Friday, December 1, 2000

U.S.-Japan Relations in the Next Administration

In a speech delivered on December 1, 2000, the future director of the National Economic Council, Lawrence Lindsey, argued that the results of the 2000 Presidential Election mattered a great deal to Japan, as Republicans had a much more favorable policy towards the country than the Democrats did. As evidence of this, he noted that the Japanese stock market rose 450 points when Florida certified that George Bush won the election. Lindsey referred to the way the Clinton administration handled Japan as “a period of neglect verging on abuse.”

Lindsey accused the Clinton administration of being hypocritical. On the one hand, the administration demanded that Japan increase its government spending to stimulate its economy. On the other hand, the administration had claimed that economic growth in America had been due to its low level of budget deficits. Actually, according to Lindsey, the Clinton administration had it reversed – the high rate of economic growth in America decreased the budget deficit, as higher growth means higher government tax revenue. Higher tax revenue means lower deficits.

According to Lindsey, during the Clinton administration, the relationship between Japan and America had “been reduced to a single concept: gaiatsu, or foreign pressure on Japan.” While admitting that gaiatsu had been an important part of the relationship ever since Admiral Perry visited Japan in 1853, Lindsey argued that the Clinton administration had gone too far.

“Lectures by U.S. government officials are both loud and very public,” said Lindsey.

During the Clinton administration, much of the focus had been on the fiscal and monetary policies of Japan. Lindsey hoped that the next administration would deal with these economic issues quietly.

In contrast to what the Clinton administration wanted, Lindsey argued that Japan should reduce its government spending. Lindsey believed that Japan had suffered from large fiscal deficits because its economic growth rate had been too low. If Japan were able to increase its growth rate, that would also increase its government tax revenue which would lower its deficit.

When deciding on the proper amount of government spending, Lindsey argued that the government should spend money only if it could generate a higher rate of return on its investment than the private sector. Otherwise, the government would be diverting money from a better investment in the private sector. According to Lindsey, Japan had run out of high return investments in the public sector, and thus, it should reduce government spending which would allow the private sector to use that money.

Unfortunately, this assumes that there is no limit to the demand for funds in the private sector, and that is not true. In an economy that suffers from excess production capacity, as the Japanese economy does, reducing government spending will not cause an increase in private spending. The private sector will not spend that money because it already has more than enough factories to meet the current level of demand set by the public.

In fact, reducing government spending may result in lower private sector investment. If the government reduces its spending, that will result in the loss of public sector jobs which means that the public will have less money to spend. As consumption goes down, the private sector will get saddled with an even higher amount of excess production capacity. With a higher level of excess production capacity, the need for private sector investment drops even further.

In his speech, Lindsey admitted that a country should not run a budget surplus while in an economic slump and he admitted that reducing government spending in Japan would lead to some amount of short term economic pain. But he did have a way out of the doomsday scenario that I outlined. If Japan took the money it saved on government spending and loaned that money to America, then America could use that money to buy Japanese goods. In this scenario, overall demand for Japanese goods would not decline because America would increase its imports of those items. Unfortunately, this would hurt the American manufacturing industry. However, Lindsey believed that America would have to continue to rely on foreign capital “for the foreseeable future.” After all, foreign money had driven the expansion of the U.S. economy in the 90s.

“The current American expansion is being financed by a record setting inflow of foreign capital,” said Lindsey.

Lindsey argued that America should not use gaiatsu to get Japan to agree to his plan.

“American gaiatsu sets America up as the scapegoat for the pain, which is sure to be associated with such reform,” said Lindsey. “Our current outspoken position therefore allows Japanese politicians hostile to good Japanese-American relations to run on anti-American platforms, and do so with some credibility.”

So there you have it. America expanded its trade deficit on purpose.

Whoops.

This all works out fine until the countries who loaned us the money figure out that we don’t have the means to pay it back. Then they won’t loan us any more money. Then our economy goes down the tubes.

Whoops.

Friday, August 25, 2000

Goodbye Lockheed Martin, Hello Lode Data

In the summer of 2000, I decided to look for a new job. For reasons that I can’t even remember now, I got really angry and decided that I would be better off working somewhere else. I remember being surprised at how angry I was. In retrospect, I have a feeling that my government “made” me angry in order to make me leave Lockheed Martin. At the time I left, I hadn’t even worked at the company long enough to get my security clearance (though I did receive a temporary security clearance which allowed me access to information classified as “Secret”).

As to why my government decided they didn’t want me to work for Lockheed, I can only speculate. I have never gotten into trouble with the law so that should not have been an issue. On the other hand, because I was a loner in college, there weren’t many people who could explain to the government what I was doing at that time (in order to obtain a security clearance, the government investigates your personal history. To facilitate this process, you need to provide the government with the names of people who can vouch for what you were doing during the past several years of your life). Perhaps that was an issue. Or perhaps, after investigating my family history, the government decided it could use me for other purposes and they preferred that I work at a “normal” company without access to classified information.

