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Messages - AGelbert

Pages: 1 ... 659 660 [661] 662 663 ... 670
Saturday, October 12, 2013
1993-2013: is the twenty years long "pas de deux" of Russia and the USA coming to an end? 

The latest tensions between the EU and Russia over Greenpeace's stunt in the Arctic only confirmed a fact which nobody really bothers denying anymore: Western political and financial elites absolutely hate Vladimir Putin and they are appalled at Russia's behavior, both inside Russia and on the international scene.  This tension was quite visible on the faces of Obama and Putin at the G8 summit in Lough Erne where both leaders looked absolutely disgusted with each other.  Things got even worse when Putin did something quite unheard of in the Russian diplomatic history: he publicly  said that Kerry was dishonest and even called him a liar.

 While tensions have reached some sort of climax over the Syrian issue, problems between Russia and the USA are really nothing new.  A quick look at the recent past will show that the western corporate media has been engaged in a sustained strategic campaign to identify and exploit any possible weaknesses in the Russian "political armor" and to paint Russia like a very nasty, undemocratic and authoritarian country, in other words a threat to the West.   Let me mention a few episodes of this Russia-bashing campaign (in no particular order):
•Berezovsky as a "persecuted" businessman
•Politkovskaya "murdered by KGB goons"
•Khodorkovsky jailed for his love of "liberty"
•Russia's "aggression" against Georgia
•The Russian "genocidal" wars against the Chechen people
•"**** Riot" as "prisoners of conscience"
•Litvinenko "murdered by Putin"
•Russian homosexuals "persecuted" and "mistreated" by the state
•Magnitsky and the subsequent "Magnitsky law"
•Snowden as a "traitor hiding in Russia"
•The "stolen elections" to the Duma and the Presidency
•The "White Revoluton" on the Bolotnaya square
•The "new Sakharov" - Alexei Navalnyi
•Russia's "support for Assad", the (Chemical) "Butcher of Baghdad"
•The Russian constant "intervention" in Ukrainian affairs
•The "complete control" of the Kremlin over the Russian media
This list is far from complete, but its sufficient for our purposes.  Let me also immediately add here that it is not my purpose today to debunk these allegations one by one.  I have done so in this blog many times the past, so anybody interested can look this up.  I will just state here one very important thing which I cannot prove, but of which I am absolutely certain: 90% or more of the Russian public believe that all these issues are absolute nonsense, completely overblown non-issues.  Furthermore, most Russians believe that the so-called "democratic forces" which the Western elites support in Russia (Iabloko, Parnas, Golos, etc.) are basically agents of influence for the West paid for by the CIA, MI6, Soros and exiled Jewish oligarchs.  What is certain is that besides these small liberal/democratic groups, nobody in Russia takes these accusations seriously.  Most people see them exactly for what they are: a smear campaign.

 In many ways, this is rather reminiscent of how things stood during the Cold War where the West used its immense propaganda resources to demonize the Soviet Union and to support anti-Soviet forces worldwide, including inside the USSR itself.  I would argue that these efforts were, by and large, very successful and that by 1990s the vast majority of Soviets, including Russians, were rather disgusted with their leaders.  So why the big difference today?

 To answer that question, we need to look back at the processes which took place in Russia in the last 20 years or so because only a look at what happened during these two decades will allows us to get to the root of the current problem(s) between the USA and Russia.

 When did the Soviet Union truly disappear?

 The official date of the end of the Soviet Union is 26 December 1991, the day of the adoption by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union of the  Declaration № 142-Н which officially recognized dissolution of the Soviet Union as a state and subject of international law.  But that is a very superficial, formal, view of things.  One could argue that even though the Soviet Union had shrunk to the size of the Russian Federation it still survived within these smaller borders.  After all, the laws did not change overnight, neither did most of the bureaucracy, and even though the Communist Party itself had been banned following the August 1991 coup, the rest of the state apparatus still continued to exist.

 For Eltsin and his supporters this reality created a very difficult situation.  Having banned the CPUS and dismantled the KGB, Eltsin's  liberals still face a formidable adversary: the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, the Parliament of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, elected by the Congress of People's Deputies of the Russian Federation.  Nobody had abolished this *very* Soviet institution which rapidly became the center of almost all of the anti-Eltsin and pro-Soviet forces in the country.  I cannot go in all the details of this legal nightmare, suffice to say that the Supreme Soviet presented itself as the "Russian Parliament" (which is not quite true) and that its members engaged in a systematic campaign to prevent Eltsin to implement his "reforms" (in hindsight, one could say that they tried to prevent Eltsin from ruining the country).  One could say that the "new Russia" and the "old USSR" were fighting each other for the future of the country.  Predictably, the Supreme Soviet wanted a parliamentary democracy while Eltsin and his liberals wanted a presidential democracy.  The two sides presented what appeared to be a stark contrast to most Russians:

 1) The Russian President Eltsin: officially he represented Russia, as opposed to the Soviet Union; he presented himself as an anti-Communist and as a democrat (nevermind that he himself had been a high ranking member of the CPSU and even a non-voting member to the Politburo!).  Eltsin was also clearly the darling of the West and he promised to integrate Russia into the western world.

 2) The Supreme Soviet: headed by Ruslan Khasbulatov with the support of the Vice-President of Russia, Alexander Rutskoi, the Supreme Soviet became the rallying point of all those who believed that the Soviet Union had been dissolved illegally (which is true) and against the will of the majority of its people (which is also true).  Most, though not all, the supporters of the Supreme Soviet were if not outright Communists, then at least socialists and anti-capitalists.  A good part of the rather disorganized Russian nationalist movement also supported the Supreme Soviet.

 We all know what eventually happened: Eltsin crushed the opposition in a huge bloodbath, far worse than what was reported in the Western (or even Russian) media.  I write that with a high degree of confidence because I have personally received this information from a very good source: it so happens that I was in Moscow during those tragic days and that and I was in constant contact with a Colonel of a rather secretive special forces unit of the KGB called "Vympel" (more about that below) who told me that the internal KGB estimate of the number of people killed in the Moscow Oblast was close to 3'000 people.  I can also personally attest that the combats lasted for far longer than the official narrative clams: I witnessed a very sustained machine gun battle right under my windows a full 5 days after the Supreme Soviet had surrendered.  I want to stress this here because I think that this illustrates an often overlooked reality: the so-called "constitutional crisis of 1993" was really a mini civil war for the fate of the Soviet Union and only by the end of this crisis did the Soviet Union really truly disappear.

Full story here:


Nuke Puke / The nuclear INSANITY of the 1950s
« on: October 28, 2013, 01:39:51 am »
RADIOACTIVE DUST is placed on a model's FACE!  ???

Our government KNEW since the late 1930s what ionizing radiation did to harm somatic as well as gamete cells in life forms from fruit flies to mammals yet they allowed health destroying practices like the above to be tried. These cosmetic company MORONS thought it was SO CLEVER that a Geiger counter could be used to measure whether the dust was still on the model's face because the test dust was "just radioactive enough" to register!  :o

Yep, the commercial above was for some kind of Cleansing Cream!

And WHO was the "independent Lab" that had ACCESS to radioactive dust!? Can you see the government cleverly inserting the FALSE idea in the public's mind that the presence of radioactivity from nuclear explosions or power plants is NO BIG DEAL?
  I can.  >:(

Madison Avenue sure didn't have any radioactive dust handy for testing the effectiveness of cleansing creams.  Anybody watching the thing would believe that radiation in dust was just something you could wash off. No big deal... :P

And then people ask where all the modern day CANCER comes from. >:(

New Inventions / Home Bird Friendly Vertical Axis Wind Generator
« on: October 28, 2013, 01:15:53 am »

Windmill Of The Ancients

 Here is a propeller free windmill that can be set up for individual homes in cities and suburbs and provide 25-30% of the power in your house.

And they are working on a model that can provide 100% of the power. Now we're talking!


Inspired by an Ancient Egyptian design of a windmill used to grind wheat, the Windspire spins slowly enough to be seen by birds, so they don't get harmed. And it looks great!

Egyptian Hieroglyphics examples with some birds among them

 According to an article in Gizmag that can be seen here:

 "The 1.2 kW Windspire will produce approximately 2000 kilowatt hours per year in 12 mile per hour average winds while the included internal wireless modem can continuously transmit power production information directly to your computer so you can check your power production at any time.

 The 1.2 kW Windspire is available now for around $5,000 installed, while a low wind version, an off-grid or battery-charging version and a 3 kW version are all in development."

 --Bibi Farber

 For more information, see http://www.windspireenergy.com/

- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/energy/windspire-a-personal-windmill-for-cities-and-suburbs.html#sthash.2e689UrF.dpuf

General Discussion / Surly,
« on: October 27, 2013, 11:17:59 pm »
Thanks. Yeah, I'm starting to get my act together here.  ;D  My goal is somewhat amorphous beyond the very specific and daily desire to do whatever the Boss upstairs wants me to do. There are quite a few nature articles I wrote at my DD channel that I plan to publish here in nice, easy to reference "Wonders of Nature" topic categories so that people can go and just relax and lay back with nature video or strange and wonderful info on all the critters we share the planet with and the many biomes they inhabit. I hope to have a fun, as well as informative, general nature audio/video/article library that doesn't require a degree in biology (or any other science) to enjoy. One day at a time.

As to subject matter, I am trying to find a niche that people will feel comfortable going to for interesting, stimulating, enjoyable and at times, righteous anger producing articles, video and audio.

Rummaging around the Admin settings I discovered I have a limit on word count per post. At first I though I would jack it up like RE did at his forum but now I think I'll keep it because it keeps each post from becoming over long and forces me to split posts into parts.

I think I have an advantage as an admin in that I don't dwell on one subject and, quixotic as it may seem, continually seek to provide down to earth, realistic hope for myself and the viewers of the forum even while I holler and scream about some injustice here and there.

I will make every effort to avoid a pitfall in publishing. That is, to concentrate on putting out more material on a subject that gets lots of views. I respect the views but I realize that it is entirely possible for a crowd of 'one subject' zealots to dwell in a certain area. If those just happen to be the ones passing through on a given week or month and I mistakenly assume the other subject areas lack merit, I'll unbalance the subject matter and do future viewers a disservice.

If it's okay with you, I would like to make you a moderator here. No, I'm not asking you to spend more time or do more than you do right now. I realize you have your hands full with the facebook, your channel and the weekly doom load.  I just think it's your right.  ;D


The Imperial Russian government had issued an ultimatum to Britain and France specifying that if those powers should intervene on the side of the Confederate States of America they would immediately find themselves at war with the Russian Empire.
Key Historical Events... that  you may have never heard of  :o

This is really quite remarkable. Read a lot about the civil War but can't remember learning this. Great find!

Glad you found it informative. Webster Tarpley can be rather eccentric but he is a walking no holds barred history book of Western Civilization. The guy knows history and the nuts and bolts of empire power politics intimately.

But getting back to the Lincoln/Russian alliance, think about how things REALLY work in our government, especially after WWII when Russia became the "enemy du jour" to fatten up the military industrial complex, NOT for national security...

I ASKED MYSELF A SIMPLE QUESTION: Suppose NOBODY but us had nukes back then? Would we have done exactly what we DID (go on a world pillage rampage for big oil and other predatory corporate interests) after the Soviet Union collapsed?

YEP! And, OF COURSE, lacking a big boogeyman like Russia would not have been an impediment for our boogeyman inventing propagandists. The convenient perpetual swag for the military industrial complex called the "war on terror" would have been manufactured a lot sooner!

Russia ACTUALLY contributed to the advance of civil rights in our country (although they were rather effective in crushing civil rights in theirs  :P), not because our leaders gave a damn, but because we were trying to counter Russia's truths about how we mistreated minorities. So Russia was just keeping us towing our PR "freedom, democracy and pro-human rights" line for real! Anyone that doesn't agree with that hypothesis or the premise behind it need only observe what we did the INSTANT we didn't have a strong competitor for people's hearts and minds on the global stage (1990-2013  :P).

What went down after the Soviet collapse PROVES that our government NEVER had ANY OTHER GOAL but global domination, the very thing we, in true Orwellian   fashion, accused the Ruskies of going all out to do.


So we OWE the Russians for two great historical achievements in the defense of democracy and freedom, not just one.

And with keeping the Israel firsters in Congress, our warmongering Secretary of State and the matrix media honest by exposing the false flag terror attack killing kids and fraudulent attempt to try to pin it on the Syrian Government, that makes THREE! :o :emthup: :icon_sunny: GOD BLESS THE RUSSIANS!

I have feeling Freedom and Democracy Debt Number FOUR to Russia is coming pretty soon... ;)

A Short Course in Clever Propaganda Part 2   

When it comes to the news, however, there’s another factor at play.

News in internet time

Because the internet is instantaneous, there’s tremendous competitive pressure to get your article published as quickly as technologically possible. So the NSA data mining has no bearing on the decisions to manufacture propaganda or some other mendacious bit of distraction? PRESSURE TO MEET A HEADLINE? I don't think so.

This often happens at the expense of facts, replacing them with rampant and sometimes wild speculation. Speculation that is often presented or interpreted as fact. Yeah sure, facts get "lost" because of "pressure" to meet a headline. LOL!

Confirming facts takes time and resources. DUH!

The immediacy of internet publishing has taken away the luxury of time and budget; other constraints erode the resources required to even do the work. It has?  ??? Truth is now the casualty of headline pressure (time and money) as well as the first casualty of war?

News and other sites that cover current events are often faced with a very simple choice:

Speculate today,

Be correct tomorrow. Leo CONVENIENTLY LEFT OUT that this is precisely the propaganda TOOL disguised as "rushed headline inaccuracy" used by the New York Times and several other "reputable" matrix mouthpieces to push for War as far back as the Spanish American War and as recently as the Iraqi "weapons of mass destruction" FRAUD, Iranian atomic boogeyman Israeli pushed fraud and the false flag terrorist child massacre instantly (and fraudulently) blamed on the Syrian government.

Getting something out today almost always wins. Accuracy be damned. BULLSHIT! When they set out to twist some news to suit a government approved narrative, they deliberately set up a fake fact check or bought and paid for scholar to back up the lies in the article. It takes LONGER to set up the mendacious propaganda than just post the news without filtering it for "acceptable" content. To assume EVERYTHING going out from the allegedly "reputable" web sites isn't thoroughly massaged before it goes out is Santa Claus propaganda by YOU, Leo. The only place I agree with you is when a manufactured headline (used to demonize some ethnic group) deliberately claims large numbers of victims of said ethnic group NOW, only to place a correction" in small print a week or so later.

Why you and I are part of the problem  Yeah, right, WE are the problem...

Satirical news parody site, The Onion, nailed it with an article, Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning.

The article is a fictitious “explanation” of why a major news site – CNN.com – highlighted on its home page the antics of the singer at the previous night’s music awards show. 

The only thing fictitious about the article is its attribution. Everything else is frighteningly accurate. Leo wants me to think the consumer of manufactured mendacity and/or truthful but unimportant distractive silliness is there because WE ASKED FOR IT, not because SOMEONE has worked their Orwellian asses off for about a century to keep us from thinking.

News sites are simply giving us what we apparently want  as measured by what we’ll click on to read.

It’s all about clicks and page views and time-on-site and advertising revenue and … well, you get the idea. Yes, and the Native Americans are a bunch of irresponsible drunkards because we gave them liquor and took their land. And the African Americans are "lazy and prone to thievery" because that's just the "way they are", right Leo? It's ALL OUR FAULT, right Leo? Gee, I think I read that about the financial crisis right after 2008, too. >:( Giving the public guilt trips is such fun... YES. LEO, I think I understand what the IDEA you are pushing is.  ;)

The fact is simple: you and I are much more likely to click stories about the outrageous antics of a pop singer than we are to click stories about what one might consider “real news,” such as atrocities happening elsewhere in the world.   
 Sure. sure, we are all brainless Pavlovian dogs...We don't care about truth, corruption, pro-war propaganda, fossil fuel piggery and poisons, massive voter disenfranchisement, CEO  fraud and theft, etc...

News sites are simply giving us what we apparently want as measured in clicks. 
At least that is what YOU want us to believe, LEO.

The same is true for the salacious headlines, fact-free articles, and sensational speculation-as-truth that’s littered all over the internet. Ahh! We have arrived at the money quote! You are claiming anything that is hard hitting is equivalent to cheap **** and hysterical fear mongering. Clever, clever, clever.

We don’t click on boring, and we don’t fact check anything. 
Yeah, you boyz in the mild Santa Claus propaganda mills are a bit upset at the FACT that the populous isn't buying the "everything is just hunky Jake" line you are used to force feeding us. SO you are now claiming we aren't rational. I guess you will leave it to the more strident propagandists to start calling us 'unpatriotic' and 'traitors' too!

I have no solution, but… Translation:  It's human nature to be Pavlovian dogs. Take a pill. Relax. Only believe mild, politically correct, everything is "hunky dory" type news and everything will be fine.

I’m not about to change journalism, or human nature.

People will click on what we’re going to click, and website owners are going to respond as they see fit for their business.

As an information consumer, however, I want you to be aware of two exceptionally important things:
Your decisions and actions drive the internet. 

You may believe that it’s big (or small) business doing whatever it is they want to make money, but the fact is they can’t do that without you. The more that you visit certain sites, the more you’re implicitly endorsing what they do and how they do it. As a result, they’re going to do more. You left out surreptitious government funded and fossil fuel funded astro-turf and fake popularity, Leo. How come?

Seriously. That’s exactly how it works.  Only for a small niche, not for non-consumer goods truthful information. People read news a lot more than they shop! The predatory capitalist corporations that run most Western governments are bending, folding and mutilating the news 24/7 but you are pretending WE get that crap because we asked for it. BULLSHIT!

You can’t believe everything you read on the internet. 
OR anywhere else, for that matter. Water is wet.  Is this some kind of, 'I'm on your side' type of con? 

This pains me deeply because while almost everyone says this, it seems like no one acts like they understand it. It’s absolutely amazing the wild and wacky stuff that people will believe if it’s published online. The fact is even those sites that we consider reputable will fall into the trap of publishing inaccurate and misleading information1 – and yet people believe it all without question. Yes Leo, a large percentage of  Homo SAPs have low IQs and are easily led astray. That's blame the victim logic. What about the very intelligent evil bastards with a lot of mainstream credibility that push war, fossil fuels and a host of other horrors destroying the biosphere in general and Homo SAPs in particular? Are you telling me that the silliest. most ignorant among us CONTROL the message on the internet? BULLSHIT! 

And that’s what has to change.
 Boilerplate. What has to change is that people in government and private enterprise engaging in activities that poison the planet and kill people must be FORCED to stop lying about it on the internet.

You must question everything
 Most people do. It's people like you who limit our choices in the media about what is "believable" or not and bore us to death with pop singer topics, ****, or lockstep propaganda day in and day out. The world is a big place but you can tune in any of the main stream media news casts and they are basically running the SAME stories. Can you say, controlled media? And don't tell me that doesn't happen on the internet.

This is where I really believe that internet journalism is really letting us down. This is how the internet has broken journalism. 
I think what is REALLY bugging you is that people don't believe the bought and paid for main stream media 'journalists' any more. That's THEIR fault for lying so much. The INTERNET has destroyed their credibility. GOOD! Tough luck for you, Leo.

You and I, we have to now do the legwork that we could in the past assume that journalists and authors had at least made an attempt to do themselves. Boilerplate. You are setting readers up to be herded into NOT believing the Santa Claus version of history.

It’s horrible. It’s awful. It’s frustrating. It shouldn’t have to be this way.

And yet, it is what it is. You and I must (and I do mean must) take everything that we read online with a grain of salt. Nothing can be believed without question. DUH!

