Industrial Agriculture: The Truth About Where Your Meat Comes From

Land of Hope and Glory UK Earthlings Documentary

Surge (2017)

Film Review

This is a documentary about the brutal conditions under which factory farmed animals are raised in the UK, Australia and the US. This type of footage is extremely rare because Food Inc makes every effort to conceal the disgusting conditions under which our meat is produced.

Factory farmed pigs and chickens seem to fare the worst. Even though pigs are as intelligent and emotionally complex as dogs, they are raised in extremely confining cages and forced to lie in their own feces, as well as being routinely tortured and beaten by their keepers. Pigs, like most other factory farmed animals, are fed massive doses of antibiotics (contributing to antibody resistance and the rise of “superbugs”) while continual exposure to feces makes factory farmed meat a major source of food borne illness.

Chickens and more than 90% of ducks and turkeys are also crowded into pens. In chickens raised for meat, 45% suffer painful fractures because their specially bred bodies are too heavy for their skeleton.

What seems most consistent among all factory farmed animals (besides their continual exposure to feces) are the inhumane conditions under which they are killed. Although most jurisdictions require them to be asphyxiated or electrically stunned prior to slaughter, abattoir personnel are rushed and poorly trained. As the film clearly shows, many animals are still alive when they’re butchered.

 

9-11: Anatomy of a Great Deception

9-11: Anatomy of a Great Deception

RT (2017)

Film Review

The first 9-11 Truth documentary I’ve seen on RT, this film takes a unique approach to explaining why 9-11 was an inside job. It’s based on independent filmmaker Dennis Hooper’s 2014 documentary 9/11: Anatomy of a Great Deception.

Hooper was always troubled by the Secret Service failure to evacuate President Bush from the school he was visiting in Florida – despite the knowledge that the US was under attack by foreign terrorists with hijacked airplanes.

Like many of us, he was also troubled by the collapse of Building 7. Located more than a football field away from the Twin Towers, its collapse couldn’t be explained by structural damage or fires fueled by jet fuel. Adding to Hooper’s concerns was the failure of the official 9/11 Commission Report  to make any mention of Building 7 – despite persistent demands by 9/11 Families for a “scientific” investigation into its collapse.

The film proceeds to lay out an extremely lucid explanation, based mainly on the detailed work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, why structural damage (from planes) and jet-fueled fires couldn’t possibly cause the collapse of three buildings at the World Trade Center.

For Hooper, the most significant evidence is the pools of molten steel first responders discovered in the building rubble. Steel melts at 3,000 degrees F, while kerosene (ie jet fuel) fires produce a maximum temperature of 1,800 degrees F.

Making use of extensive footage produced by the 9-11 Truth movement, Hooper walks viewers through extensive evidence documented that all three World Trade Center buildings could only have been brought down by controlled demolition.*

Moreover the discovery of military grade nanothermite (which is only produced at the Los Alamos National Laboratory) leaves absolutely no doubt that people at the highest levels of government were complicit in bringing down the WTC.

Clearly a postscript to the original film, the last 29 minutes consists of a a strange interview in which Hooper blames the 9-11 attacks on a 2,000-year-old conspiracy orchestrated by Satan and the Forces of Evil.


*Controlled demolition is the tearing down or razing of man made structures via the detonation of carefully timed explosive charges.

Al Jazeera’s Take on the Robert F Kennedy Assassination

Who Killed Robert Kennedy?

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

This documentary presents the most comprehensive summary I’ve seen of important evidence that seems to exonerate Palestinian-born Sirhan Bashara Sirhan in the 1968 assassination of Senator Robert F Kennedy. Sirhan, currently serving a life sentence in a San Diego state correctional facility, has been fighting for a new trial since 1994. Dr William S Pepper, who heads his legal team, also headed the defense of the late James Earl Ray, alleged assassin of Martin Luther King. In 1999, Pepper won a civil suit on behalf of the King family, when the jury found the US government (not Ray) was responsible for King’s murder. See The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King

Among the evidence pointing to Sirhan’s innocence:

  • There were 13 shots in the Ambassador Hotel pantry where Kennedy was killed, and Sirhan’s gun only held eight bullets.
  • The autopsy revealed the fatal shot came from behind and all witnesses agree Sirhan was in front of the senator when he fired his gun.
  • The Los Angeles Police Department tampered with and destroyed evidence and bullied witnesses to make them change their testimony.

