Tag Archives | Politics

‘Truther': Fighting Words Or Compliment?

9/11 Truth Graffiti In ConneticutIs the label “truther” an insult? Is it a synonymous for “conspiracy theorist”? Where did it come from?

The word seems to have gained prominence only after the September 11th attacks. Before that, you were a conspiracist or conspiracy theorist, just paranoid or part of the lunatic fringe, a crackpot or one of the lone gunmen. But in the years after the Twin Towers fell, those words have been replaced by a single noun.

In the New York Times Magazine, Leslie Savan wrote about the evolution of the term (“From Simple Noun to Handy Partisan Put-Down”), only as she observes “truther” was “self-chosen.” For years, it circulated on blogs and message boards. According to Savan, it was first used in 2004 by a 9/11 Truth activist who supported another activist who was being mocked by writing on his blog: “You’re a 9/11 Truther, don’t let them get to you.”

via The Truth About Truthers – Pacific Standard: The Science of Society.… Read the rest

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There Are No “Sheeple”

Photo:  Fir0002, flagstaffotos.com.au, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Photo: Fir0002, flagstaffotos.com.au, GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

Marcel Votlucka writes:

There’s an alarming tendency among radical intellectuals to dismiss those who don’t “get it” as mere lambs being led to slaughter – meek “sheeple”. But how does this reflect on us, our values, and our mentality vis a vis those sustaining the State? It’s easy to understand the widespread frustration in anti-authoritarian circles over people who seemingly have failed to seek enlightenment about the hegemonic hubris we face. Watch people’s reactions when you question one tenet of the Statist religion; they’ll become angry, defensive, and try to shut down the discussion. They’ll often poison the dialogue by questioning your intelligence, doubting your sanity and besmirching your personal character – assuming they even let you talk in the first place! We’re “crazy” or “naïve” or “unrealistic” for expressing our unyielding dissatisfaction with the status quo, for upholding the same moral standards to Presidents and Congressmen that we apply to everyone else.

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What’s So Bad About a SuperPAC?

FEC Colbert Super PAC

Or, how I came to love the (money) bomb

Celebrated intellectual property lawyer and Harvard professor Larry Lessig writes at Medium:

The single most important change in American politics today is not the rise of Internet-driven, small-dollar contributions. It is the SuperPAC. The Net may have fueled Obama in 2008. (It almost gave us Howard Dean in 2004.) But all that is old school now — completely professionalized and, in the end, not the most important. What is important is the big contributions, not the small.

What is important is not Paypal, but a brand new version of a very old game — pay to play.

It astonishes me that this is a controversial statement. But it is. After 2012, many pundits declared that SuperPACs didn’t matter. Things in 2013 looked much as they did in 2012. And anyway, as speech absolutists on the right and left insist, all SuperPACs do is enable more political speech.

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8th June 2014 – Time For Big Brother to Retire!

On 8th June George Orwell’s surveillance crazed czar of surveillance Big Brother will be 65 years old (in literary years). To mark the date we urge all lovers of freedom to take part in the annual 1984 Action Day and to call for Big Brother to hang up his high visibility surveillance jacket and retire.

Orwell’s novel ‘1984’ was first published on 8th June 1949. Now, sixty-five years later and thirty years after the book’s title year, few if any of Orwell’s warnings have been heeded. The slogans of the book’s ruling party: “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength” are encoded in the marketing style propaganda of modern political parties. A surveillance state has been built all around us whilst we are encouraged to “share” our concerns in a modern reworking of the 2 minute hate – the 140 character tweet fest – hash tag “what about that funny dog!”

