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A couple of days ago I learned that Andrea Fornella Abbott, 41, was found guilty on Tuesday of disorderly conduct after being arrested in July 2011 at Nashville International Airport. She had faced up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine, but the judge placed her on probation for a year because she has no criminal record. 'So what?', you may ask. The thing that bothered me was her alleged 'disorderly conduct'. Her 'crime' was to argue with TSA agents, insisting they don't touch her 14 year-old daughter's private parts during a 'routine pat-down', before refusing to go through with the invasive procedure herself. You see, the disorderly conduct did not come from a mother justifiably concerned about the privacy and intimacy of her daughter and herself, but from the agents and the TSA who have institutionalized 'disorderly' - let's be frank here - pathological conduct, all based on the Big Lie of the War on Terror.

Here is footage of the event. Although it has no audio, it is clear that Andrea Fornella was only arguing her point. So much for the illusion of free speech.


This case illustrates in micro-cosmos the situation in which we the people find ourselves at this point in time in relation to the holders of power and their agents. Things have gone far beyond basic management of the population you would expect from government. Similar to some of the darker moments in history, we are facing pathological extremes. Think of the systematic imprisonment and extermination of entire groups of people as "lice", to use Hitler's expression for Jews. Or the excesses of Roman Emperors. Or the Stazi in East Berlin suspicious of households which had their TV antennas facing west. Although the manifestations are not always the same, the nature and essence of the pathological conduct are. It is about treating people as objects. Nowadays, however, I think we are going through a particularly bad phase of the historical cycle of abuse. Some of the things being done to innocent people you would not even do to objects you value.

History is a collection of crimes, the worst and the large majority of which are perpetrated by those in authority against common people. Those who in a normal world would be in charge of defending justice, equality and human rights, and in doing so serve all, have instead become preoccupied with protecting their privileges and squeezing resources from others, whether by deceit, propaganda, force or some combination of all these. The effects of the actions of a psychopathic elite - the pathocracy - are what constitute the Terror of History. In her soon to be published new book1, Laura Knight-Jadczyk comments:
As the great Historian of Religion, Mircea Eliade pointed out, the study of history, through its various disciplines, offers a view of mankind that is almost insupportable. The rapacious movements of hungry tribes, invading and conquering and destroying in the darkness of prehistory; the barbarian invaders of the civilized world; the bloodbaths of the crusades of Catholic Europe against the "infidels" of the Middle East; the stalking "noonday terror" of the Inquisition where martyrs quenched the flames with their blood; and the raging holocaust of modern genocide. Wars, famine, pestilence; all produce an intolerable sense of indefensibility against what Mircea Eliade calls the Terror of History.
When man contemplates history, AS IT IS, he is forced to realize that he is in the iron grip of an existence that seems to have no real care or concern for his pain and suffering. Over and over again, the same sufferings fall upon mankind multiplied millions upon millions of times over millennia. The totality of human suffering is a dreadful thing. I could write until the end of the world using oceans of ink and forests of paper, and never fully convey this terrible condition in which mankind finds his existence.

The beast of arbitrary calamity has always been with us. For as long as human hearts have pumped hot blood through their too-fragile bodies and glowed with the inexpressible sweetness of life and yearning for all that is good and right and loving, the sneering, stalking, drooling and scheming beast of "real life" has licked its lips in anticipation of its next feast of terror and suffering. Since the beginning of time, this mystery of the estate of man, this Curse of Cain has existed. And, since the Ancient of Days, the cry has been: "My punishment is greater than I can bear!" [Mircea Eliade]
But if you find yourself saying this, you are "alienated," antisocial, and accused by those who accept the status quo of being incapable of finding any meaning in life. You are just simply not "with the program"; you are not an Authoritarian. If you point out that the actions of our leaders do not match their words, that there is something screamingly amiss in our world, you are "alienated" and you suffer from a "personal bias" that is not "in synch" with reality. After all, our world is just hunky dory; two billion people meeting their deaths in a century of wars and famines is just "the cost of doing business" in this reality. (This is the socio-political view, not the view of cognitive or social sciences though there are scientists within the fields that have been corrupted to support such views, including psychologists who actually write papers supporting torture as an effective method of gathering information - sick bastards, all of them.)
For those of us who are not part of the elite, history is lived in 'quiet desperation', in hope of avoiding the worst parts of atrocities for us and our families. We call it 'good times' when our corner of the globe is not being trampled on by the boot of war or grinding poverty, and we often pretend that far-away suffering is not really there. Hear no evil, see no evil. When calamities approach us we deny them at first; when they get alarmingly close, some of us raise our voices and protest and rebel in different ways and the authorities react with an iron fist. This is the situation that much of the world is facing today, especially so-called 'free' countries such as the U.S. and European Union, in contrast to others which have been under extreme suffering for much longer. (Think of Palestine or certain parts of Africa, and take some time to watch this extremely powerful documentary to get an idea of what some people have to live with). The fist has acquired a different quality than it was just a few years back We have reached a point where it is now loaded with cruelty, contempt and mockery.

