Archive for the ‘liberalism’ Category

My liberal identity!

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a class traitor–the little guy is getting screwed and too stupid to realise they are being screwed.

How to Win a Fight With a Conservative is the ultimate survival guide for political arguments

My Liberal Identity:

You are a Working Class Warrior, also known as a blue-collar Democrat. You believe that the little guy is getting screwed by conservative greed-mongers and corporate criminals, and you’re not going to take it anymore.

Take the quiz at www.FightConservatives.com

Daniel Kurtzman divides the conservative movement into several cleverly named segments:
(1) Rapturfarians–Christian fundamentalists.
(2) Enron-omists–über capitalists.
(3) Big Brethren–militant authoritarians.
(4) Gunfederates–people with confederate flags and gun racks in their pickup trucks.
(5) Spongebob-ophobes–militant anti-gay activists.
(6) Crusadomasochists–imperialistic neoconservatives.

Posted 13/07/2011 by lacithedog in liberal, liberalism, liberals

The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized


Tired of the astroturf, corporatocracy apologists? Do you believe in peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment?  Then clear your calendar for the 6th, the 7th, the 8th…however long it takes for the Obama Administration to yield to key progressive demands, including immediate withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and the other wars. Participants are being asked to sign a pledge to attend at http://october2011.org.

Join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011.

October 2011 is the 10th anniversary of the invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of the 2012 federal austerity budget. It is time to light the spark that sets off a true democratic, nonviolent transition to a world in which people are freed to create just and sustainable solutions.

See also:
SYNDICATED COLUMN: The Revolution Will Not Be Deactualized

Holy Astroturf, Batman!

This photo has been reblogged from Liberals Are Cool and Look At This Fucking Teabagger

If we listen to the USMSM (which includes US Public broadcasting), the “Tea Party movement” is truly a viable, grassroots movement rather than astroturfed horseshit.

2,000 people were expected at a Tea Party rally in South Carolina, just 30 showed up after Donald Trump cancelled his appearance with Gov. Nikki Haley (R), according to the Columbia State. The picture above from the rally is truly priceless for showing how much the “Tea Party” is a creation of US MSM.

The problem is that US MSM refuses to acknowledge the progressive viewpoint. How many people have heard of “the People’s Budget” proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus for Fiscal Year 2012? Instead of heading on a crash course for a US Default, the “the People’s Budget” eliminates the deficit in 10 years, puts Americans back to work and restores our economic competitiveness while protects Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and responsibly eliminates the deficit by targeting its main drivers: the Bush Tax Cuts, the wars overseas, and the causes and effects of the recent recession.

Why do we hear about the Tea Party initiatives, but not the “the People’s Budget”? Might it have something to do with US MSM being controlled by a few large corporations?  They even control “Public Broadcasting (USPM=US Public Media)” through underwriting so that even that avenue may provide more in-depth coverage than Fox News,  USPM is nearly as biased as Fox when it comes down to coverage.

See also:
6 Tips For Spotting Astroturf
The Corporate Accountability Project
Look At This Fucking Teabagger

Remember when?

OK, this message is making it’s way around the internet and I’m happy to share it:

Remember when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, AmeriCorps, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, spilled oil in the Gulf of Mexico, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah, me neither. Please share this message.

Stop Blacking Out Progressive Protests

Ever notice how progressive events and speakers don’t get too much air time on US media? Here’s an example<

A sparsely attended Tea Party rally in Washington, D.C., on March 31 in support of federal spending cuts received generous media attention. One report (Slate, 3/31/11) suggested there was “at least one reporter for every three or four activists,” and a Republican politician joked that there might be more journalists than activists at the event.

An antiwar rally in New York City on April 9 was in some respects very similar. Protesters were speaking out on an equally timely issue (wars in Afghanistan and Libya), and connecting them to the budget and near-government shutdown in Washington.

The difference? The ratio of activists to journalists. The antiwar protest had thousands of attendees–and received almost zero corporate media coverage

This is despite the progressive events putting out extensive media outreach. What gives here?

