Comcast Merger and the FCC controlling the news?
Published by NextNewsNetwork
WASHINGTON DC | The merger between Comcast and Time-Warner cable is a concern to many independent cable providers and others. Critics of the merger, like our guest today believe the purchase will create a monopoly that will dominate the marketplace. When Comcast recently purchased NBC Universal, the company pressed hard for Federal approval. It is interesting to note that FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell, soon after approving the deal, was hired by Comcast. The terms of her employment deal have never been disclosed.
Other than a former FCC Commissioner in their employ – Comcast has close ties to the Obama Administration that may help rubber stamp the merger. Comcast CEO, Brian Roberts, has enjoyed Golf outings with President Obama on Martha’s Vineyard, while Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen is a frequent White House guest and major fundraiser for the Democratic Party.
This relationship may underscore NBC’s ongoing coverage of President Obama as Comcast owns NBC – It may also explain the recent move by the FCC to install Government minders in newsrooms across the country – quizzing reporters and editors on how they select stories – a move that was highly criticized and has since been canceled by the White House.
Our guest today to break down the Comcast/Time Warner merger and the FCC’s failed Newsroom Monitoring Program is the director for media and democracy – Todd O’Boyle – his organization – “Common Cause” at CommonCause.org
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The FCC independent? An anonymous voluntary survey? Are you resting at ease? Enter your thoughts below.
The Comcast/Time Warner Merger and the War Between Centralization and Decentralization
Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you wish to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society’s merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
-Aldous Huxley, in Brave New World Revisited (1958)
Until recent years, the struggle between the forces of “centralization” and “decentralization” was more of a full on slaughter-fest than an actually battle or war. As Americans sat there blissfully asleep for decades, every facet of our lives has been carefully consolidated into the hands of a smaller and smaller group of corporations, and hence individual executives. This trend is undeniable in everything from food, banking, media and everything in between.
Myself and many others saw the financial crisis of 2008 as a gigantic wakeup call. The disasters caused by powerful financial institutions and the greedy people that ran them should have been used as a rallying cry to break these institutions up. To recognize the dangers of too much power in one particular place. This is especially important in something as crucial as banking. However, as we are all painfully aware, this is not what happened. Rather, the institutions were bailed out, the industry consolidated even more than it was before, and the perpetrators of the crisis emerged from it even more wealthy and powerful.
My personal focus on this website has been to expose the unique dangers presented by centralization in the financial industry and the monetary system. However, many others are dedicated to the equally important and disturbing trends in other industries. Consumer goods is one of these areas, and a very telling diagram went around late last year showing how 10 companies basically control everything you buy. Take a look below:
Dangerous consolidation of the media is a trend that has also been discussed by many people on many occasions, and many of us by now have heard the stat that in the U.S. just six media giants control 90% of all TV, news, radio and film. Now that Comcast is set to buy Time Warner, the situation is about to get that much worse. The International Business Times made some poignant points:
“No one woke up this morning wishing their cable company was bigger or had more control over what they could watch or download,” Aaron said. “But that — along with higher bills — is the reality they’ll face tomorrow unless the Department of Justice and the FCC do their jobs and block this merger. Stopping this kind of deal is exactly why we have antitrust laws.”
In December, the Wall Street Journal speculated about a possible merger between the two companies, quoting an FCC official who told the paper that such a deal would face “a number of hurdles.” Chief among them is the 33 percent market share of pay-TV subscribers the new conglomerate would control. That percentage exceeds the cap of 30 percent formerly imposed by the FCC.
Perhaps an even greater hurdle is the resulting influence Comcast-TWC would have over Internet services. The merger, according to Gigaom’s Om Malik, could potentially make Comcast the largest broadband provider outside of China. Such muscle would give the company greater influence in key negotiations with content creators, particularly since it already owns NBCUniversal. It’s no wonder the deal is sparking fear among media diversity advocates. While pay-TV providers will trumpet their need for negotiating power amid rising retransmission fees — particularly for sports networks — cable bills have only gone up as media consolidation has proliferated over the last two decades. Speculating about a rumored TWC sale last month, Susan Crawford of Bloomberg.com said bluntly that it will “cost us all.”
