Halloween

October 30, 2013 The War on the Gullible BY Susan J. Douglas Seventy-five years ago, on October 30, 1938, one of the most notorious media events in our history occurred: the instantly infamous CBS “War of the Worlds” broadcast.  In … Continue reading

October 30, 2013

The War on the Gullible

BY Susan J. Douglas

Seventy-five years ago, on October 30, 1938, one of the most notorious media events in our history occurred: the instantly infamous CBS “War of the Worlds” broadcast.  In honor of Halloween, Orson Welles and his colleagues at the Mercury Theatre on the Air staged a radio play version of H.G. Wells’ story, with Martians landing in Grover’s Mill, N.J. and working their way toward New York City, releasing poison gas as they went. By the end of the broadcast, CBS’s switchboard was ablaze, phone lines to police stations were jammed, people around the country were panicking, and people in Newark, N.J. wrapped their faces in wet towels and drove like hell out of town.

Typical headlines were  “Radio Station’s ‘Attack By Mars’ Panics Thousands” and “Many Flee Homes to Escape ‘Gas Raid’ from Mars.” Those who tuned in late and did not hear the opening disclaimer that this was a play were especially prone to being scared. In the first three weeks after the broadcast, newspapers around the country ran more than 12,500 stories about its impact. Researchers estimated, conservatively, that about 6 million people (a small audience then) heard the show, and about a million or so were genuinely frightened.

The major study of the panic, The Invasion From Mars by Hadley Cantril (1940), found that those who examined either the facts of the show—that spaceships from Mars couldn’t possibly arrive in a matter of minutes—or went to external sources, by changing channels or looking up the description of the show in the newspaper, understood the story was fictitious. Those who failed to “fact check” in some manner were more likely to panic, as were those with the least education and those who were highly suggestible. The researchers also found that religiosity was an important factor in people falling for the broadcast; those who had strong, Bible-based beliefs thought this was the apocalypse, an act of God.

While it might be the case that a “War of the Worlds” panic could not happen today, we have been witnessing a slower, more long-term titration of panic through the media, especially Fox News and right-wing radio, often affecting audiences not dissimilar from those described above. Many believe that the Affordable Care Act would mandate “death panels,” that Obama wasn’t born in the United States, that climate change is a hoax, that vaccines cause autism, that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, that abortions cause breast cancer, that you can’t get pregnant from a rape that is “legitimate,” and on and on. Remember, Bush, Cheney et al. convinced about half of Americans that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11.

So before we look back at 1938 with a smug sense of superiority and imagine that people today would never fall for a deliberately staged set of fictions, we need to appreciate that it’s just the delivery that’s different: not a one-shot blast of misinformation and panic, but a steady drip, drip, drip of corrosion much more damaging than anything produced by the Mercury Theatre in 1938.


Google Privacy Policy

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google. We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few […]

We’re getting rid of over 60 different privacy policies across Google and replacing them with one that’s a lot shorter and easier to read. Our new policy covers multiple products and features, reflecting our desire to create one beautifully simple and intuitive experience across Google.
We believe this stuff matters, so please take a few minutes to read our updated Privacy Policy and Terms of Service at http://www.google.com/policies. These changes will take effect on March 1, 2012.
Got questions?
We’ve got answers.
Visit our FAQ at http://www.google.com/policies/faq to read more about the changes. (We figured our users might have a question or twenty-two.)

States Move on Privacy Law

Over two dozen privacy laws have passed this year in more than 10 states, in places as different as Oklahoma and California.
For Internet companies, the patchwork of rules across the country means keeping a close eye on evolving laws to avoid overstepping.

