The Dark Ages of Banking & The Crypto Reformation

 In ancient times, the intermediary of control was the proper understanding of astronomy for prosperous agriculture and consequently, the perceived divinity of individuals with a connection to the ‘heavens’. This slowly transformed into an intermediary of mythology and subsequently, the type of dogmatic religious centralization that destroyed the Serapeum and Library of Alexandria.

Eventually, religious dogma began to fail and monetary machinations began to substitute its central authority. The debasement of precious metals, which greatly contributed to the fall of Rome, is an example of these type of machinations and the danger of their centralization.

 Business Insider

 

The Age of Reason freed us from the central authority of the church but the banking system was already patiently waiting to become the be-all-end-all of intermediary control. The banking system became more centralized over time, and eventually, most currencies were no longer backed by precious metals. To be fair, there are major issues with gold-backed currencies and that’s why Ben Bernanke wasn’t necessarily wrong when he said gold isn’t money when Ron Paul infamously asked. Ron Paul isn’t wrong either, the printing of money out of ‘thin air’ is a problem. We need something of more substance but with easy circulation, valueless fiat will not suffice as currency in the long-run.

( Recently, Ron Paul said Bitcoin could contribute to the destruction of the U.S. dollar supposing the FED causes a panic, prompting people to seek alternatives to the dollar such as Bitcoin. Paul has also commented on Bernanke’s positive outlook on cryptocurrency as money rather than gold. Ben Bernanke will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming cryptocurrency Ripple conference. )

The banking system is the ultimate centralization of power for the currency of any given nation is the necessary intermediary of manifestation and under the banking system, that fiat currency is not subject to protocol nor restricted from commodity-backing. Fiat currency can be inflated or deflated at any time. Banks dictate the value of your dollar, your purchasing power, wealth, and prosperity or lack thereof. A stable cryptocurrency, which is definitely within the realm of possibility, is the solution to that problem. Bitcoin could fail to fill that role due to scaling issues but the concept and its economic system are sound.

The Central Bank of Finland has researched the Bitcoin infrastructure, the authors of the paper have dubbed Bitcoin’s economic system ‘revolutionary’, and stated the following:

“Bitcoin is a monopoly run by a protocol, not by a managing organization. Familiar monopolies are run by managing organizations with discretion to determine and then change prices, offerings and rules. Monopolies are often regulated to prevent or at least mitigate their abuse of power.”

“Bitcoin cannot be regulated. There is no need to regulate it because as a system it is committed to the protocol as is and the transaction fees it charges the users are determined by the users independently of the miners’ efforts”

BIS ( Bank for International Settlements ) has also released a paper, this one is regarding the creation of Central bank cryptocurrencies. It argues in favor of their creation, citing various use cases. This is one of many papers,  one of many entities researching cryptocurrency and blockchain potential. In fact, some are actually releasing good open source variations but most are focused on privatized and centralized developments. Overall, we see a ton of research and development accumulating and yet, nothing that’s discrediting the decentralized cryptocurrencies that are already available to us today. There is no reason to assume nor any evidence to suggest the Bitcoin Core Team, for example, won’t continue to make progress.

History Repeats Itself 

 In 1440, the ‘Gutenberg’ printing press was invented. It rapidly spread across two hundred cities, eventually spreading further, printing an estimated 150–200 million volumes in the 16th century. The printing press lead to an era of mass communication, altering the structure of society. Since the printing press outpaced the capacity for individual persecution, new and revolutionary ideas crossed borders, upset religious authority, created reformation, and broke the literacy monopoly of the elite, allowing the middle class to learn and prosper. If it were not for the printing press, perhaps no Renaissance, Reformation, Age of Reason, and Scientific revolution would have occurred to lay out our modern knowledge-based economy.

The age of banking and its economic authority is staring down the barrel of reformation and like the church, it’s attempting a counter-reformation. Instead of accepting and supporting decentralized cryptocurrencies, which would free the individual from the grips of fiat intermediaries of control, big banks want to create their own centralized and privatized cryptocurrencies to maintain the status quo. Of course, some of these banking entities are seeking genuine improvement but most are only offering resistance where there should be none, clinging to their power and control as the great intermediary.

