So there’s this video I’ve come across via teh interwebs, looks like some extreme left wing stuff I don’t agree with but feel deserves a good hard look.
It’s a 50 minute spiel, part inconvenient truth, part paranoid conspiracy theory.
[update: this is not the point-by-point refutation it should be (for example I’d like to add timestamps for each point), but I’m at work here and don’t have the resources handy enough to do this properly. I also don’t have the original source, which I regret. If anyone has the source, let me know.]
For example a few minutes in he goes into how we’re not really a democracy, but a constitutional republic. Very true, and that’s probably alright- the tyranny of the majority he talks about is a genuine problem in our country.
I have no doubt that if this had ever been a true “democracy”, we’d be living in a theocracy right now, controlled by whichever church denomination could scare 51% of the people first. It would be a new Dark Ages. Keep in mind that the majority of our high school graduates don’t even know where the Middle East is. So I’m not deeply discouraged by the status quo.
Next there’s the Federal Reserve system, about how awful it is that it’s a private bank controlled by elite bankers. Kernel of truth? Certainly.
Do I agree with his conclusion that this is a bad thing? Not really. I’d rather have the cash supply quietly controlled by a cabal of very shrewd bankers than by career politicians who are, again, vulnerable to the tyranny of the majority. Politicians get elected because their special skill is making people think they’re great guys, not because they’re especially knowledgable about economics. Think about that. He presents no evidence so support his claim that the Fed has “destroyed the purchasing power of the money in this country”. Again, shrewd bankers v. the whim of the undereducated masses? Hmmm. I see where we’re going. Conspiracy theory.
I do agree that Congress, POTUS, and media are owned by the wealthy corporations, I strongly question how these same corporations control the judges (see the George Carlin clip). I don’t buy that. Perhaps I haven’t had enough experience with judges yet- and I’m alright with that- but there really is one branch of our government whose obligation is to look at the world in terms of facts and evidence, forget about the income stream. I just don’t buy the idea that the courts can be / have been bought in the U.S. Lawyer jokes aside, I believe it takes some degree of integrity to become a judge.
Next we go into 9/11 conspiracy, and he’s lost me. Look, I understand that our president has his head up his ass, but he’s not so absolutely completely batshit insane that he’d blow up a building complex just to start a war to make himself look good, or to gain a few extra million bucks.
I don’t say “you’re an asshat for giving this more than a minute’s consideration” out of some misguided patriotism, I say it because it’s not even a good prima facie hypothesis.
Do not believe anyone who tells you that people in high places were responsible for 9/11. Nobody, but NOBODY is smart enough to have pulled off such a conspiracy, and not have had the lid completely blown off it by now. Those guys were real islamist terrorists, who were really pissed off, because we really did do things that pissed them off. There’s nothing implausible about it, whereas a conspiracy has plenty of problems.
The fact that the POTUS used this as an excuse to become an international terrorist himself is not evidence that he had anything to do with the attacks.
The invasion was a bad idea, stupid, stupid, stupid! and for the record I’ve been saying this since 2002, months before it actually happened. It absolutely kills me that the POTUS has a BA in history from an accredited (some would say prestigious) university, and yet he still thought it was a good idea to push an illegal invasion, against the recommendation of the United Nations, into a region of the world well known for political instability and a history of continuous religious warfare going back to long before biblical times. I thought it was disgraceful that his first action after the invasion was to disband the Iraqi military, and that there never has been a realistic plan to get people to calm down & live with their new political reality. But I do not attribute these things to malice or conspiracy. They belong solely in the domain of hubris and ignorance.
Next, well, can’t argue against the corporate control of the media (and its pretty pathetic effect on the minds of media consumers, who sadly seem not to want to know any better), or Bill O’Reilly being his own special kind of asshole.
Next, atrocities committed in our name by the military and either covered up or underreported? Nothing new (see Vietnam). Check.
Back to 9/11 conspiracy, and I’m bored again. Let me point out a fact: Engineers balance these things fairly closely- you don’t overbuild a structure. The materials would only have to weaken or be mechanically damaged (not “melt”) for the buildings to collapse under their own weight. The Madrid building is a non-sequitur- different architects, no multi-megaton buildings collapsing next door. The fire was in the center of the building, as was the physical damage, so that’s how it came down.
Make no mistake, I’m willing to accept that certain powerful parties are complete dicks very capable of lying to save face (it’s how they get elected), but they’re not demolition experts. And I don’t think the powerful could threaten the demolition experts enough to keep a lid on a “controlled demolition”. Whoever planted the thermite/thermate could always enter the witness protection program, or just like go to Canada or something, and blab about this. It would only take one credible whistleblower, but this has never happened. The WTC 7 “smoking gun” is bullshit on a stick.
Okay, after a long time of conspiracy nonsense, there’s a pretty good rap about the man keeping us down. Good, but I disagree. There’s plenty of reason to feel that the wealthy are actively keeping the poor down. Whether they know it consciously or just don’t appreciate what they’re really doing, it’s true that they’re doing what the wealthy have always done, and the poor and ignorant really don’t have much of a chance of beating them except by becoming rich themselves through exceptionally hard work and good fortune. Old news to me.
But again they’re using this kernel of truth to support a ridiculous claim. It’s simply a non sequitur.
There’s some more blah, blah, blah, and then the movie suddenly cuts off. Which leads me to believe whoever posted this video isn’t the originator. Sad, I’d have liked to see some credits or something. Guess I may never know.
I’m disappointed. There went an hour of my life, watching this video, pausing it to write, playing some more. There’s nothing new here, nothing damning. I am in fact 100% sure that I will not be voting for ol’ Rudy (for tangentially related reasons), and I’m not exactly pleased about the stupid response our country (almost all of us) had to the attacks. But whoever posted the video falls into the “asshat” category in my opinion.
As far as I’m concerned, there was plenty to be pissed about, five plus years ago now, without resorting to this nonsense. Somebody produced this video to point out a nonexistent problem, when instead there are much more cogent reasons to protest our invasion of Iraq. There are even better reasons to be pissed about the international reaction to our folly. If someone had made that video, and filled it with real evidence instead of this woo woo crap, they’d have had me sold.
This video? Too little (it’s content-free), too late (might have been timely in 2003), too bad some folks are going to see this, believe it, and get all pissy.
I argue that we get pissed over the reality of our situation, not this video.