Tag Archives | Government

International Press Missing The Real Story in Venezuela

Pic: Durdaneta (CC)

Pic: Durdaneta (CC)

Francisco Toro writes that the international press is missing the big picture when it comes to covering unrest in Venezuela. Toro and his colleagues at the Caracas Chronicles say that the pictures we’re getting aren’t random scenes of unrest, but are instead evidence of a highly organized government crackdown.

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees.

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A Composite Of The Faces Of All Members Of Congress

If the U.S. Congress could be symbolized and encapsulated as a single human face, it would be the bland, smudgy, vaguely terrifying visage below. From artists Rebecca Lieberman and Matthew Skomarovsky, via Boing Boing meet you leader(s):

This indistinct, vaguely orange form is an averaging of the faces of U.S. Congresspersons. Part of a collaboration between artist Rebecca Lieberman and Matthew Skomarovsky, originating from Lieberman’s ongoing body of work visually similar imgs.

congress composite

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Two + Two Does Not Equal Five: Will the Real Terrorist and Drug Lords Please Stand up

via chycho

education-SFL-sexed

The root cause of society’s ills is how we deal with education. Deep down we all know this, but for decades we have barely lifted a finger to address it. The main reason for this inaction is because most of us are ourselves products of this defective system. We have been programmed for obedience.

The degree of indoctrination that we are exposed to varies depending on the intensity of the totalitarian nature of the state. All centralized institutions indoctrinate. All centralized powers lack transparency. All centralized information is incontestable.

2+2=5 | Two & Two – Nominated as Best Short Film of 2012 Bafta Film Awards

For example, after centuries of committing crimes against humanity and overseeing genocides across the globe, it was only just recently that it was officially recognized that the catholic church has been, for decades, systematically sexually abusing children:

“The Roman Catholic Church has ‘systematically’ protected predator priests, allowing ‘tens of thousands’ of children to be abused, a United Nations committee said Wednesday in a scathing report that cast the first shadow over Pope Francis’ honeymoon period as pontiff.”

Anyone who has even remotely done any research on this topic, or has been the unfortunate victim of such horrendous crimes would tell you that they did not need a UN report to tell them the truth, but that is the nature of centralized institutions.… Read the rest

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State of the Union Or State Of Obama?

Obama SOTUThe political classes in our country seem to relish moments of high ritual and symbolic occasions with TV news routinely bringing these events to a country more engaged with awards shows and sporting contests.

The State of the Union, the annual presidential projection of power, enjoys a special status because it showcases the prowess of the incumbent to weave a self-congratulatory narrative before what is in effect a peanut galley to cheer him on. Widely understood is that the Congress is at a new low in public approval.

Even when half the office holders, cabinet members, Supreme Court Judges (minus 3) and military brass is sitting on its hands, with some glowering hostility, the acoustics make it seem as if the Speechifier-in-chief’s every word is receiving a standing ovation.  His guests joined in to make it appear as if it was a pep rally or he had won the lottery.

Obama may not be a brilliant politician or program implementer, but he is a good speaker and his speech was crafted like a Hollywood script, sprinkled with humor and closing with a crescendo of bi-partisan patriotic adulation for an injured soldier—the modern equivalent of manipulative flag waving.… Read the rest

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What’s Really Going on in Ukraine?

Pic: Mac_Ivan (CC)

Pic: Mac_Ivan (CC)

Via Beyond the Mainstream:

You’d be forgiven for knowing very little about the unrest in Ukraine – the violence, the rioting on the streets, the armed protesters storming government buildings amidst plumes of thick black smoke rising from makeshift barricades. Most of the public have once again been Beibered by the mainstream media – the arrest of this precocious, spoilt physical embodiment of crass corporate culture proving newsworthy enough for an MSNBC host to interrupt an interview with a member of Congress discussing the true scale of NSA spying.

In this climate of superficial distractions and media inanity, you’d be equally forgiven for not really knowing why there is political unrest in Ukraine. Most of the explanations for the violence offered by the mainstream media present the information in simplistic sound-bytes – talking points without the relevant wider political and historical context which renders current events coherent.Unknown Object

The following article from The Independent provides us with a brief overview of the media’s presentation of recent events in Ukraine:

In November President Viktor Yanukovych decided to pull out of a treaty with EU, an agreement many felt would have paved the way for the Ukraine to join the union. It looked like he was going to sign the agreement before performing a U-turn, which has made Ukrainian disappointment all the sharper.

