Opinion | In the late Eighties and early Nineties, I was becoming an adolescent. I was growing up in a world where the youth would be the last generation to grow up entirely devoid of information overload most people experience in the palms of their hands today.
We had telephones, you had to be home to receive or make a call. If you wanted to stay abreast of local news and issues on the world’s political stage, you needed to watch live Television, read a newspaper, a magazine or a book.
We did have computers; they were desktops, cumbersome and pretty slow compared even to today’s cheapest machines. The internet existed in its infancy. My first experience going online was in the back of my fifth-grade class on an Apple IIe with a 2600 dial-up modem.
Back then, if you could afford or had access to a microcomputer and a modem, which could be purchased at any Radio Shack in the mall, you could connect to the world wide web and find a small number of text-only bulletin boards, which later became message boards and internet forums.
The format exists today in the form of topic and genre-specific boards. Although now you can compose elaborate messages using hi-res images, videos, and hyperlinks.
On the internet, there have always been reputable message boards as well as questionable forums and posts might contain spam or malware. One thing many of us early adopters of the tech learned, is how to navigate the web able to discern the two without getting caught up in a digital trap.
However, the younger generations seem to have taken advantage of the availability and accessibility of mass media today and have managed to exploit its benefits to many lengths.
It is wonderful to be able to speak a question into your phone and have a thousand search query results in a matter of seconds. Now you can video chat with anyone instead of waiting days to see if someone a few states away got your email, let alone anyone on the other side of the planet.
One big advantage that the internet provides us is the ability for anyone to have their voice heard, whether recording a song or blogging one’s perceptions of sociopolitical issues worldwide. One major disadvantage is that anyone can be anything and share any concept with millions of people in a matter of seconds. Scams have become more commonplace with predators hidden behind millions of bits of data capable of taking advantage of the less savvy. Mainstream and alternative media alike can dupe their followers into buying whatever narrative they can conjure.
While conspiracy theories have been around and growing in frequency and popularity for many generations, at no time in history have we seen such widespread awareness and distrust of any and all governing bodies around the world. Now we are seeing many of the longest-running conspiracy theories are finally being taken seriously by the mainstream media. For example, it is now well-known that consumer products from Monsanto and Johnson and Johnson can cause cancer. Chemtrails are now being reported as experimental geoengineering and weather modification. The sex crimes of the Vatican, famous billionaires, Hollywood celebrities and world leaders are finally coming to light.
We have had fun with conspiracies over the years. Some of us entertained the idea that the Apollo moon landing was faked. Flat Earth is another one that has generated interest in recent years. In the early 2000s, a forum called Above Top Secret brought us a man by the name of John Titor, claiming to be a military time traveler from the future come to warn us of catastrophic events to unfold from 2004 on. I often joke he might be Satoshi Nakamoto, the as of yet unknown creator of cryptocurrency Bitcoin.
However, not all conspiracy theories have merit or provide entertainment value, some of them are active disinformation campaigns. The worst of these campaigns in recent years has been the QAnon phenomenon.
Over the years, we have seen the emergence of two message board style websites by the name of 4chan and 8chan.
The latter has gone dark, as per its creator, after an investigation revealed the El Paso gunman used the site as a megaphone where he posted his four-page message prior to committing the heinous crime of mass murder and asked his “brothers” to spread his message far and wide.
The former, 4chan, was instrumental in helping the conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate go viral; allegations that members of the Democratic Party have engaged in a pedophile sex trafficking using Comet Ping Pong Pizza, in Washington DC, as a meeting place, which gave rise to an anonymous online entity known as QAnon, who may simply be a masterful troll.
QAnon began with posts by a user calling himself Q Clearance Patriot, a name which implies having a Q level security clearance with the United States Department of Energy, allowing access to top-secret data. A claim which clearly cannot be verified. It is believed by some that QAnon is more than one individual.
Since then QAnon’s posts have been quite cryptic, often deciphered by followers and fanatics to describe a secret plot by the “deep state” against US President Donald Trump and his supporters. The conspiracy theory has supporters among the mainstream media. Its supporters often gather at Trump rallies.
Most of the transmissions to come from QAnon have been blatant propaganda for the Trump administration, justifying every controversial policy with outlandish “4-D chess” scenarios that cast the president as a knight in shining armor, or some sort of revolutionary who is fighting for the common people. For example, the roll-out of the controversial 5G technology was opposed by many Trump supporters, but a recent transmission from QAnon insisted that the technology is harmless and should be supported.
