Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

David Brooks of the New York Times and the Occupy Wall Street movement

David Brooks of the New York Times and the Occupy Wall Street movement

Mr. Brooks, in “The Milquetoast Radicals” errs in describing the “core theme” of the Occupy Wall Street protests as “If there is a core theme to the Occupy Wall Street movement, it is that the virtuous 99 percent of society is being cheated by the richest and greediest 1 percent.”

As proof, he offers a link to a pdf file allegedly from a 2004 issue of a Canadian left-wing magazine.

This is a straw man argument. It is so shallow because only Mr. Brooks is making this argument, falsely attributing it to Occupy Wall Street by guilt by association in order to make a facile refutation.

Then Mr. Brooks goes on to make a very deceptive and misleading analysis of proposals to tax the rich by considering only those individuals making one to ten million dollars per year and downplaying the supposed impact of increasing taxes on these individuals by ignoring all individuals making more than ten million dollars per year and by comparing the revenue gained not to the balancing effect on the yearly budget but rather to the total, historic, US debt. Mr. Brooks also ignores any discussion of the desirability and effectiveness of increasing corporate taxes and closing corporate loopholes.

Then while castigating the protestors as too extreme, he also attacks them as a “milquetoast” group whose “members’ ideas are less radical than those you might hear at your average Rotary Club”

Mr. Brooks apparently has an axe to grind with the protesters; well and good. His dissent is welcome. But he should not engage in guilt by association or what appear to be outright falsehoods in making his case.

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

12 October, 2011 Posted by | David Brooks, demonstration, media, news, non-violence, Occupy Wall Street, protest, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Regarding the Wall Street protests

Dear Ms. Bellafante,

I read your article in the Sunday New York Times website with great interest:

Gunning for Wall Street, With Faulty Aim

It is a remarkable piece of right-wing propaganda masquerading as a news story.

You pretend to have had difficulty discerning what the message of the groups involved is.

Please allow me to summarize for you.

The message is that the USA is becoming more and more a plutocracy.

They decry that this growing economic inequality is accompanied by growing political inequality, the destruction of the middle class, and social and economic disenfranchisement of the poor.

They criticize, as you pointed out in a backhanded way, the doctrine of corporate citizenship, wherein corporations are given “rights” covalent with, and contrary to, the rights of citizens.

They point out the injustice of a legal system which mandates the judicial killing of a poor black man in the name of justice even though the evidence against him is largely now discredited.

If you were having trouble taking seriously the criticism of corporatism as antithetical to popular democracy, I suggest you read Prof. Joel Bakan’s “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power“.

As Robert Reich pointed out in his piece, “The Limping Middle Class” in the New York Times on September 3, 2011, the 5 percent of Americans with the highest incomes now account for 37 percent of all consumer purchases, according to research from Moody’s Analytics. As Reich noted,

“When so much income goes to the top, the middle class doesn’t have enough purchasing power to keep the economy going without sinking ever more deeply into debt — which, as we’ve seen, ends badly… The economy won’t really bounce back until America’s surge toward inequality is reversed.”

Your article was not objective coverage. You made your lede not the “5 w’s and h” of a real news story. Instead you chose to focus on the most freakish and unbalanced participant, from the perspective of normative values, that you could find. Your entire piece was belittling and apparently intended to “otherize” and isolate the participants.

You seem to have the opposite idea of the duty of the news media from that articulated by former CBS News President and Edward R. Murrow producer Fred Friendly, “Our job is not to make up anyone’s mind, but to open minds — to make the agony of decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking.”

Your article seems to have been deliberately constructed to belittle, to obscure the message, and to give people reasons not to think, and not to question authoritarianism and greed as organizing principles of society.

You made no mention of the shocking and illegal police-state tactics being used against these brave and principled, nonviolent protestors.

Shame on you, Ginia Bellafante. Shame, shame, shame.

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA

PS This letter and your entire unedited response may be posted on my social media platforms and on my blog, https://scanlyze.wordpress.com

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

25 September, 2011 Posted by | media, news, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Regarding the detention at UNDP Bahrain of three non-violent Human Rights protesters

Your Excellency Firas Gharaibeh, Deputy Resident Representative at UNDP,

I am writing to express my concern and consternation at the way the peaceful and non-violent protest of three citizens seeking freedom for their loved ones in detention in Bahrain today was handled. I am speaking of Asma Darwish, Sawsam Jawad, and Zainab Alkhawaja. Ms. Alkhawaja’s father, Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, is an internationally known human rights activist and is the former President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and is currently a member of the International Advisory Network in the Business and Human Rights Resource Center chaired by Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He was taken along with Ms. Alkhawaja’s husband and brother-in-law in a raid by masked men on the night of April 9. He was brutally beaten into unconsciousness in front of his family before being abducted.

When Ms. Alkhawaja and her companions attempted to stage a non-violent sit-in at your office today, you called the Bahrani authorities and turned them over to them. If they are detained, raped, tortured, or murdered, you will be morally and legally responsible.

I want you to know that the whole world is watching. The whole world is watching *you*, your Excellency.

I look forward to your prompt reply.

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA, USA

UNDP Media Contacts
Women arrested in Hunger Strike in the UN Building – Manama
Bahrain arrests three women in UN sit-in, activist says
Three Bahraini women detained for ruckus in UN office
3 female activists arrested in Bahrain
Even in Custody, Bahrain Activists Use Twitter to Protest
Bahrain frees three women arrested for protesting at UN offices in Manama
Bahrain women arrested in sit-in released, says UN

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

15 June, 2011 Posted by | Bahrain, blog, blogger, Firas Gharaibeh, free speech, freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, news, politics, protest, protesters, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Letter to the Ambassador from Bahrain to the US

Letter to the Ambassador from Bahrain to the US

To: Her Excellency Ms. Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United States of America

Your Excellency,

It is with great concern that I have read of the suppression of peaceful protesters on Lulu Square by armed force. Such violent and extra-legal actions by the security forces damage the standing of Bahrain in the world community and threaten its internal stability.

I strongly urge you to inform the King and his Government of the concerns of the American people in this regard, and to urge His Majesty to step in to dismiss the current Government and to hold those responsible for the armed and violent attack on peaceful protesters in the square accountable to the full extent of the law.

I thank Your Excellency in advance for her prompt attention to these matters.

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
(street address)
USA

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

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17 February, 2011 Posted by | Ambassador, Bahrain, Lulu, Majesty, Nonoo, peaceful, Pearl, protesters, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment