John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Media: The War on Terror

Manufacturing Consent aka Propaganda
Why have I been ranting about the Matrix, 1984 and the CIA lately?  First of all, the themes of a constructed reality in the Matrix is something that many people may be able to mentally process and digest, since they may have seen the film.  Meanwhile, probably only a portion of college students have actually read and discussed George Orwell's novel, 1984.  Even fewer would have been exposed to Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent to understand the mechanisms of propaganda in the real world.

I call it proganda because news is fed to you like a drive-thru meal at McDonalds. You have your busy life.  You just want something to eat.  McDonalds will fill your stomach, but we'll put off worrying about that inevitable sudden death by heart attack some other day, when we have more time.

News that comes to you via cable news in 30-second videos while you try to inform yourself about the world around you is easily manipulated. There is an infrastructure of propaganda behind the curtain of that pleasant news anchor.

During the political season that is upon us in the United States, it's easy to watch a candidate's TV advertisement and imagine that their message is basically as valid as a used car commercial, in many cases.  It's harder to understand that the political propaganda infrastructure doesn't go to sleep in between political elections, simply because their message is not so brash and obnoxious.

The propaganda infrastructure includes think tanks, academia, media, lobbyists, and corporate public relations firms.  Some of the media rely on these so-called experts to give analysis of a news event. monitors radical right-wing propagandists in the main stream media.

One organization that I've noticed growing in popularity is the American Congress for Truth.  It's got such a great double-speak name!  It's headquartered in Virginia Beach, Virginia -- home to Pat Robertson's Christian media empire.  It's well known that Robertson used his money, influence, and even missions to help the CIA in the past in South America.

Now, let's see who are the people behind the ACT organization.  Wow.  An ex-CIA director.  No wonder they have promoted so-called documentary movies like Obsession, and written Islamophobic books like  "Because They Hate."  They foment fear in the evangelical Christian community across the United States, using religion to promote wars in the Middle East.  They deny the basic human reaction that people do not tolerate foreign occupation.  Instead, it's us against them, baby.  Grab your bible and load your rifle.

Groups like ACT and CUFI worry me because they are not just molding your neighbor's opinion.  They have access to policymakers in Washington, D.C.  The propaganda infrastructure makes sure your local Congressman, Senator, and career employess in every department of government get their message, too.

I call it propaganda because it's the public relations and media effort for an agenda -- in this case, a radical neocon foreign policy warmachine.  Some people go a step further and just call it mind control.  When it concerns the media bubble in the U.S.and the CIA  -- I really have no argument with this label.

Part 1 of 12 - (10 minutes of a 2-hour video).

Click here for parts 2,3,4,5,6,and 7,8,9,10,11 and 12.

I only suggest you watch the entire video. Then, think about this video when you know about something happening in the news.  With the Military Commisions Act as U.S. law, and billions going to Halliburton for the construction of detention centers within the United States, something is afoot, my friends.

It's the government's job to have a master plan.  Whether or not you may like it ... well, that's an entirely different matter.  Maybe you should make a habit of voting, instead of just watching and complaining.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006
GooTube Twosday

A little history of some of the CIA work inside the United States -- just in case you're older and you forgot or just in case you're too young to know what they don't tell or teach you anymore. The Reagan/Bush administration waged a public War on Drugs to the American people while the CIA was actually flooding inner cities with drugs to fund their projects. Study Iran-Contra.  Barry Seal, CIA turned DEA informant was killed.  Gary Webb, the Pulitzer prize winning journalist who exposed all of this tangled web of domestic covert action "committed suicide."

When you think of the birth and scourge of crack, don't think cocaine, think CIA.

As a teenager in Metro Detroit during this time, I knew that all of the highest quality drugs came from people who had connections with the Detroit Police Department or direct connections with Miami. The CIA had been working with south Florida organized crime for 40 years.  Where do you think all those mobsters went when Cuba closed their casinoes in Havana?

As much cocaine that came into the country through Miami during the "Blow" and "Scarface" pre-and-post disco music era of the late 1970's was nothing compared to the birth of crack from the CIA efficiency of mission purpose.

I met some of these people.  It was all very business-like when the risk of being busted for transporting high quality cocaine was worth it for them. The quality was stepped on (reduced) to make more quantity all along the food chain to spread the risk/reward, so that the average cocaine that some suburban housewife did while her kids were at school was about 12-25%.  The CIA facilitated crack.

The CIA turned cocaine, a drug that was used in the past for about 100 years in small and low quality doses up until the Reagan/Bush years, completely upside down.  Now, people would use small quantities of extremely high quality cocaine -- crack rocks.  It's highly addictive at that dose, even for a first time experimenter of the drug -- but who cares?

The CIA was selling wholesale crack to black kids in our ghettos.  America can just put those people in prison.  Even when those kids get out of prison, they'll have a felony conviction, can't vote, and the establishment will stay in power.  CoIntelPro to the Nth degree.  CIA 1 - You 0.  You better wake up and smell the constitution.

I personally enjoy listening to very few rap songs, overall.  However, this one does have some cutting lyrics and the amateur video made for it has a nice touch to it. The video is valued-added content to the music.

You can decide whether or not it is a parody.

