Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Final debates then vote for Jill Stein …..or Jesus? Santa?

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There are going to be two final debates for the independent candidates on November fourth and fifth; the first hosted by Ralph Nader and the second by The free and equal Elections Foundation; then it is the final day to vote assuming that you haven’t done so early.. 

As many of you may already know I have been recommending Jill Stein since I took a closer look at her and even more so when I came to the conclusion that Jill Stein supports the Constitution unlike Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Whether you agree with me or not is of course up to you but it seems pretty clear that both the candidates that have been supported by the traditional political parties gained their support in the usual way, by collecting campaign contributions from corporations and agreeing to do their agenda regardless of what they promise the rest of us.

It is becoming clear that we may have many other choices to choose from including Rocky Anderson who I don’t recommend, not because I disagree with him but because I think support for him could take votes away from Jill Stein. I know this sounds like the same argument that I’m objecting to and I partially justify this by arguing that we need to break up this corrupt duopoly in the most effective way possible; and that in the long run we should get instant-runoff Elections so we won’t have this choice to make.

Regardless of this there are still many people that don’t like these two anyway but there are other options for them including Gary Johnson or Virgil Goode and it turns out that they can either vote for Santa Claus or Jesus Christ as well both of which are running for president as write in candidates or have people campaigning for them to be written in.

I didn’t make this up; seriously check the links!

I don’t know how well Santa Claus is expected to do but apparently he is a real person and he is even listed on Project Vote Smart’s list of presidential candidates. Whether Jesus is a real person or not seems to be up to debate for some people but apparently 1.6 million people have pledged to vote for him according to the web page and that has grown dramatically over the past three days, perhaps by as much as 100,000 people or so. When I checked it on Saturday it probably wasn’t much over 1.5 million and certainly not over 1.6. By the time it was over there were 2,186,986 pledges to vote for Jesus, but there were few if any reports of write in ballots for him after the election.

I don’t know whether this is going to turn out to actual votes or not but there are so many people that are fed up with both candidates that I suspect that the number of people voting for alternative parties will be much higher than most people expect and I doubt if Mitt Romney has a chance no matter what unless he steals the election, his campaign has been so pathetic. I know that the poll numbers have been indicating that it is close but I have serious doubts about whether they are legitimate anymore, or if they ever were. They’ve been fluctuating in an irrational manner and even many of the people in the corporate media are raising doubts about them. They haven’t done much to explain how they gather their results but I doubt if they can keep up with technology or that they’re as trustworthy about taking the polls as they imply. The corporate press has been reluctant to include alternative candidates in the polls and on the few occasion just including different names changes the result.

I suspect that the candidates that have been supporting alternative candidates are much more sincere about these votes and that most of the people that don’t aren’t happy and only think about voting for the traditional candidates because they think they’re the only choice.

Furthermore Mitt Romney doesn’t has a strong base in his home state, or should I say most of them. Michigan, Massachusetts and California are all considered out of reach and he is unlikely to win New Hampshire either. His only home state that seems secure is Utah and even the Salt Lake City Tribune endorsed Obama! If Romney can’t win his own home states and his base is abandoning him for Jesus then I find it ahrd to believe that he has a chance especially after all the disasters that have been happening to his campaign which makes me wonder even more about the legitimacy of these polls.

It seems to me that the most important thing that we need to accomplish is to break up this corporate duoploly and if we fall for the same trick over and over again then we will never do that and a lot of other people seem to agree with me and including Mormons against Romney and Obama for that matter and No to Obama and Romney who provided the following photos. And as I indicated earlier I hope the alternative debates may have been a game changer; but even if they don’t lead to a victory the more votes for alternative party candidates the less likely they are to take it as a mandate to continue corruption as usual!

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Barack Obama has often used the phrase “that’s not who we are” when talking about his agenda or the things that he claims that people misinterpret about him; this includes the claim that “we don’t spike the football” after killing Osama bin Laden after killing him but he has often said to ask Osama Bin Laden how tough we are on our enemies and used the slogan Osama bin Laden is alive and General Motors is Dead; and when saying that we don’t torture but he has shut down all investigation into that and continues to bomb innocent civilians many of whom die slowly and miserably.

Barack I don’t imagine you’re reading this but just in case; you’re right that it’s not who many of us are or at least that we don’t want to support that but it is who you are, and Mitt Romney as well as many other members of the establishment that rely on propaganda.

For what it’s worth the producers of South Park must be amused by the fact that both Santa Claus and Jesus are running for president sort of; there spoof was to the best of my knowledge intended to be a satire to question the beliefs of many people about both of these figure and how they distorted the perception of Christmas; I didn’t watch it myself and thought it might not be much better but that’s beside the point. If anyone is interested I think that the blog I did last year, Spare the Child for Christmas, is just as worth considering this year since we haven’t addressed any of the issues that well since then.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Could alternative debates be a game changer?

Several of the alternative candidates participated in at least seven alternative debates and they received much more attention in the alternative media than any previous debate for alternative candidates have received in the past. This has also been accompanied by a fair amount of coverage about how the Commission on Presidential Debates have hijacked the debates and excluded alternative party candidates that aren’t acceptable to the corporate contributors to the duopoly.

The corporate media has, of course, done as much as they can to ignore it and on the few occasions where they acknowledge the existence of alternative party candidates they treat them as if they don’t have a chance. When they do polls they rarely even include them in the polls. Typical polls seem to indicate that the vast majority of those that answer intend to vote for one of the candidates considered “viable” by the corporate media.

In the past the alternative candidates that have run have never received much of the vote with the exception of when Ross Perot ran and the corporate media made an exception and gave him an enormous amount of coverage. However alternative media outlets have been growing fast so their ability to contribute to change may be much greater than many people realize. There have also been an enormous amount of discussion groups and meetings across the country that haven’t received much attention although some of them have been reported on the internet on low profile web pages and even on satellite TV like Link TV which has shown dozens of discussions across the country about how the system hasn’t been paying attention to the will of the people before receptive audiences. Most of these audiences haven’t been exceptionally large but there are a few exceptions where they have had much larger audiences and they have been addressing a much larger audience either through Link TV or on the internet. Furthermore, the candidates that they’ve been presenting have been getting steadily worse and there have been an enormous amount of protests and discussion groups going on; so is it possible that this could make a much bigger difference than anyone has expected?

It doesn’t seem likely.

Or at least it doesn’t to most people and they may be right but I’m not completely ruling out the possibility that this could create a much bigger difference even if it doesn’t lead to an alternative party candidate winning this election, which I’m not completely ruling out although to be honest even I have to agree this doesn’t seem likely.

This won’t be a game changer on its own though; in order for this to make a difference it will be necessary to follow up on it and let the establishment know that they can’t continue to ignore the will of the people and it will be necessary to get more people to “wake the fuck up” as Samuel would say although following the rest of Samuel’s advice would be foolish. On Occupy Wall Street’s web site recently the question, Has OWS failed? has come up recently and at first glance to some people it may seem as if it has; however a closer look at some of the things that continue to happen on a lower profile may indicate otherwise. Reform doesn’t happen overnight although at times there may be some leaps and bounds. What we need is much more effort to educate the public and get them to pay to the issues more and get elected officials in office that actually represent the public.

If we do manage to elect an alternative candidate to the presidency then it will be much easier of course so the more votes they get the greater chance of that and then we can do much more to educate the public with the help of a sincere president that is willing to help lead the debate or make sure that a more diverse amount of voices are allowed to be heard; a new independent president shouldn’t be allowed to totally dominate the discussion. Even if we can’t get a an independent candidate then the more votes for independent parties the better since it will let them know that they’re not going to be able to rely on the complacency of the public as they have in the past when they run their scams.

