The Militarization of Google

Photography by Graham Richards.

Photography by Graham Richards.

Our neighborhood spy mega-store, Google has been making a recent PR push to distance itself from some rather alarming partnerships with known mercenaries and intelligence agencies. This week, comedian-veteran Marine Rich Dreyling joins us to discuss the Eye of Sauron’s growing involvement with the military industrial complex. Consider it an apropos bedtime story for our sleeping nation.

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Read the full story on Pando: http://bit.ly/1mDP87W
Produced by Crisman Richards. Theme music and engineering by Graham Richards. Music by G Koop & O-man.

Tea with the Toxic Avenger

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The smog in Texas is thicker than I remember. Flying over on my broom, I saw the vast expansion of factory farms and the alarming murkiness of connected bodies of water, some glowing slick neon colors that have no business being in nature. The nearly 3 million beef cattle, 1.1 million hogs, 330,000 dairy cows, 90.4 million broiler chickens, and 13.8 million egg-laying hens on factory farms in Texas produce as much untreated manure as 430 million people — more than the entire U.S. population. Texas’ booming bullshit industry wrought havoc at the West Fertilizer Company in West, Texas, where an explosion on April 17, 2013 killed 14 people, left 200 others with injuries (including burns, lacerations, and broken bones), flattened houses and a 50-unit apartment building, destroyed a nursing home, damaged a local school, and left a crater 93 feet by 10 feet deep. This weekend, at least 170,000 gallons of oil spilled in the Galveston Bay, shutting down the waterways between contaminated Texas rivers and the Gulf of BP. The southern leg of the Keystone Pipeline that went into normal operation in January 2014 is bringing up to 700,000 barrels of oil a day to refineries in Texas, despite the years-long fight against this tar-sands nightmare. Environmentalists and residents of Parker County, Texas, were dismayed last year when the EPA dropped an investigation into complaints that hydraulic fracking by Range Resources was contaminating local water supplies with methane.

What happens when the People fight back?

The State of Texas boasts lax regulations and suppresses the outcries of the citizens victimized by the corporate greed controlling both media and legislation. Frustrated by the pervasive culture of silence surrounding folks in the direct line of industrial fire, I sat down with my dear friend, Phyllis Glazer, and asked her to share the story of the time she sued the EPA and shut down one chemical plant poisoning her small-town in East Texas. I pooped my pants a few times during the production, once from the story and then again from drinking Dallas water. Seriously, hydrate with Pellegrino and coconuts when you’re there. A gas mask might not be a bad idea, either.

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For more ways to increase public pressure, follow me on Twitter.

Reclaim the News

Once my mother asked where she “had gone wrong” with me and I told her “you taught me to read and bought me a radio.” It was a pink boom box for my 8th birthday and it ruined me in the most effective manner, simultaneously developing my lifelong addictions to Motown music, old radio variety shows, and world news. I kept the transistor between my pillow and the wall, allowing the frequencies to shape my mind while I slept. I came to understand the world around me from a broader perspective and that mattered to me, even at a young age. The dulcet tones of WBBM Chicago lulled me to sleep at night and kept me company as I moved about the solitary afternoons granted by eight years of homeschool. I used money earned from my paper route to buy a battery-powered radio with a long strap to sling around my shoulder so I could listen to long stretches of afternoon news reports while I rode my 10-speed bicycle through the quiet streets of West Chicago. I was extremely cool at that age, most evident in my new hobby of watching the Comedy Channel in the basement while my mom worked mornings for the church. I discovered quickly that I would get more jokes by staying abreast of global politics. Left to my own devices, I developed analytical opinions and learned the value of well-placed reference in conversation, especially where grown-ups are concerned.

As an adult myself, I am endlessly infuriated by the corporate media’s iron grip choking journalists into a culture of sensationalized self-censorship and military-industrial apologetics. Isn’t it bad enough Citizens United has corporatized Capitol Hill, disenfranchising We, the People from our “elected” representatives? I’ve had enough. Over the past year, I have cultivated a diverse feed of editorially-independent journalists that amply fill the void left by the pathetic death rattle of the mainstream media complex. If you also demand to know what is going on in our world, you must rise above the mind control programming of the 24 hours news cycle. Disengage. Occupy your own mind. Subscribe to the following programs and newsletters to take back the sanctity of news. In seeking the truth, remember to follow the journalist, not the outlet.

Breaking the Set

Friend-of-the-show Abby Martin offers revolutionary anti-Establishment coverage the MSM is too chicken shit to touch. Watch as she illuminates the dark corners of corporate oppression and calls to action an awakening of activists demanding progress of the People over profit.

Listen to Everything’s Fine with Abby Martin on The Crisman Show.

The Young Turks

TYT is the largest online news show in the world, with over 1 billion views and counting. Hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break down news, politics, entertainment, and current events without scripts or teleprompters and without any corporate bias.

The Big Picture

Author Thom Hartmann introduces his program by reminding us the press is the only industry specifically mentioned in the Constitution, because a free and open press is critical to a functional democracy. The Big Picture reveals what is actually going on in the world, going beyond merely identifying the problem and trying to fix it with rational debate and a real discussion of the critical issues facing America.

The Resident

Quick, informative, and cheeky as hell, The Resident talks about the insanities surrounding life in these United States.

Moment of Clarity

Activist and Investigative Comedian Lee Camp creatively carries on the ball-busting legacy of Bill Hicks and Lenny Bruce through stand up, documentary shorts, and sketch animation.

Newsletters Worth a Damn

BORDC Daily News Digest

The Bill of Rights Defense Committee provides a fantastic daily rundown of top civil liberties issues.

Occupy.com

Make it your homepage.

Nation of Change

One of my absolute favorite editorial newsletters, I rarely miss an issue and tend to share most every article I read either on Twitter or Pinterest.

CounterPunch

Named “America’s Best Political Newsletter” and easily the most addictive on this list.

EcoWatch

Environmental news and critical calls-to-action.

EFF Digest

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is on the front lines of digital privacy rights, and leading the fight against patent trolls now threatening the podcasting landscape. To learn more about this battle, check out Adam Corolla’s campaign against trolls (then donate to the defense fund here).

A Walk Through “Indian Summer” with Graham Richards

Instead of bragging on about my Renaissance Husband’s debut album release, I decided to interview Crisman Show producer and composer, Graham Richards. Listen in as he walks us through the creative journey behind Indian Summer, his first collaborative release on PJCE Records with friend-of-the-show, Dan Duval. I personally recommend this album for meditation, yoga, sleeping, or during turbulent flights when you think you are probably about to die. No matter the chaos surrounding you today, these sounds promise to rejuvenate your spirit and bring you in to this bittersweet moment.

Listen to this episode (includes music from album).

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Jazz Bear Nest

Jazz Bear Nest

Comedian Keith Lowell Jensen and Crisman Richards discuss atheism, jazz, and multiple arrests. Featuring music by Snarky Puppy (courtesy of Ropeadope Records).

Listen to episode: http://bit.ly/1cCpj4Z

See Keith‘s jazz/comedy experiment, Session at Punchline SF on May 7th.

Produced by Crisman Richards. Theme Music, Engineering, and photography by Graham Richards.