Posts tagged status quo
The Comcast/Time Warner Merger and the War Between Centralization and Decentralization
Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
-Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World Revisited (1958)
Until recent years, the struggle between the forces of “centralization” and “decentralization” was more of a full on slaughter-fest than an actually battle or war. As Americans sat there blissfully asleep for decades, every facet of our lives has been carefully consolidated into the hands of a smaller and smaller group of corporations, and hence individual executives. This trend is undeniable in everything from food, banking, media and everything in between.
Myself and many others saw the financial crisis of 2008 as a gigantic wakeup call. The disasters caused by powerful financial institutions and the greedy people that ran them should have been used as a rallying cry to break these institutions up. To recognize the dangers of too much power in one particular place. This is especially important in something as crucial as banking. However, as we are all painfully aware, this is not what happened. Rather, the institutions were bailed out, the industry consolidated even more than it was before, and the perpetrators of the crisis emerged from it even more wealthy and powerful.
My personal focus on this website has been to expose the unique dangers presented by centralization in the financial industry and the monetary system. However, many others are dedicated to the equally important and disturbing trends in other industries. Consumer goods is one of these areas, and a very telling diagram went around late last year showing how 10 companies basically control everything you buy. Take a look below:
Dangerous consolidation of the media is a trend that has also been discussed by many people on many occasions, and many of us by now have heard the stat that in the U.S. just six media giants control 90% of all TV, news, radio and film. Now that Comcast is set to buy Time Warner, the situation is about to get that much worse. The International Business Times made some poignant points:
“No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they could watch or download,” Aaron said. “But that — along with higher bills — is the reality they’ll face tomorrow unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws.”
In December, the Wall Street Journal speculated about a possible merger between the two companies, quoting an FCC official who told the paper that such a deal would face “a number of hurdles.” Chief among them is the 33 percent market share of pay-TV subscribers the new conglomerate would control. That percentage exceeds the cap of 30 percent formerly imposed by the FCC.
Perhaps an even greater hurdle is the resulting influence Comcast-TWC would have over Internet services. The merger, according to Gigaom’s Om Malik, could potentially make Comcast the largest broadband provider outside of China. Such muscle would give the company greater influence in key negotiations with content creators, particularly since it already owns NBCUniversal. It’s no wonder the deal is sparking fear among media diversity advocates. While pay-TV providers will trumpet their need for negotiating power amid rising retransmission fees — particularly for sports networks — cable bills have only gone up as media consolidation has proliferated over the last two decades. Speculating about a rumored TWC sale last month, Susan Crawford of Bloomberg.com said bluntly that it will “cost us all.”
Many people write about the struggle between “liberty” and “tyranny,” including myself, but these may not be the most effective terms to use in order to explain the troubling situation we face to a wider audience. Unfortunately, when people hear the words “liberty” the knee-jerk reaction for many is to associate it with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” Of course, it is “conspiracy fact” that a small handful of corporations and the executives that run them control more and more of our daily lives. In other words, the forces of “tyranny” use “centralization” as their primary weapon of choice in order to control us. Those of us who long for “freedom” and “liberty” must use “decentralization” as our primary tool to fight back and win.
I have no doubt that the we in the decentralization camp are on the right side of history, and I have become more and more confident of this fact with each passing day. Every year since the financial crisis I have witnessed more and more powerful tools for decentralization that the status quo simply will not be able to control. From 3D-printing to crypto-currencies, from crowd-funding to social media, it is clear to me the status quo must adapt or die. While the Comcast/Time Warner merger is a serious threat, I think it ultimately represents just another last gasp of a dying paradigm.
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Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com
By Tyler Durden
The World According To Ron Paul
With 72% of those polled believing “big Government” is more of a problem now than 4 years ago, it is hardly surprising that Ron Paul blasts “the failure of government is all around us” in this brief FOX news interview. Perhaps it is the fact that “Obamacare has been such a trasparent failure of big government,” along with Keynesian economics, and the NSA debacles; that more and more of even the most liberal are realizing just what America has become. “It’s really great news that people are starting to recognize this,” Paul adds, because there is no way to replace the status quo “until people give up on what we have.”
