Friday, August 28, 2015
There have been hundreds if not thousands of Crop Circles popping up mysteriously for decades and some historical records that indicate they might have been happening for centuries. When they first drew attention as possibly being related to UFOs they were still limited to simple circles. Then they started becoming more complex and there was no doubt that hey could be an unexplained natural phenomena.
This was first explained away years ago as hoaxer when Doug Bower and Dave Chorley confessed to doing it for years as a hoax. They claimed they were responsible for crop Circles dating back decades. The circles have been appearing all over the world and there is no way that just these two could have done it, but there have been more people saying they're creating the hoaxes. They were eventually paid £10,000 for their exclusive interview, which means that if they were telling the truth they were satisfied with their hoaxes for decades without any compensation or attention doing an enormous amount of work and never getting caught or telling anyone.
This is the accepted explanation for the skeptic community.
Farmer David Gwinn seems to accept this explanation and claims Not aliens: 'Clever' crop circle was vandals, says Shropshire farmer 08/12/2015 Why haven't many people been arrested for this vandalism? As far as I can tell there is only one arrest that I've been able to find fifteen years ago.
Police Make First Arrest Over Crop Circles, (By Cahal Milmo 11/04/2000) when they arrested Matthew Williams after photos were sent to them anonymously. According to an article The Anatomy of Deception another group of hoaxers trying to prove that it can be done without getting caught were paid to do at least one Crop Circle shaped like a van over the course of two days with police protection before trying to do one without getting caught at night, and they were caught almost immediately. Supposedly they were unable to reproduce any of the unusual biophysical and electromagnetic features including blown out nodes that are supposedly done as a result of microwaves according to some research.
A quick search of the internet turns up an article supporting Team Satan and one with additional criticism. The supporters "A Circular State of Mind" wrote Crop Circle Challenge 2013: Team Satan Respond, which seems to satirize it more than address any of the details.
The additional criticism was included in Nancy Talbott's Letter to National Geographic TV's Mr. Sydney Suissa about an offer to participate in another TV show, where she claims that Team Satan was involved in additional scams including taking credit for a circle that had already been created as part of their debunking efforts. This letter also includes criticism about bias on the part of National Geographic which seems to be a pattern with traditional media outlets covering Crop Circles, or many other subjects, for that matter. She also claims that they haven't been able to reproduce the blown out nodes which she believes may have been created as a result of microwaves.
Nancy Talbott and several other researchers have all claimed that these are common in Crop Circles and can't be replicated by using the simple planks and ropes that most hoaxers claim to use. From what I've seen the skeptics don't refute this; instead they ignore it when possible or try to distract people from it or use ridicule. On at least one show about Crop Circles someone speculated that may be the ones with the blown out nodes caused by microwaves are just the simple circles caused by an unusual phenomena that they haven't discovered yet and the designs that are clearly done with intent are the hoaxers. They did no obvious follow up on this speculation like checking to see if the facts confirm this; instead they threw it out there, perhaps expecting some to accept this as a possible explanation. However Nancy Talbott's website, BLT Research crop circles sites numerous examples that indicates it isn't the case. Most people that get their information from traditional media might not be aware of this or many of her other claims.
About thirteen years ago the Discovery Channel did a show that attempted to explain how these blown out nodes might have been created. After the show aired there were several articles on the internet claiming there were problems with it, however like most other people that watched it at the time I wasn't aware of this so I'll get back to it. Several MIT students had a microwave generator of some kind which was more difficult to carry in and out of fields than the simple planks of wood other alleged circle makers claim to use. They also had to wear protective clothing made out of lead or something similar since the microwaves could be harmful to people. Part of the show included some clowning around which might serve well for entertainment purposes. This isn't uncommon in UFO shows or many other shows but it distracts from the issue.
After some troubles they claimed that they were able to replicate the unexplained characteristics although there was some indication that they might not be fully convinced. There was no discussion about whether other circle makers might have known this decades earlier or why they would go to such extreme measures to create hoaxes. Nor was there any discussion about the possibility that if hoaxer had been using this for a large number of circles over decades that they almost certainly would have had some kind of accident with this kind of equipment and gotten caught or that the microwaves would inevitably cause health problems.
Even if this really was possible and they could work out the problems it seemed highly unlikely that this experiment could have explained all these crop circles and how the nodes were blown out. that was basically my impression even before I heard about concerns expressed by Nancy Talbott, who was cited in the show implying her approval. Searching the internet for this show no longer turns it up or anything from the Discovery Channel that I can find but there are plenty of articles exposing it as a fraud including one by Nancy Talbott, M.I.T. Kids' Crop Circle Attempt Yields an Interesting (And Totally Inadvertent) Result. She claims that even with all their work they still weren't able to replicate the blown out nodes among other things.
This means that even though they cheated they still weren't able to explain how the Crop Circles are made, which actually fits a pattern for several other unexplained phenomena including how ancient megaliths were moved and how ancient civilizations were able to do enormous volumes of carved sculptures that are difficult if not impossible to replicate by technology allegedly known to people in those times, and even now in some cases.
I went into this more on 107 Wonders of the Ancient World and an old string discussing Megalith moving experiments which failed to move many if any megaliths above ten tons without cheating. The biggest experiments they tried that I know of were 25 and 40 tons and as far as I can tell they cheated and still only had a very limited success. Further explanation is in the two sources cited. this isn't adequate to prove that the megaliths were moved with influence from an unknown intelligence that causes UFOs, assuming a natural explanation can't be found for the UFOs; however it is adequate to indicate that there are major unsolved mysteries and from a scientific point of view it isn't unreasonable to develop theories then try to either confirm or refute them.
I have found that most of the research presented by the media about UFOs is full of incompetent claims from both sides and an enormous amount of their claims are so easy to discredit that I can't help but wonder if they're trying to do an honest job at all. Many of thees mistakes are too easy to recognize so I strongly suspect that they're intentionally doing more to confuse the issue than educate the public. If that is their objective it is successful; however if people take enough time to look at it, with rational skepticism, not to be confused with pseudo-skepticism, then they can find plenty of legitimate unsolved mysteries, even if they can't provide conclusive evidence to fully explain one theory or another. And the one presented by the traditional media always seem to have a large number of flaws that can rule them out to rational skeptics. Which means that sincere rational skeptics might do better to come up with their own theories.
This is why I suspect the government just might have decided to "Recruit a group of crackpots" (further discussion in ATS string about MJ-12) as the semi-fictional Roswell movie speculated about. Whether this is true or not the vast majority of information from the traditional media about this subject, and most others, is very poorly done; and the most reliable information comes from sorting through alternative media outlets. However in this case even most alternative media outlets on the subject also have their problems, and most theories will almost certainly fall apart, although claims that there are no unsolved mysteries also fall apart.
This is why it might help to have hard facts to fall back on when bizarre theories fall apart and the megaliths and crop circles provide that. Megaliths provide rock solid evidence that activities that can't be replicated took place thousands of years ago and if Nancy Talbott is right then crop circles indicate that other unexplained phenomena still occur. It is hard to tell what to conclude from this but the crop circles continue happening so if researchers are sincere they might be able to narrow things down. This could be potential evidence of an unknown advanced intelligence that has been on or near Earth for thousands of years; however filling in the details without additional back up information is speculative and rational skepticism should be maintained.
One claim that people should be especially skeptical of is the assumption that this unknown advanced intelligence might be benevolent, or the most extreme malicious claims. If they were inclined to invade like the war of the worlds, and they've been here for decades, if not thousands of years they would have already done so, and if they were benevolent there would be no need for secrecy. One example of that recently is ‘Aliens prevented nuclear war on Earth’: Edgar Mitchell Former NASA astronaut makes unexpected claim. (08/13/2015) If aliens were benevolent they almost certainly would have opened up a line of honest communication relatively shortly after they arrived, if it was possible.
Shortly after this story came out Edgar Mitchell claimed he was misquoted in another article, The UFOs Didn't Come In Peace! Astronaut Sets Record Straight On ET Nuclear War. 08/27/2015 this is typical of the information available about UFOs which often turns into bickering but Edgar Mitchell has still been claiming for years that he believes that UFOs are real and that they may involve alien intelligence.
The appropriate way to earn trust requires an open line of honest communication. If these aliens really were benevolent and they arrived thousands of years ago they could have provided advise that could have dramatically reduced wars and other atrocities that have taken place since then.
