Why You Should Ignore Politics and Politicians

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Stephen Mills, writing at the Rat Race Trap:

This article is going to suggest that participating in politics at any level is generally not a good idea.  Many, maybe even most of you are going to disagree with this.  I also know that people will tend to take it as a categorical statement and offer counter-examples. You will notice that I said “generally” because I don’t mean it in a categorical way.  I can think of scenarios or places where I would not apply my general advice, but those are increasingly rare.

I can’t help but absorb a little bit of what goes on in politics through the media (my wife watches the news and the morning shows) or through reading some political satire, but I treat it mostly as a little bit of entertainment.  I’m not participating in any real way.

Here is the basic question you need to ask yourself. 

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The Civil Rights Movement and the Politics of Memory

The Doll Test

The Doll Test

The civil rights movement is being increasingly referenced in our media culture as an example of how to actively seek change in society. But we have to be aware of opinion molders lying about or distorting historical facts.

The most common lies, or false depictions, are those which romanticize the movement. The civil rights movement was made up of people, not prophets nor angels. The most offensive example of this type of lie is the out-of-context quote inscribed on the side of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington DC.

We are also lied to about how people felt about the issues then. Many of the people who supported segregation were themselves black. Worries about the end of segregation stemmed from blacks having to fear their children going to school with violent whites. Others feared the education of their children being controlled by the white man. We are told lies through omission of the white supremacists.… Read the rest

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Learning from Limbaugh

(Photo: Brett Tatman/cc/flickr)

(Photo: Brett Tatman/cc/flickr)

Christopher Brauchli writes at Common Dreams:

“At length I recollected the thoughtless saying of a great princess, who, on being informed that the country people had no bread, replied, ‘Let them eat cake.’’” Jean Jacques Rousseau, Confessions

In 2008 Rush Limbaugh was paid $38 million. In 2014 Rush Limbaugh earned $66 million. For terrestrial navigation he drives, among other things, a Mayback 57S that costs $450,000 fully loaded. For celestial travel he flies in a Gulfstream G550 that cost $54 million.

April 2015 was noteworthy for reasons having nothing to do with the income tax. On April 19, 2015, Dan Price, the CEO of a company called Gravity Payments, a credit card processing company located in Seattle, Washington, announced that he was cutting his own salary and raising the minimum annual salaries for everyone in his company to $50,000 immediately and over the next three years, years, to $70,000.

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Kylie Jenner Just Outed Herself as a ‘Chemtrail’ Truther

I suspect that among disinfonauts there will be more people wondering who Kylie Jenner is than what a chemtrail might be, but here anyway is Fusion‘s explanation of chemtrails and the shocking news that one of the Karsdashian clan is into them:

Even celebrities find time to get sucked into horrible Internet wormholes.

At least that’s what seems to have happened to Kylie Jenner, who tweeted an image last night that parrots the worst of the worst of the most outlandish and unscientific of all conspiracy theories: the theory of the “chemtrails.”

jenner

The theory basically boils down to people claiming that the typical condensation trails left behind by an airplane dissipate very quickly, so when there are trails that do not dissipate quickly—leaving a “chemtrail” in the otherwise blue sky—there must be some sort of sinister, hidden agenda at play. Namely, a plan to control the weather and our minds.

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Philosophy Recap: Darwinism

Bryan Wright (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Bryan Wright (CC BY-ND 2.0)

via The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Darwinism designates a distinctive form of evolutionary explanation for the history and diversity of life on earth. Its original formulation is provided in the first edition of On the Origin of Species in 1859. This entry first formulates ‘Darwin’s Darwinism’ in terms of five philosophically distinctive themes: (i) probability and chance, (ii) the nature, power and scope of selection, (iii) adaptation and teleology, (iv) nominalism vs. essentialism about species and (v) the tempo and mode of evolutionary change. Both Darwin and his critics recognized that his approach to evolution was distinctive on each of these topics, and it remains true that, though Darwinism has developed in many ways unforeseen by Darwin, its proponents and critics continue to differentiate it from other approaches in evolutionary biology by focusing on these themes. This point is illustrated in the second half of the entry by looking at current debates in the philosophy of evolutionary biology on these five themes.

