Category Archives: Media Assassination

Atticus and Holden discuss the political motivations of the media by dissecting their points and examining what’s REALLY going on in the world.

The State of the Media

There is a lot going on right now. ISIS, Ebola, Russia, Ferguson, Roits (or protests depending on your view), the militarization of the policy, racism, the list goes on.

Had this been a year or two ago, when I was fired up about politics, I would have a lot to say on the matter. But these days I find myself more and more disinterested in the things that they try to sell us on the television.

I feel like these incidents live and die with each news cycle, with a few twitter hastags, a viral video or two, then they’re gone. Sometimes they come back if the news cycle is slow – other times we never hear another thing about it.

Propaganda, Divide and Conquer

The news is disheartening to me these days. Not because there aren’t interesting things to dissect, but rather because there are too few people actually trying to dissect it. Pretty much everyone takes what they see on TV at face value and regurgitates the standard talking points – dependent upon their perspective political, racial, of social leanings. The truth, more often than not, goes unseen.

I just feel like someone is always pushing an agenda rather than reporting the news. To me, there shouldn’t be such a disparity between MSNBC and Fox News. When did it become acceptable to blatantly support a political party, and moreover, report the news that way? When the media starts pushing an agenda news immediately becomes propaganda – and propaganda is dangerous.

I guess I just want people to at least watch news in that light. With an understanding that everything we see is about an ideological agenda. There is no reporting. All we have now is organizations who are paid to entertain the masses, increase ad revenue, manufacture drama to the highest magnitude possible, and ensure that their listeners have to pick a side.

None of this can be healthy for the country.

The Indoctrination Process

Six children and one women sitting in a circle holding hands. There heads were bowed and the women was mumbling softly. The children paid close attention.  As I jogged by the group one child looked up at me, almost afraid to be caught, with one eye barely squinting open, and immediately returned to the correct posture.

I slowed my jog to a walk so I could see the events unfold in more detail. In the front yard of the old house there was a small television with cartoon characters in the same posture as the women and children. I noticed that the children’s mouths were mumbling at the same cadence and volume as their teacher’s, but I couldn’t make out the words.

It was a vacation bible school camp. One just like the kind I had attended dozens of times as a child too.

In retrospect I remember all of the things I was taught as a child. How I was taught to think and not think. Not to question, to have faith without evidence, and to obey authority. The cost of disobedience was worse than death. Hell. My parents, grandparents, and the rest of my family enforced these ideas too. I believed it all without question.

When I think of it now this seems so unfair. It is such an obvious process of indoctrination that I can barely believe that such an institution, in its present form, exists at all. The use of authority, media, entertainment, and group-think to ingrain a since of loyalty  and respect to an organization and its belief system.

When you think about it, it’s not too different than how any society works. Even here in the land of the free.

“The use of authority, media, entertainment, and group-think to ingrain a since of loyalty  and respect to an organization and its belief system.”

Patriotism enforced by a since of community , unlimited hours of (un)reality TV available for consumption, a media network that pumps ideas into the psyche of the public, and a since that we owe it all to those in charge. We hold our leaders up like infallible idols – as long as they belong to the correct political party. A false since of choice.

This form of indoctrination works. It has been and continues to be used. We just can’t recognize it because we are part of the process. But once you recognize that such a thing exists it’s a lot easier to be yourself. Not what they told you to be.

Should we be worried about Climate Change?

With all of the media-created controversy about global warming I can’t see past the propaganda to form an opinion.  It seems like every climate change discussion is a prize fight between two entertainers (i.e., not scientist).

I get lost in the entertainment and can’t decipher the facts from the manufactured drama. It makes the whole topic of climate change seem like a farce. If we are really on the verge of death it seems like someone would stand up and say “Stop everything!” That hasn’t happened.

If things are as bad as climate activist would have us believe then why aren’t world leaders like President Obama taking monumental steps toward protecting the nation’s interests? There should be an immediate and mandatory ban on global emissions, all military and civilian resources should be dedicated to building flood barriers, creating alternative energy, and growing food reserves. None of this has happened.

Instead, even the most liberal politicians, have done nothing. We still protect oil pipelines in the middle east, we still have highest GDP on earth, and our economy still functions as the largest producer of pollution making machines (tanks, cars, and airplanes) on earth. That seems pretty anti-environmentalist if you ask me.