You and I must do the job that in the past we might have relied on good journalism to at least begin to do for us: confirm the truth, check sources, clarify statements, and see through the hyperbole. Right... Anytime strong wording is use, it must be hyperbole. A propaganda rag with deep government pockets cannot buy cred and false statements to give some astro-turf pseudo scientific or fake goody two shoes historical narrative the aura of respectability while disparaging a truth teller without government funding... ;)

Of course, the practical reality is that we can’t actually do that for every single thing we encounter. As a result, we develop relationships with sources that we trust – venues that have proven themselves to be honest, accurate, and at least somewhat diligent about presenting truth as truth, speculation as speculation, and avoiding the temptation to do just about anything for a page view. Ah yes, the RELATIONSHIPS...."sources that we trust – venues that have proven themselves to be honest, accurate, etc.". I get it Leo. If DA GOOBERMENT  ain't backing it, it isn't "believable"

Naturally, I hope Ask Leo! is one of those sites. I admit I have gotten a few good tips on computers here but the total absence of perspective about real world conditions is misleading. Leo NEVER exposes any of the many scandals in the computer industry including back doors by Microsoft and others on behalf of the government. I have had to go to other sites to get anything that isn't extremely mild. He does provide pretty good data BUT it is seldom complete and you need to go to less restrained computer geeks to find out the total story. Leo worked for Microsoft for WAY TOO LONG.  ;D

But even for those sites that you trust, you must keep up your guard and do your own due diligence. Accidentally or not, it’s very easy to get it wrong. That is the one statement here I agree with. However, in the light of what has already been said, I consider it disengenous. Mixing truths with falsehoods is the bread and butter of successful propaganda.

And if I ever start posting about the antics of half-naked pop-stars, slap me. Hard. As if that was the main problem with the internet. Defense of bullets and bombs is doing much more damage than bulbous boobs ever will.  >:(


Agelbert comment to Leo:

I'm sorry Leo, I must take issue with you on this assumption:
Your decisions and actions drive the internet. You may believe that it’s big (or small) business doing whatever it is they want to make money, but the fact is they can’t do that without you. The more that you visit certain sites, the more you’re implicitly endorsing what they do and how they do it. As a result, they’re going to do more.

Seriously. That’s exactly how it works.

NO, it is definitely NOT how "it works.". I can quote you chapter and verse from the 1950s to the 1990s on how the overwhelmingly high percentage of stories were NOT "when it bleeds, it leads" or simple sensationalism appealing to the lowest common denominator of readership.

I can bring you proof of funding of pro-war, pro-fossil fuel, pro-predatory capitalist practices, active suppression of news about criminal activities by our own government in order to keep the people in the dark about said activity.

Don't tell me they wouldn't be "interested" in reading that and would prefer Hollywood scandals and other mindless entertainment. You are a knowledgeable man. Study Operation Mockingbird.

Follow your own rule (and mine as well!) and CONFIRM all the following statements rather than tossing them aside as mendacity before you responsibly investigate them.

"You could get a journalist cheaper than a good call girl, for a couple hundred dollars a month." - CIA operative discussing with Philip Graham, editor Washington Post, on the availability and prices of journalists willing to peddle CIA propaganda and cover stories. "Katherine The Great," by Deborah Davis (New York: Sheridan Square Press, 1991) 

"The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." -- William Colby, former CIA Director, cited by Dave Mcgowan, Derailing Democracy
"There is quite an incredible spread of relationships. You don't need to manipulate Time magazine, for example, because there are [Central Intelligence] Agency people at the management level." -- William B. Bader, former CIA intelligence officer, briefing members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein

"The Agency's relationship with [The New York] Times was by far its most valuable among newspapers, according to CIA officials. [It was] general Times policy ... to provide assistance to the CIA whenever possible." -- The CIA and the Media, by Carl Bernstein

"Senator William Proxmire has pegged the number of employees of the federal intelligence community at 148,000 ... though Proxmire's number is itself a conservative one. The "intelligence community" is officially defined as including only those organizations that are members of the U.S. Intelligence Board (USIB); a dozen other agencies, charged with both foreign and domestic intelligence chores, are not encompassed by the term.... The number of intelligence workers employed by the federal government is not 148,000, but some undetermined multiple of that number." -- Jim Hougan, Spooks

"For some time I have been disturbed by the way the CIA has been diverted from its original assignment. It has become an operational and at times a policy-making arm of the government.... I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations." --former President Harry Truman, 22 December 1963, one month after the JFK assassination, op-ed section of the Washington Post, early edition

As terrible as it is to live in a nation where the press in known to be controlled by the government, at least one has the advantage of knowing the bias is present, and to adjust for it. In the United States of America, we are taught from birth that our press is free from such government meddling. This is an insidious lie about the very nature of the news institution in this country. One that allows the government to lie to us while denying the very fact of the lie itself

Leo, it is cruel joke to believe the many idiotic, prurient and sensationalistic web sites out to keep people distracted and dumbed down on the internet are not every bit as FINANCED with government funds to provide the appearance of popularity as  the main stream media propaganda outlets. Pravda and Izvestia are alive and well in our media. As a matter of fact, those old Russian propaganda rags have probably more truth in them since the Soviet Union collapsed than CNN does.

It costs money to run web sites but you fail to mention that the government funds web sites surreptitiously for the purpose of manufacturing public consent. Noam Chomsky is NOT a "conspiracy theorist".

Sure Leo, we have a small niche where we do the old "compete for popularity" thing. But presenting that niche as "exactly the way it TOTALLY works" is a disservice to your readership.

Operation Mockingbird may have a different name in the internet, but the modus operandi has not changed and if you don't know that, it's time you did.


Who CAN you trust? / A Short Course in Clever Propaganda Part 1
« on: October 27, 2013, 06:49:27 pm »
Take a look at this seemingly well intentioned and informative article urging people to confirm what they read.

Something is REALLY MISSING here. Can you tell what it is? How about the upiquitous (and mostly surreptitious) government efforts to manufacture consent when they aren't financing astro-turf fake grass roots popularity, **** and sensationalism to keep people distracted?

See my comment after the article. My remarks are in red in the article as well or my opinion is voiced with an emoticon.

How the internet is breaking  ;) journalism  ;D (and what it means to you)
Article by Leo on the Ask Leo web site.

When it comes to journalism and other information that you read on the internet, there's a very strong argument that things are seriously broken. The result is that we all need to be more vigilant than ever to separate the truth from falsehood and recognize what's important as opposed to what's popular.

Last week’s revelations, investigations, and clarifications regarding Microsoft Security Essentials really made me realize something very critical about how the internet works today and how broken it is.

