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Something The Entire World Should See – Most Of Us Are Simply Unaware

Something The Entire World Should See – Most Of Us Are Simply Unaware | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
North East of Hawaii, the ocean currents form a giant whirl pool of debris from around the Pacific, the scientific name is called the North Pacific Gyre. It’s one of the largest ecosystems on Earth, comprising of millions of square kilometres. Today it’s better known as “The Great Garbage Patch,” an area the size of […]
Greg Russak's insight:

I don't know how it is that some people aren't disturbed by what we're doing to this planet. Even more incomprehensible to me is how some people actually rise in defense of what we and what industry are doing as if it somehow didn't matter or didn't really have such terrible short- and long-term impacts.

 

Most disturbing of all is how some seem to defend and absolve our pillaging of the Earth and everything in it and on it as actually our right to "have dominion over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

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iPhone Apps | OpenSecrets

iPhone Apps | OpenSecrets | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
OpenSecrets.org has fundraising profiles for all 535 members of Congress (and more).
Greg Russak's insight:

Dollarocracy is OpenSecrets' very first iPhone app! If you ever wanted to follow the money in Washington, here's your chance. Don't wait for Congress to investigate, do it yourself!

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Assange at SXSW: 'People Are Products Sold to Advertisers' | Special: SXSW - Advertising Age

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Exposing the #TPP

Exposing the #TPP | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it

This is one of the best collections - and best visual presentations - I've seen so far. This graphic below is just a snip of the site. Go to  http://www.stopfasttracknow.org/ ; get to all the linked information.

Greg Russak's insight:

This is one of the best collections - and best visual presentations - I've seen so far. The graphic is just a snip of the site. Go to  http://www.stopfasttracknow.org/  get to all the linked information.

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Introducing Invisible-Hand-of-the-Free-Market Man!

Introducing Invisible-Hand-of-the-Free-Market Man! | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
IHOTFM Man reminds us of the inherent dignity of work.

Via Jocelyn Stoller
Greg Russak's insight:

Yes, this is precisely how silly and absurd it looks and sounds to the rest of us.

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Suffering? Well, You Deserve It: Chris Hedges

Suffering? Well, You Deserve It: Chris Hedges | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
An Oxford scholar warns that our outmoded economic model is a “warrant for inflicting pain” first on the poor and minorities and eventually on most of society.
- 2014/03/02
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“One of the unresolved issues in social science is how does the system hold together,” he said. “We have the economic model of the invisible hand, the miracle of the market, but we know it is not true, since government allocates up to 50 percent of output and income. We don’t actually rely on the ‘free’ market for our prosperity. Even the market sector is mostly dominated by entities with large market power.”

 

“We have this model that we are all selfish and somehow this generates the miracle of cooperation,” he said. “But equilibrium is only a truism for the well-off. There is money in the bank. The car is in the drive. The shops are full. The semesters follow each other. There is an overseas conference. The world seems to be OK. But if you look the other way, look at these other people, there is a world of hardship, misery and suffering. These suffering people are not always visible to invisible-hand advocates.”

 

- Professor Avner Offer, MA, DPhil, FBA, Emeritus Fellow,

Chichele Professor of Economic History

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Meet This Year's Winner Of CPAC Award For Being Like Andrew Breitbart

Meet This Year's Winner Of CPAC Award For Being Like Andrew Breitbart | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

Is this really what it means to be "conservative" in America today? Is it any wonder so many of us struggle to connect with each other?

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Mythopedia

Media Matters is excited to introduce Mythopedia, a new tool for fighting back against right-wing 

Greg Russak's insight:

Media Matters is excited to introduce Mythopedia, a new tool for fighting back against right-wing misinformation:

http://mythopedia.mediamatters.org/

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Paul Ryan stuns CNN host: Keystone pipeline will solve Russia’s Ukraine invasion | The Raw Story

Paul Ryan stuns CNN host: Keystone pipeline will solve Russia’s Ukraine invasion | The Raw Story | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

So, approving Keystone XL scares Putin out of Crimea? No surprise coming from someone who believes in an Invisible Hand.

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Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan? - The Intercept

Who Tried to Silence Drone Victim Kareem Khan? - The Intercept | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
In the early morning hours of February 5, a group of armed men – some dressed in Pakistani police uniforms – appeared at Kareem Khan’s home, awoke him and his family at gunpoint, and took him away in an unmarked vehicle. Khan was hooded, shackled around the wrists and ankles, and driven for hours, eventually arriving Read more
Greg Russak's insight:

Could you live like this? Can this be the best we can do as a country?

