Déjà vu all over again: Operation Oddity Awe

March 20, 2011

Well the inevitable overnight pounding of Baghdad Tripoli will teach that old foolish despot Saddam Hussein Muammar Gaddafi a stonking lesson in defending civil liberties the power of a wounded imperialist beast  that he will never forget.

But what next for the bold and staunch Security Council Unites States puppeteers? On the eighth anniversary of the shock and awe campaign against Baghdad – and we all know that’s ending well #FAIL! we see another attempt at “regime change by proxy”. Robert Fisk’s piece “First it was Saddam” is laden with  humour, irony and anger; but it reminds us “trust no-0ne”.

The logic of the US (UN proxy) argument against Gaddafi – that he is using the machinery of state to attack his own people who simply want him to move aside – means that US warships should also be firing missiles at several other royal compounds in the region.

A quick review of what’s happening in the Middle East and a brief look at the “who’s who” of dictators and general fucktards-in-charge would suggest that several kings have put themselves in the firing line by their recent actions.

Here’s a quick survey of the current news from Yemen and Bahrain, where pro-democracy protestors – just like the plucky Libyans – have been gunned down in recent days.

Oh hey, and don’t forget the House of Saudi, which is financing and supporting those pulling the trigger in Yemen.

The difference is plain though; Gadaffi is currently a “baddie” in the simplistic PR spin from the State Department, while the Saudi, Yemeni and Bahraini ruling elites are “friendlies”.

I am very disappointed with the news media over this issue. As soon as the “bang bang” starts the embedded knuckleheads in the compliant news media suddenly have deep amnesia.

They have forgotten all the lies that surrounded shock and awe and more importantly and more worryingly, the news media has conveniently forgotten its own disgusting, abject, grovelling and deceitful role in that sorry little saga of war crime, murder and mayhem.

This front page is a good example of what I mean. Instead of focusing on why the attacks and challenging them, the New Zealand Herald chooses instead to run this stupid line from one of Gaddafi’s rants as an excuse to paint the attacks as justified.

This is not good enough.

I’m out for a Sunday drive, more later.


Kiwi newspaper ‘discovers’ Facebook photos: “Ethics? What dilemma?”

July 25, 2010

Sunday News this week uncovered photos on 32-year-old [Carmen] Thomas’s Facebook page showing her playfully pecking the cheek of All Blacks midfield sensation Ma’a Nonu and embracing wing Anthony Tuitavake.

[Bunting, 25 July, Sunday News]

Gosh, I’m absolutely stunned with awe; marvelling at the forensic abilities of the Sunday News. How devastatingly newsworthy…the paper’s found out that a missing woman has been seen in a bar with two footballers.

Stunning stuff, let’s hope the police are as astute as Sunday News and are right now questioning the two players. They may know something about Carmen Thomas’ disappearance.

The headline suggest this momentous event has just happened and Carmen hasn’t been seen for about three weeks:

Missing mum poses with All Blacks

And isn’t it fantastic that there’s been a sighting of her, after all her anxious friends, her employer, her mother  and her child are beside themselves with worry.

“Oh, what’s that?” Hang on, check the details…Why? What’s wrong with this picture?

It’s not known when or where the photos were taken but the social networking site has recorded them as being uploaded on September 22, 2008.

Fuck me, the photos are nearly two years old.

Why is this newsworthy? Why is this in the paper?

Oh yeah, right, the All Blacks’ connection. We get to this point a few pars into the non-story. In an attempt to ‘keep it real’ the reporter valiantly attempts to link the All Blacks to the police investigation:

Investigation head, Mark Benefield, was reluctant to comment on Thomas’ online photos but confirmed police were “aware” of them, and that “there are several photographs of her on it [Facebook] in the company of people from all walks of life”.

“As far as we know at this stage of the investigation, there is nothing sinister in any of the photographs posted by Carmen on her pages,” Benefield said. The acting detective inspector wouldn’t say whether police had contacted the rugby stars.

Finbarr, mate, you are flogging a dead horse here. You’ve squeezed all the juice out of this particular lemon and there’s no more blood in this stone.

