28 good questions that the mainstream media should be asking


Anybody home?
Why is there so little trust in the mainstream media these days? CNN ratings have been hovering close to record lows over the past few months. A recent Gallup survey found that 60 percent of all Americans "have little or no trust" in the mainstream media. That was a record high according to Gallup. So why is this happening? Sadly, the truth is that the mainstream media quit telling the truth a long time ago. The mainstream media has an agenda, and more Americans than ever are beginning to recognize this. Once upon a time, control of the news in the United States was at least somewhat decentralized. But now there are just six giant media corporations that control almost everything that we see, hear and watch. The version of "the news" that they give us is designed to serve the interests of those corporate giants and the other corporate giants that spend billions of dollars to advertise their products through those outlets. Watching the news on television can be an extremely frustrating experience these days. Yes, there are little bits and pieces of the truth in there, but you have to wade through an awful lot of "infotainment" to get to those bits and pieces. That is one of the reasons why the "alternative media" has absolutely exploded in recent years. The American people are hungry for the truth, and they are increasingly turning to alternative sources of news on the Internet in an attempt to find it.

Eye 1

America's moral degeneracy: Acceptance of torture is Mark of the Beast

It is not only foreign political regimes that are corrupted by Washington's evil, but also Americans themselves.
On May 31, 2010, the Israeli right-wing government sent armed military troops to illegally board in international waters Gaza aid ships of the Gaza Freedom Flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief. The Israelis murdered 8 Turkish citizens and one US citizen in cold blood. Many others were wounded by the forces of "the only democracy in the Middle East."

Despite the murder of its citizen, Washington immediately took the side of the crazed Israeli government. The Turks had a different response. The prime minister of Turkey, Erdogan, said that the next aid ships would be protected by the Turkish navy. But Washington got hold of its puppet and paid him to shut up. Once upon a time, the Turks were a fierce people. Today they are Washington's puppets.

We have witnessed this during the past week. The Turkish government is permitting the Islamists from outside Syria, organized by the CIA and Israel, to attack Syria from Turkish territory. On several occasions a mortar shell has, according to news reports if you believe them, fallen just inside the Turkey border. The Turkish military has used the excuse to launch artillery barrages into Syria.


Obama 'Care': Iran sanctions now causing food insecurity, mass suffering for millions

© Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA
An Iranian man counts his banknotes after Iran's currency, the rial, crashed to a record low
Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery though a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive

The Economist this week describes the intensifying suffering of 75 million Iranian citizens as a result of the sanctions regime being imposed on them by the US and its allies [my emphasis]:
"Six years ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean over its nuclear ambitions, the talk was of "smart" sanctions. The West, it was stressed, had no quarrel with the Iranian people - only with a regime that seemed bent on getting a nuclear bomb, or at least the capacity for making one. Yet, as sanctions have become increasingly punitive in the face of Iran's intransigence, it is ordinary Iranians who are paying the price.


The Maimed

© Mr.Fish
Chris Hedges gave this talk Sunday night in New York City at a protest denouncing the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. The event, at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, was led by Veterans for Peace.

Many of us who are here carry within us death. The smell of decayed and bloated corpses. The cries of the wounded. The shrieks of children. The sound of gunfire. The deafening blasts. The fear. The stench of cordite. The humiliation that comes when you surrender to terror and beg for life. The loss of comrades and friends. And then the aftermath. The long alienation. The numbness. The nightmares. The lack of sleep. The inability to connect to all living things, even to those we love the most. The regret. The repugnant lies mouthed around us about honor and heroism and glory. The absurdity. The waste. The futility.

It is only the maimed that finally know war. And we are the maimed. We are the broken and the lame. We ask for forgiveness. We seek redemption. We carry on our backs this awful cross of death, for the essence of war is death, and the weight of it digs into our shoulders and eats away at our souls. We drag it through life, up hills and down hills, along the roads, into the most intimate recesses of our lives. It never leaves us. Those who know us best know that there is something unspeakable and evil many of us harbor within us. This evil is intimate. It is personal. We do not speak its name. It is the evil of things done and things left undone. It is the evil of war.


