“Four things need to exist or need to be in place if you want a large-scale mass phenomenon to emerge. The first thing is that there needs to be a lot of socially isolated people, people who experience a lack of social bonds. The second one is that there needs to be a lot of people who experience a lack of sense-making in life. And the third and the fourth conditions are that there needs to be a lot of free-floating anxiety and a lot of free-floating psychological discontent. So: meaning, anxiety, and discontent that is not connected to a specific representation.
So, it needs to be in the mind without the people being able to connect it to something. If you have these four things—lack of social bonds, lack of sense-making, free-floating anxiety, and free-floating psychological discontent—then society is highly at risk for the emergence of mass phenomenon.”
– Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
“Try to unlearn the obsessive fear of death (and the anxious quest for death avoidance) that pervades linear thinking in nearly every modern society. The ancients knew that, without periodic decay and death, nature cannot complete its full round of biological and social change. Without plant death, weeds would strangle the forest. Without human death, memories would never die, and unbroken habits and customs would strangle civilization. Social institutions require no less. Just as floods replenish soil and fires rejuvenate forests, a Fourth Turning clears out society’s exhausted elements and creates an opportunity.”
– Strauss & Howe – The Fourth Turning
I recently finished reading Mattias Desmet’s fascinating and illuminating book The Psychology of Totalitarianism, where he examines the mass formation psychosis which swept over the world during the time frame of early 2020 until present day. He explores some of the root causes of this psychological phenomena, comparing it to previous episodes in history, and delving into whether it occurred naturally or was purposely generated in order to implement a Great Reset agenda.
This type of spectacle has happened throughout human history, even documented by Charles Mackay in his 1841 book Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds. It is clear to me aspects of mass formation psychosis played a part in the previous two Fourth Turnings, as both sides in the U.S. Civil War displayed characteristics of those being hypnotized by a narrative, and the German people falling under the spell of Hitler and his rhetorical skills.
As the potentially historic year 2023 unfolds before us, we are confronted with a world drowning in unpayable debt; a global recession/depression imminent; raging inflation at twice the level reported by our overlords; real unemployment at four times the level reported by the government apparatchiks; a government completely devoid of honesty, integrity or responsibility to its citizens; a society dictated by corruption, materialism, narcissism, and bereft of civic and personal responsibility; globalist billionaires and their captured organizations (WEF, WHO, NATO, CDC, FDA, FBI, CIA, DOJ, IRS) actively trying to rule the world through technological and biological means; and insane politicians, generals, and bureaucrats pushing the world towards WWIII, using Ukraine and Taiwan as their trigger points.
In the midst of this hellish landscape, we still have an enormous percentage of the U.S. and global population trapped in a mass formation psychosis trance and unable or unwilling to regain their common sense and ability to comprehend they have been duped, used, lied to, and sacrificed at the altar of the Great Reset.
I feel like I’m in a Twilight Zone episode, waiting for the surprise ending, as I continue to go through the motions of life, getting up at the same time every morning, driving the same route to work, doing the same job, going grocery shopping, doing laundry, reading, writing, and waiting for the bottom to drop out. I think I know what is going to happen, but I don’t, and neither does anyone else, no matter how sure they appear and how well compensated they are for providing “expert” opinions.
I’ve been waiting since 2010 for a financial/economic collapse, but the “powers that be” have been able to create a Potemkin façade built upon debt, money printing, propaganda, and market manipulation, much like Madoff juggling balls for decades (never making one actual trade), giving the appearance of stability and success, until he could juggle no more. Then it all collapses suddenly, just as many of the vaxxed thought they were safe, then died suddenly. The Hemingway quote regarding going bankrupt captures our current state of affairs:
“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked. “Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.” – Ernest Hemingway – The Sun Also Rises
US Government Interest Payments ????????????— Wall Street Silver (@WallStreetSilv) January 15, 2023
It is projected to rise to over $1.2 trillion per year in the next two years as more debt rolls over at the new higher rates.
That is about 1/3 of all tax revenue. ???? pic.twitter.com/KKarvz7LI2
The reason no one is expecting a sudden collapse is because it hardly ever happens. We are trapped in our normalcy bias cocoon. The stock market goes up for a week. The stock market goes down for a week. The “experts” try to interpret the meaning of each word uttered by Powell or one of his Fed cronies. Elections are held to see which group of corrupt politicians will be in control of screwing us. Biden says something stupid. Harris says something stupid. Trump sells NFT trading cards of himself. Twitter files are released. Covidian cultists continue to deny the reality the jabs are killing and maiming millions, while still pushing the toxic injections on our children.
Drag queen shows for children and transgender deviancy are heralded by satanists. We send another $100 billion we don’t have to an actor in Ukraine so more of his people can be slaughtered. Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, and the rest of the global elite fly in their private jets to Davos to plan their takeover of the world. Climate imbeciles want to ban your gas stove, make you eat bugs, and never venture more than 15 minutes from your hovel. It’s an endless show and we are both the spectators and victims. The daily distractions of life, along with trivialities like social media, sporting events, mass media propaganda, and this government shitshow, keep the masses from seeing the danger dead ahead.
Whenever I’m befuddled by the incontestable idiocy of the willfully ignorant masses, I have to remind myself we are in the midst of a Fourth Turning where reason and critical thinking are far outweighed by emotion and temporary insanity. As a cynical old bastard who hasn’t believed anything a politician, banker or MSM talking head has emitted in decades, it is hard for me to comprehend how the majority are so easily swayed by the web of lies spun by those pulling the strings behind the curtain.
They want to believe “experts” because thinking is hard, and the latest NFL playoff game starts in 30 minutes. We’ve become a nation of unserious, unintelligent, uncurious, unthinking worshippers of technology, entertainment, and infantilism, as described by Neil Postman in his 1985 book comparing Orwell dystopian vision to Huxley’s dystopian vision. It seems we are now caught in a vise between both visualizations of horror.
“When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.”
“Americans no longer talk to each other, they entertain each other. They do not exchange ideas, they exchange images. They do not argue with propositions; they argue with good looks, celebrities, and commercials.”
Huxley warned us over 90 years ago, before TV. Postman warned us almost 40 years ago, before the internet, 24-hour cable TV, smart phones, or social media. They were prescient in their warnings, but unheeded. Their prophecies tie in perfectly with Desmet’s theories on why the world has been overcome by this mass formation psychosis. Essentially, Desmet argues our society was sick before the onset of covid. The technological “advancement” of our world has led to people leading meaningless lives and working bullshit jobs.
The rise of the administrative state where hard fulfilling jobs (farmers, craftsmen, builders) have been replaced by finance and administrative paper pushing jobs where human interaction is drastically reduced and their worlds revolve around rules, regulations, and impersonal dogma, has created tens of millions of depressed, anxious, neurotic people seeking something to make their pitiful lives worthwhile. The most meaningless administrative jobs steadily increase and are rewarded more generously, while the hardest workers struggle to put food on the table. Industrialization and specialization may be efficient from a corporate profit standpoint, but it has been dehumanizing from a psychological standpoint.
The Enlightenment brought about a transformation of a world built upon religion, superstition, and small communities into a world built on science, reason, and industrialization. The fear and discomfort, once inflicted by the clergy and nobility, with the dread of judgement day, transformed into a false hope of a scientific created nirvana. As the centuries have progressed the social connectedness of humans has deteriorated, with isolation and lack of social relationships leading to anxiety, depression, and loss of purpose.
Humans used to depend on each other and live for each other, but are now relegated to being nameless, faceless automatons among the masses. Half the workers in America find their jobs meaningless. A 2013 Gallup World Poll found that 63% of workers sleepwalk through their jobs, while another 24% are disengaged, actively demoralizing, and demotivating their coworkers. Only 13% love what they do. Most people just feel like a cog in the machine, as Desmet contemplates.
“The worker became, as they say, a cog in the industrial machine, lubricated only by the thought of wages due. Labor changed from a cumbersome but inherently meaningful existential task into a disembodied utilitarian necessity.”
- Mattias Desmet, The Psychology of Totalitarianism
As work became nothing more than a means to earn wages, in order to consume and amuse themselves, the rise of mass media has further contributed to the decline in sincere social connections, as TV and the internet have further isolated millions and allowed those constituting the invisible government to propagandize whatever narrative suits their malevolent purposes.
Those in power don’t want neighbors congregating, mates gathering in pubs, joyous festivals of friends, or anyone sitting around kitchen tables figuring out how they’ve been screwed over by those they elect to represent their interests. Their plans depend on a populace living in constant fear of something, or they might inadvertently turn their attention to their looting and pillaging of the world’s wealth. Fear is the basis for the mass formation psychosis currently consuming the world.
Decades of psychological deterioration of the masses due to their pointless occupations, meaningless lives, mass media and government school indoctrination, and feelings of purposelessness, despair, and anxiety set the foundation for the onset of this covid driven mass formation psychosis. The free-floating anxiety infecting hundreds of millions around the globe was seeking a conduit to channel their fears and fantasizing about becoming part of a crusade for the greater good.
All that was needed was a virus with a scary name, a billion-dollar marketing campaign, a narrative spun by a well-compensated media, corrupt politicians and Deep State actors seeking to depose a president, and a plethora of unethical “experts” willing to sell their souls to Big Pharma. Once the covid narrative was connected to their free-floating anxiety a global swindle was born.
“Free-floating anxiety is the most painful psychological phenomenon someone can experience. It’s extremely painful. It leads up to panic attacks, to all kinds of extremely painful psychological experiences. What people want in this situation is something to connect their anxiety to. They’re looking for an explanation for the anxiety. And now, if this free-floating anxiety is highly present in a population, and the media provide a narrative, which indicates an object of anxiety, and at the same time, describe a strategy to deal with this object of anxiety, then all the anxiety connects to this object and people are willing to follow the strategy to deal with this object, no matter what the cost is. That is what happens in the beginning of mass formation.”
- Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
Fear and anxiety are the lifeblood of a mass hysteria event. An already psychologically damaged populace was primed to react insanely to an entirely overblown “crisis”, spurred on by bad actors who sought riches, notoriety, acclaim, and the ability to impose authoritarian measures on the masses as proof of their power and supremacy. This unjustified fear about a flu virus has resulted in far greater problems which should really be feared. The onset of this psychological tsunami of fear has resulted in the rise of a dictatorial state, with presidents, governors, mayors, and lower-level tin pot totalitarians issuing decrees, mandates, and commands with the threat of imprisonment, loss of jobs, fines, or beatings as the immediate consequence for not obeying.
This absurd terrified reaction by the masses has destroyed millions of small businesses; severed the bonds between family, friends, and neighbors; wrecked our economy; handed unlimited power to corrupt malicious politicians; provoked societal chaos; empowered deviants to gain cultural traction; destroyed the health of millions through the collapse of immune systems; and will trigger both civil and global warfare in the immediate future.
