Thursday, February 26, 2009
Even Jones himself sometimes mildly protests that talking about Zionism isn't worth the trouble.
Then why, I ask, would Jones suggest that Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme was a government operation to raise funds for Israel, on yesterday's broadcast?
Why would he say, "Israel had fingerprints all over 9/11"?
And why is one of his most valued mentors a blatantly anti-Semitic preacher named Texe Marrs?
And why did he allow Jordan Maxwell to ramble about Zionism being a "Teutonic/Germanic death cult"?
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Jones was very keyed up yesterday over this footage of a cameraman (whom I've identified as Steven Greenstreet of the American News Project) being told by security personnel not to film the Federal Reserve:
Here are a few facts about this incident:
1. It is not illegal to film federal buildings from the sidewalk, provided you aren't violating any restrictions. However, this cameraman was clearly off the public sidewalk and on Federal Reserve property.
2. This kind of incident is not common. The cameraman admits he had already taken footage of the White House, the Treasury, the Capitol, and the National Academy of Sciences "with no problem".
3. While somewhat disturbing, this is hardly "the essence of tyranny", as Jones called it. True tyranny would involve detainment, a trip to the head of security's office, the trampling of film, etc.
This has happened to me, too. While photographing my stepkids inside a government building in '01, security told me that I could take pictures in a north-south direction (as I was doing), but not in an east-west direction. I thought I was being punk'd or something. Then the guy explained that since government offices like Revenue Canada (that's the Canuck IRS, for non-Canadian readers) are arrayed along the eastern and western sides of the building, they wanted to ensure I wasn't doing reconnaissance for a terrorist attack. If I did take pictures of these offices, he informed me politely but firmly, they would have to confiscate my film.
There are a couple of valuable lessons to be drawn from experiences like this:
1. Even though security personnel cannot legally confiscate film or prevent filming/photography in most public places and circumstances, there are some legal restrictions on photographing/filming federal property, particularly for commercial purposes. It's a good idea to know your rights (and your limits) before filming. Find out if your film or equipment can be legally confiscated (in most places it can't). And keep in mind that some places only appear to be public property.
2. It is perfectly within the bounds of both law and propriety for security personnel to politely question you about filming/photography. It's also common sense. Security people are responsible for what happens on their watch. If they allow you to film the exterior of a building for half an hour, and that building later becomes the target of an intrusion or attack, they've got to explain to their bosses why they let you scope out the building without any interference whatsoever. I don't blame these folks for erring on the side of caution. It's their job. Overcaution or improper training on the part of security personnel does not necessarily equal tyranny.
Alex vs. G.I. Joe
Whilst ranting/singing about National Guard recruitment propaganda, Jones brought up one of his favourite accusations: The U.S. military is deliberately injecting each and every military officer with vaccines that contain very aggressive cancer viruses. I'll be exploring Jones's ideas about a global depopulation agenda in other posts, but I wanted to point out this Prison Planet article on cancer viruses in polio vaccine. It contains one of the weirdest statements I have ever seen in a Prison Planet article, and that's saying quite a lot:
"polio can be prevented in most people simply by eliminating sugar from their diet."
Where is one even supposed to begin with a statement like that? First of all, polio is an infectious (viral) disease with no known risk factors, other than transmission-related ones (like being unvaccinated or coming into contact with an infected person). There are risk factors for paralysis caused by polio, but "consuming sugar" is not among them. In fact, there are no dietary risk factors at all. But back in the '40s and '50s, a Dr. Benjamin P. Sandler declared that diets high in sugars and starch might increase risk of heart attack, bronchitis, polio, and virtually any other disease.
Was Sandler's hypothesis ever tested? No. His only support for it consisted of his clinical experience, together with a drop in North Carolina polio cases in 1948-49 (which didn't necessarily have anything to do with his dietary recommendations). The notion that diet alone can stave off all infectious disease was, and remains, extremely popular among certain quacks and their victims.
"That's what's really going on with this criminal government..."
Jones later mentioned this widely-reported story of two Pennsylvania judges who pled guilty to receiving kickbacks from a private company, PA Child Care, to place juveniles in the company's detention facilities. This is a deeply troubling story, and it should be widely reported. However, it's not quite the symptom of New World Disorder that Jones presents it as. Democracy Now! more accurately describes it as an "unprecedented" case. It is also a case of judicial corruption rather than government malfeasance. Not to mention that both judges have been disbarred and were sentenced to 87 months in prison. If this scandal was a genuine instance of the government "trying to destroy all the liberties we've got", it would have been swept under the rug.
Monday, February 23, 2009
"First they took away his guns, then they killed him."
