TV News Is Bad For Your Brain

August 27, 2007

A study has revealed that people who rely on television to get their news
are more likely to be misinformed on the facts about Iraq, WMD’s and Iraq’s
ties to 9/11 than those who get their news from other sources or even who
don’t follow the news at all.

The study polled over 3,000 people on their perceptions about international
support for the Iraq War, ties of Saddam Hussein to the events of 9/11, and
the Discovery of WMD’s in Iraq. What they found, incredibly, though not
surprising, was that the more people got their news from TV, the higher the
frequency of their misperceptions.

Out of all the news networks, of course, Fox News ranked highest among
misinformed viewers. The lowest was PBS.

Bush’s support tied to misperceptions

Another angle of the poll was to group by Bush supporters or Democratic
candidate supporters. Naturally, the vast majority of the misinformed were
Bush supporters. This included Democrats that supported Bush.

The polling was conducted by the Program on International Policy (PIPA) at the
University of Maryland and Knowledge Networks.



Human Rights First to the CIA: You Torture, You Go To Jail

August 22, 2007

etn-brand.gif From the Executive Director of Human Rights First:

On July 20, President Bush issued an Executive Order authorizing the CIA interrogation program. The Order fails explicitly to rule out interrogation techniques that had been authorized for use in the CIA program, such as waterboarding, stress positions, hypothermia, sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation and isolation. If the Order is interpreted by the CIA as authorization to use such techniques, it sends a powerful — and dangerous — message to the United States’ current and future enemies: that the United States believes these techniques can be used against our own troops without violating Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions.

As part of Human Rights First’s efforts to challenge the Executive Order and end the use of torture by anyone in America’s name, we released a report on August 2, coauthored with Physicians for Human Rights, concluding that U.S. officials who authorize or use these “enhanced” interrogation techniques risk violating U.S. law and could face criminal prosecution.

Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director, Human Rights First

Read the report (pdf file, 57 pages): Leave No Marks: ‘Enhanced Interrogation Techniques and the Risk of Criminality.’

Read a summary, here.

The American Bar Association has also come out against Pres. Bush’s Executive Order authorizing torture. To read their statement, click here.

CIA, FBI Computers Traced to Wikipedia Edits

August 20, 2007

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – People using CIA and FBI computers have edited entries in the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on topics including the Iraq war and the Guantanamo prison, according to a new tracing program.

The changes may violate Wikipedia’s conflict-of-interest guidelines, a spokeswoman for the site said on Thursday.

Go to the full article.
Go to the tracing program, WikiScanner.
Go to the OhMyNews story.

AT&T Caught in More Lies About Pearl Jam Concert Webcast

August 17, 2007

A crew member who worked on a show webcast by AT&T confirmed that there was a policy in place to remove artists’ political comments from shows before they were webcast.

“I can definitively say that at a previous event where AT&T was covering the show, the instructions were to shut it down if there was any swearing or if anybody starts getting political. Granted, they didn’t say to shut down any Anti-Bush comments or anything specific to any point of view or party, but ‘getting political’ was mentioned.”

Randall L. Stephenson, the CEO of AT&T, is also the Vice-Chairman of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, and has motivation to shield Bush from criticism. And as some readers of this blog have pointed out, AT&T is free to do whatever it wants to the audio on its webcasts.

To read the complete Wired Blog Network post by Eliot Van Buskirk, click here.

For more articles on Net Neutrality, visit Save the Internet.  And an article, here.

Dick Cheney ’94: Invading Baghdad Would Create Quagmire

August 15, 2007

In this interview from April 15th, 1994, Dick Cheney reveals the reasons why invading Baghdad and toppling Saddam Hussein wouldn’t be a great idea. He also stipulates that “not very many” American soldiers’ lives were worth losing to take out Saddam during the Gulf War.

NOTE: As of 6:17 EDT on Sunday, Aug 12th, YouTube removed this video from the Today lists (ie. most viewed, most discussed…)

Pearl Jam Not First to be Censored by AT&T

August 14, 2007

180px-eddie_vedder_and_pearl_jam_in_concert_in_italy_2006.jpg AT&T’s controversial edit of comments about President Bush from a Webcast of Pearl Jam’s performance at Lollapalooza last week was not the first time the telecommunications giant has silenced political statements by musicians.

An AT&T spokeswoman initially characterized the sudden audio edit that silenced Eddie Vedder’s lyrics “George Bush, leave this world alone” and “George Bush, find yourself another home” during Pearl Jam’s performance in Grant Park last Sunday as “an unfortunate mistake” and “an isolated incident.”

But yesterday, a reader e-mailed the Sun-Times saying AT&T’s Blue Room Webcast also had silenced comments during two performances at the Bonnaroo Festival in Tennessee last June, cutting remarks by the John Butler Trio bemoaning the lack of federal response to Hurricane Katrina and comments about Bush and the war in Iraq by singer Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips.

“The sound did not cut out at any other time — only when someone was talking about George Bush or the government in a negative way,” the reader, who identified herself as Andrea K., wrote. Flaming Lips management said the band was unaware of the edit but was investigating, and the John Butler Trio could not be reached.

But AT&T did confirm that other, unspecified political comments have been cut from its Webcasts.

To read the full article from the Chicago Sun-Times by music writer Jim Derogatis, click here.

To read about “Net Neutrality”–a Congressional Bill that would make this type of censorship illegal, click here.

For Pearl Jam’s statement on the incident, click here.

To see and hear the edited and unedited segments of the concert, click here.

Blackwater–Privatizing the U.S. Military

August 13, 2007


They say they are not a mercenary outfit, but Blackwater USA has one of the most profitable private armies in the world, with outposts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now they’re coming to California, and one Los Angeles activist is gearing up to take them on.

Click here to see the video report on Blackwater, broadcast Aug. 9 on KNBC.

Click here to go to the Blackwater web site.

Click here to go to activist Rick Jacobs’s web site, where he has a Blackwater petition.