October 19, 2022

The Red White and Blind

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After being censored by Huffington Post in 2016 for covering the Democratic Primary from the wrong perspective, I’ve been researching and working on my new book, Red, White, & Blind: The Truth About American Censorship and the Rise of Independent Media.

Show Notes


Hello, all you lovely Freedom people out there and welcome to today’s fireside freedom chat on the freedom people podcast where we get into the nitty gritty ease of all your freedoms and my freedoms. All the freedoms that we can think of anyway, as we collectively take this journey to ultimate freedom Together, I’m your host, Bradley Freedom. And today’s guest is Toni Braxton is uh Tony. This was a great conversation. Thank you so much. Um, after being censored by the Huffington Post in 2016, recovering the Democratic Party for the wrong perspective.

Um, he started researching and working on his new book, The Red White and Blind the truth about american censorship and the rise of independent media. This was a fabulous conversation. Tony is just a wonderful man. And I’m I was honored to speak with him. Um we’re gonna jump right into it. But before we do, I want you to head on over to the Freedom People dot org and sign up to become a contributing member. Um you can do so for as little as $0 a day. Also, what I will love you to do is please share, share, share.

It’s because of our listeners, just like you that we even have a podcast and remember we get censored everywhere too. So, uh, you’re the only way that we get heard. So thank you so very much. Come on, let’s go, can you hear me? Okay? I do Bradley? Is it Bradley or brad. Either one man. Either one works. Yeah, great. Yeah, I hear you loud and clear, awesome. Great. Great. Thanks for coming on the show, man, this is really cool. Yeah. No, delighted to be here. Thanks for having me on. Yeah.

So um just so you know, we’re kind of running live already, we just kind of jumped right into it. Um So first of all, um I I noticed that you wrote a book, but before we go too crazy far into anything because I’m after seeing what your book is and stuff, I’m sure it’s gonna be really good. Um I want to tell everybody kind of who you are and what you do and and all that. Good jazz. Sure. Yeah, so my name is Tony barcenas. You can find me at Tony barcenas dot com and on twitter and facebook and a few other spots.

Um I’ve got a sub stack as well. Yeah, so I I’m a journalist. I also have a job as an engineer. Um The journalist’s job is what led to Red White and blind the book that’s going to be out here in november just in just the end of november. So very soon. Um and it started basically with my own experience being censored in 2016 and we can delve into that story a little bit if you’d like and that sort of led to uh my increased curiosity about censorship and sort of the consolidation of ownership of media and how that’s bringing about more distortion, deception, propaganda, and censorship.

Um and that led to the book red white and blind that I’ve just now finished. So yeah, that’s a little bit about me. I mean, we can delve into my childhood or you know, I also wrote a book about china. I was in china for quite a while right out of college. I had a really fascinating experience there. That was my first book. Um Yeah, let’s go. Yeah. So so um so engineer, what type of engineer I do? Software engineering? Um right now I’m with a electric vehicle company actually.

And so I do uh software engineering. Mostly web based like a front end engineering. That’s from that’s from yeah, that’s that’s my old um my past life too. I was a software front end engineer for a very long time javascript, writing lots and lots of javascript. Um yeah, in san Francisco I was like, you know, startup guy for a long time building products, it’s kind of part of what we do, sort of, but not not really. Um That’s awesome. Well, okay, so china uh yeah, please uh please go into it wherever you like to start childhood when you’re coming out birth whatever you want. Start.

Well, my child is interesting because I grew up on a like a hippie commune. So I sometimes get into those stories because people find it interesting. It’s sort of a little bit my worldview kind of came from a different place than maybe most americans and then sort of evolved in its own way, but we can get into that with china. Yeah, I went there right after college, a lot of my, you know, people in school went to like France or England or something to try to try a different country on for size.

And I was taking chinese in college because I was just curious about it. And so I was like, well why not, I’ll go to china. And so it was my first time leaving the country and just just totally blew my mind. Um I was over there teaching english in high school and then I traveled, I just backpacked around for about two months and it really just transformed my life the experience, I learned how I learned how to be myself, I learned how to just get by in the world, I learned how to be a happier person, which is kind of why I called the book Double Happiness because I learned these different types of happiness that we already contained inside ourselves and that staying in touch with that gives us a certain imperviousness to the world.

I mean the world is always a crazy place, but you find your own pleasure and existence on your own. And so that’s, that’s sort of what double happens is about. I was trying to share that experience with others, I should say when I, when I always say this when I bring up china because when I’m going into talking about media and censorship that um I think china is a beautiful country, People are amazing foods, fabulous. There’s so much to love about it and we don’t want anything to do with their government system.

Like I, I completely find their media system and the government system to be anathema to the entire american view of what freedom means and what it means to be an individual really. Um so I always say that because I don’t, I’m not advocating anything, we want nothing to do with that part of their culture. Um you know, it’s funny as you say that I’m thinking of our country right now, so I, we, I want nothing to do with our government or the media. So okay, yeah, and so I do and I I do a little bit because I have this experience, I spend one chapter in the book talking about my experiences in china.

I was there when this, if you remember it’s a long time ago, was like 2001 right before 9 11, there was a spy plane that went down in china Um and it was an American spy plane. Anyway, it was, it was kind of a big deal at the time. It’s like March or April of 2001 and um there was one story, you know, from the chinese perspective of what had happened, this american spy plane had come in and there’s another perspective from the United States media, it was my first time sort of seeing two completely different versions of the same event and I was in china at the time.

So it’s just a really interesting experience I write about that in the book and and sort of compare and contrast the american propaganda sis which is far more sophisticated but in some ways just as deceptive with the chinese system, which is a much more sort of overt hit you over the head with censorship and propaganda. But the advantage that the chinese have is that they know that whereas a lot of americans are thinking oh we have this free divers press and so we always get the truth if you flip on CNN I don’t know how many people still believe that but there is there’s a number.

