Independent media getting wiped out. Plus, why we can't have nice things

And in related news.

democracy.PNG

The US has fallen to a new low in a global ranking of political rights and civil liberties, a drop fueled by unequal treatment of minority groups, damaging influence of money in politics, and increased polarization, according to a new report by Freedom House, a democracy watchdog group.

The US earned 83 out of 100 possible points this year in Freedom House’s annual rankings of freedoms around the world, an 11-point drop from its ranking of 94 a decade ago. The US’s new ranking places it on par with countries like Panama, Romania and Croatia and behind countries such as Argentina and Mongolia. It lagged far behind countries like the United Kingdom (93), Chile (93), Costa Rica (91) and Slovakia (90).

Or you could look at the glass half-full: "We're almost as democratic as nations with proud democratic traditions, such as Argentina, which has been democratic for nearly 40 years now."

It also illustrates that public trust in government has been damaged by the way rich Americans can use their money to exert outsize influence on American politics.

Then it's a good thing that rich Americans value freedom above all else.

Amazon delivery drivers across the U.S. who refuse to sign a so-called "consent" form enabling the powerful corporation's artificial intelligence-equipped cameras to monitor their every move and collect their biometric data will lose their jobs at week's end, according to new reporting by labor journalist Lauren Kaori Gurley.

"The only choice workers have is to comply with this gross violation of privacy or be unable to pay rent."
—Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, CWA
...
"This Technology tracks vehicle location and movement, including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance... as a condition of delivery packages for Amazon, you consent to the use of Technology," the form adds.

In the U.S. alone, there are roughly 75,000 drivers who work for Amazon, although they aren't officially employed by the tech behemoth but rather by "roughly 800 companies, known as delivery service partners that operate out of Amazon delivery stations," Gurley wrote Tuesday in Motherboard.

And if those workers don't sign the form requiring them to agree to constant tracking by the end of this week, Gurley reported, "they lose their jobs."

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that "it's a private company, it can do whatever it wants" is just another version of the "independent contractor" scam, which is just another use of "the constitution only applies to the government" dodge. It worked for the Founding Fathers, who were responding to the rich using the government to oppress the people, but now the rich are using the government as an excuse to deny us the ability to defend ourselves - it's an entirely different world.

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19 users have voted.

On to Biden since 1973

Shahryar's picture

@doh1304

I don't think they thought they were rigging it to oppress others. I believe they honestly thought they were above others, that they were the leaders, thus entitled to certain benefits.

Some of them were appalled by slavery but I bet they'd have been fine with "freedom" where "lower races" could get paid badly...and they'd think, if such "freedom" were to occur, that it was dandy, an actual good thing.

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10 users have voted.

spy cop law and anti-protest bill and other laws the UK has made recently should not be that high...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhL3qRwK1S4

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The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@Dalum Woulu I question Freedom House's metrics if they think the UK is better off - from all I've heard, the home of George Orwell is leading the charge to 1984.

It also kind of sounds like Freedom House is basing its findings on America's own propaganda - they may be reaching the right conclusion for the wrong reasons, and unfortunately, that matters.

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14 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

snoopydawg's picture

It also illustrates that public trust in government has been damaged by the way rich Americans can use their money to exert outsize influence on American politics.

"Elect us and you will get the $2,000 checks immediately. Lots of people still haven’t received theirs yet and others didn’t receive any from either president. Then Dems hid behind the unelected lady that has no power what and didn’t pass $15. Or not even a little to bring it up some for desperate people. You ever get a $4 hour raise all at once? It would have improved so many lives. Might kept people in their homes, but that’s not the plan is it?

LA copter cops want to dump gas on people and then drop a match. Sick society. What will happen to them?

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15 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@snoopydawg ...
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8 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

You get outright banned.

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7 users have voted.

Like the Bull

@Rojo
I've posted here against the economics of lockdowns repeatedly. Everyone was sympathetic, or at least open to my critique.

Now if you are an anti-masker/anti-vaxxer/"covid's not dangerous" then you may get a different reception.

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6 users have voted.

@gjohnsit Yeah, the "economics" of lockdown. What does that mean? A UBI?

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Like the Bull

@Rojo
This was my most recent one.
No, I'm not a big UBI guy. I prefer stronger unions to UBI.

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@gjohnsit to lock downs or is your opposition strictly economics?

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@on the cusp
regarding the public health aspects, but they are generally part of the economic issues anyway.