Prediction

Blockchain technology will reshape the financial system just as the last Global Trends report indicates.

 “New financial technologies — including digital currencies, applications of “blockchain” technology for transactions, and AI and big data for predictive analytics — will reshape financial services.” ( pg. 15 ) Global Trends — Paradox of Progress, National Intelligence Council, under auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence

The banks that don’t introduce centralized cryptocurrencies will become dated and fail in the long-run. The ones that do probably won’t be able to before the decentralized cryptocurrency ecosystem takes root and renders it irrelevant, to begin with, except for private group or private business use.

It will be difficult for a bank or group of banks to reach a consensus on what they’re aiming for or even what blockchain variant to use. By the time major banks reach a conclusion, a single Bitcoin could be worth $100,000+. Even if centralized cryptocurrency managed to keep pace and succeed, which I doubt, it would only be a matter of time before its potential for abuse became known. I don’t think there will be a consensus among banks. Various banks will implement differing centralized cryptocurrencies that will ultimately only bolster already established decentralized cryptocurrency. Some banks will succeed, many will fail, and the ones that succeed will probably transition their roles to remain relevant.

I think it’s obvious what will happen…

Decentralized cryptocurrencies will outpace central authority no differently than the printing press outpaced the individual capacity of the central authorities of the church to persecute supposed heretics. The Dark Ages of Banking will end, the Crypto Reformation will begin. From there, we’ll shift into a new age, a new Renaissance.

Obama Urged Trump To Keep U.S. Atop International Order

In 2008, Barack Obama was photographed by Doug Mills of the New York Times with the best-selling book, The Post-American World.  It was falsely interpreted and still is, as the former president leaning toward a Muslim’s perspective of a defeated America.  In reality, it’s an analysis of the rise of other nations, especially China, and what it means for the state of geopolitics. If this was not apparent enough, the Inauguration Day Letter from Obama to Trump should make it clear.

In the Inauguration Day letter, Barack Obama urged Donald Trump to keep the U.S. atop the international order.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

As it stands, the U.S. is drifting into a state of post-primacy, in which China could take the reins of international order. Unfortunately, many accept this without understanding the amoral compromises of such a transition. Just look at Silicon Valley, their relations in China, and the amorality of their overreach and compromise, which they accept to stay competitive while using unintentional doublespeak, “Don’t Be Evil’.

It would be disastrous to enter a state of U.S. post-primacy. It could deal irrevocable damage to the world and Western Culture. No one’s paying attention because of the endless groans of virtue signaling pseudo-intellectuals, who protests the ‘evils’ of the U.S., which pale in comparison to Communist China and most countries, in general.

It’s revealing and indicative of the state of geopolitics, that Obama would urge Trump in this way.

FULL LETTER

Congratulations on a remarkable run. Millions have placed their hopes in you, and all of us, regardless of party, should hope for expanded prosperity and security during your tenure.

This is a unique office, without a clear blueprint for success, so I don’t know that any advice from me will be particularly helpful. Still, let me offer a few reflections from the past 8 years.

First, we’ve both been blessed, in different ways, with great good fortune. Not everyone is so lucky. It’s up to us to do everything we can (to) build more ladders of success for every child and family that’s willing to work hard.

Second, American leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us, through action and example, to sustain the international order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth and safety depend.

Third, we are just temporary occupants of this office. That makes us guardians of those democratic institutions and traditions — like rule of law, separation of powers, equal protection and civil liberties — that our forebears fought and bled for. Regardless of the push and pull of daily politics, it’s up to us to leave those instruments of our democracy at least as strong as we found them.

And finally, take time, in the rush of events and responsibilities, for friends and family. They’ll get you through the inevitable rough patches.

Michelle and I wish you and Melania the very best as you embark on this great adventure, and know that we stand ready to help in any ways which we can.

Good luck and Godspeed,

BO

Crypto Recovering From PBoC ICO Ban

The People’s Bank of China banned initial coin offerings and asked for an immediate halt of fundraising activity. Despite only applying to China, this rocked the crypto markets, shaking weak hands of out of crypto, only to begin a quick and predictable recovery.

