May 17, 2017
Innocent until proven guilty may be a thing of the past if an investigation itself is punishment.
An investigation by government authorities can be quite damaging, even if that investigation turns up nothing in the end.
Investigations can be used as a warning to the target and others that Big Brother is watching.
Investigations can insinuate guilt, serving as a punishment in the court of public opinion.
And each of these scenarios can cause economic damage to the target by making others (customers, partners, sponsors) flee because they are afraid to be associated with a targeted individual, whether because they think them actually guilty, because they don’t want to be targeted themselves, or because they fear the public backlash stemming from one of those two scenarios.
A perfect example is Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was probably actually guilty and only escaped due to corruption, but the investigation did officially turn up nothing. This means her prospects of becoming President were impeded by an investigation and not a conviction.
The same goes for Trump and the Russia probe. Again, regardless of the actual merit of the investigation, it alone damaged his public image and took the wind out of the sails of his first 100 days.
And last year, many called for gun control legislation which would disallow anyone under FBI investigation to own firearms. Since basically all civilians are under FBI investigation in some way, this would effectively outlaw guns. Clever.
Then there were the IRS audits of Tea Party groups, which were costly for the leaders’ businesses and chilled the movement. Why would you paint a target on your back if you are a business owner or wealthy? Better to not publicly express support for the Tea Party.
It is hard for the government to directly attack free speech. They need to come at it from the side. They need to attack “hate speech” and “fake news.”
Investigations which the government knows will turn up nothing, in the end, are one outlet for suppression of freedom of speech.
“I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”
-Evelyn Beatrice Hall and/or Voltaire
Stephen Colbert is crude, not particularly funny, and deserves the freedom of speech to say crude unfunny things. He made a joke about Trump, meant to suggest he is a pawn of Putin, and now the FCC is investigating him.
The joke aired after 10 p.m. with certain words bleeped out. This time-frame is within when the FCC kindly allows free speech on the air. But not really. The FCC claims:
Obscene content does not have protection by the First Amendment. For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court: It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
When the government gets to define words it doesn’t matter what rights are enshrined in the constitution. The ones who interpret the words will have dictatorial power.
Even when the FCC defines obscene content, it still could be debated endlessly the meaning of the definitions themselves! Basically, the government can always make the case that something is not free speech because it is obscene, fake news, hate speech, incitement etc.
It seems unlikely that anything will come of this investigation, officially. But unofficially, this sends a message to comedians and activists–Big Brother is watching and disapproves of your jokes about Trump.
Think twice about who you criticize.
Stephen Fry was also recently investigated in Ireland for a blasphemy law still on the books. The investigation was dropped, but again, the investigation alone is the message and slap on the wrist.
But in this case, where Fry made derogatory comments about God not being compassionate, the message seems to be: Your neighbors are watching.
Fry’s comments were reported to the Gardai by a man who claimed to be doing his ‘civic duty’, saying they breached the Defamation Act.
…’This man was simply a witness and not an injured party. Gardaí were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people.
‘For this reason the investigation has been concluded.’
The man who made the report told the newspaper he was happy the matter had been investigated, stating: ‘I did my civic duty in reporting it.
‘The guards did their duty in investigating it. I am satisfied with the result and I don’t want to comment further.’
He said he had not personally been offended by Mr Fry’s remarks.
It is one thing to be investigated by the government you offended; obviously, they are annoyed that you have stepped out of line and must be intimidated back into submission.
But it is actually more terrifying when a fellow citizen turns you in to the Gestapo, not because he wants to see you punished, but because he simply realizes you broke a law, any law.
And further horrifying is that had a mob been angered over Fry’s comments, he would have been lynched by the system. If they had found a substantial number of outraged citizens, the investigation would have continued. This means your fate is left up to the masses to decide if you can speak freely, or not.
Perhaps there should be more evidence of actual wrongdoing required to even open an investigation, since the investigations themselves have turned into the punishment, not for breaking the law, but for offending the ones with power, or the societal mob which has far too much say in your fate.
