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5 months Ago

An interview with corporate-political prisoner Steven Donziger

Published by marco on

This is an excellent interview with Steven Donziger, who’s a corporate/political prisoner in America. He is an American lawyer who was instrumental in helping an international team get a multi-billion-dollar judgment against Chevron in Ecuador for their poisoning of the environment and reckless endangerment of indigenous peoples.

The interview starts at 28:00.

Lawyer Steven Donziger Under House Arrest for Suing Chevron by Useful Idiots (YouTube)

Ecuador’s indigenous peoples won the judgment, and courts everywhere in the world but in the U.S. have recognized it. Chevron will... [More]

More bullshit from an American president

Published by marco on

I honestly don’t remember what Donald Trump’s message was, but I happened to read the latest letter from an American president—this time it’s Joe Biden.

“My fellow American,

“[…]

“A key part of the American Rescue Plan is direct payments of $1,400 per person for most American households. With the $600 direct payment from December, this brings the total relief payment up to $2,000. This fulfills a promise I made to you, and will help get millions of Americans through this crisis.”

The U.S.... [More]

6 months Ago

Abby Martin and Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM

Published by marco on

Abby Martin of the Empire Files interviews the incredibly well-informed Eugene Puryear on AFRICOM and U.S. interests on the continent of Africa.

A Guide to US Empire in Africa: Neocolonial Order & AFRICOM by Empire Files (YouTube)

At 15:00:

Eugene: They did not want Lumumba […] the country starts to break apart. […the Belgians] tracked down Lumumba, they captured him, and then they executed him. And they then instituted a regime that was maybe one of the most brutal, kleptocratic, resource-extraction regimes in the history of the 20th century. […]

“The role of the U.S.... [More]”

Thoughts about Chomsky’s thoughts

Published by marco on

The article “Marx’s Old Mole is Right Beneath the Surface” by Noam Chomsky, David Barsamian (Boston Review) is one in a long series of interviews of Noam Chomsky by David Barsamian over the years. I found it kind of interesting as a jumping-off point for some thoughts of my own.

January 6th

Chomsky comes down very strong on characterizing the attack on the Capitol on January 6th as a coup.

“First of all, it was explicitly an attempt at a coup. They were trying to overthrow the elected government: that’s a coup. As for those who... [More]”

Jane McAlevey: Union Wizard

Published by marco on

The podcast Behind the News, 4/15/21 by Doug Henwood (Apple Podcasts) includes two interviews. The first half is an interview with Meagan Day and Micah Uetricht about Sanders’s legacy (which was OK), but the interview with Jane McAlevey about “why the union lost to Amazon in Bessemer” was absolutely top-notch.

McAlevey discusses in no uncertain terms how obvious it was that the union was going to lose the vote against Amazon in Bessemer:

  • They didn’t have the votes; they either knew it or they were even more incompetent than... [More]

How much is too much Fentanyl?

Published by marco on

The article The Movie Follows the Script by James Howard Kunstler (ClusterFuck Nation) included the following about George Floyd’s intoxication level.

“The trouble is what’s not in the indelible picture: Mr. Floyd’s prodigious ingestion of the world’s hardest narcotic, fentanyl, at a level likely to cause death, plus methedrine, plus THC, on top of a 90-percent blockage of a coronary artery, and other cardiopathies, and Covid-19, all according to the official medical examiner.”

I’d already read this claim a few times and had heard... [More]

Assigning Disparaging Identities as a Social-media Weapon

Published by marco on

Back in November, I listened to this Joe Rogan interview with Tim Dillon and Alex Jones. Tim Dillon is pretty funny. Joe’s going on about taking a UFO to Alpha Centauri and the evolution of humanity and Dillon interrupts him to say “I’m not even allowed to go to an Applebee’s, Joe. … I live in California. I’m barely allowed to leave my house.” … later he says, quite poignantly, “I think we should be humans as long as we can.”

Joe Rogan Experience #1555 − Alex Jones & Tim Dillon by Joe Rogan (YouTube)

Very near the end of this 3:10:00 show, Joe wraps things... [More]

Fuck around and find out in Asia

Published by marco on

Since the Biden Administration took the reins, America’s foreign policy has stayed just as confusing as under Trump (or Obama or Bush…) but is arguably more strident and belligerent.

