A word from the editor:

----->If it’s Ben & Balanced, then it’s reliable.

On this page, I will comment on recent and relevant world news and interesting articles pertaining to politics and media coverage. Even though everyone, including myself, is entitled to his or her opinions, I will try to be as fair and balanced as possible, and will strive to point to information that is not objective. There will be some praising, some bashing, and a lot of sarcasm... but mostly, there will be honesty.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Will Osama Help Obama?

Without a doubt, the most significant event of the week was the announcement of Obama’s death at the hand of the American Forces.  After ten long years, the individual responsible for 9/11 was finally found and shot.  This represents a great victory for the United States in its war against terrorism, and the news has been welcomed by the American people.
Indeed, Obama’s approval ratings went up, many media outlets, including Hannity on Fox News, entertained a positive coverage on the event and what it means to the USA.  Now I’m wondering whether this positive spirit will last.  Will Obama continue to benefit from that unexpected turn of events, or is it temporary?
If you would have asked me that question six months ago, I would have said this is temporary.  But given the unveiling of Obama’s long form birth certificate, and simultaneously Trump’s demise, I feel like the combination of the two may put Obama into a good position for 2012.  We shall keep a close eye on those poles.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Would Trump stand a chance?

Donald Trump seemed to be a popular candidate for a GOP nomination in the upcoming
Presidential elections. But will it still be the case now that Trump's most voiced
and popular topic has been exhausted? How will his fans and potential followers

On one hand, the fact that Obama did release his long form birth certificate,
following the increasingly-hard-to-ignore concerns voiced by Trump, showed that the
successful businessman could indeed achieve something in just a few weeks that no
one else has been able to do in two and a half years. Trump himself humbly admitted
that during an interview on the very day of the document release, before Obama's own
public appearance, while freshly stepping out of his Trump-labeled chopper, and
congratulating himself for this proud victory. In the meantime, Fox News desperately
ponders why Obama did not disclose that document earlier.  Could it be a fake? After
all, Photoshop can do wonders nowadays. Is it true that the number sequence on that
document seems not to fit? Or as Steven Colbert revealed on the Colbert Report last
night, his mother's name is Stanley: is it a dude? In which case, who is his
biological dad? Are we even sure he is black man? And in that case, why are we
having this conversation in the first place?

On the other hand, the fact that Obama disclosed the long form birth certificate
effectively shuts the mouth of many doubters, including Trump who his now trying to
understand how the bad student that Obama was could end up attending HLS. Get over
it, affirmative action is legal, whether you agree with it or not. And who's to say
whether Obama would have needed affirmative action to get into Columbia and Harvard.
What would it bring to our current discussions? Actually, whether you agree with
Obama's policies or not, you have to admit the guy is smart. I would even argue that
patiently waiting for the right moment  to disclose the long form birth certificate,
assuming it's not a fake, was truly manipulative genius. Not only will this move
keep haters at bay while reinforcing the sentiment of injustice and hatred felt by
his most faithful subjects, but he also discredited Trump which could potentially be
a fierce adversary in the upcoming Presidential elections. Or can he now?

I'm not sure whether Donald is picking the right battles, even if he was following a
good lead as some argue. Making loud-but-short-term noise is like over-inflating a
balloon: it looks great, big and dominant  for a time, it looks better than the rest
of the balloons, and then it explodes, unable to contain itself, forgotten by
watchers, its contents dissipating into thin air. Maybe Trump should use his
pre-existing fame and credibility while sticking to non-conspiracy issues. As of
today, he's making yet another show, and I'm starting to believe that he is indeed
promoting his most precious TV show, The Apprentice.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

CC = Comedy Central (not Conservative Channel nor Coco Chanel)

After watching some clips of Jon Stuart and The Daily Show last class, I decided to check it out on my own—both on my computer for old episodes and one television for a live one.  I also watched The Colbert Report while I was at it.
I must say that there was much more information than I expected on The Daily Show, and I now comprehend the argument of some fellow classmates that Jon Stuart is a journalist.  I still hold my position that he is not, but I was even more surprised when, an hour later, Bill O’Reilly played a segment of The Daily show from that same day.  I must say that the segment was slightly taken out of context and if one watched the entire show, O’Reilly’s question—I won’t get into it—would have been dismissed on the spot.
Also, both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were less funny than I expected.  I think that it is crucial to watch those with a nice group of friends (like we do in class) and not too often.  These guys do not provide news, I think this is clear: they do a satiric commentary of the news, which can be truly appreciated only if one is informed and knows the actuality.  Meaning, get you facts straight, and then go have a good laugh on comedy Central (yeah, we shouldn’t forget the channel on which these two shows air).

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Mighty Adventures of Silverrock