Many people write about the struggle between “liberty” and “tyranny,” including myself, but these may not be the most effective terms to use in order to explain the troubling situation we face to a wider audience. Unfortunately, when people hear the words “liberty” the knee-jerk reaction for many is to associate it with right-wing “conspiracy theorists.” Of course, it is “conspiracy fact” that a small handful of corporations and the executives that run them control more and more of our daily lives. In other words, the forces of “tyranny” use “centralization” as their primary weapon of choice in order to control us. Those of us who long for “freedom” and “liberty” must use “decentralization” as our primary tool to fight back and win.
I have no doubt that the we in the decentralization camp are on the right side of history, and I have become more and more confident of this fact with each passing day. Every year since the financial crisis I have witnessed more and more powerful tools for decentralization that the status quo simply will not be able to control. From 3D-printing to crypto-currencies, from crowd-funding to social media, it is clear to me the status quo must adapt or die. While the Comcast/Time Warner merger is a serious threat, I think it ultimately represents just another last gasp of a dying paradigm.
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Image credit: http://libertyblitzkrieg.com
Dwindling ratings for Mainstream Media in the US
Published by RT America
RT’s Anastasia Churkina reports on the trend of dwindling ratings for the mainstream media news networks in the US, what this means for the corporate channels, why this is happening and what’s to come.
Image courtesy of SOMMAI at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
More Crony Media: Sebelius reached out to major media to head off bad press before Obamacare launch
We have noted many times the very close relationship between the current White House and the #oldmedia. The mainstream news outlets (really less and less mainstream with each passing day) have been stalwart allies of this president and have been generally positively disposed toward this president (and candidate) from the get go. Controlling the message has been key to keeping Obama afloat.
Add the large number of journalists who now work in the White House, and the close ties to George Soros’s Media Matters outfit which crafts talking points for the media, it is clear that controlling the “narrative” is of the highest priority for this president. I am pretty sure that the staffers over at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are of the “perception is reality” school.
Of course this is totally false. Any good poker play can tell you that perception certainly is not reality.One can fool people with lies and obfuscation but it doesn’t change reality.
Leading up to the launch of the most important “achievement” of the Obama presidency, Obamacare, the White House knew that it needed to control the message. It would have a hard enough time even if the program worked, never mind if it turned out to be the “train wreck” that so many warned it was likely to become. Reality might be crashing down around them, but if they could keep the broader public from knowing just how bad things were and were likely to become, perhaps the giant social experiment which is the ACA might survive.
In this effort the Kathleen Sebelius started reaching out to the message makers.
(From The Hill)
According to Sebelius’s draft schedules, obtained by The Hill under the Freedom of Information Act, Sebelius had coffee with The Washington Post’s former WonkBlog reporter Ezra Klein on August 2, about two months before the disastrous Oct. 1 launch of HealthCare.gov.
Klein is a well-known policy reporter who is now leaving the Post to start his own media venture.
Sebelius’s outreach to the media also included joining a group of administration officials during a meeting with Thomas Friedman, The New York Times columnist.
“You will join the closing session of the day-long program put together to introduce Tom Friedman to various health care costs issues,” said a note to Sebelius on the April 23 meeting.
Less than a month later, The New York Times ran a Friedman column about how the number of healthcare information start-ups was evidence ObamaCare “already appears to be surprising on the upside.” Friedman says in the piece that HHS connected him with the companies he profiled.
The more than 750 pages of draft schedules obtained by The Hill run from late October 2012 to just past the Oct. 1, 2013 launch date of the healthcare exchanges.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
The End of TV?
The cable TV business had its worst year ever in 2013, and both cable and broadcast TV have seen negative ratings growth since 2011. Why are people shutting off their cable service, and how can you do the same?
Image credit: www.affordable-online-colleges.net
We Win the NY Times Prize
The New York Times, whistling past the financial graveyard, paused over the weekend to smear the Mises Institute, Ron Paul, our other scholars, hardcore libertarianism, and me. Why? Because our ideas and our youth movement are gaining real traction. It is in effect a compliment. They have never faced opposition like ours before, and Ron Paul’s tremendous resonance with young people has only made things worse from the Times’s point of view.
