Top Leaderboard, Site wide
Shop the Truthdig Gift Guide 2014
December 18, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


What Is Chuck Schumer Up To?
New York State Bans Fracking






Truthdig Bazaar
Time of Useful Consciousness

Time of Useful Consciousness

By Lawrence Ferlinghetti
$22.95

more items

 
Report

‘Electronic Brownshirts’

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on May 18, 2011
Davide Restivo (CC-BY-SA)

By Amy Goodman

Judy Ancel, a Kansas City, Mo., professor, and her St. Louis colleague were teaching a labor history class together this spring semester. Little did they know, video recordings of the class were making their way into the thriving sub rosa world of right-wing attack video editing, twisting their words in a way that resulted in the loss of one of the professors’ jobs amidst a wave of intimidation and death threats. Fortunately, reason and solid facts prevailed, and the videos ultimately were exposed for what they were: fraudulent, deceptive, sloppily edited hit pieces.

Right-wing media personality Andrew Breitbart is the forceful advocate of the slew of deceptively edited videos that target and smear progressive individuals and institutions. He promoted the videos that purported to catch employees of the community organization ACORN assisting a couple in setting up a prostitution ring. He showcased the edited video of Shirley Sherrod, an African-American employee of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which completely convoluted her speech, making her appear to admit to discriminating against a white farmer. She was fired as a result of the cooked-up controversy. Similar video attacks have been waged against Planned Parenthood.

Ancel has been the director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Institute for Labor Studies since 1988. Using a live video link, she co-teaches a course on the history of the labor movement with professor Don Giljum, who teaches at University of Missouri-St. Louis. The course comprises seven daylong, interactive sessions throughout the semester. They are video-recorded and made available through a password-protected system to students registered in the class. One of those students, Philip Christofanelli, copied the videos, and he admits on one of Breitbart’s sites that he did “give them out in their entirety to a number of my friends.” At some point, a series of highly and very deceptively edited renditions of the classes appeared on Breitbart’s website. It was then that Ancel’s and Giljum’s lives were disrupted, and the death threats started.

A post on Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com summarized the video: “The professors not only advocate the occasional need for violence and industrial sabotage, they outline specific tactics that can be used.” Ancel told me, “I was just appalled, because I knew it was me speaking, but it wasn’t saying what I had said in class.” She related the attack against her and Giljum to the broader attack on progressive institutions currently:

“These kinds of attacks are the equivalent of electronic brownshirts. They create so much fear, and they are so directed against anything that is progressive—the right to an education, the rights of unions, the rights of working people—I see, are all part of an overall attack to silence the majority of people and create the kind of climate of fear that allows for us to move very, very sharply to the right. And it’s very frightening.”

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
Ancel’s contact information was included in the attack video, as was Giljum’s. She received a flurry of threatening emails. Giljum received at least two death threats over the phone. The University of Missouri conducted an investigation into the charges prompted by the videos, during which time they posted uniformed and plainclothes police in the classrooms. Giljum is an adjunct professor, with a full-time job working as the business manager for Operating Engineers Local 148, a union in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the union acceded to pressure from the Missouri AFL-CIO, and asked Giljum to resign, just days before his May 1 retirement after working there for 27 years.

Gail Hackett, provost of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, released a statement after the investigation, clearing the two professors of any wrongdoing:

“It is clear that edited videos posted on the Internet depict statements from the instructors in an inaccurate and distorted manner by taking their statements out of context and reordering the sequence in which those statements were actually made so as to change their meaning.”

The University of Missouri-St. Louis also weighed in with similar findings and stated that Giljum was still eligible to teach there.

On April 18, Andrew Breitbart appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, declaring, “We are going to take on education next, go after the teachers and the union organizers.” It looks as if Ancel and Giljum were the first targets of that attack.

In this case, the attack failed. While ACORN was ultimately vindicated by a congressional investigation, the attack took its toll, and the organization lost its funding and collapsed. President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized to Shirley Sherrod, and Vilsack begged her to return to work. Sherrod has a book coming out and a lawsuit pending against Breitbart.

Let’s hope this is a sign that deception, intimidation and the influence of the right-wing echo chamber are on the decline.
 
Denis Moynihan contributed research to this column.

Amy Goodman is the host of “Democracy Now!,” a daily international TV/radio news hour airing on more than 900 stations in North America. She is the author of “Breaking the Sound Barrier,” recently released in paperback and now a New York Times best-seller.

© 2011 Amy Goodman

Distributed by King Features Syndicate


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 24, 2011 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 22 at 9:51 pm,

And your answer is…(drum roll).........the Democrats
are Lite Right, NOT Left—those who represent the
best interest of the populace are the Left, and as
far as I can tell the Left is unrepresented.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 22, 2011 at 9:51 pm Link to this comment

First of all, we ought to be able to compare the original videos with the product given by Breitbart.  Such a comparison emerged in the case of Ms. Sherrod, where it was quite obvious that selective editing had been applied to make her seem to say about the opposite of what she did say.  Is such a comparison available in this case?

Placing ‘secret agents’ or spies in classrooms is not a new thing, by the way.  I used to know a teacher (who claimed to be a socialist) who got quite a bit of mileage out of baiting them.  I’m not sure that sort of thing rises to the level of outright fascism.  As I said before, the thing that worries me most about this story is the pusillanimity of the supposed ‘Left’ in hanging out their own people to twist in the wind, just as they did in the case of Sherrod and ACORN.  Read about Von Papen and see where that sort of thing leads, speaking of fascism.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

I’m not asking that you, OzarkMichael supply rationality for
me or anyone else, including the mouse that you apparently have in
your pocket.

