Archive for the free speech Category

The Politics of Illusion

Posted in alternatives, American politics, analysis, banks, Barack Obama, Cheney, class, consciousness, constitution, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporations, corporatism, corporatocracy, crisis of democracy, crisis of legitimacy, democracy, Democrat, democratic deficit, Democratic Party, detention centers, elite, empire, empowerment, environment, fascism, Feudalism, free speech, freedom, geopolitics, global warming, globalism, globalization, imperialism, inspiration, labour, money, must-read, national democracies, neo-feudalism, neocon, neoconservatism, neoliberalism, Obama, peace, people's movements, police state, political economy, politics, propaganda, psychology, Republican, Republican Party, the world's other superpower, tipping point, trade, truth, U.S., Uncategorized, war, war on democracy, work on September 24, 2013 by jtoddring

Or,

Politics and the illusion of choice

“The politicians are there to give you the illusion of choice. You don’t have choice – you have owners. They own you. These rich cock-suckers own the entire country.” – George Carlin

(Apologies for the poor choice of wording, but he does nail it here. You can find this short, powerful statement on politics in the real world on youtube. See “The American Dream”.)

The problem is, the people are given a false choice: the Democratic Party works for and is owned by the same big business interests which run the Republican Party, as Chomsky and many others have rightly said, and as the majority of the people are fully aware. And both of them are taking us rapidly into a dark age of global technocratic neo-feudalism, which is frankly fascist in nature, and is run by and for the world’s banking and corporate elite.

Look at what Obama did – not just what he said he would do. “You shall know them by their fruits.” He spoke of ending war, and instead expanded it. He spoke of peace, but has consistently served the interests of the military-industrial complex.

He dressed up like Kermit the Frog, metaphorically speaking, and presented himself as a green and an environmentalist. Then he went on to support fracking, which is destroying ground water quality across the nation. He continues to support the Keystone Pipline (appropriately named, as it is a keystone to the US corporate empire and its ravenous thirst for energy) and the burning of the Canadian Tar Sands – which, if allowed to continue, will be a disaster of global proportions. And he has catered loyally to Monsanto and the genetic engineering lobby, with serious and grave dangers for human health and even greater dangers with regards to global food security and the viability of continued food production on earth for human beings.

He presented himself as a populist, but then went on to hand the banking elite trillions of dollars of the people’s money, and bailed out the banks instead of the people; and then told the people “help is coming” – help which has never materialized, of course, since the government is broke, thanks to the bail-outs to the bankers, the continued policy of off-shoring of production and capital, the continued de-industrialization of the nation, the continued disastrous wars abroad and the whore-like service to the military-industrial-security complex and the financial elite, which, together, now rule the nation.

Obama posed as a democrat, a populist, a progressive and a friend of the people, and then intensified the Bush/Cheney/neo-con war on democracy, civil liberties and the Constitution, and further accelerated the creation of a police state at home, while giving the corporate and financial elite pretty much whatever they want.

Change? What change? Obama is Dick Cheney on steroids, with a pretty PR job and slick speech writers. He is a whore to Wall Street. His actions have proven it beyond any reasonable doubt. This man should be in prison, not running the country.

(Actually, he knows very well he doesn’t run the country – he serves the business elite who run the country, which is how and why he got into power in the first place.)

And by the way, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party – the two parties of the US branch of global corporate rule – are both deeply committed to abolishing all of the gains made by the people over the past two hundred years. They are both committed to returning us to Dickensian times, to the glory days, the golden age of unfettered capital, when there was no minimum wage, no social security or economic security of any kind, no restrictions on child labour, environmental degradation or workplace safety, and no right to organize or form unions for collective bargaining or simple self-protection; the days when the vast majority of people were so destitute and desperate that they would work for anything, even starvation wages, and the business class could rape and pillage freely, without any constraints, to their hearts’ content, and to the last dying gasp of their worker drones, who live little better than slaves.

Both the Republicans and the Democrats are committed to the continued off-shoring of production and capital, the continued de-industrialization of the nation, which means the creation of a largely jobless society and the third-worldization of the country – and the remainder of the world – in the drive for ever more astronomical profits and riches for the fraction of a percent of the population who are the ruling elite. It’s just a matter of whether you want the floor pulled out from underneath you, on the installment plan, by way of painful little pieces being cut away daily, or whether you want to take it on the chin with the Republicans, and get the blood-letting over with all at once. Either way, it is the same agenda, and the results will be indistinguishable in the end – because they work for the same people!

