Well, as for "Western civilization", you know what Mr. Gandhi said:

"Mr. Gandhi, what do you think of Western civilization?"

"I think it would be an good idea."

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Good writing Caitlin, your analysis is incisive and always fits within a whole. I’ve only discovered you recently but am finding I’m starting to share your posts. I appreciate your voice in this insane time we’re living in. Yours is truly a voice of sanity.

I especially appreciate your arguing for detente and de-escalation as very real options. Where does one find detailed engagement with the main themes AND discussion of true peace in the same author.

Your perspective is very special & critically important for where we’re at.

I hope your message resonated with ever more people.


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Laptop class making up delusional fairy tales while people get killed and inflation skyrockets.

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It has the virtue of bringing the end closer.

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"Tough slog"? And then some.

Anyone who carefully followed all the various machinations, presidential and vice presidential approved lies, statements to the United Nations from Coin Powell and supportive gestures and comments from the many US puppet countries, to the frightening Iraqi 'Weapons of Mass Destruction', the Hollywood fantasy-like scenario developed to satisfy the "Shock and Awe" attack on virtually defenceless Iraq, should know by now the fact that this was just another piece of cruel US fiction. Cruel and inhumane fiction. We’ve seen them before, in the Bay of Tonkin, the toppling of the government in Chile for commercial reasons and installing the criminal government of Pinochet and the interference in probably every South American country, most European countries as well. Even friendly countries like Australia, when in 1975 the US was successful in contributing in a major way to the removal of a progressive and popular Prime Minister and government from office. Just one of many as by one count, the United States has interfered in more than 80 foreign elections between 1946 and 2000 not counting U.S. backed coups and invasions in which they are Machiavellan masters. Deaths over 20 million.

They even have a major department called the CIA with 22,000 employees who have made death and destruction a profession. Who could ever forget Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and hundreds more over time.

The best antidote to subterfuge and straight out lies is transparency. I wonder whether the citizens of the world will ever appreciate the efforts by the likes of Scott Ritter, Julian Assange, Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, countless journalists and writers for publications like Consortium News and The UNZ Report and the well supported writings of Caitlin Johnstone.

Appreciation of decent efforts can be a slow process when trying to survive in a sea of lies, but one day soon, we hope…as the world needs serious reform.

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One hundred percent spot on, but as Caitlin points out, the actual media CELEBRATION of propaganda as "legend," such as the Ghost of Kiev, is unprecedented.

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Masks. Was when Americans and western democracies consented to giving up their free speech rights. Because masks were always just symbols. Not medically effective at preventing transmission of any virus. Not based in medical science, natural science. Based in behavioral science, social science. The science of symbols and linguistics that impact the perceptions of a target audience to effect changes in their behavior. The science that studies the efficacy of propaganda. One of the primary sciences that epidemiologists are formally trained in. It is The Science declared "the best science" we've been ordered to follow.

And symbols are speech. The oldest form of speech. Understood by even the illiterate. And mandated speech is exactly the same as prohibited speech. Free speech isn't just about censorship, it's about compelled speech. The speech the symbol of masks represents is fear. Be scared of others you may come in contact with, they may harm you. Understood at our base level of cognizance, the amygdala, triggers the fight, flight and freeze response. Same as seeing snakes. Here's the science of masks:


So when our friends, family, colleagues and neighbors said mandatory masks weren't their hill to die on they were saying free speech wasn't their hill to die on. They consented to giving up their (our) free speech rights. And now here we are. The other side of that same free speech coin. Prohibited speech. Orwellian Ministries of Truth being created. With only a handful of elected officials even in the opposition party objecting.

I'm old enough to remember when leaders of opposition parties forcefully objected to restrictions on free speech, to being called unpatriotic and un-American for disagreeing with an administration. Like objections Hillary Clinton raised to the Iraq War, the "War on Terror." Deemed heroic by the media and minority party at the time. At the time it was replayed over and over, countless videos viewed and shared of her speech. Now only available in an obscure audio clip you have to search the internet hard for. Memory-holed.


Free Speech, RIP 2020. When free people decided masks weren't the hill to die on. Never dawned on them that mandatory symbolism was that important to oppose.

