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Murdoch Media Empire, Will it Fall?

 By John E. Jones

The exposure of Murdoch’s part in capitalist propaganda is not limited to Britain. The Murdoch empire dominates the English speaking countries. While the corruption of the police and politicians that is being exposed is very damaging to the image of the sham democracy that has prevailed; the real damage is to the indoctrination machine.
The phone-hacking scandal tha led to the closure of the News of the World has brought to the surface the real state of things within the British establishment. The rottenness of a regime, that prides itself at being a model of “democracy,” is out in the open for all to see.
What has now been revealed is that a powerful media empire that for years has played a key role in British politics, making and unmaking political leaders, has been buying police officers, using influence with politicians, and all this peppered with out and out criminal activity.
This is not just any ordinary scandal that after a brief airing can be swept under the carpet and hidden again from public view. It is part of a more general crisis of the whole establishment.
Millions of ordinary working people in Britain are angry and disgusted at what has been revealed in the recent period. But, more importantly, the scandal risks destroying the authority of important pillars of the state, key instruments that are used by the ruling class to justify its position in society.
The media is an important weapon in the armoury of the establishment, for it is a means of getting across the views and opinions of the ruling class to the millions of ordinary workers.
This is clear during any important strike. How many times have we seen the media playing down the real numbers at demonstrations and rallies of the labour movement? The March 26 trade union demonstration is a clear example.
However, it is not just the numbers taking part that is lied about. Striking workers are always presented as greedy and unreasonable.
Especially the gutter press, such as the News of the World (NoW), have made it their trade to spread stories about so-called social security scroungers and how the problem is all due to excessive spending on the part of the state on welfare benefits.
All this can have some effect so long as the media is seen to be a source of objective “truth.” This scandal has seriously brought that idea into question.
Under capitalism “democracy” is a system where ordinary basic democratic rights exist, such as the right to vote, to free speech, etc., but where the real power is in the hands of the big corporations, such as Murdoch’s media empire.
Important decisions such as who the capitalist class want to govern the country, what policies they should carry out, and what interests they should defend are not really in the hands of ordinary working people.
We have no powers within this parliamentary system to decide when we should all retire, how many hours a week we should work, how much of our money should be spent on healthcare and education, whether or not to go to war, such as in the case of Iraq, etc., etc.
The problem is that the ruling class consists of a very small group of people. The vast majority of the population works for a living, gets a wage from a boss, whether in a factory, on a building site, in a classroom or at a desk working on a computer.
The interests of this huge majority are diametrically opposed to those of this clique. That is why the credibility of the media, the police and parliament itself is so important, so “central to democracy.” This credibility is required to maintain a grip on the consciousness of millions of working people.
This government has embarked on a savage attack on everything that makes for a minimally civilised existence for working people.
But this already provoked a massive student protest in November last year, followed by the biggest trade union demonstration in the history of Britain on March 26th and June 30th saw huge strike action by teachers, lecturers and civil servants.
That was merely a taste of even bigger things to come. In such a situation the establishment needs all its arsenal in place:
The media to convince the masses that austerity is necessary, the police to attack the workers when the media fails to stop them protesting, and the government and parliament with their authority intact in order to continue pushing forward the austerity measures.


Sadly, the article posted above is entirely wrong in asserting that the authority, or credibility, of the media has been challenged (at least on a large scale, or here in the US even). The fullness of the scandal has not, nor will it ever be fully realized. People in Britain have known for some time now, and America as well, about the corruption in their government in co-operation with their media. The response has been one of total apathy, honestly, it's amazing they're angry over the plight of the poor girl who was murdered.

And if anyone things the Murdoch Empire has been exposed, the answer is yes, and no. Those who oppose his media empire are learning nothing new, and those who adhere to it are eagerly gobbling up the apologies and excuses given.

Fox News and Newscorp have already gone on the attack path, distancing themselves from having anything to do with the, News of The World, scandal. In fact, if anything, they will blame the apparent corruption on Britain's, "far-left" "socialist policies".

Police at Scotland Yard taking bribes? Politicians corrupted with money?
Well that's what you get with socialism.
Trust me, that's what the party line will be, or something like it.
At the very least, Fox News is already arguing that it isn't a very big deal
and that the British public is overreacting.

