HomeArticleWhat Has Been Asserted Without Evidence May Be Dismissed Without Evidence

What Has Been Asserted Without Evidence May Be Dismissed Without Evidence

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We’re being bashed in the face with western propaganda about the Ukraine situation with increasing forcefulness. Every day now we’re seeing things like “analysts” claiming Putin definitely wants a large-scale war, very familiar-looking puff pieces about Ukrainian guerrilla freedom fighters based on claims by anonymous intelligence sources, think pieces on why Americans should all care about Ukrainian freedom from Kremlin tyranny, and, of course, a lot of entirely unsubstantiated assertions about what Russia is doing.

Despite the British government’s evidence-free claim that Russia was planning to install a puppet regime in Ukraine being debunked within hours and then shown to be a US intelligence claim dishonestly packaged as a British one days later, mass media outlets still to this day repeat the allegation like it’s a real thing. Despite the entirely unevidenced US government claim that Russia was plotting to stage a false flag attack in eastern Ukraine failing to prove true in subsequent weeks, US Senator Bob Menendez went on CNN over the weekend and declared that this false flag which never actually, physically happened was grounds to sanction Russia effective immediately.

The US political/media class is just saying whatever it wants about what Russia is doing and planning to do with no regard for facts or evidence. Nothing is too cartoonishly hysterical; in fact the more clickbaity and attention-grabbing the better. They feel free to scattergun these outlandish claims willy nilly all over our information ecosystem because five years of Russia hysteria have taught them that they will suffer exactly zero professional consequences when they are proven wrong, and that they will in fact see their stars rise as a reward for advancing the interests of the US empire.

So they’re just churning out all these plot hole-riddled stories about hordes of Russian troops being on the verge of a full-scale Ukraine invasion with complete indifference to what’s actually happening and the reality on the ground. And people are lapping it right up. My social media notifications are full of people calling me a Kremlin operative for disputing the official line about Russia and Ukraine as this barrage of mass-scale psychological manipulation washes over our entire civilization.

It’s interesting how in all the talk about “media literacy” over the last few years and the push to teach the public to distinguish between real news and fake news, the overwhelming majority of the mainstream public has remained blissfully unaware that it’s actually bad practice to swallow unevidenced assertions by western government officials about countries the US doesn’t like. Despite this government’s extensive and thoroughly documented history of lying to us about exactly this sort of thing over and over again for generation after generation, it’s still considered perfectly normal and acceptable to just deep throat whatever it tells us to believe without the slightest twinge of gag reflex.

So this is just a quick, friendly reminder while all this Ukraine stuff is happening that the burden of proof is always on the party making the claim, and that any claim that has been presented without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. This applies to individuals, and it most certainly applies to untrustworthy governments as well.

The epistemological razor “What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence” is generally attributed to Christopher Hitchens, who ironically has a rather significant history of failing to follow his own advice when it comes to claims made by western government agencies. But that’s precisely when it is most important to take Hitchens’s razor to heart: not when you’re arguing with someone about whether or not God exists, but when a very consequential claim is being made by the most powerful people on our planet.

Anything that’s been asserted without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. It’s true of arguments, it’s true of government claims, and it’s especially true of claims coming from governments that we know for a fact make false claims all the time.

What this means is that a simple “Nah” is all that’s required whenever you’re presented with these claims, or if you’re feeling particularly generous a “Proof or it didn’t happen.” If anyone objects to your low-energy dismissal of their parroting claims by western governments, simply tell them that what has been put forward without evidence may be dismissed without evidence. They might want you to try to prove their position wrong, but that ain’t how the burden of proof works, buttercup.

Hitchens’s razor. It slices. It dices. It wins arguments. It keeps the news man from turning your brain into clam chowder. Use it, and use it often.

_____________________________

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Latest comments

  • Around 2014 when they kicked out the old President that favored the oil pipeline and installed this current President that stopped the pipeline is at the root of our present situation. I’d much rather have them build the pipeline then send my kids to Ukraine to shoot at the Russians.

