Information war of the right-wing conservatives

This article by Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) in The Guardian talks about how a couple of single right-wing conservatives in the USA use money, technology and the Internet to manipulate public opinion: And they already have set course to repeat their manipulative endeavor in Europe:

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media
With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, the rightwing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda networ

The information warfare and manipulative deconstruction/reconstruction of opinion is currently developed as a military tool to interrupt recruitment activities of terrorist groups:

Watching the Republican Presidential Candidate Race

Watching the Republican Presidential Candidate Race. The GOP party is now witnessing the result of their constant “dumbing down” of the public about politics and political reasoning. It makes it much harder for candidates to create momentum with rational arguments about political issues. It opened a chance for a candidate that is unfit for a presidency to run on hot air and profit from noisy bluffs and who would lie in a second to make a gain or strike deal.

Just one example of Donald Drumpf caught lying:

And while you can’t find a lot of positive clips about Drumpf it seems that people are not interested in the consequences of voting for pretender and flop like Drumpf. They are simply responding with a gut feeling and hope for a personal gain by voting for someone with aggressive rhetoric.

This push the right has also happened here in Germany a long time ago (and it is happening again).

All this is tragic. Even people with bad educations should know better.

Thinking alternatives: From “Mobile” to “Mobility”

Shai Agassi is the CEO of The Better Place to get rid of oil dependency (especially for running vehicles). The idea: Give away electric cars for free (like mobile phones) and make the batteries part of the electric grid system (instead of a costly component of the car). You basically pay for miles, thus the service of mobility – not for the hardware.

Here is an interesting interview with him:

NSA wiretaps like crazy?

Former NSA analysr Russel Tice talks publicly about the wiretapping of the National Security Agency. Obviously the NSA patched into backbones of national telecommunication providers and scanned ALL communications. Complete organisations had their communication secretly copied and backed up for investigative purposes.

See yourself:

Update: There is a second interview with Mr. Tice the day after:

US officials flunk test of American history, economics, civics

Yahoo News reports: “US elected officials scored abysmally on a test measuring their civic knowledge, with an average grade of just 44 percent, the group that organized the exam said Thursday.”

You can take the 33-question quiz here.

I couriously tried the test and scored a 60.61% as a non-US citizen. Doesn’t this qualify me for US congress?

Zeitgeist: Addendum

Here is a two hour documentary by Peter Joseph from July 2008 explains so much of the backgrounds of a “corporatocracy” today, an unsustainable “monetary-ism” and religious deception that causes social and economic distress.

»Zeitgeist: Addendum« is a sequel to the documentary »Zeitgeist« from 2007:

Zeitgeist: Addendum, attempts to locate the root causes of this pervasive social corruption, while offering a solution. This solution is not based on politics, morality, laws, or any other “establishment” notions of human affairs, but rather on a modern, non-superstitious based understanding of what we are and how we align with nature, to which we are a part

The movie portraits the Venus Project – a life long futuristic vision of Jaques Fresco of a sustainable society. Unfortunatly the site looks like a study site for futuristic industrial design and technology and thus fails to generate interest for the socio-political subtext of Frescos work.

Unfortunatly, while the movie does extensively talk about a global vision, it remains a US centric view as the critisism is focusing on the US agenda. And thus it falls short in the ideas of how to initiate change in the system.

But much of the movie very well explains the problem of the current monetary system and how it came into being.

Information Design and the Monetary System

I am personally interested in how the lack of information or proper presentation of that information led to the current financial crisis. Obviously the information was available — but not well understood, not correctly aggregated or falsely interpreted by politicians that were responsible for phony policies and flawed legislations.

Continue reading Information Design and the Monetary System

Bailing out in the wrong direction

US Government is suggesting a $700 billion financial package to prevent a chain reaction at Wall Street. The US national debt to over $10 trillion dollars with just a single decision.

Interestingly there are many experts that tell their own story about what this all means on the long run.

Someone may wonder where this money is coming from. And very simply said there are two sources:

a) Nothing… Thin air!

