Q&A with Michael Rivero | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

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Q&A with Michael Rivero

The following was a Q&A session in early 2012 between a student writing a paper on bloggers and blogging, and Michael Rivero.

Q: Biographical and educational history?
A: I was born in Boston, and was originally a farm kid from New Hampshire. My family moved to Los Angeles when I was 12. I had a brief stint as a child-actor, worked my way through college as a professional magician, then settled on astronomy as my career choice. I worked for NASA on Viking, Voyager, Apollo 12 (Post mission), and some other projects, then got hit in the post-Apollo aerospace depression. A friend of a friend of a friend who knew about my strange background of actor/magician/NASA image processing expert sent me over to this whole-in-the-wall cinder block place I had never heard of in Van Nuys called Industrial Light and Magic! Classic case of being in the right place at the right time and I spent the next few decades working in visual effects and computer animation. You can look up my name on the Internet Movie Database for some of my credits.

Q: What interested you in becoming a writer/ broadcaster, and activist?
A: I would love to tell you I felt a higher calling to get the truth out, yadda yadda yadda but the truth is it was entirely an accident. I had a small computer animation system in my home in North Hollywood in 1994 and I was working in there when the ABC feed coming into the video switcher started showing this photo leaked by the White House purportedly of the hand of White House Deputy Council Vincent Foster and the gun he supposedly committed suicide with. Now film fackery was what I was good at and the photo screamed "fake" to me, so I hit the frame capture and printed a hard copy which I took with me to this animation shop I was working at during the day. We shared the same building with CNN's Hollywood bureau, and lunch was at a sidewalk cafe next door. I still recall a bunch of the CNN people listening to me intently from the next table as I showed the picture and explained all the things that was wrong with it. Next thing I know I am fired without explanation and getting death threats over the phone on the middle of the night. My career evaporated before my very eyes despite a couple Emmy and Oscar nominations and a bunch of Cleo awards. My career ended as abruptly as that of Jean Seberg in the 1960s, destroyed by the FBI. So, my wife and I moved to Washington State, I worked overseas when I could, an otherwise worked to find out just who it was I had scared bad enough to blacklist me, and expanded my website. Eventually, a Japanese film offered me a job, since they did not care if the White House hated my guts and my wife and I moved to Hawaii where we lived to this very day. Since then I succeeded in working my way back into a film career and worked on "The Day After Tomorrow", "LOST", "Hawaii Five-0", and "Off The Map". At the same time I built up the political website, moved to our own servers, and was invited to do a talk radio show for GCN and then later RBN. While I was on "Off The Map" I decided the time had come to quit the film and TV business and focus 100% of my time on being a peace activist. So that brings us up to the present.

Q: Tell me about the site What Really Happened. When was it founded and why? What are the goals you hope to achieve?
A: I answered the origin question above (I think). The goal is simple. The US leaders have gotten into a huge financial mess, and history shows that governments that get into a mess use a global war to get out. Crash of 1907, WW1. Crash of 1929, WW2. Crash of 2008, WW3. Washington DC wants to solve this economic mess with another word war, and over and above opposing war on moral principles, my concern is that the US will lose this war! For the bankers who profit from wars, they do not care who is the victor. Both sides go into debt to fight the war and both sides go deeper into debt to rebuild from the war so the bankers do not care which sides wins or loses. As a side note, there were no world wars before the Federal Reserve came into being!

Q: What drives you - inspires you - to press on with the "good fight" in making sure that information reaches the public?
A: My personal motto is "Nemo vir est qui mundum non reddat meliorem." I would like to say it is the Rivero family motto, but it isn't. The motto on our coat of arms is boring in the extreme. I got this one from a movie. But the translation is "What man is a man who does not make the world better", and I have a great resonance with this because I hold it as the highest moral principle that we leave to the next generation a better world than was left to us. Sadly, at this time in history, we are failing.

