Tag Archives: news

pressing matters

pressing matters

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) examined those peculiar parallel dimensions of loneliness as a profoundly personal anguish and an indispensable currency of our political life in her intellectual debut, the incisive and astonishingly timely 1951 classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (public library).

Arendt paints loneliness as “the common ground for terror” and explores its function as both the chief weapon and the chief damage of oppressive political regimes. Exactly twenty years before her piercing treatise on lying in politics, she writes:

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, [they] lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:

Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.

Although isolation is not necessarily the same as loneliness, Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:

In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.


While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.

This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression….”



Vice Joins Trend Of Killing News Comments Because Giving A Damn About Your Site’s Community Is Just Too Hard

from the i-love-you.-here’s-your-new-muzzle. dept

We’ve talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships…. napalming your on-site community because you’re too lazy to weed the garden certainly is a slight against those users. And as we saw with NPR, these users are well aware of this fact, and are more than happy to spend their time on websites that actually value conversation and user interaction, instead of just paying empty lip service to the concept.








Maternal genealogy is unknown beyond my mother except for the presence of a Scots-Irish (Presbyterian) family in Western Pennsylvania. The paternal genealogy includes DNA that is apparently (but confusedly) of Normal or Saxon origin which moved from the Iberian peninsula after the last Ice Age up into Norman or perhaps Breton turf until, apparently as mercenaries or in followership, the Norman conquest of England. My father’s mother was of Prussian heritage. Ancestral history in my family from before the crossing of the English Channel is very clouded.   

More precise records extend from the summer of 1638 when two brothers caught a ride aboard a ship out of Hull, England to cross the Atlantic to come to England in search of religious freedom. “They were men of respectability, ‘of good estate,’ and could probably have no hopes of improving their worldly condition by emigration. They were lovers of liberty, and men of distinct and well-marked religious views. They were non-conformists. They had too sturdy an independence, as well as too strong a sense of duty, to abandon what they held as truth even in the midst of the bitterest persecution. For this reason they left their homes and sought in the wilds of America a resting place from oppression, a spot where they and their children might enjoy freedom to worship God. They were men of thought and character….”  In 1639, they settled on land north of Ipswich with which to raise and breed sheep and establish the first wool clothier’s trade. The ship’s cargo included “the first printing press, later to be set up in Cambridge, the only printing press in the country until 1685”.


That familial reference to the first printing press in colonial New England seems uncertain but is confirmed by other references and sources. 

“… The first printing press came to British North America two years after the founding of Harvard College. The press was brought by Reverend Joseph Glover, who, when deprived of his position in the Church of England, shipped his family, his possessions, and his printing press to the colonies. Glover also paid for the passage of the man in charge of running his press, Stephen Daye, a locksmith by profession. Daye was under financial contract to work in Glover’s home in Cambridge in order to repay the cost of passage for himself, his wife, and his household—a total of around £51. Rev. Glover, however, did not survive the passage to the New World. When Daye and the press arrived, his debt was transferred to Glover’s widow, Elizabeth, now owner of the printing press.

Daye set to work almost immediately along with his son Matthew, an apprentice printer, and perhaps more skilled than his father. Within the first year in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they printed The Freeman’s Oath, a broadside, which is generally believed to be the first tract printed in British North America. This was completed around the same time as “an almanac made for New England by Mr. William Pierce.” 1 By virtue of exploiting a loophole in colonial legislation, Daye printed the first book in the New World, The Bay Psalm Book, in 1640. This book became extremely popular and influential throughout the colony for the remainder of the 17th century.  It was only three years later that the first Bible published in the New World was also published in Cambridge.

Elizabeth Glover (born Harris), as an unmarried woman, was a rarity in colonial New England. Especially unique was that she was not only an eligible woman of property but also the owner of the only printing press in the British colonies. Her attractiveness as a mate was clear to the President of Harvard, Henry Dunster. On June 21, 1641 they were married, transferring all of her property to his home on the now-named Dunster Street. Elizabeth died in 1643, and her land and property, including the printing press, was passed on to Dunster and subsequently to Harvard College. During the same year Matthew Daye replaced his father as official operator of the press after the elder Daye was briefly jailed for fraud.

As Harvard grew in size and reputation, it became a logical center of printing in the American colonies. Cambridge was the location of not just the first printing press, but also the second when in 1659 a press was sent to the colonies from the British firm “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen Natives of New England and parts Adjacent in America.” Matthew Daye’s successor Samuel Green was in charge of printing at this point, but the British firm also sent over the America’s first professional printer, Marmaduke Johnson, to assist Green. The new press was set up in Harvard Yard, in a building called the Indian College, to print Reverend John Eliot’s “Indian Bible.”

Marmaduke Johnson acquired his own press in England in 1665, and planned to bring it to Boston in order to establish his own business. However, Harvard wanted a replacement for Glover’s original press, having become fragile over the years, and the Harvard leadership successfully lobbied for a state law stating that no printing could be done outside of Cambridge. Forced into staying in Cambridge, Johnson instead, without any affiliation to Harvard, opened the first independent printing press in the colonies and went on to publish 20 books between 1665 and 1674…..”



Facsimile of the first and only issue of the English-American colonies’ first newspaper, published in Boston 1690.

Early American Newspapering

by James Breig

We are here at the end of the World, and Europe may

bee turned topsy turvy ere wee can hear a word of it.

-Virginia planter William Byrd, 1690

In seventeenth-century America, colonial governments had rather do without newspapers than brook their annoyance. In 1671, Governor William Berkeley of Virginia wrote: “I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have, these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both.” As the British government once told the governors of Massachusetts, “Great inconvenience may arise by the liberty of printing.”

Not until 1690 did the first English-American news sheet debut—Boston’s Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published by Benjamin Harris. The authorities, in “high Resentment” that Harris dared to report that English military forces had allied themselves with “miserable” savages, put him out of business four days later.

By the end of the eighteenth century, however, scores of homegrown broadsheets and tabloids satisfied the information appetites of Americans hungry for intelligence of the Old World, for news about the Revolution, and for the political polemics of the infant United States. The history of newspapering in that century digests the beginnings of much of what is served on newsstands in this one.

As the century began, the fledgling colonial press tested its wings. A bolder journalism opened on the eve of the Revolution. And, as the century closed with the birth of the United States, a rancorously partisan and rambunctious press emerged.

The eras can be traced in the history of the family of Benjamin Franklin—the preeminent journalist of his time. But it best begins with another Boston newspaperman, postmaster John Campbell. In 1704, Campbell served up The Boston News-Letter, the nation’s second paper. It was a publication the powers-that-be could stomach. The News-Letter lasted seventy-two years, succeeding in an increasingly competitive industry, supported by the growth of communication and of commerce.

Campbell’s fellow postmasters often became newspaper publishers, too; they had ready access to information to put on their pages. Through their offices came letters, government documents, and newspapers from Europe. Gazettes were also started by printers, who had paper, ink, and presses at hand. Franklin was a postmaster and a printer.


Eighteenth-century editors filled their columns with items lifted from other newspapers—”the exchanges,” as they are called still—and from letters, said Mitchell Stephens, a New York University journalism professor and the author of A History of News. European news, taken from newspapers that arrived in ports like New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, got good play. The November 8, 1797, issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, for example, carried this item from New York: “Yesterday arrived here the ship Mary. . . . By this arrival we are furnished with London Papers . . . from which the most important intelligence is extracted.” David Sloan, a University of Alabama journalism professor, lists the sources of stories as “European newspapers, primarily English ones; correspondence sent in by readers; other newspapers in the colonies; and individuals who would drop by the print shop and talk.”

Julie K. Williams, a history instructor at Alabama’s Samford University, said publishers had such altruistic motives as improving communication and educating the public, but profit was their primary purpose. Maurine Beasley, a University of Maryland journalism professor, puts it plainly. The purpose of newspapers was “to make money.”

Williams said, “Newspapers brought in ad revenue and circulation revenue.” That income supplemented receipts from books, government printing jobs, merchant invoices, forms, and other ephemera.

Making money is still what keeps newspapers in business, and that is but one similarity between eighteenth-century papers and the twenty-first’s. As Sloan said, “Newspapers are still printed with ink on paper.” But more than that, newspapers then and now “still have opinions and letters. There was a sense then that newspapers should publish both sides of an issue, even during the Revolution and factional periods.”

Williams ticks off the surface differences in the newspapers of the two centuries—there were no headlines and few illustrations then, for example—as well as cosmetic similarities. “You can look at an eighteenth-century newspaper and recognize the column layout and the general news-ads look of a paper today,” she said. “It is interesting that the ‘look’ is still basically there.

