Archive | December, 2012

Things You Don’t Even Notice

21 Dec

In the blizzard of white noise that makes up the media, the 24 hour news cycle is tucked into its corner, furiously spinning away, filling airtime with all the news that fits.

It’s always been the aim of those concerned with public policy interests to bury things in the  news at times when they will get less notice. Something goes wrong, hold it close till Friday afternoon. Wait until something big goes down, and report the same day. Things you don’t want dwelt on can literally disappear.

Like the day the Supreme Court ruled on Obamacare. At the same time, nearly to the hour, Rupert Murdoch announced Newscorp was splitting off it’s entertainment division, Fox, with it’s other media activities, it’s newspaper business and Fox News.

In the UK, Newscorp is in big trouble. The heads of many of their media divisions are under indictment for invasion of privacy and bribery of police and public officials. Rebekah Brooks, who reportedly isnlike a daughter to Murdoch, is facing felony charges that carry up to thirty years in prison!

This causes Newscorp two problems. One is that many of the persons indicted in Britain also ran news divisions in the United States at some point, which given what they are alleged to have done in England has prompted curiousity from the US Justice Dept.

The other is that even if no similar illegal activity has ocurred on this side of the pond, which seems highly unlikely, since Newscorp is an American corporation, they could be prosecuted under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which can be used to prosecute American companies for illegal acts committed abroad.

It is no wonder then that Roger Ailes, former Nixon man and chairman of the Fox News Division of Newscorp, travelled to Afghanistan in 2010 to meet with General David Petraeus, to urge him to run against President Obama as the Tea Party/Fox/Republican candidate. The general, as we now know, had a different fire in the belly, he was throwing his hat in a different ring, dipping his toe in another pool…in other words, the rock star general had been schtupping one of his groupies, and even if he was too arrogant to realize he could not stand the scrutiny that comes with running for President, he somehow fended off Ailes advances.

But there it is. A supposed news organization trying to set up the Presidential field.

This comes as no shock, it’s not to say things have in some way anything has changed in the news business. We’ve always had two different kinds of news organizations. It’s always been the reformers and the reactionaries. Josef Pulitzer, who bequeathed Columbia School of Journalism or William Randolf Hearst, who used his chain of newspapers to gin up a war and deliver Cuba to American business interests.

And now Newscorp is in trouble. The ship is slowly sinking. Even though they are a public company, Newscorp is run by the Murdoch family as a family business, and the shareholders may be getting tired of paying for it. They needed their own man in the White House. A Republican Attorney General was something they counted on. It’s also why Sheldon Adelson spent all those tens of millions on failed candidates, and why he and all the other Republicans interest groups who wasted hundreds of millions of dollars in the last cycle will do so again in 2014.

They’ve been bad. They’ve been very bad, and they are desperate. There is trouble in the board rooms at FNC. There is disarray in the conservative movement. The Republican caucus in the House is splintering. Their coalition of the greedy and the truly ignorant is collapsing. The politics of fear is not working and they know that as the inexorable wheels of justice turn, there will arrive one day a summons and the jig will be up.

Ask anybody on the run from the Feds. You can run. For a long time. But you can’t escape. They never quit, they never forget. Once they get the scent, once the wheels start to turn, it’s just a matter of time. There’s really only one question;

 Is it too early to break out my dancing shoes?


Right to Work?

11 Dec

How about “No soup for you!”? Or rather, less soup for everybody.

Michigan legislature just passed “Right to Work”. Having live in Florida for almost thirty years, I can tell you from experience, you’ve just been tapped and screwed.

If you are already employed, your future wages just shrunk. If you are a building contractor, a dentist, an insurance agency or a local retailer, the future profitability of your business is less.

When lower wages are being paid in your state, there is less money in the local economy. All the benefits of lower overall wages go to the top ten percent of earners. Most likely, few if any of these people live in your state.

Since 2007 middle income Americans have lost 38% of their wealth, while at the same time the top ten percent of earners have seen wealth rise by 18%.

What’s happening in Michigan would not be possible without the approval of those members of the working class who are swayed by the cultural crack cocaine doled out by the right wing media machine. If they get more, I get less. Humans have a natural fear of scarcity, but just as a percentage of the population will always believe the end is near, there is a segment that will always believe that somebody else is getting more than they are.

For the right wing media machine, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. They must be confronted head on! We have to fight back!

This is the time! At the dawn of the 21st Century, the issues of the labor movement move to the forefront as they did one hundred years ago.

You can’t hsve change without first changing yourself. The most realistic way for the average person to be that change is to start by just speaking up! There is no time to waste. History will not wait on us to screw up our courage and fight for what we know is right.

Your family and your friends know what you stand for, be loud and be proud when it comes to supporting workers, teachers, public servants and union workers. Time to stand up.