There are too many mixed messages and I think that is why so many people do not take climate change seriously. And for the average non-climate-change-scientist it is almost impossible to form an educated opinion.

I honestly do not know what to believe. I do not know if climate change is man-made or just part of the normal life-cycle of mother nature. I don’t even know if there is anything we can do about it.

Government Sanctioned Torture & Murder

The American political class is morally bankrupt. Many are guilty of crimes of greater magnitude and scope than almost any criminal you may find in the penitentiary. Among their crimes are theft, eavesdropping, deceit, murder, and torture. But such is the culture of immunity among the American political and financial elite that no one is punished for these crimes. 

Torture

Why is it so easy for individuals from all sides of the political spectrum to discuss abortion,  same-sex marriage, or other distractionary topics but ignore other blatant crimes against humanity directly committed by the political elite? Perhaps more puzzling is why the media spends countless hours discussing these type of issues while simultaneously ignoring reports of torture and murder committed by the individuals we elected to uphold the law.

In fact, leaked reports and declassified memos have revealed the horrifying extent that torture has been used, illegally, by the United States military and the CIA in the past two decades. However; most people have never heard about any of it.

For example, in his book “With Liberty and Justice for Some” Glenn Greenwald notes  a few of cases of documented and confirmed torture:

“…a new report that found that U.S. personnel tortured and abused detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, using beatings, electrical shocks, sexual humiliation and other cruel practices…

…One forty-six-page memo from OLC chief Steven Bradbury dated May 10, 2005, authorized the following acts to be performed on ‘high-value detainees’: forced nudity, dietary manipulation involving minimum caloric intake, corrective techniques such as facial and abdominal slapping, water dousing, stress positions designed to induce muscle fatigue and the attendant discomfort, and sleep deprivation…

…[One detainee] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times in March 2003 and Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002…

…[Other torture] techniques included walling, cramped confinement, and insects placed in a confinement box…”

What is worse, as Greenwald notes, many of these detainees were held for years without trial. Even more frightening some of the individuals held and tortured were completely innocent!

“Of the fifty-nine detainees who so far have had their habeas cases heard in federal court, thirty-eight of them have won. In other words, in almost two-thirds of the cases reviewed, the courts ruled that there was no credible evidence to justify the detention.”

Perhaps some people find it morally acceptable to overlook the crimes committed by the state since it was against “terrorist”, but even if you believe that how can you justify what happened to innocent men. And shouldn’t the Government be obliged to at least prove guilt beforehand?

Murder

Perhaps more frightening than the numerous documented cases of illegal torture are the instances of fatality due to those same techniques. “The Human Rights Watch researcher John Sifton has documented that approximately 100 detainees, including CIA-held detainees, have died during U.S. interrogations and some are known to have been tortured to death.” [1]

Drone Strikes

Beyond the cases of detainees being tortured to death are the numerous cases of civilians that have been inadvertently or purposely killed during U.S. drone strikes.

drone war

One Pakistani Government report noted that at least 67 civilians have been killed by U.S. drone strike since 2008. [2] In another report Washington Post report noted that, “in Yemen, Human Rights Watch investigated six selected airstrikes since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians, including a pregnant woman and three children who perished in a September 2012 attack.” [3][4]  That is 150 innocent lives in just two countries – two countries we are not at war with!

One may argue that these are casualties of war, but no war has been declared by congress. In fact, many of the drone strikes are not controlled by the military at all, but by the CIA. So are these simply casualties of war or a dangerous signal of a U.S. drone program gone rogue?

Sadly, these crimes are just a sliver of what we can prove and do not even begin to address the vast amount of information not available to the public.  It is frightening to even imagine the true scope of Government murder and torture. It is perhaps more frightening to imagine how history will judge our country, but what can we do?

What can we do?

We can start by paying attention. We can stop being detracted. Forget about Duck Dynasty, Candy Crush, Facebook, and the next holiday shopping session for a while. Stop allowing yourself to be distracted while the elites steal from you and your children. Demand justice, oversight, and investigation. Demand representatives that actually represent your interests. We deserve more.

Continue reading Government Sanctioned Torture & Murder

The Pope was right: Our Obsession with Gays and Abortion

Last week the Pope said that the Catholic church is too “obsessed” with homosexuality, abortion, and birth control. I think he’s right, but it’s not just the Catholic church who is obsessed with homosexuality and abortion – it’s everyone.

From a media perspective it’s easy to see why these topics have become so popular. There are six reasons I can think of:

1. Topics that require less research or data to form an opinion are more popular with the audience (compare abortion to a complex economic idea),

2. The less history necessary to understand a topic the more popular with the audience (homosexuality doesn’t require a viewer to understand our complex history with the middle-east),

3. Topics that result in an evenly divided opinion are more popular (everyone has someone to argue with),

4. Topics that are safe for media and politicians to discuss are more popular (the politician doesn’t have to answer “scary” questions about topics that may not be popular with their constituents),

5. The easier a politician or media outlet can predict their audience’s stance on an issue the more they will promote that issue (because they know how to please their audience).

6. Involves sex.

It seems like homosexuality and abortion both fit the bill.

Media: We don’t care about black people killed in mass shootings

12 people were killed in Aurora Colorado last year. All of the victims were white. The murders took place in a middle class community in the midst of the opening of a popular movie. The media loved it.

13 people were killed in Chicago earlier this week. All of the victims were African American and police say the shooting was gang related. That’s just a small portion of the total murders in Chicago. There have been 822 murders since January 2012. Almost all of those victims were African American.

Why doesn’t the media spend more time talking about crime prevention in poor neighborhoods and less time promoting mass shootings and making murderers famous. It’s no wonder that, according to Pew Research Center and Journalism.org,  people no longer trust the media.

“This adds up to a news industry that is more undermanned and unprepared to uncover stories, dig deep into emerging ones or to question information put into its hands. And findings from our new public opinion survey released in this report reveal that the public is taking notice. Nearly one-third of the respondents (31%) have deserted a news outlet because it no longer provides the news and information they had grown accustomed to.”

Why I support your right to carry a gun, but don’t carry one myself

Two men died in a shootout after a “road rage” incident last week.

“Initial investigation shows the Ionia men, ages 43 and 56, pulled into the car wash parking lot after a road rage incident. They exited their vehicles and eventually drew handguns and exchanged fire, police said. It wasn’t clear what the two men were arguing about.

Life EMS transported the men to Sparrow Ionia Hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Police said both men, whose identities have not been released, held permits to carry concealed weapons.” [source]

Why I don’t carry

I support the right to carry a concealed weapon, but this story sums up why I choose not to carry a gun myself. Maybe I am naive, but it seems that a gun would almost always cause more problems than it would solve.

I imagine if just one of these guys would not have been carrying a gun they would both be alive.

N.M. Supreme Court rules Photographers Can’t Refuse Gay Weddings

I support any two consenting adult’s right to engage in a relationship. If those two people fall in love and decide to get married that’s fine too. I’ve discussed in detail all the reasons I believe this before.

That leads me to the incident that happened in New Mexico last year where a gay couple sued a photography company for refusing to photograph their marriage ceremony – and won.  And while I support a same sex couples right to get married I do not support the Government’s assertion that it is legally justifiable to force a business to participate in such a ceremony. According the New Mexico supreme court summary the ruling was as follows:

“The district court upheld the NMHRC’s [New Mexico Human Rights Act] determinations that Elane Photography was a “public accommodation” under the NMHRA and that Elane Photography violated the NMHRA by discriminating against Willock based upon her sexual orientation…the district court also rejected Elane Photography’s constitutional and statutory arguments based upon freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the NMRFRA.” [source]

Discrimination:

Can a company  “discriminate” against a certain group of people based on something they perceive violates their religious beliefs? To answer that question I think it is helpful to think about the past.

There was a time not so long ago that people could legally discriminate against African Americans. And for various reasons (religion, culture, history) the law upheld those traditions. Eventually, with a lot of fighting and a lot of controversy, enough people decided that discriminating against black people was immoral and various state and federal civil rights laws were created.

At the time some people claimed that it was their constitutional right to refuse service to whoever they so chose (and maybe it was), but looking back it is pretty clear what they were doing was wrong. Is this another case of civil rights abuse?

Not so cut and dry:

Though I do not support any form of discrimination I do wonder if the nature of a wedding ceremony adds complexity to the situation. And since the same sex couple contacted Elane Photography to photograph a ceremony that they (Elane Photography) found specifically religious in nature it seems her decision not to photograph the ceremony should have been protected by the constitution.

