bring down the buildings. His evidence is not engaged, examined, tested, and refuted. It is simply ignored.

Dr. Jones’ experience reminds me of that of my Oxford professor, the distinguished physical chemist and philosopher, Michael Polanyi. Polanyi was one of the 20th century's great scientists. At one time every section chairman of the Royal Society was a Polanyi student. Many of his students won Nobel Prizes for their scientific work, such as Eugene Wigner at Princeton and Melvin Calvin at UC, Berkeley, and his son, John Polanyi, at the University of Toronto.

As a young man in the early years of the 20th century, Michael Polanyi discovered the explanation for chemical adsorption. Scientific authority found the new theory too much of a challenge to existing beliefs and dismissed it. Even when Polanyi was one of the UK’s ranking scientists, he was unable to teach his theory. One half-century later his discovery was re-discovered by scientists at UC, Berkeley. The discovery was hailed, but then older scientists said that it was "Polanyi’s old error." It turned out not to be an error. Polanyi was asked to address scientists on this half-century failure of science to recognize the truth. How had science, which is based on examining the evidence, gone so wrong. Polanyi’s answer was that science is a belief system just like everything else, and that his theory was outside the belief system.

That is what we observe all around us, not just about the perfidy of Muslims and 9/11.

As an economics scholar I had a very difficult time making my points about the Soviet economy, about Karl Marx’s theories, and about the supply-side impact of fiscal policy. Today I experience readers who become enraged just because I report on someone else’s work that is outside their belief system. Some readers think I should suppress work that is inconsistent with their beliefs and drive the author of the work into the ground. These readers never have any comprehension of the subject. They are simply emotionally offended.

What I find puzzling is the people I know who do not believe a word the government says about anything except 9/11. For reasons that escape me, they believe that the government that lies to them about everything else tells them the truth about 9/11. How can this be, I ask them. Did the government slip up once and tell the truth? My question does not cause them to rethink their belief in the government’s 9/11 story. Instead, they get angry with me for doubting their intelligence or their integrity or some such hallowed trait.

The problem faced by truth is the emotional needs of people. With 9/11 many Americans feel that they must believe their government so that they don’t feel like they are being unsupportive or unpatriotic, and they are very fearful of being called "terrorist sympathizers." Others on the left-wing have emotional needs to believe that peoples oppressed by the US have delivered "blowbacks." Some leftists think that America deserves these blowbacks and thus believe the government’s propaganda that Muslims attacked the US.

Naive people think that if the US government’s explanation of 9/11 was wrong, physicists and engineers would all speak up. Some have (see above). However, for most physicists and engineers this would be an act of suicide. Physicists owe their careers to government grants, and their departments are critically dependent on government funding. A physicist who speaks up essentially ends his university career. If he is a tenured professor, to appease Washington the university would buy out his tenure as BYU did in the case of the outspoken Steven Jones.

An engineering firm that spoke out would never again be awarded a government contract. In addition, its patriotic, flag-waving customers would regard the firm as a terrorist apologist and cease to do business with it.

In New York today there is an enormous push by 9/11 families for a real and independent investigation of the 9/11 events. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers have provided the necessary signatures on petitions that require the state to put the proposal for an independent commission up to vote. However, the state, so far, is not obeying the law.

Why are the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who are demanding a real investigation dismissed as conspiracy theorists? The 9/11 skeptics know far more about the events of that day than do the uninformed people who call them names. Most of the people I know who are content with the government’s official explanation have never examined the evidence. Yet, these no-nothings shout down those who have studied the matter closely.

There are, of course, some kooks. I have often wondered if these kooks are intentionally ridiculous in order to discredit knowledgeable skeptics.

Another problem that the 9/11 Truth Movement faces is that their natural allies, those who oppose the Bush/Obama wars and the internet sites that the antiwar movement maintains, are fearful of being branded traitorous and anti-American. It is hard enough to oppose a war against those the US government has successfully demonized. Antiwar sites believe that if they permit 9/11 to be questioned, it would brand them as "terrorist sympathizers" and discredit their opposition to the war. An exception is Information Clearing House.

Antiwar sites do not realize that, by accepting the 9/11 explanation, they have undermined their own opposition to the war. Once you accept that Muslim terrorists did it, it is difficult to oppose punishing them for the event. In recent months, important antiwar sites, such as antiwar.com, have had difficulty with their fundraising, with their fundraising campaigns going on far longer than previously. They do not understand that if you grant the government its premise for war, it is impossible to oppose the war.

As far as I can tell, most Americans have far greater confidence in the government than they do in the truth. During the Great Depression the liberals with their New Deal succeeded in teaching Americans to trust the government as their protector. This took with the left and the right. Neither end of the political spectrum is capable of fundamental questioning of the government. This explains the ease with which our government routinely deceives the people.

Democracy is based on the assumption that people are rational beings who factually examine arguments and are not easily manipulated. Studies are not finding this to be the case. In my own experience in scholarship, public policy, and journalism, I have learned that everyone from professors to high school dropouts has difficulty with facts and analyses that do not fit with what they already believe. The notion that "we are not afraid to follow the truth wherever it may lead" is an extremely romantic and idealistic notion. I have seldom experienced open minds even in academic discourse or in the highest levels of government. Among the public at large, the ability to follow the truth wherever it may lead is almost non-existent.