“But the biggest similarity is what news is. We decided in the eighteenth century that newspapers were about ‘occurrences,’ and basically we have stuck to that. I think ‘departments’ are clearly an idea in the eighteenth century. The colonial printer had a standing format that he followed religiously that involved dividing the news by type. These sections were often labeled ‘foreign reports’ and so on.”

To Carol Humphrey, an Oklahoma Baptist University journalism professor and secretary of the American Journalism Historians Association, “The primary legacy of the eighteenth century for modern journalism is the right to comment on political events. The modern-day editorial has its beginnings in that era.”

The DNA of modern newspapers is found in the eighteenth century, Stephens said. “The look is the same,” and “the sense of what news is, is basic to human beings.”

Most colonial newspapers were weeklies, had four pages, and printed most of their advertisements in back. With little space, printers kept many stories brief, encapsulating even significant information into “one short paragraph, even a sentence,” Sloan said.

Newspapers also contained “essays, poems and humorous material, some of which they wrote themselves, like Ben Franklin,” Beasley said. “Sometimes, items that had a sensational or religious aspect appeared, such as a report of a strange creature being sighted or some unusual event occurring attributed to ‘divine providence.’”

Readers wondered about the course of wars in Europe and were curious about happenings in other towns and colonies—especially events that could affect their lives. But they were as interested as readers of today in the ordinary events of the life of their times. When they got their newspaper, subscribers perused such advertisements and news as:

Run away . . . a small yellow Negro wench named Hannah, about 35 years of age, had on when she went away a green plain petticoat and sundry other clothes, but what sort I do not know.—from a 1767 issue of Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette

For Sale—The spars, anchors, rigging, and hull, of a brig, sixty four feet keel, twenty four and a half feet beam, and ten feet hold.—from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

The noted High Bred Horse Old Mark Anthony, now in high perfection, and as vigorous as ever, stands at my stable this season in order to cover mares, at £3. the leap.—also from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

Last Friday, the fatal and ever memorable Day of the Martyrdom of King Charles the First, a most extraordinary Misfortune befell this Place, by the Destruction of our fine Capitol. . . . The Cupola was soon burnt, the two Bells that were in it were melted, and, together with the Clock, fell down, and were destroyed.—from a 1747 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but datelined Williamsburg, Feb. 5.


When, as the century began, Campbell and his colleagues set up their forms, they entered a risky business. Printers were licensed by the government, and they could be unlicensed swiftly, and imprisoned. That happened to Benjamin Franklin’s older brother James, publisher of the New-England Courant.

James Franklin inspired his sibling’s interest in printing. “In 1717,” the younger Franklin wrote, “James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. . . . My father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.” The boy was at length “persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old.” But like the publisher of Publick Occurrences, James Franklin ran afoul of the authorities. “One of the pieces in our newspaper gave offense to the Assembly,” Benjamin Franklin said. His brother “was taken up, censur’d, and imprison’d for a month. . . . During my brother’s confinement . . . I had the management of the paper.”

When the government freed the older Franklin, it forbade him to print the Courant any longer. The brothers circumvented the order by putting Benjamin Franklin’s name on it.

John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal, was arrested in 1734 and charged with seditious libel for criticisms of Governor William Cosby. The facts were against Zenger, but a jury more sympathetic to free speech than to authority acquitted him. Franklin, who had moved to Philadelphia, where he founded Poor Richard’s Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette, endorsed the verdict in a couplet:

While free from Force the Press remains,

Virtue and Freedom cheer our Plains.

Typical for Franklin and his colleagues, the lines are lifted from a poem by Mathew Green, “The Spleen,” published in 1737.

As happy as editors were to see Zenger vindicated, they noticed that he had spent ten months in jail awaiting trial. His wife had carried on the Journal, but clearly a newspaperman’s livelihood and liberty depended on the forbearance of the government.

At mid-century, the press began to alter its stance and became more outspoken. In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published America’s first newspaper cartoon, a picture showing a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, with the caption: “Join or Die.”

Franklin became a wealthy publisher and editor. He linked print shops and post offices in a coastal chain, and spread newspapering up and down the seaboard. Newspapers founded under his aegis prospered and, as troubles with Great Britain mounted, became precisely the “great inconvenience” England feared.

Stephens said the purpose of newspapers “changed to the political and polemical after 1765—around the time of the Stamp Act-as tensions snowballed.” Sloan said, “During the Revolution, the main goal was to support the American cause.”


“Prior to the Revolution, newspapers existed primarily to inform people of what was going on in the rest of the world,” Humphrey said. “The Revolution changed the focus to events in the other colonies.”

Daily publication began in the 1780s, just as the new American republic emerged. There were about 100 newspapers by 1790, many of them were spirited, and some were great annoyances to men in high positions. It was a time of enormous press freedom, a freedom exercised frequently in behalf of the Federalist or Republican parties, which subsidized their own publications. Humphrey said, “Many newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party.” Two examples are the Gazette of the United States for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the National Gazette for the Jeffersonian Republicans. “Their editors believed that they should support their particular party in all that they did,” she noted, “so they wrote essays in support of their party and included editorial comments in the news pieces that either supported their party or attacked the opposition.”

This was the era of Philip Freneau, John Fenno, and James Callendar, sharp-penned scribes who used their journalistic skills to laud their friends and denigrate their enemies. This was the era when government officials and political figures—Alexander Hamilton and James Madison among them—adopted pseudonyms to promote their politics in the public prints anonymously.

Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Samuel Adams said in 1768 that “there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press.”

But newspaper partisanship had evolved from the Revolution. “Newspapers that were used to denouncing Tories and the King,” Stephens said, “slid easily into denouncing opposition parties, even the President of the United States.”

George Washington declared a lack of interest in newspapers before he was president, writing in 1786 that “my avocations are so numerous that I very rarely find time to look into Gazettes after they come to me.” But while in office, he sometimes was incensed at what he saw in print. In notes about a 1793 cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Jefferson recorded how the president went on in such “a high tone” about the paper of “that rascal” Freneau that the cabinet officers were momentarily stunned into silence.

Benjamin Franklin’s grandson and namesake, Benjamin Franklin Bache—also known as “Lightning Rod Junior”—edited the Aurora. Bache delighted in harassing President Washington, once labeling him “the source of all the misfortunes of our country” and declaring him “utterly incapable.”

When John Adams wrote “A Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in 1779, he included a guarantee of liberty of the press. But as president, Adams endorsed the Alien and Sedition Acts, aimed at muzzling the opposition by jailing editors who dared criticize the chief executive.

Sloan said Bache was “a really ardent, zealous partisan. He epitomizes the intensely partisan editor.” Bache was indicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts but died before his case came to trial. Adams’s successor, Jefferson, released imprisoned journalists and allowed the law to lapse.

Stephens said that the free—and free-wheeling—press of the federal period helped to create the United States: “It is hard to imagine the United States arriving when it did without a free press. It was a wild, unruly press, but democracy was a great experiment and an aggressive press was part of it.”

Much has changed in the centuries since Benjamin Harris set up his type. Among other things, the web press, the linotype, and, eventually, offset printing came to the business. The telegraph and news services supplanted the exchanges. The First Amendment, written originally to protect the press only from the federal Congress, was interpreted to apply to the governments of the states. Illustrations and photographs became as important as words. Journalism emerged as a diplomaed, white-collar profession. And the role of the press as a “great inconvenience” to government is a hallmark of democratic government.

“How,” asks Stephens, “can you run a country without a free press?”

Jim Breig, an Albany, New York, writer and weekly newspaper editor, contributed “Out, Damn’d Proverbs: Eighteenth-Century Axioms, Maxims, and Bywords” to the winter 2002-2003 journal.



In 1638, the first printing press arrived in Boston.

By 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English Empire. The Puritans were the first to write books for children, and to discuss the difficulties in communicating with them. At a time when other Americans were physically blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans efforts in areas of study were advancing the country intellectually.

The Bible stimulated their intellect by promoting discussions of literature. Greek classics, Cicero, Virgil, Terence and Ovid were taught, as well as some poetry and Latin verse. The Puritans also encouraged themselves to create their own poetry, always religious in content.

Anyway, three English diversions were banned in the Puritans’ New England colonies: drama, religious music and erotic poetry. The first and last of these because they led to immorality. Music in worship, instead, created a “dreamy” state which was not conducive in listening to God.

The first newspaper was issued in Boston in 1704.


