Clicky


Pussy Riot Goes Back to Jail

The members of Pussy Riot shocked Russia when they performed their "Punk Prayer" in a Moscow church back in February 2012. The group was protesting the growing closeness between church and state under Russian President Vladimir Putin, but they became international celebrities when three of the members of the feminist, punk-rock protest group were arrested by the Russian authorities a few weeks later.

From Vice


How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful: Noam Chomsky & Glenn Greenwald

The basis for power elite membership is institutional power, namely an influential position within a prominent private or public organization. One study of power elites in the USA under George W. Bush identified 7,314 institutional positions of power encompassing 5,778 individuals.[15] A later study of US society found that the demographics of this elite group broke down as follows:

Age
Corporate leaders average about 60 years of age. The heads of foundations, law, education, and civic organizations average around 62 years of age. Government-sector members about 56.
Gender
Women are barely represented among corporate leadership in the institutional elite and women only contribute roughly 20 percent in the political realm. They do appear more among top positions when it comes to cultural affairs, education, and foundations.
Ethnicity
White Anglo-Saxons dominate in the power elite, with Protestants representing about 80 percent of the top business leaders and about 73 percent of members of Congress.
Education
Nearly all the leaders are college-educated with almost half having advanced degrees. About 54 percent of the big-business leaders and 42 percent of the government elite are graduates of just 12 heavily endowed, prestigious universities.
Social Clubs
Most holders of top position in the power elite possess exclusive membership in one or more social clubs. About a third belong to a small number of especially prestigious clubs in major cities like New York, Chicago, Boston, and D.C.[16]

In the 1970s an organized set of policies promoted reduced taxes, especially for the wealthy, and a steady corrosion of the welfare safety net.[17] Starting with legislation in the 1980s, the wealthy banking community successfully lobbied for reduced regulation.[18] The wide range of financial and social capital accessible to the power elite gives their members heavy influence in economic and political decision making, allowing them to move toward attaining desired outcomes. Sociologist Christopher Doob gives a hypothetical alternative stating that these elite individuals would consider themselves the overseers of the national economy, appreciating that it is not only a moral but a practical necessity to focus beyond their group interests. Doing so would hopefully alleviate various destructive conditions affecting large numbers of less affluent citizens.

Mills determined that there is an "inner core" of the power elite involving individuals that are able to move from one seat of institutional power to another. They therefore have a wide range of knowledge and interests in many influential organizations, and are, as Mills describes, "professional go-betweens of economic, political, and military affairs."[19] Relentless expansion of capitalism and the globalizing of economic and military power binds leaders of the power elite into complex relationships with nation states that generate global-scale class divisions. Sociologist, Manuel Castells, writes in The Rise of the Network Society that contemporary globalization does not mean that "everything in the global economy is global."[20] So, a global economy becomes characterized by fundamental social inequalities with respect to "the level of integration, competitive potential and share of the benefits from economic growth."[21] Castells cites a kind of "double movement" where on one hand, "valuable segments of territories and people" become "linked in the global networks of value making and wealth appropriation," while, on the other, "everything and everyone" that is not valued by established networks gets "switched off... and ultimately discarded."[21] The wide-ranging effects of global capitalism ultimately affect everyone on the planet as economies around the world come to depend on the functioning of global financial markets, technologies, trade and labor.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite


Bill Maher: America's Syria Policy Makes Us Look Like George Zimmerman

September 13, 2013 - For his final New Rule of the night, Bill Maher returned to Syria and this week's 12th anniversary of 9/11. With the country on the verge of bombing another Muslim country, Maher said, "America must stop asking, "Why do they hate us?'" "We're starting to look not so much like the world's policeman, but more like George Zimmerman," he explained. "Itching to use force and then pretending it's because we had no choice." As much as he hates chemical weapons, Maher said, "We have to stop bombing Muslim countries if we ever want to feel safe from terrorism in our own."

"How did we inherit this moral obligation to bring justice to the world via death from above?" Maher asked. "It doesn't make any sense. Our schools are crumbling and we want to teach everyone else a lesson."

Subtly mocking the entertainment industry's typical peacenik stance, Maher said, "I am no fan of Assad, and I say that openly. I don't care if it costs me jobs in Hollywood." He also made fun of America's tendency to "muse out loud" about who we're going to bomb. "People in other countries don't talk like this. Probably because if they did, we'd bomb them!"

He ended his closing rant by remembering the time, just after September 11th, 2001, when he sat down with Howard Stern, who suggested bombing any Muslim country at random. "And I remember thinking to myself, 'Really? Bomb any Muslim country? That's the policy? Just get a map of the Middle East and throw a dart at it?'"

"Well apparently George W. Bush was listening," he concluded, "because that's exactly what we did."


Russell Brand Lampoons GQ Award Sponsor Hugo Boss

Comedian Russell Brand was allegedly ejected from the GQ Men Of The Year Awards after-show party after he made jibes onstage about the event's sponsors Hugo Boss.

The comic, who picked up a gong at the GQ Men of the Year Awards, criticised the German fashion firm, who sponsored the show, for making uniforms for Hitler's regime.

Brand took to the stage after Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, who made light of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Russell Brand attends the GQ Men of the Year awards at The Royal Opera House.


Do We Need Industrial Agriculture to Feed the World?

The biggest players in the food industryfrom pesticide pushers to fertilizer makers to food processors and manufacturersspend billions of dollars every year not selling food, but selling the idea that we need their products to feed the world. But, do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? Can sustainably grown food deliver the quantity and quality we needtoday and in the future? Our first Food MythBusters film takes on these questions in under seven minutes. So next time you hear them, you can too.

From Anna Lapp & Food MythBusters.


Mark Blyth: Austerity, The History of a Dangerous Idea

Governments today in both Europe and the United States have succeeded in casting government spending as reckless wastefulness that has made the economy worse. In contrast, they have advanced a policy of draconian budget cuts--austerity--to solve the financial crisis. We are told that we have all lived beyond our means and now need to tighten our belts. This view conveniently forgets where all that debt came from. Not from an orgy of government spending, but as the direct result of bailing out, recapitalizing, and adding liquidity to the broken banking system. Through these actions private debt was rechristened as government debt while those responsible for generating it walked away scot free, placing the blame on the state, and the burden on the taxpayer.

About the Author: Mark Blyth is a faculty fellow at the Watson Institute, professor of international political economy in Brown's Political Science Department, and director of the University's undergraduate programs in development studies and international relations.