Based on all eyewitness testimony, the defense team asserts Kennedy was killed by a second . The latter is identified as one of three possible individuals – Eugene Cesar, Michael Wayne (who left with the infamous girl in the polka dot dress* after the LAPD briefly detained him) and a third unidentified men who closely resembled Sirhan.

Like Mark Chapman, John Lennon’s alleged assassin, Sirhan has no recollection whatsoever of the shooting. He has been extensively examined by psychologists, hypnotists and mind control experts who believe he was subject to some kind of hypnotic mind control. Pepper presented this evidence at Sirhan’s final federal appeal in 2013 but filed to convince the appellate court.

Sirhan has been eligible for parole since 1980. His last, unsuccessful parole application was in 2016.


*See The Robert Kennedy Assassination: Why the Official Story is a Fake

Egypt’s Chronic Bread Shortages: How US Trade Deals Have Bankrupted Egypt’s Economy

Egypt on the Breadline

Al Jazeera (2016)

Film Review

This film is about Egypt’s chronic bread shortage and a corrupt system of subsidies that severely threatens the country’s food security.

Under Nasser (1956-1970), Egypt was self sufficient in wheat, its main staple crop. In the 1980s, as Egypt allied itself more closely with the US, farmers were pressured to grow export crops instead of wheat. The ultimate effect was to bankrupt Egypt’s economy, as it fell victim to global commodity prices and were forced to borrow to pay for wheat imports.

Egypt’s 2011 Arab Spring revolution and 2013 military coup have significantly reduced its productivity. 6,000 factories have closed and there has been a significant decrease in cultivated land.

The current government continues the pattern that emerged under the deposed dictator Mubarak. It allows government officials to monopolize Egypt’s imported wheat market, by setting a fixed price for wheat and flour that barely covers production costs.

At present, there are two main types of bread in Egypt. The first is government subsidized. Produced from imported flour, it has a fixed price of 10 cents per loaf. It’s widely described as “unfit for human consumption” – due to its tendency to contain insect parts, nails, cigarette butts and sand. The second type of bread is made from Egyptian-grown wheat and costs ten times as much.

Many analysts believe a skyrocketing increase in global fuel and food prices was a major trigger for the 2011 Arab Spring “revolutions.”

“Bread, freedom and social justice,” was a common chant in Tahir Square.

 

Going Undercover at Facebook

Inside Facebook: Secrets of the Social Network

Al Jazeera (2018)

Film Review

In this documentary an Al Jazeera reporter goes undercover with CBL, an Irish company contracted to moderate “offensive” content posted on Facebook UK. Over a period of weeks he undergoes training to become an official moderator. His findings are revealing.

Rather than undertaking independent monitoring of offensive posts, moderators only act on inappropriate content reported by other Facebook users. Moreover they bend over backwards to leave extremist content online, as it generates the most page shares, as well as keeping people on Facebook longer (so they can view more ads).

CBL guidelines divide offensive posts into four broad. categories: graphic violence, bullying, suicide and self harm and hate speech. Each CBL moderator has three choices in dealing with user complaints: ignore, delete or mark and disturbing and require user to click a tab confirming they’re over 18.

  • Graphic violence: Filmmakers give the example of a video of an adult male repeatedly and brutally beating and kicking an 2 1/2 year old child. CBL moderators marked this content “disturbing” and allowed it to remain on site because it had 44,000 shares. They didn’t report the abuse to police – they only report child abuse if it’s live streamed.
  • Bullying: CBL moderators marked a video of a teenage girl beating the shit out of another girl as “disturbing” and left it on site. Both were clearly identified by name. CBL justified their decision based on the post’s “condemning caption.” CBL only deletes bullying videos if parents request them removed. Psychologists condemn this policy of placing the burden on parents. Where a victim’s identity is clearly established, they are re-traumatized every time the video is shared.
  • Suicide/self-harm Suicide and self-harm photos and videos are only deleted if they contain a promotional statement. CBL justifies leaving them up as follows: “If we took it down, their friends and families wouldn’t know they were at risk.” Owing to clear evidence that viewing self-ham posts increases self-harm, this policy also contradicts the professional advice of mental health workers.
  • Hate speech (by definition advocates exclusion, death or harm to specific ethnic or religious groups): Statements that denigrate Muslims are deleted. Identical statements that denigrate Muslim immigrants are ignored because “people have a right to express their views on immigration policy.”

