SkeptiSys

July 29, 2009

Freedom of the press? Censorship of Rorschach’s tests.

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , , — skeptisys @ 10:08 am

In America, the large corporate entities that govern the country have found another bizarre step in their attempt to completely control speech on the Internet: censorship of non-copyrighted material.  Seriously.

From today’s New York Times: an article about the availability of Rorschach tests on Wikipedia in which they liken the posting of the Rorschach tests to cheating and immorality.  The article is so slanted, it has to be read carefully to determine if it was penned by The Onion.

Please read the article for yourself, and look carefully for the answer to two major questions:

1.  Why are people able to publish the Rorshach tests in books freely, but not on the Internet?

2. Why should any group (psychologists in this instance) have more access to free available information than the rest of the public?

I couldn’t find the answers in the article.

Disclaimer: I have participated in the administration and analysis of psychological tests in my business capacity (we paid for all tests in full), and come from a family of Psychologists.

I see Marlon Brando being attacked by a pig.  Is that normal, doc?

I see Marlon Brando being attacked by a pig. Is that normal, doc?

Others see Thelonious Monk (Mad times).

May 26, 2009

Sotomenor – followup to Judge Sotomayor’s nomination

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , — skeptisys @ 10:24 am

When Judge Sonia Sotomayor was first mentioned as a potential candidate to the Supreme Court, I wrote my concerns here.  That article dealt with one manner in which PR firms for large governmental corporations manage to motivate the opposition to  support their corporate candidate.  Today, I would like to revisit that topic, mainly due to Glenn Greenwald’s just published article. It appears that Glenn Greenwald has fallen into their clever trap.

Although I disagree with Glenn in this one instance, I mean no disrespect towards him:

1. Glenn Greenwald is one of the best journalists in existence.  I read his work every chance I get, including his excellent books.  To paraphrase what someone once said of Noam Chomsky in The Nation, “not to have read Glenn Greenwald is to court genuine ignorance.”

2. The public relations industry has spent decades and trillions of dollars to influence public opinion and behavior.  Not one individual can claim they have not subconsciously been affected by such a large influence, except perhaps a deaf dumb and mute African tribesman.  Not me, not you, and not even Glenn Greenwald – whose endurance in this area is remarkable.

Today, the New York Times announced that President Obama will officially nominate Sotomayor for U.S. Supreme Court.  Sotomayor, originally appointed by former radical CIA director George Bush Sr, has made the following decisions (from ScotusBlog, linked to in Glenn’s current article.)

Privacy rights:  Sotomayor is against individual privacy rights.  From the article: “workplace conditions can be such that an employee’s expectation of privacy…is diminished.”  Here, she explained, the search was permissible because it could have revealed employee misconduct.

Sotomayor, however, is very compassionate towards governmental privacy: “In two cases involving requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), Sotomayor wrote an opinion that declined to order the release of the requested information, explaining that she did not want to “unreasonably hamper agencies in their decision-making.”

Public health vs. corporate profits.  Sotomayor prefers profits, apparently.  She ruled against the EPA in its fight to enforce the Clean Water Act against power plants.  “Sotomayor wrote and opinion holding that the EPA was not permitted to engage in a cost-benefit analysis to determine “best technology available”; instead, it could consider cost only to determine “what technology can be ‘reasonably borne’ by the industry” and whether the proposed technology was “cost-effective”

Quotes from ScousBlog.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor is a sympathetic character, a minority female who is intelligent and inappropriately attacked by wacky republicans.  Instinctively, I want to side with her.  But I also want clean water and air, and I want an open government by and for the people.   I cannot support a dangerous corporate stooge.  We have enough of those already in the U.S. Supreme Court.

cover me with clean water blanket

cover me with clean water blanket

ChristyChurch pic.

May 8, 2009

Supreme Court getting a new Souter?

Filed under: law, News, politics — Tags: , , , , , — skeptisys @ 11:57 am
Corporate Supreme Court sucks up all our rights

Corporate Supreme Court sucks up all our rights

United States Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter has announced he will be leaving his position in June, providing President Obama with the opportunity to replace the Republican chosen Justice with someone more socially aware.

Justice Souter was appointed by Republican President George H. W. Bush to represent big business in the Supreme Court.  Souter did not let Bush down, consistently voting for big business over society whenever possible, to the extent that business publications openly admit the Court was sided 6-3 or 7-2 in favor of big business (Justice Kennedy being the swing vote, see this Forbes article for an example).    Per that same Forbes article,”…William Eskridge, a professor at Yale Law School and a prominent scholar on Supreme Court dynamics said: “Many of the business cases were 6-3 or 7-2 [decisions] and that isn’t likely to change.”

Probably the most extreme example (but not the only one) of Souter’s fixation on putting large corporate profits over people’s rights was his lead opinion in 2008 to drastically reduce the fine paid by Exxon for their negligent and destructive oil spill (Exxon Valdez).  Souter’s twisted ruling came as Exxon was pulling down record profits, thanks to so many Americans willing to die and kill for oil profits.

In order to ensure another pro-business candidate replaces Justice Souter, a well financed PR campaign has begun.  One slimy psychological tactic  used is: to ‘announce’ a likely candidate who is favorable to corporate profits, in this case Justice Sonia Sotomayor a Bush I appointee.  Then, to build opposition support for their own candidate, release media ‘attacks’ based on bigotry.  In this case, many articles were placed attacking Sotomayor for being a Hispanic woman.  These articles cause the expected instinctive reaction from people who hate bigotry to support Sotomayor, a candidate against their own interest.  Now many people are supporting Sotomayor, unfortunately without any idea they are being manipulated by well financed PR campaigns.

The candidacy of President Obama is a perfect example of this tactic. Large corporate funding supported his candidacy for president.

Step 1: finance a Black and a female candidate for President who are both strong supporters of Big Business.  Both Clinton and Obama have been in favor of increases in military budget, banking financing, etc.  Obama has continued to push money to big business since his election.

Step 2: Use ownership of newspapers, TV, and radio media to attack candidates based on sex or race.  Never mention the candidates support of controlling corporate financing.

Step 3: Watch people get upset by attacks and become defensive, as planned.  Continue attacks to spur their enthusiasm for your candidate.

Step 4: People enthusiastically vote for sympathetic character, who happens to be against their values.

Step 5: Profit!

Obama’s pro-big business actions since his election reinforces an important ideal: it is more beneficial to elect someone whose policies will help Black people than someone who is Black themselves.  I’d rather we had Ralph Nader, who has fought for woman’s rights, than a woman who ignores those rights, like Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin.  Please, let’s not get fooled again.

meet the new spokesmodel, same as the old spokesmodel

meet the new spokesmodel, same as the old spokesmodel

Comic from Down with Tyranny.  Bush/Obama mask from Spidered News.

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