Students of the historical record are ever mindful that for every significant catastrophe there typically will be at least one, and more often several bizarre conspiracy theories that spring up around it. “The CIA killed Bob Marley“, “The Pope had John Lennon whacked”, “Hitler was half space alien,” etc. The larger the event, the more ridiculous and numerous are the conspiracy rantings which circulate in relation to it.
So it’s not surprising at all that the events of September 11th, 2001 have precipitated their fair share of these ludicrous fairy tales. And as always, there is – sadly – a small but gullible percentage of the population eager to lap up these tall tales, regardless of facts or rational analysis.
But alas, the incessant 9/11 conspiracy theory bleating is slowly and thankfully grinding to a halt. Other than the fundamental incoherence of their loony theories, the downfall of the “9/11 denier” juggernaut was good old-fashioned skepticism at its best, the kind that conjures visions of James Randi challenging psychics and faith healers on their home turfs and winning.
Staking their fortunes almost solely on Internet-based content may have been the 9/11 deniers’ biggest mistake — the Internet is un-edited, without fact-checkers or minimum publishing standards of any kind — also became a perfect place for a rapid-response system of blogs and forums to fight back. Drawing on the freely available technical information from the NIST, FEMA, and academic journals which most colleges let their students access for free.
It is with the above observations in mind we provide this insightful video from the Corbett Report. Enjoy and Wake Up, America! Stop indulging in loony wingnut batsh*t conspiracy theories. Case closed!
The ineffable John Oliver slammed into the uber corrupt practices of the ‘Big Pharma’ industry in a 15-minute rant last week that really takes the cake!.
It’s a great video exposes just how deeply invested Big Pharma is in luring MDs to prescribe their drugs to millions of people, regardless of the efficacy. In fact, Oliver reveals, that Big Pharma spends much more on marketing to doctors than it does on research, or to marketing to us in television advertising.
Why? Because we trust our doctors.
And if they say here take this pill, we usually will.
Among the really alarming facts in Oliver’s careful dissection of the issue are some pretty hilarious lines. At one point the Oliver compares drug companies to high school boyfriends: “They’re much more interested in getting inside you than in being effective once they are there.”
There have been tiny glimmers of reform in Big Pharma’s dishonest practices: Pharmaceutical reps are not allowed to take doctors out for lavish meals all the time, now. And the Affordable Care Act has helped set up a website which enables you to look up whose money your doctor is taking.
Proponents of net neutrality claim that big telecom companies seek to impose a tiered service model in order to control the pipeline and thereby remove competition, create artificial scarcity, and oblige subscribers to buy their otherwise uncompetitive services. Many believe net neutrality to be primarily important as a preservation of current freedoms. Prominent supporters of net neutrality include Vint Cerf, co-inventor of the Internet Protocol, and Tim Berners-Lee, creator of the Web.
Until recently “net neutrality” was little more than a buzzword to most Americans, an arcane concept within an equally arcane sector of telecommunications law. But fierce resistance to a plan proposed last spring by Chairman Wheeler that Internet advocates said would have undermined net neutrality — the concept that all data on the Net must be treated equally by Internet service providers (ISPs) — has pushed this once obscure idea into the DC limelight.
Joshua Kopstein at Al Jazeera America –
“The plan Wheeler announced last May would have permitted ISPs such as Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner to give faster, priority access to sites and services able to pay for it as long as those deals were deemed commercially reasonable. But in a surprising about-face, he is now proposing rules that ban that practice by treating wired and wireless broadband Internet as a public utility under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — much like the telephone system.”
But Wheeler has changed his tune for the better –
“The Internet must be fast, fair and open. That is the message I’ve heard from consumers and innovators across this nation,” Wheeler wrote today in an article for Wired. “That is the principle that has enabled the Internet to become an unprecedented platform for innovation and human expression … The proposal I present to the commission will ensure the Internet remains open, now and in the future, for all Americans.”
This sudden turnabout of recent months has shocked the big telecoms and even net neutrality advocates, who until recently had relatively few powerful allies in their corner. (Read more…)