From Democracy Now with Amy Goodman.
Not good news for some I know. Truth tellers are okay with some as long as they only release info from the Other side. I can't believe how well even Democrats have been frightened off with the well funded propaganda campaign against not him as an individual, but him as an example to be squashed in order to frighten off others who may want to help expose truths behind curtains. This is just more evidence, after the bogus rape charges were dropped, that the powers that be, the .1% who do not want any crack of light shone on their activities, regard Assange, Wikileaks, and what they represent, as a dire threat. Karl Rove helping the prosecution is just the cherry on top.
I've never understood the opposition to truth telling, whistleblowing.....if YOUR side is also exposed.
Because if you truly believe that YOUR side is the mostly good, and theirs is the mostly evil, ie...that even though there may be faults by YOUR side exposed by truth tellers, even embarrassing, (an email release showing the DNC had a thumb on the scale), don't we have confidence that we will usually always come out on top? Or to put it differently, that the Republicans, the MIC, top corporate influencers like the Koch bros, Fox News, have the most to fear from organizations like Wikileaks? And that's why, on balance, we WANT whistleblowers and those that provide a space to publish what they have...even if that means they occasionally expose embarrassing info on organizations or people we support? If we believe that the messy truth being exposed will work in OUR favour, even 9/10 times, why are we so afraid of it?
Doing research to see if this had been posted already, I ran into this old DU post. They wrote this excellent OP,
They are great
And they are evil.
I love that YouTube will suggest other videos on....say....chair repair, or puppy rescue, or whatever interests you. I still use the search, but I find other content just suggested on the side very helpful.
Its evil, when the subject is politics. Again, I love that I get other liberal channel suggestions. I appreciate that I don't have to search as much. Especially after subscribing to a few. But its the same with someone who rolls in conservative circles. They will, after the algorithm learns their likes and dislikes, only see conservative content. But they will have suggestions of even more extreme Right Wing channels on the side. I too find more extreme opinion content suggested for me. My only line is I try and keep to fact-based news opinion sites.
I can see that for some moderate conservative its too hard to stay away and not explore those other dangerous RW conspiracy theory channels that are suggested on their screens. It can get to the point that you are steered and herded until you have whittled your choices down to only those ones fulfilling your most dire crazy fears to explain the world to you. Its too easy to get caught in the web that you only you, and the ones who understand like you do, know about the world wide conspiracy of Jewish Laser ships for instance. It is insidious on the right, where normally good people, who used to rely on facts, now are told facts don't matter. Its all about YOU getting what YOU think YOU deserve. Fuck the government, fuck the immigrants, fuck the libtards and bleeding hearts.
*This was a post in another thread but I was encouraged to make it a full OP myself. I've re-edited it.
...If they ever get all three branches. I'm not saying they will this time, but hey, if enough traditional Republicans stay home, even though now they react positively towards Trump in polls, and/or Trump does some really really stupid shit in the months before the election in a desperate move, who knows? Democrats better be prepared for that. And I hope they say "screw bipartisanship" and first thing, rubber stamp all the 200+ bills that Democrats have already put into the inbox for the Senate. Raising the minimum wage, and enacting stricter gun background checks, dreamer legislation, to name a few that would be done quickly.
That would only be the beginning. Create a new "fairness act" requiring any network or radio station be held accountable for propagating lies. That or be forced to not use the word "news" for their network. And that also would include large social media platforms that distribute political ads like FaceBook. And that radio daytime political talk should be balanced.
Then go after gerrymandering all across the country. Make it a federal oversight.
Make federal elections.....actually have federal oversight. Paper ballots unless it can be proven that a machine cannot be hacked, and that there are paper trails.
Start to form the initial stages of transforming the medical system into a single payer funded system. Whether its a more gradual method or not.
I'd go further even. Pass new legislation and a law that would eliminate the earlier Citizen's United legislation. So that, much like the ACA, the SCOTUS had to rule that it is new law, no matter how conservative they were. And work to make federal elections publicly funded. Which would also by its nature eliminate CU. Also require networks to provide for free equal time for both parties. These networks are privileged to occupy the "public airwaves" to make their billions. They should be required to give back to their country by providing free air time for candidates, as is the case in many western democracies, to debate or give equal time statements. So at least that does not have to come out of the public funding. Only advertisements.