  • …..the proles in oceania are bullshitted constantly through the 2 min. hate…..east asia is on the move building more outposts…..eurasia is building up troops……the proles in east asia are bullshitted about how superior death of the self really is…..the proles in eurasia are bullshitted about how borders are the last stand…..the most accurate fictional prophesy is being revealed…..doubleplusgood……

  • This is wonderful Caitlin, since anyone who goes on line or even out in TRW faces these fact-free claims every day. Thank you.

  • England’s PM Boris Johnson said the UK is at the forefront of training Ukrainian troops along with supplying weapons, UK media reported that if one Russian soldiers toe-cap of his boots crosses onto Ukrainian soil Russia will face severe sanctions.

    Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon now jumping on the Nato Russia/Putin bad trope bandwagon by penning an article in Whitehall’s fanzine the Guardian newspaper. The UK media are in a frenzied state on Russia, the last time I saw such a frenzied state was just before he illegal invasion of Iraq.

    Even the smallest story on anything Russian is met with disdain, for instance a Russian cargo jet flew over Glasgow (Scotland) last night heading for Iceland its cargo was hundreds of abandoned animals left for dead after the US and its minions fled Afghanistan, the animals were heading to a new life in Iceland.

    The press put the headline out, Russian Jet robs Glaswegians of their sleep, (The jet passed overhead at night). To contrast this a week earlier two US F-35 fighter jets carried out mock bombing runs over the city of Glasgow, flying as low as five-hundred feet above the city, but not a bad word was said about that in the MSM.

    The hysteria surrounding all things Russian is dangerous in my opinion.

  • Always liked ‘Hitchens’s Razor’, it’s like a compact version of ‘The Scientific Method’.

    The only way to stop people from complaining about being oppressed is to periodically oppress them further, so then they think they really did have it good before they were further oppressed. – remind you of anything, cough! plandemic…..

  • hier, le drian, ministre français des affaires étrangères, nous a préparé à l’idée d’une guerre possible avec la russie à cause de l’ukraine. macron est donc un guerrier comme biden ET poutine. le problème, c’est que ces types resteront derrière leurs bureaux, en pantoufles, au chaud. pendant que des hommes et des femmes qui ont mieux à faire se feront tuer. assez des guerriers en pantoufles!

  • There’s no country in the world that has made as many solemn documents,agreements, treaties,statements of intention as the USA,and broken every one of them, and had every intention of breaking them when they made them.No group of people has ever so consistently and cruelly suppressed another group of as the Americans have the Indians 400 treaties written ,not one was kept .What a record .We lied we swindled we kill we starve we maim we torture,we do the most heinous things now all over the world Russians are not stupid,American Mafia is not to be trusted.

  • Didn’t this happen last year too? And when they built that bridge over the Kercher(?) straight? And right after that first cease fire? I think there must be a psychological component, beyond the annual quest for more money for the pentagon. Maybe it’s something like a bipartisan witch hunt, or the “yellow peril”.