If I was Benefield I’d be reluctant too; knowing that whatever I said was going to be quoted at length in a cheesey hole-filler, arm-wrestled into the raggiest rag in the land.

What a tasteless, low-rent and ultimately meaningless bit of reporting.

And what investigative skills.

The Facebook photos are only visible to Thomas’ friends and their friends.

Not any more they’re not. Thanks to Sunday News we can all perv at them.

I’ve written before about gratuitous invasions of Facebook privacy by gawking media vultures. This is a classic case of reducing a person to the sum of their parts. I have no doubt that if there had been any ‘racier’ images, the Sunday News would have had no qualms about publishing them.

And let’s be clear, every newspaper in the country would do it too.

This is a wild-west frontier in journalism ethics and at the moment everyone’s behaving like a drunken cowboy in a saloon.

It’s not good enough. It is time for news organisations to establish some ethical and fair use guidelines around the plundering of Facebook for images and story leads.

There are legitimate reasons why journalists should be using social media tools to enhance their reporting; but sitting on your arse in the office downloading what is really someone else’s private property is not one of them. There are copyright issues here – is it stealing?

And of course it would seem that these egregious breaches of privacy can be overlooked because all you’re doing is exploiting some other numbnuck’s inability to operate the complex technical settings on Facebook.

Let’s be clear: what you’re doing is not journalism.

There is no pubic interest in publishing two-year old photos of Carmen Thomas with a couple of footy players; all it does is satisfy the ego of a couple of hacks without conscience.

It makes me sick.

The reporter doesn’t say how he got access to Ms Thomas’ private photos, but I guess it doesn’t matter does it. Whatever privacy settings you have on your Facebook page, to the news media goon squad it’s all public property and access is just a click away.

After all, if you’re too stupid to stop us, too fucken bad, we’re coming; guns blazing and whiskey-stained breath on your neck.


Free speech supports lying politicians

October 8, 2007

This is basically why bourgeois law is an ass. The first amendment to the US Constitution, which is widely heralded as the best protection of free speech anywhere on the planet is now officially a protection for politicians who lie during election campaigns.

I’m not sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind, but it shows you just how far things are degenerating and at what speed.
The bourgoisie – the ruling class in a capitalist system – no longer has any use for free speech, it is in fact counter to their class interests – staying in control of the economy and politics.

Now pro-capital politicians can further cement their grip on power by blatantly lying during election campaigns, safe in the knowledge that they are merely acting in the American tradition of free speech. Bastards.

This piece from Editor & Publisher give chapter and verse on the recent High Court decision.


Another student tasered by campus cops – what’s with this shit?

September 19, 2007

Student Tasered at campus forum for Kerry – CNN.com

The campus cops in the USA don’t seem to be learning. They’ve tasered another student at the University of Florida.
Watch this video and see how the spokesperson for the uni squirms.

The guy was just asking John Kerry a question at a campus election rally. That is, exercising his rights as a US citizen. He was asking a difficult question, that the organisers didn’t like.

These campus cops are asshole thugs. Why do universities employ goons like this. Surely it’s not too hard to give clear instructions not to attack students in unprovoked assaults with deadly weapons.

How long till these thugs actually kill someone?

Here’s another view, of course, thanks YouTubers.

What’s interesting is the character asassination now going on about the student, 21-year-old Andrew Myer. According to reports published in major newspapers, including the Sydney Morning Herald, Myer is a ‘trouble-maker’ and practical joker. So what, that doesn’t mean he deserves to get tasered. The cops are also quoted as saying that once the cameras were off Myer, he joked and laughed as he was taken off to the lock-up. What a farce.

Tasering people is now a legitimate police contact sport. Here’s another clip of an incident in a police lock up. There are better ways of dealing with disturbed and emotional people. The cops are out of control.

So, you don’t believe cops enjoy this shit? Take a look at this training video – they’re having fun with the taser. One of the women looks wierdly like Janet Jackson – listen to her, she loved getting tasered. I guess they just want to share the love. Bastards!