The Times wants opponents who play the game, who accept the presuppositions of the regime, and who are willing to confine themselves to the narrow range of debate to which the Times would prefer to confine the American people.
The purpose of articles like the one over the weekend, it should be unnecessary to point out, is not to shed light. It is to demonize and destroy a school of thought that the regime considers threatening.
The article, for instance, notes that Ron spoke on the topic “Do We Live in a Police State?” earlier this month at a Mises Institute event, and that another speaker (me) spoke on “American Fascism.” The lecture titles are evidently supposed to be self-refuting, although you can listen to Ron’s remarks and read mine and decide for yourself. It’s little wonder that the Times would want to ridicule the idea that American society could resemble a police state, given that paper’s cover-ups of the regime’s surveillance of American citizens.
The rest of the article is an attempt to distort the philosophy of libertarianism and to demonize Ron and other prominent exponents of that philosophy.
The whole exercise reminds me of the time, not long ago, in which a state-endorsed hate group took a swipe at Murray Rothbard (1926-1995), known in his day as Mr. Libertarian. The writer summarized Murray’s career in a single sentence about — of all things — lesbians during the Progressive Era.
Now consider: Rothbard’s 1,000-page treatise Man, Economy, and State was an extraordinary contribution to the field of economics; his two-volume history of economic thought has been praised by scholars across the board; his study of the Panic of 1819, published by Columbia University Press, received rave reviews in the scholarly journals and is still considered definitive; his Ethics of Liberty is a philosophical defense of self-ownership and the nonaggression principle, and so on.
“And so on” hardly does Rothbard justice: we haven’t mentioned his textbook on money and banking, his classic What Has Government Done to Our Money?, his four-volume history of colonial America, the scholarly journals he edited, the voluminous correspondence he kept up with the major thinkers of his day, and — well, and so on.
And a critic tried to reduce this man — this man! — to one unfavorable sentence.
It used to be easy to do this: how, apart from driving to the library, was someone to discover Rothbard for himself? But today, discovering Rothbard is just a click away. And once you discover him — his scholarship, his knowledge, the encouragement he gave to students, and his refusal to compromise his principles even when doing so would have meant career advancement — you understand why the state wants to minimize or demonize him. No wonder the most popular piece of libertarian apparel is our Rothbard “Enemy of the State” T-shirt.
Economics professors have even been known to urge their students not to read Rothbard. But what do you think the brighter students do when they’re told not to read someone? And once you read Rothbard, you never look at the world the same way again.
The Times article, which continues in the tradition of portraying Murray preposterously, tries the same tactic with libertarian historian Tom Woods. According to the Times, Tom’s book Who Killed the Constitution?, co-authored with Kevin Gutzman, “denounced the Supreme Court decision desegregating schools, Brown v. Board of Education, as ‘a dizzying display of judicial imperialism.’”
With even Publishers Weekly endorsing Who Killed the Constitution, there’s obviously something fishy here — would the staid and scrupulously establishment PW endorse a segregationist book?
In fact, Woods and Gutzman argue that the same result could have been achieved with the enforcement of the Fifteenth Amendment — and that that is precisely how, in practice, the schools wound up being desegregated anyway. As historian Michael Klarman shows in his book From Jim Crow to Civil Rights, the Court may have uttered a lot of pretty words, but desegregation occurred only after the Fifteenth Amendment was enforced. And had this constitutional approach been followed in the first place, the authors contend, American society would have been spared the precedent established in Brown whereby the justices decide on their preferred outcome in advance, and then tendentiously search for legal justifications for that outcome, no matter how implausible.
A handful of libertarians whose views are more congenial to the Times take opportunities like these to wag their fingers at the Mises Institute. Why, if we’d only play nice, and scrupulously observe every PC platitude as they do, reasonable people like The New York Times reporters would leave us alone. We just need to show The New York Times that a libertarian approach will do a better job of reaching our shared goals, etc.
Anyone deluded enough to believe such a thing understands nothing about the nature of the state and its media apologists.