  • Truer words have never been spoken! And then you’ve got the virtue signalling pundits endlessly whining about fake news (a threat to democracy, no less) and the “independent fact-checkers” getting hysterical about anything vaguely diverging from the doxa. We’re not even talking about the truth here because who knows where it lies when sponsored hit pieces in prestigious outlets widely quoted for a few days – like about cheap and effective hydroxychloroquine – are retracted when they’ve outlived their usefulness – i.e. to discredit French virologist Didier Raoult who’d been using it successfully for weeks against Covid in his Marseille hospital and promoting it in the media to the inconsolable chagrin of Big Pharma about to launch expensive and experimental remdesivir – and allegations are not supported by later investigations – like those of the Steele dossier eventually shattered by the Mueller probe. These good Samaritans aim at protecting us from the evils of this world like the sanctimonious priest before getting caught in a pedophile ring, the moralizing politician spotted in a financial cesspool and the outspoken critic of adultery video-taped cheating on his wife… These “obey” junkies won’t let their right hand know what their left hand is doing. And of course this reaches jaw-dropping proportions when they want people to get into situations they wouldn’t personally touch with a barge pole like the draft-dodging warmongers. To be fair, however, warmongers are not all draft dodgers. There are those who like wars no matter what, like Winston Churchill who, after personally fighting a few colonial ones in India, Sudan and South Africa in his youth, wrote to a friend in the middle of WW1: “I think a curse should rest on me because I love this war. I know it’s smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment – and yet – I can’t help it – I enjoy every second of it”. WW1 was for Churchill an early prototype of video games. It’s probably how the motherfuckers (for want of a more appropriate word, currently unavailable) who want to inflict as much damage as possible on a perceived opponent see things too, like the old fool, the other day, who wanted to give Putin a “bloody nose”. This perceived opponent (called enemy even though no war has been declared) is of course a construct, a fantasy, a voodoo doll crystallizing the hating power of the motherfuckers and whose identity fluctuates with the more down to earth policies (involving dinero) of the deep state actors who hold the power to grant this “license to hate” magically exonerated, in the media they control, from the horrible guilt of hate-speech. Add that this video game will attract eyeballs and that the number of these eyeballs is directly connected to the figure you’ll get on your paycheck if you’re a journalist and warmongering becomes an art form. Man is a wolf to man but especially if there are pieces of silver attached to his savagery. Once everything’s said and done, we always find Mammon stirring the stew…

  • So let me get this straight. Outlets like CNN who have less than a million viewers is going full war mode. So now everyone is upset about a network that no one watches. These same people jump on twitter and social media to argue about it. The politicians join in to justify what they were going to do anyway. It sounds to me like an inside the beltway media circus no one cares about. Unfortunately for the disinterested majority, it is these so called circuses that get people killed…..yes Virginia, the world is run by greedy, egotistical, power hungry psychopaths that dont care if your dolly melts with you in a nuclear blast.

    • MY DOLLY?!!? SAY IT ISN’T SO!!! Where’s my f☆ckn Safe Room???

  • Such Warriors for Truth comment! The in the room is these con-fused souls that go all “deep throat”, no gag reflex and swallow these stinky stories holus bolus. One may be fooled once by the Architects of Lies, twice sure, three times … hang on, just consider. Most lazy, fat, busy consumers KNOW ABOUT THE LIES. But they shrug and ACCEPT THEM TO STAY ON THE HERD. People are totally aware something is awry but cleave to The Tribe. Psych study after psych study shows Acceptance / Obedience seems fair price for groupthinkstink. Sure, blame the Leaders, just don’t make Followers Blameless. WE, we are scum swallowers all. I purely LOATHE The Covidians as example, I’ve watched them switch gears and turn off at the mere BREATH OF A FACT HURTING THE NARRATIVE they are so busy fellating. I’m sure the Germans in Nazi times or Soviet citizens of a dystopia (ours being a Goolag Archipelago) knew very well the score. “The People” ain’t innocent either. Remember this.

  • Gonna get all philosophical…
    If the claim of WMD’s in Iraq was a lie… then it was a lie with some pretence of evidence. Manufactured as it was.
    Those factually claiming there were NO WMD’s were essentially correct. But if there were no WMD’s how could one prove a negative? I have met a person that was there at the time, who told me there could not have been WMD’s given the lack of infrastructure require to facilitate their existence. All he could prove was that if a WMD required the ingredient ‘x’, and ‘x’ was not in existence than the WMD could not be manufactured.
    Based on probability alone – that most, if not all politicians are liars, frauds and hucksters, then WMD’s did not exist. I’m happy with my supposition.

  • I’m not excusing US imperialism, but Putin is an imperialist, too. A lying, murderous, fascist dictator imperialist.

    • what countries has he taken over imperialistically? it’s bs.

    • Bravo! Asserted without any trace of veracity. Irony exemplified!

      • Right on !!

    • I can understand the US and Nato quest for peace and democracy everywhere, and the defensive aspect of it all, and that it’s all just a business in the end. And that, when you have 1000 times more power than some other poor, little country, in the air and on the ground, it can be easy for some to feel detached from a remote reality and just believe whatever from your msm. But still, for someone, when deciding exactly how much depleted uranium or cluster bombs or other asset to drop on civilian areas, or how much collateral damage to do each day, there must be some personal reasons involved as well?

