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Now that Rupert Murdoch's neo Nazi media empire is facing controversy and criminal investigations in Britain, it's time to consider the illegal activities of Murdoch's Newscorp holdings here in the US. A perfect example of this is how Murdoch's propaganda network falsely advertises itself as "Fox News."

Here's some information on false advertising on the website of the FCC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

What truth-in-advertising rules apply to advertisers?

Under the Federal Trade Commission Act:

- Advertising must be truthful and non-deceptive;
- Advertisers must have evidence to back up their claims; and
- Advertisements cannot be unfair.

Additional laws apply to ads for specialized products like consumer leases, credit, 900 telephone numbers, and products sold through mail order or telephone sales. And every state has consumer protection laws that govern ads running in that state.
What makes an advertisement deceptive?

According to the FTC's Deception Policy Statement, an ad is deceptive if it contains a statement - or omits information - that:

- Is likely to mislead consumers acting reasonably under the circumstances; and
- Is "material" - that is, important to a consumer's decision to buy or use the product.

Now, it isn't just the name that is deceptive. Newscorp routinely runs ads in other media outlets calling its network "Fox News" and falsely claiming that it is a news network.

The facts are quite different. "Fox News" produces fascist propaganda which intentionally misleads the viewers and which also is intended to keep viewers from knowing what is actually going on in this country and throughout the world.

A viewer watching this network knows less about the news after watching their shows than before. Yet, Murdoch's propagandists call it a "news" network.

Obama looking sillyThe extreme right policies of the Obama administration are a rather blatant example of a much larger problem: the futility of voting for Democrats.

In a series of postings and with a bit of help, I came up with 140 examples of Bush Regime policies that this administration has continued or expanded on. And, it wasn't like I was trying to write an exhaustive list. I didn't have to do much research at all to come up with those items.

Our economy still sucks, when Democrats had the power during the last congressional term, they refused to pass real healthcare reform, lower the Social Security retirement age, or get rid of the Bush tax cuts for the rich (much less the Clinton, Reagan, Carter, and Kennedy tax cuts for the rich). Although Obama got the legal authority to lift the military ban at the end of last year, his administration keeps putting up homophobic administrative obstacles to postpone lifting the ban forever.

Iraq Deaths EstimatorNeither this administration nor the Democrats in Congress have done anything to fight AIDS, pass ENDA, fight the banksters, prosecute crooked Bush regime officials, or end the wars. It's been new bosses, same old shit. Now, Barack Obama is working with his Republican allies (the "conflict" between them is as fake as the WWE) to implement the Crusade of Obama's Cat Food Commission against Social Security, Medicare, and Medicare.

Obama and the Democrats have been just as callous and unconcerned as the Republicans about the plight of the middle class and the poor in this country who continue to suffer while their wealthy donors party down with money that rightfully belongs to the rest of us. This is an administration that is so brazenly corrupt that they have chosen to give hundreds of thousands of Americans cancer just to show favoritism to some well connected airport X-Ray scanner companies.

Where is the opposition to all of this in the Democratic Party?

Where indeed!

It is disturbing that there is no real Democrat left to fight for what the party used to stand for. No one is willing to take on the rightist political elites in the party who treat everyone else like garbage.

There really isn't anyone left in the Democratic Party to vote for. These days, voting for Democrats or Republicans is throwing away your vote. The only hope, and a slim one admittedly, is to vote Green. There really is nothing left in the party that once brought forth the New Deal and Civil Rights laws.

Top Photo: jurvetson


In previous postings on Barack Bush's Cat Food Commission, I discussed how he created a "deficit commission" to advocate tax cuts for the rich and the corporations they own while cutting government programs for the middle class and the poor. Stopping the wars, raising taxes on the rich/corporations, raising tariffs, and cutting corporate welfare were "oddly" off the table.

protest sign with check image showing year that Bank of America paid no taxesNow that Barack Bush's fellow Republicans control the House, he is using that opportunity to go after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. This is reprehensible, and it shows the contempt that this administration and its GOP allies have for the non rich.