Whose interests do you suppose the Times is more dedicated to advancing: those of the libertarian movement, or those of the state? The question answers itself. And so we might turn the accusation around: if you’re such a threat to the state, why does its media ignore or actually flatter you, perhaps even holding you up as a model for other libertarians to live by? If the Times wants you to represent the libertarian movement, do you think this is because it suddenly has the interests of libertarianism at heart?
Behind the state media’s attacks are always the issues of war and peace. Conservatives have deluded themselves into thinking that the so-called “liberal media” opposes the regime’s wars and wants to “abandon our troops.” To the contrary, you won’t find bigger and more consistent cheerleaders for the US government’s aggression than the official media. When they encounter a root-and-branch opponent of the warfare state, whether it’s Ron Paul or the Mises Institute, they pounce.
And when we oppose war, we don’t oppose it on the grounds that a particular conflict isn’t in “America’s interests.” That is regimespeak. We oppose the wars because they are based on lies, morally outrageous, and carried out through expropriation of the American public. You think the Times might not want a message like that gaining resonance?
The Mises Institute, moreover, does not issue policy reports to persuade the state that its interests will be more effectively met through libertarian solutions. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been flushed down the toilet in this way, and if you want to know how much it’s accomplished, take a look around you.
The Mises Institute’s scholarship, on the other hand, is aimed at understanding and overthrowing the entire paradigm of domination and exploitation that the state represents. No, we don’t play nice. We tell the unvarnished truth. It is this, and not anything else, that explains why the state’s media considers us an implacable foe.
Anyone is free to examine what we do: our annual scholarly conference, our student and topical conferences, the free books we’ve made available to the world, the vast library of audio and video files on both technical economics and popular topics, our Dailies, our regular Mises View commentary, and much more.
If you’re looking for efficiency experts for the state, who seek to devise better and more effective ways for state goals to be accomplished and the people to be expropriated, the Mises Institute will disappoint. If it’s “tax reform” you’re interested in — which is always a shell game in which the outward form of taxation may change a bit, but the amount of taxes collected stays the same or even rises – we’re not your cup of tea.
On the other hand, we have much to recommend us. We don’t back down and apologize when we’re smeared by the state’s media. We relish it as an indication that we’re doing our job. We tell the truth about the state: its wars, its expropriations, its militarized police, its propaganda. We don’t peddle the elementary-school propaganda that the state is a public-service institution seeking the public good. We believe that the great products of civilization — indeed civilization itself — are the result of spontaneous human cooperation. The parasitic class that holds the levers of power in the state apparatus may try to condition the public to believe that central planning and threats of violence — the hallmarks of the state — deserve credit for human progress, but our scholarship proves the opposite.
Ron Paul has been our Distinguished Counselor since we opened our doors in 1982, and he recently joined our board. The Times and the state hate us for the same reasons they hate Ron: we’re truth-tellers, we oppose Keynesianism and the Federal Reserve lock, stock, and barrel; and we support the cause of peace against the state’s wars. This is all too much for the state’s house organ, which has rarely heard war propaganda too preposterous to print, or a Keynesian apologetic too much of a stretch to repeat.
We are attacked because we are doing our job. The Times’s smear is a medal on our chest.
About the Author
Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr. is chairman and CEO of the Ludwig von Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, editor of LewRockwell.com, and author of Fascism versus Capitalism. Send him mail. See Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.’s article archives.
Image credit: https://mises.org
Crony Media Continues to Fail: CNN Hits Lowest Rated Week In Demo Since Jeff Zucker Took Over
For those who don’t remember it was Jeff Zucker’s 15 year old son who was named to the board of Cory Booker’s startup company and was awarded options last year.
Not that this has anything to do with CNN’s dismal ratings. It doesn’t, but it reflects the executive culture which permeates #oldmedia still. The big shots in #oldmedia still think they’re big shots even as they are left behind.
The New York Times is floundering. Same with all the big newspapers. NBC, CBS, ABC all deeply challenged especially on the news front. The gate keepers no longer keep the gate, but they continue to act as if they do.
