....LMB: "That Electiony Thing"....

November 06, 2002

Now that the Republicans have increased their Congressional numbers, the White House can push an even more right-wing agenda:

I went in to vote yesterday, mainly for the ballot initiatives. Here in California, we actually have a smattering of direct democracy, where citizens can vote certain proposed laws into effect. While there, I took the time to vote against all the incumbents. I also voted for Pat Wright for Lieutenant Governor because:

As for the big one, state governor, the main choice for most Californians was the choice between the Corrupt Guy and the Incompetent Corrupt Guy. Well, that's not true. The main choice was Going Out to Vote or Staying Home and Not Bothering. As I understand it, Not Bothering won by a margin of about 60 to 40.

I think Tom Tomorrow really pegged the Democratic election strategy in his latest comic, and why they lost:

"Maybe if we give George Bush everything he wants for the rest of his term, the voters will like us better. And then we might be able to hang onto our jobs a little longer."

Spineless, spineless idiots.

Everyone here understands that the United States is not a democracy, right?

Even technically speaking. The United States is a republic, a state where representatives make policy decisions in the government. We elect these representatives, so the U.S. is a democratic republic.

But even that doesn't work. I read a quote the other day (can't remember who by) which said "In the 1980s, capitalism defeated communism. In the 1990s, it defeated democracy too." That pretty much sums it up.

The only people who stand much of a chance of winning elections are people with access to huge amounts of money. And the holders of these sums of money don't give it out for free; to them, every campaign contribution is an investment that will pay off in steep dividends. Nearly every viable candidate is bought and sold before the public has any say in the process. Nearly every third, fourth and fifth party candidate has no real chance of winning (yes, there is the occassional aberration like Jesse Ventura). And once in office, more and more politicians seem to dedicate themselves primarily to amassing more money for the next election and paying out the dividends to last election's financial backers.

The United States is a very thinly veiled oligarchy (well, plutocracy if we want to use all our big words at once). To our benefit (sort of), the oligarch power is restrained by a very complex set of bureaucratic rules. The lucrative (relative to most countries) economy and omnipresent consumerism makes these abuses more bearable. And, I'm sad to say, most Americans seem to have bought into the Horatio Alger myth that their fate could change from poverty to riches at any moment, that at any moment they could go from assistant janitor to CEO of a major corporation. In other words, Americans are willing to accept inequality and exploitation, because they hope that one day, they might be the ones at the top doing the exploiting.

Wake up, America. You, reading this post right now. You are not going to be rich or famous. Ever. EVER! Once people starting getting that painful truth through their thick skulls, maybe we'll see a little real dissent and progress.

I'll leave y'all with a handy little quote from our dearly-departed pal Frank Zappa:

"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theatre."

First person to say "if you don't like it, why don't you move?" gets a free punch in the mouth.

Posted by Jake at 10:55 AM

Oh yeah? You don't like it...go move to...er um...America!

In Ohio, we had Issue One, the drug treatment vs. incarceration referendum. It failed miserably of course. The powers-to-be: judges, prosecutors, and police officials wrote newspaper columns, saying how it will be end of civilization if Issue One passes, etc. Pot users should be thrown in jail with rapists and murderers and it will cost the good taxpayers' money to create programs (the convenient eternal defense - taxes aren't the issue if we pay to put more cops in the street). Those were the main arguments.

Not only that, separate levies in support of drug programs were voted down. Not only do we want to throw lousy drug users in jail, we don't wanna help 'em either. Fuck 'em all!

Posted by: Eric at November 7, 2002 10:04 PM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

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Media News

December 01, 2004

Media Mambo

The Great Indecency Hoax- last week, we wrote about how the "massive outcry" to the FCC about a racy Fox TV segment amounted to letters from 20 people. This week, we look at the newest media scandal, the infamous "naked back" commercial. On Monday Night Football, last week, ABC aired an ad for it's popular "Desperate Housewives" TV show, in which one of the actresses from the show attempted to seduce a football player by removing the towel she was wearing to bare her body to him. All the audience saw, however, was her back. No tits, no ass, no crotch, just her back.