No, no, no, the only chance of it ever have any impact here in the states is if Fox News did something that widely angered the public to such and extent that the ensuing boycott and loss of viewers causes them to close their doors. But that hasn't happened, and it's extremely doubtful that it ever will.

Fuck Israel, Israel Causes Death of America


News from French and Greek Boat to Gaza Concerning the Israeli Seizure of the French Flotilla

Israel seizes French Flotilla

Press Release
Athens, 19/7/2011
This morning, the French flag ship “Dignité/Al Karama”, carrying 16 passengers -among them the coordinator of the Greek Initiative Vangelis Pissias, and representing the international “Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human” - started to sail from outside Port Said of Egypt towards the Gaza Strip. The boat gave its last position when in international waters, approximately 50 miles away from Gaza coast. Since 11:00am, while surrounded by 4 Israeli naval ships according to its passengers, every communication has been interrupted. A little while ago, it was reported as confirmed that the vessel was seized.

Israel, once again, appears to play the role of the sheriff in the south-eastern Mediterranean. The disregard of any notion of international law, the mobilization of any legal or illegal means to achieve its objectives -to prevent any attempt of expressing practical international solidarity with Palestine- is a permanent well known tactic. The Greek government acted in such a pro-Israeli way that even Israel wouldn't expect, shamelessly accepting congratulations by the Israeli and US governments, while at the same moment Palestinians in Ramallah heavily disapproved of the Greek President -first time for a Greek politician.

We demand from the Greek government, of course not to condemn the illegal act of its Israeli friends, who once again intervened militarily and beyond any concept of international law, against unarmed citizens in the international waters of SE Mediterranean, but to do, at least, the minimum and fundamentally self-evident: intervene immediately in order to protect -as required by the Constitution-the life and integrity of all on board and -above all- the Greek Vangelis Pissias.

The Greek society will provide the response to the latest Israeli provocative act. The Greek society who -unlike it's government- stands firmly and through time in solidarity to the Palestinian issue and the Palestinian people.

We call for a rally today at Syntagma, Tuesday 19th at 7:00pm

Passenger List for "Dignité / Al Karama"
1. Stéphane Corriveau (Canadian Boat to Gaza)
2. Dror Feiler (Ship to Gaza-Sweden and European Jews for a Just Peace, composer - musician)
3. Hilary Folacci (Sailor)
4. Jérôme Gleizes (European Greens)
5. Jacqueline Le Corre (MD, Collectif 14 Support to the Palestinian people, PCF/french communist party)
6. Jean Claude Lefort (Honorary Member of french Parliament)
7. Jo Leguen (Navigator)
8. Claude Léostic (Spokesperson of Campaign "A French ship to Gaza" - Association France/Palestine /Solidarity -AFPS)
9. Yamin Makri (Collectif 69 Support the Palestinian people)
10. Omeyya Naoufel Seddik (Tunisian Federation for citizenship on both sides- FTCR, political scientist)
11. Dr. Vangelis Pissias (Campaign "Ship to Gaza - Greece", professor at Higher Institute of Technology, Athens)
12. Thomas Sommer - Houdeville (Spokesperson of Campaign "A French ship to Gaza" and "Campagne Civile Internationale Pour la Protection du Peuple Palestinien - CCIPPP", associate researcher at the IFPO - Institut Français du Proche Orient)
13. Yannick Voisin (captain).
Also on board
14. Ayyash Derradji Al Jazeera journalist
15. Stéphane Guida, cameraman for Al Jazeera,
16. Amira Hass (Israeli journalist - Haaretz).

The FPM Team


Free Palestine Movement News July 15, 2011

Via: Free Palestine Movement Newsletter

I had originally intended to call this "A funny thing happened on the way to Gaza," but decided it sounded too flippant. However, the journey has certainly taken unexpected turns, which deserve some reflection on the Law of Unintended Consequences as it relates to the 2011 Gaza Freedom Flotilla.

Our Free Palestine Movement delegation of Ambassador Sam Hart, Dominican Sister Patricia Chaffee, USS Liberty veteran Joe Meadors, American Indian Movement spokesperson William "Jimbo" Simmons, FPM coordinator Deppen Webber and I returned to our homes in the U.S. over the course of the last week. It was an honor to share company with these fine representatives of communities in the U.S., and our voices were heard through numerous interviews, published writings and web postings.

