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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 2/7/20

2020 Is Going To Get Much Crazier. Prioritize Your Mental Health.

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The outrage over the Iowa caucus scandal has continued to burn white hot as more and more establishment manipulations against the Bernie Sanders campaign come into view.

At the beginning of a CNN town hall with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg last night, immediately following the network's town hall with Sanders, the event's host Chris Cuomo announced that 100 percent of the caucus results were now in and the former South Bend mayor had narrowly won the contest. These results had been announced by the Iowa Democratic Party moments before Buttigieg's town hall appearance.

There is no reason for anyone, let alone a major news outlet, to believe these results are legitimate. They are full of easily demonstrable errors and discrepancies which have been highlighted by both the Sanders campaign and The New York Times, and they have yet to be addressed. Furthermore, Sanders has a perfectly legitimate claim to the win given the undisputed fact that he received thousands more votes. This is without even getting into all the other extremely shady shenanigans with the now-infamous Shadow app whose crash has given the media days to sing Buttigeig's praise, which has in turn given him a major polling bump for New Hampshire.

But Chris Cuomo (who is the brother of a Democratic New York governor and the son of another Democratic New York governor) declared Buttigieg (who because of his establishment grooming and alt-centrist ideology is beloved by billionaires and spooks) the winner anyway. In front of millions of people. While Buttigieg was standing right there in the spotlight. Immediately after the "results" were released.

Think about the level of coordination it takes to try to pull off such a brazen fraudulent move. It takes the Iowa Dem Party, the DNC and CNN. All working in cahoots.

Secular Talk (@KyleKulinski) February 7, 2020

We're watching a major US election being rigged in real time, right in front of our eyes, and it's intense. And it's only just getting started.

In the 2016 race between Sanders and Hillary Clinton, the Iowa caucuses saw some suspicious activity and there was some controversy over improbable coin toss results, but nothing like the furor we've been seeing over Iowa for the last several days. It wasn't until the Nevada caucus that things really started to get crazy in the 2016 race, and we're still a couple of weeks out from that.

So we're way ahead of schedule in terms of emotional intensity tied to this presidential primary race, and possibly at a more heated point after the very first 2020 primary contest than at any point in the 2016 race between Sanders and Clinton. And it's only going to get crazier from here.

And that's just looking at the US Democratic presidential primary. Later this month we've got the beginning of Julian Assange's extradition trial, we've got the OPCW narrative managing its own scandal by smearing the whistleblowers who revealed that the US, UK and France almost certainly bombed Syria in 2018 under false pretenses, we've got continuing revelations that pretty much everything the Trump administration told the world to justify the assassination of Qassem Soleimani was a lie, we've got an escalating new cold war between the US and Russia, increasing establishment attempts to censor the internet, an increasing propaganda war against China, the general militaristic belligerence of the US-centralized empire, and God knows what else.

As I said back in November, things are going to get weirder and weirder throughout the foreseeable future. We're coming to a point in history where the only reliable pattern is the disintegration of patterns, and 2020 has come storming out of its corner swinging for the fences working to establish this pattern with extreme aggression. We're not going to hit a point of stability or normality this year, we're going to see things get crazier and crazier and crazier. I don't know what's going to happen, but I know it's going to be nuts.

Things Are Only Going To Get Weirder

"I often hear people in my line of work saying 'Man, we're going to look back on all this crazy sh*t and think about how absolutely weird it was!'
No we won't. Because it's only going to get weirder."

Caitlin Johnstone (@caitoz) November 1, 2019

In such an environment, it's going to be absolutely essential to take exceptional care of your psychological health if you want to remain engaged with what's going on in the world in a positive way.

And I do mean exceptional. Whatever you're doing now, do more. Start cultivating new habits to keep yourself lucid and serene, and start now before things get super crazy. Work out your issues with your family and with yourself. Remember to move your body in ways that feel good to you. Carve out some time out each day for just being quiet with yourself. Notice the beauty around you. Give cuddles, get cuddles. Take a shower and sing your heart out. Feel your feet on the floor, nestle your bum into your chair and listen to yourself breathe like it's a song on the radio. Yawn. Belch. Stretch. Roar. Put on some loud music and rock out. Whatever you know works for you to get you out of your head and back in to your body, remember to do it, and remember to do it regularly. Make it habitual.

Be proactive with this rather than reactive; if you wait until you have to react to things going ass-side up later on it's going to feel like you're fighting to get your head above water. If you do it now you'll have the mental space needed to navigate tumultuous waters.

