Sunday, July 22, 2018

GREENWALD'S RATIONAL VIEW
ON OUR POST-RATIONAL PRESIDENT

(Greenwald at The Intercept.com)

Below are the links to the discussions seen on DemocracyNow!

(PART ONE)

"As President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, we host a debate on U.S.-Russia relations. In Washington, D.C., we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept. Greenwald calls the Trump-Putin meeting “excellent” and adds that President Obama also sought diplomacy with Russia. Cirincione calls the summit “a danger to America and to the West.”

(PART TWO)

"Watch Part 2 of our debate on U.S.-Russia relations as President Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki. In Washington, D.C., we speak with Joe Cirincione, president of Ploughshares Fund, a global security foundation. In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and one of the founding editors of The Intercept."

Also consider this:

(Alexander Mercouris at ConsortiumNews.com)

"They actually held a Russian-American summit in Helsinki on Monday to talk about life and death issues, though you wouldn’t know it from the corporate media. Alexander Mercouris explores some of those other issues."

Friday, July 20, 2018

HENRY GIROUX'S CRITICAL READS

(The Seminary Co-op)

"It is hard to imagine a more urgent moment for developing a language of critique and possibility that would serve to awaken our critical and imaginative senses and help free us from the tyrannical nightmare that has descended upon the United States under the rule of Donald Trump. In an age of social isolation, information overflow, a culture of immediacy, consumer glut, and spectacularized violence, reading critical books and thinking critically remain necessary if we are to take seriously the notion that a democracy cannot exist or be defended without informed and engaged citizens. This is especially true at a time when denial has become a national pastime matched only by the increasing normalization of one of the most alarming administrations ever to take hold of the American presidency. Against a numbing indifference, paralyzing despair, or withdrawal into the private orbits of the isolated self, there is a need to create those formative cultures that are humanizing, foster the capacity to hear others, sustain complex thoughts, and engage social problems. We have no other choice if we are to resist the increasing destabilization of democratic institutions, the assault on reason, the collapse of the distinction between fact and fiction, the legitimation of tribal identities, and the taste for savagery that now spreads across America like a plague. Reading the word means not only learning how to read the world, but also learning how to think critically and refuse to succumb to the unthinkable. The pedagogical lesson here is that fascism begins with hateful words, the demonization of others considered disposable and moves to an attack on ideas, the burning of books, and the disappearance of intellectuals, the emergence of the carceral state, and the horrors of detention centers and camps.

     Trump’s presidency may only be symptomatic of the long decline of liberal democracy in the United States, but its presence signifies one of the gravest challenges, if not dangers, the country has faced in over a century. A formative culture of lies, ignorance, corruption and violence is now fueled by a range of orthodoxies shaping American life, including social conservatism, market fundamentalism, apocalyptic nationalism, religious extremism, and white nationalism, all of which occupy the centers of power at the highest levels of government. Historical memory and moral witnessing have given way to a bankrupt nostalgia that celebrates the most regressive moments in American history."

Thursday, July 19, 2018

RUSSIAGATE IS A DISTRACTION

Manipulation of public opinion has been an ever-present blight on America since its inception. Lies and deceptions have been used since colonial times to justify wars and conflicts to serve business interests, at the expense of ordinary citizens. We are a nation of Charlie Browns, always willing to try one more time to kick Lucy's football.


Charlie Brown is US, always willing to believe.

Hindsight is obscured by revisionist history, lies upon lies have made it difficult for us to become a wiser populace. Despite all the falsehoods that were later revealed, propaganda still works. Not enough of us have learned the lessons of history, that the masses are tools used to help build empire. The banksters have made war our primary business, mechanisms of destruction our most lucrative manufacturing enterprise. We finance the merchants of death and the trillions they absorb do not trickle down, only the blood of our victims flow, which include our own soldiers, who fight and die for nebulous causes based on rhetoric, not just purposes. 

Our media and the majority of our political stooges sell conflict to the masses to support the agenda of a corrupt Military and Surveillance State that serves the oligarchs. 

