My YouTube Podcasting Has Erupted

This is the first of the podcasts I’ve been cutting over the past few days.

It’s a lot of fun to switch gears as a broadcaster into new mediums.

Though it’s become clear to me that the fun part of doing the recordings is getting addictive versus the boring part of doing the editing.

These are going to get a bit … wild … in coming updates.

If you’re catching me here then consider linking up with me over on the YT as well.

America in 2011 (Occupy Wall Street)

This is America in 2011: citizens protesting the social injustices of the financial sector upon the middle class and working poor are being brutalized by police and subject to a blackout by the mainstream media that is slowly being lifted.

It’s an unfortunate truth that the Occupy Wall Street movement(s) are revealing before us today: scream about the evils of government health care or murdered fetuses and they will grab the news cameras, scream about the evils of corporate monopolies or the corrupt practices of Wall Street and they will grab the pepper spray.

 

It’s Not Just Beck That Is Losing The Cable Ratings War

BusinessInsider.com:

 

Fox News has the top 12 most-watched shows so far this year.

Which is perhaps not totally surprising since this marks the network’s ninth straight year as the number one channel in cable.

That is not to say it’s all rainbows and unicorns. (Or cupcakes and caliphates.) All of Fox’s top shows posted double digit losses year over year.

Glenn Beck suffered the biggest drop, losing 30% of his audience compared to the first quarter last year. But he wasn’t alone. Top ranking O’Reilly lost 14% of his audience, Sean Hannity, up a spot from 2010, lost 19%, and Bret Baier, who pushed Beck out of the top three, lost 13%.

Greta Van Susteren, who has been bleeding viewers to Anderson Cooper this month, is down 22.86%.

All in all Fox News actually lost 21% of its primetime audience during the quarter.

Compare this to CNN which is up 28% in primetime and MSNBC which is up 9% (Rachel Maddow increased by 16.65% and Anderson Cooper by 18%) and then take into consideration all the breaking news there’s been since Christmas, and one might begin to draw the conclusion that people are beginning to turn elsewhere for news news coverage.

Another explanation, of course, is that this time period last year was dominated by the health care debate and for much of that period Fox operated as an extension of the opposition. Now that the nation’s focus is international it’s harder to figure out an angle where Obama is bad and … nuclear meltdowns and Qadaffi are good.

*All numbers from Neilsen.

Glenn Beck & The Right-Wing Media

(WATCH VIDEO: Crooks & Liars “Glenn Beck ‘You’re Going To Have To Shoot Them'”)

I see Glenn Beck as actually dangerous, and not just abrasive and dishonest like other right-wing media pundits.

I first became mildly aware of Beck when he was scathing the Bush White House, but back then he never ever called himself “conservative” and only called himself “libertarian.” Today he has fashioned himself a New Media Joe McCarthy and wants to teach the children of America a distorted and fictitious version of U.S. History.

What has actually risen to the level of public danger is centered on the TV show aspect of what he has done with his career. If anyone doesn’t already know he has mocked setting people on fire, shown a shaky rape video for no reason beyond fear mongering and to cap it all off he called a sitting president a racist on live TV.

Because television gives the illusion of credibility putting the character (I believe he is playing everyone, he said so in an interview around when he got all freaky) of Glenn Beck out there has sent horrible and extremely dangerous repercussions into the nation that can never be taken back.

Without pulling out a pack of URLs it’s quicker to just say that historically the U.S. has kind of “self-policed” this kind of extremism and incitement to violence disguised as free speech when it has happened before and always the figure that resembles Glenn Beck of today had a fall from grace. Usually getting fired. The best recent example is “Dr.” Laura getting the axe: she went into something from a KKK rally and that was the “the line.”

It sounds too simple, I know, but the most serious offender here is News Corp and Fox News.

Glenn Beck is only especially dangerous because his bosses won’t fire him no matter what “line” he crosses. If you minus Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers from this situation then Beck would have been canned for being disrespectful to a sitting president or too libel for his “here’s some violence, but don’t do violence” message he delivers regularly. Since this heartless media empire keeps him alive the kind of normal “quality controls” are not coming into play.

