This is a film by John Pilger, revealing the hidden truth of the Iraq invasion, and highlights the Media’s compliance in the propaganda, of selling the war to the public, and their failure to report the whole truth of the various conflicts currently occurring in the middle east, and previously in Vietnam, WW1 and WW2.

Glenn Greenwald speaks via Skype to the Socialism 2013 conference in Chicago regarding Edward Snowden’s revelations about the NSA’s mass surveillance program. Introductions by Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater and the filmmaker behind Dirty Wars, and Sherry Wolf, author of Sexuality and Socialism.

Additional Homework:
  • NYTimes: The Criminal NSA – “The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.”
  • NYTimes: Margaret Sullivan: Who’s a Journalist? A Question With Many Facets and One Sure Answer – “In a New York magazine piece, Mr. Rich wrote: “Is David Gregory a journalist? As a thought experiment, name one piece of news he has broken, one beat he’s covered with distinction, and any memorable interviews he’s conducted that were not with John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Dick Durbin or Chuck Schumer.” And he derisively suggested that Mr. Gregory begin to host his network’s “Today” show, so that he can “speak truth to power by grilling Paula Deen.””
  • The Guardian: Thomas Drake: Snowden saw what I saw: surveillance criminally subverting the constitution – “It was made clear to me that the original intent of government was to gain access to all the information it could without regard for constitutional safeguards. “You don’t understand,” I was told. “We just need the data.”” (2001)
  • Business Insider: Latest Glenn Greenwald Scoop Vindicates One Of The Original NSA Whistleblowers, William Binney – “Binney says that ThinThread was built to track electronic activities — phone calls, emails, banking and travel records, social media, etc. — and map them to collect “all the attributes that any individual has” in every type of activity and build a real-time profile based on that data.”
  • The Guardian: Senators’ letter to US director of national intelligence James Clapper – Bipartisan group of 26 US senators complain that the Obama administration is relying on a ‘body of secret law’ to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens
  • Hullabaloo: Chris Hayes on the leak double standard – “Barbara Starr and David Gregory can spout all the classified information they choose without fear of being arrested. But then they only disseminate the classified info that makes the government look good so it’s just fine.”
  • The Guardian: Wayne Madsen: Revealed: secret European deals to hand over private data to America – “Wayne Madsen, a former US navy lieutenant who first worked for the NSA in 1985 and over the next 12 years held several sensitive positions within the agency, names Denmark, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain and Italy as having secret deals with the US. Madsen said the countries had “formal second and third party status” under signal intelligence (sigint) agreements that compels them to hand over data, including mobile phone and internet information to the NSA if requested.”
  • The Corbett Report/Sibel Edmonds’ Boiling Frogs Post: Compromised: How the National Security State Blackmails the Government – “The picture that is being painted by Tice and Edmond’s revelations is a grim one. It tells the tale of a government that is no longer “by and for the people” (to the extent that it ever was), but by and for a small intelligence establishment with the means to spy on and blackmail judges, lawyers, officials and even the President. Lest there be any doubt about the extent to which the FBI and the NSA collaborate and cover for each other in these operations, a telling moment was accidentally caught on microphone after NSA head General Keith Alexander’s testimony in front of a Congressional hearing. Alexander and the NSA was vigorously defended at the hearing by FBI Deputy Director Sean Joyce, and after the meeting Alexander was overheard thanking Joyce for the FBI’s part in covering for the NSA operations.”
Edward Snowden: ‘I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things’

The irony is obvious: the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of “espionage”. It seems clear that the people who are actually bringing “injury to the United States” are those who are waging war on basic tenets of transparency and secretly constructing a mass and often illegal and unconstitutional surveillance apparatus aimed at American citizens – and those who are lying to the American people and its Congress about what they’re doing - rather than those who are devoted to informing the American people that this is being done.

The Obama administration leaks classified information continuously. They do it to glorify the President, or manipulate public opinion, or even to help produce a pre-election propaganda film about the Osama bin Laden raid. The Obama administration does not hate unauthorized leaks of classified information. They are more responsible for such leaks than anyone.