This could be done by simply done by “claiming” that there’s $700.000.000.000 dollars more in the world. This is suggesting that this money is covered by something else and it also allows the value of the dollar to degrade for anybody (but there are other reasons as well). In 2008, for example, it took $21.57 to buy what $1 bought in 1913 (Source)

Experts like Peter Schiff are punding the topic of the collapse of the dollar since years – and other experts try to cover it up. Just watch this piece:

Peter Schiff is also favouring the gold standard:

b) The future

The “future” is… the future taxes, prices and hard work. The “average Joe” is paying it with less social security, less pansion, less money in the pocket for more and longer work.

The only politician in the US that obviously does not try to cover it up seems to be – who else – Ron Paul. Watch his comment here:

Senate Report: Bush used Iraq intelligence he knew was falseusa,

Described in this article of the Huffington Post the U.S. Senate Select Commitee on Intelligence has released a series of reports on intelligence related to Iraq before the war.

The reports show that the Bush administration actively ignored available intelligence to press ahead with an agenda that will ultimately lead to the installment of permanent U.S. military bases in the Middle East.

The reports give examples that there was no intelligence that supported

  • statements and implications by the President and Secretary of State suggesting that Iraq and al-Qa’ida had a partnership, or that Iraq had provided al-Qa’ida with weapons training, were not substantiated by the intelligence.
  • statements by the President and the Vice President indicating that Saddam Hussein was prepared to give weapons of mass destruction to terrorist groups for attacks against the United States were contradicted by available intelligence information.
  • statements by President Bush and Vice President Cheney regarding the postwar situation in Iraq, in terms of the political, security, and economic, did not reflect the concerns and uncertainties expressed in the intelligence products.
  • statements by the President and Vice President prior to the October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iraq’s chemical weapons production capability and activities did not reflect the intelligence community’s uncertainties as to whether such production was ongoing.
  • the statement of the Secretary of Defense that the Iraqi government operated underground WMD facilities that were not vulnerable to conventional airstrikes because they were underground and deeply buried was not substantiated by available intelligence information.
  • repeated statements of the Vice President that the Intelligence Community did confirm that Muhammad Atta met an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague in 2001.

 

Sen. Dianne Feinstein concludes:

»Even though the intelligence before the war supported inaccurate statements, the Bush administration distorted the intelligence in order to build its case to go to war. The executive branch released only those findings that supported the argument, did not relay uncertainties, and at times made statements beyond what the intelligence supported.«

Ron Paul – too intellectual and clear sighted?

Rarely mentioned here is republican candidate Ron Paul who seems to be getting a lot of buzz from the Internet crowd in the US. Paul was able to raise a lot of money for his campaign for supporters.

It is the first time I feel there is a presidential candidate does not need a spin doctor to tell him what to say on TV screen. He is not scared of public statements that people may not like to hear – and at the same time looking to solve issues by looking at the monetary issue.

Two selections from a public debate on ABC television early January 2008:

Interview at Google in July 2007:

Here is speech almost 25 years ago where Ron Paul about the dilemma with paper money vs. gold… and the habit of creating purchasing power out of thin air:

This ultimately leads to his critizism of the Federal Reserve system:

Here is a interview with Ron Paul in Aaron Russo’s documentary “From freedom to facism” that addresses this topic:

Update:

I found this interesting clip of a US soldier on YouTube on a skirmish between Huckabee and Paul about Iraq:

Freedom to facism

Here I promote an almost two hour documentary by Aaron Russo about the US Federal Reserve System (which is a private bank and not a government agency as many believe) controlling the US currency. His claim is that the Federal Reserve Bank creates paper money “out of thin air” while there is no proof that it is backed with gold in Fort Knox.

This is a “flaw by design” which ultimately turns private banks onto a track to a “one world government” by implementing tools for control, that mimic those of facist and communist states. Russo does start the story by reporting that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is threatening people that deny to pay income tax even though there is no constitutional law that protects this. To me as a foreigner is not so easy to get this, because I pay income tax. The story here is that the goverment tolerates violation of consitutional rights. And I suppose it is a good way to play the card.