[Ed.: Today, of course, there is a growth industry involving audio forms of meditation, the neuro-cognitive research done to examine the concept of spiritual perception, in essence a merger between neuroscience and New Age approaches.]


In 1754, four newspapers only were printed in New England, these were all published in Boston, and, usually, on a small sheet.; They were published weekly, and the average number of copies did not exceed six hundred from each press. No paper had then been issued in Connecticut, or New Hampshire. Some years before, one was printed for a short time in Rhode Island, but had been discontinued for want of encouragement. Vermont as a state did not exist, and the country which now composes it was then a wilderness. In 1775, a period of only twenty-one years, more copies of a newspaper were issued weekly from the village press at Worcester, Massachusetts, than were printed in all New England, in 1755; and one paper now published contains as much matter as did all the four published in Boston, in the last year mentioned.

At the beginning of 1775, there were five newspapers published in Boston, one at Salem, and one at Newburyport, making seven in Massachusetts. There was, at that time, one published at Portsmouth; and no other in New Hampshire. One was printed at Newport, and one at Providence, making two in Rhode Island. At New London there was one, at New Haven one, one at Hartford and one in Norwich; in all four I Connecticut;and fourteen in New England. In the province of New York, four papers were then published; three in the city and one in Albany. In Pennsylvania there were, on the first of January, 1775, six; three in English and one in German, in Philadelphia, one in German, at Germantown; and one in English and German, at Lancaster. Before the end of January, 1775, three newspapers, in English, were added to the number from the presses I Philadelphia, making nine in Pennsylvania. In Maryland, two; one at Annapolis, and one at Baltimore. In Virginia, there were but two, and both of these at Williamsburg. One was printed at Wilmington, and one in Newbern, in North Carolina; three at Charleston, South Carolina; and one at Savannah, in Georgia. Making thirty-seen newspapers in all the British colonies, which are now comprised in the United States. To these may be added one at Halifax, in Nova Scotia; and one in Canada, at Quebec.

In 1800, there were at least one hundred and fifty publications of this kind printed in the United States of America, and since that time, the number has increased to three hundred and sixty. Those published before 1775 were weekly papers. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war, daily papers were printed at Philadelphia, New York, &c., and there are now, 1810, more than twenty published, daily, in the United States.

It was common for printers of newspapers to subjoin to their titles ‘Containing the freshest Advices both Foreign and Domestick;’ but gazettes and journals are now chiefly filled with political essays. News do not appear to be always the first object of editors, and, of course, ‘containing the freshest advices,’ &c., is too often out of the question.

For many years after the establishment of newspapers on this continent, very few advertisements appeared in them. This was the case with those that were early printed in Europe. In the first newspapers, advertisements were not separated by lines from the news, &c., and were not even begun with a two line letter; when two line letters were introduced, it was some time before one advertisement was separated from another by a line, or rule as it is termed by printers. After it became usual to separate advertisements, some printers used lines of metal rules; others lines of flowers irregularly placed. I have seen in some New York papers, great primer flowers between advertisements. At length, it became customary to ‘set off advertisements,’ and from using types not larger than those with which the news were printed, types of the size of French canon have often been used for names, especially of those who advertised English goods.

In the troublesome times, occasioned by the stamp act in 1765, some of the more opulent and cautious printers, when the act was to take place, put their papers in mourning, and, for a few weeks, omitted to publish them; others not so timid, but doubtful of the consequence of publishing newspapers without stamps, omitted the titles, or altered them, as an evasion; for instance the Pennsylvania Gazette, and some other papers, were headed ‘Remarkable Occurrences, &c.’ -other printers, particularly those in Boston, continued their papers without any alteration in title or imprint.

From the foregoing it appears that, from the time when the first public journal was published in the country, viz. in April, 1704, to April 1775, comprising a period of seventy-one years, seventy-eight different newspapers were printed in the British American continental colonies; that during this period, thirty-nine, exactly one-half of that number, had been, occasionally, discontinued; and that thirty-nine continued to be issued by the several establishments at the commencement of the revolution. The papers published in the West Indies are not included in this computation.

In the course of thirty-five years, newspaper establishments were, as previously remarked, multiplied in a surprising degree; insomuch, that the number of those printed in the United States in June, 1810, amounted to upwards of three hundred and sixty.

A large proportion of the public papers at that date were established, and supported, by the two great contending political parties, into which the people of these states are usually divided; and whose numbers produce an equipollence; consequently, a great augmentation of vehicles for carrying on the political warfare have been found necessary.

I cannot conclude what I have written on the subject of publike journals, better than by extracting the following pertinent observations on newspapers, from the Rev. Dr. Miller’s Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century.

‘It is worthy of remark that newspapers have almost entirely changed their form and character within the period under review* (*the eighteenth century) For a long time after they were first adopted as a medium of communication to the public, they were confined, in general, to the mere statement of facts. But they have gradually assumed an office more extensive, and risen to a more important station in society. They have become vehicles of discussion, in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private characters of individuals, are all arraigned, tried, and decided. Instead, therefore, of being considered now, as they once were, of small moment in society, they have become immense oral and political engines, closely connected with the welfare of the state, and deeply involving both its peace and prosperity.

‘Newspapers have also become important in a literary view. There are few of them, within the last twenty years, which have not added to their political details some curious and useful information, on the various subjects of literature, science, and art. They have thus become the means of conveying, to every class in society, innumerable scraps of knowledge, which have at once increased the public intelligence, and extended the taste for perusing periodical publications. The advertisements, moreover, which they daily contain, respecting new books, projects, inventions, discoveries and improvements, are well calculated to enlarge and enlighten the public mind, and are worth of being enumerated among the many methods of awakening and maintaining the popular attention, with which more modern times, beyond all preceeding example, abound. . . . “

Index to This Section:

Would there have been an American Revolution Without Newspapers and Mail? The Role of Communications in the American Revolution 

Getting the Word Out: Franklin’s Communications Revolutions

The Dangerous Lives of Printers:

The Evolution of Freedom of the Press

Newspapers in America Before the Era of the Revolution

Newspapers in Revolutionary-Era America and the Problems of Patriot and Loyalist Printers

A Patriot Printer and His “Forge of Sedition”: 

The Story of Isaiah Thomas

The Role of Newspapers in the Revolution:

Isaiah Thomas’s The History of Printing in America

Not Just the News: 

A War of Letters, Pamphlets, Broadsides, and Sermons




“But I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!” 

Governor Sir William Berkeley, 1671


The Germination of a Free Press: A Dissident Print Culture and the Stamp Act in Colonial Virginia


Roger P. Mellen


42 pp.






“The editor objected to the use of Native auxiliaries in the invation of Canada during King William’s War after he heard reports of them torturing and killing captured French troops.”

“… The first newspaper ever printed in this country met the same fate dealt the first gesture towards press censorship and the first attempt to set up a commercial printing shop: “Publick Occurrances both Foreign and Domestick,” appeared on September 26, 1690, and was immediately forbidden from the Colonies. The Governor and council gave expression to “high resentment and disallowance” to this paper printed by Richard Pierce for Benjamin Harris of Boston, and forbade anyone “for the future to set forth anything in print without license first obtained.”




“… The most intriguing objects found in the Harvard Yard excavations were pieces of lead printing type dating back to the 17th century. At first glance, these lead alloy bars may not impress, but they are small pieces of an important story. Each bears the mold of a single letter. When arranged in rows, coated with thick ink, and pressed onto paper, they created the first books printed in North America. The fonts, or particular shapes, of some of these letters have been matched to surviving 17th-century products of Harvard’s early press…..”




“… Ezekiel and his followers pooled their money to organise their New England passage. They left Rowley in the summer of 1638 and travelled down into Hull where they joined the ship John of London, lying in the Old Harbour on the River Hull. After sailing out of the Humber, their ship called into London en route and there picked up the Reverend Joseph Glover, a wealthy nonconformist minister, who brought with him Stephen Daye, a printer, and also what is believed to be North America’s first printing press. Glover is thought to have first visited New England earlier in the 1630s and supported the foundation of Harvard College – which eventually became Harvard University, the oldest institute of higher education in the United States.

Unfortunately, on the long and tortuous journey across the Atlantic, the Reverend Glover died before the vessel reached Salem Bay, Massachusetts in the December of 1638. The migrants probably spent a long first winter in Salem but in spring 1639 Ezekiel Rogers and his followers moved on to land some six miles outside of Ipswich, Massachusetts. House lots and properties were laid out along the township’s brook, allowing each family access to fresh water. Here the new arrivals built many houses and, bringing spinning and weaving skills with them from the East Riding of Yorkshire, they were amongst the first to establish a clothing industry in New England. They called their little township, Rowley after their East Riding village….

