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Rumor, gossip, nonsense: How the news became a nightmare

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  • The road to Fox News and the commercialization of information begins with the amazing history of mass media.
  • Enough is Enough: No Comcast / Time-Warner merger!

Andrew Pettegree, Salon

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bad_tv_news-620x412.jpgExcerpted from "The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know About Itself" by Andrew Pettegree

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014 | In 1704 the English writer Daniel Defoe embarked on the publication of a political journal: the Weekly Review of the Affairs of France. This was not yet the Defoe made famous by his great novel Robinson Crusoe; he would discover his vocation as a novelist only late in life. Up to this point Defoe had tried his hand at many things, and often failed. The Review (as it soon became) was the latest of many attempts to find a way to make money. This time it worked. Within a few months Defoe’s publication had found its new form, as a serial issued two or three times a week, consisting largely of a single essay on an item of topical interest.

Defoe was lucky. He had launched the Review at a time when the reading public was expanding rapidly, along with a market for current affairs. Naturally Defoe made the most of it. When, in an essay in 1712, he turned his mind to this buoyant market for news publishing, he did not hold back. The present 

full13/9780300179088.jpg times, wrote Defoe, had seen a media explosion. He recalled a time, even in his own lifetime, when there had been no such torrent of newspapers, state papers and political writing. The rage for news was transforming society, and Defoe was happy to be in the thick of it.

Andrew Pettegree is a British historian and one of the leading experts on Europe during the Reformation. He currently holds a professorship at St Andrews University.

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Enough is Enough: No Comcast / Time-Warner merger!, Delara Derakhshani, Consumers Union

  • Enough of cable bills higher than heating or electric bills. Enough of companies demanding you buy channels you don’t want, and blocking programs you actually want to watch. Enough of rotten customer service, spotty cable, sluggish Internet.
  • It’s time we take a stand against huge corporations becoming behemoths, wiping out the competition and sticking it to those of us who have little choice to go elsewhere.
  • What’s the Right Path Forward on Net Neutrality?
Section(s): 

Noam Chomsky: America Hates Its Poor

  • Linguist and philosopher Noam Chomsky on our country's brutal class warfare -- and why it's ultimately so one-sided.
  • This is an excerpt from the just released second edition of Noam Chomsky’s  “Occupy: Class War, Rebellion and Solidarity,” edited by Greg Ruggiero and published by Zuccotti Park Press.
  • Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 
  • The global plutocracy

Chris Steele, AlterNet  / Zuccotti Park Press 

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jeff Nygaard.

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occupy.jpgDecember 1, 2013  |  An article that recently came out in Rolling Stone, titled “Gangster Bankers: Too Big to Jail,” by Matt Taibbi, asserts that the government is afraid to prosecute powerful bankers, such as those running HSBC. Taibbi says that there’s “an arrestable class and an unarrestable class.”  What is your view on the current state of class war in the U.S.?

Well, there’s always a class war going on. The United States, to an unusual extent, is a business-run society, more so than others. The business classes are very class-conscious—they’re constantly fighting a bitter class war to improve their power and diminish opposition. Occasionally this is recognized.

Noam Chomsky is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, logician, political commentator and activist. He is perhaps best known as a critic of all forms of social control and a relentless advocate for community-centered approaches to democracy and freedom. Over the last several decades, Chomsky has championed a wide range of dissident actions, organizations and social movements.

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Download Free PDF: Occupy ~ Noam Chomsky 

 

Occupy is the first major public response to thirty years of class war.' Since its appearance in Zuccotti Park, New York, in September 2011, the Occupy movement has spread to hundreds of towns and cities across the world. No longer occupying small tent camps, the movement now occupies the global conscience as its messages spread from street protests to op-ed pages to the highest seats of power. From the movement's onset, Noam Chomsky has supported its critique of corporate corruption and encouraged its efforts to increase civic participation, economic equality, democracy and freedom. Through talks and conversations with movement supporters, Occupy presents Chomsky's latest thinking on the central issues, questions and demands that are driving ordinary people to protest. How did we get to this point? How are the wealthiest 1% influencing the lives of the other 99%? How can we separate money from politics? What would a genuinely democratic election look like? How can we redefine basic concepts like 'growth' to increase equality and quality of life for all?