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gulfgal98's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit if it had been done up front in the beginning with monthly monetary support to individuals and legitimate small businesses like it was done in nearly every other industrialized country. If it had been done right away, a lockdown would have bought time to educate people about COVID safety and to give a buffer before the vaccines were ready. After the first couple of months, it was far too late for a lockdown to have achieved those purposes. Instead the US govt. abandoned the people, destroyed many small businesses and local restaurants, and made masks a political football.

What our government has been telling us is that they do not give a shit about the people or small businesses and that we are on our own. I have come to despise this country as it continues to funnel more and more money upwards while impoverishing a huge segment of our population and depriving all of us of more and more of our Constitutional rights.

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4 users have voted.

Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98 @The Wizard

Trump's instincts on this were right. Unfortunately he's a bureacratic meathead and he couldn't resist doing Sino-phobia.

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Like the Bull

Creosote.'s picture

@gulfgal98
And probaby elsewhere. The fraud of "herd immunity" was laid on thick from the beginning there as camouflage for business as usual and the idea and now the actuality of the virus and of leaving the EU are destroying lives and so many other irreplaceable things far into the future.

But I'm so glad to see you here again and hope you are doing well!

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snoopydawg's picture

@Creosote.

at the beginning of the Rona saga when he said that herd immunity was the way to go. I don't remember how long that lasted, but he had to change his whistle when lots of people died. I am finally seeing some Biden Bros talking about how this was genocide with the way some governments all over the world responded, but as usual they're only blaming the GOP. Why Pelosi and Schumer get a pass for staying silent when they most probably got the same briefings as Trump. Lots of congress skunks stayed silent. Well except for Purdue, Loeffler and Feinstein who all got caught dumping their stocks and buying new ones that would add to their wealth.

EVERY PERSON in power knew the truth about Rona, but stayed silent. In March Trump met with state governors and gave them the plan to open as quickly as they can whether it was safe or not. Utah's guv said the number had to be below ...... number, but opened many places when it was 3 times the number he set. Same with others. And our Dem governors in NYC and CA totally screwed the pooch.

As we have known since the 1st bailout, this was used as a smash and grab from the elite and they left many Americans destitute. On Purpose. Gotta let Blackstone steal more people's homes after congress bailed on us, but gave companies billions to buy up foreclosed homes. The people? What People? Yeah I am pissed at the callousness they treat our lives.

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The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

How nice that so many of the chumps who supported the "right to work" to stick it to the unions are the ones on the receiving end. Too bad it's not only them getting hosed. In a sane population Amazon and the other serial of abusers labor would see immediate en mass resignations and/or shutdowns followed by unstoppable unionizing drives. But then the US people have ceased to think rationally or to be sane. Most are so desperate that they can't say no to their overlords. The rest don't care simply because it's not their jobs on the line. Yet. Plus, "Look! Amazon is hiring!" Let's see if the Freedumb crowd ever figures out they're actually the sheep-le they loved believing they've been sticking it to.

It's almost enough to make me cry seeing just how fucking stupid Americans have become. Forty plus years of Ronnie Raygun-ism looks to be approaching the endgame - welcome to the third world America. What do you think are the chances this can be turned around?

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19 users have voted.

"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

ovals49's picture

@vtcc73

What do you think are the chances this can be turned around?

In real estate parlance the U S looks like a “tear down”. I have seen no sign of an honest willingness to reform from either White Hose or Congress. They seem perfectly content to serve up platitudes and a heaping helping of “more of the same”.

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16 users have voted.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.” – Albert Einstein

@ovals49
I was duped.

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7 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
What he duped people about was what he was prepared to do/fight for.

He told the truth about what he believed. He just wasn't prepared to risk it all for it.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@gjohnsit

Bernie was willing to risk a lot when he was young and had little to lose. But after a long and comfortable career...not so much.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@ovals49 @ovals49 through political action or by politicians/leaders is nonsense. The Whitehouse, congress, and the controlling institutions are the problem not the solution. They're the ones who built the system that divides us to the point we won't come together for self preservation. I've said many times that trump was but a symptom of everything that is wrong in America. The people are the cause. We've willingly become divided thinking we're acting in our own interests. We have to change and we have to come together to remake a safe, sane America. The people who run Whitehouse, congress, and the institutions will have to eventually be replaced with others who aren't only out for themselves. But that can't happen until we fix our attitudes and thinking in a way that we can find unity to fight those who profit by the system we have. Simply put. we are the problem. Looking for a savior or a leader to take us out of the desert is folly.