I write “Biden Administration” because am reluctant to characterize anything that happens as having sprung from the mind of Biden. His few appearances and utterances have not inspired any confidence that he’s deciding anything more complex than which kind of fruit he wants for breakfast. On the other hand, the... [More]

7 months Ago

John Oliver vs. Tucker Carlson

Published by marco on

John Oliver addresses the menace of Tucker Carlson in the video. It’s a pretty cheap takedown in that the charges of white supremacism are fraught and Oliver relies nearly exclusively on older clips (some from the 90s, for God’s sake). Carlson is on TV every night of the week. Did you have to reach back to the 90s to find sufficiently incriminating material?

I’m surprised the Oliver didn’t point out that Carlson’s “concentrating” face resembles a constipated weasel.

Tucker Carlson by Last Week Tonight (YouTube)

John Oliver, once again,... [More]

Joe Biden’s first press conference

Published by marco on

I watched this on the Katie Halper podcast, but Taibbi and Halper’s MST2000-like chatter didn’t really add anything (this time). You can probably find the real thing on C-SPAN or something, but the time-marks I made line up with this version, so I’m using that as a reference.

Biden's First Press Conference by Katie Halper and Matt Taibbi (YouTube)

14:00
Start of a looooong immigration discussion, but he’s mostly reading. The questions are prepared. The reporters have been pre-selected. He keeps checking his notes to see where he is in the list.
28:30
Let’s go... [More]

The persistence of genocide

Published by marco on

Is China Committing Genocide? Behind the US Government’s Propaganda Campaign by Dan Cohen (MintPress News)

Is China Committing Genocide? Behind The US Government’s Propaganda Campaign by Dan Cohen (YouTube)

“Meanwhile, Zenz’s study accusing China of forced sterilizations didn’t contain any proof of coercion. The Grayzone showed how “Zenz consistently framed the expansion of public healthcare services in Xinjiang as evidence of a genocide in the making.” Characterizing expanded access to birth control as genocide is what the Christian Right does. So it makes perfect sense that Zenz – an evangelical... [More]”

Matt Stoller on Useful Idiots: Tech Revenue Model and Taiwan

Published by marco on

This is a Useful Idiots interview with the always interesting and provactive Matt Stoller. It’s the second part of an interview with that began in New Useful Idiots: Ted Cruz, Penis Mishaps, and Matt Stoller on Big Tech Monopoly (Audio Also). I’ve highlighted and partially transcribed the bits I found interesting. The Substack page has more transcription (but it’s also only partial).

Substack Only Episode of Useful Idiots: Guest Matt Stoller asks, 'Is the Left Interested in National Defense?' Plus, Matt and Katie Discuss Mr. Biden's Wild Stair Ride by Useful Idiots (YouTube)

At 03:00, Stoller talks about how we need to turn our tech giants back into platforms instead of purveyors of... [More]

Carl Zha on the Chinese Summit (Behind the Headlines)

Published by marco on

I’d never heard of Carl Zha before, but he was entertaining and informative on U.S.-China relations. This is a 1-hour interview about various China-related topics.

Video: US Escalates New Cold War as Diplomatic Gloves Come Off, with Carl Zha by Behind the Headlines (YouTube)

I am not kidding. The U.S. lectured China at their latest summit with this gem:

“A confident country is able to look hard at its own shortcomings and constantly seek to improve. And that is the secret sauce of America.”

I wouldn’t even have known how to respond to that. The Idiocracy is fully bloomed.

The Chinese diplomat... [More]

Boogaloo = Boogie Man

Published by marco on

The article Meet the Censored: Live Streamers by Matt Taibbi (SubStack) includes a description of what the Boogaloos are like when you actually bother to cover them and ask them what they stand for (instead of just triggering on CNN’s description of them).

“According to Fischer, the Twitter announcement didn’t exactly make sense, because the protesters in Ohio were more of a libertarian ilk, and, as Farina and Chariton discovered in the Virginia crowd, not so clearly aligned with Trump as Twitter and other media... [More]”

Reporting on the democrats

Published by marco on

Something happened with this video. It’s still on YouTube, but Lee Camp has redacted it from his own web site. I’d originally watched it at MOC #67 − The Truth About DSA & AOC (w/ Eric London) (LeeCamp.Com), but that link is dead now. Episode #67 is conspicuously absent from the listings on that site. I’m a bit taken aback that Camp took the video down without explanation.