So yeah, it’s an interesting, it’s an interesting part of it that I try to bring to the book. Yeah, no that’s amazing. That’s funny you say that because in 1997 that’s kind of when I had my first big wake up, I was in the marines, I was uh and I found out CNN was lying to us and then I got out in 2001 of February. So it was right around the time that the plane went down. Very interesting, very cool. Okay, so you were in China. Uh what’s next.

So yeah, so so I came back from China and um I started to pay more attention to the media because I had that experience in China, I had already sort of paid attention in 2000 which was the first election I was really old enough to vote for and I watched uh it was George Bush, George W. Bush al Gore and ralph Nader and I sort of was like oh this guy is really interesting, I started followed him and I started going to some of the events and then I realized the media was just completely just whitewashing the existence of the Nader campaign.

And so that was that was one sort of you know rung on the ladder I guess or notch on the path. Then I had that experience in china and then I came back and I also I was in san Francisco and I started doing some more journalism and I I wrote a little bit, I published my own uh internet magazine and we started looking one of our issues was about media consolidation and and how that was affecting the media. And then I wrote a little bit at the time.

I actually it’s funny in the book I mentioned, I interviewed Joe Biden at the time, I didn’t interview him but I went to an event as press where he spoke. So they’re you know they’re maybe 20 people in the room and it was this fancy hotel in San Francisco and joe biden at the time was very different, he was a very forceful speaker, he had a lot of sort of yes and so and he almost had us all in the room convinced that we needed to go into Iraq and so and but I was coming from this perspective, I was sort of Green party perspective at the time and I was like, well he’s I’m not talking about how we’re going to destroy the country and all the people that will die and stuff.

So I wrote that up and then in the Chronicle they published it, I was just sort of like deputy blogger, like sort of alternative perspective guy, but they still censored some lines of what I said about biden and so that experience too, so just sort of one thing after another. But really what happened then, I’ll fast forward a bit. So I did that political magazine in the in the early and mid two thousands, I sort of pulled back from that and that’s when I sort of got involved in my engineering career and and and tried to sort of not steer clear, but I was I was doing less of the journalism in the politics.

And then I got really back involved in 2016 and I started writing then I was brought on board at the Huffington post to write about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, I had written an article just put on my blog that somebody Huffington posted scene and wanted to publish their so they brought me on board there and I was right, I wrote quite a bit from the Bernie Sanders perspective and it was my articles got a lot of following because there wasn’t much from that perspective in the corporate media, a lot of it was just either neutral or you know, quote unquote neutral or really just sort of in the Hillary Clinton camp.

And so I had a lot of, I got a lot of followers on facebook on twitter and a lot of my articles got tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of views and would sometimes reach the homepage of Huffington Post. And then it was very interesting, right on the eve of the convention, I wrote this piece basically arguing why the super delegates who were going to basically call the shots on who is the nominee should nominate Bernie Sanders because he was pulling better trump had just won the nomination on the on the republican side and Bernie was pulling better head to head and Bernie’s numbers have been going up and up and up throughout the summer and Hillary’s had been kind of the same or going down or the same or whatever.

Anyway, so I thought it was a relatively straightforward piece and then it was it was censored, I published it in the evening and then I woke up the next morning, it was gone. And uh and it was an interesting experience because it also sort of opened my eyes to the good news, I would I would say that I write about in the book, which is I call this a new enlightenment. I or the new free press, these a couple of different terms. But but what this refers to is the birth of independent media.

This entire new press That I would say really harkens back to the free press envisioned in the constitution. And the fact that you and I are having this conversation now, we don’t have to allow somebody in some corporate office to say it’s okay, right. In fact, check it, we can you can upload it somewhere. And a dozen or a million or 10 million or a billion people can see it. Right. Um and so that happened that morning because I woke up the morning and the article was gone.

And then I noticed, I think it was on reddit or or some, I don’t remember that. People like, well, where did Tony person this article go, oh, here it is. And I screen grabbed it and I copied and pasted it. It’s over on this little, you know, nobody’s blog or whatever. And then there it was. And then that so I so it was this sort of rebirth in the sense of the free press right before my eyes. So I ended up copying it and pasting it into my blog or medium dot com, the medium page and I put a link to it on twitter and and I got on the plane, went to philadelphia for the convention and I’m there in philadelphia the convention.

A number of people come up to me and be like, oh yeah, we saw your piece. We don’t know why it was censored, but it was great that we read it and I realized that my article, that one had become my most read piece of the year because it was it was censored. So I really it’s a real interesting thing that that we should talk about which is when censorship works and when it doesn’t, sometimes it works and a lot of times it works and we have to be honest about that and it really does take people out of the conversation.

It’s a real problem. Other times it does this thing that I call this right? It’s not my name. But the Streisand effect don’t know if you’ve heard about the Barbra Streisand and there’s a photo of her, you know, her palatial estate right on the edge of the pacific and somebody taking a picture of it and put it in this report on like the California Coastal Commission. And then she’s like delete that photo and she tried to get it all deleted and it went from, you know, maybe like two dozen people have viewed the photo.

Like then millions of people have seen it and she’s like I guess I didn’t really handle this the right way. So that’s called the Streisand effect and I talked about that in the is this sort of salutary effect that is in human consciousness, you know, we have this drive to fit in and not say anything that other people dislike, but we also have this drive to know the truth and this drive to want to know why something would be censored, why something would be taken away from from our consciousness and our awareness.

And so that’s a really powerful and healthy part of what’s going on now that I call the new enlightenment. Yeah, yeah, that’s that’s an interesting insight there. That’s very true. Um Okay, so beautiful. So then, so then you you kind of um that’s really cool to kind of be there for the rebirth of this whole, like you say that the free press or the free media again? Right? I mean, cause that’s what we’re really seeing a lot, like you said this conversation right here. I mean, uh I started the podcast just because I I just I felt that there needed to be uh just some sort of balance of truth.

There was so much untruth, which is ironic. They’re saying it’s the truth, but it’s the untruth, right? It’s just so much so, okay, so awesome. So then then what what what really encouraged you, is that what encouraged you to write the book? Is that is that really where it started? And that’s kind of how we’re in the red, white and blind era. So, yeah, I mean, I think that I had a couple of those like little mini awakening moments, right? I would say through like china and like the NATO campaign and like my experiences in san Francisco and and all that.

