Archive for August, 2012

A few agitated thoughts about the Republican Convention

August 29, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

I’m really getting sick of this Republican BS. They are so incredibly ashamed of their extended recent track record that they have banished George W. Bush from the convention, lest he remind us what their program really amounts to, even though he was the President for eight fucking years of lies, waste, ignorance, secrecy, torture, naivete and corruption. Further, they banish Sarah Palin from the stage because even they know that she is a ill-informed PR craving clown. Look, I’m not a big fan of the Democrats these days either, but there is something surreal about this Republican party, a syndicate that plunges us into huge debt with their two non-ending corrupt miserable wars that have no defined objective and then they further plunge us into debt with non-stop tax cuts for the rich (and no, the war continues in Iraq–we just aren’t officially there).

And then they cart out a candidate who hides his money in Swiss banks after making his multi-millions by plunging vulnerable companies into massive debt using third party money. And now their plan is to have more of the same: Destroy our last functioning social institutions, redirecting those tax dollars to their uber-rich friends too and then the victims–and many of people are truly innocent victims of this insanity–will be showered with unrelenting blame. This Republican Convention is nothing but an hyper-orgy of social darwinism where the corporate media will mostly (luckily there are a few exceptions) pretend that this star-studded stunt is part of normal functioning democracy.

No thanks. This is the party of Goldman Sachs–this is the party of big money in search of nothing by more money. They will NEVER have enough. What is being paraded in front of us is actually Oligarchs at Work and their followers who want to believe more than anything else that sucking the treasury dry and otherwise doing NOTHING will somehow make the nation highly functional. Doing nothing does not make for a garden–it makes for a twisted tangled jungle. THAT is the plan.

In the meantime, most of those thousands of corporate media reporters in attendance have no damned idea about how to ask a meaningful question, even though 90% of those attending are one half-baked question from being exposed as fear-peddling criminals and chumps parading as paragons of morality. This is shameful, dangerous and sick. The only quick remedy I can think of for what’s going on is mass derision. Those of us who are self-critical and informed need to talk up. We need to call and write and make lots of noise, in email, on websites, in newspapers, to our representatives, to our neighbors and to anyone who listens. We need to establish that the new growing trend is that we are not buying any of this. Urge your friends and family to turn off their TVs, to really get informed and join this movement.

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Where did all of those “journalists” come from?

August 29, 2012 | By | Reply More

At Salon, David Sirota noticed 15,000 journalists coming of nowhere to cover the Republican National Convention, which is not difficult journalism, but only a big fat staged PR orgy:

More and more media markets in America have become news deserts — places where city council meetings go uncovered, corruption scandals goes unnoticed and huge social ills go unmentioned. Typically, this is explained as a crisis of journalism — more specifically, a crisis of journalism resources. According to media executives’ talking points, news organizations are losing audience share, which means advertisers won’t pay as much for ads, which consequently reduces the revenues that fund real reporting.

Rooted in a self-reinforcing cycle, this tautology seems to make perfect sense. The “Dickensian aspect” of real news that affects real people’s lives simply can’t be covered because news outlets just don’t have the resources! There’s just one minor problem with this fable: It can’t be true when the same allegedly cash-strapped media is deploying 15,000 journalists to the non-news events known as the Republican and Democratic conventions.

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Mitt Romney’s #1 source of campaign cash: Goldman Sachs

August 29, 2012 | By | 4 Replies More

What does this information from Open Secrets tell you about the candidates? Look whose employees are ponying up to put Mitt Romney into office. Goldman Sachs is #1. What does Goldman do for America? It sucks the lifeblood out of our country, with many politicians serving as its bought bitches. THAT’s the number one supporter of Mitt Romney.

For more on Goldman Sachs, check out Matt Taibbi’s writings, including this one.

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Lots of money for CEO’s. No money for taxes.

August 29, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

From the Los Angeles Times:

Twenty-five of the 100 highest-paid U.S. chief executives pocketed more in pay last year than their companies paid in federal income taxes.

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A few more Jonik cartoons

August 28, 2012 | By | Reply More

I’ve really enjoyed much of Jonik’s work. Here are a few more:

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Why I detest the way the mass media covers the 2012 Presidential campaign

August 28, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

Here is why I detest the way the mass media covers the 2012 Presidential campaign. This data is based on what I see on cable TV while I’m in the kitchen at work (a television is mounted on the wall, always turned on).

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Cartoons of J. Jonik

August 27, 2012 | By | 3 Replies More

I recently stumbled across some cartoons by J. Jonik. Here’s how he describes his work:

Many, or most, of these cartoons have been published in periodicals and leaflets and web-sites, etc., around the USA, and some in Germany, the UK and Australia…and beyond.

Publications have included Z Magazine, Extra! (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting), Public Citizen, Earth First! Journal, POCLAD, Food and Water, Solidarity, Synthesis-Regeneration, Compost Dispatch, Philadelphia Daily News, University City Review (Phila.), Green Left Weekly (Australia), Green Pages, Hawaii Island Journal, Funny Times, Wild Earth, Dollars and Sense, Dissent, Earth Island Journal, North Coast Xpress, Anderson Valley Advertiser, The Prism, The Partisan, Orion, Tox CAT (UK- Communities Against Toxics), Boycott Quarterly, Friends of the Earth, and others that I will add to this list when I remember them.

Cartoons have been, or still are, also used at web sites of various activist groups such as NORML, and various Single Payer health care advocates.

A bunch of cartoons were scattered throughout “Censored 2008” Project Censored’s 2008 annual collection of top 25 Censored Stories, and in Teishan Latner’s “The Quotable Rebel”, an invaluable book of quotes that are especially usable by political activists.

Jonik makes his cartoons available to non-commercial sites. Thus, I’m going to share a few of my favorites:

 

[More . . . ]

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In case the moon landing had failed

August 26, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

I didn’t realize that a speech to be given by Richard President Nixon had already been outlined in case the moon landing attempt had failed.

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Paul Kurtz discusses the nomenclature of disbelief

August 26, 2012 | By | 15 Replies More

I’ve previously written about the works of Paul Kurtz. I’ve long admired his Neo-Humanist Statement of Secular Principles. I also agree with his concerns about “fundamentalist atheists.” In fact, it was his position on “fundamentalist atheism” that likely gave rose to his contentious departure from the Center for Inquiry.

More recently, Kurtz has made the argument that atheists, agnostics and other disbelievers would be best served characterizing themselves as “skeptics” rather than as atheists, agnostics or non-believers.

I would like to introduce another term into the equation, a description of the religious “unbeliever” that is more appropriate. One may simply say, “I am a skeptic.” This is a classical philosophical position, yet I submit that it is still relevant today, for many people are deeply skeptical about religious claims. Skepticism is widely employed in the sciences. Skeptics doubt theories or hypotheses unless they are able to verify them on adequate evidential grounds. The same is true among skeptical inquirers into religion. The skeptic in religion is not dogmatic, nor does he or she reject religious claims a priori; here or she is simply unable to accept the case for God unless it is supported by adequate evidence.

Kurtz lists additional reasons for the use of the term “skeptic.”

[S]kepticism based on scientific inquiry leaves room for a naturalistic account of the universe. It can also recommend alternative secular and humanist forms of moral conduct. Accordingly, one can simply affirm, when asked if he or she believes in God, “No, I do not; I am a skeptic,” and one may add, “I believe in doing good!”

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