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Gender: Male
Home country: Canada
Current location: Vancouver
Member since: Mon Mar 21, 2005, 10:14 PM
Number of posts: 10,307

Journal Archives

Breaking the Set. Abby Martin says goodbye

It is a sad day in journalism with the demise of Breaking the Set. Abby's show provided a much needed counter balance. A small shovel it was though, faced with the overwhelming mountains of MSM bullshit.

She constantly championed the idea of talking to and listening to spokespeople for alternative points of view that couldn't get a voice on the MSM. This brings me to one of her critiques, that she does not have the he-said she-said counter balance policy of network news but only has one side of the story. No she didn't have on establishment spokespeople, but there are enough stations and networks that ONLY have on that breed as guests. Of course there should be balance, but in this age post Fairness Doctrine, and corporate control over the news services, a small voice to speak up for the actual people is so overwhelmingly needed its ridiculous.

Another sticking point here on DU is that because she would agree to have on folks like Alex Jones and others at the far end of the spectrum she is ridiculed. I've never understood this. She purposely pushed the boundaries and at rare times even given voice to what others called nutjobs. Personally I think Alex Jones is a professional conspiracy theorist. Some of those theories I agree with, and others are way off base. He seems to embrace every and all theories as fact and for that he has zero credibility. But my opinion on Jones, or other guests should not be osmosis be bestowed on Abby. I respect much more a show that allows a variety of guests and alternate points of view as opposed to one that only allows safe guests that cater to their crafted audience. The countless other smart, important, educational guests far far outweigh any crackpots she's had on.

I know there are some on DU that are sucked into dismissing ANYTHING on her show because it is sponsored by Russian Television. Looking past the idea that Fox News is owned largely by Saudi Arabian sources, but even MSNBC is owned by GE, one of the largest MIC contractors,...yet we still listen to Rachel Maddow. Yes..of course the shows' focus is primarily on problems with US behavior, and NOT on Russia's problems. Again so what? My theory?..Putin knew he could not shut up more critical left wing voices outside his country, ones highlighting human rights, gay rights abuses, as well as critical of warmongering from Putin. So one way to counter it is to have his very own leftist voice to be critical of the US for the same crimes as his own. Just to stir up trouble. Because he knew that there were few other good English speaking left of center shows out there. Democracy Now being one of the best. So he allowed strong independent voices from the left like Abby's to rant and rave to their hearts desires on American based wrongdoing. Again...so what? HOW she was given a voice should not be the issue, but what she brings to the table. And what she has brought we have been starving for. At least I have been.

There has been way too much messenger bashing on DU lately and not enough listening to the message. She brought passion, dedication, integrity, and sometimes anger. The demise of Breaking the Set is sad, but maybe if she ever gets another show outside of RT, at least she won't be facing abuse by the purists and messenger bashers.

She starts the show by praising a victory for Net Neutrality, and ends it with her heartfelt goodbye @ 23:13

She is a warrior. I wish her the best and look forward to seeing where she will go to next!
Posted by LiberalLovinLug | Sat Feb 28, 2015, 05:49 PM (17 replies)

Vladimir Putin must be called to account on surveillance just like Obama

Source: The Guardian

On Thursday, I questioned Russia's involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: "Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals' communications?" I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.

The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden's question and mine here.) Clapper's lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.

In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we'll get to them soon – but it was not the president's suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.

I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticize the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin's evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/18/vladimir-putin-surveillance-us-leaders-snowden

I thought Snowden deserved to defend his reasons for asking Putin questions of Russia's surveillance operations. I can't believe how many even on DU think he is a some kind of traitor. And that his questioning of Putin was a part of some nefarious evil plot. I've heard views that are almost to the point of Snowden being some super secret international spy who is colluding with Dr. Evil to destroy the USA.

I will grant that I think Putin never would have allowed the question in a public forum like that if he thought he could not use it in some way. In this case most likely to be able to publicly deny his own country was as bad as the USA. It was for the Russian people's consumption. But I believe that Snowden simply took advantage of the opportunity to raise the question. To start asking questions like this in Russia too. I'm sure he was smart enough to realize that he wouldn't be getting the truth, he just wanted to get the ball rolling. Read the second paragraph of the excerpt.
Posted by LiberalLovinLug | Fri Apr 18, 2014, 03:01 PM (8 replies)

Boston Bruin Tim Thomas steps in it again

"....On Wednesday, Thomas’ Facebook page again created some news, as the Bruins’ goaltender issued an unsolicited statement in support of Catholics.

“I Stand with the Catholics in the fight for Religious Freedom,” Thomas wrote, followed by a quote from Martin Niemoller.

“In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist,” Niemoller’s quote begins. “Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

It’s likely Thomas is referencing the ongoing debate regarding the Obama administration’s decision to require religious organizations — like hospitals and schools — to provide free birth control to employees. The decision has been opposed strongly, with Christianity Today writing an open letter that used the same Niemoller quotes to illustrate its point...."


So making available birth control is .....denying freedoms?

This follows his public snub of President Obama at the traditional meeting at the White House for the winning Stanley Cup team. The reason he gave for this?
“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People. This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government,”

A multi-millionaire teabagger professional sports star. What is particularly appalling is his co-opting of Neimoller's famous quote which spoke about the creeping fascism of Nazi Germany.....to criticize a freedom of choice issue, on the side of NO choice. Not to mention the veiled implication of the present federal government with Nazi Germany.

This story is an example of how insidieous this poisonous fear based idiocy can spread to all professions and incomes.
Posted by LiberalLovinLug | Wed Feb 8, 2012, 05:27 PM (25 replies)
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