But it was really um I think it was really the experience that I had with Huffington Post because you know, I was I was getting ready to, you know, there were several things I wanted to write a book about, you know, having had, I also really interested in the elections and like whether elections are are valid and verified and there’s a lot of reasons to believe they’re not, but you know, you don’t you don’t want to say things prematurely. Um the political parties to there’s a lot of reasons to believe.

It’s maybe it’s maybe a two party dance rather than there actually in opposition to each other. And I think there’s a real some real fascinating analysis to, to do about that, but this became the book that I wanted to write because I think now having experienced what I experienced having seen what I’ve seen, I think this is the greatest deception that americans experience today is the media is the corporate media and I think it’s way more powerful, even those of us who are like, oh yeah, the media yet it’s full of crap or it’s dishonest or that’s biased or it’s what if it bleeds it leads and like we have these different ways.

We think we’re being cynical about it, but it’s actually more it’s even more insidious than that. And I, the way I compare it to actually get people to understand, I think how is if you look at the whole sort of self improvement movement, the whole idea and I’m one of the people in this, like the whole idea that you can meditate or you can do introspection and you can see and you can hear the voices that are coming inside of you and you can understand those and you can say, oh I have this voice that I’m not smart enough or sexy and enough or pretty enough or whatever successful to have my dreams and you realize, oh, that’s just a bullshit voice from my parents or something or right, who knows?

And you can understand and then you can say, well is it really true? Is it still useful in my life if it is? Okay, let me learn about if it’s not, I’m gonna set it aside is something that I learned when I was a kid. And I think that’s really powerful stuff to do. And I think we should all do that. And I think we can be happier people through doing that. That’s the deception that’s coming from inside our brains, right? And and if we’re not conscious of it, it drives our lives.

But I think this voice that’s coming from outside, all these voices from coming from outside are just as powerful and just as important to understand, right? Even if we think oh well I don’t read the news or I don’t watch CNN it’s still coming at you whether it’s through your friends and family or whether it’s because you just absorb it because you’re at the airport or whatever and the post office almost ever there’s like CNN is on so to understand it with that same level of consciousness to say okay not just its true or false.

It’s what’s being said, who’s saying it? What does it want me to feel like the fact that they’re saying this thing they want me to be scared about this person or they want me to be worried about this disease or whatever it is to actually bring that level of consciousness to it. That’s really why I wrote the book is in the hopes that we can bring that level of consciousness to those voices. Beautiful. Beautiful man. Yeah, agreed. It’s um it’s almost impossible and that’s a lot of people are there.

Like I don’t even watch the news but they’re still repeating what the news says. But that’s just because they don’t know that it’s not there. Their opinion, their opinion is given to them right? And I went through this with quite a bit of acquaintances that I’ve had especially in the recent past when this started to all go down. I was like you don’t you don’t know what you’re saying you’re saying. They’re like I don’t even watch them too. I don’t watch CNN I don’t watch whatever it may be, but you don’t know understand that.

It’s it’s the ethos of the culture. It’s it’s become like you said, it’s so much more insidious than just like, oh well yeah, you know, kind of what you were saying before, like, oh, we’ll just play it off as this or that. It’s it’s way more than that. Um Yeah, it’s uh very interesting and it’s extremely sophisticated too. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s been around propaganda has been around for 100 years about at this point. So one point in the book, I delve into the history, it’s kind of a later chapter in Red White and Blind.

But I want to really get into the history of this and what the original free press was, that was envisioned in the constitution and how that came out of the First enlightenment. And also when then propaganda really came into existence really, in the 19 teens in 19 twenties around manipulating american opinion about the World War First World War and how Edward Bernays and walter Lippmann and these guys who came right out of like Freud and young and like some of the psychology and how they started as a fairly crude science, but it’s been honed and it birthed the whole public relations industry and the whole idea of how you manipulate people’s mass opinion without them realizing it, it’s now very sophisticated and I try to tell people like just because I’m a smart person and wrote a book about it doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect me.

Like I’m affected by it too. You know, we were all red white and blind. I mean I called the book that because we’re all in this deceived state and in order to become conscious of it, we have to acknowledge it first to acknowledge a problem before you can, you know, the first step is denial, right? Whatever they say, denial is more than a river in each of it. Like we’re all first in this denial of like it doesn’t really affect me. So you get through that and you’re like, okay, it does affect, you know, what is it, you know?

And then you can sort of move through what can we do about it, that sort of thing. Right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, okay. Well let’s kind of go into the book a little bit, man. I’m super interested if you don’t mind. I don’t want you to give away too much of it, you know, um, or before people read it comes out. But so, so you go into the history and maybe even go more into the history or just more through the book. I, I’d really like to know I’m interested.

Yeah, absolutely. And, and I’m not worried about giving it away. In fact, I’m gonna, I haven’t set up yet, but I’m gonna be giving away excerpts and stuff, you know, on my website and stuff. I’m not trying to hold it back. I want everybody to read it. And if it’s, you know, it’s a money thing, just just let me know. Um, yeah, so what I do first in the book is I because in addition to what we just, all the things we just talked about that are really powerful.

There’s one thing we haven’t talked about yet, which is the deliberate division of american society into the red and blue, right into this like sort of you’re in this camp here in this camp, you know, and if if you’re a blue, no matter who or your, you know, Republican, that always votes that way. There’s almost this like when you meet people like this, you already know what they’re gonna say on almost every topic, right? Because you know that they’re being okay. So you’re gonna have this thought on abortion, this thought on guns, you’re gonna have this belief about the virus, you know, all this stuff.