Imagine Elane Photography was owned by a Hindu that refuse to photograph a beef barbecue cookout or Rodeo. Since Hind’s consider the cow “sacred” in a religious context they should not be forced to participate in an event they find spiritually offensive.

In either case – Hindu or Christian – the individual performing the photography service was justified by their religious beliefs to refuse service and should be protected by the constitution.  Right?

Why Elane Photography lost in court:

The big question is why the court ruled in favor of the same-sex couple when it seems so obvious (at least to me) that Elane Photography should have been protected under the constitution.  Let’s examine:

 “Free Expression”

The court ruled:

“The fact that some photography qualifies as expressive conduct entitled to First Amendment protection does not mean that any commercial activity that involves photography falls under the umbrella of the First Amendment…the threshold question is whether Elane Photography’s conduct is predominantly expressive…we [the court] are unpersuaded by Elane Photography’s argument that a photographer serves as more than a mere conduit for another’s expression…Elane Photography serves as a conduit for its clients to memorialize their personal ceremony. Willock merely asked Elane Photography to take photographs, not to disseminate any message of acceptance or tolerance on behalf of the gay community.”  (pages 9 – 12)

I asked my wife (an artist who supports same-sex marriage) about this and she disagrees with the courts ruling. She had this to say:

“Anything an artist does says something about what they believe or what they represent. A lot of professional painters refuse or avoid certain jobs because it’s not something they want in their portfolio and they don’t want to put out a certain image to future clients about their work. So, it’s crazy to think a photographer isn’t attached to her images.”

I agree with my wife.

Freedom of Religious Exercise

Elane Photography also argued for the  non-constitutionality of the NMHRA due to “religious rights”, but lost on that front too. The court ruled the following:

“The right of free exercise does not relieve an individual of the obligation to comply with a valid and neutral law of general applicability on the ground that the law proscribes (or prescribes) conduct that his religion prescribes (or proscribes)…the case at bar is generally applicable and neutral; it does not selectively burden any religion or religious belief. The NMHRA applies generally to all citizens transacting commerce and business through public accommodations that deal with the public at large, and any burden on religion or some religious beliefs is incidental and uniformly applied to all citizens…The NMHRA is not directed at religion or particular religious practices, but it is directed at persons engaged in commerce in New Mexico.” (p. 12-15)

Wedding Photography is not expressive and not religious. I humbly disagree. I think the court was wrong on this one.

Story: I was contacted, threatened, and ordered to take down “leaked” information!

Three weeks ago I was contacted by an anonymous source in the National Security Agency (NSA).  The source contacted me through an email I have made available to the public through this blog. In the email the anonymous source claimed to be a long-time reader of my blog and that (s)he appreciated my honesty and my “small government stance”.

The anonymous source explained that (s)he had information that (s)he wanted to spread virally throughout the internet, specifically through blogs and smaller, independent, media outlets. At first I was very skeptical and assumed that this “anonymous emailer” was probably the other author of this blog (Holden) playing a prank.

The “Top Secret” Information – Proof

Soon I received a .zip folder over a private VPN file transfer set up by the anonymous emailer. The file was several GB in size and contained over one-thousand power-points, .jpg files, word documents, and .pdf’s. In the email the anonymous source highlighted about a dozen documents (s)he called “must reads”.

Over the next two weeks I read what must have been 250 documents. Most of them were very boring and seemed to be meaningless. However, several of them are worth spreading and sending to as many news outlets as possible.

Of course I assume that these “interesting” documents could be fake. So I sent one document to a contact I have in law school whose father happens to work for the Government (I assume FBI or CIA). Within the hour his father called me personally.

He was very concerned and asked me where I received the document. I told him that I found it on a random website on the internet. My friend’s father stressed to me the importance of keeping the document to myself. This pretty much confirmed to me the validity of my anonymous emailer.

Two Nights Ago – Posting the Information

Two nights ago I decided I would post a summary of the information I was provided. I also posted a link to the “critical documents” available for download via a link to a third party website (set up by the anonymous emailer). I felt this was not “leaking” the documents myself, thus was safe and legal.

Less than an hour after posting that article and link the post disappeared. It was as if I had never written it. A few minutes after that I was contacted by an “attorney” representing the United States Government. This was frightening as I blog under a pseudo-name and have never provided by personal mobile phone number on this blog. I was not informed how the “attorney” obtained my contact information nor how they linked me to this blog.