In the wake of the Tucson shooting, another act of domestic terrorism that the mainstream media refuses to label as such, and the moving speech delivered by President Obama there is a strong need to assess ourselves in our words and also more deeply to our mind state. This cannot, however, negate the need for people to speak their opinions about the current state of the nation.

America is on a road of a long, slow decline into moral ambiguity and a complete lack of ethics, and Glenn Beck combined with Fox News and the tea party is the first step toward this destruction of all that is good and decent in America. I don’t say these things to get a rise out of anyone or to single out Glenn Beck, but rather only because I see these words as the simple truth.

If Beck and those similar to him would only stop the incitement to violence, racism and bigotry then I would never raise issue with them beyond to merely disagree. Since this next evolution of political dialogue looks more like McCarthyism and Nazism combined I simply refuse to call it anything else.

To Every Age A Fear-Monger Is Born

 

There is always a figure that will stand up for evil, lies, Antisemitism and violence. There is never any lack of men and women who will sell their souls for attention, power, fame and money.

What is unacceptable is how so many in America accept the insane lies and Nazi propaganda tactics at face value when they come from Glenn Beck or other figures on the right.

Some people are simply sick. They have no care for truth and love only the sound of their name being spoken even if it be in disgust. Seeing this as fact I rarely comment on the national disgrace of broadcasting who goes by the name Glenn Beck. Some men are so divorced from American Values and love for the truth that all they create is no better than feces and all that one could comment on about them the same.

Nevertheless, this is the second time Glenn Beck has run afoul of the ADL and I wonder to myself just how many Nazi tactics this Fox News broadcaster has to use against the left before people everywhere can start calling him a racist, anti-Semite, Nazi-sympathizer. Because that’s exactly what he and all his fans are, so let’s cut the bullshit.

Pew: ‘Mosque Debate Tops Coverage, But Not News Interest’

The Pew Research Center has posted a new media study showing that most Americans are not interested to hear about the NYC Islamic community center, but would rather see coverage related to the BP oil spill.

While the media focused on the emotionally-charged debate over plans to build an Islamic mosque and cultural center near the World Trade Center site in New York City last week, the public continued to track the Gulf oil leak.

About a third of the public (34%) says they followed news about the oil leak more closely than other major stories, 15% say they followed news about the economy most closely and 13% say they focused most closely on the mosque debate, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted Aug 19-22 by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press among 1,003 adults.

Another 9% say their top story was the withdrawal of the last U.S. combat forces from Iraq.

It is also not surprising that Republicans are more interested in this non-story about a mosque within a community center than are Democrats and independents.

This entire hate-fest was started up by conservatives and promoted by Republicans so it is no shock that the people they were trying to inspire bigotry came and delivered for them.

In my opinion this discussion over whether or not to move a house of worship is a false one. There is no discussion to have here whatsoever.

If you think a house of worship must move because of some bigoted comments from Newt Gingrich & others you are standing against the Constitution and against the very foundation of the United States.

Of course a person is free to hold this position, but there is no discussion to have on the topic until they amend their position to include throwing out the First Amendment as the first step to “stopping the American Jihad.” Since these ruthless, lying bigots only have emotional nonsense and hatred to spread there is no discussion resulting in anything productive that will take place.

The very fact that some liberals are entertaining this as a valid discussion is nothing less than disgusting to me.

Thankfully, it looks like (according to Pew) most people are viewing this as another non-story propped up by the media to take up space on slow news days and / or promote Republican racist ideology.

Beating The Dead Horse Of Right-Wing Racism

I’m sure by this point that most people who are political types have already formed an opinion of the matter of tea party racism and to the larger issue: if the Republican political strategy includes pandering to racist Americans.

I repeat again and again, too little avail, that not all tea party members are de facto racists.

I found it very unfortunate that so many on progressive side of politics were so quick to call Rand Paul a “racist” for expressing a standard libertarian point of view in regards to the Civil Rights Bill and the ADA. (Private enterprise craps rainbows is the short version of this pure libertarianism ideology.) Those perspectives are not racism, though they do tend to excite the racists out there. This alone, it is vital to point out, is not enough to place a person on the wrong side of the core issue of racial sensitivity or a lack thereof.

It is very easy to throw out a label, like “socialist” or “commie pinko,” but it’s harder to back it up. That was frustrating to see the left-wing doing the same unintelligent labeling based on ignorance that the right-wing has honed to a daily art.