Also it will be important to elect as many alternative party candidates to other offices as well starting at the local level and working up to the top. The Green Party has provided a list of dozens if not hundreds of candidates for office nation wide and although I haven’t found a similar list for the Libertarian Party I’m sure they have a lot as well. This has a lot of hope because as Tip used to say “all politics is local” and in some cases if people get organized at the local level and ex[pose the lies that are being promoted by the corporate propaganda machine they have a much better chance of making progress.

I have done enough commenting on other blogs about how the two leading candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama agree, a lot; and Jill Stein supports Constitution unlike Romney and Obama and many other commentators have also made these points as well so I won’t discuss that too much more but they really do agree a lot especially when it comes to the issues that the financiers of their campaigns have an agenda which contradicts the best interest of the majority of the public.

I have also written about Stanley Milgram’s “Obedience to Authority” experiments and Phillip Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment which by his own admission was related to the obedience to authority experiments although he tends to deny or downplay other aspects about them being used to develop boot camp techniques and interrogation techniques. In these experiments they have studies how willing people were to implement shocks to a victim for a reason that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny if scrutiny is applied. These experiments have indicated that many people were willing to do what they’re told by authority figures even when it means electrocuting an innocent person especially if someone else takes the responsibility. They also show that people are more likely to do so if there is more distance between the person being shocked and it would be reasonable to believe that if they could rely on complex institutions to maintain plausible deniability they would be even more likely to obey.

Would you vote to bomb this child if an authority figure told you to, and that you had to accept the premise for the election that the authority figure is giving to you?

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This isn’t exactly the situation that people are being faced with but it is way to damn close. Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have indicated that they fully intend to continue to use drones even though there is an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that they’re killing a lot of innocent people. The use of drones to contribute to what they refer to “collateral damage” might be relatively new and it might be getting much more attention than other methods but other methods are still doing much more damage and this isn’t up for debate with the official establishment.

Nor is Single Payer health care up for debate; even though it could reduce an enormous percentage of fraud and waste.

Both candidates want to expand Charter Schools that have been proven to be a failure; no further debate welcome on this either.

Although Barack Obama does a slightly better job pretending he is against outsourcing his policies have indicated otherwise and this goes for many other issues including the environment which is going to be destroyed if we rely on the establishment to address it.

If you want to here the debate about these subjects and alternative views you have to rely on alternative media and debate not the establishment which is in the control of the corporations.

As I have indicated previously I think Jill Stein is the best alternative party candidate that I am aware of but the closer I look at Rocky Anderson the more I think he deserves equal consideration although if there is any chance of winning it would be better to unite behind one candidate which has the best chance of winning which is probably Jill Stein who has her name on the ballot in many more states, I think Rocky is strictly a write in candidate, and they can both run as write ins on the states where they aren’t on the ballot. And even though I am much more inclined to agree with these two, personally, it is clear that not everyone agrees and there should be no doubt that Virgil Goode and Gary Johnson should also be eligible to debate as well and perhaps more people should be included.

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In the long run we should have instant run-off elections so that every candidate that is eligible will have an equal opportunity and they can’t use this deceptive “wasting the vote” excuse against anyone that thinks they can challenge the system controlled by the corporations but in the short term it will be best to do what ever can be done to improve things and move in that direction. Roseanne Barr has been complaining about not being invited to the debates. When I have looked at her in the past my impression was that although she was better than the establishment candidates I had a hard time taking her serious as a presidential candidate; however it would be appropriate to consider whether other candidates should have been invited as well. Project Vote Smart has a long list of candidates that are running for president. This almost certainly includes some candidates that have either withdrawn or aren’t serious but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t have some opportunity to be heard and perhaps a system could be set up so that they can all have an opportunity to be heard even Santa Claus and then the best contenders could be narrowed down in a system that is open and explained ahead of time.

Yes, that’s right, I said Santa Claus and it wasn’t my idea check the list if you don’t believe he’s running.

If they can they may find a way to use this to distract people from issues since that is what they routinely do but there still needs to be a way to screen these people out. However in the short term it is more important to do what we can to break the duopoly controlled by corporations and set up a system that includes election reform that enables the public to control the debate and the questions that are being asked for candidates. There should be no need for candidates to buy up an enormous amount of air time to lie to the public while they have much less opportunity to fact check and many of the members of the public don’t even keep up with the fact checking. This should also include more opportunities for the members of the public to participate in ballot questions (What is yours?); this could include questions about guaranteeing the public the opportunity to hear from all candidates.

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The following are the alternative party debates and a list of related articles about how the election is being rigged to suppress democracy.

Third-Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier as Obama-Romney Spar (1st presidential debate)
Expanding the Debate with Third-Party Candidates Jill Stein, Virgil Goode, Rocky Anderson (2nd presidential debate)
Full Expanding the Debate Special on Foreign Policy Featuring Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson (3rd presidential debate)
Third-Party Candidates Challenge Biden & Ryan on War, Economy, Healthcare
Complete 2012 Third Party Presidential Debate 2012 Third Party Debate with Gary Johnson - Libertarian Party Jill Stein - Green Party Rocky Anderson - Justice Party Virgil Goode - Constitution Party
UPDATED VERSION - IVN Presidential Debate with Gov. Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein (includes many additional videos)
The NPR Third-Party Candidate Debate
American Third Parties Presidential Debate 2012: Justice, Green, and Socialist Parties!!

Related material

As Obama, Romney Hold First Debate, Behind the Secret GOP-Dem Effort to Shut Out Third Parties As President Obama and Mitt Romney prepare to square off in Denver, Colorado, tonight, we look at how the Democrats and Republicans manage to shut out all third parties from the presidential debates. The Obama and Romney campaigns have secretly negotiated a detailed contract that dictates many of the terms of the 2012 presidential debates. This includes who gets to participate, as well as the topics raised during the debates. We’re joined by George Farah, founder and executive director of Open Debates, and author of the book, "No Debate: How the Republican and Democratic Parties Secretly Control the Presidential Debates."
Vote Stalkers: Obama, Romney Campaigns Mine Trove of Voters’ Online Data to Win 2012 Election
Glenn Greenwald: Presidential Debates Highlight "Faux Objectivity" of Mainstream Journalists
Secret Debate Contract Reveals Obama and Romney Campaigns Exclude Third Parties, Control Questions
Green Party Candidates Arrested, Shackled to Chairs For 8 Hours After Trying to Enter Hofstra Debate
Green Party candidate: Police handcuffed me to a chair for eight hours 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Alternative Media is an Absolute Necessity!!

By now most people that have been paying close attention to the traditional media and made some attempt to look at other sources know that the traditional media is controlled by corporate interests and they’re financed by commercials that create a strong bias not to expose the corruption of those that advertise with them. Many people already realize that the corporate media has consolidated into a small number of corporations that control the vast majority of traditional media that can get their points of view across to the vast majority of the public while few if any other organizations have this opportunity.

However the insidious thing about propaganda is that if it isn’t repeated over and over again people often forget it; and even if some of us don’t forget it there are still plenty of people that don’t think about it and become complacent and for them it is too easy to begin to go along with the program as the corporations want them to. In fact for most people they’ve been doing this all their lives and accepting the truth as presented to them by the corporate media. On top of that most people continue voting for the two parties that dominate the system without considering others that are much more likely to represent their interests. The corporate media has been using their control of the press to restrict the choices the vast majority of us choose from when we vote for higher office and they rarely if ever even try to do a good job covering any given issue.

To put it bluntly the corporate media is hardly even pretending that they don’t sell the news and allow their financiers to heavily influence their coverage.

In most cases the primary objective of the corporate media isn’t to inform the public, although they still make occasional claims that it is; it is to sell products and maximize profits for the advertisers and the corporate media. It wouldn’t take much to come up with a long list of subjects and how they don’t even come close to covering them properly. And in many cases the impact of the corrupt coverage can be and perhaps already is devastating to the majority of the public.

