The Relentless Decline of the News NBC News, if that’s what it is or can still be called, devotes a substantial amount of resources to stories on opinion polls. Its website boasts five such reports between July 11 and 13, 2012. Their subjects range from American confidence in organized religion and “wealthy friendly” attitudes to a growing anti-bailout mood in Finland.
Not surprisingly, the former home of John Chancellor, Chet Huntley and David Brinkley reported nary a word about a July 11 Gallup Poll that showed American confidence in television news, like that in religion, has plummeted to unprecedented depths. “Americans’ confidence in television news is at a new low by 1 percentage point, with 21 percent of adults expressing a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in it,” the Gallup report begins. The figure has hovered in the 21- to 23-percent range since 2007. The poll, an annual opinion survey on 16 American institutions, was conducted June 7-10. Television news ranked 11th, one spot below newspapers, whose public confidence levels have followed downward trends similar to TV’s. In 1979, more than half of Americans – 51 percent – had a “great deal” or “a lot of” confidence in newspapers. The figure is now less than half that at 25 percent, though this year’s figure is not an all-time low.
China? Police State?
|Armored Personnel Carrier Patrols St. Louis Streets|
Recently the Western media has been aflame with claims that China was spending vast amounts of money on “internal security”. The implication was that the Government of China (whose approval rating is 85%–95%) is afraid of its own people. I’ll write a separate post on that topic later, but here’s a quick fact: the USA spends $69.40 on internal security on every American; China spends $8.95. And China’s cops are unarmed–as in ‘no guns’. Now read this letter by a disillusioned American about the state of ‘internal security’ in the Land of the Free:
War On All Fronts
The Russian government has finally caught on that its political opposition is being financed by the US taxpayer-funded National Endowment for Democracy and other CIA/State Department fronts in an attempt to subvert the Russian government and install an American puppet state in the geographically largest country on earth, the one country with a nuclear arsenal sufficient to deter Washington’s aggression. Just as earlier this year Egypt expelled hundreds of people associated with foreign-funded “non-governmental organizations” (NGOs) for “instilling dissent and meddling in domestic policies,” the Russian Duma (parliament) has just passed a law that Putin is expected to sign that requires political organizations that receive foreign funding to register as foreign agents. The law is based on the US law requiring the registration of foreign agents.
Minorities in USA
US should return stolen land to Indian tribes, says United Nations UN’s correspondent on indigenous peoples urges government to act to combat ‘racial discrimination’ felt by Native Americans Share 23158 Email Chris McGreal in Washington guardian.co.uk, Friday 4 May 2012 23.46 BST A Native American at his home on Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, which has some of the US’s poorest living conditions. Photograph: Jennifer Brown/Star Ledger/Corbis A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination. James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes. Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”. “It’s a racial discrimination that they feel is both systemic and also specific instances of ongoing discrimination that is felt at the individual level,” he said. Anaya said racism extended from the broad relationship between federal or state governments and tribes down to local issues such as education. “For example, with the treatment of children in schools both by their peers and by teachers as well as the educational system itself; the way native Americans and indigenous peoples are reflected in the school curriculum and teaching,” he said. “And discrimination in the sense of the invisibility of Native Americans in the country overall that often is reflected in the popular media. The idea that is often projected through the mainstream media and among public figures that indigenous peoples are either gone or as a group are insignificant or that they’re out to get benefits in terms of handouts, or their communities and cultures are reduced to casinos, which are just flatly wrong.” Close to a million people live on the US’s 310 Native American reservations. Some tribes have done well from a boom in casinos on reservations but most have not. Anaya visited an Oglala Sioux reservation where the per capita income is around $7,000 a year, less than one-sixth of the national average, and life expectancy is about 50 years. The two Sioux reservations in South Dakota – Rosebud and Pine Ridge – have some of the country’s poorest living conditions, including mass unemployment and the highest suicide rate in the western hemisphere with an epidemic of teenagers killing themselves. “You can see they’re in a somewhat precarious situation in terms of their basic existence and the stability of their communities given that precarious land tenure situation. It’s not like they have large fisheries as a resource base to sustain them. In basic economic terms it’s a very difficult situation. You have upwards of 70% unemployment on the reservation and all kinds of social ills accompanying that. Very tough conditions,” he said. Anaya said Rosebud is an example where returning land taken by the US government could improve a tribe’s fortunes as well as contribute to a “process of reconciliation”. “At Rosebud, that’s a situation where indigenous people have seen over time encroachment on to their land and they’ve lost vast territories and there have been clear instances of broken treaty promises. It’s undisputed that the Black Hills was guaranteed them by