What I do expect from “YOU” is an x=x unity of
balance based upon objective patterns of perception
, rather
than sophism and subjective imaginings; and, in this respect, you
are incapable of performing according to this standard.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 22, 2011 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 22 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

What I stated, ITW, is correct; you should know it.

YOU present sophist ideology and pedantic parsing as your method of dialogue and certainty, and I am here to tell you that without a “unity of balance”, dialectic, based upon gestalt perception, rather than pedantic parsing of the patterns of perception, you will not achieve understanding of anything, and if you are a sophist, you
will stick with sophist ideology and pedantic parsing even though you know the difference in order to present a false sense of advantage to those who you wish to take advantage of.

************

Gee, Martha, is there an undefined label you missed????

Sophist
Ideology
Pedantic
Parsing
Unity of Balance
Dialectic
Gestalt

Do you actually KNOW what any of these terms mean, or is is just pedantic sophist bullshit, as an ideology based on the dialectic laid out by Marx and Engels?

Are capable of parsing out the components of logic or do you just toss around the bullshit of “Unity of Balance” (which only means something to someone who has NO idea that the term itself is a redundant oxymoron)?

And there’s “gestalt perception”.  This is one of the biggest bullshit ideas ever developed, by, naturally, psychologists, who can’t even seem to actually define it themselves beyond a “unity of self”, whatever the fuck that means.

This kind of garbage is what posters regularly throw at me when I’ve nailed their bullshit, flawed logic to the wall.  I may not agree with OM on much, but at least the man has a CLUE about what “Presumption of Innocence” means and what, in our legal system is the ideal as differentiated from the reality.

There may be no “balance of unity” between the two but there certainly is a dialectic.  Parse THAT!!!!

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 22, 2011 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

Nevermind the concept of a trial, or a contest, between us. The question is a matter within each person to decide.

The question is, “did the outing of the Missouri class on Labor show fascism in action?”

That accusation is very important. But all the ‘evidence’ is circumstantial, mere opinion, and pure emotion. Even if I wasnt here to point that out, you ought to have noticed that yourself.

Thats right. It isnt up to me to defend anything. Its your world view. Its your inner process. Its your judgement. It is foolish for me to try to supply rationality for you. Especially if you already let precious Amy Goodman and her little hit piece tell you what to decide about it.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 22, 2011 at 7:02 pm Link to this comment

I used to be on a mailing list where each participant was limited to three posts per day.  Just sayin.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

What I stated, ITW, is correct; you should know it.

YOU present sophist ideology and pedantic parsing as your method
of dialogue and certainty, and I am here to tell you that without a
“unity of balance”, dialectic, based upon gestalt perception,
rather than pedantic parsing of the patterns of perception, you will
not achieve understanding of anything, and if you are a sophist, you
will stick with sophist ideology and pedantic parsing even though you
know the difference in order to present a false sense of advantage
to those who you wish to take advantage of.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 22, 2011 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

I read in the news that the Fluffy Red Tailed Rat was sighted after having been thought extinct for one hundred and nineteen years. This is good news for the rat but also because I have been worried about the alleged extinction of the dodo, which reportedly has been sighted here on TD.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 22, 2011 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

MarthA
You describe a travesty of justice and you know it.  There are bad judges and there are good ones.

But since you have a reading comprehension problem, I’ll reiterate: “IDEAL” Do you not understand the word?

Luckily I haven’t been further than a traffic court (as a defendant) nor has a member of my family. But I’ve been in court as a witness and even as the victim of assault.  Frankly, I’ve not seen judges acting appropriately in all the times I’ve been there.

If you speak to prosecutors or DEFENSE ATTORNEYS you’ll learn that 90 to 95% of all people charged and brought before a judge are, actually guilty. Sad, but true. 

Yet when you say one has to prove his/her innocence, had you QUALIFIED that by saying “Though the law is clear that you are innocent until proven guilty, in fact and practice, the opposite is true” I would be forced to agree with you, completely.

But you didn’t say that. You clearly stated that the law requires you to prove your innocence and that is NOT correct.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

With regard to dialectic, OzarkMichael here is a tutorial on
dialectic:

****************Dialectic 101**********

Dialectic is a function of a causal relationship expressing the
beginning, the end, and all points in between, cause and
effect, x=x
.

To establish dialectic, a beginning is established, an end is
established, and all points in between are established.

With regard to simple forms of the use of dialectic for simple minds,
the Arabic Numbering System, 1 through 10, is a simple
form of dialectic where 0 is the beginning and 10 is the end,
together with all points in between and combinations thereof, for
example; 0=0, 1=1, 2=1+1, 3=2+1, 4=2+2, 5=3+2, 6=3+3,
7=5+2,  8=4+4, 9=5+4, 10=10 and etc.

Also, the English Lettering System, A through Z, is used in
the same way; in the Alphabet A is the beginning and Z is the end
and B through Y are all points in between A and Z; examples are
DOG=D+O+G, CAT=C+A+T, RUN DOG RUN = (R+U+N)+(D+O+G)+
(R+U+N), and so on and so forth.

[Paragraph edited by Truthdig Web Master:  To establish more
complex dialectic based upon language, the process is————-
——-, -————-,————,——-,—-————- -————————————-—-
————-—-—-—-—————————-————-————.]

[The blank lines in above paragraph represents the part of the
above paragraph that was edited out of this post by the Truthdig
Web Master; for this part of my post that the Truthdig Web Master
will not allow me to post, the full unedited content can only be
obtained by contacting the Truthdig Web Master and asking that I
be allowed to make my post unedited by the Web Master.]

