Posted by: quiscus | January 7, 2011

January 7, 2011

1.  “White House Targets ‘Insider Threats’ Among Federal Workers

This is just the latest attempt by the White House to monitor interactions between federal employees and journalists.

When employees are required to reveal their contacts with reporters, two things happen:

First, a structure is established for punishing federal workers who leak information. Even when they do so to protect the public interest or as a matter of conscience, they are still in violation of employment rules, a fact that could make them vulnerable to termination.

Second, a culture of intimidation is created, and with it a chilling effect that all but assures that the sharing of information —however legitimate and necessary—becomes rarer. Government secrecy is extended. And the public’s right to know is hollowed out and rendered meaningless.

That’s fine by the powerful, who have always relied on their control of information to maintain their authority. But it should not be fine by journalists, or citizens.”

2.  “US Census Bureau: Rising Levels of Poverty in America

Using new formula, Census Bureau ups estimate of US poverty rate to 15.7 percent


The new Census figures were not even reported in Thursday’s print editions of the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Wall Street Journal. This reflects the indifference of the political and media establishment to the acute and worsening social distress in the country and the vast chasm separating the ruling elite from the people.

Statistics providing some insight into the scale of poverty, exacerbated by the highest levels of unemployment since the Great Depression, are inconvenient at a time when the major media, the Obama administration and the Republicans are waging a common campaign to justify slashing spending on social programs and reducing taxes and regulations on corporations.”


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