Podcast Show #120- ‘What Do We Mean By “Real Reform” When It Comes to the NSA?’

Boiling Frogs Show Presents Cindy Cohn

On this episode of Boiling Frogs Show we are joined by Cindy Cohn, Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as its General Counsel. We discuss the latest developments on NSA, including the recent court ruling by Judge Richard Leon and the usual wishy-washy posturing by the U.S. Congress. We have a heated debate on the issue of meaningful versus meaningless reforms when it comes to the government, its strategically appointed so-called panels and its history of meaningless theoretical changes and reforms.

Cindy Cohn is the Legal Director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation as well as its General Counsel. Outside the Courts, Ms. Cohn has testified before Congress, been featured in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere for her work on cyberspace issue.

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Podcast Show #118- Sibel Edmonds & Peter B. Collins Unplugged- Big Time!

This week Boiling Frogs Show brings to you an unusual segment. Peter B. and I decided to have a show where we just talk-talking the talk. The day we recorded this show my mood was totally affected by Jeremy Hammond’s speech during his sentencing session. We talked about that. We also discussed my latest commentary on Activism Within the System and what it means, and from there we ventured into the major disinformation campaign brought to you by Democracy Now, the pseudo-alternative fronts, Peter B.’s coverage of the Roger Shuler case, and beyond. Just to let you know, this was a show where I didn’t have to bite my tongue 😉

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Podcast Show #117- “A Deep Throat’s whistleblowing can start the unraveling, but it’s not enough!”

The Boiling Frogs Show Presents Coleen Rowley

Coleen Rowley joins us in a bold discussion on the recent developments involving NSA, congressional impotence, government whistleblowers, and what is really needed to bring about real and meaningful change. She talks about Obama feigning ignorance on his awareness of the extent of the illegal NSA surveillance, and how only moving chairs on the deck of the Titanic would probably suit everyone who was and is a part of the massive and highly profitable Top Secret America spy machine. We discuss Dianne Feinstein’s bill which is designed to codify the existing restrictions the FISA Court has imposed on the NSA, Edward Snowden, US Mainstream Media, how a Deep Throat style whistleblowing can start the unraveling, but not enough on its own, and much more.

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She came to national attention in June 2002, when she testified before Congress about serious lapses before 9/11 that helped account for the failure to prevent the attacks. She now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and on balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

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Mass Protests, the Legend of King Midas & the Golden Touch

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass

By Richard de Bruin

There are many tales and fairy tales about people being granted wishes by various magical creatures. Made in haste or a fit of greed the wishes consequently and almost every time then backfire on the people who made them. What first seems good fortune usually ends up costing them, sometimes dearly. When I did a little search to find a good example, the sheer number of results pretty much bogged me down. It is a very common theme, an old one too. One of the most well-known from antiquity would be the legend of King Midas and the golden touch. Having everything you touch turn to valuable metal may seem like a smart idea, it makes eating or getting dressed rather problematic. Let alone hug your loved ones. Be careful what you wish for lest it come true is a time-honored and universal folk wisdom. [Read more...]

Interview With A Vampire

Let the Inner Fire of Discontent Burn Brightly

By Richard de Bruin

Contrary to what you might have thought this is not an interview with Lloyd Blankfein or Jamie Dimon. Although Blankfein in particular certainly looks the part of some unclean nosferatu, let us not glamorize these banal criminals with alluring lore and myth. When it says 'interview with a dung beetle' or something like that you may assume I have gotten hold of one of them thugs.

No, surprising as it may seem I am actually referring to the movie with Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise. Yes yes, I know, but please bear with me. As a first-time writer I have to start somewhere and for some reason this presented itself to me. It looks as good a starting point as any. [Read more...]

America’s Continuity of Government Plan: The Cronyism of the Revolving Door

Eliminate the Revolving Door & Stop “Deifying” Military

All the media bluster and folly surrounding whistleblower Edward Snowden is detracting from critical thinking that Americans must engage in and act upon. At this moment, benefits from the Snowden data dump  appear to be accruing to the US government and its assorted defense related corporate interests. If the American national security apparatus is to be checked and balanced, structural changes must take place. Substance must be ascendant, form can come later.