If you want something to keep you awake at night: Why did the Clinton administration allow al-Qaeda to re-base in the land where 90% of the world's Opium is grown?  Perhaps Clinton wanted to insert forces in Sudan for those good-guy Rwandan genocide reasons, but knew that drugs and the CIA are eternal partners.  The Taliban nearly eradicated those poppy fields for religious reasons.

He let Osama flee Sudan to another country, but maybe not for the reasons you think. Now, opium production is at an all time high in Afhanistan and even the Taliban are holding their religious noses as they take the money from it.


Monday, October 23, 2006
Movie Monday: CIA History

Video link

In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is revolutionary.
- George Orwell, 1984

Some interesting history that isn't very often taught in high school or college for people younger than me.  When you erase real truth from history, you can easily create a generation of followers, because what is left to tell is only propaganda.


Sunday, October 22, 2006
BushCo Fascism

October 17th 2006 - the legalization of the fifth-reich
On Wednesday, October 17th, 2006, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 into law.  This last minute legislation approved by both houses of Congress in their rush to get back to the business of their own political careers may be viewed as a very dark day in American history.  Just as the U.S.A. Patriot Act heralded a new era of police state powers, this new law heralds the arrival of an American Fifth Reich of fascism and dictatorship.  I think no one cares because, like the Congress, we all live in the 1984 Matrix of our own short-sighted and selfish realm of personal daily concerns.

Also, I totally understand why the majority of people might outrightly dismiss any historical comparisons between the current world in which we think we live in the United States and WWII-era dictatorships, notoriously lead by Mussolini or Hitler.  First of all, we look upon history as a neatly described narrative by whatever author we read, or video we watch.  Second, we feel we are smarter, better and more sophisticated than our grandparents, so that kind of craziness couldn't possibly happen to us -- as it happened to the German population of the 1930s.  Third, not only are we better than that now, but also we Americans have always felt the soothing self-satisfaction of our own history as being good, and right, and moral, and magnaminous to our fellow human beings.  We liberate and free oppressed people, right?  We wear the white cowboy hats.  We're the good guys.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. They are doing this even in those cases where they hope to have profitable connections with German chemical firms after the war ends. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

Henry A. Wallace, "The Dangers of American Fascism"
New York Times, April 9th 1944

According to Wikipedia, Fascism is defined as "a radical political ideology that combines elements of corporatism, authoritarianism, nationalism, militarism, anti-anarchism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism."  Follow the link to read the entry.  It also notes that there are no self-described fascist political parties or movements in the world today because it is used as a political slur since the end of WWII.

The reason I chose to quote Henry Wallace above is that I found it ironic in the context of president Bush signing the law to protect America from whom he labels as the Islamofascists and the date of the cited article.  Two years earlier, in 1942, president Bush's grandfather, Prescott Bush, had assets seized under the Trading with the Enemy Act.  After the end of WWII, those assets were returned to the Bush family which was then bankrolled into the Texas oil and banking fortunes of today.

Labelling the threat to the U.S. as Islamofascists is pure propaganda and convenient politics.  It's for campaign bumber sticker sloganry and sound bytes. That why the war in Iraq is often confuzzled with the war on terror.

That's how you create a moving threat to good Christians and U.S. Democracy from CIA operative Osama bin Laden, to (our 1980's ally) Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, to Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to Venezualan president Hugo Chavez.  Well, time will tell about my inclusion of the last two poster boys.

Honestly, we average Americans are fucked between Iraq and a hard place at the moment.
In one corner, you have your scary, evil, bearded terrorist.  In the other corner you have your billionaire capitalist who shreds the constitution because it keeps him in power.  By the way, this recent law signed by BushCo reaches back almost 900 years to erase your individual rights against the government.  In the middle of this right are Americans being brainwashed by corporate media, misled by our politicians, and increasingly made anxious by the slightest thing.  There is no long term view.  There is no careful analysis.  There are no widespread voices of dissention from the status quo.

The media gives you soundbytes from authority less than 10 seconds long. The government propagandizes fear for their own retention of power.  You listen to radio on your frenzied commute to work to some low-paying job and hear how some guy, or that group, or that whole country is your enemy and wants to kill you.*

Holy crap, you exclaim!  All of those bastards want to kill my country and even my god!  Then, your mind turns to the more immediate decision of waiting in the line formed up in the drive-thru lanes at McDonald's or Burger King for some breakfast.

Remember this: just as fast food for your stomach can be mass-produced by the millions, so too can fast food for your mind, opinion, and vote be mass-produced and manipulated by your appetite.  It is a regular feature of fascist method of operation, historically documented.  The state or the corporate interest justifies the means in the face civilian collateral damage, no matter what the legacy of those corporate projects may leave behind.

I'm not advocating anything here except the anti-sheeple idea that the United States should be an active, participatory democracy as set out in our constitution.  As most regular readers may know, I am a Libertarian.  You must strive to be an honestly informed participant in the shaping of the government that rules you.

* This is an actual TV commercial produced by a GOP front group called Progress For America currently running in some media markets in midwest America for the upcoming election.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006
GooTube Twosday

Since I don't watch TV anymore, stoopid and gay parodies of TV pop culture make me laugh my ass off ...

I absolutely lurv Keilly and Roeters. They're smart and funny.

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