Instead, if they influenced cult structures that may have been associated with the megaliths and religion they might have inspired the religions that helped prop up the authority of many tyrants and maintain a steady state of war, often based on religious beliefs.
Some of the theories about obtaining technology from aliens include assisting with moving the megaliths and more recently according to Philip Corso's book "The Day After Roswell" they reverse engineered alien technology to create some of the scientific advances over the past 6 decades. Bob Lazar also makes similar claims but both of them have credibility problems so their claims can't be entirely true. However if they're party true then this technology is being used primarily to benefit those that control it and a lot of it is being used to increase their control of the public and maintain a permanent state of war. Corso's claims also include sharing technology with companies like Monsanto, which implies the possibility that we're being used as research subjects as part of a genetically engineered development of crops which are fed to people. If this technology isn't from aliens the research is still going on for other reasons so there should still be demands for disclosure, at a minimum.
If people take this hypothesis seriously then the aliens wouldn't be benevolent since they're giving tacit approval, at best, by remaining silent and allowing their technology to be used in such a foolish and authoritarian manner.
This hypothesis may sound a lot like the Ancient Aliens series that has been on the History Channel for the past five or six years. This series has an enormous amount of blunders like in the introductory two hour show one of the leading theorists, Giorgio Tsoukalos, says that when he went into the tunnel of an ancient Egyptian tomb his lighter didn't work because there wasn't enough oxygen; however if this was the case then he shouldn't have been able to breath there clearly indicating his conclusion makes no sense at all. The series is full of one blunder after another. Many of them were addressed in Ancient Aliens Debunked; however even though these skeptics are far more rational than the high profile Ancient Aliens theorists they still don't explain how some of the giant megaliths were moved or some other ancient mysteries.
This would fit in with the "Recruit a group of crackpots" hypothesis; however consideration should be given to other explanations why there are so many blunders from both the theorists and the so-called skeptics, who are often as manipulative as the theorists.
Edgar Mitchell is just one many other astronauts or other government employees including military members that have come out with disclosures about UFOs. the strong implication is that either there is a conspiracy to cover up UFOs or there is a conspiracy to make it seem like UFOs exists and are controlled by aliens. Also It is hard to imagine hoe this could come about without a conspiracy one way or another but I'm sure some skeptics will come up with their ideas.
No doubt this all sounds absurd, and it is. However there are an enormous number of absurd things that actually are happening. It is hard to look at the political discussion that is now typical without thinking it is absurd; yet no one is claiming that their clownish behavior isn't happening.
The truth is as absurd as many bizarre conspiracy theories.
The following related articles include some crop circles that are relatively new; looking in Google news typically turns up more; and the first two sites include crop circles that have been compiled over several decades.
Temporary Temples: Recording the Crop Circles for over 20 years
Lucy Pringle's Home page 25 years of Crop Circles
E.T IN DORSET? Crop circles spark mystery 07/31/2015
After Hungerford UFO sightings, now it's crop circles 08/12/2015
Mystery surrounds second crop circle near Stratford 08/12/2015
Drone captures footage of this creepy crop circle near Stonehenge 07/09/2015
Mysterious Crop Circles Spotted In Wiltshire, Near Stonehenge [Video] 07/04/2015
Amazing drone footage shows 'alien' crop circles close to Stonehenge 07/08/2015
Is this the work of aliens? Drone captures aerial footage of mysterious crop circles in Russian wheat field 06/12/2015
Tenn. Gray hay field sports crop circle 05/28/2015
‘I’m an artist who makes crop circles’ 03/27/2015
If Crop Circles Are Man Made How Come We Never See Arrests For The Criminal Damage To The Crops? 08/29/2015
"Discovery Channel Documentary-The True Story," - 20/06/2003 By GURO K PARVANOVA
Open Minds Production: Biophysicist and crop circle researcher W.C. Levengood passes October 15, 2013
Dr W.C. Levengood, John A. Burke, Lab Report No 18 Crop Circle Skeptics
10 Wickedly Beautiful Crop Circles 08/19/2015
Widowed by cancer, farmer turns mystery crop circle into £5,000 boost for hospital cancer appeal 08/20/2015
Crop circles footage reveals 'mystery' formations in fields 08/14/2015
Crop Circle Artist Matthew Williams
One Woman’s 9-Year Arduous Journey to Unlock the Secrets of Crop Circles 10/24/2014
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
There's an enormous amount of discussion about Joe Biden's Secret Meeting and if it Signals a Biden-Warren Ticket (08/23/2015) among other things. What no one in the media has bothered to mention is that although it doesn't fit the stereotype of a conspiracy theory it does fit the definition of one.
Politicians and the media are constantly carrying on discussions behind closed doors designed to make candidates they support more viable by giving them positive coverage; and make those they don't support by refusing to cover them; although in this case they probably don't discuss them as often even behind closed doors. This guarantees that they can screen candidates and prevent opponents from having much if any control of the government.
(Edit sine this post it has been reported that this meeting was about the possibility of her running as his vice president as reported more below.)
The simple definition of a Conspiracy Theory is when two or more people communicate or act about things that effect the public in secrecy. The mainstream media almost never mentions this definition while they repeat the propaganda over and over again ridiculing those that discuss conspiracy theories they disagree with and treating those they agree with as if they're benign and should be accepted without criticism. This gives the most impressionable members of the public the impression that it is acceptable to conduct most political activities behind closed doors.
This is less likely to spur some conspiracy theories like when Dick Cheney held closed door meetings with the energy company executives to develop his plan without inviting environmentalists. However, it might be more insidious since Elizabeth Warren may have attracted the closest thing to a cult following in the Democratic party that I know of, and she isn't nearly as sincere as she seems as I indicated in several previous posts about her including the most recent, Elizabeth Warren steals credit from real grass roots efforts where I indicated that she often supports the agenda of the traditional political establishment often even the corporations she claims to stand up to. And even though she says she is trying to reform the system she has broken fund raising records from people that want to get a return on their investment and reversed herself on several issues for political reasons already.
She previously criticized Hillary Clinton for flip flopping on "that awful" banking bill then supporting it after being elected senator and collecting money from banks; but after winning the Senate seat she encouraged Hillary to run indicating that she would support her among other people in the establishment, including Lawrence Summers, who she also criticized. It is only after it began to appear that Hillary had major problems and there was a growing grassroots movement that she became more vocal for some issues and implied she might not be so supportive of Hillary after all, which indicates that she is turning into a typical politician, like many other ones that pretended not to be that way long enough to get elected.
Conspiracy combined with propaganda and psychological manipulation of the public is standard operating procedure in the system we have; and instead of trying to educate the public about it they use propaganda to ridicule those that question the government. Fortunately many of the most important factors don't involve the strictest definition of a conspiracy since they can't be kept completely secret; however propaganda and psychological manipulation keeps people distracted so they don't pay attention. The media establishment rigs the elections by refusing to cover candidates unless they collect enormous amounts of money from corporations and have the support of the two political parties. They routinely discuss politics behind closed doors and come out with policies that overwhelmingly benefit the campaign contributors.
Activities behind closed doors about policy and how to manipulate the public to support candidates fits the definition of a conspiracy and if people do a good job sorting though the news especially from alternative news outlets there is a reasonably good chance they could develop a viable conspiracy theory about what is going on.
When that happens they could be ridiculed by the media and so-called skeptics like Michael Shermer as I indicated in Are Michael Shermer and Philip Zimbardo trying to be secular cult leaders; Shermer isn't the only one that uses this tactic among others. Rachel Maddow and many other media pundits often promote stereotypes about Conspiracy theorists. often focusing on the worst and most dramatic that do an incredibly bad job developing viable conspiracy Theories so they can make it seem like all those that disagree with the government are incompetent. They conveniently refuse to cover the more rational conspiracy Theorists like they refuse to cover grassroots candidates that really do represent the public at the expense of multinational corporations that donate to campaigns.
This is typical propaganda tactic that seems trivial to most; however a large portion of activities, even by those that seem to be the most devoted advocates for the public, is done in secret and when they make policy decisions the establishment candidate routinely give preferential treatment to their campaign contributors at the expense of the public.
The political and media establishment routinely applies one definition for many terms including conspiracy theories and terrorism for those that they oppose and another for those they support. The definition for terrorism is to use violence to achieve political goals; but that doesn't refer to when the United States does this in wars based on lies.
