Friday, October 22, 2010

The price of specialization in the News or Censorship gone wild?

The left and right press are fighting to get the hearts and minds of the American people for quite some time.

As Fox News goes conservative and NPR liberal, it is becoming very contentious on how one defines news analysis, comments and opinions, after all isn't journalism about reporting facts and feelings.  The whole cultural war and Wars of Civilizations is nothing but the battle for opinion and influence.

America is learning fast that journalism and media reflects the cultural norms of the people involved in it.

So, why not allow people to express their fear, courage, concern and confidence openly in a manner that is respectful of all communities, ie. age, gender, profession, faith, culture, etc.

I just wondered when do we learn to appreciate diversity of ideas, technology, opinion, and creativity!

with regards and seeking your alternative ideas and opinions


Juan Williams on Fox News, Oct. 21, 2010.
Juan Williams will have a guest slot as host of The O'Reilly Factor on Friday night.
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October 22, 2010
NPR is facing sharp criticism for terminating the contract of news analyst Juan Williams.
Williams was fired Wednesday for violating NPR's ethics policy over comments he made on Fox News about Muslims.
But those comments — and NPR's response — have prompted questions about where the boundaries are drawn for journalists these days.
Williams appeared Thursday night on The O'Reilly Factor, the same Fox program where he made the initial comments that seeing fellow airline passengers dressed in Muslim garb makes him nervous.
This time, Williams told host Bill O'Reilly his remarks were misconstrued but that his ouster by NPR was about something else altogether.
"I don't fit in their box," Williams told O'Reilly. "I'm not predictable, black, liberal. And let me tell you something else, you were exactly right when you said you know what this comes down to, they were looking for a reason to get rid of me because I'm appearing on Fox News. They don't want me talking to you."
The cable news channel assailed NPR for much of the evening while leading Republicans called for the U.S. Congress to cut off federal funding for NPR News. One of the first was former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, himself a paid Fox commentator.
"It is an act of total censorship," Gingrich said. "I think that the U.S. Congress should investigate NPR and consider cutting off their money."
Mike Huckabee and Sarah Palin — themselves possible Republican presidential candidates with similar ties to Fox — chimed in with the same call, as did others in more of a position to do so, such as South Carolina Sen. Jim Demint and Ohio Rep. John Boehner.
NPR receives roughly 2 percent of its annual income directly from federal sources such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, but its member stations rely more heavily on such sources.
Despite the criticism, NPR CEO Vivian Schiller stood her ground Thursday: "As a reporter, as a host, as a news analyst, you do not comment on stories."
She said such restraint is a vital part of NPR's code of ethics, which states that news staffers cannot say things in other public forums that they could not say on NPR's airwaves as well.
"Certainly you have opinions — all human beings have their personal opinions," Schiller said. "But it is the ideal of journalism that we strive for objectivity so we can best present the positions of people around all parts of the debate to our public so the public can make their own decisions about these issues."
Schiller had her own verbal miscue Thursday. In an address to the Atlanta Press Club, she said perhaps Williams would have been better served confiding his thoughts to his psychiatrist or his publicist — a flip line for which she later apologized.
Still, some journalists with no ties to Fox blanched at the controversy. On her talk show, The View, ABC's Barbara Walters suggested that Williams' status as a news analyst for NPR who opined regularly on Fox was confusing.
"If you are a journalist, where you're supposed to be straight and narrow and not giving opinions, that's one thing — but if you're someone giving your opinion, then you're allowed to give your opinion. You may or may not agree," Walters added.
Where professional boundaries lie these days can be tricky to define. Witness the recent firings of Rick Sanchez and Octavia Nasr by CNN and the forced retirement of Hearst newspapers columnist Helen Thomas. Each made controversial remarks in a public setting, but none of them did so on their own employer's airwaves or pages.
"We value not the absence of opinion but the illusion of the absence of opinion," said Daniel Okrent, the former public editor of The New York Times, who called it a conundrum for the modern press.
"I can't give you a conclusive position on it," he said. "What's the right way to go or the wrong way to go? I do know, once opinion comes into it, it gets to be very shaky ground."
Okrent said the danger is in having someone from a news organization that prizes studied neutrality appear frequently in another outlet that rewards contention and sharply defined opinion — like Fox News.
Williams is now enjoying the full embrace of Fox News, which has given him a new three-year, $2 million contract and a guest slot, Friday night, as host of The O'Reilly Factor.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Food Aid and Freedom of Choice: the case of Human Rights Watch and Ethiopia