A good sign, however, is that each of these investigations only made the target more popular. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.
The real problems come when it is not the famous targeted by these investigations.
Senator Chuck Schumer on MSNBC: “We’re no longer fact-based. The founding fathers created a country based on fact. We don’t have a fact base. If Breitbart News and the New York Times are regarded with equal credibility, you worry about this democracy.”
First of all, in Schumer’s opening sentence, who is this “we”? There is an implication that the “we” is somehow monolithic and centralized. But people have been in disagreement about facts and what they mean since the dawn of time. People have rejected centralized sources of facts, from kings and queens and priests, to newspapers and television news.
In the same way that 99% of economists assume society must be planned and centralized, Schumer and “the people in power” assume media must operate as a centralized force—as if it’s a natural law.
They just assume it, because until recently, it was the case, it was cozy and easy. But not now. And they’re angry and shocked. They see their foundation of propaganda and mind control slipping away.
You must appreciate how secure they used to feel. It was a cake walk, a picnic in the park. The definition of “fact” was: whatever centralized media said it was. What could be simpler? And to them, that was “democracy.”
Feed the people lies, hide deeper truth, slam dunk.
Then along came independent media.
It turned out millions of people were interested.
The cat jumped out of the bag.
I know about this. I’ve been letting cats out of bags since 1982.
That’s longer than some of my readers have been alive.
I also know about censorship, because almost from the beginning of my work as a reporter, I had stories turned down by major media outlets and even alternative outlets. I saw the handwriting on the wall.
Chuck Schumer is echoing what many of his colleagues—and far more powerful people—are worrying about. Their vaunted mouthpieces, the NY Times, the Washington Post, etc., are failing. They can’t carry the same old freight with impunity.
So Schumer “worries about the future of democracy.” What he’s actually worried about has nothing to do with democracy, and it certainly has nothing to do with a Republic, which was the form of this nation from the beginning.
Schumer is worried about decentralization.
He’s worried that people are defecting from the authoritarian arrogant Castle of Truth.
And, given his position, he should be worried.
We are at a tipping point. Needless to say—but I will say it—independent media need your support. Your choice about where you obtain your news makes a difference.
Until a few years ago, I never considered that I was relentless. I was just doing my work. But as I saw the counter-efforts of major media, social media, government, Globalists, and other players, as they tried to reassert their primacy, I found a deeper level of commitment. A person can find many reasons to stop what he is doing. Every person eventually realizes that. But will he give in? Or will he decide to keep going? My choice is reflected on these pages, where I write every day.
Many of my colleagues have made the same choice. As for myself, I take the long, long view. Whatever befalls this civilization, the individual survives. He cannot be erased. I know that as surely as I know I am sitting here.
People like Chuck Schumer are living on a foundation of sand. Their power depends on obfuscation and deception and exchanging favors. When they feel the ground shifting under their feet, they growl and accuse and declaim and resort to fake ideals. If they see their con isn’t working and isn’t selling, then they panic.
Which is a good sign.
Many, many years ago, I had a good relationship with a media outlet. Then one day, the man in charge told me I was “positioning myself” outside the scope of his audience. I was speaking to “different people,” and therefore I should “go my own way.” I could tell he wasn’t happy about saying this, because he thought of himself as an independent, but there it was. He was bending to the demands of “his people.” So we parted company.
I was now further “out there” than I had been before. I was “independent of an ‘independent’ media outlet.” It took me about five minutes to see the joke. A good and useful joke.
As the years rolled on, I kept finding myself in a more independent position, which meant I was writing what I wanted to write, and in the process I was discovering deeper levels of what I wanted to write.
Understanding this changed my political view. If I didn’t stand for the free and independent individual, what did I stand for? If I didn’t keep coming back to THAT, what could I come back to?
It made sense to me then, and it makes sense to me now.