 

But Khan is determined to put a human face to the victims of drones who are often counted as mere statistics. He believes that allowing himself to be silenced will only keep the drone program out of legal and public oversight. What’s more, as Gibson says, “Drone strikes are only part of the story.” Psychological trauma is now endemic among the people of rural Waziristan; both as a result of drone strikes and abuses by local security forces.

“Everyone in these areas being subjected to drone attacks is a victim, they never know if they’re going to be killed on any given day,” she says. “They don’t know why these attacks are happening or how they can protect themselves and their families. Entire communities are being terrorized on a daily basis.”

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Our Almost Orwellian State & NSA Surveillance Forum - YouTube

"Our 'Almost Orwellian' State & NSA Surveillance" forum January 23, 2014, @ 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary- St. John's Presbyterian Church This event is a fund-rai...

Via Coffee Party USA
Greg Russak's insight:

For anyone (like me) who plans to do almost anything for 2 hours except watch the Oscars.

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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, March 2, 2014 2:15 PM

Published on Jan 25, 2014

"Our 'Almost Orwellian' State & NSA Surveillance" forum
January 23, 2014, @ 7:30 pm in the Sanctuary- St. John's Presbyterian Church

This event is a fund-raiser for the Bill of Rights Defense Committee & the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Daniel Ellsberg -- America's most well-known whistleblower, Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers and changed Americans' understanding of and support for the Vietnam War.

Shahid Bhuttar -- Director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, constitutional lawyer, grassroots organizer, independent columnist, musician, and poet
.
Norman Solomon -- Journalist, media critic, anti-war activist, co-founder of RootsAction.org, founding director of Institute for Public Accuracy, and author of War Made Easy.

Cindy Cohn -- Legal Director and General Counsel of the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Ms. Cohn serves as counsel in First Unitarian Church v. NSA and Jewel v. NSA, each seeking to stop the ongoing dragnet warrantless surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans.

Moderator: Robert Jaffe -- Volunteer Attorney, Hedges v. Obama.

Hosted online by http://kpfa.org
Streamed by John Parulis, http://brightpathvideo.com with audio assistance from Alex Espolet


Watch and listen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o47zQXikvk



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The Week in Review

The Week in Review | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Senate Republicans on Thursday scuttled a comprehensive bill by Sen. Bernie Sanders that would have expanded health care, education and job-training programs for veterans. Sanders, the Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, said he will continue to fight for passage of the bill. “We are not going to give up on our veterans,” he said at a news conference after the vote. “At some point, we are going to pass this legislation.”
Greg Russak's insight:

American Legion national commander Daniel M. Dellinger called the Senate action “inexcusable.”  He was equally blunt in an interview with The Washington Post. “I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote.” 

 

 

Can we stop pretending now which party it is that is doing all the partisan obstructing?

 

This is NOT one of those occasions where anyone can claim "Both parties are guilty."

 

It's simply not true.

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DNC launches voter expansion push with a hand from Bill Clinton

DNC launches voter expansion push with a hand from Bill Clinton | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Democrats are pushing back against laws they see as overly restrictive.
Greg Russak's insight:

It's one thing to be uninformed about the realities of in-person voter fraud. IT's another thing altogether to know those realities and still be in support of laws designed to disenfranchise citizens and restrict their ability to cast their ballots.

 

In-person voter fraud simply is not a problem.

 

Don't take my word for it. Read Justin Levitt and the Brennan Center for Justice Report, The Truth About Voter Fraud, at http://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/legacy/The%20Truth%20About%20Voter%20Fraud.pdf

 

Even the Republicans in Harrisburg who want to pass some of the toughest voter suppression laws in the country had to, "acknowledged at the start that it knew of no cases of in-person voting fraud, the kind addressed by voter ID." (http://www.post-gazette.com/news/state/2014/01/17/AP-Pennsylvania-judge-strikes-down-state-s-voter-ID-law/stories/201401170131).

 

So, let's be honest, shall we?

 

There's only one party who wants to limit the right of Americans to vote. One.

 

To pretend otherwise is an example of extreme hyper-partisanship and a willful desire on the part of some to support the taking away of the rights of others. I find that type of behavior and ideology to be about as repugnant, divisive, and despicable as it gets.

 

When one group is intent on limiting the freedoms, rights, and liberties of another, there can be no middle ground, no compromise, and no dialog. They are a danger to our society and to our democracy, and they must be opposed and stopped by every legal and ethical means possible.

 

What can you do to stop them?

 

Speak up. Don't stay silent. When someone claims there's a voter fraud problem in this country, ask them to show you the evidence. Evidence, not opinion. Facts, not hyperbole. Research and data, not claims and partisan positions. Evidence.

 

And when they say that there's rampant fraud and it just hasn't been caught, ask them why they believe that. Ask them why an individual would willfully risk the the penalties that come with voter fraud just so that they can cast one extra vote.

