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How We End Consumerism

How We End Consumerism

Irreversible Collapse: Accepting Reality, Avoiding Evil

Irreversible Collapse: Accepting Reality, Avoiding Evil

The Coming U.S. Power Grid Collapse

Selling Fear and Amusement: News as Entertainment

Selling Fear and Amusement: News as Entertainment

The news media have contributed to our deteriorating—but entertaining—political situation. Mr. Trump is President partly because he is entertaining. My research on TV news shows that the promotion of the politics of fear is a byproduct of entertaining and sensationalized reports to build audience ratings. Contemporary news practices have increasingly been wedded to new information technologies that provide visuals and images, particularly portable cameras and smart phones. The entertainment format of much of U.S. TV news promotes the use of video or other visuals that are dramatic, conflictual, and emotional. Screen images dominate broadcast news as well social media. Investigations of news coverage of numerous local, national, and international news reports reveal how our current “news code” operates. Basically, TV tells time with visuals. Although the intent may be to use visuals to tell a story about something, the logic in use amounts to telling a story about the visual at hand. Events that are more likely to satisfy these format criteria are more likely to be broadcast.

Our work over the last 4 decades also demonstrates that politicians and others who provide visual events and dramatic performances are more likely to receive news coverage. We have documented the profound effects this format-driven media coverage has had on social institutions ranging from sports, news, politics, education, and religion.

Contemporary news practices continue this trend. Indeed, even the prestigious evening network newscasts have adopted this approach, especially as social media have provided seemingly ubiquitous videos of a wide array of events, many of which are posted on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc. As newscasts seek higher ratings, it should not be surprising that they have adjusted their selection of news items to include visually interesting bits that have already been viewed—or gone viral—on the internet and social media.

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Silver Summit 2015: Mike Maloney Keynote Presentation

The Perfect Economic Storm is Here
And in this just-released presentation from Mike Maloney, you’ll discover why we can not avoid it.

We created Islamic extremism: Those blaming Islam for ISIS would have supported Osama bin Laden in the ’80s

We created Islamic extremism: Those blaming Islam for ISIS would have supported Osama bin Laden in the ’80s 

Jingoists conveniently forget the West’s Cold War strategy was to arm the Islamic extremists that became al-Qaida

We created Islamic extremism: Those blaming Islam for ISIS would have supported Osama bin Laden in the '80s(Credit: AP/Dennis Cook)

History takes no prisoners. It shows, with absolute lucidity, that the Islamic extremism ravaging the world today was borne out of the Western foreign policy of yesteryear.

Gore Vidal famously referred to the USA as the United States of Amnesia. The late Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai put it a little more delicately, quipping, “One of the delightful things about Americans is that they have absolutely no historical memory.”
In order to understand the rise of militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida; in order to wrap our minds around their heinous, abominable attacks on civilians in the U.S., France, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Nigeria, Turkey, Yemen, Afghanistan and many, many more countries, we must rekindle this historical memory.

Where did violent Islamic extremism come from? In the wake of the horrific Paris attacks on Friday, November the 13, this is the question no one is asking — yet it is the most important one of all. If one doesn’t know why a problem emerged, if one cannot find its root, one will never be able to solve and uproot it.

Where did militant Salafi groups like ISIS and al-Qaida come from? The answer is not as complicated as many make it out to be — but, to understand, we must delve into the history of the Cold War, the historical period lied about in the West perhaps more than any other.

How the West cultivated Osama bin Laden

We needn’t reach back far into history, just a few decades.

A much-circulated photo of an article published in British newspaper the Independent in 1993 exemplifies the West’s twisted hypocrisy. Titled “Anti-Soviet warrior puts his army on the road to peace,” it features a large photo of Osama bin Laden, who, at the time, was a Western ally.

Osama bin Laden, reported on favorably in the U.K.'s The Independent in 1993 (Credit: Imgur)

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VIDEO: John Oliver Urges Us to Wake Up to How Big Oil Is Killing People and Destroying North Dakota

VIDEO: John Oliver Urges Us to Wake Up to How Big Oil Is Killing People and Destroying North Dakota

In another informative and funny segment of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver explores what has happened to North Dakota since the starts of its oil boom.

 

“Stratfor [VIDEO]: US aims to prevent a German-Russian Alliance”

“Stratfor [VIDEO]: US aims to prevent a German-Russian Alliance”

The head of the private intelligence agency Stratfor has for the first time publicly said that the US government considers to be its overriding strategic objective the prevention of a German-Russian alliance. Blocking that alliance is the only way to prevent an alternative world power capable of challenging extension of the American position of being the world’s lone superpower. [In this video, he says that the U.S. will fail in that overriding objective; German technology and capital will combine with Russian natural resources and “land-power,” to produce a truly bipolar world: U.S. v. Eurasia. So: he sees the U.S. strategy as being to block that, by weakening both Germany and Russia. That strategy would explain what Obama is doing in Ukraine, and the sanctions that are hurting both Russia and Germany, but Friedman thinks that nothing can work.]

Background:

The American political scientist George Friedman is chief of intelligence think tank “Stratfor Global Intelligence”, which he founded in 1996. The headquarters of Stratfor is located in Texas. Stratfor advises 4,000 companies, individuals and governments around the world, reports the New York Times. These include Bank of America, the US State Department, Apple, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin, Monsanto and Cisco, on security issues.

In December 2011 there was a hacker attack on the computer system of Stratfor.Then 90,000 names, addresses, credit card numbers, passwords Stratfor clients were published. The attack was by the hacker Jeremy Hammond. But later it turned out that an FBI employee Hammond had instigated the attack on the Stratfor system. The FBI was involved in all phases of the attack.

 

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Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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