One Year After The BP Spill


April 20th, 2011, marks the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

I mark the BP Spill as a point in time which it became even more clear to me that the United States government is invested in protecting corporations and industry over protecting its citizens from harm.

The reckless disregard for both human life and the environment of BP and Transocean has not met with any criminal prosecution. Serving as an example that a company is free to cause death and mayhem without any consequences but an individual who caused the death of eleven workers and poisoned the Gulf for decades to come would receive no such special treatment.

America continues to be a cowardly nation when it comes to holding the people responsible for the industrial homicide that took place one year ago.

Add atop all this that the government lied to the public regarding the location and magnitude of the spill on multiple occasions and approved a toxic dispersant that has been banned in the U.K. to be sprayed into the environment in quantities previously unheard of for use in an oil spill clean up.

Considering all this I don’t trust the EPA or the federal government when they proclaim the seafood as safe as the Gulf as non-toxic. The health and safety of the public is secondary to promoting the needs of the private sector industry forces, so if the feds and the EPA have to lie and cause a few people to get sick as a direct result then that is exactly what they will do.


As a single solitary citizen there is not much I can do to bring the inhuman monsters responsible for this to justice nor can I hope to see those in the EPA and the federal government who would lie to public be fired and replaced with people who would actually do their jobs rather than bend knee to the oil industry. Beyond voicing myself on a blog the only avenue I have to act upon is this: boycott BP forever.

A corrupt government we can change, though I don’t see it as an easy road it is entirely possible if people only stand together in a common cause. But changing a multinational corporation is much more difficult than changing a government and in all reality corporations are beyond all laws and beyond taking responsibility for the death and destruction they bring about in their narrow, greedy quest for ever-increasing profits. When faced with such a power the only recourse of a ordinary person is to not contribute to the empire of death with everyday purchases like gas or food.

When every former BP station has rebranded itself and the company is treated like the pariah they are in the United States then I might consider reviewing their corporate policies and considering putting an end to the calls for  boycott, but not a moment before.

If consumers continue to reward corporations guilty of industrial homicide with business then there shall never be any hope of a private sector that doesn’t cause these horrific disasters in the first place.

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Repost: Fox “Not-a-news-agency” News is Banned From White House Porch

Obama on FOX-thumb-340x229(Chicago Tribune: Swamp Politics)

Is it a good idea to single out just one outlet in the manner that The Obama White House recently has in the case of removing Fox Broadcasting from the press pool?


At first, I was in favor of the move to ignore the Fox Broadcasting Company by Barack Obama.

His efforts to clear his name on the website “Fight The Smears” stem almost entirely from Fox. He has every right to defend himself from these smear-merchants and radical right-wing propagandist supporters.

The right-wing lobby called “Fox News” (as in the cable pseudo-news) and “Fox News Talk” (as in the radio pseudo-news) is still “not a news organization” in my opinion. But I think this label should include everyone from Comedy Central to HLN to CNN to MSNBC, everyone except PBS and C-SPAN.

It’s been televised tabloidism in place of televised journalism for far too long. In my view.

Any White House that would send a clear signal that The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, Countdown, The O’Reilly Factor, and The Glenn Beck Show are all the same thing would be nothing but a benefit in this age of media hate & mass misinformation.

These programs are not news, they are purely entertainment television.

Each of these programs has an agenda, as does the network behind each.

There is nothing wrong with doing agenized news. But it is dishonest and unethical to claim objectivity if you are playing toward a specific political wing, or any specific agenda. This is the greatest offense of the so-called Fair & Balanced Fox Broadcasting. As a network they cater to right-wing political agendas and refuse to declare themselves as a format that promotes conservative ideology. In that case I see it as a function of false advertising on behalf of the network.

All these programs, it‘s important to point out, are television propaganda toward that agenda. Which might be only the agenda to make you laugh.

The broadcasting produced by this political lobby / news agency / entertainment format in only the viewing of it is not dangerous. It is taking these kinds of broadcasts as serious news formats that is problematic in a democratic society.

The informed viewing of propaganda is merely educational. However, to those who refuse to see the difference between opinions and facts the viewing of the propaganda of reckless liars, there is a dangerous situation produced.