Both of the major US political parties are committed to increasing the already stratospheric wealth and power of the corporate and banking elite who have bought and purchased these parties, and whom they loyally serve – as their actions make abundantly clear. Anything that stands in the way of these core objectives must be demolished, and is actively being demolished – including the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the Geneva Convention, the UN Declaration of Human Rights, all environmental, health and labour standards, media diversity, freedom of speech or the right to protest or even publically assemble peacefully for any purpose – other than sports games and other distractions, since the policy of “bread and circuses” is almost as core as the policies of “divide and conquer” and rape and pillage; the demolition of any meaningful sense of authentic democracy, actual freedom for the overwhelming majority of the people, and even the ability of the people to think for themselves, or to unite to discuss or pursue their common goals in solidarity and with the power of uniting the people. All these things stand in the way of ever increasing wealth and power for the few, so all of these things must be destroyed, and are now actively being destroyed. Those who are awake have seen this happening for some time now. It is high time the rest of the people woke up, before they get to the end of the cattle chute, and find out first hand, and most painfully, where all of this is leading.

In a word, what the business elite who control both major political parties in the US want, is a global labour camp – a global prison planet, where the vast majority of the people live in a sea of poverty, the great ocean of the ever-growing underclass, and the lucky few who have “jobs” are willing to work for the lowest possible pay, with zero security, so that they will be terrified of saying a word or making a peep about their abysmal lives and working conditions – and meanwhile, and of course, as the primary objective to all of this, the super-rich corporate elite can live like pharaohs on their private islands, in mansions and yachts, sipping champagne or quaffing Scotch and caviar, surrounded by private armies, heavily armed henchmen and security barriers, while the world slowly bleeds – or rather, is bled – to death.

They want a gulag. They want a return to feudalism. They are greedy little boys and girls, obsessed with their egos and their infantile sense of grandiosity, wanting ever more self-aggrandizement, and dreaming of being god-kings. It would be laughable, were it not also pathetic, and truly dangerous in the extreme.

We have seen such patterns in the past. Every empire has fallen, and every would-be Tzar or Caesar has failed in the end, and has tumbled and crumbled to dust. But that does not mean that these trends are not dangerous nonetheless. They are, and extremely so.

No, their is no real difference between the long-term trajectory, motives or agenda of either of the major US political parties. They are the parties of corporate rule, the parties which represent the aggressive drive to return us to the glorious reign of feudal kings and lords, sweatshops everywhere, and detention centres – labour camps – for those who are displeased with this arrangement of affairs. The only real difference between them is that the Democratic Party is far better at public relations, or what the industry itself calls “image management.” Either way, you get war, a police state, the destruction of the Constitution, Bill of Rights and civil liberties, a war on democracy and a steady drive towards a kind of global neo-feudalism under corporate rule. There is no real choice between them. They represent the same interests – those of the global business elite – and their long term objectives are virtually indistinguishable. These are the unpleasant facts of the matter.

So long as the Obamaphiles continue to prop up this failed regime – this regime which has pushed forward the Bush/Cheney/neo-con agenda further than that giddy little George Junior ever likely dared to dream; and pushed further ahead with the same policies of imperial warfare abroad, and the destruction of democracy, the Constitution and civil liberties at home, with the continued drive towards a police state – until this regime of Obama/Wall Street/neo-cons in neo-liberal Democratic guise and disguise is ended and brought down, there will be no real change. Let’s be perfectly clear on that.

The real choice is not between two parties of corporate rule, but whether we, the people, will continue to play along with this losing game, this deal with the devil; or whether the people will rise and reclaim their power.

When, not if the people rise to reclaim their power and their future, the game will be over, for the people always hold the greater power. Mark my words. Of this you can be sure. And the tipping point is fast approaching.

Look at the fall of the Soviet Empire. When the crisis of legitimacy reached a tipping point, the final threshold, the people threw off the old empire like water shaken off a dog’s back, and the USSR and five other Communist regimes collapsed, virtually overnight.

The same is coming to the West. This empire will not last forever – this empire of neo-feudal global corporatism. But, it will be deadly in its destructiveness and in the suffering and misery it causes, so long as it continues. Therefore, let it be brought down swiftly and decisively, and now, by peaceful means, by the people rising to reclaim their power.

It is time.

We, the people, the other 99.99%, can and must challenge the ruling order, which is rapidly devolving into a kind of neo-feudal, global corporate rule. The people always have the greater power, but in order to exercise our power, we must first recognize and embrace it. We can start by inspiring and empowering ourselves and one another. We must also unite the people. United, the people will be victorious. Divided, they will continue to be subjugated, and they will be doomed to great and increasing sufferings and tyranny.

