Posts Tagged ‘corruption’

Cutting Out the Corruption – Lessig

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Institutional corruption runs rampant throughout American politics. This is especially true in Congress, where members spend 30-70% of their time raising money for their next re-election.

The tiniest slice of Americans – 0.0000063% – fund the vast majority of campaign costs. THIS IS CORRUPTION! It’s a corruption of dependency, as elected officials depend on special, elite interests well above those of the people they represent.

This corruption needs to be removed for democracy to be reclaimed. And the only way this can be done is with an upheaval to the entire system, making it so that the power to select leaders is distributed equally across the population. (more…)

Make Cops Wear Cameras

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Imagine if cops had to wear cameras where the video is streamed to a public database. How would they act with an unblinking and unbiased witness forever leaving them open to the people’s scrutiny?

Here’s my prediction: there would be less abuse of power. Police misconduct happens when they know they can get away with it. But under and ever-present eye to watch them, they’ll find it much harder to abuse the authority they’ve been entrusted with. (more…)

Bahrain Still Brutal

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Pay close attention to what is going on right now in Bahrain (seen above), because what is happening there can happen anywhere.

Don’t kid yourself. Disgusting scenes of heavily armed security forces severely beating protesters and blatantly abusing their authority could very well spring up in our own backyards, should we simply neglect our duty to protect our precious freedom.

Democracy doesn’t happen on it’s own. It takes concerted effort by an educated, empowered and engaged population. When the people get too lazy, ignorant, distracted, or fearful, it leaves the door open for outside entities (like corporations and special interests) to discretely strip the public of their power, step by step.

Embrace your responsibility as a co-creator of a new, more just global civilization. Join the millions of people who’ve already flipped the script from passive to active, from observer to player. Be part of the change this planet needs – we can’t do it without you!

Louis C.K. Crushes SOPA’s Right to Exist

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The bill threatening to literally destroy the global Internet as we know it – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – has now been rendered devoid of any merit by comedian Louis CK. Not that the bill had any credibility to begin with.

Over the past few days, Louis demonstrated how one can successfully launch a movie in today’s high-speed P2P world.

For only $5, his latest hour-long special could be downloaded in an easily shared digital format. Despite the ease with which one could almost immediately pirate a free version of Mr. CK’s content, he still managed to gross over a half a million dollars within two days.

Now, with tons of media coverage highlighting the sales of his latest creative endeavor, he is sure to see far greater returns.

Louis CK’s strategy confirms what many other artists have already learned – distribute copies of your creations online at significantly reduced prices, and make up the difference in volume. Also, don’t bother with any kind of copy protection – it pisses off your customer base, and circumvention will be inevitable.

Of course, this model only works when you have a quality product that stands up to the scrutiny of the public. If you’re peddling the same old inane tripe, you’re unlikely to recoup your costs without gouging your initial clientele.

Maybe that’s why all the media giants have been pushing so hard for SOPA – unable to edit their own scripts for running a business, they’ve decided it will be easier to simply rewrite the entire Internet.

Bank Lobbyists Terrified of Occupy Movement

Monday, November 21st, 2011

Lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford sent a proposal to the American Bankers Association, offering to implement an $850,000 strategy to undermine the credibility of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. The plan was leaked to MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who made the memo available on the net.

The authors of the proposal have exposed just how scared the banking industry really is. Should the Occupy movement co-opt the Democratic party in the same way the Tea Party did the Republicans, according to the lobbyists, such events could “have very long-lasting political, policy, and financial impacts on the companies in the center of the bullseye.”

The document goes on to caution that Tea Party protesters could potentially join forces with Occupy Wall Street because “well-known Wall Street companies stand at the nexus of where [OWS] protesters and the Tea Party overlap on angered populism. [...] This combination has the potential to be explosive later in the year when media reports cover the next round of bonuses and contrast it with stories of millions of Americans making do with less this holiday season.”

Of course, for less than a million dollars, how much could the lobbyists really hope to accomplish? JP Morgan Chase dumped $4.6 million directly into the NYPD, and so far the cops have only exasperated the situation.

