Just a little something we tweeted in honor of the 4th…
“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum - even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.” .. (Noam Chomsky)
NZ MSM already has made up most people’s minds. I’ve never before really believed that they were biased, assuming that everyone thinks they’re biased anytime they say something that doesn’t confirm our own bias. But OMF the last few months have made it so clear how the lead political writers for the NZ Herald at least, will be voting come September 20…
"As a comedian you should not be in rooms where the people you’re making fun of also are because you’ll realize, at the end of the day, they’re just people. You can’t risk having that kind of compassion infect your mission to attack. My solution to that is not to curve my jokes — it’s to not put myself in the same room as the consequences of those jokes. …
A comedian is supposed to be an outsider. He’s supposed to be outside looking in. I don’t want to be at parties in D.C. with politicians. Comedians shouldn’t be there. If you feel comfortable in a room like that, there’s a big problem. That’s what is so concerning when you see journalists so comfortable around politicians — that’s a red flag. There should be a kind of awkward tension whenever a journalist walks into a room that politicians are in, because you should’ve done things that annoyed them in the past. It’s the same as a comedian. You’re no one’s friend.”
- John Oliver, host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight and former correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
The full interview with John Oliver is here, so check it out!
Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times
Most of my reading time this week was spent on “The Snowden Saga: A Shadowland of Secrets and Light”, an article in Vanity Fair (May 2014).
—DakotaPuma (May 18, 2014)
The government, by ignoring the rights and needs of ordinary citizens, is jeopardizing its legitimacy. This is dangerous. When a citizenry no longer feels that it can find justice within the organs of power, when it feels that the organs of power are the enemies of freedom and economic advancement, it makes war on those organs. Those of us who are condemned as radicals, idealists and dreamers call for basic reforms that, if enacted, will make peaceful reform possible. But corporate capitalists, now unchecked by state power and dismissive of the popular will, do not see the fires they are igniting. The Supreme Court ruling on our challenge is one more signpost on the road to dystopia.
It is capitalism, not government, that is the problem. The fusion of corporate and state power means that government is broken. It is little more than a protection racket for Wall Street. And it is our job to wrest government back. This will come only through the building of mass movements.
A few definitions to tee this up:
Oligarchy: A society where power is in the hands of very few people, usually determined by wealth, corporate and family ties, and the military.
The Gilded Age: From the 1870s to the early 1900s, our country was run by very few people (think John D. Rockefeller, J.P. Morgan, Andrew W. Mellon, Andrew Carnegie) but also marked by extreme poverty. The term was coined by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner to mean “an era of serious social problems disguised by thin gold gilding.”
So … are we there yet?!