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR.ORG) has noted this phenomenon before. It’s time for to media explain why it seems that any Tea Party event, no matter how small, is considered far more newsworthy than progressive citizen activism. Now, it has a petition drive to get more attention to this lack of media attention:

Thousands marched against war in New York City on April 9. Two thousand protested the Koch brothers in Washington, D.C. Neither event was covered by major media. A sparsely attended Tea Party rally just a few days earlier, though, was big news. We call on news media to explain the journalistic principle that makes thousands of progressive activists far less newsworthy than dozens of Tea Party protesters.

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/592/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6545

What a ‘Liberal Media’ Might Look Like

From consortiumnews.com via Keeping the public in Public Broadcasting

What a ‘Liberal Media’ Might Look Like

By Lisa Pease
February 9, 2011

Editor’s Note: For decades now, the American Right has pushed the myth that the national U.S. news media is “liberal,” even though the owners are mostly wealthy corporations run by rich executives who generally favor Republicans over Democrats. And that was true even in the days before Fox News and right-wing-dominated talk radio.

Even the limited inroads of liberalism in media have been under pressure in recent days with MSNBC’s ouster of liberal icon Keith Olbermann and AOL’s purchase of HuffingtonPost (raising new questions about Arianna Huffington’s ideological sojourns). However, in this essay, Lisa Pease contrasts what today’s media is versus what a “liberal media” might look like:

I’m surprised that otherwise intelligent people continue to believe the myth that the media is “liberal.” I think it’s worth discussing what a liberal media would look like if we had one, so we can better understand that we don’t have one.

Let’s imagine a fictional cable network called LNN – the Liberal News Network. What might the morning news on such a channel be?

The show might lead with pictures of starving children all over the world, so that while you sat down to breakfast, you’d be reminded of just how lucky you were to have been born in the U.S., and how others are still very much in need.

Viewers would be encouraged to send in at least some of their morning latte money to feed a baby for a week. Each morning, the number of children who had been moved out of poverty would also be shown. If there were truly a liberal media, that number would be growing, daily, by leaps and bounds.

You would see pictures of the war – really horrible, tragic pictures, showing not just death, but the maiming, the suffering, the devastation to innocents we currently think of solely as “collateral damage.” Each day, the grievances of both sides would be fully aired.

We’d hear not only from our own soldiers but from soldiers we were fighting, so we could start to understand why they are fighting back. If we are truly the good guys, there’d be no reason for anyone to oppose us.

A truly liberal media would allow us to hear the other side so we could better understand how our actions are affecting others, and what we could do to improve relations with the ultimate goal of ending all wars.

Truly, fostering better communication skills, deploring greed, and promoting fairness would be keystones of this network.

The commentators would be drawn from not merely all nationalities, but all walks of life. Instead of recycling the same news and intelligence and government figures, commentators would be sought among farm workers and blue-collar workers as well as low-level white-collar workers. The view from the socio-economic top would be balanced by the view from the bottom.

On LNN, union issues would be a regular discussion. Are workers getting a fair shake? Are unions really helping their membership or are they getting too close to management? When do unions go too far?

The ecological “state of the planet” would also be a regular discussion. Audiences would learn the science behind pollution, so that they’d make the link between the chemical elements in the products they buy and the environmental damage caused at every point in the production chain.

Corporations that were finding a way to offset their environmental damage would be recognized as heroes, while those whose policies amounted to a hit-and-run on the environment would be publicly castigated at ever turn.

Truly educational information about child rearing would be offered. Are those soft drinks making your children obese? No amount of advertiser action would stop LNN from exposing such a connection.

Can yelling at your child be a form of abuse? A liberal media would talk about things many people would rather not think about.

A liberal media would not make us feel good all the time, but would poke at us and challenge us to be better parents, better neighbors, better people.

A liberal news channel would have a regular report about working conditions around the world. Would you still buy that piece of clothing if you knew it was sown under essentially slave-labor conditions, sometimes by children working 12 hours a day?

Would you admire China’s economy if you realized its coal-powered growth made it one of the most polluted places in the world? Would you travel to Thailand if you understood how much of the tourist economy depends on sex-slave trafficking dollars?