On August 25, Lode Data, a company that develops software for the Cable TV industry, offered me a job and I accepted.

Thursday, June 1, 2000

Harvard and the Making of the Unabomber

In June of 2000, the Atlantic published an article written by Alston Chase on the radicalization of the Unabomber.

During World War II, the Office of Strategic Services, the organization that would later be transformed into the CIA, conducted experiments on brainwashing and the ability to withstand interrogation. One of the officials who conducted the interrogation experiments was Henry A. Murray, a psychologist who longed for world government.

During his time at OSS, Murray monitored its experiments on brainwashing, a subject he would later show great interest in. He devised tests to see how well a person could withstand an interrogation. In one test, he placed the subject in a chair with a bright light shining down on his face. The interrogator would begin the questioning in a calm manner in an effort to build trust with the subject. Soon, however, the interrogator would become sarcastic and might even yell at the subject and accuse them of lying.

After the war, Murray became a professor of psychology at Harvard. During his tenure there, he conducted an experiment on 22 undergraduate students. One of those undergraduates was Theodore Kaczynski, who would later become the Unabomber. The experiment was very similar to the one he conducted for the OSS. It begs the question, after running the experiment for the OSS, why would Murray need to rerun the experiment at Harvard?

As part of this “new” experiment, the subjects would write a brief paper explaining their philosophy of life. Upon completion, the subjects would enter a brightly lit room, sit in front of a one-way mirror, and debate their philosophy with a person seated behind that mirror. Though the subjects were led to believe that they would be debating against another student like themselves, in reality, Murray had hired a lawyer to debate them and instructed that lawyer to be aggressive and anger the student to the greatest extent possible.

Twenty five years after the experiment, many of its participants still had painful memories of what had happened.

“I remember him attacking me, even insulting me, for my values, or for opinions I had expressed in my written material, and I remember feeling that I could not defend these ideas, that I had written them not intended for them to be the subject of a debate,” said one of the participants. “I remember being shocked by the severity of the attack, and I remember feeling helpless to respond.”

“I remember responding with unabating rage,” said another one of the participants.

After the so-called debate, Murray would later show the subjects a video of what had happened.

“You will see yourself making numerous grimaces and gestures,” said Murray. You will see yourself “uttering incongruent, disjunctive, and unfinished sentences.”

In the final phase of the experiment, the subjects became guinea pigs for the research projects of the graduate students in the psychology department. Later on, some of those graduate students would wonder why the subjects agreed to participate in their research projects after what had happened to them in the first phase of the experiment.

Of course, all the while this experiment was going on, the subjects were attending their normal undergraduate classes. And according to Chase, who also attended Harvard at the same time as Kaczynski, this did not engender an optimistic outlook on life.

“From the humanists we learned that science threatens civilization,” said Chase. “From the scientists we learned that science cannot be stopped. Taken together, they implied that there was no hope.”

Kaczynski wasn’t the only participant who adopted an anti-technology philosophy. Other participants in the experiment adopted a similar view.

“The scientists I hate because they are pursuing goals which are destined to remove man even further from himself,” said one participant.

A forensic psychologist who examined Kaczynski after his arrest believes that Kaczynski underwent a dramatic transformation during the time he participated in the experiment.

“He began worrying about his health,” said Chase. “He began having terrible nightmares. He started having fantasies about taking revenge against a society that he increasingly viewed as an evil force obsessed with imposing conformism through psychological controls.”

While undergoing this experiment, Kaczynski constructed a theory explaining his anger and unhappiness. He blamed technology for destroying liberty and nature.

The true purpose of the experiment remains unknown. Even the graduate students who used the participants for their research projects said they did not know why Murray conducted the experiment. When asked about the purpose of the experiment, Murray replied in “curiously equivocal answers,” according to Chase.

“Cui bono?” asked Murray. “As [the data] stand they are nothing but raw data, meaningless as such; and the question is what meaning, what intellectual news, can be extracted from them?”

“Could the experiment have had a purpose that Murray was reluctant to divulge?” asked Chase.

Chase does not answer that question in his article. But I can answer that question. The answer is yes. In fact, the OSS experiment to brainwash people and the OSS experiment to see how well a subject responds to interrogation were the same experiment. CIA uses this “experiment” to turn people into terrorists, as they did with Kaczynski. Presumably, Murray had his subjects write out their philosophy in life so they could develop their own ideology. As Chase mentions in his article, this ideology was hardly an original creation of Kaczynski, as he got most of his ideas from his undergraduate classes at Harvard. But I assume Murray had him write out and argue those ideas so Kaczynski would internalize them.

The anti-modernization ideology goes back a long time. For example, in his book Walden, Henry David Thoreau, expounds on the virtue of living the “simple life.” The West has created this anti-modernization ideology not because it wants to adopt this ideology, but because it wants to teach this ideology to other countries in an effort to convince them not to modernize. Were those other countries to modernize, they would take up valuable resources needed by the West. In addition, those countries would be able to modernize their military which would make them a threat to the West. To prevent these things from happening, the West has invented this anti-modernization ideology and has tried to spread it around the world. Al Qaeda is another example of an anti-modernization ideology created by the West.