Um, and the funny thing is that that’s actually not that true about, there’s a lot of people that are sort of politically homeless at this point or they know that they harbor some sort of heterodox views, but they don’t want to say it right there. You a democrat that has a few different views on guns or something doesn’t want to say that because they’ll get shunned in their community. and likewise, you can have a Republican who has a different belief about health care or something they don’t want to share, because they’re worried because we don’t really have that, we don’t just all happen to have political views that line up with the Democratic Party, and just, yeah, we’re all different, we all have different views, but so what I do is in order to I don’t want the book to be viewed as this is the Republican book about media, or this is the democrats book about Media.

So, I start with some topics that I think cut across it. So I jump right into the Jeffrey Epstein story, first of all, and I think because I think this story is one that is, it cuts across the political division, I think you’re not gonna find somebody who’s gonna say regardless of what part of their and oh no, Jeffrey Epstein, you know, he got too tough of a rap, you know, or something like that, and this is like, there’s it’s almost impossible to think of something more disgusting.

I mean, it makes my blood boil even just talking about it, and I wrote a whole chapter on it, like, literally, this is a pedophilia ring, hundreds of girls, probably thousands, just absolutely abhorrent, disgusting stuff, and it went on at the at the apex of the basically the power establishment of the Western world, and it went on for two decades, right? So this doesn’t happen because a couple of bad apples in you know in the Miami herald or whatever like you know this is because there’s there’s a concerted, there’s a concerted bias, there’s a concerted type of disinformation and censorship that went on and that goes on in our corporate media too hide that story to remove that story to quash that story and why was that?

And so I start right there because I think it’s something that everybody can kind of get on board with in a sense and say yeah this isn’t wasn’t a republican or democrat think this is a crazy story that was hidden for two decades and why is that? And so I go right into there then I go into a couple more that I think yeah I also go into the origin of the virus which I think is fairly non controversial. It might be slightly more controversial than Epstein but you know for some reason for a year and a half, you weren’t allowed to say this virus could have come out of the lab, you just weren’t allowed to say it was completely censored everywhere and why was that?

It makes no sense. That would be censored. It was a new virus as far as we know as a new virus came, you know, suddenly comes and they’re saying it comes out of Wuhan and in Wuhan there happens to be the most sophisticated viral experiment lab in china that was experimenting on corona viruses that were found and that’s you know, but we can’t talk about it, we can’t talk about it. I mean there’s this great I quote this this very well or you know, prestigious molecular biologist from M. I. T. Her name’s Alina chan and she wrote a book called viral that looks at this and her book just came out just six months ago or something.

She has this great quote. She says, you know when you find some of the contracts that were given to the Wuhan lab, right? And then and then the virus comes out it’s like it would be like finding contracts to put horns on horses in Wuhan and six months later you find unicorns galloping around in the streets, right? It’s like they’re not connected. You can say it’s not connected, no connections. So Right. So and it’s not to say that we know for certain it came out of a lab, it probably came out of lab at this point, like all of the evidence that’s come out over the last year points more and more in that direction.

It’s not 100% I don’t want people to think but it’s you know, we’re definitely in the nineties or somewhere in the 90 percentile in terms of probability. So the fact that you couldn’t say that and even to this day the new york times hasn’t run a neutral article saying look it’s 50 50 or it’s actually way more than 50 50 leading towards the lab origin, it’s probably 10 or something, so you know there’s their articles still are like 80 20 the other way. So I think that’s also one where you can say why was this and who was manipulating the media?

Why was their censorship? What what’s going on at the New york Times and CNN and you know Fox was different in some ways but not in others and you know just sort of trying pull that apart. NPR I like to look at NPR quite a bit. So so yeah, so that that’s why I start with the book because I wanted to sort of pull people in as like I see this as an issue and this isn’t gonna be you know the trump book or the anti trump book.

Cool, okay, so so and that I mean I think that’s very smart because like you said um it’s so so triggered like that right now and it’s it’s either your left or your right right, but it’s left wing, right wing, same bird man, you know what I mean? It’s and that’s kind of what you were saying before, it’s more of a dance than it is uh an opposition even though they play it that way right, they’re all buddies, they’re all friends go back to the Epstein thing, they had everybody there, so it’s uh It’s uh yeah man, it’s just there’s so much and and like you were saying.

So what else did you notice that? I mean, I mean, obviously you’re a journalist and and and have you have you know, I mean, have you been speaking out since the 2020? And I mean, are you still writing for or you just strictly engineering? I’m just kind of curious what other sort of did you experience any sort of other censorship since on on you since the 2020 or anything like that? Have have you had to run into that? I mean, obviously we see it with other people, right? We’re seeing it every I mean, at least me, I mean, I can’t even my podcast, I can’t put anything on Youtube.

Like I can’t put it, especially when it comes to medical professionals like dr Peter McCullough, they took his down. I mean, we just can’t put anything on Youtube. Yeah. So um it’s interesting as I started writing the book, you know, I start writing the book in 2019. So before any of this stuff was very interesting. Yeah. So I’m starting to write the book and I’m like talking about censorship and propaganda and then the whole epidemic happened pandemic the covid the whole nine yards and you know, it’s interesting, I think it’s gotten way worse than I would have even feared, I think in just two years or three years, whatever it’s been now.

Um Yeah and it was very challenging in a way to finish the book because what kept happening is I would finish I would get close and be like, oh, I have to include this because this guy just got censored to this guy just got banned or um, so in certain ways it got easier and easier to make my case in the book because more and more was happening, but it got harder and harder to finish the book because I needed to just so I finally put a bow on it, you know, a couple months ago.

And so I decided not to write about Ukraine. Although the whole Ukraine war has been just even more, I mean, it’s actually been more propaganda. I talk a lot about the build up to to the two Iraq wars. Um, but I mean, Ukraine, it’s even more obvious, although to some people it’s less obvious, but this is the most propaganda we’ve ever seen about a war. I mean, you go back to, I mean, World War One and World War Two, there’s a ton of propaganda and Vietnam and and both both wars in Iraq, but like this one, wow, you really couldn’t say anything and you still can almost not say anything.