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Finally! Some Climate Crisis Honesty

Nicola Jones (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Nicola Jones (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Dave Lindorff writes at CounterPunch:

A tectonic shift is occurring suddenly in the debate over climate change.

Only a year ago, at least in the US corporate media, there was always a rough equivalence accorded to those experts who were warning about a looming climate disaster facing mankind, and those who called the whole thing a “conspiracy” by corrupt scientists and politicians (albeit without ever explaining a motive).

Suddenly, though, that rough equivalence in the coverage is gone. The climate deniers are now exposed as charlatans in the pay of energy companies, and the coverage has shifted to talking about climate disaster being closer than we had been being told. If there is a “conspiracy,” we are now learning, it may be that climate scientists, afraid of creating a sense of hopeless and doom among the public, have been soft-pedaling their warnings, stressing the need to quickly cut back on the use of greenhouse-gas-producing fuels in order to try and keep global warming below 2 degrees centigrade (roughly 4 degrees fahrenheit), when they all really know that a 4-degree centigrade rise is already “baked into” the earth’s near-term climate future, perhaps by as early as 2100.

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The Creepy Fundamentalist Homeschool Cult That Trained the Duggars

Bill Gothard 03.jpg

Bill Gothard, founder of Advanced Training Institure. Credit: Institute in Basic Life Principles (CC)

The Duggar family has been tearing up the Internet of late. Never one to be left behind in the race to jump on a rapidly vanishing meme, Gawker goes deep into what it calls the “bizarre horrors of the Advanced Training Institute, its founder Bill Gothard, and its many overpopulated families”:

You know about the Duggars, the evangelical Christian family whose 19 children catapulted them to fame through Discovery Health specials and TLC show, 19 Kids and Counting, and you know about Josh Duggar, the eldest son, who admitted last week to molesting several underage girls as a teen—including his own sisters.

You’ve seen some examinations of the dangerous, backwards logic that helped fuel that systematic and highly preventable sexual abuse, and some explorations of the culture of authority and fear promulgated by the Duggars’ uniquely patriarchal brand of Christianity.

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Jeffrey Sterling vs. the CIA: An Untold Story of Race and Retribution

A dozen years before his recent sentencing to a 42-month prison term based on a jury’s conclusion that he gave classified information to a New York Times journalist, former CIA officer Jeffrey Sterling was in the midst of a protracted and fruitless effort to find someone in Congress willing to look into his accusations about racial discrimination at the agency.

Jeffrey Sterling. Still from the film “The Invisible Man."

Jeffrey Sterling. Still from the film “The Invisible Man.”

 

ExposeFacts.org has obtained letters from Sterling to prominent members of Congress, beseeching them in 2003 and 2006 to hear him out about racial bias at the CIA. Sterling, who is expected to enter prison soon, provided the letters last week. They indicate that he believed the CIA was retaliating against him for daring to become the first-ever black case officer to sue the agency for racial discrimination.

As early as 2000, Sterling was reaching out toward Capitol Hill about his concerns.… Read the rest

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The Biggest Media Failures

Even when the mainstream corporate media gets something right, they’re still not telling you the whole story. There is one deep, dark issue about the mainstream media that is almost never talked about. Lee Camp shows the biggest Media Fails ever.

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If Psychedelic Drugs Were Legalized, Capitalism Would Destroy Religion

supercomputer3Going full on into a shamanic or Occult practice is beyond weird, because the vast majority of people think you’re completely nuts for gasp, actually paying attention to your inner world (let alone blasting it all over Facebook, friend me). “Do you mean that stuff is real?” they’ll ask. Well, yeah, but ultimately insisting on dividing thoughts and visions into convenient categories of “real” or “not real” is a pretty ridiculous way of conceptualizing consciousness. Aaaand you’ve already lost them. Which is why maybe the best thing you can do as a mystic is point out over and over how utterly batshit and illogical western spiritual thought is in the first place. We should never ever forget that this is the refractive lens through which we view everything having to do with the soul. In a culture that prides itself on a bizarro academic sense of rationality, there is zero rationality in the popular way we view spirituality period.… Read the rest

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