Russiagate is bullshit, deflecting everyone from the real problem with our elections, they don't mean anything. The U.S. government ignores the will of the people in favor of the super-rich. Bribery isn't a rare crime in D.C., it's the driving force that defines how the business of our government operates. 

Russia is not a threat to the U.S., but conflict with Russia will help justify the massive flow of public dollars to the Military Industrial Complex, the incomprehensibly massive program that wastes trillions of dollars that could otherwise be spent supporting the taxpayers who provide it. 

The DoD and NSA are a scam, a bloated monstrosity, a literal crime against humanity.

(America's Lawyer)

A Spirited, Substantive Debate on the Trump-Putin Summit, Russia, and U.S. Politics
(Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept.com)

"ON SATURDAY, I described the “multiple reasons political discourse is degraded by the fact that it now plays out primarily on Twitter.” On Sunday night, the New York Times’s White House reporter Maggie Haberman announced that she was ” taking a break from this platform” because “it’s not really helping the discourse.” There seems to be a growing recognition, one I certainly share, that Twitter is a uniquely poor, even destructive, medium for conducting complex political debates and should be avoided for those purposes.

That view was reinforced for me by a lengthy, spirited, and substantive debate I had on Democracy Now! this morning about the Trump-Putin summit, and U.S. politics more broadly, with Joe Cirincione, the longtime president of Ploughshares Fund, which has long been devoted to the reduction and ultimate elimination of nuclear weapons, as well as a contributor to MSNBC and Think Progress. Although we disagreed on several critical questions, the debate was substantive, respectful, and nuanced, and therefore, infinitely more illuminating of my positions and his than endless Twitter bickering could possibly achieve..."

(Joe Lauria at ConsortiumNews.com)

"The indictment of 12 Russian ‘agents,’ which included no collusion with Trump’s team, is essentially a political and not legal document because it is almost certain the U.S. government will never have to present any evidence in court, reports Joe Lauria."

* * * * * * * * 
Look past the propaganda:

(ConsortiumNews.com)

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

___________
WHAT DID WE JUST CELEBRATE?

(Caitlin Johnstone at ConsortiumNews.com)
Posted on July 4, 2018

EXCERPTS:

"Today America celebrates its liberation from the shackles of the British Crown and the beginning of its transition into corporatist oligarchy, which is a lot like celebrating your lateral promotion from housekeeping to laundry staff..."

"...Just as King George didn’t give up rule of the New World colonies without a knock-down, drag-out fight, King George 2.0 has no intention of relinquishing its rule either. The oligarchs have been fighting to keep their power, and, in the money-equals-power system that they have built for themselves, this necessarily means keeping you from having money. Just as King George’s kingship would have meant nothing if everybody was King, the oligarchs won’t be oligarchs anymore if ordinary Americans are ever able to secure enough money for themselves to begin influencing their government within its current money-equals-power paradigm..."

"...America is a corporatist oligarchy dressed in drag doing a bad impression of a bipartisan democracy. Sometimes it doesn’t even keep its wig on; a recent party at the Hamptons saw Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kellyanne Conway and Charles Koch mixing it up with Chuck Schumer and George Soros. When they’re not dining on champagne and rare fillet together, these people pretend to be locked in a vicious partisan battle that is “tearing the nation apart,” but at Lally Weymouth’s annual Southampton summer party the act stops and the oligarchs frolic together like children.

1776 turned out to be nothing other than a transition from one form of exploitative rule to another, but who knows? Maybe a year in the not-too-distant future will see America celebrating a real Independence Day."


(YouTube.com)

Video by Represent.US
Learn more at http://Represent.Us/TheProblem, and go to https://represent.us/TheSolution to see our plan and join the Anti-Corruption Movement.

Monday, July 9, 2018

A HYPOCRITE OF THE FIRST ORDER

That this shameless asshole remains in office is evidence enough that our system is as corrupt as is possible to imagine. When I see Mitch it's hard "to keep a straight face," because I'm puking.

