Thursday, December 27, 2007

What would happen if Ron Paul were "removed"?

A sleeping giant would awaken, the likes of which the world has never seen before:

Human See, Human Do

I got a great link in a reply to my previous post "Monkey See Monkey Do".

Below is an excerpt:

Asch's Conformity Experiment

Asch2 Solomon Asch, with experiments originally carried out in the 1950s and well-replicated since, highlighted a phenomenon now known as "conformity". In the classic experiment, a subject sees a puzzle like the one in the nearby diagram: Which of the lines A, B, and C is the same size as the line X? Take a moment to determine your own answer...

The gotcha is that the subject is seated alongside a number of other people looking at the diagram - seemingly other subjects, actually confederates of the experimenter. The other "subjects" in the experiment, one after the other, say that line C seems to be the same size as X. The real subject is seated next-to-last. How many people, placed in this situation, would say "C" - giving an obviously incorrect answer that agrees with the unanimous answer of the other subjects? What do you think the percentage would be?

Three-quarters of the subjects in Asch's experiment gave a "conforming" answer at least once. A third of the subjects conformed more than half the time.

Interviews after the experiment showed that while most subjects claimed to have not really believed their conforming answers, some said they'd really thought that the conforming option was the correct one.

Asch was disturbed by these results:

"That we have found the tendency to conformity in our society so strong... is a matter of concern. It raises questions about our ways of education and about the values that guide our conduct."


Conformity increases strongly up to 3 confederates, but doesn't increase further up to 10-15 confederates. If people are conforming rationally, then the opinion of 15 other subjects should be substantially stronger evidence than the opinion of 3 other subjects.

Adding a single dissenter - just one other person who gives the correct answer, or even an incorrect answer that's different from the group's incorrect answer - reduces conformity very sharply, down to 5-10%. ....

When the single dissenter suddenly switched to conforming to the group, subjects' conformity rates went back up to just as high as in the no-dissenter condition. Being the first dissenter is a valuable (and costly!) social service, but you've got to keep it up.

This reminds me of a quote from Goebbels:

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

This is why a dissenting voice, or someone playing Devil's Advocate, is so important.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Knee Jerk Reactions: Monkey See Monkey Do

I've written about knee jerk reactions before, and how people seem to be conditioned to react in certain ways to anything that's "outside the mainstream".

Here's an interesting psychological experiment. I'm not sure if it's real or if it's an urban legend, but it makes sense.


Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a stepladder under
it. Before long, one of the monkeys will spot the banana and start to
climb the ladder. As soon as he does, spray the other four monkeys with
ice-cold water.

Replace the banana.

After a while another of the monkeys will go for the banana. Again,
spray the other four monkeys with cold water. Monkeys are fairly smart,
so pretty soon whenever one of the monkeys tries to climb the ladder
all the other monkeys will try and prevent him doing it. When this
happens, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and
replace it with a new one. Then put another banana at the top of the

The new monkey will spot the banana and make for the ladder. To his
surprise all of the other monkeys will attack him! After a couple more
attempts result in beatings, the new monkey will not make any further
attempt to go for the banana.

Remove another of the original monkeys and replace it with another new
one. Then replace the banana. As before, the newest monkey will make a
grab for it. Like his predecessor he will be amazed to find that all
the other monkeys attack him. (The previous newcomer is likely to take
part in this punishment with great enthusiasm.)

One at a time, gradually replace all of the original monkeys with new
ones. Each of the newcomers will go for the banana. Each one will be
attacked by the other four, although none of the newer monkeys will
have any idea why they are not allowed to climb the ladder, or why they
are participating in the assault on the newest monkey.

When all of the original monkeys have been replaced, none of the
remaining monkeys will ever have been sprayed with cold water.
Nevertheless no monkey ever approaches the ladder.

Why not?

Because that's the way we've always done it around here.

Monday, December 17, 2007

"Remove" Ron Paul?

If the report below is true, it suggests that Ron Paul is truly the only serious anti-establishment presidential candidate:
"Best-selling author and Bilderberg sleuth Daniel Estulin says he has received information from sources inside the U.S. intelligence community which suggests that people from the highest levels of the U.S. government are considering an assassination attempt against Congressman Ron Paul because they are threatened by his burgeoning popularity."
Here is the MP3 of the Estunil interview. They discuss more interesting topics, such as Bush being told to back down from Iraq.

The most common method for "removing" dissenters is with a small plane crash. This is what may have happened to Paul Wellstone, and to Jaime Roldos, and Omar Torrijos.

Daniel Estulin is the author of a very recently published book on the Bilderbergers:

Here is a bit about the Bilderberg group:

And a BBC article:

The chairman in the above article is quoted as saying:
"I don't think (we are) a global ruling class because I don't think a global ruling class exists. I simply think it's people who have influence interested to speak to other people who have influence," Viscount Davignon says.
The members may or may not agree on all issues, but then on those that they agree on, then they would have huge influence, and thus act as a virtual global ruling class on said issues. The other possibility is of course, that they agree to disagree on most issues and agree to implement their concensus, in which case they ARE a virtual global ruling class and Davignon is downplaying it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Consumerism, Corporatism, and 3rd World Oppression

I recently spent several weeks vacationing in a 3rd world country with several friends. This 3rd world country was well known for their ancient civilization which was very advanced for its time. I had a wonderful time, and also had a life-changing realization.

While I was there I read John Perkins's book "Secret History of the American Empire", which is a follow up to his bestseller "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man". Reading his book while in a 3rd world country, seeing all the poverty, makes it very in-your-face. That was the reason for my realization.

Economic Hitmen are international consultants whose main job is to convince the corrupt elite of LDCs (less developed countries) around the world to accept multibillion-dollar loans for infrastructure projects and to see to it that most of this money ends up at Halliburton, Bechtel, Brown and Root, and other United States engineering and construction companies.

The loans, which come from the IMF/World Bank, are designed so that the poor nations will never be able to repay them, but will forever be enslaved by only being able to pay interest on the loan. (This is a lot like the US middle class, and the Federal government's debts - ultimately unpayable - because of the Federal Reserve and the fundamentally corrupt monetary system. The root is the Compound Interest Paradox, aka the "Debt Virus". Here's an excellent summary.) Indeed the IMF and WB are simply a part of, and controlled by, the central banks, most especially the Federal Reserve. Many, many poor nations spend more on paying interest on their foreign debt, than they do on education, basic medical care, micro-loans, and other grassroots programs for the poor.

John Perkins goes on to say that this system relies on corrupting the elite in these poor nations. These elites benefit directly by siphoning a small portion of these multibillion dollar loans, and by remaining in power. This is the carrot.

The system is driven by the corporatocracy - a term coined by Perkins to mean the collective of the transnational corporations. Wall Street benefits directly from the enslavement of the 3rd world, as they are able to tap the natural resources of these 3rd world nations at low cost. Carrol Quigley had written in his book, "Tragedy and Hope", that the world's elite keeps the 3rd world poor in order to keep the prices of natural resources low.
“The system is set up such that the countries are so deep in debt that they can’t repay their debt,” Perkins said. “When the U.S. government wants favors from them, like votes in the United Nations or troops in Iraq, or in many, many cases, their resources – their oil, their canal, in the case of Panama, we go to them and say – look, you can’t pay off your debts, therefore sell your oil at a very low price to our oil companies. Today, tremendous pressure is being put on Ecuador, for example, to sell off its Amazonian rainforest -– very precious, very fragile places, inhabited by indigenous people whose cultures are being destroyed by the oil companies.”

John Perkins goes on to say that if the elite of a 3rd world country begins to resist or go nationalistic, the stick comes out - the CIA jackals are sent in. This is the fate that befell Jaime Roldos in Ecuador, Omar Torrijos in Panama ,and Allende in Chile. They were assassinated. Note that the CIA and Wall Street are intertwined. The jackals then install a new puppet government.

