What Are We Celebrating On The Fourth Of July?

© Ben Garrison
You see it everywhere - on signs in stores, in TV commercials, newspaper ads, and sales fliers: Happy Fourth of July.

Well, now, isn't that special? What's the big deal about saying, "Happy Fourth of July?" After all, every country in the world has a "fourth of July."

Ask school kids what the Fourth of July is all about, and virtually each and every one will answer something like, "Fireworks" or "Cookouts." Retailers see it as yet another excuse to hold a sale. For most, it's a day off from work. But how many people today understand what July 4th is really about?

The fact that the Fourth of July is a celebration of independence from government tyranny under British rule seems to have been pretty much forgotten, or is viewed as an unimportant afterthought.

What kind of government tyranny did the Colonists want freedom from? Well, for one thing, the kind that involves warrant-less searches of peoples' homes, where government agents could just walk right into your private home for no reason and conduct a search without even getting a court-issued warrant. That was a form of government terrorism waged against the people, and when America declared its independence from British rule it adopted a new rule at home that specifically forbade such tyrannical government actions. To deal with this particular abuse, the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution was created to protect citizens from illegal searches and seizures undertaken by a lawless, tyrannical government.

35 Years Of Death Penalty Regrets

lethal injection2 execution
© Unknown
Thirty-five years ago, on July 2, 1976, on the eve of massive bicentennial celebrations, the U.S. Supreme Court in Gregg v. Georgia voted 7-2 to re-instate capital punishment. There had been no executions in the U.S. since 1967.

The U.S. could have been a leader in the subsequent worldwide trend toward death penalty abolition; instead the U.S. has become an outlier along with a minority of other countries (like China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia) that still kill prisoners.

What might have been?

Three of those 7 justices (Stevens, Blackmun and Powell) have since regretted their vote in Gregg, meaning that if there could be some sort of time-travel Stevens, Blackmun and Powell's Excellent Adventure do-over, the death penalty might have never come back.

But, as with executing likely innocent people, you can't go back in time to undo your mistakes. The death penalty did come back.
Evil Rays

14 Propaganda Techniques Fox "News" Uses to Brainwash Americans

© Lance Page / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: Alan Turkus, ario_, Eddi van W.)
There is nothing more sacred to the maintenance of democracy than a free press. Access to comprehensive, accurate and quality information is essential to the manifestation of Socratic citizenship - the society characterized by a civically engaged, well-informed and socially invested populace. Thus, to the degree that access to quality information is willfully or unintentionally obstructed, democracy itself is degraded.

It is ironic that in the era of 24-hour cable news networks and "reality" programming, the news-to-fluff ratio and overall veracity of information has declined precipitously. Take the fact Americans now spend on average about 50 hours a week using various forms of media, while at the same time cultural literacy levels hover just above the gutter. Not only does mainstream media now tolerate gross misrepresentations of fact and history by public figures (highlighted most recently by Sarah Palin's ludicrous depiction of Paul Revere's ride), but many media actually legitimize these displays. Pause for a moment and ask yourself what it means that the world's largest, most profitable and most popular news channel passes off as fact every whim, impulse and outrageously incompetent analysis of its so-called reporters. How did we get here? Take the enormous amount of misinformation that is taken for truth by Fox audiences: the belief that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that he was in on 9/11, the belief that climate change isn't real and/or man-made, the belief that Barack Obama is Muslim and wasn't born in the United States, the insistence that all Arabs are Muslim and all Muslims are terrorists, the inexplicable perceptions that immigrants are both too lazy to work and are about to steal your job. All of these claims are demonstrably false, yet Fox News viewers will maintain their veracity with incredible zeal. Why? Is it simply that we have lost our respect for knowledge?

My curiosity about this question compelled me to sit down and document the most oft-used methods by which willful ignorance has been turned into dogma by Fox News and other propagandists disguised as media. The techniques I identify here also help to explain the simultaneously powerful identification the Fox media audience has with the network, as well as their ardent, reflexive defenses of it.
Bad Guys

US - 9/11 The World Trade Center Towers Were 'Vaporized' Into Dust

Where is the missing 1200 feet of heavy building materials? It was vaporized according to the engineering firm that built the buildings (and helped engineer the demolition of them). Controlled demolition turns buildings into dust at near freefall speed, not 'collapses'. Steel dust? That requires far more energy than a collapse event could produce and still have near full gravitational acceleration (violates conservation of momentum/energy). The buildings were demolished with well placed explosives ..... without a shadow of a doubt, as clear as it can get.

Comment: For more information concerning the vaporization of the World Trade Center, see this SOTT link:

Dr. Jim Fetzer: Nevermind a controlled-demoliltion, the WTC was vaporized on 9/11

Bad Guys

Demystifying 9/11: Israel and the Tactics of Mistake

© Unknown
Many years ago I read a fascinating discussion of the "tactics of mistake." This essentially entailed using a target's prejudices and preconceptions to mislead them as to the origin and intent of the attack, entrapping them in a tactical situation that later worked to the attacker's strategic advantage.