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The masses relinquished their right to free speech long before mask mandates were instituted. The mandates were more of a test of the mass formation that had already begun with the "resistance" to the election of Donald Trump. It was expected that partisan Democrats, having succumbed to the Russiagate mass psychosis, would comply. The only question was how many others could be dragged along. Turned out nearly 99%, and I was challenged as often by peers as by store personnel or managers.

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May 2, 2022·edited May 2, 2022

You act like this was the first time the public has been asked to wear a mask during a pandemic. Same thing happened during the 1918 flu. No shoes no shirt no service is fine, but no shoes no shirt no mask no service during a pandemic is TyRaNnY!! Typical right wing whining and persecution fetish.

Freeze peach was destroyed by social media which was the final nail in its coffin. Even before social media people with anti war views got cancelled and effectively silenced - for example the Dixie chicks who ruined their career when they came out against the Iraq war.

Oh and another thing: counties that went to trump had far higher death rates per capita than counties that went to biden. But sure, mAsKs DoNt WoRk! PlAnDeMiC! pRaYeR wArRiOrS!

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I'm sad you allowed propaganda to define your understanding of medical history. The Lessons of the 1918 Spanish Flu and the Surgeon General's findings of the time found masking to be wholly ineffective and inadvisable because of how divisive they are. Symbols are always divisive; intentionally.



And from Health Affairs, a leading international behavioral health journal relied upon by public policymakers, including Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, in his ACA (Obamacare) ruling. Acknowledging that masks didn't work in 1918. Blowing up your contention. But at the same time declaring that we needed them in May, 2020?!?! Under the thesis that people just didn't use them correctly in 1918, were objected to by selfish, mean, ignorant people who just needed to have their defective, inferior minds "fixed" by propaganda and behavioral science techniques of manipulation. By totalitarianism. Which is the go-to of every progressive on a mission to fix the flaws of man. It's not the public policy that's bad, it's the people who don't understand it's for their own good, and if they don't then they must be disobedient, selfish criminals who need to be punished. Inside every socialist is a dictator waiting to come out. Often named, "Karen."


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Ok, go get some surgery and ask the doctor to forgo wearing a mask. Have fun with that.

One can criticize the empire without being a disinformed anti science moron about it.

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Surgical masks protect open incisions from spittle, coughs and sneezes. They are not intended to and do not protect from sub-microscopic aerosols that contain respiratory viruses. Nor is the wearing of surgical masks in the OR a universal, unchallenged practice.

There are no double blind RCTs showing a reduced spread of respiratory infection in populations wearing masks, and there are mechanistic reasons to believe that even N95 masks have little effect. They are not designed to intercept fine aerosols that can contain a respiratory virus. But the vast majority of masks the public wears are cloth or surgical masks, which don't even CLAIM efficacy. YOU are the "disinformed anti-science moron."

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The wearing of surgical masks is universal in operating rooms and in dental offices to protect the patient from droplets from the doctor. Eye roll.

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I'm fine with people wearing masks voluntarily and perhaps they have a small benefit if worn and disposed of properly, but you are wrong on this one...they did a study years ago showing surgical masks weren't really that effective during surgeries, but the main reason they keep using them (apart from the spittle issue) is that they make patients *feel* safer.

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An argument can be made, and in fact, has been made, that masking is detrimental to society and declared illegal.

As recently as 2019, less than three years ago, masks were *banned* outright in public and on public transportation. For good reasons upheld by international courts. Do those rational and legal justifications for banning them not apply today?


"Judges at the European court of human rights (ECHR) have upheld France's burqa ban, accepting Paris's argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together".

The law, introduced in 2010, makes it illegal for anyone to cover their face in a public place...the law was not aimed at the burqa or veil but any covering of the face in a public place...

...The European judges decided...that the preservation of a certain idea of "living together" was the "legitimate aim" of the French authorities.

Isabelle Niedlispacher, representing the Belgian government, which introduced a similar ban in 2011 and which was party to the French defence, declared both the burqa and niqab "incompatible" with the rule of law.

Aside from questions of security and equality, she added: "It's about social communication, the right to interact with someone by looking them in the face and about not disappearing under a piece of clothing."

The French and Belgian laws were aimed at "helping everyone to integrate", Niedlispacher added."