Mine is a somewhat complex argument in regards to “The News Wars” between The Obama White House and Fox Broadcasting Company:

It is a good move that Obama is standing up to bad journalism mixed with bad business practices, but a bad move that he singled out Fox News alone when all the news agencies screw something up.

Fox News is just the biggest offender of the smears.

I believe radio and satellite should remain untouched by sweeping regulations, but televised broadcasting of race baiting and McCarthyism is just too much tabloidism for me to handle.

This sensationalist reporting on politics that has been going almost entirely due to Fox News is not exclusive to them, so I think it would be wise to pick out a few other agencies, perhaps CLEARCHANNEL and Comedy Central, to also declare as non-news formats.

It is clear to me when a news group is run by an agenda, thus becoming more like a political lobby than a news group, but it is not clear to everyone.

A President who stands for educating the public should seek to educate people on what exactly “bias” is, and hopefully shed some light on the issue.

The specific near-criminal acts of failure to disclose vital information of a story committed by Fox News should be spoken of plainly and openly if not handled more severely. This tactic of isolation is my only qualm with Obama’s approach to dealing with fake news.

If it is the desire of this White House to tackle the specific crimes against society that Fox has committed, then I would hope the case was made in specifics.

It is my personal view that a news group, of any sort, can lose it’s status as “press” if they fail to uphold the journalistic truth as a matter of course.

I believe Obama did not go far enough to fight unethical journalism and false reporting.

But I certainly agree with the point that Fox has become something other than a news agency when they promote bad journalism that is not related to their “opinion-makers.”

Why The Health Care Debate Is So Contentious

Even prior to the abortion issue being pointlessly dragged into the debate over health care reform the issue has been one of the most contentious debates I have ever seen in politics.

The question quickly becomes: Why?

I feel I have an answer, and it mirrors the matter of the abortion debate as well.

It is simple:

Both sides view the other as disingenuous and downright evil.

From the perspective of the anti-reformists all support for this bill is a disguised effort to destroy capitalism and / or expand the federal government to an unreasonable size.

From the perspective of the pro-reformists all rejection of this bill is a disguised effort to spread hatred, intolerance, racism and violence under the banner of a “tea party” and / or purely strategic politics of conservatives seeking to undermine all bills proposed under President Obama.

(There is, of course, a great deal more complexity at play here in both positions.)

In a situation where both groups view the other as “liars” there is no debate to be had. No discussion that will bare fruits. None.

The fear and lies surrounding this health bill entirely native to the rightwing has no bartering point from which to start from. There is no common ground to find with a person who lies about the record and rejects all evidence that does not compliment their existing preconceptions.

Throughout this year long national debate I have strived to pull the emotions out and put the facts in their place, but such actions only serve a purpose when there remains holdouts on both sides. In the course of this I have seen new levels of hostility directed at me personally more so then ever before in my experience.

I have never “unfriended” and “blocked” so many people in my entire ten-plus years on the Internet.

The incitement toward violence, the death threats, the partisan hate; all existed prior to the matter becoming national in the death threats against Democrats post-HCR. All of this existed in the venom directed at health reform advocates on a daily basis from individuals of a very low moral fiber and very poor understanding of democracy.

In matters discussing life and death, I’d rather not see so many and myself give in to fear; but it truly doesn’t surprise me in the least to see this country explode in mindless paranoia. Big changes equates to big fears, bad economy equates to paranoia on the rise.

In the solid matter of facts, this health bill is a net-positive for America.

But this issue will not lose any of it’s contentious nature no matter how many facts are interjected in the mass spreading of paranoid myths. For too many Americans it is simply easier to believe the worst, and the biased conservative media is sure to provide them endless piles of red meat.

Sane Society and Intellectual Honesty

Sometimes things I say confound people. They are talking to me via Facebook or chat room or email, and I say something like: “I think the term ‘intellectual honesty’ is a misnomer, just like the term ‘sane society.'”

I always manage to do these things where I make a complex statement, and it’s hard to jam the reasoning behind it into “140 characters,” so to speak.

This is why I love blogging.

I might lose just about all of you if I go on too long, but these URLs won’t go down so you can read my verbose verbage another time if you so desire. Like most who know a little about writing I know to kind of sum it all up in that last paragraph that everyone reads anyway.

