Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

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Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#1  Postby Jakov » Jun 21, 2012 9:44 pm

There was once a time when the newly-invented printing press, easily and cheaply available to everybody, was the means of social change and progress. This was deemed a major threat by the ruling elites. Just look at this quote from the 19th century.

One British civil servant said that these papers "inflame passions and awaken their selfishness, contrasting their current condition with what they contend to be their future condition - a condition incompatible with human nature, and those immutable laws which Providence has established for the regulation of civil society.".

Newspapers are no longer like this. I've gone into the details in other posts, but the purpose of this thread is different.

But the internet might change all this. One reason is that it becomes very cheap to publish things that can reach a vast amount of people. I've just looked at the prices: the cost of having a basic website is about £20/year. Well within the budget of almost all individuals and organisations.
But a problem with the internet is that people could easily replace one corporate-controlled medium for another. Even though use of the internet has risen dramatically most people still go to only a few websites such a guardian.co.uk or nytimes.com The opening up of the media won't happen on its own, we have to make it happen.

So following the success of the Post atheist/anti-theist slogans. and anti-theist / atheist / science videos you enjoy. threads. I thought we should all contribute to a thread here which lists political websites and blogs that can all play a part in breaking open the corporate monopoly on the media.

Here's a brief guide of how I think posts should be structured.

1. The website URL
2. A few words on the website's position and your personal opinion of it.
3. A link and short quote from a particularly good article on that website



1. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/LiberalFAQ.htm
2. More than ever before, opponents of liberalism are broadcasting pseudo-science, demagogic politics, crank economics, and think-tank propaganda in easily parrotted sound bites. This site is a gateway to an entire arsenal of liberal studies, statistics and state-of-the-art arguments that refute their myths.
3. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-richmerit.htm

The vast majority of academic studies on who becomes rich have found that intelligence and merit are only a part of the reason -- social factors play a huge role as well. Studies of Fortune 500 companies have found that American executives are seeing exploding pay, but there is no correlation between their pay and a company's profitability. In fact, companies with the greatest inequality of pay suffer worse product quality. And many studies have found that societies with the greatest equality generally enjoy the fastest rates of economic growth.



1. http://www.democracynow.org/
2. A predominantly radio and visual station that also publishes textual articles. Based in the US but focused on global issues. Was the chosen platform for Julian Assange of Wikileaks to talk to the world. Famously once had Bill Clinton phone up. Hilarity ensued.
3. http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/7 ... my_goodman
In one of his first public events since being held under house arrest, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange appeared in London Saturday for a conversation with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. They discussed the impact of WikiLeaks on world politics, the release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and Cablegate — the largest trove of classified U.S. government records in history.

“From being inside the center of the storm, I’ve learned not just about the structure of government, not just about how power flows in many countries around the world that we’ve dealt with, but rather how history is shaped and distorted by the media,” Assange said.



1. http://www.obligedtooffend.com
2. This blog is focused on British politics but I find it has a lot of good thoughts that are relevant to all nations.
3. http://www.obligedtooffend.com/2012/01/ ... trade.html
Extending democracy beyond the confines of 19th century liberalism will not be done by erecting a tent in one of capitalism’s bustling metropolises, nor by inconveniencing shoppers in Regent Street. It will come through the tireless and unglamorous struggle of those, like the workers at Primark, who realise that by standing together they can claw a little back from those who would make off with everything given half the chance.
Trade unions are by no means perfect, but if the left is to become relevant again it must rediscover the notion that social justice begins at work.



1. http://libcom.org
2. This website holds an anarcho-communist position. It's a bit too extreme for me but it has many great articles on organising and activism. They write about practical matters as well as theory.
3. http://libcom.org/organise/workplace/ar ... work-guide
Nowadays many workplaces have no active workers' organisation. Depending on whereabouts you are in the world and what sector you work in there may or may not be much of a trade union presence. And even if there is it may just be a skeleton organisation which only represents workers with individual problems, and is unable to win demands of management. Or worse, it could be actively in cahoots with management against the workers.

Hardly, surprisingly, therefore that one of the most frequently asked questions by workers is - "What can be done at my workplace to improve things? It seems impossible, the bosses are too strong."
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#2  Postby shadrack » Jun 21, 2012 9:59 pm

Can we post non british sites?