The war in Iraq alone caused more innocent lives to be lost than the 9/11 attack and if we accept the traditional explanation of that then it was retaliation for past activities our government was involved in; however the traditional media rarely reports on that and those that research the history of things they don't like are ridiculed as Conspiracy Theorists.
Historical documents, including many declassified government files indicate that despite all the rhetoric about "defending freedom" in their activities abroad the US government has overthrown governments with far more political support from their own people in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile and many other countries and when the tyrants they support have been overthrown they ahve a history of supporting terrorists that try to restore them or their allies including in Nicaragua and Cuba.
If they used the terms "terrorists" and "conspiracy theory" consistently then the biggest of both would be within our government; however that doesn't support their propaganda purposes or make them seem democratic, which they're not.
Edit: the media finally reported what some people may have suspected all along, Biden wanted Warren as his VP. 05/12/2016 This may seem trivial to most people but the political establishment routinely rigs elections simply by providing an enormous amount of coverage for the candidates they support and refusing to provide any coverage, if they have any choice for those that rise at the real grassroots level. Candidates that truly try to address the best interests of the majority of the public have to do an enormous amount of local campaign to attract enough attention from the public before they pressure the media to cover them for local offices. The ones supported by media and political establishment get coverage from them long before they have any grassroots support.
When it comes to higher office like the presidency or state wide office it is almost impossible to get any coverage. The media only covers candidates they approve of positively; and if their is enough grassroots support for those they don't support they only provide them a token amount of coverage compared to the ones they like and often treat them as fringe candidates.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Our election process is a pathetic laughing stock!
If there was any doubt about that before the current candidates declared, including Donald Trump, that should be long gone now.
There should be little or no doubt that research done by people like James Carville, Frank Luntz and Carl Rove, among many other political strategists, is designed to enable politicians to manipulate voters more effectively instead of actually addressing their concerns; but first it should be made clear what this system is not.
It is not making any attempt to enable the public to participate in the democratic process by providing them with the information they need to make important decisions.
In a Democracy the people control the government and if we do this through a representative Democracy, which we supposedly have, then we elect representatives to do the will of the people and they're accountable to the public.
In order for this to work properly the people have to have reasonable control over the election process and we have to have a media that reports the most important issues. The media should also report on all the candidates that address the issues that concern the public not just those that are bribed through thinly disguised campaign contributions.
A real democracy would have a system that enabled the voters to participate in the interview process of people who are asking voters for a job to represent them. Voters should have an opportunity to ask about the most important issues to them and they should be able to influence the high profile discussion about issues. Applicants, often called candidates should be required to attend interviews controlled by voters if they want to be taken seriously for the job.
If a job applicant for any other job told the people he was asking for a job that he should be able to control the interview process, perhaps with the help of a consolidated media controlled by a relatively small percentage of the public with a conflict of interest, there is no way he would get the job; yet this is exactly how were expected to elect our political representatives.
Few if any of the necessities of Democracy happen in our current system nor is there any attempt by those in power to educate the public and let them know that it is their job to participate in the interview process to look out for their own best interests. No one is trying to remind people that they're supposed to hire a candidate that is actually capable of doing a good job, instead of representing campaign contributors regardless of what the majority wants.
You might think this would go without saying; but when the public is constantly inundated with appeals to emotions and enormous amounts of propaganda without any rational educational information, unless they get it from alternative media outlets then it can be easily forgotten and the lies repeated over and over again begin to seem like the truth.
Also contrary to what the media has been saying the leading establishment candidate, for now at least, is Donald Trump.
The media has been saying that the reason why so many voters like him is because he isn't part of the establishment and they think he speaks his mind instead of consulting with the polls. They repeat this over and over again.
Just in case anyone hasn't noticed this is part of the standard operating procedure for introducing new establishment candidates. First the media gives them enormous amounts of air time so they can say "I'm not a politician;" then if they get elected they start acting like politicians, and cut deals with the establishment.
The ones who really aren't establishment candidates can easily be recognized, assuming you hear about them through alternative media outlets, because their not getting any coverage from the establishment. If there is an exception it might might be someone like Bernie Sanders who gets an enormous amount of grass roots support so eventually the media feels they have to pay at least a token amount of coverage to him. Recently Rachel Maddow implied he has received enormous amounts of coverage from the media in her "Tales of the tape" show; but she almost certainly had to search for the few rare clips they did of him and failed to mention that real establishment candidates get ten times as much coverage and don't have to wait years to get it.
Donald Trump clearly has an enormous amount of support from the commercial media for one reason or another and that is why he's doing so well in the polls, assuming they're accurate, which I doubt. His own former aid raised doubts about what he called unscientific polls that Trump was citing from the traditional media, shortly after resigning or being fired. This is almost certainly accurate and it is probably much more difficult to take statistically representative polls now with modern technology since many people use them to avoid unwanted calls, including pollsters, so most polls don't target a representative portion of the public.
The obsessive focus on polls is some of the strongest evidence that this is a research project to study how to manipulate voters in the most effective way possible. The people running the media are constantly taking polls and talking to what they call focus groups to find out what they think in response to one candidate or another and their ads; and the candidates also do their own polling and focus groups. They use these polls and focus group to find out how to improve their messages so they can manipulate voters and then once they get in office they do what their campaign contributors want.
They have mentioned repeatedly that Donald Trump has the most money because he's a billionaire and has even said he would be willing to spend a billion dollars on the campaign; however ad buys are often the biggest expense in any campaign and he isn't the leading buyer of ads in the New England area, especially New Hampshire, which overlaps Massachusetts and Maine media. John Kasich was the first person to buy a large amount of ads, followed by George Pataki, Chris Christies, Ben Carson, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and perhaps a couple other candidate; however Trump has bought few if any ads that I know of. The media is providing him all the coverage he needs to get his message across; why should he bother buying ads?
This provides a perfect opportunity for someone to study how much coverage the media provides and compare it to how those candidates rise of fall in the polls as the coverage changes, assuming they can sort out the polls with the least flaws. It is virtually guaranteed that some of these political researchers are doing just that so they can understand how to more effectively manipulate the public. It is also possible that media researchers like Ben Badakian, Robert McChesney and other academics that have tried to inform the public about how the system is being rigged; however they're less likely to have the resources to do this research and they might also ahve to deal with copyright laws making it harder to do it without permission.
The media has records of all their own coverage so if they want to they can do their own research without worrying about permission but a non-government organization would either have to ask permission or tape them all to do a thorough study. If this were done then the public would know better about how the system is rigged, or at least those that seek out alternative media would since the mainstream media wouldn't expose themselves.
If this isn't part of a research project what is it?
This has become so absurd that even the people controlling it admit that the system is broken but they do nothing to change it; instead they keep getting even bolder and more clownish.
Donald Trump has even repeatedly confessed to bribery and no one is doing anything about it or claiming that he should be disqualified along with the people he bribed, some of whom he is running against, including Republican's and Hillary as well.
During the first debate Brett Baier said, "You explained away those donations saying you did that to get business-related favors. And you said recently, quote, 'When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.'” And Donald Trump responded, "You’d better believe it." (Trump’s Triumph: Billionaire Blowhard Exposes Fake Political System 08/07/2015)
If that isn't a confession to bribery what is it?
Why hasn't there been any discussion of prosecuting him or the clowns that he's been bribing?
The segment just before it was one of the rare occasions that they actually mentioned Single Payer health care but they didn't actually discuss how it works and how it could save an enormous amount of money for the public, except for a brief comment from Trump where he says it works in Canada and Scotland, but caves and says he isn't for it here anymore.
This is odd for someone who is not afraid to speak his mind. Instead of explaining to the public that a Single Payer Health Care system would eliminate an enormous amount of corporate expenses and profits that is sending prices through the roof he agrees that he wouldn't support it which contradicts his claims that he will fix the system.
There are plenty of candidates who are much more qualified than the ones presented by the commercial media and there would be even more if they thought they would be treated fairly but the vast majority of the public never hears from them; however the only ones that the media does cover are ones that are involved in enormous scandals often being investigated for one of them or another or related to members of the ruling party.
The media has been trying to rig the nomination for years for Hillary be declaring that she is the front runner even though she doesn't seem to have much if any grass roots support. This is designed to ensure that if people think she's the front runner they're more likely to support her.
