Last updated 08/27/10.
The Cato Institute is a “libertarian” quasi-academic think-tank that acts as a mouthpiece for the globalism, corporatism, and neoliberalism of its corporate and conservative funders. There is no significant participation in Cato by its tiny libertarian minority. These libertarians do not fund Cato or affect its goals. Cato is a creature of corporations and foundations.
The major purpose of the Cato Institute is to provide propaganda and soundbites for conservative and libertarian politicians and journalists conveniently free of reference to funders such as tobacco, fossil fuel, investment, media, medical, and other regulated industries.
Cato is one of the most blatant examples of “simulated rationality”, as described in Phil Agre’s The Crisis of Public Reason. Arguments need only be plausibly rational to an uninformed listener. Only a tiny percentage will notice that they are being mislead. That’s all that’s needed to manage public opinion.
The Cato Institute, heavily funded by tobacco companies, hired Levy and Marimont to denounce statistics about smoking related deaths. This article refutes their key arguments, finding them unscientific and inflammatory.
An Institute For Women’s Policy Research rebuttal to Cato Institute proposals and claims about Social Security privatization.
Citizens For Tax Justice lay open the shoddy errors behind this typical example of the claims Cato makes. The Tennessee Senate finance panel also identified a large number of other errors.
Paul Krugman points out that CATO and other conservatives were dead wrong in their predictions for Sweden, and that big welfare states do sometimes work well. From The Unofficial Paul Krugman Archive.
Tom Tomorrow’s “This Modern World” gives credit where it is due.
David Case, executive editor of TomPaine.com, exposes a quotation out of context by CATO in a case of pretend environmental concern.
(PDF) Details the fallacies underlying the CATO Social Security Calculator. Under realistic assumptions, you’d accumulate 1/10th to 1/30th of what CATO estimates. Part of The Social Security Network.
Sierra Magazine’s article detailing the corporate financing of anti-environmental propaganda from thinktanks like Cato.
The CATO Institute is a corporate front that employs Steven Milloy to tarbrush opponents scientific arguments as “Junk Science”. Robert Todd Carroll’s excellent The Skeptic’s Dictionary details Milloy’s unscientific part in this PR campaign.
Categories: Banking, Changing Society, Civil Rights, Community, Family, Government & Politics, Media, Science, Social Change, Society and Culture, Technology, Unemployment Tags: CATO Institute, Critiques of Libertarianism
Yesterday, it was the Counter Culture. Today it’s
********* Tuesday, August 31, 2010 *******
**********More Here @ 3 pm (PST)*****
(This article refers directly to today’s issue of the Los Angeles Free Press. If you have not yet seen it, please, before reading further, click HERE.)
Yesterday, it was the Counter Culture. Today it’s…
all about who’s looking into our life and why, and how we, individually and collectively, have come to say no way, no more.
by Steven M. Finger
Our first day of a new 3-day Series… you thought someone was looking over your shoulder, or invisibly at you right through this computer screen… and you were right. But, on this side, you’re not alone. All across this nation, individuals saddled sadly with those same feelings have had enough, have taken to letting the sunshine in to the dark corners – risk or not to what else it might expose of them, or them to – in order to restore their own privacy and the liberties on which this country was founded.
Today we give but a small, small sample of what has been going on. Tomorrow, more cheerfully, we’ll move to the rising tide of personal protest.
Our point, as usual: if you know it, so do most of us… the ‘counter’ culture is not coming… it IS here. Stop waiting, actively seek out and join the protest, you will find the strength in numbers that you’ve been hoping for… rise up, look Big Brother in the face, and tell him, directly “no way, no more”.
And all of us will be that much happier to you here tomorrow.
