Monday, January 31, 2011

Chomsky: Elections Today "Public Relations Extravaganzas"

As posted on Information Clearing House:

Video - Noam Chomsky Lecture University Of Tennessee - January 25, 2011

Chomsky discussed the United States' support of dictatorships in Egypt, Tunisia, Georgia, Jordan and Colombia.

"The guiding principle (for American government) is that as long as the public is under control, everything is fine," he said. "(The traditional argument is) the powerful should gain ends by any possible means. As long as the public is kept under control, public will doesn't matter."

"Throughout American history, there has been a constant struggle over who should control and who should obey," he said. "The Founding Fathers were ambivalent about democracy."

"The United States has a violent labor history," he said. "The rallying cry of the late 19th-century labor movement was, 'Those who work in mills should own them,'" he said.
Chomsky said this holds significance today, specifically with the automobile industry.
"Obama took over the auto industry, so the government owns it," he said. "The government is closing plants when they could turn them over to the workers and let them run it for profit."

"By World War I, the business class realized that because of new freedoms, it was impossible to control the public by force, so they need new means," he said. "They tried to control of opinion and attitude to divert people from the public arena. This is why the public relations industry was started."
Chomsky called elections today "public relations extravaganzas."







5 Things Progressives Should Do - and Not Do

By Barbara Ehrenreich, In These Times

#1 Don't talk, write or argue about Obama, who has proved himself irrelevant to the progressive project, no matter how narrowly that project is defined. Similarly, don't conflate progressives with Democrats, since the latter category prominently includes Obama.

#2 Organize the unemployed of all collar colors—white, pink and blue. The unions aren't doing it, or at least not very much of it, for the simple reason that the unemployed can't pay dues. You can either support existing organizing efforts like the Unemployed and Anxiously Employed Workers Initiative, which can be found on Facebook, or you can start your own by getting together with other economically challenged folks for purposes of mutual support and advocacy.

#3 Do not "mount an unapologetic defense of government." It doesn't deserve it. What we need is a progressive attack on government in its various armed and coercive functions– including the criminal justice system, the war on drugs, ICE, and the TSA. The faux libertarianism of the right should also be challenged with a militant defense of abortion and gay rights.

#4 Organize for a collective defense against foreclosures and evictions. Every time a bank swoops down to snatch up a home, it should be met with a crowd of jeering, obstructive neighbors. And although this may be point 4.5, how about organizing a mass refusal to pay back student loans?

#5 Don't talk about the need for a "narrative." Outside of literary theory, that word has become synonymous with "lie." We know what's going on here, a no-holds-barred class war of the top 1 percent—augmented by what Tom Frank calls the snake-flag crowd—against the rest of us. That's not a "story" or a clever new "framing." It's what's happening. We either fight back or get pummeled into the dust.

~ via smygo ~

Bio Warfare Expert John Wheeler Died of ‘Blunt Force Trauma’

Homicide victim John P. Wheeler III, a former Pentagon official and presidential aide whose body was discovered Dec. 31 in a Wilmington landfill, was beaten to death in an assault, the Delaware medical examiner’s office announced today.

The official cause of Wheeler’s slaying was “blunt force trauma,’’ agency spokesman Karl Kanefsky said about a case that has drawn worldwide media coverage.

Police reiterated today that the case remains under investigation but acknowledge they cannot fill in critical gaps in the murder mystery.

Within hours of the grisly New Year’s Eve discovery, state pathologists had ruled that the 66-year-old New Castle resident was a homicide victim, but until today authorities had been mum on the cause of his death — an unusual posture in Delaware, where such information is usually released promptly.

The four-week delay has helped fuel rampant speculation that Wheeler, a defense consultant and expert on chemical and biological weapons, was poisoned by enemies – a theory that persisted in part because he was seen stumbling around Wilmington in the days before he died and officials said they were awaiting the results of toxicology tests.

Hal G. Brown, deputy director of the medical examiner’s office, said he did not know what medications or chemicals, if any, were in Wheeler’s system, but said the death certificate makes it clear that toxicology “didn’t play a role’’ in Wheeler’s death.

Brown said blunt force trauma describes the result of being struck with an object or a body part such as a fist. Brown added that Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Adrienne Sekula-Perlman, who handled Wheeler’s autopsy, met with police and prosecutors today about her conclusions.

Newark police are the lead agency on a multi-force investigation because the garbage truck that dumped Wheeler’s body at Wilmington’s Cherry Island Landfill was emptying debris it had collected at trash bins in Newark. The FBI is also assisting the probe.

Newark police spokesman Lt. Mark Farrall was mum Friday on the official word that Wheeler was killed in an assault. “I can’t comment on his injuries,’’ Farrall said.

~ more... ~


Musical Innerlube: Cage The Elephant & Blood Red Shoes - Ain't No Rest For The Wicked

Webster Tarpley on Currency Wars, CIA Fueled Regime Change in Mideast


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