Archive for the ‘Things that aren’t what they seem’ Category

In The Myths of Capitalism, Michael Parenti explodes the most prevalent myths the ruling elite perpetuates regarding capitalism. Examples include

  • Capitalism produces prosperity – in truth capitalism produces prosperity for a handful of people and poverty for nearly everyone else. Parenti gives numerous examples of this.
  • The poor are responsible for their own poverty and are always looking for handouts – in reality, poverty occurs when the ruling elite privatize resources and public services to increase profits. Wherever capitalism is introduced, poverty follows.
  • Privately run businesses are always more efficient than those that are publicly run – Parenti gives number examples (including the post office, Medicare and Social Security) of government-run operations that have far less bureaucracy and far lower administrative costs than their private counterparts.
  • Capitalism fosters democracy – Parenti demonstrates quite ably how the exact opposite is true. A well educated working class that resists exploitation by exercising their democratic rights is an enormous threat to private profit. The US ruling elite fully supported the Bush/Obama suspension of basic civil liberties, the routine surveillance of the citizenry and the introduction of torture.

Most of the presentation focuses on the corporate crime and corruption and routine economic instability inherent in a capitalist economic system. Under modern industrial capitalism the only way to keep the economy from collapsing is to undertake a permanent state of perpetual war.

Web Warriors

National Geographic (2008)

Film Review

Web Warriors is a documentary about the vulnerability of major computer-controlled power, communication, transport and military grids to attacks by hackers, viruses and worms that have the potential to bring regional and national economies to a standstill.

The goal of the film is to confront viewers with the stark reality that the Internet was never designed to be secure. The World Wide Web was never designed to be an engine of commerce or to safeguard bank and other financial data. At present, it’s still virtually impossible to design a 100% secure computer network.

The video opens by exploring the likelihood that the August 24 blackout that shut down the eastern US and Canada for two days in August 2003 was most likely caused by a computer worm attack, rather than a “programming error,” as claimed by company officials.

It goes own to identify other Fortune 500 companies shut down at various times by hackers, including Yahoo, Ebay, Dell, CNN, Amazon, Amtrak and Air Canada. Most companies try to cover up incidents of cybercrime so as not to alarm their shareholders or customer base.

Microsoft’s monopoly on the operating systems used in commercial computer networks (ie they all use Windows) significantly increases their vulnerability to hacking, viruses and worms.*


*This was seen recently in the critical infrastructure in countries all over the world shut down by the May 2017 WannaCry Ransomware attack. See WannaCry Ransomware Everything You Need to Know

Wellstone!

Snowshoe Films (2009)

Film Review

 

This documentary assesses the physical evidence suggesting the plane crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone in October 2002 was actually an assassination. Wellstone, elected by Minnesota’s Democratic Farm Labor Party, was a true populist like Bernie Sanders. In addition to being the only candidate running for re-election who opposed the US invasion of Iraq, he was also raising questions about the official version of 9-11.

With his death – only 10 days before election day – his seat passed to his Republican opponent – granting Republicans regained control of both houses of Congress.

Among the anomalies explored in this film are

  • the strange electrical fire (which the National Air Safety Board neglects to mention in their report) that melted copper components in the instrument panel.
  • the loss of strobe and other warning lights (which the NASB report also neglects to mention), pointing to electrical failure preceding the crash.
  • the mysterious disappearance of the cockpit voice recorder (black box)
  • the discrepancy between witness statements and the NASB report about the altitude of the plane when it stalled out (according to eyewitnesses it was 75-90 feet, while the report indicates 1,000 feet).
  • the failure of the pilots to call in a warning of the crash to air traffic controllers.
  • the failure of the NASB (or FBI investigators) to mention links between one of the pilots, Michael Grass, and the “20th 9-11 hijacker” Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui’s computer, the one FBI investigator Colleen Rawley failed to get a warrant for, had Michael Guess’s aviation instruction software on it.
  • the failure of the NASB to hold a public hearing on the crash, which is routine in high profile cases.
  • the conclusion reached by the NASB that Wellstone’s plane crashed due to “pilot error” without presenting a shred of evidence to support this conclusion.

Independent forensic experts who reviewed both the evidence and the NASB report concluded that Wellstone’s plane crashed because the pilots were incapacitated in some way. There were a number of odd electronic anomalies reported in the vicinity of the crash that Minnesota assassination researcher Jim Fetzer believes are compatible with a directed electromagnetic pulse (EMP) or microwave weapon similar to those the Pentagon was experimenting with in Iraq.

At exactly 10.18 (two seconds before the aircraft stalled) a Duluth lobbyist traveling to the same funeral as Wellstone and his family heard a loud wailing/humming sound on his cellphone. At the exact same time a number of residents south of the airport reported garage doors mysteriously opening. In addition, a local meterologist reported a large hole in the ice clouds immediately above the crash area. This, too, would have been consistent with a directed EMP weapon.

The Dark Side – Secrets of the Sports Dopers

Al Jazeera (2015)

Film Review

The Dark Side is a 2015 documentary about the health professionals who assist Olympics and professional athletes acquire performance enhancing drugs, as well as helping them avoid detection on drug testing. Liam Collins, a British track star, goes undercover for Al Jazeera and easily obtains growth hormone, insulin, EPO (erythropoetin)*, HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), clomiphene and Delta-2 and other anabolic steroids from unscrupulous doctors, naturopaths (who have prescribing authority in the US and Canada) and pharmacists. He also learns the name of prominent baseball and NFL players who are illegally using these banned substances.