 

"There have been a handful of substantiated cases of individual ineligible voters attempting to defraud the election system. But by any measure, voter fraud is extraordinarily rare. 


In part, this is because fraud by individual voters is a singularly foolish and ineffective way to attempt to win an election. Each act of voter fraud in connection with a federal election risks five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, in addition to any state penalties. In return, it yields at most one incremental vote. That single extra vote is simply not worth the price." (Levitt)

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4 Steps To Bridging The Workplace Generation Gap

4 Steps To Bridging The Workplace Generation Gap | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Sometimes it seems like different generations speak different languages. Here's how we can all get along when there's work to be done.
Greg Russak's insight:

Great suggestions for life, not just the workplace.

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Video: We Taste-Tested the 3D-Printed Oreo Cookies at SXSW | Special: SXSW - Advertising Age

Greg Russak's insight:

Eat the Tweet!

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Jill Lepore: The Path to a Female President

Jill Lepore: The Path to a Female President | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
For the moment, Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the White House are better than any female candidate’s have ever been, including her own.
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Twilight of the Right

Twilight of the Right | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
When conservatism became a movement, it lost its soul.
Greg Russak's insight:

Just 2 days ago, I posted a piece about conservative radio host, Mark Levin, receiving the "inaugural" Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

 

I posed these questions with it:

 

"Is this really what it means to be "conservative" in America today? Is it any wonder so many of us struggle to connect with each other?"


Now, and with sincere thanks to a good friend who just happens to be a conservative, I offer this article from The American Conservative by Alan Pell Crawford.


I strongly encourage everyone - especially liberals and progressives, but regardless of where you place yourself on the socio-political spectrum - to read it. It is informative, educational, and thought-provoking. It helped me to better understand where and how modern day conservatism got its start, as well as how the "conservative movement" has changed over the last few decades.


The contrast between Levin and Crawford is stark. The question now, it seems, is which one of them is more representative of conservatism to conservatives? Only conservatives can answer that question.

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Media Companies Lobby for Trans-Pacific Partnership | Republic Report

Media Companies Lobby for Trans-Pacific Partnership | Republic Report | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Earlier this month, Media Matters for America published a short research note revealing that most major cable and broadcast news outlets have largely ignor
Greg Russak's insight:

According to Congressional Lobbying Reports linked from this article….

 

Time-Warner’s 1Q2013 Lobbying Report lists $905,000.00 in total lobbying expenses, and a team of 4 lobbying on trade issues that included TPP, the New Zealand Copyright Act (http://fairdeal.net.nz/) and other matters.

 

Comcast’s 2Q2013 report lists total lobbying expenses of $5.47million. They categorize their lobbying related to TPP as “International IP Protection – TPP, WIPO (https://www.eff.org/issues/wipo), and TTIP.

 

In Q4 of 2013, Twenty-First Century Fox spent a total of $1.52million dollars on all their lobbying including the TPP, TTIP, and Trade Promotion Authority, better known as “fast track” authority.

 

Disney spent a total of $1.11million in the first quarter of last year on lobbying, spreading their TPP-related lobbying around in the House, the Senate, the U.S. Copyright Office, Patent & Trademark Office (PTO), the Office of Management & Budget (OMB), the Department of Commerce (DOC), and with the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

 

Do we perhaps begin to understand better why it is that the corporate/mainstream media has nothing at all to share with us about the secrecy and the potential pitfalls of current trade negotiations?

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Why is Paul Ryan attacking poverty programs? He needs to tell us loud and clear.

Why is Paul Ryan attacking poverty programs? He needs to tell us loud and clear. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
If his plan is just a cover for slashing spending on the poor, it's a nonstarter.
Greg Russak's insight:

—By Kevin Drum| Wed Mar. 5, 2014 9:39 AM GMT

Paul Ryan released a thick report on federal poverty programs earlier this week, and liberals were none too pleased with it. Over at CBPP, Sharon Parrott explains why: "It’s replete with misleading and selective presentations of data and research, which it uses to portray the safety net in a negative light.  It also omits key research and data that point in more positive directions."


In fact, it's so bad that quite a few of the researchers who are name checked in Ryan's report have spoken out publicly to complain about how badly their work was misrepresented.

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Outside Spending | OpenSecrets

Outside Spending | OpenSecrets | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Outside groups spend millions during an election to influence voters' decisions with political advertising. Explore those expenditures here at OpenSecrets.org.
Greg Russak's insight:
Outside Spending

The term "outside spending" refers to political expenditures made by groups or individuals independently of, and not coordinated with, candidates' committees. Groups in this category range from conventional party committees to the more controversial super PACs and 501(c) "dark money" organizations.