Many people deserve a lot of credit for what went right, and we salute you, the recipients of this newsletter and supporters of the project for the important role you played. Tens of thousands of people were mobilized in dozens of countries to produce a very international undertaking for Palestinian human rights. The contacts and networks created in the year or so of working together will be used to create more and probably bigger projects, just as the contacts from the Gaza Freedom March helped to create the flotillas.

On the face of it, Israel won this round by preventing the boats from leaving Greece. However, it required a major mobilization on their part, which engaged heads of state, government ministers and elected officials in several countries, not the least of which was the United States, itself. As compared to the alternative of a confrontation at sea similar to last year's, it would seem to be an Israeli victory.

However, this is where the unintended consequences begin. First, the very fact that such a high level of mobilization was undertaken raised eyebrows. Why would Israel go to such extreme measures to prevent such an obviously harmless group from sailing to Gaza? What damage could we do?

Second, the heavy-handed techniques applied to the Greek government also did not go unnoticed. The Palestinian issue is very dear to the Greek people, who take pride in their support of Palestinians, and especially in the fact that it was two of their boats that first broke the Gaza blockade in 2008. Ironically, it was George Papandreou himself who made a public show of support for the blockade-busters in 2009 by personally receiving one of them (me) in the run-up to the elections that put him in office. Greeks are deeply embarrassed by their government's complicity with Israel, and angered by Israel's interference in their affairs.

Third, Israel's methods dragged the struggle out over an extended period of time, and continues even now. Last year's encounter, though violent and headline-grabbing, was over quickly. This year's offers new developments on a regular basis, such as the two boats that actually succeeded in leaving Greek ports. (See related story here.)

Finally, this year left the projects with boats still in their possession and a strong motivation to use them. It is not likely that Greece will be able to legally prevent their use indefinitely, so these assets are still at the disposal of the organizers. If a replay of last year's encounter had occurred, Israel would likely have seized the boats and not released them, resulting in a total loss. Now, however, the organizers may reasonably be expected to develop alternate plans.

In fact, alternate plans seem to be spinning as fast as they can be imagined. Two more land convoys are currently on their way, and a million-person non-violent march to Jerusalem is being organized. A challenge by air is still under consideration, though different (and cheaper) than what was previously envisioned. The BDS campaign is gaining rapidly, with the academic and cultural boycott leading the way.

In short, what does not destroy us makes us stronger. These are the methods that abolished slavery, liberated India, Poland and other countries, and ended segregation in the U.S. and apartheid in South Africa. They will continue to be at the disposal of principled and determined people standing up for human rights everywhere.

We thank you for being there with us.

Paul Larudee, for the FPM Team


The cost of our participation in the Flotilla was at least $10,000 per person, more than half of which went toward the purchase of the International Boat that we have not been able to use until now. For most of the Flotilla projects, the cost was even greater.

As of now, we barely have funds for operating costs until the end of August. Our coffers have not been this bare since we first began in 2006. Please help.


Palestinians Protest Over Implementation to Teach Israeli Curriculum in East Jerusalem.