Q: In your opinion, what has happened (good or bad) the general news media over the years?
A: The corporate media has been consolidated and brought under corporate control, to the point where there is no longer any real news, only advertising masking as news.

Q: Why are progressive freelance journalists/broadcasters important to the news media? To keep them honest. More than a few times the TV networks are forced to cover a particular news story because the alternative news made it common knowledge.

Q: Do you feel there are efforts to "quiet" this sector the media?
A: Yes. Both overt and covert. Plus a lot of planted silliness to "kookify" the blogs. Propagandists call the tactic "poisoning the well."

Q: Do you think most Americans merely accept what they hear from the corporate media?
A: Not as much as they used to. The lies about Saddam's nuclear weapons were the wakeup call.

Q: Has your readership/listeners increased, and if so, why do you feel this happening?
A: Our numbers for both the website and radio show are trending upward. People are very scared they are being driven in a direction that is not the best course of action for the American people as a whole, no matter how much Wall Street and Washington DC may profit from it. They know they are being lied to and they want to know the truth, even if it is to be found on blogs and radio shows operating on pennies.

Q: Have there been any efforts on the part of the government or pressures put on you to shut down the website/content because of the nature of the articles that the site publishes?
A: Yes. Killing my career was one, press smears another, death threats another, and there are constant cyber attacks on our servers.

Q: Do you feel there will come a time that censorship will become a problem?
A: It is already a problem or I would not be doing what I do.

Q: On what is happening in the country and world - What do you feel is the primary cause of the decline in the economy of the US?
A: This nation fought a revolution to be free of private central banks and debt-based currencies. Sadly, the people of the United States have been sold back into the slavery of private central banks three times by corrupt congresses and corrupt Presidents. most recently in 1913. But the bankers and indeed the government know that private central banks issuing the public currency as a loan at interest have a fatal design flaw which leads to eventual collapse of every nation thus enslaved. That is what is happening now in the nations under the control of the Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Central Bank, etc. The system always creates more debt than money with which to pay that debt. By design, debt always exceeds available money. It does not matter how hard the people work or what they sacrifice, the debt trap is permanent.

Q: What steps have to be taken to reverse this?
A: Only in systemic collapse or revolution is the trap destroyed.

Q: Why isn't Congress taking care of the "we the people" sector of the US (with the inclination to follow the whim and desires of lobbyists and corporations)?
A: Because We The People cannot out-bid the lobbyists and corporations.

Q: Is there any real difference in the Democrats and Republicans these days? Do most professional politicians belong to the same "club" of scoundrels?
A: There is a difference only in the small cosmetic details visible only during election years. Both the Republicans and the Democrats have long ago gone down the dark path towards fascism ... which is why anarchy is looking so attractive these days.

Q: How can Americans truly make a difference and will voting really matter (in the face of voter fraud, caging, and the possibility of electronic manipulation of votes)?
A: We are at the point where reforming the system is impossible because of the massive vote fraud taking place. To quote John F. Kennedy, those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable. Sadly, we are about to prove how correct he was.

Q: How has Citizens United affected the process of elections?
A: In granting legal personhood including the right to freedom of expression to corporations, congress has elevated the fiction of a corporation above the status of citizens, who unlike corporations have limited lifespans and limited resources. Of course, it is silly to say corporations have freedom of expression when it is the corporate executives who use that legal fiction to exercise an influence on politics ordinary citizens cannot equal. I think Citizens United is a major enabler of the fascism taking root in this nation.

Q: I heard it stated that Obama wants to confiscate all the guns owned by private citizens. What do you think about this and how well will that go over in the US? What could the end-game on eliminating private ownership of guns?
A: Even Hitler's gun confiscation did not get all the guns, which is why the Jews were able to stage the Warsaw Ghetto revolt. America's cultural identify is firmly rooted in our right to keep and bear arms. I doubt the American people will surrender their firearms without a fight. But even if the guns are grabbed it does not matter because this revolution is being fought and will be won with keyboards.