They've been studying this tactic for decades, and it has been very successful, to a point; however the reason there are so many people frustrated with the system is because they're doing this.
By giving Trump an enormous amount of attention they're making him seem even more absurd than traditional candidates, at least to some people; but a surprising number of people might actually take him seriously, although he will almost certainly be stopped by the same media establishment that propped him up.They can also make him seem more absurd than the media pundits; however if people think it through it isn't hard to realize that the media helped create his popularity by giving him so much coverage while refusing to provide any coverage for real grassroots candidates that are much more rational but don't collect bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions.
This could enable them to try to make the candidates that they consider "non-establishment" appear like nutcases; without acknowledging that some of the real non-establishment candidates are much better than the ones they cover.
It is no longer an exaggeration to say that the presidential campaign has turned into a so-called reality TV show as bad as Jerry Springer if not worse. They might not have physical brawls on stage with the candidates, at least not yet, but their antics are worse since they keep the public distracted and avoid addressing the most important issues.
I wouldn't be surprised if many people In Europe are laughing their asses off watching the American political system; however people in the third world watching it might be much more likely to be horrified, since the United States has a bad habit of invading them based on lies and they know it, even if we can't get good news here from the establishment media.
Unless people at the grassroots level recognize this and stop settling for candidates covered by the media for most if not all offices, including the presidential race, then the establishment will continue studying how to manipulate the public into voting for one candidate or another and the candidate that has the best advisers and their campaign contributes will win the chance to rig the system in their favor while buying up enormous amounts of propaganda to appease the public, instead of addressing their issues.
If enough people support the pseudo-populist campaign for Donald trump, which I doubt then the political establishment will have one more demagogue to do their will, at least to a point and they can study his tactics so that they can arrange other candidates to use them again until the public falls for it one time too many.
If there is a short term solution to this it will probably involve either electing Bernie Sanders or another grass roots candidate like Jill Stein, but she would have to get more coverage. If they have to use dirty tricks to smear Sanders or steal the nomination from him then it could provide an opportunity to shift his grassroots support to Jill Stein or another rational candidate.
But even if we do somehow manage to elect a real grassroots candidate despite the overwhelming propaganda advantage from the commercial media, we'll still have to have an enormous amount of grass roots pressure on the rest of the government, hopefully electing more grass roots candidates to congress. Bernie Sanders has even acknowledge that, saying that no matter who wins the presidency, he won't be able to implement reform without a large grassroots organization, not to be confused with the AstroTurf provided for most establishment candidates including Hillary, who is as clownish as the Republicans.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
I remember when Michael Shermer was once discussing something and added a brief comment about how some people on the internet even claimed that Skepticism was part of a new cult and he sighed and rolled his eyes and said it was ridiculous, without providing further details about the claim or why he claimed it was false.
This is a typical tactic that Michael Shermer uses about a lot of different subjects. More often than not he is probably right but when he's confronted with claims he can't explain or conspiracies that seem to have raise legitimate concerns, he often uses ridicule or other appeals to emotions which he criticizes his opponents for using.
I wasn't inclined to think of Skepticism is a cult and still don't; however a large number of high profile skeptics, including Michael Shermer, often make almost as many colossal blunders as the bizarre claims they attempt to debunk and often use the same manipulation tactics that cult members or religious people might. In many cases, for some of the strangest claims, the strongest evidence for both sides often seems to be the incompetence of the other side and the assumption that one of them might be right, without considering third possibilities or admitting that they simply don't have enough evidence to explain it. Therefore I'm no longer convinced that the possibility of a secular cult leader, or more likely something similar, should be dismissed out of hand, and ironically, even Michael Shermer has come to the conclusion that reason can contribute to a secular cult.
Recently Michael Shermer did a review of Philip Zimbardo's new movie about the so-called Stanford Prison Experiment, Are We All Potentially Evil? A new dramatic film based on the Stanford Prison Experiment reveals why good people turn bad by Michael Shermer. 07/29/2015 He refers to this experiment as being famous and claims that when he went to school "Philip Zimbardo was already a legend." It certainly is famous within the academic world, especially those that study sociology or psychology, however it isn't nearly so well known among the majority of the population.
He didn't even mention the scandal about the American Psychological Association being involved in providing help to advise on interrogation tactics; as I explained in a recent post, American Psychological Association exposed again, even though Philip Zimbardo isn't mentioned in the highest profile articles about the subject, he is much closer to the scandal than most people realize and his research almost certainly contributed to the training of cadets and interrogation of prisoners. He was also president of the American Psychological Association when some of the changes to ethical rules took place to weaken them.
When Michael Shermer refers to Philip Zimbardo as a legend he is using a subtle form of flattery or appeal to emotion, which is a common manipulation tactic. Many people from the academic world might prefer the term infamous for Zimbardo. This conveniently avoids the belief among a large number of scholars that his research is seriously flawed and highly unethical, including Peter Singer who once made a brief positive comment about his associate Milgram's work along with more serious criticism about his ethics and this was taken out of context in a review with a forward written by Zimbardo.
Both Michael Shermer and Philip Zimbardo have a history of selectively warning people about some manipulation tactics while simultaneously using others. One of the most important aspects of rational skepticism is warning people about how to recognize these tactics so that they can recognize false beliefs on their own. Sometimes when skeptics or perhaps I should say pseudo-skeptics warn people about these tactics they often do so in a manner that supports their beliefs which is a variation of the way many religious people or believers of other strange things often try to convince people of their beliefs.
I have compiled my own list of Indoctrination Tactics and Educational Alternatives and followed this up with a blog post Manipulation Tactics that includes lists from other people, and it is reasonable to consider turnabout is fair play, especially since there have been so many people accusing others of using manipulation tactics while simultaneously doing the same. One common tactic is to use ridicule which Michael Shermer often does, effectively shaming people that believe in fringe beliefs. He often claims that something is ridiculous, absurd or ludicrous, clearly implying that they're also false. In many cases this may actually be true but when it is there is a way to refute them without relying on ridicule.
Anyone watching the political campaign might conclude that it is ridiculous, absurd or ludicrous, yet this doesn't mean that these things aren't happening.
Now that the traditional political establishment is becoming increasingly absurd and ridiculous it should be more difficult to dismiss the absurd and ridiculous as automatically being false since the truth is often now as absurd and ridiculous as fringe conspiracy theories or beliefs.
Michael Shermer often uses ridicule and charisma to convince people to adopt his beliefs almost as much as the believers of things he considers absurd do. Michael Shermer and many other so called skeptics have often relied on stereotypes about fringe beliefs, including conspiracy theories or UFOs among other things. From a scientific point of view this shouldn't be enough, although it often takes more time to go into the details and large portions of the public aren't willing to take that time.
Michael Shermer and other so-called skeptics have been promoting stereotypes about conspiracy theories for a long time and some of them can be easily recognized in his free download, Conspiracy Theories: Who believes them? Why? How can you tell if they’re true? PDF in this report he cites someone who defines a conspiracy theory as “a proposed plot by powerful people or organizations working together in secret to accomplish some (usually sinister) goal” that is “notoriously resistant to falsification,” and since he doesn't provide any corrections implies he agrees with it. No doubt this definition does fit some conspiracy theories; however there are a lot that it doesn't fit and many of them are much more rational.
A more accurate and simple definition for a conspiracy theory might be when two or more people communicate or act in secrecy to impact the lives of others; both Wikipedia and RationalWiki provide slightly more complicated definitions along with histories of how they've been used or misused.
The government and many news outlets routinely apply this definition to many people, often being charged in a court of law for charges that include conspiracies in court document, including the perpetrators of the 9/11 attack. However in this case they usually avoid using the word conspiracy. Yet these theories aren't ridiculed with the stereotype of alleged conspiracy theories perpetrated by the government. This download is also accompanied by a picture that is clearly designed to ridicule conspiracy theories and they cover some of the least competent conspiracy theories that often do have factual flaws which can be easily discredited. This tactic is designed to group the least competent conspiracies with more rational ones dismissing the good with the bad.
Using graphics or ridicule is often a typical method of making a point but when attempting to review things in a scientific manner it should be kept to a minimum, and people should be cautioned not to believe or dismiss claims simply out of fear of being ridiculed by the crowd, especially as I pointed out, a growing portion of the activity by our government and media is becoming increasingly absurd, yet this is still true.