1. http://margaretandhelen.com/
2. Supposedly two elderly American women who wax leftist. Very funny.
3. Herewith a sample:

It’s a vagina. I have one. 154 million Americans have one. 197,000 soldiers have one. 111,000 police officers have one with a badge. When surveyed, all the Republican women who hold elected office reported having a vagina. I’m pretty sure Sarah Palin has a red, white and blue one. I honestly can neither confirm nor deny the existence of Ann Coulter’s vagina but I am quite certain Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s ate a rat on national tv.
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#3  Postby Jakov » Jun 26, 2012 4:20 pm

shadrack wrote:Can we post non british sites?


Of course. The capitalist control of the media is a worldwide problem, not one in just one or two countries.
In fact 2 out of 4 of the links I posted in the OP were American sites.
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#4  Postby Ihavenofingerprints » Jun 26, 2012 4:39 pm

http://theconversation.edu.au/

A relatively new website (however it took off quickly, now over 300k viewers a month). It was created by several Australian universities to fill a void in the Australian media of intelligent, factual and important news. They cover the main political/social/science/financial issues of the week, most articles are written by academics, they cut through a lot of pseudoscience/bullshit as well.

No particular quotes I can think of, interesting series here & here though.
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#5  Postby FACT-MAN-2 » Jun 27, 2012 4:44 am

Jakov wrote:There was once a time when the newly-invented printing press, easily and cheaply available to everybody, was the means of social change and progress. This was deemed a major threat by the ruling elites. Just look at this quote from the 19th century.

One British civil servant said that these papers "inflame passions and awaken their selfishness, contrasting their current condition with what they contend to be their future condition - a condition incompatible with human nature, and those immutable laws which Providence has established for the regulation of civil society.".

Newspapers are no longer like this. I've gone into the details in other posts, but the purpose of this thread is different.

But the internet might change all this. One reason is that it becomes very cheap to publish things that can reach a vast amount of people. I've just looked at the prices: the cost of having a basic website is about £20/year. Well within the budget of almost all individuals and organisations.

Yes but that's only the beginning, you've got to have a machine on which to host a site and you have to acquire some kind of software to facilitate a dialogue among your users, and then you have to maintain your setup. Nevertheless, I agree that it's within the financial realm of many, many people and groups or organizations.

The other problem is getting lots of people aware of your site, which is no mean feat.

Jakov wrote:
But a problem with the internet is that people could easily replace one corporate-controlled medium for another. Even though use of the internet has risen dramatically most people still go to only a few websites such a guardian.co.uk or nytimes.com The opening up of the media won't happen on its own, we have to make it happen.

So following the success of the Post atheist/anti-theist slogans. and anti-theist / atheist / science videos you enjoy. threads. I thought we should all contribute to a thread here which lists political websites and blogs that can all play a part in breaking open the corporate monopoly on the media.

Here's a brief guide of how I think posts should be structured.

1. The website URL
2. A few words on the website's position and your personal opinion of it.
3. A link and short quote from a particularly good article on that website


1. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/LiberalFAQ.htm
2. More than ever before, opponents of liberalism are broadcasting pseudo-science, demagogic politics, crank economics, and think-tank propaganda in easily parrotted sound bites. This site is a gateway to an entire arsenal of liberal studies, statistics and state-of-the-art arguments that refute their myths.
3. http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-richmerit.htm

The vast majority of academic studies on who becomes rich have found that intelligence and merit are only a part of the reason -- social factors play a huge role as well. Studies of Fortune 500 companies have found that American executives are seeing exploding pay, but there is no correlation between their pay and a company's profitability. In fact, companies with the greatest inequality of pay suffer worse product quality. And many studies have found that societies with the greatest equality generally enjoy the fastest rates of economic growth.

1. http://www.democracynow.org/
2. A predominantly radio and visual station that also publishes textual articles. Based in the US but focused on global issues. Was the chosen platform for Julian Assange of Wikileaks to talk to the world. Famously once had Bill Clinton phone up. Hilarity ensued.
3. http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2011/7 ... my_goodman
In one of his first public events since being held under house arrest, WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Julian Assange appeared in London Saturday for a conversation with Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, moderated by Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman. They discussed the impact of WikiLeaks on world politics, the release of the Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, and Cablegate — the largest trove of classified U.S. government records in history.

