Recent Articles

Goodbye to Net Neutrality

This is yet another blatant broken promise by Obama. He promised that he would be a champion of net neutrality, yet picked a Commissioner who sold out consumers and innovators in order to enrich telecoms. Tim Wu explains at the New Yorker:

The new rule gives broadband providers what they’ve wanted for about a decade now: the right to speed up some traffic and degrade others. (With broadband, there is no such thing as accelerating some traffic without degrading other traffic.) We take it for granted that bloggers, start-ups, or nonprofits on an open Internet reach their audiences roughly the same way as everyone else. Now they won’t. They’ll be behind in the queue, watching as companies that can pay tolls to the cable companies speed ahead. The motivation is not complicated. The broadband carriers want to make more money for doing what they already do. Never mind that American carriers already charge some of the world’s highest prices, around sixty dollars or more per month for broadband, a service that costs less than five dollars to provide. To put it mildly, the cable and telephone companies don’t need more money.

April 26, 2014 | By | Reply More

Ronald Reagan’s Law and Order Administration

George Carlin summarized the issues back in 1988. Almost 200 criminal and ethics investigations.

April 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

How to get a member of Congress to listen to your concerns: Offer money

Here’s another somber announcement about our so-called democracy, which is on life support: If you want to convince your elected representative to spend time with you, to listen to your concerns, you need to hand him or her LOTS OF MONEY.

Last month, Matea Gold of The Washington Post reported on a pair of political science graduate students who released a study confirming that money does equal access in Washington. Joshua Kalla and David Broockman drafted two form letters asking 191 members of Congress for a meeting to discuss a certain piece of legislation. One email said “active political donors” would be present; the second email said only that a group of “local constituents” would be at the meeting.

One guess as to which emails got the most response. Yes, more than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. Why is it not corruption when the selling of access to our public officials upends the very core of representative government? When money talks and you have none, how can you believe in democracy?

April 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

For a public option regarding internet service

Susan Crawford, Former Special Assistant to President Obama on Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, urges that the internet is too important to be left to the private market.

– for more than 77% of Americans, their only choice for a high capacity connection is their local cable monopoly.

– Residents of Stockholm pay about 30 bucks a month for gigabit access. That’s something we can’t even imagine in the United States. Residents of Seoul and Japan and Hong Kong other Northern European countries have access to internet service 100 times faster than that in the U.S.

– Twenty states have passed laws saying, “Cities don’t have the choice to [build their own public internet options].” These laws have been rammed through by incumbents happy with the way things are. One thing that needs to happen is we need to block these state laws so that cities can make these decision for themselves. FCC Chairman Wheeler has announced that this would be a good direction to investigate.

The full interview is here.

April 24, 2014 | By | Reply More

Why the Comcast – Time Warner Merger Is Bad for You

From Free Press, the Comcast-Time-Warner Cable merger will be bad for you.

Free Press research shows that the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would create a media behemoth with unmatched power to raise prices, squash competition and reshape the future of the Internet. If the merger is approved, all kinds of bad stuff will happen. (Click the thumbnails in the article (here, here and here) to get the full scoop.) First off, Comcast will be the largest pay-TV provider in 104 markets encompassing 65 percent of the U.S. population. Wait, it gets worse: Comcast’s service area will cover almost two-thirds of the U.S., and it will be the only broadband provider that can deliver Internet and pay-TV services to nearly four out of every 10 U.S. homes. (See the company’s reach.) And to top it all off Comcast will control half of the truly high-speed U.S. Internet market, half of the TV/Internet-bundle market and a third of the pay-TV market.

April 23, 2014 | By | Reply More

Bill Moyers: Government is the “protection racket for the 1 percent.”

Truly, we should stop celebrating the Fourth of July until we see meaningful reform.

Bill Moyers and Michael Winship write:

Inequality is what has turned Washington into a protection racket for the one percent. It buys all those goodies from government: Tax breaks. Tax havens (which allow corporations and the rich to park their money in a no-tax zone). Loopholes. Favors like carried interest. And so on. As Paul Krugman writes in his New York Review of Books essay on Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century, “We now know both that the United States has a much more unequal distribution of income than other advanced countries and that much of this difference in outcomes can be attributed directly to government action.”

Recently, researchers at Connecticut’s Trinity College ploughed through the data and concluded that the US Senate is responsive to the policy preferences of the rich, ignoring the poor. And now there’s that big study coming out in the fall from scholars at Princeton and Northwestern universities, based on data collected between 1981 and 2002. Their conclusion: “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened… The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” Instead, policy tends “to tilt towards the wishes of corporations and business and professional associations.”

Oh, and if you’re wondering why your elected representative won’t pay attention to you and your ideas . . .

“Last month, Matea Gold of The Washington Post reported on a pair of political science graduate students who released a study confirming that money does equal access in Washington. Joshua Kalla and David Broockman drafted two form letters asking 191 members of Congress for a meeting to discuss a certain piece of legislation. One email said “active political donors” would be present; the second email said only that a group of “local constituents” would be at the meeting.

