Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Best Alternative News on the Web

I've followed the so-called "alternative" news media for some time now. In recent years, as the global economic crisis has grown in severity and the "War on Terror" has morphed into "the Arab Spring", this segment of the news media has really exploded in popularity. Unfortunately, a lot of alternative news sites are presenting information that is often poorly-sourced, exaggerated, based on pure speculation, useless, or otherwise less-than-credible. However, there are a few genuine sources of un-compromised, independently produced, serious news that far exceeds in quality anything published by the corporate, mainstream media.


ZeroHedge -- The best financial news on the internet. The unvarnished, inconvenient truth. Frequent topics of discussion include: the European sovereign debt crisis, the US's trade and budget deficits, the development of the Chinese economy, major geopolitical events, and the US employment situation (among many, many others). Updated continuously throughout the day. Published anonymously. The articles here usually require some prerequisite knowledge of finance and economics. A great place to get an insider look at the global financial markets and  learn how the global economy really works.

Max Keiser -- The best financial commentary & opinion on the net. Max Keiser pioneered the technology behind virtual equity exchanges like the Hollywood Stock Exchange. Today he is a financial activist and broadcaster who has been featured on Russia's English-language RT network, Iran's Press TV, Qatar's Al-Jazeera English, and BBC World News. Max exposes the fraudulent, broken financial markets and the financial aristocracy that has led the world into economic depression. Max is also a huge advocate of investment in precious metals.


Gary Null & the Progressive Radio Network -- Gary Null is an author and talk radio host who focuses on alternative health topics. He frequently discusses alternative therapies for disease-treatment, the use of vitamins and health supplements, diet and nutrition. Many of his views are controversial and he sometimes veers into "Snake Oil Salesman" territory -- advertising supplements with wide-ranging claims of being able to cure serious ailments. Nonetheless, much of the information he presents on the relationship between diet and health is very valuable. He began the Progressive Radio Network (PRN) in order to promote other progressive thinkers through a talk radio format. Popular transmissions include Gary Null's own Gary Null Show and Progressive Commentary Hour, Michael Ruppert's Lifeboat Hour, the Bioneers, and KPFK's Sonali Kolhatkar.


Land Destroyer Report -- An in-depth analysis of modern imperialism and resource geopolitics. Exposes the reality of US-sponsored "color revolutions" and the subversion of democracy in the Third World / Global South. Particular focus on the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Argues for self-sufficiency as a political and economic strategy.

Global Research: The Center for Research on Globalization -- A Canadian-based site that consistently puts forth analysis and opinion on global current events from a progressive, anti-globalization, anti-imperialist, anti-war point-of-view. Published by Michel Chossudovsky, an economics professor from the University of Ottawa. Publishes articles from a variety of contributors.


Infowars / Prison Planet -- Alex Jones publishes these enormously popular twin news sites. Their content usually overlaps. Frequent topics include global geopolitics, holistic and "alternative" health, surveillance and the police state, economic collapse, the Second Amendment and gun rights, and strategic relocation. The epicenter of the Patriot Movement. Alex is very close to Ron Paul and the Liberty Movement.

Chris Hedges on Truthdig -- Arguably, the heart and soul of progressivism in the United States today. One of the few genuine, un-compromised progressives left in the Obama era. Mr. Hedges has proven himself unafraid to challenge the Democratic Party and President Obama over their hypocritical continuation of the "War on Terror", their support of the PATRIOT Act and state surveillance, and their total sell-out to the forces of Wall Street. His column and books are must-reads for any self-identified progressive or leftist.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Union-backed Liberal Judge Gives 5-Year Sentence To Child-Shooter

Meet Kevin Pickard. Pickard is a 26 year old Black man from the city of Philadelphia.

Prior to his arrest, Pickard was a drug dealer. In 2010, Pickard took aim and fired several shots at a rival drug dealer on a crowded street in southwest Philadelphia.

One bullet hit Deshaown Brown, age 2 at the time. Another bullet hit his older brother, Joseph Brown, age 8. The two boys were playing in their front yard.