“From being inside the center of the storm, I’ve learned not just about the structure of government, not just about how power flows in many countries around the world that we’ve dealt with, but rather how history is shaped and distorted by the media,” Assange said.

1. http://www.obligedtooffend.com

2. This blog is focused on British politics but I find it has a lot of good thoughts that are relevant to all nations.

3. http://www.obligedtooffend.com/2012/01/ ... trade.html

Extending democracy beyond the confines of 19th century liberalism will not be done by erecting a tent in one of capitalism’s bustling metropolises, nor by inconveniencing shoppers in Regent Street. It will come through the tireless and unglamorous struggle of those, like the workers at Primark, who realise that by standing together they can claw a little back from those who would make off with everything given half the chance.
Trade unions are by no means perfect, but if the left is to become relevant again it must rediscover the notion that social justice begins at work.

1. http://libcom.org

2. This website holds an anarcho-communist position. It's a bit too extreme for me but it has many great articles on organising and activism. They write about practical matters as well as theory.

3. http://libcom.org/organise/workplace/ar ... work-guide

Nowadays many workplaces have no active workers' organisation. Depending on whereabouts you are in the world and what sector you work in there may or may not be much of a trade union presence. And even if there is it may just be a skeleton organisation which only represents workers with individual problems, and is unable to win demands of management. Or worse, it could be actively in cahoots with management against the workers.

Hardly, surprisingly, therefore that one of the most frequently asked questions by workers is - "What can be done at my workplace to improve things? It seems impossible, the bosses are too strong."

I'll tell ya, I don't find much that's exciting or even of much interest on politically oriented sites, they strike me as being just more of the same old tired dialogues in which Left argues with Right about the relative merits of regulated and unregulated capitalism and never seem to resolve anything, and it's almost impossible to get any sort of non-ideological dialogue going on specific issues. Many of these kinds of sites are badly infected with paid trolls who do nothing out parrot talking points from right wing zealots and ideologues, offering no real argumentation.

But think about this for a moment, somewhere around the 2018 time frame, the nations that comprise the UNFCC (of which some 250+) will be engaged in trying to write and get agreement on an emissions reduction treaty ... and by that time they'll know that what they propose will have to be shockingly radical if we are to stand a ghost of chance of keeping warming from going through the roof and exceeding a 3.5C degree rise over the preindustrial norm by the 2070-2100 time frame.

Imagine you're in the White House and some of your minions come traipsing in with that news in hand, "Uh, Mr. President, it seems we have a problem." Then imagine you're the CEO of Exxon Mobil and you get the same news.

The president sees his chances of reelection going down the tubes if he acts on the news and accepts a treaty that cuts emissions 70 per cent over fifty years, while over at Exxon, the CEO is having fits watching as a $trillion in profits disappears like smoke before his very eyes.

This is the kind of situation that gives rise to war, first of words, then of more and louder words, and then of gunshots and grenades and who knows artillery and jet fighter bombers and machineguns.

The SECGEN of the UN might invite the leaders of the top half dozen emitting nations to a little confab in which he'll tell them in no uncertain terms that they have to sign off on the deal and ensure compliance with it regardless of what it may mean for their economies to do so. Regardless, in other words, an economy like the one we've been running won't do you or anyone a lick of good when the global mean annual surface temp exceeds 60F (right now it's at just a tad over 50F) and everyone's literally frying in the heat.

The SECGEN will have IPCC's 5th Assessment Report in hand to back his demands, it's due for publication in 2013-14.

That's the moment at which things will blow sky high and all hell will break loose, with our political ideologues going at each other's throats like so many madmen.

And that moment is inevitable, it is coming, make no mistake. How can it not?

