February 21, 2012
By Steve Watson
“Why would anyone in their right mind vote for Rick Santorum? It boggles the mind to think this man has supporters.” –KTRN
A new Ron Paul 2012 campaign ad has been released today that takes direct aim at GOP rival Rick Santorum’s voting record.
Entitled simply “Fake”, the 30 second spot makes the case that it is a myth that Santorum is in any way a fiscal conservative.
The concise ad crams in the facts that Santorum voted to raise the federal debt ceiling five times, voted to double the size of the Department of Education through No Child Left Behind, and voted for Medicare Part D — the biggest entitlement expansion since the ’60s.
The ad also highlights the fact that Santorum voted to send foreign aid to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il and also endorsed sending billions in tax dollars to the corrupt regime in Egypt.
February 21, 2012
By Andy Borowitz
“This article is tongue in cheek, but it rings true. How much more coverage can the mainstream media do about a woman who sang other people’s songs? Yes, it’s sad when anyone dies young – especially from drugs (both illegal and pharmaceutical). The government and the media loves it when people like Houston dies. It’s an easy diversion from what’s really going on.” –KTRN
As North Korea ramped up its threats to attack South Korea, CNN reassured its viewers that a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula would have “no effect whatsoever” on its Whitney Houston coverage.
“As viewers, you have come to trust us to deliver the news whenever it happens, wherever it happens, as long as that news is about Whitney Houston,” said Wolf Blitzer, host of the network’s “Situation Room” program. “We will never do anything to break that trust.”
As Mr. Blitzer spoke, 23 of the Situation Room’s 24 video monitors featured images of Ms. Houston, with the 24th featuring an image of her ex, Bobby Brown.
The news from CNN sent a chill through the senior leadership of North Korea, who announced later today that it might postpone a nuclear war until later in the week when the Whitney Houston coverage calms down.
February 13, 2012
By Tony Cartalucci
AP reported that US General Martin Dempsey has met directly with the military leaders of Egypt to discuss an Egyptian “crackdown on Western-funded pro-democracy groups.” Threatened with a cut-off from US aid, the Egyptian military is expected to abandon their campaign against US “NGOs.”
As usual, AP attempts to diminish the veracity of Egypt’s concerns with deceptive language and innuendos such as, “Egypt, which regularly blames anti-military protests on foreign meddling,” and “in an indication that authorities will continue to push the line that foreigners are stirring up trouble.” Of course it is not a “line” that the Egyptian government is pushing, it is a well documented fact.
AP goes on to explain the plight of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Egypt office-head, Sam LaHood, son of US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who is now on trail amongst 16 American “civil society employees.” They are charged with using US State Department funds to fuel unrest throughout Egypt.
Despite the feigned skepticism of AP, there is conclusive evidence that from 2008, the US State Department had begun a concerted effort to recruit, train, equip, fund, and in some cases arm, dissidents not only from Egypt, but from Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Iran, Russia, Belarus, Myanmar, Malaysia, Thailand, and even North Korea. This was accomplished not only through the US State Department, but through a myriad of subsidiaries starting with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and including LaHood’s IRI.
February 2, 2012
By Aaron Cynic
“Freedom of the press? Far from it.” –KTRN
Reporters Without Borders released its 10th annual Press Freedom Index, which found that while 2011 may have been Time Magazine’s “Year of the Protester,” it was also the year of government crackdowns on journalists. The opening of the report reads: “Never have journalists, through their reporting, vexed the enemies of freedom so much. Never have acts of censorship and physical attacks on journalists seemed so numerous. The equation is simple: the absence or suppression of civil liberties leads necessarily to the suppression of media freedom.”
Rounding out the bottom of the list are countries like North Korea, Iran, Syria and China – all types of dictatorships with very tightly controlled state media. While Tunisia, the country which arguably sparked the Arab Spring rose 30 places in the RWB index, Egypt plummeted nearly 40 due to the military maintaining the dictatorial practices of former President Mubarak.
The United States, land of the supposedly freeist press on Earth, dropped 27 places on the index to 47. Reporters Without Boarders attributes the giant drop in press freedom in the U.S. To the arrest of journalists made at Occupy protests. In just two short months, the index shows that at least 25 (that number is most likely much higher) journalists in the United States were subject to arrest and beatings by police who “were quick to issue indictments for inappropriate behavior, public nuisance or even lack of accreditation.”