Ethiopia denies using food aid for repression

Thu Oct 21, 2010 1:53pm GMT
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ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Ethiopia rejected on Thursday claims by a rights group that it manipulates food and other aid to clamp down on opposition parties.
New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday that it had documented cases of opposition supporters in rural areas being denied emergency food aid and access to a long-running food-for-work scheme.
Both schemes are foreign-funded and HRW said donors, including the United States and Britain, were shutting their eyes to repression.
"Aid is not wasted in Ethiopia and is distributed effectively to all who require it," the Ethiopian foreign ministry said in a statement. "Income distribution is graced with fairness and justice."
The government statement said the World Bank, the IMF and the United Nations had verified the fairness of aid distribution in Ethiopia.
"Our previous efforts to engage with HRW have been met with contempt," the statement said. "The organisation seems bent on undermining the democratic process in Ethiopia."
Ethiopia is one of the world's largest recipients of foreign aid, receiving more than $3 billion in 2008, according to HRW.
Ethiopia is a key Western ally in the Horn of Africa, where it is seen as a bulwark against militant Islamism. It also wants to attract foreign investment in large-scale farming and oil and gas exploration.
The rights group said that repression of the opposition was ramped up ahead of the ruling party's overwhelming election victory in May.
The Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front and allies won 545 seats in the 547-member parliament in a vote that was criticized by the United States and the European Union.
It is amazing how Food Aid can be converted into a political drama, when the US is actively using private money to influence electioins and it not considered  a crime to buy or influence a vote in the US and then it becomes such a great crime some where else.

These donations come from outside the system.  It may be Human Rights Watch in Ethiopia and the TEA Party and KOCH borthers in America.

Imagine, who is calling faul.  The same Harvard MBAs and Lawyers who allowed the worst crash in history by criminal marketing of false securities, derivatives and hedge funds that do not exist.

The same crooks want to pontificate about justice and human rights.  Ethiopians know better and call a spade a spade!

They need to be told the truth and made accountable for their blasphemy!  

These goons need A Global COFFEE  Party Network to talk to them!

Ethiopia denies stifling opposition by withholding aid
ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia rejected charges by Human Rights Watch that it was using donor aid to suppress political dissent, in a statement issued Thursday.
Ethiopia "categorically rejects that it politicises the use of development aid in any shape or form," said the foreign ministry statement.
The New York-based watchdog had said in a report Tuesday the Ethiopian government was denying development aid both to farmers who did not support the regime and families of opposition members.
Rejecting the allegation, the ministry statement said that a probe by a group of donors in January had found that the aid money was being used as intended.
"The allegations made by the Human Rights Watch simply do not reflect reality," the statement added.
"Indeed this would apppear to be an attempt by Human Rights Watch to gratuitously blackmail the international community as part of its ongoing vendetta against the government of Ethiopia."
In its report, the rights group said donors were turning a blind eye to the "repression" in the Horn of Africa country.
"Donors who finance the Ethiopian state need to wake up to the fact that some of their aid is contributing to human rights abuses," the group said.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Obama Myth busters of Discovery Channel to face TEA Party Goons!

Obama on 'MythBusters': Top 5 Presidential Myths in Need of Busting

Updated: 21 hours 56 minutes ago
David KnowlesAOL News Surge Desk
(Oct. 18) -- The irony is palpable. 

On Dec. 8, President Barack Obama, a man who has sparked more common myths that perhaps any president since John F. Kennedy, will appear on theDiscovery Channel program "MythBusters." While the subject of the program will deal with whether Greek scientist Archimedes could have possibly set fire to an approaching Roman army using only a mirror and a reflection of the sun's rays, the show might have drawn directly from the president's own bio to find other matters still in need of debunking. 

Surge Desk has a look at the most persistent misinformation about the 44th president. 

1. President Barack Obama is a Muslim

Perhaps no single Obama myth has had more staying power than the claim that the president is, despite his assurances, a Muslim. In fact, recent polls show that a growing number of Americanshold this view. At the heart of the rumor is the belief that Obama is Muslim by birth, which is in conjunction with a patriarchal view of how religious affiliation itself is determined. 

While Obama's mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was raised as a Christian in the United States, his father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., was brought up a Muslim in Kenya. The couple met as students at the University of Hawaii, where Dunham went on to study anthropology and Obama took up economics. Neither, however, seemed very religious at the time of their son's birth. 

"I was not raised in a religious household," Obama wrote in "The Audacity of Hope," which was released in 2006, and later described his mother as having a "healthy skepticism of religion as an institution." 

Back in 2008, Obama told an audience that his father's religion didn't influence him much. "My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him."

After divorcing his father when Obama was 2 years old, Dunham then married Lolo Soetoro, a self-identified Muslim from Indonesia, in 1965, after meeting him at the University of Hawaii. For a brief time as a child, Barack Obama himself went under the name "Barry Soetoro." 

2. Obama went to school at a radical madrassa.

At the age of 6, Obama, his mother and Lolo Soetoro moved to Indonesia. For two of the four years that the family lived in Jakarta, Obama attended a Catholic elementary school. But the two years he spent at Muslim school have been the ones that have since gained notoriety and became a flash point on the campaign trail of 2008, helping foster the Obama as Muslim meme.

The charge that Obama attended a Wahhabi-style madrassa was first put forth by Insight magazine, but Fox News quickly ran with the story, blaming Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign for spreading it. CNN provided much of the debunking of the myth that at 6, Obama had been forever radicalized.