And then appoint two more supreme court judges. Nothing in the constitution saying you can't.
This perhaps should be done first. Make everything else easier. And all we'd be doing is evening up the two they stole from us.
Start looking into eliminating the Electoral College.
Oh....some will say, That's too much too soon. Bullshit. I'm sorry to admit Republicans are way ahead of us in this tactic. You KNOW Republicans will oppose anything, even the mildest gun restrictions for instance. So do what they do to us, overwhelm them with legislation. And real change.
Would there be a chance the MSM will be frothing in their talking head mouths every day? Pundits like Clapper going 180 for instance? Yes. But the plan would be to be able to introduce Americans to the possibilities. To also show that they are not the "do nothing Democrats". Love what they do or not.
Might this make any 3 branch Democratic administration a one term admin? Especially if the "normal" MSM also piles on with Fox News? Maybe. But we should be playing a long game. We must stop our shortsightedness. The idea is to get these accomplishments either done or started, and catapult them into the national discourse, from then on. Make them real. Even if for a moment. Because that might be all we need in comparison to any next Republican majority when it tries to take those advancements away from folks.
Personally I think it would galvanize our side. It would garner more voters for us because they'd see us do more than incremental advancements, that promptly get reversed at the next Republican administration. Such drastic changes would be difficult to overturn quickly, especially when many have gotten a taste of the pro-people bills that they were just starting to take advantage of. Dare them to take it away.
And maybe a new Republican admin would be able to reverse some, but the trick is to pass so much that even if we eventually lose some, we will come out ahead.
As one small example to make my point, the ACA and the debate on health care, exposed the ugliness of the "pre-existing condition" excuse policy. Now, its tough sledding for Republicans to pass bills that allow insurance companies to once again use that weapon against coverage for their clients. By adding that requirement to the ACA, and also children being able to use their parents insurance longer, is forcing the GOP to relent now on those issues.
In the same way, many advancements like these would only be appreciated AFTER they existed. And even if only some survived, it would be worth it. So go full DEFCON if they ever hold all 3 branches. Stop trying to not offend all the left over deplorables that wouldn't vote for them even if it were between American Democrats vs. Russian mobsters.
But I don't hold out much hope they will follow that suggestion. They are too used to the cap-in-hand method. Many clinging to the old DLC Third Way and won't be pried easily from their big donors who would be freaking out and threatening them. But that problem will also disappear once publicly funding elections is a thing.
I think Democratic voters are ready and willing to embrace radical change...to improve theirs and their children's lives. And that's why we must elect a progressive, action taker, like Sanders or Warren. I think Biden, and Hillary, and Obama's "caution" against straying too far from the status quo is a huge mistake. That's the last message folks want to hear. Because, if we do have to face Trump, or even Pence, Cruz, Mitt, if Mitch decides to cut his losses, they will run on defending Trump's legacy and "accomplishments". We need our own big ideas to counter.
We need more than...."Vote for us and we will slowly start to chip away at what Trump has done, making sure to have bi-partisan support all the way, and maybe, just maybe, we will be back to where we were in 2016", minus the SCOTUS of course. Have courage to take a leap, instead of a cautious shuffle. Voters will not come out for that!
It is a sad day in journalism with the demise of Breaking the Set. Abby's show provided a much needed counter balance. A small shovel it was though, faced with the overwhelming mountains of MSM bullshit.
She constantly championed the idea of talking to and listening to spokespeople for alternative points of view that couldn't get a voice on the MSM. This brings me to one of her critiques, that she does not have the he-said she-said counter balance policy of network news but only has one side of the story. No she didn't have on establishment spokespeople, but there are enough stations and networks that ONLY have on that breed as guests. Of course there should be balance, but in this age post Fairness Doctrine, and corporate control over the news services, a small voice to speak up for the actual people is so overwhelmingly needed its ridiculous.