Jones provided no details. Listeners were left only with the impression that "Crocodile Dundee" had his firearms confiscated, rendering him totally vulnerable, and was later murdered by the same people who did the confiscating.
I think I've found the source of Jones's information about the case: This article at Keep and Bear Arms. Written shortly after the incident, it strongly implies that far from "descending into madness", Rodney Ansell was responding in a predictable and understandable way to Australia's gun-control laws, and that he tried to shoot his way past a police roadblock merely because he didn't want to be busted with two firearms that were not licensed to him. In other words, if the government hadn't interfered with his right to bear arms, Rod Ansell probably wouldn't have snapped.
As I soon learned, the Ansell case is far, far more complicated than that.
For many years, Rod Ansell was a buffalo hunter in Australia's rugged, remote Northern Territory, known as the Top End. In 1977, when he was 21 years old, he made a solo trip to the Kimberlys with little more than his two dogs, a small dinghy, and a rifle. No one knows exactly what he was doing there. He claimed he was fishing, but later confided to friends that he was poaching crocodiles. At any rate, his boat overturned near the mouth of the Victoria River. A whale had bumped it, he said. He lost most of his supplies, but was able to swim ashore with his rifle and his dogs. "Not lost, but stuck", Ansell spent the next two months struggling to survive in the bush along the Fitzmaurice River, hunting for food. He was eventually found and rescued by members of the McCall family, who were cattle-driving in the area.
What a Croc
Most Aussies were not impressed by Ansell's strange story. They wondered why he hadn't simply followed the Fitzmaurice back to civilization. Years later, after his disintegration, fellow bushman Terry Halse remarked, "For years he's got away with his bullshit story about getting lost in the Kimberleys."
However, Ansell's ruggedness drew international attention. In 1981 British journalist and TV host Michael Parkinson interviewed him in Sydney for his BBC program Parkinson. Parkinson was charmed by Ansell's apparent backwardness; he was confounded by the bidet in his hotel, and preferred his sleeping bag to the bed.
TV writer/producer Ken Shadie found the Parkinson interview with Ansell so intriguing that he and talent manager John Cornell decided to turn Ansell's story into a vehicle for Cornell's primary client, TV comedian Paul Hogan. The three men scripted Crocodile Dundee, the story of a pretty, sophisticated American journalist wowed by the mad bush skills of a tough-but-lovable Aussie named Mick Dundee. She brings him to New York City as a kind of souvenir/conversation piece, a la Pocahontas, and the movie focuses on Mick's hilarious attempts to adapt to American urban life. Like Ansell, "Crocodile" Dundee had a tendency to embroider tales of his adventures.
Crocodile Dundee unexpectedly became the second highest-grossing film of 1986, and won that year's Golden Globe for Best Picture, as well as a Best Supporting Actress award for American actress Linda Kozlowski.
Kozlowsi and Hogan later married. The Mick Dundee character was so popular that Hogan milked it right into the 21st century, filming two Crocodile sequels and becoming a spokesperson for the Subaru Outback. If not for Steve Irwin, he might still be the world's favourite Aussie tough guy.
Meanwhile, the real Crocodile Dundee wasn't faring so well. Though his story of wilderness survival had been turned into a documentary titled To Fight the Wild and a book of the same name, winning him a measure of celebrity, Rod Ansell simply wasn't as famous as his fictional counterpart. Paul Hogan's production company had even forbidden him from starting up a "Real Crocodile Dundee Adventure Tour".
In the early '90s he and wife Joanne van Os were forced to give up Melaleuca Station, their small ranch near Darwin. They attributed this to financial difficulty stemming from the Northern Territory's BTEC buffalo program; Ansell claimed he had not been sufficiently compensated for loss of income resulting from the program's slaughter of diseased wild buffalo. However, subsequent Melaleuca manager Tony Searle says Ansell allowed mimosa plants to overrun the ranch. When the problem got out of hand, he simply walked away from it.
In 1992, Ansell was convicted of stealing 30 cattle and was fined for assaulting Mainorou Station manager John Harrower. He had threatened Harrower with a steel bar. Ansell was now divorced from Joanne, who remained in Darwin to raise their sons Shaun and Callum.
In 1999, Ansell was living at an Aboriginal camp on Urapanga station, several hundred kilometres east of Mataranka, with a young girlfriend named Cherie Hewson. He spent most of his time walking the few horses he owned.
Friend Dwyn Delaney was helping Ansell and Hewson plan an expedition on horseback through Arnhem Land, in the footsteps of the famed 19th-century explorer Lugwig Leichhardt. But Delaney and other friends had noticed that Ansell's behaviour was becoming increasingly odd and erratic. In November '98 he asked his lawyer to distribute any BTEC compensation among his relatives.