A good start would be for the tens of thousands of Amazon workers affected by this idiocy to stand up and say, "No! We won't do what you demand." Then they need to walk away from their jobs and make it really uncomfortable for the flood of other desperate people that will gladly take jobs at any cost. Bringing an institution like Amazon to its knees by united action could be the event that unites people who who now choose to be divided mostly by nonsense and imagined differences.

It won't happen of course. We have forgotten how to be anything but individuals only concerned with our own situation and lives. The concept that we're all in this life together is unimaginable to most Americans. Most of us have been beaten down to the point that this fight will bring real hardship before any slight relief. So, we'll continue to be divided and picked apart one by one.

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14 users have voted.

"Ah, but I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

gulfgal98's picture

@ovals49 This is one reason why I do not post much any more. It is too f*cking depressing.

Nothing proved it more than the piss poor response by both Presidents and our elected Congress who threw a few insulting crumbs to the people while funneling $Trillions upward to the oligarchs. We are now officially a third world nation that the oligarchy is picking over its bones while the people continue to be impoverished by the oligarchal system and lied to by our MSM.

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5 users have voted.

Do I hear the sound of guillotines being constructed?

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

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ggersh's picture

never shoulda been allowed, we are all now paying a huge price for this travesty

“When we trade the effort of doubt and debate for the ease of blind faith, we become gullible and exposed, passive and irresponsible observers of our own lives. Worse still, we leave ourselves wide open to those who profit by influencing our behavior, our thinking, and our choices. At that moment, our agency in our own lives is in jeopardy.”

Margaret Heffernan

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16 users have voted.

“There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn't true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

Søren Kierkegaard

NO MORE WAR

Lookout's picture

The most effective way to resist imperialism is to help debunk and discredit the empire’s propaganda narratives. The most effective way to help advance imperialism is to help circulate the empire’s propaganda narratives.

The problem isn’t that we are ruled by tyrants, it’s that we’re ruled by tyrants and don’t know it. If we weren’t being manipulated at mass scale by propaganda away from a clear seeing of what’s going on, we’d eliminate tyrants as easily as you eliminate a mosquito on your arm.

When a normal person does something wrong, they admit it, apologize, take action to fix it, and take steps to make sure it never happens again. When a sociopath does something wrong, they rearrange narratives to try and make it look like they did something right. How our rulers handled Iraq says which one they are.

Mentally translate every single mass media news cycle into “Here are some reasons why you should believe it’s good for poverty and wars to continue while plutocrats rule over you with an iron fist.”

People don’t generally heal their inner trauma until they are in a safe, stable space which allows them to do so. Humanity as a whole desperately needs such a space to heal from countless generations of trauma. Socialism would be a good tool for providing ourselves such a space.

A big part of America’s ongoing mass shooting epidemic is due to Americans being the most propagandized population on the planet in the most warmongering nation on the planet. You can only twist and pummel the human psyche so much before it snaps, and you can only terrorize the rest of the world so much before you receive violence at home.

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2021/03/24/debunk-and-discredit-the-empires...

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17 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

mimi's picture

SHOCK: CNN Host BRUTALLY Dismantles Military Industrial Complex

So, will Fareed Zarakia lose his job?

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Pricknick's picture

@mimi
a long time ago.

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5 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

mimi's picture

@Pricknick for me.

What a pity. I tried. Can't say it helped.

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CB's picture

@mimi
for years and a main purveyor of insidious propaganda for them.

His latest report makes me wonder what they are up to. It is a well known fact that the Offense Defence Department is bloated and full of special interest groups stuffing their pockets with cash. He is just admitting it. So what's his game? Is there a split within that Department? They know that China is a rising power and they do not have the tools to deal with that fact.

China has been putting money into improving life for ordinary Chinese citizens while the US continues to waste their's on an increasingly ineffective war machine. China and Russia could not ask for a better way to neuter the US without dropping a single bomb. In fact this was the very method with which the US brought down the USSR.

Here's Putin schooling Zakaria. It shows how knowledgeable and intelligent Putin is.

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mimi's picture

@CB @pricknick @humphrey
up until 2015-2ß16, after that I had no access to US Television and didn't have access via computer to follow the news in the US that way. I remember him as a typical CNN talking head with nothing special to say other than the usual tainted and tilted CNN-style of news reporting.