Stealing a U.S. election? Nothing's easier!

The US prides itself on a free and fair election system. It's the main hallmark of democracy. But as RT's Anastasia Churkina reports, stealing an election in America is easier than 1,2,3.

The U.S. - a beacon of democracy, and an example to be followed by the rest of the world. One big source of pride is its' fundamental concept of free and fair elections.

"American elections are a disgrace. It's like looking into a kitchen of a world-class restaurant and losing your appetite at what you see, because we have an election system, a voting system that is completely non-transparent," said Mark Crispin Miller, Professor at NYU and author of "Fooled Again, How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections."

This is an opinion shared by many political experts and educators.

"If you were to hand your vote to a man in a magician's suit who then went behind a curtain and came out having first shredded the ballots, to tell you who won - would you trust that process?" said the co-founder and director of the Election Defense Alliance Jonathan, Simon.

The process largely to blame is the out-dated electronic voting system.

Comment: One apparent reason why there is no pressing need for uniform nationwide rules on voting systems is that it is fairly well known among powerbrokers that the outcome is a foregone conclusion: either their puppet on the left will win, or their puppet on the right will win... why bother with rigorous procedures when all that matters is which one of the 'Democrat' (Corporatist Party) or 'Republican' (Corporatist Party) candidates comes out on top?


Venezuelan Elections: It's either Chávez or Washington!

© Agence France-Presse/Leo Ramirez/Juan Barreto
This combination of file pictures shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) and Venezuelan opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski.
This Sunday's elections will pit incumbent President Hugo Chávez Frías against neoliberal pro-US opposition candidate Henrique Capriles Radonski. Opinion polls vary widely both ways, proof it will be a head-to-head race.

­This election is not only of vital importance to Venezuela, but to all of Latin America, as Chávez has been a veritable barrier against traditional US interventionism in the region.

Get Chávez!

­That's been the rallying call in the mainstream Western media, demonizing Chávez's refusal to align Venezuela to the Western powers' geopolitical objectives throughout the world, something the US and its allies find very hard to swallow.

That's why they've put all their clout behind young up-start Henrique Capriles Radonski, as if he were a savior of democracy in Venezuela.

But that's not quite the case when you consider that Capriles Radonski was very much involved in the failed US-backed coup in April 2002 to oust Chávez, and even spent a short spate in jail for it.

Chávez, in turn, is presented as "authoritarian and not democratic". And yet, when he lost the 2007 constitutional reform referendum or the 2010 congressional elections, his government fully heeded the electorate's will. No one today doubts that Sunday's elections will be transparent and fair.

So why all the anger and fuss against Chávez?

To those who haven't got the message yet: "It's his foreign policy, Stupid!"

Irrespective of whether his domestic policies are good or bad, his foreign policies have held Venezuela's sovereignty and self-esteem very high indeed, actively supporting all nations being savagely attacked by the US, UK, NATO or Israel.

Such is Venezuela's support of the martyred peoples of Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, all flagrantly bombed, invaded and devastated by the Western powers based on outright lies, perverted distortions of the truth, and corporate greed to grab oil resources.

Today, the West targets Syria engineering internal strife and civil war as they already did in Iraq, Libya and other Muslim countries: in Orwellian Newspeak, the "Arab Spring". They also threaten Iran with unilateral military attack and commit murder, sabotage and financial manipulation inside Iranian territory whilst spreading all sorts of global media lies.


The Kissing Sailor, or "The Selective Blindness of Rape Culture"

Most of us are familiar with this picture. Captured in Times Square on V-J Day, 1945, it has become one of the most iconic photographs of American history, symbolizing the jubilation and exuberance felt throughout the country at the end of World War II.

