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« July 2006 | Main | September 2006 »

Million Dollar Vote

A number of Page Nine readers objected to singling out the supporters of a $1 million lottery for coercing voters to the polls (see "Million Dollar Votes"). Fortunately, the Uninvited Ombudsman had significant lamestream support on that one: "A tawdry idea that cheapens one of the most important things a citizen can do." (USA Today); "We can only hope voters in Arizona won't fall for such a gimmick." (Denver Post); "This is a direct assault on the notion that good citizenship should entail at least a small amount of self-motivation." (Washington Times); and from syndicated columnist Jeff Jacoby, "Those who don't care shouldn't vote."

Lebanon Winner Disputed

Page Nine suggested (see "Nobody Wins Lebanon") no one won in south Lebanon. Barrett Tillman disagrees: "Alan, just my two centavos. I think that Hezbollah won a clear victory. The Hezzies are still there, still armed, and (omigod!) the UN is totally ineffective. I guess Dubya's handlers felt obliged to say that Israel won, but its politicians merely pulled the plug and declared victory. At any rate, the Muslims took on the IDF and at worst fought the contest to a draw. That's a win in the Muslim playbook. They're like the Terminator. They'll be back. With bigger toys next time."

News Fraud Abounds

Stories about deliberate news fraud abound, in addition to the sort of distortion and spin exposed in Page Nine. Try this if you have doubts.

Mexicans Slip Through

The Border Patrol estimates it captures one illegal alien for each one that slips through (about 2,500 per day). On their last watch, 75 Minutemen observed 22 presumed illegals hiking in through the desert, of which only two were caught.

Easy Liquid Explosives

Although most reports didn't mention the kind of liquid explosives terrorists intended to use (see "Liquid Explosive Recycling"), so terrorists planning to blow up planes couldn't get the information, one expert believes it was TATP, a mixture of peroxide and acetone. "Very easy to make if you know what you're doing, and pretty much undetectable." Another reader notes that the Washington Post says you need "super" peroxide, like the kind in drugstores for bleaching hair, and acetone, about $8 a gallon at Home Depot. Becomes unstable as soon as mixed, an instant explosive. Don't tell anyone.

Plain Ole Observation

Have you noticed that when newscasters speak, they run footage in the background? It's called "B roll." Lately, the footage almost never relates to the subject, has no caption, and isn't even timely. It's file footage used as eye candy. They don't tell you what you're seeing, it has no relevance, but at least they roll it over and over. They don't even caption half the talking heads they put on air anymore. Watch and you'll see. Turn the sound off for a moment and watch -- it makes it easier to detect. Start separating in your mind the words they speak and the unrelated images the throw at you. Makes it a whole 'nother world.

Muslim Leaders Upset

The lamestream media told you:
"Bush's 'Islamic Fascist' Remark Angers Muslim Leaders," according to Louis Sahagun, writing in the L.A. Times. Already resentful of the increased scrutiny they are under since Sept. 11, he says, (when radical Muslims destroyed the World Trade Center towers and more), Muslim leaders said the President's politically charged rhetoric fuels hostility against Islam and Muslims in America.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
No, radical Muslim jihadis waging global holy war against infidels and western civilization fuels hostility towards Islam and Muslims in America. And everywhere. The Times apparently missed the connection. The President's frank observation is merely the truth in this case.

According to Parvez Ahmed, chairman of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, "The use of ill-defined hot button terms such as 'Islamic fascists,' 'militant jihadism,' 'Islamic radicalism,' or 'totalitarian Islamic empire,'" are not well received, "particularly in the Islamic world." He got that right.

The L.A. Times attributes the popularization of such language in part to conservative talk show hosts, who prefer the term "Islamo fascists" for "terrorists" and "insurgents." The lamestream media sometimes expresses a certain distaste for conservative talk show hosts, for some reason.

Iraqi Bomb Deaths

The lamestream media told you:
Nearly 50 have died, including two GIs, in roiling violence in Iraq, according to Robert Reid, writing for the Associated Press. Sectarian death squads have been rounding up innocent people and executing them, sometimes in broad daylight. Some were killed by suicide bombers.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
It's puzzling how newspapers everywhere seem to manage such uniformly narrow reports about the Iraq war. There are constant stories that essentially say, "So-And-So Kills Many" in the papers I review, and usually nothing else.

