Tag Archives | Democracy

Are the Koch Brothers Funding Rush Limbaugh?

Rush Limbaugh by Ian MarsdenJust in time for the release of Brave New Foundation’s new film, Koch Brothers Exposed, Rush Limbaugh has thrown in with Charles and David Koch in their letter war with Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. No surprise there; Rush has made his fortune defending the rich and powerful against the 99%. But does Rush actually have a vested interest in the Koch brothers’ success?

The letter war started when Messina sent a fundraising letter saying the billionaire brothers bankroll “Tea Party extremism” and manipulate oil prices to buttress their energy business. The Kochs responded that Obama was treading on their “right to free speech.” (To them, I guess, being criticized by the president is tantamount to being arrested for sedition.) Team Obama shot back again, and here we are.

Rush has taken to the airwaves and lauded the Kochs. “This is how you do it,” he says. And on the surface, the reason for Rush’s apologetics is straightforward enough: he’s a man of the Right, and so are the Koch brothers.… Read the rest

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How Accurate Were the Nevada Republican Caucus Results?

NevadaMark Wachtler writes in the Examiner:

For the second time in just five primary states, the Republican Party, with the assistance of the national corporate news media, is raising questions about the legitimacy of this season’s primary election system. First, the Iowa Republican Party and the entire American media knowingly reported the wrong Iowa Caucus results with the wrong person being declared the winner. Last night, it appears the same thing may be happening in Nevada. And again like Iowa, critics are accusing the GOP of suspicious activity.

Perhaps it’s indicative that the beneficiary of these recurring vote counting “mistakes” always seems to be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. He’s just happens to be the same man that both the Republican Party establishment and the four corporations that own all of America’s news media outlets are actively supporting.

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Phil Donahue on America’s War Fever (Video)

On Piers Morgan Tonight of all places, Phil Donahue (who was kicked off MSNBC for being too anti-war in the wake of 9/11), speaks about the Bizarro world our political leaders live in when it comes to honest discussion about how America goes to war. (Side note: checking out the book Donahue references War Made Easy by Norman Solomon is enlightening.) Discussion starts around 35 seconds into this clip.

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Satire: Democracy’s Most Unexpected Enemy

SPNick Meador writes on his blog:

A 2009 study found that people tend to interpret ambiguous political satire according to their own views and self-image. This has enormous implications for satirical programs mocking democratic behavior, produced by media conglomerates that support Internet censorship. (The following is an essay that I was not able to place with a magazine, but still wanted to share with the world. Feel free to re-post on your blog or website, in accordance with the Creative Commons license. Just give me credit and link back here.)

“The revolutionaries of any decade will become the reactionaries of the next decade, if they do not change their nervous system, because the world around them is changing. He or she who stands still in a moving, racing, accelerating age, moves backwards relatively speaking.” – Robert Anton Wilson, Prometheus Rising (1)

On Thursday, December 1, 2011, Stephen Colbert addressed the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill currently under consideration in U.S.… Read the rest

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Why Do People Defend Unjust, Inept, and Corrupt Systems?

Corrupt Legislation

Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elihu Vedder (1896).

Via ScienceDaily:

Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in — a government, company, or marriage — even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably? Why do we resist change even when the system is corrupt or unjust?

A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, illuminates the conditions under which we’re motivated to defend the status quo — a process called “system justification.”System justification isn’t the same as acquiescence, explains Aaron C. Kay, a psychologist at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, who co-authored the paper with University of Waterloo graduate student Justin Friesen. “It’s pro-active. When someone comes to justify the status quo, they also come to see it as what should be.”

Reviewing laboratory and cross-national studies, the paper illuminates four situations that foster system justification: system threat, system dependence, system inescapability, and low personal control …

Read more here.… Read the rest

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Let’s Prevent American Internet Censorship!

Writes Nick Meador:

[Note: This post has been censored by the author in protest of the "rogue sites legislation" (i.e., Internet censorship) currently being considered by U.S. Congress. The full text will be made available soon.]

Dear Internet friends,

As you may already know, I create audio/video mash-ups by crossing older films and music videos with newer music, with varying levels of editing to the original visual content. In a sense, it has become a hobby of mine over the past few years, and I find it very rewarding. My own activity has been inspired in some ways by the mash-up culture more prevalent in music during the last decade.

During my Masters of Journalism program in 2007-2008, I learned that this is legal behavior because of the “fair use” aspect of U.S. copyright law. That says people can use copyrighted works for non-commercial, transformative purposes that add value to the material but don’t hinder the profitability of the original “intellectual property.” In other words, I don’t make any money on these mash-ups; I just do it for fun, and to fulfill my democratic duty of keeping our public domain vibrant and progressive.… Read the rest

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Five More Countries For Goldman Sachs To Take Over

octoNow that Goldman Sachs has achieved coups d’etats in Greece and Italy, DJ Pangburn at Death and Taxes lays out five additional countries ripe for bankdom to install leaders:

We present five other countries where Goldman Sachs could install bankers as heads of state.

Where to begin, though? Originally, I considered Ireland to be a prime candidate for some Goldman Sachs coup d’etat action, but it seems that Ireland already got the old Goldman Sachs in/out in the form of Peter Sutherland, a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs, as well as a non-executive at BP. Here are five countries that could use a little Goldman Sachs in/out.

Spain: With concerns in Italy lessening amidst the installation of ex-Goldman man Mario Monti as PM, bankers and investors in the eurozone and abroad are looking to Spain, which the BBC is calling the “weaker link in the eurozone chain.”

This is obviously the first country that requires a Goldman Sachs premiership.

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Media Roots: Greg Palast on OccupyWallStreet & U.S. Corporatocracy

On November 14, 2011, Abby Martin of Media Roots interviewed award-winning journalist and best-selling author Greg Palast after his talk at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley. Greg Palast, a freelance journalist for the BBC as well as British newspaper The Observer, discusses his newly published book Vultures’ Picnic, corporate collusion, the bought-and-paid-for-media establishment, the role of citizen journalism around the Occupy Wall Street Movement, and the value of organisations such as Project Censored.

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President Obama Has Raised More Money From Wall Street Than Any Politician in American History

CasablancaThis opinion piece from Joe Scarborough in the Politico is worth a read:

One of the most famous scenes in movie history comes from “Casablanca,” when a corrupt official shuts down Humphrey Bogart’s cafe. Bogart asks the French captain — who also happens to be a gambling aficionado — why he’s closing the joint down. His response is a classic.

“I am shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here.”

Political commentators have referred to Capt. Renault’s uproarious line for years when calling out hypocritical politicians. But few political narratives ever fit that scene as tightly as President Barack Obama’s bipolar approach to Wall Street. To fully understand the extent of Obama’s double-speak, it helps to let the “Casablanca” scene play out a bit, because after the corrupt captain makes his self-righteous declaration, a croupier hands him cash and says, “Your winnings, sir.”

Capt. Renault quietly thanks the croupier and then quickly returns to the role of reformer by shouting, “Everybody out at once!” Like that old movie character, Obama seems capable of effortlessly floating between demonizing Wall Street gambling one day and profiting from it the next.

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