1968 Global Revolts: Derailed by US Intelligence?

1968 Global Revolt – Part 4 World Wars

DW (2018)

Film Review

The final episode of this series has a dual focus: the 1968-71 uprisings that occurred in Japan, Chile, Brazil and France and the birth of the women’s, gay liberation and environmental movements in the US.

Like the earlier three episodes, there’s no real unifying thread in Part 4. It begins by focusing on the birth of the Japanese Red Army, from the perspective of ex-Japanese Red Army member filmmaker Tamotu Adachi. The first global “terrorist” network, the ideologically confused Japanese Red Army eerily foreshadows the birth of Al Qaeda and ISIS thirty years later.

Although the Red Army’s links to US intelligence are less well-established than those of Al Qaeda, ISIS (and Italy’s Red Brigades and Germany’s Baader-Meinhoff Gang – see 1968 Global Revolt and the Brutal 1969 Crackdown), one time US intelligence asset Lyndon Larouche called attention to their CIA links as early as September 1974 (see Japan’s Red Army Reactivated).

After becoming a filmmaker, Adachi traveled with the Japanese Red Army to Palestine where they engaged in military exercises with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. There, along with German radicals and volunteers from the Irish Republican Army, they smeared themselves with blood-red berry juice and acted out a number of fake battles for the benefit of journalists and filmmakers.

Part 4 also examines the popular overthrow of Chile’s dictator, Brazil’s failed uprising, and successful uprisings by French and Japanese farmers to prevent US military base expansion.

The film concludes with a brief history of US activists who parted company with the antiwar movement to form the women’s liberation, gay liberation and environmental movement. As historian Tariq Ali points out near the end, the 1968 uprisings in the US and the UK were primarily libertarian and focused on individual freedoms. This possibly explains why they took a much different direction in other countries.*


*The influence of US intelligence in guiding this direction can’t be ruled out, see How the CIA Used LSD to Destroy the New Left , Did the CIA Use Gloria Steinem to Subvert the Feminist MovementA C-SPAN Talk About Gloria Steinem and Other CIA Anomalies

Corporate Welfare: How Billionaires Enrich Themselves at Our Expense

 

Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)

By David Cay Johnston

Penguin Group (2007)

Book Review

This book is an encyclopedia of the complex system of taxpayer-funded subsidies government grants the business elite to curry their political support. This support occurs in three main ways: as campaign contributions, as jobs (at the end of a civil servant’s government career) and outright bribes. According to Johnston, corporate welfare is as old as capitalism itself. Adam Smith (who Johnston quotes frequently) refers to corporate subsidies as “bounties.” He warns against them in his 1776 Wealth of Nations.

The author, who views corporate welfare as a major cause of America’s growing inequality, details a number of examples in which federal and state subsidies transformed ordinary entrepreneurs into billionaires.

  • Sports stadiums – between 1995-2006 sports team owners persuaded state and local authorities to build more than 50 new major league stadiums and countless minor league stadiums. In many cases, the state or city seize private land via eminent domain on which to build the stadium. Johnston maintains that running a sports team is always a money-losing proposition – in nearly every case any profit is almost identical to the size of the subsidy. Former president George W Bush made his first millions by buying the Texas Rangers and using his father’s influence to pressure the city of Arlington to seize 200 acres of private land via eminent domain for a sports stadium.
  • Walmart – founder Sam Walton built his retail empire by hiring lobbyists (Johnston calls them “bounty hunters”) to grant him free land via eminent domain, to “gift” him the sales tax he collects from customers and allowing him to raise capital via low cost government-sponsored industrial bonds. In total, Walmart has been granted more the $1 billion of government subsidies in 1/3 of their stores and distribution centers. In addition, as of 2007 they had (legally) avoided $4 billion in property and state income taxes.
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMOs) – Nixon launched the first non-profit HMOs in the early seventies. His goal was to reduce health care costs by enrolling patients in repaid care in where doctors worked on salary. In 1981, Reagan phased out the federal loans and loan guarantees Nixon enacted to help subsidize HMOs and allowed them to become for profit businesses.All over the country, CEOs sold and traded shares in HMOs built at taxpayer expense.The CEOs of non-profit hospitals and Blue Cross plans quickly followed suit. Johnston calls it the greatest legalized theft of public assets in US history.