"This is the same guy who denied a hearing and a vote to President Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland."
(Huffington Post)

"WASHINGTON ― Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) scolded Democrats who are vowing to oppose President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee before he or she is even announced ― which is exactly what McConnell and all Republicans did to President Barack Obama before blocking his court pick entirely.

During remarks Monday on the Senate floor, McConnell said it is hard for him “to keep a straight face” when he hears some Democrats say they will vote against anyone on Trump’s previously released list of 25 potential Supreme Court picks. The conservative Federalist Society fed Trump all but one of those names.

“Justice Kennedy’s resignation letter had barely arrived in the president’s hands before several of our Democratic colleagues began declaring their blanket opposition to anyone at all,” said McConnell. 

“There’s not even a nominee yet,” he said with a laugh. “We should evaluate this president’s nominee fairly, based on their qualifications. And we should treat this process with the respect and the dignity that it deserves.”

Who Is Brett Kavanaugh? Inside the Right-Wing History of Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee
(DemocracyNow.org)

"President Trump has nominated federal Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat on the high court. Kavanaugh has deep ties to the Republican Party and will push the Supreme Court further right if he is confirmed. Kavanaugh served as a senior aide under President George W. Bush in the White House Counsel’s Office. He has similar credentials to Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. Both clerked for Anthony Kennedy, and both are backed by the Federalist Society and Heritage Foundation, who drew up a list for Trump in 2016 of suitable right-wing judges to consider for the Supreme Court. We speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of ThinkProgress Justice. His latest piece is headlined “Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick to replace Anthony Kennedy?”
COGNITIVE BIAS OR TRUTH?

I'm not a fan of modern pop music; I love old school rock 'n' roll, and music past and present that fits my personal views regarding what makes music "good."

I also think the music I grew up on was in general better than what is played on the radio these days. But doesn't everyone think that about the music they grew up on? And don't we have a tendency to think things were better in the good old days?

People have waxed nostalgic for centuries, saying things like, "the world is doomed, just look at the kids these days!" I'm pretty sure they said that in ancient Greece and Rome.

Well, I discovered a video that shows why I'm right about my old music, and I think it makes some compelling arguments. But am I the victim of cognitive bias? I say no!

LONG LIVE ROCK 'N' ROLL!

You may disagree, of course, because art is at it's heart subjective.
Below I provide some food for thought about music, and thinking, and the human brain.

(YouTube.com)


(Psychology Today)

(Very Well Mind.com)

(Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561)

(Wikipedia)

Sunday, June 24, 2018

WAR = CRIME

(Redacted Tonight)

"Lee Camp speaks with investigative journalist David DeGraw, then roasts Salon Magazine for doing a puff piece on James Clapper."
A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH RALPH NADER

(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

"Ralph Nader, consumer advocate and former presidential candidate, discusses American Mythology."

Catch Ralph every week on his excellent Radio podcast:

CON OLIVER

Comedy has become a major tool in our nation's propaganda arsenal.

(The Real News)

(Redacted Tonight)

Another Oliver visits South America to provide a fairer view:

(IMDb.com)

(Movie on YouTube.com)
THE FIX HAS BEEN IN FOR A LONG TIME

Voter fraud is a non-issue, election fraud is business as usual. The powers that be are in power by fraud, so they are not inclined to fix our broken system.

(The Intercept)

(Democracy Now!)

(Redacted Tonight)

(Chris Hedges at TruthDig)

Learn more at:

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

ON CONTACT

Chris Hedges interviews knowledgeable guests in the following interesting interviews:

The CIA & torture with John Kiriakou
(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

"John Kiriakou, the CIA whistleblower, discusses the atrocities of the CIA and its torture program."

The power of persuasion with Stuart Ewen
(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

"Stuart Ewen is Professor and Chair of the Department of Film & Media at Hunter College and author of “Captains of Consciousness: Advertising and the Social Roots of the Consumer Culture.” Professor Ewen joins Chris Hedges for a conversation on the power of mass propaganda. RT Correspondent Anya Parampil looks at the influence of the public relations industry."

