Cover image for Everything you know is wrong : the Disinformation guide to secrets and lies
Everything you know is wrong : the Disinformation guide to secrets and lies
Kick, Russell.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : The Disinformation Company, [2002]

Physical Description:
346 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
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Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
P96.O24 E94 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
P96.O24 E94 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

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This book begins where You Are Being Lied To left off. Once again, an amazing group of investigative journalists, researchers, insiders, dissidents, and academics peels back consensus reality and shows us what's really happening. Hard, documented evidence on the most powerful institutions and controversial topics in the world. Among the revelations:
Antidepressants trash your brain.
China has repeatedly threatened to nuke the US.
Young people are less violent now than they have been in over 30 years.
Mad Cow disease is killing people in America.

Plus previously unpublished revelations about the International Monetary Fund, the Vatican Bank, the Olympic Games, Henry Lee Lucas, the drug war in South America, unpublicized accidents at nuclear power plants, and much more. Includes reproductions of rare documents and photos, including an unpublished eyewitness sketch of a mysterious third gunman at Columbine.

Author Notes

Russ Kick is the editor of the three-volume anthology The Graphic Canon and the bestselling anthologies You Are Being Lied To, Everything You Know is Wrong, 50 Things You're Not Supposed to Know and Death Poems: Classic, Contemporary, Witty, Serious, Tear-Jerking, Wise, Profound, Angry, Funny, Spiritual, Atheistic, Uncertain, Personal, Political, Mythic, Earthy, and Only Occasionally Morbid. He is also the creator of the popular website

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

From the people who brought us You Are Being Lied To, here is another engrossing and infuriating compilation of muckraking articles, exposs, and provocative claims. Some of the pieces in the book are very timely: an assertion that the government had advance warning of the September 11 terrorist attacks, reports of additional gunmen at Columbine High School, and additional details on Senator Bob Kerrey's actions in Vietnam. Most of the articles were written for this volume, though some appeared previously in reputable magazines and journals (e.g., the Village Voice, Toronto Globe & Mail, and Journal of Medical Ethics). Not all the pieces deal with political issues; readers will find a wide range of social ("Mad Cow Disease"), financial ("World Bank and the WTO"), and cultural topics. A few familiar names appear among the contributors (Howard Zinn, Paul Krassner), but most are investigative reporters not well known to the public. This contrarian collection will attract a diverse readership from conspiracy nuts to academics and is recommended for most public libraries. Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