Philadelphia PD detectives went to extreme efforts to put together the criminal case against Pickard. They had to do so with little to no cooperation from area residents or witnesses, who are intimidated by (or advocates of) the "Stop Snitching" culture that dominates much of urban America.

The end result?

Kevin Pickard was given a 5 to 10 year sentence.  Considering predominant trends in the Pennsylvania justice system, it is very likely that Pickard will only face a 5 year sentence. Pickard will also be given credit for the time he spent behind bars awaiting trial. Thus, Pickard will likely be released in 3 years.

Why did this happen? Philadelphia residents can thank Common Pleas court Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris.

Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris

Who is Judge Lisette Shirdan-Harris? She has been a Court of Common Pleas Judge since 2006. She has been given awards and citations by the National Organization of Women, the Tuskegee Alumni Club, is the past President of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, and is currently on the board of the Forum of Executive Women. Prior to her career in law, she was a "cultural diversity instructor" at United Airlines.

She was brought into office thanks to campaign funding from the Laborers District Council Local 322 in Philadelphia, as well as several other Building Trades Unions in the city.

What would her numbers have looked like without the backing of LDC Local 332?
“She would have lost absolutely,” said Staten Sr. the union’s president. “She would have had no chance of winning. She wasn’t known and she was new to the field.”
Why did these unions throw their money and political support behind Shirdan-Harris? Quite simply, payback. Shirdan-Harris provided legal protections for union members.

She then joined the Laborers’ District Council Prepaid Legal Fund in 1999, where she oversaw the disbursement of a $3.5 million benefit fund to providers of legal services representing 6,000 construction union members. She remained in this role until joining the Court of Common Pleas in 2006.
 So how did Shirdan-Harris justify her lenient sentence? Apparently, Pickard was in the process of "turning his life around".

In brief remarks before sentencing, Shirdan-Harris said she had taken note of letters in support of Pickard. One from a recreation center leader said Pickard had plans to start a basketball league.
Yes, Pickard shot two defenseless children, one of whom was a toddler. Yes, he was a drug dealer who intimidated and terrorized residents in his area. These facts are not in question, as Pickard pleaded guilty during court proceedings. However, he claims to have had plans to start a basketball league at a local park, a contribution to society which clearly trumps all else in the eyes of the Philadelphia (in)justice system.

So why aren't there masses of Philadelphia residents protesting this decision? Why aren't civil rights organizations filing litigation to overturn this travesty?

Why? Because this is the norm in Philadelphia.

The social infrastructure in Philadelphia is failing (as is the physical infrastructure, but that's another, albeit related, story). Key to that is the total breakdown in the judicial system. Policing measures become useless and pointless if there does not exist a judicial system to mete out punishment to criminals, and that is what has happened in the city of Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer published a startling exposé of the judicial system in Philadelphia, one in which the system spends untold taxpayer resources to coddle and protect criminals while utterly ignoring the needs of victims and witnesses ... Justice: Delayed, Dismissed, Denied.

Go read it now if you want a taste of what awaits many other cities in America that are being driven into the ground by corruption and liberal policies that advocate leniency for criminals and that dismiss advocacy of "law and order" as the product of racism or paranoia.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Why Liberals Hate Matt Drudge

Bill Maher said that "the problem with racism is Matt Drudge."

MJ Rosenberg, an analyst with the liberal activist group Media Matters, referred to Matt Druge as a "racist demagogue." referred to Matt Drudge's website as "profoundly racist."

So why do liberals seem to hate Matt Drudge? Why do liberals consider his website so racist? After all, his website only very rarely includes original content. The Drudge Report is primarily made up of links to other news websites, most of which are safely within the confines of what is typically referred to as the "mainstream media" (think ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, CNN, etc).

Liberals hate Matt Drudge because his website continually highlights liberalism's historic failure to improve the social and economic conditions that the majority of America's Black population finds itself in.

Drudge often spotlights incidents of Black crime. Drudge often includes stories that describe the depressed economic conditions, government corruption and crumbling state of physical infrastructure that is endemic to cities like Detroit, Chicago and Atlanta. Drudge often posts links to stories that point out the near-total dissolution of the family (and other traditional social support networks) in poor, minority-heavy, urban areas.