As a result, many people hoped to see a revocation of the Goldstone report.  After all, the person after whom the report was named said: “We know a lot more today about what happened in the Gaza war of 2008-09 than we did when I chaired the fact-finding mission appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council that produced what has come to be known as the Goldstone Report. If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.” He also said: “We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.”
But instead of witnessing a general uproar and massive media coverage matching that of the original Goldstone Report, we saw a few shy articles hidden behind an impressive amount of redundant “first-page news.”  On CNN, there was not a single article mentioning the story on their first page.  I had to search for articles on the website in order to find this one: http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/04/02/israel.goldstone.report/index.html?iref=allsearch#
Fox News was not much better.  At least an article was featured on the main page, but I really had to look for it: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/04/04/investigator-admits-shortcomings-israel-supporters-push-recall-gaza-report/?test=latestnews#
I am not sure why we do not see a more extensive coverage of this mind-blowing turn of events.  There is even a rumor going on that the New York Times refused to publish the article mentioned above, and that’s why it appeared in the Washington Post: could that be true?  Wouldn’t that be totally scandalous?  When we stop to think about it, ethics would dictate that anyone who covered or talked about the original Goldstone report has a moral and professional responsibility to follow up with the story and keep the public informed about new information and turnarounds as they become available.  But apparently, ethical behavior is too Godly for our human mentality.  And if that wasn’t enough, the UN and London are against the cancellation of the Goldstone report (http://www.guysen.com/news_Londres-contre-l-annulation-du-rapport-Goldstone_308958.html and http://www.guysen.com/news_Le-Conseil-onusien-des-droits-de-l-homme-refuse-d-annuler-le-rapport-Goldstone_308951.html), even given the new information and opinion provided by Goldstone himself.  Is it me or does the whole thing just make no sense? One thing I know for sure: Silverrock caused a lot of trouble.  For no good reason.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is there an echo here?

Over the past few days, I found it more and more difficult to get meaningful information from CNN and Fox News.  All the news seems to be about Qaddafi, Japan, and Syria; just have a look at the front page of these two websites: http://www.cnn.com/ and http://www.foxnews.com/.
Because of the redundant information we are fed on the main media channels, I decided to invest more time in reading Guysen News International.  On this website, you can read pure information, in real time, in chronological order: http://www.guysen.com/en/.   CNN and Fox News keep on telling us the same things over and over again about nuclear radiations and NATO taking over the “humanitarian mission” and we are getting the false impression that nothing else big is happening the world.  I want news, not a 3-4 stories daily feed that sounds like I’m too stupid to integrate more information.  The advantage of Guysen News is that it doesn’t give opinion or an analysis of the news: it provides the reader with raw news, and we are free to interpret it however we want, and there is less chance of a bias in this way.  You should check it out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Who are we defending?

When President Obama argued for a no-fly zone in Libya, he said that it was for humanitarian reasons, to save civilians from a terrible oppressor.  It struck me as weird that we seemed to be that concerned about the welfare of civilians in Libya when there are plenty of other countries—such as Iran—where civilian protestors are mistreated by the army.
As soon as Kaddafi’s headquarters got bombarded, the vast majority of news channels jumped to the conclusion that either the French or the British were responsible for firing these missiles and that the US had nothing to do with it.  But the problem is that the French and the British are operating under US command—under Obama’s command.  It seems totally hypocritical to point at your allies and proclaim: “it is them, not us!!!”  Moreover, just a few days after the facts, Obama declared that getting rid of Kaddafi was a priority.  Wait… I thought we went into Libya for humanitarian reasons, for the sake of the people, and that we had no business in the interior affairs of a foreign country.
Consequently, I am deeply worried about two things.  First, since when can we just intervene in a foreign country that is experiencing civil unrest?  This is not genocide, nor is it mass murdering: it’s civil war, and it happens.  So what’s next?  What could stop the UN to implement a no-fly zone over Israel with the excuse that it is exercises excessive force over the Gaza strip.  Now that a precedent has been set, what could possibly stop the allied forces of the West to make Israel their own business, just as they are now doing with Libya?  The second thing that worries me has been voiced by a few people over the past few days.  That question is pretty straight forward: who are we really helping?  The problem with the current protests plaguing the Middle East is that nobody knows for sure who is fighting the establishment.  And more and more indications point to Islamist organizations.  True, Kaddafi is a bad guy; he committed terrible crimes, both against his people and against other countries.  But for the past few years, he has actually been trying to fit in with the West, stopped his nuclear program and attempted to join various international institutions by making further concessions.  We knew who we dealt with, knew what to expect.  But now, who are we helping rise to power by weakening Kaddafi?  Is it the Muslim Brotherhood?  Al Qaeda?  Perhaps our old little secular Kaddafi was actually effective in keeping Islamic forces at bay.  Are we helping our future enemies rise to power?  Why enter the realm of the unknown, with so many unanswered questions, when we had tangible facts in the previous state of affairs?
So I’m worried; worried about Obama’s decisions and the way he by-passed Congress; worried about the West and its involvement in another country's interior affairs; worried about what’s coming next in and after Libya.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

No news!

It is Thursday, March 17, 2011 and I can’t even see a headline about the Fogel family.  The only headline I found with regards to Israel on Fox News was “UK urges Israel to return to peace talks” (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2011/03/17/uk-urges-israel-return-peace-talks/#) where William Hague—Britain’s foreign secretary—voices concerns to Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak with regards to settlement construction in the West Bank, settlements that “run contrary to peace” according to Hague.  I find this incredible; not a week has passed since the terrible murders of the Fogels, and we are already back on the theory that it is the settlements that are undermined the peace process.  A hundred years from now, historians and students will be at a loss to understand that, I am sure.
On the CNN website, it is worse, true story.  No mention of Israel at all on the main page.   If we venture under the “world” tab, the 4th top world story read “Netanyahu on Japan and nuclear power,” a video where Netanyahu worries about having nuclear plants in Israel and announces that Israel will not develop nuclear energy for civilian use (http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2011/03/17/exp.piers.morgan.netanyahu.japan.cnn).  But if you keep on scrolling down and reach the end of the page, you will find another article about Israel.  There is nothing about the family that was slaughtered less than a week ago in Israel, of course not.  Rather, there is an article about the interception of a weapon shipment, originating from Iran, which was bond to reach Gaza.  That’s a good consolation!