I was ordered, upon threat of charges being brought against me, to provide the details of the anonymous emailer, my email account, and all documents.

Media Shield Law

My first instinct was to give in, but I decided that by providing any information I would be incriminating myself. I contacted an attorney. I have been stressed for the past few days because no one knows about this- not Holden, not my wife.

The Attorney informed me that I was not protected under a new law called the “Media Shield Law”. Specifically I am not protected because I do not meet the criteria as a journalist.

Specifically, the amendment requires that a journalist meet one of the following definitions:

  1. working as a “salaried employee, independent contractor, or agent of an entity that disseminates news or information;”
  2. either (a) meeting the prior definition “for any continuous three-month period within the two years prior to the relevant date” or (b) having “substantially contributed, as an author, editor, photographer, or producer, to a significant number of articles, stories, programs, or publications by an entity . . . within two years prior to the relevant date;” or
  3. working as a student journalist “participating in a journalistic publication at an institution of higher education.”

*Amendment to S. 987, 113th Cong. § 5(A)(i), § 5(B)(iii) (2013).

Per the advice of my attorney I provided all documents to the US Government.

Why I’m Writing This

I decided to write this as a last ditch effort to let everyone who may read this know what’s going on. To you all know how fucked up everything is. To let you know that these laws do matter, that the Government has too much power. I wish I could tell you what I saw on those documents. I wish I could tell the world, but I can’t. I just hope this article isn’t taken down too.


Fake Article, but Real Consequences

Nothing I wrote above was true. As in – it didn’t really happen. BUT I hope it proves a point. The laws are real. The situation could be real. And the Amendment above is real. I hope this brought it home for you and made you realize how dangerous an unconstitutional law like this really is.

The first amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Race Relations in the United States

Anyone who thinks racial tension in the United States is a thing of the past is probably a white person in an all white zip code. One has to look no further than mainstream media to see that race is an automatic seller. People eat it up. It’s sexy, dramatic, and it automatically forces people to choose a side. Divide and conquer.

Race in the Media

But I have to ask myself: “Am I racist?”

The answer is no. I don’t think so. When I see a black person, Hispanic, or whatever I do no immediately pass judgement. In fact, I really don’t think anything at all. I think that is the ultimate sign of non-racism. You are apathetic towards it. I do not feel the need to compensate positively or negatively because a person happens to be lighter or darker than myself. When you think about it – it kind of seems silly.

Then I think about the media. Cases like Trayvon Martin or the latest supreme court decision regarding Affirmative Action immediately conjure feelings of racial divide. I automatically feel defensive – like I am personally being attacked because of my race. But that feeling isn’t natural to me. It has been created by artificial media drama.

Irony: The Liberal (and Conservative) Media Magnifies Racism

I find it ironic that when media, especially liberal media, capitalizes on negative racial stereotypes to create drama. Isn’t this counter to the “values” they claim to uphold This is highlighted most recently in the Trayvon Martin vs. George Zimmerman trials. This has been a political and media gold mine for all parties. It was immediately turned into a white versus black hate crime. (Even though it turns out Zimmerman is Hispanic) “Being black killed Trayvon Martin” or “They are trying to take your guns” the media tells us. All of this only serves to hurt race relations in America. To give us something to argue about. And probably most importantly – it sells.

Irony: Media claims to care about the black community, but they are exploiting them (all of us, in fact) for every viewer and ad dollar earned because of manufactured racial tension. Race relations haven’t been worse in decades. If you disagree, if you think the media is helping, think about this: Would it be on TV if they weren’t makig money on it? 

Party Politics: Divide and Conquer

Philip II, king of Macedon, knew it a thousand years ago. To defeat an enemy you must “divide and conquer.” I can’t help but see the similarity today in Partisan politics.

Republicans try to trick conservative white voters than minorities, illegal immigrants, liberals, and atheists want to take away their “family values”. Meanwhile, democrats convince minorities, the educated class, immigrants, and progressives that people with conservative values are racist, backwards, greedy, and ignorant. Both of these parties play upon popular caricatures to force the population to pick a side. It’s a power struggle built on lies and exaggeration.

More Same than Different

We all like good food. We want to be loved and to love. We hate to see someone hurt, we love to see people happy. We work hard, we try, we fail, we need help, we help. We are human – all of us. So why is there so much focus on differences? Who benefits from that. (Hint: I think you know who benefits and it’s not you or me.)