If the jackals fail, the US Military is sent in to finish the job. Young men and women are sent in to die "for their country", to kill people who "hate us for our freedoms", and to "spread democracy". This is what happened to Saddam Hussein, who, ironically, was trained by the CIA to assassinate his predecessor Qasim who was anti-corporatist, and to be a counter balance against Iran. And don't forget that in 1953, Iran's popular democratically elected Mossadegh was ousted, and the Shah put in power, by the CIA, at the behest of British Petroleum, because Mossadegh wanted his people to get a larger share of BP's oil income.

The US Military as Wall Street's attack dog has been written about back in the 1930's. Smedley Butler, perhaps the most decorated major general in the Marine Corps, wrote a book, "War is a Racket".

Such activities are those of an empire. Of all the characteristics of an empire, only one doesn't describe the USA - the presence of an emperor. However, Perkins points out that the corporatocracy acts as a virtual emperor. The root is that corporations have been conferred the rights of an individual, and none of the responsibilities. As an entity, they always look out for the bottom line. If the bottom line is helped by oppressing people in other nations, and transparency is not required, they will do it. The result is that the American Empire is hated by many people in the world.

All of this empire building is completely unbeknownst to the vast majority of the American public. This is because the mass media is controlled by the same corporations that run the corporatocracy, by the same people that run the government. This is a crucial point to understand. America is not hated for her people, who are misled by the so called free press. America is hated because of her government's foreign policy and covert operations; her government that is run by the corporatocracy; a government that does not represent "we the people".

Reading Perkins's book while visiting a 3rd world county gave me a new perspective. It doubled the intensity of my feeling that needless human suffering is very, very offensive. As a technologist, I feel there is no good reason that anybody on this planet should not have access to food, clean water, shelter, and basic medical care. The poverty in this world is a man-made, artificial creation of the people in power. They believe in materialism - that in order to have a bigger piece of the pie for themselves, they have to steal someone else's. They believe that life and economics is a zero-sum game.

I believe that wealth comes from knowledge, as Plato said. If we need more wealth, we can make the pie bigger for everyone. Almost all the wealth we have today comes from technology - medicine, transportation, communications, mass production of goods, and so on. Keeping huge swaths of the world poor, results in tremendous swaths of untapped human potential. Human potential that could have been generating more wealth for everyone.

If parts of Asia and Africa were not desperately poor and had access to higher education for the past 40 years, then technology, which is accelerating, would probably be 20 years ahead today - we'd probably have had the Internet boom in the 80's, and have the technology of the 2020's here today. The world's power elite are killing the goose that lays the golden egg, so to speak. Keeping the 3rd world poor is counter-productive. Even though natural resources would be more expensive, technological advancements continually make use of smaller and smaller amounts of natural resources to make the same product, offsetting the increased prices of resources. Ironically, by now some bright young scientist in Asia or Africa may have discovered the cure for a fatal cancer that one of the elite in the first world may be dying of today.

During my trip, an incident struck me. We had just come from a 4 day boat cruise where our group had had a discussion about how much to leave as a tip for the crew. We had settled on $8 from each of us for 4 days. This was a very paltry sum given the wonderful service we got from the crew, and the local culture's very warm-hearted manner.

The next day, while our group was hailing a taxi, some rejected a taxi because the driver wanted to charge $0.50 more than what was considered to be a good price. Our destination was Hard Rock Cafe, because 2 women in our group had wanted to purchase a Hard Rock cafe shirt or blouse with the name of the city we were vacationing in. When we got there, I was shocked at the price of the blouse - $60, in a 3rd world country. It struck me that these same women had haggled our taxi fare for 4 of us down by $0.50, and had only wanted to give $8 total tip for 4 days on a boat cruise. This was money for people who were working to feed their families. And yet, they readily coughed up $60 for a blouse made by a wealthy corporation, for a product that probably cost them $1 to make.

It was offensive to watch. I asked them about wasting time haggling $0.50 for a cab ride - they said they "don't want to be ripped off". Yet they didn't feel ripped off paying $60 for a $1 blouse.

I understand that they are exercising their own freedom and that was their free choice. However it struck me just how pervasive consumerism is. The constant barrage of "buy buy buy", and the brainwashing and instilling in consumers the idea that acquisitiveness is a good thing, is disgusting. I have posted about this before, that the educational system and the media turn people into good little consumers.

I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to have high quality stuff to enjoy per se - but making what-you-have a substitute for who-I-am is creepy. "Me, me, me", "Look at me in my enormous 4,000-lb SUV, which I bought on credit, for carrying my 30-lb child", while soldiers die for the gas that runs it. "Look at my fancy $1,000 signature purse which I bought with my credit card, because I have been brainwashed into thinking that having some Italian fashion guru's name on my bag makes me feel good about myself", all the while a big chunk of the world lives on less than $1 a day. And all this consumerism is the result of brainwashing, to enrich the loan and credit card companies and the corporatocracy.

I'm not saying you should live the life of a pauper and be happy you don't have to walk 10 miles a day to fetch water. All I'm saying is you should see through the consumerism and think twice about useless "feel-good" purchases. Especially if you have to borrow money to "afford" it.

John Perkins' proposal to end the oppression by the corporatocracy, is to effect a legal change in corporations' charters, basically requiring them to have the same responsibilities as a person, to go with their rights. Another is to greatly increase corporate transparency, so that consumers are aware of their activities, and can vote appropriately with their wallets. I have a proposal to add, that managers and members of boards of directors have reduced liability protection for a corporation's actions which are a direct consequence of their decisions.

Despite all the horror stories, Perkins is positive. He says we can turn the empire into a good thing. When an empire collapses a new one takes its place - he says we can instead turn the corporations into good corporate citizens. Corporations have many strengths - such as efficiently turning scarce resources into products that consumers want.

Today, Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate that has called a spade, a spade. He said the USA cannot afford to continue empire building. All Empires end. The ancient civilization of the country I was visiting ended, and today they are a 3rd world country. Empires end because they go bankrupt, from printing too much fiat money, and forgetting the principles that made their pre-empire nation great to begin with. In the USA, these are the principles of Individual Freedom, limited government, and the free market. Ron Paul has always voted against meddling in the internal affairs of other nations. He voted against the Iraqi Freedom Act, signed by Bill Clinton in 1998, which paved the way for the Iraq invasion. He has consistently voted against the Patriot Act, the spying powers act, and all the other acts that increase the power and spending of the government and all acts that reduce our freedoms; all of this while Hillary and Obama and most of the Democrats voted the opposite.

I believe that if Ron Paul gets elected, and if John Perkins's suggestions come to fruition, that America, followed by the rest of the world, will enter a new golden age. America can again become the shining beacon she once was, leading by example.

Before I end this post I need to say a caveat - Perkins seems to confuse capitalism and corporatism. There is a pervasive myth that capitalism always leads to corporatism. Corporatism happens when big business and government collude so that government writes laws and regulations that favor certain corporations, or favor large corporations, over small business. This leads to cartelization, which is the goal of any "regulation" that is pushed by corporations. This could either happen by government being misled, or bribed, by lobbyists. Government meddling in the free market is almost always corporatist. Many industries in the USA are heavily regulated, thus, the free market does not truly exist.

Here is a good book review that says exactly this:
Perkins's primary problem is in assuming that all global capitalism is sinister in the sense described in his book. Any creation of wealth that depends on coercion can hardly be considered market capitalism. It truly is sinister when a US firm, funded indirectly by taxpayer dollars, forces indigenous people offs their land in South America because geological tests suggest that oil deposits there surpass those of the Middle East. It is sinister because it violates the property rights of both the taxpayers who fund the politically well-connected firms and of the displaced peoples and cultures whose property rights are violated when they are removed from their land (often with much suffering).

But Perkins's anticapitalism really shows when he equates such activity with (say) the opening of a Nike plant a third world country. No one dies, and no cultures are killed off, when a factory opens and workers living near it can voluntarily sell their labor for wages that (economic theory tells us) exceed their next-best opportunity for work.

In developing countries, a new Nike plant is a godsend, not only because it increases capital flows to a region, but because it means that families can become autonomous, or that daughters do not have to resort to prostitution to put food on the table.

