Saturday, January 09, 2010

Bolivar Devalued 50%; Chavez Says Intercepted US Plane

From Jenna Orkin

Hugo Chavez Says Venezuelan Jets Intercepted US Military Plane
U.S. denies U.S. plane flew over Venezuelan airspace
Chavez Devalues Bolivar by 50% to Boost Economy Amid Falling Oil Revenue
Belarus says oil supply talks with Russia halted (Rice Farmer)
Japan Airlines' Largest Banks Said to Agree to Bankruptcy Plan for Carrier
Why the government's job figures won't add up
By John Crudele, fierce crusader for transparency from the Plunge Protection Team.
Shrinking U.S. Labor Force Keeps Unemployment Rate From Climbing Above 10%
Forget The Unemployment Rate, The Real Nightmare Is The EMPLOYMENT Rate (from Rice Farmer)

Denmark trims key lending rate to 1.15 pct
Chile Posts Fifth Straight Month of Annual Deflation
Hank Greenberg Tells WSJ Goldman Sachs Is Responsible for AIG's Collapse
Eliot Spitzer, et al.: The New Geithner-AIG Emails Are Merely The Tip Of The Iceberg (from Rice Farmer)
Top investor warns on UK's credit rating
Jobs figures hit US recovery
Japan government to explain to 35 nations on JAL: report
India Car Sales Rise 40% in December (from Rice Farmer)
End of consumerism: Our way of life is 'not viable'

The dairy farmer reduced to tears
"[O]ne a week commits suicide."
Food costs to soar as big freeze deepens
Bee Colony Collapse May Have Several Causes
Obama pushes for cash for green jobs
Eco-friendly stimulus package.
How could one bird cause so much trouble?
"The iconic sage-grouse is threatening oil, gas and wind energy development -- and could hurt Democratic candidates in coming elections, including Senate leader Harry Reid.
'Climate change resistant crops' move nearer after gene breakthrough
Giant wind farm plan needs £100bn
Britain also needs a 'super-grid' for plan to take off.
Rationing imposed on UK's dwindling supply of grit
Temperature drops as low as -2C, and even colder weather is forecast for weekend in Britain's worst winter for three decades
Deep freeze forces Britain to import salt
Waning H1N1 pandemic may let in new viruses

Mind-reading systems could change air security (from Rice Farmer)
Mumbai terror suspect David Headley was ‘rogue US secret agent’ (from Vantage Point)
One in five troops unfit to fight on the front line
Former Bush lawyer charged with attempted murder
Military Scrambles F-16s Over Another Unruly Passenger
Bill to Criminalize "Psychological Violence"
Read the particulars and figure out how much time you and everyone you know would spend in jail.


gamedog said...

'US responsible for insecurity, extremism in Mideast'

Chevron pipeline attacked in Nigeria by gunmen

eyeballs said...


Your article from the LA County Nonpartisan Examiner seems to have got a couple of critical points wrong. It says that
“Kai Eide, UN Representative to Afghanistan confirmed the Afghan government’s investigative conclusions that US troops handcuffed and then executed eight students.”

Although this meme has been picked up and circulated along the internet “alternative news” grapevine, the mainstream press reported only that Eide had confirmed the deaths of eight students, not the handcuffing.

The Examiner article continued:

“The US military and NATO responded the troops involved were non-official. The most likely source of para-military “non-official” troops in Afghanistan is Blackwater/Xe.”

However, when I clicked on the link provided (a Times Online article), I got a 404 notice. By searching I got
this article
from the Times Online (a major Murdoch outlet), which reports that President Karzai’s had, after an investigation, accused “international forces” of pulling several schoolchildren from their beds and shooting them. The accusation of handcuffing came from the schoolmaster, who was not there. The notion that Xe was involved was not addressed, but the Afghan government investigator assumed that the attackers were “part of a special forces unit.” I could not find corroboration of the NATO statement about “non-official troops”.

The only other link provided by the Examiner article went to a Google reprint of an article by The Canadian Press (a century-old news distributor, fairly mainstream) which stated 'NATO has denied its forces were involved, suggesting "non-military Americans" had returned fire in self-defence.' It does seem odd that anyone “non-military” would be landing in the middle of the night and firing weapons at schoolkids. Xe was not mentioned, however, and there was no link to the NATO denial.

A few days later,
another Times Online article
stated that Kai Eide, UN rep in Afghanistan had confirmed the deaths of schoolchildren in a night raid, but the article did not include confirmation by Eide of the handcuffing, or anything about the “non-official troops”. This article did say that “Rahman Jan Ehsas, the local headmaster, told The Times that seven of the students were handcuffed before they were shot.”

So there we have it, the schoolmaster’s word. Could be true. It’s war. Women get raped. Kids get killed. But the author of the Examiner article had no business speculating about Xe or stating that the UN had confirmed a handcuffed, mafia-style killing. Could be true. But the author’s sources do not back him up.

I’m not insensitive to children being killed. The point is that we can’t rely on sloppy journalism if we want to oppose war or expose tyranny or whatever. If I were another sloppy journalist, I might create a headline, based on the Examiner article, which states:

‘Xe Kills 8 Schoolkids in Mafia-Style Raid’.

That would cause outrage and accusations, which would all fall dead when fact-based research revealed nothing of the kind. War is bad enough. We don’t have to make anything up.

You make some great contributions, Gamedog. Just trying to keep us all real.

gamedog said...

cheers eyeballs, I was just putting it out there really, any source would be partisan one way or the other, yet it does seem 8 children were executed, and it seems their deaths will not be investigated vigorously, nor anyone held to account.

I agree about the Times, one only has to look back at all the WMD stuff they printed on the front page prior to Iraq.

I did a couple of long posts recently regarding how things may escalate in M.E., but blogger ate my homework ;)