Elizabeth Glover, continued with her late husband’s mission and supervised Daye in the setting up of the Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In January 1639, the Freeman’s Oath was the first piece printed. The following year, 1640, the press produced The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the English colonies. This may also have been the first book to have been written in North America and is an important part of the history of print; it seems that only five original copies still exist.

The small town of Rowley prospered and Ezekiel Rogers bequeathed his library to Harvard when he died in 1660 and other benefactions from him also eventually went to this learned institution. Early settlers in Rowley played an important part in the establishment of this new country. Elizabeth Glover married Henry Dunster, Harvard’s First President, who had taken interest in the Press. Stephen Daye died in 1668. His son Matthew became an accomplished printer and indeed may have actually done much of the printing with that first press. Printing and publishing in the United States has certainly come a long way since Stephen Daye first sailed with the Rowley settlers back in the summer of 1638.”

Robb Robinson, December 2008



This past Christmas weekend has been an opportunity for long-range thinking, planning, learning, observing and more planning. Numerous things have been poking me in my ribs, tapping me on my collar-bone, and crackling synaptically inside my skull.                               

We are advised that rumination is unhealthy and should be stopped. 

We are told to return to the source of our creative fire. 

First among the various stimuli is a slowly-emerging intent to focus on writing. Winter has driven me indoors into a little gem of a house with my office, bookcases, coffee pot, pellet stove and functional iMac; in the summertime, I can sit on the deck overlooking the man-made pond and waterfall and the women-tended garden working on a MacAir.

A small bookcase filled with little gems about the art and practice of writing awaits my more complete attention. 

A desktop folder filled with writing ideas and my own stash of “prompts” is now popping fresh new green sprigs. 

Awaiting my investment of time is the half-finished two-hour lecture course on DVD on the craft of writing world-class prose by a distinguished scholar of contemporary literature; there is a similar but not yet started six-hour course in creative non-fiction

I bought myself a copy of The Trickster’s Hat. It’s a “mischievous apprenticeship in creativity”.

I just discovered a new resource when I went looking for background on the popular writer Michael Crichton whose book “Timeline” generated some thoughts; his simple method uses 3×5 cards to plot out storyline

(Note that that web site has a number of great resources for writers. See this year-ending compendium of the top posts from the past year at Writers Helping Writers.

My wife bought me a book of prompts for uncovering the gems in my life’s stories, as well as the fourth edition of “The Craft of Research”. It is “a fundamental and accessible text that explains how to build an argument that engages and persuades readers, how to effectively anticipate and respond to the reservations of readers, and how to find and evaluate sources and integrate them into an argument.” It ends with a 30-page appendix crammed with bibliographic resources in 26 topical categories, starting with a significant two-page compendium of online databases. At $15, it’s the gift of the decade. It may take me ten years to harvest it. 


Obama has signed legislation enabling criminal charges for exercising freedom of speech. 

And Social Security has been weaponized by the State as a means of punishment and intimidation for those arrested arrested while exercising their right to assemble in protest. 

Recently the Internet has become a war zone and people have begun to discuss and debate, from both technological and other perspectives, how they will maintain and exercise the right to create, express and thrive independent of political control. 

I’m re-reading a book about “timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making” called Tempo which surely has some value in deciding what direction I am going to take in the future. 


Four from http://www.strike-the-root.com: 








Alexa: Who dunnit?

SAN FRANCISCO – In what may be a first, police in Arkansas asked Amazon for recordings potentially made by an Echo device in connection with a murder investigation.






Obama Quietly Signs The “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law

December 27th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: ZeroHedge:

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

Posted in Dictatorship, Perception Management |

explaining news to kids

explaining news to kids

I woke up this morning clutching desperately for something that would stem the sinus drainage that I developed in the middle of the night, jotted down a shopping list for more nose-related sundries, and opened up my window into the world to find this enticing article on how to explan the news to our kids.

I’m still trying to find the best ways to explain the news to grown adults but the idea of tender and vulnerable minds watching what gets put on the telly is intriguing. (WGN offers up a logo that suggests its eager to put more violent garbage in front of you, to say nothing of the other pablum and lies that abound in that medium.)  My own thoughts and reactions will follow, but here’s the article:



Explaining the News to Our Kids

Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media 

Fri Aug 8, 4:45 PM UTC 

Kids get their news from many sources—and they’re not always correct. How to talk about the news—and listen, too.

Shootings, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, end-of-the-world predictions—even local news reports of missing kids and area shootings—all of this can be upsetting news even for adults, much less kids. In our 24/7 news world, it’s become nearly impossible to shield kids from distressing current events.

Today, kids get news from everywhere. This constant stream of information shows up in sharable videos, posts, blogs, feeds, and alerts. And since much of this content comes from sites that are designed for adult audiences, what your kids see, hear, or read might not always be age appropriate. Making things even more challenging is the fact that many kids are getting this information directly on their phones and laptops. Often parents aren’t around to immediately help their children make sense of horrendous situations.

The bottom line is that young kids simply don’t have the ability to understand news events in context, much less know whether or not a source of information is credible. And while older teens are better able to understand current events, even they face challenges when it comes to sifting fact from opinion—or misinformation.

No matter how old your kid is, threatening or upsetting news can affect them emotionally. Many can feel worried, frightened, angry — even guilty. And these anxious feelings can last long after the news event is over. So what can you do as a parent to help your kids deal with all of this information?


Reassure your children that they’re safe. Tell your kids that even though a story is getting a lot of attention, it was just one event and was most likely a very rare occurrence. And remember that your kids will look to the way you handle your reactions to determine their own approach. If you stay calm and considered, they will, too.


Keep the news away. Turn off the TV and radio news at the top of the hour and half hour. Read the newspaper out of range of young eyes that can be frightened by the pictures. Preschool children don’t need to see or hear about something that will only scare them silly, especially because they can easily confuse facts with fantasies or fears.

At this age, kids are most concerned with your safety and separation from you. They’ll also respond strongly to pictures of other young children in jeopardy. Try not to minimize or discount their concerns and fears, but reassure them by explaining all the protective measures that exist to keep them safe. If you’re flying somewhere with them, explain that extra security is a good thing


Carefully consider your child’s maturity and temperament.Many kids can handle a discussion of threatening events, but if your children tend toward the sensitive side, be sure to keep them away from the TV news; repetitive images and stories can make dangers appear greater, more prevalent, and closer to home.

At this age, many kids will see the morality of events in stark black-and-white terms and are in the process of developing their moral beliefs. You may have to explain the basics of prejudice, bias, and civil and religious strife. But be careful about making generalizations, since kids will take what you say to the bank. This is a good time to ask them what they know, since they’ll probably have gotten their information from friends, and you may have to correct facts.

You might explain that even news programs compete for viewers, which sometimes affects content decisions. If you let your kids use the Internet, go online with them. Some of the pictures posted are simply grisly. Monitor where your kids are going, and set your URLs to open to non-news-based portals.


Check in. Since, in many instances, teens will have absorbed the news independently of you, talking with them can offer great insights into their developing politics and their senses of justice and morality. It will also give you the opportunity to throw your own insights into the mix (just don’t dismiss theirs, since that will shut down the conversation immediately).

Many teens will feel passionately about events and may even personalize them if someone they know has been directly affected. They’ll also probably be aware that their own lives could be impacted by terrorist tactics. Try to address their concerns without dismissing or minimizing them. If you disagree with media portrayals, explain why so that your teens can separate the mediums through which they absorb news from the messages conveyed.

Additional resources: For more information on how to talk to your kids about a recent tragedy please visit the National Association of School Psychologists or the American Psychological Association.

© 2014 Common Sense Media, Inc. All rights reserved.



Here’s my alternative approach:


Turn off the TV and tell the kids to go out and play.

Turn off the TV and read a good book to them. 

Take them to a museum, or on a hike. 

If they whine and carry on, get them invested in reading, community and after-school ventures in creativity, drama, the arts, photography, athletics, the worlds of science, technology and math.

When they get old enough to understand:

Explain the concept of media concentration (see notes 1 and 2).

Explain what propaganda is (see notes 3, 4 and especially 5), as well as this book.  Explain something about the history of Bernaysian thought and application; a trip to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Bernays will probably suffice for openers, especially if you get the connection between “Torches of Freedom” and the incidence of lung cancer.

Explain the rudimentary concepts of perception management (see notes 6, 7, 8 and 9).