For a long time, the identity of the pair remained a mystery. It certainly looks passionate and romantic enough, with many speculating that they were a couple - a sailor and a nurse, celebrating and sharing their joy. This year, however, historians have finally confirmed that the woman is Greta Zimmer Friedman, a dental nurse at the time, and George Mendonsa, a sailor.

Arrow Down

Spain could indicate the direction America is taking

© Eleonore Weil
"The Economy"
Suddenly, Spain and Greece are being racked by strikes and huge demonstrations. The public in these countries is, in effect, saying that it has reached its limit: With unemployment at Great Depression levels and with erstwhile middle-class workers reduced to picking through garbage in search of food, austerity has already gone too far. Paul Krugman - New York Times

What began as an economic storm has blown into a full-scale political crisis. Amid popular discontent and separatist protests, Spain has stumbled towards a crossroads: without decisive action by the government, the post-Franco democratic settlement is at risk. Financial Times

It is said that every historical phase carries within it the embryo of the next phase to be born in the future. If this is so, then someday we may come to consider the mountain of debt that threatens to crush our present system as an explanatory, broken condom.

One of the paradoxes here is that the enormous robustness of the United States, its size, population, its natural resources, military power and perhaps most of all, its ability to create money out of thin air to pay its debts, probably means that it would not see the total systemic crisis arriving until it was too late to really do anything about it.


Amazing meteor boomerangs around earth

For the first time ever, a meteor has grazed in and out of Earth's atmosphere, slowing enough to become a temporary satellite that lasted a full orbit.
© Damien Stenson Photography
Lucky skygazer Damien Stenson was photographing O'Briens Tower at Ireland's Cliffs of Moher when a brilliant, fragmenting bolide passed behind. Stenson used LEDs to illuminate the tower in this 30-second exposure. Click on the image for a larger version.
By evening on September 21st, an earlier storm had moved eastward and left skies over the British Isles beautifully clear.

Martin Goff, an officer with the Greater Manchester [England] Police, was making his rounds when he spotted a dazzling meteor at 22:55 p.m. (21:55 Universal Time). "I immediately pulled the van over to better see the fireball," he recounts. "Although not an experienced astronomical observer I was able to log relevant information such as altitude and azimuth relative to the straight road I was on and to trees and streetlights nearby." He estimates it was about as bright as a full moon and remained visible for 35 to 40 seconds, fragmenting for at least the last half of that. "I was just flabbergasted to have seen it!"

He was hardly alone in his amazement. Friday-night crowds were out and about when the bolide appeared, delighting and amazing untold thousands as it broke into dozens of pieces as it glided east to east across the sky. Dirk Ross, who tracks bright meteors and meteorite finds worldwide, logged 564 eyewitness reports from England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and Norway.

A few hours later, Ross received another burst of 126 sightings. But these weren't from Europe - instead, a fireball had appeared over southeastern Canada and the U.S. Northeast. What at first seemed the unlikely arrival of two dramatic bolides in a single night is now known to be something much more historic and scientifically profound.


Precursor to social unrest? High food prices forecast more global riots ahead, researchers say

When French peasants stormed the Bastille on July 14, 1789, they weren't just revolting against the monarchy's policies. They were also hungry. From the French Revolution to the Arab Spring, high food prices have been cited as a factor behind mass protest movements. But can food prices actually help predict when social unrest is likely break out? Yes, say a group of researchers who use mathematical modeling to describe how food prices behave. Earlier this summer, their model had predicted that the U.S. drought would push corn and wheat prices high enough to spark social unrest in other parts of the world.

"Now, of course, we do see this happening," says Yaneer Bar-Yam of the New England Complex Science Institute in Cambridge, Mass. And unless those food prices come down, the researchers warned last week, more waves of riots are coming.

© Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images
A Tunisian protester holds a baguette while taking to riot police in January 2011

Comment: Is the food shortage before us? Will we be buying bacon and pork sausages next year?