In this sense, it is perverse to assume that a Wal-Mart in China or a McDonald's in South Korea is analogous to a Bechtel in India or a Halliburton in Iraq.

Perkins's biases also show when he assumes that the West stays rich because poor countries are kept poor. This zero-sum thinking ignores those factors that cause wealth to become created in the first place. The America of the Founding Fathers — whose anti-imperial instincts Perkins rightly lauds throughout Confessions — didn't depend on international development loans or the expansion of social welfare programs to fuel the industrial revolution, but on the protection of property rights, which then rewarded saving and attracted capital. For that reason, it is no coincidence that poor countries that eschewed such loans and nurtured property rights institutions 20 years ago are those that are quickly joining the wealthy countries of today.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Reader comments on "Media Anointed"

Anonymous said in reaction to my post The Campaign Contributors of the Media Anointed:
It seems the media is guilty of ignoring any candidate that isn't in their owner's pocket, like say Ron Paul.

But they are ignoring others even more, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Alan Keyes, Mike Huckabee, etc...

However, you do the same thing! You have the candidates you want to bring down because they are in the pocket so to speak, but you mention only Ron Paul. He isn't the only other candidate. Perhaps you should be including the data for or at least mentioning the other candidates so we can see the whole picture instead of a "media" prepared "sound bite".

What are the contributions for the other candidates? To be truly concerned with our having the whole story, shouldn't you have included them? Your choice to only include Ron Paul, begs you bias toward him, which in itself is fine. I have a problem with you not including ALL the candidates.

I am also interested to so the armed forces as some of the biggest contributors to Paul as well as technology companies. Those both concern me.

Finally, I am curious how popular each candidate is compared to their spending and compared to their receipts especially the average and median size of their receipts.

It takes an incredible amount of time to write a blog when one strives for accuracy and strives to show sources. And, in that post, I had to do a screen capture of the contributors of each of the candidates I showed, and convert each to GIF, because the content may disappear in the future due to its contentious nature. (I've seen this happen). So, to save time, I decided to do a cross section of the "media anointed", rather than present a comprehensive list.

Yes I have a bias towards Ron Paul. My objective in this blog is to educate, and to make people take the red pill. Ron Paul is a ray of hope - he is the only candidate in decades who wants to phase out the Federal Reserve, eliminate the federal income tax on wages, eliminate inflation, restore true freedom, reduce government regulation, reduce the size of the government, and truly fix the health care system. I have written about each and every one of these topics before. And being a blog, I can write my opinion, instead of striving to be neutral as a news source should be. I do my best not to lie or mislead. The corporate-owned mass media on the other hand, is not only not neutral, but consistently shows an Establishment bias which serves to further enrich the wealthy to the detriment of the middle class and the poor.

As for Ron Paul's contributions from the military and technology companies, take note of the disclaimer from the website that I included in my post. The contributions reflect the employers of the sum of individual contributors. A law requires contributors to identify their employers when contributing more than $200. People will contribute to a candidate that they feel will best improve their future well-being. The "media-anointed" are a favorite among the financial institutions, which as I've posted before, effectively run this country, and which receive a huge subsidy from the corrupt monetary system starting with the Federal Reserve. As for the military, Ron Paul is the #1 candidate among enlisted men and women. Perhaps they like Ron Paul because he will get them out of fighting needless wars of aggression that only the power elite want. Regarding technology companies, Google has a simple explanation. Google has invited several presidential candidates, including Ron Paul, to their campus to do lengthy interviews. Ron Paul is very popular among people who have heard his message. Google has several thousand well paid employees. So it stands to reason that a lot of Google employees gave a lot of money.


Leah has left a new comment on your post "The Campaign Contributors of the Media Anointed":

What about Dennis Kucinich?
I like a lot of what Dennis Kucinich stands for. His donor profile on is also anti-establishment. However, there is one basic thing about Kucinich I don't like - he is pro-socialism. I have posted about this before. I don't like the idea of "giving a man a fish", especially if forced by government. I like the idea of "teaching a man to fish". A fair economic system will do far more for the poor than socialism or welfare will. The free market system has generated wealth for mankind, more than any other system. Do not confuse corporatism (collusion between corporations and government, so that laws are written to benefit corporations), with capitalism (the free market system). The free market allows us to "make the pie bigger" for everyone. Technology and knowledge is wealth. The so called "evils" of capitalism is actually corporatism, and not an indictment of capitalism. I wrote about this before too. The free market does not necessarily devolve into corporatism aka fascism - bloated government breeds corruption. In a capitalist system, corruption leads to corporatism, in a socialist system, corruption leads to how life was in the former Soviet Union. Both are forms of tyranny, which the Founding Fathers warned us against.


Michael Blomquist has left a new comment on your post "The Campaign Contributors of the Media Anointed":

This is really a sad testament to captalism and democracy. One could argue that it is treason, given the hundreds of billions if not trillions in damages these companies have inflicted upon our country during a time of war.

Create money out of thin air and then enslave the citizens in debt. If in the process you destroy the dream of homeownership and the problem!

The citizens should have known better. The government maintains a balanced budget and so should the people.

Wake up people!

Indict and convict white collar criminals; don't waste our time and resources on steroids or related perjury!!!
Michael Blomquist

Again do not confuse capitalism and corporatism.

I agree that some white collar crimes (e.g. Enron) are heinous in the total amount of human suffering they cause. Thousands of employees losing their future. A much worse crime than say, beating up one person.

Look who's getting the most lobbyist money

(Note that the exact numbers may change over time.)

And her supporters probably think that she won't kowtow to lobbyists, due to the mass media's propaganda. What a lie.

For a look at the corporate donations of the media anointed, click here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Campaign Contributors of the Media Anointed

The USA is controlled by the Corporatocracy, by the lobbyists and big business interests. The people that own these corporations are the people that own and run this country. They are not interested in making life better for you or me. They are only interested in their own money and power.

By controlling the mass media, they choose who the next president is. At the beginning of election campaigning, they immediately declare and anoint who the "top tier" are. This is the short list of whom they approve for the presidency. The 2-party system ensures that this list gets pared down to "Puppet A" and "Marionette B".

Of these corporations, the most powerful are the banking and finance corporations.

Now let's look at the largest campaign contributors of the media anointed presidential candidates.

The following info is taken from The site has an explanation
HOW TO READ THIS CHART: This chart lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2008 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate , rather the money came from the organization's PAC, its individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals' immediate families. Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

Because of contribution limits, organizations that bundle together many individual contributions are often among the top donors to presidential candidates. These contributions can come from the organization's members or employees (and their families). The organization may support one candidate, or hedge its bets by supporting multiple candidates. Groups with national networks of donors - like EMILY's List and Club for Growth - make for particularly big bundlers.
Take note of how the "top tier" media anointed ALL have banking and finance corporations as their top contributors. To all the Hillary fans who think that she is different than the others in terms of not kowtowing to Big Business Interests, TAKE SPECIAL NOTE.





And now let's look at Ron Paul. He's consistently received the most donations from enlisted personnel. They probably understand first-hand what folly our foreign policy of empire-building is, and Ron Paul is espousing the Founding Fathers' admonition to stay out of internal affairs of other nations.


Sunday, November 11, 2007

The Truth about the Howard Dean Scream and the Power of the Media


The Scream

by David Podvin

On December 1, 2003, Howard Dean was ahead by twenty points in the polls when he appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews and said, "We're going to break up the giant media enterprises." This pronouncement went far beyond the governor's previous public musings about possibly re-regulating the communications industry. It amounted to a declaration of war on the corporations that administer the flow of information in the United States.

The media giants quickly responded by crushing his high-flying campaign with the greatest of ease.
This time, they didn't even have to invent a scandal in order to achieve the desired result; merely by chanting the word "unelectable" at maximum volume, the mainstream media maneuvered democratic voters into switching their support to someone who poses no threat to the status quo.

John Kerry is a member of a group of politicians whose disagreements with the mercantile elite tend to be merely rhetorical. Any doubts about Kerry's level of commitment to his stated progressive beliefs were answered in 1994 when he proclaimed himself "delighted" with the Republican takeover of Congress (Boston Globe, New York Times). The media oligarchy knows that a general election race between Kerry and George W. Bush will insure a continuation of its monopoly, regardless of who wins.

