Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) rips into Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) for blocking a resolution that would have acknowledged the reality of climate change.
May 19th, 2014
Help us reduce the influence of money in politics! Professor Lawrence Lessig goes over the problem - and the plan to solve it.
The Mayday Political Action Committee is crowdsourcing the money it needs to get a Congress committed to fundamental reform by 2016. This is our first essential step.
How Aaron Swartz Helped Inspire the Super PAC to End All Super PACs
It's time to stop the war on whistle-blowers.
http://iam.bradleymanning.org | #iambradleymanning
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Roger Waters, Oliver Stone , Daniel Ellsberg, Phil Donahue, Michael Ratner, Alice Walker, Tom Morello, Matt Taibbi, Peter Sarsgaard, Angela Davis, Moby, Molly Crabapple, Tim DeChristopher, LT Dan Choi, Bishop George Packard, Russell Brand, Allan Nairn, Chris Hedges, Wallace Shawn, Adhaf Soueif, Josh Stieber , Michael Ratner.
This work produced by independent volunteers in collaboration with the Bradley Manning Support Network.
E. Snowden: I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do. And I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories, to sort of exploit the national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and our Constitution says we should not give up.
B. Williams: But you can see how it happened. Guys with box cutters spent $200 using our own aviation system to take down our own buildings and smash into the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania. What are we going to do? It’s a non-traditional enemy — the expression is, an enemy we can’t see. What are we going to do?
E. Snowden: You know, and this is a key question that the 9/11 Commission considered. And what they found, in the post-mortem, when they looked at all of the classified intelligence from all of the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States to detect this plot. We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we have.
The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we already don’t understand, and this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country. If these programs aren’t keeping us safe, and they’re making us miss connections — vital connections — on information we already have, if we’re taking resources away from traditional methods of investigation, from law enforcement operations that we know work, if we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country? Or are we — are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life?
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.
Using the Bible to Resist Climate Action: A Supercut
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. A later study of US society found that the demographics of this elite group broke down as follows:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In the 1970s an organized set of policies promoted reduced taxes, especially for the wealthy, and a steady corrosion of the welfare safety net. Starting with legislation in the 1980s, the wealthy banking community successfully lobbied for reduced regulation. 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." 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." 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." 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." 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.
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."
Bill Maher on Larry King talking about his new movie Religulous.
Secretary of State John Kerry stumbles onto a potential path to peace in Syria.
From The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
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.
Jon Stewart of the Daily Show gives Tucker Carlson what's for.
Luke Skywalker (Chris) and C3P0 (Quagmire) listen Rush Limbaugh on talk radio.
Scene from the Star Wars Episode of Family Guy (Blue Harvest).
Syria's Bashar al-Assad crosses the line of what the American government feels is the appropriate way to kill people.
September 3, 2013