This is a major threat to liberalism.

Liberals have governed most of America's major metro areas for decades and in many major cities (Chicago being a great example) liberals have total monopolistic control over municipal governance. The Democratic Party today is anchored by social liberalism (unlike the 1930 - 1965 period when it was anchored by left-wing economics) and social liberalism has vociferously fought against traditional social institutions like the nuclear family and the church and slandered anyone who supports these institutions with terms like "patriarchal" and "fundamentalist." The majority of teacher's unions in this nation are in alliance with the Democratic Party.

When Drudge reminds readers about the degraded conditions in which Black America lives, it turns the tables and puts liberals in the "hot seat." It forces liberals to take accountability for liberalism's inability to live up to its promise of redressing social and economic inequality, even after forty-plus years of rule. After several decades, the liberal insistence that more subsidies, more funding and more social liberalism are the keys to social betterment has begun to sound hollow to many Americans. Liberals would rather sweep this ugly reality under the rug and construct a fantasy narrative wherein liberal mayors, liberal teachers and liberal social institutions bear zero responsibility for these failures. Instead, responsibility is passed on to the Tea Party, white people who died several hundred years ago and other people with no discernible influence over present-day urban policy making. The Drudge Report is the needle that bursts this fantasy bubble regularly.

This, in turn, stokes so-called "white guilt" and sharpens the demographic divisions with the Democratic Party itself. indicates that the typical Gawker reader is (1) young, (2) disproportionately female, (3) overwhelmingly white, (4) higher-income, and (5) highly-educated. A quick review of the website indicates that support for homosexual rights and feminism are the paramount political positions among the readership. The possibility that social liberalism has played a major role in the destruction of Black America is too terrible to contemplate for the Gawker demographic. It suggests that they are personally responsible for or personally benefit from racial inequality. It suggests that the demographic alliance(s) underpinning the Democratic Party are fragile and weak. Reflexive accusations of racism and ad hominem attacks on Matt Drudge himself offer an easy escape.

Because Drudge so rarely offers personal commentary and instead relies on third-party news (many from otherwise liberal outlets), he is quite difficult for liberals to argue against. This provokes the irrational, visceral reactions of intense hatred that we sometimes see. Liberals can not admit that their real objection to his website is the "type" of news story that Drudge links to, so they rely on superficial arguments about the images he chooses, the headlines he writes and the way in which he contextualizes stories on his page, and completely sidestep the socio-political questions that the content in these stories should provoke instead.

Monday, June 11, 2012

'The Nation' Is Clueless About The Economy, Shills For Obama

The Nation's Bryce Covert argues that "public sector job loss is at the heart of our stagnant economy and is a big reason why the recovery can't get real lift-off."

Underlying Covert's argument is the false assumption that all jobs are made equal. Any economist with even a modicum of sophistication understands that certain types of labor contribute far more to Gross Domestic Product, money circulation, goods output and other productivity metrics than do others. Traditionally, economists have looked upon government as non-productive labor. Government workers do not "add value" in the same way that, say, workers in the primary sector (mining, agriculture) or secondary sector (manufacturing, industry) of the economy do. This is not an alien concept to social democrats or leftists -- most Western European nations utilize a Value Added Tax that is fundamentally tied in to this concept.

Think of the national economy as a factory floor. You have a manufacturing workforce on the assembly line that produces the actual product and you have white-collar administrators who ensure that production is managed efficiently. The administrators are usually a small minority. They represent the so-called "overhead." The Nation would like us to believe that productive and administrative jobs are interchangeable and equally beneficial to the economy. They are not. The Nation would like us to believe that a nation of administrators is no different from a nation that actually produces goods and services. They are wrong on this point as well.

As long as Covert refuses to acknowledge these truths, her economic analysis will remain at the elementary level.

Furthermore, Covert argues that public sector job cuts are the result of an ideological agenda led by the right-wing in the United States. How does she account for the austerity being undertaken across Europe, where leftist governments enjoy far more support? What advice does she have for a nation like Greece, which has very limited access to the bond markets and no budgetary surplus thereby making deficit spending or public sector employment growth a near impossibility? What assurances does she have that the debt crisis afflicting Southern Europe won't soon engulf the U.S., the U.K. and Japan? Why is it that the social democratic premiers of Spain and Greece and former the Mayor of London, the self-declared socialist "Red" Ken Livingstone, all admit that the debt crisis is real and that spending, especially deficit spending, must be limited?