The news cartel had always been hostile to Dean. Independent surveys revealed that he had received the most negative coverage of any candidate except Dennis Kucinich (the only other contender who strongly favors mandatory media divestment). But after his statement on Hardball, reporting about Dean abruptly came to an end and was replaced by supposition.

By mid-December, the news divisions of the four major television networks were reporting as fact that Dean was unelectable. The print media echoed the theme; on December 17, the Washington Post printed a front-page story that posited Dean could not win the presidency. The Post quickly followed up with an onslaught of articles and editorials reasserting that claim. Before the month was over, Dean's lack of electability had been highlighted in The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and every other major paper in the United States.

As 2004 began, Time and Newsweek simultaneously ran cover stories emphasizing that Dean was unelectable. In the weeks before the Iowa caucus, the ongoing topic of discussion on the political panel shows was that Dean was unelectable. National talk radio shows repeatedly stressed that Dean was unelectable. The corporate Internet declared that Dean was unelectable. And the mainstream media continued with the storyline that Dean was unelectable right up until Iowans attended their caucuses. Iowa Democrats could not watch a television or listen to a radio or read a newspaper or go online without learning that Howard Dean was unelectable.

On January 19, Democratic caucus goers in Iowa - who were the initial intended audience for this propaganda disguised as reportage - overwhelmingly repudiated Dean, telling pollsters they believed he was unelectable. Later that evening, Dean yelled encouragement to his supporters at a pep rally, an incident that provided the pretext for the coup de grâce.

During the week leading up to the New Hampshire primary, the media obsessed about Dean's "bizarre" rally incident, adding "un-presidential" and "emotionally unstable" to its descriptions of the governor. The unified message was that Dean had self-destructed. When he finished a distant second in New Hampshire, journalists and pundits hailed the defeat as confirmation of their premise that Dean had always been unelectable.

Yet there had been no tangible basis for that assertion. At the beginning of 2004, a poll conducted by Time magazine showed that Dean trailed Bush by only six points. That was a smaller deficit than Gore faced shortly before the general election in 2000, and he wound up getting the most popular votes. Undaunted by this evidence to the contrary, reporters adhered to the motif that Dean had absolutely no chance.

It is not what a politician does that creates a scandal. It is whether the television networks and major metropolitan newspapers respond to the incident with saturation coverage. When a presidential candidate who was committed to deregulating the corporate media got caught lying about breaking the law, the importance of the event was minimized. When a presidential candidate who was committed to breaking up the corporate media got caught shouting at a pep rally, the importance of the event was maximized.

Howard Dean's campaign now lies in ruins because he chose to confront the multinational conglomerates that run this country. If Dean is so resilient that he fights his way back into contention, the Fourth Estate will be ready to batter him again. In the United States of America, people who pose a threat to the reigning corporate establishment are destroyed. Or, as the Soviets used to put it, emotionally unstable individuals who deviate from the party line are guilty of engaging in "self-destruction".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Engineering Talent, Regulation, and Housing Cost

I work in the Electronics industry. It is amazing to watch how rapid development progresses in Electronics - witness Moore's Law - how quickly memory, hard disk space, RAM, flash memory, and CPU speed are improving, and how quickly cost is going down.

The Electronics industry is incredibly competitive, despite the high degree of skill required to design and manufacture the products. I've worked in a few companies, and the competition is fierce. The strive to improve the products and reduce production costs is relentless; if a company slacks off one bit, significant market share will be lost almost immediately.

I believe part of the reason that the electronics industry pushes the state of the art so aggressively is that it seems to be very highly unregulated, resulting in very dynamic free market competition. This means that startup companies with some new technology or that spot a niche can very easily jump in and provide a new product.

I've written before about the history of government regulation, where a lot of so called pro-consumer regulation, is actually lobbied for by the big corporations, in order to legislate laws that actually protect them; in some cases, by setting up artificial barriers to startup competition. If you want to know the beneficiaries of such laws, follow the money. Who gets to laugh all the way to the bank? Here is a short list of examples:

The Bird Flu scare and $2B purchase of Tamiflu doses
The Medicare Prescription Drug Act of 2003
Sarbanes-Oxley Act
Bankruptcy Law of 2005

Even with respect to Safety regulations and standards, the electronics industry is quite self-regulating. One set of regulations that many electronics and electrical companies follow is that set by Underwriters Laboratories.

For the most part, the standards for a given product are written with the design engineers in the loop; as such the standards are very reasonable, don't cost much at all to implement, and UL doesn't charge very much for compliance testing. The system works well, such that a consumer who finds the UL logo on an appliance can be reasonably assured of product safety:

This is in contrast to say government regulatory bodies, such as the FDA, which is a government bureaucracy, whose kowtowing to Big Pharma is legendary. Here is one such article:

And just try googling "FDA lies".

In the electronics industry, legions of talented engineers work hard to make the next generation of products better and cheaper. Often an engineer will spend weeks knocking $0.10 or 5% off the cost of a design.

This makes me wonder. It looks like the free market has created the demand for engineers to spend their talent doing such cost reduction exercises. However, if one were to look at the typical budget of a household, the single largest expenditure, after taxes, is probably the home mortgage. Of the cost of a home, perhaps 1/3rd or 1/2 is the construction of the house itself. Definitely much more than that spent on electronics.

So why isn't all this engineering talent expended on reducing the cost of a typical family's largest single expense? Why aren't legions of engineers developing better and lower cost housing materials, and homebuilding robots to reduce labor cost? Why haven't design-it-yourself lego-like building block homes catching on?

A possible answer is that the construction industry is heavily regulated and is unionized. Both of which are meddling in the free market. There is still some belief in the myth, that automation and labor saving devices, reduce employment and is bad for the economy.

Or maybe it's part of the mass media's perpetuation of consumerism - consumption of overpriced shoes, bags, watches, furniture, weddings, and homes. I've written before about the mass media pounding people incessantly to be good little consumers.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Media Bias In Action - NYT Propaganda

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul raised a stunning $4.2M in one day, in an event organized by one of his supporters on the internet.

You would think that the Mass Media would be all over it, talking about it on the front page, and digging in to what the man is about, and his stands, informing the public.


If Hillary so much farts, it's front page news.

Ron Paul beats one-day fund-raising records, it gets a few paragraphs on page 11. Worse, they subtly manipulate the reader to have a negative opinion of him.

Here’s some practice reading through the mass media drivel. It's a carefully crafted piece of propaganda:
  • Look how much space is used up about Guy Fawkes, and “V for Vendetta” – around 40%, instead of informing the reader what Paul's stands are.
  • Look at the Ron Paul picture they chose… an angry face.
  • One of the paragraphs starts with “Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York holds the record..”, in order to make the reader feel “Oh, Hillary is still 'leading'”.
  • “..he argues that the fight against terrorism is threatening American democracy”, instead of "the War on Terror" is threatening American democracy” - the reader might pick up the illogic of a "War on Terror" Note also that they are pushing the lie that the USA is supposed to be a democracy.
  • Mr. Benton clarified that Mr. Paul did not support blowing up government buildings." -- this may make the reader assume that his supporters do.
  • He wants to demolish things like the Department of Education,” ---- they picked the one department abolishment that most people would instantly react negatively to, with no explanation. ("What about the children?!")
  • They repeated Hillary's lie that she raised $6.2M in one day

Some interesting comments from the on this topic:

“Mr. Benton clarified that Mr. Paul did not support blowing up government buildings. “ -- may make the reader assume that his supporters do.
This is such a basic trick, it always works though and it never is included in articles about the Mass Media Anointed candidates.
For example, they'd never ask Fred Thompson if his campaign supported cocaine trafficking since one of his aids quit yesterday because of his criminal drug dealing past.

It's such a joke, yet people fall for this kind of crap reporting all the time.
Absolutely it's propaganda. Without a doubt. Any major media outlet employs psychologists who understand that how a person sub-consciously processes a story is much more important than it's outer facade.