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

THE PENTAGON CAN'T ACCOUNT FOR $21T
(OR, WHY THE U.S. DOESN'T WAGE PEACE)

(Truthdig.com)

"Twenty-one trillion.

But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”

So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was fucking $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “fucking.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.

Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017, “[He] and Catherine Austin Fitts … conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”

See Lee's Rant on Redacted Tonight:

(Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

LIVING GHOSTS IN THE MACHINE

(The Real News.com)

"Recently released documents show that the Charles Koch Foundation's millions of dollars in donations to GMU were tied to control over hiring and firing of professors. The ultimate target of their conservative agenda, though, is to influence DC politics, says Bill Black."

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

FRANCIS MOORE LAPPE ON DEMOCRACY

(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

"Frances Moore Lappe, author of ‘Daring Democracy,’ discusses the struggle for democracy in the United States."

Sunday, April 29, 2018


(Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp)

"Lee Camp explains why Iran dropping the dollar probably means an increased push for war with them. Natalie McGill shows how ankle bracelets are bringing the profit-driven prison industry to a living room near you. John F O’Donnell files a report on the not-so-sexy side of the gig economy."
RALPH RADAR

Nader continues to detect and articulately describe the key issues endangering the citizens of the world, yet continues to be an undervalued resource.

(Intercepted Podcast)

"RALPH NADER IS the best known public advocate in modern U.S. history and has run four times for president. On this special episode of Intercepted, we are going to dig deep into several issues facing the country and the world right now. In case you are not familiar with Nader, he rose to prominence in the 1960s after blowing the lid on extreme safety issues with General Motors and other car manufacturers’ products. His book “Unsafe at Any Speed” was an influential investigation and exposé. Throughout his life, Nader has waged countless campaigns aimed at food safety, worker and environmental protections, ending pollution, cronyism in government, financial crimes, and more. Nader simply calls himself a public citizen.

Many Democrats and liberals continue to blame Nader for George W. Bush’s victory in the 2000 election, even though the claim is demonstrably false. But Nader perseveres and, at the age of 84, he continues to wage the very same battles he has from the start of his public life. His latest book, “Breaking Through Power,” chronicles his various battles against the U.S. government, big corporations, and concentrated political power. The latest Intercepted featured an excerpt of our interview with Nader. What follows is the entire conversation in both audio and transcript form."

(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)

"Ralph welcomes back president of Public Citizen, Robert Weissman, for an update on the Trump agenda and what they are doing to fight it.  Also, aviation expert William McGee tells us what’s really going on in the airplanes you fly with his book, “Attention All Passengers: The Airlines Dangerous Descent and What You Can Do To Reclaim Our Skies.”

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SOMEHOW, NOAM SEEMS TO BE SADDER

(Truth-Out.org)

"Trumpism is one of many manifestations of the effects of the neoliberal policies of the past generation. These have led to extreme concentration of wealth along with stagnation for the majority. There have been repeated crashes of the deregulated financial institutions, each worse than the last. Bursting bubbles have been followed by huge public bailouts for the perpetrators while the victims have been abandoned. Globalization has been designed to set working people throughout the world in competition with one another while private capital is lavished with benefits. Democratic institutions have eroded. As already mentioned, all of this has led to anger, bitterness, often desperation -- one remarkable effect is the increasing mortality among middle-age whites discovered by Anne Case and Angus Deaton, analyzed as "deaths of despair," a phenomenon unknown in functioning societies."


WATER WARS, REDUX

(Truth-Out.org Interview w/txt & audio)

"Janine Jackson: It is impossible, really, not to connect two recent pieces of news: Residents of Flint, Michigan, have been told that the state that poisoned their drinking water will no longer provide them free bottled water. They'll be going back to paying some of the highest prices in the country, some $200 a month, for water that may still be making them sick. The Washington Post reports at least 12,000 homes in Flint still waiting for replacement of lead pipes.