He was growing his own pot and taking lots of methamphetamines. No one knows precisely when his addiction to speed began, but it seems his drug use continued to escalate until the end of his life. The speed made him paranoid and volatile. He began to complain about being stalked by Freemasons, and became preoccupied with stories of cults and Satanism. In the summer of '99 he and Cherie abandoned their shack at Urapanga station to set up a remote bush camp.
There are confusing accounts of exactly what happened on August 3-4, 1999. Ansell's friend Peter Woods says that Ansell contacted him on the 3rd, worried that his sons had not yet arrived for an expected visit. He had encountered two bow-and-arrow hunters near his camp, and for some reason suspected that these men were Freemasons intending to harm him and/or his children. He was disturbed by the fact that the men were wearing goggles, possibly night-vision goggles.
Other accounts have Ansell drinking with a friend in the hours before his rampage.
What isn't in dispute is that Cherie and Ansell travelled to Darwin in Peter Woods's truck sometime on August 3rd. They ended up on Kentish Road, a quiet farm region roughly 60 kilometres south of the city. Ansell had two firearms with him, a 12-gauge shotgun and a bolt-action rifle. Neither gun was licensed to him.
That evening, Ansell fired several shots into a farmhouse, then crossed the road and harassed the family of Brian Williams by shooting out their floodlights, firing randomly at their house, and raving about Freemasons until neighbor Dave Hobden tried to intervene. Ansell fired through the windshield of Hobden's truck, sending shattered glass into one of the man's eyes, then continued to fire on him as Hobden made his escape.
As Ansell attempted to flee in his truck, Brian Williams confronted him with a baseball bat. Ansell shot him. The bullet tore off one of the Williams's fingers.
Williams, Hobden, and the residents of the farmhouse across the road told police they had never seen Rod Ansell before in their lives.
Later, Ansell returned to the Williams house and fired on it again. By that time, police had set up a roadblock at the south end of Kentish Road in the hopes of snaring the deranged shooter who had injured two men.
Around 10:30 PM, Sgt. Glen Huitson and Constable Jim O'Brien were dismantling the roadblock, assuming the gunman had left the area by some other route (which would have been very easy to do). But seconds after a motorist stopped at the roadblock to ask Sgt. Huitson for directions, gunfire exploded from the shrubs at the side of the road. A bullet grazed the motorist's backside before slamming into Huitson's abdomen, just below his bulletproof vest. The shots had come from Ansell, who had crawled up to the roadblock with both of his guns.
Minutes after Huitson was shot, Ansell fired on a Territory Response Group that arrived to help. The group's two Troopercarriers had collided in the melee and one of them had flipped, so Ansell was firing on the officers as they scrambled out of their overturned vehicle. It was at this point that Jim O'Brien shot Ansell, killing him instantly.
Police, and the rest of the world, were left to wonder why Ansell chose not to simply go around the roadblock.
Glen Huitson was a well-liked and respected officer, a "bush cop" known for his fairness and professionalism. Married since 1993, he had a 3-year-old and a baby at home. He died one hour after being shot without warning by the real-life Crocodile Dundee, a paranoid and unstable speed freak.
For the record, Shaun and Collum Ansell were not abducted by Freemasons nor anyone else.
The Bottom Line
Criticism of Australia's 1996 National Firearms Agreement centers on the banning of assault rifles, flame-throwers, Howitzers, etc., and on the requirement that gun owners have a "Genuine Reason" for ownership that excludes self-protection. However, aside from from these, existing state laws are not overly restrictive. Virtually anyone over 18 can own a gun.
The notion that Rod Ansell went on a rampage solely because he wouldn't be allowed to own a rocket launcher is absurd, and it's clear to me that people who attribute Ansell's crimes to gun control are not fully informed about the case. For instance, "gsvol" at a Tennessee Vols fan forum comments that Ansell, "died in a shootout with Australian police who had come to confiscate his unregistered firearms... A police sergeant was also killed in the incident; the number of "peace officers" injured while invading old 'Croc' in his natural domain is unknown, but likely he took down several. I don't mean to imply glee over the death and possible additional injuries; after all, they were 'just doing their job' like the obedient Nazi's [sic] tried at Nuremburg." The same capsule account can be found elsewhere online.
A lot of the misinformation and hyperbole about the case seems to be coming from two sources: retired Cuban-American physician Miguel Faria, and Vin Suprynowicz (author of the Keep and Bear Arms essay already mentioned).