Let’s start with “Intellectual Honesty” and why I call it a “misnomer”:

I am most certainly not saying that any person being intellectual is thereby being dishonest, by any means. The reason I believe the two words do not link is because the alternative is an impossibly. One cannot be dishonest in regards to your own personal reasoning and personal opinions, no matter if any facts collide with their intellectual position or not.

I can “intellectualize” any issue for you to the point that whatever provable facts and established evidence have far departed from whatever wide assertion I am making. You can find lots of examples of this on this very blog.

Whereas “honesty” relates to strict codes of precise reasoning that, as much as many desire them to, do not change at the whim of an individual. I believe the people screaming these false cries of “creeping socialism” are being “intellectually honest” with us, but they are still dishonest in their facts, in the labeling and on the raw record.

“Intellectual Honesty” is either one of two things: it is a given, where 100% of all people everywhere are “intellectually honest” so it is a redundant term; or it is a fallacy in that intellectualism may be in it’s nature honest but honesty is not by it’s nature intellectual. Either way I feel that this term doesn’t convey any kind of realistic view of the world, regardless of who is using the term.

Now on to “Sane Society”:

This term, to me, is a misnomer in complete and full. While one can glean and nit-pick through a society and raise up certain examples of sanity and good graces, there is a massive gap between that assessment and the picture of the whole.

I present to those believing that at a certain point we will attain a fully “Sane Society” here on planet Earth that to a certain degree establishments rely upon a certain amount of disorder. Utopian Society would be without need for “laws” or even “group morals” for all persons would never consider such acts that might disturb good public order and ethical treatment of others in first place. Other than for the sake of pomp and circumstance there would no need for “leaders” or anything but basic levels of “establishment” because all peoples everywhere would already understand and adhere to “Sane Society” principals. I believe a certain amount of chaos and disorder is inherent to the human condition itself, therefore while I enjoy musing over a “Sane Society” and the “Utopian Dream” I also view it as nothing but a muse in which to model a better world as opposed to the ultimate consequence of human progression.

What I am really talking about is the words we use and how we use them.

With the sharp increase in ad hominem attacks and red herring arguments in our lexicon, I can see how some might view these as less than important points. But I think these kind of issues are at the root of what is preventing good communication between opposing viewpoints in our society today. There is a strong need for a focus on critical thinking and making better arguments, and it starts with using language that makes real sense.

President of Fox News Lies Twice on ABC

 

Rodger Ailes, President of Fox News, appeared recently on ABC’s “This Week and was at long last confronted on his recent condoning of the most intense fear-mongering and incitement toward violence ever seen in modern U.S. politics & punditry via Glenn Beck of Fox News.

Ailes proceeded to make two non-factual statements and then attempted to dismiss the issue when confronted by Ariana Huffington. Two more pieces of misinformation to throw on the great pile of growing nonsense that is News Corp and Fox News. (And kudos to Ariana for bringing this topic to the table, as it is a very serious matter going mainly ignored.)

Ailes said that he believed it “accurate” to compare to this administration to that of Stalin or Hitler, or his words leave the question hanging as it is obvious to anyone that Beck was not speaking in a past tense of historical nature but in a wild-eyed screaming call to the present situation. Rodger Ailes lied on ABC airwaves in saying that Beck was talking about “Stalin and Hitler” when he spoke of “leading people to the slaughter.”

I could by the same tokens that Glenn Beck tosses around say that Rodger Ailes & Fox News are leading us to slaughter. Slaughter of the truth, slaughter of free speech, slaughter of ethical journalism. If Rodger Ailes truly supports the insane logic of Glenn Beck then surely he still understands the need to balance out perspective and provide everyone the opinion of people who think that they are the ones destroying America and intentionally creating fear and hate for the sake of sheer greed. Would that not be “fair and balanced“?

Ailes also created a false apology from Glenn Beck, that never happened. Glenn Beck never apologized for spreading racist lies about an elected leader of the United States of America, he only apologized for his phrasing and inserted literally the exact wording I used when mocking him here on the internet; almost verbatim.

Glenn Beck: “It is a serious question that I think needs serious discussion.”

Beck never apologized for what offended so many on many sides of politics, and we are supposed to believe that begging the same race baiting line of questioning is some kind of “apology“!?!

Rodger Ailes lied once again, in a very tight time constraint, to defend Glenn Beck from facing the truth and the light of day.

