No one was surprised when Agence France-Presse reported that:
Propaganda authorities take over Beijing papers
Sunday, September 4th, 2011 — 5:05 am
China’s propaganda authorities have placed two of Beijing’s most popular and colourful newspapers under new management, state press said, in a move decried by critics as an effort to censor the news.
Beijing’s Communist Party-run media authorities have taken over at the helm of the popular “Beijing News” and the “Beijing Times,” the government-run Qianlong website reported late Saturday.
Both papers routinely run stories critical of local governments around China, as well as articles that defy edicts issued by the party’s propaganda bureau ordering media to show Chinese society in a positive light.
The Chinese government strictly censors the country’s newspapers, broadcast media and the Internet, blocking any information it considers sensitive.
Controls have been further tightened by a heavy clampdown on dissent, with a number of prominent lawyers and activists detained amid official fears that recent uprisings in the Arab world could spark similar movements in China. FULL STORY HERE
Unfortunately, what happens in China doesn’t necessarily stay there, and if one of President Obama’s Senior Czars has his way, free speech on Political Blogs and a host of other Internet related posts in the United States could easily transcend China’s attempts at disseminating propaganda and curtailing any/all public dissatisfaction with the government:
Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, May 17, 2010
Disturbing audio has emerged of White House information czar Cass Sunstein, who in a previous white paper called for banning “conspiracy theories,” demanding that websites be mandated by law to link to opposing information or that pop ups containing government propaganda be forcibly included on political blogs.
In an audio excerpt of an interview which was posted on the Breitbart.tv website today, Sunstein discusses how conservative websites should provide links to liberal websites and vice versa or even how political blogs should be made to include pop ups that show “a quick argument for a competing view”.
Sunstein said that if this system couldn’t be implemented voluntarily, “Congress should hold hearings about mandates,” which would legally force people to dilute their own free speech. The Harvard Professor also said that blogs should be forced to list a random draw of 25 popular websites, such as CNN.com.
Listen to the clip below:
“The best would be for this to be done voluntarily,” said Sunstein, “But the word voluntary is a little complicated and people sometimes don’t do what’s best for our society,” he added (emphasis mine).
“The idea would be to have a legal mandate as the last resort….an ultimate weapon designed to encourage people to do better,” Sunstein concluded. READ FULL STORY HERE
We know that President Obama is supposed to be a “Constitutional Scholar,” and if that’s truly the case then why is this freedom hating authoritarian a**hat still holding on to his position as Information Czar in Obama’s White House? If this was the first case of the Obama Administration siding with GOP strategies to curb free speech in our nation, I wouldn’t give this too much thought, but that isn’t the case. It wasn’t too long ago that we witnessed another betrayal from President Obama, and it appears to go along with what looks to be a trend that is developing to significantly challenge political dissent in the world’s largest democracy (Sic):
By Brad Friedman on 8/22/2011 3:35pm
In apparent response to GOP leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee who requested in June that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski “strike the Fairness Doctrine from the agency’s rulebook,” the former corporate media executive has announced exactly that today, striking the rule, and 82 others, from the official FCC rulebook…
The controversial Fairness Doctrine and 82 other rules governing electronic media were deemed obsolete and, therefore, abandoned by the FCC on Monday.FCC chairman Julius Genachowski called the rules “outdated” and said they were being removed to lessen the burdens of regulation on media companies. The decision also includes significant reductions in satellite and broadcasting license fees. The FCC said the moves are part of its focus on eliminating rules that are no longer needed and revising others to reflect changes in technology, “thereby clearing the path for greater competition, investment and job creation.”
Bound to get the most attention though is ditching the Fairness Doctrine, an idea that was meant to force radio broadcasters into offering as much left wing political content as they offer right wing commentary. Although the doctrine has not been enforced since President Ronald Reagan deemed it unnecessary at best and an infringement of free speech at worst, the rule was still technically on the books.
Liberal commentators and even some lawmakers were agitating for its enforcement again, though Genachowski has resisted and on Monday made its demise official policy.
“The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction,” Genachowski said. “As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago. I am pleased we are removing these and other obsolete rules from our books.” FULL STORY HERE
For all practical purposes we are witnessing a Presidency that is in disarray and is crumbing faster than our teetering economy. Yesterday we learned that President Obama, in a long line of give-a-ways to the GOP, has capitulated on another major Obama policy that could easily impact the health and welfare of millions of Americans:
Obama to Breathers: Sorry, Wait Until 2013
—By Kate Sheppard| Fri Sep. 2, 2011 10:00 AM PDT
On Friday, in a move that shocked enviros and public-health advocates, President Obama asked the Environmental Protection Agency to withdraw its proposal to tighten a key air-quality standard. The request, Obama said, is part of the administration’s efforts to reduce “regulatory burdens and regulatory uncertainty.”
The EPA has been at work on new rules on ozone pollution, better known as smog, since September 2009. The agency rolled out new, tougher draft standards in January 2010, only to have the release of the final rules repeatedly delayed. In a statement, Obama said he has asked the agency to wait until 2013—you know, after the next election—to improve the standard.
The decision to single out this rule is significant. Back in 2008, the Bush administration EPA issued smog rules that called for limits of 75 parts per billion, which were weaker than those that the agency’s own scientists said was necessary to protect human health. Improving the standard has been a top priority for environmental and public-health experts, so when the EPA said in January 2010 that it was considering lowering the limit to between 60 and 70 parts per billion, those groups were cheering.
According to the American Lung Association, the weaker standard means that as many as 186 million Americans are currently breathing in unhealthy levels of smog. The EPA’s own figures are even more shocking. If the Obama administration set the lower standard of 60 parts per billion, it would prevent 4,000 to 12,000 premature deaths a year by 2020. Even the higher standard of 70 parts per billion would save between 1,500 and 4,300 lives per year. Improved air quality would bring down the number of deaths and hospitalizations every year due to asthma, bronchitis, and other heart and lung conditions.
The EPA also noted that while compliance with the new rule would cost polluters between $19 billion and $90 billion a year by 2020, the benefits to human health will be worth between $13 billion and $100 billion every year. (My Emphasis) FULL STORY HERE
I don’t know what’s going on in the White House, but have to agree with Keith Olbermann in his latest Countdown when he asked:
Right now, that’s a question that none of us can answer. The Obama Administration can’t seem to figure out where they stand on any issue, and if it is opposed by the Tea Party or radical GOP elements in Congress, we “the people” will more than likely witness our “Capitulater In Chief” give away more of the hard-fought legislation that affects our health, welfare, liberty, and freedom – and that may be just the beginning….