Let them keep thinking this. It’s better for everyone else.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
36 Signs The Media Is Lying To You About How Radiation From Fukushima Is Affecting The West Coast
The west coast of the United States is being absolutely fried by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the mainstream media is not telling us the truth about this. What you are about to see is a collection of evidence that is quite startling. Taken collectively, this body of evidence shows that nuclear radiation from Fukushima is affecting sea life in the Pacific Ocean and animal life along the west coast of North America in some extraordinary ways. But the mainstream media continues to insist that we don’t have a thing to worry about. The mainstream media continues to insist that radiation levels in the Pacific and along the west coast are perfectly safe. Are they lying to us? Evaluate the evidence compiled below and come to your own conclusions…
#1 Independent researchers have measured alarmingly high levels of radiation on the beaches of the west coast. For example, the video posted below was taken on December 23rd, 2013 at Pacifica State Beach. As you can see in this video, radiation levels near the water are up to five times higher than normal background radiation…
#2 According to Oceanus Magazine, the total amount of cesium-137 that has been released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima is 10,000 to 100,000 times greater than the amount released into the oceans by the Chernobyl disaster or by the atmospheric nuclear weapons tests of the 1960s.
#3 Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur has admitted that while he was at MSNBC he was instructed not to warn the public about the radiation coming from Fukushima…
“I was on MSNBC at the time when this happened, I said, “Don’t trust what the Japanese government is saying, they’ll say trust what the electric power company is saying. Go, go, go, get outta there. Get as far away from that plant as you can. It’s literally a core meltdown.” And they always don’t want people to panic, so they were always like, “Oh it’s going to be okay.” [...] I’m like, “You’re crazy man, don’t be anywhere near that reactor.” And I remember at the time, of course not at The Young Turks, but on cable news, people were like, “Hey Cenk, you know, I don’t know that you want to say that, because the official government position is that it’s safe.” Oh, is that the official government position? Now go explain that to the people who served on the USS Ronald Reagan.”
#4 71 U.S. sailors who assisted with the initial Fukushima relief efforts have developed serious diseases such as testicular cancer, thyroid cancer, Leukemia, “unremitting gynecological bleeding” and brain tumors since that time as a result of exposure to radiation coming from Fukushima.
Researchers say nuclear pollution from the 2011 earthquake in Japan that damaged the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant could be partially to blame for a disease wiping out starfish along the West Coast.
Dr. Peter Raimondi of the University of Santa Cruz says something is making starfish susceptible to whats believed to be a bacteria coined “Wasting Disease.” It essentially disintegrate the marine invertebrates into a white goo, after the starfish loses its legs.
#6 Bald eagles are dying in unprecedented numbers in Utah, and nobody can figure out why this is happening…
Bald eagles are dying in Utah — 20 in the past few weeks alone — and nobody can figure out why.
Hundreds of the majestic birds — many with wing spans of 7 feet or more — migrate here each winter, gathering along the Great Salt Lake and feasting on carp and other fish that swim in the nearby freshwater bays.
Earlier this month, however, hunters and farmers across five counties in northern and central Utah began finding the normally skittish raptors lying listless on the ground. Many suffered from seizures, head tremors and paralysis in the legs, feet and wings.
#7 Huge numbers of dead birds are dropping dead and washing up along the coastlines of Alaska. It is being reported that many of the carcases of the dead birds are “broken open and bleeding”.
#8 The recent deaths of thousands of birds in Oregon is absolutely baffling scientists.
#9 Something is causing large numbers of seals and walruses up in Alaska to lose hair and develop “oozing sores”.
#10 Substantial numbers of polar bears along the coast of Alaska are suffering from fur loss and open sores.
#11 There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline.
#12 The population of sockeye salmon along the coastlines of Alaska is at a “historic low”.
#13 Something is causing Pacific herring to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.
#14 Dangerous levels of cesium-137 have been discovered in mushrooms and berries grown along the west coast.
#15 According to an absolutely shocking report put out by the National Academy of Sciences, it has been proven that Pacific Bluefin tuna have transported radioactive material “across the entire North Pacific Ocean”…
“We report unequivocal evidence that Pacific Bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis, transported Fukushima-derived radionuclides across the entire North Pacific Ocean.”