We are living in the dystopian world of ‘1984’ now.… Read the rest

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Utopia Through Digital Cooperation, Bitcoin and a Little Bit of Gin. Featuring Jeffrey Tucker

PIC: Philafrenzy (PD)

PIC: Philafrenzy (PD)

Via Midwest Real

“You can look at the historical trajectory.  From a technological point of view, we’ve gone to ever-more aggregated collectives… And now, in the last 15 years we’ve seen this great innovation of open source distributed networks and peer-to-peer relationships that distribute power equally… Bitcoin fits into this because it’s the ultimate peer-to-peer monetary system.  You don’t have to depend on some powerful third party… You just take the power on your own and possess it and own it and control your life, and that’s what we all want.” – Jeffrey Tucker

 image image

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Craig Hulet: Corporatocracy Dictatorship is the Next Step

Africa_satellite_orthographicCraig Hulet has been laying it out about the corporatocracy and economic fascism for thirty years. His most recent interview was particularly trenchant. Topics covered include African land and resources grabbing, oligarchy, the pointlessness of elections, Putin, Snowden, the possibility of revolution, fascism, corporatism, etc.

Craig Hulet 05-23-14

Craig Hulet radio interview archive

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Bankers Exhale As Tea Party Power Fizzles

Captain America Attends a Tea PartyIs this the beginning of the end for the Tea Party? From TheHill

Banks are breathing a sigh of relief after established GOP incumbents bested a handful of Tea Party challengers at the polls recently.

Industry sources said the establishment wins improve Republican odds of retaking the Senate, which would in turn lead to a friendlier climate for the long-beleaguered sector. But some note that the Tea Party has left a mark on the Republican Party, presenting a challenging landscape for the industry.

The Tea Party movement can trace its roots back to fury about bailouts and banks, but the force that pulled the Republican Party right in recent years is finding less success at the polls recently.

In Idaho, Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) was repeatedly blasted by outside groups for his 2008 vote in favor of the Wall Street rescue, but he soundly defeated his conservative challenger all the same.

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Rethinking Democracy

rubio_jeffersonA pretty compelling read introducing the radical idea that maybe Democracy needs to be reconsidered. Old hat to postmodernism, of course, but maybe it’s time for some mainstream exposure for these notions.

via Salon:

This is what democracy looks like: grotesque inequality, delusional Tea Party obstructionism, a vast secret national-security state, overseas wars we’re never even told about and a total inability to address the global climate crisis, a failure for which our descendants will never forgive us, and never should. Maybe I’ll take the turtle costumes after all. The aura of democratic legitimacy is fading fast in an era when financial and political capital are increasingly consolidated in a few thousand people, a fact we already knew but whose implications French insta-celebrity Thomas Piketty and the political scientists Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page (of the “oligarchy study”) have forcefully driven home. Libertarian thinker Bryan Caplan sees the same pattern, as Michael Lind recently wrote in Salon, but thinks it’s a good thing.

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GOP Goes Quiet On ObamaCare

Could it be that Republicans are finally going to concede that health care in America was broken and ObamaCare is a decent first step towards improving it? From TheHill:

House Republicans have no scheduled votes or hearings on ObamaCare, signaling a shift in the party’s strategy as the White House rides a wave of good news on the law.

Not a single House committee has announced plans to attack the healthcare law in the coming weeks, and only one panel of jurisdiction commented to The Hill despite repeated inquiries.

GOP campaign committees also declined to say whether they will launch any new efforts on the law.

The lack of action highlights the GOP’s struggle to adjust its message now that enrollment in the exchanges beat projections and the uninsured rate is going down. Insurers also report that 80 to 90 percent of new policyholders are paying their premiums, contradicting a frequent criticism from the GOP.

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I, Camera – The 5 Laws of FFUCams

FFUCam in action
A FFUCam spreading trust
[ based on image by West Midlands Police ]

Everyone knows that the camera never lies. That’s a definitely true fact. The flip side to this fact is of course the additional fact that people can and do lie – frequently. So when it comes to lying, cameras are clearly more trustworthy, reliable and generally better than people. Everyone has known this since the phrase “the camera never lies” was first discovered in 1857 (the date might be a lie of course, after all I’m only human).

The incredible thing is that despite everyone knowing that the camera never lies and is better than people, this beacon of moral certitude was so massively under utilised.

Let us consider the evidence before us in a forensic and thorough way.

Do cameras commit murder? No.
Are cameras ever drunk and disorderly? No.
Do cameras abuse their position in society?… Read the rest

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