January 27, 2012
By Ellen Connolly
Sweeping protests around the world made it an extremely difficult year for the media, and tested journalists as never before, the annual report into press freedom reveals.
The annual report by Reporters Without Borders has been released, showing the United States fell 27 points on the list due to the many arrests of journalists covering Occupy Wall Street protests.
The slide in the United States places it just behind Comoros and Taiwan in a group with Argentina and Romania.
Reporters Without Borders said the heightened unrest around the world resulted in a significant shake-up of the group’s annual Press Freedom Index, which assesses governments’ commitment to protecting media freedoms.
The Paris-based non-governmental Reporters Without Borders has named “crackdown” the word of 2011 in an assessment of global media freedom during a year in which journalists covering sweeping protests were tested as never before.
The non-governmental organisation seeks to defend journalists’ freedom to work and combat censorship internationally.
Despite the big changes, some constants remained. The country with the freest media in the world was Finland, followed by Norway, Estonia, the Netherlands and Austria. Eritrea was last, with North Korea just above.
The United States was not alone in the falling grades: Bahrain fell 29 points because of the crackdown in that country.
January 2, 2012
By Jack Kim and Sung-won Shim
“The new leader of North Korea is really fat. How is that possible when the people living in his country are starving?” –KTRN
North Korea called on its people to rally behind new leader Kim Jong-un and protect him as “human shields” while working to solve the “burning issue” of food shortages by upholding the policies of his late father, Kim Jong-il.
The North’s three main state newspapers said in a policy-setting editorial traditionally published on New Year’s Day that Kim Jong-un has legitimacy to carry on the revolutionary battle initiated by his grandfather, Kim Il-sung, and developed by his father, the iron-fisted ruler who died two weeks ago.
“Kim Jong-un, the supreme leader of our Party and our people, is the banner of victory and glory of Songun (military-first) Korea and the eternal centre of its unity,” the 5,000-word editorial carried by the North’s state KCNA news agency said.
Asserting that the inexperienced young Kim, in his late 20s, is “precisely” identical to his father, the editorial said “the whole Party, the entire army and all the people should possess a firm conviction that they will become human bulwarks and human shields in defending Kim Jong-un unto death.”
Notably, the editorial called North Korea’s food problem “a burning issue” for the ruling Workers’ Party to solve and build “a thriving country.”
“Glorify this year 2012 as a year of proud victory, a year when an era of prosperity is unfolding, true to the instructions of the great General Kim Jong-il,” the editorial said.
The destitute North has been suffering from chronic food shortages, relying heavily on outside aid. A U.N. report said in November the isolated communist state needs food assistance for nearly 3 million of its 24 million people in 2012.
NO MENTION OF NUCLEAR ARMS
Many Korea-watchers in Seoul say the editorial did not suggest any major new changes in social or economic policies but appeared to be sensitive over the food issue.
“In order to solidify and stabilize his grip on power, tackling the food problem is one of the top agenda topics Kim Jong-un should deal with for now,” Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Koran Studies, told Reuters.
The editorial also assailed the South Korean government for pursuing confrontation despite efforts by the North to reopen dialogue, and it repeated its demand for the withdrawal of the U.S. military from the South.
But conspicuously absent from the editorial was any mention of North Korea’s nuclear arms program, the key source of regional security concerns during Kim Jong-il’s reign.
“The North seems poised to focus its polices on stabilizing domestic matters such as economic issues for the time being rather than to aggressively come forward with diplomatic affairs,” said Yoo Ho-yeol, an North Korea expert at Korea University.
The North’s remarks on the nuclear issue were featured prominently in previous New Year’s Day editorials.
December 30, 2011
By Mark Mooney
The funeral procession for Kim Jong-Il was carried out with military precision and when a handful of dawdlers messed up those regimented lines, they were eliminated. From the photo, that is.
A photo released by the North Korea’s state news agency and transmitted by the Germany-based European Pressphoto Agency is slightly different from a photo taken at nearly the identical moment and released by Japanese agency Kyodo News.
The Japanese picture captured a half-dozen men near a camera on a tripod lingering behind the line of mourners on the left side of the boulevard as the motorcade passed by.
In the photo by the North Korean Central News Agency, those men, their camera and their footprints have been digitally removed, restoring absolute order to the crowds lining the boulevard as the cortege passed by.
The alterations were discovered by the New York Times with the help of digital forensics expert Hany Farid of Dartmouth College.
December 23, 2011
A cloud of mystery has shrouded the death of Kim Jong-il, as South Korean intelligence pokes holes in the official version of the Supreme Leader’s passing. The latest news begs the question: is Pyongyang involved in an assassination cover-up?
North Korean state television said Kim died of a heart attack on Saturday while traveling by train to a field inspection outside Pyongyang.
However, during a special session of the South Korean National Assembly Intelligence Committee, National Intelligence Service (NIS) head Won Sei-hoon claimed that Kim’s famous armored train was parked at Pyongyang’s train station at the time the he reportedly died, the Korean Herald reports.
Won said the intelligence was confirmed by US military satellite photos, which purportedly showed that the train was stationary in the capital city at the official time of death.
Won also said the NIS had been tracking Kim’s movements up until December 15. However, they lost track of him from the following day until the time of his death, the daily reports.
Now, the sudden nature of Kim’s death is fueling suspicion that Pyongyang is hiding something.
When Kim Jong-il traveled to Russia this past August, he appeared to be relatively healthy, albeit a bit thin. This, coupled with the fact that it took Pyongyang two days to announce Kim’s death, has prompted speculation that he could have been assassinated, the Korea Joongang daily reports.
Analysts noted that Kim, like his father, died succumbed suddenly to cardiac arrest due to “fatigue and overwork.”
Moreover, both men passed away during periods of strained international relations over the isolated state’s nuclear weapons program.
In July 1994, Kim Il-sung died just after agreeing to halt the country’s uranium enrichment program during a period of attempted rapprochement with the West. After his death, talks of freezing North Korea’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for aid would not resume for months.
December 15, 2011
The American Dream
#1 It has been revealed that Predator drones are now being used inside of the United States to spy on American citizens. These Predator drones are equipped with the latest high-resolution cameras, very sophisticated heat sensors and incredibly advanced surveillance equipment.
Predator drones can sit up in the sky and watch you for 20 hours without stopping. If one was watching you right now you probably wouldn’t even know it.
We are accustomed to Predator drones being used in the “war on terror”, but now they are being used to watch American citizens. The following comes from a recent article in the Los Angeles Times….
#2 The Department of Homeland Security says that paying for your hotel room in cash is a sign that you could be a potential terrorist. If you do not believe this, just watch this shocking DHS video.
#3 As I have written about previously, authorities in Tennessee are going door to door conducting “assessments” of how “prepared” residents are. The following comes from a recent news article about this new program….
December 12, 2011
“Way to go South Korea. This is a hilariously awesome idea. Do you know the people in North Korea are only allowed to worship their leader?” –KTRN
‘Tis the season for psychological warfare? While Christmas trees around the world symbolize peace on earth and good will toward men, Seoul’s plan to hang lights near the most militarized border in the world has North Korea vowing to retaliate.
Seoul has decided to allow a church group to hang lights on a Christmas tree-shaped towers some two miles from the tense border.
When illuminated, the 100-foot tall structure, which is located on the military-controlled Aegibong Hill, can easily be seen from the North Korean city of Kaesong.
Additionally, the South Korean government also decided Sunday to allow other Christian groups to light two more front-line Christmas trees, a Defense Ministry official said, the Associated Press reports.
The official, speaking under condition of anonymity, said the move is meant to help guarantee freedom of expression and religion.
The South Korean military has plans to heighten security around the three tree-shaped towers, which are located at different points along the border.
However, North Korea’s official Uriminzokkiri news website said plans by South Korea to spread Christmas cheer amounted to “psychological warfare”, and that Pyongyang would retaliate immediately if Seoul went ahead with its plans, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports.
“The enemy warmongers… should be aware that they should be held responsible entirely for any unexpected consequences that may be caused by their scheme,” it said.