Video capture of FOX News interview with Ron Paul added to original post.
Written by RPI Staff
Ron Paul With Charlie Rose: ‘The Meaning of Non-Interventionism’
Do not miss Ron Paul’s extensive interview on the Charlie Rose show. He gives the best yet definition of his personal philosophy, called “non-interventionism,” which also is the philosophical framework of his Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity. He also offers important insights on Syria and his amazing new education freedom book.
Video capture added to RPI original post.
Spotted on: http://www.dailypaul.com
H/T to my friend Judy Morris
Ben Swann’s Liberty is Rising Truth in Media Project
I want to begin by saying thank you for signing up for this email list and for your incredible support of my work with Reality Check and Full Disclosure over the past 2 years.
As promised, you are now the first to hear in detail about my- actually our- next step. Beginning next week on Monday, June 10, we will officially launch the “Liberty Is Rising Truth in Media Project” on Kickstarter. As I have told you, this is the most involved and meaningful project I have ever been involved in and it is not something I can do on my own.
The “Liberty is Rising Truth in Media Project” is a 3 step process:
Inform, Engage, Activate:
Step 1: INFORM
The first step of this project and the primary use of Kickstarter is to create high-end, high-quality Reality Check style segments that can be presented to the public via streaming content sites such as Netflix, Hulu, Spotify, or devices such as Roku and BenSwann.com. Our goal is to produce 100 high quality five to six minute shows and by launching this project independently, the restrictions on subject matter by corporate bosses will not be an issue.
Why do the videos need to be so high quality? Simple, we need to spread this message as far out as we can. Like it or not, we live in a very media-savvy culture and if the public at large is to take this kind of journalism seriously, they need to be able to hear and see it in a way that is deemed credible. You can watch network news programming all day and never hear anything of substance but it sure looks pretty. If we are to educate and inform the public on issues of war, the drug war, monetary policy, drone strikes, the NDAA, CAFR, crony capitalism, etc… it MUST be done in the style and format generations of Americans have been trained to accept as “professional”.
The films will be distributed via multiple platforms. First, we continue to share new content virally via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, BenSwann.com, and continue to allow alternative media blog sites to use our films without charge and embed them, as long as they are shown in their entirety. This is important because we want as many people exposed to our journalism as possible.
We will be rolling out a highly interactive, informative website that will include all Full Disclosure episodes, a forum, Ben Swann podcasts, and a mobile app.
Also, as I mentioned, we are going to attempt to spread these films into new arenas such as streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. Again, the goal is to engage the largest audience possible.
Step 2: ENGAGE
Each of us must impact our own circle of influence.
We are currently building out a multi-faceted platform of engagement where you and I will work together to take single issues and impact public opinion. This platform will contain resources like stats, infographics, archived articles, and other educational materials that will be available to download or share.
This platform will work directly with college student groups like Young Americans for Liberty, Young Republicans, Young Democrats and politically independent groups, giving students hard facts and data to share with peers and teaching them how to hold information sessions on campus.
We will work with journalists across the country challenging them to engage in critical thinking and questioning of local, state and national leaders on issues of importance. We’ll equip them on how to challenge the status quo in their newsrooms and move beyond reading press releases.
Faith Based Communities:
We will engage faith-based communities (Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, etc) and challenge the acceptance of government control over their religious activities.
We will engage local and state lawmakers and challenge the over-reach, over taxation, and policing for profit that is taking place in every city and town in America.
We will engage those in the Tea Party movement who entered the movement for the right reasons, to protest over taxation and government control.
We will engage those in the Occupy movement who rightly protested the consolidation of wealth among a small group of people and who have created a crony capitalist system (that isn’t capitalism at all).
The goal is to help Americans escape the Left/Right paradigm of arguing with each other while politicians and big money run the nation and our lives. We desire to create unity among all these groups in the areas where we can agree. That happens when we are defined not by who we stand against, but what we stand for. It is not about Left vs. Right or Republican vs. Democrat… but Liberty vs. Tyranny.