That’s like maybe both sides need to stop, you know, then you’re in a Putin apologist. So it’s it’s pretty crazy. But there’s nothing about our very little, there’s a few sentences about Ukraine that I’ve just had to add in here at the very end of finishing the book? But your question was me. So, so no, I have, so I haven’t really, I published a few pieces early on in the pandemic that were, so, so my experience, the first like three or four weeks, you know, two weeks to stop the spread.

I was like, oh, this might be a bad writers. Like my family, we literally like went into like uh we got this like Airbnb and and just sort of hunkered down or like, okay, we’ll do our part for two weeks or three weeks, you know, and then we come back home. It’s just right. I mean, it’s it’s just got crazy at this point. It’s pretty laughable, right? The whole it’s, I mean you’re still doing it. I can’t believe you see the latest the latest latest commercial, the latest story about how biden this um uh Coast Guard swimmer.

Have you seen that? Um where he’s so there’s a Coast Guard swimmer who biden um you know, said, hey, thank you so much for everything you’re doing. But he’s being he’s being kicked out after, I think he’s been in for 18 or 19 years or something like that. So he’s got like another year, year and a half till he retires. But he’s being kicked out because he’s freezing the jab, right, They’re still doing this, they’re still doing this? It’s um what is what, in your opinion, what what is that?

And how is it just a it just doesn’t seem like they have any sort of, or, or is it is it because of us? Is it us we the people aren’t standing up enough and just saying enough is enough. We’re done. Right. How can this keep keep going on? Is it is the corporate, you know, structures like what is going on? It’s really, yeah. Well, part of it is so part of it is civil disobedience. I think that does, that’s played a huge role. You know, I mean, some of the worst case stuff did get rolled back, right.

I mean, we’re not using passports right now is at least for the most part, you know, the vaccine passports. A number of things did get rolled back, but it’s, it’s sitting there ready to be rolled out during the next crisis. Whatever that happens to be if it’s public health or if it’s, you know, the environment whatever comes. So I think we should be extraordinarily vigilant. Yeah, it makes, it makes no sense. I mean, I wrote a piece very early on, I called it a shot in the dark about the vaccine, the so called vaccine.

I call it an injection because it’s not clearly that it’s acting as a vaccine. Um, basically saying, look at all of these things, we know about this that don’t add up. And um, you know, we should be very hesitant. Things like it’s not proven that it’s going to stop the spread of the infection. And I wrote this piece in like, I think like uh november of 2020 something like that. And uh, and so, you know, if I knew it then right, and I’m not a scientist, if I knew it, then just by reading, I mean, I like to read things and I can read a scientific paper and sort of pull out the essence of it, but if I knew it, then, you know, there must have been many, many, many, many more scientists that did know it as well.

Um, and they just were, you know, the problem that we’ve seen is that regular regulatory captures our real problems you have, you know, the uh, the NIH funds so many of our universities and fund some of the professors and find somebody there grants that they don’t want to run afoul of the NIH and NIH comes out with something you realize, oh, I finally got my professorship, I finally got my three figure salary and I got my like, you know, I’m a famous professor now finally, and that’s great.

But the problem is then you’re, now, you’re saying like, I don’t have, it used to be tenure. You had this sort of intellectual independence. But instead it’s like, they, they’re, they’re in this, a lot of people in the medical profession or I should say in the academics, uh, they have to continue to raise their next grant and if they’re gonna run afoul, it’s a real risk to run afoul of the NIH, which which is a huge funder of academia, the scientific academia to run afoul of that.

So we we got to see a lot of the ways, and then you see the same with the CDC and the FDA. We saw a lot of ways in which regulatory capture has really handicapped the medical profession and academia. And so where we used to have these real sort of trusted objective, it wasn’t like you could you could trust a particular professor, but you could trust academia as a whole, that there were so many brilliant people, you know, independent given tenure, that if the truth is there and it’s not what we’re hearing, there’s so many people saying it right.

And and we’ve we’ve seen that really a road, which isn’t to say that there weren’t many, many brilliant uh professors, you know, dissenting, but they were basically banned and they and they had to be a level of prestige to even be able to pull that off. And so I know several people personally that may have had diverted opinions but were very hesitant to step out of line and was like, it was very much like stand your lane. So then it’s suddenly the only people that could talk about it would be the specific virologists and epidemiologists and those ones are even more at risk because they specifically need to get their next grant from, you know, the parts that I h the grant in that in those fields.

So yeah, we saw a real, you know, a real problem. And yeah, I mean that could be my next book and it would be just really looking at that particular thing, How did how did academia and the medical profession as a whole get so much of this so wrong and then right. And then even now when it’s clearly known that these these injections did not stop the spread, there’s some disagreement if they reduce it a little bit or not. You know, we can get into all that, but they certainly don’t stop the spread.

Right Rachel Maddow on MSNBC saying it stops it stops it cold, you get this injection, you don’t have to you know, that was all wrong and you know, you’re either dumb or you know, you’re either you know, she was either lying or she wasn’t looking very carefully. So why are there still these mandates? Right. Um so I don’t spend I don’t spend much time in red, white and blind talking about the vaccines. I did quite a bit of writing on it in other places. So I talked about it a little bit because I’m really focusing on media disinformation, but I do you focus on it a little bit um when I talk about fact checking.

So I spent almost a whole chapter on fact checking and one of I bring up a couple instances of fact checking. One about the syria, the alleged gas attack in Syria and the other one, I I talk a little bit about um hank Aaron when Hank Aaron died shortly after getting the vaccine. So I do talk a little bit about the injection there and and why um why fact checkers and why the media was were so comfortable basically saying these things like if you get the injection you won’t get covid and if if you if somebody died after there’s no way it was caused by that, why they were so comfortable saying that and then why fact checking could come along and with a lot of times these fact checkers are not experts.

They’re just like you know a journalist student that’s maybe two years out of college is gonna go and fact check, you know like martin cold orf like the Harvard epidemiologist who’s you know the most cited epidemiologist in the world I think and you know, it’s an expert. He has thousands of citations and then this like this dude from filipino philadelphia, you know these ridiculous things but you go into that a little bit because that’s that’s that was to me that was I mean and it’s still happening like go on instagram.

