Wednesday, February 18, 2015

 

Followers of False Prophets

Registered 350 “local groups” are essentially local chapters of a global non-profit enterprise, with doctrine, agenda and resources supplied by headquarters. As a secular cult, the profit motive is supplanted by ecstasy, similar to rapture in religious cults. 

The bliss of belonging to a holy cause blinds 350 adherents to the cognitive dissonance of being tools of Wall Street and followers of false prophets. 350 dominance over the minds of its euphoric followers is thus akin to charismatic Pentecostalism, albeit without any explicit religious context.

To find a religious parallel to 350, the "apostolic socialism" of Peoples Temple comes closest with its "Rainbow Family," indoctrinated to view capitalism as the Antichrist. In this sense, Jim Jones served as forerunner to con artists like Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

 

Media Journalism News

As of 2011, nearly 80% of American adults were online. For young American adults, 33% get news from social networks, 34% watched TV news, and 13% read print or digital content. While TV remains the most popular source of news, more Americans get their news via the Internet than from newspapers or radio.

The percent of online news users who blog about news ranges from 1–5%. Greater percentages use social media to comment on news, but online news users are most likely to use social media to share stories without creating content.

While consumer preference of media venue shifts with technology, the overwhelmingly large percentage of passive consumers of news remains. While they discuss and share news online, news content is still the product of journalists, researchers, PR people and bloggers.

With news content today containing nearly as much public relations propaganda as journalism, social media discussions about news content and production bring both serious scrutiny and outright nonsense. What the Internet offers is a venue where citizen journalism can find an audience, but the skills and practices involved in journalism still demand study, discipline and resources few have access to. 

Crowd-funded journalism is fine, but it is no substitute for professional media. As many citizen journalism producers have discovered, it's hard to cover the news when you can't afford to cover travel expenses, equipment and salaries for the people doing it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

 

Message Force Multipliers

In May 2011, Pro Publica ran an article by John Sullivan titled 'PR Industry Fills Vacuum Left by Shrinking News Rooms'. The impetus for the article was the 2010 story of the year, the Gulf oil spill at BPs Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform.

Reporting from the U.S. Coast Guard hearing, New York Times investigative reporter David Barstow observed, "You would go into these hearings, and there would be more PR people representing these big players than there were reporters."

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that as of 2008 there were three times as many PR people in the US as there were journalists--a shift from 1980, when the numbers were roughly equal. According to the American Society of News Editors, the number of newspaper reporters and editors peaked at 56,900 in 1990, and by 2011, dropped to 41,600. As media critic Robert McChesney observed, "We are entering a zone that has never been seen before in this country."

Public Relations is now used by government and industry to influence public opinion on everything from consumerism to militarism. As a result, the number of original news stories is down, and many stories are now generated by government agencies and PR people working hand-in-hand. As a retired editor of the Washington Post remarked, the Internet makes it easy for public relations people to reach out directly to the audience.

As PR Watch reported in 2006, television news now airs video news releases created by corporate and government PR people, within broadcast stories posing as original news. Appearances on TV by PR-coached "experts" are coordinated as "message force multipliers." PR front groups, funded by the oligarchy, make it difficult for reporters to sort out.

As an example of the influence of PR, the health insurance industry paid the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million to fight public health care. The Chamber, in turn, paid for ads that ran in 21 states. As the senior VP of communications at the Chamber noted, they also set up coalition groups to push the message online and in the press.

One of the areas the Chamber targets is college campuses. It even hosts video competitions on Facebook.




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

 

Avaaz: the World's Most Powerful NGO

In his classic orientation to American politics, Indispensable Enemies, Walter Karp described conflict between the two national political parties as largely a game of charades–choreographed by Wall Street. While party loyalists are quick to point out differences over religion and civil rights, the point Karp makes is that they both serve Wall Street, which means America is now a bi-partisan fascist oligarchy.

Since the Reagan administration, both parties have worked overtime to privatize public wealth, and to manipulate social movements to their advantage. While it is well-known that the Wise Use Movement, Christian Coalition and the Tea Party used bigotry to advance Republican interests, little attention has been paid to social engineering by the Democrats.

As affiliated entities, MoveOn, 1Sky, Avaaz, Ceres, Purpose and 350 enable the Democratic Party to market itself as a friend of the environment and supporter of democracy, while simultaneously serving Wall Street’s agenda. What those familiar with serious fraud might call “the long con”.

Short cons include “humanitarian war” and carbon market schemes like fossil fuel divestment, that support American imperialism by consolidating Wall Street control of institutions, markets and NGOs. Using foundations as intermediaries, the fascist oligarchy on the Democrat side has a legal money laundry for promoting such fraud as the “new economy”.

As Cory Morningstar described The Art of Social Engineering by Avaaz, “Funded by the ruling class oligarchy, the role they serve for their funders is not unlike that of corporate media. Yet, it appears that global society is paralyzed in a collective hypnosis – rejecting universal social interests, thus rejecting reason, to instead fall in line with the position of the powerful minority that has seized control, a minority that systematically favours corporate interests.”

Meanwhile, sister organizations of Avaaz work with elites like Rockefeller, Gates and Soros in “shaping global society by utilizing and building upon strategic psychological marketing, soft power, technology and social media.” “More importantly,” notes Morningstar, “The non-profit industrial complex must be understood as a mainspring and the instrument of power, the very support and foundation of imperial domination.”

As Morningstar continues, ‘Global society has been, and continues to be, manipulated to believe that NGOs are representative of “civil society” which has allowed the “humanitarian industrial complex” to become missionaries of empire.’ In this brave new world, NGOs like Avaaz, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch lead civil society in supporting American hegemony through military intervention.

In Imperialist Pimps of Militarism, Morningstar reports that Avaaz is the operational name of the Global Engagement and Organizing Fund, a non-profit organization incorporated in 2006. Founded by ResPublica and the Democratic Party front group MoveOn, the core purpose of Avaaz was to build US influence in the Middle East and Asia. ResPublica is led by Tom Perriello, Ricken Patel, and Tom Pravda.

Open Society Institute – created by convicted hedge fund inside trader George Soros – is a major funder of Avaaz, MoveOn and Human Rights Watch. Avaaz destabilization campaigns in Libya, Syria and Bolivia demonstrate the value of NGOs in exercising “soft power” to overthrow foreign regimes hostile to American dominance. As a close friend of President Obama, Perriello was one of the most pro-war Democrats in Congress.

In Welcome to the Brave New World, Morningstar examines Perriello’s career and relationship with war criminals like Obama and his former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. (Both Avaaz and 350 board members supported the attack on Syria.) Avaaz, says Morningstar, is arguably “the world’s most powerful NGO.”

Sunday, February 08, 2015

 

Greenwashing Wall Street: CERES, Tides and 350

Excerpts from the McKibben’s Divestment Tour: Brought to You by Wall Street series by Cory Morningstar:








Sunday, February 01, 2015

 

Peace Power Revolution

The revolutionary 1960s were challenging for us as American teenagers, and bewildering for our parents. Feminism, racial equality, and rejection of religion set us apart from their generation. Social phenomena that unfolded during my high school years alone (1967-70) were astounding:


Friday, January 30, 2015

 

Christian Soldiers

Bruce Wilson's update on the theocratic New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) looks at Dominionist ties with the Republican National Committee.

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