The most horrific and memorable example of this process that I
know of is that which Hitler applied to the Jews in Mein Kampf to
accuse, condemn, denounce, and kill the Jews as related in Mein
Kampf, and as duplicated by the Conservative Right-Wing
EXTREMIST Republicans
from the time of Nixon to the present
to accuse, condemn, denounce, and put the Left and Liberals in
the cross hairs.

To feign a lack of understanding of this process, which has been
used as a weapon against the Left and Liberals for over 50 years
is shamfully disingenuous and those of the Right who have been a
party to its use are all too familiar with the process and should be
ashamed of themselves, but they are not.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

Most people that are Fascists are ashamed and do not want to be
perceived as Fascists, because in their hearts they know that it is
shameful to be a Fascist.

Fascism is the use of corporate control to subvert God’s Will
to that of the Will of the Corporation; if that isn’t shameful,
then you would have to have a sociopathic perception of shame to
not see subversion of God’s Will to that of a Corporation as not
being shameful.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind, May 22 at 12:41 pm,

Apparently you have never been on trial or had anybody in your
family on trial, otherwise the sophist ideology of “innocent until
proven guilty” would be more than ideological certainty, without
an attorney intent on proving your innocence, everyone goes to
jail, which would not be the case if the sophism of ideological
certainty prevailed. 

Get yourself involved in a court case and don’t be bothered about
proving your innocence and then tell me about the results of your
sophist ideological certainty.

As I once heard a Judge tell a young man numerous times before
she pronounced him “guilty”, “How old are you?”  “No, really, how
old did you say you are?” and asked him over and over again
these same questions over the course of the trial, “How old did
you say you are?”

I ask you the same question as that Judge asked the young man
that day in court, “How old are you?  No, really, how old are you?”

This question by the Judge was meant to let the young man know
that he was as unaware as a preschooler, and you are acting the
same way as the young man did in that court, so again I ask you,
“How old are you?”

BTW, The young man could not prove his innocence and as a result
on the basis of the evidence, as I previously said, he was judged
to be guilty.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 4:21 pm Link to this comment

With regard to your FALSE CLAIMS, OzarkMichael, exactly
who are the Right-Wing Judges, Attorneys General, and
Prosecuting Attorneys (DA’s) in the nation that have adopted the
perspective that they cannot charge an offender unless they first
provide proof of guilt?  Inquiring minds want to know.

The purpose of a trial is the presentation of evidence on both
sides; the prosecutor presents evidence to charge and
the accused presents evidence to refute the charge.

As I understand the situation, Amy Goodman has presented
evidence of the charge, and the Right-Wing ilk charged cannot
produce evidence to refute the charges reported by Amy Goodman
so, as usual, the Right-Wing ilk is whining their age old whine of
‘do as I say not as I do.’

“One of those students, Philip Christofanelli, copied
the videos, and he admits on one of Breitbart’s sites that
he did “give them out in their entirety to a number of my
friends.” At some point, a series of highly and very deceptively
edited renditions of the classes appeared on Breitbart’s website.
It was then that Ancel’s and Giljum’s lives were disrupted, and the
death threats started.”
Amy Goodman reporting news

Because ....

”“The professors not only advocate the occasional need for
violence and industrial sabotage, they outline specific tactics that
can be used.””
—Andrew Breitbart’s Blog,
BigGovernment.com

”“These kinds of attacks are the equivalent of electronic
brownshirts. They create so much fear, and they are so directed
against anything that is progressive—the right to an education,
the rights of unions, the rights of working people—I see, are all
part of an overall attack to silence the majority of people and
create the kind of climate of fear that allows for us to move very,
very sharply to the right. And it’s very frightening.””

Professor Judy Ancel, University of Missouri, Institute for Labor
Studies, Kansas City, MO

”“I was just appalled, because I knew it was me speaking, but
it wasn’t saying what I had said in class.” “
—Professor
Judy Ancel, University of Missouri, Institute for Labor Studies,
Kansas City, MO

”“It is clear that edited videos posted on the Internet depict
statements from the instructors in an inaccurate and distorted
manner by taking their statements out of context and reordering
the sequence in which those statements were actually made so as
to change their meaning.”
—Gail Hackett, Provost of the
University of Missouri, Kansas City, Statement released after
Investigation Clearing Professor Judy Ancel and Professor Don
Giljum of any wrongdoing at the Institute for Labor Studies

Good journalistic reporting by Amy Goodman.

You people should be ashamed of yourselves for your behavior,
but like the maggots that you are, you revel in and wallow with
delight in the stench and filth of your own bad behavior.

What I am talking about here is a sublated “unity of balance,”
dialectic that applies equally to both the Left and the Right, x=x.

What YOU are talking about is sophist propaganda that has no
logical balance of sublated unity and if you can logically prove
otherwise, I await your proof, although I know that you will
provide nothing objectively substansive, just more of the same
subjective sophism and propaganda that you always spew.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 22, 2011 at 3:19 pm Link to this comment

Being a fascist is not a crime, and idle discussions on Truthdig are not a court of law. Thus, if one wants to characterize someone as a fascist here, the preponderance of the evidence will do—assuming one has a rational, coherent definition of the word ‘fascist’ to work with, of course, such as that given by Mussolini.  Or one can blather: ‘Fascistfascistfascist’ makes a nice hissing sound…. lots of sibilants.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 22, 2011 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment

Hate to tell you this Martha, but OM’s got you on this one. You clearly don’t understand a fundamental axiom of American and before it, British Law.

