Friday, December 31, 2010

How Many Dejavu's Out There? 2010 worst year (1990 worst year; 1969 worst year)

I'd be remiss in not paying homage to all the reporters in the world -- that includes citizen journalists, bloggers, researchers, photographers, video and audio support -- that have helped me write my stories for the Spokesman Review's newspaper and Down to Earth Northwest on-line magazine. Hats off to Howard Zinn and Chalmers Johnson, both heroes, and both of whom passed away this year.'s_historian_and_progressive_hero_howard_zinn_dies

Thank the truth seekers fora group like Reporters without Borders. Read the end-of-the-year wrap up of how tenuous our lives and our truths are in this global Brave New World. Wikileaks is hosted on that Reporters without Borders site:

Journalists in 2010 targets and bargaining chips
Published on 30 December 2010

Figures in 2010
57 journalists killed (25% fewer than in 2009)
51 journalists kidnapped
535 journalists arrested
1374 physically attacked or threatened
504 media censored
127 journalists fled their country
152 bloggers and netizens arrested
52 physically attacked
62 countries affected by Internet censorship,39188.html

Julian Assange, Wiki-leaks, and the trove of evidence of American -- and international -- maleficence and terror carried out by governments and corporations: he's more than a hero, as is Bradley Manning, the US Army intelligence analyst (he's still a kid, 22-years-old) who is in a living Inquisition Hell perpetrated by US DoD, Obama, reckless generals, and a broken and hypocritical judicial system. If anything, the Internet and the information flow and the so-called hacking to find all these illegal and unethical machinations and secret policies through emails and Internet whistle blowing, now that's our hope. Putting a ruthless and unimaginative guy like Facebook's Zuckerberg on the cover of Time Magazine as the"man" of the year is emblematic of superficiality of mainstream media. Nothing new or great that guy did in 2010.

Here's a great wrap-up of the media's campaign against Wikileaks and Manning and Assange:

8 Smears and Misconceptions About WikiLeaks Spread By the Media
Shredding the corporate media's malicious attacks on WikiLeaks

Surprisingly, there is some glimmer of hope in education circles. My other hat I wear, besides the journalist's full brimmed one, is college teacher, and while this blog has covered some of the cuts in education being led by Republicans, tea bag party nuts and Democrats, creating a true banana republic here in the USA, or an under developing military state, as Manfred Max-Neef, the economist and environmentalist from Chile has written about, it's true that tenured faculty and the higher ups in secondary and higher education have circled their respective wagons and have been fearful of commentary against this massive attack on the US's future.

Here's the famous journalism institution showing some intestinal fortitude:

a letter to Obama and Holder decrying the rhetoric and nonsense coming out of this administration's mouths concerning going after Assange, even to the point of murdering him. Biden, Palin, all of them need to return their high school and college diplomas and get in line for a McDonald's job they so proudly tout as America's answer to hunger, foreclosure, no health insurance.

From faculty of Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism---

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

December 13, 2010

Dear Mr. President and General Holder:
As faculty members and officers of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, we are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice is considering criminal charges against Julian Assange or others associated with Wikileaks.

Journalists have a responsibility to exercise careful news judgment when classified documents are involved, including assessing whether a document is legitimately confidential and whether there may be harm from its publication.

But while we hold varying opinions of Wikileaks’ methods and decisions, we all believe that in publishing diplomatic cables Wikileaks is engaging in journalistic activity protected by the First Amendment. Any prosecution of Wikileaks’ staff for receiving, possessing or publishing classified materials will set a dangerous precedent for reporters in any publication or medium, potentially chilling investigative journalism and other First Amendment-protected activity.

As a historical matter, government overreaction to publication of leaked material in the press has always been more damaging to American democracy than the leaks themselves.

The U.S. and the First Amendment continue to set a world standard for freedom of the press, encouraging journalists in many nations to take significant risks on behalf of transparency. Prosecution in the Wikileaks case would greatly damage American standing in free-press debates worldwide and would dishearten those journalists looking to this nation for inspiration.

We urge you to pursue a course of prudent restraint in the Wikileaks matter.

Please note this letter reflects our individual views, not a position of Columbia University or the Journalism School.


Emily Bell, Professor of Professional Practice; Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Helen Benedict, Professor

Sheila Coronel, Toni Stabile Professor of Professional Practice in Investigative;
Director, Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism

June Cross, Associate Professor of Journalism

John Dinges, Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor of Journalism

Joshua Friedman, Director, Maria Moors Cabot Prize for Journalism in the Americas

Todd Gitlin, Professor; Chair, Ph.D. Program

Ari Goldman, Professor

LynNell Hancock, Professor; Director, Spencer Education Journalism Fellowship

Marguerite Holloway, Assistant Professor; Director, Science and Environmental Journalism

David Klatell, Professor of Professional Practice; Chair, International Studies

Nicolas Lemann, Dean; Henry R. Luce Professor

Dale Maharidge, Associate Professor

Arlene Morgan, Associate Dean, Prizes and Programs

Victor S. Navasky, George T. Delacorte Professor in Magazine Journalism; Director,
Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism

Michael Schudson, Professor

Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma

Alisa Solomon, Associate Professor; Director, Arts Concentration, M.A. Program
Paula Span, Adjunct Professor

Duy Linh Tu, Assistant Professor of Professional Practice; Coordinator, Digital Media Program

Assange's mother country's journalism organization has bluntly attacked the attacks on WikiLeaks and Assange:

The Walkley Foundation, an institution of journalism in Assange’s home of Australia, put it more succinctly in its own letter of support for WikiLeaks: “To aggressively attempt to shut WikiLeaks down, to threaten to prosecute those who publish official leaks, and to pressure companies to cease doing commercial business with WikiLeaks, is a serious threat to democracy, which relies on a free and fearless press.”

Read the full letter here:

So, out with the purveyors of greed, hate, war, anti-science, false solutions, over-fed millionaires and billionaires who have absolutely not idea about civil society and grass roots movements, communities of common purpose, communities within communities, and how to shape futures for current and future generations. They are the deadwood, the cancers eating at the hope and clear purpose of people who understand how fragile our planet it, our ecosystems are, our want of truth has grown . . . . And in with rebellion, smart thinking, activism, people who will not stand down in the face of the power brokers. Support sanity and end the Fox mentality, stupidity.

For a lighter and more positive spin on the top green stories for 2010, check it out here, at Eco-salon:

Year in Review: Top 10 Environmental Stories of 2010
by Kim Derby on December 24, 2010 in Culture

This, the first year of a brand new decade, whizzed by in a flurry and a flash but not without plenty of environmental activity. We had floods and food recalls, earthquakes and Academy Awards, plus plenty of strange weather. 2010 was a busy year for the environment. But was it a year that planet loving people want to remember or repress? Maybe a little of both.

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