It's time for some brave Democrat (if such a person even exists in that party anymore) to launch a primary challenge against Barack Bush. Barack Bush has been fucking with the middle class and the poor for far too long.

In the meantime, some progressives are fighting back, I encourage you to join them in doing so.

1) From an Action Alert by Firedog Lake:

The war on our social safety net is now fully underway.

President Obama is offering cuts to Social Security benefits in exchange for GOP support for tax hikes. Democrats in the Senate and Congress will likely be forced to walk the plank and support those cuts, despite being deeply unpopular.

We refuse to sit by and watch the political classes get away with making cuts to Social Security. Firedoglake will make it as painful as possible for any politician from any party to participate in this wholesale looting of the public sphere.

Join us in demanding absolutely NO CUTS to social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security.

Take the pledge:
"I pledge to withhold support for any politician who participates in cutting social safety net programs like Medicare and Social Security."

2. Bold Progressives Have Their Own Pledge You Can Sign:
President Obama: If you cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits for me, my family, or families like mine, don't ask for a penny of my money or an hour of my time in 2012. I'm going to focus on electing bold progressive candidates who will fight to protect our Democratic legacy.

protest sign saying Tax the RichSadly, it's looking as though the only way protect the policies and values the Democratic Party used to stand for these days is to vote Green. The Democrats are just clones of the GOP these days.

3. Contact the White House:
It's no secret that Barack Bush is a plutocrat who hates poor and middle class Americans, but he does need our votes in 2012. It's important to contact the White House and let them know that you are outraged by the fascist policies he is proposing.


Supreme Court: Wal-Mart Is Above the Law

Posted by libhom Monday, June 20, 2011 5 comments

Sign that says Yr Gettin Yr Class War Up in My Uterus.
The Supreme Court is just as guilty as Wal-Mart this time.

During the late 19th Century, the US Supreme Court was a notoriously corrupt subsidiary of wealthy and corporate interests. The current Court seems determined to match its filthy past if not surpass it. And, it didn't stop with the blatantly illegal Citizens United decision.

Now, the Supreme Court has decided that Wal-Mart cannot face a class action suit on behalf of all of its female employees who work in a misogynist corporate culture deliberately designed to promote and perpetuate discrimination. The Majority decision (with an almost as blatantly illegal concurring decision" included these enormously disturbing comments by anti American, neo Nazi "Justice" Scalia. (Iowa Independent 6/21/11)

“The crux of this case is commonality — the rule requiring a plaintiff to show that ‘there are questions of law or fact common to the class,’” wrote Justice Antonin Scalia. “That language is easy to misread, since ‘[a]ny competently crafted class complaint literally raises common question.’ For example: Do all of us plaintiffs indeed work for Wal-Mart? Do our managers have discretion over pay? Is that an unlawful employment practice? What remedies should we get?

“Reciting these questions is not sufficient to obtain class certification. Commonality requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the class members ‘have suffered the same injury.’ This does not mean merely that they have all suffered a violation of the same provision of law.”

Scalia adds that there must be “some glue holding the alleged reasons,” in order to answer the question of why some female workers were disfavored. There is no proof, he states, that Wal-Mart “operated under a general policy of discrimination” toward all female workers, noting that the company’s announced policy bans discrimination on gender. He dismissed earlier testimony by Dr. William Bielby, a sociology expert, who pointed to analysis of the company’s social framework to show a pattern of stereotyping by Wal-Mart.

We know the ruling had no basis in law because it was written by Antonin Scalia, author of the fraudulent and treasonous Bush v. Gore decision. However, it is critical to point out certain extreme dishonesties in this rhetoric.

Scalia is perfectly aware of the absolute fact that all the women workers of Wal-Mart do share the same injury: blatant sex discrimination due to a system that deliberately disfavors women. The statistics of sex discrimination provided by the victims of Wal-Mart's discrimination prove just that beyond the shadow of a doubt. No one can honestly dispute this. Scalia's dismissal of critical testimony is a shocking example of how he works to rig cases based on the rightist outcomes he wants rather than following the law.