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Advocacy Groups Plan Day of Protest Against NSA Surveillance

Pic: DWFB (C)

Pic: DWFB (C)

As football season gears up for its climax, many people are overlooking a much bigger game that is being played at the moment.  Grant Gross for PC World reports on the Day We Fight Back protest:

A group of activist groups and Internet companies are planning a coordinated protest of U.S. National Security Agency surveillance on Feb. 11, with the hope that millions of people will join them.The protest, called the Day We Fight Back, comes a month after the anniversary of Internet activist Aaron Swartz’s death. Swartz committed suicide last January while facing a 35-year prison sentence for hacking into a Massachusetts Institute of Technology network and downloading research articles.Among the organizations participating in the protest are Demand Progress, an activist group Swartz co-founded, as well as the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Free Press, Reddit and Mozilla.”Today the greatest threat to a free Internet, and broader free society, is the National Security Agency’s mass spying regime,” David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress, said in a statement.… Read the rest
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It’s Not Just the Mainstream Media That Is Scripted to Manufacture Consent, so Are Our Politicians

mainstreammediaindexvia chycho

To say that mainstream media is controlled is an understatement. We’ve gone far past the time of relatively semi-covert CIA programs such as Operation Mockingbird where “some 3,000 salaried and contract CIA employees were eventually engaged in propaganda efforts.” Those days are long gone; the mainstream media is now openly scripted (2-pdf) to manufacture consent.

“We’re not analyzing the media on Mars or in the eighteenth century or something like that. We’re dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in, we as citizens of democratic societies are directly involved in and are responsible for, and what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the needs of the suffering people, and not even the needs of the American people who would be horrified if they realized the blood that’s dripping from their hands because of the way they are allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system.” – Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, 1992

Manufacturing Consent: Thought Control in a Democratic Society

For example, in the following three videos, Conan O’Brien’s Team Coco provide excerpts from a few mainstream media ‘news’ outlets, showing the full extent of the homogeneity of the script.

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U.S. Politicians Want to Fast-Track the Super-Secret, Super-Controversial TPP

DaveCamp-CSISPerhaps the politicians were hoping that Americans were too busy taking in “news” about the Polar Vortex and the great George Washington Bridge distraction, but last week they tried to sneak the Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, onto the legislative fast track. A few people in the alternative media noticed however, including Future Tense’s Ariel Bogle, via Slate:

It seems wrong to hate something that you’ve never read. Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a globally significant free trade agreement being worked out in secret, is rewriting the rules in more ways than one.

The TPP is already being negotiated behind closed doors, but the situation could get worse. Late on Thursday afternoon, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. The bill would grant the White House fast-track authority, sometimes known as the “trade promotion authority,” to ratify trade deals.

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A Majority Of Congress Members Are Now Millionaires

contractsAre we on our way to a point at which being a millionaire will become virtually a prerequisite for pursuing any important political position? Via CNN:

For the first time ever, more than half of current members of Congress are millionaires, according to a new report from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics.

Among the 534 current members of Congress, at least 268 had an average net worth of $1 million or more for 2012, the CRP said, citing disclosure forms filed last year.

CRP executive director Sheila Krumholz said the data reflect the reality that “in our electoral system, candidates need access to wealth to run financially viable campaigns, and the most successful fundraisers are politicians who swim in those circles to begin with.”

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New Poll Shows Vast Majority of Americans Have Little To No Faith In Government

Pollaiuolo_battle_AN00034232_001_lFindings from a recent poll shows that 70 percent of Americans lack confidence in their government to make progress on important issues.

The AP reports:

Americans enter 2014 with a profoundly negative view of their government, expressing little hope that elected officials can or will solve the nation’s biggest problems, a new poll finds.

Half say America’s system of democracy needs either “a lot of changes” or a complete overhaul, according to the poll conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Just 1 in 20 says it works well and needs no changes.

Americans, who have a reputation for optimism, have a sharply pessimistic take on their government after years of disappointment in Washington.

The percentage of Americans saying the nation is heading in the right direction hasn’t topped 50 in about a decade. In the new poll, 70 percent lack confidence in the government’s ability “to make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”

Read the rest at the AP.Read the rest

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