Covert pretends as if Europe does not exist. She pretends as if Scott Walker's victories over public sector unions in Wisconsin are an isolated product of American "ultraconservative Republicans".

The reality is that the events in Wisconsin are intimately tied to the events in Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, and Iceland (and soon Italy). The Keynesian model of endlessly borrowing from the future in order to create make-work jobs (jobs for the sake of jobs, that don't create real physical value) and spur ever-greater consumption is fundamentally unsustainable and has reached a tipping point.

Governments across the so-called 'developed world' are waking up to this and taking action. Governments that act prudently and enforce budgetary discipline will be rewarded. In fact, they already have been to some degree. Germany and Netherlands have both severely limited their government spending. Germany is committed to a balanced budget. Germany's health care system is far more "free-market" than that of most of its Western European neighbors. As a result, they enjoy low unemployment, high income and purchasing power, and governments often run surpluses that allow for generous social benefits. In contrast, countries that are reckless and imprudent with their spending will see themselves slip into vicious cycles of wealth destruction. This has already happened in Greece. The public sector plays a far greater role in the economy in Greece than it does in Northern Europe. Structurally, social welfare schemes are far more generous in Greece than in Northern Europe. Yet Greece has one of the highest unemployment rates in the 'developed world', a declining quality of life (including health-wise), and low purchasing power.

This is the inconvenient truth that The Nation refuses to confront.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

The Daily Caller Attempts To Mock Bilderberg Protestors And Fails

The Bilderberg Group is currently meeting at the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly, Virginia. Alex Jones and several other so-called "alternative" journalists are outside the hotel protesting the meeting.

Jamie Weinstein, Senior Editor of The Daily Caller, ambushed Jones in the above video and began asking a series of trite, mocking questions in an obvious attempt to solicit some kind of embarrassing reaction. Jones tactfully defended his views and the crowd supported him. The embarrassment and unease is visible on Weinstein's face.

Here are replies to Weinstein's idiotic questions:

Question: "If they are so powerful, why would they allow you to protest outside?"

Why does a teapot have a steam release? Institutions of power, even tyrannical ones, almost always give their populace the ability to vent their frustrations in non-threatening ways. It prevents the build-up of too much social and political tension. Alex Jones and his fellow protesters are no real threat to the power of the global elites attending this year's conference, so why bother restricting him? This is a basic truth about governmental authority that Weinstein should be aware of.

Question: "Who ever said the Bilderberg didn't exist?"

I don't think Weinstein's boss Tucker Carlson ever said that Bilderberg didn't exist, but he definitely worked his hardest to downplay the group's power.

In this video clip, Tucker Carlson greatly downplays the existence of the Bilderberg group, says it is made up of "retired State Department officials" and similar mid-level bureaucrats, and implies that those who investigate into the Bilderberg group's existence suffer from mental illness. [1]

False, Mr. Carlson. The group's attendees are not mid-level bureaucrats without power. 2012 attendees include:

*Josef Ackermann, chairman of Deutsche Bank
*Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclay's bank
*Keith B. Alexander, Director in the NSA and Commander of US Cyber Command
*Ali Babacan, Deputy Prime Minster of Turkey
*Prince Philippe of Belgium
*Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada
*Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana
*Michael J. Evans, on behalf of Goldman Sachs
*Thomas E. Donilon, National Security Advisor to the Obama administration
*Ying Fu, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs from China
*Kenneth M. Jacobs, CEO and Chairman of Lazard
*Gary Kasparov, leader of anti-Putin opposition in Russia
*John Kerry, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
*Henry Kissinger
*Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization
*Andrew Liveris, Chairman and CEO of Dow Chemical
*Michael Noonan, Minister of Finance from Ireland
*Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google

Among, many many others. [2]

These are not low-level bureaucrats. This is indeed a collection of some of the most powerful human beings on the planet. They command global institutions and hold high rank in governments around the globe. Yet people like Carlson and MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell would like you to believe that these individuals are just getting together for Sunday brunch and not discussing or setting governmental or economic policy. [3] It is patently absurd to believe that this collection of individuals comes together for reasons that have nothing to do with their roles in government and business.