There is NO obligation on the part of the accused to “prove” innocence.  That’s because it’s not possible to prove a negative.  It is up to the prosecution to prove guilt beyond a REASONABLE doubt.  The defense isn’t obligated to do anything. 

That’s because the IDEAL is that the prosecution is interested in TRUTH and the defense is interested in mounting the best defense possible.  Therefore, exculpatory evidence should be, from the prosecutor’s POV, that which prevents a miscarriage of justice.  Too many, unfortunately, believe in defending a conviction beyond all reason when it is clear that the case against the accused in unsupportable.

The defense can’t prove the defendant didn’t do it.  But the defense CAN prove the defendant couldn’t have done it the way the prosecution claims and that is, by definition, a reasonable doubt.

But proving innocence?  That’s the kind of crap that Bush&co; claimed when going for the Military Tribunals commission rather than trying the Guantanamo detainees in a proper court of law.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 22, 2011 at 11:25 am Link to this comment

Martha/Thomas said: “The court system requires that the accused prove their innocence,

This is true when the morality of a court system draws its inspiration from the far Left.

I hate to break this to you, but you havent succeeded in imposing that communist morality on us yet.  In this country, at least for now, the accused is innocent until proven guilty. It is the duty of the prosecution to prove guilt. If the prosecution has no evidence, but merely buzzes the accusation vehemently and hatefully, the accused doesnt have to say a word. No defense is needed and none will be offered.

You and the rest of the cicadas havent proven anything, you just repeat the charge over and over. That worked in Revolutionary France, the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, etc. Think of all the millions of people liquidated because they couldnt prove their innocence!

Here in the USA an accusation is not enough. Your accusation can be repeated vehemently and hatefully but it doesnt prove anything.

So I rest my case, this particular trial is over. Without any proof that he is a fascist in the matter of the Missouri class on Labor, the defendent is innocent. You spent the whole trial buzzing like cicadas and now its over.

Go on, Martha/Thomas. Buzz some more.

And Leefeller, your buzz isnt even on the topic, or any topic that i can tell. But you enjoy yourself with the buzz. Whatever it means.

If you have a moment, reflect on this: Martha/Thomas had a use for you today. If she has her way with this country, there will be a place for you.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 22, 2011 at 7:51 am Link to this comment

The court system requires that the accused prove their innocence,
NOT that the
accuser prove the innocence of the accused.

The accusation is just that, an accusation that the accused is NOT
innocent
of the accusation, and it is up to
the accused to prove innocence of the accusation
in the American judicial system, not the
accuser.

How do you think this claim of OzarkMichael’s would work with all of
the Right-Wing Prosecutors and Attorneys
General throughout the United States
prosecuting the hungry, homeless, and
disenfranchised for the sins of the Right?

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 22, 2011 at 1:13 am Link to this comment

Now, I have been told the Rapture has done its rapturing and it appears I was not selected, for I seem to still be here,  but surly one so self righteous as the Ommmm has left to seek his rapturing bliss, (72 virgins?) ... this means there is little need to reply to an empty slot or an empty mind ,.. Gebeebiz on a cracker,...nothing has really changed, ...I seem to be living in ground hog day!

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 21, 2011 at 10:36 pm Link to this comment

This Truthdig article was about how a college student revealed the lectures, textbook, and media used during a college course and Brietbart is posting it piece by piece. That is what you are calling fascism.

Such an important charge ought to be proven. 

I found it interesting that instead of facts, or a link to the videos in question, or any of the documentation from the college student, or the commentary at Breitbart, you just start buzzing about “Electionic Brownshirts”.

Some of you said that the college student ought to be placed in jail.  Whatever happened to the idea that it is a civic duty to leak damaging information against the corrupt establishment? Whatever happened to “Bradley Manning must be set free”?  Hahaha, such hypocrisy on your part!

Back to the topic at hand. “Fascism” is such an important accusation. It deserves to be studied carefully and only after that should a decision be rendered. I mean if you really think it is fascism you ought to at least expose the terrible facts of the case, and include any counter-evidence.

Ah. But not one fact about this case, and certainly no counterevidence was mentioned in all the posts below. Nor in the article. Only opinions and references to other events. So really all you have is just the opinion of like-minded Leftists to guide you.

As usual, none of you did any work. Why? Because you are lazy and you love your prejudice too much. Thats how you get hooked on the Left-wing buzz. Thats how you are being turned into cicadas.

The cicadas can convict someone of fascism without any evidence.  Is there any proof that this case is fascism? No. Anyone can read the article. Then look at the posts here. You wont find anything that proves fascism. Oh, you find a lot of Leftists repeating that it is fascism, but no evidence. Not a shred.

You ought to look at your snap judgement method and reconsider.  How many times in kinder days have I pleaded with to you to, “think”, “study”, “reflect”, “relate”?

But you will continue to insist that this expose of the Missouri college course on Labor was “Fascism” in action. I have noticed over the years that once the fascist accusation is thrown by one of you, you cross a line, beyond which you never return. No information, no logic has any effect. You cannot reconsider or reflect anymore about it. 

Ypur extreme judgement(“its fascism!”) is based only on someone else’s opinion, and you are incapable of reconsidering the judgement. That is Truthdig. It turns smart people into idiots.

Dont ask me to explain the case to you. In the face of your accusation “its Fascism”, i have found that explanations do no good. It almost serves to legitimize the process.