I hear the sentiment more and more that people want to do away with labeling, but I only want to do away with all the negative labeling. I don’t see how we can escape the principal of using labels on groups of people as we so often do in politics. Something must have a name to become a movement, without a name to describe whatever ideological bent we are talking about it would be impossible to even discern accurately between them all.

The labels we choose to recognize ourselves by, and attribute to ourselves, are obviously the labels by which we wish to use and have function for us. I feel that we ever get beyond labels it will because all people stopped using them, and not before.

Then we come to issue of the dreaded label: racist. I’ve never been one to take away any fine glory from calling another person racist, but I also cannot simply remain silent as I witness specific cases over and over again.

There are many fine conservatives and even honest tea party-types out there, but they are the most hushed and pushed into the corner minority of the right-wing I’ve ever seen. Wherever these people be, I hear very little from them or of them.

***

My first experiences with the tea party were seeing a small protest with one sign reading:

It‘s the White House, not the Black House

No n-words, no overt racist slurs, no neo-Nazi symbols … just this kind of rhetoric. I found it to be racist in nature, in my personal opinion at the time.

Now Janeane Garofalo was downright mean on Keith Olbermann’s show, but I won’t link that video or repeat any of that here. But did she speak intelligently about the tea party with Rosie O’Donnell so I find it likely she was playing to the YouTube crowd with that one.

My complaints are more to the inclusion of fringe groups known for racism like the John Birch Society in CPAC as to the conservative side and the acceptance of “Birthers” (for lack of a better term) into the tea party side. These actions, and the glorifying of characters like Beck and Limbaugh who incite racial hatred for profit, amount to a very “toxic stew” to borrow a bit of their language.

I never said everyone right-wing was a racist, what a wild claim that would be! I’ve said people who did specific things, like write a sign about the “Black House” or suddenly find a love for the term “commie-socialist” (which makes zero sense by the way), are looking like they are motivated by white racism.

Am I supposed to say “in my opinion” like every other sentence or something?

We just has this opinion about comparing Obama to Hitler passed around and discussed like it was rational by Sara Palin and other far right extremists. Helen Thomas expressed an opinion in a manner I found distasteful and crass, but everyone seemed to forget she is was an opinion journalist.

Though how we state our opinions is important, I realize this well.

So I avoid the term ’teabaggers’ as much as possible (recently) and make a strong effort to declare what I present in the manner of an opinion be understood as an opinion.

But without getting too twisted into a pretzel here:

We all have to remember that you don’t get to control what other person’s opinion of your opinion is.

I personally believe the problems here are tied exactly to that, like the days of Bush Derangement Syndrome. Making statements in a vacuum, from any side of politics, is just getting really annoying.

I’ll back it up, we can have a Constitution quote-off over SB1070 or a Wiki-battle over Southern Strategy Republican racism. I do it all the time, it’s not a new thing it just happens in lightning speed transactions these days instead of “let me go home and grab a few books and we’ll pick this up later.”

I find myself desiring an Edward R. Murrow like figure to appear in our times … we desperately lack that kind of brutal and much needed honesty today. Perhaps more than ever.

***

And here is a chart for all those tea party deficit hawks:
(No horses were harmed in the course of this posting.)

They’re Not Cleaning It Up, They’re Covering It Up

Kindra Arnesen is not the only one appalled at this sham of a clean-up effort and the corporate whitewash media-blackout over the level of sheer disaster currently ravaging America at the hands of BP and Transocean.

Arnesen does not even touch on the toxic and hazardous dispersant (Corexit) that does nothing but add a poison that makes the oil harder to clean-up (and videotape / photograph) into the mix of all the other health hazards and environmental hazards already in play.

ProPublica.org:

The two types of dispersants BP is spraying in the Gulf of Mexico are banned for use on oil spills in the U.K.

As EPA-approved products, BP has been using them in greater quantities than dispersants have ever been used in the history of U.S. oil spills.

Reuters.com:

Oil-dispersing chemicals used to clean up the vast BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico carry their own environmental risks, making a toxic soup that could endanger marine creatures even as it keeps the slick from reaching the vulnerable coast, wildlife watchdogs say.

The use of dispersants could be a trade-off between potential short-term harm to offshore wildlife and possible long-term damage to coastal wildlife habitat if the oil slick were to reach land.