This is what will be necessary if you want to engage with the increasingly frenetic narrative matrix in the future. The only alternative will be to disengage completely and throw your attention into escapism, or at least away from politics and news. And if you don't make the cultivation of mental well-being your first and foremost priority you will be forced, in a very unpleasant way, to disengage anyhow.

And honestly this is something all activist types should be doing anyway. Believing you can help the world without doing serious inner work is like believing you can clean the house while covered in raw sewage. You can always spot the political activists who engage without doing any inner work by the chaotic, unskillful and frequently counterproductive form their actions take. They can't see clearly enough to operate efficaciously, because their vision is clouded with unresolved suffering and conflict. Get in the shower and wash the yuck off yourself before trying to clean the house.

Some of my readers want a Sanders insurgency in the Democratic Party, some support third parties or independents, while others eschew electoral politics altogether and endorse other approaches to pushing for real change. But in my experience you all care deeply about the world, regardless of your preferred path toward doing so, and that's going to take a heavy toll as all manner of things unravel over the next year if you don't have the psychological spaciousness to navigate it lucidly.

Above all, be gentle with yourself. We got a ways ahead of us, and we need you fresh and feeling good. You won't be able to help wake the world up if you let the chaos and confusion drag you down. Know when to take a break from the information stream and all the babbling narratives trying to twist your perception of it. Use your tools to distance yourself from the narratives so that you can perceive them objectively. Ground yourself, find your center, then, when you're ready, wade back in.

No matter how chaotic things get, your ability to navigate that chaos skillfully needs to be your first and foremost priority. Put your mental well-being first, and everything else will fall into place.

Be the peace and harmony you want to see in the world.


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Caitlin Johnstone is a brave journalist, political junkie, relentless feminist, champion of the 99 percent. And a powerful counter-propaganda tactician. Rogue journalist, poet, illustrator, utopia prepper, and proudly 100 percent reader-funded through Patreon (more...)

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4 people are discussing this page, with 4 comments

Patricia 0rmsby

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Most important article I've read in a long time. I've heard that Putin said (but can't confirm it) that all Russia had to do was sit back smugly (ok, I don't think he used that word) and watch America drive itself utterly insane. Now he reportedly put that down to the effect of smartphones, and I heard it from a source quite biased against smartphones. Yet I think it should be apparent to all: turn off the old phone-arooney (yeah you, that's at least 99% of you developing a question mark back) and go find some place it doesn't work and learn to reconnect with the world around via nature's "cell phones": each cell in your body is receptive to signals--that's how they coordinate their activities to form You.

Submitted on Friday, Feb 7, 2020 at 11:31:44 PM

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Lew Weingarth

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Great article,

I'd just add that most of what you see on corporate media is simply arranged to generate maximum sales of drugs, soap, and SUVs.

Realize that the media may distort, omit, or change facts as needed to make the race close - and sell more drugs, etc.

Don't take it too seriously. I fully understand all candidates except Bloomberg, still filling in a few gaps on him. I know who I will for from whoever runs.

Politics isn't complicated, most people understand it well enough in short order for any more coverage to bore them.

This is normal.

This is why political coverage gets low ratings, and why media equates lies by the Fascist Party as "an equal opposing opinion" to reality instead of pointing out that you can't have an OPINION about reality.

I enjoy politics - as performance art - and since that's exactly what it is, I don't have any negative emotions. You entertain me or you fail to entertain me, you can't reduce my joy and happiness with a bad performance.

Submitted on Saturday, Feb 8, 2020 at 6:43:36 PM

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harry Joe

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Submitted on Sunday, Feb 9, 2020 at 5:11:23 AM

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b. sadie bailey

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Thank you; I expect we're all going to have to give ourselves and each other this talk over and over and make it our practice to take care of ourselves, body and soul. Nature, beloveds, music and art, dancing and using the body to work and play, meaningful work of some sort, rest, good diet, creative outlets - and a lot less screen time for me. (I am so grateful I am one of the dinosaurs; no cell phone!)

This is such an important and needed article. Above all, i think it's important to remember how to laugh - at oneself especially. The mark of a true psychopath (like Trump) is complete lack of abilty to laugh at/with oneself), your delusional thoughts, and the continually passing parade.

Truth tellers and bards, court jesters and comics will be the prophets - as always.

Submitted on Monday, Feb 10, 2020 at 7:06:24 AM

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