Then once more people recognized how incompetent the corporate media is it would also be important to ensure that they know where to find alternative media outlets (extensive list included) and determine how to sort through the good ones from the bad ones by starting with and understanding the basics on any given subject. And on top of that more people have to become accustomed to seeking out these media outlets at least until the traditional media is reformed by a sincere grass roots effort, assuming it ever is.

One of the clearest examples of how the corporate media may be distorting the coverage of an important subject may be the environment. Anyone that watches the corporate media long enough will see an enormous amount of public relation commercials for the energy companies presenting them as good for the economy and indicating that they’re becoming much more protective of the environment thanks to new technology. Many people that don’t think things through may come to the conclusion that the oil companies are the biggest protectors of the environment. Anyone that does think things through might quickly realize that if they spent all the money they currently use for all this advertising on actual protection of the environment instead of telling us how much good they’re doing then they would be much more environmentally friendly. Once people realize that it won’t take much research to find out that practically everything they try to tell us on their public relation advertisements are distortions if not outright lies. Furthermore it won’t take much to find out just how much damage is being done to the environment around the world that the corporate media isn’t telling the public about.

Clearly, whether it’s the enormous amount of advertising dollars they receive from the energy companies; the fact that they may have many of the same stock holders on the boards of the media and the energy companies or for some other reason the corporate media isn’t doing more than a token amount of coverage on the enormous amount of damage being done to the environment. Even the more liberal stations like MSNBC aren’t covering it nearly as well as they could and should and the damage is already enormous for a large percentage of the population of the planet, including many that are already dying because of the damage.

The coverage of war hasn’t been any better. They could have easily exposed the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and widely reported it to the public before the war but instead they did the opposite, reporting all the Bush administrations lies about Saddam Hussein without checking any facts even though many of them could have been easily disproved. In fact this is typical of the reasons that have been used to go to war. If you go back through history and review them after the fact then it will be clear that we have rarely if ever gone to war based on accurate facts and they could have been exposed, in most if not all cases by the traditional press before the fact but instead they provide the propaganda to enable the government to get the support of the public when it goes to war. With Vietnam it was a false gulf of Tonkin incident along with an enormous amount of other activities that were exposed in the Pentagon papers; in both Iran and Iraq as well as many other wars we have supported the tyrants that we wound up fighting or we have supported the tyrants that were overthrown by new regimes that had much more support from the local population.

This clearly means that contrary to the propaganda about America being the great defender of democracy they may be the greatest threat to democracy. At least that is the way many people in the countries that we’re influencing think of it.

The press does little or nothing to address the social aspects surrounding violent crime including efforts to report on the root causes of violence and domestic abuse that often starts at an early age with abuse in the home and escalates from there. There is an enormous amount of research done in a variety of methods to indicate that people who are abused at an early age are much more likely to become violent later in life either as a bully, an abusive husband, or participant in violent crime including mass murder and serial killing.

Instead of reporting on these root causes in a manner that could inform the public about how crime could be dramatically reduced they report it in a manner that is designed to increase ratings and make appeals to emotions, encouraging people to be more concerned with what they call “justice” or punishment instead of finding out how to solve these problems in the most effective way possible. This often leads them to present crime as something that is viewed on TV for entertainment purposes rather than problems that should be solved.

This is also done with war; both of these subjects is often used to increase ratings and enable them to sell more advertising time; which means that instead of using the media as a way to educate the public about crime it is being used for profitable purposes that wouldn’t earn as much money if they solved problems in the most effective way possible.

This is crime profiteering and war profiteering by those that pretend to inform the public about how to address these problems in the most effective way possible.

The corporate media doesn’t do much if anything to report on economic inequality; or at least they don’t do it in a fair way that explains to the public how difficult it is for many people that are raised in poor areas to get ahead. These people have little or no chance to get a college degree and the jobs that are available to them don’t pay enough to live a life that most middle class people would consider reasonable. However there is an enormous amount of propaganda about how anyone can get ahead in America that is repeated over and over again.

Occasionally they cite a small number of examples where people do get ahead but they don’t do much to explain how this one or two people got ahead while most other people don’t have a chance; and in many cases, especially in politics, that person has help from people within the system that provide this help only to those that go along with the approved ideology.

The mainstream media doesn’t do much if anything to expose sweat shops or other reports about people that are being badly abused in the global economy. This was done much more in the nineties when this type of reporting was increasing for a while but then the press consolidated even more at the end of the nineties and after 9/11 they found more to focus on and they rarely ever cover it as often as they were for a small amount of time. Nor do they report on many other tactics that were previously reported on occasion like the use of slotting fees to buy space in store shelves at grocery stores that drives up the cost of consumer goods or price fixing like when they investigated Archer Daniels with the help of whistle blower Mark Whitacre.

The corporate world has consolidated into a small number of companies in any given field so the concept of them having to compete with each other is no longer reasonably accurate. The true nature of the “free enterprise system” as it is currently practiced clearly means that the majority of the working force has to compete with people all around the world but the corporations that control the largest institutions don’t really have to compete against each other since they’ve come to the conclusion that it is no longer profitable to provide real competition to each other. Instead they pretend to compete with different advertising slogans but they no longer have incentive to do their best to improve the quality of merchandise for the consumer since they no longer have other options to buy from.

Yet this isn’t mentioned at all in the corporate press.

Nor do they cover the possibility that we could implement a single payer system that provides universal health care properly if they cover it at all. Instead they provide an enormous amount of coverage for the Affordable Care Act and the Republican alternative or lack of alternative. On one occasion recently when Mitch McConnell was asked about the lack of health care for so many people he said "That is not the issue, The question is how to go step by step to improve the American health care system. It is already the finest health care system in the world." (Mitch McConnell On 30 Million Uninsured: 'That Is Not The Issue') the corporate media spends an enormous amount of time and money trying to convince us that we have a good system or when they can’t do that, which is more often than not now, they try to confuse the issue as much as possible. They even use money from the premiums that people pay for their health care to pay for all these deceptive ads leaving that much less money available for actual health care or as Dr. David Himmelstein explains “The money for these commercials came from health care interests that collect fees from American patients. We experienced this before in Massachusetts. We ran a ballot initiative for universal health care in 2000 and the insurance industry spent $5 million on it, including the insurance company I am insured by. They used my premiums to smear an idea that 70 percent in Massachusetts, according to polls, favored before this smear campaign. Universal health care was narrowly defeated.” (Chris Hedges "This Isn’t Reform, It’s Robbery")

This is standard procedure in any given industry that has consolidated control and wants preferential treatment from the government. They take a portion of the money they collect and use it for lobbying, campaign contributions and when necessary public relations campaigns to spread misinformation and convince as many people as possible to vote against their own best interests. The expense of this propaganda is passed on to consumers but not the influence.

Thanks to a series of decisions including Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United the Supreme Court has essentially declared that the truth as it is presented in the corporate media is for sale.

In the long run it would be difficult for them to continue to get away with this if the public isn’t too complacent or distracted. Research into marketing to children may go a long way to explain why many people are so complacent and much less savvy when it comes to recognizing deceptive sales pitches. Many people within the corporate world recognized that their advertisings were becoming less effective as the public learned to recognize them for the lies that they really are. The marketing industry recognized that the most effective manner to counter this is to start marketing to children at a younger and younger age and keep marketing to them throughout life. They even market heavily to children in schools and preschool.

This is the way an effective propaganda works and that is essentially what marketing to children has become.

There have been numerous studies about how this has impacted children and their ability to learn and develop critical thinking skills and they have clearly indicated that children that have been subjected to advertising from an early age and where it has been part of their school curriculum have developed much lower critical thinking skills that enable them to recognize advertisements that are deceptive as well as deceptive reporting on wars and political activities. A sample of this researched has been published by Susan Linn author of “Consuming Kids” (excerpts) and Roy Fox author of “Harvesting Minds; and there is more research available in libraries and on the internet for those that know where to look for it.

