Is Journalism Being Criminalised?

Jeremy Scahill

Journalism is the activity, or product, of journalists or others engaged in the preparation of written, visual, or audio material intended for dissemination through public media with reference to factual, ongoing events of public concern. It is intended to inform society about itself and to make events public that would otherwise remain private.”(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

The  catchword of “freedom” in the western democratic world has lost its crystal ringing . . . drowning all aspects of privacy, human rights & civil liberties. Big corporations, money & power rule at the expense of human lives so preciously enshrined constitutionally & propagated. All sense of human values is turned topsy turvy & disregarded under the guise of national security. This is so profoundly pursued in the recent “Snowden” surveillance whistle-blowing phenomenon. There appears to be new sets of law of convenience & interpretation to meet the objectives of Obama Administration, as they did previously with Bush-Cheney Programs.

In the following video interview, Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars author & journalist, simply and plainly describes what is happening to the privacy and freedoms of all human beings on planet Earth under the Obama Administration.

He says, “Unless we, as a society make it our business to address the root cause of the problem, which is that corporations are running the the show in the United States, then I don’t have any faith that [any] bill passed by Congress . . . is going to have any meaningful impact . . .”

“One of the fundamentals of a democratic society is a free and vibrant press and the role of journalists in a free and democratic society should be to hold those in power accountable . . . to give a voice to the voiceless, to fill in parts of the story that aren’t being covered by those in power, and to provide information the people can use to make decisions about what policies to support or oppose. 

“What is happening under Obama – and was certainly happening under Bush, is that journalism is being criminalized.

“If you are cutting too close the heart of the National Security State – we have whistle-blowers that are being prosecuted in record numbers by the [so-called] ‘Constitutional Law Expert’ – President, you have journalists that are having their phone records seized, that are being surveilled, are having their discussions intruded upon – the end result of this is an attempt to chill whistle-blowers and to stop . . . people from talking to journalists.

“When you have a White House such as we have right now . . . that engages in official leaks . . . they will leak Classified information or stories that make them look like the great defenders of peace, freedom and democracy around the world. [However,] almost everything they leaked in the immediate aftermath of the Osama Bin Laden raid turned out to be false – but they were managing the story.

“If journalists only have access to the official leaks and the pronouncements of the PR people, spinning for the White House, the Pentagon or the CIA, that’s not a democratic press. That’s not independently-verifiable information.

 “What that is, is propaganda.”

US Democracy is but a name . . . 

Video (6:27 mins)

http://youtu.be/5XhHvZ11O60

White Orchids

As an orchid lover, I have grown a fair bit of them when in Malaysia. Over here in Western Australia, I came to discover over the abundance of the tropical Vanda Miss Joaqim the world of Cymbidium & Cattleya (my fondest among others) is quite different.

Orchids are easily distinguished from other plants, as they share some very evident apomorphies. Among these are: bilateral symmetry (zygomorphism), many resupinate flowers, a nearly always highly modified petal (labellum), fused stamens and carpels, and extremely small seeds. (Wikipedia)

English: The orchid, Singapore's national flow...
English: The orchid, Singapore’s national flower, photographed at the in the , . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Singapore, no other orchid is more worthy than Vanda Miss Joaqim to be hailed as its national flower, being the first registered plant hybrid from Singapore itself. This is apart from the abundance & beauty of Vanda Miss Joaqim. It is relative easy to grow & propagate such orchid & I found that the best fertiliser for it is a mixture of old urine & water.

Vanda Miss Joaqim

Tropical orchids & others have a great variety of colours, but white is rare. Conjure in your mind, as if by magic, the beauty of white – pure & graceful, elegant, classy & delicate, and a colour to match all colours. White orchids are popular in orchid bouquets & arrangements, weddings & all exceptional functions.

White orchids in nature are pollinated by insects that are active at night, such as moths. Some of the white orchids are fragrant at night, adding to their allure.

While out shopping today at the once-a-month Saturday variety market in Kalamunda, Western Australia, I came upon a very rare white cymbidium. It hasn’t any tint of other colours – truly pure white. I just couldn’t believe it and could not resist the temptation of owning it.

According to the grower, it was grown from seeds – very original and even yet to be named. Any buyer can have the honour & the privilege of naming it. Now, what greater appeal more can there be?

Well then, here’s a picture of this precious white cymbidium orchid, which my wife Lilian got the pleasure of naming it as DREAM SNOWFLAKE “LIANN”:

Picture taken at night – Pure White Cymbidium (Dream Snowflake “Liann”)

Slideshow – More white orchids

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Harry Truman

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953). As President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States (1945), he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his unprecedented fourth term.

Known by his popularized phrases as “The buck stops here” and “If you can’t stand the heat, you better get out of the kitchen”, his approval ratings in the polls started out very high, then steadily sank until he was one of the most unpopular men to leave the White House. Popular and scholarly assessments of his presidency eventually became more positive after his retirement from politics.(Wikipedia)

But what do we really know of a politician such as he? Little is known of Harry Truman. Believe me they don’t make politicians like him anymore & we certainly could do with a few like him in our parliament.

The “Bushy’ & “Blaring” type of politicians should never be allowed to take centre stage on world affairs ever again!

Harry Truman was a different kind of President. He probably made as many, or more important decisions regarding our nation’s history as any of the other 42 Presidents preceding him. However, a measure of his greatness may rest on what he did after he left the White House.

The only asset he had when he died was the house he lived in, which was in Independence Missouri. His wife had inherited the house from her mother and father and other than their years in the White House, they lived their entire lives there.



When he retired from office in 1952 his income was a U.S. Army pension reported to have been $13,507.72 a year. Congress, noting that he was paying for his stamps and personally licking them, granted him an ‘allowance’ and, later, a retroactive pension of $25,000 per year.