Even the concurring opinion was reprehensible. It claimed that there might be another basis for the class action suit, but not the perfectly reasonable, legal, and factual basis provided by the plaintiffs. This case is precisely the kind of case where middle class and poor Americans should be able to band together in class action lawsuits to address injuries they have suffered as groups at the hands of evil corporations.

One common thread in all of this bullshit was that the lawsuit was "too big." It wasn't the lawsuit that was too big. The Executive and Legislative Branches of the US government already introduced "too big to fail" as a guiding standard for dealing with crooked banks. Now, the US Supreme Court has introduced the following illegal theory into its rulings on corporations:

Too Big to Obey the Law


Some of the Venomous Homophobes AT&T Has Given Money To

Posted by libhom Wednesday, June 15, 2011 3 comments

As many of you already know, AT&T gave money to the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce, a viciously heterosexist organization which has fought to block local LGBT rights laws in that state. Garden State Equality has withdrawn an award they gave to AT&T in response. (I would love to know why they gave an award to a homophobic corporation like AT&T in the first place, but that's another story.)

AT&T has a history of giving money to heterosexist politicians as well. Here are some of the bigots that have received money from AT&T.

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Sen. Robert Bennett

Rep. John Boehner

Rep. Roy Blunt

Rep. Eric Cantor

Rep. Darrell Issa

Sen. John "Keating Five" McCain

Sen. Rand Paul

Sen. Pat Toomey

It's sickening that GLAAD would even take AT&T's homophobic money, much less allow themselves to be bought and doing lobbying for AT&T against queer content and especially queer activist content on the Internet. The depths to which GLAAD has sunk are sickening.


In my last posting on AT&T's purchase of GLAAD's support of their homophobic merger with TMobile, I made an important point about who owns corporations and how that can be devastating for queers.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

Queers have fought so hard against the censorship of queer content. We still have a long way to go. However, it is more likely than not that AT&T will move things way backward if they succeed in their ultimate goal: establishing a total telecom monopoly.

I should also point out that rich Republicans, and the wealthy elites in general, have shown an increasingly totalitarian mindset and have been increasingly hostile to civil liberties and the US Constitution.

Of course, these critiques apply to all oppressed minorities, as well as liberals, progressives, and leftists. Corporate "news" outlets already are heavily censored by their owners. The Internet is critical for getting so much information that usually is suppressed in corporate outlets.

From a Free Press email promoting their Action Alert which addresses other aspects of the issue:
Back in the 80s, AT&T’s power was near absolute. That’s why government regulators stepped in to break it up and protect the American people against abuse.

Now, with AT&T’s planned $39 billion takeover of T-Mobile, we’re reaching the danger point again.

Tell the FCC: Step in Now to Stop AT&T’s Mega-Merger

Unless the FCC rejects this merger, Americans stand to lose control over the future of communications.

That's why so many have already flooded the FCC with comments since news of this outrageous merger became public. And that's why we need you to speak out again today.

We can’t let just two companies – AT&T and Verizon – control nearly 80 percent of the mobile marketplace. If the FCC rubber-stamps this deal, we’ll be giving these companies unchecked power — at our expense.

That means you’ll be paying more to have AT&T drop your calls; and access to popular applications like Skype, Slingbox and Google Earth will be limited even further … if AT&T lets you use them at all.

Keep in mind that AT&T eventually will try to buy Verizon.

Take Action Now!


AT&T Buys GLAAD's Betrayal

Posted by libhom Saturday, June 04, 2011 3 comments

gold coins
Photo: trader_john

I was involved in the LA Chapter of GLAAD to a certain extent early on, when GLAAD still fought against heterosexism in the media. GLAAD has gone way downhill since. In recent years, they actually were run by a homophobic Republican.

I had hoped that GLAAD would get less heterosexist after that clown left, but it's just doesn't get better.