It blows my mind. Everything is fact checked. And here’s the thing is, in my opinion, they don’t censor nonsense, right? So if it’s something that is just so ridiculous like where that whole uh conspiracy about birds being robot or something. Do you know about that? I can’t anyway it’s just ridiculous stuff right? The birds aren’t real. They’re all just robots that are spying on us and stuff. So okay but that’s out there. That’s out there, right? And you can post about that all day long and they’re not going to fact check that right?

Because they don’t censor nonsense. So can you give us more inside? I don’t like things that are true. Right. It’s it’s it’s odd. It’s a very odd thing. Right? And so so that’s awesome that you went into it in your book because I’m I’m that was just um something that’s just baffled me still does that. It’s still every almost I mean because I’m a conspiracy there. So everything I see pretty much has that little thing on there. Even if it’s not about vaccines. They’re saying go to C. D. C. For information about vaccines and and it just seems like What happened?

How did that happen? Because I don’t remember before 2020 fact checkers. Like I don’t remember that and maybe it was out there but I just don’t remember. I don’t maybe it wasn’t in my my consciousness or whatever but it just seems like that just exploded man. Yeah. Another phenomenon I talked about that similar to what I call astroturf independent media where you have these um websites that look like they’re independent media but they’re actually connected to the very same corporations that fund the mainstream media. And so so this so so fact checking, astroturf, independent media and social media censorship.

And then even the words disinformation and fake news, all of those are relatively new. Um and they started right around 2016 um all of this stuff kind of unraveled right around 2016. And the reason this is and this is what I spent a lot of time on this in the book is because independent media, this thing I’m calling the new enlightenment was just starting to unfold and what it threatens to do is the same thing the first enlightenment did, which is topple establishment or topple the established power structures.

So when the first enlightenment came along, right? And it was the movable printing press and it was johann Gutenberg and strasbourg in like the 14 forties and he had no idea, he’s just like, oh I bet if we make the move the type moveable, we can like print books a little faster. I’m a little cheaper. And so sure enough, um suddenly he was printing bibles very quickly and then everybody could start to learn to read. Then people wanted to print their own books. Suddenly you had people able and then that that’s this entire suddenly that the renaissance, the reformation challenged religion, renaissance and the enlightenment, science, democracy, philosophy, all of these things absolutely flowered out of that.

And you had massive power structures that had held the reins of troy truth for the entire dark ages in the middle ages right? The catholic church and the feudal system and I would say even more of the catholic church but they’re both very powerful. Power structures basically ceased to exist. There started to to to to crumble right at that same time. And you know of course the catholic church launched the inquisition and they would torture people if you said oh the earth you’re saying the earth is in the center of the galaxy isn’t the center of the galaxy, you’re going on the rack.

Um So and that led to the french revolution that led to the U. S. Revolution led to our constitution. It led to everything that we basically take now for granted as bedrocks of our civilization. You know that there is such a thing as free speech, there is such a thing as the freedom of religion, the freedom of the press, democracy, Science like even science, the idea that you know, which I would say was really eroded over the last three or four years. But this idea that science isn’t a set of answers.

Science is a method. Science is a way of saying, okay what what theories explain the observed data and if this theory explains it then we keep it, if it doesn’t explain the observed data then we set it aside, right? So that so the enlightenment gave us all of that. Um and you know we could get there’s a few things people on a different podcast, somebody challenged me on, you know, the enlightment wasn’t all good, there are few negatives, but we can get into it. But basically it birthed our current society and what we have and why this this society is different than what’s in china, right?

They have they have something very different. So that’s what we’re seeing now and what started in the 19 nineties really with the beginning of the internet and the beginning of the ability to link information together, you know, with the hypertext and HDP and all that stuff. And then for everybody to be able to publish instantaneously. And so that you know, if you just like upload to Youtube like your little cat rolled over and it was cute like it might not seem subversive, but you’re basically uploading your experience directly for other people to experience without the intermediation of a centralized authority.

That is very profound and what that’s doing. And then when you know when facebook and google and Youtube and this started to unfold in the 20 teens, really late two thousands, early 20 teens, it started to really threaten the established top down distribution of information that we’ve had what I call the century of propaganda. And if this came to a head in 2016 in the United States with the two campaigns, the Bernie Sanders campaign on one side and the Donald Trump campaign on the other because what they did both of those campaigns were able to construct their own narrative and affect the national narrative of what was going on with independent media and the corporate media lost control for whole days at a time and then they would regain it.

But it was this battle. And so they’re realizing the people that have had this control over the narrative that they’re really under threat and and I would say it’s actually are actually already losing this war, but the war is going to continue for a while. And so these are the signs of the war right now. So the things that we just talked about that suddenly the term fake news came out and then it was disinformation and misinformation, right? Astroturf independent media, right? Trying to get you to think this is independent media because the war is between the independent media and the people that want to what I call, distribute power more broadly, and the centralized media and the people that want to centralize power more narrowly. Right.

Those are the two sides of this battle and that battle has been going on for for thousands of years, right? That’s like human history, right? But what’s going on right now in the media, destroy the distribution of information and truth is that you have independent media, which can be wrong, but it’s free, it’s us talking right now right? And it’s disinter mediated. It’s it’s anybody can have this experience upload it and maybe 1000 people, maybe a billion people will see it, right? You don’t know versus the top down distribution.

So what’s going on right now is they’re saying, okay, we need to take we need to seize the control back so we need to devalue this, we need to call it fake news, we need to call it disinformation. We need to have our own astroturf. Independent media fact checkers is another part of this. We’re gonna like somehow marginalized independent news. And then the big hammer is censorship is social media censorship and just censorship. What’s going on there? Is it because Youtube is Youtube and who was, I was just watching some Mark Moss, somebody I can’t remember.