The assumptions that readers are making about the information that they find online – even at relatively “reputable” sites – are wrong. The internet is breaking what “journalism” means. As a result, it’s become even more critical for online information consumers (that’s you and me, by the way) to take on a burden that we have not been trained to even concern ourselves with until now.

The burden of confirmation.

I’ve written about it before, but the sad fact is that you just can’t believe everything you read on the internet. And it is now your practical responsibility to do the legwork to confirm whether something is, or is not, true.

And yes, I agree, that’s totally broken.

And it’s partly our fault.  ???
What drives the internet

Most websites on the internet measure traffic. More visitors equals more success. It’s as simple as that. Whether the success is measured in advertising revenue or product sales, the bottom line is that more eyeballs are critical to most site’s success.

And I’ll admit that this is true for Ask Leo! More visitors make my endeavor more successful.
So, how does one get traffic? Uh... Shouldn't there be a discussion of, like, ETHICS HERE  ??? So this "traffic" thing is ONLY about MONEY, Leo?  >:( Product quality, content, Good will, reliability, no ad overload, no spam, no cookies, good fact checking,  etc. have nothing whatsoever to do with obtaining traffic?  >:( ???  :P

My approach has been relatively straightforward: write articles that I think are helpful and informative, that answer real questions asked by real people, sprinkle them with my own editorial and other content, and hope that people discover me via the search engines when they’re looking for an answer to a problem. Unfortunately, that approach isn’t as effective as it once was.

Perhaps as a result, more and more sites use different techniques to attract site visitors or “clicks.”

Attracting clicks

Perhaps the most common approach to generating traffic these days is the sensational or salacious headline – one that says something so strong or outrageous that you just have to click through to read more.

“How the Internet is Breaking Journalism” might be considered such a headline, although I think it’s fairly mild in comparison to some that I’ve seen. (I’m not really very good at headline writing.) I get it Leo. You are mild, milquetoast and extremely non-confrontational because that would be bad for business.

The resulting article may, or may not, deliver on the headline’s promise. Many do not. I hope this one does. We'll see.

The headline served its purpose: it got you to click, the site got a “page view,” and perhaps an ad was shown. Mission accomplished. The fact that the accompanying article was total rubbish or content-free is immaterial. (I hope this one isn’t one of those).

Many go further, continuing with provocative and typically unsubstantiated information – all to get you to spend more time on the site, click through to additional pages, or even better, recommend the article to your friends.

All at the expense of what we often refer to as the truth, accuracy, or occasionally balance. And future clicks TOO, LEO! Why didn't you mention REPUTATION in your zeal to brand us as pavlovian dogs?

The truth is often boring and doesn’t generate page views.  BULLSHIT. 

Continued in "A Short Course in Clever Propaganda Part 2"

Geopolitics / Key Historical Events ...THAT YOU MAY HAVE NEVER HEARD OF
« on: October 27, 2013, 05:33:56 pm »

Civil War Era Russian Fleet
As we mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, commemorations of the mid-point year of that terrible conflict in 1863 are dominated by much-studied battles like Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Chickamauga. Often forgotten are events of perhaps even greater strategic importance – the arrival of the Russian Baltic Fleet in New York City on September 24, 1863, and of the Russian Pacific Squadron in San Francisco on October 12 of the same year. The two Russian admirals carried secret sealed orders they were instructed to open only if Great Britain and France declared war on Russia and/or the United States.

Any aggression by London and Paris against the Union in support of the Confederacy would have caused the Russian Empire to enter the war on the side of Lincoln. If war had come, the secret orders told the Russian admirals to cooperate with the Union Navy in attacking Anglo-French commerce on the high seas, in the manner of the highly successful Confederate raiders like the Alabama.

Napoleon III of France and Lord John Russell, Lord Palmerston, and William Gladstone of Britain had been threatening to intervene in favor of the Confederacy since 1861. They were deterred by the pro-Lincoln policy of the Imperial Court of St. Petersburg. With the arrival of the Russian fleets, consternation in London, Paris, and their partner Madrid was great.

In the North, still traumatized by losses at Gettysburg and Chickamauga,
and by the New York City draft riots, the Russian fleets were a decisive morale booster. When a Confederate warship was feared to be approaching San Francisco, the Russian admiral cleared for action and prepared to defend the port. Russia was the only country to extend direct military support to the Lincoln government.

The Imperial Russian government had issued an ultimatum to Britain and France specifying that if those powers should intervene on the side of the Confederate States of America they would immediately find themselves at war with the Russian Empire.

Cassius Marcellus Clay of Kentucky, a cousin of the Great Compromiser who was Lincoln’s Ambassador to Russia, later claimed that he had done more than any person to save the Union by obtaining Russian help to keep the British and French out of the war. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles summed up much Northern opinion when he observed: “God bless the Russians!” But later, Anglophilia and the Cold War helped obscure these decisive facts >:(.


Geopolitics / Profiles in Courage: Eleanor Roosevelt
« on: October 27, 2013, 04:21:24 pm »
Eleanor Roosevelt

Oct 21, 2013 video archive from C-SPAN 2 hours, 1 minute

Don't miss this historical information and video clips of this courageous woman.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt

American HISTORY you may not know about.

Eleanor Roosevelt was both the most loved by the people and the most hated First Lady by the elites in American History because of her courageous activities.

J. Edgar Hoover led an effort to have Eleanor Roosevelt declared a negro, be stripped of her citizenship and deported to Liberia!

Eleanor Roosevelt has the largest FBI file of any First Lady.

The Republican Campaign button for the 1936 election had, "We don't like Eleanor either." on it. IOW, every bigot out there hated her guts. She was often depicted with "coal dust" on her face in satirical newspaper cartoons. No, it wasn't because she was friendly with coal miners and supported unions for them... 

The Daughters of the American Revolution DID NOT LIKE HER AT ALL. Why? Because she supported unions and defended the civil rights of African Americans. She made these High society ladies uncomfortable with all this "boat rocking". LOL!

And that's WHY J. Edgar Hoover,  one of the greatest fascist Racist Police State Pigs in American History, targeted her. Even with all her high society white family credentials, the INSTANT she moved to support a democratic USA with equal rights for all, the propaganda machine of dedicated fascist racist assholes declared her a N_____R Lover.

When that didn't work, they decided to go all out and to rebrand her genetics in order to DESTROY her credibility.

The Klu Klux Klan placed the highest price on her head (reward for assassinating her) that that pack of cowardly murdering racists had ever placed on anyone on its list of "Enemies of Amerika".

Despite many assasination threats and attempts (she carried a gun), she refused secret service protection until her death in 1962. 

Eleanor Roosevelt's Wartime Prayer
Dear Lord,
Lest I continue
My complacent way,
Help me to remember that somewhere,
Somehow out there
A man died for me today.