When you feel the child is ready (probably at least deep into high school), you can consider introducing them to information warfare (note 10), and then venture as you dare into the topics of  thought control, psychological warfare, mind control and mind wars

Tell them all about Operation Mockingbird (notes 11, 12, 13 and 14), the law that approves domestic propaganda (note 15), and how the CIA circulated a memo that set out the idea of a “conspiracy theory”  for the first time (note 16) right after they killed the President of the United States and before they killed the leading candidate for peace and reform emerging from out of the Presidential primary process. 

Explain the relationship of news to entertainment and vice versa (notes 17, 18 and 19), how the movies and TV shows aid perception, the role of the CIA in Hollywood (notes 20, 21 and 22), the links between Zionism and Hollywood (notes 23, 24 and 25), the links between Zionism and terrorism (notes 26, 27, 28 and 29), Operation Gladio (notes 30, 31, 32 and 33), and the silent sound technology built in to HDTV (notes 34 and 35 ) and the surveillance tools built in to smart TV’s (notes 36, 37 and 38 ).

Give them a short primer in the emergence of a secret, centuries-long plan starting in an obscure group in Bavaria called Perfectibilists into a secret exclusive fraternity at Yale that since the 1830’s has placed in control virtually every major large-group society, publishing venture or non-governmental organization under the control of people whose allegiance seems sworn to Luciferianism, including the American Psychology Association. You can read all about it for free with a 14-day trial at Scribd. 

Finally, after securing your child to a board and holding them upside down under a faucet, ask them if they have done their homework.  [Refresh their memory about the use of the term “hot and cold running images”.]

Then explain the ties between the American Psychological Association and the use of torture in American prisons (see notes 39, 40 and 41) and ask them if they want that organization to provide tips on how they should watch TV and understand the news.


  1. http://www.businessinsider.com/these-6-corporations-control-90-of-the-media-in-america-2012-6?op=1 

2) http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1118&context=aulr [“Media Concentration: A Case of Power, Ego, and Greed Confronting Our Sensibilities”]

3) http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/gi-roundtable-series/pamphlets/what-is-propaganda 

4) http://changingminds.org/techniques/propaganda/propaganda_is.htm 

5) http://www.schooljournalism.org/recognizing-types-of-propaganda-in-advertising/ 

6) http://www.scribd.com/doc/53678637/Basic-Concept-of-Perception 

7) http://www.scribd.com/doc/25022575/The-Concept-of-Perception 

8) http://www.csc.kth.se/~ronniej/pubs/perception_management.pdf 

9) http://www.commondreams.org/views/2014/12/30/endless-war-and-victory-perception-management 

10) http://inform.nu/Articles/Vol9/v9p213-223Hutchinson64.pdf 

11) http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=The_CIA_and_journalism 

12) http://whale.to/b/mockingbird.html 

13) http://www.amazon.com/Mighty-Wurlitzer 

14) http://investmentwatchblog.com/cnns-anderson-cooper-admits-working-for-the-cia-operation-mockingbird-asset-exposed/ 

15) http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-legalizes-propaganda-2012-5?op=1 

16) http://memoryholeblog.com/2013/01/20/cia-document-1035-960-foundation-of-a-weaponized-term/ 

17) http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/26/business/media-at-cbs-the-lines-between-news-and-entertainment-grow-fuzzier.html 

18) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/arts/television/george-stephanopoulos-and-the-line-between-news-and-entertainment.html?_r=0 

19) https://www.princeton.edu/~mprior/Prior2005.News%20v%20Entertainment.AJPS.pdf  [“… greater media choice makes it easier for people to find their preferred content. People who like news take advantage of abundant political information to become more knowledgeable and more likely to turn out. In contrast, people who prefer entertainment abandon the news and become less likely to learn about politics….”] 

20) http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/01/28/hollywood-and-the-cia-a-dark-marriage-revealed/ 

21) http://www.salon.com/2013/02/28/is_hollywood_secretly_in_bed_with_the_cia_partner/ 

22) http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/jencia [The CIA in Hollywood: How The Agency Shapes Film and Television]

23) http://www.whale.to/c/jews_and_hollywood.html 

24) http://www.whale.to/c/jewish_media_control.html 

25) http://www.loonwatch.com/2010/09/the-connection-between-zionism-and-organized-islamophobia-the-facts/ 

26) http://www.whale.to/b/zionists.html 

27) http://www.serendipity.li/zionism/israel_terr.htm 

28) http://rense.com/general21/pastzionist.htm [Don’t expect any Hollywood films highlighting any of these massacres committed by Jewish-Zionist terrorists, notably by the Zionist Hagana, Irgun and Stern Gang groups.]

29) http://www.ihr.org/books/ztn.html 

30) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/CIA%20Hits/Gladio_CIAHits.html 

31) http://www.globalresearch.ca/operation-gladio-cia-network-of-stay-behind-secret-armies/9556 

32) https://www.danieleganser.ch/assets/files/Inhalte/Interviews/Zeitungsinterviews/pdf_05/EIR_Interview_Gladio_and_911_08.04.05.pdf 

33) http://wideshut.co.uk/gladio-b-the-origins-of-natos-secret-islamic-terrorist-proxies/ 

34) http://proliberty.com/observer/20090118.htm

35) http://wariscrime.com/new/digital-tv-mind-control-by-the-sound-of-silence/ 

36) http://www.pcworld.com/article/2889472/samsung-faces-complaint-in-us-ftc-over-smart-tv-surveillance.html 

37 https://www.rt.com/usa/smart-tv-security-access-092/ 

38) http://www.networkworld.com/article/2225091/microsoft-subnet/black-hat–smart-tvs-are-the–perfect-target–for-spying-on-you.html 

39) http://radioboston.wbur.org/2015/07/21/apa-pentagon 

40) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/01/us/report-says-american-psychological-association-collaborated-on-torture-justification.html 

41) https://theintercept.com/2015/07/14/cia-involving-psychologists-torture-sounds-bad-ok/ 


source of image: 



Suggested reading to put the emphasis back on the proper development of your child as a sentient intelligent creative and empathetic being:

Seven Times Smarter: 50 Activities, Games and Projects to Develop the Seven Intelligences of Your Child, Laurel Schmidt, Three Rivers Press, New York 2001. [If you want a pearl, you have to put a grain of sand in the shell.]

Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not All In Your Head, Carla Hannaford, Ph.D., Great Ocean Publishers, Arlington, VA 1995. [The author is a nationally-recognized neuropsychologist and educator. This is a fascinating, very readable and

important book on neuroscience, educational kinesiology and the brain/body connection as it affects us in learning, in performance, at work, and in society. It explains several basic BrainGym exercises, very simple techniques anyone can use to enhance their lives in innumerable ways.]

Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1999. [The primary tools are observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing and dimensional thinking; the integrative tools are modeling,

playing, transforming and synthesizing.]

The Everyday Work of Art: How Artistic Experience Can Transform Your Life, Eric Booth, Sourcebooks, Napierville, Illinois 1997.

How To Be, Do, or Have Anything: A Practical Guide to Creative Empowerment, Laurence G. Boldt, Ten Speed Press, Berkeley, CA 2001.

Becoming Adult: How Teenagers Prepare for the World of Work, Mihaly Csikszentmthalyi and Barbara Schnieder, Basic Books, New York, 2000.

One Kid at a Time: Big Lessons from a Small School, Eliot Levine, Teachers College Press, New York, 2002.

Schools With Spirit: Nurturing the Inner Lives of Children and Teachers, edited by Linda Lantieri, Beacon Press, 2001.

Deep Play, Diane Ackerman, Random House, New York, 1999.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, M. Csikszentmihalyi, Harper & Row, New York, 1990.

Reclaiming Our Children: A Healing Plan for a Nation in Crisis, Peter R. Breggin, M.D., Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA 2000.

Walking in this World: The Practical Art of Creativity, Julia Cameron, Tarcher/Putnam 2002. [A follow-up to The Artists’ Way, this book is about rediscovering our senses of origin, proportion, perspective, adventure, personal territory, boundaries, momentum, discernment, resiliency, camaraderie, authenticity and dignity. Her list of recommended reading is remarkable.]

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, Jerry Mander, William Morrow Paperbacks, 1977. [“TV stops the critical processes of the brain.”]


World Affairs BriefFebruary, 2010 Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief (http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com).


Critical analysis of current events is a complex process that is not systematized or rigid. All the information you see or gather is, generally, a combination of truth, half-truths, and error. Filtering out the truth begins with finding reliable sources, as well as critically scrutinizing sources that are known to have a specific bias.