In his article about Jesse “The Body” Ventura versus Michael “The Mind” Shermer who claims that "what the reader actually finds between the covers are documents obtained through standard Freedom of Information Act requests that can also be easily downloaded from the Internet," as part of his attempt to dismiss Ventura's claims. I haven't looked as close at Ventura's claims as many others but I have noticed that a large number of declassified documents are often confessions of past government conspiracies, so dismissing them as being invalid to support conspiracy theories is highly unscientific. This includes admissions in the Iran Contra investigation, the Kerry Committee Report, relatively recent admissions that the CIA conducted a coup in Iran and installed the Shah who terrorized his own people, and many more disclosures.
Michael Shermer is right that people shouldn't believe Ventura because of "his unmistakable booming voice;" however they should ridicule him and dismiss his claims because of that either; nor should they believe Michael Shermer because of his charismatic appeals to emotion or ridicule.
The research that Philip Zimbardo and Stanley Milgram, among other researchers have done could be used to help develop these manipulation and propaganda tactics used by Michael Shermer. I reviewed these in more detail in several past posts including Philip Zimbardo, Lucifer Effect, Stanford Prison Experiment; Corruption or Bias in the American Psychological Association; Eli Roth’s Milgram/Obedience experiment much more extensive than most people realize and the most recent one cited previously American Psychological Association exposed again.
One of the more common tactics that can be used is in one of the variations of the Obedience to authority experiments they found that people were more likely to go along with the program if they were encouraged by another person pretending to be following orders and more likely to disobey if that same person pretending to follow orders raises questions and refuses to participate. This can be easily found on both TV and on the internet. On TV the media has control of who can and can't express their views, and they give Michael Shermer plenty of air time when covering these subjects and the people that present the other side are often among the least competent researchers making him seem rational by comparison. However even then he seems to make his share of mistakes.
On the internet it isn't hard to find some of the highest profile debate forums get flooded with people pretending to be scientific skeptics but using a large number of Manipulation Tactics and turning the debate into an insult match that doesn't address the issues well if at all. Some of the people on these debates have, at times, claimed that the CIA has been funding people that go on the internet and conduct this type of activity, and even though there is no corroboration to confirm this when the facts fit, it is hard to completely rule out this possibility especially when some of it seems to be organized.
Ironically, as I said above even Michael Shermer claims that reason can lead to a cult as indicated in the following article where he explains why he thinks Ayn Rand has developed a cult following.
This article goes on to present Ayn Rand as a cult leader who ostracizes those that disagree with her and, at least to some degree attempts to control her followers. According to the Skeptics dictionary a Cult is essentially lead by a charismatic leader who excerpts control over their followers and ostracizes those that don't conform. They cite a common saying, "A delusion held by one person is a mental illness, held by a few is a cult, held by many is a religion," but allow for non religious versions of cults.
Michael Shermer and Philip Zimbardo don't fit this extreme version of a cult; however they're both involved in using manipulation tactics to deceive the public and they have done work that enables the government to preserve their state of perpetual war based on lies. Ziombardo has done research to help indoctrinate military recruits and Shermer has provided an enormous amount of propaganda ridiculing those that challenge government claims as fringe conspiracy theorists. While the Stanford Prison Experiment was going on it had many characteristics of a cult, which could also be used to study cult control of followers and if it wasn't ended it could have become a cult.
However even if they don't fit the strictest definition of a cult, their participation in this research propaganda and manipulation raises doubts about their credibility and they should not be considered reliable scientific sources. This doesn't mean they're always wrong, but scrutiny would always be advised.
Assuming guilt, or participating in a conspiracy, solely based on association, especially since the association, that I know of, between Michael Shermer and Philip Zimbardo, is limited to this article by Michael Shermer about Zimbardo and the interviews he mentioned that took place in 2007 when Zimbardo's book came out, would be inappropriate; however this speculation isn't solely on association. When I indicated that Philip Zimbardo was definitely working with the military, it was based on his own admission that his research was funded by the Office of Naval Research and that he was probably consulting with the CIA as well based on research done by Alfred McCoy that indicated that both Irving Janis and Stanley Milgram were working with the CIA and the fact that Philip Zimbardo was involved in similar research that was even more likely to be of interest to the CIA than the work done by Janis and Milgram, which was often overlapping work.
In Michael Shermer's case speculation about possible consulting with the CIA doesn't have any solid evidence that I know of but there is an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence. He is constantly using manipulation tactics to present the traditional view about fringe conspiracy theories that benefit the government position, even when using highly unscientific methods. He's constantly recommending people be skeptical of critics of the government but rarely if ever recommending the be skeptical of the government.
In other words he is often essentially recommending people believe what they're told by the government or face possible ridicule.
When I began this post he posted two tweets about A few of my favorite adjectives: bafflegab, blather, bunkum, claptrap, codswallop, flapdoodle, flimflam, flummery, flummox, piffle, twaddle And: babble, balderdash, baloney, drivel, flabbergast, gibberish, gobbledygoop, hogwash, hokum, hooey, humbug, prattle, rubbish, tripe, tosh that atracted a large number of retweets and favorites from his followers but until I added my comment none of them questioned whether relying on ridicule to make a scientific case was appropriate for a scientific skeptic; although a few expressed concern about whether they were nouns or adjectives, which seems trivial considered the subject matter.
This is the herd mentality at work even if it isn't a cult.
His willingness to present Zimbardo's research without any scrutiny or considering the possibility that Zimbardo might be involved in the recent disclosures about the APA being involved in advising about interrogation tactics would make perfect sense if he was providing propaganda for the CIA.
The following are a few related articles:
The Cult of Skepticism By Steven Novella 06/29/2008
The Cult of Reason 10/28/2010
Is the atheist Michael Shermer as much of a cult leader as the fictional Elmer Gantry? 08/12/2014
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
The media and political establishment has turned simple words into political propaganda by routinely misrepresenting them and disregarding their real definition. It is now routine to insult opponents and attribute bad characteristics to them simply because they don't like them like little children calling each other names without understanding why; only they almost certainly understand it better and do it for propaganda purposes.
This doesn't mean that I agree with what Tremaine Wilbourn did or that it was justified but it wasn't cowardly; and a large sheriff handcuffing a small child for misbehaving should be considered far more cowardly since that child doesn't pose any real threat to him and any rational person should see that schools need more funding and people qualified to handle children. What the media and political establishment fail to mention is an enormous amount of research showing that early child abuse leads to escalating violence and that there is a strong possibility that it might be a major contributing factor why Tremaine Wilbourn might have become violent and if not corrected the treatment this sheriff used against this small child might teach him that coercion and violence is the appropriate way for authority figures to solve their problems.
Unfortunately, thanks to an enormous amount of propaganda in many parts of the country there are a lot of people in a position of power that don't realize this and go along with the program holding those with the least political power accountable for trivial things while declining to challenge those with power which would take real courage.
According to Dictionary.com the definition of coward is "a person who lacks courage in facing danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc.; a timid or easily intimidated person." The Kentucky sheriff's deputy cited in School resource officer sued for allegedly handcuffing children with ADHD 08/04/2015 fits that definition by handcuffing small child much more than Tremaine Wilbourn who killed a police officer, who also happened to be a marine and Iraq war veteran, cited in Memphis Cop Killing Suspect in Custody, Says He's 'Not a Coward': Officials. 08/03/2015
Right or wrong it takes a lot more courage to challenge powerful forces with weapons and political power than children.
Referring to those that attack us or challenge authorities as cowards has now become routine and in some cases the establishment also refers to people they disagree with including environmentalists, Occupy Wall Street protesters and teachers unions teach as terrorists. The people often criticized as "cowards" or "terrorists" by the establishment often have much more courage than some of the people they call "Heroes" because they do what they're told and obey orders without question. They were also quick to refer to people that bombed two churches as cowards without knowing the details, New Mexico church bombings the work of 'a coward,' governor says. 08/03/2015
Both the bombing and killing of a police officer are clearly inappropriate, or outrageous, even though they aren't cowardly but calling them cowardly and appealing to peoples emotions without trying to find out the root causes of this does nothing to understand it and figure out how to prevent it from happening again, while reviewing how child abuse and lack of resources will do much more, yet it is almost completely absent from the media or the political discussion.
