Tag Archives | Democracy Now

Corporate Sponsorship Turns Olympics Into ‘Hunger Games’ Scenario

1924WOlympicPosterIn The Nation, 2006 Winter Games luge competitor Samantha Retrosi compares the Olympics to “The Hunger Games” while discussing her own experience of being made into a voicebox for Vorizon. According to Retrosi, when corporate sponsorship falls through, many U.S. Olympic athletes are left with one back-up plan: join the Army:

The socialization of my allegiance to Verizon began the moment I was selected—as an 11-year-old—for the US development team. The culture within the US Luge Association viewed brand loyalty as integral to the survival of the organization. All of my clothing was plastered with the Verizon logo. I was not allowed near any camera without giving a visual and verbal statement of thanks to Verizon for making all of my dreams come true. I went through intensive media training each year to reinforce this allegiance—to learn how to be a better spokesperson for Verizon. During my Olympic year, I signed away my rights to use media time for just about anything other than gratitude to sponsors.

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Amy Goodman Confronted David Koch At The Republican Convention

Last week the Democracy Now host came oh-so-close to getting an actual answer from one of the reclusive Koch brothers, before, in a moment ripe with metaphor, subservient Republican delegates formed a defensive moat around him:

When conservative billionaire David Koch sat down as a member of the New York delegation Thursday night on the floor of the Republican National Convention, Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman attempted to ask him one question: “Mr. Koch, do you think unchecked concentration of wealth will undermine democracy?”

While Koch started to answer, the delegates and security around him stood up, one by one, creating a human wall between them. One of those who stood up was Ed Cox, chair of the Republican Party of New York and the son-in-law of President Richard Nixon. Eventually, Goodman was asked to leave due to “security issues.”

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Noam Chomsky on President Obama’s Performance and Occupy Wall Street (Video)

The right-wing blogospere is having a field day with Chomsky saying, “I don’t usually admire Sarah Palin, but when she was making fun of this ‘hopey-changey’ stuff, she was—she was right. There was nothing there.” However, he follows that statement with, “And it was understood by the people who run the political system. So it’s no great secret that the U.S. electoral system is mainly public relations extravaganzas….” which, one assumes, would apply to Sarah Palin as well.

Watch the entire interview at Democracy Now! and full transcript here.

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150 Million Americans are in Poverty

Tavis Smiley and Cornel West discuss their new book on Democracy Now!:

The latest census data shows nearly one in two Americans, or 150 million people, have fallen into poverty — or could be classified as low income. We’re joined by Dr. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley, who continue their efforts to spark a national dialog on the poverty crisis with the new book, The Rich and the Rest of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.

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Michio Kaku: Fukushima Is A ‘Ticking Time Bomb’

From Democracy Now!

The Japanese government is trying to calm fears about radiation levels and food safety in the region around the heavily damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power facility, even as it has raised the severity rating of the crisis to the highest possible level. “Radiation is continuing to leak out of the reactors. The situation is not stable at all,” says Dr. Michio Kaku, professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York and the City College of New York. “The slightest disturbance could set off a full-scale meltdown at three nuclear power stations, far beyond what we saw at Chernobyl.”

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