Thursday, November 10, 2005

NYT: Drums keep pounding rhythm to the brain and the stenography goes on

Kirk Semple and Sabrina Tavernise continue the New York Timid's long standing practice of printing anything they're told and without any attempt to actually witness anything with their own eyes in "U.S. Reports Iraqi Civilian Casualties in Anti-Insurgent Sweep." (You actually get rewarded for that at the paper unless you become a national joke -- see previous entry.) How many times can they type "The military said" in one article. And why are they unable to find one Iraqi witness, a resident of Husayba. One of the most laughable sentences includes a "military said, according to a witness."

Did they leave the Green Zone? The end credits tell us that Semple was somewhere in Husayba (Tavernise is listed as being in Baghdad). Apparently he was far from the action. No crusading reporter he.

Suddenly, the story breaks to tell you about a copy of a speech that John McCain will give today. That belongs in a story on D.C. (in the Washington section). Apparently even they got bored typing "military said."

Yes, the stenography goes on. The stenography goes on . . .

In the real world, far away from the "paper of record," Tori e-mails to note Tariq Ali's "Blair Defeated on Terror Laws" (CounterPunch):

For the first time since he was elected Prime Minister in 1997, Tony Blair was just defeated in a vote in the British Parliament. The issue was the so-called 'war against terrorism'. Blair had insisted that the police be given extra powers to hold people in detention for 90 days before being charged and brought before a court. These were the laws of apartheid South Africa. These were the laws of 'preventive detention' enforced by the British Empire in the colonies. These were the laws Blair wanted to apply to British citizens. Forgotten was habeas corpus and the rights of the 'free-born Englishman.' Even the Conservative Party, which has slavishly supported Blair on Iraq, regarded this as an unwarranted and unnecessary display of authoritarianism. And enough Labour Members of Parliament voted against their leader to reject Blair's measures by 322 votes to 291--a bigger than expected majority of 31.
Even before the London bombings of 7 July the Labour Government had declared war on civil liberties in the name of the 'war against terror'. The main reason why Blair and his debased Cabinet wanted to push the new law was to avoid their own responsibility for the events of 7 July. They played on ignorance, prejudice and fear to frighten British citizens, a majority of whom know only too well that the reason for the attacks on London was Blair's decision to participate in Bush's war on Iraq.

Today's scheduled topics, via Rod, for Democracy Now! include:

Italian economist and writer Loretta Napoleoni discusses her new book "Insurgent Iraq: Al Zarqawi and the New Generation."

Amy Goodman's Un-Embed the Media tour continues (and, boy, do we need it):

* Amy Goodman in Poughkeepsie, NY:
Thur, Nov 10
*TIME: 5:30 PM
Vassar College
The Villard Room, Main Building
Poughkeepsie, NY
Free and open to the public*

Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Wed, Nov 16
Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism?
Panel discussion moderated by Amy Goodman, featuring Nelson Lichtenstein, Bethany Moreton, Dan Cantor and Liza Featherstone, followed by a screeningof the new Robert Greenwald film, Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Prices.
New School University
65 W. 11th
(entrance at 66 W. 12th)
Wollman Hall 5th Floor
Enter at 66 W. 12th,
proceed through courtyard to elevator in adjacent building,
65 W. 11th.
Email reservations to:
Tickets can be ordered by phone with a credit card (212) 229-5488,
in person at The New School Box Office,
66 West 12th Street,
main floor,
Monday-Thursday 1-8 p.m.,
Friday 1-7 p.m.
Most events are FREE to all students and TNS alumni with ID.

* Amy Goodman in New York, NY:
Mon, Nov 21
New School University
Graduate Program in International Affairs
Wollman Hall, 5th floor
66 West 12th St. (between 6 and 5th Aves.)
Event is free and open to the public.

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