Reliable Sources: No journalist or historian bases his writings on original material, except when relating what he or she personally experiences. This world is much too big with much too much going on for anyone to directly witness anything but a small fraction of life’s happenings. Thus, we all have to rely on sources of information. As all of my readers know, most of the world has become heavily reliant upon the establishment media. People are busy, with little time to study and analyze current events. So they scan the front page each day, or watch the TV evening news, relying on these easy, quick sound bites to “inform” them about the world.

Almost everyone who gets this minimum dose of daily news thinks that they know what is going on in the world. This is not so, even though the media rarely tells an outright lie. What writers and editors do is purposefully omit key pieces of information that would significantly change people’s opinion about what is being presented. This brings up the first rule in finding reliable sources. Search for someone who is skeptical of the official version, and who searches out key information that has been withheld by establishment sources.

It is fascinating to see how uniform the evening news is. No matter which channel you turn to, the same stories appear with the same general emphasis, even with regard to local stories. A common illusion today is that Fox News is significantly more conservative than the other big three networks. Not so. Fox is merely playing the role of the pro-government cheerleader, just like CNN did during the Gulf War, when it came out of obscurity to become an instant major player. That never happens without government ties. Meanwhile, the other three majors are doing their part. They criticize the current administration mildly, sufficient to appear as the opposition. In reality, however, they are part of the same machine designed to protect any insider administration, whether Democratic or Republican, from its strongest critics on the constitutional right. They make sure they keep the most damaging evidences of conspiracy out of the public eye.

Virtually every major metropolitan area in the US has a major liberal, establishment newspaper which promotes this hidden agenda. In turn, every state of the Union is more or less controlled by the concentration of voters in liberal metro areas. Even though most states have a sizeable body of rural conservatives, their voice is rarely heard at the polls.

The one thing you can learn from the controlled media, including arch liberal newspapers like the Washington Post, NY Times, and LA Times, is the direction in which the conspiracy against liberty is going. I spend about a third of my time watching what the opposition does.  When they start uniformly promoting certain issues in all the establishment journals (global warming, smart growth, gun control, etc.), it is obvious that there is some coordination going on. But remember, you can only learn to see through the selectively filtered news dispensed by the establishment media if you have other sources that feed you the missing pieces.

So where do you look for good alternative news sources? First off, don’t believe everything on the Internet. Just because an alternative news source appears anti-establishment does not mean it is honest or a true advocate for liberty. Some of the most pernicious perveyors of disinformation are new outfits like the EU Times, that has no physical presence anywhere, or the mysterious untraceable Sorcha Faal, a pseudonym for a disinformation outfit that claims to have Russian sources. Conservatives tend to fall for all things Russian, as if they know everything. That perhaps explains the sudden inroads Russia Today television has made into the conservative community. They love to give voice to every conspiracy that comes around and conservatives fall for it. However, all the media coming out of Russia is still controlled by the KGB, and Russia Today is no exception.

Then there are the shysters, too many to list, who make up bizzare claims out of thin air that talk with supposed first hand knowledge about secret tunnels criss-crossing the continent connecting secret bases with aliens leaders. There are those who make up stories about defeating the globalist conspiracy by claims that opposing military forces are blowing up the elites bunkers with nuclear weapons or using special financial structures to take back control from the elite. Benjamin Fulford and Lee Emil Wanta are two of the most notorious pushing these phoney claims about beating back the elite.

Many of the most well known and well funded alternative news media outlets come from a Leftist slant, such as Anti-war.com or Counterpunch.com. Oddly enough, this does not mean that these sites are the most dangerous opponents to liberty. Even though I reject the Left’s brand of socialism, many have recently become allies in the fight to ferret out useful information on the betrayal of US interests by the Bush and Obama administrations (which the left correctly believes is engaging in illegal and unconstitutional intrusions into fundamental rights. Sadly, neither of these sites will countenance any talk of conspiracy. They censored the column of Paul Craig Roberts when he tried to bring up some of the evidence in 9/11 pointing to government involvment.

Also on the Left but appearing to cater to the right is the Lyndon LaRouche crowd which publishes the Executive Intelligence Review. LaRouche wormed his way into conservative circles by attacking Jane Fonda and the environmentalists. But LaRouche’s background is socialist. He has long had ties with the Socialist International, which fronts for Moscow. I believe much of his sources for his EIR magazine come from the KGB. His wife has been a member of the Communist Party according to European sources. LaRouche worships FDR, so you know he’s no conservative. He mostly attack the US government as a representative of greedy capitalism–a typical socialist position. While there is much truth to corporate America being in bed with government, he fails to attack or see the globalist agenda that is behind this crony capitalism. Webster Tarpley is a devotee of LaRouche and is often featured on the Alex Jones show, to the dismay of his more savvy listeners. All of Tarpley’s solutions are socialist as well.

There are many that claim to be on the conservative side that are actually shilling for government. Some of them are sincere but blind, while others are manipulated by their hidden funding sources. Newsmax.com, for example, is funded in part by establishment insiders like Richard Mellon Scaife, and is predictably and unabashedly uncritical of nearly everything that President Bush did. Chris Ruddy, who runs Newsmax, should know better after publishing a book on the evidence surrounding the Vince Foster murder. But he was strangely silent about the evils and deceptions of the Bush administration. WorldNetDaily.com is much better, but it still puts out occasion garbage. NewsWithViews.com is the site I think shows the best judgment about a broad range of issues and isn’t afraid to touch upon responsible views about conspiracy.

The Washington Times, owned by the Mooneys, is pro-Bush and pro-war to a fault, and never even allows a hint of conspiracy issues or evidence to surface in its articles. Its sister publication, Insight Magazine, seems to be a bit more independent and rigorous. Insight does some first class investigative reporting, but still holds back on criticizing the neocon agenda. I’ve always suspected that the Mooneys, with their seemingly bottomless pit of money, are fronting for a government organization, perhaps the CIA. The dark side of the US government is expert in funding both sides of the political spectrum, thus controlling both sides.

The establishment has also secretly funded or taken over most conservative talk radio stations. Rush Limbaugh was “turned” early on. He was rewarded with millions in salary increases. I knew when it happened. He suddenly switched from open discussion of conspiracy issues to deriding and denigrating anyone who called in expressing thoughts on conspiracy. Now, there are very few truly independent, conservative voices on talk radio left. Almost all radio stations in the country are owned by one of the four or five major broadcast companies like Clear Channel, Citadel, Cumulous, and Intercom. Slowly, the most hard-hitting and independent conservative talk show hosts are being pushed out or fired. Even Christian radio stations are letting go of hosts who dare challenge President a neocon Republican like George Bush or Rick Perry—the newest Bush clone sent in to fool conservatives.

The meteoric rise of Glenn Beck provided conservatives an new champion to replace the compromised Rush Limbaugh. But Beck too has been a disappointment. I don’t believe he is a government shill like Limbaugh, Hannity and O’Reilly, who show their true colors by visiously attacking anyone getting close to the issue of conspiracy. Beck is a true conservative who loves the constitution and champions the views of my uncle W. Cleon Skousen. But Beck also has a major weaknesses. He’s got a bruising ego, he’s heresistant to correction, and has a brain that won’t slow down enough to be careful. He often goes beyond the mark which makes him an easy target of criticism. But my biggest concern about Beck is that he early on got on the wrong side of conspiracy and won’t consider all of the credible evidence that 9/11 was an inside job. That’s a bit ironic since Beck clearly believes there is a globalist conspiracy to take down American sovereignty–he just won’t consider the wider ramification of the powerful forces controlling both political parties and the media. Beck is just too bull headed to take an honest look at the best 9/11 evidence and change his mind. Neither does his cocky, shoot-from-the-hip manner lend itself to thoughtful introspection. I’m not impressed with his new internet TV channel, and especially unimpressed by his militaristic side-kicks that keep goading him in the wrong direction.

To me, the betrayal of liberty and constitutional principles by both Republican and Democratic leaders has become so open and blatant, that anyone claiming to be a champion of liberty can no longer stand with the mainstream Republicans, at least unconditionally. This is a key litmus test of whether or not you can trust sources who claim to be conservative. All of the major Christian leaders who support the mainstream Republicans unconditionally are either willfully blind or sold out to the lure of popular appeal. They know that to criticize a Republican president is to court financial disaster with their untutored congregations. Still, there are a few on the Christian right who have the courage to criticize a Republican administration that betrays principle. The most consistently insightful Christian critic of the Bush administration was Pastor Chuck Baldwin. He is still telling it like it is and worth listening to on www.chuckbaldwinlive.com.