MOC #67 − The Truth About DSA & AOC (w/ Eric London) by Lee Camp (YouTube)

Eric London is much better in this interview than in print, but he cannot help but purity-test everyone. He mentions Jacobin... [More]

Jacobin Interview with Vijay Prashad

Published by marco on

This interview with Vijay Prashad is really quite good. He provides interesting information and views on Indian and Chinese politics.

Biden's Corporate Unity, Taylor Guitar Co-Op, & Indian Farmers' Protest w/ Vijay Prashad by Jacobin Weekends (YouTube)

At 44:39, Nando does a good deep-dive/description of of worker-owned companies.

Nando: If you really boil it down to its essence, politics is about who gets what in our society. As Marx said: it is a struggle between capital and labor. Capitalists—or the bourgeoisie—are the people who own things , or land. Labor are those people who do the work, in... [More]”

8 months Ago

Joe Rogan interview with Ira Glasser, former head of the ACLU

Published by marco on

I listened to the 2-hour interview #1595 – Ira Glasser by Joe Rogan (JRE Library) and took a bunch of notes as I listened. I’ve cleaned them up a bit, but most of them are stream-of-consciousness and may be a bit repetitive.

People have more ability to reach others than they ever have in the past. To that end, Twitter has become more like a public commons, where everyone can set up their soapbox.

First off, and obviously, private conversations should not be monitored. (Glasser expressed the same opinion.) There is no... [More]

Take allies where you can get them

Published by marco on

I jumped in on the thread Jimmy Dore says something objectively correct about how Democrats are making people fight for a one time payment, when other countries support their citizens, and Sam Seder has a fit about it whining about Senate process. (Reddit) the other day.

One comment accused Dore of being a grifter, which is an exceedingly odd charge. It’s most likely that that person has never seen or heard Dore and was just regurgitating what they’d heard from someone else who’d never seen or heard... [More]

Talking ‘bout the poor

Published by marco on

This episode of Chapo was a discussion with Liz and Matt Bruenig about population-control policies on both sides of the aisle in America. Liz, in particular, was quite eloquent and biting in her criticism of elite hatred of the poor.

Child FACTS Credit feat. The Bruenigs | | Episode 498 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

At 37:00, they discussed how both parties sought to avoid “encouraging fertility among the bottom quintile”, ending with a proper critique of what’s wrong with Bill Gates running the world for us.

Liz Bruenig: All of this talk about what would happen in terms of... [More]”

Vetting information sources

Published by marco on

This is an interesting discussion by Eleanor Goldfield and Lee Camp on their Common Censored podcast. It ranges across different topics, but the part I found the most interesting was about vetting information sources.

They did a good job of citing a Grayzone article by Ben Norton that got to the bottom of a concerted misinformation campaign about the purported Chinese genocide, for which evidence is vanishingly scarce, despite the opposite appearance in the mainstream press. But then Goldfield... [More]

Section 230C1/C2: A debate on continuing utility

Published by marco on

This is an informative and interesting debate between Eric Goldman and Eugene Volokh[1] about whether section 230C has outlived its usefulness. That is: is the protection for corporations and platforms sacrosanct no matter their size, power, and reach? Or do we have a problem when a small handful of companies control the channels of broad communication made available to people today?

Does the Government Have the Right to Control Content Moderation Decisions? by UCLA School of Law (YouTube)

I’ve included a transcript of the closing arguments, starting at 53:45.

Eugene made a sort of pre-closing... [More]

Chapo Trap House mourns the death of the King of Twitter

Published by marco on

This episode is ostensibly about what social media is like in the yawning absence of Donald Trump on Twitter. It’s not just that, but those parts are pretty funny. I include a partial transcript after the video—mostly of Matt Christman (whose voice I recognize and whose comments are the pithiest). He has an excellent and moving rant at just over 45 minutes in that is amazingly eloquent considering he did it extemporaneously.

PermabannedPresident45 | Episode 488 FULL by Chapo Trap House (YouTube)

The episode’s cold open has them rewriting the famous Tears in... [More] (Wikipedia)

A fair trial of J.K. Rowling

Published by marco on

I found this 90-minute analysis of J.K. Rowling’s participation in the trans-gender discussion to be fair and enlightening. I hadn’t paid the years-long online battle much attention and figured there was a lot of deliberately elided context as well as exaggeration and straw-manning involved. While there is that aspect, there isn’t just that aspect.