Among some examples I found particularly infuriating and horrifying, there is the case of Leah-Lynn Plant, Matthew Kyle Duran and Katherine Olejnik - all in their twenties - who had their home in Portland, Oregon, raided by an FBI task force, complete with battering ram, stun grenades and all. Reportedly, the FBI search warrant was for black clothing, paint, sticks, computers and cell phones, and 'anarchist materials or literature.' That's right, nowadays having books, computers and black clothing can land you a date with a private grand jury, and refusing its (no doubt preposterous) questions will land you in jail. Here is a statement from Leah-Lynn Plant before being imprisoned:


Go to this website for updates on their case.

Speaking of the FBI, they recently made headlines for foiling a terrorist plot they themselves created (again). They arrested a 21 year-old Bangladeshi man, accused of attempting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank with what he believed was a 450kg bomb. The Fed was never in danger (God forbid!) because, well, the explosives were fake and were provided by an undercover FBI agent. This is a trick that the FBI has used numerous times since its creation, but particularly since the War on Terror arrived in the West from Israel in 2001. At risk of stating the obvious, creating a plot so you can claim you foiled it is nothing short of sheer lunacy. But we live in a lunatic world, so following the logic of their thinking, I find interesting that in these times of economic stress, in which people are becoming increasingly aware of the nefarious role the Federal Reserve plays in the international monetary system, it is the Fed that was 'targeted' by this harmless plot. No doubt we're now meant to feel guilty for cursing banksters while they whip up fear of there being something of a 'terrorist' in every Occupy protester.

The madness is not limited to the U.S.. Recently, a London police officer tasered a blind man after mistaking his white stick for a samurai sword! Granted that there had been a report of a man carrying such a sword, so the officer perhaps had it on his mind. But to mistake a blind man's walking stick for a samurai sword falls on the side of having way too much desire to taser someone. At best, this is a worrisome attitude that seems to be widespread among law enforcement officers these days. At worst, it is plain pathological cruelty - something which is not alien to the police, as the case of 'zombie' wannabe Gilberto Valle, of the New York police department, demonstrates. Valle was "plotting to kidnap, rape, torture and kill women, and then cook and eat their body parts." Alarmingly, he was discussing his plans with "an unidentified co-conspirator", which makes it a crowd if you ask me.

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© Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Netanyahu: "Here, see? Iran has nuclear bombs to wipe us all out!"
The pathology we are witnessing an element of what I can only describe as either mockery or idiocy. I am undecided as to which is more likely, but I guess it could be a mixture of both. The best recent examples are Benjamin Netanyahu's looney-tune quality appearance at the United Nations and the 2012 Nobel "Peace" Prize awarded to the European Union. As you may recall, Netanyahu decided to convince the world to approve a totally unjustified war against Iran, at the risk of igniting a global conflict of nightmarish proportions, by presenting a graphic worthy of Wiley Coyote. The Nobel Prize Committee opted to grant a recognition for peace to a conglomerate of countries that has recently been busy meting out heavy-handed beatings to their rightly angered populations, already beaten by rising unemployment and further punished by austerity measures.

Here is the 'peace' treatment that EU member Spain delivers to its citizens:


This is where I find myself at a bit of a loss. Do the members of the Nobel Prize Committee not realize what sort of message they are sending to the Spanish and Greek people, as well as the rest of us? Does Netanyahu honestly think he is making a solid argument with the childish sparkly-bomb graphic? Are they that stupid? Or are they so convinced of their ways, and that in the end they will be able to get away with anything? Are they taking these opportunities to make fun of us? Or are they performing a bit of 'gaslighting' on us, also sometimes referred to as 'mind-screw'? In any case I do find it fascinating, disturbing and worrying, as it tells me that the elite have gone one step 'up' in their usual practices of control and has taken another big step into lunacy. It is one thing to repress and control because it is what you believe to be 'business as usual' and what needs to be done to retain power; it is another thing altogether to do so by adding insult to injury because they derive pleasure from adding a touch of cruelty and mockery. Perhaps whatever is turning some of the common folk into cannibal 'zombies' is turning our leaders into caricatures of themselves, something similar to an army of George W. Bushes ruling the world?