On the Left, the CIA directly cultivates journalists who can be relied on to publish key leaks and slanted information—a practice that is illegal but done anyway. Some journalists, I am told, are even on secret monthly retainers. One thing you can count on. There isn’t a single investigative journalist who regularly comes out with blockbuster revelations from inside government, who isn’t on the receiving end of regular, purposeful, government leaks. There are even a few legitimate conservatives on the right like Bill Gertz of the Washington Times that receive leaks from sources in government. However, these sources only leak information confirming and supporting the neocon justifications for war and intervention. It is strange that we rarely see any whistleblowers emerge from the CIA anymore. The dark side has apparently eliminated all opposition within that agency. The FBI still has a few that break ranks, but since the Justice Department refuses to give them a hearing, I think any others contemplating blowing the whistle will decide instead to remain silent or resign.

This much is for sure. No truly patriotic CIA agent or FBI agent is allowed to leak critical information about illegal government activities or conspiracy for long. Every telephone of every journalist in the world is tapped. Government always knows who is leaking to journalists. Only the unauthorized ones are hunted down and rousted out of the government, and are often prosecuted like criminals by federal agencies eager to discredit and silence them. Dozens of whistleblowing agents from all federal agencies are languishing in US federal prisons on trumped up charges.

In a similar vein, watch out for the many up-and-coming “private” intelligence sources, like Stratfor.comDebka.com or Geostrategy-Direct. When organizations with a world-wide intelligence reach suddenly appear out of nowhere, with no substantial traceable sources of funding, you can be assured they are almost always tapping into government sources. Stratfor was started by a college professor, and almost at its inception had an instant worldwide presence of top notch economic and geo-political intelligence. The analyses on that site are suspiciously skewed along lines that would mask the real motives behind world events. Debka.com is run by an Israeli business journalist who openly admitted to me that his sources are all government insiders. The trouble with that kind of arrangement is that a one or two man shop, even if sincere, can’t possible check up on whether they are being fed disinformation or not. Sometimes they can tell, but usually they cannot.

Another example is the Northeast Intelligence Network (NEIN), which also claims to know too much for a group that is truly private—especially one that claims to be on the right side of the political spectrum (which is specifically excluded from true insider information). In making warnings about terrorism, this outfit claims to have analyzed thousands of telephone intercepts. No private source has access to this kind of information. Either they are making it up or they are tapping into government intelligence directly, which makes them no more private than government covert mercenary corporations like DynCorp, MPRI, and Vinelli. Yes, NEIN may have a few military types who feed them information. I too have a few who occasionally let me in on what they observe, none of which is specifically classified or illegal to disclose. However, no one in the military leaking the kind of info NEIN publishes can do so regularly without being caught—especially when NEIN has an internet presence that openly publishes these claims. In like manner, I have long warned about former “insiders” Al Martin and Sherman Skolnick. They both claimed more than they could have known without having government sources feeding them.

Insider connected corporations and wealthy individuals also control think tanks on both the right and the left. The Hoover InstitutionAmerican Enterprise Institute, andNational Review, even though they have done good research in the past, have become shills for neo-conservative globalist intervention. The Heritage Foundation used to be really conservative and hard hitting until it started to receive funding from establishment sources. Now it is relatively benign. Rarely does it criticize a Republican administration. The only exception to the corruption by funding trend has been the libertarian Cato Institute. Despite receiving major funding from establishment sources, it still resists control, and has not strayed far from its libertarian roots – except that it will never accuse the government of conspiracy. That seems to be the universal requirement for keeping an organization on the hook for establishment funding and free from establishment attacks. No one is allowed to play with the majors if they present evidence of conspiracy.

On the left, we still have with us organizations that grew out of Communist or Marxist influence within tax exempt foundations. Early on, the left targeted and gained control of the Carnegie, Brookings, and Ford Foundations. Even younger foundations like the Wallace, MacArthur, and Pew Charitable Trust are run with a liberal agenda. Some, like the Rand Corporation, Wackenhut Corrections and BCCI, are suspected of being outright government operations, dressed in civilian garb.

Then there are the traditional globalist organizations like the CFRTrilateral Commission and Aspen Institute. Although each of these organizations takes great pains to include in their membership up and coming middle-of-the-roaders, along with a few unthinking conservatives, to mask their hidden agenda, it is my opinion that these organizations are where the really dangerous people, who actively work toward the subversion of American constitutional sovereignty, congregate. Keep an eye on the top leaders of these organizations. I have noted that since the Iraq war, the media regularly calls upon spokesmen from the CFR much more frequently than in prior years. It seems the media is no longer afraid of consevatives who view the CFR as a subversive organization. It’s now very much in the mainstream consciousness of Americans and given a positive, authoritative reputation.

Education and Experience: I don’t accept anything in the news at face value without comparing it to what I already know is true. The greater the body of true knowledgethat you possess, the easier it is to see fallacies and falsehoods. The more shallow your store of “facts” and true experiences, the harder it is to scrutinize new information, especially when it falls outside your limited area of expertise or experience. Those who come from a home where learning is a continuing affair enriched by good books and alternative news, and not confined to television and establishment schools exclusively, have a head start in this process. In public schools students develop a body of “knowledge” in the social sciences and historical areas that is politically skewed and largely distorted. Because these “truths” are repeated by everyone and assumed true, even good people can sometimes become resistant to changing their minds. All of you who have tried to introduce others to evidence of conspiracy and corruption in government know what I mean.

Regardless of your background, the best way to become a critical thinker is to start reading argument-oriented commentaries on various subjects. The best source of such commentaries is transcripts of debates where contrasting presentations are given on two opposing issues, followed by a counter to each view and lastly a counter to the counter. That’s what it takes to really see error. States that publish voter pamphlets often use this format for initiatives. Also, the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) each month publishes “Ideas on Liberty,” a collection of confrontational essays directly countering bad ideas in economics, law and politics. It makes for stimulating reading, and is not difficult to understand. See www.fee.org on the web.

Personal experience in various aspects of life can also be an analytical tool. Often, my ability to see something false in a statement by government is due to my understanding of how government works, not only because of my political science training, but also due to my experience working in Washington, DC and in the military. The most valuable type of experience is not obvious, however. Sometimes it’s more important to be able to figure out what CAN’T be known so that you can detect sources that are lying. Having had a “top secret” clearance myself, and having also done FOIA searches to try to penetrate the wall of government secrecy (often used improperly to cover for illegal acts), I have a pretty good idea of what secrets one can and cannot get access to, without being a “deep cover” disinformation agent. This kind of experiential knowledge is especially useful in identifying gaps and falsehoods in alternative news and private intelligence analysis.

Common knowledge about how life works is also essential to see through pie-in-the-sky and too-good-to-be-true claims and schemes. One of the best ways to gain this kind of experience is to be determined to become well rounded in life, both in skills and in knowledge. You have to go out of your way to do so, as the world demands ever more specialization. Yes, everyone has to specialize in something to set themselves somewhat apart from others in the job market, but that shouldn’t stop you from using your spare time to learn a little about a lot of other things. Self learning through books is the most economical way to do this. Even if your children don’t go to college, make sure they learn enough about practical physics, electricity, chemistry, and other fields so they can make intelligent choices in life.

For example, I took several shop classes in high school as electives, and found that I thoroughly enjoyed building things and working with my hands. I knew I should pursue a different field in order to make a living, but I intuitively knew these skills were also essential in life, especially for a family man. Later, in college, I continued to expand my skills in the manual trades with classes on welding, construction, and machining. I also tried to become well-rounded in technical and professional knowledge. I studied economics, law, political science, social science, psychology and philosophy—the good and the bad in each field. The bad was what college provided; the good had to be ferreted out on my own. Most everything I learned in the social sciences in college was junk. However, being confronted with falsehoods and having to search for truth (on my own time) was invaluable.

If you have gained a broad generalist background in the sciences, and know how the natural world works, you can often spot flaws in the growing number of phony scientific claims that abound on the internet, like man-made global warming. Even if you can’t see through a particular suspicious claim, at least you can seek help from others more knowledgeable and usually understand their response. We are constantly bombarded by people pushing get-rich-quick schemes, free energy schemes, and bizarre scientific claims about doomsday scenarios. Recent threats about giant asteroids (Planet X) colliding with earth, or claims about the earth’s poles shifting on a certain date due to astronomical alignment of planets (causing the flooding of half the US continent) have all turned out to be bogus. What was paraded on the internet as “scientific” opinion backing up these claims turned out to be merely New Age visionaries and a few pseudo scientists who were tapping into spiritualist sources. Thousands of people get caught up in these frenzies of fear. We have enough real threats from globalist domination without getting stressed out over bogus claims. Educating yourself in all aspects of life is the best way to prepare yourself to distinguish the fraudulent from the real.