As long as there be war,
I then must
Ask and answer
Am I worth dying for?

When Eleanor informs Truman of her husband's death:
ER: Harry, He's dead.
HT: Oh Mrs. Roosevelt, I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do for you?
ER: That's the wrong question because you are the one in trouble now.

Historians discuss all the above and much more including the 1918 Lucy Mercer affair with FDR that caused Eleanor to, henceforth, have her own bedroom, how FDR's mother told him that if he divorced Eleanor to marry Lucy, she would cut him off from the family money and how, despite all this, in 1921 when FDR got polio, Eleanor was the one who willingly gave him a daily enema, inserted a glass tube in his **** to extract urine (because of his paralysis) and gave him the support in the political arena to win the presidency over a decade later. He could not have done it without her.

The elitist, greedy, anti-democratic, racist, predatory capitalists from EVERY political party have been out to undo everything SHE and FDR accomplished for human decency ever since.


Geopolitics / Russell Brand is a Consummate Truth Teller
« on: October 27, 2013, 02:01:07 am »

Published on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by Common Dreams       

Russell Brand: 'Revolution Is Coming... I Ain't Got a Flicker of Doubt'

British comedian goes off on failed paradigm, talking egalitarianism, consciousness, and filthiness of profit with the BBC

- Jon Queally, staff writer


Geopolitics / How the Wealthy Wage War on Democracy Itself
« on: October 27, 2013, 01:48:15 am »
Published on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by TruthDig.com       

How the Wealthy Wage War on Democracy Itself
by Sonali Kolhatkar   

If the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling was not devastating enough for American democracy, a new case could wipe away any remaining vestige of election integrity. The nation’s highest court heard oral arguments in McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission this month. If the court rules in favor of Alabama mining CEO Shaun McCutcheon, rich Americans could make unlimited amounts of campaign contributions directly to political candidates and parties. Currently, the federal limit for individual contributions is $123,000 over two years, a figure that the majority of Americans don’t even earn as basic income during that time span.(Image: Shutterstock)

The conservative National Review recently published a critique of what author Ammon Simon called “the Left’s fear tactics” over sounding the alarm on this new potential deregulation of money in elections. Simon begins by making the case that money does not in fact influence elections, citing several questionable studies that, according to him, prove “the evidence just doesn’t lend itself to the ‘legalized corruption’ theme.”

But he then contradictorily laments “the misguided belief that we can regulate away money’s influence over the political system.” The conservative admiringly points out that, “Historically, campaign-finance laws have always been undermined by innovative workarounds.”

Simon’s argument therefore could be summarized thus: Rich people should be able to influence democracy simply because they are rich, but don’t worry, their money doesn’t have any effect. But if you do try to curb the influence they say they don’t have they will simply acquire it by other means so just give up trying.

In an interview about McCutcheon vs. FEC, University of Texas journalism professor Robert Jensen told me, “The argument that it’s a violation of my free speech rights if the government restricts in any way the way I spend my money on campaigns has a kind of curious logic to it. There’s a kernel of truth to it, that when we spend money we’re engaging in a form of speech. But when you don’t take the real world into consideration, you don’t realize the incredible disparities in wealth will undermine anything approaching a democratic political sphere. We need to reframe this not as a ‘free speech’ case but as a ‘big money’ case."

That the rich influence elections with their money is as obvious to most of us as the fact that rich people game the justice system by being able to hire the best lawyers, or that rich people are healthier because they can buy the best food and health care.

Many examples of big money’s influence on politics abound, one of which is California’s attempt at labeling genetically modified organisms last year. While Proposition 37 had the backing of 60 percent of voters, according to polls taken early in the election season, the last-minute infusion of huge sums of money by corporate food conglomerates like Monsanto, PepsiCo and Hershey’s shifted the balance of voters who were originally in favor of the proposition.

By the time of the election, the “No on 37” vote had gathered $45 million to spend on advertising, while the “Yes” campaign had brought in only about $7.3 million. The result should come as no surprise. With a 53 to 47 percent margin, California voters walked away from an opportunity to become the first state in the nation to label GMOs.

Leading media reformist and Nation magazine correspondent John Nichols has co-authored a new book with his longtime colleague Bob McChesney called “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America.” In an interview about the book, Nichols told me, “More than half a billion dollars was spent on California’s initiatives [in 2012] and so this state saw ‘Dollarocracy’ on steroids. Money flowed into this state and it defined elections.”

Another example of the corrupting influence of money in California’s elections—even before the Citizens United decision—that had a greater human impact, particularly on poor communities of color, was the failure of a 2004 ballot measure to amend the state’s notorious Three Strikes law. Proposition 66, if passed, would have eased some of the harshest sentencing aspects of the original 1994 law that sentenced third-time felons to a minimum of 25 years to life, no matter how minor that third infraction. The law affects black and brown communities disproportionately. Six months before the election, polls found that 76 percent of likely voters favored the amendment, but after then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger spent $2 million of his own money fighting the measure, opinions shifted and the measure narrowly lost.

Citizens United does not allow corporations and rich individuals to contribute directly to campaigns—it requires third parties like political action committees to accept the donations. But if the Supreme Court rules in favor of deregulation in the latest case of McCutcheon vs. FEC, even that last, weak barrier will be cast aside. “The reason why rich people are interested in this,” said McChesney, “is that those third party groups that they can now give unlimited amounts to, have to pay a higher rate for the TV ads than candidates. Candidates are always at the lowest rate on the rate card. So they [the rich] can get more bang for their buck if they give directly to the candidate’s campaign.”

Nichols put it into perspective, saying, “even if the court doesn’t go with McCutcheon, this system is such Swiss cheese now, that money can flow in. They’re just going to have to pay a little more. For the super-rich donors, we’re now at the cleanup stage. They’re like, ‘Oh, this is a little inconvenient to us. Can we just write the big check without having to go through all these different routes?’ ”

In other words, said McChesney, “This is basically more open season for rich people to buy government and to buy democracy.”

One of the most insidious effects of money flooding our political system is the turnoff factor. As people are exposed to greater and greater numbers of political ads, they are less likely to vote at all rather than to change their vote. Nichols explained in an example, “Let’s say you’re a militant feminist and you say ‘I’m going to back this candidate.’ The other side puts on ads that say ‘that candidate has been horrible in all these ways.’ You don’t switch over to the right-wing candidate. You stand down. The whole point of the negative ads is to make people who care, people who actually are interested, step back and say ‘a pox on all your houses.’ ” Nichols added, “Negative political ads are a form of voter suppression. They effectively tell people ‘don’t vote.’ ”

In fact, voter turnout in 2012, which was the first big test of the Citizens United decision, was less than 60 percent. Fewer people voted than in the last two presidential elections in 2008 and 2004.