I have no answer to these questions, but I will go with the working hypothesis that this 'new style' of ramped-up control and repression is partly because they are calculating particular outcomes, and partly because psychopaths swell with the suffering of others. The calculated effect is to impair our normal ability to assess reality and make decisions. At a most basic level it is about fear and intimidation. Notice that while the FBI battering ram does not knock down everybody's door, the fact that this appears to be quite random and arbitrary has the effect of making us feel that we are all potential targets, so to be on the safe side, we had better just follow the program. For some people this might manifest as a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Laura Knight-Jadczyk writes:
The term, Stockholm Syndrome, was coined in the early 70s to describe the puzzling reactions of four bank employees to their captors. On August 23, 1973, three women and one man were taken hostage in one of the largest banks in Stockholm. They were held for six days by two ex-convicts who threatened their lives but also showed them kindness. To the world's surprise, all of the hostages strongly resisted the government's efforts to rescue them and were quite eager to defend their captors. Indeed, several months after the hostages were saved by the police, they still had warm feelings for the men who threatened their lives. Two of the women eventually got engaged to the captors. Psychologist Dee Graham has theorized that Stockholm Syndrome occurs on a societal level. Since our culture is patriarchal, she believes that all women suffer from it - to widely varying degrees, of course. She has expanded on her theories in Loving to Survive: Sexual Terror, Men's Violence, and Women's Lives, which is well worth reading.

When there is a socially imposed mandate to think well of their leaders and view the world in a positive light, even in the face of evidence to the contrary, people find it necessary to become highly attuned to the approval or disapproval of the social norms that are created and propagated by the rulers and their elite supporters who have the resources to suppress most contrary perspectives. As a result, the masses of authoritarians are motivated to learn how to think only in terms of social norms, and learn that it is dangerouse - even life-threatening - to honestly examine their own, honest experiences. As victims of Societal Stockholm Syndrome, we are encouraged to develop psychological characteristics pleasing to the system. These include: dependency, lack of initiative, inability to act, decide, think; strategies for staying alive, including denial, attentiveness to the system's demands, wants, and expressions of approval of the system itself. We are taught to develop fondness for the system accompanied by fear of interference by anyone who challenges the system's perspective. Most of all, we are conditioned to be overwhelmingly grateful to the system for giving us life. We focus on the system's kindnesses, not its acts of brutality. Denial of terror and anger, and the perception of the system as omnipotent keep us psychologically attached to the System.
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A Greek protester feels the full force of the EU's peaceful actions
Of course, the lies upon lies provide the narrative to justify our compliance. Rather than admit that we are loving our torturers, we are given the opportunity to believe that police repression cannot be wrong because the EU holds the Nobel Peace Prize. A cartoon of a bomb might be the cue for us to believe that Netanyahu has a sense of humor, therefore he cannot be the evil warmongering politician some say he is. Likewise, the illusion of democratic elections keeps our hopes high that if we make the right choice all will be well. And if it isn't we will get a new chance to roll the dice in a few years time.

For those who are subject to more constant and direct negative experiences (such as being on the receiving end of police brutality, living in a war zone, having to rely on garbage bins for food, or simply being more sensitive to bad news), the desired result might be psychological breakdown, i.e. transmarginal inhibition. Imagine living in under the constant threat of U.S. drones. How long before the pressure pushes you into despair?
People in the United States imagine that drones fly to a target, launch their deadly missiles with surgical precision and return to a U.S. base hundreds or thousands of miles away. But drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above.

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And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Women are afraid to meet in markets. Families are afraid to gather at funerals for people wrongly killed in earlier strikes. Drivers are afraid to deliver food from other parts of the country.

The routines of daily life have been ripped to shreds. Indisputably innocent people cower in their homes, afraid to assemble on the streets. "Double taps," or secondary strikes on the same target, have stopped residents from aiding those who have been injured. A leading humanitarian agency now delays assistance by an astonishing six hours.

