Chomsky: The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You’ll Never Hear About It in Our ‘Free Press’


I won’t say very much about the first, environmental catastrophe. That should be obvious. Certainly the scale of the danger should be obvious to anyone with eyes open, anyone who is literate, particularly those who read scientific journals. Every issue of a technical journal virtually has more dire warnings than the last one.

There are various reactions to this around the world. There are some who seek to act decisively to prevent possible catastrophe. At the other extreme, major efforts are underway to accelerate the danger. Leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster is the richest and most powerful country in world history, with incomparable advantages and the most prominent example of RECD – the one that others are striving towards.

Leading the efforts to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendants might have a decent life, are the so-called “primitive” societies: First Nations in Canada, Aboriginal societies in Australia, tribal societies and others like them. The countries that have large and influential indigenous populations are well in the lead in the effort to “defend the Earth”. That’s their phrase. The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing forward enthusiastically towards destruction. This is one of the major features of contemporary history. One of those things that ought to be on front pages. So take Ecuador, which has a large indigenous population. It’s seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial hydrocarbon reserves underground, which is where they ought to be. Now meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada are enthusiastically seeking to burn every drop of fossil fuel, including the most dangerous kind – Canadian tar sands – and to do so as quickly and fully as possible – without a side glance on what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction.

I know I keep sharing his work but it just seems so important.

A long transcript of a speech but worth reading all of it.

Chomsky: The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You’ll Never Hear About It in Our ‘Free Press’

Chomsky: The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You’ll Never Hear About It in Our ‘Free Press’


I won’t say very much about the first, environmental catastrophe. That should be obvious. Certainly the scale of the danger should be obvious to anyone with eyes open, anyone who is literate, particularly those who read scientific journals. Every issue of a technical journal virtually has more dire warnings than the last one.

There are various reactions to this around the world. There are some who seek to act decisively to prevent possible catastrophe. At the other extreme, major efforts are underway to accelerate the danger. Leading the effort to intensify the likely disaster is the richest and most powerful country in world history, with incomparable advantages and the most prominent example of RECD – the one that others are striving towards.

Leading the efforts to preserve conditions in which our immediate descendants might have a decent life, are the so-called “primitive” societies: First Nations in Canada, Aboriginal societies in Australia, tribal societies and others like them. The countries that have large and influential indigenous populations are well in the lead in the effort to “defend the Earth”. That’s their phrase. The countries that have driven indigenous populations to extinction or extreme marginalization are racing forward enthusiastically towards destruction. This is one of the major features of contemporary history. One of those things that ought to be on front pages. So take Ecuador, which has a large indigenous population. It’s seeking aid from the rich countries to allow it to keep its substantial hydrocarbon reserves underground, which is where they ought to be. Now meanwhile, the U.S. and Canada are enthusiastically seeking to burn every drop of fossil fuel, including the most dangerous kind – Canadian tar sands – and to do so as quickly and fully as possible – without a side glance on what the world might look like after this extravagant commitment to self-destruction.

I know I keep sharing his work but it just seems so important.

A long transcript of a speech but worth reading all of it.

Chomsky: The U.S. Behaves Nothing Like a Democracy, But You’ll Never Hear About It in Our ‘Free Press’

Diagnosis: Informed Citizen Disorder


An Illness worth contracting:

  • Nearly six million Americans below the poverty line in 25 states won’t get the health insurance that the Affordable Care Act gives them because their Republican governors or state legislators are refusing to accept federal money to expand Medicaid.
  • Bank lobbyists – big contributors to both Republicans and Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee – basically wrote the bill the committee passed exempting Wall Street from what’s left of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
  • Apple avoided paying taxes on $74 billion between 2009 and 2012 by creating a subsidiary in Ireland with no physical presence and no employees – “It is not a shell company,” Apple said – that hasn’t filed a tax return in Ireland, the United States or anywhere else.
  • More active duty American troops committed suicide over the past 12 years than were killed in Afghanistan.

Diagnosis: Informed Citizen Disorder

Diagnosis: Informed Citizen Disorder


An Illness worth contracting:

  • Nearly six million Americans below the poverty line in 25 states won’t get the health insurance that the Affordable Care Act gives them because their Republican governors or state legislators are refusing to accept federal money to expand Medicaid.
  • Bank lobbyists – big contributors to both Republicans and Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee – basically wrote the bill the committee passed exempting Wall Street from what’s left of the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul.
  • Apple avoided paying taxes on $74 billion between 2009 and 2012 by creating a subsidiary in Ireland with no physical presence and no employees – “It is not a shell company,” Apple said – that hasn’t filed a tax return in Ireland, the United States or anywhere else.
  • More active duty American troops committed suicide over the past 12 years than were killed in Afghanistan.

Diagnosis: Informed Citizen Disorder

Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health


A great interview about how distraction and the skills of the stage conjurer are used to stop us focusing on the important issues

Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health

Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health


A great interview about how distraction and the skills of the stage conjurer are used to stop us focusing on the important issues

Bill Moyers: Weapons of Mass Distraction—Why the Media Most Americans Consume Is Harmful to the Public Health

Another Day.


He wakes up. It is 6. He enjoys his bed for a moment longer before he switches on the radio. NPR is playing. There are stories about Dominik Straus-Kahn and about Syria and about business. Garrison Keilor interrupts, as he always does, with facts about authors who are significant to the day. This section in turns fascinates and infuriates him. He makes breakfast. It is a blueberry toaster strudle, a bowl of blueberries, four rashers of turkey bacon and some pink lemonade. It meets with success. He takes a shower. He misses his beard, his beard that he shaved off on Saturday. He finishes syncing his ipod. It is now full of Spanish lessons and lectures on computers and anthropology and social studies and politics. It is interesting to him. They are all interesting to him. He prepares lunch for himself. It is a salad containing various vegetables and some cold chicken. He also prepares a fruit salad for dessert. It is very healthy. He reads The Grapes of Wrath on the bus and on the train. It is a good book. He has nearly finished it. He is reading it on his kindle. He arrives at work and He is greeted with responses to his lack of beard. This is usual when he has shaved his beard after having a beard for a long time. Many people seem open mouthed. Jokes are made. Fun is had. The day drags on. He has lunch that he have brought in. It is healthy salad and meat as he wrote earlier. The show goes well. He learns more about himself and his limitations. An important boss appears for the second show. He is impressed. He likes that. Congressman Anthony Weiner admits to lewdness on national television. Hippocritic indignation from news room and from networks and cables and everywhere. He sees what he does and he sees others do it every day. It is human and the internet is human and even though he hears that he is an asshole he hasn’t done the worst thing in the world. We want to eat and fuck and sleep. Everything else is window dressing. he returns home and eats supper, then he has two glasses of red wine which he enjoys. He reads some Naseem Taleb. It soothes him. Then he watches the Daily Show. He snorts laughter. He thinks about doing as Congressman Anthony Weiner does, as usual. Then he sleeps.