You and I will go through this process together. Beyond just sharing the content, you will be instrumental to the gathering of information and the actual creation of that content. With your engagement we will be able to create public awareness and social willingness to drive change.
Step 3: ACTIVATE
The best part of this step is that the work you and I will have already done is key. Having forced important issues into the forefront of public awareness we will have already changed minds and that will allow action to be taken.
Through strategic partnerships with established political and student groups as well as individual experts in the fields or medicine, education, economics, security, drug policy etc. we will begin to crowd-source “change strategies”.
The end result of these strategies will include legal and legislative process for changing U.S. policy overseas and here at home. We will challenge lawmakers who continue to engage in hypocritical behavior and are unwilling to stand up for rule of law. As a long-term goal, we will eventually work with lawmakers to draft legislation to correct the nation’s trajectory. Dr. Ron Paul borrowed the words of Victor Hugo when he declared in 2008, “An idea whose time has come cannot be stopped by any army or any government.”
Ron Paul Said It Best:
I recently had the chance to interview Dr. Paul and we talked in depth about the changing media landscape. How has media changed for a man who has spent his entire life attempting to change the system?
“When I first started in politics in the 70′s, we basically had three major networks and they were very, very close together on philosophy…..But now the options are great…..Now the information is going out differently. It’s going out on handheld devices and computers and telephones and they can turn you on and off when they want. They have so many more choices.”
Dr. Paul then added:
I’m optimistic that things are going to do well and I’m optimistic because you’re (Ben Swann) involved in this fight with us.”
Again, I want to thank you for your support so far. As you can see this next step is a very ambitious project. There is risk here but I believe that every great movement in history has been accompanied by great challenge and risk.
Between now and June 10th, I need your help.
1. Please go sign up for this Facebook event for the project:
2. Please forward this email on to friends and family who you believe might want to be a part of this project.
3. Please share the new cover photo featured on my Facebook pages that can be found here.
There has never been a moment like this before in world history where a society has had this kind of collision of technology and information. This is our moment. I hope that next Monday, you will commit to helping me to shake the media landscape in America! I leave you with these words from a great patriot Samuel Adams who once proclaimed,
“It does not take a majority to prevail… but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams
10 Amazing Charts That Demonstrate The Slow, Agonizing Death Of The American Worker
The middle class American worker is in danger of becoming an endangered species. The politicians are not telling you the truth, and the mainstream media is certainly not telling you the truth, but the reality is that there is nothing but bad news on the horizon for workers in the United States. In the old days, when the big corporations that dominate our society did well, that also meant good things for American workers since those corporations would need more of us to work for them. But in the emerging one world economic system that our economy is being merged into, those corporations have other choices now. For instance, the big corporations can now choose to limit the number of “expensive” American workers that they employ by shipping millions of jobs to the other side of the world. And from their perspective, it makes perfect sense. They can make much bigger profits by hiring people on the other side of the planet to work for them for less than a dollar an hour. If they can get good production out of those people, then why should they hire Americans for ten to twenty times as much, plus have to give those Americans health insurance and other benefits?
Another major factor in the slow, agonizing death of the American worker is technology. We live during a period when technology is advancing at a pace that is almost unimaginable at the same time that it is steadily becoming cheaper and cheaper. That means that it is going to become easier and easier for companies to replace workers with robots and computers. As I have written about previously, it is being projected that our economy will lose millions of jobs to technology in the coming years. Yes, some of us will still be needed to help build the robots and the computers, but not all of us will. And of course the overall general weakness of the economy is not helping matters either. The American people inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, and we have wrecked it. Decades of very foolish decisions have resulted in the period of steady economic decline that we are experiencing now.
America is simply not the economic powerhouse that it once was. Back in 2001, the U.S. economy accounted for 31.8 percent of global GDP. By 2011, the U.S. economy only accounted for 21.6 percent of global GDP. That is a collapse any way that you want to look at it.