This is why I keep writing about…
Read More At: JonRappoport.wordpress.com
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free NoMoreFakeNews emails here or his free OutsideTheRealityMachine emails here.
“Censorship is telling a man he can’t have a steak because a baby can’t chew it.”
– Mark Twain*
“The unexamined life is not worth living for a human being.”
It certainly seems these days that not a moment goes by without someone having some sort of disagreement. Not that people should always agree about everything, that’s not the point. Disagreements come in all shapes and forms, just like people do. With that said, it seems like a lot of the disagreements that abound nowadays regard a certain section of the populace’s ceaseless push to inculcate their beliefs on others, regardless of the consequences.
There seems to be two prevailing schools of thought out there regarding how to handle these situations. When aiding others in their search for truth, the initial school of thought [non-conformists] doesn’t mind when other individuals ask them questions about beliefs and ideas discussed. The second group [conformists] takes downright offense to anyone questioning them on anything. The former seeks to help the individual arrive at their own truth; the latter seeks to be the high priest, just like those of ancient times, who controlled the free flow of certain information.
This particular trend of individuals not wanting to be questioned seems to be growing in quite a few circles. Individuals who do wish to carry out further inquiry to seek firmer ground have nigh no options when speaking to closed-minded conformists because ultimately with a conformist, it’s their way or the highway. Ironically, what is happening to those who seek firmer ground is not unlike what happened to the “Father of Philosophy,” Socrates, over two millennia ago.
Socrates was feared because he wasn’t afraid of questioning an individual’s beliefs about any given subject, similar to individuals today who question the official narrative on myriad issues. In parallel fashion to modern conformists, in Socrates’ time the ultimate conformists of the time – as with much of history – was the state. This see saw bout of ideals that took place back then still takes place now as we can see. For all intents and purposes, because of his very ideals, Socrates is the Godfather of Non-conformity. Socrates is the living definition of a question mark.
With the Socratic Method – of querying deeply into the subject – Socrates would begin to dissect an individual’s paradigm and those inherent flaws if any, usually in the realms of justice and goodness. Because of Socrates’ method, many times the paradigms individuals had – inculcated by the state and by religion – would drastically shift or disintegrate altogether, and begin something anew. This lead the state to lash out against him for questioning the system, particularly the “might makes right” the state was notorious known for, and eventually got him executed.
The state feared that the changes Socrates’ was bringing about in the populace would continue to spread, and from their tyrannical point of view they could not allow that. Thankfully though, most of what he was able to accomplish still echoes to this day – even to this very post, thousands of years later.
In similar fashion, nowadays, people who push conformity are doing themselves and the other individuals a great disservice. This is because individuals pushing conformity are:  not being open minded, thus  not allowing themselves to grow by being able to see another individual’s point of view, whether it is true or not. Further, by attempting to force conformity on others they are  taking away a terrific learning opportunity from individuals truly seeking answers to poignant questions, and  in the worst case, these conformists are even losing relationships because of fear of the ego being overridden, as well as their beliefs possibly being shown to be made of hot air. All of this stands against the very nature of free-flowing inquiry.
Keen conversations of proactive mental discernment should have a certain flow, like a see saw, a back and forth between [like or unlike] minds. However, what is taking place is far from such a common sense and proactive approach. The talks that are taking place currently between conformists and non-conformists echo a societal instability brought about by the conformist that will only exacerbate with time.
Intricately, this particular issue is touched upon in the thought-provoking book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki, who cautions individuals on this very subject:
“Try not to force your idea on someone but rather think about it with him. If you feel you have won the discussion, that is also the wrong attitude. Try not to win in the argument; just listen to it; but it is also wrong to behave as if you had lost. Usually when we say something, we are apt to try to sell our teaching or force our idea.”