Prior to the release of this documentary, an estimated 40% of professional baseball players were using banned substances. In the past baseball authorities have been somewhat lackadaisical about drug testing. Public interest in baseball was flagging, and the big increase in home runs turned this around.


*EPO stimulates red blood cells, enabling the blood to carry more oxygen.

**HCG, a pregnancy hormone that stimulates placental development, increases testosterone in men.

***Chlomiphene is an anti-estrogen that stimulates ovulation in infertile women. In men, it accelerates testosterone production.

US and The Wall: Deportees in Mexico Unwanted by Either Side

RT (2017)

This documentary explores the plight of newly deported immigrants  – many of whom have lived in the US more than 20 years and speak no Spanish. Most end up in Tijuana which, run by drug cartels, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. Because they’re not local, it’s fairly common for Mexican police to detain deportees and steal their money.

The film profiles three main groups, volunteers who leave gallon jugs of water in the desert to prevent migrants from dying of thirst; armed vigilantes, drawn from former military and police personnel, who patrol the Arizona desert hunting down illegal immigrants; and US veterans who have started a shelter in Tijuana for veterans deported after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most were enticed to enlist with a promise of citizenship – only to be deported for minor crimes such as DUIs, drug possession, bad checks or firearms offenses. One veteran talks of pleading guilty based on a broken promise he wouldn’t be deported.

During the filming, the shelter is visited by seven Congress people concerned about the plight of deported veterans.

New Zealand: Polluted Paradise

Directed by Naashon Zalk (2017)

This documentary is about the extreme degradation of New Zealand rivers and streams, regarded by many environmentalists as the most contaminated in the world.* The international OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development blames this country water contamination on dairy intensification subsidized by the government’s free irrigation scheme. In a country of 4.5 million people, dairy cows produce as much effluent as 90 million people. All this directly contradicts the “100% Pure” image promoted by New Zealand’s tourism industry.

The problem is aggravated by a fair amount of government corruption, which the film documents. For example, in 2010 the New Zealand government sacked the democratically elected Canterbury Regional Council when they opposed an intensive government irrigation project in a region totally unsuitable to dairying due to poor soil and low rainfall. The Council was replaced by government-appointed commissioners who implemented the irrigation project.


*Every year over 45,000 New Zealanders have their tap water contaminated with animal feces. In 2016 5,000 residents of Hawke’s Bay became seriously ill with feces-related pathogens.

Goodbye, Europe? Hello, Chaos? – Merkel’s Migrant Bomb

by J Michael Springmann

Daena Publications (2017)

Book Review

In Goodbye Europe? Hello, Chaos? Springmann analyzes evidence suggesting that US intelligence may be organizing the mass migration of millions of refugees as a form of asymmetric warfare.* As a former State Department diplomat, Springmann was exposed to a different form of asymmetric warfare when he was ordered to issue US visas to Saudi jihadists, allowing them to undergo training in the US. He writes about this in his 2015 book Visas for Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts that Rocked the World.

Springmann first learned about mass migration as a form of asymmetric warfare from Kelly Greenhill’s 2010 book Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion and Foreign Policy. Describing Greenhill as an academic with “close national security ties,” he quotes her extensively in describing prior uses of mass migration to destabilize world powers. Among others, he lists the 1992 Cuban Rafter and the 2004 Haitian Boat People crisis (both aimed at destabilizing the US); the 1998-99 Kosovo conflict (aimed at destabilizing Western Europe); and a (unsuccessful) 2002-2005 attempt by the CIA to destroy the North Korean regime by setting up a refugee camp on the North Korea/China border.

Both Greenhill and Spring emphasize that countries can be destabilized by either a massive inflow or outflow of refugees. The CIA’s goal in 2002 was to depopulate North Korea by encouraging a flood of refugees to escape into China.

Springmann also quotes anonymous intelligence sources who claim the mass migration into Europe is being coordinated by the US National Intelligence Council (NIC), MI6 (Britain’s secret intelligence service) and Turkish secret services, with financing from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. He also alleges routine collaboration between CIA case officers and human rights and pro-migrant groups to pay off people smugglers.

I have often wondered how hundreds of thousands of unskilled workers from a broken Syrian economy could come up with the $5,000-10,000 smugglers charge to ferry migrants across the Mediterranean.

Who Pays for Their Smart Phones?

There’s the equally perplexing question of where they the money to buy Smart Phones (costing three to six times Syria’s average monthly wage) to access the apps that guide them along the best routes into Germany and Austria, their primary destinations of choice.

Greece, Italy and Eastern European countries, which are migrants’ main entry point, have all developed extensive wifi networks, with the help of George Soros-funded Central European University and Cisco Systems. The university also funds dozens of convenient charging stations along the recommended migrant routes.

Syrian Passports on Demand

Springmann also raises embarrassing questions about the role of France, Qatar and Germany’s Syrian embassy in printing Syrian passports on demand – without requiring any form of identification. And a bizarre Twitter storm launched in 2015 by netbots located in the US, UK and Australia. The latter lavishly promoted Germany and Austria as the most migrant friendly countries.

Citing the Wolfowitz Doctrine, Springmann suggests the main purpose of this mass migration/destabilization is to weaken the EU as a US economic competitor and to discourage German-Russian economic or political collaboration.


*Asymmetric warfare is defined as war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly.

**Paul Wolfowitz was George W Bush’s Undersecretary of Defense for Policy. The so-called Wolfowitz Doctrine called for “curbing” the EU to facilitate US world dominance.