So in the end there is no thought or reflection in you. Just the emotional buzz. That is why you you deserve to be called ‘cicadas’.

And finally, Leefeller, congrats on the compliment from Martha/Thomas. Look how similar you two are getting!(and heres a hint about the process: she hasnt changed at all) You have sunk to ever greater depths since we first met and you only have a little further to go.

Report this

By Richard Masterson, May 21, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1—There may be a case for defamation/slander. The media of the Internet does not change the damaging and deliberate misrepresentation. It would be too much to expect the university employer to pursue the case, I suppose.
2—Is the university liable for acting on information from a documented source of slander?

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 21, 2011 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Leefeller, seeing a Right-Wing Nazi pattern in the United States
is the first step toward getting rid of it, because you
can’t get rid of what
you can never see.  The problem is that the Conservative/Moderate
/NeoLiberal Left intentionally go along with the Conservative Right.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 21, 2011 at 2:00 am Link to this comment

What we see here on Amy Goodmans article may only be the tip of the iceberg. In Wisconson the Republicans attacked academic freedom by demanding to see all emails from a college professor thought to be unfriendly to Walker the Governor and the Republicans raping state policies.

The Koch Brothers have donated a large sum of money towards the economic department of a Florinda College with the stipulation the Kocks can select or have control over the selections of teachers, it sounds like our colleges are being takin over by corporations.

So now we read about this bastardizing of truth and realities to meet the political needs of the twisted right, this seems close to McCarthyism to me. 

Freedom of speech should not include the right to slander and lie, which these brown shirt attacks seem to me, since peoples lives were affected by the twisting of the truth in this case lies to meet a certain agenda.

What would be considered criminal behavior in a normal just society is ignored in a Fascist one. Thanks to Steve Almond for the following;

““The historian Robert Paxton, who studied Europe during World War II, defined fascism as “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy, but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.””

The more I read the more I need to read. History is repeating itself,  Robert Paxton s work is no exception, but am I the only one who sees a pattern here?

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, May 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm Link to this comment

Ralph Kramden:

“I am close to being an absolutist about freedom of speech. This however, strikes me as malicious slander of the worst kind. Are there any slander laws to stop these fabrications?”

No. The internet is lawless and the sites posting the crap are protected from accountability or prosecution. Its a lawless mess that has allowed for malicious slander of the worst kind.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, May 20, 2011 at 11:12 pm Link to this comment

Yes MarthaA, Truthdig is loaded with these fake progressive trolls, has been for a long time.

They clog up its forums and distort opinion, they create fights. They are nothing to do with free speech, only the manipulation of it.

Report this
Virginia777's avatar

By Virginia777, May 20, 2011 at 11:00 pm Link to this comment

“These kinds of attacks are the equivalent of electronic brownshirts. They create so much fear, and they are so directed against anything that is progressive—the right to an education, the rights of unions, the rights of working people—I see, are all part of an overall attack to silence the majority of people and create the kind of climate of fear that allows for us to move very, very sharply to the right. And it’s very frightening.”

TROLLS people!!!! Wake up to this phenomena and the severe menace we are facing from it.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Lee Oates, May 20 at 4:05 pm,

OM has been a Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Republican troll
for a long time, but Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers just
dumped a whole bunch of their trained Right-Wing Conservative
EXTREMIST Republican trolls off on the the liberal blogs and they are
playing like they are liberal but using Right-Wing dialectic:

http://www.readersupportednews.org/pm-section/78-78/5872-right-wing-sock-puppets-pretending-to-be-liberals-assault-progressive-websites

Report this
Lee Oates's avatar

By Lee Oates, May 20, 2011 at 4:05 pm Link to this comment

This same activity is happening in articles on CNN.  Blogs are being systematically removed when deemed progressive or left-wing, by what appears to be a dedicated group of Fascist.  The same group is stealing the identity, especially photos, of progressive writers, and then putting racist remarks under their names.  On any thing to do with Libya, I have had everything removed since the conflict started.  Often only right-wing statements are left.  This is not CNN removing them.  No bad language or extreme statements, just an opinion.  It is a very good example of electronic brown shirts.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 20, 2011 at 8:54 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael really is a Right-Wing Conservative EXTREMIST Republican troll.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 20, 2011 at 3:36 am Link to this comment

No, he’s not. He’s been here a long time, and frequently has good defenses of his position. He’s nothing like the REAL right-wing troll (you know who).

I LIKE OM.

He’s just wrong a lot. And he’s REALLY wrong on this one.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

OzarkMichael is a troll.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 19, 2011 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

The FACT is you still havent investigated the matter at hand, and thats why your OPINION that doesnt carry any weight with me.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 19, 2011 at 5:06 pm Link to this comment

OM:
It’s not my opinion that Breitbart cut and pasted video out of order, leaving some things out, others in.  That’s a fact.  My judgement of him is based on that fact.

It’s a fact that he did the same thing in the ACORN situation and with Shirley Sherrod.

My OPINION is my judgement of him for doing these things. It’s not an opinion that he did them.

Just like it’s not an opinion that we invaded Iraq.  We invaded Iraq.  That’s a fact. It’s my OPINION that there was no justification for doing so.

It’s NOT my opinion that Breitbart is falsifying video.  That is a fact.

My OPINION is why he’s doing it: To hurt otherwise innocent people who hold different positions from him.

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 19, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

First, I notice that ITW offers his opinion. Thats nice but not enough to convince me of anything.

JDMysticDJ goes a step further. Offers not only his opinion but the opinions of other people such as “Gail Hackett, provost of the University of Missouri-Kansas City” and “President Barack Obama”, but unlike you Lefties I wont get in line and just follow other people.