Empower, inspire and unite the people. The rest will follow naturally from there. Remember, all empires fall, sooner or later. This too shall pass. It is up to us to hasten the transition to a better world, and now.

J. Todd Ring, September 24, 2013

An Outbreak of Democracy in America?

Posted in Barack Obama, Clinton, Democratic Party, free speech, Hilary, Media, Obama, police state, politics, Republican, Ron Paul, U.S. on May 17, 2007 by jtoddring

The Republican Party and corporate media are scared – actual democracy is threatening to break out in America.

Ron Paul is under attack by the Republicans – because he is a serious threat to business as usual. Who is Ron Paul? He is a maverick Republican candidate for the up-coming U.S. presidential election, and perhaps the only hope that the U.S. has of averting a full-blown police state. That may sound extreme, but it is quite possibly the case. No other candidate that stands a chance of winning the coming U.S. presidential election has any spine when it comes to abolishing the draconian and anti-democratic thrust of the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act, which, along with executive signing statements and other maneuvers, have gone a long way toward institutionalizing executive privilege and the of undermining constitutional democracy.

Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton both voted not only to instate the Patriot Act, which effectively nullifies the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, but also, more recently, to extend it and to make 14 of its provisions permanent. The mainstream Republican candidates are no better.

Anyone who has kept abreast of U.S. politics should know that America is in crisis, and democracy is at stake. Ron Paul needs and deserves support. If there are American citizens reading this, please learn more about Ron Paul. Whether or not you support him, if you value democracy or freedom of speech, then you must defend his right to participate in the electoral and democratic process without being blackballed, silenced or buried under the weight of corporate media influence. The grassroots love him, and he is apparently in the lead in polls for the GOP nomination. Speak now. Time is short.

With the corporate media shutting out the legitimate candidates in the American presidential race – the only ones with integrity, such as Kucinich and Paul – the internet has become the primary political organizing tool. If you are reading this, you are in the thick of it. Make it meaningful.

Below is the full email sent from the social networking Facebook group, Dr. Ron Paul for President.

Action Alert: Keep Ron Paul In The Debate
Neo-Con Republican Elite Seek To Silence Front-runner
Sign the petition (http://www.petitiononline.com/r0npaul/petition.html), jam the phone lines (1-202-863-8500), save free speech and the electoral process
Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Prison Planet
Thursday, May 17, 2007

From Fox News, to GOPAC to factions of the Republican Party, the Neo-Con elite have sworn to crush free speech, kill the electoral process and kick the clear frontrunner – Congressman Ron Paul – out of the debates. Only by taking immediate action can we fight back against these anti-American enemies of freedom.

Ron Paul’s message of limited government, personal liberty, abolishing the IRS and bringing U.S. troops home for good resonates with the mass body politic of the American people – which is exactly why the establishment are attacking the Congressman and attempting to smear him from every angle.

Now the Michigan chapter of the Republican party wants to kick Ron Paul out of the debates altogether, despite the fact that he won both debates, crushed his nearest rivals in the polls and is clearly the frontrunner for the candidacy.

This is akin to an analogy where the Mafia owns nine of the ten horses in a race. The only horse that isn’t owned by them is the frontrunner and is a full length ahead. Now the mob boss simply wants to rig the race by shooting that horse dead in broad daylight.

Let these enemies of free speech know that there is an army of informed and outraged activists holding their feet to the fire and demanding that Ron Paul be included in all the subsequent GOP debates. If the Congressman is a “second tier” candidate as they claim then why are we witnessing a concerted effort to silence and censor Ron Paul?

Why are these bullies attempting to destroy the electoral process?

This is an action alert – we need everyone to flood the RNC phone lines with their support for Ron Paul and for keeping him in the debates.

ACTION: Call the RNC now at 1-202-863-8500 – jam their phone lines and let them know that we will not tolerate any effort on behalf of any faction within the GOP to silence Ron Paul or kill the electoral process!

Tell them you are extremely displeased with Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis who is leading this scurrilous, undemocratic, unpatriotic, un-American charge against a real hero.
Sign the petition at http://www.petitiononline.com/r0npaul/petition.html

PLEASE SPREAD THIS INFORMATION TO THE FOUR CORNERS OF THE INTERNET!

P.S. Please join all other Ron Paul support groups on facebook or elsewhere on the internet in solidarity with our fellow patriots.

Kudos to Alex Jones. I may disagree with him on many important points, but he is totally solid on this issue.