Remember when AT&T was broken up as a monopoly to try to increase competition years ago under antitrust laws? Well, AT&T has been buying up competitors ever since, trying to regain its monopoly status. These days, this is especially dangerous since telecommunications companies are Internet providers and so much queer and queer activist content has moved to the Internet. Allowing these kind of corporate takeovers poses a potentially existential threat to the LGBT civil rights movement.

AT&T will be able use any monopoly to censor queer activism and queer content. Given the fact that most corporate executives and major shareholders are viciously heterosexist, racist, and sexist Republicans, it would be highly surprising (actually shocking) if they didn't abuse their power, absent the prospect of losing customers to competitors.

In full knowledge of all of this, GLAAD issued a letter to the FCC supporting the merger. After the controversy became public, GLAAD issued a statement including bizarre rationalizations that insult the intelligence of anyone with an IQ over 60. Some people were asking why GLAAD did this. The answer is readily available in another press release on their site.

GLAAD Receives $25,000 Grant from AT&T

AT&T is a major donor that gives amounts of money to GLAAD that are small to the multinational corporation and large to the faux media activist organization. AT&T has been able to buy GLAAD's betrayal, and GLAAD hasn't exactly lost sleep over the heinous thing they have done because they stopped giving a shit about the queer community well over a decade ago.

sign saying, we the people, not we the corporationsLiving in a corporate police state would be just fine for AT&T, but it is deadly dangerous to oppressed communities like queers. We need to fight back when groups that claim to speak for us throw us under the bus so they can overpay their executives.

Note: I want to thank the guys at Feast of Fun for alerting me to this issue by putting up this news story and discussing it on their podcast. Their podcast is quite entertaining, yet it also includes important news, information, and insights. The only people that will make GLAAD and the HRC even act like they care about the queer community are dedicated podcasters, bloggers, and grassroots activists.


In a recent Nation blog entry, extreme right columnist Eric Alterman accuses Noam Chomsky of lying about him. Let's look at Alterman's rant first.

So Chomsky uses exactly one example to demonstrate his joint contention regarding both “America’s obsessive belief in capital punishment” and its “rejoicing in the manner of Bin Laden’s demise.” Regarding the death penalty, I do not support it and never have. Regarding “rejoicing,” Chomsky purposely ignored the sentence that followed the very one he chose to quote. It reads: “But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: ‘How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?’”

This would sound convincing if one didn't bother to read Alterman's reprehensible commentary on bin Laden's extrajudicial murder. I should point out the fact that the very title of the piece, "Bin Gotten" rejoices in that murder. (Bolding and italics mine.)
The killing of Osama bin Laden was a just and necessary undertaking; just because he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands, and necessary because his continued escape from justice was an inspiration to others to try to follow in his footsteps. But it should not be occasion for joy. The Talmud tells the story of angels dancing and singing as the waters of the Red Sea close over the heads of the Egyptian troops after the Israelites have safely crossed over, only to be rebuked by their God: “How dare you dance and sing as my children drown in the sea?”

So, Alterman drools over the killing of bin Laden in the first sentence and the name of the essay, yet he admonishes people not to do exactly what he is doing. This nonsense is as self contradictory as the Bible, and equally irrational.

Let's look at some other things that Alterman said about this illegal, extrajudicial killing.

"Barack Obama’s solemn announcement of this tremendous achievement hit the perfect note."

"the president’s cool, calm decision-making and demeanor—coupled with the peerless professional execution of the operation—can only impress world opinion with the mature and steely determination of America’s post-Bush leadership."

Sick, sick, sick.

Chomsky is correct. Alterman was rejoicing.

In the italicized text, I noticed out a huge problem with Alterman's and the Nation's fact checking, assuming there actually is any by either party. Alterman makes the highly questionable claim that "he had the blood of thousands of innocents on his hands."

The Nation should know better than to publish unsubstantiated claims in defense of government murder. There still hasn't been a credible, independent investigation of 911. The "911 Commission" was a cruel joke. They didn't demand all of that illegal regime's emails, memos, etc. They didn't subpoena people.