BURN THE OLIVE TREE, SELL THE LEXUS GREG PALAST AND OLIVER SHYKLES Globalization is really neat. Just ask Thomas Friedman. He has a column in the New York Times , and he wrote a big, fat, bestselling book, The Lexus and the Olive Tree , which explains it all to us-the marvels of the New Globalization Order . Now, right here in my Lexus book it says that in this brave new world we will all have Internet-enabled cell phones which will allow us to trade stock and, at the very same time, we can talk to Eskimos. The really exciting part is we will all be able to do this from our bedrooms in our pajamas. When he's not in his pajamas, Friedman is in fact one of a gaggle of happy-go-lucky globalizers running around chirruping the virtues of globalization in its current form. In The Lexus and the Olive Tree Friedman lays out, on a level of detail never seen before, the ability of globalization to democratize three key areas: technology, finance, and information. He argues that everyone in this global New World Order will have access to all the technology, finance, and information they need to live healthy and happy lives. And so when I finished reading his book, I thought to myself, "Wow! This is a future I want to be a part of." Just imagine, every village from the Andes to Shaker Heights will be connected, empowered, and enabled, and that's one heck of a future. I want this, and I want it now. But hold on a minute.... I just picked up the paper, and it says that 100,000 people massed in Genoa to protest against the G8 (that is, the eight largest industrial nations driving forward globalization). And ten months before that, 20,000 people had gathered in Prague to demonstrate against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund-two of the key international agencies driving free trade expansion, a guiding force behind globalization. So what the heck is wrong with these protestors; don't they understand? Haven't they heard about the Eskimos? Don't they understand economics? As the Prime Minister of Britain, Tony Blair, explains, "The protests and people who indulge in the protests are completely misguided. World Trade is good for peoples' jobs and peoples' living standards.... These protests are a complete outrage." But you have to forgive youth its lack of sophistication. They obviously haven't read the Gospel of Globalization according to Thomas, nor the daily scripture, the New York Times . The answers became widely known as "Thatcherism" in Britain and "Reaganomics" in the US; then later as the "Washington Consensus." As Friedman puts it, "The Golden Straightjacket first began to be stitched together ... by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.... That Thatcherite coat was soon reinforced by Ronald Reagan." In fact, it's a very lucky thing that global capitalism happens to be such a good system, because as far as Friedman is concerned it's now the only one left. Socialism, communism, and fascism have all gone kaput. "The Cold War had the Mao suit, the Nehru jackets, the Russian fur. Globalization has only the Golden Straightjacket." And so all that's left in our closet is Friedman's golden straightjacket, but that's okay because, as Friedman puts it, "The tighter you wear it the more gold it produces." So strap yourselves in! Everyone still breathing okay? Then I'll continue. So there are no dissenters now, we all agree; we're all wearing the same straightjacket. As Friedman explains on page 106 of his book, it was all democratic; we all got to take part in the debate. I thought about this, and Friedman was right-I remembered that we did have a choice. We had our choice of George W. Thatcher, Reagan Clinton Bush, or Al Thatcher Reagan Gore. You see, there's no room in the golden straightjacket for anyone who doesn't agree. And as Friedman himself admits, "It is increasingly difficult these days to find any real difference between ruling and opposition parties in those countries that have put on the Golden Straightjacket[,] ... be they led by Democrats or Republicans, Conservatives or Labourites, Christian Democrats or Social Democrats." So just when I was getting sized up for my own straightjacket-and, boy, was I excited-I read that there were riots in Ecuador. And I remember thinking to myself, "Oh my, why are they in the streets?" There are people in the streets, and there are tanks, too. And I thought to myself, "Perhaps the Internet is down. Perhaps they're trying to unload their stock, which is dropping like crazy. They can't log on. It's all jammed up. I mean, the future's on hold here. Will someone please call AOL?" But it turned out that these people were in the streets, facing down the tanks because the price of cooking gas had just been raised by 60 percent. This is odd because at the time the world was in a glut of fuel, and oil prices were way down. Ecuador had been a member of OPEC; it has more gas than it knows what to do with. It's drowning in oil. That was one of the reasons Ecuador was in financial trouble. So who would be bonkers enough as to raise the price of cooking gas and create all that needless suffering? The people on the streets claimed that this was a requirement placed upon Ecuador by the World Bank. Now, I didn't believe this for a second; Reagan and Thatcher gave us the answers 20 years ago, and there was nothing about cooking gas. But then I showed up at my office, and while I was quietly sipping my coffee and leafing through the paper, a pile of documents flew in through the window. Right on the front of one of them it said, "restricted distribution," and, "it may not otherwise, be disclosed without World Bank authorization." It was a "confidential," for-eyes-only document. I couldn't resist the temptation, so pretend you never saw what I'm about to reveal to you-when you've finished, rip out this chapter and eat it right up. I opened up the document. It was called "The Ecuador Interim Country Assistance Strategy." I read this strategy, and it included a schedule for raising the price of cooking gas. They used to call these things "Structural Assistance Plans," but, oops, those got a bad name, so like all the best PR firms, they did the right thing and changed the name. Now they're known as "Poverty Reduction Strategies." Nothing like a little whitewash to keep people quiet. But the people of Ecuador weren't keeping quiet, so I read on.... Along with the forced hike in cooking gas prices, the World Bank required the elimination of 26,000 government jobs. Other poverty reduction strategies included a cut in pensions and a cut in real wages nationwide, by half, no less; all this through World Bank-directed macroeconomic manipulation. Part of the plan included the handing over of a license for a trans-Andes pipeline controlled by British Petroleum. I wasn't sure, perhaps I had become confused. Maybe they meant that the poverty reduction program was a poverty reduction program for British Petroleum. In all, the World Bank and IMF helpfully "suggested" 167 strategies as part of its loan package. Ecuador was broke; that's why it had asked for the World Bank's help in the first place. It desperately needed the wampum, so desperately, in fact, that it had no choice but to accept these strategies. I shall, therefore, refer to these "strategies" as conditions, which is what they are-loan conditions. No ifs, no buts, sign on the line, thank you very much. Oddly, I didn't read about Structural Assistance Plans or the 167 conditionalities for Ecuador