Q: The NDAA - what is your opinion of this and how could that law play out when it comes to American citizens? Why would they pass such a law? Do you consider it constitutional? How could it affect freedom of speech and of the press?
A: Clearly it is not constitutional, and I think the real purpose was to scare the American people back into silence with the threat of arrest and indefinite detention without trial. It does not seem to have worked to quiet dissent.

Q: Do you think the troops in the military would actually participate in actions against American citizens - just follow orders to take up arms and aid in enforcing repressive policies against its own citizens?
A: No. I have spoken to a great many soldiers who assure their officers they will help in such actions, but only because it is clear that is what the officers wish to hear. Privately, most soldiers are strict constitutionalists, and most I think will side with the people as they did in Egypt.

Q: Do you think the states will adopt resolutions against the NDAA, since it obviously can render almost everything in the Constitution and Bill of Rights "null and void?"
A: They will adopt such resolutions (indeed have already started) but the Federal government will ignore them. The National Guard is supposed to be the states' armies, answerable to the governor, but Bush used the Los Angeles Rodney King Riots to Federalize the National Guard, thereby stripping the states of any ability to resist the Federal Government; the original intent of the Second Amendment.

Q: The US government calls this country a democracy. Is that still a fact, are we actually a democracy, or is that an illusion that most want to believe?
A: Technically, this is a Republic with democratically chosen leaders. Thomas Jefferson predicted it would only last 100 years before accumulated corruption required it to be torn down and replaced with something else. I foresee the next evolution of civil government as a small permanent body charged with caring for the infrastructure, but all major national decisions, like bailing out Wall Street or going to war, decided by direct popular vote. Obviously we need to have a truly accurate and honest digital election system, and a death penalty for election stealers to make it work.

Q: Nuclear energy - Do you think the people are being told the "truth and nothing but" when it comes to the safety of nuclear energy? Why would the government be hiring companies with proven "bad records of building, oversight, and manipulation of safety reports" to build more plants in this country? (I am from Texas and see who is in line to build the South Texas Plant)
A: No, I do not think people are told the true dangers of a great deal of things going on, as the Deepwater Horizon incident proved. The particular type of nuclear power used in the United States, uranium fission, is supported and favored by the US Government because it produces materials that can be used in weapons.

Q: What has to be done to make nuclear energy safe, if that is possible?
A: In a general sense, taking the key safety decisions away from the money-junkies is a good start. Beyond that, there are two technologies that hold a great deal of promise. The first is the Thorium Cycle reactor, much safer and with far less waste disposal problems that current reactors. This is an already established technology already in use in other parts of the world. A little more "blue sky" is hot fusion power, but the Chinese have already achieved breakeven with their first reactor. The US could easily have invested in both technologies had the government not borrowed and spent almost $100 trillion to save Wall Street from prison for the mortgage-backed securities fraud.

Q: What about the nuclear waste dumps? One of the largest nuclear waste dumps is in business in Andrews, Texas, sitting over one of the largest water aquifers in the United States. I have to wonder about their claims that it will not affect the water supply, and their claims of safety standards.
A: Obviously, people using that water should have radiation meters and test their water on a regular basis. If I recall correctly, that part of the state has a cap of post-Eocene rock which is probably the base of the aquifer. If the waste is disposed of below that level it is probably contained, but I would prefer to check for myself than take any official's word for it.

Q: Monsanto - why is the government allowing Monsanto to do what they are doing with the "seed control" factor?
A: Because if you control the food, you control the people.