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.”

Senate Reconciliation Now!

The Republican obstructionism on the health care reform agenda is not “principled objections” as Senate minority leader Eric Cantor suggests. It is non-principled, pure nihilistic policy of poisoning the well and deception on behalf of conservatives.

The liberal majority that elected Democrats to office in 2008 has spoken.

The Public Option must survive in a final health care bill, and the process of reconciliation between House and Senate bills is the only avenue by which Democratic representatives can claim to have made any “meaningful reform” come reelection time.

Make it clear that this will not go away, and we the liberal progressives will not be silent.

This push did not come from the White House, or the Progressive Caucus, or from the desk of Sen. Harry Reid. This push for a strong public option through reconciliation came from the people who understand that health care is a moral issue, not merely a budgetary issue.

Both President Obama and Senator Reid remain open to the pursuit of Senate reconciliation, but I believe it important to state that this in itself is the “failure to sell health care reform to the American people” I spoke of before.

Instead, we will have to make perfectly clear that the public option must go forward and does not continue to be the “public optional.”

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on Friday afternoon that he would work with other Democrats and the White House to pass a public option through reconciliation if that’s the legislative path the party chooses.

The party has spoken. The ball is their court now in congress, but we must not allow this to fade into the night.

Just as Paul Krugman recently closed an op-ed with, “Health Care Reform Now!” I would say the as he except in different words given the changing of the situation but holding the same meaning:

Senate Reconciliation Now!

Texas Joins In On The Science-Denial Trend

The state of Texas has jumped on the science-denial bandwagon currently gripping the right-wing. Texas has challenged the EPA findings that greenhouse gas emissions are classified as “dangerous,” claiming that the findings are based on flawed science. This is of course a false and absurd claim coming from the leading greenhouse gas emitter of the U.S.

Al Armendariz, the EPA’s regional director over Texas, said the agency is confident the finding will withstand any legal action. He also said the move isn’t surprising considering Texas’ pattern of opposition to the EPA.

“Texas, which contributes up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases emitted by industrial sources in the United States, should be leading the way in this effort,” he said. “Instead, Texas officials are attempting to slow progress with unnecessary litigation.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said it’s the first legal challenge by a state, though industry groups have also challenged it.

Texas says the EPA’s research should be discounted because it was conducted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the Nobel Peace Prize with former Vice President Al Gore in 2007 for its work on climate change but has since been embarrassed by errors and irregularities in its reports.

(Nobody ever successfully connected the so-called “Climategate” hacking incident, which I assume are the “errors & irregularities” mentioned, and the matter of the Greenhouse Gas Effect or the Climate Science findings as a whole in any way except political partisans with obvious Big Energy funding and absolutely no facts to back up the case they make.)

The guys and gals of The Great State of Denial, good ol’ Texas, seem to hold different standards of The Scientific Method and Comparative Analysis. Maybe those words are just too big for Texas.

I see this as just a symptom of a much larger problem breeding under the surface: the praise of ignorance over knowledge; the willful destruction of critical thinking.

The “debate” over climate change can be settled in moments by the most simple process of comparing the credibility of the sources and the amount of raw data on both ends. There is not a debate going on in the scientific community, there is a consensus with a few skeptic holdouts that have almost all published debunked papers at some point or another, but within the political community and the business community they would like very much for this issue to be up for debate. But it’s not, an overwhelming body of evidence exists in favor of Climate Science and skeptics fail to bring any new data (“Climategate” was the biggest joke on conservatives and their complete inability to rationally review data ever) so it’s simply “denial” and nothing more from these Big Money influenced talking heads. The Deniers and the Consensus; Texas just put itself on the side of the Deniers.

What lies under the surface here is the desire to squelch all rational discussion and replace it with bumper-sticker sound bytes. If anyone dares speak out against these ridiculous claims circulating and tries to use facts instead of rhetoric, then you can bet they will start up the personal attacks and just making even more broad claims about more unproven garbage. If you are even perceived as “smart” then you must be a “elitist liberal” who will only “lie to confuse you.” They are teaching people to hate intelligence and love stupidity in the once great state of Texas, all in the name of keeping their rich friends happy and scoring cheap political points while they are at it too.

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.