There are a number of people interviewed and cited and I think many people would recognize these as authorities on the subject: Congressman Ron Paul, Mike Ruppert, Edward Griffin… just to name some. There are also important quotes by Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson about the fact that money should be controlled by the government.

Here is also an interview with Mr. Russo on his movie, where he critizises Michael Moore that his award-winning Farenheit 9/11 documentary (official site) is playing into the system by just polarizing Republicans versus the Democrats. Russo’s film does target beyond that political game and questions the system on a more fundamental level.

There is also an interview with Mr. Russo, where he claims Nick Rockefeller told him eleven month ahead of 9/11 that there is “going to be an event after which US will invade Afghanistan and Iraq”. Mr. Russo leaves no doubt actually, that Mr. Rockefeller knew at least a year ahead of the “war on terror” what is going to happen:

And if you have any doubt if it is possible to fool “average American” by media spin about this subjects look at this clip oth this clip here and ask yourself how these people came about to know (or not know) what they think they know (or don’t know).

The rats leave the sinking ship…

Prominent neo-con RIchard Perle is now blaming the Bush administration for failure in Iraq: “I probably would have said, ‘Let’s consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists,'” he told Vanity Fair magazine in its upcoming January issue.

Kenneth Adelman, another Reagan era hawk who sat on the Defence Policy Board until last year, drew attention with a 2002 commentary in the Washington Post predicting that liberating Iraq would be a “cakewalk”. He now says he hugely overestimated the abilities of the Bush team. “I just presumed that what I considered to be the most competent national security team since Truman was indeed going to be competent,” Mr Adelman said. (Source here).

Well….

I remember very clearly Perles position before war. I glad to be able to quote it from that old article (because I blogged it back then):

Having spent decades in and out of office, feeding journalists and seeing his “genius” promoted in return, Perle has employed his semi-oracular status to promote war with Iraq while consistently underestimating its likely costs. As Perle told US News & World Report: “The Iraqi opposition is kind of like an MRE [meals ready to eat, a freeze-dried Army field ration]. The ingredients are there and you just have to add water, in this case U.S. support.” Testifying before Congress in 2000, Perle insisted, “We need not send substantial ground forces into Iraq when patriotic Iraqis are willing to fight to liberate their country.” Last year, he conceded that the US troop requirement might go as high as 40,000. (Source here)

Why I like online video

Disregarding the legal issues with copyrighted material on YouTubes and Google Video servers (I can’t check those as a regular user), there are some clips where I am simply glad that they are available online, because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to see them: documentaries, political commentaries and satire.

Just some examples:

And there is a lot of similar examples of material available.

Gapminder

Search statistics about human trends through Google and watch it move with Gapminder. This is an interesting Flash application allowing to see changes of data over time.

Screenshot of the gapminder tool

[via Tim Bruysten]

There is also a video of the presentation. I especially found interesting what the presenter was saying about designers. He was showing this slides like this one:

Presentation slide showing how databases connect to design tools

And then he said things like this

  • »There are people that know how to deal with these tools. It’s just that those guys and girls didn’t go to a statistics course, so they don’t know about data. So they don’t manage to get that data in their design tools….«
  • »These things are dificult for designers to make look nice, because it’s so much data….«
  • »The weather forecast every day …. nice graphics, they have data…. humidity, wind …. they don’t show these numbers… they get a lot of publicitiy with their weather forecast just by drawing nice suns, beautiful colors… so these are the guys to copy in social science!«

I wouldn’t say that drawing »nice suns« is what is the secret to good weather forecasts, but the statement reminded me of the fact that few years ago I planned to offer a seminar called »Forecast« and it was supposed to examine this topic with this intention: to learn how to deal visually with huge data sets. Unfortunatly most of the students thought it is a boring idea to design weather forecasts and so they didn’t share my excitement. So the course never came into being. Not yet.