Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Two Stories of Our Times Today in the U.S.A. by John Grant & Dave Lindorff @ This Can't Be Happening!

Shot down like a dog:
Why We Should Not Forget Miriam Carey

By John Grant

For the past week I’ve been talking with anyone I could shoehorn about the shooting death of Miriam Carey on the streets of Washington DC. As with any homicide -- and that’s how it would be classified for the autopsy -- there are differing opinions and mitigating circumstances to consider.

For instance, the mitigating circumstance most articulated by officialdom and the media to justify the killing of Miriam Carey is that the threat of terrorism is in the forefront of the minds of police officers in the nation’s capital, where 17 days earlier a random gunman had murdered 12 people at the Navy Yard.

In the case of Miriam Carey, 34, the consensus seems to be her killing was a tragedy in which police officers were justified in killing her. They were, accordingly, honored on the floor of Congress for doing their duty during a time of great national stress aggravated by an unprecedented shutdown of the federal government. The capital police officers who killed Miriam Carey were working without pay. The media news cycle has moved on, and the government shutdown remains the big story.

Likewise, we didn’t hear much about John Constantino. The day after Miriam Carey’s killing, the 64-year-old Mount Laurel, New Jersey, man, also an African American, drove to the capital city, and at about 4:30 in the afternoon, on the mall between the Air & Space Museum and the National Gallery, sat down on the grass facing the Capitol building, poured gasoline all over himself and set himself ablaze. Witnesses reported he said something about “voters’ rights” or “voting rights.” The married father of three grown children died later in the hospital. A lawyer hired by Constanino’s family said his act was not political and that he was mentally ill.

Constantino’s neighbor, Joe Horner, told a different story [1] to a New York Daily News reporter. Constantino, Horner said, “didn’t like the government for some reason. ... He said to me, ‘They’re no good. They don’t look out for us and they don’t care about anything but their own pockets.’ ”

One thing the mainstream media does not do is invest time and resources in stories like Constantino’s or Miriam Carey’s. There’s no desire to explain or, more to the point, to dignify such apparently desperate, solitary acts, especially when there’s the suggestion of a political motive. The rule is, a suicide must be labeled the pointless act of a mentally ill person. Unless a politically-motivated person kills other people besides himself, then, of course, the act gets lots of attention. It’s now a senseless, random killer act or, better yet, an act of terror.

This is basic Journalism 101...

For the rest of this article by JOHN GRANT in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2002


Story 2:

Malala tells it like it is to the 'World's Most Powerful Man': Profiles in Courage, and in the Lack Thereof

By Dave Lindorff
After the courageous Pakistani advocate of girls' right to an education, Malala Yousafzai, had her meeting with President Obama and his wife Michelle and older daughter Malia in the White House, the White House issued a press release and a photo, saying that the presidential couple had invited this youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee to visit "to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls' education in Pakistan."

It hardly did justice to the courage of a young girl who, for publicly demanding that children of her gender be allowed to study in a society where many Muslim fundamentalists consider the education of women a dangerous threat, continues her advocacy even after she was attacked on her way to school and targeted with a nearly fatal shot to the head by a Taliban death squad .

But the White House press release was worse than just dismissive of this brave girl.

It further diminished the import of her visit, and her remarkable courage, by failing to note that she had taken the opportunity of her visit to tell the president directly to his face that he should halt the drone attacks that he has been ordering on suspected Taliban "leaders" in western Pakistan -- drone attacks that have often been calculated to kill not just targeted individuals but many innocent men, women and children in the vicinity of the blasts.

As Malala recalls the moment in a statement she released herself after her meeting [1] with the commander in chief of the most powerful war machine the world has ever known:

"I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact."...

For the rest of this article by DAVE LINDORFF in ThisCantBeHappening!, the new uncompromising four-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative newspaper, please go to: www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2001


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