Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fantasyland Media:

News fashioned by the people in charge, the corporations and your government. Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine.


"A report to the UN Human Rights Council on Israel's shelling of Beit Hanoun in Gaza almost two years ago says it may have been a war crime. The report compiled by Archbishop Desmond Tutu casts doubt on Israel's explanation that the shelling resulted from a flawed artillery firing system. It calls on Israel to pay compensation to the victims, 19 of whom were killed.

Archbishop Tutu went to Beit Hanoun in May, after objections by Israel delayed his mission several times. The BBC's Imogen Foulkes in Geneva says the South African cleric's report contains horrific testimony from survivors of the shelling.

She says it speaks of the dead lying in the streets, of local hospitals overwhelmed, and of the injured having to hand over cash to get through Israeli checkpoints for treatment in Israel itself."

--->The NY Times, as expected, never covered this story at all. Human rights abuses by Israel are simply kept off its pages. Perhaps that is why Americans know so little about what is happening in the West Bank and Gaza. Freedom of the press is routinely sacrificed to present favorable images of Israel.


"Houses of cards, chickens coming home to roost - pick your cliche. The new low in the financial crisis, which has prompted comparisons with the 1929 Wall Street crash, is the fruit of a pattern of dishonesty on the part of financial institutions, and incompetence on the part of policy makers.

We had become accustomed to the hypocrisy. The banks reject any suggestion they should face regulation, rebuff any move towards anti-trust measures - yet when trouble strikes, all of a sudden they demand state intervention: they must be bailed out; they are too big, too important to be allowed to fail...

It was all done in the name of innovation, and any regulatory initiative was fought away with claims that it would suppress that innovation. They were innovating, all right, but not in ways that made the economy stronger. Some of America's best and brightest were devoting their talents to getting around standards and regulations designed to ensure the efficiency of the economy and the safety of the banking system. Unfortunately, they were far too successful, and we are all - homeowners, workers, investors, taxpayers - paying the price."
Joseph E Stiglitz, professor at Columbia University

--->The NY Times didn't think that Professor Stiglitz's remarks were newsworthy, even though he was a recipient of a Nobel prize in economics and works a subway stop from the Times building in Manhattan. The Guardian from the UK is the only place Americans can get a non corporate view of our financial debacle.


Causes of Fannie's Collapse -- and How to Stop the Speculators

WASHINGTON - September 9 -

"The collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is partly the result of their own practices, but it is also part and parcel of the broader collapse of regulation that took hold in the late 1990's with the repeal of Glass-Steagall [banking regulation], which opened the door to massive securitization of subprime mortgages, and then the deliberate fostering of the housing bubble under the Bush administration...

[Treasury Secretary Henry] Paulson's actions face up to the reality that government must be involved in housing. Meanwhile, John McCain continues to deny that reality. McCain's economic policy was created, in full, by Phil Gramm -- the architect of the deregulation that brought us this crisis. If John McCain becomes President, we'll likely see the 'solution' now being recommended by Alan Greenspan: breakup and privatization of Fannie and Freddie, leaving the private bankers in charge and taking government out of the housing business. There will be no recovery of the housing sector if that happens, and many more will face foreclosure."
James Galbraith (latest book: The Predator State)

--->The NY Times in its exhaustive coverage of the Fannie, Freddie crisis didn't think the Glass-Steagall act even worth mentioning. Deregulation the culprit in the current economic meltdown? Not to the Times whose board is made up of corporate executives.

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