“I don’t know who to trust.”
“I know what you mean, Blair. Trust’s a tough thing to come by these days. Tell you what. Why don’t you just trust in the Lord.”
Blair and MacReady, John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)
We’ve arrived at the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. July 20, 1969.
Apollo 11 left Earth on July 16. The capsule entered lunar orbit on July 19. The next day — or night, in my time zone — the lunar landing module, nicknamed the Eagle, separated and descended to the moon’s surface. After conducting all preliminaries, Neil Armstrong stepped out and down onto the surface of the moon. His famous words made history being slightly garbled by his microphone. “That’s one small step for a man,” is what he says he intended to say, “one giant leap for mankind.”
He was joined by his fellow astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin. The two took photographs, conducted scientific tests, gathered samples, planted a U.S. flag. The next day, the Eagle made its way back to the command module where Michael Collins had been monitoring. Apollo left lunar orbit and returned the three men safely to Earth. They splashed down on July 24.
They’d left behind a plaque whose words may resonate even more loudly. They certainly should:
“Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon – July 1969 A.D – We came in peace for all mankind.”
Except that on Earth there is no peace, and I have acquaintances who believe the whole thing was faked. They don’t believe Americans landed there, or that Neil Armstrong’s “One small step…” was ever more than theater.
One such person asked me last year, “When was the last time the U.S. government told the truth about anything? Why should this be any different?”
He has a point. And given that I’m not a scientist, physician, or engineer, I don’t have an answer for every claim he and a few others have made. I don’t have a front-pocket explanation for how astronauts rode fragile-looking space capsules through the Van Allen Belts not once but 14 times (there were seven moonshots, after all).
Nor do I have a watertight explanation why we stopped going, and why no one else followed our lead. The mundane explanation might be nothing more than the country’s priorities changed.
Not to mention: its aggregate intellectual level declined.
The above person told me about a YouTube video where the late Stanley Kubrick supposedly admits to having filmed the moon landings. If it was still there. The video was supposedly of an interview conducted three days before Kubrick died in his sleep of a heart attack, just after the end of filming his disturbing Eyes Wide Shut.
Out of curiosity, I sought the video out. It was there. Presumably this was what he was referring to.
It immediately struck me as a fraud. For starters, its quality is wretched. Everything is very dark, as if trying to conceal that the person interviewed isn’t Kubrick but a lookalike. As a celebrated director, moreover, surely the real Stanley Kubrick wouldn’t have tolerated the interviewer’s relentless badgering.
To top it off, at least four times the man calls him “Tom” (14:10, 21:35, 22:15, 25:25; possibly also at 11:02).
Did anyone ever call Stanley Kubrick “Tom”?
A guy I knew in high school who studied engineering in college says he worked for NASA for a while in the mid-80s. It was not a good time to be there. He accused the agency of corner-cutting he blamed on Reagan-era budget cuts, finally quitting in frustration.
The Challenger disaster occurred around nine months later.
A few years ago at a reunion, he assured me of something I already knew from my own experience, which is that engineers tend to be smart people.
Back in the 1960s, NASA had thousands of engineers working on the moon landings. A substantial team worked on the landing module, designing and testing its operations in a low gravity environment.
Is it really possible to fool that many engineers, not once but seven times, and then keep the cover-up going all these years?
Sounds to me like the sort of thing that gives serious conspiracy research a bad name.
So sorry, I can’t buy what the moon-landings-were-faked folks are selling.
But on the other hand, it’s not hard to see why the story of men going to the moon is now so hard for some people to get their heads around.
Especially those who wouldn’t be born for two decades or more.
Some of it has to do with the collapse of American education. The schools I attended, public as well as private, were magnitudes better back then. There was no such thing as identity politics. Intellectual curiosity was never popular, but not shunned to the extent it is today.
In the ‘60s and early ‘70s, some had visions not just of going to the moon but establishing permanent bases there, as well as colonies in Earth orbit. A prelude to going to Mars and other planets. Fascination with outer space was everywhere: in art, in popular music, on television, and in film.
Physicists with an engineering mindset like Gerald O’Neill wrote books in the 1970s on how establishing colonies in space could be made to happen, and how manufacturing in space could benefit humanity.
It didn’t happen, of course. The mindset we brought to technology began to change. The country began its drift from the imaginative brilliance that produced television like the original Star Trek and films like Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey toward the mental vacuity of Keeping Up With the Kardashians.
And today we chat on gadgets and take selfies, even as some of the effects of the latest technology may damage our long term health and well-being.
5G is upon us, with frequencies thousands of times more powerful than 4G (which caused problems for a few people ranging from headaches to chronic tinnitus). No one is certain of the long-term health effects of 5G technology. We know its infrastructure will be far more pervasive than 4G was. Support devices will be everywhere, including on poles outside your children’s bedroom window.