But they’re they’re they’re that’s what they’re arguing is that now Youtube was Russell Brand arguing now that because you the Russell brand’s getting got um Right, So that’s huge man, that and I’ve really enjoyed watching Russell brand kind of flour into uh one of my people, conspiracy theorists, right? Just cause he’s he’s just being honest. And that’s the thing. That’s why I love the guy. He’s spiritual, right? But he’s just being honest about the thing. But what? So youtube did it just blows my mind because like you’re saying that that’s also right.

Just like everything. I also, I guess it starts to eat itself at some or imploded. It’s just like Youtube was the was kind of the pinnacle or the the spearhead of the independent media, like we’re saying the top top or bottom up instead of top down. So what happened, like did the government did the did the, you know, Murdoch and all whoever, I don’t know who controlled all them. But did they just finally get get control of, of Youtube? And now because youtube, they’re again, they’re a huge sensor man.

Yeah, no, for sure. And I actually identify spend one chapter really just focusing on google facebook and Youtube, Youtube google facebook and twitter and I identify Youtube as the most important website for independent media. It’s it’s the most facebook’s huge. Twitter is huge. Like they’re all huge. But Youtube is the hugest among the big because exactly what you said video is the most powerful medium and it allowed you to put what you wanted on the tube, right? That was the whole idea. And so I, I write about in red, white and blind, I really delve into what happened when Susan uh Gretzky basically became ceo of Youtube and she came out and said at one point um it’s an it’s this amazing quote, I may not get it word for word, but it’s basically like um you know, anyone can make video in their basement, but what’s difficult is to make factual reporting.

And so because of that, we’re going to promote authoritative sources. So if you unpack this amazing quote, it’s it’s basically a suicide note for Youtube because what she’s saying is exactly the marketing that the corporate media uses to devalue Youtube, right, is is this this canard? It’s totally false that it’s easy to make media in your basement. That’s literally the way her competitors attack her products. So she’s basically surrendering because it’s not easy. I mean, yeah, it’s easy to turn on your, your phone and video yourself, but to actually build a channel that gets thousands or millions of views.

It’s really hard to have to work at it for years. It’s very difficult. People do it because people are brilliant, but most people don’t write, it’s difficult. So that’s the first thing. But what’s even bigger is the fact that, yes, she uses the language of her competitors. And then she says, we’re going to promote authoritative content, which is basically saying we’re going to promote our competitors. I mean, her competitors are MSNBC CNN, you know, NPR Fox news, like all of that. And nobody goes to Youtube to find those.

Like if you wanna go watch Fox or you want to watch MSNBC, it’s not hard. You put just put anything into google’s main search box and you know, and what you’ll get is all corporate media. So people go to Youtube because they want to find the independent perspective, they want to find other perspex. So what she’s literally, this is why I call it a suicide note is what she’s actually saying is we agree with our competitors that are best, our best content is easy to produce and not valuable.

And so we’re gonna promote authoritative sources above it, which means our competitors. So yeah, it was stunning. It was a stunning allegation and it was covered in the corporate media is like, oh, look, they’re gonna crack down on fake news. That’s great. But if you really unpacked it, you saw. So yeah, So Youtube, I mean, they’ve either got to completely change their tune or they’re gonna be replaced. Um, there’s a very interesting, and I would say exciting lawsuit going on right now, rumble is suing Youtube on directly.

This on basically saying google is exploiting its monopoly in search to promote Youtube over rumble. And they have a lot of evidence to show this, that you like. They have a number of little videos where you like directly type in the title of a rumble video. And instead what comes up is like a bunch of Youtube videos and the whole thing isn’t even on the, on the results. So, um, now that that lawsuit could get thrown out, but rumble is now, you know, has just gone public, they’re gonna have a lot more money at their disposal to fight this.

My sense is that the new enlightenment is going to unfold in this way where you’re gonna be seeing these dinosaurs in their death throes. It doesn’t mean that they’re gonna lose quickly. But what’s true is that they’re going to lose eventually. So eventually we’re going to be in a world where there is, I believe, and I do have my darker moments too when I see that, that it might not go this way. But most of the time, what I see is a is the gradual flowering of this new enlightenment.

And we’re gonna be in a world where there’s independent media that is uncensored, that that returns to the constitutional ideas of free speech. And that if you slander, libel or directly incite violence, that’ll get taken down, that’s illegal speech, it’s already illegal. But other than that, if it’s based on political views or you’re saying something that bad about the government that other people don’t want you to say it doesn’t matter, like deal with it or change. Yeah, yeah. I think we’re going there and I think it’s gonna it may take a while, I think it, you know, it could be 10 years here while this all plays out and Youtube is either gonna change or they’re gonna they’re gonna be replaced by the competitors.

They’re gonna come along. And right now it’s, you know, these free speech channels are called, oh, that’s the republican side. No, it’s just the uncensored side. And right now, you know, some Republican views are censored more, but there’s plenty of people on the left that are getting censored as well. And it could change, you know, we could end up with with, you know, the party power in the White House or the party in power in Silicon Valley could shift and they could instead decide rather than being anti trump that they’re anti.

You know, Bernie or their anti whoever is on the left. The point is, and this is the thing like I come from the left, I come as a progressive and I come from the Bernie Sanders side of things, but I carry much, much deeper in my heart, you know, the values that we have to we have to realize that censorship is anathema to our system and that if you if you give any power, even if it’s the politicians you happen to like the ability to censor others, it’s always gonna come back to you, you have to stand on the first principles and you have to say, look, I might agree or disagree with you, but you have to have that right to say it otherwise, you know, we’re in a we’re in a dead end spiral.

Yeah, 1000% right. I might not agree with you, but I’ll fight to the death for your right to say it, man, what happened to that? What that’s I feel like that’s that’s where we need to get back to as a as a as a people. And so that’s so I do end up in the book. Um I sort of talked about at the beginning of the book, that there’s several parts of the book. And and parts a big part of the book is this sort of investigation and sort of expose all the ways of the media deceiving people so that we realize the depth of the problem.

