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The unreported & off the cliff

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, January 2nd, 2013 - 12 comments
Categories: activism, capitalism, class war, climate change, economy, Environment, jobs, news, poverty, sustainability, tax, unemployment, us politics - Tags:

Some news issues now and over the last year, have been over-dramatised, some under-reported, and some ignored.  Project Censored has its top 25 unreported stories of the last year.  Some of them (like Oceans in Peril) look like they warrant their inclusion on the list, others (such as the FBI terrorist claim) look like they are getting into unsubstantiated conspiracy-theory territory.  The Project Censored article says:

You can watch video, below of Al Jazeera’s Inside Story: Americas from December 27, in which Project Censored’s director Mickey Huff was interviewed about the list along with Greg Mitchell of The Nation. [video here]

The video’s discussion centers on the list’s top 5 stories—“Signs of an Emerging Police State,” “Oceans in Peril,” “Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Worse than Anticipated,” “FBI Agents Responsible for Majority of Terrorist Plots in the United States,” and “First Federal Reserve Audit Reveals Trillions Loaned to Major Banks.” The report’s other 20 entries range from the alignment of the US government and al-Qaeda in the Syrian Civil War (a topic discussed on WhoWhatWhy) to Alabama’s farmers looking to replace migrant workers with prisoners (that issue has at least received attention from the widely-watched satirical news show, The Colbert Report, as well as the news agency Agence France-Presse.)

However, George Monbiot’s article, 2012: the year we did our best to abandon the natural world, should not be dismissed.

It was the year of living dangerously. In 2012 governments turned their backs on the living planet, demonstrating that no chronic problem, however grave, will take priority over an immediate concern, however trivial. I believe there has been no worse year for the natural world in the past half-century.

Monbiot outlines some of the failures and destructive actions of governments, but ends by seeing any hope for  saving the environment in people power:

If there is hope, it lies with the people. Opinion polls show that voters do not support their governments’ inaction. Even a majority of Conservatives believe that the UK should generate most of its electricity from renewables by 2030. In the US, 80% of people polled now say that climate change will be a serious problem for their country if nothing is done about it: a substantial rise since 2009. The problem is that most people are not prepared to act on these beliefs. Citizens, as well as governments and the media, have turned their faces away from humanity’s greatest problem.

The story of the FBI coordinated surveillance of Occupy protesters remains under-reported, as written about by Naomi Wolf.

Meanwhile the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” (as reported on Al Jazeera) has been beat up as some kind of end of season cliff-hanger.  It is related to the scheduled end to tax cuts, and public spending that was  initiated by the Bush Jr government, due to run out this month.

White House and congressional legislators reached the agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff” that would delay harsh spending cuts by two months, an Obama administration source said.

Under the Senate plan, those with a household income above $450,000 or individual income above $400,000 would be taxed at 39.6 percent, up from 35 percent.

Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, have been against raising taxes on the rich, while the Democrat-controlled Senate and the White House have been averse to spending cuts.

The agreement includes a balance of spending cuts and revenue increases to pay for the delay in the automatic spending cuts that would go into effect without a deal.

Whereas, it just looks to me like the same old irrational and inhumane struggle with US conservatives, who resist the most obvious and positive step their government could take: to raise taxes on the rich, and improve the focus and scope of spending on unnecessary public services and social policies.


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12 comments on “The unreported & off the cliff”

  1. Ordinary Bloke 1

    Karol, I hope you realise that your sterling work on this blog means that you will be chained to it for the rest of your natural life ? Type cast, typed up, and in the typing pool .. and I don’t mean wet.

    Have a break some time with your significant other ..

    Happy new year ..

    [lprent: Unlikely. The numbers of currently active authors are outweighed by the numbers of quiescent ones. Authors pop in and out of activity all of the time. I think that Irish and I are the only ones left out of the startup authors 5 years ago. ]

    • Ennui in Requiem 1.1

      The last 20 stories…10 from Carol….I think Ordinary has a point re the volume. For some obscure reason I get screeds of emails from Clare Curran, and the occasional Shearergram. These I bin. I am far more inclined to read Carols words, however this blog is beginning to look something like The S(K)andard. I applaud Carol for her hard work, others need to step up or we become less a church of many voices and opinions, and slightly unilateral and “framed”.

      PS There is a hot tar pit in Purgatory reserved for those who deliberately misspell their names. Some conservative old patriarch had it dug. Me.

      PPS I have finished the requiem mass for CV: moving right along.

      • lprent 1.1.1

        Have a look at the bottom of the page for the start of Jan last year

        http://thestandard.org.nz/2012/01/page/4/

        Between Jan 1 and Jan 7 2011, and excluding OpenMike’s there were grand total of 8 posts. Of those only 4 were actually written by our authors (the rest were reposts from other sites or speeches). 2 were written by me.

        That is the norm for that week after New Year. This year between Jan 1 and Jan 2 2012, there have been 4 posts by our authors – two by Karol. You should be counting your lucky stars that our authors are being more productive this year. Instead you whine?

        The Xmas to New Year period isn’t much better…

        Go and read this section of the about….

    • karol 1.2

      What Lynn said. It’s holiday time for most of TS regular authors, who will no doubt be back posting before too long. It’s not holiday time for me for a couple of months. But I have some extra work coming up over the next few weeks, so will have less spare time.

      • Ennui in Requiem 1.2.1

        Cool K, its not the volume of your stories, it is the lack of others. Keep on writing..

    • Ordinary Bloke 1.3

      Apologies. It was my attempt at a backward compliment.

      It must be the New Year.

      Have a good one, guys ..

  2. Tom 2

    John Key seems to be trying to win the next election by knighting everyone in sight .. as if the Royal Navy will come steaming over the horizon during the next geopolitical crisis.

    It becomes problematic when your local garage collector is a knight of the realm .. although he probably says he just does it for the money.

    Why not just declare that every NZ citizen is a knight or dame of the realm ?

    Many might probably say they already are.

    You could raise their taxes before the warm fuzzy feeling wears off ..

  3. muzza 3

    Karol good on you for writing this one, the amount you are writing, and the quality, appreciated.

    Its documented in the MSM that the intelligence agencies have been making use of the *assets*, buy revealing that while busting *terrorist activity*, and such like, that conveniently the *busted terrorists* just happpened to be working with the FBI (double agents) etc – Use of *infomants/patsies/double agents * is nothing new, and the self sustaining nature of the industry explicity implies that there must continue to be *enemy threat*, so the motive to *create* enemies/threat is blatant.
    As such to say that it is unsubstantiated that the intelligence agencies are not manufacturing *threats* would be naiive, in my opinion.

    (note: sure there are probably genuine plots, but once the intelligence agencies are outed *creating* even one of them, how much can actually trusted/accepted as *genuine threat*!

    E.g

    Double Agent Disrupted Bombing Plot, U.S. Says

    The messages from the censored project are helpful, but as with these things, how does one tell if it is yet another attempt to control narrative, as people are becoming more aware that what they are being fed in mostly lies, spin and complete crap!

    Appreciate that you wrote this article though, and will take at face value, this project is highlighting some very serious issues which the MSM is failing by not reporting on, but supporting its military/financial owners like GE, in either non reporting, or over reporting war/fiscal cliff garbage, which ever best suits the agenda!

  4. Dr Terry 4

    So yet another American “fiscal crisis” with the inevitable last hour compromise! It begins to get a bit boring. Does anyone seriously believe that any American government would stand by and watch the country drop over a cliff? Eternally, after keeping the people on a string of anxiety, compromises will readily be reached!

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    Well, their deficit continues to reach heightened ceilings

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