At the same time, Michigan approved a permit letting the Nestlé Corporation pump more fresh water out of a well in the Great Lakes Basin to bottle and sell at a profit, more than half a million gallons a day, the right to which will cost Nestlé…wait for it…around $200 a year. And that won't increase, although the amount of water they are taking will -- by 60 percent.

This is, in fact, how water rights work in this country, but if it feels wrong to you, you are far from alone. What can be and what is being done? Joining us now to discuss this critical story is Peggy Case. She's president of Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation. She joins us now by phone from near Traverse City."

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

LYIN' RYAN

Paul Ryan is an asshole. His egregious hypocrisy and corrupt tenure as a so called representative should have ended in shame and incarceration, not a lucrative and grotesquely opulent so called retirement.

Not a fan :)

(The Young Turks on YouTube)

"Paul Ryan recently went on 'Meet the Press' and revealed how little he actually cares about the budget, at least when it comes to his donors… Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, breaks it down."

P.S.

So Much News, So Little Time - Trump Aims Tweets at Syria & Paul Ryan Is Retiring | The Daily Show
(The Daily Show)

Friday, April 20, 2018

DEMOCRACY? IT'S NOT EVEN A REPUBLIC

(Paul Street at Truthdig.com)

"No other “democracy” in the developed world comes close to the United States when it comes to giving big-money donors unregulated power in their national electoral processes. Along with other and related characteristics of its election and party system—winner-take-all contests with no proportional representation, rampant partisan gerrymandering of election districts, voter registration problems, corporate media bias and the “federalist” decentralization and partisan control of U.S. election process—this plutocratic campaign finance free-for-all is why the Electoral Integrity Project (a research undertaking funded by the Australian Research Council with a team of researchers based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University) ranks the democratic election integrity of U.S. elections below that of all 19 North and Western European democracies and also below that of 10 other nations in the Americas (Costa Rica, Uruguay, Canada, Chile, Brazil, Jamaica, Grenada, Argentina, Barbados and Peru), 10 nations in Central and Eastern Europe, nine Asian-Pacific countries, two countries in the Middle East (Israel and Tunisia) and six African nations. The U.S. ranks dead last among “Western democracies.”

(Ineteconomics.org)

(Electoralintegrityproject.com)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

PURE BOTTLED WATER IS PURE BULLSHIT

Water is being privatized around the world. The greed heads want to control the very source of life, so they can extort wealth from the human race. No shit! Or rather, what a crock of shit!

“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.” 

― Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

 Oh, and if you start hoarding I suggest glass bottles.

(America's Lawyer)

An Overview of Plastic Bottles and your Health and Tips to Reduce your Usage
(Ecolife.com)
________________________________________________
And in case you missed it:

Monday, April 16, 2018

NO NEWS IS BAD NEWS

(On Contact)

"Mark Crispin Miller, professor of media studies at New York University, discusses the destruction of the independent press in the United States."

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

ROUNDUP: TASTES GREAT! - LESS KILLING?

Roundup has been found in dangerous concentrations in baby food, cereal, wine and beer, and is leading to a variety of fatal diseases. Monsanto executives continue to claim it's safe to drink, but no one has ever seen one try it.

(America's Lawyer - Mike Papantonio)

"Mike Papantonio and Carol Moore talk about an investigation that found hazardous chemicals in regularly consumed foods and drinks in the US. Anya Parampil then details how the Corona beer producer is aiming to take the water rights of Mexicali residents. Then, Mollye Barrows talks about how the IRS won its case to review thousands of accounts from digital bank Coinbase."

P.S.

The World According to Monsanto
(Top Documentary Films.com)

(DemocracyNow.org)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


DENNIS KUCINICH

(Washington Post.com)
When he ran for president, he was ridiculed and dismissed. It turns out he was the future of American politics.

“I’m the voice for getting out of Iraq,” Kucinich recited earnestly. “For universal single-payer health care. For getting out of NAFTA and the WTO. For having our children go to college tuition-free.”