Sadly it is not just conservatives on the Supreme Court who want the dollar to dominate elections. Having done his damage with the government shutdown over Obamacare, Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz wasted no time in turning his sights to a new target this month: the nomination of Tom Wheeler as head of the Federal Communications Commission. Wheeler is no progressive—he is a former lobbyist and venture capitalist—but Cruz’s opposition to Wheeler is based on his insistence that any future FCC chair must refuse to enforce laws requiring disclosure of political ad funders. Currently, one of the few ways in which ordinary Americans can judge the veracity of a political ad is by examining who has funded the ad. Cruz would like to see even that democratic right taken away from the public.

Not surprisingly, National Review author Simon’s solution to the corrupting influence of money in politics mirrors what conservatives like Sen. Cruz and Justice Roberts want. His “answer is to limit government, not free speech.” And that is quite convenient because after all, conservative ideological opposition to “big government” is based on a highly skewed worldview that ordinary Americans who benefit from government via so-called entitlements ought to fend for themselves, even if they are drawing from programs they fund through taxes. Simon quotes the Cato Institute’s Ilya Shapiro, whose logic is stunningly perverse: “Shrink the size of government and its intrusions in people’s lives and you’ll shrink the amount people will spend trying to get their piece of the pie.” In other words, once rich Americans achieve their goal of cutting vital programs, they won’t need to spend as much on campaigns. And voilà, our problems with campaign finance regulations will be irrelevant.

None but the very tiniest fraction of a percent of Americans have the kind of disposable income that McCutcheon, the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and their ilk have to pervert elections. And most ordinary Americans recognize that. As Jensen pointed out to me, “This is one issue where the public is pretty clear, that flooding the political system with money in even more direct ways is not good for democracy.”

A post-election poll in November found that more than 60 percent of all voters, both Democrat and Republican, are concerned about the level of money in politics. An incredible 85 percent want the names of political ad funders disclosed. To that end, a number of progressive organizations are working to overturn the Citizens United decision by building a movement to amend the Constitution. More than a dozen states, including California, and many cities and municipalities have passed resolutions in support of such an amendment. The all-important question is whether a mass movement will emerge strong enough to force a reversal of campaign deregulation and take on America’s rich in the battle over elections, and ultimately, democracy.

© 2013 TruthDig.com
 Sonali Kolhatkar   

Sonali Kolhatkar is Co-Director of the Afghan Women's Mission, a US-based non-profit that supports women's rights activists in Afghanistan. Sonali is also co-author of "Bleeding Afghanistan: Washington, Warlords, and the Propaganda of Silence." She is the host and producer of Uprising, a nationally syndicated radio program with the Pacifica Network.


The Kochs' Brazen Buyout of Our Democracy Is Right Up There with the Worst Oligarchs in American History

Spending hundreds of millions to buy as much political power as they can for a project that could earn them over $100 billion.

October 23, 2013

To understand the present, you have to understand the past, which brings us to the story of William A. Clark.

William A. Clark (Would you buy a used car from this man? Do you have any idea what life was like for his copper mining slave/employees? Do you think that his descendants owe some money to we-the-people for the horrendous pollution caused by said copper mining?  >:( I think so.)

Clark was one of the so-called Montana “Copper Kings” of the 1800’s.

Copper King Mansion in Butte

After making millions in the booming mining industry, and trying his hand in the electric, newspaper, banking, and railroad industries, Clark set his sights on political office.

Clark had always had a lifelong ambition of becoming an elected official, and of achieving the fame and power that came with it.

In 1899, Clark made a serious push to become a U.S. senator from Montana.
Back then, U.S. senators were chosen by their respective state legislators.

So one afternoon Clark walked into the Montana State Legislature, and announced that he would be standing in the back of the room, holding envelopes filled with thousand-dollar bills.
He said he’d give those envelopes to anyone who voted for him.

Enough legislators voted for him and took his money that Montana sent him to Washington, D.C. as their senator for the 1900 legislative session.

But Clark’s bribery scheme was so public and brazen that even the largely corrupt U.S. Senate was horrified. They refused to seat him after reading newspaper stories about his passing out thousand-dollar bills to get elected.

And it was the notoriety of Clark’s naked bribery attempt in Montana, well reported in newspapers across the country, that helped lead to the passage of the 17th Amendment, which says that U.S. senators are elected by the people instead of by state legislatures.

With all this notoriety, Clark quickly became public enemy number one in the early 1900’s.
Speaking about Clark, Mark Twain once wrote that, “He is as rotten a human being as can be found anywhere under the flag; he is a shame to the American nation, and no one has helped to send him to the Senate who did not know that his proper place was the penitentiary, with a chain and ball on his legs.”

While William A. Clark may have died back in 1925, his willingness to corrupt the American democracy and political process is alive and well today.

Just ask the Koch Brothers.  >:(

Charles and David Koch, worth a combined estimated $68 billion in net worth, are among the driving forces behind the corruption of our democracy.

Between 1998 and 2008, Koch brother-controlled foundations gave more than $196 million to organizations that favor polices that would further pad the wallets of the two brothers.

In that same time period, Koch Industries, owned by the two brothers, spent $50 million on lobbying and handed out $8 million in PAC contributions.

The Kochs are also behind groups like Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which both gave and continue to give major financial support for the Tea Party movement.

And FreedomPartners, a Koch-affiliated organization, has doled out grants worth over $230 million to a variety of conservative organizations, Tea Party groups, and front-groups that oppose Obamacare.

This all brings us to the Keystone XL pipeline.

Recently, the Koch Brothers have been throwing their billions at lobbyists, front-groups, and lawmakers that support the fossil fuel industry and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
The Koch Brothers are the fossil fuel industry’s largest donors to congressmen and women who sit on the committee that oversees the Keystone XL pipeline.

In 2010 alone, the Kochs and their employees gave over $300,000 to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

At the same time, the Kochs have given more than $60 million to climate denial groups over the past 15 years.

Spending hundreds of millions to buy as much political power as they can for a project that could earn them over $100 billion.

So why are the Kochs handing out so much money to groups and lawmakers that support the Keystone XL pipeline and America’s toxic addiction to fossil fuels?

Money. And lots of it.

According to a new report released by the International Forum on Globalization, the brothers stand to make up to $100 billion in profits with the approval of the pipeline.

Keep in mind they’re only worth $68 billion. This could double their net-worth.

The report found that the Kochs and Koch Industries hold up to 2 million acres of land in Alberta, Canada, which is the proposed starting point of the Keystone XL pipeline.