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The global plutocracy, World Socialist Website 

  • There is no parallel in human history to the immense concentration of wealth that exists today, nor to the extremes of parasitism and decadence that constitute the “new normal.” Contemporary capitalism—what the ruling class and its political and media flunkies call the “free enterprise system”—has created a world in which every policy decision is dictated by the need to protect and increase the wealth of an infinitesimal portion of the world’s population.
  • American Inequality in Six Charts

Food sovereignty In Capitalist System

  • Food sovereignty is about the democratization of food production. Only by coming to terms with the absolute necessity of removing any profit motive from the food supply will all the peoples of the world have the security of knowing that sufficient food is available to all, at all times and in all situations. 
  • Food security for all the world's citizens is just not possible in a capitalist system.

Janet Surman, Countercurrents.org

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28 March, 2014 | This is about systems – the food system, the capitalist system and the socialist system.

Following a report in January of this year from the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food (Olivier De Schutter, The transformative potential of the right to food), I first want to question De Schutter's claim that, 'Most of the food systems we have inherited from the 20th century have failed.' If those systems have failed, is it not because they were not suited to working within the global capitalist system? Should we not ask if maybe the UN set the wrong goals within that system? I would like here to challenge some of the basics of why world agencies feel that they have the answer to world problems when history shows repeated failures.

Janet Surman, member of the Socialist Party of Great Britain, a companion party of the World Socialist Movement, the website of which has a wide range of information regarding socialism including publications, FAQs, audio-visuals, a monthly down-loadable journal, a forum and a blog

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Monsanto’s scary new scheme: Why does it really want all this data? Lina Khan, Salon

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  • As the biotech giant pays huge sums for data analysis about farms, many are terrified about how it might be harnessed.
  • The big question is who exactly will end up owning all this data, and who gets to determine how it is used. 
Section(s): 

How Much War Does Washington Want?

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“America does not at the moment have a functioning democracy.” --Former US President Jimmy Carter

Paul Craig Roberts

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Graphic%20%7C%20Arms%20at%20the%20Statue%20of%20Liberty.jpg March 26, 2014 | I doubt that the Ukraine crisis precipitated by Washington’s overthrow of the democratic government is over. Washington has won the propaganda war everywhere outside of Russia and Ukraine itself. Within Ukraine people are aware that the coup has made them worse off. The Crimea has already separated from the US puppet government in Kiev and rejoined Russia. Other parts of Russian Ukraine could follow.

In Kiev itself where the unelected, imposed-by-Washington dictatorial government resides, extreme right-wing Ukrainian nationalists, whose roots go back to fighting for National Socialist Germany, are at work intimidating public prosecutors, media editors, and the US imposed “government” itself. There is an abundance of videos available on the Internet, some made by the extreme nationalists themselves, that clearly reveal the intimidation of the imposed and unelected government installed by Washington.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. 

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The Pentagon’s Vision of Covert and Endless War, Brian J. Trautman, Counterpunch

  • Make no mistake. The Pentagon’s proposal to transform the military is a smoke and mirrors plan. It does not represent a dismantling of the military-industrial complex but a chilling morphing of it, and will advance American imperial power and further enrich war profiteers even as it cuts out the troops. 
  • How Washington plans to screw military veterans

Don’t Enlist, But Don’t Just Take My Word For It

  • Straight talk from soldiers, veterans and their family members tells what is missing from the sales pitches presented by recruiters and the military’s marketing efforts.
  • 'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war
  • 'Lonely Soldiers' gets combustible staging at History Theatre

Lo, Dandelion Salad

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Image by Kate Tomlinson via Flickr

July 15, 2012 | This is the most important blog post on Dandelion Salad. Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be considering enlisting as a soldier (mercenary). Stop them from selling their souls.

First is a list of the best videos with a description of the video followed by the link. Next is a short list of article links, then the archive of posts for “Before You Enlist” and a website for more information.

Lo is the Editor, Dandelion Salad.