But, like you’ve read here many times before, the occupy movement will not be stopped. There is too much at stake, and too much already wrong with our system for us to simply give up. The point of no return has been breached and now we cannot stop until we’ve reclaimed democracy for the world.

Anti-Corruption Protests in India

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Delhi, INDIA: At least 30 people were injured when police used teargas and batons to break up a mass anti-corruption demonstration. This marks the latest in high-profile clashes between authorities and campaigners.

Tens of thousands of people gathered to increase awareness about the problem of systemic corruption in India, where paying small bribes is a part of everyday life. Many senior ministers, bureaucrats, and military officers have made vast sums illicitly, at the expense of the population and democracy in general.

Again, we see another uplifting example of humans getting engaged and standing together against corruption and injustice. And the fact that it’s in India is even better. With 1.2 Billion people filling the world’s largest democracy, the Indian uprisings will add tremendous gravitas to the global movement towards a more just civilization.

Humankind will continue to spread awareness of earth’s inherent injustices. Discontents and dissenters will keep expanding networks and communities. We’ll further refine the tools that leverage people power into effective political action. A better world is coming.

Israel Eliminates 140,000 Palestinian Civilians

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

(When white phosphorus fails, try bureaucracy.)

For 27 years, between 1967 and 1994, Israel covertly canceled residency of over 140,000 West Bank Palestinians, reports Israeli news agency Haaretz.

Any Palestinian wishing to travel abroad to Jordan were ordered exchanging their ID cards at the border crossing for a card that would enable them to pass. Then, anyone not returning within six months of the card’s three-year expiration date, would be registered as NLR – no longer residents.

Officials claims they knew that a clear procedure was in place, but the details remained classified.

While the Jordan/West Bank crossing policy ending in 1994, a similar procedure is still in place for residents of East Jerusalem, who can still lose their right to return if they have been abroad for seven years.

Yet another injustice to tack onto the plight of the Palestinian people.

United States: When Two Parties Become One

Friday, March 18th, 2011


(pic propsBen Garrison)

Funny guy and topical theorist Bill Maher laid out some new rules, one of which alludes to the collusion between both political parties in the US.

When Obama says, “Find common ground,” oh, here comes the bullshit now. Because whenever a Democrat seeks “common ground,” he always seems to find it right where the Republican was already standing.

Ten years ago, we had a ban on extended-ammo clips. The Republicans killed that ban. And now the compromise is we can never get it back. I think the old word for that was “surrender.”

Republicans, please note, are not taken in by the myth of common ground. They never move an inch on anything.

What Mr. Maher missed is how the party he openly supports so frequently ‘surrenders’ on key issues. While it may seem like they are the weaker of the two parties, that is actually what the dems are paid to do.

The role of the Democratic party is to provide the illusion of choice. They make it appear as if someone is there, fighting for the people. They posture and give speeches and promise change, but when it comes down to it, the Democrats will consistently capitulate at the last minute.

This is because, apart from some superficial differences, both political parties in the US share the same agenda. And the higher up the ladder you travel, the more overlap you’ll see. Both sides are pro-corporation, pro-tax cuts for the super-rich, pro-war, and pro-big business.

The result of having just two parties, both of whom share so many goals, is a gradual shift in the political spectrum. Over the past 40 years, the system has shifted so far to the right, that Nixon, a Republican President from the ’60s & 70′s, would be considered a left-leaning Democrat by today’s standards.

Of course, there are some powerful US politicians who create the exception to the rule. Daring individuals who are willing to speak truth to power, like Paul, Kucinich, and Wiener. Strong leaders that haven’t completely sold out. But even they cannot do it alone.

If you’re an American, you need to recognize that it isn’t about left vs. right politics anymore. The struggle is between you and a system stripping you of wealth and power.

It is time for the American people to demand more from the their political and economic systems. If the US population sits quiet for too long, they could end up having no voice at all.