What they hate are leaks that embarrass them or expose their wrongdoing. Those are the only kinds of leaks that are prosecuted. It’s a completely one-sided and manipulative abuse of secrecy laws. It’s all designed to ensure that the only information we as citizens can learn is what they want us to learn because it makes them look good. The only leaks they’re interested in severely punishing are those that undermine them politically. The “enemy” they’re seeking to keep ignorant with selective and excessive leak prosecutions are not The Terrorists or The Chinese Communists. It’s the American people.

via Glenn Greenwald, Guardian

Photograph: Sergei Ivanov/AP

The Aeroflot Airbus A330 that was expected to carry Edward Snowden to Havana waits at the gate at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Photograph: Sergei Ivanov/AP

For more than 24 hours the sprawling international airport on Moscow’s northern outskirts was the site of an intricate game of cat-and-mouse. The target: Edward Snowden, sought by an enraged US, which has charged him with leaking classified documents on US surveillance programmes and warned countries suspected of abetting his escape.

[...]

And, yet again, Snowden was nowhere to be found.

He was reportedly in Moscow for 21 hours but no photographs or video of him have emerged – no leaks from the Federal Security Service or police, who use the website Life News to broadcast the news they want the world to see.

Moscow has made its overtures to Snowden obvious, with Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, repeatedly saying the Kremlin would consider an asylum request from the American, as it would from any other. But the events come amid the worst Russian-US relations since the end of the cold war, with the Kremlin once again making anti-Americanism a central governing pillar. The sight of a US whistleblower, hounded by his own government, being welcomed on Russian soil would be nothing short of a coup.

via Miriam Elder, Guardian

Copyright © Steve Bell 2013

Copyright © Steve Bell 2013

Thom Hartman: Where’s Edward Snowden?

Daniel Ellsburg: “I think Sec. of State Kerry calling Snowden a traitor is disgusting.”

Sir Timothy Berners-Lee: Here’s Everything We Know About PRISM To Date

Cryptome.org: PRISM has been in use since about 2003 based on a resume of a user and likely indicates PRISM collection well before recent publication of PRISM access to Internet servers, beginning with Microsoft in 2007. Numerous similar spying tools and programs are described here. (Thank you, John Young)

President Obama’s Data Harvesting Program: NSA as Pollster, PRISM as MISO by John Stanton (.pdf)

Snowden’s Next Move, Larry King on Role of Journalism, US Government’s Blind Arrogance

= = = = = = = = =

Here’s the thing, the real story is what Snowden revealed, not that he revealed it and not the ensuing manhunt. Our government violated the Constitution thousands of times, violated YOUR RIGHTS with malice aforethought, and lied to all of us about it for at least ten years. Now, what are we going to do about that?

“Since racism involves power and oppression, it follows that only the dominant group can be racist. In the US, this means that only whites can be racist. People of color cannot be racist because they don’t have the power. Many whites strenuously object to this argument and say, “I know plenty of people of color who hate whites.” True enough, there are people of color who are prejudiced. However, people of color are not racist because they lack the collective power to oppress whites as a group.” — Pincus, Fred L., Understanding Diversity: An Introduction to Class, Race, Gender & Sexual Orientation (2006): 57. ISBN13: 978-1588264022

Based on this understanding, we may come to the conclusion that it is not possible for women to be sexist, since they lack the collective power to oppress men as a group. Likewise, the working class cannot be accused of engaging in class warfare because as a group they don’t have the collective power to oppress the wealthy or the multinational corporations owned by the wealthy.

Cross-posted from Green Polity

femsFeminist theory is the extension of feminism into theoretical or philosophical discourse. It aims to understand the nature of gender inequality. It examines women’s social roles, experience, interests, and feminist politics in a variety of fields, such as anthropology and sociology, communication, psychoanalysis, economics, literary, education, philosophy, and even linguistics. Feminist researchers embrace two key tenets: (1) their research should focus on the condition of women in society, and (2) their research must be grounded in the assumption that women generally experience oppressive subordination. Thus, feminist research rejects Weber‘s value-free orientation in favor of being overtly political — doing research in pursuit of gender equality. Any movement not seeking equality cannot, therefore, be called Feminism (which basically rejects modern conservative notions of feminism).

Modern Western feminist history is split into three time periods, or “waves”, each with slightly different aims based on prior progress.

I. First-wave feminism of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries focused on overturning legal inequalities, particularly women’s suffrage.

18th century: the Age of Enlightenment — The Age of Enlightenment was characterized by secular intellectual reasoning and a flowering of philosophical writing. Many Enlightenment philosophers defended the rights of women, including Jeremy Bentham (1781), Marquis de Condorcet (1790), and, perhaps most notably, Mary Wollstonecraft whose A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) is one of the first works that can unambiguously be called feminist. In America, feminist movement leaders campaigned for the national Abolition of Slavery and Temperance before championing women’s rights. The antislavery campaign of the 1830s served as both a cause ideologically compatible with feminism and a blueprint for later feminist political organizing. Attempts to exclude women only strengthened their convictions.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage saw the Church as a major obstacle to women’s rights, and welcomed the emerging literature on matriarchy. Both Gage and Stanton produced works on this topic, and collaborated on The Woman’s Bible (1895) to challenge the traditional position of religious orthodoxy that woman should be subservient to man.