I like to think for myself, even though it is more work that way.

For you, “Electronic Brownshirts” is something that cries out for something to be done. One more nail of “fascism” in the nation’s coffin. One more reason for you to approve of(or do) something drastic. Nevermind that the “fascism” is unproven. You dont even know the details. For all you know it is imaginary.

Its not like a single one of you read the Breitbart article. Not one and I can tell. Here is a link to get you up to speed on the Labor Studies course in question:

http://biggovernment.com/pchristofanelli/2011/05/09/introduction-to-labor-studies-my-first-hand-account/

If you levelled the ultimate and most important charge against it, namely “fascism,” one would think that you already read it a few times. But you didnt read it and you probably wont read it now. Its just typical Truth-dig far-Left knee-jerk cicada-buzz. People like Amy Goodman count on you staying all ‘wee-wee ed up’ and never looking at the facts for yourself.

But apparently you dont need to know anything, or investigate for yourself, because your own feelings and the opinion of your thought leaders tell you what is right and what is wrong. “Its just like Weimar!” they say. “Its fascism and we have to do something!” you respond.

You are so used to hearing “fascism!” and repeating it that you seem to be mind-numbed robots. You are completely assertive while being completely ignorant. Thats the cicada buzz.

What is your ignorance and aggressive language leading to? What is your anger building up towards? I will say this for Martha/Thomas, she knows where its leading and she welcomes it.

For me, reading the Truthdig article, investigating the link above and then reading your posts, I see the danger ahead and its not Breitbart that endangers free speech, its you.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, May 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm Link to this comment

” There will always be far Leftists like Amy Goodman, as well as Leftist wingnut
professors like Judy Ancel and her union thug-buddy Don Giljum, who believe that
their belief system is so superior that they have a right to lie and a right to
break the law.” - -  “Meanwhile, notice the Truthdig article has no links. Notice it
has no evidence, only Amy Goodman’s precious opinion.”  OzarkMichael

If that is you, George Jr., you can lighten up a bit, as you are no longer
president. And, if you write something decent or accurate, we will not snitch to
your mentor.

Were you describing the belief system of Mrs. Goodman or that of yourself and your
lies and violations of law?  Seems to fit “OzarkMichael” more than Mrs. Goodman.

While I speak only for myself, there appear to be other Truthdig bloggers who think
Mrs. Amy Goodman´s opinion is precious.

You probably get the gist of what some of us think of yours.

Report this
JDmysticDJ's avatar

By JDmysticDJ, May 19, 2011 at 10:40 am Link to this comment

O(b)zerk Michael

I see that Inherit The Wind beat to the punch, but I’ll throw in with all my might.

You start with a false premise and then, like a moron, expound in great detail, on that false premise.

“There will always be far Leftists like Amy Goodman, as well as Leftist wingnut professors like Judy Ancel and her union thug-buddy Don Giljum, who believe that their belief system is so superior that they have a right to lie and a right to break the law.”

The liar is Breitbart you moron.

“Meanwhile, notice the Truthdig article has no links. Notice it has no evidence, only Amy Goodman’s precious opinion.
This is a hitpiece meant to stir up your cicada buzz. As always, you dont investigate or think for yourselves. And as always, you will never get around to reading the evidence yourselves because you are too angry and too blinded by your prejudice. Its the buzz that counts.”

Evidence?

“Gail Hackett, provost of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, released a statement after the investigation, clearing the two professors of any wrongdoing:
‘It is clear that edited videos posted on the Internet depict statements from the instructors in an inaccurate and distorted manner by taking their statements out of context and reordering the sequence in which those statements were actually made so as to change their meaning.’
The University of Missouri-St. Louis also weighed in with similar findings and stated that Giljum was still eligible to teach there.”

“…ACORN was ultimately vindicated by a congressional investigation…”

“President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack apologized to Shirley Sherrod, and Vilsack begged her to return to work.”

JUDY ANCEL: “Yeah. Well, first off, of course, we never were teaching violence in our classroom, nor sabotage. We were talking about the violence in labor history, which is extreme in the U.S., and we were talking about the fact that, in many situations, there is violence, and it’s mostly directed at workers. Sometimes it comes from—it came from workers. We were very clear that we do not advocate violence. These folks were putting words in our mouth, and they have a political agenda, for sure.”

You have a political agenda, and not an agenda for truth, and that is “for sure.”

It was goons, who think like you do, that perpetrated most of the violence which occurred in the history of the union movement. That violence has been chronicled, and documented, and it included massacre, murder, brutal attacks, violations of Constitutional Rights, wrongful imprisonment, and claims from morons like you that the union movement was violent, and the cause of violence. Blaming the victims of violence for creating the violence is the kind of moronic thinking that you and your ilk have promulgated all throughout the history of the union struggle. The initial violence was perpetrated against workers and their families, by their corporate masters. If you have ever worked for wages, you can thank the union movement for a decent wage, the 40 hour work week, overtime pay, paid vacations, etc. You and your ilk are bound and determined to erode the achievements of the union movement, and set back progressive accomplishments wherever possible. You are a moron who works for those who would like to turn our democracy into a Feudal Oligarchy.

It’s clear that the right-wing echo chamber has bonged your brain into irrationality or worse; a willful distortion of truth in order to protect your mindless, hate based, ideology.

Comparing the left to cicadas? You are best compared to a dung beetle.

