Politics

Senate Panel Narrowly Rejects Net Neutrality

Until now, the internet has been one equal, neutral network. For those that don't know, there's a legislative battle for the future of the internet. The big internet service providers are proposing to split the internet into two networks: one network for their exclusive use and control, and the other for everyone else. Unfortunately, the U.S. Senate may be buying their idea: http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20060628/tc_pcworld/126280

Echo Chamber Project's Collaborative Editing Demonstration at Vloggercon

Kent Bye just posted his vloggercon presentation which includes a demo of his extremely novel "EchoChamber Project" -- "an open source, investigative documentary about how the television news media became an uncritical echo chamber to the Executive Branch leading up to the war in Iraq..." Kent is developing a Drupal-based collaborative editing approach that will allow the greater community to share video resources and contribute their distinct voices and perspectives. With so many alternatives to state-run media, perhaps we'll see if Stephen Colbert is right when he stated at the recent White House Press Club Dinner: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias."

The Future is Now. Wake Up Progressives!

William Greider argues in The Nation this week that the reigning political ideology has died, that the sea change is already upon us for a complete shift of the political landscape -- a chance that will be squandered if Democrats revert to giving in to corporatist expediencies. Progressives need a solid plan now, or else. See The Future is Now Some tidbits: "The economy exists to support society and people, not the other way around. Only government can liberate them from the harsh rule of the marketplace, the demands imposed by capital and corporations that stunt or stymie the full pursuit of life and liberty in this complex industrial society. This very wealthy country has the capacity to insure that all citizens, regardless of status or skills, have the essential needs to pursue secure, self-directed lives. This starts with the right to health, work, livable incomes and open-ended education, and to participate meaningfully in the decisions that govern their lives. The marketplace has no interest in providing these. It is actively destroying them.
Gregory Heller Profile Photo

An Inconvenient Truth

Last night I went to see An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore movie about Catastrophic Climate Change. I saw it with a group of friends and we went out afterward for dinner. Go see the movie. Every American should see this movie. You cannot watch it and wonder how things would be different if Mr. Gore had faught a little harder after the election of 2000. But that aside, seeing images of the Katrina Aftermath made me cry, literally. I could not watch it. I had a dream last night about the movie, in which I was moved to tears by the facts laid out so eloquently by Mr. Gore.

Revealing Truth in Political Speech with Mashup Tools

I am always fascinated by new visual ways of looking at old things, ways which reveal truth and meaning and intent previously hidden but secretly suspected. Take the example of the annual State of the Union speech, no doubt one of the most artificial and deliberately, if not cynically, constructed examples of speech of any kind, nestled as the crown jewel in the crown of synthetic political diatribe. Since the goal of modern political speech is such a game of obfuscation and misdirection, better tools to deconstruct the game to reveal the true intent and meaning of the gamers are the tools of true democracy.
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Mr. Rogers Rocks the Senate

1969: Fred (Mr.) Rogers testifies in regards to the cuts in Public broadcasting favored by Richard Nixon. I call it the $20 million dollar speech. http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/05/27.html#a8470
Henry Poole Profile Photo

1 in 136 U.S. Residents Behind Bars and Wall Street Cheers!

Elizabeth White with Associate Press writes "Prisons and jails added more than 1,000 inmates each week for a year, putting almost 2.2 million people, or one in every 136 U.S. residents, behind bars by last summer." Perhaps our journalists should dig a little deeper to discover who benefits from high incarceration rates. In Dillon Read & Co. Inc. And the Aristocracy of Prison Profits, Catherine Austin Fitts writes...in 1996, when Cornell went public, based on the financial information provided in the offering document provided to investors, its stock was valued at $24,241 per bed. This means that for every contract Cornell got to house one prisoner, at that time, their stock went up in value by an average of $24,261. According to prevailing business school philosophy, this is the stock market’s current present value of the future flow of profit flows generated through the management of each prisoner. This, for example, is why longer mandatory sentences are worth so much to private prison stocks. A prisoner in jail for twenty years has a twenty-year cash flow associated with his incarceration, as opposed to one with a shorter sentence or one eligible for an early parole. This means that we have created a significant number of private interests — investment firms, banks, attorneys, auditors, architects, construction firms, real estate developers, bankers, academics, investors among them— who have a vested interest in increasing the prison population and keeping people behind bars as long as possible.
Aaron Pava Profile Photo
Aaron Pava Profile Photo

Colbert Rips Bush at the White House Correspondents dinner

Colbert Roasts Bush

UPDATE: The YouTube videos (below) have been removed from the site. You can now see the video at Crooks and Liars. Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Fen Labalme Profile Photo from DCSF

copyright strengthens; free speech loses

From the virtual desk of Declan McCullagh: Congress readies broad new digital copyright bill (CNET):
For the last few years, a coalition of technology companies, academics and computer programmers has been trying to persuade Congress to scale back the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Now Congress is preparing to do precisely the opposite. A proposed copyright law seen by CNET News.com would expand the DMCA's restrictions on software that can bypass copy protections and grant federal police more wiretapping and enforcement powers.
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