Sunday, April 1, 2018

BIRD-BRAINED WARHAWK

John Bolton: The New Dr. Strangelove
(Ralph Nader Radio Hour)

"Ralph talks to journalist Gareth Porter about why both liberals and conservatives should be afraid - be very afraid - of warhawk John Bolton’s appointment as Trump’s National Security Advisor. 
And author/activist Julie Wark joins us to talk about why she is “Against Charity.”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

DEAD MAN'S SWITCH?

I've always wondered about using fingerprint access on devices, thinking it's a lot more secure to have a secret password that can't be hacked by just getting you drunk. You pass out and your fingers unwittingly betray you. Or an even less scrupulous person might hack your phone by simply hacking your finger off.

I'm reminded of Lister using a severed hand to open that door on Red Dwarf, secured by palm print (disgusting…maybe, effective…certainly).

(BoingBoing)

As I've said before, the mass digitizing of faces and fingerprints "for security reasons," will really speed things up when the jackboots start segregating the homeland.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

DRIVING DOWN WAGES

Sweat shops, chain stores and wage slaves are the rule in the economy of cheap.

Walmart rakes in billions selling stuff made and sold by indentured servants. Selling cheap the Walton family has amassed a fortune approaching 150 billion dollars, they are among the richest families in the world. Yet, many of their employees require government assistance to feed themselves and their families.

As a nation we seem to value profit more than people. More and more we see systems that crush workers in order to maximize corporate profit.

Unregulated driver apps are having a devastating impact on the transportation industry. As citizens perhaps we should be more concerned with the negative impacts of unfettered capitalism on our cities and the workers that live there, instead of blindly exploiting cheap and easy services.

Perhaps there are solutions in this modern world that increase transportation convenience without throwing people under the corporate bus.

Here's a taxi driver's perspective:

(On Contact with Chris Hedges)

UPDATE

'The Gig Economy' Is the New Term for Serfdom
(Truthdig.com)
COLLUSION WITH CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA?

The Koch brothers are not alone.

Big business is loyal to cash, not country. To find those guilty of collusion to gain, maintain, and of course abuse power, we don't have to leave home. 

There are many American billionaires like the Kochs, spending millions to corrupt democracy. They should be indicted, not a few paid internet trolls from foreign lands. 

Multinational corporate CEOs, assisted by the Citizens United Supreme Court debacle, flood Super PACS with cash to help spread smear across the electoral landscape, not forgetting the importance of gaming even the smallest local elections. This grotesque mudslide of money turns politics into a theater of the absurd, and is also used to buy politicians and promote boilerplate legislation designed to suppress the vote.

In the U.S. no stone is left unturned to make voting a futile endeavor.

Multinational corporate CEOs use a variety of tactics to undermine the will of the majority, and some involve ties to foreign intelligence services. Evidence suggests that Israel exerts more influence on our politics than any other foreign nation, but that narrative doesn't serve the interests of our elite.

Here's some news:

(UK: Channel 4)

(The Real News)

Monday, March 12, 2018

PUTIN VS NBC BS

(Consortiumnews.com)

"With the Russian president in the heat of a re-election campaign, he sat down to talk with NBC’s Megyn Kelly for an interview that enabled him to burnish his credentials to the Russian electorate, Ray McGovern explains."

Following the link below to watch an interesting interview with the author of the above article.

(Redacted Tonight - VIP)

"Lee Camp speaks with Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst who recently warned the Trump administration that its push for war with Iran is based on false pretenses. McGovern co-founded VIPS, a group whose first memorandum warned President Bush that his administration’s push for war with Iraq was similarly ill-founded."

P.S.

Call Me Lucky (Official Documentary Website)

Sunday, February 25, 2018

TWO-FACED
Months of corporate media BS put in perspective in less than five minutes.

(The Real News)

Our sham of an election process, the regular running of a sensationalized horse race, which should be called the running of the bull, is just an expensive dog and pony show used to prove which horse's ass can most quickly and effectively serve its corporate masters. It's so rigged and seemingly pointless that the largest voting block is no shows.