No one complained.

The next Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh told his shocked viewers how the woman had appeard in the commercial "buck naked".

Then, the FCC received 50,000 complaints. How many of them actually saw this commercial is anyone's guess.

The article also shows the amazing statistics that although the Right is pretending that the "22% of Americans voted based on 'moral values'" statistic shows the return of the Moral Majority, this is actually a huge drop from the 35% who said that in the 2000 election or the 40% who said that in 1996 (when alleged pervert Bill Clinton was re-elected). This fact is so important I'm going to mention it over in the main news section too.

Brian Williams may surprise America- Tom Brokaw's replacement anchor, Brian Williams, dismissed the impact of blogs by saying that bloggers are "on an equal footing with someone in a bathroom with a modem." Which is really funny, coming out of the mouth of a dude who's idea of journalism is to read words out loud off a teleprompter. Seriously, if parrots were literate, Brian Williams would be reporting live from the line outside the soup kitchen.

In related news, Tom Brokaw has quit NBC Nightly News, and it appears that unlike his predecessor, the new guy can speak without slurring words like a drunk.

PR Meets Psy-Ops in War on Terror- in February of 2002, Donald Rumsfeld announced the creation of the Office of Strategic Influence, a new department that would fight the war on terror through misinformation, especially by lying to journalists. Journalists were so up in arms about this that the Pentagon agreed to scrap the program.

Don't you think that an agency designed to lie to the public might lie about being shut down, too?

This article gives some examples about the US military lying to the press for propaganda and disinformation purposes.

Tavis Smiley leaving NPR in December- African-American talk show host Tavis Smiley is opting to not renew his daily talk show on National Public Radio. He criticized his former employers for failing to: "meaningfully reach out to a broad spectrum of Americans who would benefit from public radio but simply donít know it exists or what it offers ... In the most multicultural, multi-ethnic and multiracial America ever, I believe that NPR can and must do better in the future." He's 100% correct. NPR is white. Polar bear eating a marshmallow at the mayonaise factory white. And the reason it's so white is that it is trying to maintain an affluent listener base (premoniantly older white folks) who will donate money to their stations. This is a great paradox of American public broadcasting, that they have a mandate to express neglected viewpoints and serve marginalized communities, but those folks can't donate money in the amounts that the stations would like to see.

U.S. Muslim Cable TV Channel Aims to Build Bridges- it sounds more positive than it is "Bridges TV" seems to simultaneously be a cable channel pursuing an affluent American Muslim demographic, and a way of building understanding and tolerance among American non-Muslims who might happen to watch the channel's programming. I was hoping it would be aimed more at Muslim's worldwide, but it ain't. Still, I'd be interested in seeing how their news programs cover the issues.

Every Damned Weblog Post Ever- it's funny cuz it's true.

Wikipedia Creators Move Into News- Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia, created collectively by thousands of contributors. It's one of those non-profit, decentralized, collective, public projects that show how good the internet can be. Now, the Wikipedia founders are working on a similar project to create a collaborative news portal, with original content. Honestly, it's quite similar to IndyMedia sites (which reminds me, happy 5th birthday, IndyMedia!). I'll admit, I'm a bit skeptical about the Wikinews project, though. IndyMedia sites work because they're local, focused on certain lefty issues, and they're run by activists invested in their beliefs. I'm not sure what would drive Wikinews or how it would hang together.

CBS, NBC ban church ad inviting gays- the United Church of Christ created a TV ad which touts the church's inclusion, even implying that they accept homosexuals into their congregation. Both CBS and NBC are refusing to air the ad. This is not too surprising, as many Americans are uncomfortable about homosexuality, and because TV networks are utter cowards. But CBS' explanation for the ban was odd:

"Because this commercial touches on the exclusion of gay couples...and the fact that the executive branch has recently proposed a Constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman, this spot is unacceptable for broadcast."

Whoa, what? First of all, the ad does not mention marriage at all. Second, since when do positions opposite of the Executive Branch constitute "unacceptable"? This doesn't sound like "we're not airing this because it's controversial", this sounds like "we're afraid of what the President might say."

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