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Monthly Archive: March 2008

Mar 31 2008

The propaganda machine-7: The rise of think tanks

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) As I said in the previous post, a key development in the growth of the propaganda machine over the last three decades has been the growth in the number of so-called ‘think tanks’. So what exactly is a ‘think tank’ and what does it do? If you …

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Mar 28 2008

The propaganda machine-6: The Powell memo and its aftermath

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Lewis Powell’s confidential 1971 memo to the US Chamber of Commerce laid out the framework that was largely followed by the business community in the subsequent decades. In it he admits quite frankly that the media and academia are already owned or controlled by big business interests …

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Mar 27 2008

The propaganda machine-5: The Fairness Doctrine and the Powell memo

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) Three factors discussed so far in the creation of the propaganda machine are the rise of 24/7 cable news networks, nationwide talk radio enabled by satellite communications and toll-free numbers, and the relaxation of media ownership rules that resulted in the concentration of ownership. The fourth factor …

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Mar 26 2008

Capitalist Christianity and prophetic Christianity

(For the two previous posts in this series, see here and here.) The manufactured outrage over Barack Obama’s former pastor Jeremiah Wright’s comments shows the extent to which capitalist Christianity has taken over in America. In this version, Christianity is presented as some kind of self-help program, a lifestyle choice, that is designed to make …

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Mar 25 2008

The myth of Essential Goodness

One of the things that would amuse me if it did not have such serious consequences is that white people in America are always shocked, just shocked, when they get even a glimpse of the anger and resentment that exists among many black people about they way they have been treated and still continue to …

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Mar 24 2008

Barack Obama’s speech on race

As readers of this blog know, I have not been an enthusiastic supporter of Barack Obama, voting for him in the Ohio primary as the default choice since the alternative of Hillary Clinton is much worse in comparison, and John McCain is truly awful. But I was really impressed by the speech he gave last …

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Mar 21 2008

The propaganda machine-4: Major developments in its creation

(For previous posts in this series, see here.) The third tier pundits are a byproduct of five significant developments in media ownership and control. The first is the rise of 24/7 cable news networks that has created a voracious demand for people to fill all that airtime. There is just not enough real news to …

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Mar 20 2008

Two somber anniversaries

Yesterday, March 19, 2008 saw the fifth anniversary of the tragic invasion of Iraq by the US, a deliberate act of aggression against a country that had posed no threat whatsoever to it, an action that is going to have serious negative consequences for US power an influence in the world, both militarily and economically. …

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Mar 19 2008

Ignoring the elephants

Presidential elections involve two distinct phases. In the first phase, the Villagers drive out of the race anyone who might even remotely threaten the power and privileges of the pro-business/pro-war single party oligarchy that runs the country. Once that is achieved, then the Villagers create major controversies over personal and social issues, so that the …

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Mar 18 2008

Yet another federal bailout for the rich

Last Tuesday, the Federal Reserve Board said that it would guarantee up to $300 billion worth of the highly devalued assets held by those banks that had been speculating in the subprime real estate market, thus enabling those banks to borrow money because of the federal guarantee. Nobody else would accept the subprime mortgage portfolios …

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