UNFCC countries agreed in Durban last winter to have a new treaty for reducing emissions by the end of 2015, with adoption slated for the year 2020. Those engaged in the writing of this treaty will be only too keenly aware what level of reductions have to be achieved and when if we are to stave off warming that we won't handle very well. By that time, the atmospheric GHG load will represent a 3.5 to 4.5C degrees rise (over the preindustrial norm) in the time frame 2070-2100, and that's a level the world won't be able to handle very well because of not only its heat but its draughts and floods and rising seas and ever intensifying weather, plus a more acidic ocean.

Anything North of a 2.5C rise is a disaster zone, and of course, the higher the worse, 6C would be catastrophic to Earth systems and people and life as we know it.

How much do we want to gamble?

you can bet that Exxon Mobil will be happy to gamble everything, and the way the corporate takover of governments has been going, they might just have the power to pull governments over the cliff with them.

And we'll be left holding the bag.

What this tells you is that the capitalist system of economics has to go, it cannot coexist with reasonable environmental or climate goals, goals that we must achieve if we are to sustain the human race.

Any form of growth oriented scarcity-based economics simply won't work in this new situation. We'll be forced to invent an economy that can operate in harmony with the natural world and quickly evolve our lifeways to suit. We're not going to have much choice in the matter, it's called "adapt or die." And assuming we wan to live, well ...

As soon as we realize that it's capitalism itself that's killing us, or will kill us, we might grow the maracas to admit it and do something about it. We need a new and modern way to do economics and a new and modern way to live. It can be seen as an evolutionary leap, a leap to survival.

What I'd much prefer to see are dialogues that center on this signal issue and situation it's creating, the one that's going to bring everything to a head in six or seven years, certainly before 2020. The collision between BAU and dangerous climate change will be an enormous moment, one that by its very nature won't let us sleepwalk through it. Gunfire could erupt, it's that intense.

If anyone knows of sites where these kinds of dialogues are going on, I'd love to know about them! And I am aware that if this is what I want, I should start a blog or a website and get it going myself, which I might just do.

Thanks for this, though! At least you're thinking about what's really important. :thumbup:
Capitalism is obsolete, yet we keep dancing with its corpse.

When will large scale corporate capitalism and government metamorphose to embrace modern thinking and allow us to live sustainably?
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#6  Postby Mike_L » Jun 27, 2012 1:15 pm

Information Clearing House (http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/)
Tagline: "News you won't find on CNN or FoxNews"

Information Clearing House draws from a range of sources, including Salon (http://www.salon.com/)
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#7  Postby Loren Michael » Jun 27, 2012 3:55 pm

Marginal Revolution.

A generally freer-market oriented econ blog that is persistently interesting, to me at least. Not really a particular focus other than economics. Here's a link of one of the MR bloggers having a conversation with utilitarian philosopher Peter Singer.

The Stiglitz Hypothesis

If you think Sumner-Avent-Yglesias-Soltas thought has taken over the world, Stiglitz shows a blindness to monetary options:

If we want recovery, there is no choice but to rely on fiscal policy.

Not “fiscal policy is better,” but rather “there is no choice.” There is also no explanation.


~~~

Lawyers, Guns & Money

A generally lefty-ish blog that is also persistently interesting, talking about things like labor issues, foreign policy, law school, and film theory.

The CEO Whisterer

I know that making fun of [Thomas] Friedman is shooting fish in a barrel, but this is pretty great.


~~~

The Agitator

A libertarian blog that focuses on the broken justice system in America, with a focus on the militarization of police forces, police violence, bad incentives in the justice system, etc. It's phenomenally depressing.

The Cops Stole Our Bail Money

When the friends and family of people arrested for drug crimes bring in cash to bail someone out, police in Brown County, Wisconsin are turning the cash over to a drug task force, which then brings out a drug dog inspect the bills. When the dog alerts, the cops are then seizing the money for the police department, citing state and federal civil asset forfeiture laws.

So the cops keep the money for themselves, and the suspect remains in a jail cell.


~~~

Matthew Yglesias

One of my favorite bloggers, mostly blogs about business and econ.

Apple Gets Sales of Galaxy Tab Blocked in US

The great thing for the world about the iPad is precisely that it clearly was vulnerable to copying and from day one it seemed like there was a chance that Apple's runaway success would be eroded by copycat Android products. That's why to stay on top of the game Apple's had to release two new, successfully better iterations of the iPad while bringing prices down. Similarly, Apple's MacBook Air products have been imitated by Windows Ultrabooks and now thanks to the power of competition Airs are better than ever and they made the new Retina MacBook Pro. In a free market to succeed you can't just innovate, you have to successively innovate to constantly succeed. The alternative model in which you innovate once and then sue everyone to protect your lead is nice for lawyers, but terrible for consumers and the world.