The U.S. has more than 140,000 soldiers in Iraq, and news consumers are left to wonder -- what do they do? Americans simply don't know, because there is routinely zero coverage of them. Most Americans, facing an absolutely blank slate, haven't even noticed that the slate is blank.

The soldiers must be doing something, right? A blind guess suggests they are on patrols, conducting search and destroy missions, ferreting out jihadis and killing them, gathering evidence and intelligence, supporting reconstruction projects, destroying captured munitions, interviewing locals for leads, protecting the crews rebuilding Iraq, working near the oil fields -- but the papers are dead silent on this.

That's not really a blind guess. Returning soldiers have provided such details directly to the Uninvited Ombudsman, with news of how the schools are no longer ammo dumps, hospitals have supplies, and how most citizens are better off and appreciative, even though it's still a dangerous place (but, see "Murders Outpace Iraq").

When the Unibomber was in the news, you read all sorts of meaningful expert analysis -- explosive types, bomb design, modus operandi, likely perps, source of materials -- for every event. With all the money being spending over there, at least some details on explosives used ought to leak through, but it is virtually 100% suppressed. How?

How do the newspapers manage to uniformly report isolated bombings constantly yet collectively neglect any other coverage day after day, of what our 140,000 troops are doing every day?

This glaring omission contributes to why the public increasingly distrusts the "news" media.

Murders Outpace Iraq

The lamestream media told you:
A suicide bomber near a Shiite shrine killed 26 people, in the deadliest such attack in a while, reports the Associated Press.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
While Iraq endured 26 horrific murders, an average of 82 people in America died of gunshot wounds on the same day (30,000 divided by 365).

Approximately 60% were a direct result of, or related to, crime and the war on some drugs. The victims are largely "people of color," a fact known to police but rarely revealed in the lamestream media. The remaining 40% were generally elderly suicides, by people who had run out of patience, money, and the ability to endure prolonged illness, in a land where palliative care is severely restricted.

Although America faces three times the killing rate of Iraq, the "news" media only focuses on deaths in Iraq for some reason.

Drug Lieutenants Promoted

The lamestream media told you:
U.S. authorities acting on a tip boarded a fishing boat off the Mexican coast and captured suspected drug kingpin Arellano Felix, reputed leader of the Arellano Felix organization, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"This guy happens to be one of the 45 most notorious, most wanted drug traffickers in the world," Mike Braun of the DEA said.

Mexican authorities said Arturo Villareal, arrested at the same time, was more significant.

The Uninvited Ombudsman notes however that:
The arrest of one or two of the top 100 drug traffickers in the world will have no measurable affect on the drug trade, no impact on the staff sizes or government spending lavished on the war on some drugs, or on drug use. The story was an announcement by government officials, with no actual reporting involved.

The organizations of these two reputed leaders are intact and unaffected. Now, unnamed lieutenants will move up the chain of command for promotions, without the usual need to murder their superiors, thanks to the efforts of the official "anti-drug" warriors. In that sense, the officials may have saved some lives.

It was not clear at press time if the next most dangerous 45 drug trafficking leaders liked being ranked as second tier, or if the official rankings were accurate. The loss of about 2% of the leadership was laughably small, someone said on condition of anonymity.

In familiar reporting style, the only important questions were not asked, let alone answered. For example, "With regard to the war on drugs, is the war succeeding? When could it be declared a success, the expense of waging it cease, and the tax-based infrastructure surrounding it be decreased or dismantled? If it can't be declared a success, when might it be declared a failure and brought to a close? How do you respond to critics who say the war on some drugs is really a federal-agents jobs program, and price supports for the drug dealers?"

For an in-depth look at the questions the "news" media never touches, see The Liberty Poll, by columnist Vin Suprynowicz, attorney Mike Anthony and The Uninvited Ombudsman.

Read what people are saying about Page Nine, or tell Alan yourself.

See the archives below, or click through to an index of Page Nine posts at

About the Author

  • Freelance writer Alan Korwin is a founder and past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. Here writing as "The Uninvited Ombudsman," Alan covers the day's stories as they ought to read. Read more.

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