"On August 1, 2019, the “Act Partially Prohibiting Face-Covering Clothing,”also known as the “Burqa Ban,” entered into force in the Netherlands. The Act prohibits the wearing of clothing that completely or partially conceals the face in spaces where people are expected to communicate with each other. Thus, face-covering clothing is banned on public transportation and in educational, governmental, and nursing care institutions, but is still allowed in such public spaces as on train platforms. The ban applies to burqas, niqabs, full-face helmets, balaclavas, and masks, but not to headscarves."


Until facial coverings are banned outright the manipulated and coerced psychosis that has taken hold of our society will remain. Faces are necessary, are a requirement for public life, for civil society. The rationale that international courts found true just before Covid still applies. It never stopped applying. And so at this point I'm not fine with people wearing masks, even voluntarily. The harms benefit any imaginary benefits that are claimed.

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While I agree with you philosophically on the benefits of connecting with people, the libertarian in me doesn't want to see masks mandated or banned. In a future - actually, right now - where facial recognition can remove all privacy, having the right to privacy outdoors may mean covering up.

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"A contemporary questionnaire-based study, which attempted to assess the attitudes of surgeons, revealed that 96% of responders wore facemasks." So 4% of surgeons report that they do NOT wear facemasks. Hardly "universal." That's according to an article on the NIH site: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4480558/

I won't be replying to the rest of your drivel.

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4% of surgeons are idiots. Got it.

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Lol. I remember using Facebook, where adolescent discourse of unthinking slams is rewarded by algorithms. Most readers on Substack leave that behind.

Thing is, that's what behavioral science, psycho-social manipulation understands about humanity and takes advantage of. The basis of propaganda campaigns. Intelligence isn't a good predictor of the effectiveness of propaganda; many highly intelligent people are moved by it, even become unwitting propagators of it, sometimes the loudest, most self-righteous in spreading propaganda.

Good predictors of the effectiveness of propaganda are how trusting people in the target audience are, do they trust authorities? How self-confidant are people in the target audience, do they trust they have the cognitive tools to support their reasoning? How brave are people in the target audience to stand alone or in small numbers, do they have the courage of their convictions? How much do the people in the target audience care about challenging what they know to be wrong? Is it even worth the distraction? These are the characteristics in a target audience that are most determinative of the effectiveness of propaganda.

Think back to grade school. All of life resembles that microcosm of human interaction. Take the classroom experience of the student who always raises their hand to ask questions. Often to the consternation of classmates. And depending on the learning environment the teacher has created the questioning student may face taunts, groans, rolled eyes, etc. Especially if the question comes a few minutes before the bell rings when most people are thinking about seeing friends in the breaks between classes, have moved on to thinking about the test in the next class, etc. "Just shut up and let us get out of here!" "Idiot!" "Dumbass!" Or even worse, when the student asking a question points out an error in what the teacher said or wrote. "Really?!?!?" "Who cares??" "Shut up, who do you think you are???" Taunts and derision, invective's hurled at the student who is in school to, wait for, actually learn!!!

The smart and intellectually curious kids are targeted by the dumb kids, the lazy kids, the apathetic kids, other smart kids who are bored, the envious kids, the kids who are otherwise emotionally handicapped. "Just shut up, do as your told, so we all can get out of here and out of this and get back to doing what we really want to be doing besides learning and listening to you and your dumb questions, you moron!" Learned at a young age in an unhealthy educational environment.

And carried into adulthood. The need to belong, the need to be accepted, the need to be liked, the need to go with the herd, the need for structure and deference to authority, the insecurities, the search for the easiest paths, all part of human psychology that behavioral scientists, psycho-social manipulators, propagandists use to coerce and influence perspectives and behaviors. "The #1 selling car in America." "Nine out of ten doctors recommend." "We work hard so you don't have to." "[Fragrance] will make you irresistible to [men/women]." Ad slogans that appeal to the same needs. Not true or materially significant. But corporations spend billions of dollars on them. Because they work.

Like, "We're all in this together." "Safe and effective." "It's not about you, it's about others." "Freedom? Ha! Your selfish and dangerous freedom, you don't have a right to hurt others." "The unvaccinated are facing a winter of death!" Ad slogans that appeal to the same needs. Not true or materially significant. But Big Pharma, Big Medicine and Big Government spend billions of dollars on them. Because they work. Psychology. Psycho-social manipulation. Propaganda.