In other words, allow others the freedom to make choices, to find their own path – to make mistakes. That is one of the best ways individuals grow, by learning from their choices. However, forcing opinions and/or beliefs on others is diametrically opposed to all that is good and sensible. Moreover, not only is overriding someone’s freedoms rather inhuman, or conformist to say the least, but it goes directly against the very idea of Freedom and its downright tyrannical. In contrast, if conformists would opt to listen to others, as happens in free-flowing conversations of open-minded individuals, those pushing their beliefs and agendas would come to an understanding as to why the other individual feels reticent to the particular issue. That simple step can help magnitudes in understanding where another person is coming from and why the other person feels as they feel. A conformist’s conversations never even get that far. Ironically, that would also be the place where arguably most progress could be made.
If inquiring individuals who wish to engage in mental discernment are not allowed their own personal moment of clarity – of piercing through the veil – they will not own the moment – know the truth – but merely borrow another person’s footsteps as their own. Such an instance robs the individuals of making great progress in their strides for the truth and thus leaves them at square one.
When someone is forced to intellectually conform they are not allowed the freedom to philosophize – to seek wisdom. Philosophy is crucial, for it literally means the love of wisdom. How is an individual ever going to gain insights, journey to wisdom, unless they are allowed or even urged to ask questions?
As modern philosopher Peter Kreeft Ph.D. warned in his Philosophy 101 By Socrates:
“If we do not philosophize, if we do not question appearances, if we are satisfied with whatever makes us feel happy, we will never know whether we are being deceived about who we are and what level of our being is being satisfied.”
An individual that is not allowed to hone their senses and polish their intuition will not have the opportunity to learn to see the forest for the trees. If said individual merely accepts the authoritarian conformist’s attitudes they will suffer in many ways. These inquiring individuals will have a harder time – or nigh impossible time – figuring out deception [as we are seeing nowadays]; these individuals won’t be able to figure out a well argued argument based on facts and logic from outright speculation or downright lies; these genuinely curious individuals will also not be able to become as robust and self sufficient as possible as they could be in this coming age of [dis]information. Such an individual will be just like a boat in the ocean with a busted sail that is drifting aimlessly directly into an eternal storm.
That is why it’s imperative as individuals to help others realize their full potential as they seek truth and growth within our world. As other individuals grow, they will share what made them change in positive fashion. And as we learn from them, we can learn as well, and it begins a self reinforcing process in which the rising tide lifts all ships.
Ruminating a bit deeper into this entire conundrum, maybe this issue is about more than truth though. Perhaps there’s more on the line than meets the eye. What seems to be missing to some extent, in some individuals at least, is simply the ability for them to be caring human beings, regardless of beliefs. A truly caring, wholesome individual will not simply railroad someone else because they believe something different or refuse to believe them.
It seems that following a personal philosophy of seeking personal growth through an attempted mastery of your mental and spiritual wellbeing seems like a prudent choice to say the least. And personal growth involves more than just attaining truth or strengthening beliefs.
Observing the words of Kreeft once more:
“Wisdom is more than knowledge. Knowing all facts in a library does not make you wise. Wisdom is a knowledge not just of facts but of values, of what is humanly important; and it is a knowledge that is a lived, that is learned by experience and lived out in experience.”
When conformists push their ideals and beliefs onto inquiring individuals, they take away the opportunity for those individuals to have meaningful experiences for growth and self-development, which includes more than simple truths or beliefs. Those instances may never take place again. Individuals that are not allowed to live to their fullest extent will only realize a fraction of the capability they would otherwise be able to achieve if they were allowed to venture upon their personal road less traveled – their individual journey.
Those who are allowed to gain personal insights on their road to self mastery will not only grow profoundly but will also develop a more robust Socratic Philosophy, just like the Greeks did in ancient times.
In ancient times:
“The Greeks became the world’s greatest philosophers partly because…they learned to question appearances to find something more, some hidden reality behind the appearances.”