JTR

For more background on Ron Paul, see:

Ron Paul: Honest Abe Lives

For a critical perspective on Democratic lovable Barack Obama, as well as Hilary Clinton and the rest of the Democrat and Republican heirs to the dynasty see:

My Buddy Obama

Freedom of the Press & The Internet

Posted in blog, blogging, Bush, Canada, Canadian, Chomsky, class, corporate fascism, corporate rule, corporatism, CRTC, democracy, empire, empowerment, fascism, free press, free speech, freedom, freedom of the press, globalism, human rights, internet, Media, net, net neutrality, NSA, police state, policy, political economy, political theory, politics, propaganda, social theory, sociology, U.S., web on March 17, 2007 by jtoddring

Freedom of the Press & The Internet

Why it matters, what is to be done:

The internet has become our town hall – particularly so since the mainstream media is neither a free press nor democratically controlled, but is dominated by a very few corporate voices who control the media by controlling advertising revenues, or who simply own the media outright. (When asked how corporations control the media, Noam Chomsky replied, “They own it. You don’t ask how corporations control GM!”) Given that free speech and freedom of the press are essential prerequisites to a functioning and authentic democracy, and given that freedom of the press cannot coexist with the present framework of corporate media monopolies, the internet, therefore, has become vital to democracy.

 

 

The Context: Media cartels do not constitute a free press

“To make informed decisions, citizens need a wide range of news and information. They also need access to a broad and diverse array of opinions and analyses about matters of public interest. Journalists are important providers of such information, as are the information media that transmit such material. This is why the freedom of the press is widely recognized as a central pillar of any democracy…

“Public debate based on differing views is the cornerstone of democracy, and the news media provide a vital space where that debate is carried out. The right of proprietors to voice their opinions on their editorial pages has long been considered fundamental to freedom of the press. Difficulty arises, however, if one proprietor owns so many media outlets that his or her opinions crowd out others…

“It is impossible to have democracy without citizens and impossible to exercise meaningful citizenship without access to news, information, analysis and opinion. The core of this report addresses crucial factors related to the exercise of citizenship. The public interest in healthy and vibrant news media is as important as the public interest in the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.”

– Final Report on the Canadian News Media,
Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications,
June 2006 (original emphasis)

 

A free press, free expression – it’s the last line of defense for all the other freedoms.… No matter how imperfect things are, if you’ve got a free press everything is correctable, and without it everything is concealable.”

– Tom Stoppard, Night and Day.


Large multi-national corporations already control the vastly greatest share of the mass media. Five corporations control the bulk of Canadian media. Six corporations control over 80% of the broadcast media in the U.S. Radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, satellite and cable are controlled by a handful of corporate giants, with only the periphery of media outlets left to represent or give voice to the 99.9% of the population that is not the media-dominating elite investment class. With media monopolies such as this, there is no free press, save for a few voices on the margins that reach only a small percentage of the population. The media barons effectively shut out the majority of perspectives, save for those that fit closely enough with that of the investment class. In terms of mass-communication networks, the only free press we now have in either Canada or the U.S. is the internet. And now the corporate communications monopolies want to take control of that too.


The Corporate Take-Over of the Internet Must Be Stopped

As has been said, the internet has become our town hall, as well as our town square: it is the place where open and free democratic debate and discourse can still happen, can still flourish, and does still flourish; and this is particularly important since the mainstream print and broadcast media are dominated by a handful of corporate voices, who all speak within the same extremely narrow band of opinion and perspective. What the telecom giants want, is to take out town hall and town square, and erect a twenty foot fence around it, topped by razor wire, leaving only a few gates for their friends: those who have the resources to pay the steep toll fee, and who furthermore, do not excessively offend the lords of the town square. This is unacceptable, and this is anti-democratic.

In the U.S., a legal battle is under way to preserve freedom of the press and free speech on the internet. Three corporate telecommunications giants have been busy lobbying political representatives to pass legislation that would grant them control of the internet, as effective gatekeepers, making the net, not a free superhighway of information available to everyone, but a high-fee toll highway, with the highest bidders having full access, and the rest of the populace having their voices muted by the inability to pay the steep tolls. This is one facet of a larger struggle to protect democracy, free speech and human rights from a broad-scale corporate assault. It is critical that the internet remain free and open to all.

While in the U.S. the campaign to save the internet has become a broad-based mass movement of real power, in Canada, the issue is not even on the radar. But in Canada as well, the combination of corporate lobbying by telecommunications giants, deregulation and the oligopoly of telecom corporations, is likewise threatening the free, open and democratic nature of the internet. This cannot be taken lightly. There is virtually no space for democratic debate or dialogue in Canada or the U.S. now in absence of the internet. The internet must be kept a public domain, dominated by none, and accessible to all. If we had had any sense, we would have guaranteed the same for the broadcast media of tv and radio. It’s not too late to return to that issue. And it’s not too late to save the internet, if we act now.


