Sunday, November 05, 2006

Adam Doesn't Quite Believe America: Freedom to Fascism

finally complete!

directed by Aaron Russo
available on DVD from Aaron Russo Productions

Conspiracy theories are often dismissed as batshit crazy. Mainly because so damn many of them ARE batshit crazy.
The IRS and the Federal Reserve are frequent targets of conspiracy theorists, particularly from the libertarian fringe. Why? Because the IRS sucks the life out of the American people. That's a given.
Aaron Russo says some interesting things with his documentary America: Freedom to Fascism. However, he also fumbles around blindly without doing his homework.
Russo opens a dialogue about why there's no law establishing the Income Tax. The problem is, he doesn't actually do the research. He expects everyone around him to do it for him. The graduated income tax (an imperfect system) is not a law, it's an IRS regulation. Just as there's no law that says you can't say "fuck" on live television. That's an FCC regulation.
The Constitution of the United States gives the Federal Government the right to regulate interstate commerce and to levy taxes. Sorry, but it's there.
He forgets that the Federal Reserve was a solution to banks issuing their own currency, instead implying that the system itself allows for what it replaced. Getting off of the gold standard (which was itself arbitrary and made the US dependent on other countries for its financial well-being) was a GOOD thing. It allowed the US economy to grow, unfettered from dependency on the (arbitrary and fake) value of gold. Gold is NOT real money. The US currency is tied to the GDP of the US economy, meaning that in years that the US does well (you know, the pre-Bush years), the value of the dollar rises compared to other countries' currencies.
Russo also attempts to tackle the issue of RFID chips and the Real ID Act. However, his response is that people shouldn't accept the cards -- forgetting that such an act would (of course) incite the government.
Russo makes the mistake of including the infamous Florida tazing footage where the woman overacts horribly trying to make a scene and elicit sympathy. Considering that, if he had access to that footage, Russo also had access to the footage of the police explaining the entire incident (including her beginning to scream only AFTER the tazing was over).
The electronic voting scandal is touched upon, but Russo doesn't give any evidence. Instead, he just says there was "irrefutable evidence" of a miscount in Cuyahoga County (forgetting that Kerry WON Cuyahoga). I don't trust Diebold (How can you trust a company whose CEO pledges to "deliver" an election to his favored candidate?), but Russo misses the point.
The whole thing is of course a huge diatribe on the New World Order conspiracy that the Black Helicopter crowd wants to fight against. I'm surprised Russo doesn't wear a tin foil hat throughout the film.
I really could rant more, but I won't. The whole film, while watchable and occasionally interesting, lapses into faux patriotic silliness. It's a brave attempt, but it fails pretty miserably.
Skip it.

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