Tuesday, November 29, 2005

"Jobs Americans don't want"

When you hear this "jobs americans don't want" crap, you should smell bullshit. Why don't Americans want farm labor jobs? Maybe it's because the farm managers pay illegal slave wages because Conagra won't give them a fair price for their produce.

Americans will take any job if it pays a little more than the cost of gas to get to the jobsite. I don't think Americans appreciate being called lazy by a fortunate son.

Bush's "guest worker program" is simply a way to legalize slave labor and to keep agribusiness executives from paying fair prices.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Media coverage of illegal Mexican immigration

Of course the media is not looking at the real reasons the borders aren't being protected: because big agribusiness makes billions off of slave labor from Mexico, lobbies and contributes to the politicians, so it's not even in Bush's interests to secure the borders when millions of poor Mexicans are willing to work for slave wages. The problem could easily be controlled if they enforced labor laws as vigorously as they enforced, say, drug laws. Meaning force agribusiness to pay foreign workers as much as they have to pay Americans.

As I said before, the "minutemen" would be more effective if they started riding their four-wheelers around the corporate headquarters of Conagra or Monsato. Also if they stopped stuffing their faces with food produced by these corporations and supported domestic food systems. But of course their anger is directed toward brown people.

The corporate media will ignore questions about agribusiness oligopoly and globalisation's role in this, of course, as not to offend the advertisers who benefit from such programs.

Media coverage of the Saddam trial

Currently there’s a good opportunity to study how corporate media functions in the way the Saddam Hussein trial is being covered. Saddam’s personality and behavior in the courtroom make the headlines as though they are supposed to have any significance. In fact as I type this the current headline on Yahoo is "Saddam's character traits flash up in court" linking to several paragraphs about Saddam's behavior. The first story I read on this today didn't even bother to list what he's being charged with. I had to go to a foreign source, Ireland Online, to be reminded of a specific charge.

On News Hour with Jim Lehrer New York Times reporter John Burns went on for most of his segment describing Saddam's demeanor, then he went on to say that Ramsey Clark, the former US attorney general apparently trying to uphold democratic judicial principles, "all but endorsed" Saddam's crimes. Already Clark is basically being called a traitor by the media elites.

None of this, as usual, has any real significance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

What we've known all along

Oil company executives are directly involved in making government energy policy.

This is like the WMDs. Anyone taking an honest look at the situation could plainly deduce that there was a high probability that Saddam had little or no weapons. After a while the evidence becomes so overwhelming that even the billionaire-run media has to report on it.

A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

The document, obtained this week by The Washington Post, shows that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex with the Cheney aides who were developing a national energy policy, parts of which became law and parts of which are still being debated.

In a joint hearing last week of the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know.

I'm interested in how widely this is going to be reported on.
*UPDATE I made myself watch CBSNews last night. Not a word about this.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bush is a great source of quotes to use against him

"Throughout history, tyrants and would-be tyrants have always claimed that murder is justified to serve their grand vision" - George W. Bush's veteran's day whining, 11/11/05

Friday, November 11, 2005

"It is not truth that matters, but victory." - Adolph Hitler

Bush Forcefully Attacks Iraq Critics

"We will never back down. We will never give in. We will never accept anything less than complete victory," he said Friday.

Bush said the United States and its allies are determined to keep weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of extremists and prevent them from gaining control of any country.

Bush singled out Syria for particular criticism, saying its government had taken "two disturbing steps" in recent days. He cited the arrest of Syria pro-democracy activist Kamal Labwani and a "strident speech" by President Bashar Assad. In that speech, Assad said his government would cooperate with a U.N. investigation that implicated Syrian officials in the killing of a Lebanese leader, but warned he would no longer "play their game" if Syria "is going to be harmed."

Bush said Syria "must stop exporting violence and start importing democracy."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Expect anti-Chavez propaganda to intensify this week

The "talking points" aren't really out on Chavez yet. But we have the White House stepping up rhetoric via Bush's remarks about democracy vs. authoritarianism - all completely symbolic and without any meaning of course, as is usual with any presidential remarks. We can ask the first democractically elected leader of Haiti how much he thinks Bush cares about democracy.

The mainstream media, quite predictably, keeps reminding us in elementary school fashion that Chavez is "best friends with Castro," as though that means anything. Bob Schiffer said those exact words on CBS Evening News on Friday night. The pre-coverage of the Argentianian anti-Bush protests predicted violence, and what little violence there was (directed against property, not people) made headlines as though it was something as terrible as a napalm attack on Falluja. Also funnily enough a remark Chavez made about Halloween made headlines in the mainstream American press last week. The goal there is to make him look insane.

Maybe the White House will "leak" "darn good intelligence" about how Chavez did some terrible thing. Then some lapdog like Judith Miller at the New York Times can report it on the front page above the fold. Then the White House can point to that very story about why this dirt on Chavez is true, that the White House leaked in the first place.

Having said this, Chavez isn't to be trusted, as with anyone in a position of power. But any criticisms coming from the mainstream US media aren't to be taken seriously. Chavez is an adversary to US-based corporations and US economic/power interests in the South. Consequently the US corporate media will never dipict him as anything but another insane dictator, despite Chavez's 70-80% approval rating among Venezuelans.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Reuters following the propaganda model

Iraq defies bombs to hold election lottery

I don't see logically how holding an election lottery has anything whatsoever to do with defying bombs. This story fits perfectly into Herman-Chomsky's propaganda model and cannot be taken seriously by anyone who does not totally believe the White House line, which tells us that since they are insurgents, they must "hate freedom". The term "freedom" when uttered by US government officials is code for capitalist oligarchy vaguely resembling democracy.

Nobody hates freedom, obviously. The notion is illogical and means absolutely nothing. But people aren't simply willing to accept foreign-imposed democracy, especially if it's imposed by a government that just murdered members of your family.