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By John Grant
Guns in the Home and Suicide
The Star.com reports on something of interest to Americans, or at least it should be.
Suicides. Suicides dropped dramatically in Canada thanks to the federal gun registry. Not only do statistics prove as much, it stands to reason that with improved gun safety comes decreased gun fatalities; with fewer tools-of-choice for suicides available, fewer suicides occur. It just makes sense.Here are the stats. A home where there are firearms is five times more likely to be the scene of a suicide than a home without a gun: Canada Safety Council. The Institut national de sante publique du Québec has assessed that the coming into force of the Firearms Act is associated, on average, with a reduction of 250 suicides (and 50 homicides) each year in Canada. That’s nearly one life saved per day. StatsCan figures are stark: firearm suicides have dropped 48 per cent since the enactment of the very law that the Conservatives seek to repeal.
In The States it's not quite as high as 75%, but the majority of gun deaths here are suicides as well. Do you think that fact is overlooked in gun control discussions? Whenever it does come up the pro-gun crowd comes up with one of their three standard responses. I think they must memorize these inanities.
1. People who want to kill themselves have a right to do so
2. People who want to kill themselves will find another way if no gun is around
3. What about Japan? (this one was debunked here)
What's your opinion? Are suicide rates even a greater reason for strict gun control laws than the traditional gun violence?
My belief, and I'm not alone, is that in most cases suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. One study interviewed survivors of gun suicide attempts. Every one interviewed expressed gratitude to have failed. The absense of gun availability, as proven by the Canadian experience, ensures fewer suicides.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
By Lisa Pease
Each November, the media recalls the assassination of President Kennedy and its attendant controversies. Rarely, however, is a second Kennedy anniversary acknowledged. On Nov. 20, 2011, Robert Kennedy — JFK’s brother and devoted political partner — would have turned 86 years old had he not also been assassinated. Although the mainstream media has been all but silent on this case, the facts scream out for a deeper investigation.
The story of Robert Kennedy’s assassination seems deceptively simple. After winning the California Democratic presidential primary on June 4, 1968, Sen. Robert Kennedy traversed a pantry at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. A young Palestinian Christian named Sirhan Sirhan pulled a gun and fired. Kennedy died roughly 25 hours later. Five others were wounded. Sirhan was tried and convicted. End of story, right?
America's Media War on OWS - Stephen Lendman
Early reporting was scant, dismissive, and offensive. Much still belittles, denigrates and marginalizes a significant movement.
Fox News claims protesters don't pay taxes or know what they want, are supported by Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei and Hugo Chavez, and represent the lunatic left wing.
America's Media War on Syria - by Stephen Lendman
Replicating Libya's model, Western generated uprisings began in March. Since then, Syria's been ravaged by violence. Hundreds have been killed, many more injured.
Civilians and state security forces have been affected. Conflict rages daily. Casualties mount. Regime change is planned to establish another US client state.
By Dave Lindorff
The scripted excuses provided by mayors around the country to justify their police-state tactics in rousting peaceful occupation movement activists from their park-based demonstrations now stand exposed as utter nonsense, and, given their uncanny similarity in wording, can be clearly seen as having been drawn up for them by some hidden hands in Washington. the same can be said of the brutal tactics used.
Police State Tactics: Signs Point to a Coordinated National Program to Try and Unoccupy Wall Street and Other Cities
By Dave Lindorff
The ugly hand of the federal government is becoming increasingly suspected behind what appears to be a nationwide attempt to repress and evict the Occupation Movement.
Across the country in recent days, ultimatums have been issues to groups occupying Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, San Francisco, Dallas, TX, Atlanta, GA, and most recently New York, NY, where the Occupation Movement began on September 17. The two most recent eviction efforts, in Oakland and New York, have been the worst.
Congress Members Engage in Routine Insider Trading; Topic Reduces 60 Minutes to Non-Corporate Media Status
Here is a video by 60 Minutes all about the making of a story by 60 Minutes. The reason is the extreme lengths the show thinks it went to to get comments from a member of Congress: staking out their public events and likely appearances, the same thing everyone else who wants to ask the important questions has always had to do for years. The story here is not exactly as presented. The story is that 60 Minutes has dared to address an unacceptable topic. The topic in this case is Congressional insider trading, a topic upon which — as with most important topics — there is complete bipartisan harmony, and yet somehow no public satisfaction.
