Wednesday, December 12, 2007

FANTASY LAND: US Media

The “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007

This bill would establish a Commission to study and report on "facts and causes" of "violent radicalism" and "extremist belief systems." It defines "violent radicalism" as "adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change." The term "extremist belief system" is not defined; it could refer to anything.

"Ideologically based violence" is defined in the bill as the "use, planned use, or threatened use of force or violence by a group or individual to promote the group or individual's political, religious, or social beliefs." Thus, "force" and "violence" are used interchangeably. If a group of people blocked the doorway of a corporation that manufactured weapons, or blocked a sidewalk during an antiwar demonstration, it might constitute the use of "force" to promote "political beliefs."

The bill charges that the Internet "has aided in facilitating violent radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens." This provision could be used to conduct more intrusive surveillance of our Internet communications without warrants.
National Lawyers Guild

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Getting bad coverage of the election? All about Hillary, Ophra and Obama? Consider what you aren't being told by our media:

Is health care reform really on the table? Hillary gets 1 in 4 of her campaign dollars from the healthcare industry. It is 1 in 5 for Obama. For Edwards, it is 1 in 20. Any wonder that Edwards doesn't get much coverage by the corporate controlled media?

Hillary has always maintained that we need to keep troops in Iraq indefinitely. Obama wants US forces to stay in the Middle East with an "over the horizon" capability to reinvade. Neither mentions any deadline for pulling all our troops out. Peace candidates?

Hillary is receiving more money than any other candidate from the defense and energy sectors. Obama is second. Edwards, who is more critical of the occupation of Iraq and planned attacks on Iran is much further down the list.

Polling data consistently show that Edwards has the best chance against ALL republican candidates. Moreover, he does much better than Hillary and Obama in key battleground states like Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Hillary has remarkable negatives in the general population. Over 50 percent of Americans polled consistently say they would NEVER vote for her. So why does our media concentrate on the Hillary Obama "horse race"? Could be that Edwards is not as trusted by the corporations that run our media and our country.
Z Magazine Dec. 2007
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Burmese military rule hard to understand? Not if you look at the natural gas desposits discovered in 1982 in the Yadana field. A pipeline was completed in 1998 by a consortium including Unocal, a Us corporation, and French oil company TOTAL. During Clinton's presidency, companies already doing business with Burma were exempted from international sanctions, despite the gross human rights violations.

Chevron (the second-largest U.S. energy company) and Total (French) are, in fact, refusing to pull out of Burma. Other investors in the natural gas industry include companies from Australia, China, India, Janan, and Russia.

Sales of natural gas account for the single largest source of revenue to the military government. Gas exports accounted for fully half of the country's exports in 2006.

But why little mention of Chevron and the natural gas industry in our extensive media coverage of Burma (Myanmar)? Corporate gas and oil interests almost always trump our democratic right to know, and our media is to blame.
Z Magazine Dec. 2007

Quote from the NY Times (September 29, 2007): "But in a sign of how limited Washington’s leverage is against the country, which has long been the target of American sanctions, officials said they were concerned that China, a trading partner and neighbor of Myanmar, would block any serious effort to destabilize the Burmese government...Given the dearth of American investment and trade with Myanmar, the financial levers appear limited, officials acknowledged."

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