"America’s ‘establishment media’ is properly described as such precisely because their overarching objective is to promote and defend establishment interests in what they report to — and conceal from — their readers. That’s precisely why so many people are increasingly turning to other outlets that are emancipated from those biases — foreign media, the Internet, whistle-blowing sites — in order to remain informed."
From the pharaohs of ancient Egypt to the self-regarding thugs of ancient Rome to the glorified warlords of medieval and absolutist Europe, in nearly every urbanized society throughout human history, there have been people who have tried to constitute themselves as an aristocracy. These people and their allies are the conservatives.
The tactics of conservatism vary widely by place and time. But the most central feature of conservatism is deference: a psychologically internalized attitude on the part of the common people that the aristocracy are better people than they are.
Europe’s handling the revolutions in northern Africa plays out much the same as the United States’. Geopolitics and Trans-national corporate interests first. Democracy is generally a secondary concern for the West, as it makes the exploitation of natural and human resources all the more troublesome.
"Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini piped up. He spoke about the unrest in Libya, a country he claimed to know particularly well. He claimed that Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was the only person who could guarantee the country’s stability. The most important thing for now, he said, was preserving the country’s territorial integrity. His colleagues from Greece and Malta seconded his opinion."
But at least there’s this:
"German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, was one of the first to resume the conversation. ‘If that were our position, it would be a massive mistake and a betrayal of our fundamental values,’ he said. ‘Instead of worrying about Gadhafi, we should be happy when he’s gone.’"
Follow the Link at the top of this post to read the whole article. I’ll leave this little nugget to make my earlier point:
"The upheaval on the other side of the Mediterranean has caught the Europeans unprepared. For decades, they have fawned over the despots of North Africa because they promised both oil and protection against African refugees and Islamist terrorists. Diplomats from Helsinki to Rome gave little thought to the fact that these rulers were also denying their subjects basic human rights. The subject generally only came to mind once a year, when they filed away the latest annual report from Amnesty International."
"A child a day dies in war-related violence in Afghanistan. Children die in roadside explosions. They die in airstrikes. They die after militants lure them to carry suicide bombs, usually without their knowledge. They die in firefights. They are executed by the Taliban after being accused, sometimes correctly, of spying for the Afghan National Army. They are tiny pawns in a futile and endless war. They are robbed of their childhood. They live in fear, and surrounded by the terror of indiscriminate violence.”
Becoming comical? I’ve been following the Wisconsin labor protests since day one. The comedy has been on full display throughout.
Mr. Breitbart was effectively silenced when he came to Madison to speak to the approximately 50 jackasses who showed up to argue against their own self-interest. So, he just packs up, goes back to the safety of his hate-palace and makes up a bunch of bullshit, attempting to spew his bile on people who actually have the courage to stand up to a corporatist coup. At least he’s consistent.
“The documents published by WikiLeaks detailed for the world the widespread use of torture by Iraqi and Afghan security forces and the silent complicity of Washington. They confirmed that civilians, including children, are routinely murdered by occupation forces and that the killings are not investigated. The documents lifted the veil on our undeclared, black war in Pakistan, including drone strikes that have killed more than 900 civilians in Pakistan since Barack Obama took office. They shed light on the gross corruption, drug trafficking and crimes committed by the Afghan president as well as the reign of terror carried out by the Afghan National Army. These documents confirm that huge numbers of Iraqi civilians have been killed by U.S. troops at checkpoints, and that since the invasion tens of thousands of civilians have died as a result of the war. These documents illustrate in page after page that our government makes no effort to protect liberty, democracy or human rights, but instead prefers crude and brutal mechanisms of power.”—Chris Hedges: No Other Way Out - Chris Hedges’ Columns - Truthdig
This is painful to watch, but it serves as a good reminder of the intellectual dishonesty now on full display throughout the States as the poor and middle-class are asked to shoulder the costs of private sector externalities and risk-taking.
“We can choose to use new technology for radical positive change or let it be used against us. We can choose to keep the internet free, keep channels of communication open and dig new tunnels into those places where information is still guarded. Or we can let it all close in around us. As we move in to new digital worlds, we must acknowledge the need for honest information and free expression. We must fight to keep the internet open as a marketplace of ideas where all are seated as equals. We must defend our freedoms from those who would seek to control us. We must fight for those who do not yet have a voice. Keep telling your story. All must be heard.”—Presstorm » Anonymous: Open Letter To The World
<THIS WAS ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE ANONNEWS NETWORK. The Link above will take you there.>
OpWisconsin Press Release:
Dear Citizens of the United States of America,
It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch—the billionaire owners of Koch Industries—have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.
Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin. Governor Walker’s union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch’s have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state’s power supplies.
The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating ‘grassroots’ organizations and advertising campaigns to support them in an attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just a few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America’s broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers’ political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.
Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse - is complicit in these attacks. We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries’ paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom. To identify these brands, please look for the following logo anywhere on the packaging: <GP - GeorgiaPacific>
"The revolt in the Arab world is not merely against a resident dictator but a worldwide economic tyranny designed by the US Treasury and imposed by the US Agency for International Development, the IMF and World Bank, which have ensured that rich countries like Egypt are reduced to vast sweatshops, with half the population earning less than $2 a day."
“In contrast, Governor Walker’s position is tantamount to saying, ‘I won’t give you what you want today, and I forbid you to ask for it—ever.’ Even after unions have offered concessions on all the Governor’s budgetary demands, he persists in saying the unions’ rights must be curtailed. But how can a budget crisis be resolved by forbidding conversation and negotiation?”
“Just two weeks before the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) fully deregulated Monsanto’s Roundup Ready alfalfa, a senior soil scientist alerted the department about a newly discovered, microscopic pathogen found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready corn and soy that researchers believe could be causing infertility in livestock and diseases in crops that could threaten the entire domestic food supply.”—USDA Approved Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Warnings of New Pathogen
"You might think it’s all about what brings in the advertising dollars for Rupert Murdoch, CEO of Fox’s parent company, News Corporation. But it runs much deeper than that, involving key players at the Wall Street Journal, News Corp.’s crown jewel. The informal partnership between billionaire David Koch, whose campaign dollars and astroturf group, Americans for Prosperity, have fomented the Wisconsin crisis, and billionaire Rupert Murdoch, is profoundly ideological — the ideology being the exponential enrichment of the two men’s heirs, all dressed up in the language of libertarianism and free enterprise."
”’The Yemeni people would not keep silent on the blood of martyrs shed in Aden and will avenge it,’ Sheikh Hussein al-Ahmar said in a speech before a large gathering of tribesmen in northern Amran province, referring to deaths of antigovernment protesters in the southern city of Aden, according to local press reports. He also called for the overthrow the Saleh regime, and the gathering broke out in antigovernment chants.
The protesters are right to demand the full removal of Mubarak’s loyalists from the cabinet. The army has overreacted in this case. A post facto apology from the supreme council of the armed forces means very little compared to the symbolism of their violence against peaceful civil disobedience.
“Gadhafi pumped his fists and blew kisses to the crowd and told them to “get ready to fight for Libya, get ready to fight for dignity, get ready to fight for petroleum … Moammar Gadhafi is among you. I stand among the people and we will fight and we will kill them if they want.””—Noose tightens around faltering Libyan leader