This is what unfolded in the 9/11 attacks that led us into the matrix of wars and conflicts, present (Afghanistan and Iraq), planned (Iran and Syria) and projected (Jordan and Egypt), that benefit Israel and no other country - although I concede that many private contractors and politicians are doing very well for themselves out of the death and misery of others.

I am also absolutely certain as a strategic analyst that 9/11 itself, from which all else flows, was a classic Mossad-orchestrated operation. But Mossad did not do it alone. They needed local help within America (and perhaps elsewhere) and they had it, principally from some alumni of PNAC (the misnamed Project for a New American Century) and their affiliates within and outside of the US Government (USG), who in the 9/11 attacks got the "catalytic event" they needed and craved to take the US to war on Israel's behalf, only eight months after coming into office.

Uncle Sam Food History Exhibit Promotes Food Control

Oh, gag me with a bowl of propaganda. The National Archives is hosting an historical exhibit on government say in what we eat and grow and how to cook it: "What's Cooking, Uncle Sam: The Government's Effect on the American Diet." From the opening lines of the website, you know our control freak "Uncle" has launched another major psyops campaign to convince us that Government Knows Best when it comes to food:
"We demand that our Government ensure that it is safe, cheap, and abundant. In response, Government has been a factor in the production, regulation, research, innovation, and economics of our food supply."
Though painting Uncle Sam as Mrs. Doubtfire, when it comes to the results of government intrusion into the food supply, he's more like Joseph Mengele. Over the last hundred years, we've seen climbing rates of cancer, diabetes, obesity, heart disease and neurological disorders, thanks to Uncle Sam's "regulation" of food additives and environmental pollutants. We've also seen the number of farms decline by 98%.

US: Cops Just Love Those Tasers-Mentally Handicapped Boy Tasered, Pepper Sprayed and Hog Tied

Dayton, Ohio - Dayton police "mistook" a mentally handicapped teenager's speech impediment for "disrespect," so they Tasered, pepper-sprayed and beat him and called for backup from "upward of 20 police officers" after the boy rode his bicycle home to ask his mother for help, the boy's mom says.

Pamela Ford says her "mentally challenged/handicapped" son Jesse Kersey, 17, was riding his bike near his Dayton home when Officer Willie Hooper stopped him and tried to talk to him.

The mom says that "Prior to the incident described below, defendant Hooper knew Jesse and was aware that Jesse was mentally challenged/handicapped and a minor child."

The 100th anniversary of the Tunguska explosion

Comment: The103rd anniversary today.

Tunguska explosion
©RIA Novosti

At 7.14 a.m. local time (12.14 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time), an explosion occurred near the Podkamennaya (Lower Stony) Tunguska River in East Siberia's Krasnoyarsk Territory, not far from the Vanavara trading post, now Vanavara town, the administrative center of the Evenki Autonomous Area's Tungussko-Chunsky District.

Tunguska Event Caused Climate Change

A controversial new theory attributes climate change not to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels but water vapor. In an unpublished paper, Vladimir Shaidurov of the Russian Academy of Sciences argues that the apparent rise in average global temperature recorded by scientists over the past hundred years could be due to atmospheric changes resulting from the Tunguska Event, a massive explosion over Siberia on the June 30th, 1908 that is thought to have resulted from an asteroid or comet entering the earth's atmosphere and exploding. Shaidurov says that the event could have caused "considerable stirring of the high layers of atmosphere" and triggered the subsequent rise in global temperatures.

When Comets Attack: Solving the Mystery of the Biggest Natural Explosion in Modern History

© Pete Turner/Getty Images
On the morning of June 30, 1908, the sky exploded over a remote region of central Siberia. A fireball as powerful as hundreds of Hiroshima atomic blasts scorched through the upper atmosphere "as if there was a second sun," according to one eyewitness. Scientists today think a small fragment of a comet or asteroid caused the "Tunguska event," so named for the Tunguska river nearby. No one knows for certain, however, because no fragment of the meteoroid has ever been found. The explosion was so vast - flattening and incinerating over an 800 square-mile swath of trees - that generations of amateur sleuths have put forward scenarios as strange as stray black holes or UFO attacks to explain the tremendous explosion.

Now, a controversial scientific study suggests that a chunk of a comet caused the 5 to 10 megaton fireball - what amounts to the largest non-nuclear explosion in modern history. Crucially, according to the new hypothesis, most of the comet bounced off the atmosphere and back into orbit around the sun. The scientists have even identified a candidate Tunguska object - now more than 100 million miles away - that was somewhere near Earth on June 30, 1908 and will be passing close to Earth again in 2045. But just how could a comet - basically a ball of water ice and cosmic dust - create such a massive explosion and leave no trace? The answer, the scientists believe, can be found in basic chemistry rather than complicated physics or evidence yet to be found.