What makes this situation even worse is that no one can tell people in these communities what they can do to make themselves safe. No one knows who is on the American kill list, no one knows how they got there and no one knows what they can do to get themselves off. It's all terrifyingly random. Suddenly, and without warning, a missile launches and obliterates everyone within a 16-yard radius.
A question which often occupies my mind is why we are being subject to such cruelty and contempt at this point in time. If we are already at the mercy of the global system, without any chance of changing it whatsoever, nor bringing any real criminals to justice, why are they increasing the temperature of fascism on us right now? Readers of Sott.net will know that our favoured working hypothesis is that we are due for a natural cyclic catastrophe of global proportions (cometary bombardment and/or an ice age, along with food shortages and viral diseases - all of which have happened - often together - numerous times in human history) that encourages the elite to tighten the screws before the masses realize that saving their skins means taking control of their own lives and removing the structures of power and their representatives. Such appears to be the ultimate reason behind the totalitarian push that began in earnest eleven years ago.

Looking back over just the past few months, what if anything has changed to prompt these recent grotesque displays of power from the pathocracy? The only answer I can come up with is that people are rebelling in different ways and those at the top resent this. Sometimes I wonder if we are witnessing a global revolution in the making. Here is a list of recent items, although I know I am leaving much out: If you think the elite don't take these global protests seriously, consider the recently created private army of the European Union, the European Gendarmerie Force:
The European governments know exactly what awaits them.The EU has secretly and quietly founded the paramilitary gendarmerie force, so that the EU countries would not be forced to use their own army against their citizens.The European Gendarmerie Force can theoretically be used everywhere, where the EU sees a crisis. The Treaty of Velsen, which governs the operations of Eurogendfor, says so. The motto in the coat of arms is: "Lex paciferat" - translated: "The law will pacify." It emphasizes "the principle of a strict relationship between the enforcement of legal principles and the restoration of a safe and secure environment." A 'war council' in the shape of the Ministerial Committee, composed of the defense and security ministers of the participating EU member states, decides about the deployment strategy. The force can be set in march either on request or by decision of the EU.
Along similar lines, Switzerland is preparing contingency plans for violent unrest across Europe.
In September, the Swiss military conducted exercises dubbed 'Stabilo Due,' with scenarios involving violent instability across the EU.

Switzerland has maintained an avowedly neutral stance for decades, and refused to join the eurozone when presented with the opportunity.

Bern's biggest fear is likely the disorganization of neighboring nations' armies that would follow general instability; the eurozone crisis and the severe austerity measures in the EU are forcing member-states to significantly slash their military budgets. If protest continues to spread across Europe, police and armed forces may find themselves ill-equipped to manage the unrest.

"I will not rule out that we will need the army in the coming years," Swiss Defense Minister Ueli Maurer said last Sunday.
Likewise, the U.S. - always ahead of the game when it comes to fascism - has seen its Department of Homeland Security place large orders of ammunitions - over 750 million rounds of .40 caliber hollow point ammo.

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© Vivienne Gucwa, flickr.com
Yes, things are bad, but let's conclude this article on a positive note. I am aware that all of the above sounds depressing, but rest assured that I, as well as the other Sott.net editors, report and comment on these things not because we like doom and gloom, but because ultimately we retain a sense of essential optimism about reality. For us, ignoring reality and its darkness would be the truly negative outlook, for it assumes that nothing can be done about it. Looking the facts straight in the eye speaks of believing that somewhere there is a way out or that some sort of sense can be made out of the mess. To paraphrase Samwise from The Lord of the Rings, that there is good in the world and something can be done to defend it.

And it is not only us, but everyone out there who has had the courage to do something about their situation, whether by going out on the streets, sharing their views on the Internet or donating to a charitable cause. I think of the people who obstinately try to break the blockade on Gaza, in spite of knowing that the Israeli army will do everything in their power to stop them - even if it means shooting at the crew. My point here is not to judge which sort of resistance is appropriate or effective - certainly some can make a difference while others can make you a martyr uselessly - but rather to highlight the fact that the human spirit has not gone down yet. It is alive, it is looking for answers and for justice, and the voice of the people looking for change is sounding louder from where I stand.
Do not go gentle into that good night
by Dylan Thomas

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Notes

1 From Laura Knight-Jadczyk's soon to be released new book, The Horns of Moses