Posted by: quiscus | May 13, 2011

April 13, 2011

1.  “The Koch Brothers and the End of State Universities

The only legitimate academic endowment is one with no strings attached. The money should go into the endowment up front. And then the university procedures should be followed in making hires. The endower is owed profuse and frequent thanks and can come hear the public lectures given by those hired with their money, but they absolutely should not have their thumbs on the till in the hiring.

But ideally state universities should be funded by state legislatures, and should have charters of academic and curricular independence from those legislatures. State universities should be for the people. We already have elite universities for the elite.

Our Congress has already largely been bought by the corporations it is supposed to be regulating and by a raft of special interests, from the National Rifle Association to the Israel lobbies. Now if our state universities are to be bought, even our academic knowledge will be corrupt.

And, it won’t be long before the BP Chair in How there is No Climate Change, and the Saudi Arabian Chair in the Necessity of Beheading Adulterers, and the Avigdor Lieberman Chair in Ethnic Cleansing Solutions, and the Communist Party of China Chair in Google Censorship crowd onto our campuses along with a host of other junky positions.”

2.  “Political Game Playing and Media Disinformation in America


You can almost hear the growling in the background as the masters of attack politics go into action, virtually every hour on the hour, on the Fox News Channel. The issues they focus on are carefully selected by top executives and then broken down into highly politicized message points.

Their dominant emotion is annoyance as expressed in sarcasm and scowling; contempt is the underlying attitude,

The other side is usually not just wrong but plain stupid, almost unbelievable in its softheaded naiveté, and distance from reality,

A “what do you expect” question invariably tops off the argument which always ends with the Fox host a winner and the Democrat or social critic a loser on every level.

Standing on a podium driven by self-righteous certainty, the finger pointers view the people they talk about, and talk down to, as below the intelligence threshold of people even worth arguing with.

In this universe, hyping the extreme and outrageous seems to attract audiences as Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck have proven.

That leads to higher ratings and, the real goal, higher revenues.

Recall, it is politicians, not “the people” who define those issues. They rely on corporate -style market research and focus groups. They chose slogans and even language that often has a patriotic subtext. When government programs are likened to Socialism, it’s not surprising when people who consider themselves conservatives reject them even when they don’t really know what socialism is.

This is also true of what appears to be populist movements like The Tea Party whose agenda and talking points have been established by professional consultants, guided by political operatives and funded by conservative billionaires.

So Fox plays a double game, concealing the most reactionary and partisan of perspectives in the appearance of populism. It is then packaged in the format of news programming and above the fray television driven by hot graphics, pretty blondes, and relentless posturing.

The formula works in attracting audiences while the same time, feeding into a political strategy of promoting partisanship through heightening polarization and political conflict.”

3.  “Food Freedom and Family Farm

Home Rule takes a beating as Maine defeats food freedom bills”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: