Tuesday, February 28, 2006

shut up or else 

Lou Dobbs CNN / Monday Feb. 27, 2006:
Dubai Ports World tonight is making what I consider to be a rather astonishing new attempt to silence me and our coverage of this ports deal and our reporting of what at least I consider to be legitimate national security concerns about this transaction. Dubai Ports World has actually refused to grant CNN anymore interviews from Washington or London, and it's refused to allow CNN to videotape its operations in the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong if we were to show you the video on this broadcast.


This is not the first time that Dubai Ports World has tried to silence me. Last week, a spokesman for the public relations firm that represents the company, Mark Dennis, declared, ‘CNN won't shut up Lou Dobbs.’ And as a result, they weren't going to cooperate.

At Americablog John Aravosis writes (bold emphasis mine):
Dubai is now trying to censor CNN's Lou Dobbs
by John in DC - 2/27/2006 11:18:00 PM

I'm not kidding.

The Dubai state-owned company that wants to get control of 6 key US ports is now trying to silence CNN's Lou Dobbs. Apparently Dobbs' coverage of the port deal struck too close to home, so now Dubai is trying to force CNN to shut him up.

Well, here's a little advice for Dubai: In developed democracies the government doesn't get to tell the media to shut up or else. [...]

Which reminded me of this (bold emphasis mine):
RURAL ROUTES/Margot Ford McMillen
Ag Lobbyists Target Activists

Ask someone who's studied industrialized agriculture and they'll tell you it's bad because large monocultures and confined animals pollute the air and water. Then they'll tell you the food that comes from industry is tasty but unhealthy. They'll tell you it's cheap because it's subsidized by the government with so many subsidies that the big companies ought to give it away.

Then they'll tell you the big guys hog the resources and put farmers out of business rather than helping rural economies. They'll cite the studies that say that rural counties with small farms have less spousal abuse, more kids in school, more churchgoers and more engaged parents. And, finally, they'll tell you that the big players manipulate the democracy.

Manipulate democracy? How's that work?

Right now, in a state house near you, a few amoral lobbyists and politicians are working their black magic. They are few because they've bought out or squeezed out all the smaller companies. And they are powerful.

In Iowa, lawmakers are pushing for a bill to label and punish people who complain about factory farms in their neighborhood. The so-called "chronic complainers" may be researchers or they may be citizens trying to protect their families and their real estate investments, but under this law if you complain three times about industrialized agriculture, you are labeled and you have no right to be heard.

In 13 states, there are already laws against disparagement of agriculture. In the words of South Dakota's version, this includes "dissemination ... of any information ... that an agricultural food product is not safe for consumption ... or that generally accepted agricultural and management practices make ... food products unsafe ..."

That was the law that Oprah fought in Texas when she was prosecuted for saying she'd not eat another hamburger. She won the battle, by the way, but the war is still on.

In Missouri and Illinois and many other states, lawmakers are pushing a law forbidding photography or dissemination of photographs taken inside an agricultural research or production facility. Violation would result in a misdemeanor citation. One of the only groups brave enough to stand up to this particular travesty is the animal welfare coalition, who want to be able to take and disseminate pictures of the outrageous abuse they find in puppy mills.

But, besides protecting puppy mill operators, passage of these laws jeopardizes the rights of employees, researchers and scientists to protect the public or to even carry out their work. If, for example, an employee, researcher or scientist presents results of an experiment at a national meeting, that researcher will (in the language of the bill) "knowingly distribute records, data, material, equipment or animals" or "photographic, video or electronic image ..." and can be prosecuted.

Furthermore, one section of the bill forbids scientists and researchers from raising, soliciting, collecting, donating or providing material support. In other words, research scientists in Missouri and funders who "provide material support" will be at risk of breaking the law if they pay for research.

And if the scientists, researchers and employees somehow manage to raise the money and distribute their findings in spite of this bill, major discoveries will go unpromoted because journalists are at risk if they possess "records, data, material, equipment ... or any photographic, video or electronic image ..."

4 full story at Progressive Populist = continue reading at link above



Far out on the desert to the north dustspouts rose wobbling and augered the earth and some said they'd heard of pilgrims borne aloft like dervishes in those mindless coils to be dropped broken and bleeding upon the desert again and there perhaps to watch the thing that had destroyed them lurch onward like some drunken djinn and resolve itself once more into the elements from which it sprang. Out of that whirlwind no voice spoke and the pilgrim lying in his broken bones may cry out and in his anguish he may rage, but rage at what? And if the dried and blackened shell of him is found among the sands by travelers to come yet who can discover the engine of his ruin? ~ Cormac McCarthy Blood Meridian

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