Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Digital Disconnect - a review

Digital Disconnect- How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy.
Robert W. Mc Chesney is one of the nations’ leading analysts of media and monopoly, and his   “Digital Disconnect- How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy,”  is an excellent analysis of the  problem where a medium with the capacity to empower people is itself becoming a tool of social control.
In the first three chapters Robert McChesney provides  a substantive,  sophisticated yet transparent description of  the political economy of the United States.  That alone justifies a read, given how too many left activists fail at seeing the intersection of politics and economics and end up locked into offering a  far too weak Keynesian stimulus policy  as the alternative to capitalist austerity measures. McChesney offers a better, more complete view  through  rendering an astute  political economy of journalism, communications and media.

After establishing his political economy baseline, the author documents the takeover of the internet and much of our media by corporate oligarchs.  As McChesney argues. if you have a social system dominated by a power and economic elite, they are going to shape new enterprises to fit their capitalist interest not only in profit making but in propaganda. In describing the recent developments he asserts,  “ As a rule, policies will be made by elites and self interested commercial interests, unless there is a organized popular intervention.” “ (91)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Inequality is - Robert Reich

Inequality is painful. See the slides.
"Even before the Great Recession, working Americans faced stagnant wages and were not benefiting from economic growth-the result of widening income inequality. What's more, there's growing evidence, including research by EPI, that income inequality is not the result of abstract, unstoppable economic trends. Instead, inequality was created by government policies supported by, and to the benefit of, those with the most power and wealth. The upshot of this is that people, together, can reverse these trends by mobilizing around policies that generate shared prosperity.' Economic Policy Institute President Lawrence Mishel, announcing the start of website:

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Immigration reform will save millions for deficit

antiracismdsa: Immigration reform will save millions for deficit: While this may be just another study for many Anglo conservatives, the Latino community through the Latino press has taken notice of this r...

Twenty-Five Ideas for Mayor Garcetti | California Progress Report

Twenty-Five Ideas for Mayor Garcetti | California Progress Report

Jerry Brown: Worse than Schwarzenegger on the Environment ?

Brown Proclaims 'Great Outdoors Month' as He Plots Delta's Destruction
Jerry Brown: Worse Than Schwarzenegger on Environment?
Governor Jerry Brown on Friday, June 7 issued a proclamation declaring June as “Great Outdoors Month” in California. Ironically, the same Governor is fast-tracking the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (BDCP), a $54.1 billion dollar project that would divert massive quantities of water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, leading to the extinction of Sacramento River Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, Delta and longfin smelt, green sturgeon and other species.
“Our state’s scenic landscapes have always been a source of pride and pleasure,” proclaimed Brown. “From mountain trails in the High Sierra to a coastline that has captured the heart of millions, Californians benefit from unparalleled opportunities to enjoy some of the world’s most beloved and spectacular outdoor places.”
“Today, I invite all Californians to experience some small piece of the varied and magnificent land of California,” he said.
The full text of the proclamation is available here.
Could this proclamation be a hidden warning from Brown to now enjoy California’s rivers, ocean and other iconic landscapes, including the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, since these wild places may no be available for much longer as he pushes for the construction of the peripheral tunnels and other environmentally destructive projects?