Such is the reason why appearances, beliefs and supposed facts must always be questioned. For if they are not, what might be hidden will never rise to the surface and will not be able to be seen in pure darkness. Truth is the only light beam that disintegrates the shadows. And the only way to attain truth is for individuals to hone their inner fire, their inner light.
Touching upon this very concern, award winning teacher, advocate of self-directed learning and of individual freedom, John Taylor Gatto urged in his landmark book Dumbing Us Down:
“People have to be allowed to make their own mistakes or to try again, or they will never master themselves, although they may well seem to be competent when they have in fact only memorized or imitated someone else’s performance. Success in my practice involves challenging many comfortable assumptions about what is worth learning and out of what material a good life is fashioned.”
Questioning our conformable assumptions – our beliefs – about what is worth learning – for each individual – and bring about most growth is what this entire conundrum is about. That is why it is crucial that:
“One should not present others with ready-made answers, preach to them, or only make them memorize things. One needs to activate them. They should figure things out. The ambition can even be to liberate them.”
To help individuals achieve total freedom – physically, spiritually, psychologically, emotionally and mentally – they need to be encouraged to walk their own path, learn their own lessons – find their own wisdom.
If individuals aren’t allowed to grow, or choose not to, their mental faculties will atrophy, like someone who uses crutches constantly has their muscles atrophy from disuse.
As friends, colleagues, or simply caring human beings, perhaps it is imperative not to worry only about our subjective ideas, beliefs, or even outright facts. What’s important is helping the other individual wherever they may need help, along their road, so they can then better understand whatever it is that they seek knowledge in. What got them to their current point in life is vastly different to what got you to yours. In like fashion, what gets them to the truth will most likely be vastly different than what got you to it.
Allowing other individuals the opportunity for growth is one of the greatest gifts we can give to another human being in their journey. Along this journey, other individuals may at times need help. Walk along side them, as long as they need, and help them when possible. But remember, their life is their journey.
While your paths may cross time and again, ultimately an individual’s journey will be a rather unique and authentic experience. Along this path, the side of the road will surely be rife with random rocks lacking meaning. But now and again, among/amidst the ruble, an individual’s curiosities will be sparked by sparkles of truth, and they will find gratifying gems. These are the very gems of wisdom that will push individuals further down their path to intellectual treasure, further towards their adventure for truth – towards individual growth.
Ultimately, what another individual does is up to them, for its their life, their freedom, their choice. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t help them along that journey. Just help them in any way you can, especially if they implore you for help. That’s what friendship is all about. That’s what being a caring human being is all about.
And maybe, just maybe, one day these individuals will realize that it was you whose left some of those gems along their road, and that they’ve been given a gift, and that it’s been there all along, just waiting for the right moment.
And the right moment is now.
Give them that gift.
 Shunryu Suzuki, Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, p. 108.
 Peter Kreeft Ph.D., Philosophy 101 by Socrates – An Introductory To Philosophy Via Plato’s Apology, p. 74.
 Ibid., p. 10.
 Ibid., p. 19.
 John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down – The Hidden Curriculum Of Compulsory Schooling, p. xxxv.
 Tommi Juhani Hanhijarvi Ph.D., Dialectical Thinking – Zeno, Socrates, Kant, Marx, p. 32.
This article is free and open source. You are encouraged and have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Zy Marquiez and TheBreakaway.wordpress.com.
About The Author:
Zy Marquiez is an avid book reviewer, researcher, an open-minded skeptic, yogi, humanitarian, and freelance writer who studies and mirrors regularly subjects like Consciousness, Education, Creativity, The Individual, Ancient History & Ancient Civilizations, Forbidden Archaeology, Big Pharma, Alternative Health, Space, Geoengineering, Social Engineering, Propaganda, and much more.
His own personal blog is BreakawayConsciousnessBlog.wordpress.com where his personal work is shared, while TheBreakaway.wordpress.com serves as a media portal which mirrors vital information usually ignored by mainstream press, but still highly crucial to our individual understanding of various facets of the world.