Save Community Access Programs

With large numbers of people having limited or no access to the internet, these people, these citizens, are functionally shut out of the democratic debate and dialog. They can be spectators, but not participants; and democracy is not a spectator sport: democracy, by definition, cannot function or exist without citizen participation. To allow large numbers of people to be shut out of the democratic forum is unacceptable for a democratic nation – or one that aspires to be so. For this reason, free, universal public access to the internet should now be regarded as a basic right in every democratic society.

The Community Access Program of Canada, which provides free, universally accessible internet access to people who would otherwise not have this, is therefore vital, and is a matter of upholding basic rights and freedoms for all. The funding, which has been eliminated, must be re-instated now.

Conclusion

Are we or are we not a democratic society? If we answer yes, or if we value democracy, regardless of how we answer that question, then words and sentiment must be combined with action. Rhetoric alone will not do. These basic values are too important to leave to speech writers and PR teams. They require commitment and they require tangible expression in our communities, nation and world. The CAP program is one such expression of the reality of our commitment to democratic values. The preservation of net neutrality and free speech on the internet is another, even more fundamental. If we do value democracy, we need action on these issues now. Otherwise, any pretense about democratic values should be abandoned.

J. Todd Ring,

March 16, 2007

 

 

 

Save Community Access Programs

Your Media: Preserve Freedom, Diversity, Independence

* Save the Internet : Fighting for Internet Freedom

Canada Sleeps Through War to ‘Save the Internet’

Tory documents cast doubt on Net neutrality

BBC Reveals U.S. Military Plans to Control Internet

Join the Blue Ribbon Online Free Speech Campaign!

Electronic Frontier Foundation

irrepressible.info

OpenNet Initiative

CitizenLab

Psiphon

Tor Privacy Software

Journalists Question Media Ownership in Canada

CRTC delays hearing but mergers still on

Canadian Media Ownership Too Concentrated – Poll

Canada’s Media Monopoly

Concentration of Newspaper Ownership: Royal Commissions of 1970, 1981 – no action yet

Final Report on the Canadian News Media: June 2006

Defend the Press

PR Watch

Project Censored

 

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting

The Power of Nightmares: BBC Documentary Shreds the War on Terror Myth

The Responsibility of Intellectuals

Manufacturing Consent – excerpts

Necessary Illusions; Thought Control in Democratic Societies – Noam Chomsky


 

 

Excerpts from the Final Report on the Canadian News Media,

Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications, June 2006

“Watch dogs that do not bite”

“Two federal agencies administer the legislation and regulations that have an impact on the corporate practices of Canadian news gathering organizations. The Competition Bureau is responsible for matters relating to the Competition Act, including media mergers that might affect competitive markets. The CRTC regulates the broadcasting system; changes of ownership that involve broadcasting licences must have its approval…

“A history of the approach of the Competition Bureau and the CRTC in their respective treatment of news gathering organizations and news media is available in a paper prepared for this Committee by Professor Richard Schultz.[15] It concludes that the Competition Bureau has had a narrow focus on advertising markets and the CRTC has largely set aside its concerns about news and information. Instead, the CRTC focuses on “cultural” issues, i.e., policing Canadian content….

“As for media concentration and cross-media ownership, the current regulatory system offers little protection against particular adverse effects of ownership concentration on the diversity of voices….rules to prevent high levels of concentration of ownership of media properties, either in particular regions or within the country as a whole, do not exist….

“The media’s right to be free from government interference does not extend, however, to a conclusion that proprietors should be allowed to own an excessive proportion of media holdings in a particular market, let alone the national market. Yet the current regulatory regime in Canada does little to prevent such an outcome….

“As this report has pointed out several times, an important element of a free press is that there be a variety of different sources of news and opinion. This can only be guaranteed if there is a plurality of owners. The country will be poorly served if as few as one, two or three groups control substantial portions of the news and information media in particular markets or within the country as a whole….

“The Committee’s 40 recommendations are guided by the conviction that the more owners, the better. In the Committee’s view it is imperative that the Broadcasting Act and the Competition Act be amended. Without changes to these two pieces of legislation, it will be impossible to develop a mechanism that allows discussion of the public interest in media mergers…

It is impossible to have democracy without citizens and impossible to exercise meaningful citizenship without access to news, information, analysis and opinion. The core of this report addresses crucial factors related to the exercise of citizenship. The public interest in healthy and vibrant news media is as important as the public interest in the rights and freedoms of individual citizens.”

– Final Report on the Canadian News Media,
Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications,
June 2006