The reason for 5G is simple.
Consumers in our short-attention-span, instant-gratification society demand convenience, in the form of ever faster chat and Internet surfing. They believe they are customers, not human resources being manipulated and managed for profit. Corporations will put the profits in the bank (or their stock portfolios).
Neither cares about long-term consequences.
This is where we are today, knowledge-wise, with the lure of Mammon driving everything and everyone.
This might help explain why so many otherwise-properly “red pilled” folks — especially those under 40 — can’t believe we went to the moon. Why would we have bothered? Where’s the money in it?
As for us old f*rts? We have been lied to so much that we’ve grown jaded. A few of us do have trouble believing anything we can’t see, hear, taste, smell, or touch — or, if we are Christians, read in Scripture.
We can’t do any of that with the moon landings.
It was clear well before The Matrix that the Internet was going to be a boon to free speech and inquiry. We could break the monopolistic grip of so-called “experts” who, for decades, had suppressed facts in many domains (I recounted a few in my last article).
Or who quietly buried what the federal government had been doing during the Clinton years (thought it hardly started with Bill Clinton).
This became one of my “keepers,” especially as I was able to go to a university library and see for myself: Claire’s references checked out!!
Alternative news and commentary took off online. We saw observations and often edgy original thought across the political-economic spectrum. Not the bland center-leftism of the Clinton News Network (CNN).
It wasn’t perfect but much was surprisingly good, given how many new sites were begun by folks with nothing but web development skills, working from their front rooms, with no corporate sponsors or other backing.
And yes, back then, the Internet really was an unregulated Wild West! A few bad characters did show up, including people who really were racists and neo-Nazis.
In those days, I penned numerous articles critical of affirmative action programs. Having written a book on the subject, I was a few editors’ go-to person when they needed an op-ed.
I could laugh at the center-lefties who accused me of being a closet racist and sexist. After all, I’d seen the real thing, from those who used the n-word freely (something I’d never done in my life), who used the c-word for radical feminists (I never stooped to that, either, whatever my deep disagreements with them), and ridiculed my individualism.
Not that those loons ever attained any cultural power. I don’t want to give the impression they were anything more than nuisances.
But neither did alternative media attain much cultural power. Without large sums of moolah behind you, that’s wasn’t going to happen. What such sites did was present ideas and information you wouldn’t get from your history or political science or economics professor, or from “respectable conservatives,” on behind-the-scene efforts to take us toward global government.
We cited major authors and players (Carroll Quigley, Zbigniew Brzezinski, David Rockefeller), quoting chapter and verse. I believe we made a compelling case that modern forces such as economic integration, “free trade,” outsourced jobs, open borders in both Europe and the U.S., the slow destruction of the U.S. middle class, and that of education at all levels were parts of a deliberate effort to destroy Christian-based, Constitutional, American civilization. The way had been paved for a world government that would serve global corporations.
What was planned was a borderless mass consumption marketplace, in a “gig economy” with permanently cash-strapped masses enticed to spend on credit (cash cannot be tracked). Every consumer would be carefully monitored for purposes ranging from marketing to mind control.
I was hardly alone reaching such conclusions, and I made mistakes along the way. Numerous writers with more visibility than I had and vastly more resources to draw on developed such ideas far better than I could.
There was almost nothing the globalists could do to stop this. They couldn’t just turn off the Internet. They were as dependent on it as we were.
What they could do — I strongly suspect — was “seed” it with what I call false rabbit trails.
Disinformation. Disinfo, for short.
Narratives consistent with our claims, but which were bogus.
Some of the wilder claims about 9/11 (e.g., that the planes were holograms) were probably disinfo.
Or that the Clintons are disguised “reptilian space aliens,” a notion swiped without credit from John Carpenter’s They Live (1988).
False rabbit trails don’t strike everyone as absurd, and it won’t surprise me if I get a few nasty emails about my conclusion that the-moon-landings-were-faked is a disinfo narrative, planted to misdirect and confuse.
You can also find Flat Earth videos on YouTube and elsewhere. (No, I’m not linking to one. If you care that much, do your own search.) Who is behind these I don’t know, but I have to wonder how far they are willing to go to try to make us contrarians look like idiots.
All this began before 2015-16, of course — before the rise of Donald Trump and the biggest pushback against globalism and identity politics we’d yet seen.
And before the audiences of the Alex Joneses of the world grew to rival that of CNN!
Hence the sudden invention of the fake news meme, the Russian-collusion rabbit trail, soon followed by Google’s algorithms, Twitter’s thought police, Facebook’s censorship, YouTube’s (owned by Google) deplatforming of Jones, the generalized attack by tech leviathans on conservatives under the moniker of “hate speech,” the persecution of Julian Assange, and so on.
All to create a controlled Internet.