#16 Something seems to be causing a substantial spike in the death rate for killer whales living off of the coast of British Columbia.
#17 Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.
#18 One test in California found that 15 out of 15 Bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.
#19 Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of the mackerel
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
#20 An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.
#21 One very experienced Australian adventurer has stated that he felt as though “the ocean itself was dead” as he journeyed from Japan to San Francisco recently…
The next leg of the long voyage was from Osaka to San Francisco and for most of that trip the desolation was tinged with nauseous horror and a degree of fear.
“After we left Japan, it felt as if the ocean itself was dead,” Macfadyen said.
“We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
“I’ve done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I’m used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen.”
In place of the missing life was garbage in astounding volumes.
“Part of it was the aftermath of the tsunami that hit Japan a couple of years ago. The wave came in over the land, picked up an unbelievable load of stuff and carried it out to sea. And it’s still out there, everywhere you look.”
#22 It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.
#23 The deputy chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee for Natural Resources, Maxim Shingarkin, says that seafood captured off the northwest coast of the United States is so radioactive that it represents a “danger for mankind”…
“Currents in the world ocean are so structured that the areas of seafood capture near the U.S. northwest coast are more likely to contain radioactive nuclides than even the Sea of Okhotsk, which is much closer to Japan. These products are the main danger for mankind because they can find their way to people’s tables on a massive scale.”
#24 According to one recent scientific report, radiation from Fukushima could affect our seafood for “many generations” and ultimately kill more than a million people…
This cycle will last for many generations, because of the food chain of fish and other marine fauna, and the radioactivity will be recycled and in fact the meat content will increase rather than decreasing by decay. Even if only one one-hundredth of the radioactivity (more than 1e15 Bq of CS137) were to enter this recirculation pattern, the collective whole body ingestion dose over many generations would exceed 1e7 Sv, sufficient to kill more than 1,000,000 people.
#25 The Japanese government has estimated that approximately 300 tons of highly radioactive water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear facility every single day.
#26 A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.
#27 According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.
#28 According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.
#29 It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.
#30 It has been estimated that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.
#31 The immense amount of radioactive material being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning…
“Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.”
#32 The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly being released from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living in the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time. Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…
Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.
Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles.
Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.
#33 Outdoor radiation levels at Fukushima recently hit a new all-time high.
#34 According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.
#35 Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years”…
“Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”
#36 There are very alarming reports that new “unexplained plumes of radioactive steam” are rising at Fukushima. Japanese officials are not able to get inside and see what is causing these plumes. Some are speculating that the crisis at Fukushima just got a whole lot worse. The following is from a recent Ecologist article…
Unexplained plumes of radioactive steam have been rising from Fukushima’s Reactor Building 3, Could a major meltdown be on the way?
Fukushima’s Reactor Building 3 exploded on 13th March 2011 as a result of a hydrogen buildup, breaching the building’s containment and emitting a huge plume of radiation. The reactor itself is in meltdown.
And now fresh plumes of steam have been seen coming out the structure. These have now been confirmed by Tepco, the owner of the nuclear plant, from 19th December onwards. The company believes the steam is coming from the fifth floor of the building.
However it does not know the cause of the steam. Lethal levels of radiation and the physical damage to the structure have so far made entry and inspection impossible.
If a full-blown meltdown does happen at Fukushima, it would be an environmental disaster unlike anything that we have ever seen before in human history.
As we enter 2014, we are entering a time when the world is becoming increasingly unstable. The global economy is being shaken, political corruption is seemingly everywhere, evidence of advanced social decay is all around us and the earth itself is starting to groan and crack with increasingly regularity. But the mainstream media continues to insist that everything is going to be just fine. That is one of the reasons why I wrote my new novel. The American people deserve to hear the truth and be warned about the great challenges that are rapidly approaching.
In the end, millions upon millions of people could end up getting seriously ill as a result of all of this radiation coming from Fukushima. Most of them will never even know why they have gotten sick.
And if there is a major earthquake or a significant accident during the cleanup at Fukushima, we could actually see huge sections of Japan be evacuated permanently.
