Science has now proven that America is run by prominent, extraordinarily wealthy politicians and large corporations. Yes, we are supposedly a democracy, and monopolies are supposedly illegal, but that does not stop a very slim percentage of people from running things exactly the way they want.
In addition, we have found evidence pointing to the existence of a exceedingly small subset of this top percentile. Call it the .01%, if you will. Whatever you call them, these are the people that have simply too much power – and we bet you’ve never even heard of them. Read on:
1. The Media Rating Council
This group was founded by the government in 1963 with the expressed purpose of remedying immoral TV quiz shows. The Media Rating Council (MRC) is comprised of a total of five people who have the extraordinary power of deciding what stays on TV, and what gets the hook.
Their decision making process is all based on the once-revolutionary Nielsen ratings system, which uses a control box monitoring a random sample of 25,000 TV cable boxes to determine what everyone will watch. It fails to take into account the remaining 115 million or so TVs, nor does it monitor streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. This despite overwhelming evidence that Netflix alone would rate higher than the best performing Nielsen networks.
So, although Nielsen ratings are inaccurate about their data collection, and the fact that they have a history of reporting inaccurate numbers, the MRC considers them to be THE standard for knowing what media people are consuming. Meanwhile, there are companies like Rentrak who have a much more accurate method of measurement, yet are not considered in the MRC’s ‘who watches what’ determination. Why? It’s because 5 people with way too much power determined it to be so.
2. Andrew Marshall
It may come as a surprise to some that classified decisions regarding the monitoring of foreign threats have more or less been made by a single individual since 1973.
Andrew Marshall retired in January of this year, but for the 40-odd years prior to that, he was the head of the Pentagon’s Office Of Net Assessment (ONA), which is a think tank responsible for studying potential threats from around the world.
Marshall is a secretive individual, referred to as ‘Yoda’ in Washington circles due to his longevity (he was 92 when he retired) and because his abilities lead one to believe he has psychic powers.
The Office Of Net Assessment is charged with monitoring foreign trends, and has a history of predicting what-nation-will-do-what far in advance of them actually doing it. Marshall has relied on the study of psychological profiles of world leaders to help in these determinations. Most notably, he has predicted the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of China.
He assumed correctly that electronic espionage and drone strikes would have an important role in international conflict. He was so effective that every president since Nixon has retained him as the director of the ONA.
Even Chinese General Chen Zhou admired him, saying once: “Our great hero was Andy Marshall in the Pentagon. We translated every word he wrote.”
Their website paints the company as a completely innocuous IT, web design and development company. However,MindGeek controls nearly all of the porn on the internet, and is even responsible for pirating much of it. The phallic symbol on the home page of their site should have clued us in. The fact that 25% of all internet searches are porn-related, and 40 million Americans regularly visit porn sites should clue us in to the financial power this company has its paws on.
If you think it’s fishy that a reputable seeming site such as this would be responsible for sharing pirated material, you may start thinking nefarious intent when you understand that MindGeek also owns the very movies that people are pirating.
Thanks in part to millions of dollars in loans and the popularity of their pirated material, the company was able to go out and purchase as many porn studios as possible, such as: Twistys, Digital Playground, Reality Kings, and more. This way, they profit both from the actual movies, and the pirating of that material.
This arrangement is great for MindGeek, but it unfortunately is a huge bummer for the people who actually create the content. MindGeek effectively skirts a large portion of royalties that otherwise would have to be paid due to the piracy portion of their business. Who can speak out against their boss and risk losing their livelihood though? No one in politics seems to be making an moves to break up this near-monopoly. It’s porn, after all, and what politician would ever want to touch THAT?
4. The NSA And The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
We bet you’ve never heard of The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court). That’s because it’s a quasi-secretive court that was established in 1978 to combat illegal Russian spies in order to help our own illegal spies.
However, it exists now to rubber-stamp the actions of the NSA, even when their tactics have been ruled unconstitutional. This all in the name of protecting us from threats that we can’t know about – and of which we are at times suspect.
So, how does a small 11 person court who are unilaterally appointed by the U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice without any checks and balances go from being the running joke in a James Bond-type scenario to one of the most powerful groups in the country? I know you’re saying it, let’s say it together:
What is the actual job for the 11, 7-term judges? They hear requests for permission to monitor, bug, wiretap or otherwise spy on whomever the government deems a potential threat to national security. The problem is that they are pretty free-feeling with the old stamp of approval to the extent of approving 33,889 of these requests out of a potential 33,900. Yes, they rejected .03% ‘permission to spy on the people, please’ between the years of 1979 and 2012, according to Mother Jones.
It’s this ‘Do what you want’ attitude that allows the NSA to proceed with flagrantly unconstitutional activities. What’s more is that the rulings of the FISA court aren’t published, which makes them win the award of shadiest government body that you’ve never heard of.