Today, American workers are living in an economy that is rapidly declining, and their jobs are steadily being stolen by robots, computers and foreign workers that live in countries where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. Politicians from both political parties refuse to do anything to stop the bleeding because they think that the status quo is working just great.
So don’t expect things to get better any time soon.
The following are 10 amazing charts that demonstrate the slow, agonizing death of the American worker…
#1 Wages And Salaries As A Percentage Of GDP
As you can see, wages as a percentage of GDP are hovering near an all-time record low. That means that American workers are bringing home a smaller share of the economic pie than ever before.
#2 Average Annual Hours Worked Per Employed Person In The United States
We are an economy that is rapidly trading good paying full-time jobs for low paying part-time jobs. The decline in average annual hours worked that we have witnessed represents the equivalent of losing millions of jobs. There has been an explosion of “the working poor” in the United States, and this trend is probably only going to accelerate in the years to come.
#3 Manufacturing Employment
As you can see, there are less Americans working in manufacturing today than there was in 1950 even though the population of the country has more than doubled since then. The United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001, and yet our politicians stand around and do nothing about it.
#4 Employment-Population Ratio
This is one of my favorite charts. It shows that there has been absolutely no employment recovery at all since the end of the last recession. The percentage of working age Americans that have a job has stayed under 59 percent for 44 months in a row. How much worse will things get when the next major economic downturn strikes?
#5 Labor Force Participation Rate
This is how the Obama administration is getting the “unemployment rate” to magically go down. They are pretending that millions upon millions of Americans simply do not want to work anymore. As you will notice, the decline of the labor force participation rate has accelerated greatly since Barack Obama entered the White House.
#6 Duration Of Unemployment
The average amount of time that it takes an unemployed worker to find a new job has declined slightly, but it is still far above normal historical levels. It is a crying shame that it takes the average unemployed worker two-thirds of a year to find a new job, but this is the new economic reality that we are all living in.
East Tennessee, Blount County, listen up! I can not forecast the outcome of this State Representative election but I can forecast for whom I will be voting for in tomorrows election! If you do not know of this person it is contributing to your loss of freedom. If you have not heard of her before it is because she is supported by folks like us, by We The People, not corporate interests and lobby funding.
If you have any concern regarding personal freedom, taxes, government accountability, limited government, honesty in voting and a strict adherence to both federal and state constitutions, the choice should already be made! Tomorrow is the day people. Tired of the right / left game and being lied to while having your purchasing power dissipated week by week, all the time hearing great promises while seeing nothing in promises kept or any positive actions? We have hope, we have Tona Monroe! Hope to see you voting with me for Tona Monroe on August 2nd at your local voting location.
Now for a word from a friend, fellow patriot and candidate for Tennessee State Representative, Tona Monroe.
Principles not Politics!
My 5 Point Promise and Proof that I Mean Business!
I will not vote to increase your taxes. Period!
Proof: I have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and have actively opposed numerous tax increases. I opposed a wheel tax when there was talk of implementing one. I stood strong against increased spending and a property tax increase.
I will oppose and expose all wasteful spending.
Proof: For years, I’ve challenged the status quo by carefully examining budgets and exposing waste. A Senator gave me his copy of the 721 page State budget because he knew I’d read it and find the waste. I will vote against any budget that is not balanced.
I will keep you informed about your State government.
Proof: I kicked off my campaign off with a free Constitution class. Currently, I maintain a blog on government and write for a local newsletter. These efforts will continue and grow. Serving as your State Representative, I will provide weekly legislative updates when the General Assembly is in session.
I will not compromise on the principles of responsible, limited government.
Proof: My campaign website has a list of principles that I believe in and will carry to Nashville as your State Representative. As an activist, I have worked for years to implement responsible, limited government principles that protect your God-given unalienable rights.
I will read the bills.
Proof: On my blog, you can see that I do extensive reading on proposed legislation. It was egregious when members of the Blount County PBA signed documents that they had never read and didn’t even have a copy of. It’s absurd that legislators would even consider supporting something they’ve never read. I will not support bills written behind closed doors that come out minutes before the vote is taken.
I ask for your vote and support on August 2nd. Together we can replace politics with the principles of freedom.
Let freedom ring!
My gift to the Dare County Republicans, North Carolina. Hopefully the simplicity of this blog post my reach your apathetic and dangerous view point of the world in which you have played your role flawlessly. Watch if you “DARE” to WAKE UP!
You’ve heard about Kony 2012…Well This is a REAL MOVEMENT!
It’s a shame that “the presidential nominee with the most money” is the one who has the best chance to win….This movement is to shatter that….
THIS IS TO RAISE A MASSIVE AWARENESS ABOUT RON PAUL WORLDWIDE!
ALSO LIKE ON FACEBOOK http://www.facebook.com/pages/RONY-2012-Movement/435181543172621
JOIN THE EVENT ON FACEBOOK AT http://www.facebook.com/events/239961552783547/
INVITE ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS!!
THOSE ON TWITTER FOLLOW AT https://twitter.com/#!/ronywins2012
MAKE TREND #RONY2012 #RONPAUL2012 #WHATISRONY #RONYWINS2012 #TEAMRONY
IMPORTANT! We must get this out before the next states Vote!
The Voting schedule is this…
May 29, 2012 Texas For 155 Delegates
June 5, 2012 California For 172 Delegates
Montana For 26 Delegates
New Jersey For 50 Delegates
New Mexico For 23 Delegates
South Dakota For 28 Delegates
June 26, 2012 Utah For 26 Delegates
Show this post to anyone who thinks Ron Paul has crazy economic ideas
Ron Paul’s understanding of the economy is a matter of public record.
In 1983 he predicted the 1987 recession.
In 1998 he predicted the 2000 dot com crash.
In 2001 he predicted the housing bubble crash and what the Fed would do in response.
And of course he has told us this year Mar. 2012 about the Bond Bubble currently forming.
In fact he has accurately predicted very single economic down turn in the last 3 decades, with an explanation of why he believes they will happen.
No other politician that I know of has this track record. In fact no member of the Federal Reserve has this track record. And most noteworthy there are very few people in the financial sector with this impressive record of accuracy.
To put our trust in the people that never saw these coming to fix the problems makes no sense, especially since their fix is doing more of what Dr. Paul has identified as the cause.
The time is NOW to take back our personal liberties and freedoms!
Ron Paul 2012: Restore America Now
Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!
By Jack Hunter
If there’s one thing I’ve been ticked off about in the last few weeks it’s the the lack of media coverage of the massive crowds Ron Paul continues to draw each stop he makes. I’m sorry, but even for reporters who’ve written Paul off–this is a story. Why does Ron Paul continue to attract such a vast audience? Why are his audiences so enthusiastic? What’s his secret? A few local news affiliates have asked these questions. The national media has ignored the entire phenomenon.
And make no mistake, it is phenomenal. What we’re witnessing with Ron Paul and his movement is an ideological and generational shift from the politics of old to a true message of liberty, prosperity and the promise of a better future. The other candidates in this race represent a broken status quo that many are still willing to endure, while Paul represents a new electorate that rejects that system wholesale. What Ron Paul is doing right now will continue to bear fruit for years to come, gauged not only by the various Ron Paul Republicans running for House and Senate seats (this year’s crop alone is shaping up nicely) but in Americans’ attitudes about government in general. Paul’s ideas have already shaped this race, something even his critics will admit.
The GOP establishment represents the past. We represent the future. Mitt Romney is running a campaign. Ron Paul is spearheading a revolution.
Coming off of victories yesterday in Colorado and Minnesota, the April 15th money bomb will give us the resources to take the revolution all the way to Tampa where our voices will not be ignored. The following grassroots video expresses well much of what I’ve said here. Dr. Paul really does have the best supporters in the world:
This is only the beginning.
Now more than every we need the Champion of the Constitution! Please visit Ron Paul’s official campaign site by following the link below and donate today!