The truth is mental health has been declining for decades, as meaningless jobs, government school indoctrination and dumbing down of the populace, technology creating generations of socially awkward shut-ins, cultural decay, corporatism, and the ineptitude and corruption of political leadership, have created an atmosphere of hopelessness and angst. Depression, anxiety, suicides, drug addiction, and a slew of psychological disorders infected the world before this virus ever appeared.
Over 13% of adults take anti-depressants, with almost 25% of women over 60. The results are similar for Europe. A general malaise had settled across the world as we entered 2020. The latent fear and anxiety in society, combined with little knowledge of viruses and inadequate critical thinking skills, created a perfect storm of social panic and a willingness to believe whatever they were told by people who proclaimed to know the answers and pretended to be experts. The covid cause provided the fearful with meaning in their otherwise woeful lives.
The covid narrative gave frightened people purpose to their existence. They became mentally intoxicated they were part of an army, fighting to defeat this evil virus for the greater good of humanity. Once this belief took hold, the central mechanism of mass formation was firmly in control, and they would believe whatever they were instructed to believe. They became myopically focused on their imminent deaths, unless they masked, social distanced, locked down, and obeyed every dictate of their covidian savior – Saint Anthony Fauci, a petty life-long government bureaucrat playing out his totalitarian Napoleon complex fantasies, while reaping Big Pharma riches and Big Media accolades.
Once the covidian cult was formed, it no longer mattered whether the narrative was blatantly wrong. It didn’t matter that masks didn’t work, social distancing was a farce, lockdowns were worthless, ivermectin worked, ventilators and Remdesivir killed people, or the survival rate for anyone under 70 years old was 99.9%. It wasn’t about facts and reason. The covidian cult had a purpose and they didn’t want to go back to their wretched pointless lives. Desmet describes this process of mass formation psychosis.
“This process yields a psychological gain. Firstly, the anxiety that previously roamed through society as a tenebrous fog is now linked to a specific cause and can be mentally controlled via the strategy put forward in the story. Secondly, through a common struggle with “the enemy,” the disintegrating society regains its coherence, energy, and rudimentary meaning. For this reason, the fight against the object of anxiety then becomes a mission, laden with pathos and group heroism. Thirdly, in this fight all latent brewing frustration and aggression is taken out, especially on the group that refuses to go along with the story and the mass formation. This brings an enormous release and satisfaction to the masses, which they will not let go of easily.”
- Mattias Desmet – The Psychology of Totalitarianism
Desmet believes the masses and the leaders they choose to follow are spellbound by the ideologically produced storyline, both under a form of hypnosis which is exceedingly difficult to interrupt. The hypnosis is deepened and fostered by the relentless mass media propaganda spewed across the airwaves and internet by organizations benefiting from the panic and fear.
The Deep State corporatocracy which has replaced our Constitutional Republic takes advantage of every fabricated “crisis” by expanding their wealth, power, and control over a populace which has been indoctrinated to believe the lies, misinformation, and propaganda pronounced by the overlords they are told to worship and obey. I think Desmet accurately assess the percentage of people enthralled by the narrative and completely under the spell of the false plot. Approximately 30% of people are completely hypnotized, with 40% to 60% not hypnotized but choosing to go along with the crowd, and a minority of 10% to 30% who resist the narrative and actively push back.
Considering only 30% of the adult population didn’t let themselves be injected with the untested, experimental, Big Pharma enriching gene therapy, which was guaranteed to keep you from catching covid according to Fauci, Walensky, Biden and numerous other “experts”, it seems like Desmet’s estimates are pretty accurate. Only 10% have been vocal dissenters. These were the people fired from their jobs, censored on social media, and canceled by friends and family. The mass formation A team were the 30% posting selfies of themselves with masks, shields, vaccine cards, and any other virtue signaling BS showing they were part of the cult, saving the world from this evil virus.
They were also the Karens berating the unmasked, screaming at people closer than six feet, turning in neighbors for breaking the rules, and wishing death upon all the unvaxxed. The cowardice of middle 40% has been the most disappointing aspect of this overhyped flu faux pandemic, as they dutifully submitted to the whims of the cultists – wearing their masks, locking down, avoiding human contact, obeying the totalitarian dictates of politicians, believing absurdities spouted by blustering bureaucrats, complying with un-Constitutional mandates, and sheepishly lining up for jabs that didn’t keep them from catching covid, spreading covid, being hospitalized with covid, or dying from covid. These sheepish followers are the pitiful descendants of the German prison guards who claimed they were only following orders during WWII.
In Part 2 of this article I will attempt to relate this mass formation psychosis phenomenon to the waning years of this Fourth Turning, and how they will intertwine and impact the final outcome of this crisis.
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Escobar: Russia-China Partnership Defangs US Empire
Escobar: Russia-China Partnership Defangs US Empire
Authored by Pepe Escobar,
China’s State Council has released a crucial policy paper…
China’s State Council has released a crucial policy paper titled 'A Global Community of Shared Future: China’s Proposals and Actions' that should be read as a detailed, comprehensive road map for a peaceful, multipolar future.
That is if the hegemon - of course faithful to its configuration as War Inc. - does not drag the world into the abyss of a hybrid-turned-hot war with incandescent consequences.
In sync with the ever-evolving Russia-China strategic partnership, the white paper notes how “President Xi Jinping first raised the vision of a global community of shared future when addressing the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 2013.”