However there is no reporting on it in the traditional press that many people rely on for their news.

If the majority of the public understood how they were being manipulated by advertising they would be much less likely to fall for it and if they realized the cost of these ads are being passed on to them they might demand equal time since they have to pay for it in higher consumer costs. Therefore the corporate media doesn’t do any reporting on it if they can avoid it and if they can’t they provide an enormous amount of propaganda to bury the legitimate concerns and confuse the issue. This usually involves the claim that people like Susan Linn are calling for the censorship of the media ignoring the fact that the media is completely censoring their opposition. Only a small percentage of the public has any chance to get any air time on the corporate media the rest are completely censored especially if they have opposing views to the elites that control the political system and the mass media.

This is all the more reason why we need to rely on more alternative media outlets.

The corporate media doesn’t even report on things that presumably wouldn’t be controversial or have much impact on their profits, in most cases, like science and astronomy. They fail to mention many of the basics on this like the fact that mars can’t have water due to the fact that their environment is too thin or the fact that a binary system can’t support advanced life due to inconsistent environment that won’t allow evolution. This might be because it interferes with their ability to provide dramatic coverage of Science fiction stories; however it also establishes a pattern of behavior so that whenever science interferes with the agenda of the corporations they can confuse the issue and present their own version. This has been obvious when it comes to Climate Change, escalation of violence, marketing to children psychology and many other subjects that have been controlled by a small number of people that now control the corporate press for their own agenda.

One of the most important issues that the corporate press has been doing an incredibly incompetent or corrupt job covering is of course political coverage which has turned into a farce. This is supposed to be a democracy where people vote for candidates that represent their interests; but in order for people to do that they have to have access to information about the candidates that are running and they have to have to have an opportunity to participate in the interview process. This has never been done as well as it could have been done but it was previously done much better than it is now. Since then the corporate press has taken over the interview process and they have consolidated their control and now use it to provide coverage only for those that suit their agenda.

It wasn’t always this way even at the presidential level. The League of Women Voters used to sponsor debates but they refused to “help perpetrate a fraud” in 1988 when the two traditional candidates negotiated a deal that would exclude third party candidates or make it very difficult for them to qualify. Since then the debates have been organized by Commission on Presidential Debates and they’ve been sponsored by a large number of corporations that create a major conflict of interest.

This essentially means that when it comes to the highest office in the land the corporations that have a major conflict of interest have almost complete control of the information that we receive about political candidates. Or at least they have in the past but there is good reason to believe that their propaganda machine is already breaking down and there are many more people that are learning how corrupt the corporate media has become. A recent article at the Centre for Research on Globalization clearly indicates that many more people are relying on alternative media outlets; however many of them may benefit from additional access to new outlets and many others may still not know how to navigate the new media outlets to sort out all the propaganda being provided by the corporations.

This was also demonstrated with the lack of coverage of many of the protest movements that have been going on over the past few years. The corporate press provided an enormous amount of coverage for the Tea Party before they started protesting in 2009; however a closer look at it clearly indicated that it was supported by many of the same establishment politicians including dick Army; and they promote policies that clearly have support by the corporations; which seems to indicate that this is partially an Astroturf organization that was formed with some grass roots support that was encouraged by demagogues that study how to manipulate crowds and it was given coverage by the corporate media for this reason. When they lost a large portion of their support the corporate media continued to present them as a grass roots organization while ignoring real grass roots organizations. This was especially obvious when the Occupy Wall Street movement began almost a year ago and there was no coverage of it until after it began and they have been downplaying it since then. The Occupy Wall Street first published online plans for this protest no later than July 2011 when they posted the first two blog posts on their site. This clearly indicates that if the corporate media wanted to know about this protest and report on it then they could have and would have. This is the same thing that happened when the Egyptian revolution began and the media acted as if they were surprised; on one occasion they even asked one of the protesters why they didn’t report on it earlier and the protester was clearly surprised by the question and said he didn’t know and that they had been trying to get the attention of the traditional media for months. And there have been many other protest movements that have been going on with little or no reporting in the national press but it has been reported on alternative media outlets and many people have been taking notice of this.

Clearly the claims that the “Revolution will not be Televised” have been for the most part true. The corporations have been trying to do their best to minimize the coverage of it and distort it when they couldn’t but it is becoming too obvious for all but the most sheltered people not to see it now.

In the long run we clearly need major Media Reform that enables a much larger percentage of the public to have an opportunity to influence the coverage that is provided to the majority. The handing over control of the air waves to the corporate press with little or no obligation to serve the best interest of the public is blatantly corrupt. Mark Crispin Miller has claimed that this is the most important issue of our time since this issue impacts all other issues and how we think about them. If this is true then I would like to add that early childhood upbringing and how children are taught is a close second or it is a tie. This is because there are still many people that don’t recognize how they’re being manipulated and when they recognize the manipulation from the corporate press in many cases they start believing many other sources that are just as corrupt or in some cases they go to sources that are also controlled by the same corporations that control the press only they’re disguised as alternative media outlets.

In fact Mark Crispin Miller has reported on some of the right wing people that fall for these scams but he hasn’t covered that aspect of it. This has been covered better by some other academic researchers including Alice Miller (no relation) who has studied how violence at an early age escalates into more violence later in life and how it also impacts authoritarianism. An abusive upbringing where children are told what to think under intimidating circumstances also makes people more susceptible to propaganda later in life like advertising; and as indicated that isn’t much later in life anymore. It appears that as many of this authoritarian upbringing has been reduced the advertising to children from an early age and TV saturation has been increasing so they may, to some degree, be replacing one form of indoctrination. This clearly should at or near the list of things that should be covered with a reformed media or in alternative media outlets.

Another good argument could be made to claim that the environment or war is the most important issue or tied with media reform; however if they were considered top priority and it didn’t include media reform they wouldn’t be able to educate the public about that issue and they would fail to fix it properly so even if Media reform isn’t the sole top priority it is one of the leading issues and can’t be ignored if we’re going to address many or any of the most important issues we have to deal with.

In fact the system is set up to give an enormous amount of preferential treatment to these corporations despite the fact that they have an enormous conflict of interest that anyone would recognize if they did a minimal amount of reporting on it.

There is plenty of additional information on this subject including many good books and organizations that study and try to reform the system; these aren’t being promoted by the corporate press, of course, since they would like to pretend they don’t exist. These books include "Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy," "Rich Media, Poor Democracy," and "The Problem of the Media" by Robert W. McChesney and "The Media Monopoly" by Ben H. Bagdikian.

The Third World Traveler has compiled a list of many of these organizations and books and provided many book excerpts among other things at Corporate Media's Threat to Democracy. This includes a list of many alternative media outlets and I have been building a list that is even longer and adding many other lists from other organizations for anyone that is interested at List of Alternative media outlets Wiki. This is intended to be a diverse set of media outlets including some that I disagree with as well as some that are almost certainly under the control of the same corporations providing outlets that they attempt to portray as independent. Attempts to weed out these would inevitably lead to excluding many good outlets as well and it is worth considering different points of view even when people disagree with them. In some cases like extreme right wing media outlets that promote bigotry it is still helpful for people that are not bigoted to be aware of them so they’re not taken by surprise so I haven’t excluded them; however I have included organizations that have attempted to refute them like Right Wing Watch. If you know of any worthy web pages that could be added to this list please let me know or just add them yourself; it is a Wiki; if you’re not familiar with it they provide advice at Wikipedia.

It would also be very helpful to make it as easy as possible for people to find out as much unbiased information about major candidates running for office and there are many organizations that have been working away to improve this without getting much if any attention from the corporate press. If enough people rely more on them and less on the corporate media that doesn’t provide unbiased information then we could dramatically improve our democratic system which will continue to be a farce without doing this or something similar.