Early 19th-century feminists reacted to cultural inequities including the pernicious widespread acceptance of the Victorian image of women’s “proper” role and “sphere”. As Jane Austen addressed women’s restricted lives in the early part of the century, Charlotte Brontë, Anne Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Eliot depicted women’s misery and frustration. Feminists of previous centuries charged women’s exclusion from education as the central cause for their domestic relegation and denial of social advancement, and women’s 19th-century education was not much better.

“I myself have never been able to find out precisely what feminism is: I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat, or a prostitute.” — Rebecca West, “Mr. Chesterton in hysterics”, The Clarion, 1913

Major issues in the 1910s and 1920s included suffrage, economics and employment, sexuality and families, war and peace, and a Constitutional amendment for equality. Both equality and difference were seen as routes to women’s empowerment. Women entered the labor market during the First World War in unprecedented numbers, often in new sectors, and discovered the value of their work. The war also left large numbers of women bereaved and with a net loss of household income. The scores of men killed and wounded shifted the demographic composition.

II. Second-wave feminism (1960s–1980s) broadened debate to include cultural inequalities, gender norms, and the role of women in society.

The backlash against U.S. women is real. As the misconception of equality between the sexes becomes more ubiquitous, so does the attempt to restrict the boundaries of women’s personal and political power. (Clarence) Thomas’ confirmation, the ultimate rally of support for the male paradigm of harassment, sends a clear message to women: “Shut up! Even if you speak, we will not listen.”

I will not be silenced.

I acknowledge the fact that we live under siege. I intend to fight back. I have uncovered and unleashed more repressed anger than I thought possible. For the umpteenth time in my 22 years, I have been radicalized, politicized, shaker) awake. I have come to voice again, and this time my voice is not conciliatory.

The night after Thomas’s confirmation I ask the man I am intimate with what he thinks of the whole mess. His concern is primarily with Thomas’ propensity to demolish civil rights and opportunities for people of color. I launch into a tirade. “When will progressive black men prioritize my rights and well-being? When will they stop talking so damn much about ‘the race’ as if it revolved exclusively around them?” He tells me I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I scream “I need to know, are you with me or are you going to help them try to destroy me?” — Rebecca Walker, Becoming the Third Wave, MS Magazine, 1992

III. Third-wave feminism (1990s–present) refers to diverse strains of feminist activity, seen as both a continuation of the second wave and a response to the perceived failures of and backlash against initiatives and movements created by Second-wave feminism during the 1960s to 1980s, and the realization that women are of “many colors, ethnicities, nationalities, religions and cultural backgrounds”. The third wave embraces diversity and change. In this wave, as in previous ones, there is no all-encompassing single feminist idea, and thus no single target for anti-feminists to focus upon.

Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid what it deems the second wave’s “essentialist” definitions of femininity, which often assumed a universal female identity and over-emphasized the experiences of upper-middle-class white women.

Essentialism as it relates to Feminism theorizes that there are innate, essential differences between men and women. That is, we are born with certain traits. This is often used as an explanation for why there are so few women in science and technology. It is also used as a rationale for pigeonholing, offering limited education, hiring discrimination, etc. It is also sometimes raised (including by women) under the guise of Equal but different.

In “Deconstructing Equality-versus-Difference: Or, the Uses of Poststructuralist Theory for Feminism,” (.pdf) Joan W. Scott describes how language has been used as a way to understand the world, however, “post-structuralists insist that words and texts have no fixed or intrinsic meanings, that there is no transparent or self-evident relationship between them and either ideas or things, no basic or ultimate correspondence between language and the world”. Thus, while language has been used to create binaries (such as male/female), post-structuralists see these binaries as artificial constructs created to maintain the power and privilege of dominant groups.

For third-wave feminists, therefore, “sexual liberation,” a major goal of second-wave feminism, was expanded to mean a process of first becoming conscious of the ways one’s gender identity and sexuality have been shaped by society and then intentionally constructing (and becoming free to express) one’s authentic gender identity.

Third wavers inherited a foothold of institutional power created by second wavers, including women’s studies programs at universities, long-standing feminist organizations, and well-established publishing outlets such as Ms. magazine and several academic journals. These outlets became a less important part of the culture of the third wave than they had been for the second wave.