And many Koch Industries subsidiaries stand to make millions from the pipeline's construction, including Koch Exploration Canada, which would profit from oil exploration on its land, and Koch Supply and Trading, which would benefit from the trading of oil derivatives.

With a possible $100 billion windfall down the road, more than double their combined total fortune today, it’s no surprise that the Koch Brothers are doing everything possible to make the Keystone XL pipeline a reality.

Their Republican allies in Congress even tried to use the Keystone XL pipeline as leverage in the government shutdown, demanding that it be approved before they would end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling.

Meanwhile, you and I are stuck with the byproducts of the Koch’s relentless pursuit of money and power.

Koch Industries is already one of the top ten polluters in the United States, pumping millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, driving global warming and climate change.

And if the Keystone XL pipeline is finished, it will make things even worse.

Synthetic crude oil from tar sands generates three times the pollution of regular crude oil production, and is extremely poisonous. If there were ever a leak from the pipeline, the environmental and human damages would be horrific.

The ghost of William A. Clark is alive and well in the form of billionaires like the Koch Brothers, who are corrupting our political process, while destroying the environment and poisoning us.

We can’t continue to let the likes of modern-day William A. Clarks continue to buy off the American political process.

Thom Hartmann is an author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. His newest book is The Last Hours of Humanity.


Climate Change / Hanging In The Balance: The Future Of A Forest
« on: October 26, 2013, 11:06:52 pm »
Enjoy the spectacular footage of flying over the Amazon.

There IS a LOT more work to do to preserve the Amazon. BUT, you will enjoy this video of the GREATEST REDUCTION IN GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS IN MODERN HISTORY!    

Ever hear of REDD+? Thanks to that program, the indigenous Brazilian tribes OWN a Columbia sized amount of land and monitor it through satellite imagery to report offenders.

Living with Dignity and Preserving Nature IS possible. One of the WORSE former deforestation offending areas in Brazil is now the model for all the others because it completely stopped ALL deforestation in less than 5 years and is REFORESTING now. 

Combined Efforts To Control Deforestation 

 This video spotlights some of the extraordinary efforts being undertaken by social entrepreneurs, government agencies, private enterprise, and other organizations working on behalf of the Amazon rainforest.

 These combined efforts have made a considerable difference to reducing deforestation.
 Over the last 5 years, Brazil has managed to reduce the rate of deforestation by 80%, however, new regulations threaten to reverse this trend.

 --Bibi Farber


- See more at: http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/environment/hanging-in-the-balance-the-future-of-a-forest.html#sthash.hfBbK9H7.dpuf

Climate Change / The case for a revenue-neutral carbon tax
« on: October 26, 2013, 09:52:16 pm »
The case for a revenue-neutral carbon tax

By John D. Kelley

“Men argue. Nature acts.” Voltaire

No argument will prevent ice from changing into water when the temperature shifts from 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 33 degrees Fahrenheit. The climate of our planet is not controlled by wishes and opinions, it only responds to the natural forces that drive it.

There is no longer any credible scientific debate that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activities are warming the Earth in dangerous ways. Worldwide, people are experiencing the effects of climate change with sea level rise, bigger storms, larger floods, extreme heat, longer droughts, and huge wildfires. Four of the five largest wildfires in California history have occurred since 2003. The Rim Fire currently burning near Yosemite is the third largest. It has burned over 400 square miles. >:(

We have a moral responsibility to future generations to take powerful action now to moderate climate change by severely curtailing our greenhouse gas emissions. A revenue-neutral carbon tax that would change the economics of energy and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions is getting support across the political spectrum. The essence of this concept is to tax carbon production and return 100% of the proceeds equally to all citizens. This is a powerful way to cause a shift away from carbon fuels while protecting American families from higher energy prices.

 A growing number of people believe that a national carbon tax is the most efficient, transparent, and enforceable mechanism to drive an effective and fair transition to a clean energy economy. To make the economic transition as smooth as possible the tax would start small and increase annually and predictably. At the same time fossil fuel subsidies would be phased out. This would mean that energy prices would be predictable for people and businesses.

A national carbon tax would be easy to administer. The tax would be charged at first point-of-sale, the mine, wellhead, or border crossing, and would be collected by the IRS. The funds would be placed in a Carbon Tax Trust Fund and rebated to American households. All adult citizens would receive equal monthly dividends and families would also receive ½ share per child under 18 years old, with a limit of 2 child-shares per family. It is estimated that 70% of families would see a net increase in income.

A national carbon tax would be reconciled with existing state programs such as California’s cap and trade system. There are several ways this would be done: 1. Preemption 2. Stacking 3. Integration.

In Preemption, the CA program would cease to function once the federal law took effect.

In Stacking, the program would continue to function as is on top of the federal regulations.

In Integration, the state and federal programs would work together. To ensure that U.S. made goods remain competitive in international markets carbon tax equivalent tariffs would be charged for goods entering the U.S. from countries without equivalent carbon pricing while carbon tax rebates would reduce the price of exports to those countries. These tariffs and rebates would provide an incentive for international adoption of carbon taxes.

Five years ago British Columbia implemented a revenue-neutral carbon tax. It gradually added to the cost of fossil fuels while cutting both personal and corporate income taxes. A recent study reports that BC’s use of petroleum fuels has dropped by 15.1%.” The study also finds that BC’s “personal and corporate income tax rates are now the the lowest in Canada, due to the carbon tax shift.

Perhaps we are finally approaching a political tipping point regarding climate change policies. Currently the Environmental Protection Agency is under court order to issue climate change rules. The fossil fuel industry is fearful of what the EPA may do, so there is a new congressional debate over climate change policy. As part of this national debate a revenue-neutral carbon tax must be considered. It would be efficient, transparent, and enforceable because market decisions would select the best clean energy programs and technologies, and the dividends would stimulate the economy. By acting now to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax we can create a stronger economy and ensure a more livable climate for our children and grandchildren.

John D. Kelley AIA, an award-winning architect, specializes in healthy, environmentally-friendly home design. A former President of AIA Santa Barbara, he is a founding member of several local volunteer groups including: The Sustainability Project, the Green Building Alliance, and the Mesa Architects. As a concerned citizen he advocates for immediate action to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


General Discussion / Welcome GCHandy!
« on: October 26, 2013, 02:39:57 pm »
Welcome GCHandy!

Since I live in Vermont,   a state that was a republic for a while, I think I understand how you might feel.

Regardless of our political situation, if we don't get the 1% to accept their responsibility to fund the lion's share of a global transition to 100% Renewable Energy, we aren't going to HAVE a viable biosphere to fight over.  :(

I am interested in your take on the article below.  :)

Power Structures in Human Society: Pros and Cons Part 3 (Conclusion and Recommendations)

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