Even worse, Bush spoke to that sham commission, not under oath, while Dickless Cheney was present. That is absolute proof that he and other Bush regime officials were lying about 911. That "911 Commission" did nothing about those lies.

There certainly is evidence supporting the theory that Bush regime officials knew that attacks were coming and deliberately allowed the attacks to take place. However, there also is evidence strongly suggesting that the 911 attacks were committed by the Bush regime itself. The most damaging evidence is that fact that all the amateur video footage of the attacks was stolen by the Bush regime under "national security" grounds. That footage has yet to be made public. (Gee, I wonder why.)

The most any professional journalist can say about bin Laden is that he is alleged to be the mastermind of the 911 attacks, and that the allegations are rather weak.

I am so sick of incredibly evil politicians like George W. Bush and Barack Bush shitting on our Constitution and our nation's values. I am equally sick and tired of their gleeful enablers like Alterman.

The killing of a man without trial in a legitimate civilian court is murder, cold blooded murder. The lack of convincing evidence of guilt only makes the crime more heinous. How can a "liberal" magazine like the Nation allow someone like Alterman to post disturbing, fascist nonsense on their website?

Is it any wonder why The Nation is always begging for money and subscriptions? They have become such partisan Democrats that they have gone to shocking lengths to pander to an extreme right President like Barack Bush. If that magazine wants more liberal and progressive supporters, then they should fire the shills for this corrupt, rightist administration and hire some real liberals and progressives to write for them.

Ted Rall is absolutely correct about The Nation when he discusses their censorship of writers criticizing this execrable administration from the perspectives of the left.
I was merciless to Obama. I was cruel in my criticisms of Obama’s sellouts to the right. In my writings and drawings I tried to tell it as it was, or anyway, as I saw it. I thought—still think—that’s my job. I’m a critic, not a suck-up. The Obama Administration doesn’t need journalists or pundits to carry its water. That’s what press secretaries and PR flacks are for.

Does Obama ever do anything right? Not often, but sure. And when he does, I shut up about it. Cartoonists and columnists who promote government policy are an embarrassment.

But that’s what “liberal” media outlets want in the age of Obama.

I can’t prove it in every case. (That’s how blackballing works.) The Nation and Mother Jones and Harper’s, liberal magazines that gave me freelance work under Clinton and Bush, now ignore my queries. Even when I offered them first-person, unembedded war reporting from Afghanistan. Hey, maybe they’re too busy to answer email or voicemail. You never know.

Other censors are brazen.

Even if The Nation didn't specifically target Rall, their censorship of genuine liberal and progressive views about Barack Bush is so blatant one cannot help but notice it.

Yet, a rightist like Alterman is published regularly by The Nation. It's truly reprehensible.


Psychology Today Really Is Junk

Posted by libhom Monday, May 23, 2011 2 comments

cake with WTF written on itI got an email from The Color of Change with an Action Alert about someone who has a blog on the Psychology Today website which was truly disturbing.

Nearly 20 years after a black parent documented how hard it was to hear, "Mommy, I want to be white,"1 Psychology Today reinforced the false and hurtful sentiment that Black women aren't attractive.

Last week they published an article claiming it to be scientific fact that Black women are less beautiful than women of other races,2 penned by Satoshi Kanazawa, who is notorious for hiding behind pseudoscience to promote discredited racist and sexist ideas.3

By giving Kanazawa a platform and validating his ideas, Psychology Today dehumanized Black women and girls everywhere. After widespread public outcry, they removed the article from their website.4 But that alone won't erase the damage they've done by validating these discredited ideas — the editors need to apologize, explain how this happened, and let us know that it won't happen again. Please join us in demanding they do so immediately, and then ask your friends and family to do the same:


Kanazawa's article is flawed from top to bottom.5 Using a dataset from an unrelated study of teenagers, he draws the obviously false conclusion that Black women are "objectively" less attractive than women from other racial groups.