The US government's response to 9/11, regardless of who is responsible, has altered our country forever. Our civil liberties will never again be as safe as they were. America's financial capability and living standards are forever lower. Our country's prestige and world leadership are forever damaged. The first decade of the 21st century has been squandered in pointless wars, and it appears the second decade will also be squandered in the same pointless and bankrupting pursuit.

The most disturbing fact of all remains: The 9/11 event responsible for these adverse happenings has not been investigated.

Paul Craig Roberts [email him] was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider's Account of Policymaking in Washington; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. Click here for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the recent epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Love Light 9/11/2009

I just wanted to send a greeting to anyone who may be reading Love Light 9/11/2001. Happy Love Light Day!
The idea of having a Happy 911 may sound counterintuitive since it was on this day that so much Tragedy Occurred but it was not God’s intention to destroy that day 8 years ago but man’s. men did it for reasons of gaining power in the most despicable way possible. It’s evil power that they gained and the death and destruction started that day have been going on ever since. We should not be happy today but if we practice Good Positive Energy Today and Every Day we will be doing something to reverse the negative energy and making a Good Love Light Day..

Love Light and 9/11/2001 are Interconnected: I discovered that back in 2007. I found many amazing signs that connected them in a Numerology Chart. I also discovered the Love Light- Magic Sign that represents the Balance of the Masculine and the Feminine. This is very important because the imbalance between the masculine and the feminine is the cause of 911, the war and every evil that we see happening today; including the evil within ourselves.

The Purpose of the Masculine is to Protect the Feminine: That is why the Masculine was Created Stronger. The Feminine is “All The Lovely Things and Life“. The Masculine can choose to Protect All the Lovely Things and Life or exploit it. Obviously when the masculine energy is being used to kill any Human Being or destroy any Life Force it is going against it’s True Purpose and is in corruption. This is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit and it is “the only unforgivable sin” according to the Bible: Matthew 12:31. Because the Holy Spirit is the Feminine Entity of God that is why it is Blasphemy and Unforgivable to destroy the Feminine. The word Blasphemy even sounds like destruction of the Feminine.

We have Exactly a Year before the “Transformation” starts: According to the Love Light code on 9/11/2010 there is a Change of Essence from 15/6 (war) to 13/4 (Transformation). This Essence continues for 3 years; which is roughly equivalent to the other Transition Predictions. (i.e. End of the Mayan Calendar, Revelations, Nostradamus, Hopi Big Flood, Alignment with the Milky Way, Pole Shift, Comet Strike, Global Warming, Martial Law, Nuclear War, Apocalypse, End of the Iron Age etc.)
The sheer momentum of popular belief could be self fulfilling because even the media is feeding into the popular myths. At any rate the Love Light code says it too.

The Point of Love Light is to Create More Positive Energy: The idea is to mitigate the negative effects of Blasphemy and make the Transition Positive. The idea is simple. More Positive Energy and Less negative energy Creating a Positive Transition and Leading into Light instead of Darkness.

Love Light is Love of All Creation and The Truth: .This means we love all Life and not just Humanity or our own race or our selves and we Honor Creation by taking care of it. The Truth is the Truth and not corrupted by deceit. It can be simple truth or Profound and it may just be the Truth about 9/11/2001..

It says “have no self interest, Be Doubly Generous And Good To All”: This sounds impractical. As far as my experience is concerned it has never been tried. Imagine, though, if we did this it would give our energy to others and their energy would give us the energy of many and a multitude of abilities.

Love Light Appeared when it was needed.: In the early part of 2007 a New Dimension of 911 Truth appeared and Love Light became known. The beginning of a “Religion that Works”.

“Practice Good Positive Energy Every Day.” This is Goodness. This is to “Do No Harm“. It is the antidote to the negative energy that is destroying us.

“You Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Set You Free” Jesus said this and it is in the Love Light code. (The 11 (Light) Destiny Direction taking Us to the 5 (Freedom) Destiny) If, on the other hand we take this in the negative “we will be enslaved because of our ignorance”. Do you see why it is so important to seek the Truth?

There is a Case to be made for Love Light to be the Spiritual Path of 911 Truth ; This is because Love Light suits the Great Need for a True Spiritual Path at This Moment in Time. There are those who would disagree but Love Light came out of the Quest for 911 Truth and it is Interconnected with 9/11/2001. It’s foremost number is 11 which is Light and it tells us to Search for the Truth. Love Light is 9-11-11-9 and 9/11/2001 is 9-11-3-5-11-9. Love Light is Based on Truth and it is the only Spiritual Path that is Based on a Provable Equation.

There is Much More about Love Light that I haven’t mentioned and there is Much More Revelation to Come from this “Message from God”: So for now I wish all of you a Good Love Light Day and may we Practice Love Light Every Day From Now On!

Love Light Smith