After President Eisenhower was inaugurated, Harry and Bess drove home to Missouri by themselves. There was no Secret Service following them.



When offered corporate positions at large salaries, he declined, stating, “You don’t want me. You want the office of the President, and that doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the American people and it’s not for sale.”



Even later, on May 6, 1971, when Congress was preparing to award him the Medal of Honor on his 87th birthday, he refused to accept it, writing, “I don’t consider that I have done anything which should be the reason for any award, Congressional or otherwise.”

As president he paid for all of his own travel expenses and food.



Modern politicians have found a new level of success in cashing in on the Presidency, resulting in untold wealth. Today, many in Congress also have found a way to become quite wealthy while enjoying the fruits of their offices. Political offices are now for sale (cf. Illinois).



Good old Harry Truman was correct when he observed, “My choices in life were either to be a piano player in a whore house or a politician.” And to tell the truth, there’s hardly any difference!



What a man!

There is, however, his one great controversial legacy in the nuclear bombing destruction of Hiroshima & Nagasaki in August 1945 to end WW2.

Play Video

Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay – A UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Ha Long Bay, one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature, features thousands of limestonekarsts and isles in various shapes and sizes. It’s the centre of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long Bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà Islands to the southwest. These larger zones share similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate, and cultural characters.

Ha Long Bay has an area of around 1,550 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets.The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate. (Wikipedia)


Halong City, a reformed coal-mining town, is gateway to one of the most majestic sites in Vietnam. Capital of its province, it now capitalises its greater profits by promoting tourism. Its nearby Halong Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is attracting tourists both domestically & internationally.

 Halong Bay is the kind of rare site that inspires fairy tales and landscape paintings. It centres on a field of limestone karst towers jutting out the bay and soaring high over green waters. These rock formations take a number of odd, often surreal shapes. The name itself means ‘descending dragon’, and looking out over the myriad rock shapes, its easy to imaging the undulating tail of a dragon snaking its way through the water. “

Source: Wikipedia Pictures

A first visit to Halong Bay, with craggy, forested spires and perpetual mists, requires a few moments’ processing. After that initial gaze, visitors descend for all kinds of activities. Weaving through the pillars by kayak or rappelling off a limestone precipice are especially popular pursuits. Old Chinese junks launch sightseeing cruises from the pier.

The best hotels near Halong are on Cat Ba Island – an enviable place to spend a night or two. It’s an oasis of jungle in the midst of the bay, home to sandy beaches, lakes, Buddhist grottoes, waterfalls and five-star resorts.

What You Don’t Know About George Soros

By P Chong                                                                                        Sun. 17 Oct. 2010


 

According to Wikipedia, George Soros born August 12, 1930, as Schwartz György is a Hungarian-American currency speculator, stock investor, businessman, philanthropist, and liberal political activist. He became known as “the Man Who Broke the Bank of England” after he made a reported $1 billion during the 1992 Black Wednesday UK currency crises.

Soros is chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Institute and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Council on Foreign Relations. He played a significant role in the peaceful transition from Communism to Capitalism in Hungary (1984–89), and provided Europe’s largest-ever higher education endowment to Central European University in Budapest. Later, his funding and organisation of Georgia‘s Rose Revolution was considered by Russian and Western observers to have been crucial to its success. In the United States, he is known for donating large sums of money in an effort to defeat President George W. Bush‘s bid for re-election in 2004. He helped found the Center for American Progress.

George Soros has made his mark as an enormously successful speculator, wise enough to largely withdraw when still way ahead of the game. The bulk of his enormous winnings is now devoted to encouraging transitional and emerging nations to become ‘open societies,’ open not only in the sense of freedom of commerce but – more important – tolerant of new ideas and different modes of thinking and behaviour”.

GEORGE SOROS, railway porter-turned-billionaire financier, has been a prominent international supporter of democratic ideals and causes for more than 30 years. He has delivered a stark warning that the financial world is on the wrong track and that we may be hurtling towards an even bigger boom and bust than in the credit crisis. His good sides are well documented, but what about his seedy sides?

Here are some very little known facts about Soros:

  • He’s held as a philanthropist and a saviour of the world by his zombies. Maybe they too, like Obama maniacs, will break the evil spell they are under.
  • Calvina Fay of the Drug Free America Foundation declared billionaire George Soros to be an “extremely evil person” who wants to legalise dangerous mind-altering drugs. Fay said that Soros, an atheist who is a major funder of the Democratic Party and liberal-left causes, is “our common enemy” and that he is determined to subvert traditional values and undermine America’s families.
  • Soros seems like a nice old man. Soros has been called a hypocrite for wanting the rich to pay more to help the poor but he evades paying taxes. Watch here how angry he gets when the interviewer asks about his other businesses he avoids paying taxes on.
  • Leave him alone! He’s just an old man. Yeah, right. That’s what they said about Nazi Adolf Eichmann when Israel’s Mossad captured him. As you probably are not aware, Soros is a Jew but not a practising one. He is an atheist whose real name is Schwartz. Soros is an admitted Nazi collaborator who betrayed his own Jewish people to Adolph Eichmann himself. He just told them he was a Christian and helped the fascists also capture the Jew’s wealth.
  • Dr. James David Manning, PhD says George Soros was in control of Barack Hussein Obama.
  • Soros is just a crook. He is a felon. He was convicted in 2002 for insider trading in France.
  • He’s the modern day Robin Hood. He’s predicting the sinking ship of the Democrats come November & would leave it to keep himself afloat.

 

On YouTube you’ll find a whole series of video clips that would provide you with further negative information about this devious character of a man. You can best start off with “Prometheus: the Mysterious Mr. Soros”.

It is said that with the long arm of the law,

You can run but you cannot hide”.