This would be very much like if I called it an “apology” to just repostDid Glenn Beck Commit a Murder-Rape in 1990?& links to GB1990.com and at the top of the post just inserted: “I phrased myself poorly before but this issue is very important and I think needs a serious discussion.”

One matter was settled though: Fox News is not a news agency.

When the president of an outfit states that he is “not in the news business, he is in the ratings business” then it proves case-and-point exactly what I, and many others, have said for a very long time: Fox “News” is not news, it’s just pure entertainment from every last inch of it right down to the news tickers.

It’s like a window into what it’s like to be a conservative for the sake of pure entertainment, and nothing more. Like an episode of “Lost” or watching “Family Guy” it is just a big bunch of fun … but when you really get down to it, it’s pure fiction just built to get ratings.

I’m glad that Rodger Ailes was honest to this regard, at least. Because he most certainly is not in the news business.

Justice for ACORN

I do ever so love being vindicated!

What most call “the Acorn scandal” is the “O’Keefe Smear Crusade” to me. This whole so-called “scandal” was all the brain-child of one sick and very likely racist individual.
To his discredit President Obama signed into law the bill that temporarily defunded ACORN.
I have remained steadfast in my stance against this propaganda promoted by the right-wing, and heavily by the far right-winger Glenn Beck.
I’ll admit it takes a few brain cells and a willingness to do more than just sound-byte a news story to understand exactly what James O’Keefe & Hannah Giles were doing in this “expose.”
But the bottom line here is that outright lies were told by O’Keefe on Sean Hannity’s show (named “Hannity” … vanity? No, Hannity) that the network refuses to clear up that directly address the credibility of all the accusations by these heartless propagandists.
Another day will decide if justice shall ever ring down on Fox News, but I wish to express that I didn’t point out some of the new revelations in a story I have taken up.
I smell justice and I like it because this age is lacking it a great many times over! Justice for ACORN means justice for America.
The removal of Senate funds based on nothing but a media-crusade was unconstitutional in nature, and I referred to it as a “war on the poor.”

Gershon ruled Congress withdrew all funding with the “absence of a trial”. She said the withdrawal would cause permanent harm to the organization. The Constitution requires “due process”, which is normally interpreted as the jurisdiction of the judicial branch, not Congress’s legislative branch.

These people still supporting this myth about ACORN truly believe that they can lie to the public and just cover it up with more lies. It is cases like these that draw the line between what is ideological differences and what is simply destructive, mindless, bigotry.
Let us not forget as well that this decision emboldens my argument that the popular figures on right-wing are standing against the very Constitution they claim to love as they fabricate reality and refuse to practice journalistic ethics.

The Fearmonger-in-Chief is Glenn Beck of Fox News


The Anti-Defamation League has joined with me in trying to raise awareness over a violent propagandist spreading anti-Americanism on a low credibility network.

Here is an excerpt from the ADL report:

Glenn Beck’s linkage of Hitler’s plan to round up and exterminate Jews with Al Gore’s efforts to raise awareness of global warming is outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive. Unfortunately, his remarks are just the latest example of a troubling epidemic on the airwaves, where comparisons to Hitler and the Holocaust are becoming all-too facile.

It has become almost commonplace for talk-show pundits to use comparisons to the Holocaust and Nazi imagery to attack people whose views they disagree with, whether the issue is global warming or immigration, as we witnessed when CNN’s Lou Dobbs recently suggested on his program that immigrant rights groups use tactics similar to those of Nazi propagandists.

The six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve a measure of respect. Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering. Every time a radio or television personality takes that unique event in history and twists it for their own political agenda, it cheapens the public debate and distorts and trivializes the Holocaust.

It is more important than ever before to speak openly about the culture of dishonesty, fear and violence promoted by the likes of Glenn Beck and held in place by the likes of Fox Broadcasting Company.

The element to understand here is that there will always be some wild shock-jock to spread falsehoods, incite fear and violence, scare the public with fabricated theories, and just plain be an unpatriotic American.

The problem lies with making the radicalism and fervor of the fringe of any movement the mainstream of the same movement. Glenn Beck accomplishes this everyday with the help of the pseudo-credibility of Fox News (television) and Fox News Talk (radio.)