Kanazawa has a long history of hiding behind pseudo-science to express racist and sexist views. He once wrote an article asking "Are All Women Essentially Prostitutes?" and another suggesting that the US should have dropped nuclear bombs across the entire Middle East after 9/11 because it would have wiped out Muslim terrorists.6

So why does Psychology Today continue to give him a platform? Black women constantly face both subtle and explicit messages that they are valued less than women of other races — messages that are especially damaging to Black girls. Now Psychology Today has served as launching point for yet another attack, this time in the name of science.

Almost as if to cover up the racism inherent in his piece, Kanazawa says that black men are, "if anything more attractive" than their counterparts of other races because of "greater testosterone."7 But even here Kanazawa relies on the same pseudoscience to describe black men in familiar terms — brutish, hypermasculine, oversexed, exotic. And that's dangerous, too.

He uses a modern-day version of the faulty logic used to dehumanize blacks as inferior for hundreds of years, from the social Darwinists and eugenicists of the 19th century to The Bell Curve just 15 years ago. Psychology Today has a responsibility not to give such false logic a stage, nor validation.

To undo the damage it's done, Psychology Today needs to explicitly reject Kanazawa's ideas. Please join us in demanding that their editors apologize, explain how this article was published in the first place and what they'll do to ensure it won't happen again in the future. It takes just a moment:


I certainly encourage people to join me in signing the petition.

I started to look at their website, having never read the magazine. One thing I noticed was that the quackery Kanazawa spewed in the removed posting was not a unique occurrence. One of his postings was entitled "If Barack Obama Is Christian, Michael Jackson Was White," which was wildly irrational and showed a complete lack of understanding of Evolution despite the bio referring to him as an "evolutionary psychologist."

This train wreck gets more spectacular. Kanazawa actually refers to his blog as "The Scientific Fundamentalist," oblivious to the fact that such a thing is an oxymoron. He also wrote a review of some other wingnut's book. The review was entitled "Why Liberals and Conservatives Are Both Wrong about Evolution." In it, Kanazawa claims that liberal policies go against Evolutionary principals. once again showing he knows about as much about Evolutionary Biology as the Creationists.

How did this quack get a blog on that website?

Well, I did some more browsing of the Psychology Today website and found just how vacuous and bizarre that magazine really is. "The Four Types of Female Friends to Avoid" article showed less insight, scientific or otherwise, than the typical boilerplate advice articles in womens' magazines. There was another article called "Could Crime Rates be Influenced by No NFL Season?" with speculation about as intelligent and relevant to peoples' lives as Access Hollywood.

The sad thing is that I'm sure some people turn to Psychology Today in hopes that it would actually help them deal with problems in their lives. The best outcome they can hope for would be a waste of time. I sure wouldn't take any of the articles I saw on the website seriously. It is truly reprehensible that a magazine that covers a really serious area of subject matter is so airheaded and is run by people with such execrable editorial judgement.

At least I know that I didn't make a mistake by not bothering to buy the magazine in the past.


Note: One thing I should point out about the Action Alert mentioned in the beginning is that the "Social Darwinists" were completely ignorant of Darwin's writings and Evolution. Evolutionary Biology gets way too bad of a reputation because some racist quacks attached their visceral prejudices to science that completely went over their heads.

Photo: SanFranAnnie


Yes, I know. You are shocked, yes shocked, that the world didn't come to an end yesterday evening. Imagine a fundamentalist preacher being completely full of shit. Who would have thought?

Anyway, the militant, anti American fundamentalists at the deceptively labeled "Family Radio" may believe in lots of things. Updating websites is not one of them.

I just checked, and their zany website is still warning us about May 21, 2011.

However, there is one thing that might be worthwhile on the page. They have an image of "2012" with the no symbol around it. After all the obnoxious campaign ads we will be inundated with that year, I bet people will be making similar graphics for entirely different reasons.

Happy May 22, 2011!


Music For the End of the World

Posted by libhom Friday, May 20, 2011 0 comments



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