Civic-minded government hopefuls are so regularly marginalized they are seldom noticed. The idea that someone wishes to be elected in order to improve society and serve the public sounds quaint these days, quite ludicrous even. When a Paul Ryan or Mitch McConnell speaks do they even remotely engender the notion they consider themselves public servants? If you think they do, you should think again.

A genuine investigation into manipulating public opinion and influencing our elections would result in a lot of businessmen and government officials going to jail. If there were investigations into abuses of power used to force international cooperation or punish the uncooperative, than countless leaders on both sides of the aisle, and their corporate string pullers would be lined up in striped prison suits.
 
Instead the media makes billions by getting a gullible public to pay attention to a "Russian's stole the election" fairy tale, which helps justify sanctions that serve our fossil fuel industry and creates tensions that serve the interests of our Military Industrial Complex.

    Maximizing business profits at the expense of public welfare has been a primary function of the U.S. government since the beginning. The military has been the strong arm of big business since its inception.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
Smedley D. Butler
from War is a Racket, by America's Most Decorated Soldier

THE SMEDLEY BUTLER SOCIETY
War is a Racket

 That was old news, then Reagan made it much worse, and the rise of Neoconservatism sealed the deal. A George W. Bush was an inevitable catastrophe, the "W" stands for longest war in our nation's history, with no end in sight.

Here's some comic spin on disaster capitalism you might enjoy:

Media owned by warlords, govt owned by big money, shock doctrine
(Redacted Tonight with Lee Camp)

p.s. There's really very little genuine evidence Russia did anything to mess with our elections remotely comparable to the obvious meddling of our own media and corrupt election processes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

HORSING AROUND

I think we should try F-bombs before tossing off any real ones.

Mueller Indictments Are A F**king Joke & It's Dangerous
(Redacted Tonight...
 is a comedy show written and performed by Americans, in America covering American news.)

* * * * *

MSNBC BS. Fuck them, go Jill Stein!
(Jill Stein interviewed about her name's appearance in the Mueller Indictments)


This was a rare dip into mainstream media for me. WOW! Tragic! I think the funniest bit is that after disgorging that grotesque circle jerk MSNBC has the nutsack to invite me to subscribe to more of the same. 

* * * * *

And now for something more serious.

(Counter Punch.org)

"The Democrats’ choice to blame external forces, e.g. Russian meddling, for their electoral loss in 2016 ignores evidence of that none-of-the-above is the people’s choice. The largest voting bloc in the 2016 election was eligible voters who chose not to vote. In contrast to the received wisdom in political consultant circles, choosing not to vote is a political act. The U.S. has the lowest voter turnout in the ‘developed’ world for a reason."

* * * * *
(The Intercept.com)

"In the wake of last week’s indictments alleging that 13 Russian nationals and entities created fake social media accounts and sponsored political events to sow political discord in the U.S., something of a consensus has arisen in the political and media class (with some notable exceptions) that these actions not only constitute an “act of war” against the U.S., but one so grave that it is tantamount to Pearl Harbor and 9/11. Indeed, that Russia’s alleged “meddling” is comparable to the two most devastating attacks in U.S. history has, overnight, become a virtual cliché."


YEARNING FOR LEARNING

(Eva-Maria Swidler at Truth-Out.org)
"As the social services we could expect the state to provide vanished one by one in the wake of elimination of welfare as we know it, radicalism seems to have been in retreat, circling the wagons to protect liberal concepts, institutions and processes that were previously subject to sometimes withering critiques. Emma Goldman's slogan "If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal" used to be found on T shirts and bumperstickers; now those who used to scoff at electoral politics pour their efforts into undoing gerrymandered districts or fighting voter ID laws. Net neutrality campaigns, defending such no-brainer basics as anti-monopolism and free speech, absorb activists who might otherwise have been paying attention to the Congressional January re-authorization of another 6 years of the government surveillance of Americans. Providing immigrants with housing and legal support has far too often displaced the analysis of and resistance to the foreign policy that brings immigrants to our shores.