~~~

EconLog

Probably the most right-wing blog I read.

Tear Down These Walls

Is there some action a government of India could take that would lead the Indian economy to grow like Indonesia's or Egypt's? If so, what, exactly? If not, what is it about the "nature of India" that makes it so? The consequences for human welfare involved in questions like these are simply staggering: Once one starts to think about them, it is hard to think about anything else.

[...]

So I can't point to a particular policy view of mine that has changed. It's more that Bryan Caplan has changed my view of the urgency of immigration reform. It's like the Robert Lucas quote above: Now that I've started thinking about immigration, it's hard to think about anything else, within economic policy, at least. It is pretty clearly the most pro-growth measure the U.S. government could take and the biggest anti-poverty measure.

I've met a lot of fine people in Thailand, mainly young Thais, and I can picture so many of them moving to the United States and tripling their income within a short time by producing the Thai meals and massages that are priced so low here. And, of course, many of those Thais who moved would move to more-professional jobs and would also enrich the Americans they deal with.
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#8  Postby Jakov » Jul 23, 2012 5:54 pm

FACT-MAN-2 wrote:
Yes but that's only the beginning, you've got to have a machine on which to host a site and you have to acquire some kind of software to facilitate a dialogue among your users, and then you have to maintain your setup. Nevertheless, I agree that it's within the financial realm of many, many people and groups or organizations.

The other problem is getting lots of people aware of your site, which is no mean feat.


To arrive at the £20/year figure I took into account having a domain name and renting a server to host it on. The software required to host a website, blog and forum is usually free and open source.

Yes its hard making people aware of your site, but there was the same problem when the printing press got started. They solved it by activists being active and selling papers whenever they could. We can do a similar thing with internet sites (hence this thread)


1. http://realclimate.com/
2. Climate science from climate scientists. A one stop shop for hundreds of articles explained climate change and refuting right-wing myths.
3. Take a look at the index page.
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/ar ... /12/index/



1. http://www.marxist.com/
2. This website posts news and opinion articles from a marxist perspective. It writes in many languages and appears to have people contributing from around the world.
3. http://www.marxist.com/capitalism-versus-science.htm
The most recent and blatant example of private ownership serving as a barrier to advancement can be found in the Ida fossil. Darwinius masillae is a 47 million year old lemur that was recently “discovered”. Anyone and everyone interested in evolution cheered at the unveiling of a transitional species, linking upper primates and lower mammals.

[...]

So what does Ida have to do with capitalism? Well, she was actually unearthed in 1983 and has been held by a private collector ever since. The collector didn’t realize the significance of the fossil (not surprising since he is not a paleontologist) and so it just collected dust for 25 years.
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Re: Post political websites / blogs / information sources here

#9  Postby Loren Michael » Jul 24, 2012 5:02 pm

Jakov wrote:3. http://www.marxist.com/capitalism-versus-science.htm
The most recent and blatant example of private ownership serving as a barrier to advancement can be found in the Ida fossil. Darwinius masillae is a 47 million year old lemur that was recently “discovered”. Anyone and everyone interested in evolution cheered at the unveiling of a transitional species, linking upper primates and lower mammals.

[...]

So what does Ida have to do with capitalism? Well, she was actually unearthed in 1983 and has been held by a private collector ever since. The collector didn’t realize the significance of the fossil (not surprising since he is not a paleontologist) and so it just collected dust for 25 years.


Please tell me that's not the kind of weak crap they're relying on to promote an anti-capitalist agenda. What is the cost to advancement? To peoples well-being?

The biggest and most problematic example of private ownership being a barrier to advancement is the patent system and its abuse. In the areas of medicine and information technology, the problems and costs in this sector are legion. Any given court case involving this issue is the most recent example of the problem of private ownership hindering advancement.

There is no competition between copyright and a fossil.
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