Or might you spend that money instead on a country that plowed the money received from tourism into a public fund from which all citizens who shared that country could benefit? Would you enjoy flowers sent to you on Valentine’s Day if you found those flowers had been picked by forced labor on farms where women routinely faced sexual harassment?

If we had a liberal media, we’d be hearing about other economic models around the world. When does capitalism work best? Would the answer be like what we hear from CNBC anchors who say capitalism should be unregulated – or “self-regulating” – allowing monopolies to take over, which then can raise prices and strangle our options?

A rising tide won’t lift all boats if it’s only happening in a private pool.

LNN would talk about the difference between labor-based income and non-labor-based income (passive income), and discuss how the upper class has kept the latter from the masses to preserve the power of the rich, and how we need to change that.

There are other models, even within our own country, such as the Alaska Permanent Fund, a fund that allows all citizens of Alaska to receive royalties on the oil recovered from their state.

All products come ultimately from some finite earth resource. Imagine if we all had a share of income generated from the products taken from the ground in our respective countries.

LNN would never shade the truth to further an agenda. The facts would be selective, necessarily, but extraordinary effort would be used to ensure all sides of an issue were fairly presented.

Note that, however, that does not mean all sides would be proportionally presented by certain measures. Although 20 percent of the people control 93 percent of the wealth, it does not follow that they should be allowed to control 93 percent of the media. The other 80 percent deserve a much larger say than they have.

Our fictional liberal network would be absolutely fearless in taking on corruption within our own government. A liberal media would relentlessly ferret out secrets, exposing them unless doing so would genuinely damage more people than would be helped.

Even “taboo” topics with strong factual support, such as the Kennedy assassination and the October Surprise case, would receive a fair hearing, on our mythical LNN.

A liberal media would talk seriously about the very real danger that the use of computers in our elections may be compromising our votes. Without a transparent system, without a way to genuinely audit, by hand and in public, election results, what’s to stop a computer voting manufacturer from building in hidden switches that allow the reprogramming of elections in undetectable ways?

Nothing, as this network would point out to us regularly until people filled the streets in protest, insisting on a change.

A liberal media would even dare to explore all the money in the sporting world and ask, is anyone really worth that many millions? Should there be a cap – or at least a significantly higher marginal tax rate – beyond which some of the money goes back into the communities that have to put up with the traffic, pollution, noise and drunken damage that accompanies such events?

Sure, keep your first $50 million. You worked hard, you risked your life, you earned it. But how much more than that does one ballplayer or owner need? If that cap allowed whole communities to be employed, would that be a worthy trade? A truly liberal media would open such discussions.

A liberal media would ask hard questions of corporations. If the product you create comes from a violence-torn region, where the violence comes over the fight for the minerals you need to make your product, what responsibility should the corporation have for that violence? What should the corporation give back to those areas to end the violence?

A liberal media would be inspiring. Every day, people who fought for justice and won would be highlighted. Legislators who took brave stands that helped the many, rather than the privileged few, would be lauded.

Shareholders who overthrew bad regimes within corporations, ushering in management that was more socially responsible would be featured. Class-action suits won against corporate polluters would be praised.

The values of fairness, equality, freedom of movement and opportunity and – perhaps especially – the freedom to imagine a better, more equitable future – would be the cornerstone of this liberal media network.

A liberal network would not treat opinions as news, nor facts as opinions. Viewers would be educated to quickly recognize the difference. And historical context would be brought into play.

Events from the past would be use to better inform our understanding of present events, because after all, everything is connected. Every event transpires based on what has led up to that point. There is no “spontaneous evolution” at play in world events.

LNN doesn’t exist, of course, and it’s no surprise why. Media depends on advertisers for sustenance. Major media outlets depend on major corporations. Major corporations don’t want you to hear the kind of stories mentioned above because then you might press them to change their ways, cutting into their profits. And that would be bad for business, even if it might be great for the planet.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t find good news on television. CNN, MSNBC, and even Fox, once in a while, produce useful and valuable stories. But not one of them shows you the spectrum of coverage demonstrated here.