There is no reason why we should wait for major reform since there are many things that can be done to advance reform already including trying to elect sincere candidates that haven’t been under the control of the corporations. There has already been an enormous amount of effort to inform many people about these candidates although the corporate media hasn’t been informing the public about it and they may have a much better chance than most people realize. The quality of the candidates that the corporate press have been presenting to the public has made this effort much easier to accomplish although it is difficult to know how successful it has been.

In the long run it would be important to fund a variety of organizations that are controlled by the public that could provide questionnaires to candidates like Project Vote Smart and carry out debates or other forms of interviews like the league of Woman Voters has done in the past and some other organizations are now doing again although the corporate press hasn’t been covering them. These organizations should be accountable to the public. People that donate to them should also be willing to keep them accountable and if we have public financing for these organizations then it wouldn’t be necessary for candidates to collect an enormous amount of campaign contributions to promote their campaign; instead they could fill out the job applications and go to a series of interviews that would be arranged during an sincere Election Reform process.

The candidates that the corporate press has presented as “viable” refuse to answer their questionnaires and participate in debates with grass roots candidates that gain their support directly from the people. They’re attempting to rig the system so that everyone believes that the only ones that have a chance are those that have been approved by the corporations and collected enormous amounts of bribes thinly disguised as campaign contributions.

If any potential employees behaved the way these candidates do then no employer for any other job would even consider hiring them including the same corporations that have bought these candidates.

Imagine if you were trying to hire someone and they refused to fill out a job application similar to the Project Vote Smart questionnaire and the applicant refused to fill it out and you asked them to show up for an interview but they said that instead of going to your interview they would stage their own that was rigged.

This is what candidates have been doing for a long time but there are a growing number of people that are no longer falling for it and with these large protest movements happening it provides an enormous opportunity to change things if we don’t fall for the corporate propaganda.

Project Vote Smart

Debate for alternative presidential candidates on YouTube also available at OS with links to their webpages for more information

On the Issues

The Center for Responsive Politics at Open Secrets.org

Election Candidates

The Political Guide

The time to let the corporations know that we’re not dumb enough to fall for it anymore is long overdue. Alternative candidates may have a much better chance than most people realize but even if they don’t and we accept the claim that we will be “throwing away our vote” if we don’t choose one of the candidates that have been bought and paid for they’ll think it worked and they can continue to buy candidates; if on the other hand there is an enormous amount of voter support for alternative candidates based on information gained from the alternative media then they’ll realize their scam isn’t going to work anymore!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tracking the elite ruling class

Many of us were told as children that this is a democratic society where we all have an equal opportunity to prosper and anyone could even become the president of the United States. Condoleezza Rice repeated this claim at the Republican National Convention in the following excerpt.

And on a personal note, a little girl grows up in Jim Crow Birmingham. The segregated city of the south where her parents cannot take her to a movie theater or to restaurants, but they have convinced that even if she cannot have it hamburger at Woolworths, she can be the president of the United States if she wanted to be, and she becomes the secretary of state.


Yes, yes. Yes. Yes, America has a way of making the impossible seemed inevitable in retrospect, but we know it was never inevitable. It took leadership. And it took courage….. Transcript of Condoleezza Rice speech at the RNC

This certainly sounds good, and it would be if it was true; however it is hard to imagine that there is much if any truth to it once anyone thinks about it for much more than a brief amount of time. This is even more ironic when you consider the fact that she made her speech while nominating one of the richest and well-connected presidential candidates that we have had in history.

It doesn’t take much searching around to realize that a large percentage of the people that we elect to political office come from the same class of people and the vast majority of public don’t rise to a position where they can run a “viable” campaign, according to the mass media, that won’t provide coverage. There are only a handful of people who can successfully run at the grass roots and win and this is almost always to low level offices where they can run campaigns that are local and they’re much more likely to personally know a significant percentage of the electorate. This is especially true when it comes to offices that require campaigns that are statewide and at the presidential level there are no exceptions as far as I can tell.

Huh, oh sorry Clint I didn’t even see you sitting in that chair. What was that you said?

What do you mean? You don’t think the political system only allows certain people to get coverage?

Well that seems reasonable; I was going to do that anyway. There’s no reason you have to believe me without evidence, even though I think it is incredibly obvious. There are actually several ways of providing an enormous amount of evidence; one is just to point out that there are a relatively small number of political families (Wikipedia list) that manage to get elected to an enormous amount of offices. The list at Wikipedia may seem pretty long but when you consider the fact that it covers the history of the United States and that there are now three hundred million people in the country it is relatively small. Also, if you look at many other locations where most of us live you will almost certainly find few if any people that are related to people that hold public office or come into contact with them. I have lived in several places where this would be considered a joke and I have no doubt that there are many other places like these places that never have any chance of producing a candidate that can get media attention and get elected to office.

This isn’t limited to people that hold political office; it also includes the people that have access to the corporate media and have an opportunity to present their views to the vast majority of the public. And there are other jobs that the ruling classes do but the rest of us have little or no chance of getting. For the most part the jobs that we are able to get are ones that many of the members of the ruling class don’t want and rarely if ever do. I have made my own list of Political and Media Families as well as other careers that are mostly reserved for those that have political power. This is intended to cover what they haven’t included in their list they created to better understand it. It didn’t take long to get dozens of names on it but there are many more than that.

This won’t explain everything of course but it does provide a lot of solid facts that are hard to dispute although many people will try anyway. It would also help to understand their culture and what makes them believe they should be entitled to lead while the rest of us are expected to accept the role of followers, and how they manage to keep only people from their own class from getting into positions of power. The reason they believe they should be able to rule has a lot to do with the way they’re raised form early childhood; they’re often taught that they should be obedient to their superiors until they get old enough to “earn” their right to rule others. This generally involves strict disciplinarian child rearing practices which I attempted to explain further in Authoritarianism and Psychology of the Ruling Class, White Collar Tyranny. Chris Hedges also explained it well in “The Empire of Illusion” although he focused more on how they were raised as teenagers or adults.

John D. Rockefeller III, an alumnus, was our graduating speaker the year I finished prep school at Lincoln-Chaffee. The wealthy and powerful families in Boston, New York, or Los Angeles are molded by these institutions into a tribe. School, family, and entitlement effectively combine. The elites vacation together, ski at the same Swiss resorts, and know the names of the same restaurants in New York and Paris. They lunch at the same clubs and golf on the same greens. And by the time they finish an elite college, they have been conditioned to become part of the inner circle. They have obtained a confidence those on the outside often struggle to duplicate. And the elite, while they may not say so in public, disdain those who lack their polish and connections. Once they finish their schooling they have the means to barricade themselves in exclusive communities, places like Short Hills, New jersey, or Greenwich, Connecticut. They know few outside their elite circles. They may have contact with a mechanic in their garage or their doorman or a nanny or gardener or contractor, but these are stilted, insincere relationships between the powerful and the relatively powerless. The elite rarely confront genuine differences of opinion. They are not asked to examine the roles they play in society and the inequities of the structure that sustains them. They are cultured philistines. The sole basis for authority is wealth. And within these self-satisfied cocoons they think of themselves as caring, good people, which they often are, but only to other members of the elite or, at times, the few service workers who support their life style. The gross social injustices that condemn most African Americans to urban poverty and the working class to a subsistence level of existence, the imperial bullying that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, do not touch them. They engage in small, largely meaningless forays of charity, organized by their clubs or social groups, to give their lives a thin patina of goodness. They can live their entire lives in state of total self-delusion and perpetual childhood. "It is for people in such narrow milieux that the mass media can create a pseudo-world beyond, and a pseudo-world within themselves as well," wrote C. Wright Mills.