    • Yep, they’re all the same, megalomaniacs. The old western colonial powers may even be regrouping for another shot at dividing up China. Russia may play the ganged up on sovereign state under-siege to get China involved, thereby legitimizing a western attack? Who knows in this politically superficial world?

  • “I sincerely join… in abjuring all political connection with every foreign power; and though I cordially wish well to the progress of liberty in all nations, and would forever give it the weight of our countenance, yet they are not to be touched without contamination from their other bad principles. Commerce with all nations, alliance with none, should be our motto.” –Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Lomax, 1799. ME 10:124

    “Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations–entangling alliances with none, I deem [one of] the essential principles of our government, and consequently [one of] those which ought to shape its administration.” –Thomas Jefferson: 1st Inaugural Address, 1801. ME 3:321
    When did the USA lose its soul? Did it ever have one?

  • “My social media notifications are full of people calling me a Kremlin operative for disputing the official line about Russia and Ukraine as this barrage of mass-scale psychological manipulation washes over our entire civilization.” – those are bad people.

  • All arguments apply to covid as well

    Clown world

  • A pox upon lies, false witness and all things evil having spawned from the publishing houses of the dark lord. They too shall have their reward.

  • https://www.johndayblog.com/2022/02/analysis-is-forbidden.html
    Societies are coordinated in their works, efforts and aspirations by shared narratives of meaning and purpose. Those typically degrade over time, as they are gradually corrupted for selfish gain. What remains is a worm eaten corpse, which must not be closely examined at all, or the delicate societal glue will dissolve.
    I think we’re there again, like in the Great Depression. China was there in the Cultural Revolution. Russia went there in the 1990s. These Social Contracts and civilizational narratives take a whole lot of sustained work, with frustrations, fears and disappointments at betrayals, by the entire society, to be renegotiated and reworked, so that society can again function. This takes something like 10 years to bottom out and turn around. How far are we? I have to ask, so I don’t think we are anywhere near a bottom, a “capitulation”.
    The Western Empire is still pretending it can rule the world. The globalist “owners” don’t seem to have an alternative, except finding ways to reduce the useless-eaters and motivate the useful eaters to excellence-in-service.
    I was recently a useful-eater, but I bucked the narrative and refused COVID vaccination, on principle first, and on scientific evidence also.
    Now I am a problem, because I examine the corpse of the governing societal narrative.
    It stinks. It’s dead. It cannot be resuscitated rationally, because it is completely irrational and counterproductive for everybody except the globalist owners, and it breaks for them next…
    The oligarchy consists of global finance, backed by global military-industrial complex, which forces countries to accept American dollars at interest, through a new BIS-controlled central bank, which is promptly installed. International investors buy resources, assets and human labor at a discount, extract extra at interest, and periodically crash the economy to buyat an even deeper discount. Korea, Vietnam, Libya, Venezuela. It’s the same game plan, but it doesn’t always work the same. It also hollows out the economic core of the centers of empire, like the US. That’s been done.
    If the rest of the world abandons the $US as global reserve currency, and uses something else for international trade, (gold would serve) then the price of everything in the US would double, and valuable things would be bought by foreigners with their dollars, and exported to them. Printing dollars would no longer be an option to fund the government. This began in the decade after Nixon had to default on the gold standard, when America ran out of gold, funding the Vietnam War.
    The petrodollar was arranged by getting Saudi Arabia to only accept $US for oil, and coercing other il producers to do the same. those $US could be recycled into US Federal debt, holding the system intact. The American/NATO global military (the biggest users of oil on our planet) would enforce the regime.
    This worked well for a long time, but all of its foundations are now rotten, all of them.
    The interests of global finance and the military industrial complex are well aligned, and Big Pharma is an eager ally. Big media, the corporate-state-propaganda-apparatus (Free News!) is completely on board, as is the information-search-monopoly, Google, as is the computer software duopoly of Microsoft and Apple.
    What is not holding is a narrative that this is good for society, because that is obviously false. Scapegoats have been created, like Russia’s President Putin, America’s recent President Trump, middle aged white Americans with political opinions (aka “white supremacists”), productively-employed American farmers, truckers, craftsmen and factory workers (“deplorables”), and other “homegrown-terrorists-spreading-disinformation”.
    That’s a pretty big tent excluded by the narrative, but it is sustained by the increasingly stressed Professional Managerial Class and all of those “compliance officers”. Political Correctness helps put boots-on-the-ground.
    Supporters of transgender rights ignore that the great majority of transgendered people just want to be invisibly accepted and left alone. They don’t want to be standard-bearers for the social alliance that supports the status-quo at such a low actual cost to the owners.
    Most black people I talk to have seen this movie before, would like the check, please, but don’t want to be pawns in street riots. They are some of the most suspicious about the COVID narrative (killed a lot of black people) and the mandatory vaccination “solution”. All of the black patients I served were very receptive to getting their families on vitamin-D to help their immune systems work better, all of them, for two years…
    It is too late for this corpse, and I’ll keep pointing that out.