treaty and that treaty was just outright violated by the United States in the 1900s. That has been recognised by the United States supreme court,” he said. Anaya said he would reserve detailed recommendations on a plan for land restoration until he presents his final report to the UN human rights council in September. “I’m talking about restoring to indigenous peoples what obviously they’re entitled to and they have a legitimate claim to in a way that is not devisive but restorative. That’s the idea behind reconciliation,” he said. But any such proposal is likely to meet stiff resistance in Congress similar to that which has previously greeted calls for the US government to pay reparations for slavery to African-American communities. Anaya said he had received “exemplary cooperation” from the Obama administration but he declined to speculate on why no members of Congress would meet him. “I typically meet with members of the national legislature on my country visits and I don’t know the reason,” he said. Last month, the US justice and interior departments announced a $1 billion settlement over nearly 56 million acres of Indian land held in trust by Washington but exploited by commercial interests for timber, farming, mining and other uses with little benefit to the tribes. The attorney general, Eric Holder, said the settlement “fairly and honourably resolves historical grievances over the accounting and management of tribal trust funds, trust lands and other non-monetary trust resources that, for far too long, have been a source of conflict between Indian tribes and the United States.” But Anaya said that was only a step in the right direction. “These are important steps but we’re talking about mismanagement by the government of assets that were left to indigenous peoples,” he said. “This money for the insults on top of the injury. It’s not money for the initial problem itself, which is the taking of vast territories. This is very important and I think the administration should be commended for moving forward to settle these claims but there are these deeper issues that need to be addressed.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/04/us-stolen-land-indian-tribes-un
PBS ran a special on Milestones in the History of Media and Politics. From this PBS special, I learned that “In 1690, the first newspaper published in America was printed by Richard Pierce and edited by Benjamin Harris. Since it was published without consent of the government, it was immediately suppressed, its publisher arrested and all copies destroyed.” PBS said that in 1798, the Sedition Act made it a crime to print “any false, scandalous and malicious writing…against the government of the United States.” “Introduced by President John Adams as the US was on the brink of war with France and rabble-rousing from French immigrants was feared, the Sedition Act made it illegal to criticize the government, under penalty of a $2,000 fine and 2 years in jail. The Act directly contradicted the First Amendment, which had already been ratified in 1791. Everyone from writers, editors, printers, and “even drunks who were overheard condemning (President) Adams” were prosecuted.” “In 1841,” PBS said, “Horace Greeley launched THE NEW YORK TRIBUNE, which…was strongly antislavery, and as a reform-minded journal of ideas, reported on women’s rights, socialist experiments, temperance, and other reforms. Greeley explained, “I founded the New York Tribune as a journal removed alike from servile partisanship on the one hand and from gagged and mincing neutrality on the other.” In the 1880′s, Joseph Pulitzer, a key figure in developing the big-business model of the newspaper, and William Randolph Hearst, seeing the press as both political agency and business, competed for mass circulation. The sensational reporting they turned to became known as “yellow journalism.” Starting in the “1890s,” PBS said, “many independent newspapers were swallowed up into powerful “chains.” “During and after WWI, the government suppressed radical newspapers and German language papers, but in 1925, in Gitlow v. United States, the Supreme Court upheld a conviction of radical pamphleteers…” Continued on July 13, 2012 in The meaning of Democracy’s Freedoms and the Nature of the Western Media Beast – Part 5 or return to Part 3 http://ilookchina.net/category/america/ ______________
Obama Seizes Control of All Communications Systems With Executive Order
President Obama has usurped all available forms of communication for use and discretion of the US government. Under an Executive Order (June 6, 2012) entitled Assignment of National Security and Emergency Preparedness Communications Functions, Obama has enabled the executive branch to control communications “under all circumstances to ensure national security, effectively manage emergencies, and improve national resilience.” (For full text of the Executive Order, seen Annex below). Radio and wired communications systems “of all levels of government, the private and nonprofit sectors, and the public must inform the development of national security and emergency preparedness (NS/EP) communications policies, programs, and capabilities.” Cellular phone corporations like Sprint owned Boost Mobile have released messages to their customers concerning the US government’s allocation of their phone communications at the whim of the President. In a text message to customers, Boost Mobile said that: “. . . you can receive national and local emergency alerts directly on your phone.” Back in 2011, Hillary Clinton admitted that the US government, via the mainstream media, is losing their “information war” with the American public. As alternative media becomes more prevalent, the propaganda must be taken up a notch in order to keep the masses onboard with the agendas of the US government. Danny Schechter, filmmaker and investigative journalist, explains that MSM cannot compete with the alternative