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'The Things They Carried' is a Vietnam-era soldier's somber look at war, John Townsend, Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune 

  • Stephen D’Ambrose is superb in an emotional one-man show based on the Vietnam-era stories of Tim O’Brien.
  • Helen Benedict's play about women soldiers in Iraq gets a combustible staging by Austene Van at History Theatre.

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'Lonely Soldiers' gets combustible staging at History Theatre, Rohan Preston,  Minneapolis (MN) Star Tribune

Helen Benedict's play about women soldiers in Iraq gets a combustible staging by Austene Van at History Theatre.

 

Southwest LRT and the NIMBY Veto

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  • Can't we all just get along?
  • The Theory Behind NIMBYism

Conrad deFiebre, Minnesota 2020 

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stop_light3.jpgMarch 20, 2014 | As crunch time for the proposed Southwest light rail line looms, the controversy over where it should run and what should move out of its way keeps generating much more heat than light. And that's a shame for a project that promises significant benefits even for the localities that seem to be bent on derailing it if they don't get their way.

To update on recent developments:

Conrad deFiebre, Transportation Fellow, Minnesota 2020

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Related:

The Theory Behind NIMBYism

Michael Lewyn, Planetizen

NIIMBY-high-speed-rail-crop.jpg?itok=f4hBOqcuprotohiro / Flickr

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | A recent Planetizen headline said: "Denver Planning Board Steamrolls Opposition in Rezoning Controversy." I am guessing that the headline used the perjorative term "steamrolls" because neighborhood activists opposed the rezoning. The story summary was even more negative, using the term "top-down planning" to describe a city decision that actually expanded a landowner's right to build on its property by allowing it to build five stories instead of three.

Why would anyone think expanding personal freedom is "top-down planning"? Probably because the author of the headline and summary shared a widespread cultural assumption: that we have a property right to veto whatever happens within a few blocks of our homes, even if we did not pay for the property in question.

Michael Lewyn is an associate professor at Touro Law Center in Central Islip, NY. 

Full story...

Obama Worse Than Reagan On Nukes

  • Winding down nuclear weapons spending, and eventually abolishing the things (for which no negotiations are underway), has been the right thing to do since the first bomb exploded in the New Mexico desert in 1945. State Department support for the coup in Ukraine and the resultant saber rattling (echoes of August 1914?) make it as urgent as ever. 
  • Obama Surpasses the Historic Peak on Nuclear Weapons Spending
  • Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit

Steve Breyman, truthout / Popular Resistance 

Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

http://evergreenedigest.org/sites/evergreenedigest.org/files/March 21st, 2014 | Heads-up, veterans of the nuclear freeze movement in the United States, the anti-Euromissile campaigns in Western Europe and the various anti-nuclear weapons efforts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Incoming.

We spent much of the 1980s resisting Ronald Reagan’s new Cold War and his new nuclear weapons of all shapes and sizes. We pushed back against his giant “defense” budgets and countered his harrowing rhetoric. We knew Star Wars was a scam and the MX missile a danger. We grimaced at his appointments to key policymaking positions and scoffed at his insincere arms control efforts.

Steve Breyman was 2011-12 William C. Foster Visiting Scholar Fellow in the Euro-Atlantic Security Affairs Office of the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance at the US Department of State, where he worked fruitlessly on reforming nuclear weapons policy. He is Associate Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Full story…

Related:

Obama Heads To The Hague For Nuclear Summit, Ari Shapiro, National Public Radio (NPR)

Fake%20Media.jpg Popular Resistance  Editor's Note: If you listen to NPR you would think that President Obama is doing all he can to rid the world of nuclear weapons. But, if you actually look at what he is doing < … >, you see a president upgrading the US nuclear stockpile and spending record amounts on nuclear weapons. 

March 21, 2014 | President Obama goes to The Hague for a nuclear security summit Monday. Although the crisis in Ukraine is overshadowing the event, there is a packed agenda independent of the tensions with Russia. This is the third time world leaders have met to discuss how to keep nuclear materials out of terrorists' hands.

Full story (audio and transcript)…

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