I reviewed how child abuse and corporal punishment leads to escalating violence in several previous posts including Does child abuse and bullying lead to more violence? and Child abuse and bullying link in study long over due; unfortunately even though there was an enormous amount of research in the academic world which can be found at good libraries or on the internet, some of which I cited, the media and political establishment has been ignoring this for years while they argue for cuts to school funds and social programs.
Instead they make policy decisions based primarily on the ideologies of the elite which often enables them to increase their profits without addressing many social problems that are contributing to many problems including the ones cited.
This abusive upbringing may lead children to be desensitized to violence and think it is an appropriate to solve problems so when some people do take courageous risks that involve violence it may be for the wrong reasons or in ineffective manners. And when it comes to challenging inappropriate authority they may lack the courage to do so or if they do they might use in a violent manner.
Early abusive child rearing tactics like the one the sheriff seems to be using is a major contributing factor to escalating violence and has also taught people to blindly obey orders without question, which could be considered a cowardly act, in extreme cases. Alice Miller writes about this in The Political Consequences of Child Abuse where she discusses how abusive upbringing taught Germans to blindly obey orders and enabled Hitler to control the masses while committing atrocities. This is the most extreme historical cases but there are plenty of other cases where people haven't had the bravery to stand up to authoritarian powers ordering them to participate in atrocities for false reasons.
We need more people to speak out when our government is fighting illegal wars or implementing policies that are clearly counter productive when it comes to reducing crime including violence crime, and both of these have taken place. Although it is highly regrettable that Sean Bolton was shot, he should not be considered as much of a hero as the media might be inclined to portray him. The war in Iraq was based on lies yet he presumably followed orders without question then came back and continues to follow orders in the war on drugs which is also being fought based on lies and they're both a disaster.
It would take real courage to speak out against these, but those that do are routinely called cowards while those that blindly obey orders are called heroes.
In the late eighties Congress had hearings that led to The Kerry Report formally called "Selections from the Senate Committee Report on Drugs, Law Enforcement and Foreign Policy" chaired by Senator John F. Kerry which exposed how our government was at best looking the other way while the Contras ran drugs to finance their terrorist activities to try to regain control of Nicaragua after the Congress made it illegal to fund them and Gary Webb author "Dark Alliance" reported on more activities along these lines. Previous research including a lot done by Alfred McCoy exposed how they also did the same thing with heroin dating back to the Vietnam war and continuing through the second gulf war and presumably it is still going on today.
Unfortunately few people working for the government had the courage to speak out or refused to participate in either the illegal gulf war or the counterproductive or selective drug war, including Sean Bolton when it counted, and this is what enables outrageous polices to continue. This is a major reason why many violent activities continue.
One of the leading reasons why so few people, especially those working for the government have the courage to speak out against these practices is the authoritarian methods used to indoctrinate children Alice Miller describes and Philip Greven also researches one of the leading authoritarian child rearing experts from the nineteenth century Daniel Gottlieb Moritz Schreber in "Spare the Child: The Religious Roots of Punishment and the Psychological Impact of Physical Abuse" 1991 who taught strict obedience and even recommended using restrictive devices that might have some similarities to the way hand cuffs were used on this child.
These abusive tactics were used to control his own children and one of them committed suicide and the other was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic. Both Philip Greven and Alice Miller among other researchers demonstrated how these abusive child rearing tactics lead to escalating violence and authoritarianism. These same researchers also studies the reasons why both this little boy and Tremaine Wilbourn might have been acting out in a violent manner and demonstrated that it is much more effective to intervene early, which would be much easier for the third grader if they listened to more qualified researchers instead of the authoritarian people they seem to be listening to. Even after this became public they defend the actions of this police officer and try to portray him as a qualified cop to handle this situation.
Other good researchers include Barbara Coloroso and James Garbarino and when investigating similar incidents in the past they have indicated that time to cool off and inquiring about how the boy was doing at home might have been a much more effective way of handling the situation. Unfortunately with so many cuts to school funds it is far more common to diagnose children with ADHD and give them medication. James Garbarino has cited numerous examples where this has been much more effective in teaching children how to handle their problems without acting out and address problems at home in a non-punitive manner.
The tactics that this police officer is using against this child is part of the abuse that leads to escalating violence and there is a good chance that Tremaine Wilbourn also went through similar abuse, and as he said in news reports black people always have to put up with much more harassment from police and other reports also indicate taht black people are much more likely to be treated with corporal punishment in the states that still allow it in schools. these same states also have among the highest murder rates and it is clear that the corporal punishment they use or the coercive restraints this officer contributes to this violence.
Without further research I can't guarantee that Tremaine Wilbourn or this child might have been subject to abuse at home that led to escalating violence but it is a strong possibility based on past research, and when Dorothy Otnow Lewis investigated many murders in prison close enough she found evidence of abuse in all of them and often backed it up with hospital records or other evidence.
It is also likely that both the Kentucky police officer and Sean Bolton were trained in an authoritarian manner that led them to obey orders and use coercive methods to control the situation or attempt to control the situation. David Couper wrote about how Hazing and Bullying is often used in some Police Academy. This is almost certainly a major reason why police often blindly obey orders and use tactics that often lead to escalating violence. Reviewing this training and reforming educational activities before it becomes necessary to call police will do much more than what the traditional media and political establishment are discussing.
Unfortunately when the good child rearing experts or police reform advocates, whether it is the ones I cited or not, get attention from the media it is very brief and quickly forgotten while the ideologues with political connections get much more opportunities to repeat their propaganda over and over again. This means that in many cases only communities with active people paying attention listen to the best research at the grassroots level and act on it. many of these communities probably don't even have police in schools at all except in case of major emergencies, which are less likely if they educate children better.
Monday, August 3, 2015
Walmart had a creative and horrifying robbery when someone sprayed a cashier with gasoline and threatened to light her aflame; clearly some of these more extreme stories are acting out of desperation or a desire to be famous.
At least four car chases started at Walmart as a result of thefts this month and at least two of them led to crashes. One of these started with a theft at gunpoint but a lot of these chases which happen a lot more often than most people realize are started over petty theft, and some police departments recognize the danger and cut off pursuit for these while others continue more aggressive tactics. According to a new report High-speed police chases have killed thousands of innocent bystanders; over a period of about 36 years almost 2,500 bystanders were killed, plus over 2,600 passengers.
They also had at least six shooting incidents this month, including at least one or two where there is an ongoing investigation to see if a security guard or police officer was justified in a shooting. One of them involved a bail bondsman that attempted to make an arrest and was shot at. There is a growing number of incidents where private security, often former police or police with second jobs and this month a bail-bondman are involved in these shooting, yet there is little or no discussion about whether it is causing more problems in the traditional media although there is plenty of discussion in alternative media outlets indicating there might be major problems with it. If the establishment doesn't agree then they should be able to make their case easily, but instead they remain silent.
A Walmart in Ohio may be taking the title of 'most shoplifted in America,' there was a previous story about a Colorado store holding that title; one of the shoplifters in New Mexico this month turned out to be the son of a DA, don't know who will prosecute him; another inside theft seems to involve a man disguised as an armored truck driver but local workers may have been involved; and another dead body was found in the parking lot in Florida. 'most shoplifted in America'
Florida Walmarts get their share of dead bodies.
Walmart was caught misusing the "Made in America" label again, at this point only those with there heads in the sand will ever believe Walmart can be trusted with that claim. They also had a store with massive overcharges for many customers. They're also trying to take the high road by warning their suppliers to make sure there is accuracy in labels about the amount of merchandise in their packages. With all the pressure they put on suppliers to cut costs is it really surprising that this problem is happening? the story about overcharges indicated that a lot of the customers didn't detect it until they got home and checked their receipts. It wouldn't be surprising if they waited until there were enormous numbers of complaints before taking a stand on this.
They're also asking to be let out of Florida's energy efficiency program, but tehy probably prefer not to mention this when they bring up their newest green-washing policy.
Once again they had two different robbers in two states that picked up their weapons, a bat and a hammer, at Walmart before using them to attempt to steal.
Why bother buying weapons?
Both Walmart and Kroger pulled cilantro because they found human feces and toilet paper in the field. There is little or no high profile discussion about this being the result of excessive pressure to cut costs and make workers work long hours without proper resources, or if there are other problems with the health of their food as a result of similar problems.