For companies, it helps that state measures are limited in their scope by a federal law that prevents states from interfering with interstate commerce.
Some of the bills extend to surveillance beyond the web. Eight states, for example, have passed laws this year limiting the use of drones, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which has advocated such privacy laws. In Florida, a lawmaker has drafted a bill that would prohibit schools from collecting biometric data to verify who gets free lunches and who gets off at which bus stop. Vermont has limited the use of data collected by license plate readers, which are used mostly by police to record images of license plates.
California, long a pioneer on digital privacy laws, has passed three online privacy bills this year. One gives children the right to erase social media posts, another makes it a misdemeanor to publish identifiable nude pictures online without the subject’s permission, and a third requires companies to tell consumers whether they abide by “do not track” signals on web browsers.
But stiff lobbying efforts were able to stop a so-called right to know bill proposed in California this year that stood to hurt the online industry. The bill would have required any business that “retains a customer’s personal information” to share a copy of that information at the customer’s request, as well as disclose which third parties have received the information. The practice of sharing customer data is central to digital advertising and to the large Internet companies that rely on advertising revenue.
“ ‘Right to know’ is an example of something that’s not workable,” said Jim Halpert, a lawyer with the national firm DLA Piper, who leads an industry coalition that includes Amazon, Facebook and Verizon. “It covers such a broad range of disclosures. We advocated against it.”
According to a survey conducted in July by the Pew Internet Center, most Americans said they believed that existing laws were inadequate to protect their privacy online, and a clear majority reported making great efforts to mask their identities online. Some of those surveyed said they cleared browsing histories, deleted social media posts or used virtual networks to conceal their Internet Protocol addresses — and a few even said they used encryption tools.
Many states have already responded to those opinions. In the last couple of years, about 10 states have passed laws restricting employers from demanding access to their employees’ social media accounts.
California set the stage on digital privacy 10 years ago with a law that required organizations, whether public or private, to inform consumers if their personal data had been breached or stolen. Several states followed, and today, nearly every state has a data breach notification law.

the freedom from religion

Freedom of religion should not be taken as an excuse to infringe on the freedom from religion. Religious freedom and political activity is a fundamental right that is and should be afforded to all members of government and the Armed … Continue reading

Freedom of religion should not be taken as an excuse to infringe on the freedom from religion.

Religious freedom and political activity is a fundamental right that is and should be afforded to all members of government and the Armed Services. The ability to freely practice religious beliefs or privately support their political party or representative they believe best represents their views are foundations of democracy. Yet proselytizing is NOT an appropriate activity for a government official and even less for soldiers exercising their functions.

Freedom of religion does not mean the right to impose one owns beliefs on those that do not hold them.

Sectarian tensions rip apart countries. We, the people, do not need another excuse for conflict, and the role of the Armed Services is to hold the country TOGETHER.


The Kinzua Dam

As long as the moon shall rise as long as the rivers flow As long as the sun will shine as long as the grass shall grow The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation Down on the … Continue reading

As long as the moon shall rise as long as the rivers flow
As long as the sun will shine as long as the grass shall grow
The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation
Down on the New York Pennsylvania Line you’ll find their reservation
After the US revolution cornplanter was a chief
He told the tribe these men they could trust that was his true belief
He went down to Independence Hall and there was a treaty signed
That promised peace with the USA and Indian rights combined
George Washington gave his signature the Government gave its hand
They said that now and forever more that this was Indian land
As long as the moon shall rise…
On the Seneca reservation there is much sadness now
Washington’s treaty has been broken and there is no hope no how
Across the Allegheny River they’re throwing up a dam
It will flood the Indian country a proud day for Uncle Sam
It has broke the ancient treaty with a politician’s grin
It will drown the Indians graveyards cornplanter can you swim
The earth is mother to the the Senecas they’re trampling sacred ground
Change the mint green earth to black mud flats as honor hobbles down
As long as the moon shall rise…
The Iroquios Indians used to rule from Canada way south
But no one fears the Indians now and smiles the liar’s mouth
The Senecas hired an expert to figure another site
But the great good army engineers said that he had no right
Although he showed them another plan and showed them another way
They laughed in his face and said no deal Kinuza dam is here to stay
Congress turned the Indians down brushed off the Indians plea
So the Senecas have renamed the dam they call it Lake Perfidy
As long as the moon shall rise…
Washington Adams and Kennedy now hear their pledges ring
The treaties are safe we’ll keep our word but what is that gurgling
It’s the back water from Perfidy Lake it’s rising all the time
Over the homes and over the fields and over the promises fine
No boats will sail on Lake Perfidy in winter it will fill
In summer it will be a swamp and all the fish will kill
But the Government of the USA has corrected George’s vow
The father of our country must be wrong what’s an Indian anyhow
As long as the moon shall rise (look up) as long as the rivers flow (are you thirsty)
As long as the sun will shine (my brother are you warm) as long as the grass shall grow


Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian is a concept album and twentieth album released by country singer Johnny Cash in 1964 on Columbia Records. It is one of several Americana records by Cash; as its title implies, the tracks on the album focus exclusively on the history of and problems facing Native Americans in the United States. Cash had been convinced that his ancestry included members of the Cherokee tribe, and this partly served as inspiration for recording Bitter Tears, but later on as he began researching his ancestry, he actually had no Cherokee ancestry, but Scottish, English, and Scots-Irish ancestry. Throughout the album, Cash concentrates on the harsh and unfair treatment of the indigenous peoples of North America.

The songs were written in part by Cash himself and in part by Peter La Farge, with the final track credited to Cash and Johnny Horton. The first song, “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow”, concerns the loss of Seneca nation land in Pennsylvania due to the construction of the Kinzua Dam in the early 1960s. Cash rerecorded it decades later and released it on Unearthed with the lyrics altered to describe his relationship with and devotion to June Carter Cash; the track itself was a duet with the latter. The one single from Bitter Tears that was released was “The Ballad of Ira Hayes“, which reached No. 3 on the Country charts; the song tells the story of Ira Hayes, a young Marine of Pima descent who participated in the flag raising on Iwo Jima and became an instant celebrity, only to die drunk and in poverty on the Gila River Reservation where he was born.

The Kinzua Dam, in the Allegheny National Forest in Warren County, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest dams in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

The dam is located 6 miles (10 km) east of Warren, Pennsylvania, along Route 59, within the 500,000-acre (200,000 ha) Allegheny National Forest. A boat marina and beach are located within the dam boundaries. In addition to providing flood control and power generation, the dam created Pennsylvania’s deepest lake, the Allegheny Reservoir, also known as Kinzua Lake.

Authorized by the Flood Control Acts of 1936 and 1938, actual construction on the dam was begun by the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1960 and completed in 1965. The main purpose of the dam is flood control on the Allegheny River. Kinzua controls drainage on a watershed of 2,180 square miles (5,650 km2), an area twice the size of the state of Rhode Island. Side benefits derived from the dam include drought control, hydroelectric power production, and recreation.

Construction of the dam legally condemned 10,000 acres (4,000 ha) of the Allegheny Reservation granted in the Treaty of Canandaigua (signed by President Washington),[6] forcing relocation of 600 Seneca. In 1961, citing the immediate need for flood control, President John F. Kennedy denied a request by the Seneca to halt construction.[7] The Seneca lost a 1964 appeal over the relocation of a four-lane highway through the remaining portion of the reservation.[8]

A Pennsylvania land grant to the Seneca leader Cornplanter was also condemned. His descendants had already moved to Salamanca, New York, near the northern shore of the Allegheny Reservoir.[9]

In 1964, the American country singer Johnny Cash recorded the song “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow” (composed by the Native American folk singer Peter La Farge) about the Senecas’ plight; the Seneca nation’s owned-and-operated radio station, WGWE, plays the song at least once a week in remembrance, as does WPIG, the local country music station. The folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie also mentions the Kinzua Dam in her songs “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone” (recorded in 1964) and “My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying” (recorded in 1966).


Alan Grayson

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is taking heat from Republicans for raising money off an email that associates the tea party with the Ku Klux Klan. On Monday, a Grayson fundraising email sent to supporters features an image of two KKK … Continue reading

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., is taking heat from Republicans for raising money off an email that associates the tea party with the Ku Klux Klan.

On Monday, a Grayson fundraising email sent to supporters features an image of two KKK members in full regalia looking at a flaming cross, which is used as the “T” in tea party. “Now You Know What the ‘T’ Stands For,” reads a title under the image.

Grayson goes on to write that, “At this point, the tea party is no more popular than the Klan.”

In response to a whether he thought the fundraising email went too far, Grayson said in a statement that the tea party has used a host of insensitive and racially charged names and imagery to depict Democrats, including President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. He cited a litany of examples where the “Tea Party” attacked President Obama by citing his race, including the recurring claims that he is a Kenyan and Muslim

“Tea Party members have circulated countless altered pictures depicting President Obama and the First Lady as monkeys. Tea Party members also called my fellow Member of Congress, civil rights hero John Lewis, a ‘n***ger,’ and Rep. Barney Frank a ‘faggot,’” Grayson wrote verbatim in a written statement. He continued, “One could go on and on, because there is overwhelming evidence that the Tea Party is the home of bigotry and discrimination in America today, just as the KKK was for an earlier generation. If the shoe fits, wear it.”

Interestingly, it was the Democrats that resisted the Civil Rights movement in Congress. It was Democrats who resisted JFK’s efforts to pass the Civil Rights Act historic 1964 legislation. Indeed, President Kennedy had to enlist the aid of congressional Republicans for this effort to get off the ground. Democrat obstructionists included former President Bill Clinton’s mentor and ardent segregationist, Arkansas Sen. J. William Fulbright, and a KKK Exalted Cyclops, Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia. Democrats somehow manage to avoid the condemnation that this conduct so richly deserves.

What party in Congress has the only BLACK Senator? That is correct, it is the Republican party and the Senator is from South Carolina where there are many tea party bigots.