    • I really dislike comments that are longer than the articles they are commenting on. Get your own column.

      • LOL, good point!!

      • It would appear the long comment is basically a mirror for the same author’s own blog along with a link to same. I suggest a shorter comment supplemented by the link would be sufficient.

    • Puppet Trump will be back to ‘rescue’ AMERICA. Just you watch. The elite are using Biblical Revelations as their NWO script – fires, floods, famine, pestilence, war, the false prophet, followed by the true savior/s…. blah, blah, blah Check out SCOMO’s recent speech, very biblical at the beginning. We may even be headed for a theocracy NWO. Everything old is new again.

  • This is a small and somewhat picayune comment, but one I consider important enough to mention. The word “disinterest” does not mean, as so many people seem to believe today, “not being interested in.” It means instead “impartial and fair” or “objective,” or more literally, “not having a personal interest or stake in” the matter at hand. The English word which should be used instead to express “not finding something interesting,” as in “sorry, I’m just not that interested in Mathematics” is “UNinterest.” “DISinterest” or, more commonly, “disinterestedness” is a key term in 18th and 19th Century political thought, continuing into the 20th as well. It is generally considered to be the primary virtue needed by any citizen to participate properly in democratic politics. It requires that one be willing to listen to multiple other opinions on any matter being deliberated by one’s fellow citizens, while reserving judgement, in order, only after time for due consideration, to express what Thomas Jefferson calls one’s own “informed discretion” upon the question at hand. One should also note, as I always attempted to stress to my undergraduates in my “History of American Rhetorics” courses at Pitt, that it is completely possible for one to be profoundly interested in matters which one adjudicates “disinterestedly.” Most scientists, for example, while deeply interested in the subjects they research, are yet required to participate disinterestedly in all discussions of the relative merits of the work. These days much of this possession of this necessary capacity for “disinterested” scientific deliberation goes by the simpler name of “willing to be objective,” even if that term is a good vaguer, and more overdetermined in meaning than the older “disinterested.” As anyone who has attended many political or academic meetings will know, it is also possible to participate disinterestedly in deliberations about which one has little to no “interest” in the common sense of that term. On the other hand, there does seem to be some level of minimal interest in one’s topic, i.e. some sense that collectively finding out the truth about or best policy toward something being deliberated is important, for disinterestedness to come into full expression.

    • Good point. “Disinterest” has been being used wrongly for quite some time. Like “momentarily”.

