NEWS BYTES
U.S. media must shape up
Stephan Richter of the Globalist complains that the U.S. media works well -- but for those governing, not those being governed. "Truly shocking," he says is that "to an amazing extent, the belief to restrict themselves to the facts -- as they are provided by the government -- is willingly accepted by the mainstream U.S. media." In most countries, journalists consider they are part of "a permanent opposition", acting as a "checks-and-balances mechanism for those in power" and asking vital questions about the nation's future, he says, adding "It is high time for many in the U.S. media establishment to reconsider their establishment-enhancing ways. The media must once again learn to be critical."
Mad Cow becomes corporate gimme
As soon as the Canadian government approved $300 per head in assistance for Canadian cattle owners, Tyson and Cargill lowered cattle prices by about the same amount. This pushed prices much lower -- down to .09 per lb. in mid-summer. This kind of profiteering by Tyson and Cargill on the backs of Canadian cattlemen who are trying to cope with the Mad Cow disaster is being seen as nothing less than contributing to economic genocide. (See www.nobull.net )
It's a cow-eat-cow world in the U.S
Except for vilifying Canada for its one instance of Mad Cow Disease, Americans hear little from their media on the issue -- certainly not beyond the spin from government agencies and the powerful livestock industry that has citizens believing that the U.S. is doing everything possible to prevent the disease from emerging within its borders. Not so, Chicago Life Magazine notes in its Aug. 17 issue. It's time the FDA adopts the same rules as the European Union to keep the country free of the disease.
Taxpayer dollars abused -- yet again?
It's been heard, out and about, that 800 million taxpayer dollars are sitting in a fund earmarked for the Hepetitis C victims of Canada's tainted blood scandal. The funds are being used to support administrative and legal fees instead of being paid out to the sufferers for which they were intended.
The value of a dollar
In addition to being a medium of exchange, money is a standard by which society judges us and our work. As money devalues and becomes worthless, so does government, society and standards. It is a sad state of affairs that in Zimbabwe, the largest note, $500, cannot buy a beer ($650). Even a roll of one-ply toilet tissue costs $1,000. The average roll has 72 sections, so it is cheaper to change your $1,000 into $10 bills and use them as bum wipe and have $280 change left over.
Bush's admission not newsworthy
The news media, so quick to jump on the Bush bandwagon to paint the leadership of Iraq black during the lead-up to the recent war, are extremely backward about coming forward with Bush's admission that there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 tragedy. Only the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times made it front page news. Other major U.S. newspapers either buried the story deep within the paper or did not print it at all. The story was especially of interest since it followed on the heels of Vice President Dick Cheney's statement to the contrary on NBC's Meet the Press the previous Sunday.
The latest White House lie
"Since I left Halliburton to become George Bush's vice president, I've severed all my ties with the company, gotten rid of all my financial interests. I have no financial interest in Halliburton of any kind and haven't had now, for over three years," Dick Cheney told Meet the Press last month. But government financial disclosure sheets reveal that Cheney received $162,392 in deferred salary from Halliburton in 2002, $205,298 in 2001, and he currently holds 433,333 stock options. While other companies -- including a few in Great Britain -- decry the unfairness of not being permitted to bid on the contract "plums" for work in Iraq, the oil and military contracting company Halliburton has already amassed $2 billion in no-bid, no-ceiling contracts there. (Boston Globe, 19 Sept. 03)
Canadians were surveyed
According to a survey taken this year by a marketing group, about 58 per cent of Canadian households enjoy the use of a personal home computer, and an additional 11 per cent plan to buy one in the near future. In 41 per cent of Canada's homes, someone is trying to control their weight by diet, and 24 per cent are trying to eat more natural foods.
U.S. war casualties
Although less than 1,000 U.S. troops were killed or wounded in the first Gulf War in 1991, 220,000 or more have reportedly become disabled since that time due to Gulf War Syndrome. The continued use of similarly lethal weaponry by the U.S. is expected to result in similar health problems arising as a result of the current war. However, because Defense Secretary Rumsfeld willfully violated explicit U.S. law by failing to establish a baseline health study of American troops entering combat, these casualties will be difficult to clearly identify. (Harvey Wasserman in The Free Press 3 May 03 -- visit www.freepress.org )
Chastising Cellucci
"Ambassador, you have found it necessary to scold us, to be cross with us and you may even want to punish us eventually," Shirley Douglas said at an anti-war rally in Toronto last spring. She was responding to U.S. Ambassador Cellucci's criticism of Canada's stand on the war in Iraq. "Your country has had over 35 wars since the Second World War," she said. "We have not chosen to come with you on many of those wars. We did not choose to go to Vietnam. We do not choose to go to the war in Iraq." Douglas is daughter of NDP founder Tommy Douglas and mother of actor Kiefer Sutherland.