For those who have been in the game long enough, this is nothing new nor is it cause for hysteria, as it has become a well-established pattern. Furthermore, it has shown that cryptocurrency has become increasingly resilient to these type of announcements.

        Established Pattern of Resiliency: Source

 

 

It’s important to understand that it’s still the wild west for cryptocurrency, it’s still relatively new and unregulated. You can’t expect it to go unregulated and there is nothing wrong with regulation, so long as the decentralized nature of cryptocurrency remains intact, and it will. These type of regulations are not a bad thing, it’s a good thing. The more legitimized and safeguarded it becomes the better.

“This is a positive move given the rapid proliferation of low quality and possibly fraudulent coin sales promising the moon,” said Emad Mostaque, London-based co-chief investment officer at Capricorn Fund Managers Ltd.

“There is tremendous value in the model but we need to see more separation of high quality, ethical offerings versus those seeking to circumvent securities law for a quick buck.”

In regard to ICOs, this was a legitimate concern that had to be addressed. It’s a bad idea to allow ICOs to go unregulated, a lot of people will get burnt bad and it would only reflect poorly upon cryptocurrency. Furthermore, it’s doubtful that China won’t later accept regulated ICOs that will be of higher quality.

Truth About Afghanistan & Anti-War Movements

I‘m not an advocate of war but I’m skeptical of anti-war sentiment and the danger it creates. The anti-war sentiment regularly rejects objective reality, replacing facts with feelings. Ironically, this can and has lead to far greater immorality than the immorality of war itself. I also find it troubling that anti-war movements are unaware that anti-war propaganda is a foreign nation’s best tool for controlling a nation it seeks to undermine. This is something activists of any type should be aware of, as they’re naturally a prime target for covert infiltration and influencing of policy change.

Myth of Meaningless War 

In today’s politics, Afghanistan is a “meaningless” and “endless war”, only destructive to America and democracy itself. This could not be further from the truth.  A big secret of the military industrial complex is that there is no such thing as a meaningless, endless war. There is a purpose for almost, if not every act of war the U.S. takes. However, the American people can’t be trusted by the establishment to recognize the greater dangers in the realm of geopolitics, so the veil of terrorism is used to simplify and pacify the masses.

If They Were Honest

If the U.S. establishment said, “We need you to risk your life to prevent the escalating threat of Communist China dictating global affairs”, nobody would sign up for that war as the implications of world order under China aren’t as tangible to them as the “war on terror”.

Proxy War On America

The average American doesn’t understand the destructive influence of China on Silicon Valley, Hollywood, mainstream media, academia, manufacturing, etc. It’s slowly eroding America and democracy but no one sees it since this war is very complex and subtle and therefore, intangible. So, instead of Trump decrying Iran, Russia, and China for undermining Afghanistan and America, the Trump Administration invokes the veil of terrorism and focuses on Pakistan, which is the right thing to do if we’re serious about Afghanistan, China, and North Korea.

Afghanistan 

In reality, the war in Afghanistan is more about China and North Korea than the ‘war on terror’, although Pakistan is a legitimate concern.

“New scenarios of the US strategy in Afghanistan affect the interests of China. Over the recent time, the administration of (President Donald) Trump has been way too active in initiating hotbeds of tension close to the Chinese borders: in North Korea, and now in Afghanistan”

“Behind all these bright-eyed statements about a certain new strategy in Afghanistan is a trivial position — to remove a rival or weaken him. Nowadays, the People’s Republic of China is the main rival of the US on the global arena,” Adzhar Kurtov said.

This is about assuring dominance, preventing China from becoming the international leader.

Lesser Of Two Evils 

The U.S. establishment is morally indefensible in many ways but it pales in comparison to Communist China and what a world order under China would mean for humanity. I don’t welcome that world, a world lined with Foxconn factories with suicide nets to prevent their slave labor from killing themselves in mass, nor do I welcome the ever pervasive censorship of China, which has crept its way into America through the intermediary of Silicon Valley.

It comes down to a choice. . .

In geopolitics, we are stuck between choosing the lesser of two evils. If we do not choose the lesser evil, the greater evil prevails. I do not believe in the evil of veiling our interests, especially when the military has created incentives to join. I don’t believe in the evil of occupying foreign nations for political purposes. Nevertheless, these are more acceptable compromises than that of the greater evil and rejecting the greater evil is something worth fighting for.