By most accounts, Rod "Crocodile Dundee" Ansell was once a proud specimen of Australian manhood. Then he devolved into a drugged-up paranoid, and shot Sgt. Huitson and others with someone else's guns because he believed goggle-wearing Shriners were stalking him.
If Rod Ansell is your showcase example of why Australians should be allowed to own military-grade weaponry, I beg you to consider finding someone else. You're making other, far more sensible, supporters of gun rights look bad.
- "How the Dundee Myth Died in One Mad Day" by Paul Toohey, The Australian, 8/7/99. Reproduced here. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- Transcript of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Four Corners broadcast "Crossroads", 9/27/99. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- Transcript of Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Stateline interview with Joanne van Os, 7/10/05. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- "'Crocodile Dundee' man alleged killer" Australian Broadcasting Corporation broadcast transcript, 4/8/99. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- "Rod Ansell, the Real Crocodile Dundee" at ColinHewitt.com. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- Wikipedia entry Gun Politics in Australia. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- Wikipedia entry on Crocodile Dundee. Retrieved 2/23/09.
- Crocodile Dundee at the Internet Movie Database
Sunday, February 22, 2009
- I have no personal beef with Jones. I think that he is sincere in his beliefs and is only doing what he feels must be done to make the world a better place. That doesn't mean he's right, however.
- Nothing I post will be related to the nationality, religious affiliation, or lifestyle of Alex Jones. This blog is about the information Jones disseminates, not about Jones himself.
- I welcome dissenting views, but comments that are disrespectful toward Jones, his associates, or myself will be removed. I'm here to examine information, not to engage in flame wars or talk smack about anyone.
- I realize that not everything Jones says is inaccurate. He says a lot, so he's bound to be right once in a while.
- I do not subscribe to ridiculous, groundless theories that Jones is a disinformationist, a Jesuit, a Freemason, an alphabet agency agent, etc. You cannot defeat paranoia and rumour-mongering by indulging in paranoia and rumour-mongering, so I don't.
- Jones himself encourages his audience to check his information, and once in a great while he even provides a source. I'm just taking him at his word. If the things he says are correct, then they'll withstand any amount of scrutiny.
Why Alex Jones?
Why am I singling out Alex Jones? Why not Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or other conservative personalities who consistently distort the news and get their facts wrong? Why not David Icke, Jack Blood, or other conspiracy theorists?
Well, it's rather simple. Jones has become outrageously popular. His appeal transcends class, age, race, ethnicity, politics, and religion. My city is plastered with PrisonPlanet stickers. Many educated, middle-class people I know preface sentences with "Alex Jones says...". His viral videos, numerous websites, and widely available radio show are spreading his message to thousands of people every day. This means his misinformation is reaching thousands of people every day.
Unlike Savage, Don Imus, Howard Stern, and other controversial radio personalities, Jones does not present himself as an "infotainer". He presents himself as a serious researcher, activist, and documentarian who is providing vitally important, factual information to the masses. Rarely does he admit, "This is just my opinion."
So those are the general reasons I'm singling out Alex Jones. To be more specific, I'm concerned that Jones:
- Spreads erroneous, discredited information
- Elevates rumours and conspiracy theories to the status of facts; rarely provides sources for outrageous statements
- Misinterprets and/or misrepresents news items, legislation, government documents, etc., to bring them in line with his belief that the world's elite are carrying out systematic repression against all people in preparation for the installation of a "New World Order"
- Uses this misinformation to instill fear, anger, and panic in his audience
- Provides a forum for guests who hold pseudohistorical and pseudoscientific views
- Provides a forum for guests who hold anti-Semitic views
- Provides a forum for guests who offer bogus medical treatments and cures
- Appeals to emotionality in lieu of logic/rationality
- Fosters an "Us vs. Them" siege mentality
- Encourages fear and distrust of all officials, law enforcement personnel, military officers, medical professionals, and educators
- Presents deeply flawed analyses of historical events as fact
- Retroactively reshapes descriptions of events so that he can claim, "Everything I say comes true!"
- Promotes "Satanic panic" (anti-occult hysteria created by misinformation and hoaxes)
- Fosters extremely dangerous anti-vaccine hysteria
- Exaggerates and distorts information to fit his worldview (a common media tactic, but still unacceptable)
- Gives inaccurate health and dietary advice, though he is not a medical professional and does not seem to have a medical advisor
- Discourages people from donating to the American Cancer Society and other nonprofit cancer organizations
- Inculcates fear and disrespect of law enforcement by exaggerating and harping on isolated instances of police brutality and malfeasance
- Provides scientifically inaccurate information about global warming, space exploration, food additives, and sundry other topics of which he has no specialized knowledge
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