      • like aggravation means to worsen whereas many seem to think it means annoyance. 🙂

    • HMM, same as how some people confuse ‘eye for an eye’ as revenge when all it means is fairness, equality. 🙂

  • This is a small and somewhat picayune, but one I consider important enough to mention. The word “disinterest” does not mean, as so many people seem to believe today, “not being interested in.” It means instead “impartial and fair” or “objective,” or more literally, “not having a personal interest or stake in” the matter at hand. The English word which should be used instead to express “not finding something interesting,” as in “sorry, I’m just not that interested in Mathematics” is “UNinterest.” “DISinterest” or, more commonly, “disinterestedness” is a key term in 18th and 19th Century political thought, continuing into the 20th as well. It is generally considered to be the primary virtue needed by any citizen to participate properly in democratic politics. It requires that one be willing to listen to multiple other opinions on any matter being deliberated by one’s fellow citizens, while reserving judgement, in order, only after time for due consideration, to express what Thomas Jefferson calls one’s own “informed discretion” upon the question at hand. One should also note, as I always attempted to stress to my undergraduates in my “History of American Rhetorics” courses at Pitt, that it is completely possible for one to be profoundly interested in matters which one adjudicates “disinterestedly.” Most scientists, for example, while deeply interested in the subjects they research, are yet required to participate disinterestedly in all discussions of the relative merits of the work. These days much of this possession of this necessary capacity for “disinterested” scientific deliberation goes by the simpler name of “willing to be objective,” even if that term is a good vaguer, and more overdetermined in meaning than the older “disinterested.” As anyone who has attended many political or academic meetings will know, it is also possible to participate disinterestedly in deliberations about which one has little to no “interest” in the common sense of that term. On the other hand, there does seem to be some level of minimal interest in one’s topic, i.e. some sense that collectively finding out the truth about or best policy toward something being deliberated is important, for disinterestedness to come into full expression.

    • Refreshing. Disinterest is meaningless in the Postmodern world. Striving towards it, though, is worth an approving nod.

  • A lot of this fear-mongering is a distraction for the dreadful politicians in the US and UK (boris is in Kyiv today) whose poll numbers are in the toilet.

    • Yes, and it is a sure sign that politicians and governments are attempting once again to distract citizens who are on the verge of revolution by pointing to an “outside influence” and blaming whoever (Russia, China, North Korea) in order to take the limelight off of themselves.

  • What is also being mostly omitted by the news, is that Ukraine is asking for peace (appeared once yesterday among many many many reports of Russia and US angry exchange at the UN).
    The MSM always acts like peace is impossible and would rather report on an imminent aggression, villains, and even nuclear war. Anything but peace. As if you gotta be half witted to believe in peace.
    MSM also likes to portrait the UN as a joke, and the US the only answer to everything under the sun and the moon and all the way to Neptune.

    • By Johan Galtung on US Media machinations:
      1. Decontextualizing violence: focusing on the irrational without looking at the reasons for conflicts and polarization.
      2. Dualism: reducing the number of parties in a conflict to two, when often more are involved. Focus on internal stories and ignore such external forces as foreign governments and transnational companies.
      3. Manicheanism: portraying one side as good and demonizing the other as “evil”
      4. Armageddon: presenting violence as inevitable, omitting alternatives
      5. Focusing on individual acts of violence while avoiding structural causes, like poverty, government neglect and military or police repression
      6. Confusion: focusing only on the conflict area but not on the forces and factors that influence the violence
      7. Excluding and omitting the bereaved, thus never explaining why there are acts of revenge and spirals of violence
      8. Failure to explore the causes of escalation and the impact of media coverage itself.
      9. Failure to explore the goals of outside interventionists, especially big powers
      10. Failure to explore peace proposals and offer images of peaceful outcomes
      11. Confusing cease-fire and negotiations with actual peace.
      12. Omitting reconciliation. When news about attempts to resolve conflicts are absent, fatalism is reinforced.

    • Well, the UN is a joke, isn’t it?

      • sometimes they find a spine, like when they refused to go along with the US invasion. that’s more or less why Bolton threatened the children of the head of OPCW and got a US tool installed instead.

  • It is very telling there is no mention of the fascist coup of 2014 in Ukraine, the accession of Crimea, via referendum, to the Russian Federation or the subsequent civil war in the Donbas as local Russians fought back against the fascists. The coup and the resulting civil war in the Donbas need to be acknowledged as having been instigated by Obama and Nuland, among others. These people are war criminals and need to face justice.

    • Absolutely correct. It is mention in the alternative press all the time, but never, ever in the mainstream propaganda press. It’s only eight years ago and people already have amnesia.

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