There are a lot of points of view you never hear, a lot of stories never attempted. There are many places they dare not go, in their coverage.

There is no liberal network out there. There is no “fair and balanced” network out there, either. They are all unbalanced in favor of the corporate landscape from which their revenues grow.

Lisa Pease is a historian and writer who specializes in the mysteries of the John F. Kennedy era.

To join the Liberty Underground news service, email libertyuv at hotmail dot com with “join” for a subject. Here you can experience what is in fact “liberal media” — and see some of the best in populist political cartoons, as well.

Chris Hedges on the Death of Liberalism in the US.

I found this while looking for posts about Nixon’s “Liberalism” due to the rightward shift in US politics.

Journalist and author Chris Hedges delivers a lecture based on his book Death of the Liberal Class. Hedges argues that there are five pillars of the liberal establishment – the press, liberal religious institutions, labor unions, universities and the Democratic Party – but that these institutions have failed the constituents they purport to represent.

Some of Nixon’s liberal programmes:

* imposed wage and price controls.
* indexed Social Security for inflation.
* created Supplemental Security Income.
* created the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
* created Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
* promoted the Legacy of parks program.
* implemented the Philadelphia Plan, the first significant federal affirmative action program.
* dramatically improved salaries for US federal employees worldwide.
* signed a bill that lowered the maximum U.S. speed limit to 55 miles per hour to conserve gasoline during the 1973 energy crisis.
* established the Office of Minority Business Enterprise.
* On February 6, 1974, he introduced the Comprehensive Health Insurance Act. Nixon’s plan would have mandated employers to purchase health insurance for their employees, and in addition provided a federal health plan like Medicaid that any American could join by paying on a sliding scale based on income.

This list neglects the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. I would also toss in some of the gun control laws which are now being overturned (in particular waiting periods).

Video here

Liberalism and populism in the US.

I have to admit that I find the blog American Creation to be really interesting and informative. Which leads to their credit for having a post about William Hogeland (Hysteriography), which is a name I’ve encountered before since we share interests: in particular, early American insurrections and populism. Although, I have to admit his pieces in the Boston Review, Real Americans, and at New Deal 2.0, Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History, really struck a chord with me.

The left is often left wondering why its message is lost on the people. For example, I read a blog which made some wild claims about progressives being against “freedom”. Of course, the blogger in question probably has a different concept of the word freedom than I do if he dislikes the changes that progressivism has brought about: such as the pure food and drug act, the clean air and water acts, child labour laws, laws about safety in the workplace, and so on. Or is it a person’s right and freedom to want to be a slave?

The problem is that there is a strong anti-intellectual streak in the American population. As Hogeland points out “the main populist assault (During William Jennings Bryan’s time), just as today, was on common liberal modes of discussion, debate, and expertise.” There was the disgust with the East Coast, Elites, which today would be termed the “Within the Beltway mindset”. Hogeland takes his premise even further back at Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History going to the War for American Independence.

Liberals and Populism: An Uneasy History gets me thinking my usual question about how many of the founding fathers would have chosen to incite the masses had they known how hard the mob would be to control? As I said at American Creation, Especially since Samuel Adams wasn’t a populist! That is truly an interesting point. I know that he had made a comment about Shays’ Rebellion which would point to his being a strong denouncer of insurrectionism (“Rebellion against a king may be pardoned or lightly punished, but the man who dares to rebel against the laws of a republic ought to suffer death.”). Given that Sam Adams was prone to stirring up mobs as happened in the Boston Massacre and Philadelphia, this is truly a revelation!

Of course, this post may tend toward the elitism for which overeducated people such as myself, but one has to wonder how much the people who wanted independence at any cost would view the effect on US Politics (as opposed to the Tories who wanted any change to be done through legal means)? The problem is that the mob is not a body which can be controlled or is reasonable. One needs leadership. Or to quote James Madison:

From this view of the subject it may be concluded that a pure democracy, by which I mean a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be felt by a majority of the whole; a communication and concert result from the form of government itself; and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual. Hence it is that such democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their opinions, and their passions. Federalist #10