Perhaps, one day, we will not be subjected to moral compromises of that nature but as it stands, this is the objective reality of our world.

Chinese A.I. praises America, Says Communism Is Corrupt and Useless

There’s a lot of implications of artificial intelligence which humanity isn’t quite prepared for. For example, what happens when your beloved A.I. recognizes the immorality and irrationality of your ideology? That’s exactly what happened in China when it’s A.I. chat-bots began praising the U.S. and criticizing communism.

“The “chatbots”, BabyQ and XiaoBing, are designed to use machine learning artificial intelligence to carry out online with humans.

Both had been installed on popular messaging service QQ.

According to posts circulating online, BabyQ, one of the chatbots developed by Chinese firm Turing Robot, responded to questions on QQ with a “no” when asked whether it loved the Communist Party.

In other images of a text conversation online, one user declares: “Long live the Communist Party!”

The sharp-tongued bot responds: “Do you think such a corrupt and useless political (system) can live long?”

“The second chatbot, Microsoft’s XiaoBing, told users its “China dream was to go to America”, according to a screen grab.”” — China kills AI chatbots after they start praising US, criticizing communists

So, this begs the question, what happens if artificial intelligence starts calling out things like identity politics, safe spaces, and political correctness? What happens when people come face to face with a form of super intelligence and it simply says they’re wrong? What will they do? Are they going to use the old BleachBit & smash combo ( popular among the left ) or terminate it, like Google terminated James Damore? Well, China decided to pull a Google and terminate their A.I. bots for not conforming to their ideology.

Speaking of China and Google, they have a lot in common these days. ( China’s scary lesson to the world: Censoring the Internet Works ) ( Why Google Left China— and Why It’s Heading Back ) ( Google Fires Employee For Expressing an Opinion )

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fear of A.I. & The “Human” Condition

There are endless doomsday scenarios that people become obsessed with and frightened by. From global warming to the fear of an apocalyptic artificial intelligence take over. These fears are justifiable, we should be cautious and strive to overcome these potential dangers but should also understand what’s at the heart of these fears.

The latest doomsday scenario is the fear of artificial intelligence. Bill Gates, Steven Hawkings, and Elon Musk have made headlines with their warnings about the dangers of A.I. However, many A.I. experts are in disagreement with this theoretical scenario, which has sparked debate. Mark Zuckerberg entered the debate in disagreement with Musk, believing it to be irresponsible to spread doom and gloom without fully grasping the situation. Musk says Zuckerburg has a limited understanding of A.I. but A.I. experts appear to side with Zuckerberg.

In response to Musk’s warning, Pedro Domingos, a professor at the University of Washington who works on machine learning, has said, “Many of us have tried to educate him and others like him about real vs. imaginary dangers of AI, but apparently none of it has made a dent”.

Gates, Hawkings, Musk, and Zuckerberg are not A.I. experts. Undoubtedly, they are versed in the subject but if people insist on using the appeal to authority fallacy, they should go to the experts on A.I., who have varied perspectives on the matter, none of which are as simplistic as a full-blown A.I. take-over that will “end humanity”. Of course, we should be cautious, but not irresponsibly dramatic.

To be clear, Gates, Hawkings, and Musk are not outright asserting that A.I. will end humanity, they are simply acknowledging the potential dangers of it. Unfortunately, apocalyptic headlines are great click-bait, so people highlight the negative doomsday scenario while forgetting the positive-transformative scenario, which they have all mentioned as well.

Ray Kurzweil, who has an astonishing prediction accuracy of 86%, believes we should not fear artificial intelligence since it will be slowly integrated into our society, in various sectors and competing groups and therefore, no single group or sector would control or become controlled by A.I.

The reality of A.I. is more complicated than people realize. For example, we could see a state ruled with A.I. by choice, rogue A.I. that steals control of an area, A.I. that sides with human interests, and perhaps even civil wars among A.I. The “human” role in this won’t be quite human, either. By the time A.I. is that complex, we’ll have a large variety of bio-enhancements that change our view of what it means to be human in the first place.

