Anonymous Paid Political Advertising

Bill Moyers did a wonderful job of illuminating “Who Pays for Political Ads?” Following this conversation on Huffington Post, I found that I had some observations of my own.

I saw reader comments that we have NO right to know who sponsors anonymous paid political advertising — the PINK SLIME of the advertising industry. The laws of slander still apply to us, but they don’t apply to the anonymous wealthy who corrupt the electoral process.

So it is argued that we who don’t like anonymous paid political ads are free to ignore them, and people who DO like them are free to waive their right to due diligence on the source and veracity of the content. It’s argued there certainly is a protected “right” to anonymously buy the spread of smear and slander. Who can spell PROPAGANDA?

When we think about it, propaganda can be used to manipulate opinion by either side of an issue, but a civilian population has at least a theoretical means of independently verifying or debunking it. It’s quite rational and legitimate to consider the credibility of the source in evaluating things we are told. Anonymous paid political ads take this off the table, because we no longer have a way to determine the source of the information, let alone the methods used to gather or manufacture it.

Anonymity may be vital to the success of a totalitarian state, for both perpetrators and victims, but anonymous and unverifiable political defamation is subversive of a democracy. Stand up to the perpetrators!

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David Brooks on Republicans at Disney World

Watch Shields, Brooks on Iowa Debate, ‘Rattling Sabers’ Over Iran, Iraq War’s Legacy on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

If you didn’t catch the remarks of David Brooks on PBS NewsHour on December 16, or again on Charlie Rose last night, it’s in the embedded PBS news clip, and I excerpted the transcript below:

What’s been interesting to me is the structure of the whole thing. The Democrats want to give the Republicans a tax break — tax cuts for the American people, and the Republicans are saying, no, no. We want more.

It’s a bit like a parent going to a kid and saying, we’re going to take you to Disney World. And the kids say, we will agree to go to Disney World if you give us an Xbox and an iPhone. And the parents say, no, but you will love Disney World. Give us the Xbox. And then they say, okay, we will give you the Xbox and Disney World.

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PBS NewsHour: Book Tells How Iconic Civil Rights Era Photo Changed Lives of 2 Women

As Judy Woodruff said by way of introduction to this clip, “Sometimes one picture is worth a thousand words … but sometimes, one picture can change lives.” The story of how one iconic civil rights era photograph changed the lives of two women is the subject of David Margolick’s new book, “Elizabeth and Hazel: Two Women of Little Rock.” Ray Suarez and the Vanity Fair editor discuss the not-yet-finished story.(Interview by Ray Suarez, embedded video clip 8:54)

Watch Book Tells How Iconic Civil Rights Era Photo Changed Lives of 2 Women on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

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MSNBC Anchor Goes Ballistic!

And no wonder. He was talking about the incestuous relationship between the banks, financial institutions and Congress. Sounds almost like Ike’s “Military Industrial Complex”, substituting “crony capitalism” for “the military,” doesn’t it?

The surprising YouTube clip has already gone viral on the internet. You can do your own Google search with the search phrase “MSNBC Rant.” I couldn’t find an official MSNBC version. You may need to turn up your sound a bit. The message, however, is very clear! It’s worth hearing no matter WHAT our political orientation.

We’ve got a real problem…this is a mathematical fact. Tens of trillions of dollars are being extracted from the United States of America. Democrats aren’t doing it, Republicans aren’t doing it, an entire integrated system, banking, trade and taxation, created by both parties over a period of two decades is at work on our entire country right now.

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