RSSCategory: Communication

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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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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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:


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The culmination of decades of Republican politics

August 23, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

This extraordinarily well-conceived cartoon is by David Horsey, cartoonist for the LA Times.

David Horsey
Los Angeles Times
Aug 21, 2012

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The media establishment’s long intense irrational hatred of Julian Assange

August 22, 2012 | By | 2 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald, who now writes for the U.K. Guardian, sums up the media establishment’s hatred of Julian Assange:

In 2008 – two years before the release of the “collateral murder” video, the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and the diplomatic cables – the Pentagon prepared a secret report which proclaimed WikiLeaks to be an enemy of the state and plotted ways to destroy its credibility and reputation. But in a stroke of amazing luck, Pentagon operatives never needed to do any of that, because the establishment media in the US and Britain harbor at least as much intense personal loathing for the group’s founder as the US government does, and eagerly took the lead in targeting him. Many people like to posit the US national security state and western media outlets as adversarial forces, but here – as is so often the case – they have so harmoniously joined in common cause. Whatever else is true, establishment media outlets show unlimited personal animus toward the person who, as a panel of judges put it when they awarded him the the 2011 Martha Gellhorn prize for journalism, “has given the public more scoops than most journalists can imagine.”


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What kind of person attacks rescuers?

August 21, 2012 | By | Reply More

From Glenn Greenwald’s new platform, the U.K. Guardian:

[A]ttacking rescuers (and arguably worse, bombing funerals of America’s drone victims) is now a tactic routinely used by the US in Pakistan. In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that “the CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals.” Specifically: “at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims.” That initial TBIJ report detailed numerous civilians killed by such follow-up strikes on rescuers, and established precisely the terror effect which the US government has long warned are sown by such attacks. . .

It is telling indeed that the Obama administration now routinely uses tactics in Pakistan long denounced as terrorism when used by others, and does so with so little controversy. Just in the past several months, attacks on funerals of victims have taken place in Yemen (purportedly by al-Qaida) and in Syria (purportedly, though without evidence, by the Assad regime), and such attacks – understandably – sparked outrage. Yet, in the west, the silence about the Obama administration’s attacks on funerals and rescuers is deafening.


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Our secret wars

August 20, 2012 | By | Reply More

From Chris Hedges at Common Dreams:

Since the attacks of 9/11 the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)—which includes the Green Berets, the Army Rangers and the Navy SEALs—has seen its budget quadrupled. There are now some 60,000 USSOCOM operatives, whom the president can dispatch to kill without seeking congressional approval or informing the public. Add to this the growth of intelligence operatives. As Dana Priest and William M. Arkin reported in The Washington Post, “Twenty-four [new intelligence] organizations were created by the end of 2001, including the Office of Homeland Security and the Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Task Force. In 2002, 37 more were created to track weapons of mass destruction, collect threat tips, and coordinate the new focus on counterterrorism. That was followed the next year by 36 new organizations; and 26 after that; and 31 more; and 32 more; and 20 or more each in 2007, 2008, and 2009. In all, at least 263 organizations have been created or reorganized as a response to 9/11.”

There are now many thousands of clandestine operatives, nearly all of them armed and equipped with a license to kidnap, torture and kill, working overseas or domestically with little or no oversight and virtually no transparency. We have created a state within a state. A staggering 40 percent of the defense budget is secret, as is the budget of every intelligence agency. I tasted enough of this subterranean world to fear it. When you empower these kinds of people you snuff out the rule of law. You empower criminals and assassins.


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Things you shouldn’t say to a TSA agent

August 19, 2012 | By | Reply More

If you’re in a hurry at the airport, there are things you shouldn’t say to the TSA, and this article summarizes several of the biggest no-no’s.


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The verdict is in on Pussy Riot

August 17, 2012 | By | Reply More

As reported by the NYT, the verdict against Pussy Riot is in, and the three young women have been sentenced to two years each. The verdict has been commemorated by cartoonist Ray Gregory.

While a guilty verdict against the three women, members of a band called Pussy Riot, was widely expected, suspense had built over how severe a punishment they would receive. . . . But the judge, Marina Syrova, showed little sympathy for the trio, and it was not immediately clear whether the sentences would prompt a reaction on Moscow’s streets.

“Who is to blame for the performance at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and for our being put on trial after the concert? The authoritarian political system is to blame. What Pussy Riot does is oppositional art or politics.”


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