The people I loved most, my working-class family in Main, did not go to college. They were plumbers, post-office clerks, and mill workers. Most of the men were veterans. They lived frugal and hard lives. They were indulgent of my incessant reading and incompetence with tools, even my distaste for deer hunting, and they were a steady reminder that although I had been blessed with an opportunity that had been denied to them, I was not better or more intelligent. If you are poor, you have to work after high school or, in the case of my grandfather, before you finished high school. You serve in the military because it is one of the few jobs in which you can get health insurance and a decent salary. College is not an option. No one takes care of you. You have to do that for yourself. This is the most important difference between members of the working class and elites. If you are poor or a member of the working class, you are on your own.

The elite schools speak often of the diversity among their students. But they base diversity on race and ethnicity rather than on class. The admissions process, along with the staggering tuition costs, precludes most of the poor and the working class. The system is stacked against those who do not have parents with incomes and educations to play the game. When my son got his SAT scores back last year, we were surprised to find that his critical reading score was lower than his math score. He dislikes math. He is an avid and perceptive reader. And so we did what many educated, middle-class families do. We hired an expensive tutor from the Princeton Review-its deluxe SAT preparation package costs $7,000-who taught him the tricks and techniques of taking standardized testing. The undergraduate test-prep business takes in revenues of $726 million a year, up 25 percent from four years ago. The tutor told my son things like “stop thinking about whether the passage is true. You are wasting test time thinking about the ideas. Just spit back what they tell you.” His reading score went up 130 points, pushing his test scores into the highest percentile in the country. Had he somehow become smarter thanks to the tutoring? Was he suddenly a better reader because he could quickly regurgitate a passage rather than think about it or critique it? Had he become more intelligent? Is reading and answering multiple-choice questions while someone holds a stopwatch over you even an effective measure of intelligence? What about those families that do not have a few thousand dollars to hire a tutor? What chance do they have? (Chris Hedges “The Empire of Illusion” 2009 p.100-1)

Huh, what was that Clint?

You don’t think Chris Hedges is reliable? Have you read what he’s written? Or kept up with his columns on Truthdig? 
Well whether you believe me or him is up to you of course but there is plenty more evidence to indicate that there is a ruling class that has dominant control over the government and the economic system as well as the decision making process when it comes to fighting one war after another based on lies.

One example of how one sector of the public has an enormous amount of influence is what they call the “Revolving Door” for lobbyists and politicians. Many members of the ruling class, which gets elected to public office, leave and get jobs for the same corporations that they previously regulated creating an enormous conflict of interest. This has been documented by several sources at least and it can be investigated even more showing an enormous level of corruption for the elite ruling class. One of the most extreme examples where a major corporation has enormous amount of access to the government is demonstrated clearly when you Google “Monsantos Revolving Door.” this involves activities that may endanger peoples lives since it includes a history of falsifying data when it comes to our food supply and many other things that are being done with tacit, at least, of the government. The majority of the public doesn’t have any chance of getting these positions and they often have to pay the price when they lobby for their clients and pass an enormous amount of laws that enable corporations to avoid accountability. This revolving door also includes people that go back and forth from the media to the political administrations that they cover when they’re in the media.

Another practice that the corporations use is interlocking board members that control the decision making process and concentrate power with a surprisingly few people. This is especially important since the government has rolled back most anti-trust laws and allowed the corporations to consolidate into a small number of oligarchies and at the same time they continue to pass laws that protect trade secrecy or proprietary information, which is by definition a conspiracy that allows corporations to hide many of their deceptive or fraudulent practices from the public so that they can avoid accountability. They argue that this is to protect innovation but and enormous amount of evidence has come out to indicate that it is being used for many other things ranging from seemingly trivial things like increasing the amount of water in shampoo so the customer gets less for their money when they buy this to much more important things like safety hazards that destroy the environment and lead to accidents that kill many people including the BP oil rig disaster.
Part of these interlocking board members and the revolving doors is the fact that when ever they change administrations they always seem to have the same people join the new administration as they had with the last one of the same party including cabinet members and many other people. This is why you see people like Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld keep coming back and on the Democratic side it is people like Lawrence Summers and Zbigniew Brzezinski. We’re led to believe that we have a choice over who is running our government but no matter who we elect they bring in the same people and of course we always have chosen from the people that have been presented to us from the corporate media, or at least we have in the past; I suspect that might be changing soon; perhaps much sooner than the elites would like if enough people “wake the fuck up” as Samuel says.

What was that Clint?

OK fine, suit yourself; I tell you what if you want to look into it more I’ll provide you with some more sources on the subject before I’m done and you can come to your own conclusions.

Regardless of what you believe about the revolving doors or the interlocking boards there is still a long history of members of the ruling class like Kermit Roosevelt, Jr. and Norman Schwarzkopf, Sr. participating in activities that clearly contradict the best interest of our national security and the claim that we defend democracy by participating in coups against foreign leaders like the one that installed the Shah to power in 1953 and has led to a long history of conflict with Iran since then. This is rarely mention in the corporate press any more but it is a widely acknowledged part of history and it still has major impacts on current foreign policy since the Iranians will never forget this or many other activities that the USA has been involved in even if our own press doesn’t remind us or presents a distorted version of the truth.

This is just one of many deceptive activities that the ruling class has been involved in that has been contrary to the claim that we have been defending democracy against the aggressors for the past century or longer. One of the more recent incidents involves Sir Mark Thatcher “s participation in an attempted coup in Equatorial Guinea which was reported in a much more negative way than the coup in Iran since most people are much less likely to look the other way about this and it was done at a time where the opposition to this type of activity is much more vocal. Mark Thatcher was portrayed as the black sheep of the family by some and they tried to present it as an isolated incident that the rest of the family wouldn’t be involved in; but there has been an enormous amount of activity by many of the people in the same family, or the ruling class in general, that does much more damage to the majority of the public that doesn’t seem quite so blatant so it is easier to spin.

Mark Thatcher wasn’t even stripped of his title as a night for his behavior, nor was Norman Schwartzkopf, Sr. or Kermit Roosevelt Jr. held accountable for their actions. This didn’t stop their families from maintaining their status as members of the ruling class and Norman Schwartzkopf Jr., of course, went on to be the superstar of the first gulf war which could have been prevented if the Bush administration spoke up clearly about their intentions before Sadam Hussein invaded. Sadam had the support of the US government before they decided it was better to consider him an enemy. This is of course standard operating procedure for the members of the ruling class and the corporate media, which is run by other members of the ruling class, routinely provide the propaganda to distract people from inconvenient facts and they even portray those that bring them up as “fringe conspiracy theorists” even when these researchers rely on information from the traditional media that is no longer being emphasized.

A closer look at the details routinely shows that the activities of the US government haven’t been designed to “protect freedom around the world” as they have implied and many researchers like the contributors to The American Empire Project and many other authors have little opportunity to get their message across to the majority of the public that don’t take the initiative to look for their own information when the corporate media doesn’t provide it. They don’t have much promotional opportunities from the traditional corporate press and they rely on word of mouth or other low profile methods to get the word out while the corporate press has the opportunity to get their message out to the vast majority of the public and they can repeat it over and over again; which is why many people believed that Sadam Hussein had something to do with 9/11 and many other things that they get from the corporate propaganda machine.

What was that Clint?

You think they’re just a bunch of conspiracy theorists too?

Did you read their books?

No well how about other books on the subject like “The Shock doctrine” by Naomi Klein or anything else on the subject?

No? …. You don’t have to …. You know "it’s just a bunch of bunk by people that hate America?"

Well how do you know that if you don’t check any of the facts?

Bush and Romney would never lie to us? The same Bush who led us into war with Iraq based on weapons of mass destruction and the same Mitt Romney that changes his facts more often than his underwear?

Well I can’t argue with that kind of logic so I’ll just move on.