Here are the keywords to our thinking today: ACLU, Surveillance Society, Big Brother, Kevin Drum, personal privacy, ATT, Verizon, Art Kunkin, CATO Institute, L.A. Free Press, Los Angeles Free Press, Critiques of Libertarianism, Changing Society, Self-Improvement, Social Change, Society & Culture
Here are links to today’s items:
Categories: Banking, Changing Society, Civil Rights, Community, Government & Politics, Law Enforcement, Social Change, Society and Culture, Technology, Unemployment Tags: ACLU, Art Kunkin, ATT, Big Brother, CATO Institute, Critiques of Libertarianism, L.A. Free Press, Los Angeles Free Press, personal privacy, Self-Improvement, Social Change, Society & Culture, Steven M. Finger, Surveillance Society Changing Society, Verizon
********* What Ties This All Together *******
********* Friday, August 6, 2010 *******
***************Here @ 3 (PST)**********
(If you’re NEW to these postings, this article may make little sense if you’ve not first seen today’s issue of the Los Angeles Free Press.)
Why these items have been brought together in today’s issue of the Los Angeles Free Press
by Steven M. Finger
(Be SURE to see tomorrow’s issue – we will be featuring the original pages from the Los Angeles Free Press circa 1971! This is Daniel Ellsberg’s personal story on why he assembled and distributed the Pentagon Papers. It was released to the ‘underground’ press and, so, our archived issues from 1971 provide this unique perspective of this important time in history.
Among these pages, you will also see (on Page 3) what Arthur Kunkin, the Founder and original Publisher of the Los Angeles Free Press said, at that time, about Mr. Ellsberg’s article. Enjoy! (After 1 (PST) 8/9, you may click HERE to go right there.))
In late 1969, Daniel Ellsberg, a former United States military analyst, secretly made several sets of photocopies of the classified documents he had access to a top-secret Pentagon study of US government decision-making about the Vietnam War; these later became known as the Pentagon Papers.
An editor of the New York Times wrote much later that these documents “demonstrated, among other things, that the Johnson Administration had systematically lied, not only to the public but also to Congress, about a subject of transcendent national interest and significance”. They revealed that the government had knowledge, early on, that the war would not likely be won, and that continuing the war would lead to many times more casualties than was ever admitted publicly. Further, the papers showed a deep cynicism towards the public and a disregard for safety of soldiers and civilians.
Throughout 1970, Ellsberg secretly met with a few U.S. Senators with the hope that would release the documents publicly. In fact, he had suggested the Senate floor – it was a means for a Senator to avoid prosecution and, of course, entering it the Congressional Record along with all the attendant publicity.
He also shared the documents with a New York Times correspondent who broke his promise of confidentiality and released them.
On June 13, 1971, the Times published the first excerpts from the the 7,000 page collection. And, promptly, for 15 days, they were prevented from publishing anything further from the articles per court order s requested by the Nixon administration. Meanwhile, Ellsberg also provided the documents to 18 other newspapers.
By Sunday, we’ll have here what we printed back in those days.
Will look forward to all your comments via your distributor or at my personal email, and the discussion that will ensue!
Keywords for today’s thoughts: Military Secrets, Noah Shachtman, Secrecy, Secrecy and Surveillance, Spies, Surveillance, WikiLeaks, drone pilots, drones, Nathan Hodge, Pakistan, war, War crimes, Daniel Ellsberg, Los Angeles Free Press Archives, the Pentagon Papers, New York Times.
Links to the articles in today’s issue of the Los Angeles Free Press:
Categories: Changing Society, Government & Politics, Military, Social Change, Society and Culture, Technology Tags: Daniel Ellsberg, drone pilots, drones, John Salisbury-Baker, Kim Sengupta, Los Angeles Free Press Archives, Military Secrets, Nathan Hodge, New York Times., Noah Shachtman, Pakistan, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell, Secrecy, Secrecy and Surveillance, Spies, Steven M. Finger, Surveillance, the Pentagon Papers, war, War crimes, WikiLeaks
The Ministry of Truth
The excuses being given for the increasing government intervention into the internet are essentially two: first, that the anonymity of the internet has permitted criminal behavior, fraud, pornography, and libel. Second is the security argument, that managing the internet is an integral part of the “global war on terror” in that it is used by terrorists to plan their attacks requiring governments to control those who use it. The United States government takes the latter argument one step farther, claiming that the internet itself is a vulnerable “natural asset” that could be seized or damaged by terrorists and must be protected, making the case for a massive $100 billion program of cyberwarfare. Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) argues that “violent Islamist extremists” rely on the internet to communicate and recruit and he has introduced a bill in the Senate that will empower the president to “kill” the internet in case of a national emergency.
But all of the arguments for intervention are essentially themselves fraudulent and are in reality being exploited by those who favor big government and state control.
Written by enigmax
An anti-piracy group has revealed that when it comes to shutting down torrent sites, it is the undisputed king of the Internet. BREIN, which works on behalf of the Hollywood movie studios, says that not only has it shut down several Usenet indexers and streaming sites already in 2010, but hundreds of torrent sites too. There is torrent site carnage going on in The Netherlands and we’ve failed to report on any of it.
When it comes to reporting on BitTorrent-related news and issues, we try our very best to cover every angle here at TorrentFreak. Admittedly we can’t cover everything and sometimes it’s hard to constantly turn out positive articles which fill our readers with optimism that the Internet isn’t about to taken over by evil corporate entities hell bent on web-wide file-sharing destruction.
Today, however, we have a big apology to make. We’ve let you all down and we’ve let ourselves down too by completely missing one of the biggest developing stories the BitTorrent world has ever known. We’ve totally neglected to cover what can only be described as a wholesale slaughter of file-sharing venues in The Netherlands, and for this we wholeheartedly apologize.
Dutch anti-piracy group BREIN, who have previously given Mininova, The Pirate Bay, Demonoid and What.cd a hard time in varying degrees, have been busy. And when we say busy, we aren’t messing around. During the last few months it’s up for debate whether the group’s staff have had time to sleep. If they’ve even stopped to eat it would be, frankly, somewhat of a surprise.
According to BREIN, which works mainly on behalf of the Hollywood studios but has branched out to work for other rightsholders in recent times, during the first half of 2010 it shut down a staggering 422 “illegal websites”.
While the whole world was focused on the U.S. Government taking down less than 10 sites this year but making a huge song and dance about it, BREIN was quietly showing them how it’s really done.
In addition to 5 Usenet indexers, 6 streaming sites, an FTP server, and 29 sites linking to material on one-click hosters, this most prolific and apparently effective of anti-piracy groups took down 384 torrent sites in the last 6 months. That’s more than 2 torrent sites culled every day this year and we’ve failed to report on just about every one of them.
In an attempt to fill this gap, TorrentFreak contacted BREIN boss Tim Kuik for information but we didn’t do very well at all. We were told that they aren’t releasing the URLs of the sites since they only detail those that they take to court and naming them would only give them increased traction and popularity.
We also tried to find out their names through our own network but yet again we failed miserably. For this we apologize. A bloodbath going on under our noses, in our own community, we didn’t even notice and we still can’t give you details since it appears all the corpses have been buried in unmarked graves surrounded by a wall of silence.
The worst part is that this failing on our part is nothing new. All the signs were there a few months ago that BREIN was capable of carrying out yet another massacre in 2010, just as they did last year.
In 2009, BREIN said it shut down 35 eD2K servers, 38 streaming video sites and 14 Usenet portals/NZB sites. It also took responsibility for the destruction of an unprecedented 393 BitTorrent sites. We didn’t notice, but strangely neither did anyone else.
So what were we able to find out about the closures?
“The take down most often takes place through the hosting provider,” Kuik told TorrentFreak. “We also obtain identity details from the hosting providers but these sites tend to register under a false name. If the site changes to another hosting provider, we will contact that provider. In case all else fails we will go for blocking of the site by access providers. Currently there is court case pending about that.”
If BREIN is allowed to continue this rampage there won’t be any torrent sites left by 2012 and we’ll be left with literally nothing to report on. TorrentFreak will die, but really we only have ourselves to blame. Nearly 800 torrent sites gone already and not a whisper from us? A shameful performance. We’ll try to improve, for all our sakes.