One of the scariest aspects of media nowadays is that you’re not always sure who’s pushing which information. Major corporations own much of the news media, and as one might imagine, they’re not keen on disseminating information that contradicts with their agenda. If you have the power to influence the masses of a country, which direction do you sway them in?

“We need to make this style of video and we’ve got to use Al-Qaeda’s footage . . . We need it to be 10 minutes long, and it needs to be in this file format, and we need to encode it in this manner,” reads instructions given to the PR firm that was hired by the Pentagon.

Almost immediately after the devastating 9/11 attacks that killed almost 3,000 Americans, the United States government was quick to pin the event on Islamic radicals whose goal was to ‘terrorize’ the world. The ‘War on Terror’ quickly ensued, seeing thousands of Americans invade foreign lands all for the sake of “democracy.”

Much of the United States population rallied behind the War on Terror because our nation had just been attacked. With emotions running high, no one ever stopped to question whether or not this “War on Terror” was a real thing or not. And the United States government took advantage of it.

Martin Wells, a former employee of Bell Pottinger, the PR firm hired to fabricate fake terrorist propaganda media, recently came forward to talk about what kind of work he did on the $500 million project. The goal of their project was to create media that portrayed Al-Qaeda and Islamic radicals in a negative light. Additionally, they needed people to start supporting the idea that implementing “democratic elections” was main goal of invading terrorist countries.

After only 48 hours of being hired by Bell Pottinger, Wells found himself traveling to Iraq where he would edit videos and make content for ‘psychological and information’ operations at Camp Victory. Wells created TV ads that looked as though they had been made by Arabic television channels. These ads featured low-quality footage of bombings that were edited to make Al-Qaeda look unfavorable and dangerous.

During the International Conference on the New World Order, which is organized by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation, Dr. Michel Chossudovsky staunchly declared that the ‘War on Terrorism’ was one big lie perpetuated by the United States:

“The global war on terrorism is a US undertaking, which is fake, it’s based on fake premises. It tells us that somehow America and the Western world are going after a fictitious enemy, the Islamic state, when in fact the Islamic state is fully supported and financed by the Western military alliance and America’s allies in the Persian Gulf… They say Muslims are terrorists, but it just so happens that terrorists are Made in America. They’re not the product of Muslim society, and that should be abundantly clear to everyone on this floor… The global war on terrorism is a fabrication, a big lie and a crime against humanity.”

Because propaganda is illegal in the United States, Wells says that the United States government used an outside PR firm to produce the fake media content. The PR firm worked under the Information Operations Task Force (IOTF), claiming that their content was “truthful.”

“If one, 48 hours or a week later, shows up in another part of the world, then that’s the more interesting one. And that’s what they’re looking for more, because that gives you a trail,” Wells says, explaining why the media content was so useful in tracking down terrorist sympathizers.

This type of behavior is not too surprising, however, as the Pentagon regularly hires PR firms to manipulate public and international opinion. In 2009, it hired The Rendon Group to help keep tabs on journalists embedded in U.S. military operations. Their goal? To make sure the journalists were only producing content that portrayed military operations in a positive light.

Democracy Now reports that they hired PR organization, Lincoln Group, in 2005 to create fake Iraqi newspaper articles, but the PR group was unsurprisingly cleared by the Pentagon of any malicious intent.

So, with all of this information pointing to the notion that the Pentagon and United States government are clearly manufacturing public opinion and discourse, what do you think is the bigger picture here? Why is the United States trying to influence its population, as well as the rest of the world? Do you believe everything that the media and government have told you over the past two decades?

The United States is very clearly trying its best to sway public opinion, but why? What is the end-game?

h/t Collective Evolution

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This Unique Spanish Home Was Built Under a Rolling Hill and Is Completely Eco-Friendly

You wouldn’t know there was a home resting inside of this rolling hillside were it not for the roof sloping downward over a parked car and bicycles. Known as the Live Garden House, this vaulted home was built into a hillside and features traditional construction techniques practiced in Zaragoza, Spain.

Spanish designers sought to create a fully sustainable home that used locally-sourced materials for its construction. They achieve their vision with this zero-energy structure that lets in natural sunlight, has a natural ventilation system and features a rainwater collection system.