That was ten years ago, when the New Silk Roads – or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) - was launched: that became the overarching foreign policy concept of the Xi era. The Belt and Road Forum next month in Beijing will celebrate the 10th anniversary of BRI, and relaunch a series of BRI projects.
“Community of Shared Future” is a concept virtually ignored across the collective West – and in several cases lost in translation across the East. The white paper’s ambition is to introduce “the theoretical base, practice and development of a global community of shared future.”
The five key points include building partnerships “in which countries treat each other as equals”; a fair and just security environment; “inclusive development”; inter-civilization exchanges; and “an ecosystem that puts Mother Nature and green development first," as Xi detailed at the 2015 UN General Assembly.
The white paper forcefully debunks the “Thucydides Trap” fallacy: “There is no iron law that dictates that a rising power will inevitably seek hegemony. This assumption represents typical hegemonic thinking and is grounded in memories of catastrophic wars between hegemonic powers in the past.”
While criticizing the “zero-sum game” to which “certain countries” still cling to, China completely aligns with the Global South/global majority, as in “the common interests of all peoples around the world. When the world thrives, China thrives, and vice versa.”
Well, that’s not exactly the “rules-based international order” in play.
It’s All About Harmony
When it comes to building a new system of international relations, China prioritizes “extensive consultation” among equals and “the principle of sovereign equality” that “runs through the UN Charter.” History and realpolitik, though, dictate that some countries are more equal than others.
This white paper comes from the political leadership of a civilization-state. Thus it naturally promotes the “increase of inter-civilization exchanges to promote harmony” while elegantly remarking how a “fine traditional culture epitomizes the essence of the Chinese civilization.”
Here we see a delicate blend of Taoism and Confucianism, where harmony – praised as “the core concept of Chinese culture” - is extrapolated to the concept of “harmony within diversity”: and that is exactly the basis for embracing cultural diversity.
In terms of promoting a dialogue of civilizations, these paragraphs are particularly relevant:
“The concept of a global community of shared future reflects the common interests of all civilizations – peace, development, unity, coexistence, and win-win cooperation. A Russian proverb holds, 'Together we can weather the storm.'
"The Swiss-German writer Hermann Hesse proposed, 'Serve not war and destruction, but peace and reconciliation.' A German proverb reads, 'An individual’s effort is addition; a team’s effort is multiplication.' An African proverb states, 'One single pillar is not sufficient to build a house.' An Arabian proverb asserts, 'If you want to walk fast, walk alone; if you want to walk far, walk together.'
"Mexican poet Alfonso Reyes wrote, 'The only way to be profitably national is to be generously universal.' An Indonesian proverb says, 'Sugarcane and lemongrass grow in dense clumps.' A Mongolian proverb concludes, 'Neighbors are connected at heart and share a common destiny.' All the above narratives manifest the profound cultural and intellectual essence of the world.”
BRI Caravan Rolls On
Chinese diplomacy has been very vocal on the need to develop a “new type of economic globalization” and engage in “peaceful development” and true multilateralism.
And that brings us inevitably to the BRI, which the white paper defines as “a vivid example of building a global community of shared future, and a global public good and cooperation platform provided by China to the world.”
Of course, for the hegemon and its collective West vassals, BRI is nothing but a massive debt trap mechanism unleashed by “autocrat China”.
The white paper notes, factually, how “more than three-quarters of countries in the world and over 30 international organizations” had joined the BRI, and refers to the sprawling, ever-expanding connectivity framework of six corridors, six routes, an array of ports, pipelines and cyberspace connectivity, among others via the New Eurasian Land Bridge, the China-Europe Railway Express (a “steel camel fleet”) and the New Land-Sea Trade Corridor crisscrossing Eurasia.
A serious problem may involve China’s Global Development Initiative, whose fundamental aim, according to Beijing, is “to accelerate the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
Well, this agenda has been designed by the self-described Davos elites and conceptualized way back in 1992 by Rockefeller protégé Maurice Strong. Its inbuilt wet dream is to enforce the Great Reset – complete with a nonsensical zero-carbon green agenda.
Better Listen to Medvedev’s Warning
The hegemon is already preparing the next stages of its hybrid war against China – even as it remains buried deep down into a de facto proxy hot war against Russia in Ukraine.
Russian strategic policy, in essence, completely aligns with the Chinese white paper, proposing a Greater Eurasian Partnership, a concerted drive towards multipolarity, and the primacy of the Global South/global majority in forging a new system of international relations.
But the Straussian neocon psychos in charge of the hegemon’s foreign policy keep raising the stakes. So it’s no wonder that after the recent attack on the HQ of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, a new National Security Council report leads to an ominous warning by Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev:
“NATO has turned into an openly fascist bloc similar to Hitler’s Axis, only bigger (...) It looks like Russia is being left with little choice other than a direct conflict with NATO (...) The result would be much heavier losses for humanity than in 1945."
The Russian Ministry of Defense, meanwhile, has revealed that Ukraine has suffered a staggering 83,000 battlefield deaths since the start of the - failed - counteroffensive four months ago.
And Defense Minister Shoigu all but gave away the game in terms of the long-term strategy, when he said, “the consistent implementation of measures and activity plans until 2025 will allow us to achieve our goals."
So the SMO will not be rounded up before 2025 – incidentally, much later than the next US presidential election. After all, Moscow’s ultimate aim is de-NATOization.
Faced with a cosmic NATO humiliation on the battlefield, the Biden combo has no way out: even if it declared a unilateral ceasefire to re-weaponize Kiev’s forces for a new counteroffensive in the spring/summer of 2024, the war would keep rumbling on all the way to the presidential election.