Spot-on. This was a carefully crafted propaganda piece. Association, connotation, and implications abound in this article.
I completely agree with this. Most major media news is propaganda, and once you start to understand how they craft it, you see it everywhere.

The father of PR is a man named Edward Bernays and he is the reason people think bacon and eggs is breakfast food and that the neurotoxin flouride is good for your teeth.

Click here to familiarize with Bernays. All of the media is carefully crafted propaganda. They have been creating reality for us for the better part of a century. The internet has finally set us free and empowered us to seek out the truth and take our freedom back.

And look at the things the media DON'T tell us about their anointed candidates.
Click the youtube video in this link, about Hillary's campaign contribution fraud:

Saturday, October 27, 2007

"Dumbed Down by the Educational System" by George Carlin

I've posted about this before:
Dumbed Down by the Educational System
The Educational system produces mostly people incapable of critical thinking.

Here is George Carlin's take:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Statism Begins at Home aka "The Land of the Free" Rings Hollow

A California legislator attempted to pass a bill outlawing spanking children below a certain age.
The woman who submitted the bill doesn't even have any children of her own.

Thank goodness the public's overwhelming negative reaction stopped it.

Now a city in California wants to ban smoking in apartments:

In "Testing for the Fascist Factor", Karen de Coster tests a person's "Fascist Factor" by asking them if they agree with banning smoking on private property. If a person says "yes", she asks, well why not ban blondes in certain restaurants?
arbitrary decrees that invade the self-ownership and private property rights of others. Both decrees are based on the view that one group of persons has the means to control another group of persons and their choices via government fiat. Both decrees are fascist in that they subject the individual to the collective and private property to some notion of "public good."

Is America the "Land of the Free"?
How many of you really asked this question?

Wikipedia defines Statism is defined as follows:

Statism (or Etatism) is a term that is used to describe:

  1. Specific instances of state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
  2. A form of government or economic system that involves significant state intervention in personal, social or economic matters.
(Note the word "state" means "government", not "state" as in California, Maine, etc.)

The Nanny State and the Police State are two forms of Statism.

The Police State is very much alive in the USA. How many times have you been nervous while driving because there was a police car near your car, despite the fact that you're doing nothing wrong? It gets worse than that. The

The Police State Is Closer Than You Think
by Paul Craig Roberts

Police states are easier to acquire than Americans appreciate.

The hysterical aftermath of September 11 has put into place the main components of a police state.

Habeas corpus is the greatest protection Americans have against a police state. Habeas corpus ensures that Americans can only be detained by law. They must be charged with offenses, given access to attorneys, and brought to trial. Habeas corpus prevents the despotic practice of picking up a person and holding him indefinitely.

President Bush claims the power to set aside habeas corpus and to dispense with warrants for arrest and with procedures that guarantee court appearance and trial without undue delay. Today in the US, the executive branch claims the power to arrest a citizen on its own initiative and hold the citizen indefinitely. Thus, Americans are no longer protected from arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention.

These new "seize and hold" powers strip the accused of the protective aspects of law and give reign to selectivity and arbitrariness. No warrant is required for arrest, no charges have to be presented before a judge, and no case has to be put before a jury. As the police are unaccountable, whoever is selected for arrest is at the mercy of arbitrariness.

If you think the Neoconservatives are the only ones who voted for this, well, look at this Senate voting record:
~70% of Democratic Senators voted to extend the Patriot Act, including Hillary and Obama.

Goes to show the Dems and the Republicans are both pushing the country towards an Authoritarian, Socialistic state.

Homeland Security is pushing for the militarization of local police departments.

His blog chronicles many excesses of police departments:

If you think Homeland Security was created as a reaction to 9/11, well, the first draft of the Homeland Security Act was written in 1998, during Bill Clinton's presidency:

The Nanny State is more alive than ever.

It is most apparent every time you drive. The speed limits are set artificially low, in the guise of Safety. In reality, the insurance companies lobby to keep speed limits low, so that they can collect extra premiums whenever you get a "point" on your license. This is a classic example of collusion between corporations and government; government passing laws to either enable cartelization, or in order to increase profits of corporations. This is a form of Fascism. And of course, the courts, the PD's, and the cities just LOVE the revenue stream.

Speed limits have very little correlation with safety. In fact, speed limit signs have little effect on the average speeds that motorists drive. That is, motorists will tend to drive at a speed that they consider to be a reasonable compromise between time savings and safety. Drivers who drive faster than average, those that are faster than 85% of other drivers, have the lowest crash rates.

What is the greatest cause of crashes? In one word, inattention. Researchers in Virginia Tech installed cameras to record crashes and near misses in 100 cars over more than a year. Nowhere is speed mentioned:
  • Nearly 80 percent of all crashes and 65 percent of all near-crashes involved driver inattention, just prior (within 3 seconds) to the onset of the conflict.
  • 93 percent of the rear-end-striking crashes involved driver inattention

And of course, when driving, the police state and the nanny state combine to punish you for behavior that isn't necessarily unsafe. Witness the Kangaroo courts that the traffic courts are.

Since 1969 in California, citizens have been denied jury trials for most alleged traffic offenses.

Beginning on January 1, 1969, the state legislature created a new category of criminal offense called the infraction. The state would preserve all its rights in prosecuting these infraction citations as criminal offenses, but would remove the citizen's most basic rights to justice in these cases. For the first time in California history, citizens would be legally denied their right to a jury trial in criminal cases. The community would no longer be the arbiter of justice in these contested criminal cases.

It's unconstitutional, of course, because it got around the right to a jury trial.

Even red light cameras are a scam. They don't reduce accident rates, and there are better alternatives.

A 3rd manifestation of Statism is over-regulation. Regulatory compliance cost to the economy is 14%: It adds to our total effective tax rate:

This over-regulation completely takes over common sense:

Most Americans don't realize that having a Statist society is the opposite of what the Founding Fathers intended. And, while the so-called Republicans claim to advocate smaller government, in reality they are anything but. Bush has borrowed more than all previous 42 presidents combined.

And, the neocons that have hijacked the Republican party are statists at home, and imperialists abroad.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Health Care Questions Not Being Asked

I. Where is all the money going?

Why not get a forensic accountant to figure out where all the money is going? How many % end up in laywers' pockets via lawsuits? How many % end up as malpractice insurance company profits due to litigation? How many % go to needless tests because doctors are afraid of possible lawsuits stating that they "didn't do everything"? How many % are profits for the HMOs? For Big Pharma? How can you even talk about socialized health care without reigning in cost? It will just be expensive for everyone, and some special interest groups stand to make even more money.

II. Health Care in the USA is the most expensive in the world, yet one of the lowest quality in the First World, today. What was it in the 60s?

If health care was better in the USA in the 60s vis a vis other first world countries, what changed?

III. Why can't I buy health insurance like car insurance? Would you like to buy car insurance that covers routine maintenance but which doesn't cover being totalled by a drunk driver? "Oh sorry, you're not covered because you didn't disclose the pre-existing condition that your neighbor is a habitual drunk driver". But that's exactly what a lot of HMOs do. They cover piddly little expenses, but if you need a very expensive operation, they may not cover it.

It makes WAY more financial sense to be covered for events that are UNLIKELY but FINANCIALLY CATASTROPHIC. That is exactly what insurance is supposed to be for.

I would like to buy some health care program that covers say, the first 6 family doctor visits a year (for prevention, which saves money) and then only covers anything over a yearly deductible of $5,000 per year. If I needed $5,000 of health care in one year, it would sting, but wouldn't bankrupt me. A $200k operation, on the other hand, would.

I have some partial answers. In 1973 Nixon passed the HMO Act. It gave tax subsidies to companies that provided health care in the model of the HMO, to the detriment of companies with other business models. The result was that HMOs grew and grew into the size they are today, with no competition from other business models (e.g. health savings accounts)

This is exactly the kind of government regulation, meddling in the free market, that creates
distortion and cartelization, that makes the middle class suffer.