It would be hard to overstate just how serious all of this is. But you won’t hear about this from the mainstream media. Their story is that “everything is okay” and they are sticking to it.
So what do you think? Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…
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Is America About To Reach A Breaking Point? Anger Grows As Unemployment Benefits Get Cut
In America today, there are close to 50 million people living in poverty and there are more than 100 million people that get money from the federal government every month. As the middle class disintegrates, poverty is climbing to unprecedented levels. Even though the stock market has been setting record high after record high, the amount of anger and frustration boiling just under the surface in our nation grows with each passing day. And now extended unemployment benefits have been cut off for 1.3 million unemployed Americans, and it is being projected that a total of 5 million unemployed Americans will lose their benefits by the end of 2014. In addition, as I have written about previously, 47 million Americans recently had their food stamp benefits reduced. The conditions for a “perfect storm” are certainly being created. So how much longer will it be until we see all of this anger and frustration boil over in the streets of our major cities? Is America about to reach a breaking point?
If you think that the title of this article is “alarmist”, you probably have not been paying attention to what has been happening over the past few weeks. For example, a 600 person brawl broke out at at movie theater in Jacksonville, Florida just the other day…
Five teenagers were arrested when a 600-person brawl broke out in a Florida movie theater’s parking lot on Christmas night.
Described by police as a “melee,” the fight occurred around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater in Jacksonville when a group tried to storm the theater’s doors without purchasing tickets, police said. Several had rushed an off-duty police officer working as a security guard.
The officer “administered pepper spray to disperse the group, locked the doors and called for backup, following protocol,” said Lauri-Ellen Smith, a spokeswoman for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
Soon after the pepper spray was used, “upward of 600 people moving throughout a parking lot about the size of a football field began fighting, disrupting and jumping on cars,” she said.
And a “flash mob” of “400 crazed teens” was so violent that it forced a mall in Brooklyn to shut down just a few days ago…
A wild flash mob stormed and trashed a Brooklyn mall, causing so much chaos that the shopping center was forced to close during post-Christmas sales, sources said Friday.
More than 400 crazed teens — who mistakenly thought the rapper Fabolous would perform — erupted into brawls all over Kings Plaza Shopping Center in Mill Basin on Thursday at 5 p.m., sources said.
The troublemakers looted and ransacked several stores as panicked shoppers ran for the exits and clerks scrambled to pull down metal gates.
In addition, the release of new Air Jordan sneakers caused mini-riots and brawls to break out all over the country just before Christmas.
So why is all of this happening?
Of course people will come up with all sorts of theories to explain these outbreaks of violence, but what pretty much everyone should be able to agree on is that we are seeing levels of anger and frustration rise to very dangerous levels in this country.
Right now, there are approximately 6 million Americans in the 16 to 24-year-old age group that are not in school and that are not working either. What that means is that we have an alarmingly high number of very frustrated young people that do not have anything better to do than to cause trouble.
In some of our largest cities this has become a massive problem. In fact, quite a few major U.S. cities actually have more than 100,000 “idle youth” living in them…
Just look at some of the nation’s largest cities. Chicago, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta and Riverside, Calif., all have more than 100,000 idle youth, the Opportunity Nation report found.
But the Obama administration says that this should not be a problem. In fact, the Obama administration tells us that the unemployment rate has been steadily “declining” and that there are plenty of opportunities for everyone.
Of course that is a giant lie. Just before the last recession, about 63 percent of all working age Americans had a job. During the recession that number fell below 59 percent and it has stayed there ever since…
So the notion that we are experiencing an “employment recovery” is absolutely laughable.
But most of our politicians appear to believe this lie, and it is being used as justification to cut off extended unemployment benefits.
And the funny thing is that by cutting off these benefits, it is going to make it appear as though unemployment has gone down even more. Millions of unemployed workers that are being forced into the streets will now be counted as having “left the labor force”, and it is being projected that the unemployment rate could decline by as much as half a percentage point as a result.
What a joke.
