On this week’s episode of On Contact, Chris Hedges travels to Cambridge, Massachusetts for a conversation with America’s most important intellectual, Professor Noam Chomsky. In Part II of their conversation, Chomsky discusses the principles of concentration of wealth and power that are defined in his latest book, Requiem for the American Dream.
I’m a corporate whore of Congress,
One of many Wall Street bought.
From voting for their greedy laws
I’m richer than I thought!
My colleagues here in Congress
Can’t help but all agree,
That a corporate whore of Congress
Is the only way to be!
Every year brings the world more climatological science that man-made climate change, or overall global warming, is chronically worsening.
Every year, from Antarctica to Greenland, from the Andes to Alaska, the ice is melting, the permafrost is melting, and very soon the Arctic may have a re-unprecedented ice-free season. Every year, more and more businesses are speaking out on how climate change is damaging their businesses. Insurance companies were in the lead on sounding the alarm on global warming. Just a few days ago, Coca-Cola’s vice president for environment and water resources, Jeffrey Seabright, told the New York Times that “increased droughts, more unpredictable variability, 100-year floods every two years” were affecting the supply of sugar cane and sugar beets, “as well as citrus for [Coca-Cola’s] fruit juices.”
740 Park Ave, New York City, is home to some of the wealthiest Americans. Across the Harlem River, 10 minutes to the north, is the other Park Avenue in South Bronx, where more than half the population needs food stamps and children are 20 times more likely to be killed. In the last 30 years, inequality has rocketed in the US — the American Dream only applies to those with money to lobby politicians for friendly bills on Capitol Hill.
Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge.
Using interviews, documents, and field reporting, the episode explores ALEC’s self-serving machine at work, acting in a way one Wisconsin politician describes as “a corporate dating service for lonely legislators and corporate special interests.”
Discussion at Demos think tank about new book, The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy about the devastating effects of economic inequality on our political process with moderator Kenneth Prewitt and authors Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba, and Henry E. Brady,
http://bit.ly/storyofbroke — The United States isn’t broke; we’re the richest country on the planet and a country in which the richest among us are doing exceptionally well. But the truth is, our economy is broken, producing more pollution, greenhouse gasses and garbage than any other country. In these and so many other ways, it just isn’t working. But rather than invest in something better, we continue to keep this ‘dinosaur economy’ on life support with hundreds of billions of dollars of our tax money.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
The Revered Bruce Fein & Foreign Lobby Dollars in the Form of Illegal Payment of Legal Bills
I’ve been meaning to write about this for weeks, and just got around doing it. Maybe the subconscious procrastination was due to the conscious sanitization of this news by venues like this. Maybe it was the dread of having to tackle one of the quasi media phony darlings like this guy. Or maybe it was the repressed exhaustion-frustration I went through a couple of years back with this. Okay, allow me to start with the fairly recent development reported ‘incompletely and badly’ by the New York Times:
Dr. Aland Mizell joins us to discuss the controversial Turkish Imam Fethullah Gulen and his rapidly expanding cult globally and here in the United States. He provides us with a rarely discussed biography of Gulen and his movement, the cult’s objective of reviving the Ottoman Empire’s glory and Gulen Missionaries expansion into Central Asia and further around the world. He talks about Imam Gulen’s charter school empire in the United States, operated under absolute secrecy, the Turkish Missionaries’ Lobbyists targeting US federal and state governments, Gulen’s CIA connections and historical joint operations, the connection between Gülen and the Unification church- aka the Moon-cult, the oath of secrecy taken by all Gulen cult members, and more. Also, in the second half of our show we are joined by Bill Thacket, a parent of one of Gulen Charter Schools’ former students.