The people from the ruling class also control the education system so that, for the most part, only those that have enough money can gain access to higher election in most cases by pricing it out of reach for most people through means that simply aren’t necessary. On one occasion at the New York City School Teachers Association in 1909 Woodrow Wilson said "We want one class of persons to have a liberal education, and we want another class of persons a very much larger class, of necessity, in every society, to forgo the privileges of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks." “Weapons of Mass Instruction” By John Taylor Gatto You’ll rarely ever hear that quote from the traditional mass media and if it was brought in front of someone like, perhaps Clint, then they might down play it, spin it or something like that but a closer look at the way the system is handled clearly indicates that this is the truth.

One of the biggest methods they use to ensure that the working class doesn’t get as good an education as the ruling class is to make sure that education is paid for by property taxes at the local level and they’ve been simultaneously making sure that the wages for working class people have always been lower than they should be. This ensures that people from wealthy neighborhoods will always have much more funding for their kids’ education and that it will be much tougher for lower or middle class people to get ahead. On top of that the people from lower classes have to work longer hours for less pay so they have less time to spend with their children and help them out if necessary and even if they do have time to help them with their homework they don’t have the benefit of a higher education to pass on to their children.

To make matters worse they even declare that a large portion of the information that children need to access as part of their education is “intellectual property,” in the form of copyrights; which means that the members of the ruling class can charge more for access to this information than they would otherwise have been able to do and threaten people with law suits if they spread this information without permission. This drives up the cost of textbooks dramatically and they’ve been extending the terms of copyrights much longer than they originally intended them to be. For a long time one of the leading experts on this was Melville Nimmer, who wrote “Nimmer on Copyright.” This essentially means that the members of the ruling class decide what information can be distributed and at what cost. The needs of the people that need access to this information takes a distant back seat when it comes to making the laws about how much control copyright should have over the distribution of educational material.

Melville Nimmer was even portrayed as a defender of free speech because he argued a major case before the Supreme Court in 1971. This isn’t uncommon when you consider the times and the fact that there was an enormous amount of grass roots pressure on the government to actually respect the rights of free speech during that time period when there were large protests against the Vietnam War. When this happens it isn’t uncommon for a member of the ruling class to take a leading role in reform movements after it is already clear that if they don’t do so then the grass roots level will do so without their help and they will lose their legitimacy as members of the ruling class. As with many other people of the ruling class he passed on his copyrights to his son, David Nimmer, who became the new expert on copyright law.

When making these laws they don’t even seem to remember what the original purpose of these laws was; it was initially intended to protect authors artists and other creators of written or artistic work wasn’t limited to a single tangible object but instead it has been used largely to protect the wages of copyright lawyers and publishing companies, in many cases without even providing adequate protection for the authors that they were supposed to protect. Also it enables publishing and promotional companies to have more influence over who’s written work becomes valuable thanks, in part, to promotion of material that might suit the agenda of the ruling class while the material that they don’t approve of gets little or no promotion except at the grass roots level. This can be most clearly seen when you look at all these high profile TV pundits that spend an enormous amount of time promoting their books on TV. People with books that don’t have a regular show that provide material that the ruling class approves of can have ample opportunity to make the rounds of all the talk shows during a book promotion tour while those that don’t provide material that the ruling class approves of don’t get any air time at all. I could create a long list of examples but a couple simple ones include the fact that Nancy Grace and Jane Velez-Mitchell have plenty of time to promote their books when they write them and they are almost certainly useless but when someone like Barbara Coloroso or James Garbarino write books that do much more to educate people about how to reduce violence by teaching children properly they receive virtually no promotion on national TV; their promotions are limited to reviews that target people that are more likely to look for that type of information anyway. The truth is that if we’re going to solve many of our social problems the true target audience should often be the ones that aren’t looking for it and that is where the media could make a big difference if they wanted to but it doesn’t suit the purpose of the ruling class.

Colleges are also controlled by people that support the agenda of the ruling class either because they’re born into the ruling class or because they rise through the ranks learning that they have to toe the agenda or be marginalized just like media spokespeople and politicians. This has included people like John Silber, William Bulger and Lawrence Summers. Apparently having as brother on the ten most wanted list isn’t a deterrent to gaining power when you become a member of the ruling class. They have an enormous amount of influence on the curriculum and they can also have a major impact on the steadily rising price of college. College is, on some occasions where they recruit people for certain jobs even political office or appointed political positions. But the only people that get the support of the corporate press are those that follow the agenda of the corporate press even when they pretend to represent the public like Elizabeth Warren, who is NOT a “consumer advocate!!” 

You agree Clint? Good I was beginning to wonder about you.

What? You think Scott Brown is the one that really represents the people of Massachusetts? How did you come to that conclusion?

“He drives a truck.” And that makes him qualified to represent people?

And “he meets with Kings and Queens?” Well I can’t argue with that.

Back to what I was saying even though it is clear from what I have seen about Elizabeth Warren not being a “consumer advocate” and being prepared for the political arena with the help of political advisers that instruct her on how to tell people she’s “not a politician” when she is preparing in the usual way that many other people that were “not a politician” did she made a legitimate point about how colleges divert money from education to sports driving up the cost of college so that it is out of reach for more people in her book “The Two Income Trap.” She mentions that, “….Columbia University allocates even more, redirecting $7 million of its general revenue to make up the shortfall in athletics.”

This is just one of the ways the ruling class has been influencing education and they have even been attempting to minimize opposing views for decades by intimidating many professors who don’t follow the agenda.

There you go again Clint.

I know that it would be reasonable to be skeptical about that claim but if there is any doubt you should read the Powell Memo which was written over thirty years ago by Lewis Powell shortly before he was appointed to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The memo alone still shouldn’t be enough to lead people to believe that there has been an effort to suppress debate about issues that go against the agenda of the plans of the elite; but a review of the history over the past thirty years and beyond does provide an enormous amount of evidence to indicate that the ruling class is calling the shots and that the majority of us have little or no real power. There is even some indication that they may even believe many of the blatant lies that they tell and that they may be in denial about many facts that don’t suit their beliefs.

At one point he cites how Ralph Nader is part of what he calls an “Attack of American Free Enterprise System” and the evidence includes a statement by Nader saying the corporations are "defrauding the consumer with shoddy merchandise, poisoning the food supply with chemical additives, and willfully manufacturing unsafe products that will maim or kill the buyer." (For full context see the Memo) He goes on to describe this as an attack on the system without doing anything to indicate whether or not there is any legitimacy to the claims being made by Ralph Nader.

At other times he indicates that “The traditional role of business executives has been to manage, to produce, to sell, to create jobs, to make profits, to improve the standard of living, to be community leaders, to serve on charitable and educational boards, and generally to be good citizens. They have performed these tasks very well indeed.”

This statement isn’t accompanied by any scrutiny from the critics even after citing the previous statement by Nader raising some doubts about at least part of it; and things have gotten much worse since this memo was written. Many of the elites continue to discuss things as if they’re doing what is in the best interest of the majority even while citing some of the things that they do to oppress the majority as clearly indicated in Romney’s notorious speech about the 47%. With the enormous increase of fraud in the economy the business community isn’t doing much if anything to improve the standard of life and the charitable activities that the members of the ruling class participate in routinely comes with strings attached that enable them to get the credit for repairing a small part of the damage they do without taking the blame for the things that they don’t repair. Even when they do partially repair the damage they often do they don’t acknowledge it was their fault in most cases instead they expect us to think of them as the saviors.

This is also made clear in the "The Crisis of Democracy" by Michel Crozier, Samuel P. Huntington, and Joji Watnuki. Samuel P. Huntington wrote the following:

Al Smith once remarked that "the only cure for the evils of democracy is more democracy." Our analysis suggests that applying that cure at the present time could well be adding fuel to the flames. Instead, some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy—an "excess of democracy" in much the same sense in which David Donald used the term to refer to the consequences of the Jacksonian revolution which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.

In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority, experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority. During the surge of the 1960s, however, the democratic principle was extended to many institutions where it can, in the long run, only frustrate the purposes of those institutions. A university where teaching appointments are subject to approval by students may be a more democratic university but it is not likely to be a better university. In similar fashion, armies in which the commands of officers have been subject to veto by the collective wisdom of their subordinates have almost invariably come to disaster on the battlefield. The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited.

