Voice in the Wilderness

The news about the "war on terror" your local newspaper won't print.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Keeping Up

Man, it's amazing what you come back to when you've been gone for a while. It's like when you go on vacation and you spend the first few days back at work catching up on what you've missed.

There's an awful lot out there that I've missed while I've been away (and thanks to all who inquired about my health; it was just a few weeks of intensive work, coupled with a bad flu). So let's get right to it . . .

  • The TV news you're watching may be fake. The New York Times last Sunday published a massive take revealing that the government is creating bogus "news" videos and distributing them to TV stations, many of which are running the propaganda without sourcing it. That word is not mine; it comes from the Government Accountability Office which, despite its oxymoronic name, actually is the investigative arm of Congress. Reports the Times:
    Some reports were produced to support the administration's most cherished policy objectives, like regime change in Iraq or Medicare reform. Others focused on less prominent matters, like the administration's efforts to offer free after-school tutoring, its campaign to curb childhood obesity, its initiatives to preserve forests and wetlands, its plans to fight computer viruses, even its attempts to fight holiday drunken driving. They often feature "interviews" with senior administration officials in which questions are scripted and answers rehearsed. Critics, though, are excluded, as are any hints of mismanagement, waste or controversy.
    That the Bush administration is producing "news" designed to put its best spin on the attempted Social Security hijacking, the Iraq war and its take-no-prisoners assault on the environment is not earth-shattering. But that TV stations are running this tripe without letting you, the viewer, know that it's not news but brainwashing from the ministry of information, is. Read the piece. Then call up your local TV stations and demand that they put an end to this B.S.
  • "Moral" legislators accept contributions from porn purveyors. According to the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, some of the most vocal anti-porn crusaders in Congress -- including Kansas ultraconservative Sen. Sam Brownback and New Mexico Rep. Heather Wilson, who once demanded that Al Gore return a campaign contribution from an adult entertainment website -- have been accepting contributions from corporations that make a great deal of their money from aiding and abetting the distribution of porn. Those include cable and satellite providers who feature adult programming, as well as hotel chains and their pay-per-view movies. Says the report:
    Although they do not advertise it, companies as diverse as Comcast and Marriott International make enormous amounts of money by selling pornography. Ironically, some of this money winds up in the political war chests of pornography's?s most outspoken Congressional critics.
    No, we're not suggesting out here in the wilderness that we all turn in our remotes. But all we want is a little honesty. Oh, get out -- I really have been away for a while.
  • U.S. Troops: Hell, No; We Won't Go. A growing number of American soldiers are defying orders to return to Iraq, according to The Guardian of London:
    Once such dissent would have been unthinkable - as would the growing disquiet within the ranks of the US army as its forces rotate into Iraq on second and even third tours. Open resistance remains relatively rare. Only a handful of troops have filed conscientious objector applications; Vietnam, which was fought by conscripts, produced 190,000 such petitions. But the conscripts only had one tour. Soldiers' advocates and peace activists believe the first signs of opposition within the military could slowly grow - as it did for Vietnam - turning disgruntled soldiers and their families into powerful anti-war advocates. A number of Iraq veterans have begun to speak out. The root causes for more widespread dissent are there. Longer and repeat deployments have worn down regulars and reservists. So has the rising toll, with more than 1,500 US soldiers dead and 11,000 wounded.
So the next time you hear someone admonishing you to "support the troops," ask your questioner if he or she means those who are serving in Iraq or doing everything they can not to.

It sure is nice to be home.


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