There’s absolutely no way some sharp intellect in the Beltway would read the Chinese white paper and be “infected” by the concept of harmony. Under the yoke of Straussian neocon psychos, there are zero prospects for a détente with Russia – not to mention Russia-China.
Both the Chinese and Russian leaderships know quite well how the Ray McGovern-defined MICIMATT (military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media-academia-think tank complex) works.
The kinetic aspect of MICIMATT is all about protection of the global interests of big US banks, investment/hedge funds and multinational corporations. It’s not a coincidence that MICIMATT monster Lockheed-Martin is mostly owned by Vanguard, BlackRock and State Street. NATO is essentially a mafia protection racket controlled by the US and the UK that has nothing to do with “defending” Europe from the “Russian threat."
The actual MICIMATT and its NATO extension’s wet dream is to weaken and dismember Russia to control its immense natural resources.
War Against the New 'Axis of Evil'
NATO’s incoming graphic humiliation in Ukraine is now compounded with the inexorable rise of BRICS 11 – which embodies a lethal threat to the hegemon’s geoeconomics. There’s next to nothing the MICIMATT can do about that short of nuclear war – except turbo-charging multiple instances of Hybrid War, color revolutions and assorted divide-and-rule schemes. What’s at stake is no less than a complete implosion of neoliberalism.
The Russia-China strategic partnership of true sovereigns has been coordinating full-time.
Strategic patience is the norm. The white paper reveals the magnanimous facet of the number one economy in the world by PPP: that’s China’s response to the infantile notion of “de-risking”.
China is “de-risking” geopolitically when it comes to not falling for serial provocations by the Hegemon, while Russia exercises Taoist-style control to not risk a kinetic war.
Still, what Medvedev just said carries the implication that the hegemon on desperation row could even be tempted to launch WWIII against, in fact, a new “axis of evil” of three BRICS nations – Russia, China and Iran.
Secretary of the [Russian] National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev could not have been more crystal clear:
“In its attempts to maintain its dominance, the West itself destroyed the tools that worked better for it than the military machine. These are freedom of movement of goods and services, transport and logistics corridors, a unified system of payments, global division of labor and value chains. As a result, Westerners are shutting themselves off from the rest of the world at a rapid pace.”
If only they could join the community of shared future – hopefully on a later, non-nuclear, date.
“More Deceit”: Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap
"More Deceit": Gaetz Rages Over McCarthy-Ukraine Side Deal To Pass Stopgap
Update (2155ET): Following the Senate’s passage of the Continuing…
Update (2155ET): Following the Senate's passage of the Continuing Resolution, Rep. Matt Gaetz took to Twitter, where he was enraged over a side deal made between Speaker Kevin McCarthy and the Democrats for Ukraine funding, which Gaetz says he "didn't tell House Republicans" about until after the vote.
Gaetz was responding to Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman, who related a message from House Democratic leadership.
"When the House returns, we expect Speaker McCarthy to advance a bill to the House Floor for an up-or-down vote that supports Ukraine, consistent with his commitment to making sure that Vladimir Putin, Russia and authoritarianism are defeated. We must stand with the Ukrainian people until victory is won."
Nine Senate Republicans voted against the bill; Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Roger Marshall (R-Kan.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) and J.D Vance (R-Ohio).
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Update (2109ET): The Senate has voted 88-9 to pass the House's Continuing Resolution stopgap funding bill, which stripped out funds for Ukraine, includes $16 billion for disaster relief, and will keep the US government running for another 45 days.
Among the Senate "Yea" votes was Michael Bennet (D-CO), who was absolutely flipping his lid over the lack of Ukraine funding earlier in the day.
The bill, which passed the House earlier in the day by a bipartisan vote of 335-91, was passed with just three hours to go before a shutdown.
Just before the vote, Sen. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to keep fighting for more US taxpayer dollars for Ukraine, saying that he and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have "agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine."
"We support Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty against Putin’s aggression," said Schumer - to which McConnell said he's "confident" that the Senate can pass more "urgent assistance to Ukraine later this year. But let's be clear," that the "alternative," a shutdown, "would not just pause our progress on these important priorities, it would actually set them back."
Schumer: “McConnell and I have agreed to continue fighting for more economic and security aid for Ukraine.”— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 1, 2023
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Update (1755ET): After an afternoon of theatrics from Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY), it appears that the stopgap legislation to keep the government running through November 17 will now pass at the 11th hour.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the bill to keep the government funded past 12:01 Sunday includes $16 billion in disaster relief, but does not include Ukraine funds.
The House voted 335-91 for the funding measure, which includes $16 billion in disaster relief but omits aid for Ukraine. It also excludes border-security measures sought by Republicans. The margin exceeded the two-thirds majority needed to clear the bill through the House, which considered the legislation under special procedures requiring a supermajority of votes. All but one Democrat voted in favor of the measure, while nearly half of Republicans voted against it. -WSJ
While White House officials say President Biden supports the measure, the Senate has reportedly been lax in quickly taking up the measure late Saturday, raising the possibility of further malarkey.
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(Update 1655ET): So let's get this straight. In the home stretch of negotiations over the House's GOP stopgap bill - while Democrats were actively trying to stall the vote so they could actually read it - a widely reported phenomenon, Rep. Jamal Bowman (D-NY) pulls the fire extinguisher.
His excuse is that he wasn't actually trying to stall the the vote, and that he's essentially an idiot...
"Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion," said a spokesperson.
Yes. Because this happens all the time.