By Jillian Kestler-D'Amours

EAST JERUSALEM — Widespread strikes across Palestinian civil society could be in store for East Jerusalem at the start of the next school year, as the municipality moves ahead with its current plan to implement an Israeli curriculum in Palestinian schools.
“I expect that the beginning of the new school year will not be a normal one. There will be lots of problems. There will be lots of demands, strikes,” Samir Jibril, director of the East Jerusalem Education Bureau told IPS. “All [the Palestinian] institutions are going to stand hand-in-hand against this implementation. Even civil society is demanding to stop this plan by the Israelis.”
In March of this year, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to private schools in East Jerusalem that receive allocations from the Israeli authorities. The letter stated that at the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, the schools would be obliged to purchase and only use textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Education Administration (JEA), a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education.
These textbooks are already in use in East Jerusalem schools managed by the JEA. According to Jibril, however, Palestinians in East Jerusalem have at all levels rejected the plan to use them in private schools, since it is viewed as being politically motivated.
“The real reason behind all this story of curriculum is actually political. We’re talking about a radical [Israeli] government that is trying to impose its own identity on the Palestinians in East Jerusalem. Knowing that Israel doesn’t recognize Palestinian identity, it is a political reflection rather than [for] any kind of educational or pedagogical [reason],” Jibril said.
The move to introduce the Israeli curriculum came after Israeli parliament member Alex Miller from the far-right Israel Beiteinu Party, who heads the Knesset’s Education Committee, stated during a meeting about unauthorized curricula in the education system that, in East Jerusalem, “the whole curriculum should and must be Israeli.”
After Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, Palestinians in the city followed the Jordanian educational system. Then, shortly after the signing of the Oslo II agreement, schools in East Jerusalem began using the curriculum of the Palestinian Authority.
Today, four different authorities govern the education system in East Jerusalem: the JEA, the Islamic Waqf, the private sector, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.
According to 2010-2011 statistics provided by the East Jerusalem Education Directorate, the JEA runs 50 schools in East Jerusalem, which are attended by 38,785 students, or 48 percent of the total number of Palestinian students in the city. An additional 22,500 Palestinian students attend 68 different private schools in East Jerusalem.
“They are actually pushing towards implementing the Israeli curricula because this will politically mean that East Jerusalem is not an occupied territory and it is just like the 1948 area, Israeli land,” Jibril said.
“If Israel succeeds in this step, there will be other successive steps, and they will target all the remaining schools,” he added. Israeli authorities have tried to exert added influence in East Jerusalem schools under their control earlier, he said, by willfully omitting certain passages in textbooks and removing the Palestinian logo on book covers, among other measures.


Orthodox and Gay? You're not alone. Graph of search results.

The following is a graph for the search term "orthodox homosexuality". It covers a graph of average search amounts from 2004 to the present day of this post.
Bear in mind, Google's Insights for Search only covers average search popularity. At any given time there are people all over the world searching for all kinds of things. Insights for search monitors search terms that have become particularly popular; more popular than average.


BREAKING: Greek military halts Freedom Flotilla2 in its tracks

Happening now:

Greek military, avowing to stop the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, from leaving port, has placed the US Ship in a military port. Journalist Joseph Dana has said the office of the presidency has said to seize the Canadian boat while in port. Passengers aboard the US Flotilla are demanding to see their consult reps, but so far they haven't been able to.

There is a live press conference happening now, in Athens, for the Freedom Flotilla.


Preparations for protests in Ottawa and Washington DC are being reported.

Rumors are emerging that Israel may be offering to bail Greece out of its current economic woes. If the rumor is true it might explain the new found corporation between the two countries.

Protesters have gathered outside the Greek consulate in NY chanting,"American citizens taken into custody by Greek gov"

An impromptu protest has spontaneously begun on the Greek island of Corfu, against the Greek Government's recent actions to block the Flotilla2.

2 Update:
Flotilla2 activists say they are, "angry and sad" and now having to consider a Plan B.

The Holland Flotilla boat has joined with the American boat on the Island of Corfu to protest.

It appears that both the Greek and Canadian governments have been complicit in taking actions to undermine the Freedom Flotilla2 effort. Meanwhile the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has praised the actions taken by the Greek Gov. "We express our admiration and deeply-felt gratitude for this courageous, principled step by Greece," says Executive Director David Harris of the AJC.
Greece is now pledging to Israel to expand it's police maritime coverage in order to prevent all Flotilla2 boats from leaving its shores. Harris goes on to state his gratitude to Greece for, "...preventing a serious challenge to Israel's legal maritime blockade of Gaza..." and that others should, "...follow Greece's lead in ensuring that the flotilla campaign, a Hamas solidarity movement disguised as a humanitarian enterprise, is no longer able to carry out its provocations."

His comments echo of talking points frequently used by Israeli supporters. Such talking points include identifying Hamas as a terrorist organization, and eluding that the sole purpose of Hamas is to destroy Israel. When the last Freedom Flotilla was attacked by the IDF, one of the talking points issued to Israeli pundits was that the Flotilla might have been carrying concrete, which Hamas, they claimed, would invariably use to build bunkers and military installations to carry out attacks on Israel.

3 Update:
(Photo is of armed Greek coast guard, blocking US Flotilla boat)

It is now confirmed that in return for stopping the Flotilla, Israel helped raise support for the Greek bail-out in the EU. An Israeli official stated to a reporter, "Flotilla organizers didn't understand that today's Greece is nothing like last year's, and they paid for it."