Here are 2 articles talking about deregulating health care:

The HMO Act resulted in the illogical coupling of employment with "discounted" (via tax breaks) health care. If you quit working for a corporation, and try to purchase the same kind of health coverage, you will likely have to spend twice as much. (This is yet another example of laws benefitting corporations)

Re: the above, I can hear the argument, "When you buy insurance as part of a group, like if you work for a corporation, you are pooling risk with your co-workers, so insurance should be cheaper". This is FALSE. If an HMO had 100,000 existing customers, then, if you add yourself alone, from a statistical point of view, you ARE POOLING RISK WITH THEIR 100,000 OTHER CUSTOMERS. It makes no difference then if you join their 100,000 as part of a group of 100, or you join them by yourself.

I think that doctors are way too quick to prescribe expensive, dubious prescriptions drugs, instead of lifestyle changes.

For example, a friend was diagnosed with high cholesterol. His doctor prescribed an anti-statin drug. My friend, displaying more wisdom than the doctor, said "No thanks, I'll try losing weight first". He proceeded to lose 80 lbs in one year (and now looks fit). His cholesterol, HDL, triglycerides etc, are all well within the normal range.

Statins have had dubious drug trials and potentially serious side effects with long term use (which have not been tested).

The American Medical Association is a monopoly. They artificially restrict the supply of doctors, ensuring high salaries (and thus cost to you and me). They also espouse expensive "mainstream" procedures instead of better, lower cost remedies. My realization was when 2 people I know were told they needed surgery to remove their gallbladder due to gallstones. They performed a gallbladder flush, which involves apple juice, some fasting, grapefruit juice, olive oil, and epsom salt. Out the stones went, and an ultrasound confirmed, no more gallstones. I know it sounds incredible, and I've posted about this before, that people are trained to reject anything "outside the mainstream".

Another example is a friend who was found to have some plaque buildup in his heart's blood vessels. He reversed it with Chelation Therapy. Predictably, the doctor poo-poo'ed him, despite that fact that he was surprised at the reversal.

The dollar amount spent on prescription drugs has more than doubled since 2000. This came out in the newspapers recently, but in typical shallow mass media fashion, the question "why?" was never even asked.

The FDA famously protects the interests of Big Pharma, while attacking all manner of "natural remedies" (read: non-patentable drugs, nutrition, or preventives). A google search "FDA lies" will give over a million hits.

I learned of this first-hand when I started getting a lot of migraines. I traced it to my starting the use of Splenda. (BTW Aspartame also gives me migraines). I've since found a substitute, Stevia, which tastes much better, and has no reported side effects in Japan and South America, where it's popular. Aspartame and Sucralose, on the other hand, have had thousands of complaints filed with the FDA.

Why haven't you heard of it? Turns out that the FDA gave "generally recognized as safe" status to Aspartame and Sucralose, but "has not tested" Stevia, and so it is marketed not as a sweetener, but rather as a food supplement, over which the FDA has little jurisdiction over. The FDA went so far as to seize Stevia cookbooks from a small business.

More details here:
The Aspartame/FDA story involves Donald Rumsfeld:
Incidentally, Rumsfeld made millions on the fake Bird Flu media scare and Tamiflu. Remember all the nonstop fear-mongering coverage of the Bird Flu by the media? Read this:

In the 1960s health care was much better. This is a really good article:
Some people say "modern technology" has made medicine more expensive.
How is it that modern technology has caused the price of each Gigabyte of memory and Hard Disk Space to drop year after year?

Finally, Presidential candidate and Congressman Ron Paul got a standing ovation when he spoke to medical students at Dartmouth on Health Care. H'es the only candidate who's an M.D.:
Paul began his remarks by telling students that, “the medical system is going well except for a few groups: the patients, the doctors, the hospitals, the labs, and the politicians. Everybody else is happy.

(In the 1960s)
The amazing thing was it was the city hospital and there was no government; there [was] very little insurance and nobody was turned away whether they were illegal or legal, and nobody, nobody was quizzed. If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t pay, and people came in, and it wasn’t that bad. People didn’t lay on the sidewalks. You’re more likely to hear stories today of people being neglected in emergency rooms…and dying on stretchers—because we have managed care.” Paul often came back to this point in referencing the health problems of today.

He is certain that the problems with today’s health care stem from too much government involvement, not too little. “This whole idea that we need centralized economic planning in anything is a fallacy, and it’s a temptation to say, ‘Yes, we can’t have central economic planning for electronics, televisions, and cell phones because we want efficiency of delivery service, but medicine is different.’

Paul was also highly critical of current insurance schemes, claiming that the only things that should be insured are surgeries and other high cost possibilities. Instead of insurance for things like a check-up, Paul favored a medical savings account. “We should allow every individual to take a $3,000 tax credit, and they can put that away and use it to go and pay for their doctor visits.

A major problem with today’s society, according to Paul, is the confusion of “needs” and “rights”: “We have rights to our lives and liberty and we have a right to pursue our happiness and we should have the right to keep the fruits of our labor. We have a moral obligation to help our fellow man.” "That doesn’t mean, however, that we have a right to affordable health care."
Perhaps surprisingly for a doctor, Paul encourages more competition in the field of medicine. Noting that many alternative methods of care have sprouted up in recent years, Paul said the competition would be in the best interest of the patients. The only thing he cautioned against was fraud..

“Under the Constitution, government shouldn’t be in medicine.”

Vicente Fox confirms the Amero

Watch this interview on Larry King:

Transcript of portion of interview:

KING: E-mail from Mrs. Gonzalez in Elizabeth, New Jersey. "Mr. Fox, I would like to know how you feel about the possibility of having a Latin America united with one currency?"

FOX: Long term, very long term. What we propose together, President Bush and myself, it's ALCA, which is a trade union for all of the Americas. And everything was running fluently until Hugo Chavez came. He decided to isolate himself. He decided to combat the idea and destroy the idea...

KING: It's going to be like the euro dollar, you mean?

FOX: Well, that would be long, long term. I think the processes to go, first step into is trading agreement. And then further on, a new vision, like we are trying to do with NAFTA.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Media Moguls, the Bankers, and the CFR

While browsing an online forum I came across a very interesting thread where the posters had done some research on the media.

What the posters have found is that in the board of directors of some of the 6 corporations that own most of the media, some names appear over and over again; some of them also appear in the board of directors of some very large banks and other financial institutions; some are on the boards of large oil companies, and have relationships with some of the highest people in government, and some are members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Below is a copy of the thread. At the bottom is someone's post about oligarchy and plutocracy.


While doing a little research, I happened to open a Pandora's Box so to speak. I was curious about some of the ownership and leadership of the Media Machine.

One of my first searches was for Time Warner.

Time Warner owns, CNN, AOL, HBO, New Line Cinima, WB, etc.

Heavy investors are Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch

When looking at the board of directors, this is what Wiki has to say...

Quote »
* James L. Barksdale - Barksdale Management
* Stephen F. Bollenbach - Hilton Hotels Corporation
* Frank J. Caufield - Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
* Robert C. Clark - Harvard University
* Mathias Döpfner - CEO of Germany's Axel Springer AG
* Jessica P. Einhorn - Johns Hopkins University
* Reuben Mark - Colgate-Palmolive Company
* Michael A. Miles - Altria Group (Parent co. of Philip Morris)
* Ken Novack - former Time Warner - Affiliate Director
* Richard D. Parsons - Chairman of the Board & Chief Executive Officer
* Francis T. Vincent, Jr. - Vincent Enterprises
* Deborah C. Wright - Carver Bancorp
* Edward J. Zander - Chairman and CEO of Motorola Inc.

The Senior Executives are:

Quote »
* Richard D. Parsons, Chairman/CEO of Time Warner Inc.
* Jeffrey L. Bewkes, President/COO of Time Warner Inc.

If you click on Richard D. Parsons you get some interesting info.