Another sticking point here on DU is that because she would agree to have on folks like Alex Jones and others at the far end of the spectrum she is ridiculed. I've never understood this. She purposely pushed the boundaries and at rare times even given voice to what others called nutjobs. Personally I think Alex Jones is a professional conspiracy theorist. Some of those theories I agree with, and others are way off base. He seems to embrace every and all theories as fact and for that he has zero credibility. But my opinion on Jones, or other guests should not be osmosis be bestowed on Abby. I respect much more a show that allows a variety of guests and alternate points of view as opposed to one that only allows safe guests that cater to their crafted audience. The countless other smart, important, educational guests far far outweigh any crackpots she's had on.
I know there are some on DU that are sucked into dismissing ANYTHING on her show because it is sponsored by Russian Television. Looking past the idea that Fox News is owned largely by Saudi Arabian sources, but even MSNBC is owned by GE, one of the largest MIC contractors,...yet we still listen to Rachel Maddow. Yes..of course the shows' focus is primarily on problems with US behavior, and NOT on Russia's problems. Again so what? My theory?..Putin knew he could not shut up more critical left wing voices outside his country, ones highlighting human rights, gay rights abuses, as well as critical of warmongering from Putin. So one way to counter it is to have his very own leftist voice to be critical of the US for the same crimes as his own. Just to stir up trouble. Because he knew that there were few other good English speaking left of center shows out there. Democracy Now being one of the best. So he allowed strong independent voices from the left like Abby's to rant and rave to their hearts desires on American based wrongdoing. Again...so what? HOW she was given a voice should not be the issue, but what she brings to the table. And what she has brought we have been starving for. At least I have been.
There has been way too much messenger bashing on DU lately and not enough listening to the message. She brought passion, dedication, integrity, and sometimes anger. The demise of Breaking the Set is sad, but maybe if she ever gets another show outside of RT, at least she won't be facing abuse by the purists and messenger bashers.
She starts the show by praising a victory for Net Neutrality, and ends it with her heartfelt goodbye @ 23:13
She is a warrior. I wish her the best and look forward to seeing where she will go to next!
Source: The Guardian
On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?" I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.
The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.) Clapper's lie to the Senate and to the public was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.
In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial and we'll get to them soon but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.
I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question and Putin's evasive response in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin-surveillance-us-leaders-snowden
I thought Snowden deserved to defend his reasons for asking Putin questions of Russia's surveillance operations. I can't believe how many even on DU think he is a some kind of traitor. And that his questioning of Putin was a part of some nefarious evil plot. I've heard views that are almost to the point of Snowden being some super secret international spy who is colluding with Dr. Evil to destroy the USA.
I will grant that I think Putin never would have allowed the question in a public forum like that if he thought he could not use it in some way. In this case most likely to be able to publicly deny his own country was as bad as the USA. It was for the Russian people's consumption. But I believe that Snowden simply took advantage of the opportunity to raise the question. To start asking questions like this in Russia too. I'm sure he was smart enough to realize that he wouldn't be getting the truth, he just wanted to get the ball rolling. Read the second paragraph of the excerpt.
"....On Wednesday, Thomas Facebook page again created some news, as the Bruins goaltender issued an unsolicited statement in support of Catholics.
I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom, Thomas wrote, followed by a quote from Martin Niemoller.
In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Communist, Niemollers quote begins. Then they came for the Jews, and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didnt speak up because I wasnt a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didnt speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Its likely Thomas is referencing the ongoing debate regarding the Obama administrations decision to require religious organizations like hospitals and schools to provide free birth control to employees. The decision has been opposed strongly, with Christianity Today writing an open letter that used the same Niemoller quotes to illustrate its point...."
So making available birth control is .....denying freedoms?
This follows his public snub of President Obama at the traditional meeting at the White House for the winning Stanley Cup team. The reason he gave for this?
I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government,
A multi-millionaire teabagger professional sports star. What is particularly appalling is his co-opting of Neimoller's famous quote which spoke about the creeping fascism of Nazi Germany.....to criticize a freedom of choice issue, on the side of NO choice. Not to mention the veiled implication of the present federal government with Nazi Germany.
This story is an example of how insidieous this poisonous fear based idiocy can spread to all professions and incomes.