media. Schechter says that “America feels on the defensive because it can no longer” monopolize the thoughts of citizens domestically and abroad. Since the US government thinks “its point of view is the only point of view” these new news outlets are “extremely damaging” to the US continual purveyance of propaganda. The Presidential Alert was announced in August of 2011, wherein the Commissioners for the FCC required that television, radio stations and cable systems (including satellites) will redirect broadcasting if the President wants to “alert Americans of impending danger”. This EO explains that the establishment of a NS/EP Communications Executive Committee (CEC) will “serve as a forum to address NS/EP communications matters”. The CEC will answer to the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and advise Obama on the “prioritization of radio spectrum and wired communications that support NS/EP functions”. Designees of DHS and Department of Defense will be co-Chairs of the CEC. While the CEC will now advise on policy to Obama; they will have control over the “future architecture of the NS/EP communications” and define those communications in a “long-term strategic vision”. The funding for this all-encompassing control over our radio, television and digital communications will be taken from the taxpayers by way of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Under Obama’s discretion, all radio and digital communications can be intercepted with recommendation by the assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP. The executive branch’s authority derives from the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 606), Section 706. The US governmental agencies involved in this endeavor are the heads of: • Department of Justice • Department of Defense • Department of State • Department of Commerce • Department of Homeland Security (DHS) • Office of the director of National Intelligence (DNI) • General Services Administration • Federal Communications Commission (FCC) The President enables the “regimes to test, exercise, and evaluate the capabilities of existing and planned communications systems, networks, or facilities” and provides “quarterly updates to the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism and the Director of OSTP”. The Secretary of Homeland Security (SHS) will create an Executive Committee Joint Program Office (JPO) that has been tasked with “coordination of programs that support NS/EP missions, priorities, goals, and policy. The JPO and the CEC will meet with governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to decide on “development of policies”. The SHS also has the responsibility of facilitating communications in the event and support of Continuity of Government on the federal, state, local, territorial, and tribal levels. In an emergency the SHS will alert “non-military executive branch communications systems; critical infrastructure protection networks; and non-military communications networks, particularly with respect to prioritization and restoration”. The Secretary of Defense will develop, implement and sustain NS/EP communications in response to national security needs as directed by “the President, Vice President, and senior national leadership, including: communications with or among the President, Vice President, White House staff, heads of state and government, and Nuclear Command and Control leadership; Continuity of Government communications; and communications among the executive, judicial, and legislative branches to support Enduring Constitutional Government”. In conjunction with EO 12333, established by former President Ronald Reagan; wherein the powers of all US intelligence agencies were extended and all heads of federal agencies were admonished to comply with information requests from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), this new EO further empowers that already established fact. All communications avenues must allow for the receipt, integration and dissemination of NS/EP communicational information that is supplied by the US government for the intention of American citizens. Whether private or publicly owned, those communications resources can and will be usurped by the President and/or governmental agencies. “Relevant supporting entities” like the Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Wireless Priority Service, Telecommunications Service Priority program, Next Generation Network Priority program will provide organization and management structure with the CEC, SHS and the President. In the event of an “emergency” the Secretary of Commerce will allow for the takeover of radio frequencies as well as television and digital communications with the use of electromagnetics. These communicative abilities are now “belonging to and operated by the Federal Government” as resources to be utilized “during a crisis or emergency”. The Administrator of General Services will purchase all necessary equipment to provide the US government capabilities to take over communications. If the CIA or DNI deem it so, they are enabled to influence policy directives, procedures and guide issues that are relevant to the securing of national security. The FCC’s role in this is to acquiesce “all entities licensed or regulated” by the FCC to ensure that messages are received and disseminated to the American public.
It’s an article of faith in the Western media that
A. the Chinese censor their press and,
B. they were to tell the truth the Chinese people would rise in revolt.
Both A and B are false.
Even the Chinese people, who are smarter than us (as Henry Kissinger reminds us), trust their media overwhelmingly. Between 85% and 95% of them trust it above all other sources, according to Pew and to Edelman. And those surveys, which are repeated annually, are careried out in the sophisticated, multilingual cities, like shanghai and Beijing. In the sticks the trust level is higher still.