On the rape charges against Julian Assange (I accuse the New York Times edition)

Or why o why can’t we have a better press corps?

The rape charges against Julian Assange need to be remarked upon. Given the obvious motivations of those in power to falsify the charges, the near absence of any concrete exploration of these charges in the mainstream press is both curious and remarkable. There have been no examinations of these charges in the popular press; further it cannot be denied, given what is at stake here, that those charges are a matter of public interest. If those charges can be shown to be fabricated, that, in itself, would be newsworthy. Finding out who is responsible, we will perhaps be able to connect those involved in the fabrication of these charges with those who have the strong motivation to silence wikileaks.  Connecting the dots here could lead to a really excellent piece of investigative journalism, the equal to Watergate.

Some discussion of why these charges seem to be fabricated is in order now.

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On the rape charges against Julian Assange (I accuse the New York Times edition)

Stock Markets Fall sharply on . . . Bankster’s Manipulation of the News

The media is in the hands of the Banksters, obviously. There’s a financial crises, car plants are closing right and left, employment is way down, home prices are at a nadir, and what causes a downturn in the stock market, according to Wall Street Journal and Reuters..?

Obama. Right.  How can they getting away with this completely unproven assertion?  Simple: Americans are sheep.


Shares fall on Obama bank plans

Stock markets have fallen sharply in response to far-reaching plans by Barack Obama to curb the activities of the biggest US banks.

The Dow Jones closed down 2%, its worst fall since October, while Japan’s Nikkei was down early on Friday.

Shares in major US banks Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and Bank of America all fell.

Mr Obama – who said he was “ready for a fight” with banks – plans to limit the size of banks and impose restrictions on risky trading.

“Never again will the American taxpayer be held hostage by banks that are too big to fail,” Mr Obama said.

Of course when it is the auto industry that is hurting it is ascribed to the “current business environment” as if that business environment had just materialized right out of thin air, and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933 by the business elites in 1999 had nothing whatsoever to do with the current business environment, right?

GM confirms Opel factory closure in Antwerp

General Motors (GM) has confirmed it will close a Belgian plant at its European arm Opel, cutting 2,300 jobs.

The CSC metalworkers’ union said the carmaker had told staff it would shut down its factory in Antwerp.

“It is the tough reality of the current business environment,” Opel president Nick Reilly said.

So, let’s get this straight: if an autoworker is out of a job, it is a tough business environment.*   If, though, a Bankster has his bonus threatened, he should destroy the economy. After all that is what the economy is for: generating bonuses for banksters.  Too bad if you thought the economy should provide jobs for autoworkers or universal healthcare. You see those things are evil.

* And that is probably the autoworker’s fault anyway, as he had the chutzpah to join a union.  It is an unwritten rule of journalism to always mention the word ‘union’ in the first 30 words of a story about an auto plant closing.  It is forbidden, of course, to use phrases like ‘poor management,’ ‘bad design,’ ‘poor fuel economy,’  anywhere at all in a story of a plant closing, as that might lead someone to the erroneous (and forbidden) conclusion that those failings could ever lead to a plant closing.

Stock Markets Fall sharply on . . . Bankster’s Manipulation of the News

From “on” to “by”

I am interested in how people use subtle cues in their word choices to describe the current financial/economic crises.  Notice that some words define the fault lines, and show exactly where the line between “us” and “them” lies for a particular observer.  These lines are the ones across which conflicts will occur in the new post-crises political/social/economic landscape.

There’s a curious, but very natural, progression of the vocabulary used to describe the current economic crises. Notice expecially the use of prepositions, and the use of the passive voice to describe things.  For starters,  from Reuters, here’s a quote showing the use of prepositions to define “us” and “them” (if damage is inflicted on A by B, there’s a dividing line being drawn between those two arenas):

“I sense we’ve moved beyond the credit crisis. There’s a recognition of the damage inflicted on the global economy … by the credit crisis,” said Mike Lenhoff, chief strategist at Brewin Dolphin Securities in London.”

Someone could just as well speak of the damage inflicted on the local economy by the global economy, though, right?

Got to love this quote from Wen Jiabao, who obviously didn’t get the memo that the banks and the hedge fund managers, as the primary beneficiaries of the bailouts, are the ‘real’ economy to the political leaders of the West. (found at: Reuters):

“We must use every means to prevent the financial crisis impacting growth of the real economy,” Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said at the end of a two-day summit of 43 Asian and European leaders in Beijing.

(Wen, I think you are a little late….)

From “on” to “by”

Greece, clues and lies

Many can’t seem to figure out what is going on in Greece.  For example, Chris Blattman finds Stathis N. Kalyvas’s analysis wanting:

Why is Athens Burning?

In essence, Stathis argues that social norms govern acceptable behavior, and a perverse set has been allowed to settle upon Greece. It’s an appealing theory, but one that has not been popular back home (judging, he says, by the angry hate mail).

To help anyone who doesn’t get it,  I’ve downloaded this visual guide below:

15629_normal

And just in case that wasn’t clear enough there is this, (see this excellent site for more):

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Greece, clues and lies

Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

An interesting post over at wikileaks, which is the United States Counter Insurgency Manual, officially the US Special Forces doctrine for Foreign Internal Defense. There are perhaps some other titles for this book, which is basically a HOW-TO for the institution of a fascist police state. Some excerpts suggest that the present template for success in Iraq is based on the experience in El Salvador. Of course, although the U.S. did not lose El Salvador in a straight-forward military sense, in the civil war there from 1980 to about 1992 about 70,000 civilians were killed, including Archbishop Romero and several Jesuit Priests, which e_f has covered here. So, in a moral sense, the dirty war in El Salvador did great damage to the U.S.A., but here is the proof that those in power consider a War where many innocent civilans are needlessly slaughtered as a victory. The manual advocates accusing those who oppose the regime in any way with terrorism, and immediately charging them and any of their supporters with terrorism. Unbelievable, but brought to you courtesy of Web 2.0. It also tells the U.S. military how to do those all-important things like: concealing human rights abuses from journalists. Which just leaves me asking: Who are the real terrorists?

Of course, the other question is: If this manual has been leaked, and available since at least Monday, why hasn’t it been covered by the mainstream US media yet? What’s going on here?

More and links to the manual below…

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Iraq, as El Salvador, rather than Vietnam

Behind the Front Groups

A website launched by source watch, to keep track of all those fake front groups.

FRONT GROUPS

“The American public deserves to know when someone is trying to persuade them.”—U.S. FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008

We strongly agree. That’s why we created this site: to focus public attention on the people and organizations who function in our society as hidden persuaders. You’ll find them at work posting to blogs, speaking before city councils, quoted in newspapers and published on the editorial page, even sponsoring presidential election debates. All this while pretending to represent the grassroots when in fact they are working against citizens’ best interests. We call these organizations front groups. One of the best ways to put their agendas in proper perspective is to expose their work. That’s what this website is for. We hope you’ll use it, tell your friends about it, even contribute to it.

For example:
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Behind the Front Groups