Town Hall Meeting

31 Jan 2011

Spoof of U.S. Statements on Peoples Movement in Egypt

Filed under: — Administrator @ 2:31 pm

It’s funny because it’s true.

-Thanks G for the link!

27 Jan 2011

The Weimar Republic

Filed under: — Al @ 1:41 pm

It is the name given to the parliamentary republic of Germany from the years 1918-1933. Noam Chomsky gave some interviews in 2010 to The Progressive Magazine and Chris Hedges about the risk of U.S. fascism and mentioned “the Weimar Republic was the peak of Western civilization and was regarded as a model of democracy.” He went on to explain how quickly it failed and turned into Nazi Germany, drawing parallels to current situations in the U.S. One such parallel is Germans got sick of government wrangling and their service to the powerful. A fringe movement like the Nazi’s, who had 2% of the vote in 1928, took power by 1933. And one reason they got more support is because Germans figured they couldn’t be much worse than the leaders they had so far.

I personally don’t know much about the Weimar Republic, but it sounds like an important part of world history and the history of democracy, so the more people know about it the better. Chomsky’s explanation and this youtube video seem like a decent place to start.

Chomsky’s Weimar Republic Explanation with the Progressive Magazine

Chomsky’s Weimar Republic Explanation with Chris Hedges and Truthdig

25 Jan 2011

Taco Bell “Beef” Allegedly Has lots of “Binders” and “Filler”

Filed under: — Al @ 4:41 pm

The fast food chain Taco Bell was sued in federal court today for using the word beef to describe their meat when it contains other things called “binders” and “fillers.” The claim is Taco Bell does this to gain a competitive advantage over other restaurants who serve 100% beef because it’s cheaper to serve something that is, say 60% beef. The lawsuit says they shouldn’t be allowed to call it beef, but should they be allowed to sell this to the public at all?!!,0,6513275.story

20 Jan 2011

How to Win Votes and Influence People – The Wrong Way

Filed under: — Al @ 11:55 am

Mother Jones magazine has a great article this month exposing the “Tea Party Patriots” organization as a pyramid scheme derived from Amway and Herbalife, whose founders are not coincidentally Right Wing, and now Tea Party activists. The idea in Amway and Herbalife is to convince others to work for you, and give you a cut of their money, and then get others to work for them, and so on, hence the pyramid. The money flows up in the billions, if you are Amway. This is also called “Multilevel Marketing.” In Stephanie Mencimer’s article, she shows how the TPP does this too, by getting activists to send them money, so they can get more activists, so they can get more money. The network itself is the product, which as we know (because its how Google and Facebook make their billions) is worth a lot of money, and of course has serious privacy implications. Another very informative point Mencimer makes is that the Multilevel Marketing pitch of “freedom from bosses, schedules, and financial worries” fits right into the Tea Party pitch.

How to Win Votes and Influence People:
Is the tea party movement’s biggest group just a marketing scheme?

Mother Jones, Jan-Feb, 2011 by Stephanie Mencimer

There’s a book Mark Meckler recommends to reporters and others seeking insight into the tea party juggernaut. Called The Starfish and the Spider, the popular business text explores the “unstoppable power” of decentralized organizations. (Cut off a spider’s head and it dies; cut off a starfish’s leg and it may grow into a new starfish.) “We’re like the starfish,” Meckler, a national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, the largest of the movement’s factions, remarked in February. “There is no head, there is no leader of the organization. There are thousands of starfish out there, and they are self-replicating in that way.”

Meckler, it turns out, is intimately familiar with this kind of self-replication: For years, he was a top distributor for Herbalife, a company with a long history of runins with state and federal regulators that has been accused of preying on consumers with promises of easy money and health miracles via nutritional supplements. Multilevel marketing (MLM) companies like Herbalife (and Amway, Prepaid Legal Services, and others) make the bulk of their money not by selling retail products, but by recruiting independent distributors, who then make money by recruiting even more distributors. The more people you recruit, the more income you get. Like the tea party movement, these companies tout a bottom-up approach and depend on a never-ending supply of people willing to work long hours with no assurance of pay.

Read the rest here

18 Jan 2011

Onion: “Has Obama Failed To Reduce Hostility Toward Obnoxious Americans Abroad?”

Filed under: — Al @ 2:32 pm

14 Jan 2011

A People’s History of American Empire

Filed under: — Al @ 4:05 pm

Howard Zinn was a great person. I only wish he was interviewed on TV just a few times a year so this informed, knowledgeable, experienced voice of reason could have reached more people. And for those partisans out there, Democrat or Republican, think about Zinn’s assertion that “the American Empire has always been a bipartisan project.” Check out this video, it’s enlightening.

10 Jan 2011

Time Magazine – Now For Adults

Filed under: — Al @ 3:28 pm

“Time Advanced” readers graduate from glossy photos, and is for people with growing vocabularies and who don’t want to read about out-of-touch trend pieces on ‘virginity pledges.’

Democracy Now!
February 29, 2024

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