Quote »
Positions held

A liberal African-American Republican, Parsons served an internship at the New York State Legislature, at which time he was invited to work as a lawyer for the staff of the then New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was appointed Vice President of the United States, in 1974, Parsons followed him to Washington D.C., where he worked directly with President Gerald Ford. He also met a deputy attorney general, Harold R. Tyler, and one his aides, a young Rudolph W. Giuliani, with whom he was to be closely associated - supporting him in his campaign for New York mayor and heading his transitional council.[1]

In 1977, Parsons returned to New York and became a partner after only two years at the Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler law firm; Working at the firm was Giuliani. During his eleven years at the firm he took on Happy Rockefeller, the widow of Nelson (who had died in 1979) as a high-profile client.[2] In 1988, he was recruited to serve as chief operating officer of the Dime Bank by Harry W. Albright Jr., who was a former Rockefeller aide. He later became chairman and CEO[1] and oversaw a merger with Anchor Savings Bank; gaining a substantial sum when the Dime Bank was demutualized.

Three years later, in 1991, on the recommendation of Nelson's brother Laurance Rockefeller to the then CEO Steven Ross, Parsons was invited to join Time Warner's board; he subsequently became president of the company in 1995, recruited by Gerald Levin.[1] He helped negotiate the company's merger with America Online in 2000, creating a $165-billion media conglomerate.

In December 2001, it was announced that chief executive Gerald Levin would retire and Parsons was selected as his successor. The announcement surprised many media watchers who expected chief operating officer Robert Pittman to take the helm. In 2003, Parsons made the announcement of the name change from AOL Time Warner to simply Time Warner.[2]

[edit] Prominent connections

From the early 1980s through much of the 1990s, Parsons owned a house at the Rockefeller family estate in Pocantico Hills, (see Kykuit), where his grandfather was once a groundskeeper. For a brief time he had worked for Nelson at the family office, Room 5600, at Rockefeller Center (he currently has a Time Warner office in Rockefeller Plaza at the Center).[1]

Parsons is chairman emeritus of the Partnership for New York City,[3] established by David Rockefeller in 1979,[4] who has known him for many years. He is an advisory trustee of the family's principal philanthropy, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and he sits with David Rockefeller on the board of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation. Parsons is also on the board of the family created Museum of Modern Art.

In 2001, United States President George W. Bush selected Parsons to co-chair a commission on Social Security. Parsons also worked on the transition team for Michael Bloomberg, who was elected Mayor of New York City in 2001. In 2006, Parsons was selected to co-chair the transition team for the incoming Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer.[5]

In August 2006, an article in New York Magazine reported that Parsons will likely run for Mayor of New York City in the 2009 New York mayoral election, claiming that "insiders say it's all but official".[6]

But wait, it gets better. Richard Parsons is ALSO on the board of directors for Citi Group.

Citi Group Board of Directors:

Quote »
* Michael Armstrong, Retired Chairman, Hughes, AT&T and Comcast
* Alain Belda, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Alcoa
* George David, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, United Technologies Corporation
* Kenneth T. Derr, Chairman, Retired, Chevron Corporation
* John M. Deutch, Institute Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Retired CIA director
* Roberto Hernández Ramírez, Chairman, Banco Nacional de México
* Ann Jordan, Consultant
* Andrew N. Liveris, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Dow Chemical Company
* Dudley Mecum, Managing Director, Capricorn Holdings LLC 1
* Anne Mulcahy, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Xerox
* Richard D. Parsons, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Time Warner
* Charles Prince, Chief Executive Officer, Citigroup
* Judith Rodin, President, Rockefeller Foundation
* Robert E. Rubin, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Member of the Office of the Chairman, Citigroup
* Franklin A. Thomas, Consultant, TFF Study Group
* Sanford I. Weill, Retired Chairman, Citigroup

Sorry, didn't mean to post yet, still researching. This is just ONE example of the conflict of interest so to speak. But you guys should get the idea. There is such an influence between Major Money, Politics, and Media. So if your just listening to the Major News networks about the Economy or Elections, consider the source, literally.

More to come.....

Oh, Prescott Bush former member of Directors for CBS.

News Corporation (Believe Fox News) Board:

Quote »
* K. Rupert Murdoch
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
News Corporation
* José María Aznar
FAES - Foundation for Social Studies and Analysis
Former President of Spain

* Peter Barnes
Ansell Limited
* Chase Carey
President and Chief Executive Officer
The DIRECTV Group, Inc.
* Peter Chernin
President and Chief Operating Officer
News Corporation
* Kenneth E. Cowley
R.M. Williams Holdings Pty. Limited

* David F. DeVoe
Chief Financial Officer
News Corporation
* Viet Dinh
Professor of Law
Georgetown University

* Rod Eddington
Non-Executive Chairman for
Australia and New Zealand
* Andrew S.B. Knight
Rothschild Investment Trust C.P

* Lachlan Murdoch
Illyria Pty Ltd
* Rod Paige, Ed.D.
Chartwell Education Group, LLC
* Thomas J. Perkins
Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers
* Arthur M. Siskind
Senior Advisor to the Chairman
News Corporation
* John L. Thornton
Professor of Global Leadership
Tsinghua University of Beijing


Haha, this is only the tip of the iceburg IMO.

Check out some of the other Citi Group board of directors.

Lets go down the list. Again, I'm using wiki so far for all my references.

Micheal Armstrong is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.

Quote »
The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an influential and independent, nonpartisan foreign policy membership organization founded in 1921 and based at 58 East 68th Street (corner Park Avenue) in New York City, with an additional office in Washington, D.C. Through its membership, meetings, and studies, it has been called the most powerful agent of United States foreign policy outside the State Department.

Alain Belda is also a member of The Conference Board, and has a little bit of history behind him.

George David

Quote »
George David is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of United Technologies Corporation. David was elected UTC’s President in 1992 and Chief Executive Officer in 1994. He joined UTC’s Otis Elevator subsidiary in 1975 and became its President in 1986.....

He has served on the boards of the Graduate Business School at the University of Virginia, the National Minority Supplier Development Council, the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council, the Trans-Atlantic Business Dialogue and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Fine Arts.

In 1999 the Russian Federation awarded David with the Order of Friendship for his contributions to that nation’s economy, particularly to its aerospace industry. In 2001, he received the Air Force Association's John R. Alison Award for contributions to national defense by an industrial leader. In 2002, France named him to its Legion of Honor.

In 2000, he was named as one of America's Most Powerful People by Forbes magazine; and CEO of the Year by Industry Week' in 2003.

lol, this keeps getting better.

Kenneth Derr

Quote »
Kenneth T. Derr is a member of the board of directors of the Halliburton Company. He is a Retired Chairman of the Board, Chevron Corporation (international oil company). He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Chevron Corporation, 1989-1999. Derr is also a Director of AT&T Corporation, Calpine Corporation, Citigroup Inc., and Potlatch Corporation. He is also on the Council on Foreign Relations.

John M. Deutch

Quote »
John Mark Deutch (born July 27, 1938) is an American chemist and civil servant. He was the United States Deputy Secretary of Defense from 1994 to 1995 and Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) from May 10, 1995 until December 14, 1996. He is presently an Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on the Board of Directors of Citigroup, Cummins, Raytheon, and Schlumberger Ltd.

Schlumberger =

Quote »
Schlumberger Limited is the world's largest oilfield services corporation operating in approximately 80 countries, with about 70,000 people of 140 nationalities. Schlumberger supplies a wide range of products and services from seismic acquisition and processing; formation evaluation; well testing and directional drilling to well cementing and stimulation; artificial lift and well completions; and consulting, software and information management. Schlumberger also provide similar products and services for the groundwater industry.....

Operating revenue in 2006 was US $19.23 billion with a market capitalization as of January 31, 2007, of US $74.5 billion.

Roberto Hernández Ramírez is also a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York - 2002 to present.

Judith Rodin

Quote »
Rodin became president of the Rockefeller Foundation in March 2005.

She is currently on the the Board of Directors of Citigroup, AMR Corporation (the parent company of American Airlines), and Comcast Corporation where she served as the presiding director until 2006. [6] Rodin has also served on the Board of Directors for corporations such as Aetna, Electronic Data Systems (EDS) and BlackRock. [7] She continues to serve as a trustee of the Brookings Institution.

Quote »
In 2004 Rodin was touted as one of Pennsylvania’s best Democratic candidates for the United States Senate. [11] During the lead up to the 2006 United States Senate election, one which would eventually result in the ousting of incumbent Sen. Rick Santorum, Judith Rodin was again listed among the Democrats' short list favorites. [12]

Robert E. Rubin... just a BIT on this guy.

Quote »
Robert Edward Rubin (born August 29, 1938) is an American banker who served as the 70th United States Secretary of the Treasury during both the first and second Clinton Administrations.

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Rubin was briefly mentioned as a potential vice-presidential candidate for 2004 Democratic Party presidential nominee John Kerry. He did serve as an economic policy advisor to Kerry's campaign and was expected to be a front-runner for the position of Chairman of the Federal Reserve upon Alan Greenspan's retirement if Kerry had won. Rubin's heft as a Wall Street tycoon added a stamp of approval to Kerry's economic plans.

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During his time in the private sector, Rubin has served on the board of directors of the New York Stock Exchange, the Ford Motor Company, the Harvard Corporation, the New York Futures Exchange, the New York City Partnership and the Center for National Policy. He has also served on the board of trustees of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, Mt. Sinai Hospital and Medical School, the President's Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Market Oversight and Financial Services Advisory Committee, the Mayor of New York's Council of Economic Advisors and the Governor's Council on Fiscal and Economic Priorities for the State of New York. He is currently the co-chairman of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Franklin A. Thomas .....

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Other directorships: Citigroup Inc., Cummins, Inc., Lucent Technologies, Inc., Alcoa and PepsiCo, Inc.

Sanford I. Weill

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In April 1998 Travelers Group announced an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger was completed on October 8, 1998. The possibility remained that the merger would run into problems connected with federal law. Ever since the Glass-Steagall Act banking and insurance businesses had been kept separate. Weill and Reed bet that Congress would soon pass legislation overturning those regulations, which Weill and Reed and many other businesspeople considered obsolete. To speed up the process, they recruited ex-President Gerald Ford (Republican) to the Board of Directors and Robert Rubin (Secretary of Treasury during Democratic Clinton Administration) whom Weill was close to. With both Democrats and Republican on their side, the law was taken down in less than 2 years. (Many European countries, for instance, had already torn down the firewall between banking and insurance.) During a two-to-five-year grace period allowed by law, Citigroup could conduct business in its merged form; should that period have elapsed without a change in the law, Citigroup would have had to spin off its insurance businesses.

In November 1998 Jamie Dimon was forced to resign from Citigroup.

In 2001, Sanford A. Weill became a Class A Director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Class A Directors are Board Members who are elected by Member Banks (of the Federal Reserve System) to represent the interests of Member Banks. (See article on Federal Reserve Bank Board Membership).

In 2002 the company was hit by the wave of "scandals" that followed the stock market downturn of 2002. Chuck Prince replaced Mr. Weill as the CEO of Citigroup on October 1, 2003.


Some others.

This guy is on the board for HSBC

*The Rt Hon the Lord Butler of Brockwell, KG, GCB, CVO

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Age 69. Master, University College, Oxford. A non-executive Director since 1998. Chairman of the Corporate Responsibility Committee and the HSBC Global Education Trust. A non-executive Director of Imperial Chemical Industries plc. A member of the International Advisory Board of Marsh McLennan Inc. Chaired the UK Government Review of Intelligence on Weapons of Mass Destruction in 2004. Secretary of the Cabinet and Head of the Home Civil Service in the United Kingdom from 1988 to 1998.

Some from JPMorgan:

Stephen B. Burke

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Stephen B. Burke has served as our Chief Operating Officer since July 2004, and as our Executive Vice President and President of Comcast Cable and Comcast Cable Communications Holdings since November 2002. Prior to November 2002, Mr. Burke served as an Executive Vice President of Comcast Holdings and as President of Comcast Cable since January 2000. Mr. Burke is also a director of JPMorgan Chase & Company.

Lee R. Raymond

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Lee R. Raymond (born August 13, 1938) was the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of ExxonMobil from 1999 to 2005. He had previously been the CEO of Exxon since 1993. He joined the company in 1963 and has been president since 1987 and a director since 1984....

Raymond was appointed to Chair a committee to lead America's Alternative Energy Future by President Bush in fall 2006...

The report of 18 July 2007 by the National Petroleum Council, of which Lee is a member, argues, contrary to Lee’s former position on this matter, for an international framework to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide, suggesting that Lee has taken a greener stand on energy policy after his retirement from Exxon

Ellen V. Futter

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She formerly served as Chairman of the Board of New York Federal Reserve Bank and Chairman of the Commission on Women's Health of The Commonwealth Fund. She has received numerous honorary degrees, including from Yale, and awards.

She is currently:

Director of American International Group

Director of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co

Director of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

Director of Consolidated Edison, Inc

Director of Viacom

Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

Board of Overseers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center


the deeper I dig, the more apparent that is. MANY of the names above are on the board of other super companies. They are completely tied together, it's really amazing. What I have above is just a HINT of the total picture.

Banks, Media, Oil, Policy are all tied together at the TOP levels. They know exactly what they are doing, and seem to be in total control.


I don't usually quote Wikipedia entires...but here is a good one for our current state of affairs.

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Oligarchy, aristocracy, and plutocracy

Historically, many oligarchies openly gave the political power to a minority group, sometimes arguing that this was an aristocracy ("organization by the 'best' and the 'brightest'"). Such states were often controlled by powerful families whose children were raised and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. However, this power may also not be exercised openly, the oligarchs preferring to remain "the power behind the throne", exerting control through economic means. Although Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich, for which the exact term is plutocracy, oligarchy is not always a rule by wealth, as oligarchs can simply be a privileged group.

Oligarchy vs. monarchy

Early societies may have become oligarchies as an outgrowth of an alliance between rival tribal chieftains or as the result of a caste system. Oligarchies can often become instruments of transformation, by insisting that monarchs or dictators share power, thereby opening the door to power-sharing by other elements of society (while oligarchy means "the rule of the few," monarchy means "the rule of the one"). One example of power-sharing from one person to a larger group of persons occurred when English nobles banded together in 1215 to force a reluctant King John of England to sign Magna Carta, a tacit recognition both of King John's waning political power and of the existence of an incipient oligarchy (the nobility). As English society continued to grow and develop, Magna Carta was repeatedly revised (1216, 1217, and 1225), guaranteeing greater rights to greater numbers of people, thus setting the stage for English constitutional monarchy.

Oligarchies may also evolve into more autocratic or monarchist forms of government, sometimes as the result of one family gaining ascendancy over the others. Many of the European monarchies established during the late Middle Ages began in this way.

Examples of oligarchies

Examples include Sparta (excluding the Helots, who were the majority of the population, from voting) and the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (only the nobility could vote). A modern example of oligarchy could be seen in South Africa during the 20th century. Here, the basic characteristics of oligarchy are particularly easy to observe, since the South African form of oligarchy was based on race. After the Second Boer War, a tacit agreement was reached between English- and Afrikaans-speaking whites. Together, they made up about twenty percent of the population, but this small percentage ruled the vast native population. Whites had access to virtually all the educational and trade opportunities, and they proceeded to deny this to the black majority even further than before. Although this process had been going on since the mid-18th century, after 1948 it became official government policy and became known worldwide as apartheid. This lasted until the arrival of democracy in South Africa in 1994, punctuated by the transition to a democratically-elected government dominated by the black majority.

Russia has been labeled an oligarchy because of the power of certain individuals, the oligarchs, who gained great wealth after the fall of Communism. Critics have argued that this happened in illegitimate ways and was due to corruption.

The Iron law of oligarchy

Some authors such as Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Thomas R. Dye, and Robert Michels, believe that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. This theory is called the "Iron law of oligarchy". According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as elected oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an 'acceptable' and 'respectable' political position, and politicians' careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites.

The historian Spencer R. Weart in his book Never at War argues that oligarchies rarely make war with one another.