A lot of the people that are having their benefits cut off are really hurting. For instance, consider the case of 63-year-old paralegal Laura Walker…
“Not all of us have savings and a lot of us have to take care of family because of what happened in the economy,” said Walker, of Santa Clarita, who said she has applied for at least three jobs a week and shares an apartment with her unemployed son, his wife and two children. “It’s going to put my family and me out on the streets.”
So what is she going to do?
Well, at this point she appears to be down to just one option…
“I just don’t know what to do, except pray.”
And of course the unemployed are not the only ones that have had their benefits cut. As I mentioned above, all 47 million Americans that are currently on food stamps recently had their benefits reduced. The following is an excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo…
Earlier this year government benefits for nutritional assistance were reduced after the expiration of emergency legislation that was enacted following the 2008 financial collapse. Nearly all of the 48 million people receiving food stamp distributions were affected. The move led to warnings from food pantries and recipients around the country who said that the $40 billion in cuts would leave many American families without the ability to put food on dinner tables across America. According to Feed America, the roughly $29 per family that would no longer appear on their EBT cards will amount to about 1.5 billion meals in 2014.
The fact that government dependence has soared to all-time highs even in the midst of this so-called “economic recovery” is just another sign that the middle class is dying. For years, middle class families have tried strategy after strategy in an attempt to survive, but now it has become apparent that the middle class is rapidly approaching a breaking point…
Rising income inequality is starting to hit home for many American households as they run short of places to reach for a few extra bucks.
As the gap between the rich and poor widened over the last three decades, families at the bottom found ways to deal with the squeeze on earnings. Housewives joined the workforce. Husbands took second jobs and labored longer hours. Homeowners tapped into the rising value of their properties to borrow money to spend.
Those strategies finally may have run their course as women’s participation in the labor force has peaked and the bursting of the house-price bubble has left many Americans underwater on their mortgages.
And even though the Obama administration and the mainstream media have tried to convince us over and over that the economy is “getting better”, most Americans are not buying it. In fact, according to a new CNN poll, 70 percent of all Americans believe that “the economy is generally in poor shape”.
As the economy continues to decline, not all Americans will respond to their desperate situations by getting violent. Many suffer quietly, hoping that things will eventually turn around for them. Unfortunately, the ranks of the suffering grow with each passing year. For example, a recent CNN article discussed the continued growth of “tent cities” all over America…
The total number of homeless people residing in tents and makeshift homes is unknown. Many of these communities are small and hidden from public view, while others claim hundreds of residents and are sprinkled through major urban areas.
Some, like those tucked under roadways, are temporary and relocate frequently. Their conditions are vile, unsanitary and fail to provide refuge from storms and winds. Then there are communities, such as Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, that have a more sustained presence. The 13-year-old “ecovillage” set up by homeless people is hygienic and self-sufficient.
Preliminary findings by The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty show that tent cities have been documented in almost every state, and they’re growing.
So how do we solve these problems?
Are there any solutions that could get us out of this mess?
Of course there are. But don’t hold your breath waiting for any of them to be adopted. In fact, the American people continue to express great support for the very people that got us into this mess in the first place. For example, according to a Gallup survey that was just released, Barack Obama is the most admired man in America by a very wide margin and Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America by a very wide margin.
And the mainstream media will continue to tell all of us that “leaders” like Obama, Clinton, Reid, Boehner, McConnell and Pelosi can be trusted to get us out of this mess.
If you believe that, there is a bridge that I would like to sell you.
The American people need to stop having blind faith in the relentless propaganda that is being spewed at them through their televisions screens. The pretty faces that you see “reporting the news” do not care about you and they are not watching out for your best interests. The corporate-controlled news is highly scripted and it is pretty much the same whatever channel you turn to. If you have any doubt that “the news” is scripted, just check out this video…
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
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One media giant is monopolizing the entire local TV market
Published by RT America
Have you ever heard of Sinclair Broadcast Group? Well, if you haven’t, you probably should, especially considering it’s the company that likely owns your local news station. Sinclair is the telecommunications corporation that operates the largest number of local television stations in the United States. But as the stations consolidate into the same company, so does their content, thereby eliminating competition in the market. So how does Sinclair get away with this? RT’s Ameera David reports.