Friday, February 25, 2011

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.


Woodstock Weapons Watch:
"According to a newly-released WikiLeaks cable from the US Embassy in Cairo dated October 6, 2009, 'the Egyptian Ministry of Defense verified that it received 75 Electrical Rotron Fans from Ametek Rotron/Rheinmetall Defence Italia for use in the Skyguard Air Defense System.'

Ametek Rotron is Woodstock's own weapons manufacturer (and the town's biggest employer). It's hardly surprising that Rotron was supplying this particular dictatorship, since it ships components for many standard weapons systems all over the world. Indeed, it's highly likely that the F-16 warplanes that buzzed the pro-democracy demonstrators in Tahrir Square contained Ametek Rotron components -- likewise the Abrams tanks that lined the square. But it's only occasionally that a corner of the curtain is lifted and we glimpse specific details of the unsavory business of arming dictatorships -- and Woodstock's bit part in it.

Quite probably these Woodstock weapons parts were paid for by US taxpayers as part of our massive military aid to the Egyptian regime. Ametek Rotron also supplies weapons components to the Israeli government -- again paid for by US taxpayers."

-->The US media would never cover a story that linked American weapons manufacturers to dictators and human rights abuses in the Third World. It is another example of how our media obscures the machinery of empire. And what about the Woodstock Times? Are stories like this not fit to print?


The Nation:
"This Is What Democracy Looks Like in Wisconsin, as Largest Crowd Yet -- 80,000 -- Opposes Union Busting.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker finished a bad week with a misstep that emphasized his inability to generate support for his attempt to strip the state’s public employees of collective bargaining rights.

First, the governor’s radical proposal went to such extremes in its anti-labor bias that it sparked a protest movement so large, so steady and so determined in its demands that it is now commonly compared with the protests that have rocked Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries."

-->Mainstream media would never suggest that the huge rallies in Wisconsin actually have anything to do with protests in the Middle East. The NY Times, for example, runs stories about Scott Walker as a populist motorcycle cycle rider, unafraid of union power. Yet labor rights is a form of human rights, and in America, the dictatorship being protested is the control of large corporations over our political process.


Free Press:
"Yesterday, the House voted to block the FCC from protecting our right to access an open Internet. If successful, the move would give phone and cable companies absolute, unrestricted power over the Internet.

In the Senate, Republicans have introduced a 'resolution of disapproval' that would strip the FCC of its authority to protect our right to free speech online. Both of these moves come at a time when phone and cable giants are already restricting our ability to connect with others and share information...

A House vote is on the books. It's now up to the Senate. If it doesn't stop this resolution, the FCC would be barred from enforcing its already weak Net Neutrality rule, and from acting in any way to protect Internet users against corporate abuses by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon."

-->The only NY Times reference to this vote was in a reader's comment.


"A modern American president-Republican or Democrat-operates as the messenger-servant of the country's corporations, defending them against their critics and ensuring that no obstacles are placed in their way. Since the right to profit is considered sacrosanct, any serious alternative is automatically rejected. This is the permanent tension that lies at the hart of a capitalist democracy and is exacerbated in times of crisis. In order to ensure the survival of the richest, it is democracy that has to be heavily regulated rather than capitalism. The inhuman exigencies of the system preclude policies that would obviously benefit a majority of the populations."
-From "The Obama Syndrome" by Tariq Ali

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