MSNBC breathlessly repeats the Simple Jack defense.
Yasmin Vossoughian, with a straight face, reports on the fire alarm pulling "'Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote, the congressman regrets any confusion,' just to clarify some things on that." pic.twitter.com/8TbAk5ni71— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) September 30, 2023
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy capitalized on the incident, comparing Bowman to a January 6th insurrectionist.
New: McCarthy compares Bowman to J6ers who were charged with ‘obstruction’ pic.twitter.com/VYEHYMW2Z5— Jack Poso ???????? (@JackPosobiec) September 30, 2023
I'm about to flush the toilet. pic.twitter.com/jCTsXzt2vP— Rep. Mike Collins (@RepMikeCollins) September 30, 2023
As we noted below... Bowman used to be a public school principal before he was elected to Congress, who rallied against standardized testing, at a private school he founded that has a 27% literacy rate, so... maybe?
Then again, he would be no stranger to fire drills, no?
???? Congressman Bowman regularly brags about his years as a teacher and principal. He's from a state that requires TWELVE fire drills per school year.— Ginny Gentles (@ginnygentles) September 30, 2023
The man knows exactly how fire alarms work. https://t.co/d7XWGoe2K7 pic.twitter.com/smWPceXRk1
* * *
House before the House finally approved a 'clean' stopgap funding bill to avert a government shutdown (which has since been sent to the Senate for consideration before the midnight funding deadline), Socialist Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was caught pulling the fire alarm in a House office building Saturday in order to try and delay a vote on ta House GOP stopgap spending bill.
???????????? BREAKING: Insurrectionist Democrat Rep. Jamaal Bowman has been CAUGHT ON-CAMERA pulling the Capitol fire alarm seconds before critical vote to keep government open.— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 30, 2023
Violation of 1512(c)(2) obstruction of an official proceeding.
ARREST & Prosecute Rep. Bowman IMMEDIATELY! pic.twitter.com/3m883RB88A
The incident in the Cannon Building was caught on camera and confirmed by several witnesses, Politico reports.
"This is the United States Congress, not a New York City high school. To pull the fire alarm to disrupt proceedings when we are trying to draft legislation to AVERT A SHUTDOWN is pathetic…even for members of the socialist squad," Staten Island GOP Rep. Nicole Malliotakis wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
BREAKING: Capitol police release photo of Jamaal Bowman pulling the fire alarm. pic.twitter.com/XpUoEu9lU4— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 30, 2023
"Rep Jamaal Bowman pulled a fire alarm in Cannon this morning," House Administration Committee Chairman Bryan Steil wrote on X. "An investigation into why it was pulled is underway."
NEWS: Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) was caught on camera pulling the Cannon fire alarm ahead of this motion to adjourn vote as Dems tried to delay the CR vote, multiple sources tell me.— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) September 30, 2023
We have reached out to him for comment - we haven't viewed footage ourselves.
According to Bowman spox Emma Simon, "Congressman Bowman did not realize he would trigger a building alarm as he was rushing to make an urgent vote. The Congressman regrets any confusion."
In other words, he's claiming to be too stupid to have known what he did - and don't believe your lying eyes!
Needless to say, the memes are already flying.
Meanwhile, the House cleared the 'clean' stopgap bill without funding for Ukraine or the border, by a vote of 335-91. One Democrat and 90 Republicans voted against the measure.
* * *
Update: (1335ET): With a government shutdown just hours away, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has turned to Democrats for help passing a temporary bill, after House Freedom Caucus members dug their heels in over no funds for Ukraine.
"What I am asking, Republicans and Democrats alike, put your partisanship away," said McCarthy. "Focus on the American public."
McCarthy needs a two-thirds majority to pass their Continuing Resolution (CR), which would require a significant number of Democrats - who have strongly supported more Ukraine aid - to cross the aisle.
The House GOP bill would be a 'clean' Continuing Resolution, which won't include Ukraine funding or border assistance.
"We will put a clean funding stopgap on the floor to keep government open for 45 days for the House and Senate to get their work done," said McCarthy following a meeting. "We will also, knowing what had transpired through the summer, the disasters in Florida, the horrendous fire in Hawaii, and also the disasters in California and Vermont. We will put the supplemental portion that the president asked for in disaster there too."
"Keeping the government open while we continue to do our work to end the wasteful spending and the wokeism and most important, secure our border," McCarthy said.
If the bill does not pass, Republicans plan to bring up several measures to mitigate the effects of a government shutdown, multiple members said.
Those include bills to continue paying service members and extending authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration and National Flood Insurance Program, both of which are also set to expire at midnight unless Congress takes action. Republicans are also examining measures to continue pay for border patrol agents. -The Hill
The Democrats, meanwhile, have been using parliamentary tactics to slow down the vote so they can more carefully read the GOP proposal.
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), one of the key holdouts in the House, called McCarthy's bipartisan appeal "disappointing," and said that McCarthy's speakership is "on tenuous ground."
When asked what his next move will be, Gaetz said "I guess we'll have to see how the vote goes."
According to Goldman, there's a 90% probability of a shutdown before the Oct. 1 deadline.
That said, there will be three upcoming catalysts in the next few weeks that may result in passage.