While many conspiracy theories and fringe radicals can bring serious issues to light and rally people around a viable moral cause, and some can be entertaining, radicalizing extremists on either polar end of the political spectrum can prove quite dangerous.
The world relies on digital technology. In many respects, the internet and even certain social media outlets such as Facebook, with its membership around one-third of the world’s population, have reached a level of users that merits the status of utility.
Since the days of movies like War Games, Hackers and Jumping Jack Flash the internet has seen its fair share of malicious hackers preying on vulnerable users. However, it also allows groups like the global hacktivist collective Anonymous to rise from the depths of the world wide web, and every continent, to band together in binary unison to expose valid and well-researched news, with the help of sites like Wikileaks, in hopes of bringing due justice to those who have committed atrocities against mankind around the globe.
QAnon remains lurking in the shadows in the darkest corners of the internet, conveying mysterious messages left to be interpreted by the far-right, offering no help in making sense of the environmental chaos and economic turmoil which ensues at a staggering rate over every inch of our precious planet.
To add insult to injury, QAnon has soiled the good name of Anonymous, a serious hacking collective that is seeking justice for humanity. This is why it is important to be clear that we are not associated with this disinformation campaign.
If you subscribe to some of the most fringe cult followings, take caution to note it may better serve as entertainment, because scrutiny is of utmost importance in true journalism.
For the sake of journalistic integrity and in the spirit of freedom of speech.
We are legion, a word derived from Latin meaning we band together we gather facts. We do not forgive, from the Old English to grant. We will not allow alleged transgressions go unexamined regardless of economic or political clout. We do not forget, as well, from Old English to neglect. We shall not repeat the mistakes of the past.
More Celebrities Are Starting To Voice Their Support For Donald Trump
Last week, 50 Cent created a huge controversy when expressing his support for US President Donald Trump, but he is just one of many celebrities who are sticking their necks out to put the power of their platforms behind the sitting president. Many of them, like Ted Nugent or James Woods will come as no surprise to anyone, but some of these names are a bit shocking, such as punk rock legend Johnny Rotten.
Each of these celebrities offer different reasons for their political leanings, and some of them don’t give any reason at all. However, all of these people are millionaires, so they share some of the same class concerns, as 50 Cent noted last week when he expressed his frustration with Biden’s tax plan for the wealthy.
Below are a few of the celebrities who have voiced support for Donald Trump.
1. Kelsey Grammer
Allen Kelsey Grammer is an actor, comedian, singer, producer, director, writer and conservative political activist, best known for his two-decade-long portrayal of psychiatrist Dr. Frasier Crane on the NBC sitcoms Cheers and Frasier. He was very open about voting for Trump in 2016.
2. Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr is an actress, comedian, writer, producer, and former presidential candidate. Barr began her career in stand-up comedy before gaining acclaim in the television sitcom Roseanne. She has been openly supportive of Donald Trump for years, and has stirred up controversy as a result.
3. Dean Cain
Dean Cain is the star of the show Lois & Clark and he endorsed President Trump during the 2016 election. More recently, he defended Kirstie Alley against attacks for her support of Trump.
— Joy (@missjoynicole) October 20, 2020
4. Kristy Swanson
Kristen Noel Swanson is best recognized for having played Buffy Summers in the 1992 film Buffy the Vampire Slayer and appeared in the 1996 film The Phantom. She has been very vocal about her support for Donald Trump.
5. Robert Davi
Robert Davi is an actor whos is best known for his roles in The Goonies, Die Hard, and Licence to Kill. Davi is a vocal Trump supporter who has even contributed to Breitbart News.
Forgive some of my language pic.twitter.com/RznYqDoJlx
— Robert Davi (@RobertJohnDavi) July 24, 2020
6. Ted Nugent
The former rock artist Ted Nugent called President Trump the “greatest president of our lifetime” at a recent Trump rally in Michigan.
7. Johnny Rotten
Johnny Rotten is best known as the lead singer of the late-1970s British punk band the Sex Pistols, but has recently made headlines over his support for Trump. He was even photographed wearing a Trump shirt.
8. Isaiah Washington
Isaiah Washington is best known for his role as Dr. Preston Burke in the first three seasons of the series Grey’s Anatomy. Washington supports the #WalkAway campaign, a movement urging people to “walk away” from the Democratic party and recently told Fox News that he supports Trump.
9. Jon Voight
Jon Voight is an academy award-winning actor who starred in numerous blockbuster films.
— Jon Voight (@jonvoight) October 16, 2020
10. Lee Greenwood
The country music star Lee Greenwood allows the Trump campaign to use his song “God Bless the USA” at rallies.
