Archive for June, 2013

Unequal access to secret information shows us who is doing real journalism

June 30, 2013 | By | Reply More

Chris Hayes nails it on MSNBC. The U.S. government and its many cronies in the mass media love to disburse secret information when it bolsters the position of the government. They take the opposite position when information embarrasses the U.S. government.

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Love his conclusion: The conduct of the vast and growing surveillance web is “on all of us what the government does in our name.”

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Who qualifies as a journalist?

June 30, 2013 | By | Reply More

Who qualifies as a journalist? Margaret Sullivan of the New York Times explains:

A real journalist is one who understands, at a cellular level, and doesn’t shy away from, the adversarial relationship between government and press – the very tension that America’s founders had in mind with the First Amendment. Those who fully meet that description deserve to be respected and protected — not marginalized.

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One of the most dangerous consequences of indiscriminate government spying

June 29, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

From Moyers and Company:

GREENWALD: I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies. The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence, the idea that I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the e-mails and phone records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory that you just embraced, being a co-conspirator in felonies, for working with sources.

If you want to embrace that theory, it means that every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources, who receives classified information, is a criminal. And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States.  It’s why The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer said, “Investigative reporting has come to a standstill,” her word, as a result of the theories that you just referenced. 

So much for future opportunities for U.S. citizens to determine what the government they supposedly run is doing on their behalf.

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Glenn Greenwald reflects on Edward Snowden’s revelations

June 29, 2013 | By | Reply More

At Huffpo, Glenn Greenwald comments over Skype to the Socialism Conference in Chicago. This is a detailed statement, in which Greenwald revealed that the NSA has the ability to store one billion phone calls each day.

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United States attempts to blackmail Ecuador over Edward Snowden

June 28, 2013 | By | Reply More

From Democracy Now:

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa: “All of a sudden, trade tariffs became an instrument of blackmail: behave or leave the free trade movement. In the face of threats, insolence and arrogance of certain U.S. sectors, which have pressured to remove the preferential tariffs because of the Snowden case, Ecuador tells the world: We unilaterally and irrevocably denounce the preferential tariffs. Our dignity has no price.”

Correa’s government followed up with a dig at the Obama administration by offering to donate millions of dollars for human rights training in the United States on matters of “privacy, torture and other actions that are denigrating to humanity.

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Brazilian police officer refuses to obey orders out of conscience

June 27, 2013 | By | Reply More
Brazilian police officer refuses to obey orders out of conscience

Amazing footage from Brazil, where the police where gearing up to confront protesters:

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Lee Camp unleashes ridicule toward big banks who censor chalk protester

June 27, 2013 | By | Reply More

Lee Camp says things that I think, but I also filter them. More and more, I’m feeling that being civil to the forces crushing democracy is not getting us anywhere. Therefore, Camp’s bursts of ridicule toward the rich and abusive are feeling cathartic. This episode takes a look at more abuses by big banks, especially a huge penalty levied toward a man who wrote his bank protests in chalk.

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The process of losing one’s faith

June 26, 2013 | By | 1 Reply More

Faith is not like a switch that gets flipped on or off. Former Pentecostal Minister Jerry DeWitt explains:

I dearly wish that there was one day or even better, one particular moment when I stopped believing (lost my faith). It would make my story much easier to tell. But instead, like so many others in the growing Secular movement, there was no one particular event, no one particular day when faith suddenly disappeared. Instead, it was like my faith in the supernatural and all things related to it were a pot filled with water on the stove. For the first several years of my spiritual journey the burner dial was set to high-heat and the water of my faith was continuously boiling over.

Unbeknownst to me, as I entertained thoughts, concepts and belief systems outside of the Pentecostal doctrine that I had inherited, my belief dial was being turned down and the water temperature was decreasing. Along with doctrines, there were also new life experiences that generated thoughts that couldn’t be easily ignored and over time they changed me. In other words, when a challenging thought came my way, I faced it and adjusted according. It took years for all of those small adjustments to add up to atheism. Eventually I simply recognized that I no longer believed.

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Silence is a political statement

June 26, 2013 | By | Reply More

Lee Camp’s latest at Moment of Clarity

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