Their decisions and discussions affect the livelihoods of billions of people around the planet. Yet the mainstream media (especially the traditional newsprint and television media) has refused to report on it for years. When individuals comment on the notable media blackout (or "brownout" rather, as the mainstream coverage that does exist is greatly muted), individuals like Weinstein step in to mock and disparage them.

Their goal is to prevent any movement towards greater transparency and openness, quite simply.

But now the lid has been blown off. The Drudge Report has linked to articles on Bilderberg. Former Bilderberg member and NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes has publicly commented on the policy-setting and consensus-setting nature of the conference. [4] The Guardian now sends reporter Charlie Skelton to report on the Bilderberg conference annually. [5] Even the Huffington Post has published articles about the group.

The real question is whether the global elite will continue to use the Bilderberg conference as a vehicle now that it has been publicly "exposed" to a level previously unprecedented.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

BBC Caught Using Phony Photo to Promote War in Syria

The BBC published the above photo on its website on the date of May 27th, 2012. It cites an "activist" and "cannot be independently verified" but "is believed to show the bodies of children in Houla awaiting burial."

Houla is a city in Syria that is currently the site of anti-government protests and reports of widespread political violence. The reported "massacre" in Houla (the confirmed details of which are still vague in the Western media) is being used by the media to hype the possibility of a NATO-led military "intervention" in Syria, one very similar to 2011's "intervention"in Libya.

The photo was actually taken on March 27th, 2003 in Iraq by photographer Marco di Lauro. Di Lauro works for Getty Images and has been published by newspapers across Europe and the United States. The photo does not depict "bodies of children" but rather skeletons found in the desert.

This is either extraordinarily uncharacteristically negligent editing and fact-checking on the part of the BBC, or someone within the BBC purposefully used this photo with the intent of inflaming Western popular opinion against Syria in order to justify military action. Remember that the BBC is a publicly-funded semi-autonomous public service broadcaster that ultimately responds to the British government.

Monday, May 28, 2012

June 2012: Vote NO on California Proposition 29!

Proposition 29 is on the June 5th, 2012 ballot in California. Proposition 29 adds a new $1.00 tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in the state, on top of the existing $0.87 tax that is currently in place.

The California Legislative Analyst's Office projects that the tax will raise $735 million in new revenue.

Proposition 29 creates a massive, new bureaucracy to administer these funds. The bureaucracy will be run by a 9-member governing committee made up of 3 University of California chancellors, 4 individuals appointed by the Governor, and 2 individuals appointed by the Director of the California Department of Public Health.

Approximately $16 million will be used to administer this new bureaucracy (collecting, auditing and distributing the revenue). Approximately $23 million will be diverted to law enforcement agencies to fund their anti-tobacco efforts. Approximately $30 million will be diverted to the California Department of Education to fund their anti-tobacco education efforts. Approximately $585 million, by far the biggest chunk of the revenues, will be used to subsidize the medical sector of the economy through government loans and grants to the private sector along with government funding of capital expenditures like building and facilities construction.

California faces a $16 billion deficit right now, in the midst of a deep recession in the real economy. Proposition 29 would raise taxes, create a new state bureaucracy, and increase subsidies to the private sector medical industry that is already massively subsidized in California through Medi-Cal and previous anti-tobacco tax funds.

So who is pushing this initiative? Michael Bloomberg (Mayor of New York City), who does not even live in California, is a major bank-roller of the initiative. However, the main bank-rollers of the initiative are many of the same entities that are likely to benefit from the government loans and grants that Proposition 29 will create: the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, Volunteers Organized for Community Empowerment, Tobacco-Free Kids Action Fund and others.

Vote NO on California Proposition 29!

Even the liberal Los Angeles Times, which has a track record of supporting anti-tobacco initiatives, does not support Proposition 29.

Vote NO on California Proposition 29!