I just wondered how he came up to talk all of the sudden very differently and critically. (in the piece shown at the Kylinski video I posted in my comment).

Thee videos you post about Zakaria concerning Putin are older, ie around 2016. This one I am referring to is current.

You ask:

His latest report makes me wonder what they are up to. It is a well known fact that the Offense Defence Department is bloated and full of special interest groups stuffing their pockets with cash. He is just admitting it. So what's his game?

That's what I want to know too and ask if it really is a game or not.

I am with Humphrey, who said:

I agree with the assessment of Zakaria's history, but That said. I find the video (secular talk) is spot on and deserves to be widely viewed.

I just wondered what has caused Zakaria to speak truth to power now? I would say it was unexpected and must have a reason. Probably he became aware of something, something that made him change his tune. Either he got cold feet not to talk like that or he got hot feet, because he was forced to run over hot charcoal with naked feet.

Arghh, it is not that important, It just struck me as 'huh, what has gotten into Zakaria.'

Just ignore the comment. I feel awkward to have said something.

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Pricknick's picture

@mimi

So, will Fareed Zarakia lose his job?

Here's some of his work:

CNN host Fareed Zakaria says President Trump’s missile strike in Syria shows him displaying the same qualities as America’s past leaders.
“I think Donald Trump became president of the United States last night,” he said Friday on CNN’s “New Day." "I think this was actually a big moment.”
https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/327779-cnn-host-donald-trump...

He's also a serial plagiarizer.
https://ourbadmedia.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/fareed-zakaria-never-stoppe...

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6 users have voted.

Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

@Pricknick @Pricknick That said.

I find the video (secular talk) is spot on and deserves to be widely viewed.

edited for spelling and to clarify which video.

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5 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Pricknick
sorry to not have been able to answer earlier.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

@mimi The push-back on Zakaria is due to his latest years' speaking in favour of US policies, military and otherwise.

Kalinski along with others see this op ed as different than his current usual.

But it is on its own, a wonderful thing. Every time someone says how are we going to pay fpr say $2000 checks? Or, how ar we goung to pay for infrastructure jobs? The current favorite is known as 'pay go' which means deduct from programs like social Security to pay for what ever might benefit the non-rich.

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2 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Can't help but notice.

Court Leftists.

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Like the Bull

@Rojo
don't be shy. Write up an essay describing your point

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Like the Bull

That's a weird citation.

Chair is Neo-con Ghoul Michael Chertoff.

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12 users have voted.

Like the Bull

@Rojo
that's what dailykos is for.
The only question is, "is it true?"

Speaking of DKos, I just checked their rankings. They are down below 5,300 most popular web site. They seem to have stabilized under 5,000 over the past year or so.
So largely irrelevant, but still having fans.
For reference, they were around 1,000 most popular in early 2016.

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9 users have voted.
snoopydawg's picture

I saw a tweet that says they have fired most of their workers. I can’t find it now.

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7 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/25/business/best-buy-store-closures-workers/....
I go to Best Buy for cameras and adapters for my electronics when I travel.
I think the people who work there are knowledgeable and the floor is set up to allow me to look, actually handle items.
sigh...

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snoopydawg's picture

@on the cusp

Damn. I want to look at something before I buy it. Now what?

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5 users have voted.

The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

The Ostrich should be the national bird not the Eagle

@snoopydawg converters, and insofar as cameras, they had choice from compact to high end so big and elaborate, they were too heavy for me to hold.
I guess the part time employees will be savvy and give a shit. I just hope the store stays open.
We shall see.

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1 user has voted.

Blinken said that China needs to hold to the standards of "international rule of law" (and that we are an example of holding to that standard).

This country's best talent is self mythologizing. Every day we shatter the mirror of self reflection.

I hate the arrogance of the United States of America.

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12 users have voted.

"Without the right to offend, freedom of speech does not exist." Taslima Nasrin

The Establishment is trying to make sure that it never happens again, especially from the Left. Almost everything that you see in censorship, from social media to scripted press conferences for the living cadaver posing as president. It's all scripted and controlled. They almost didn't get there to do this, but they did and now we are living the horror of a politically scripted oligarchy.

However, resistance is not futile if you believe in it and are persistent. Politics changes very fast in this age of instant communications. We just need to develop the tools to bypass the censors.

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13 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.