I could link countless studies to mask efficacy, that's been done so many times in so many places it's redundant and trite. The kids who raised their hands and asked questions, who learned got it long ago, even in the face of taunts and groans of the dumb kids, the lazy kids, the apathetic kids, other smart kids who are bored, the envious kids, the kids who are otherwise emotionally handicapped.

I enjoy going back to the original studies on masks and other NPI measures conducted during and following the Spanish Flu. Because they remain as true a century later as they were then. Remember those mocking sepia pictures we were subjected to at the beginning of the pandemic of "Anti-Mask Brigades"? "Those dumb buffoons," we were told. Turns out they were right. Surprised the doctors who studied the results, couldn't explain it, they thought masks would work, source control and all. Nope. Just made people angry and was too divisive. At a time of great hardship and loss when communities needed to support one another, not be angry and divided. True in 1920. True in 2020.



But they work in the operating room!! Not really. In the one-hundred years of mask studies after the first ones during the Spanish Flu not a single study exists to show that asymptomatic doctors wearing masks even during surgery improve patient outcomes. It's why the medical profession (pre-2020) called them "placebo" masks. They are for the psychology of the patients who fear germs and disease. Placebo - something inert provided under the guise of treatment. Not real. Fake. A pscyhe-out.

The only masks that have demonstrated effectiveness are N-95 and greater levels of protection like respirators integrated with full-body suits. In climate-controlled rooms, reverse airflow that constantly sucks out air and replenishes it with fresh air. Masks that have specific usage directions, worn for only a limited time to restore necessary oxygen levels, frequently changed out for fresh ones. Used in highly infectious environments or with hazardous chemicals and substances. That's it. All other masking is for show. Theater, as Dr. Rand Paul has referred to them in Senate Health hearings.

But propaganda works. Even on smart people. Theater is a powerful tool of propagandists. Symbols, especially. A favorite tool of Joseph Goebbels. Like Yellow Stars of David on "Judens." Used to "other" the bad people who are responsible for the hardships all the good people are suffering. Like the kid who raises his hand in at the end of class to ask a question and learn is responsible for not getting let out early to meet friends between classes to plan for the weekend's parties or dates.

You know you're in a propaganda campaign when you conduct independent research proficiently, it's recognized as top-notch, worthy of publication in esteemed medical journals and publications, impressive levels of comprehension of difficult subjects by the standards of experts in the medical field...who then say that because your research is so good and your understanding of the science so accurate you are a threat and must be "shouted down or silenced." Because that's what this study out of MIT released in January, 2021 said.


Only propagandists wish to shout down or silence truth. Like an Orwellian Ministry of Truth does. Covid. Masks. Vaccines. Climate. Racism. Gender. Elections. Russia. Ukraine. All subjects of intensive, sophisticated, coordinated propaganda campaigns.

I'm betting you'll "TL/DR" this comment. Because that's what Facebook and social media conditions users to do. Rather, they continue to facilitate the adolescent discourse experienced in unhealthy classroom learning environments. But you can choose to change now that you're here on Substack. And engage your mind, use your words, become a critical thinker and skeptic who doesn't defer to authority on subjects you believe only experts can understand. Or you can stay lazy and incurious, and hurl invective's at people smarter than you borne of your own envy and intellectual inadequacy.

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The only legitimate power of government is to protect individuals from violence, whether the violence is direct, as in assault or vandalism; or indirect, as in deceit, fraud or the pollution or misappropriation of natural resources.

As Caitlin subtly points out, the Bill of Rights protects the LEGITIMATE power of government by prohibiting arbitrary, tyrannical use of government institutions. If the Bill of Rights is not strictly followed, government will eventually collapse into totalitarian tyranny or chaos.

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Free Speech critical to a real Democracy...must do all we can to promote your excellent points .