J.K. Rowling by ContraPoints (YouTube)

One nice example is from about 27:00 into the video. She addresses the disingenuousness of just “stating facts”. She asks the important question... [More]

9 months Ago

Jimmy Dore on tightening of the “liberal” censorship noose

Published by marco on

This is excellent coverage of CNN literally saying that Congress should force tech companies to shut down their competition because “there are YouTubers with a larger audience than daytime CNN” and that cannot stand.

CNN Panel’s OUTRAGEOUS Call To Shut Down YouTube News by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

He starts with old footage of Noam Chomsky teaching his students that standing up for freedom of speech means nothing if you’re only willing to defend speech with which you agree. If you’re for censorship of opposing views, then you’re not for freedom of speech—in any way.

They... [More]

Chapo on Bush and Trump at Jacobin

Published by marco on

This is an interesting discussion featuring Jen Pan and Ariella Thornhill of Jacobin and Felix Biederman of Chapo Trap House. I enjoyed the free-ranging nature and insight, but found the end, starting at 1h30 or so to be the most insightful—where they discuss concrete lines leading from Bush’s policies to Trump’s—with a partial transcription below.

George W. Bush Amnesia w/ Felix Biederman of Chapo Trap House by Jacobin Show (YouTube)

This is a partial transcript starting at about 1h30.

Jen Pan: There is no Trump without Bush. […] For example, people always talk about... [More]”

10 months Ago

Chris Hedges explains American desperation on Jimmy Dore

Published by marco on

Chris Hedges delivers powerful analysis in this 45-minute interview on the Jimmy Dore Show.[1]

America Has The Tinder To IGNITE Social Uprising − Chris Hedges by Jimmy Dore (YouTube)

The following is an especially powerful, off-the-cuff explanation for the core problem in America: a nearly unacknowledged problem of inequality that actively disparages the poor and the disadvantaged. 50 years ago, it was open season on anyone non-white. It still is, though less (or expressed less directly, if not less effectively).[2]

But they’re now joined by poor whites, who the elites happily send... [More]

Increasingly Unhinged Observers

Published by marco on

The imposed panic and climate emergencies and COVID seems to be trapping more and more victims in a death spiral of increasingly frenetic, ill-considered, spiteful, and ill-informed—if not actively misleading—commentary.

Jeffrey St. Clair

The article Roaming Charges: White Riot, I Wanna Riot of My Own by Jeffrey St. Clair (CounterPunch) contains a lot of increasingly unfair “hot takes” and seemingly unwarranted swipes at other journalists and commentators. This is an unfortunate trend over the last few months. I used to... [More]

Nils Melzer on Julian Assange

Published by marco on

This is an excellent interview with Nils Melzer, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

UN torture expert [Nils Melzer] on Julian Assange's persecution and the lies behind it by The Grayzone (YouTube)

Melzer is not optimistic because the judgment was, essentially: the British court system agrees with all of the charges brought by the U.S. and agrees that, under their own laws, they would also prosecute Julian Assange for journalism.

The British prison system has deteriorated Assange’s mental condition to the level that he has... [More]

Cornell West and Chris Hedges on the American Condition

Published by marco on

This is a splendid and inspiring 30-minute discussion between Cornell West and Chris Hedges. As the interviewee, West does most of the talking. I’ve included a partial transcript of the points I found particularly insightful below.

America's existential crisis (Interview with Cornell West by RT America/On Contact with Chris Hedges (YouTube)

Here, they discuss the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol:

Chris Hedges: I found so much of the coverage—I don’t know what you thought—where they were demonized as thugs—which is not in any way of course to condone their activity—missing the... [More]”

An American Cultural Revolution

Published by marco on

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist − I’m a conspiracy analyst.”
Gore Vidal

On this episode of Useless Idiots with Matt Taibbi and Katie Halper, they interviewed Mark Crispin Miller, a professor at NYU who’s teaches media literacy, where he teaches students to examine what the facts are before calling something a “conspiracy” or accepting “unimpeachable truth”.

Stimulus Checks, Larry Summers, plus Mark Crispin Miller on Academic Freedom (YouTube)

The NDAA

Before the interview, at about 9:00 in, Matt and Katie discuss Bernie’s filibuster of the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act).

Matt... [More]