Lots of people continue to be outraged by a lot of things Walmart does, and they rarely ever address these concerns fast if at all.
So would it be that big of a surprise if a disgruntled customer grabbed the microphone for the intercom and announced, "Hello, Walmart, the break’s over," and when that didn't work went on to say he was taking a TV out the door, and when that didn't get results announce that he had a gun.
The judge chuckled at that one.
Said he could have been a hero, if he hadn't gone too far. In that past people have pulled out BB guns demanding a return or smashed a printer on the floor and thrown it at the employee and on numerous occasions announced there was a bomb in the building when frustrated with bad service at Walmart.
Strange things happen at Wal-Mart!
In 2006 Wake Up Wal-Mart did a study, "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" based on incidents in 2004, (PDF) about crime at Wal-Mart which showed that it increased when Wal-Marts opened up and that crime was higher at Wal-Mart than at other retailers. Since then Wal-Mart Shootings began compiling a list of gun related incidents at Wal-Mart and demonstrated that they have a large number of them, including on average more than one shooting per week somewhere in the country. In January of 2014 another study, "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" provided additional statistical research indicating that Wal-Mart might be contributing to higher crime rates or at least a slowing of the decline in crime. The study found that. “on average, communities with Walmarts had 17 more property crimes and two more violent crimes per 10,000 people than those communities without Walmarts.” I reviewed this more in Wal-Mart’s crime problem, Rolling Back Safety more than prices? where I explained that although this study is helpful they could have done better with additional data that is available and I reviewed some of that. I also added my own review about why I think that Wal-Mart policies have been contributing to higher crime in a previous blog, Wal-Mart high crime rate continues un-investigaterd and have provided additional information under the author tag Walmart Crime Watch.
Stacy Mitchell has also compiled a list of other studies about Wal-Mart and how they impact society, Key Studies on Big-Box Retail & Independent Business. To the best of my knowledge Wal-Mart has done as little as they seem to get away with, often relying on rhetoric that isn't backed up with action, when it comes to addressing any of their critics concerns, including crime. For regular updates about events at Walmart through the month see Walmart Watch on twitter or check the Wal-Mart Wall; they have helped compile some of this information. The following are a list of incidents that occurred in July 2015. According to the "Is Wal-Mart Safe?" the average store in their sampling had 250 incidents per year, indicating that these are only a fraction of the crime reports at Wal-Mart, and presumably, the ones most likely to make the news on the internet nationwide. This isn't statistically representative, as the 2006 or the "Rolling Back Prices and Raising Crime Rates?" study or some of the studies cited by Stacy Mitchell; but it does provide some additional information that may help recognize how many problems there are at Wal-Mart.
Police searching for 2 suspected of using stolen credit cards at Reidsville NC Walmart 07/01/2015
Man, 74, walks out of Fla. Walmart with $360 worth of wine, deputies say 07/01/2015
Police searching for suspect in Lubbock Tx. Wal-Mart robbery 07/01/2015
Wreck with multiple injuries near Conway SC Walmart shuts down beachbound 501 07/01/2015
Man found guilty in New Hartford NY Wal-Mart larceny 07/01/2015
Suspect charged with vehicular assault outside Joplin Missouri Wal-Mart store 07/01/2015
Walmart Shoplifting Call Turns into Tennessee Highway Pursuit 07/01/2015
Public Advocate Letitia James says city should divest from Walmart stock due to chain being country's biggest gun seller 07/02/2015
Walmart at 45th & Coulter Amarillo Tx. robbed; suspect description released 07/02/2015
Walmart to fund NY veterans’ trips to Washington 07/02/2015
Veterans host rally at Clovis NM Walmart 07/02/2015
Fireworks ignite fire by Orem Utah Walmart 07/02/2015
Man wears clerk uniform to rob Walmart in Gentilly La., at gunpoint police say 07/03/2015
Police: Robber Puts Gun To Victim's Head Outside Tulsa Okla. Walmart 07/03/2015
Kingston woman stole $1,235 in goods from Walmart, Ulster NY town police say 07/03/2015
Man tries to take baby out of shopping cart at Clarksville Tenn. Walmart 07/05/2015
Tense Confederate flag rally outside Phoenix Ariz. Walmart 07/06/2015
Men charged with stealing from Waterville Me. Wal-Mart, fleeing from police 07/06/2015
SAPD: Man in motorized wheelchair exposed himself to children in NW Side Tx. Walmart 07/06/2015
Virginia man arrested for 'excessively spanking' child in Va. Walmart parking lot 07/06/2015
Mother, daughter accused of shoplifting at Sunrise Fla. Walmart 07/06/2015
Man accused of stealing 5 steaks from NC Walmart 07/06/2015
2 women remain jailed after police chase following Tx. Walmart shoplifting call 07/06/2015
Double homicide suspect bought ammo at Pa. Walmart just before shooting 07/07/2015
Salisbury man charged with car break-in, buying hundreds at NC Walmart with stolen credit card 07/07/2015
Ohio parents can pay child support at Walmart, CVS 07/07/2015
Wal-Mart's 'Open Call' Draws Governors, Prospective Vendors 07/07/2015
Man Taking Upskirt Pictures at Burleson Tx. Walmart: Police 07/07/2015
Omaha, Nebraska Walmart Robbed Of Oxycodone 07/08/2015
Women steal baby formula from Margate Fla. Walmart, police say 07/07/2015
Bomb threat over at Clanton Alabama Walmart, man who allegedly made threat arrested 07/07/2015
Woman upset about alleged scuffle over scooter at NW Harris Co. Tx. Walmart 07/07/2015
Man charged with shoplifting guns at Easley SC Walmart 07/07/2015
Man arrested after attempted carjacking in Ariz. Walmart parking lot 07/07/2015
Judge sets sentencing hearing for June 2014 Montana Walmart assailant 07/07/2015
Officers spill secrets of closed Fla. Walmart store 07/07/2015
Police charge Newton man with stealing $1,100 worth of items from NC Walmart 07/07/2015
Rothesay mother suing Walmart Canada over toddler’s alleged broken leg 07/09/2015
Westworth Village Tx. Police Investigate Credit Card Abuse 07/08/2015
Wal-Mart says Rebel mascot Alabama teen wanted for class ring was never available 07/08/2015
Woman robbed, beaten outside Ca. Walmart 07/08/2015
Bibb NAACP asking for reduced charges for Ga. Walmart ransacking suspects 07/08/2015
Gang charges dropped against two Ga. Walmart vandal suspects 07/09/2015
Attorney disputes official report of Macon Ga. Wal-Mart rampage 07/09/2015
Woman wants justice after pervert grabbed her at Olathe Missouri WalMart 07/08/2015
Maiden man, Hickory woman charged with stealing $1,000 in items from NC Wal-Mart 07/08/2015
Lightning knocks out power to west side Albuquerque NM Wal-Mart; entire freezers of food tossed in garbage 07/08/2015
Appeals court re-opens Tenn. Walmart employees’ lawsuit 07/09/2015
Argument at Bridgeview Ill. Walmart led to shooting, police say 07/09/2015
Walmart opponents protest along NC highway 07/09/2015
Police: Man points gun at Walmart employee in Rock Hill SC 07/09/2015
Man arrested in Walmart attack in Orlando Fla. 07/10/2015 Woman knocked to ground while holding 2-year-old son in May
Wanted Woman Accused Of Trespassing At Tenn. Wal-Mart 07/10/2015
Multiple guns stolen from Rock Hill SC Walmart 07/10/2015
Police: Man steals cash drawer from metro Oklahoma Walmart on two separate occasions 07/10/2015
Butte Montana Police Reports: Man flees police, hides in bush; Walmart food heist; drinking juveniles 07/10/2015
Second Nebraska Walmart robbed within week 07/10/2015
Wal-Mart suppliers grapple with ‘Made in USA’ label challenge 07/11/2015
Walmart theft leads police to meth in Michigan couple's car, police say 07/11/2015
2 Officers Hurt By Gunshot Debris Outside Saginaw Tx. Wal-Mart 07/11/2015
Three Utica residents arrested for stealing meat and other items from Rome NY Walmart 07/12/2015
Suspect brings baby to shoplift at N. Fort Myers Fla. Walmart 07/12/2015
Grand Forks ND Wal-Mart reopens after Sunday night gun threat, evacuation 07/12/2015
Man accused of sexually assaulting woman at Va. Walmart 07/13/2015
Rockland Me. woman accused of repeating Wal-Mart theft of $25 worth of beverages 07/12/2015 Taxpayers pay much more than $25 in court and prison costs but ordinary citizens don't get the same response.