The symbol for Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now is Lady Liberty, symbolic of you and your ilk would be a pair of Jackboots and a brown shirt.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, May 19 at 7:26 am,

You work to promote the certainty of Right-Wing sophist definition
and the promotion of Right-Wing dialectic, and want others to
dialogue within the frame of Right-Wing sophistry and dialectic; it’s
not going to happen.

It is time for a change and Truthdig is enabling this new awareness
—— Get used to it.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

OzarkMichael, May 19 at 7:26 am,

You work to promote the certainty of Right-Wing sophist definition
and the promotion of Right-Wing dialectic, and want other to
dialogue within the frame of Right-Wing sophistry and dialectic; it’s
not going to happen.

It is time for a change and Truthdig is enabling this new awareness
—— Get used to it.

Report this

By reynolds, May 19, 2011 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

there are other one word summaries of “truthdig
cicadas”. one who self identifies as ‘ozark’ narrows
the choices to a few.
you don’t agree with the subjects of a blatant, now
exposed scam. you’re glad they were falsely accused,
made to suffer wrongly. you pontificate around and
despite the salient fact; the video is fake. breitbart
lies. the corrupt kids who glean material for him lie.
you celebrate liars and cheats as heroes. they are, you
are, in a word, despicable. because i don’t like you,
i’m editing your moniker down to just ‘asshole’.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, May 19, 2011 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

OM:

I cannot believe you are defending a Andrew Breitbart cutting and pasting a video to make it sound different.

Supposing you made a video and you said:
“I don’t hate Jews and I don’t hate Blacks” and I cut it so it came out as:
“I..hate Jews and I..hate Blacks”.  Well You SAID IT! 
but it’s still clearly a blatant lie. And, possibly criminal.

Courts long ago ruled that you couldn’t cut and paste that way.  Otherwise when a film critic wrote “I thought this film was not great” the ads couldn’t quote him as saying “I thought this film was ... great.”

That’s exactly what Breitbart did and it’s the SECOND time he’s been caught deceptively cutting video.

Anderson Cooper recently took Sean Hannity to task for doing the same damn thing…Hannity cut the part where Cooper said “So-and-so said and has the position that….” and made it sound as if this other person’s views were Cooper’s.

Tina Fey made an HILARIOUS spoof of Sarah Palin in 2008 by quoting her EXACT VERBATIM WORDS to Katie Couric.

If Breitbart or anyone wants to “expose” these professors, he is bound by ethics, civil law, and quite possibly criminal law to do it honestly, not the way he did it.

To deliberately cut, paste and rearrange someone’s words to make their meaning look different IS internet terrorism.  It is no different than if he photo-shopped phony pictures of them having sex with underage children.  Do you justify “getting” someone that way?

Do you?  That’s what he did.

Andrew Breitbart writes phony history of living people.
David Barton writes phony history of dead people.
Erik Prince makes dead people for phony reasons.

Sense a pattern here?

Report this

By davidtalks, May 19, 2011 at 8:29 am Link to this comment

Copyright law. Violated. Big chance to silence these people:

“”“They are video-recorded and made available through a password-protected system to students registered in the class. One of those students, Philip Christofanelli, copied the videos, and he admits on one of Breitbart’s sites that he did “give them out in their entirety to a number of my friends.” “”

Phillip should be in jail.

Report this

By EH, May 19, 2011 at 8:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Ozark, if this is such a trash article, why are you wasting your short little life on reading it?

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 19, 2011 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

I suspect being bought and paid for by ALEC Lobbyists, does not necessarily require the presence of a Republican? Three Democrats voted against cutting Big Oil Subsidies. They will make good good additions to future lobbyists, sort of like the FCC person who is now working for Comcast after letting Comcast do a merger which according to her took to long for the FCC to institute. Corruption is not new, it has just become business as usual and even acceptable.

In some ways I believe Somalian Pirates have more ethics and integrity plus accountability than political cronies. Despicable and greedy as politics seems, but only to those with some limited sense of morality.

Politics to the highest bidder, seems so disgusting to me, but guess we need to get used to it?

Report this
OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, May 19, 2011 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

There will always be far Leftists like Amy Goodman, as well as Leftist wingnut professors like Judy Ancel and her union thug-buddy Don Giljum, who believe that their belief system is so superior that they have a right to lie and a right to break the law. When they teach others to do so, using electronic media, it is fairly simple to catch them at their work and with independent journalist websites, share it with the whole world.

Meanwhile, notice the Truthdig article has no links. Notice it has no evidence, only Amy Goodman’s precious opinion.

This is a hitpiece meant to stir up your cicada buzz. As always, you dont investigate or think for yourselves. And as always, you will never get around to reading the evidence yourselves because you are too angry and too blinded by your prejudice. Its the buzz that counts.

However, unlike you, and precious Amy Goodman, i become informed first. Then i decide. i knew about this case already but i read about it again before posting. In other words, i work in order to gain a meaningful understanding.

Here is my opinion: It is always a good thing to expose union thugs. Akways a good thing to expose your precious opinion which has no facts behind it. Always a good thing to expose far Left wingnuts.

Always. I dont care if its your birthday, or Labor Day. Or the last day before you retire! If you build a career on lying far Left propaganda, I shed no tears for you when you get caught, And if the establishment fires you, whose fault is that?

After all, far Left thugs love to search for one phrase or even one word to build a case against conservatives as ‘racist’ and ‘fascist’. Which by the way is very effective to keep the cicadas buzzing here every day.

Brietbart uses the same tactic against the Lefties. Sometimes its only one sentence which is enough to embarrass Democrats into pissing all over themselves. They arent used to the pressure I guess. Whose fault is that? Brietbart’s?