 

---

 

I'm just going to keep asking until everyone does it.

 

Here's how you can help to get big and secret money out of politics: http://unitedrepublic.actionkit.com/event/cosponsor/9815/

 

If you have a better idea, let's hear it.

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Enbridge to Double Carrying Capacity of Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline | EcoWatch

Enbridge to Double Carrying Capacity of Line 3 Tar Sands Pipeline | EcoWatch | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Greg Russak's insight:

By Heather Libby

In its largest capital project in history, Enbridge plans to do what Transcanada so far can’t—ship more than half a million barrels of heavy oil across the U.S. border without President Barack Obama’s direct approval.

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Ian Haney López on the Dog Whistle Politics of Race | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com

Ian Haney López on the Dog Whistle Politics of Race | Moyers & Company | BillMoyers.com | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Author and legal scholar Ian Haney López tells Bill that dog whistle politics is “the dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests.

Via Coffee Party USA
Greg Russak's insight:

"We have to understand the way in which something has fundamentally changed in American politics. We used to understand that the biggest threat in a political life was the power of concentrated money. The power of big money and of corporations to hijack the marketplace and to hijack government.

But now, Republicans for 50 years have been telling voters, the biggest threat in your life is that minorities are going to hijack government. That government has been taken over and now serves them. So when white voters vote against the government, they think they're voting against minorities. But in fact, they're voting to give over control of government back to the very rich, back to the big corporations."

- Author and legal scholar Ian Haney López

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Coffee Party USA's curator insight, March 4, 2014 11:02 PM
February 28, 2014

What do Cadillac-driving “welfare queens,” a “food stamp president” and the “lazy, dependent and entitled” 47 percent tell us about post-racial America? They’re all examples of a type of coded racism that this week’s guest, Ian Haney López, writes about in his new book,Dog Whistle Politics.

Haney López is an expert in how racism has evolved in America since the civil rights era. Over the past 50 years, politicians have mastered the use of dog whistles – code words that turn Americans against each other while turning the country over to plutocrats. This political tactic, says Haney López, is “the dark magic” by which middle-class voters have been seduced to vote against their own economic interests.

“It comes out of a desire to win votes. And in that sense… It’s racism as a strategy. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s considered,” Haney López tells Bill, “it’s the decision to achieve one’s own ends, here winning votes, by stirring racial animosity.”


Watch and listen at http://billmoyers.com/episode/ian-haney-lopez-on-the-dog-whistle-politics-of-race/


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Why the Tea Party’s Hold Persists | Activism, Blog | BillMoyers.com

Why the Tea Party’s Hold Persists | Activism, Blog | BillMoyers.com | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Even as most Americans have figured out that they do not like the tea party, its clout has grown in Washington and state capitals.
Greg Russak's insight:

A concern and a likely reality if YOU DON'T VOTE AGAINST THEM IN GOP PRIMARIES AND DON'T VOTE AGAINST THEM IN ELECTIONS - and I mean every election, from school board and town council to Congress and maybe even the President.

 

"True, the events of October 2013 helped millions of middle-of-the-road voters — and even quite a few complacent political reporters — grasp the dangers of the sabotage-oriented radicalism in today’s Republican Party. But it will take a long and dogged struggle to root out radical obstructionism on the right, and the years ahead could yet see Tea Partiers succeed by default. Unless non-tea party Republicans, independents, and Democrats learn both to defeat and to work around anti-government extremism—finding ways to do positive things for the majority of ordinary citizens along the way—tea party forces will still win in the end. They will triumph just by hanging on long enough to cause most Americans to give up in disgust on our blatantly manipulated democracy and our permanently hobbled government."


Theda Skocpol, an American sociologist and political scientist at Harvard University

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Military Groups Blast Republicans For Killing A Bill To Support Veterans

Military Groups Blast Republicans For Killing A Bill To Support Veterans | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
"I don’t know how anyone who voted ‘no’ today can look a veteran in the eye and justify that vote."
Greg Russak's insight:

It will be interesting to see if and how this circle gets squared by GOP leadership.

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Ever Wondered Why We Call Money in Politics 'Corruption?' Watch This Video.

Ever Wondered Why We Call Money in Politics 'Corruption?' Watch This Video. | DidYouCheckFirst | Scoop.it
Bill Moyers sits down with two special guests for an eyeopening and in depth look at the flow of money and sphere of influence in Washington.
Greg Russak's insight:

"Bill Moyers sits down with Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics and OpenSecrets.org, and Danielle Brian, who runs the Project on Government Oversight, for an eye-opening look at the flow of money and influence in Washington. If you’ve ever wondered why we’re so insistent on calling the status quo in Washington “Corruption,” take a few minutes to watch this video."

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