1) All members of the US military are due to be paid on Oct. 13, and a missed pay date would have serious political ramifications; there is a good chance the House will vote to reopen before or shortly after that date;
2) A few House Republicans have said they might bring a “motion to vacate” that would remove McCarthy as Speaker unless a majority of the House supports him. Whatever the outcome of such a vote, getting past it could set the stage for a reopening;
3) There are procedural moves (a “discharge petition” is the most frequently discussed) that Democrats can make to pass an extension of spending authority in the House over Speaker McCarthy’s objections. However, this would require support from at least 5 House Republicans (assuming that all Democrats sign on). This will not help avoid a shutdown, but could come into play over the next two weeks, as political pressure to reopen grows (particularly when combined with the first point on military pay).
In light of the above, Goldman doesn't expect this to last more than 2-3 weeks, and that the Oct. 13 military pay date will become a focal point in the timeline.
* * *
Update (2157ET): It looks like the Senate isn't willing to strip Ukraine funds from the continuing resolution. In a Friday night tweet, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said that the "misguided Senate bill has no path forward and is dead on arrival."
After meeting with House Republicans this evening, it’s clear the misguided Senate bill has no path forward and is dead on arrival.— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) September 30, 2023
The House will continue to work around the clock to keep government open and prioritize the needs of the American people.
Meanwhile, according to Punchbowl News' Jake Sherman and Josh Bresnahan, McCarthy is floating a CR that would last until Nov. 17 at FY2023 funding levels, which would not include border funds or Ukraine funding.
* * *
In an 11th hour Hail Mary in the hopes of averting a government shutdown, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced that the only way the House will pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government through October is to drop Ukraine funding.
"I think if we had a clean one without Ukraine on it, we could probably be able to move that through," McCarthy told CNN's Manu Raju.
The comment comes hours after McCarthy lost a game of chicken with the House Freedom Caucus, failing to pass a CR which left McCarthy will few options to try and avert a shutdown in less than 36 hours. McCarthy was hoping that the House bill's border security provisions would win over enough holdouts to pass.
Meanwhile, the White House slammed the failed bill over the 'elimination of 12,000 FBI agents,' and 'almost 1,000 ATF agents.'
White House budget director:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 29, 2023
Republicans’ bill “would eliminate 12,000 FBI agents, almost 1,000 ATF agents!” pic.twitter.com/y5ymbTIDYM
Of note, House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed the annual defense spending bill, but only after they removed $300 million in Ukraine aid from the legislation (which then cleared in a separate vote because a bunch of Democrats then voted).
Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who failed twice last week to advance the bill to the floor, finally locked down enough Republican votes to pass the bill after the House stripped $300 million to arm Ukraine from the text.
The separate bill carved out to allocate those funds for Kyiv passed Thursday in a 311-117 blowout bipartisan vote. Republicans had won a close procedural vote earlier in the day to separate the Ukraine money from the Pentagon bill, a move meant to flip a handful of GOP holdouts. -Politico
Democrats framed the optics as Kremlin-friendly, with House Armed Services ranking Democrat Adam Smith saying "The Russians are good at propaganda... It will be played as America backing off of its commitment for Ukraine."
Republicans responded that by carving Ukraine out of the defense bill, it allows opponents of either measure (Ukraine aid or the defense bill) to voice their opinions on each independently.
"Why don’t we make sure this gets through? I mean, I’m just mystified that this is somehow a problem," said House Rules Chair Tom Cole (R-OK), according to Politico. "We guarantee you something you want is going to pass the House and you’re upset about it."
And now, McCarthy says there's no way to avert a government shutdown unless the House, and the Senate, agree to nix Ukraine aid from the 30-day stopgap.
Fire and Brimstone...
On Friday, White House top economic adviser Lael Brainard said that a shutdown would pose an "unnecessary risk" to what he described as a resilient economy with moderating inflation.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen then chimed in, warning that all of Bidenomics could be negatively impacted.
"The failure of House Republicans to act responsibly would hurt American families and cause economic headwinds that could undermine the progress we’re making," Yellen said from Port of Savannah, Georgia, adding "A shutdown would impact many key government functions from loans to farmers and small businesses, to food and workplace safety inspections, to Head Start programs for children.
"And it could delay major infrastructure improvements."
Goldman has predicted that a shutdown will last 2-3 weeks, and that a 'quick reopening looks unlikely as political positions become more deeply entrenched.' Instead, as political pressure to reopen the government builds, pay dates for active-duty military (Oct. 13 and Nov. 1) will become key dates to pay attention to.
In addition, they think a shutdown could subtract 0.2pp from Q4 GDP growth for each week it lasts (adding the same to 1Q2024, assuming it's over by then).
What's more, all data releases from federal agencies would be postponed until after the government reopens.
More via Goldman:
What are the odds the government shuts down?
A shutdown this year has looked likely for several months, and we now think the odds have risen to 90%. The most likely scenario in our view is that funding will lapse after Sep. 30, leading to a shutdown starting Oct. 1. That said, a short-term extension cannot be entirely ruled out. In the event that Congress avoids a shutdown starting Oct. 1, we would still expect a shutdown at some point later in Q4.
While there is likely sufficient support in both chambers of Congress to pass a short-term extension of funding—this is known as a “continuing resolution” (CR)—that is “clean” with no other provisions attached, the majority of that support would come from Democrats. The Senate is considering a CR that includes aid for disaster relief and Ukraine. House Republican leaders are under political pressure to pass a CR that includes Republican policy priorities that can pass with mainly or exclusively Republican support. At the moment, neither chamber looks likely to pass the other chamber's CR.
The outlook seemed bleak ahead of the debt limit deadline earlier this year, but Congress resolved it in time; why shouldn’t we expect a last-minute deal once again?