Clinton is Correct to Bash US News

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

Speaking critically of her nation’s media, Hillary Clinton says it “amounts to a million commercials… and arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that… is not particularly informative to us.”

The Secretary of State believes news outlets in the United States lack journalistic integrity, especially when compared to the standards set by foreign media like Al Jazeera, who report “real news”.

And you know what? She’s right!

Take, for example, news that just went national exposing the US government’s secret plans to arm Mexico’s drug criminals. You’d think such a story would have made a bigger splash, but it didn’t.

Even the agency responsible for the debacle were shocked by the lack of response. An internal memo reveals a sigh of relief as the scathing story had “not sparked any follow up coverage by mainstream media and seems to have fizzled.”

Federal Agents did execute some damage control, but it seems the propaganda campaign wasn’t even needed. American mass media is so dysfunctional that an important story can easily drown in the noise, all by itself.

So the news sucks in the States. Anyone informed by alternative sources will already be aware of this.

The US people are intentionally kept in the dark, distracted and sedated. If too many of them become aware of the role their nation is playing, they’d be in an ideal position to rise against the injustice.

Fortunately, this uprising is coming even without the support of the mainstream media. Thanks to the diversity of online information, more and more of the US population is waking up to see that their nation has become a highly-militarized, corporatist state where both political parties serve the wealthy more than the electorate.

Americans, just like people from all around the world, are joining in the movement towards a more just global civilization. Even if the revolution isn’t televised, don’t worry. It will most certainly be tweeted.

Israel is in the News, Again

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Yes, it’s yet another blog post lambasting Israel. No, I’m not antisemitic. I’m just anti-injustice, and what I see going on in the Middle East is an atrocity of the greatest magnitude. So to help end it I’m doing what I can to increase awareness about it.

What is it this time, you ask. Well, there’s two negative stories making rounds and they both highlight the injustices being perpetuated by the corrupt Israeli government.

The first bit stems from a leaked cable claiming Israeli border guards would block shipments from US corporations unless they offered up a bribe. News of guards looking for kickbacks seems a bit trivial, especially when compared to the second story below, but it still exposes an inherent corruption nonetheless.

The second bit of news: Israeli soldiers broke into a Palestinian home last night, killing a 66 year old man as he slept in bed. He was shot at close range multiple times in the head and body.

The Palestinian man – Suliman al-Qawasmeh – was the unintended target of the raid, as the soldiers had mistakenly entered the wrong home. The Israeli forces were supposed to find a suspected militant who had been released from a Palestinian prison earlier that day.

Well, mistakes happen. No one is perfect, right? I mean, come on… don’t tell me you’ve never been a well-armed pawn, serving some corrupt government’s ideological agenda, when you accidentally assassinated the wrong target.

No? Well, if you say so.

Clearly what transpired is an injustice to the widowed family, to the Palestinian community, even to the soldiers who now have to live with innocent blood on their hands.

All of these tragedies, of which more are coming to light every day, are happening under the umbrella of a giant pile of wrongdoings: Israel’s occupation of Palestine and the continued oppression of millions of people based solely on their heritage.

Will the dead man’s family be compensated for their loss? Will these errant soldiers be held accountable for their actions? The answer to both of these questions will likely turn out to be negative.

If the Palestinians can be held prisoner in their own homes and kept on the brink of economic collapse, what possible hope could they have to personally hold Israel forces accountable for what amounts to just another transgression?

This means it is up to us – the rest of the world with a voice – to rise up and be heard, not just for the subjugated people of Palestine, but for all of the world’s voiceless.

We must let it be known – to our governments, to the media, to anyone who will listen – that we can see these injustices as they happen, and we won’t be quiet about it anymore.

—————–

If we’re to gain a positive from this tragedy, it can serve as another reminder of how the war on terror is inherently flawed. Rather than deepening the cesspool of extremism with the blood of more innocents, we ought to rethink the logic behind using a militarized approach in a battle of ideas.

don’t tell me you’ve never been a well-armed pawn serving, some corrupt government’s ideological agenda, when you accidentally assassinate the wrong target.