The US Constitution and the Bill of Rights have been bypassed by the Cronyism of the Revolving Door. It is an inept practice hardly useful for designing comprehensive national security strategies, policies, operations or tactics (SOCOM stands out though) that protect the American people. [Read more...]

Oh, the Humanity

“From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, “look at that, you son of a bitch.” – Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut

Five years ago, the eminent astrophysicist Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson was asked by a reader of TIME magazine to share what he considered to be his most astounding fact about the universe. In a moving response that would later go ‘viral’ via the magic of YouTube, Dr. Tyson elucidated a simple truth that fittingly, in a world of extremes, casts our species as both centrally important, and vitally insignificant, in the play of life. The most astounding fact, he said, is that the universe is quite literally within us, that the atoms that make up the human body can be traced to the very stars above. There is no need to feel disconnected, he summarized, because just by being alive, we are connected to everything there has ever been, and ever will be.

Perhaps it’s this knowledge that brings to light that for all of humanity’s advances, the way that we organize life on this planet is, at best, woefully inadequate and short-sighted. In a state of affairs almost as comical as it is painful, we have decided to reduce ourselves to participation in an (anything but) cosmic rat race that leaves us ultimately unfulfilled, confused, and disillusioned. Consider how much human potential has been wasted over the course of time. For every Newton or Edison, there are an incalculable many for whom greatness was impossible, simply due to the environment they were born into. Maybe they were oppressed, marginalized, even killed before their time - their names never known, and their stories never told. [Read more...]

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

“The Revolution will be live.” – Gil Scott-Heron

It was the great Irishman Oscar Wilde’s observation that in a universe of infinite possibilities, given the choice to exist or live, most of us would rather opt for the former. Extending this exist/live paradigm further, we could use it to evaluate if we are upholding, or challenging the status quo. Exactly why the status quo needs to be challenged should, by now, be fairly clear: aside from the widening gap between rich and poor, illegal wars, and secret kill lists (need I go on?), the history of our species tells us that those in power have a tendency to slide towards tyranny if their privilege is unchecked. Despite the idiotic and quite frankly, worrying proclamation made recently by the comedian Chris Rock that the President is “our boss…our Father,” the fact remains that in democratic societies, we must never forget that governments work for us, and not the other way around.

While we thankfully have examples of influential men and women past that stood up to social injustice and systems of control, increasingly with narrowing media ownership, our modern day heroes are prevented from even reaching our sphere of consciousness. As regular visitors to this website will be aware, last week saw the Hedges v. Obama NDAA Lawsuit move into its next phase, as both sides presented their arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. However, a Google News search for ‘NDAA lawsuit’ on the day before the hearing revealed that the event received practically no play from the mainstream media, and aside from the copious coverage all over the blogosphere and independent media, it was almost as if nothing was happening at all. All this on the eve of what was to be another key plot point in one of the more important legal cases in modern American history. [Read more...]

A Thousand Mile Journey: Reflections on Being the Alternative

“A thousand mile journey begins with a single step” – Ancient Chinese Proverb

By Guy Evans

journeyIt may be a New Year, but age-old problems and issues still plague our Western societies. While there are many that gravitate to fire-and-brimstone negativity, rejoicing in the idea that a total planetary collapse is imminent and that they may get to observe it, what cannot be denied is the gradual and radical shift in consciousness that is happening all around us.

On a fundamental level, the same struggle has always existed: freedom vs. control.  In this 21st century however, we find ourselves at an extremely important moment in human history. Aided by a revival (at least in terms of visibility) of political activism, the continued scholarly activity regarding the not-so-trustworthiness of the mainstream media, and the impact of the Internet, there are extraordinary opportunities to challenge systems of control in a way that previous generations could only dream of.  We must never lose sight of this – despite the constant wave of depressing headlines and disheartening developments we can clearly see at every level.

Look at the Occupy movement. For all the efforts on the part of the corporate-owned media to dismiss, demonize, and denigrate its message, it succeeded in drastically challenging many of the general public’s previously held assumptions about the capitalist system that they live under. As political scientist Michael Parenti and others have recognized, Occupy turned the tables on the establishment through its dissemination of a formula that was essentially propagandistic in nature (1% vs. 99%), that while overly simplistic, brought to the fore the rapidly rising inequality of the past three decades. This is a huge victory – imagery is powerful, and to borrow from Paulo Freire in his seminal text Pedagogy of the Oppressed, the struggle truly begins with men’s recognition that they have been destroyed. [Read more...]

Empire, Power, and People with Andrew Gavin Marshall- Episode 15

The Road to Revolution

EPPWhat is a Revolution? Is it desirable? How do we get there? Far from the idea of usurping power - whether violently or peacefully - or promoting a single politician to a position of power with the hope of "revolutionizing" society, a true revolution is a coordinated and globally expansive idea of solidarity backed up with creation action: not designed to take or destroy power, but to create a new system entirely, one which would make the present power structures irrelevant. Understanding the institutional nature of our society is important in understanding how power structures mutually reinforce one another. Through this understanding, we can - and must - challenge through critique and creative action, each and every existing power structure by creating people-based alternatives, which themselves mutually reinforce each other. This is not a simple or short-sighted program of revolution, but a long process. Elites think and plan for the long-term, and so should we.

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Jamiol Presents


The Dream Team: Paul-Nader?

Maybe there is hope after all…

Isn’t it good to see a joint focus on macro issues and real diseases? Even better, to see micro differences and lame sideshows put aside for the badly needed greater good? What do ‘you’ think?

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Notes on the Margin-Dec 1

Setting the Record Straight on Satire v. Fiction, A Few Notes on my Opt-Out Support Session at DCA & A Few Words on  Ron Paul Supporters-Activists

My last ‘Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz’ seems to have caused some unexpected reaction. First, it started several e-mails from the media asking whether they could contact my sources on Jefferson-Franklin being placed on the DHS-TSA Watch List, or, whether I’d recorded my interview with John Pistole. I mean serious inquiries people! Next, I was bombarded with hundreds of e-mails from readers asking whether this was a satirical piece or factual, or, expressing outrage over our Founding Fathers being placed on the Terror Watch List. I was truly taken aback. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to sit down and sob!! I even e-mailed a few BFP partners and asked whether I should add an update spelling out the nature of my ‘Boiling Frogs Beltway Buzz’ series; a mixture of hard facts and satirical comments too close to the ugly truths involving the sorry state of our nation’s governance. Finally this: A Personal Appeal from Wikipedia editors and authors: [Read more...]

TGIF Lite Post

Cartoons and Political Activism

Editorial Cartoons, also known as political cartoons, can be powerful and effective in explaining political issues and current events. Cartoons can evoke compassion and ignite outrage. They can promote ideals and act as catalysts to propel action for change through creative use of visual art.
They help shape public opinion (positively and negatively).

A few days ago, after publishing my latest op-ed piece on President Obama’s Changes on Change, I received an e-mail from Paul Jamiol, a great cartoonist who has done some really good work in depicting our nation’s downslide. He sent me the link to his recent cartoon which is related to the op-ed piece I wrote; great job, indeed! Check it out below:

Here is another good one published a while ago during one of my MSM related campaigns:

I encourage you to check out Paul’s website to see his activism expressed so effectively in cartoons – summing up important issues better than 1000 word pieces.

Now here is your turn: What do you think of political cartoons and their role today? Who is/are your favorite cartoonist(s)? Why? Also, if you can, share (provide the link) with all of us your favorite cartoon (only one cartoon, please!) related to the topics we’ve been discussing (MSM, Need for ‘Real Change,’ Campaign lies and ‘pre-selected’ candidates…). If you don’t have one already, you may want to spend a few minutes browsing the Net - it is fun, uplifting, and also highly stimulating-nothing like a well-executed punchy cartoon to get that critical thinking going….