In expressing their concerns, third-wave feminists actively subverted, co-opted, and played on seemingly sexist images and symbols. This was evident in the double entendre and irony of the language commonly adopted by people in their self-presentations. Slang used derogatorily in most earlier contexts became proud and defiant labels. The spirit and intent of the third wave shone through the raw honesty, humour, and horror of Eve Ensler’s play (and later book) The Vagina Monologues, an exploration of women’s feelings about sexuality that included vagina-centered topics as diverse as orgasm, birth, and rape; the righteous anger of punk rock’s riot grrrls movement; and the playfulness, seriousness, and subversion of the Guerrilla Girls, a group of women artists who donned gorilla masks in an effort to expose female stereotypes and fight discrimination against female artists.” — Third Wave continued

Third-wave theory usually incorporates elements of queer theory; anti-racism and women-of-color consciousness; womanism; girl power; post-colonial theory; postmodernism; transnationalism; cyberfeminism; ecofeminism; individualist feminism; new feminist theory, transgender politics, and a rejection of the gender binary (see, for example, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity (.pdf, 1990)).

Third-wave feminism seeks to challenge or avoid second-wave “essentialist” definitions of femininity, which over-emphasized the experiences of white, upper middle class women. A post-structuralist interpretation of gender and sexuality, or an understanding of gender as outside binary maleness and femaleness, is central to much of the third wave’s ideology. Proponents of third-wave feminism claim that it allows women to define feminism for themselves by incorporating their own identities into the belief system of what feminism is, what it encompasses, and what it can become through one’s own perspective.

Originally posted on Another angry woman:

Oh dear. Louise Mensch has been at it again with the Tory feminism. This time, she’s upset about people telling her to check her privilege, displaying a profound lack of understanding of intersectional feminism and the notion of what privilege is and cissexism, all of which she has somehow managed to conflate together because she understands it so little. Also, I think she’s watched The Life of Brian recently. Anyway, for the most part it is the same tedious anti-intersectional twaddle which tends to come from high-profile people who have had their fingers burned by being challenged on some dingleberries they’ve been spouting and lack the basic level of self-reflection to learn from the experience.

However, Louise Mensch has a solution to the problem! She calls for a reality-based feminism, which is basically this:

American feminism gets organised. It sees where power lies, and it mobilises to achieve it…

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British filmmaker Temujin Doran has released a new movie that is based on the book “The Death of the Liberal Class” by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges. “Obey” explores the rise of the corporate state and the future of obedience in a world filled with unfettered capitalism, worsening inequality and environmental changes.

Warning: Viewers may find some of the clips in the film disturbing.

“Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much?” Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman (‘Quants’ & ‘Money & Speed’), takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.

English: Map of tax havens, using the 2007 pro...

English: Map of tax havens, using the 2007 proposed “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act”, US Congress, list of tax havens (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those routes go by resounding names like ‘Cayman Special’, ‘Double Irish’, and ‘Dutch Sandwich’. A financial world operates in the shadows surrounded by a high level of secrecy. A place where sizable capital streams travel the world at the speed of light and avoid paying tax. The Tax Free Tour is an economic thriller mapping the systemic risk for governments and citizens alike. Is this the price we have to pay for globalized capitalism?

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The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has just published “the Kissinger Cables,” 1.7 million U.S. diplomatic and intelligence documents from 1973 to 1976 that include many once-secret memos written by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. While the documents have been available to the public at the National Archives, WikiLeaks has created a searchable online database to allow anyone in the world to quickly search them. WikiLeaks founder and editor Julian Assange reportedly did most of the work creating the database from his refuge in Ecuador’s embassy in London. WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson joins us to discuss the documents’ release. Hrafnsson also comments on the recent anniversary of the release of the “Collateral Murder” military video, which shows U.S. forces killing 12 people in the Iraqi suburb of New Baghdad — including two Reuters employees, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen. After WikiLeaks obtained the video, Hrafnsson met with family members of the victims in Iraq. [Go here for rush transcript: Democracy Now!]

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@Aine:

We’re gradually making the transition from the Party of Stupid to the Nation of Stupid without the resources and woman-power to slam the shift lever into full reverse.

Originally posted on Dandelion Salad:

Manufacturing Consent (Free Gaza)

Image by Ilias Bartolini via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Noam Chomsky

TheChomskyVideos – Apr 23, 2013

Recorded at MIT on March 26, 2013

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