3. Obama wasn't born in the United States.

"Birtherism," as it is commonly known, is the belief that Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. and is therefore not eligible to be president. Despite having had his birth certificate examined by the Hawaii Department of Health, releasing it electronically, granting independent organizations the opportunity to inspect the physical document and producing birth announcements in two Hawaii newspapers from 1961, adherents of the Obama-as-foreigner theory persist in their view that Obama was really born in Kenya. 

4. Obama wants to start an American equivalent of the "Hitler Youth."

Even before President Obama delivered an address to the nation's schoolchildren on Sept. 8, 2009, many Americans held the belief that he, like Adolf Hitler, was waging a campaign to control the hearts and minds of the under-18 population in the U.S. As proof, many commentators pointed to random YouTube videos of kids singing songs about the man who promised hope and change. So, when Obama made it known that he would, via satellite, beam his message into public school classrooms nationwide, the response from his critics swift. 

"Hitler had the Hitler Youth," Michael Savage said on his radio program on Sept. 2, 2009, "and Obama would like to have the Obama Youth."

But the president's ho-hum rhetoric about working hard and taking responsibility for one's education were hardly the stuff to inspire lock-step goose-stepping. 

5. Obama is "the most anti-gun president in U.S. history."

If you believed the National Rifle Association in the run-up to the 2008 election, if he was elected, Obama would be the "most anti-gun president in American history." While that perception has not greatly diminished in the first two years of his term, Obama has been repeatedly criticized by liberals for his lack of action on gun control. In fact, as the Chicago Tribune reported, the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gave him an "F" for what it viewed as the president's abysmal record at trying to enact new gun control legislation. 

What will the next generation of Obama myths look like? Well, perhaps one needs only to ask Obama's family in Africa, who now seem to be promoting the notion that Barack Obama Sr. was not actually killed in a car accident in 1982, but was the victim of a murder and cover-up. Paging "MythBusters: Africa!"

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ethiopia Gets 20 Ministries: Few newcomers and fewer women still!

Meles Appoints Twenty Ministers

Prime Minister Meles Zernawi, who sworn in yesterday to lead Ethiopia for the coming five years appointed twenty ministers today (October 5, 2010).
The House of Peoples Representative approved all his nominees during its second day meeting this morning. For the first time, the ruling party, Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has included one minister who doesn’t belong to any political party.

Mekonnen Manyazewal, who has been serving as senior economist at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and finally reached the state Minister level, has now appointed by Meles to replace the current Trade and Industry Minster, Girma Biru. “…Mekonnen will be the only person in the cabinet who doesn’t belong to any political party,” said Meles.

The existing Ministry of Trade and Industry is split in to two ministries and Mekonen has become the Minister of Trade, while Abdurahman Sheik Ahmed of the Somali Peoples Democratic Party, which is one of the four member party of EPRDF is appointed as the Ministry of Trade.

Out of the twenty ministry organizations, the powers and duties of about ten ministries are redefined by the new law tabled to the parliament and approved this morning. This includes merging women, children and youth affairs in one ministry called Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs.

The energy sector is also split from the Ministry of Mines and Energy and merged with the newly established Ministry of Water and Energy, which is set to be led by former Minister of Mines and Energy Alemayehu Tegenu. Sinkinesh Ejigu, who was the former State Minister of Mines and Energy on her part, is now appointed to serve as Minister for the newly established of Ministry of Mines.

The former Addis Ababa city Administration Head, Mekuria Haile is also appointed as minister for the newly established Ministry of Urban Development and Construction. 

The Ministry of Transport and Communications is also divided in to two ministries and Minister of Transport becomes one ministry to be led by Diriba Kuma, who was also the minister before the organization split.

Communications sector is merged with information technology forming Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, which will be led by the former Director of Information Communication Technology Development Agency Director, Debretsion Gebre Mariam.

Junedin Sado, who was Minister of Science and Technology, is now appointed by the Prime Minister Meles as Minister of Civil Service, which is established to fully replace the former Ministry of Capacity Building. 
Desse Dalke, former Administrator Sidama Zone has now takes over the previous position of Junedin and became Minister of Science and Technology.

Hailemariam Desalegn, who is also appointed as Deputy Chairman of EPRDF, is now became Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs replacing Seyoum Mesfin.

Mohamed Dirrir the Minister of Culture and Tourism is now replaced by Amin Abdulkadir who also came from Somali Region. Abdulfeta Abdoulahi Hassen from the Somali Region is also appointed as Minister for Labor and Social Affairs.

Ministers for four ministries: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Finance and Economic Development are given green light by Meles to continue with their existing ministers. 

In addition to the twenty ministers, Meles also appointed former Minister of Youth and Sport Aster Mamo, is appointed as Representative of government at the Parliament. In addition, Bereket Simon- Government Communications Affairs Head and Melaku Fenta-Director of Revenue and Customs Authority are also allowed to continue in their current responsibilities and become members of the Cabinet