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Western society is built around the idea of productive freedoms of all kinds, and free speech is the cornerstone of democracy. The idea being that criticism is essential to change for the better, in that it allows for discussions fora, and disclosures and solutions to the inevitable problems of mobile societies. But Western society has become stultified: there is no mobility or input into important decisions like war, and war budgets: we are told authority's version of what is what and why, and we'd better like it. Corporate media is a washout: no doubt in tandem with other closely managed and compromised news outlets, CBC has just put out a bulletin that the Azovstal compound is being shelled by Russia - just now- when the last holdouts are coming out of there. Sounds a lot like Syria resorting to indictable and totally redundant chemical weapons. But there are limits to atrocious lies: they have a short shelf life and often crash under their own weight. There are ways around corporate media, censorious social media, and hack financial organs. They bring out the ingenious and resourceful.

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May 2, 2022·edited May 3, 2022

I remember how liberals celebrated and laughed when Alex Jones got cancelled by social media and later on when Donald Trump got banned by Twitter. Ha Ha, those right wing nut jobs deserved it. No one should be allowed to spread such dangerous filth. At the time, some left-wing commentators (including our host) warned that the axe would ultimately fall more heavily on the left. Which brings us to the present day and the ever-increasing repression of independent left wing voices. Ha Ha, Caity warned us.

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So the BBC labels the "Ghost of Kiev" a "legend." "Fantasy" might have been more apt, but the most appropriate word is "LIE!"

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Consortium News too? Shit.

God, I REALLY hope that the people who are saying that this is the last ditch effort of a government that's lost the trust of the people--that even this is just delaying their inevitable loss of power--are all right. Because I don't want to see this continuing and getting worse and worse for the entire second half of my life.

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convincing the working class that capitalism serves the have-nots while sucking the blood and sweat of the working class is no easy task.

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Noam Chomsky: Trump the ‘One Western Statesman of Stature’ Pushing Peace in Ukraine https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/05/01/noam-chomsky-trump-one-western-statesman-stature-pushing-peace-ukraine/

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Chomsky is correct as far as his statement goes, but when he was in office, Trump was weak and easily manipulated.

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I could not vote for Trump in 2016 or 2020 because he crossed my red lines into evil. I voted for 3rd party candidates who did not cross those red lines, one of which is endorsement of war (if you take their oil).

Perhaps old man Trump has grown. Calling Trump a "statesman" is amazing coming from Chomsky. Not that I give Chomsky credit as Chomsky, but the full quotation really can be viewed as a ringing endorsement, to anybody who favors mankind's survival.

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Trump was and will never get a vote from me but it was obvious vs. HC that his benefit was he’d be more likely to keep us out of a war. And as President I think he feared being a war President as well, wanted to talk tough but seemed uncomfortable about having to deal with crisis that brought calls for actual action.

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I am surprised that the author has not been banned anywhere, including facebook, twitter, and youtube.

As soon as I create an account on twitter, facebook, or linkedin, it gets deactivated and suspended even if I don't post anything at all. And I actually had only one facebook account in my entire life where I tried to post anything. I had that account for one (1) day only before it was deactivated - just to give you an idea that I never was any social media freak or a violator of any rules. In fact, I had been entirely indifferent to social media until I wanted to share my story.

I think that some ideas might sound controversial but they are well tolerated by the governments and their owners.

Frances Leader stated today that Steve Kirsch who does not ban even any trolls that post the same spam over and over again on his substack, has banned her from posting any comments for the next 100 years. Lol.

So, things are not always as they appear to be.

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This began many years ago maybe even as soon as the Vietnam War but became more evident when Trump came in the sphere and the evil LEFTIST felt they could corrupt a duly elected president. Don't get me wrong Republicans were just as corrupt until now that the left has proven beyond a doubt they are far more evil.

Look today at all the politicians and the only one wanting a peaceful working negotiation to the conflict is Trump. I may be right leaning but even many on the right are War mongering neocons: it makes me sick to my stomach.

If you do not believe in a God or higher power you might want to begin because the end of this realm of life may be rapidly approaching.

For me the power is out of our hands and rest solely on eternity.

If you believe man is smart enough to solve this peacefully your a bigger fool than conceivably imagined.

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There isn’t a single leftist in US government save for maybe bernie sanders who’s centrist anywhere else in the world. There’s right wing “liberals” AKA democrats and far right fascists AKA republicans.

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Remember Michael Avenatti? Scumbag once fêted across Main Stream Media? Here’s another useful idiot

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