Which Dictator Killed The Most People?
A popular infographic on the site memolition compares many different ruthless dictators through history, and shows their death counts illustrated by drops of blood to represent one million people killed.
Mao Zedong is at the top of the list, having directly or indirectly led to the deaths of 78 million people, followed by Joseph Stalin with an estimated 23 million, and Adolf Hitler with 17 million.
However, there are many scholars who suggest that these numbers are not so cut and dry, and may not offer an entirely accurate representation of what took place. To start, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong were both ruling over much larger populations, for a much longer time than Adolf Hitler, and many of the deaths that were caused under their regime were caused indirectly through poverty and famine.
Of course, Russia and China during these eras had brutal police states, where citizens were routinely killed or thrown into prison for defying the state. The primary goal of those regimes was maintaining power, which is fairly common of authoritarian regimes. However, with Hitler and the Nazis, the genocide was targeted at specific ethnic and social groups, and eugenics was at the forefront of the regime’s philosophy. Many scholars have argued that even though the Nazi regime killed fewer people than its communist counterparts of the time, they represented a unique danger because they were seeking to use military force to reshape the genetics of the world.
Leopold II of Belgium, who has been mostly forgotten by mainstream history, was also listed in the graphic. Leopold is said to be responsible for an estimated 15 million deaths. The vast majority of the killings took place during Belgium’s colonization of the Congo in Africa, where the country controlled a large number of mining operations. To encourage higher production at the mines, Leopold’s regime is said to have cut off the hands of men, women, and children when quotas were not met.
Each of these people were ruthless murderers, regardless of the circumstances, and many of the people who are in leadership positions in government today are not much different.
List of 20 Songs The CIA Used To Torture Prisoners Of War
According to numerous witnesses and declassified reports, video evidence, and testimony from prisoners, guards and soldiers, the CIA used music to torture detainees in a number of different ways.
In some cases, songs would be played in repetition for hours or days on end, as to drive the prisoner to insanity. Music was also used to prevent detainees from sleeping, which is another way of creating delirium and vulnerability in the detainees.
Some songs were chosen because they were annoying, while others were chosen because they may have been offensive to the prisoner’s culture or religion. Some of the songs are annoying and could understandably be considered torture, specifically the Barney & Friends theme song, and the Meow Mix commercial.
Some of the artists who have had their songs used for torture have been very opposed to US foreign policy, especially Rage Against The Machine. In some cases, bands have even sued the US government for using their music in Guantánamo torture. For example, the Canadian electro-industrial band Skinny Puppy famously sued the US government after learning that their music was being used to torture people at Guantanamo Bay.
Below are some of the songs that have been identified most often as being used by the US military in their torture programs.
1. Deicide: **** Your God
2. Dope: Die MF Die, Take Your Best Shot
3. Eminem: White America, Kim, The Real Slim Shady
4. Barney & Friends: theme song
5. Drowning Pool: Bodies
6. Metallica: Enter Sandman
7. Meow Mix: commercial jingle
8. Sesame Street: theme song
9. David Gray: Babylon
10. AC/DC: Shoot to Thrill, Hell’s Bells
11. Bee Gees: Stayin’ Alive
12. Tupac: All Eyez On Me
13. Christina Aguilera: Dirrty
14. Neil Diamond: America
15. Rage Against the Machine: unspecified songs
16. Don McLean: American Pie
17. Saliva: Click Click Boom
18. Matchbox Twenty: Cold
19. (hed)pe: Swan Dive
20. Prince: Raspberry Beret
This torture technique is nothing new and has also been used during protests and stand-off situations. In some cases, they don’t even use music but instead will just play loud noises on repeat for hours. This is often part of a sleep deprivation strategy, which includes keeping lights on subjects for hours or even days at a time.
When the United States invaded Panama in December 1989, General Noriega took refuge in an embassy on December 24th, which was immediately surrounded by U.S. troops. For about a week, the military blasted rock music, including Van Halen’s song “Panama.” They also played episodes of The Howard Stern Show for extended periods of time.
Musicians are becoming increasingly frustrated with their music being used by politicians and government agencies. Last year, a large group of musicians signed a letter asking politicians to stop using their music for campaign rallies and other government purposes, unless they have direct consent from the artist. Torture is technically banned by the Geneva convention, but many governments get around this international law by simply not classifying their actions as torture. This is much the same way that police agencies use weapons on protesters that are capable of killing people, but still refer to them as “less than lethal” weapons.
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