Second, the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups. In the past, every democratic society has had a marginal population, of greater or lesser size, which has not actively participated in politics. In itself, this marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic, but it has also been one of the factors which has enabled democracy to function effectively. Marginal social groups, as in the case of the blacks, are now becoming full participants in the political system. Yet the danger of overloading the political system with demands which extend its functions and undermine its authority still remains. Less marginality on the part of some groups thus needs to be replaced by more self-restraint on the part of all groups. Chapter three section 6

No doubt that what he calls an "excess of democracy" can have its draw backs but that doesn’t mean that we should do away with it or allow the few to rule without scrutiny over the many as they seem to have in mind. His objections to the "excess of democracy" were presumably based on the fact that at the time there were an enormous amount of people that objected to the decisions made by the elites with just cause including the fact that they had recently fought the Vietnam war based on a bunch of lies and there were more to come after that.

Samuel Huntington’s objection to an "excess of democracy" were presumably based on the assumption that the people challenging authority were wrong and that the authorities were right; however the evidence clearly shows the exact opposite!

This is why a sincere democracy requires an open exchange of ideas and adequate access to education for all involved so that these mistakes can be corrected.

What Clint? You still think we don’t have a corrupt ruling class?

Well if we don’t have an elite ruling class how do you explain the fact that those with political connection routinely manage to steal millions if not billions from the tax payers in the form of corporate welfare like when George Steinbrenner, owner of the Mets obtained an enormous subsidy at tax payers expense and even billed the tax payer for the lobbying that was done against the best interest of the taxpayer as indicated by David Kay Johnson:

One of the most interesting tidbits deMause dug up involved an unannounced gift of $25 million of public funds that Giuliani gave the Yankees during his last days in office. The mayor gave the Mets baseball team the same gift. What the mayor did was to let each team hold back $5 million a year on their rent for Yankee and Shea Stadiums, which the city owns, and use the money to plan new stadiums. The economic effect was the same as if Giuliani had ordered the New York police to stop every city resident at gunpoint and demand six bucks.

What Giuliani kept secret, and deMause uncovered, was that the Yankees used some of this money to hire lobbyists to arrange a further taxpayer subsidy for their new stadium. The team even billed taxpayers part of the salary paid to Randy Levine, the Yankees president. During Giuliani’s term in office Levine was his economic development deputy, in effect the city official whose job was to arrange gifts from the taxpayers to rich investors who had curried favor with the mayor. Whether the Mets did the same is unknown because the city has spurned requests for records detailing how the Mets spent their $25 million.

The chutzpah required to bill taxpayers for lobbying against their interests was just one sign of how giveaways for the rich erode moral values. While our cultural myths include imaginary welfare queens driving Cadillacs, the reality is that many of our nation’s richest take from those who have much less without losing a wink of sleep. David Kay Johnson “Free Lunch” p.72

This is just a small sample of the enormous amount of corporate welfare the rich get while they spread an enormous amount of propaganda implying it is the poor that are living off the government!

Oh great if you say so its “just a bunch of stuff” what ever that is supposed to mean.

Fine have it your way I’m not going to argue with you but there I one thing I would like to ask what was up with that speech you gave at the convention?

I don’t really know what I mean I can’t figure out what you were doing and why neither can anyone else seem to; which is why there seem to be a lot of conspiracy theories around about it or other explanations that don’t make any more sense than your performance. I know the “Republicans Were 'Dumb' To Ask” you “to Speak at RNC” but that hasn’t stopped the conspiracy theorists.

Really? Then you must be the only one that hasn’t heard about some of this. Some people were wondering why you endorsed Mitt Romney in the first place since they were talking about your famous half time commercial might have been a campaign commercial for Barack Obama; many people came to the conclusion that that was your way of endorsing them and you even told them at the time that if they wanted to use it that way they should go ahead.

You didn’t just pretend to endorse Mitt Romney so that you could put on that ridiculous performance at the RNC and sabotage it for Mitt Romney.

Yea I didn’t think there was anything to that one either the only thing more ridiculous than that was the one about you using that as part of some kind of sociology research project.

You didn’t hear about that either? Well I guess some people think you did that so that a bunch of sociologists and psychologists could study people that came up with a bunch of copycat split personality skits where you’re the one that is sitting on the chair; sort of like a silly blog contest.


Look Clint I got to go but it’s been nice talking to you.

What, you want to know what I expect to accomplish with this page about tracking the ruling class? I was beginning to think you were a lost cause; well that’s simple enough. I started this list of Political and Media Families because I started noticing one media pundit after another that turned out to be related to a politician or another media pundit and I began to wonder whether they really had a diverse point of views in the corporate press. First it was Mika Brzezinski who turned out to be the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski; then Andrea Mitchell who I later found out was married to Alan Greenspan and even Chris Wallace who I wondered why they treated him as such an expert newsman when I never thought he was that impressive until I finally realized he was the son of Mike Wallace and when I looked closer it turned out he was the stepson of another media executive.

No for a long time I didn’t know this in fact once I started looking and making a list I realized that there were many more of them that I never noticed before. And I have only listed a fraction of the relations that I have noticed and there are almost certainly many more. In many cases I can find this by simple looking at the Wikipedia page of people and find their relations but in at least one case when I looked for a relation that I knew was there it wasn’t; this was Kelly Ayotte who is the daughter of a well known lobbyist and she got elected partly by flirting with the camera in her cute jogging suit and making fun of Paul Hodes like the cool girl in high school.

That’s how we often elect people now. We don’t discuss issues any more; instead we treat this like a popularity contest where only the members of the privileged class are allowed to participate and get any attention from the corporate media.

The point is that I want to make a list of people that have influence and indicate how many other people don’t so that more people will understand that we don’t really live in a society that is nearly as democratic as we like to believe. This will make it easier for people to understand that if they want to have a real democracy that they have to choose their own media outlets and candidates instead of letting the corporate press.

This is why I created a list of alternative media outlets and I added a list of alternative political parties. There is still plenty of other media outlets out there and political elites and alternatives that are being ignored so I’ve turned it into a long term hobby that anyone can help with if they have items that could be added, since it is a Wiki.

Yea I know there is only one political party on the list; I just created it and will add more. If you want to you can add any that you think are worth mentioning. There’s no need to let me have all the fun; in fact if you look some of these up for yourself it will be much clearer that we’re being ruled by a ruling elite that do little or nothing to represent the majority.

Thanks Clint but it would sound a lot more convincing if you weren’t rolling your eyes when you said, “Yea, I’ll get right on it.”

If you do want to do it here are the list of web pages that I told you about involving Interlocking Corporate Boards, revolving doors and other related subjects so you can read up on it if your interested instead of just dismissing anything you don’t want to hear as a “bunch of stuff” what ever that means.

Interlocking directorate Interlocking Directorate or Overlapping Corporate Boards members

OVERLAPPING BOARDS OF DIRECTORS: CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES FOR CORPORATE GOVERNANCE PDF In: Financial Contagion: The Viral Threat to the Wealth of Nations (ed.: Robert W. Kolb), John Wiley & Sons, February 2011 CHRISTA H.S. BOUWMAN Assistant Professor of Banking and Finance at Case Western Reserve University and Fellow at the Wharton Financial Institutions Center

The Significance of Board Interlocks for Corporate Governance PDF by Gerald F. Davis

Web of board members ties together Corporate America

Many more at Google Overlapping Corporate Boards members or Interlocking Corporate Boards members

Joshua Hedlund’s 218 reasons NOT to vote for Obama

OpenSecrets.org at The Center for Responsive Politics

The Project on Government Oversight

Revolving Door: From Top Futures Regulator to Top Futures Lobbyist