The Sheriff’s Department did not come to evict the Roreys that day. A spokesman for the department told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the foreclosure process is still ongoing and that it has not scheduled an eviction. “It’s a good cause,” said Diona Murray, one of the Roreys’ neighbors, about the occupation. “If we don’t take a stand, who will?”
In the near future, you will be seeing more satellite photos of non-descript buildings that experts will say are housing elements of a nuclear bomb factory. There will be more diagrams of supposed nuclear devices. Some of the same talking heads will reappear to interpret this new “evidence.”
You might even recognize some of those familiar faces from the more innocent days of 2002-2003 when they explained, with unnerving confidence, how Iraq’s Saddam Hussein surely had chemical and biological weapons and likely a nuclear weapons program, too.
One of them --- Officer Fred Shavies of the Oakland PD, who was revealed as an undercover infiltrator at Occupy Oakland --- now concedes as much in an extraordinarily moving interview in which he condemns the violence by his fellow cops and says he sees the Occupy movement as a possible "turning point, the tipping point" for our generation.
"NATO has no intention of conducting a legal review of its air operations," she said. "Furthermore, NATO has not received a request to help the (International Criminal Court) with any specific inquiries. If we receive a request for information, NATO is prepared to assist in any way it can."
Under their latest proposal to the deficit reduction super committee, Democrats would agree to undertake comprehensive tax reform that included a pledge to avoid letting Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire.
Protesters have already made an official request for Shelby to meet with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper.
EdgeLeft: J. Edgar (directed by Clint Eastwood, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Judi Dench, Armie Hammer)
by David McReynolds (an occasional column, which may be distributed, reprinted and otherwise used without permission)
J. Edgar Hoover (1895-1972) who, depending on your politics, looked much like a toad . . .or
a bulldog. . . was without question a monster of American political life. Since his life is now so
distant to those younger than forty, the film has great value as an historical "look back" at the
life and career of a deeply flawed, remarkably powerful man.
As a fan of the work of Clint Eastwood I wish I could give the film unqualified praise, but
my praise, while real enough, is limited by two regrets. First, while I'd credit the actors with
America's Media War on Iran - by Stephen Lendman
When Washington goes to war or threatens it, America's media march in lockstep, cheerleading. Fiction substitutes for fact.
News is carefully filtered, dissent marginalized, and supporting imperial belligerence substitutes for full and accurate disclosure.
By Dave Lindorff
What a devilishly sneaky guy that Jose Danial Ortega Saavedra is!
Why this president of Nicaragua, and former leader of the Sandinista rebels in their successful 1979 overthrow of U.S.-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza Debayle, in order to win re-election this fall, as he appears to have done, according to the New York Times, “shrewdly adopted policies aimed at pleasing his base of poor and working-class Nicaraguans, including supplying them with government-donated food”!
Why of all the nerve! What a crook and a scheister! Imagine catering to the needs of the poor in order to win an election. How low can a politician stoop?
National Public Radio's War on Free Speech - by Stephen Lendman
Like other major media sources, NPR serves corporate and imperial interests. It's called public to conceal its real agenda. Critics ridicule it as National Pentagon or Petroleum Radio for good reason.
By Dave Lindorff
Once again we got a cheery report from most of the media about employers hiring, albeit “not enough,” and about the jobless rate falling, albeit “it’s still too high.”
The proximate cause of this latest round of propaganda from the corporate media is the latest monthly jobless figure reported out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that employers had added 80,000 net new jobs (actually they found that private sector employers had added 104,000 jobs while public agency employers had pink-slipped 24,000 people), and that the official unemployment rate was 9.0 percent, just a notch lower than last month’s 9.1 percent figure.
As the Occupy Wall Street movement pushes forward, evolving daily in mission and meaning, its cinematic companion has arrived on the scene. Heist: Who Stole The American Dream? is the latest socially and politically relevant documentary executive produced by Earl Katz, President of Public Interest Pictures. Heist will soon premiere as the fundamental primer on the historical and present-day inequities which gave rise to the Occupy Movement. From its 1930s depiction of Depression Era breadlines to Wisconsin Governor Walker's current assault on Collective Bargaining, Heist tells the story of America in decline due to the excessive greed of corporate executives and politicians bent on destroying the middle class.