Wal-Mart sued for denying health insurance to gay employee's spouse (+video) 07/14/2015
Small fire causes Walmart evacuation near Elsmere Delaware 07/14/2015
Melbourne Fla. police apprehend man near Walmart 07/15/2015
VIDEO: Case closed, but why did Willis fire shots in ND Wal-Mart? 07/15/2015 Long article and report with little information.
Women Brought Kids to Shoplift at Fla. WalMart: BSO 07/15/2015
Bomb threat forces evacuation of Bush River Road, Columbia, SC Walmart 07/15/2015
Man arrested after girl, 4, sexually assaulted in Toronto Canada Walmart 07/15/2015
Wisconsin man indicted for pointing gun at officer’s head at St. Paul Minnesota Wal-Mart In June 07/15/2015
Women With Kids Accused Of Shoplifting At Fla. Walmart 07/16/2015
2 Men Wanted For Stealing TV From Walmart With Gun In Longmont Colorado 07/16/2015
Woman robbed as she pays bill at Delaware Walmart 07/16/2015
Woman charged after allegedly stealing candy bars, hair removal tool from Pa. Walmart 07/16/2015
Man takes 71-year-old woman's wallet at Newport News Va. Walmart, police say 07/16/2015
Auburn NY Wal-Mart reopens after being evacuated due to bomb threat 07/16/2015
Man steals steaks, computer from Amherst Co. Va. Walmart: Police 07/17/2015
Woman dies after wreck on U.S. 501 near Conway SC Walmart 07/17/2015
Former Wyoming Wal-Mart employee pleads not guilty to theft 07/17/2015
65-year-old Villager arrested at Buffalo Ridge Fla. Wal-Mart 07/17/2015
CVS and Walmart Canada Are Investigating a Data Breach 07/17/2015
Police: Man steals, beer, steaks, laundry detergent from Aurora Ohio Walmart 07/17/2015
Venice man dies of heroin overdose in Fla. Walmart parking lot 07/18/2015
Woman cited for attempting to shoplift at Pa. Walmart store 07/19/2015
Police searching for man who robbed Groton Conn. Walmart 07/19/2015
Broken Arrow man arrested at dumpster after trying to steal from Okla. Walmart 07/19/2015
Police suspect arson in Cobleskill NY Wal-Mart fire 07/20/2015
Warrant issued for man accused of starting NY Walmart fire 07/21/2015
Indiana woman charged after infant left in car at WalMart 07/20/2015
Police seek man accused of shattering glass case, stealing iPads from Camp Hill Pa. Walmart 07/20/2015
A&P was ‘the Wal-Mart of its day.’ Now it’s filing for bankruptcy. 07/20/2015
Man With Gunshot Wound Driven to WalMart: Miramar Fla. Police 07/20/2015
Cumberland County NC Planning Board to consider requests for sand mine, Walmart property 07/22/2015
Missoula man gets prison time for blinding beatdown outside Montana Walmart 07/20/2015
Man Accused Of Stealing Lighter, Assaulting Ky. Walmart Employee 07/20/2015
Tenn. Walmart shoppers sing national anthem in patriotic viral video 07/21/2015
Lincolnton woman arrested for setting NC WalMart fire 07/21/2015
Student arrested in DSC campus bomb scare; Deltona Fla. Wal-Mart evacuated on similar threat 07/21/2015
Lancaster Co. Pa. Walmart evacuated for gas leak 07/21/2015
Bomb threats called into Alaska Wal-Mart stores prompt evacuations 07/22/2015
County Still Pursuing Montana Walmart Purchase for Jail 07/22/2015
1 woman in viral Beech Grove Ind. Walmart fight pleads guilty to disorderly conduct 07/22/2015
Bedford Ohio Walmart robber gets away with $7,000 in cash 07/22/2015
Wal-Mart, thwarted by India's retail restrictions, goes big: wholesale 07/23/2015
Missing woman last seen at Walmart in Belmont NC 07/23/2015
Saugus Mass. Firefighters Rescue Dog From Hot Car In Walmart Parking Lot 07/23/2015
Walmart Heiress, Alice Walton Selling Champion Horses From Texas Ranch 07/23/2015
NJ State Police after Route 77 Walmart robbers 07/23/2015
Video shows mom leaving toddler in hot car while shopping at Arizona Walmart 07/23/2015
Couple snatches purse from disabled woman in Pinellas Fla. Wal-Mart 07/23/2015
Walmart ends overnight hours at some locations, including a store in Hampton Va. 07/23/2015
Teen Charged With Setting Fire Inside Frankfort Ky. Walmart 07/24/2015
Duo Sought in Crime Spree at South Jersey Walmart 07/24/2015
Bomb squad: No explosives in suspicious bag at Woodburn Oregon Walmart 07/24/2015
Kids found unattended in two different vehicles outside Richmond Tx. Walmart 07/24/2015
Kansas Walmart Employee to Celebrate 103rd Birthday 07/24/2015
Hot car deaths can be prevented with this new Evenflo car seat, a Walmart exclusive 07/24/2015 No need to address the social problems that lead to hot car deaths when oligarchies sell profitable items that promise solutions.
Police look for men who tried to shoplift at Purcell Okla. Walmart 07/25/2015
Fruitland Md. Walmart briefly evacuated 07/25/2015
Man arrested after attempted kidnapping at Vancouver Wal-Mart 07/25/2015
2013 Child sexually assaulted while shopping for toys in NY Walmart: suit 07/26/2015
New Jersey woman banned from all Walmart stores by judge calls ruling 'stupid,' says ‘I already have’ disobeyed the order 07/26/2015
Florida Man Accused Of Taking Upskirt Photos At NJ Walmart 07/27/2015
Ephrata Pa. police look for man who allegedly stole electronics from Walmart 07/2/2015
Wal-Mart laptop theft case solved in Aberdeen SD 07/27/2015
Man accused of exposing himself to woman shopping with kids at Tigard Oregon Walmart 07/27/2015
Homeless Man accused of arson at local Walmart 07/27/2015
Report: Macon Ga. man caught stealing sports bras at Wal-Mart 07/27/2015
Prosecutor: Video shows man grabbing girl in Vancouver Washington Walmart 07/27/2015
Vehicle Crashes Into La Vista Nebraska Walmart 07/28/2015
Mother accused of leaving child in Owasso Okla. Walmart 07/28/2015
Infant found in hot car at White House Tenn. Wal-Mart 07/29/2015
Tahlequah Okla. police seek identity of indecent exposure suspect who flashed juvenile female in Walmart 07/29/2015
Police say guns found on boys at Conway SC Wal-Mart 07/29/2015
Shoplifter at odds with NJ Walmart due in court Aug. 27 07/29/2015 According to documents, Cassimore wrote to Superior Court: “I cannot afford the fines and know I was not treated fairly in court. I am a disabled senior citizen. I would not survive jail.”
Middle Tennessee mom arrested after baby left inside hot car at Walmart 07/29/2015
Felony charges for two after attempted theft at Walmart 07/29/2015
Trespassing call at Walmart leads to burglary, safe-cracking charges 07/29/2015
Police say couple used 3 kids to try to steal from Utah Wal-Mart 07/30/2015
Fla. Woman with Tourette's sues Walmart after being banned for outbursts 07/30/2015
Customers stop purse thief at Pa. Wal-Mart, police say 07/30/2015
Deputies investigate meat theft from Amherst County Va. Walmart 07/31/2015
JCPD: Tenn. Walmart cashier arrested on theft charges 07/31/2015
Robeson County NC escapee, with 1 day left in sentence, caught at Walmart 07/31/2015
Man Wanted For Ga. Walmart Child Molestation Incident 07/31/2015
Police seek suspect in Pa. Wal-Mart theft 07/31/2015
Man gets bond in case of bogus checks used at South Mississippi Wal-Mart stores 07/31/2015
Woman found dead in her car in Fla. Walmart parking lot 07/31/2015
Semi truck near Nebraska Walmart goes up in flames 07/31/2015
Accused Okla. Walmart thief could face felony charges 07/31/2015