All of its sustainable features are made even better by placing them underneath an undulating green roof (which has plants and vegetation growing on top of it). Not only does the home look beautiful inside, it fits in perfectly with the surrounding landscape.

And the inside is just as welcoming and serene as the outside. Take a look for yourself!

h/t Inhabitat

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The REAL Reason Barns Are Usually Red

Almost every barn I’ve ever seen has been red, and I never knew why. I mean, I love red as a color, but it never really made any sense why every single barn I’ve ever come across had to be red. There are so many other colors to choose from!

The real reason barns are painted red actually has nothing to do with color preference, and everything to do with practicality.

When the very first New England settlers were building farms, many of them lacked the necessary funds to paint their buildings. However, they still needed a way to protect their barns’ wood from the elements, so they came up with their own solution to the problem: by mixing skim milk, lime, and red iron oxide, they successfully created a plastic-like substance that they could coat their farm buildings with to protect them.

Eventually, paint manufacturers would mix in chemical pigment and red was the favorite due to how cheap it was. And, as with many things in this world, people never sought to change it. So, red was how it began and red is how it has stayed.

h/t Business Insider

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Professor Who Predicted Donald Trump Becoming President Has a New Prediction: Impeachment

Image via: Max Goldberg from USA - Trump CAUCUS

Allan Lichtman, a professor at American University, has gained quite a bit of notoriety over the years as he’s successfully predicted the outcome of every presidential election to date, starting in 1984. He correctly predicted the Donald Trump would win the 2016 election and is now making another prediction: Donald Trump will be impeached.

"Now, he focuses on the 45th President of the United States and his next forecast, that it is not a question of if President Trump will be impeached, but a question of when," said Shelby Meizlik, spokesperson for HarperCollins.

In fact, Lichtman has written a book stating his argument for why Trump should be impeached. The Case for Impeachment is being published by Dey Street Books and will release to the public on April 18th.

Lichtman made the prediction that Trump would be impeached alongside his prediction that he would be elected and his book will go into detail as to why.

Lichtman told the Washington Post this past September:

"I'm going to make another prediction. This one is not based on a system; it's just my gut. They don't want Trump as president, because they can't control him. He's unpredictable. They'd love to have Pence — an absolutely down-the-line, conservative, controllable Republican. And I'm quite certain Trump will give someone grounds for impeachment, either by doing something that endangers national security or because it helps his pocketbook."

It certainly seems as though there is a strong case for impeachment, especially when considering Trump's Russian connections and the multitude of conflicts of interests surrounding his businesses, as Lichtman argues.

Do you think Lichtman’s fortune-telling capabilities will ring true once again?

h/t Time

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6 Bizarrely Beautiful Houseplants You've Probably Never Heard Of

Houseplants are a great addition to any home as not only do they bring a clean, fresh aesthetic to the space, they also help improve air quality. If you’ve ever wanted to bring plants into your home, but think that they’re kind of boring or not worth the effort, try out one of these bizarre houseplants that are anything but boring.

Mix it up a little with these six houseplants that are beautiful, but also a little strange.

Euphorbia Caput-Medusae
Succulents a great option for everyone who’s looking for a low-maintenance plant. They only need watering about once a week and even just once a month during the winter months. The type of succulent shown here is referred to as “Medusa’s Head,” a moniker taken on because of its likeness to the Greek monster with snakes for hair. It is native to South Africa.

The Trachyandra also looks as if it’s some type of snake plant, or maybe silly-string growing out of the ground. This plant is real and you can find it in Eastern and Southern Africa.

If you’ve ever wanted a plant that looks somewhat like it has antlers, grab a Platycerium. This plant, which is often called the “Staghorn Fern”, can even grow on the side of things, such as trees or walls.

Gentiana Urnula
These beautifully-patterned succulents are known as “Starfish Succulents” and are at home in the rocks. These are also a perfect option for those seeking low-maintenance plants.

Sedum Morganianum
These crazy looking plant is often called “Donkey Tail” and its stems regularly grow up to two feet in length. Its leaves are normally a bluish-green and it is native to Mexico and Honduras.

Haworthia Cooperi
This plant looks like some type of glass flower or maybe even some type of gelatin, but these clumps you see here are actually green leaves that simply look as though they’re something else.

h/t Woman's Day

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