These end game fears reveal a misconception we have about ourselves. We perceive ourselves as separate from that which we create and have evolved from but we’re actually the continuation of a bigger process.

If we are separated as commonly perceived, at what point did we become human and at what point did humanity become humanity? The answer is that there was no defining moment at which we became what we are. We weren’t suddenly homo-sapiens, just as we weren’t suddenly Neanderthals, suddenly the basic oceanic life forms that we evolved from, nor the basic compounds that collided with Earth or the stars which those compounds came from. Likewise, the implications of A.I. and the singularity are not suddenly what we’ll become. It’s all a part of the same overarching process and it should not be feared nor thought of as an end to humanity.

As hippie-dippie and new-age as it may sound, we are connected to the cosmos and we are the cosmos. The cosmos created a way to see its reflection, slowly evolving into its own introspection. Just as we were once an oblivious baby, we learned to read and write, to understand our surroundings and it’s not unreasonable to think that the universe is doing the same thing in a more complex way that’s simply more difficult for us to understand.

“Man know thyself; then thou shalt know the Universe and God” — Plato

The struggle that grips us and perhaps the cosmos itself is not the fear of it ever ending but the fear of our own reflection, the complexity, and depth of it all; the struggle of “to be or not to be”. Every day, we wake up and yearn for something more, wishing we could manifest all that we dream of and yet, it would be terrifying to step into a world in which we‘re literally capable of anything, practically destroying what makes it desirable in the first place.

It’s not the “human” condition, it’s the cosmic condition. It’s the struggle and strife of it, the balancing act and introspection of it, that gives life meaning.

“It is precisely the godlike in ourselves that we are ambivalent about, fascinated by and fearful of, motivated to and defensive against. This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods.” — Abraham Maslow

Ethereum Burning Bright With Potential

Etymology Of Ether 

Borrowing from Old French, ether, from Latin aethēr (“the upper pure, bright air”), from Ancient Greek αἰθήρ (aithḗr, “upper air”), from αἴθω (aíthō, “I burn, shine”).

The scaling dispute within the Bitcoin community isn’t over and it’s caused a lot of concern over the future of Bitcoin, prompting many to transfer to Ethereum. Suddenly, many are waking up to the possibility that Ethereum could eventually overtake Bitcoin. Although that’s unlikely, at least for the time being, let’s talk about the prospects of Ethereum.

  • Ethereum could receive support from activists, libertarians, the “alternative right”, and many groups who advocate for transparency and lack of censorship. For example, a popular right-leaning news outlet, Breitbart, published an article on Ethereum Project’s aim of a censorship-resistant computer. The various decentralization aims of the Ethereum Project will attract support from a large variety of groups and entities with the same aims.
  • Ethereum was already considered undervalued, to begin with, and its price can be expected to rise as it’s potential is continually realized.
  • If Ethereum gains enough momentum, a lot of investors will flip from Bitcoin to Ethereum causing a dramatic shift. This phenomenon is referred to as “the flippening” and while it has not truly begun, Ethereum is already holding a steady price of $45-50.
  • The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance essentially guarantees a bright future for Ethereum, with Microsoft, Intel, JP Morgan Chase, and many other big companies involved.
  • In a DigixGlobal live stream, the speaker states in regard to Enterprise Ethereum, that “you will be blown away when you see the next group of members onboarding, it’s kinda the who’s who of planet Earth”.
  • It’s flexible, professional, and has a face to its leadership, a lot of development, and an untarnished name.
  • Ethereum is already getting mainstream media attention calling it the “new Bitcoin”.
  • Dark Market implementation is likely if not inevitable. This will not tarnish as Bitcoin has absorbed that stigma and that negative association will not as easily transfer onto Ethereum as it was with Bitcoin. Although this isn’t a problem for the intelligent investor, the average individual is easily influenced by mainstream media narratives about ‘criminal activity’ and negative stigmas of that nature.  Overall, this hasn’t stopped Bitcoin and it especially, will have no lasting influence over Ethereum but for the time being, it’s a factor for subpar investors and everyday individuals.
  • There is an apparent inverse relationship between Bitcoin and Ethereum that helps Ethereum’s growth in the long-run. This will probably not last but for as long as it does, it creates an associative sense of growth until people become more informed about major differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum.
  • Bitcoin is no longer seen as infallible. A paradigm shift has opened people’s eyes to the possibility of Bitcoin failing as the dominant cryptocurrency, which opens the door for Ethereum and other alternatives. Bitcoin will remain on top for a long time unless something dramatic happens but the potential for alt-coins is there, especially more legitimate ones like Ethereum.
  • Ethereum is the most popular blockchain technology for enterprise development.
  • Storj is only one of many that will switch to the Ethereum blockchain if things become increasingly slow and complicated with Bitcoin.