Q: We are constantly reminded about the Holocaust. In truth, how different is the Holocaust from waging war all over the world, decimating civilian populations with unfounded wars, satuating areas with DU and creating zones of radiation that destroy the local populations (as well as doing injury to our own troops). Our government claims to be humanitarian...and yet...are we really a humanitarian nation?
A: At the end of WW2, the founders of Israel faced a major problem. The whole world had just united against the Nazis on the principle that one government did not have the right to simply take another peoples' lands for their own, and yet this is exactly what the Zionists wanted to do to Palestine. So they needed a propaganda device so powerful that the same people who had spent their gold and blood telling Hitler he could not steal Poland would allow Israel to steal Palestine. So, slave-labor camps became death camps, delousing showers became gas chambers, insecticide became poison gas, the incinerators built (after the war) to deal with contagious bodies of typhus victims became the ovens where people were burned alive, etc. Israel's entire justification for the theft of Palestine rests on that story of deliberate extermination, even though obviously, after the collapse of the Nazis, Germany was probably the safest place on Earth for them to live, certainly far safer than Palestine. As for our government, it is only humane when someone is looking.

Q: About the depleted uranium and its connection problems with the US troops health, how much of a factor is that? Why are the vets seemingly on the short end of health care once they return, both physically and mentally?
A: Because they are no longer useful to the war machine.

Q: Occupy Wall Street - How much of an affect have they had on the outcome of any policies, attitudes, etc?
A: The occupy movement has scared Wall Street and Washington DC. The worst disaster that could happen is for the rest of the world's investors to get the message that We The People will no longer pay for stupidity or criminality of Wall Street. That promise that the American taxpayer can always be made to cover investment losses in the US is what keeps that foreign money here. The occupy movement is sending a message that the US Government may not be able to keep that promise and foreign investment is starting to look for safer places.

Q: A lot of people want to think that the OWS activists are nothing but a bunch of losers with nothing else to do (that is the attitude in many of the ultra-conservative sectors in Texas). What professional sectors and concerned citizens have you seen that are a part of the movement, that would discount that notion?
A: The occupy movement includes all ages, genders, and professions. The only people not in the streets are those financial wizards who rely on the taxpayers' bailouts to keep operating, and of course they hate the occupy movement with a fierce passion.

Q: Will the government eventually put the movement to rest (or in jail)?
A: No. There are simply too many. With the spring thaw, Occupy will return. The US Government cannot use violence against occupy without discrediting its own justification for going into Syria, Libya, etc.

Q: Greg Palast wrote about the "vultures"? Who, in your opinion, are the vultures?" Can they be stopped?
A: I call them money addicts or money-junkies (a term I heard from Buffy Sainte-Marie). And like any other addict, they cannot stop themselves. They must be stopped. A revolution, is, after all, merely a money-junkie intervention.

Q: Do you think the "insider trading law" that was passed will really have an effect on what is going on in Washington?
A: No. What was going on is already illegal. That law was simply not enforced and neither will this one be. It's just election year decoration.

Q: What about the oil companies? They get away with doing so much destruction and yet, any fines or penalties are drop in the bucket compared to the profits they garner from sloppy and corrupt practices.
A: Same with the banking, pharmaceuticals, or any large corporation. The fines are just part of the cost of doing business and are passed along to the customers.

Q: Why do you think that anyone who questions the government or their "take"(propaganda, if you will) is labeled as un-American, a conspiracy theorist, or even as a terrorist?
A: Because the government can't actually answer the questions.

Q: Do you think that most of the American people are open to alternative theories (especially when faced with evidence), or had they rather stay in their cozy corner and stick their heads in the sand?
A: 18 years ago, when I first started this, most Americans stuck their heads in the sand. Today we are a sadder but wiser population who learned via Saddam's non-existent nuclear weapons that the US Government and the media do indeed lie to us. So, while there are still some Americans in denial, every day more and more Americans pull their heads out of the sand.

Q: What can Americans really do to make a difference? Is it too late or can all this be turned around?
A: I fear it is too late. With rampant vote fraud, Americans have been disconnected from their own government. It will take a total collapse of the system or a revolution to allow us to restart the nation in a form that will serve the people. Personally, I hope for the collapse.

Q: Why should all Americans wake up and become "activists?"
A: To avoid being slaves.

Q: Feel free to add thoughts that were not addressed in the questions.
A: If we do not choose to fight against the money-junkies now while we still can, we will soon have no choice but to fight for the money-junkies from now on!