The smaller economic hit from a shutdown puts less pressure on Republican leaders to override the objections of some in their party to reach a deal. Ahead of the debt limit deadline earlier this year, Republican leaders reached a deal over the objections of some in their party because the potential hit to the economy from an impasse would have been unpredictable and severe, and even lawmakers most strongly opposed to a compromise agreed that the debt limit must be raised. By contrast, the economic hit from a shutdown would be smaller and more predictable, as there have already been two protracted shutdowns over the last decade. While most lawmakers on both sides of the aisle would prefer to avoid a shutdown, both sides appear more willing to take the chance it occurs.
* * *
A Climate Of Fear
A Climate Of Fear
Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,
The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts…
The medical, media, and political elites’ focus has shifted from facts to fomenting and magnifying fear.
In Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inaugural address in 1933, the new president told a nation in the depths of the Great Depression that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”
Those words were true and rightfully spoken at that time. Roosevelt knew that fear is a powerful emotion that limits our ability to reason, act wisely, and work together. It’s also an emotion that’s contagious and not easily diminished or dissipated.
The Power of Fear to Fragment Society
Unfortunately, Roosevelt’s words are even more applicable today.
On a personal level, decisions made under the emotional duress of fear are rarely the best ones and often the worst. Fear can bring out the best in us, but can often bring out the worst. That’s more likely to occur the more fragmented a society becomes. Fear among different groups of people creates an us-versus-them context in the minds of individuals, or even an “every-man-for-himself” attitude, which pits one group against another or even each of us against each other.
Now elevate that sense of fear to the level of the national electorate. A people or a nation that's paralyzed with fear makes rash decisions based on their fears of what could happen, not necessarily what the current situation truly is. When that happens, a society can quickly degenerate, where our base instincts determine our behavior in a law-of-the-jungle social environment.
Roosevelt knew this, as do our leaders today. The difference is that today, rather than seeking to dispel fear, our political and media elites create it, expand it, and revel in it. Rather than promote hope and strength of character in us, in a Roosevelt- or even a Reagan-like fashion, they traffic in fear and its fellow traveler social division in order to fragment our society.
It’s the old but effective divide-and-conquer strategy, and sadly, it works far too well. The mechanism for divide and conquer is the constant drumbeat of the Big Lie, which is also a tried and true method for controlling society. It was first practiced and perfected by Joseph Goebbels in Nazi Germany using the mass media, but has been successfully used by the USSR and every other communist and dictatorial regime in the world since the 1930s.
Social Media Is Magnitudes More Powerful Than Legacy Media
The difference today is the massive and pervasive presence of social media. Its reach and social saturation throughout society are magnitudes greater than have ever been possible before. What’s more, our political and media elites create and exaggerate fear without even mentioning the word. “Fear” is driven into our collective psyches under the guise of our government keeping us “safe,” while demonizing anyone who challenges that narrative.
The repetition by the media and the pharmaceutical industry of how to stay safe from COVID-19 always involves more drugs and less freedom. That’s by design. The elites that run society know that once enough of our friends, neighbors, coworkers, and others with whom we interact become more fearful than rational, they’re easily manipulated and divided into confrontational groups.
Does that sound like a conspiracy theory?
Yes, it probably does, but it’s also how the Stasi, the East German security agency, turned virtually every neighbor into an informant. The result was that people were fearful of doing anything that could be construed as being against the communist East German government. In light of what we’ve been through the last three years—and what looks to be on the horizon—the conspiracy theory accusation has lost its sting.
From Conspiracy Theory to Fact
Recall, for example, how those who received the COVID-19 vaccine turned against those who remained unvaccinated. The contrast and social division couldn’t have been clearer or more deliberate. Vaccinated people were characterized by the media and government agency spokespeople as selfless, smarter, and better human beings than those who refused the vaccine.
On the flip side, the “anti-vaxxers,” as they came to be called, were publicly derided by the medical, pharmaceutical, media, and government elites. They were accused of being low-intelligence conspiracy theory nuts who wouldn’t or couldn’t “follow the science,” even when they followed the science from experts such as Robert Malone, one of the inventors of the mRNA technology, and other medical doctors in Europe and Asia, including former Pfizer Vice President Dr. Michael Yeadon, all of whom were de-platformed from mainstream media and social media.
In fact, any “alternative” remedy to the experimental and highly dangerous mRNA vaccines, such as ivermectin, was summarily dismissed, even though nations that used ivermectin had the lowest mortality rates. As noted above, many media personalities and even medical experts with contrary opinions were silenced, shamed, and shunted into professional oblivion, being substituted by compliant replacements. That practice continues to this day, with Russell Brand being the latest example of being de-monetized by YouTube.
In light of vaccine injuries and deaths, and the staggering profits that vaccines have delivered to the pharmaceutical industry, the number of people who believe the mainstream media, the government, and in the vaccines, is much smaller today than three years ago.
Conspiracy theory narratives have become conspiracy facts.
The Endgame of Fear
So, what’s the endgame of promoting and enforcing a climate of fear throughout society?
It’s simple. Fearful people are far more compliant and, therefore, are easily controlled, pacified, monitored, and dehumanized. Next thing you know, we’ll all be eating bugs and liking it.
The antidote to fear, of course, is freedom and access to real and contrary information so that each person can make up his or her own mind. The encouragement, enablement, and empowerment of private individuals to exercise informed judgment about their health and their livelihoods are also part of the solution. A vibrant, thinking, and active society of informed individuals isn't nearly as vulnerable to the polarizing climate of fear our elites are foisting upon us.
In short, to live in fear is to live in bondage.
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