By John Grant
The people, unfortunately, are still very ignorant, and are kept in ignorance by the systematic efforts of all the governments, who consider this ignorance, not without good reason, as one of the essential conditions of their own power.
It was 10:30 pm on Dilworth Plaza, the concrete apron around Philadelphia City Hall that’s home for over 100 tents in the Occupy Philadelphia movement. The air was clear and the temperature was pleasant.
By Dave Lindorff and Linn Washington, Jr.
With Mumia Abu-Jamal’s sentence of death now formally vacated, thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision last week not to consider an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney of a Third Circuit Court panel’s ruling that that sentence had been unconstitutional thanks to flawed jury instructions from the trial judge and a flawed jury ballot form, many of those who have long called for his execution are now saying, fine, let him rot in prison for the rest of his life.
By Robert Jensen, for MIC50.org
Perhaps the one thing that unites most Americans is their disgust with, and distrust of, journalism: Everyone hates the mass media. Surveys show that less than a third of Americans say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, and the level of trust is dropping.Much of this distrust is expressed as a belief that journalists are not objective and, therefore, have become a vehicle for propaganda.
As is often the case, these critiques are made with no clear definition of “objectivity” or “propaganda.” In this essay I will offer some suggestions about definitions, in the hopes not that everyone will come to agreement about journalism, but that disagreements will be more productive.
Yesterday, NPR's PR flack was haranguing me on the phone about how NPR had nothing to do with getting Lisa Simeone fired from an independent program called Soundprint. This was despite NPR having gone public with its concerns over Simeone's "unethical" participation in democracy, and Soundprint's referencing of NPR's "ethics" rules in firing Simeone. It was also despite NPR's clear intention to get Simeone removed from our airwaves.
I have no evidence that NPR contacted Soundprint, but "World of Opera" is a different story. Today I read that NPR has dropped distribution of "World of Opera," a program produced by WDAV which contracts with Simeone to host it. NPR's original frantic email and blog post had read:
By John Grant
As far as anyone knew I was part of this cause -- a cause that I had infiltrated the day before in order to mock and undermine in the pages of The American Spectator -- and I wasn’t giving up before I had my story.
Editorial Assistant, The American Spectator
Here’s a story from the annals of fools posing as journalists.
Lisa Simeone learned about her "ethical" lapse from NPR's public blog post, or rather from reporters calling her about it.
Lisa was soon thereafter fired by Soundprint, which cited NPR's "ethics" rules and according to Lisa would have been strongly influenced by NPR's post and email if they saw them (she doesn't know if they did).
There is no evidence whatsoever that NPR contacted Soundprint.
NPR's email and blog post said "We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously." (The issue of participating in a democratic society and not backing a corporate agenda like bigshot NPR hosts who opinionate on Fox, in op-eds, and at big business speaking events for big bucks.)
Lisa was told to be on a phone call with NPR and WDAV yesterday morning, but NPR
and WDAV canceled the call without telling her, as she waited by the phone.
in short, NPR claims Soundprint acted on its own to fire Simeone
but NPR was publicly pushing the issue -- see that blog post I linked to
and the Soundprint exec producer referred to NPR's ethics policy when firing Simeone
NPR also pushed WDAV to take action (presumably by firing Simeone, no other actions having been discussed) and WDAV refused, resulting in the announcement by both WDAV and NPR that WDAV would not fire her
Simeone has been fired by Soundprint but not by WDAV]
National Public Radio on Wednesday discovered that a woman named Lisa Simeone who
produced hosted a show about opera called "World of Opera" had been participating in a nonviolent occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C., organized by October2011.org. That same day, NPR persuaded a company for which Simeone worked to fire her, cutting her income in half and purging from the so-called public airwaves a voice that had never mentioned politics on NPR.
This frantic email was sent to all NPR staff:
Sent: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 6:12 PM
Subject: From Dana Rehm: Communications Alert
To: All Staff
Fr: Dana Davis Rehm
Re: Communications Alert
We recently learned of World of Opera host Lisa Simeone’s participation in an Occupy DC group. World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. The program is distributed by NPR. Lisa is not an employee of WDAV or NPR; she is a freelancer with the station.
We're in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously.