But then I go into solutions as well and I go into like a little bit of a pep talk because I don’t want people to be depressed about this even though let’s do that now man, because that’s what we’re all about at the freedom People. We want solutions, that’s where we started. Yes, please. Yes, let’s dive in there. Yeah. So the first solution that I propose and I think the biggest one because the goal is the media consciousness, what I talked about the beginning of the talk, right this consciousness that we can bring to the media the same way if we’ve done a spiritual practice and meditation that we bring to our internal voices, we want to get to a point where we have media con where we can we can listen to any source, we are aware of sources, we know that we’re being deceived and manipulated and yet we can understand it right now.

How do we get there? So there’s several ways, but the number one way that I propose is what I call a balanced media diet. And so I spend one whole chapter of the book in Red White and blind proposing a balanced media diet and the idea is that you can choose your 30 minutes a day or 60 minutes a day or two hours a day, you know? But if you can spend a little bit of time each day and you read different sources each day and I sort of did a whole bunch of research into different sources and which sources to put in your balanced media diet.

The idea is it isn’t that you want to, the idea isn’t to change your mind and just suddenly like read other sources than have a different belief, it’s to be able to understand others. So you have a particular idea about something controversial like the vaccines or abortion, right? You don’t have to change your mind about it. But the idea is to understand the other side, because what that does several things, first of all, it gets you on that road to media consciousness where you can understand how people are being manipulated, even those that share your viewpoint maybe being manipulated.

But then also maybe the most important thing it does is it starts to eat away at that division. The division of like we’re all red and blue because if if you you can still have your views about controversial issues, but now you understand, oh, Aunt mary or you know, my daughter has this other view and I understand this is why she has this view about abortion or about you know, the war in Ukraine, right? So the idea is to is to and so a balanced media diet is a huge part of the solution.

Um the other thing I talk about and to get towards media consciousness and we can dive more into that if you like. The other thing I talk about is sustainable models, like supporting independent media basically like ways to support independent media. And I do recommend if you have a few bucks a month, like I say, think about $20 a month to give to to, you know, a selection of sources because there’s several business models, we have to find the one that’s gonna work sort of long term. And and right now there’s like a subscriber model where you basically subscribe and support independent media.

There’s also a model where there’s advertising, but advertising has a lot of issues. And so I really wanna people to be very cautious about that. But I think the advertising model is a potential as long as sources fully disclosed who’s advertising on their content. Um, and then the third one I get into, which is maybe the maybe a little controversial, but I think has the greatest potential. And this is sort of my own idea. I’m sure I read about it somewhere and it’s the idea of very carefully allowing the government to play a supporting role. Right?

So the government supported um making the postal rate the cheapest for periodicals in the 18 hundreds, actually late 17 hundreds, 18 hundreds because they understood the importance of the media in informing people in a democracy. So like this was the real first flowering of the free press was that you could make your little periodical, anybody could, and you could send it through the postal mail for a penny, you know, for almost nothing. And that really flower that really created real flowering of of the free press in this country in the 1800s.

And that leads sort of up until the early 1900s. And then media consolidation started and we could talk about that. But so what I’m saying today is the government could play, could play a role in saying like what if on your um Like on your it could be on your tax return or something like that. You got $100 in coupons that you could basically distribute to any media organization you wanted. Okay, you’re not gonna get the money, but basically everybody gets these $100 in coupons and the government plays no role in deciding what media organizations are.

They can’t cause that would be censorship. So there’s no, there’s no control over that. But basically like they’re saying, Okay, as part of your sort of money coming in and out of the system through the tax system, each person gets $100 or we can decide what the amount is to then support independent media. And so you can put all of your $100 to, you know, this podcast or you could put $1 to each of your 100 favorites. Or you could give it all the NPR whatever whatever you want to do is fine.

Um, but the point would be, so in addition to the subscriber model, which I think is already underway, it is great and people should, should subscribe and support people through that. The advertising model which could still work. Um we just have to think it through. This is the third model that I think is, is potentially possible if we’re very careful about how we allow the government to support this. So those are some of the solutions that I that I think are out there, man. That’s beautiful. That’s beautiful, Tony.

You’re awesome man. This has been a beautiful conversation. I really enjoyed. Thank you. Thank you. Um before we get going, I want to leave some time here for you to kind of tell everybody how they can find you. And again, when does your book come out? All that good stuff. Sure. Yeah. My book lands the last week in november. So please look for it. Red White and Blind is the name of it. Um you can, you can always go to Red White and blind dot com which is um the book website and you’ll find every link to me there.

So that that’s the easiest one to remember. Just do that. If you can spell my last name, it’s Toni Braxton is B. R. A. S. U. N. A. S Tony. Barcenas and Tony barcenas dot com is my main website. I have my blog up there, so it will always have my latest writings appearances on podcasts like this one. Um, and then I’m also on facebook twitter and I have a sub stack which is red white and blind dot substack dot com. So yeah, please reach out anytime you have any questions and if you’re looking for for um initial excerpt of the book, I’m gonna be offering those probably, let’s see, we’re already in the first week of october, probably the second week of october, so probably next week you could come to red white and blind and get that.

So yeah, the first, the first bit is going to be on Jeffrey Epstein and also sort of the like the intro to the book that gives this a little bit of a teaser of like, you know, like I’m talking about how we do exposes, we do the balanced media diet solutions and we do a pep talk at the end about why we’re all part of a new enlightenment and why it’s a very exciting time to be alive. I love that. Yeah, because that’s what we say. Um I say it all all the time that this is the best time to be alive.

I get that. It’s crazy. Everything’s enough people, but we’ve never had the opportunity for change. Like we do today do anything approaching the truth about the world. I mean we’ve never had disabilities. It’s very, very challenging. But with like a balanced media diet with some media consciousness, with putting little time into it, we can get closer to knowing the truth about the world closer than we’ve ever been before. So agreed man, Bradley. Your awesome, great talking to you. Thank you, Tony, awesome. Alright buddy. Well, thank you and we’ll be in touch, man.

Thank you. Thank you. Really appreciate it. Absolutely. Thanks for everything you’re doing, man. You as well.

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