The reason why Murray humiliated his subjects was because he needed to fill them with hatred, which is obviously a key ingredient for a terrorist. You would think that simply shining light on a person and arguing with them would not turn a person into a terrorist. However, I am willing to bet that Murray did much more to this subjects than that.

As I have participated in a program similar to one Murray conducted, I can say that another key ingredient to the radicalization program is sleep deprivation. I can’t remember the last time I slept all the way through the night. This makes it hard to think and leaves one is a sour mood.

In addition, drugs are a key ingredient of this radicalization program. After waking up in the morning and while blowing my nose, I have often smelled various chemicals. I do not know what they are but I know they have had a significant effect on me. Often, when I wake up in the middle of the night, I will hallucinate. Sometimes, I have seen characters on the wall – some in English, some in Japanese. Often, I have seen the outline of various insects on the wall, as they might appears if they were in a laser light show.

Not surprisingly, some of the drugs can make you angry. I have often thought that my government has been administering steroids to me on some occasions. I exercise fairly regularly and for no apparent reason, the amount of exercise that I am able to perform can vary dramatically. In some cases, I am able to do three times as many repetitions on a good day as compared to a bad day.

However, unlike Kaczynski, it appears that my government does not want to turn me into a terrorist. Instead, it wants me to write various things and publish them on the Internet in an attempt to scare other governments. Obviously, every government has committed a crime at some point. Were the information about such a time to become public knowledge, that might lead to the downfall of that government. Of course, in order for this scheme to work, I must write and publish the damaging information at the proper time. That leads to a problem - I may not agree with some of the things my government wants me to write, and so my government needed some way of convincing me to do what they say.

It turns out they have drugs for that too. And remember that, to begin with, I haven’t slept a good night’s sleep in years. That damages a person’s ability to reason properly. In addition, the government apparently has other ways of making it hard for me to think. I often have a hard time reading newspaper articles published online, no matter how simple or complicated they are. On the other hand, at other times, reading those articles can be very easy. The government seems to have a very fast and efficient way of making reading and writing either very difficult or very easy for me. Furthermore, the government also has some way of making me either forget or remember various pieces of information. It’s hard to disagree with your government if you can’t remember a piece of information that explains why they are wrong on a certain issue. And to prevent me from saying certain things at the wrong time, my government has some sort of way – presumably another drug – that makes one very afraid and reluctant to do anything. Alternatively, the government has another drug that simply makes a person too tired to do anything but not tired enough to fall asleep (I would often lay down when administered this drug but I would be unable to fall asleep).

Note that several of the effects that I have listed – anger, the inability to recall information, the inability to act, the inability to reason properly – are similar to the symptoms listed by one of the students who participated in Murray’s “experiment.” And remember that these were not stupid people – they were undergraduates at Harvard.

In 1977, the Church Committee released a report on MKULTRA, a behavioral modification research program run by the CIA. On page 167, the report lists a number of drugs the CIA tried to develop. According to the report, the CIA tried to develop 17 different types of drugs. I believe my government has administered some of these drugs to me. Of the 17 different drugs in that list, I have identified six which my government may have illegally administered to me. The following is a list of those six drugs.
  1. Substances which will promote illogical thinking and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in public.
  2. Substances which increase the efficiency of mentation and perception.
  3. Materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events preceding and during their use.
  4. Physical methods of producing shock and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptitious use.
  5. Substances which will produce “pure” euphoria with no subsequent let-down.
  6. Substances which will lower the ambition and general working efficiency of men when administered in undetectable amounts.
To see the effects of the first type of drug, take a look at this video. Or this one. Or take a look at some of the more wild Fidel Castro interviews. Or take a look at what has been happening to Mel Gibson or Charlie Sheen over the past few years. To see the effect of the fifth type of drug, watch this. I don’t have a really good video that demonstrates what the other drugs are capable of. This video kind of shows the effects of drugs that inhibit memory recall, increase confusion, and generally slow you down. For other examples, take a look at the videos of Japanese politicians, in particular the videos of Naoto Kan speaking at the Japanese Diet during the early months of his premiership.

It appears that the government has learned several new tricks since Murray’s time, as they can apparently inject thoughts into a person’s mind and they can also read thoughts from a person’s mind. At least it seems they have been able to do that with me. Over the past few years, I have often heard voices in my head. For example, I have heard a voice with a southern accent, a voice with an oriental accent, a female American voice, and a voice with a British accent. None of these voices sound anything like my own. And, at various different times, they have had some very interesting things to say. Much of what I have written has been based on what they have told me. It is important to note that prior to a few years ago, I never had any of these problems.

While Murray subjected the Unabomber to a humiliating “interrogation,” in my case, the government has done all sorts of weird things. It has done something to my shower water which has made it both sticky and smelly at times. They have often placed insects in my apartment. They have often induced headaches in me. They have caused me to dry heave. In short, they have tortured me.

This will not stand.