Using logic: It is not enough, however, to merely accumulate knowledge and facts like so many books on a shelf. You must also learn how to filter that information and assemble it into a realistic view of the world. Most people know how to draw a simple conclusion from a logical proposal: A = B and B = C. Therefore A must equal C. This is deductive reasoning. However, in a complex world filled with multiple layers of deception and sophisticated lies, it is inductive reasoning that you must master in order to analyze the news and put together a coherent view of modern history.

Inductive reasoning is much more difficult to master. It involves taking a wide sampling of seemingly random information or observations and picking out patterns of truth, sufficient to derive broader conclusions. There are several reasons why most people do so poorly at inductive reasoning. For one thing, few have access to a wide range of details to analyze in the first place. Much of the blame for this lies with the media and the school system, on which the vast majority of people are reliant for their information, and which systematically omits critical details. Even when more information and evidence is available, however, few people have the patience to remember the details, much less to sort through the conflicts and contradictions found in the details long enough to derive conclusions or see the patterns. Inductive reasoning takes a good memory and a lot of mental processing.

This is the essential art of thinking that allows a few to discover hidden conspiracies, especially when there is a lack of defectors from the higher echelons that could reveal the degree of collusion that may exist. People have little trouble seeing small conspiracies, which abound in criminal events, mafia activities, and drug dealings. But they have trouble seeing the larger hidden hand of control that links many of these groups together, if only peripherally. It is this larger element of control that is the key indicator of an over-arching conspiracy working against the interests of sovereignty and the Constitution to destroy liberty.

Here is some of the basic inductive evidence or patterns of details that should lead someone to suspect that a larger conspiracy exists:

1) With few exceptions, almost never do the “big boys” get caught or prosecuted for major crimes (Allied war crimes of WWII, Enron, WorldCom scandals, etc.). This trend indicates that higher authority protects these powerful people. When judges consistently deny the introduction of evidence that points to government collusion, we can also rightly suspect that judges are involved in this collusion.

2) Powerful interests in the West have consistently funded Communism, protected it from public exposure, defended Stalin by denying his atrocities, and given Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes to the worst perpetrators of violence and deception. One could hypothesize that this was due to the stupidly and ignorance of our leaders, if this pattern only rarely occurred. But after 50 years of aiding Communist revolutions, shipping atomic bomb plans and materials to Russia and allowing spies to roam the halls of government at will, one can rightly suspect these Harvard and Yale grads can’t be doing this out of mere ignorance.

Those who back the stupidity theory or the theory that the perpetrators are merely naïve liberals are of course partially correct. Many are. But stupidity theorists fail to acknowledge the experience of multiple anti-communist voices of reason, who confronted these leaders with their “naiveté and stupidity,” protesting each and every one of these sellouts of liberty as they were occurring. They bear testimony to the hostile reaction they received after confronting our leaders with this evidence of betrayal. We can track the efforts of leaders to fire the critics, bury the evidence, and in other ways protect the guilty.

When this pattern is repeated decade after decade, despite mounting evidence of the disastrous policies that were being promulgated, it becomes increasingly more difficult for the rational mind to believe that all this is merely because of stupidity and sociological predilections (at least at the highest levels).

3) Historically, there emerges over time increasing evidence of past conspiracies for control and power. As time has passed since the killing of JFK, for example, more government whistleblowers have surfaced to tell of more official government involvement, including threats if they ever reveal what they know. This is true regarding other far-reaching conspiracies as well. Whether the subject is government collusion with the Mafia, covering for Russian and Chinese rearmament, running drugs to fund black ops in the CIA, or the purposeful allowing of illegal immigration, we see a widening picture of collusion and conspiracy at the highest levels. In reaction to the charges that do surface, government leaders uniformly blame every evil on individual rogue elements in police, or law enforcement. Yet the evidence from whistleblowers is consistent: that cover-ups and suppression of dissent increases the higher they go in the appeals process. Again, this is evidence of over-arching, top-down control in conspiracy—not simply covering up to protect the boss.

The evidence for these kinds of patterns can only be found in watching and analyzing details of events stretching over years and decades of history, then forming them into a cohesive, consistent whole. The resulting picture of the world can be described, but only superficially. Those who master the skill of inductive reasoning have the ability to form their own world view, and constantly check it against the assertions of others to filter truth from deception. Those who don’t are relegated to a dependency on others for in-depth analysis, a position fraught with risk as lies become ever more sophisticated and complex.

A Correct World View: We cannot understand how this world operates if we hold to a purely secular, evolutionary, or humanistic view. Even though the spiritual spectrum is mostly hidden to man on earth, its workings can be detected if one is sensitive to truth, and if one avoids offending the source of all truth by chronic violations of conscience. You cannot, for example, really understand the following conundrums about conspiracy without contemplating the possibility of Satanic control:

· The fact that people involved in the conspiracy for global control already have more money and power than any man can use. Why should these continue to push for global control?

· The generational affect. The conspiracy doesn’t fade or alter course after the death of key people. If the driving force were only an individual or a small group of megalomaniacs, they would be incapable of controlling the direction others would take after they are gone.

· The fact that the globalists, in prepping the world for WWIII and encouraging a Russian/Chinese nuclear preemptive strike on the West, would also destroy the wealth and power of these same powerful conspirators. Why would anyone do this?

These aspects of the conspiracy cannot be explained by conventional leftist anti-capitalist jargon about greed, power and class struggle—even though these do play a significant role. The thirst for control of oil is also part of the picture, but it doesn’t explain the globalists’ plan to risk partial destruction of the West in an effort to create a Hegelian conflict out of which people can be induced to give up national sovereignty and join in a NWO.

My only theory of explanation rests upon my belief that systematic evil really does exist in the universe and is in opposition to what God is trying to do. The head of evil spiritual forces (called Satan) is actively working to destroy God’s purposes here on earth. Only Satan has the will and the motive to do as much destruction on a global scale as we have seen in the past and are destined to experience in the future. His ability to pull other men into this greater evil agenda is based, I believe, on the fact that all evil men, even when they possess wealth and power, need protection from the looming threat of God’s judgment as well as immunity from earthly prosecution.

Satan has a pretty good track record of protecting his own on earth. Even in WWII, when major conspirators allowed some of their wealth in Europe to be destroyed, it was restored to them during the Lend Lease rebuilding process. In Iraq, corporations in collusion with the globalist government agenda are also being enriched in the corrupt process of reconstruction.

None of this is meant to say that a large number of people have direct knowledge of or knowingly participate in the Satanic aspects of this conspiracy. Only the few at the top need to know, although anyone who operates within the inner levels surely knows that there is some form of hidden power structure that controls all major government moves. The lower echelon participants are manipulated through a variety of garden variety inducements like promises of future position, power and fame. Threats are used only when necessary. Liberal intellectuals are easily induced to work for the New World Order because their academic training induces them to believe they are part of an elite corps capable of bringing order and “fairness” to a greed filled competitive world. They are blind to the hidden victims of “compassionate liberalism.” Likewise, there is a growing body of conservative socialists who fail to comprehend the inherent evil behind their new-found ideas about “compassionate conservatism,” which is nothing more than socialism in another clever disguise. Perhaps the most disingenuous crowd of all are the journalists, who live in the fairly tale world of assertions that: 1) they are unbiased and neutral in their work; 2) they are free from the concerns of “greedy capitalism;” and 3) they have journalistic freedom within their news rooms. The latter is only true if they are predictable liberals. All true conservatives find themselves eventually driven out or forced to toe the official line.

The biggest fools in this world are those who view themselves as the brightest—those highly educated and smart people who proudly assert that there could never be an over-arching conspiracy because there would be too many people in the know, and that the secret would slip out. Aside from those who are actually and knowingly fronting for the conspiracy, most of these naive pundits are simply showing their lack of experience in dealing with this level of sophistication and deception. Sometimes insiders do see too much and talk, but these are quickly silenced in any number of ways ranging from subtle threats to outright elimination. The higher up in the conspiracy you go, the tighter the control system is. With a lack of direct evidence and first-hand accounts of the ongoing conspiracy, we must rely on our own abilities to gather and analyze information to formulate a reliable picture of what’s going on in the world. The more accurate that picture is, the better prepared we will be to protect ourselves from the real threats that all of us will have to face.


[Taken in toto without change or addition from http://www.joelskousen.com/hotissues_news.html ;

see the home link here: http://www.worldaffairsbrief.com/ ]