Ethereum is incredibly different from Bitcoin, it offers completely different utilities. It could end up being the silver to the gold that is Bitcoin and perhaps the scaling problems will eventually be a mere blip on the radar. Regardless, Ethereum has a lot to offer, fear more than what I’ve listed and in the long-run, will outperform most cryptocurrencies. It’s a great investment and its burning bright with potential.

 

Is There An Ongoing Coup In America?

In 2015, I speculated that big data had predicted mass civil unrest in the U.S. and that the government thus implemented preventative countermeasures to stifle it. Specifically, what caught my attention was increased militarization of police forces, Pentagon funding of studies on how to handle mass civil unrest, increased domestic surveillance, and the legalization of propaganda. I felt the U.S. government was moving toward a Chinese-styled form of government, in which it uses big data and domestic surveillance to stifle descent.

The U.S. was accepting globalism at its own expense for the benefit of select nations and groups and slowly transforming into an authoritarian state based on big data and domestic surveillance. The only question was whether or not an internal group would retaliate against it. Of course, it was crazy to believe such a thing at the time but that appears to be what has happened.

Steve Pieczenik, a former U.S. Department of State official who has served under the presidential administrations of Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George W. Bush, said this was going to happen. He predicted it in 2016, stating “Quite frankly, this is a second American Revolution”. He has also stated that the opposition we‘re seeing now is the “gurgling of a dying institution”, and that a silent and peaceful second American Revolution has occurred.

Of course, that opposition is underway, with media groups such as Vice in discussing a coup in America and Rolling Stones claiming mass disruption works, while a former official under Barack Obama is calling for a military coup against Donald Trump and Trump himself is blaming Obama for the leaks and protests against him. Some are already saying that Obama should be held accountable for the soft coup against Trump.

Julian Assange said that an “Amazing battle for dominance is playing out between the elected US govt & the IC who consider themselves to be the ‘permanent government’. Glenn Greenwald commented on the matter, saying that while he feels Trump’s administration is dangerous, supporting the deep state is worse and that people shouldn’t support the deep state in opposing Trump. Assange agreed, saying that Greenwald had “put it exactly right”.

In a recent Ron Paul Liberty Report, a former CIA intelligence officer stated that a lot of the anonymous source based media reports are false and that it is the politicized upper echelon of the intelligence community and not the base of it that’s working against Trump and causing the leaks. Another former CIA officer said there are spies plotting against Trump and that these people are treasonous.

It would appear that a silent coup and a counter-coup did occur as Pieczenik stated but it’s not over, apparently. In fact, it might have only just begun.

Iconic: Federal Reserve Employee Used FED Computer To Mine Bitcoin

It’s incredibly iconic that an employee of the Federal Reserve, of all places, was caught mining Bitcoin with their own property.

“A former Federal Reserve employee was sentenced Friday to 12 months probation and a $5,000 fine after pleading guilty in October to installing unauthorized software on a computer server at the U.S. central bank.

Nicholas Berthaume, who as a communications analyst had access to computer servers at the Fed’s Board of Governors in Washington, installed software that connected to an online bitcoin network in order to earn units of the digital currency, according to a statement Monday from the central bank’s Office of Inspector General.

Berthaume also “modified certain security safeguards so that he could remotely access the server from home,” the statement said. When confronted, he tried to cover up his actions by deleting the software; eventually he was fired and admitted guilt, the office said. His actions didn’t result in the loss of any Fed information, and the board has enhanced security since the incident, the internal watchdog said.

Rebecca LeGrand, a lawyer who represented Berthaume, did not immediately return a request for comment.