Without challenging the importance of defending our shrinking services and rights, I believe that we should wonder and worry: are our larger visions at risk of being eclipsed or even bankrupted by the immediate daily, weekly or monthly struggles we are engaged in to defend the most minimal standards? What happens to our thoughts and our conversations when we are preoccupied defending the very institutions and systems that we recently categorized as bourgeois liberalism? Are we maintaining our deeper and more radical critiques, essential to offering real alternatives to capitalism?"

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Why the Right Wing Is So Interested in Narrowing Down Education into 'Skills'
The politics behind the push to expand vocational education.
(Alternet.org)

"In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, AlterNet education contributor Jennifer Berkshire and co-host Jack Schneider explore the push to limit higher education for working-class and poor students to vocational skills."
HOME INVASION

Homer Simpson famously said, "To alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems."

He could have easily substituted the word technology, for alcohol, but it wouldn't have been as funny.

Everyone should think carefully about technology and addictive behavior. Both the psychological and environmental impacts are increasingly alarming.

Here are some examples from the very tiny tip of the iceberg.

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Teens with problematic habits may have an imbalance of GABA to GIX ratios.
(Psychology Today.com)

"To identify the severity of smartphone or internet addiction, the South Korean researchers used a standardized smartphone-internet addiction questionnaire. The questions were designed to elucidate the extent that excessive screen time affects someone's daily activities, face-to-face social connectedness, productivity, sleeping patterns, and feelings.

"The higher the score, the more severe the addiction," Dr. Seo said in a statement. Notably, Seo et al. found that smartphone-addicted teenagers had significantly higher scores in depression, anxiety, insomnia severity, and impulsivity."

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It's Time For a Serious Talk About the Science of Tech "Addiction"
(Wired.com)

"Last came the turncoats. Former employees and executives from companies like Facebook worried openly to the media about the monsters they helped create. Tristan Harris, a former product manager at Google and founder of the nonprofit "Time Well Spent" spoke with this publication's editor in chief about how Apple, Google, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram—you know, everyone—design products to steal our time and attention."

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This Is Not a Tech Detox
(Wired.com)

"You write that your “stomach churns” whenever you read about how tech leaders don’t let their kids use the products they make—Steve Jobs, for instance, famously restricted his kids’ use of gadgets, and you write that it reminds you of “a drug dealer who doesn’t touch the stuff he deals.” How does that color your perception of our relationships with these devices?"

'Our minds can be hijacked': the tech insiders who fear a smartphone dystopia
Google, Twitter and Facebook workers who helped make technology so addictive are disconnecting themselves from the internet. Paul Lewis reports on the Silicon Valley refuseniks alarmed by a race for human attention
(The Guardian.com)

"There is growing concern that as well as addicting users, technology is contributing toward so-called “continuous partial attention”, severely limiting people’s ability to focus, and possibly lowering IQ. One recent study showed that the mere presence of smartphones damages cognitive capacity – even when the device is turned off. “Everyone is distracted,” Rosenstein says. “All of the time.”

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Computers, phones, and other digital devices increasingly are made to be thrown away—which is bad for both consumers and the environment.
(The Atlantic.com)

"And so people replace things: smartphones, tablets, phablets, laptops, LEDs, LCDs, DVD players, portable music players. Whether from breakdown, slow-down, or just the availability of a newer model, people discard electronics at the slightest inconvenience. It’s not just laziness or a lust for the future, either; the economics of gadgets encourages disposal. In some cases, for example, buying a new printer is cheaper than buying a set of new ink cartridges.

The increase in consumption of electronics has two major adverse ecological effects. First, it significantly increases mining and procurement for the materials needed for production of gadgets. And second, discarded devices produce large quantities of electronic waste. That waste could be reduced through reuse, repair, or resale. Whether it ever will be is an open question."

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A smiling, talking fridge might seem fun. But what happens when it has said all it has to say?
(Huffington Post.com)

“Premature obsolescence is an ongoing issue,” he said. “Devices can be difficult to repair or sometimes need upgrading to keep up with new operating systems, leading to extra purchases of new devices.”