One guess as to which emails got the most response. Yes, more than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. Why is it not corruption when the selling of access to our public officials upends the very core of representative government? When money talks and you have none, how can you believe in democracy?”

April 22, 2014 | By | Reply More

Birther movement regarding Jesus

This Tumblr website has launched a Birther movement regarding Jesus. It’s actually a challenge.

Please provide ONE single person, along with their authentic writing, that can prove the simple living-human, historical existence of the claimed, christian New Testament jesus the christ of Nazareth, that meets both (A & B) of our 2 simple requirements listed below:

A.) A contemporary 1st century person that lived between the years of 1-36 CE, who was a first-hand eye-witness, who actually saw, met, spoke to, and knew jesus personally.

B.) Provide this person’s original and authentic: secular, non-christian, non-religious, unbiased, non-bible, non-gospel, and non-scripture writing, that is directly about jesus (with references/citations to prove that this person actually wrote the work in question), officially dated by science, between the years of 1-53 CE. Additional religious or christian writings that can’t be used: papyri, uncials, minuscules, lectionaries, didache, apocrypha, gnostic, catechism, and pseudepigrapha.

In case some folks are tempted to reach for some of the classic “proofs,” the site offers this scorecard:

Jesus Chart

 

The site also offers links to many other sites that challenge the existence (not merely the divinity) of Jesus, including:

Bible Scholar: Robert M Price – Extrabiblical evidence for Jesus ► 8:44

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R3zuMeNPgDQ

Debunking the Fraudulent christian Apologist List of Extra-biblical but non-contemporary, claimed “sources” used as jesus “evidence.” (Jewish, “Pagan,” Non-christian, “Secular”)

http://tmblr.co/ZkpfQtmt2ygH

The jesus Birther Movement (jBM) Research Database Directory

http://tmblr.co/ZkpfQtaKiFCa

Research Articles, Evidence and Videos that Prove a Historical jesus, NEVER Existed

http://tmblr.co/ZkpfQtmSTwHN

66 Famous Historians and Writers From The 1st and 2nd Century, Who Never Mentioned Fictional jesus – The Screaming Silence of Real History

http://tmblr.co/ZkpfQtnCiu1a

 

April 21, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More

Lee Camp: Our political system has cancer

A new study demonstrates that the United states is not a democracy, but an oligarchy. Lee Camp comments on this study:

Common Dreams has also commented on the study, entitled “Testing Theories of American Politics.”

A study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question, “Who governs? Who really rules?” in this country, is:

“Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts. Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But, …” and then they go on to say, it’s not true, and that, “America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened” by the findings in this, the first-ever comprehensive scientific study of the subject, which shows that there is instead “the nearly total failure of ‘median voter’ and other Majoritarian Electoral Democracy theories [of America]. When the preferences of economic elites and the stands of organized interest groups are controlled for, the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.”

To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.

You can find the study here. The following is the bottom line:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized
groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government
policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent
influence. Our results provide substantial support for theories of Economic Elite Domination
and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or
Majoritarian Pluralism.

April 19, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More
More quotes

More quotes

I’ve gathered many quotes for DI. This is another batch of my favorite quotes, gathered from a wide variety of sources:

Libertarian: “(noun) One who believes that oppression is best handled by the Private Sector.” (seen on Facebook)

“Maybe this world is another planet’s hell.”
Aldous Huxley

“Music makes one feel so romantic – at least it always gets on one’s nerves – which is the same thing nowadays.”
Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”
H. P. Lovecraft (1890 – 1937), “The Call of Cthulhu”, first line

“We’re developing a new citizenry. One that will be very selective about cereals and automobiles, but won’t be able to think.”
― Rod Serling

“If Satan is God’s enemy . . . why does he punish those who disobey God?”
– From Facebook

“My pain may be the reason for somebody’s laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody’s pain.”
― Charles Chaplin

“The point of public relations slogans like “Support our troops” is that they don’t mean anything… That’s the whole point of good propaganda.You want to create a slogan that nobody’s going to be against, and everybody’s going to be for.Nobody knows what it means, because it doesn’t mean anything.Its crucial value is that it diverts your attention from a question that does mean something: Do you support our policy? That’s the one you’re not allowed to talk about.”
– Noam Chomsky

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptable. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.”
– Frank Herbert, Chapterhouse Dune, Missionaria Protectiva, US science fiction novelist (1920 – 1986)

“Deregulation: Yes that’s a licence for Corporate Monopoly Rule aided and abetted by Sociopaths in key positions: Government, Law, Security both Police and Military, the Media and in Business.”
– Anon comment on Glenn Greenwald’s website

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you read the newspaper, you’re misinformed.”
– Mark Twain.

“Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength.”
– Eric Hoffer (1902 – 1983)

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
– Mark Twain.

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”
– Ernest Hemingway

The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.
– Patrick Henry

April 19, 2014 | By | Reply More