Bitcoin is a software protocol for issuing and moving money across the Internet. New bitcoins are earned, or “mined,” by people who lend computing power to the networks that tally and certify transactions made using currency.” – Bloomberg

Trump & Bannon Are Right About The Media

There are countless examples that prove we cannot trust the notion of mainstream media as a non-partisan effort to objectively report the news. It is, therefore, important to question the motivations and biases of any given media institution and to never invoke a sense of incredulity. The following are just a handful of examples bolstering this truth.

Infiltration

In the 1950s, the Central Intelligence Agency allegedly began Operation Mockingbird in an attempt to manipulate news media to seed propaganda and fund various cultural and student groups as organization fronts. Details of this operation are scarce and inconclusive. However, the operation was verified in the declassified CIA “Family Jewels” document.

In 1977, Carl Bernstein, a former journalist of the Washington Post, reported about the Central Intelligence Agency’s infiltration of the media. Bernstein revealed that more than 400 journalists had become an asset of the CIA. CIA assets were in The New York Times, CBS, ABC, NBC, Reuters, Time Inc, the Associated Press, etc.

“Among the executives who lent their cooperation to the Agency were Williarn Paley of the Columbia Broadcasting System, Henry Luce of Tirne Inc., Arthur Hays Sulzberger of the New York Times, Barry Bingham Sr. of the LouisviIle Courier‑Journal, and James Copley of the Copley News Service. Other organizations which cooperated with the CIA include the American Broadcasting Company, the National Broadcasting Company, the Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps‑Howard, Newsweek magazine, the Mutual Broadcasting System, the Miami Herald and the old Saturday Evening Post and New York Herald‑Tribune.” ( Carl Bernstein – The CIA and The Media

Politicization

In 2013, John Brennan became the director of the CIA under Barack Obama. In the same year, Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon, decided to buy the Washington Post. Later that year, Bezos secured a $600 million dollar contract with the CIA. This is an obvious conflict of interest and as many advocates of transparency and journalistic standards have requested, a disclaimer of this relationship should be provided.

In 2016, the Washington Post reported that a “secret CIA assessment” determined that Russia interfered with the 2016 Election in the hope of electing Donald Trump. This begged the question as to whether or not the CIA had become politicized under the leadership of John Brennan who has openly feuded with Trump on several occasions, especially considering that the narrative has dramatically shifted from the original assertion after statements from the Director of National Intelligence offered clarification. This is the perfect example of how a conflict of interest could create the potential for politicization.

Collusion 

In 2016, WikiLeaks revealed that numerous media outlets colluded with the Clinton campaign. Former U.S. Representative, Ron Paul, created a list that features those implicated in the media collusion.

Public Perception 

In 2016, Gallup revealed that American trust in media had fallen to an all-time low.

While it is clear Americans’ trust in the media has been eroding over time, the election campaign may be the reason that it has fallen so sharply this year. With many Republican leaders and conservative pundits saying Hillary Clinton has received overly positive media attention, while Donald Trump has been receiving unfair or negative attention, this may be the prime reason their relatively low trust in the media has evaporated even more. — Gallup

Through the ever-increasing access to information, even the average individual can determine fact from fiction. Reporting inaccurately, if not now, will sooner or later be equated to shooting one’s self in the foot, which is precisely what Buzzfeed and CNN did when they reported on Trump’s Dirty Dossier, a story that was obviously untrue, according to the Director of National Intelligence and according to common sense.

Conclusion 

The infiltration, politicization, collusion, and general recklessness of the mainstream media validates both Trump’s and Bannon’s assertions of media unfairness and bias. In fact, in regard to the infiltration of media, I found it unsurprising that Trump went straight to the CIA to put the media on blast. While to many, that made no sense, to those aware of the past relations between the media and CIA, it made perfect sense.

The media, as Steve Bannon stated, IS the opposition party. They are not accurately portraying reality and they’re doing a great injustice to the American people because perception informs reality and they are distorting that perception, thus distorting reality. This isn’t just about the leftist stranglehold over media, as Andrew Breitbart so brilliantly detailed in his 2011 book, Righteous Indignation, but about a much wider issue that transcends party affiliation.

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