Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fantasyland Media:

Each week, we cover the stories that are just left out of the US propaganda machine. News that the people in charge, the corporations and your government want keep from the public eye.


Committee to Stop FBI Repression:
"The FBI came unannounced to knock on doors at two apartments in Chicago this morning.  FBI agent Robert Parker, under orders from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s office, delivered a subpoena to Maureen Murphy. Murphy, like several other individuals served subpoenas, is an organizer with the Palestine Solidarity Group-Chicago.
This continues the repression unleashed by Fitzgerald on the anti-war movement since September 24th, when fourteen subpoenas were delivered to anti-war, labor, and solidarity activists in coordinated raids involving more than 70 federal agents.  Armed FBI agents raided homes, taking computers, phones, passports, documents, notebooks, and even children’s artwork. A total of 23 subpoenas have been served to activists around the country."
-->Back to the bad old days of FBI political oppression of dissent. This time, advocating for Palestinian human rights seems to be the offense. Can free speech survive the FBI? Congress had real doubts about this when the FBI was formed about a hundred years ago. Nor has anything the FBI done since the Palmer Raids given us much reassurance. And our media shows little interest in this latest assault on civil liberties.
Common Dreams:
"We are deeply disappointed that the chairman chose to ignore the overwhelming public support for real Net Neutrality, instead moving forward with industry-written rules that will for the first time in Internet history allow discrimination online. This proceeding was a squandered opportunity to enact clear, meaningful rules to safeguard the Internet’s level playing field and protect consumers.

The new rules are riddled with loopholes, evidence that the chairman sought approval from AT&T instead of listening to the millions of Americans who asked for real Net Neutrality. These rules don't do enough to stop the phone and cable companies from dividing the Internet into fast and slow lanes, and they fail to protect wireless users from discrimination. No longer can you get to the same Internet via your mobile device as you can via your laptop. The rules pave the way for AT&T to block your access to third-party applications and to require you to use its own preferred applications."
-->The NY Times puts a happy face on the FCC decision, characterizing the ruling as "a classic Washington solution — the kind that pleases no one on either side of the issue." Obama is portrayed as "fulfilling a campaign promise" rather then selling out to big business. What else is new?
Human Right Watch:
"This report consists of a series of case studies that compare Israel’s different treatment of Jewish settlements to nearby Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. It describes the two-tier system of laws, rules, and services that Israel operates for the two populations in areas in the West Bank under its exclusive control, which provide preferential services, development, and benefits for Jewish settlers while imposing harsh conditions on Palestinians. 
The report highlights Israeli practices the only discernible purposes of which appear to be promoting life in the settlements while in many instances stifling growth in Palestinian communities and even forcibly displacing Palestinian residents. Such different treatment, on the basis of race, ethnicity, and national origin and not narrowly tailored to meet security or other justifiable goals, violates the fundamental prohibition against discrimination under human rights law."
-->Israel violating basic human rights in the occupied territories? Isn't that conclusion supporting terrorism, or speech that goes against what the US government wants us to believe? Maybe that is why The NY Times covered several recent Human Rights Watch reports on China, and none on Israel. It did print a letter, however, by Eli Wiesel, Alan Dershowitz and others criticizing Human Rights Watch's "focus on Israel."

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