You dont like it? Suddenly its not fair?

That strikes me as being… hypocritical. That strikes me as… a double standard. But you guys are Leftists and thats how you roll.

Far Leftist professors like Judy Ancel and Don Giljum have gotten away with promoting their agenda at universities for a long time. Now we have their quotes, now we have textbooks, now we have video.

This is the type of journalism that Hedges longs for, journalism that promotes a principle at the expense of perfect ‘objectivity’. Hedges wrote several articles and many of you applauded. It is really the sort of thing that the Truthdig cicadas dream of… except it is being done by those on the Right instead of the Left!

Yes, this is independent investigative journalism. Principled journalism which seeks to help truth triumph. Thats what you pined for, but now you want to squelch it. You want it to go away.

I have news for you. Independent investigative journalism is never going to go away. You will need a socialist or communist state to stop it. Many of you are drifting towards that, but some of you are already there.

The dominant mainstream media cannot suppress independent reporting anymore.  Conservatives are happy about that. It makes me happy. I notice the Left is not happy, they moan about “Electronic Brownshirts!”

Isnt that interesting, that more freedom and more information makes you nervous? More freedom gets you agitated, gets you wishing for some way to limit free speech.

Only one word needed to describe the Truthdig cicadas… hypocrites.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 19 at 6:07 am,

Of course they should be replaced, but they are really good at
camouflage.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 19, 2011 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Have they?  Maybe they’re just poltroons who need to be replaced.  They should at least be given some trouble.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 19, 2011 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 19 at 5:39 am,

It’s called absolute cooperation with the Right by DLC members that
have agreed with the Right to absolute cooperation.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 19, 2011 at 5:39 am Link to this comment

I think it’s a mistake to focus on Breitbart.  As I said, there will always be thugs.  I want to know why the Missouri AFL-CIO, the Administration in the case of Sherrod, and the Democratic Congress in the case of ACORN, did not even look into the facts before turning on their own people.

Report this
THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 18, 2011 at 10:58 pm Link to this comment

MarthaA, May 18 at 10:35 pm
THX 1133, May 18 at 10:19 pm,

It really didn’t used to be as corrupt as it is now,
but after Reagan’s
election in 1981, everything has been going down hill
and now
corruption prospers.
========================
I live in one of the most corrupt (Forbes rank #84)
countries in the world; but they’re pikers compared
to the U.S.
We’ve gotten the Chinese curse; we ARE living in
interesting times. Cheers.

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 10:35 pm Link to this comment

THX 1133, May 18 at 10:19 pm,

It really didn’t used to be as corrupt as it is now, but after Reagan’s
election in 1981, everything has been going down hill and now
corruption prospers.

Report this
THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 18, 2011 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment

Breitbart is being sued by the professors; possibly
reigning in his lies. I say possibly because, when it
comes to the law and it’s enforcement, the U.S. is the
wrong place to be, pity. It didn’t used to be so…

Report this
MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, May 18, 2011 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie, May 18 at 5:41 pm.

It really is sad that the Left’s class and culture isn’t organized any
better than that, when the Left is a 70% Majority Populace as a
class and culture. Never would the Right’s class and culture fire
one of their people for the same thing.  I’m sure Andrew Breitbart
will continue his Right-Wing tyranny with all the blessings of the
Right’s class and culture, because as far as the Right’s class and
culture is concerned he is doing good, which is why the Left’s class
and culture should never make it a policy to cooperate on a
regular basis with the Right’s class and culture.

Report this
Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, May 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Here’s the crux of this incident: ‘Giljum is an adjunct professor, with a full-time job working as the business manager for Operating Engineers Local 148, a union in St. Louis. Meanwhile, the union acceded to pressure from the Missouri AFL-CIO, and asked Giljum to resign, just days before his May 1 retirement after working there for 27 years.’

As with Sherrod, as with ACORN, the so-called ‘Left’, the progressives, the Democrats, abandoned their own people and joined their enemies in persecuting the victims.

That’s the issue here.  There will always be thugs like Breitbart, and they will always lie.  But sometimes their targets have stuck together and fought back.  Not in our times, unfortunately.

‘Solidarity forever’, or until is presents some cost or risk, I guess.  No wonder Breitbart is enthusiastic: a wolf with a wide choice of sheep.

Report this
anaman51's avatar

By anaman51, May 18, 2011 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Just one more Nazi in the woodpile, spewing his lies. This would not bother me so much if the central United States wasn’t filled with people stupid enough to believe the ridiculous crap he grinds out. Yeah, that’s you, Red Staters. Wake up and smell the atrocity.

Report this
Leefeller's avatar

By Leefeller, May 18, 2011 at 2:39 pm Link to this comment

Brown shirts is right, I see them as apparent now as in what I have read of European history, intimidations from voters rights to womens rights, attacking unions, education the least advantaged people, yes they are brown shirts, the Republicans and Tea Bags. The attack at the State levels have been more ruthless, because they out of the MSN hand picked radar.

Report this

By Ralph Kramden, May 18, 2011 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am close to being an absolutist about freedom of speech. This however, strikes me as malicious slander of the worst kind. Are there any slander laws to stop these fabrications? The damage done is considerable.

Report this

Page 6 of 6 pages « First  <  4 5 6

 
Monsters of Our Own Creation? Get tickets for this Truthdig discussion of America's role in the Middle East.
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Zuade Kaufman, Publisher   Robert Scheer, Editor-in-Chief
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook