Barnes Update!

This news from Barnes Newberry, who remains one of the most sought-after subjects on this site:

Thrilled to announce I will be on-air again very soon with my new show My Back Pages on mvyradio (mvyradio.com). Great station, fine music choices and terrific staff! Show will be Saturdays, 8 am -12 noon, available online only. All shows will be archived. Start date to be announced shortly. Please spread the word. If you were a fan of my old Highway 61 Revisited program, this will be right down your alley!

From the continued interest in Barnes’ whereabouts herein, we’d say he has a ready-made audience already… Look here for a gander at some of the comments made while he’s been away.

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Congress

This is a link to the Facebook page that has links to your congressional reps . . .

New website

This site is still under construction, but it’s intended to share the latest in populist, progressive thought — and cartoons: http://seniorsforademocraticsociety.wordpress.com/

Dancin’ to the Devil’s Lute

Here in Texas, the legislature just introduced a law retaining tax breaks for those put-upon souls buying yachts. We couldn’t have them going to Florida to purchase their gaudy baubles. Meanwhile, the state is slashing the number of teachers — those blood-sucking leeches draining our economy — regardless of the fact that we rank near the bottom in education. All because of tax cuts earlier in the Rick Perry administration that were supposed to be covered by a business tax. How did that work out for us? Not so well. Our fine bidness economy Governor Good Hair likes to crow about is billions in the hole as a result.

Nationally, the Obama administration has come out in favor of doing away with federal subsidies for the oil industry, which just posted record profits — again yet again, ad infinitum — while people’s budgets strain under soaring gasoline prices. The republican response? It would be a mistake to be “raising taxes.” Hunh? That same, tired bromide to gloss over the ugly truth. At one time that cynical sophistry would slide right down the throats of a gullible electorate, but the veneer of sensible conservatism is wearing thin as a war on the middle class bears fruit.

It’s just the latest discordant note in the dysfunctional funk that has sunk us into a miasma of confusion and despair. A major disconnect between ringing phrases of our fearless leaders and the reality on the ground. An all-too-true unreality TV.

It would be naive to think that the majority of democrats are no less beholden to the moneyed elite in this country. In truth, we have the best government money can buy. And it is bought and paid for, plain and simple. But at least some of the firebrands of the party pay lip service to fighting the battle — albeit, however, a rear-guard action — against the crush of American royalty, the oligarchs. There is little hope, when push comes to shove, that anything the people may want, as shown in poll after poll — be it single-payer health care, an end to the senseless wars in the Middle East propping up corrupt charlatans, or a revocation of tax cuts for the wealthy — will gain any traction anytime soon among these corporate toadies.

And the lame-stream press — how dare they be called the “liberal media”! — only parrot the script prepared by the puppet masters, as corporate “largesse” and control has turned the media into toothless old watchdogs. They make good company for the regulatory agencies once charged with protecting the public from the excesses of corporate greed. They’re good dogs now, too.

What kind of affected christianity can countenance the mean-spirited, vitriolic attacks against the most powerless and helpless in our society? We are in a battle for the very soul of our country, with the most disgusting human beings, the glory hounds of politics, pimping for the plutocrats. This hard-right conservative vision born in the days of the Moral Majority was in fact a perverse gameplan that has pretty much gained ascendancy in the political sphere and dominated what passes (rather poorly) for rational thought these days. It’s a well-orchestrated attack proclaiming “rampant spending” the cause of our economic distress — a sanctimonious psychobabble designed to lend an ersatz legitimacy to the savaging of budgets for domestic programs.

Little is heard in the “liberal press” challenging these assertions, even as fine-tuned oratory gives way to bald-face lie. Aside from the isolated progressive or populist outlets, media mouthpieces bear mute witness to this predatory politics — if not giving wholehearted support.

Yet every day, on Facebook and YouTube and in discussion groups, newsletters, and the alternative press, outraged people seethe at the injustice, post on the hypocrisies and blatant callowness of political discourse. Post after post — “intended to be factual statement” — gives lie to the manufactured morality of the stump, citing real statistics and refuting outrageous distortions. Pity is, succeeding posts relegate previous notes to the history bin of back pages. Sadly, truth is lost in the process, lacking the organization and exposure of the coordinated spew that confronts us daily bolstering the status quo.

One hopes that, as in the Middle East, collective outrage finds an outlet beyond the thin prospects of impending elections, a rallying point in the social network of the internet. The web has shown to be a source for campaign funds; perhaps it too can provide a framework for the consolidation of protest into a unified force now.

* * *

The preceding screed has been brought to you in the interest of sanity: ours.

In the grand scheme of things, the corporate creep in radio — be it commercial, “public,” or religious programming — is just part and parcel, unfortunately, of a much bigger picture. When we first began looking into the cold-blooded maneuvers of bean counters in our local “public” radio station, as chronicled on the saveKUTaustin website (link on right), it quickly became apparent that what was happening locally was being repeated nationwide.

And as republican zealots in state after state — Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Texas — launched concerted attacks on worker rights, reproductive rights, health care, and more, it became increasingly apparent that the issue of consolidation in radio was itself just a small part of an even bigger picture. And it’s become increasingly difficult to stay out of it . . . We’ve now reached a turning point.

This site will therefore take a short sabbatical to plan for a reorganization under a new banner. Relevant information dealing with radio and its homogenization will appear here and on the new site, as deemed necessary, though not on a daily basis anymore. As hard as it is to post something every day, it’s harder yet to post something that’s not up to par. Particularly when so much of import comes to light each day out in the blogosphere, only to vanish into oblivion with the next flurry of posts. We hope to both disseminate information as well as provide a repository for democratic thought. In sharing, we can spread the word to others of a like mind, and in numbers comes strength.

Powder Puffs in the Press

Sometimes the most fascinating information on the “liberal media” as represented by NPR can be found on its own website, under comments to the ombudsman. One Nate Bowman has several points to add to the argument that the “liberal” station is in the least lazy, in the extreme craven:

On the subject of experts, WE Sunday interviewed Dean D’Elia of LSU who told us “he has to be optimistic” about the future of the Gulf after the BP disaster.
http://www.npr.org/2011/04/17/135486386/gulf-marine-life-still-lives-in-spills-horror

Of course he has to be optimistic.

“LSU to get BP grant for oil spill research”
http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/neworleans/index.ssf?/base/news-13/1274769009181360.xml&coll=1

Examination of the contract with BP reveals that “This is not an agreement to do research for BP . . . This is an agreement to join BP’s legal team. You agree to communicate with BP through their attorneys and to take orders from their attorneys. The purpose is to maintain any information or data that goes back and forth as privileged.”
http://blog.al.com/live/2010/07/bp_buys_up_gulf_scientists_for.html

Of course, NPR won’t tell us this. At NPR, the unconscionable is routine. Just because they are not AS unconscionable as the rest of the MSM who are not AS unconscionable as conservative news, they imagine themselves as paragons of journalism and ethics.

Or this about the puff piece with Paul Ryan:

The piece I can’t find is one in which a caller said he would eat his hat and boots if Mr. Ryan’s claim was true. The NPR “journalist” snickeringly says “I don’t think the caller will have to eat his clothes” and proceeds to explain how untrue the claim is.

But it’s treated as just another day at the political office. In fact, he is attempting to gut the services for the elderly and the poor while cutting taxes for the privileged. And NPR joins in in the MSM parade to glorify his “courage” without actually looking at his number (including an assumed 2.8% unemployment rate which was disappeared from his worksheet as soon as someone noticed it) and anoint him the Republicans’ presidential future.

Kind of reminds me of how the press played into the hijacking of Ron Paul’s tea party to be the present day tea party, manufactured out of nothing.

And:

Ed Kriner said:
“Nate: Oops, they did it again. Another right-wing Republican stated on Tuesday’s ATC that the changes in Medicaid/Medicare will give seniors the ‘same’ benefits as Federal employees including members of Congress.”

I know Ed. It was actually Paul Ryan, the media-lionize Republican congressman from Wisconsin, who has been dubbed “courageous” for taking on the “third rail” of Medicare.

Of course, this being an unimportant matter like the fate of health care for seniors and the poor, NPR treats it as a passing, snickering factoid.

It’s in the same vein as one of the hosts of ATC (I think; I have not found the story) INDIGNANTLY asking the person she is interviewing how he could realistically talk about reducing the deficit WITHOUT REDUCING MEDICARE BENEFITS. This, from the same anchor who has NEVER asked in the same tone:
1. How one could reduce the deficit without reducing the largest (by far) military budget on the planet
2. How the well-off get tax breaks (need I say more)
3. How the corporate contribution to the tax budget has waned from 30% 35 years ago to 7% [!] last year.

Oh yeah; NPR touts itself as Main Stream Media.

Some good reading there. The site does deserve credit for actually posting these. Maybe they’ll even read them.

The Same Old Song

The LUV newsletter, bastion of populist thought, ran this yesterday about the cratering of NPR to the forces of evil attacking Medicare:

Yesterday afternoon, on NPR’s Saturday All Things Considered, the ruling Forces of Greed scored a victory in attacking Medicare.

The program began with a commercial for Aetna, the health insurer who sponsored it (NPR often gives us the lie that it is “non-commercial programming,” even as it takes money from defense cheats, banksters, polluters and other big criminal elements who run the nation as though it were a private plantation).

The main thrust of the program was that Medicare has to be cut, because health costs are out of control, with big emphasis on its being an “entitlement program,” and that workers who paid into it all their lives haven’t paid enough for the benefits.

At one point, NPR host Joe Palca actually says “It sounds like a pyramid scheme,” in pushing a common right wing talking point with which to discredit Medicare. In fact, Medicare works very much like Social Security, in that children pay for their parent’s health care.

There was no attempt by NPR to show why health care costs are out of control. There was no mention of the multi-million dollar salaries of “health care” company executives (called “providers” in Medicare), who are paid to deny health care. There was no mention of the billions in profits which go to transnational investors who don’t give a damn about this country or its people, among them the descendants of robber barons, who are the most entitled people on the planet.

There was no mention of a single payer health care system that could take care of all these problems, by taking out the massive profit, the ridiculous CEO salaries, the massive bureaucracy and waste within for-profit medicine. NPR stuck to the right wing talking points it follows religiously in order to get its funding from Fox network and other anti-public interest corporations. They actually get our tax dollars as well, to do their sellout.

The only problem NPR found was that grandma now gets too much care, and we have to cut it. Listen to it here, but we warn that it may be bad for your health in making your blood pressure rise.

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