in my copy of Lexus nor in the Times . But just hold on a moment-what happened to democratic finance ? Thomas Friedman, our new apostle, said that now anyone can obtain finance capital; it's all democratic. Hey, he said, even David Bowie can issue bonds (to the tune of $55 million, no less). Maybe Ecuador's problem was that it didn't have a rock star to co-sign with them. But there's a bigger problem here: These conditions weren't put together especially for Ecuador. Any country in crisis receiving a loan package from the World Bank gets a neat little set of conditions-111 on average-along with their loans. You'd think that if they were doing all these wonderful things to reduce poverty, they'd want to shout it from the rooftops. Hey, perhaps they're just modest. In fact, talk about modesty, did you know they even found a cure for AIDS? Yes indeed, I kid you not. But before I tell you how they did it, you first have to understand all the conditions, all the little nuggets that can be found in the pockets of our golden straightjackets. So let's enumerate them, just as Thomas Friedman does on page 105 of his book. Okay, privatization is number one. Second is deregulation -you've got to get rid of all those dull bureaucrats and their thick rule books. You know they just get in the way of things. Next is free trade -drop the borders between people and all the nice things they want. Fourth, free up the capital markets -let capital flow in order to generate business and jobs worldwide. Fifth, support those international agencies which enforce our new international order-the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and let's not forget the good ol' World Trade Organization. In other words, don't dye your hair green and go into the streets of Seattle and break the windows of a Starbucks. And finally you must look for a market-based solution . Remember, that's the one that gives you the "win-win" situation. Now, I can tell you that it's with the market-based solution that they found a cure for AIDS in Tanzania. In Tanzania the silly things used to give away health care. Can you believe it? So the World Bank said, "You've got to stop being so scatterbrained and start charging for medical care. You've got a health care crisis, and you've got to cure it with our market-based solution." A nation with 1.4 million people with HIV/AIDS means a lot of visits to the hospital. So when you start charging those people to visit the hospital, they stop coming. In Dar Es Salaam the number of hospital visits dropped by 53 percent. That's quite a cure, and I don't think anyone could beat that. Globalization has many other "success" stories. In Britain, Margaret Thatcher took the electricity system, and she privatized and deregulated it. Electricity used to be cheaper in Britain than in the US, but now consumers pay 70 percent more per unit than their American counterparts. The same process was applied to the gas system, and the charges shot up to a level some 60 percent higher than in the US where some type of regulation still exists. Water in the US is still mostly a publicly-owned system, but the British, still not satisfied with the privatization and deregulation of the gas and electricity industries, went about the same process with the water industry. Now the happily straightjacketed folks there pay 250 percent more than we do in the US. So tickled were they with their clever programs of privatization and deregulation that they decided to share the good news. The system spread, via a World Bank loan condition, to Brazil. There the electricity industry was targeted, and the Rio Light Company of Rio de Janeiro was taken out of public hands. The new British, French, and American owners came along, and they said, "Just look, look at this bloated and inefficient company and its huge payroll." So they immediately set to work making it lean and mean. And mean it was-they knocked off 40 percent of the workforce. But there was a problem-the workers knew where the transformers were. The lights in Rio de Janeiro started flickering, and Rio Light is now known as Rio Dark. But that wasn't all: For a flickering light system, the people of Rio de Janeiro got to pay double what they had paid prior to privatization. But don't panic, it's not all doom and gloom. There was a huge increase in profits. So after the failed attempt at privatization in Brazil, they said, "Well, let's try it again; we'll do it right this time. We'll go to India." And that failed, so they went to Pakistan. The attempt there became one of the reasons why they had a military coup. So they went to Chile, and it didn't work there, either. So they said, "Let's try one more desperate time. We'll go to a place that understands the future. We'll go to California and they'll get it; they'll be able to deal with deregulation. They'll get the wonderful effects of reductions due to the miracles of the markets. There'll be competition, and prices in California, which are too high, will plummet." In fact, when the Californian legislature voted to deregulate the price of electricity, they even changed the law to the effect that prices would fall 20 percent. Yet, year after year prices rose in the wholesale market in California. In one year they rose 380 percent. So, faced with a terrible problem in California, they went to Cleveland instead. While I was in Cleveland to debate Thomas Friedman, I got a letter from my friendly-faced hotelier. It read: "Dear Guest, due to the current energy issue, a surcharge is being applied nightly to all guest accounts." Well, I'll tell you it's not an "energy issue." It's a crisis. And it's not a crisis of energy; it's a crisis of globalization. It's a crisis of a plan that never seems to work. I used to work as an advisor with the utility commission of Ohio, amongst others, and we were thinking about what to do about the billions spent on nuclear plants and other wasteful projects that went nowhere. That was in the 1980s, in the bad old days before deregulation, so the answer we came up with was simple: You put a cap on the price. You just put a cap on it. You regulate in the public's interest. But little did I know that we should have looked for the market-based solution. I am now reading Paul Krugman. He's the guy who appears in the New York Times with Thomas Friedman. So there it was-Friedman the globalizer and Krugman the globalizer, and they agree with each other. Krugman says, "I know the solution to bring down the prices of supplies; what we should do is remove all caps and allow electricity prices to rise." And I said, "Wow!" I didn't think of it. That's really deep. If you want the prices to go down , you raise them. And I thought about that. It's like a one hand clapping thing. I have to confess I didn't understand it at all. I said, "This is beyond me. I had better go to one of the gurus of globalization. I mean one of the inventors of market-based solutions. You know, the top banana." So I went to Cambridge University with my camera crew from the BBC. And I sat down, for several hours, with the man himself- the voice of globalization-Professor Joseph Stiglitz, who has since co-won the Nobel Prize in Economics. You see, Stiglitz was the Chief Economist of the World Bank. The guy who wrote some of these plans and conditions. Continues... Excerpted from EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG Copyright © 2002 by The Disinformation Company Ltd. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.