Never mind that the pushback has largely fizzled, amidst Trump’s having handed much of his foreign policy to psychopaths like John Bolton (CFR) and Mike Pompeo (Bilderberg attendee 2019). We are in as much danger of ill-advised wars of choice as ever, not much better off regarding trade, with the economy in another huge bubble, and higher education in worse shape than ever.
Trump often opens mouth and inserts foot, as when he tells minority Congresswomen born in the U.S. to “go back to their home countries.” He ends up looking as ignorant as his bipartisan critics assert.
Maybe truth really doesn’t matter to this executive branch!
Not to its critics, either. They continue getting Charlottesville wrong. Heather Heyer was not killed protesting at a far right rally. The rally had been called off by authorities hours before. Nor has any mainstream source once mentioned the role ANTIFA and Black Lives Matter played in causing violence.
We are approaching what I’ve started calling epistemic oblivion. Epistemic derives from the Greek word epistēmē, meaning knowledge.
Some call it post-truth. Or fact-free politics.
A phenomenon of the collapse of Auguste Comte’s Third Stage, and our transition to full Fourth Stage postmodernity. Any “truth” you like, just like any “gender” you like!
Truth seems to disappear into conflicting narratives promulgated via various media.
Under such conditions, those not positioned to do their own research, or who have no boots-on-the-ground sources of information, will not know who they should believe. Some will believe nothing. Others will believe anything if it is repeated enough, or if a celebrity said it. Still others will latch onto an ideology or political figure as savior.
Anyone who does so runs a risk. This is my conclusion for mid-2019.
How do you circumvent epistemic oblivion?
You can only do it yourself? You cannot have confidence in “the system.”
Nor in politicians, nor in outsiders who rise as mainstream narratives collapse!
Our proven knowledge is less than we think. It is likely that knowledge has been covered up. Plausible candidates: cures for cancer and other diseases that would send Big Pharma and much of the medical establishment packing; sources of energy that would put the global Big Oil octopus out of business.
What do these have in common? If widely known and disseminated, they would lead to a healthier, freer, and more prosperous world! And above all, a less centralized world!
What you can know is that if two and two seem to be adding up to something other than four, something is wrong. That is, if the authorities are telling us there are five lights when we can look for ourselves and see that there are four.
With things outside the scope of our immediate experience — such as what is going on in foreign countries — there is no alternative to exercising critical judgment as best you can. Which might mean withholding judgment, pending boots-on-the-ground information.
If someone pushing a narrative is gaining monetarily from it, exercise caution! Monetary gain isn’t necessarily bad (we all need it at some point!), but always remember that Paul will not agree to p if his paycheck depends on his maintaining not-p.
Pay attention to the responses against a claim or narrative. Note when common epithets (racist, white supremacist, sexist, homophobic, fascist, communist, conspiracy theorist, etc.) are used instead of substantive engagement. Substantive engagement of a claim involves challenging one or more of its premises, claiming its conclusion doesn’t follow from them, or both.
There are websites listing common fallacies in reasoning. These include the ad hominem attack such as namecalling, false appeals of various sorts (to popularity, to pity, to threats, to economic gain, etc.), strawman, red herring, false dichotomy, false analogy, false cause, equivocation, circular reasoning, hasty generalization, generalizing from atypical cases, arguing from ignorance, poisoning the wells, and so on. Some fallacies are subtle and hard to see at first glance, and best exposed following a good course in logic. (Believe it not, the subject is still taught, although usually not in a way that invites real challenges to authority.)
These are not cure-alls for what ails us. They will do for a start.
No, on second thought, where we must start is in caring about the truth … and about the future.
Both politics and Mammon are dead ends. Look to yourself, look at your attitudes and actions, as these affect others; do your best to purge your thinking from unjustified assumptions and biases of various sorts. Do not lose sight of the forest for the trees. Be sure to value what is true and what is right.
Finally, look to the only real and fully consistent role model many of us have ever found: Jesus Christ, who both talked the talk and walked the walk throughout the Gospels.
That is to say, trust in the Lord!
[Author’s note: as everyone knows, or should know, alternatives to Establishment corporate media are under direct attack. There is Google’s algorithmic censorship as well as the deplatforming we have seen on YouTube. Everyone is hurt by this! Those not supporting official narratives are being kicked off Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, which will no longer link to sites accused of delivering — we still have no definition of the term — “hate speech.”
Sites like NewsWithViews.com, and self-employed writers like myself, are being relegated to invisibility, and ultimately will not survive unless readers donate. If you value content not beholden to the Deep Establishment, then support it! This is your site, too! My articles are your articles! Our free speech rights translate into your right to receive truthful information you won’t get from CNN or MSNBC! Absent donations, though, we all run the risk of “going dark” very soon; this could well be the last article of this sort I can make time for!
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