As a reminder, all public comment (including social media) on this matter is being managed by NPR Communications.
All media requests should be routed through NPR Communications at 202.513.2300 or email@example.com. We will keep you updated as needed. Thanks.
Also see NPR's blog post about this here.
About three and a half hours after the above email was sent, Simeone had been fired by a show called Soundprint as punishment for having been "unethical." Here is her bio on that show's website. And here she is on NPR's.
Soundprint is a show that does touch on politics and includes political viewpoint in Simeone's ledes, but it is not an NPR program and not distributed by NPR. It is, however, heard on public radio stations. Despite the title "NPR World of Opera," that show is produced by a small station called WDAV for which Simeone contracts. Simeone was not an NPR employee. WDAV has not expressed any concern over Simeone's "ethics."
Simeone told me: "I find it puzzling that NPR objects to my exercising my rights as an American citizen -- the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly -- on my own time in my own life. I'm not an NPR employee. I'm a freelancer. NPR doesn't pay me. I'm also not a news reporter. I don't cover politics. I've never brought a whiff of my political activities into the work I've done for NPR World of Opera. What is NPR afraid I'll do -- insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?
"This sudden concern with my political activities is also surprising in light of the fact that Mara Liaason reports on politics for NPR yet appears as a commentator on FoxTV, Scott Simon hosts an NPR news show yet writes political op-eds for national newspapers, Cokie Roberts reports on politics for NPR yet accepts large speaking fees from businesses. Does NPR also send out 'Communications Alerts' about their activities?"
Let's be clear about Simeone's political activities. We have three quarters of the country wanting billionaires taxed, two-thirds wanting wars ended, large majorities wanting funding moved from the military to green energy and education and jobs. Simeone has been taking part in a nonviolent encampment designed to facilitate the petitioning of our government for a redress of grievances, a right guaranteed by the First Amendment. That's all. She has been participating. Nothing more. There is nothing more specific to the allegation, nothing in particular that she has allegedly done other than participate in a nonviolent mass mobilization on behalf of majority opinion.
It may be difficult for NPR bigwigs to understand why we don't all just rent $400 per night hotel rooms instead of littering a public square with tents. But NPR's highly paid political agitators on behalf of the 1% are part of the problem. They are what we are protesting. And that is presumably what makes our speech and assembly "unethical."
Or perhaps the breach of ethics is to be found in behaving as a decent citizen while simultaneously possessing some connection to the most insidious corporate loudspeaker in the country, one labeled "public" but belonging to the 1%.
The most important point to stress here, I think, is that all requests should be routed through NPR Communications at 202-513-2300 or firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: NPR claims not to have caused the Soundprint firing (and to only be pushing for action against Lisa by WDAV):
Your post this morning was wholly inaccurate. We’d ask you to please make corrections immediately.
To set the record straight, here are the facts:
It has been reported that NPR had a role in the decision made by the management of the public radio program Soundprint to end its relationship with Lisa Simeone as the program's host. This is not true. Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR. NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact, through media reports.
Other than Lisa's role as host, Soundprint and WDAV's World of Opera are completely unrelated. As we indicated last night, we are in conversation with WDAV about this matter. We fully respect that the management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa's participation in Occupy DC and her freelance role with WDAV's program.
You may find more at our blog, www.npr.org/thisisnpr
When will you correct your post to remove NPR from the equation?Please let me know if you have questions.
| Anna Christopher Bross | Director, Media Relations | email@example.com | 202.513.2304 | 202.680.3848 | @NPRanna
UPDATE 2: WDAV has stood strong in the face of NPR pressure and will not fire Simeone. NPR has confirmed this:
Classical public radio station WDAV says Lisa Simeone will continue to host World of Opera.
Please contact WDAV for further details: http://www.wdav.org/default.htm
Simeone thus far remains fired from Soundprint.
UPDATE 3: The Executive Producer of Soundprint, when firing Simeone, told her on the phone that she had violated NPR's code of ethics. She [the executive producer of Soundprint] brought NPR into it.
UPDATE 4: Public supports Simeone on WDAV website: Read the comments below the post.
New York Times Bashes Outspoken World Leaders - by Stephen Lendman
Few world leaders challenge US and Israeli crimes. Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan often assails Israel, including at a Pretoria, South Africa Turkish foreign policy conference.